Fa-vor-ite

(noun)

  1. a thing that is especially popular or particularly well-liked by someone.

Everyone has favorites. Favorite movies, flavors of ice cream, shoes, songs. But this is your favorite. Like, favorite thing ever.

Just think about it: what makes your heart soar—what gives you that big, warm feeling inside your chest? When are you completely yourself, or completely overwhelmed by the sweetness of a moment?

I think you can really learn a lot about a person by letting them describe what makes them the happiest, so I asked some of the coolest people I know. It's incredible to me how each person has been created to find joy in different things.

There's so much beauty in a simple "favorite." So without further adieu, here are real favorites from real people:

“Standing in worship at the biggest part of a song and just looking around at how different people worship Jesus.”

“Probably when you and your friends start laughing at something and find it so funny you just can’t stop.”

“Sitting outside in the middle of nowhere in the pitch black stargazing with my favorite people!”

“Jumping into a cold lake from a hot sauna.”

“Looking at books full of your own writing in pen.”

“The smell of freshly cut grass.”

“I think it’s when you’re driving with friends and switch back and forth between karaoke jamming and having great conversations.”

“Mine would be reading a new book while it’s raining, and drinking a hot chocolate.”

“Watching the sunrise from a tree stand and getting to watch the wildlife and smell the forest.”

“Walking or biking in the woods while listening to music.”

“Finally summiting a mountain, seeing the view for the first time, and eating a packed sandwich at the top...Oooo, or riding my horse in the early morning when the grass is still dewy and everything is foggy-golden!”

“Sitting at the beach watching all my kids play together peacefully and reading a good book.”

“Falling into a warm embrace.”

“Sleeping in after finishing the last final of the year, finally free from all stress.”

“Waking up on a spring morning to open windows, birds chirping, and the heavy, earthy smell of rain.”

“The smell of freshly-brewed coffee.”

“Stepping on crunchy leaves!”

“Sitting on my grandma’s couch listening to her make supper, with the smell of food and the sound of her chatting with my parents.”

"I think it's is when all my family is home, and joking around with my siblings when I'm with them."

“Twinkly lights, windows open, and playing some guitar.”

“I think my favorite is a humid summer night driving in my car with all the windows down and the sunroof open, the sticky breeze tangling my hair, and the hum of the radio in the background… taking random backroads and not having a worry in the world.”

“Early mornings in a coffee shop in the mountains.”

"Entering the gates of Disney World!"

“Noodling in a river on a hot summer night, lol.”

“The first morning camping and going on a walk with long socks, shorts, and a hoodie.”

“Practice on the first day of a sports season.”

“Taking pictures of the silhouette of people or things or nature with the sunset in the background.”

“On our porch (with no bugs!) watching all our kids playing peacefully in the yard and having nowhere to be!”

"Reading outside when it's really nice and sunny out - preferably in spring, when it smells like lavender."

“Almost every morning at camp. Especially when I wake up before my alarm and it’s a good temp—not too hot or too cold—and I get to wake my campers up and the birds are singing, and even the earth looks happy. And there’s dew on the ground, and you just know it’s going to be a great day.”

“It’s gotta be late at night when all the humans and motors are hushed and resting, and nature pipes up to sing me a song, before I too lay my weary head down.”

“Sitting around a bonfire on a summer night teaching my nieces how to make s’mores.”

“Those moments when time seems to freeze and you look around and just want to savor that exact scenario for all time.”

"Running along a trail. The air has a touch of humidity in it, just enough to make me enjoy sweating. The sun is peeking through the trees, so I feel its warmth on my skin. The breeze is the only thing keeping me going. It's like a fresh burst of energy every time it blows through."

"Taking a walk (OR rollerblading) on a summer night with a breeze; it feels like there's magic in the air, it makes you feel alive."

"The first real spring day when the air is crisp and cool but not cold, and the birds are chirping for the first time, and the sun is shining."

"I am partial to weekend mornings spent in the garden, especially when flowers are in bloom and the pollinators are making their rounds."

"Recapping the day with my wife after all the kids are put to bed."

"Early morning cup of coffee, sitting in chairs outside and listening to the woods come alive. Probably with some rhubarb desert, too."

"Coming home from a long day of school to be greeted with a huge hug from my sister while she’s screaming “PICKLES!” (My nickname). And then just sitting down with her to talk about her day at school is something I’ll treasure forever! "

“It’s gotta be late at night when all the humans and motors are hushed and resting, and nature pipes up to sing me a song, before I too lay my weary head down.”

“Almost every morning at camp. Especially when I wake up before my alarm….(cont.)”

"Reading outside when it's really nice and sunny out - preferably in spring, when it smells like lavender.”

"I think it's is when all my family is home, and joking around with my siblings when I'm with them.”