Gift of Happiness? Yes, Please.

A couple weeks ago, my sister called me. She was pissed. At me. For no reason.

“I hate you and I hate what I’m about to tell you, but as your PR person OR WHATEVER, I’m passing this message on to you.”

Needless to say, I locked both the kids and the dogs in the playroom so I could give her my full attention.

(To protect the pure ears of my readers, I’m going to BEEP Ginny out in the following conversation. She has a mouth like a sailor sometimes…)

“You won a (BEEEEP)ing trip to Costa Rica,” she barked at me.

“I won a what?”

“A trip. To Costa Rica. You (BEEEP).”

Let me back up even further. About a month ago, Ginny sent me a link to a contest called, “The Gift of Happiness,” on Facebook. Apparently, the country of Costa Rica is giving away one million dollars in trips to their beautiful country to people who pursue happiness in their lives. Ginny thought it sounded like me, what with all the “blooming where you’re planted” crap I went through last year. To be entered, you had to “like” the Facebook page and then enter the contest.

So, I did.

Turns out, one of the girls who works at the PR firm who is hosting and promoting this contest knew my sister and so she contacted Ginny – not to tell her that GINNY had won, but to tell her that I had won and could Ginny put her in touch with me.

Sisterhood doesn’t get much more bitter than that, let me tell you.

Being the big person that she is, though, Ginny set up a meeting with Chris and me and the PR company while I was in Atlanta last weekend so that we could get more information about the trip and find out exactly what this whole “Gift of Happiness” thing was all about.



It’s about the coolest, happiest, most incredible thing EVER and you are getting ready to be GREEN with jealousy.

(And, yes, that last sentence DID require TWO words with capitalization.)

(So did that last one.)


Chris and I have, quite literally, been given a gift of complete happiness! They are sending us to COSTA RICA for EIGHT DAYS over my spring break in March. JUST CHRIS AND ME! ALL EXPENSES PAID! We are going to stay in crazy nice hotels (three of them!), tour different parts of the country, and do crazy things like horseback riding up into volcanoes and zip line through the rainforest. AND THAT’S JUST THE BEGINNING!

We get to choose from FIVE DIFFERENT PACKAGES, all of which include amazing hotels and incredible opportunities to see and experience Costa Rica.

Dude.  Seriously.  They’re picking a ton of random people for trips like this!  Get ye to their Facebook page and enter yourselves!  Then we can sit with our mouths open and USE CAPITAL LETTERS TOGETHER!


I mean, even saying this sounds INSANE! I can’t even believe it! Seriously! I’m actually LAUGHING OUT LOUD as I write this!

We met with the PR team and I tried my hardest not to sit there with my mouth hanging open as they told me about this, but I don’t think I was successful. I’m pretty sure I looked like a freak. But I COULDN’T HELP IT! This is one of the CRAZIEST THINGS THAT’S EVER HAPPENED TO ME!




Next week, I’ll post each of the trip options that we can choose from and, if I ever figure out this new polling thing on my site, I’m going to let you guys vote on which trip option we choose. HOW FUN!

I’ve been to Costa Rica before. I went in high school on a mission trip and, like many mission trips, I left feeling like the people there had made more of an impact on me than I had made on them. Their happiness and contentment with life radiated through each interaction I had with them. I’ve never forgotten that. After the past two years Chris and I have had, I’m not just excited that we have won a trip. I’m excited that we’ve won a trip to Costa Rica. If I’ve learned anything in the last two years of crazy transitions, ups and downs, and successes and failures, I’ve learned that happiness is truly about blooming where you are planted. And nowhere is that philosophy more ingrained than in the Costa Rican culture.

I don’t believe in chance or luck or even fate. I believe in faith and in a Plan bigger than I know or understand. Is it God’s will that I sit on a beach in Costa Rica? Probably not (but wouldn’t that be cool if that was how God worked?!?!). But I do believe that we get exactly what we need in life at the exact time we need it. And never have Chris and I needed happiness more than these past few years.

I’m grateful for Perfect Timing. And for happiness.

And for Costa Rica.

And for luxury hotels.

And for second honeymoons.

But mostly, for the Perfect Timing thing.

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57 Thoughts to “Gift of Happiness? Yes, Please.”

  1. Caitlin

    That sounds like Ginny 🙂 haha. Congratulations though! That is so wonderful! God truly has a way of knowing what you need. Enjoy it!

  2. You work so hard, you see life so positively, and you have taught me so much about marriage even though we’ve never met. If anyone deserves this, it’s you. YOU GO GIRL (and Chris)!

  3. Sooooooo AWESOME!! Congrats to you guys. What a HUGE blessing. You didn’t have to tell me twice, I entered the contest : ). Again, so happy for you guys.

  4. Holy cow that is awesome! After all you went through I can’t imagine anything better to happen to you. And I am definitely jealous, too….. lol Cabin Fever in Vermont

  5. Michelle

    How wonderful!
    You guys deserve a chance to get away and relax for a while. I can’t wait to hear about your trip and see the pics you post.

  6. Michelle (mommy to Henry -2.5- and Daisy -8m- )

    SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!! Totally checking out their site now. Maybe that is where I will go for our next vaca!!! Post details soon. 😉

  7. SOOOOO excited for you two 🙂 🙂

  8. Abbie

    WOAH! Congratulation! Have a lot of fun and a safe trip when you go and take LOTS of pictures!

  9. so happy for you guys! That’s a totally awesome Katie.

  10. Jealous Lori says: You’ve been to Costa Rica before AND you freakin’ won a trip for two to go back?!?! NOT FAIR. But Nice Lori says: That’s ridiculously awesome and you guys totally deserve it!!! I will be living vicariously through you so take lots of photos and blog all about it!

  11. No one deserves it more!! Just please don’t forget to bring me some coffee! 🙂

  12. Jessica D.

    hello there, i very rarely post but i wanted to thank you for letting me know about this. i have my fingers crossed that we will be chosen. i have a 6 yr old, a 3 yr old and a new baby and my husband is in the army and he and i could use a vacation! thanks again

  13. Soooo fun! I hope yall have an amaaaaaaaazing time!WOW!

  14. That’s so awesome. You and Chris deserve this trip. I can’t wait to read about all your awesome adventures!

  15. Nicole (Piper_E)

    I cannot be jealous because no one deserves it more! I am so stinking excited for you and Chris! You will have so much and we can live through your blog like we were there with you!

  16. Holy crapola! That is amazing and girl, you deserve it! I went to Costa Rica about ten years ago and it is absolutely amazing! So beautiful. There are hot springs at the base of a volcano in the middle of the rainforest….my favorite place in the whole world. I know you guys will have a fantastic time!

  17. Katie's Mom

    The generosity of MC readers never ceases to amaze me. There’s not one of us that wouldn’t love a trip like this, but the first thing ya’ll post is how happy you are for K&C. I could just hug everyone of you!

  18. Amy L Butler

    Well, now that’s just fabulous!! I hope y’all have an absolute amazing time!!! Congrats!

  19. CONGRATULATIONS! I’m so happy for you and Chris; it sounds like the perfect second honeymoon, and it most definitely couldn’t be more perfectly timed, could it?! (Speaking of which, where was your first honeymoon?). How fun would it be if one of your readers also got to go….! (not to jinx it or anything). Maybe you could have another meet-and-greet, Costa Rica edition!

  20. Suni

    Never have I been more happy for two people that are not my family or even my real-life friends. You guys are the most deserving people in the world and it brought tears to my eyes when I read this; tears of joy. Something about you getting this trip after all that you have been through is just so damn fulfilling and reaffirming. Congratulations from the bottom of a total stranger’s heart! 🙂 Two things — 1. Bring Ginny a kick-ass gift back 2. Pick the package that is most likely to result in baby
    # 3.

  21. Yeah, that’s pretty insane. And awesome. But I TOTALLY side with Ginny on this one. 😉 (Sort of.) How FUN!

  22. Lisa

    What a wonderfully amazing thing to win!! So happy for you guys, its going to be awesome!!

  23. That is amazing!!!! Y’all definitely deserve it! Ph yeah… And I’m crazy super jealous 😉

  24. jenny-bird

    How exciting! A gift of happiness, indeed. What a fantastic way to re-connect with Chris without the little ones in tow. (Although, I’m sure it will be sweet to go back home to them!)

  25. Girl, congrats! It sounds like this is coming at a great time for you.

  26. OMG! Congratulations! My hubby and I went to Costa Rica on our honeymoon and It. Is. Fabulous! (And we went horseback riding up the volcano and zip lining through the rainforest and they’re just as awesome as the sound.) You guys are going to have the best time and I’m so, so excited for y’all! Yay!

  27. Hooray for a second honeymoon! I could not be happier for you both. What a blessing! You two will have just an amazing time together reconnecting and enjoying each other’s company. I can’t wait until you go and we all get to hear more about it! Congratulations!

    P.S. Ginny totally sounds like me. We should be buddies.

  28. Alyssa

    You suck – That is all 🙂 🙂 🙂 Have a great trip! 🙂

  29. Tressa

    I AM SO STINKIN HAPPY FOR YOU AND CHRIS!!!!!!!!!! I know you will take so many pictures and share so much, that we (your imaginary friends) will feel like we were the third wheel and tagged along!! 🙂 You and Chris deserve this!!!!! You just confirmed, once again, that Ginny is AN AWESOME SISTER!!!!!

  30. I am so incredibly happy for you! You guys truly deserve this amazing trip! My husband and I have been to Costa several times… once for a six week binge over a summer break from college. It is my favorite place in the entire world. I can’t wait to see the packages you can choose from!

  31. Julie P.

    Hey! I’ve been reading your site for a while and usually don’t comment… But I absolutely love your writing and feel like I’ve been there with you through your whole ordeal of the last couple years (I think I started reading your blog shortly after you and Chris bought the Conneticut house 🙂

    Anyhoo, congratulations on your trip!!! My husband and I just came back two months ago from living in Costa Rica for six months. WE LOVED IT!!! You are right about the Costa Rican culture — that’s why they’re motto is “Pura Vida” or “pure life” cuz the way they live and their country oozes happiness. Congrats again!!! You are going to have a blast!!!

  32. Beth

    I entered! Congrats to you and Chris! I could really use something like this right now in my life! It would really help revive me!

  33. Meghan

    Wow, I thought you had won because you write a blog or something. We went to Costa Rica in September and I would LOVE to go again (especially all expenses paid)—I’m going to enter today! You will have a great time…..make sure to do a zip line or two upside down!

  34. That’s pretty awesome! I wish I would’ve known about the contest! I’m a tad jealous, not gonna deny it! ha!

  35. Nikki

    I am so happy for you, Katie!! That’s going to be such an amazing trip. Thanks for letting us know about it- I entered this morning!

  36. AH! Incredible news! Congratulations!

  37. Catherine

    CONGRATULATION!! That is so exciting!!! Us blog lurkers cannot wait to hear about it after you take the big trip 🙂 Could not have come at a better time or to a more deserving person.

  38. Trish D

    My parents sent us to the Bahamas after a very trying year….I came home pregnant. Just sayin’ …ll

  39. How cool!!! I’m so excited for you guys!!

  40. Amy

    Oh. My. Goodness. SHUT UP! … Seriously, though– how incredibly wonderful 🙂 I am so happy for you!

  41. KaraQ

    SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! that is just about the most wonderful thing i’ve heard! so so happy for you & Chris.

  42. I’m so happy for you and Chris! I think that no one is more deserving of this trip then you both. Reading your journey has truly inspired me and given me encouragement when I needed it. I know you will have a fantastic time and by the way, I do believe God works in these types of ways 🙂 How exciting!

  43. Oh my goodness – how exciting! Definitely green with envy over here! That is going to be amazing. You totally deserve it!

  44. Brielle F.

    That is just awesome!! I’m so excited for you guys, I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing, exciting trip 🙂

  45. Hilary

    That is awesome! I laughed when I saw it was Costa Rica because I just did a Cloze lesson with my seventh grade literacy students and used a Costa Rican vacation guide as my text. I remember thinking how awesome the tour sounded as I removed some of the words so my kids could replace them with their vocab words. I’ve never been, but if your tour options are anything like the one I used with my kids, then you are one lucky lady!

  46. That’s just freakin’ crazy!!! CONGRATS (I’m a little green with envy too)

  47. aoife

    Yay! So happy for you! It’s about time you went on holiday!

  48. After spending a morning feeling sorry for myself I can say I am bright green with envy.

    After battling depression for eons I have been on a happiness quest. I officially hate you for finding yours. Congratulations. 🙂

  49. Louise

    What an exciting opportunity for you and Chris! I’ve been reading your blog for a while (creeping in the background and not commenting) and have really enjoyed reading everything you wrote about blooming where you are planted. I recently moved to a new city for a new job and have had a hard time adjusting. I’m working on blooming where i am planted and I’m so grateful to get to read your experiences. Thank you for having such an honest and real blog. I promise to comment more!! Congrats on the trip!

  50. Congrats! I’m a little envious but firmly believe that it couldn’t happen to nicer/more deserving people. I am delighted for you!

  51. Laura

    Yay! Congrats! I have only heard great things about Costa Rica. Plus it’s something fantastic to look forward to!

  52. Sarah M.

    I studied abroad in Costa Rica, and it is the most amazing country. The people, the beauty of nature, it’s all so amazing and peaceful. You deserve it! Have a great time! ¡Pura Vida!

  53. Starli

    If you get a chance do a tour of luena neuva near la fortuna, you’ll be heartbroken at what we are destroying and fall in love with the nourishing properties of the rain forests. They do tours and you can learn about medicinal herbs. It changed my life.

  54. I think it’s EXACTLY God’s will that you sit on a beach in Costa Rica! He’s pretty cool like that! And, he probably has more up his sleeve for you there than just the beach. Sometimes He just likes to pour his blessings out in his kids…’cause he loves you! How incredibly awesome that you won this trip!!!

  55. […] Today I booked our air travel with the travel agent for our trip to Costa Rica in March. I am so freaking excited. I haven’t blogged or even talked too much about it though […]

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