Tuesday, January 31, 2012

TIO Tuesday - Kid Approved!

This TIO is a little late today, sorry for that. I have been painting all day and all day yesterday, so I was kind of scrambling to come up with something. There was another recipe I had wanted to try, but time ran away from me this weekend. I actually made these this morning. I had seen them on Pinterest (surprise!) and mentally filed them as a good, easy snack for the kids. And actually, with the Superbowl coming up, these would be a great one for an appetizer snacky type food. Not so great on the healthy end, but who really cares on a Superbowl Sunday? You do have the entire rest of the week to get back on the healthy track...

I woke up a little earlier than normal, as if that didn't surprise the kids enough, I told the kids I was making these for their lunches. They were super excited to have something different than sandwiches or soup. Hailey cut the pepperoni and the cheesesticks while I was getting showering and getting ready, so my involvement was minimal, great for me! Jackson isn't terribly fond of cheese, so I did his without the cheesesticks.
Place the pepperoni, cut into fourths, and cheesestick on the crescent and roll up

Pop in the oven for ten minutes and presto!
I did two each for the kids and packed them up in foil. I paired it with wheat thins and fruit, something to balance it out, that makes it healthy - right?

Here's the link to the original recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything. I do believe I am in love with her blog, or maybe just the food, or maybe I'm just hungry a lot?

Pepperoni String Cheese Roll Ups
Source: adapted from Dinner With The Donnells

1 (8 ounce) package refrigerated crescent roll dough
4 cheese sticks, halved
1 (3.5 ounce) package sliced pepperoni
optional - marinara or ranch sauce for dipping
Garlic Butter Glaze:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasonings
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Take each triangle of crescent roll dough and place about 6 pepperoni on the bottom of the triangle. Place half of a cheese stick on top and roll up. Place seam side down on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-14 minutes or until golden brown.
While rolls are cooking, combine the melted butter, Italian seasonings, garlic powder and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl.
When rolls are done remove from the oven and brush with the garlic butter glaze. Serve with marinara or ranch for dipping.
*** I followed the recipe with the exception of Jack's. I did do the glaze, but omitted the Parmesan cheese.
~ Misty

Monday, January 30, 2012

Laundry Anyone?

I could also categorize this under steals and deals! The last two appliances we need for the house were the washer and dryer. I really did not want to move in without these two essential items. I would have settled for something out of the swap sheet to be quite honest. But alas, Brad came through again!
The Lowe's in Ames has been very good to us. Brad stops there frequently to check out their deals. They are the largest volume store in Iowa, which explains why they clearance so much and so often. The washer happened to be a return and repair. It has a scratch on the top and needs a new knob. None of this phases Brad when he's scoping out a deal. Of course, when he calls me he leads with, "They are currently on sale right now for $1099 each." I'm thinking, whoa, too much. And then he lets me in on the deal,  the washer is priced at $350! He snagged it up quick and said he would  be back later to pick it up.
We still need a dryer. So he drives to Altoona and stops at their Lowe's. They have a new dryer, scratch on the side, but new. It's priced at $659. Brad offers less, gets turned down and then chats up the manager a bit.  Ten minutes later he gets it for $600. Yay! But, that's not even the best part...

Brad comes home, rents a van, drives to Ames to get the washer. He starts talking to the manager that he had worked with earlier and the manager says he will take $250 for it! YES! I know! Smokin' hot deal!!!
He picked up the dryer in Altoona and by the end of the day we have our washer and dryer for less than the cost of one unit. I love a good deal and that's hard to beat! So, we totalled up all that we have saved on our appliances by getting deals and waiting for sales. Brad says it's just over $5000. Again, another upside to "taking our time" building this house :) 

Stay tuned for more steals and deals.... 

~ Misty

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for children that don't care about brand names and having everything new. I'm thankful my children don't yet care that much about where their things come from, that they appreciate the things they do have. A great example is the project I'm working on today.
Pretty isn't it?

I know, it looks awful right now. If you can't tell, it's a canopy bed and it's supposed to be white. We have had it in storage for at least five years. Hailey originally had this bed in our other house. After we moved Annaliese into her room, we had to get a bunk bed set due to lack of room. So, this went into storage in the garage. That was back when Brad would redo tractors and paint in the garage. There's a lot of over spray on it right now. We saved it from the flood and it's been in storage again in the shop.

When I asked Hailey if she wanted it, she enthusiastically said yes! Instead of shrinking up her nose and insisting she get a new bed, (like I would have done at her age) she agreed to this mess of a bed. It's going to be a messy project, but I think it will look great when it's done. If needed, I will have Brad spray it white again.

I'm thankful that in spite of all the things we do have to buy before we get into our house, that I'm able to make this work. I've been trying to find ways like this to lessen the financial burden of replacing all the things we lost. I'm also thankful for the things that people have passed on to us that they no longer need, and thankful for garage sales and friends that like to go to them with me. It's kind of exciting to see what you can do and make out of someone else's unwanted items. It's definitely bringing out a creative side in me.

Stay tuned for an updated picture of her bed, hopefully sooner than later!

~ Misty

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Thick as Molasses

I was able to paint the first room in the house, the half-bath. It's a small room, but it's a start. I chose the color, Thick as Molasses. I love it! What do you think?
I also chose all the rest of the colors for the house. I'm hoping to start painting the master bedroom, bathroom and Piper's room next week. Those are all rooms that we can tape off while the upstairs is being finished.  
What's most surprising is that Brad agreed to all my choices. I just hope he doesn't change his mind after it goes on the walls?
~ Misty

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

TIO Tuesday - Braided Spaghetti Bread

In my quest to do this tuesday thing, I am finding it's not as easy as it sounds! I want all the meals to be a success, but unfortunately they're not. Here's a great example:
I had really high hopes for this rump roast. I purchased a large rump roast last week and he cut it for me into two pieces. Usually I buy an arm roast and throw in the crock pot, no problems, turns out great every time. Well, apparently, the rump roast is a little trickier to cook. It's more lean and not very receptive to the crock pot. I was disappointed in it and tried to find another recipe. I found one on allrecipes that claims to be the best ever. (I'm not even going to link to it because it turned out awful and I don't want to hear someone say, "Oh I tried that and it turned out perfect, I have no idea why you couldn't do it?")
You sear it in the oven and then cook slowly in a roaster. I thought it sounded great. I seared the meat and even managed to have the fire alarm go off. But never fear, I thought it looked just like it should, so I carried on. What a colossal waste of time and effort! This one looks great, but it turned out to be just as tough as the one I had done previously. So, this is a FAIL! 
(btw - the potatoes and onions were still really good, so I guess it wasn't a complete loss!)

Now that I have that out of the way, we can talk about the meal that did turn out, Braided Spaghetti Bread.
I found this one via a pin from a friend, thanks Becky! It has all the things my kids love, spaghetti, bread and cheese. I was a little under the gun to find a meal that would work for this and figured I couldn't mess it up too bad. As she says in the post, the hardest part about this one is taking the time to let the bread thaw. Once you have that done though, it's pretty simple.  

Placing it on the parchment paper was a little tricky, the dough was a little difficult to manage
My braid got a little funky at the end 
Look at all that yummy mozzarella oozing out! 
Final product, looks just like hers - minus the bad exposure
(I really need to learn how to take better photos at night)

Here's the full recipe:

1 Loaf Rhodes Bread Dough or 12 Rhodes Dinner Rolls, thawed to room temperature
6 oz spaghetti, cooked
1 cup thick spaghetti sauce
8 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2 –inch cubes
1 egg white
Parmesan cheese
Parsley flakes

Spray counter lightly with non-stick cooking spray or use parchment paper. Roll loaf or combined dinner rolls into a 12x16-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain and let cool slightly. Remove wrap from dough. Place spaghetti lengthwise in a 4-inch strip down the center of dough. Tip with sauce and cheese cubes. (I mixed my spaghetti and sauce together and added a ½ pound of cooked Italian Sausage) Make cuts 1 ½-inches apart on long sides of dough to within ½-inch of filling. Begin braid by folding top and bottom strips toward filling. Then braid strips left over right, right over left. Finish by pulling last strip over and tucking under braid. Lift braid with both hands and place on large sprayed baking sheet. (or transfer parchment paper to baking sheet). Brush with egg white and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley (I added garlic powder). Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly and slice to serve.

***Check out the original blog post as her pictures are much better than mine and she details more of the steps. I did add all of the extra things that she did like the sausage and the garlic powder. It was super yummy and looks kind of impressive, much more so than my "regular" spaghetti.

~ Misty

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ready for Primer

Brad and crew have been busy at the house getting the rest of the drywall hung and mudding, taping, texturing all the walls and ceilings. Brad is still working on the upstairs, but the majority of the downstairs is now ready for primer - yay!!! Here's a few pictures of the progress:

From living room to entryway. On the right is Piper's room. It was one of the last ones to get drywall hung, so it's not quite done yet.

Master bedroom looking to front entryway. Behind that is the hall closet, also done later, so it's not sprayed yet.

From entryway to living room

From kitchen to living room.

I'm loving how the arches turned out. Brad really did a good job with them, I told him his high school math teacher would be proud.
Just a side note, I'm posting these pictures so that we can see the progress too. Working on it everyday, sometimes it gets discouraging and we feel like we aren't getting anywhere. When I have these updates to reference, it's kind of a refresher to look back and see where we were and how far we've come. Brad says we'll be painting within two weeks. Now I just have to pick out paint colors. If he didn't have such an opinion it would be much easier. Fortunately, the kids don't really care and I think I will have free rein with their rooms.
~ Misty

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday

On this thankful Thursday I am thankful for the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom. I know that seems sort of basic, like duh, of course she's thankful for that. But I really am truly, very, very thankful. And I know this post will not come close to scratching the surface of all that staying-at-home means for me. I have been doing this for almost eleven years. That's a lot of diapers and sleepless nights! Perhaps I'll write more on this later, but for now, here's a little background how it came to be.  

Prior to having children, I always thought I would be a stay-at-home mom, but after having Hailey, we still had a financial dependency on my job. I went back to work part-time after having her and we managed to make that work for a while. Surprisingly, we did it without formal childcare. I had a friend watch her if I was in a jam and my mother-in-law would drive the hour to our house to watch her when I needed an all day solution.

 First family photo - just out of the hospital.

Eventually, our schedules got to be a little more difficult to manage after I had Jackson. When he was about six months old, I made the complete transition to being at home full time. Brad used to tease me that I was never actually "at home". I tried MOPS, a bible study during the week and Mom's Morning Out to name a few. Those activities combined with park play dates and visits with friends kept me plenty busy but also gave me the encouragement and confidence I needed to make it work.
First picture with Jackson, big difference in size from Hailey.
Fast forward nine years and I have three more children and am still at home.  Naturally, I think I'm slightly better at it than I was in the beginning. But not much. And now that we have Piper, I feel like I'm starting over in a way. I feel like I have a little more patience and a lot more grace with the kids, although there are times they might disagree. I do know they appreciate me being home, they've told me from time to time. More importantly, Brad appreciates me being home and makes it possible that I can.

Some day are better than others, not everyday is sunshine and lollipops, I know - shocker! But today, I want to say how thankful I am that I have been given this opportunity. I'm thankful for Brad working so hard, day and night, so I can stay at home. I'm thankful for all the projects he does on the side, even though it means I do this solo (a lot). I'm thankful that we are in a community that has a huge support system for moms that are at home. I'm thankful that I have a network of people through Orchard Hill Church and Mom's Morning Out that continue to provide that encouragement we all need. And I'm thankful that I still have at least another three years of doing this, it's such a blessing. With all the challenges of being at home, I have never regretted my decision. It's very clear to me that this is where I'm meant to be.
~ Misty

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

TIO Tuesday - Zesty Italian Chicken

This is another crock pot recipe. I've had such great success with the last few I tried, this sounded like a good one, and super easy. I think I had saved this before as well, but who knows what happened to it and just like the last one, I found it again on Pinterest. I love, love, love that site, but I digress.

I started off with frozen chicken breasts, threw in the rest of the ingredients and there ya' go. Super easy and very tasty over top of penne pasta. The original recipe used bow tie pasta, but you can substitute pretty much anything, including rice. We don't do rice, so penne it is.

This is the link to her recipe over at The Girl Who Ate Everything (love her blog name):

Zesty Italian Chicken (she calls it Crockpot Italian Chicken, but I like "zesty" in the title)
4 chicken breasts
1 packet dry Zesty Italian dressing (Regular is fine but I like zesty better. Sometimes I use a packet and a half.)
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1-2 cans cream of chicken soup (depending how cream cheesy you want it)

Place the chicken in a crock pot and sprinkle Italian dressing over it. Combine cream cheese and cream of chicken soup in a small pot over low heat and pour over chicken. Cook on low in the crock pot for at least 4 hours. You can leave it in there all day. Once chicken is done you can leave the chicken breasts whole, cube it, or even shred it. I always cut the breasts into tenderloin size strips. Once you have cut up the chicken, throw it back in the crock pot and stir into the sauce.

If you feel the sauce is too thick you can thin it to your preferred consistency with a little milk. Serve over pasta or rice.
*** My notes, I used one packet of seasoning but next time, I'll use two. I used two cans of cream of chicken. When it was done, I just shredded all the chicken. Even though I started with frozen chicken, they were done in about 3-4 hours, much quicker than I had anticipated. I threw a little mozzarella on top after I had it on the plate.
I might try it over fettuccine, or maybe tri-colored rotini next time? And if you're a veggie person, I imagine you could throw in some broccoli or zucchini at the end? It was really good, and best of all the kids and Brad liked it.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Snow Fun

Most of you that know our family know that Brad is a huge snowmobiler. It was part of the package when we married. His family is all Arctic Cat, green and black all the way. Now that there's finally a little snow on the ground, he had an opportunity to take the kids out for a ride and let them ride the kitty cat. The person least thrilled with this was Piper. As you can see, she doesn't look very happy.
 I think this is the part that scared her!
 It doesn't even phase Annaliese, she loved it!
 An action shot of Jackson and Anderson. This worked well until Jackson wanted to do it by himself and then Anderson threw a fit - typical.
I had already turned the camera off and was inside watching when I heard the sled rev up and another loud sound. When I looked to that area, I saw Brad's hat in the ditch and then Jack and Anderson running after him with a big green piece of plastic. Um, yeah, Brad ripped off the rear flap jumping the ditch. Oops!
 ~ update: the flap is now fixed :) ~

~ Misty

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thankful Thursday

While doing some editing for a previous post, I read through the blog I had linked to. I read her home page, went through a variety of her posts, and noticed she had a Thankful Thursday blog post. I love her idea and it falls in line with what I want to do with my blog. I want to use my blog as a way to remember the things that are easy to forget. More importantly, I want to make a conscious effort to be more thankful. Writing it down, typing it out, living it outloud.

Today, I'm thankful for things that make my kids happy and my life easier. Although the two don't always go together. For instance, the snow we got last night = Kids are thrilled! Doesn't really help me though. But they have been waiting so long for snow. The talk of snowmen and sledding has consumed them. I'm glad we made it this far without it, but it's nice that they get to experience it for a little while. Secretly, I was hoping for a school delay, but I suppose there's still time for that.
Things that make my life easier, like juice boxes, paper plates, Starbucks, drive-thru pharmacies, pay-at-the pump gas stations, and crock pots.
Yes, crock pots get a shout out too. I've been using mine a lot more lately and it really does make things so much easier for me. In my opinion you can never have too many. And this rockstar has a fabulous dinner inside that pairs well with the cold, snowy day we have outside.
Now I have more time to snuggle with this guy-

And this little cutie!

I felt a little silly about being thankful for my crock pot and then I opened this month's issue of Real Simple. Imagine my surprise and delight when I read the editor's page where she confessed her love for her crock pot! I know, true story!!! I'm not as foolish as I thought... :)
~ Misty

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

TIO Tuesday - Ranch Porkchops

I made an awesome pork chop recipe. I swear I've seen the recipe and the post it came from before, but I didn't have it saved on my favorites and I know I've never made it. I had some center cut loin chops I bought and wanted to use, along with the rest of the heavy cream from another recipe. I did a quick search and came across a recipe, which led me back to pinterest, which led me to this recipe for Ranch House Crock Pot Pork chops. And wouldn't you know, I forgot to save that link too, so it's saved now and ready to make on a whim.
It was literally soooo easy. I jumped up from my seat and threw it together in about 2 minutes. There, done! It was done long before the quoted time in the recipe, so it fell off the bone and was a little difficult to get out of the crock pot. Not a bad problem to have. Here's the picture plated after crock pot:

I did not make the Parmesan potatoes  in the recipe because, quite frankly, I like my potatoes just fine. Not that I won't try those at another time, but for tonight, I used my own. Occasionally I will use the potatoes to make the kids' initials, as you see here in this picture:

Brad wanted to eat more than his portion before I even had the kids served. And to be honest, he can be a tough sell. He has no qualms about telling me when he doesn't like something I've made. For his third serving, he put the gravy over the potatoes and his input was something along the lines of, "if you made your potatoes with that gravy in a restaurant, you would sell a ton!" I love it when a recipe goes over well. This is definitely getting added to our regular routine of meals. And while it's not "gourmet", I consider anything that my whole family will eat a success.

Here's the recipe with my notes on what I changed, I left out the potatoes part, but if you go to the link above, you can get the entire recipe.

Ranch House Crock Pot Pork Chops

6 pork chops, 1/2 inch thick **I used center cut loin chops
1 packet dry Ranch Dressing Seasoning
10 oz can Cream of Chicken Soup

** I used two cans of soup, one packet (will use 2 next time) and about 1/3 cup heavy cream, mixed it up together and poured over top of chops.

Place pork chops, Ranch seasoning and soup into a medium sized crock pot over high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 6 hours.

So easy it's shameful!!!

~ Misty

Monday, January 9, 2012


We have started drywalling, yes, finally! It has made a huge difference in the house. For some reason, the rooms seem bigger? Which is odd, because you would think it would be the opposite, but it's not. Each day I stop by the house it has changed. I love this part of it, because for so long it seemed like we were treading water in the same place - for a long time. We have hired a guy (yay Adam!) to do the mudding, taping and texturing of the walls. He is doing the first floor and we are going to work with him on the second floor. It's amazing to watch him work. Granted he has all the tools that make it look sooo easy (deceiving) but, he's also done it for a long time. It's the one thing that Brad and I knew we would not be able to do, at least not very well or in a timely manner. We're very happy right now with the progress. Brad is still hanging drywall in the master bathroom and the upstairs, but everything else downstairs is being completed.
This is the looking into the living room from the front door. The closet on the right side is now drywalled as well. And yes, we do have the fireplace going.  I love the fireplace!

This is looking into the kitchen from the living room. One thing (of many) that I'm looking forward to, is all of the light. I love the windows, knowing they will be a pain to clean. But, the light is fantastic! I'm already thinking of the great pictures I will be able to take of food, all the new recipes I'm going to make this year! I've always wanted a lot of windows in my house. Natural light and air flow are two things that top my list of essentials. I think we've accomplished those.  
This is my master bedroom closet, with secret hideaway. Well, not really, just extra storage, but it could double as such? I'm posting this to show that we really are using every single square inch of available space. As you can see, it's the space under the staircase. I don't have a walk-in closet, but having this extra storage makes a huge difference. As we were designing the house, the element of storage came up and it would be one of the things we would change if we could. Barring that, we've inched out every single space we can.  
Piper's room. I think hers is my most favorite. It's such a cute little room. All the detail, most of which you can't see in this picture, but the trey ceilings, her bookshelves, the angled door. It's just perfect for her, and someday, Hailey. Hailey is already waiting for the day that this room is hers.

That's where we're at now. Brad thinks we will be painting within the next three weeks. Please, please, keep your fingers crossed that it happens on schedule!!!

~ Misty

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Deal #117, 118, 119...

One of the good things about taking so long to build our house are all the deals we have found. A vast majority of our appliances, building supplies, electrical etc. have all been fantastic clearance or closeout deals. I think I may have mentioned them on here before? At any rate, our latest finds include this microwave. It was one of the last things on our list that we need for the house. It's been rather difficult to find what we want on sale because they typically don't go on sale. It will be built into the cabinet and Brad wanted it to match the brand of the other appliances we have. When he was in Ames last week, he stopped at the Lowe's there, as he always does, and found this microwave. It was a special order return and originally was priced at $233.00. Brad knows the manager there in that dept. and asked if he would take less. He did and our final cost was $100.00. Score!!! Basically, it will cost more to build it into the cabinet than the whole unit cost.
The next find was our crown moulding. There's an Omega outlet that's open on Wednesdays in Denver. We've heard a lot about it, but never stopped in. I heard it can get pretty crazy as the deals are outrageous, and it's first come, first serve.  A couple of weeks ago, Brad was in the area and decided to check it out. He found all of this solid maple crown moulding. Originally, in a store like Menard's, this can run anywhere from $15/piece to upwards of $25/piece, depending on the detail.  Guess how much we paid?

$1.50 each piece!
That's right, a single dollar-fifty. Another huge score! He started with 100 pieces and then went back and bought more, slightly different pieces that he plans to rip and use as part of our baseboards. I am so excited to see what it looks like when it's put up! And the best part is that I don't have to paint it, Brad is going to spray all of it. Yay!!!!!
More deals coming soon...
~ Misty

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Try-It-Out Tuesday

A lot of the blogs I read have catchy little phrases for different days of the week, like Muffin Tin Monday, What I Ate Wednesday etc. It seems like a good way to have an accountable system for posting and it goes along with my goal to try 52 recipes this year (one per week, or so). I thought if I had a specific day I posted it, it would be easier for me to do. Remembering back to when I had my photoblog a couple of years ago, I did very well keeping up with it and generally tried to post every week or sooner. 

I was pretty proud of myself when I came up with this one. I was lying in bed trying to get to sleep and naturally thinking about a ton of random things. Eventually, I thought about my goals for the year and this blog. I like to come up with catchy ways to remember things and mused over different ways to phrase my idea. I also wanted to be able to shorten it. I thought about Thursday, but there was nothing short about that and Thursday sounds so much longer than Tuesday. There are no "r's" in the week, and if I'm trying it, then Tuesday seemed to be the best option. Where to go from there? I thought I had it when I did "try-it" Tuesday, but what do you get when you put that together with the first letters? Not going to work! I added the "out" and that's much better: Try-It-Out Tuesday aka TIO Tuesday.  So, that's how I came up with it and the hard part starts, actually doing it.

I'm very guilty of reading recipes, going to the store, buying everything I need and... never making it. Right now in my cupboard, I have a large jar of wheat germ (who eats wheat germ?!) a small jar of imported gourmet non-pareil capers (for making peppercorn sauce) and an unopened box of sugar in the raw (who knows what recipe that was for?). I'm hoping that this challenge/goal will help with my "problem". That being said, the only rule I have for this thing is that the recipe is new to me. Not a version of something I've already made or something that I try out-to-eat. It can be anything, from anywhere or anyone. I have a plethora of options in that category. I am in love with pinterest, as stated before, and I subscribe to several cooking magazines. All of that combined with an abundance of cookbooks, I think I'm good to go.

So what's my first TIO? I think I'm going to go with the Sausage Stuffed Jalapenos I made on NYE. I realize that's slightly before the first of the year, but in reality, there were still some left after midnight so that counts right? I don't happen to have a picture of the ones that I made, but they looked exactly like these:
I believe the overall consensus was that they were very good. I do make a jalapeno popper that is filled with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon and brushed with bbq sauce, but they are completely different from these. Would I make them again? I think yes, but I would change a couple things in the recipe, like less parm cheese and less ranch dressing than what is in the recipe. 
There you have it, my first TIO. One down, fifty-one to go...

~ Misty

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

As I began the new year last night, I was struck by how easily my children are able to adapt to their circumstances and find happiness in everything around them. Piper was being pulled in a little wagon and her laugh and expression on her face was truly priceless. I had to snap a picture because it was the perfect example of how I want to be this year. I want to look and more importantly, feel that happy more often. I'm not delusional enough to think it will happen every day, but it's something to strive for. I think I really need to pay more attention to my children and learn from them, instead of trying to "teach" them things. I clearly have a lot of things I need to relearn.

~ Misty