jami amerine

The Most Fun Thing I Ever Did

“What’s the most fun thing you ever did?” 

I was seated at one of those “too close, but it looks cool” coffee shops, with the tiny tables and lots of subway tile.  I was alone, except for the mother-son duo seated with/next to me.  The mother sighed at the boy’s question, “What’s the most fun thing you ever did?” and said, “Oh, uh… OH! Look, your drink is up!”  The boy scurried to the counter and then straight over to the goodies to doctor his beverage. 

I couldn’t help myself.  She was nearly in my lap.

“Is he eleven?”

She looked at me and said, “Yes? Well, he turned 12 in January.”

I explained “I have 4 sons – 2 daughters, the sons are 24, 25, 12, and 10.  Eleven to about mid thirteen, if there is a lull in conversation it’s either because they aren’t speaking to you or they can’t possibly speak all they are thinking, and you probably really don’t want them to.  So, they challenge the notion there is no dumb question, and they hit you with all of the questions.  Kind of like when they were toddlers, but it isn’t cute now either.”

We had a good laugh and I left to wander some local shops and leave them to their semi-private lattes.  

But the boy’s question to his mother, “What’s the most fun thing you ever did?” left a stupid grin on my face.  So stupid, I overheard a man say, “That woman sure is happy.”  I tried to tone it back a notch.

But what do I care?  I love smiling, it is my favorite.  And that is when I had the thought;

This is the most fun thing I ever did.  

This moment, wandering this charming, little, book shop, smiling too much, thinking how nice it would be to have coffee with just one of my kids… one at a time. It would take a solid work week and a Saturday, but still.  This moment, chatting up locals, on an island in the middle of the ocean, waiting for my husband, Justin to finish at the dentist, this is the most fun thing I ever did

It got more fun from there, well, Justin had to have dental surgery.  But! Once again, the universe has shown me yet another valuable lesson on “Jami’s Life Ride.”  

And, yes, in my head, that title had a voice over and theme music.  

I knew that question, ‘what’s the most fun thing you ever did’ resonated with me for a bigger reason.  I considered whether Sam, my twelve-year-old, hadn’t hit me with it within the last few days…

Why is there sand?

How come we don’t use a sailboat to go to the mall? 

If you could have a corvette or a spaceship which, would you pick?


But it wasn’t him, it was me, when I was eleven. And when it hit me, I went from stupid grin to, crazy person, happy face.  It wasn’t cool.  One guy surely thought I was hitting on him, he kept inching away, eyeing me suspiciously, and a family gathered their things and scurried away from me, whispering about stranger danger.

It came to me in the children’s book section.  I remembered, I was eleven and I was in the place I hated most, school, doing the thing I loved most, drawing.  I was too old to be in the class I was in because – these were my words at the time, no one else’s – I was too stupid to be in the class where I “belonged.”

The teacher was talking, making the exact same sounds the adults make in Charlie Brown’s Peanuts, and I was drawing dogs and cats.  I was also writing the words LOVE and JOY and BOYS DONT CRY. I did this until I was sucked from my happy place, when the teacher came up behind me and snatched the paper off my desk. 

“Jami, you have to pay attention. Doodling is mindless. We are writing three paragraphs about the Most Fun Thing You Did on Vacation. You are a great writer; this will be fun.”  I remember she gently knocked on my forehead three times. 

 I don’t think you can do that anymore. I have a master’s degree in education, I haven’t taught in a while.  But I am almost positive you can’t knock-knock kids anymore.  

Besides, it wasn’t ugly – it was a “knock, knock, knock… Come on Jami, please?” I remember I knew it was friendly, non-accusing. 

Probably one of the most fun things I have ever done.  

How’s that?  

Because it mattered.  It mattered on a Tuesday, 40 years later in Hawaii, where I spied one of my books on a shelf in a bookstore, while waiting for my husband to get bad news at the dentist.  

I didn’t pick my book up this time, I just smiled bigger and thought – “That’s me.  The crazy lady, smiling too much… I wrote that book, and seven more – I have at least a dozen more outlined or written.” 

It was the most fun thing I ever did.  

Of course, as a writer, I realize words like “most” and “awesome” have been hijacked by the webernet.  So “most” should mean MOST, tippy top, very best, mostest, if you will.  However, I recently learned that “Drip” has replaced “Cool.” 

“What’s the most fun thing you ever did?”

“I had an epiphany in a bookstore in Kailua.”


Those words, “What’s the most fun thing you ever did?” followed me the rest of the day. I considered every little thing that brought me joy.  And, as with any reminiscent mindset, the good is almost always accompanied by the ugly.

The teacher who gently knocked on my skull and battled my incessant doodling with kindness?  She left mid-year, having received a long-awaited adoption placement. Her replacement – was her opposite.  She was cruel.  And she used humiliation as a disciplinary weapon. By the end of the year my doodles were plastered all over the “WALL OF SHAME.”  Something I am positive you cannot do anymore.  

That teacher would clang a large bell from her desk and make everyone look at her while she would list transgressions and brand accusations on the less motivated, “troubled” students, she called us. Luckily, I was her favorite.

Making my second time in the fourth grade the most fun thing I ever did.  

Yes, really. 

That year the replacement teacher with the West Texas drawl, who butchered good insults with bad grammar, taught me that anything is possible. And that year, the heartbreak of losing a teacher that “got me” led to a lifelong devotion to good education, and adoption. 

It was the most fun thing I ever did. 

And it still is.  Nothing wasted, all for expansion of the universe on this ride.  

Later that day, as Justin as I moved funds, and rearranged schedules for dental surgery, I could have easily lost my grin.  I think Justin would have preferred it, but it was very similar to the feelings I had when writing my fourth book, Rest, Girl: A Journey from Exhausted and Stressed to Entirely Blessed.

The principles of What if Wow! (Which completely transformed the course of our lives,) are similar to the feelings perpetuated by the statement “Most fun thing I ever did…”  This is just a new verbalization that rocked me to my core with gratitude.  Truly, I can hardly wait to see what happens next.  What I have learned from writing in the last eight years continues to open my eyes to the power and possibilities of capturing our thoughts and mindfully nurturing them to our highest potential, love. 

Worry, which is simply fear in motion within our physical bodies, manifests more fear.  That is the trajectory of fear. The end of fear is being eaten by the bear.

There, you’ve been eaten. 

You aren’t afraid anymore. 

If you are saved from the bear, you might later, still be eaten by a bear, so that is something to consider.  But if you are considering that more than the saved part?  You have just become someone ruled by worry rather than someone ruled by thanksgiving. 

Where is the fun in that?

All this to say, after dentist appointments were arranged and the day rattled on as usual, I found myself in my studio, thumbing through my latest book, “90 Days to Stress-Free, Renovating the House that Worry Built.”  This is the most stressful book ever written on stress management. It was the hardest book I ever wrote, my first book to illustrate.  And the most fun thing I ever did.

I’ve written a separate post on the process of putting this book together, you can read here.  It is so fun and interesting, with lots of moving parts.  And it was during that creation all the pieces of what I love to do, teach, draw, write, create typography, and design work, came together in one project.  And I wanted to do it again.  In my arsenal are thousands of images which are listed with my art agency, found in major retailers, and grace the pages of my book.  All of those one-of-a-kind, tiny little things are at my disposal.  And so, I made them into more and more tiny little things. 

I lost six days between dental appointments and beach runs and creating. 

It was the most fun thing I ever did. 

And I thought it would be fun to share with you the thoughts behind the idea before I showed you the end result.  

Introducing: The Tiny Little Things Collection by Jami Amerine available only on brushandbloomstudio.com – my art label.  Each house is made up of new and repurposed collage elements created by me.  AND!  There is art inside the art, if you look in the windows of the rooms you can see even more pieces, including never before seen commissioned pieces and pieces from my journals and scrap piles.  

And because I so love to decorate and had accumulated so many pieces of home and home decor items from the book, I made the series, tiny little houses and then named each house after an angelic number with a unique Jami-esq title. 

I have written about each of the houses and their names here. 

It was the most fun thing I ever did, until now, when I get to share it with you!

I hope you’ll have fun with it too.

Love, light, and Jesus be all over you. 


Visit my brand-new art store front here: brushandbloomstudiolab.com

jami amerine brushandbloomstudiolab.com

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