Yesterday was a day for bad days.

Everything went wrong.

Nothing went right.

I stepped in dog poop when I wasn’t looking and over-curled my hair so I looked like a poodle and ran into a spider web outside and discovered a rotted pumpkin on the hutch in the kitchen.

I awkwardly wasn’t funny when I really thought I was going to be and five different times I opened my mouth….

….and inserted my foot.

I wanted to crawl back into bed, pull the covers over my poodle curls and start over.


I wish this was the part of the story where I tell you in spite of it being a not-so-very-good-black-cloud-poodle-hair kind of day…

…I was still super nice to everyone around me.

But I can’t.  Because I wasn’t.

Not even a bit.

I frowned in WalMart and rolled my eyes in Dollar General and when I picked up one of the twins from basketball practice, I sighed impatiently and turned up the music on the way home because I didn’t want to talk.

Leaves int he tree

We drove in silence down those winding country roads with Taylor Swift blaring in the background.

I didn’t say a thing.

I simply sat and stewed and thought about my hair and the rotted pumpkin and all the work I had to do and all the things that had gone wrong that day.

Why?  I thought.  Why did a bad day like this have to happen to me?  Where’s the sunshine?  Where’s the happiness?

Fall Leaves

Finally, we pulled up in front of the house.  I grabbed my bags, shut the door and stomped up the front sidewalk.  On the front porch I turned and looked around for my daughter.

Where was she? I thought to myself as I rolled my eyes.

“Whitney,” I yelled from the front porch.  “Where are you?  Come on.  We only have a few minutes before we have to leave again for the game.”

From the other side of the car I heard a tiny voice, “Hold on a minute, Mom.  I’ll be there in just a sec.”

“Now,” I said emphatically.  “WE ARE GOING TO BE LATE.”


And then?

Then she came running up the sidewalk, book bag bouncing behind her, grinning from ear to ear, as she held out her phone.

“Wait until you see this,” she said excitedly.  “You won’t even believe it.”

And then she paused and smiled, “It might make you happy.”

Irritatedly, I reached for the phone.  Impatiently, I glanced down, expecting to see something on Facebook or a joke or a quote or something she thought was funny.

But instead?

I saw this.


A beautiful, wonderful, awe-inspiring picture of the sunlight streaming through the clouds.

“Look,” she said pointing above us.  “I just had to take a picture, Mom.  It was so beautiful.”

I looked at that photograph again as my anger slowly melted away.

This glorious scene had been unfolding right over my head and I had been so focused on myself and my hair and my dog poop toes….

….that I had missed it.

I smiled through misty eyes at that tiny little daughter of mine and grabbed her hand and together we walked up the steps on a bright, shiny, sunny, joyful day.

The day was the same, but I was different.

A new perspective.

A new outlook.

A change of view.

Thanks to a tiny, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, grinning optimist who took a moment to remind me…

….to always look for the amazing. 🙂

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  1. Image for cherie cherie

    Thank you, Karianne, for making me breath a little deeper and slower! And thanks for keeping it real! So encouraged! Grateful for you!

  2. Image for Carol Neibling Carol Neibling

    I've had a year like that until last Monday and while I was pleasant, I finally came out of the funk with the help of two people that aren't even my family and my faith in God. I had a surgery on my foot and instead of being like the last one, it swelled, it hurt and the temperature was hot and I was miserable. Now, that is over and my two guy friends did some nice things for me and turned me around and they didn't even know it. God places people in our lives when we need them. I pray today is special for you and your weekend is pleasant.

  3. Image for Christopher Christopher

    What a beautiful pic! I had the same kind of morning yesterday, luckily I was able to shake it too with the help of a good lunch with my mom and favorite aunt. Even on the bad days you need to keep looking for the good!

  4. Image for Teddee Grace Teddee Grace

    I don't know what you got your degree in, but you are a truly inspirational writer. Keep it up! And thank you.

  5. Image for Ellen Ellen

    Thank goodness for an Optimist just when you desperately need one! Sometimes we need a little nudge to find the AMAZING right where we are, always there but sometimes hidden among the debris of our lives. As expected, I knew you wouldn't be down for long. Bad hair days and rotting pumpkins come and go, even stepping into poop once in awhile will pass- but the perfect moments with a cherished child are forever!! Thank-you for a very real and inspiring post.

  6. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    Children can certainly cut right through the poop!! I wish you would have called -- I would have listened to you. Sometimes all we need to do is vent :-( I could have handled the pumpkin and the hair -- the doggie do would have been a whole different story. Have a sunshine filled weekend. Sending hugs!!

  7. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    Out of the mouths of babes! When I over curl my hair...I look like Shirley Temple! ( hope you don't have to google her...then I'll really feel bad.) Enjoy your day! ;)

  8. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Beautiful story, Beautiful Pictures, Beautiful Truth. Not every day will be perfect. But with a gentle reminder (from a loving daughter!) , we can find that little moment of perfection in every day.

  9. Image for Sherry M Sherry M

    Out of the mouths of babes! Having taught fifth or sixth grade for over thirty years, I have Been reminded ofthat quote more times than I would like to admit. Not only does what they say stop your mulley grub mind dead in its tracks, their actions seem to chase the clouds away. Every..single..time! Attitude is the platitude for gratitude. Thank you for this beautiful reminder, and thank you for those amazing fall pictures! They alone make my heart sing!

  10. Image for Claudia A. Claudia A.

    Thank you so much!!! I needed that today. I've been on a roll of those days lately *said with a releasing of furrowed brows. Thank that daughter of yours! That girly needs to keep on taking those wonderful photos...anyone that has an eye like that is gonna be a great photographer one day. ?

  11. Image for Carol, The Red Painted Cottage Carol, The Red Painted Cottage

    I hear ya, girlfriend! I had a few of those days last week that put me behind a bit in the ORC. But I remembered the quote about something good in every day. Even when we lost our grandson, the good was there with us - love of family and friends, the wonderful support from the hospital staff and knowing where our little guy is now!

  12. Image for Lisa w. Lisa w.

    Oh my GOODNESS this is amazing !!!! I truly needed to hear this!!! I can SO very much relate to the poopy toes (. Grrrrr I hate that when that happens) and to often I feel inpatient with others!!! I live alone so I'm telling ya PLEASE thank that little cutie blue eyed blondy of yours AND thank you for sharing this'!!!!!!!! Hugs?From Michigan Lisa

  13. Image for Debbie Debbie

    What a beautiful picture and daughter. She has such a wonderful, sweet spirit. I'm sorry you had a bad morning, but so happy you has someone who loves you enough to turn it all around. Thank God that he places those special moments and people in our lives to help us through the difficult days. Love ya, friend.

  14. Image for Sherry Liles Sherry Liles

    I'm a 69 year old grandmother in Texas who lives in a 1929 cottage who loves your blog! I never comment but I had to on this one. As a young mother of two in the 80's, I had plenty of those days!! Isn't it wondrous that The Almighty can use a child to speak joy to us? "Out of the mouths of babes...."

  15. Image for Rowena Philbeck Rowena Philbeck

    What a great story!! Yes, we do get so involved in what is happening we forget to see the wonders around us. Those pictures are amazing. Today we have cooler weather and I can't wait for the leaves to turn. Also your daughter took a wonderful picture. You go girl…help your mom out..and of course distress her. That was I'm sure all it took!!! Have a Wonderful weekend, Rowena

  16. Image for Sherry Liles Sherry Liles

    Beautiful child! That's why we have them!! The sky shot was gorgeous but as a Texan who rarely sees fall color, I loved those trees as well!! May today be your Best Day!!

  17. Image for Doreen Doreen

    Oh Karianne, it brings tears to my eyes. Every time I see those rays I'm reminded when my son was very young, maybe 3 or so, and he would see those rays, point and say Jejus (Jesus). It brought tears to my eyes then and still does today even though he is 42! Mother's memories never fade. Hug your daughter tight!

  18. Image for Leslie Leslie

    Love that sweet reminder when days aren't going well...what an awesome painting made by the artist who created art and that sweet blonde, blue eyed gift. May your weekend continue to be amazing! Love you, sweet friend!

  19. Image for Susan Holt Susan Holt

    Your girls are awesome! I miss them very much. We keep in touch on FB where they are more mature than most of the adults! Have another blessed day!

  20. Image for Sue Sue

    What makes the amazing even more amazing; having loved ones to remind us and help us open our eyes to the "wonderfulness" around us each and every day whether or not you have squishiness between your toes.

  21. Image for Laura Cumming Laura Cumming

    Beautiful, thoughtful post. Thanks for reminding us that what we experience is based on our perspective.

  22. Image for Mary W Ferguson Mary W Ferguson

    So sorry that you had a bad day. We all have them, but the picture your daughter took was amazing. They always seem to know when we need to be picked up. Have an amazing weekend. Mary

  23. Image for Jeanne Jeanne

    Right on time with your I yelled and herded "cats" into the car...You're Going to Be Late and It Won't Be My Fault...and getting to the elementary school and running in with her to sign her in and seeing that a kid is signing herself in and I thought that was against the RULES and complaining to the Before Care director and racing back to the car to speed to the next school and yelling at everyone going under the speed limit and whizzing over speed bumps and getting to the next school and not being late and yelling Make Sure You Take Everything and racing to the parking structure and zooming up and down the aisles and and and and...finally here taking a quick moment to read Thistlewood Farms...I get it...I missed all the wonderfulness of the day but thankfully you reminded me of how wonderful my life really is. Breathe. Thank you.

  24. Image for Michelle Michelle

    Good gracious, Karianne...I love reading your posts, you know I do. I'm here everyday! But, based on your titles, sometimes I approach with caution wondering, Will I cry today?, Will I laugh out loud?, Will I smile with understanding?, Will I learn something new? Today it was all four. Better than I cup of coffee to get me going this morning ;-)

  25. Image for Terri Terri

    "It's the little things" that get us every single time...... BUT... Thank God He sees fit to use those who are most precious to us to do or say some sweet LITTLE thing that changes EVERYTHING!!! The day stayed the same.... but on the inside we are so totally changed !!!!!! I LOVE THIS.... so glad that you share "REAL" with us ................................ Blessings.. Peace.. and Joy for the upcoming weekend!!!!!!

  26. Image for Debbie Debbie

    GOD has a way of showing himself to us through his wonderful creations!! We have AWESOME God. God speaks to us through sometimes the tiniest things...your daughter. We all need to learn that God will get us through ANYTHING if we just look. Piece in the midst of a storm. God Bless You!!

  27. Image for Suzy Suzy

    Thank you, Kari Anne. It has been one of those weeks for me. Now, I am going to put on a smile, drink some (more) coffee, and get my work done at the office. The weekend is looking up!!

  28. Image for Rebecca K Rebecca K

    Thank you! What angels our children can be many times if we will just listen...and you did! And it made a difference in you. Blessings all around.

  29. Image for Cate Cate

    KariAnne, your post today brought tears to my eyes, but grateful tears ... As much as we hold on to the mantra of finding "good" in every day, some days we can fall short of that goal and we need a Whitney to pull us back on track! Next time I fall into the doom and gloom track, I'm going to think of you and of Whitney with a picture of the "God's sky" on her phone! Thank you KariAnne for all the positivity you share from your heart. ❤️ Have a wonderful day!!!

  30. Image for Emily Emily

    Lovely - my son (who is always late) has taught me that you're never late, you're always just where you are supposed to be, when you are supposed to be there, to partake of just what God has in store for you at that moment. You just have to open your eyes to see.

  31. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    Can I tell you how much it makes my day to see you write about " dog poop toes?" GIRL, you should live in my neighborhood so we can hang out! Can't wait for your book!!!!

  32. Image for Susan Susan

    Out of the phones of babes! ;) Children do have a way of seeing the joy around them and, if we allow them to, they can guide our eyes to see it, too...but you have to be open to of your greatest gifts is that your heart is beautiful and open...this is how your baby girl was able to influence your mood. TL; DR version: Ye Thistles are just amazing souls, bless your cotton socks! Thank you for bringing sunshine into my rainy world today! :)

  33. Image for Linda Linda

    Our children grow up way too fast so hug your girls tight every day. Our pets don't live long lives so pet them every day. We never know how long our spouse, our best friend , will be beside us so tell them you love them every day, and be sure and look up to see the pretty clouds and know that God has made it all for us and let us be thankful every day for His blessings.

  34. Image for Marilyn Marilyn

    Whitney actually made your day into a positive. Those pictures of the area are gorgeous. My area has hardly changed. The leaves are just starting to get brown,no bright colors . It has been warm here. Marilyn

  35. Image for Jen Ross Jen Ross

    Sometimes it's hard to see any good through all the bad...but it's there. Sometimes a little light needs to shine on it. And your pics rock!

  36. Image for Jane Hansen Jane Hansen

    Why do we get into those moods, sometimes for no reason at all? It often takes someone we love to pull out of it! Happy for you and your family!


    KariAnne, your pictures are lovely! Your daughter is truly amazing -- and so are you! Keep looking up!

  38. Image for Botanic Bleu Botanic Bleu

    KariAnne, The photography gene and the inspirational gene did not miss your daughter. She was spot on with both! When is she starting her blog? She's a natural rock star. Judith

  39. Image for Deb Huffaker Deb Huffaker

    Oh, so precious!!! I really do try to look for the AMAZING....because that's simply how God is! And, sky pics are my fave! HOPE today and tomorrow and the next day are full of AMAZING stuff!!! ;-)

  40. Image for Jan Fusco Jan Fusco

    Stepping in poop...don't you hate when that happens? But I bet you did it with style cause YOU'RE A ROCK STAR! But at the end of the day...we're just thankful God blessed us with the day, good or bad. Cause a bad day is better than no day at all. And your daughter...she's amazing.

  41. Image for Rebecca Rebecca

    ...what beautiful photos,thanks for sharing! we can all get in a sour mood,how sweet of your daughter To shine bright and cheer us all up.! Your writing always brings a smile to my face! Have a wonderful weekend! ?

  42. Image for Donnie Donnie

    Oh, what a wonderful job you are doing with those children. Keep up the good work you and the brown-eyed man are accomplishing.

  43. Image for Marlene Marlene

    Beautiful story...I should keep it in a pocket close to my heart to pull it out on one of those days when everything seems to go wrong to remind me to turn my frown into a smile! Thanks for sharing it! I think that apple of yours doesn't fall too far from the tree...beautiful spirits on both of you!

  44. Image for PJ PJ

    The beauty of nature never fails to help me get out of a bad mood. In California, it was the sunrises and the ocean that cheered me; here it is the woods, the changing seasons, and the beautiful sunsets. You have a very wise daughter!

  45. Image for Lisa at celebrate creativity Lisa at celebrate creativity

    Hi Karianne, I love this sweet story. The photo is indeed, amazing. She snapped it right at the perfect time. What a capture. Isn't it wonderful when your kids know you well enough to know exactly what you need... and when you need it? Of course, they know how to push buttons too but that's undoubtedly a different story-lol. Have a wonderful week.

  46. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    Sweet, sweet girl ~ how lovely for her to have such insight already, at her young age ... Thank you for sharing this, KariAnne.

  47. Image for ananda ananda

    so beautiful i just got misty eyes, again! it's true why do bad days even happen? especially to fun and adventurous and happy people ( like us!) ? you have such a beautiful family Karianne! and i think you look gorgeous even with poodle hair- just did a photoshop image in my head! =) enjoy the glorious fall colors and lots of happy days! btw, i just stumbled here while researching ikea hacks- the dresser and towel rack you made are aaamaaazzziingggg!!! xoxo

  48. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    :o) So sweet, your daughter! And I'm so sorry you had a rotten day. Glad you had someone to remind you to look for the amazing and yay that you saw it! Hope today is better! hugs, Cecilia

  49. Image for Sheryl Sheryl

    I love your blog!! It always gives me a chucle or lifts my mood when I am feeling down. Through most of the blog I'm thinking "she is normal after all". I knew that you would find the good in the day because you are so awesome.

  50. Image for Loryl Loryl

    What a remarkable moment to share with your adorable daughter. Our children perfectly put things in the right perspective. When I taught school all those little ones helped find the joy in each moment. I was reminded by them often; bad days happen, bad moods don't have to!

  51. Image for Susie Susie

    I am so happy that I have met you! Your story is such a wonderful reminder of what is truly important. Hope your day is awesome.

  52. Image for Sara Sara

    Wow. Wonderful post KariAnne- so glad I got to read this today, because it is so true and brought tears to my eyes. It was amazing to see you yesterday and I hope you have a great rest of your day!

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