banner on fireplace

One time I had to take a personality test for a class at school.

You know, the ones where they list dozens of adjectives and they ask you to choose which ones resemble you and then there are lists of questions like “Do you see the glass as half-empty or half-full?”

I think that’s where I figured out I’m a glass half-full type of person.

I’m all about sunshine and happiness and joy and rose-colored glasses and seeing rainbows after a storm.

99.96% of the time.


Except for last week.

spring mantel decor

You see, I’m in the middle of a project in a world where I really don’t know anything about anything.

The kind of world where no one really has worked with me before and they don’t know me and who I am and they have never heard my voice before and while I’m sure one day it will be wonderful and amazing and incredible.

Right now it’s scary.

And overwhelming.

And sometimes I feel like I spend my days taking one step forward and two steps back.

banner living room mantel

Last week I was explaining all this in great detail to my mother and she was listening patiently to me listing off my woes and all my stepping and re-stepping and when I finally exhausted myself with everything I had to say, she said something so profound and so wonderful that it stopped me completely in my tracks.

“Don’t compare your middle of another journey to the beginning of this one.”

I had to pause and let it sink in.


She was so right.

Wonderfully, amazingly, incredibly right.

I was looking around and comparing myself and where I was to others and where they were on the journey and bemoaning the fact that I hadn’t accomplished what I felt like I should have accomplished and why couldn’t I make tracks like they had made tracks.

When in reality, the train hadn’t even left the station.

Can I get an amen?

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And just when I processing that thought, my mother said something even more brilliant.

(total aside:  I hope she reads this and if not I think I need to e-mail it to her)

Something I needed to hear.

Something that carried me through the rest of the week and made me wake up this morning and give thanks for another day.

Comparison is the thief of joy.

I need to rejoice and be happy for my own journey.  I need to be happy for what I have accomplished and what I have done and the twists and turns of my own path.  I need to simply be happy for today.

Just today.

She’s right, that incredible mother of mine.

So I’m lifting my coffee cup in her honor this morning.

And guess what?  It’s half-full. 🙂

living room spring decorating

I made a HAPPY DAY banner for the living room spring mantel to celebrate my mother’s brilliance.

These classic farmhouse letters were created by my equally brilliant friend, Andrea, and if you’d like to make a banner, you can print your own for FREE.

She created the entire alphabet in banner and 8 x 10 printables.


If you want to print the letters in banner form you can click here to download the files with the letters N-Z.

You can click to download the files with the letters A-M on Andrea’s blog, The Cottage Market here.


If you want to print the 8 x 10 monograms you can click here to download the letters M-Z.

You can click to download the files with the 8 x 10 monogram letters A-M on Andrea’s blog, The Cottage Market here.


Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Christina in FL Christina in FL

    Karianne, you are a joy and so is your mom! :) You know that saying "If you go looking for trouble, you're going to find it."? Well, the same goes for the opposite. :) Focus on all your accomplishments, the joy, the laughter, the love, the ... you get the drift. Also, ever notice you hear just what you need to hear? I did this morning when I read your post. Thank you!!!

  2. Image for Shonee Shonee

    It is so hard not to compare, especially when you are surrounded by amazing bloggers who seem to have it all. I have learned the hard way that my journey will only be successful if I focus on my path and not theirs. It's a little refreshing to see someone as successful as you still making your way through your journey, it makes the rest of us realized you are just a person like everyone else. You rock. Thanks. Shonee

  3. Image for Stephanie Ray Brown Stephanie Ray Brown

    Oh sweet pea understand you worried heart. Something new is so exciting but oh so scary too. But if your heart is telling you it is something you need to do... Whether it be for yourself or others... Listen to God's soft and sweet voice. He is placing something on your heart for reason and wants you to listen.. As well as do. Hugs from My house to yours.

  4. Image for Peg Peg

    I heard this quote when I was in my 20's, and it changed my life. "If you compare yourself to others, you shall become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself." Happy Day, friend. xoxoxo : )

  5. Image for DebraShoppeno5 DebraShoppeno5

    Oh your Mom is so wise and so right. And all of us do compare our lives to someone else's not knowing their journey. We just need to follow our path and find our inner strength.

  6. Image for Cheri Cheri

    OMGoodness! What profound and perfect things for your mother to say to you at those moments. I am writing those words down! I know there will be a opportunity for me to share your mothers wisdom with my own children. And your mother is so right - your journey is not anyone else's journey, beginning, middle or end. I want to sit down and have tea with your mama. She has a lot of wisdoms to share - starting with raising a daughter that looks at the world as half a cup full. Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. Image for Nancy @ slightly Coastal Nancy @ slightly Coastal

    Comparison is the thief of joy...for sure. You are on such an amazing journey. From the spectator's point of view, your journey is equally as amazing to any I have seen. Just because you could use a little extra flower after unloading your inspirational message today, I have a little printable I'm sending to you (it hits my blog Friday) but your extra special. Check your e-mail friend! Have a fabulous week, this week. Nancy

  8. Image for Kelly Snyder Kelly Snyder

    This was the perfect post for a Monday morning. As a new blogger, I have a tendency to get completely sidetracked by where I want to be. It is comforting to know that someone as successful as yourself still has the doubts. As a newbie, I can say that I look up to your blog and hope mine can someday be where you are today. Everyone has their own story and their own path. Thanks for the reminder - I too will be lifting a coffee mug to your mother on this fine morning. All my best, Kelly

  9. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    Miz karianne, no matter how many times we discover is always an ah ha moment when we realize that suddenly our Mother is so smart! LOL, Mother always gets smarter the older she gets. Just ask any kid. Your Mother also has great wisdom, and patience too. She is a blessed woman and you are as well, little one! Thanks for an insightful post this morning. I can use this myself today.

  10. Image for Lanita Anderson Lanita Anderson

    What a great post to start the week! Thank you for sharing your Mother's wisdom with us - so pertinent for today and every day of our lives. Happy Monday, Friend!

  11. Image for Leslie Leslie

    Thank you for sharing moments of much truth! Comparison to others who have traveled faster is always an issue and competition with myself a challenge. And that banner!!! Definitely a keeper!!! Happy Monday, friend!

  12. Image for Colleen Colleen

    Karianne, we are hardest on's the curse of the creative soul! All the blessings and opportunities you have in front of you came to fruition because you worked your butt off for it every. single. day. Keep on keeping on and remember you're amazing!

  13. Image for Kris Kris

    I have heard your mom's quote before, and it is a good one ... but oh, what your MIL said was brilliant. Maybe you need to make a banner with that saying! :)

  14. Image for Charlotte Snodgrass Charlotte Snodgrass

    "Comparison is the thief of joy." It will steal it every time! Mom and I have struggled with this over the past few weeks except the roles are reversed. Mom is winning a hard battle against cancer and at the oncologist office, some of the other patients are eating snacks, talking and laughing, and Mom is SICK and weak. She doesn't understand why she can't be like them. Well Mom, that's not our battle, this is ours and we will take it and win it. Maybe your chemo is better and stronger than theirs, maybe your making them feel better because they are not as sick as you. Who knows? God's timing is perfect and we will take it as well. Girl, you are beautiful, your family and home are beautiful, your blog is freaking awesome (my fave)! It will all come together in His perfect timing. Thank you for sharing your encouraging story and your banner and home is beautiful!

  15. Image for Kimberly Bruhn Kimberly Bruhn know how you're just schlumping along and feeling all punky because everyone else is gone to Disneyland or Costa Rica and you're just cleaning, sorting and floofing your house? That's me. I needed to hear "your mother" today. Tell her thank you, thank you and that I will now stop fretting over having a rather simple Spring Break..

  16. Image for Jeanne @ I Dream of Jeanne Marie Jeanne @ I Dream of Jeanne Marie

    Hi KariAnne, Oh, how I have longed to have a house that looked like yours... I have the house, an 1892 Cottage, but there is still so much to be done. No flooring yet; still walking on crummy plywood floors; terribly, dreadful and ratty, orangy, pine kitchen cabinets, and a whole host of other icky things to be done. When I first found your blog, not that long ago, I was just drawn in by how beautiful how your house was, and I found myself starting to resent the fact that I had a nice "shell of a house" to work with, but I thought it was never going to look like yours. So that "Comparison is the thief of joy" quote today hit me like a lightning bolt. I have decided I will be happy for YOU and I will be happy for ME too...that I have a house and a wonderful family, and a hubby who adores me, and I'll be grateful for everything I see in my house today... I saw a little plaque in a hospital gift shop the other day that said... "Gratitude turns what we have into enough!" Thanks for your post today and for helping me to be "grateful" again... I hope your "whatever's" you are going through pass quickly... Blessings, Jeanne

  17. Image for Shellie Shellie

    Lovely post and so true!! On another note, where did you get the FARM letters? Did you make them? They are just adorable!

  18. Image for Jae Jae

    Your mom gave great advice! You are fortunate to have her. Remember, too, how far you have come in your blogging journey.....from the post titled 'jump' where you took a big leap of faith into the unknown......sounds as though you are just making another big jump......and you will land on your feet and everything will be great. Best wishes for your new project, and thanks for sharing your moms sage advice.

  19. Image for Christine Christine

    Hi Karianne! Tell your mama "thank you" from me. I was writing about something very similar in my blog post, "I Want To Be A Princess", this morning. Oddly enough, I was mentioning you and another blogger that I admire and how easy it is to get distracted by comparing. How crazy is that?!! I think that the plan that God has for each of us is completely different from anyone else's so it's not only nonproductive to be jealous or feel sorry for ourselves because someone else is living the dream that we think that we want, it slows us down from following our own path. Besides, we may be only seeing the "staged" shots and not the real life clutter of that person's life. You know what I mean?

  20. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    Oh. My. Goodness, KariAnne! Thank you to your Mom for the wise words, and thank you just as much for sharing. Again. I'm joining the others who find these beauties speak directly to me, too. Some things have recently appeared as speed bumps in our life, precisely when others/friends are sailing along, full speed ahead. After reading these profound words, and several pointed comments, I am back to being the "half-full person" I usually am, too ... I just forgot for a bit to hear it myself when I told my Hubby just yesterday, "God has His PLAN for us," knowing in my heart comparison has no place here. You are such a Blessing to me ... and so many others! (And I'm very certain you will do very well in anything you undertake ... )

  21. Image for PJ PJ

    Each time I read your blog, I feel joy. It is no small thing to bring joy to people you have never met. Hats off to your mama for her wise advice, and good luck with your new adventures!

  22. Image for david david

    Wait! Your house has to grow up?! If you're house still needs to mature then mine is.....using a sippy cup and in desperate need of a nap. This is very upsetting news. (the house is beautiful but yours is equally lovely)

  23. Image for Kristin @ Pink Camellias Kristin @ Pink Camellias

    I have this conversation from time to time with my boys - I usually say, "There will ALWAYS be someone that has more than you do." I like the way your mom said it much better - she is a wise woman! :-) Maybe you could find a mentor in your new ventures? It might help having someone help guide you along? Best wishes in your continued success, KariAnne. I know you can do it!

  24. Image for Eva Eva

    You will be that much better because you are struggling a bit. Your mother is right. You have accomplished a lot. When you move past the struggle and reach a comfortable place with your achievement, success will be that much sweeter. Looking forward to your sharing,

  25. Image for cindy cindy

    Mom's are the greatest...and you most definitely sound a lot like her. And I was also observing your home while reading this post and remembering another post you recently wrote about when your house grows up:) So with that being said, I would like to leave you with this...(I'm not the profound thinker behind this, but it applies to each and every one of us:) You waking up to the truth of your magnificence and power, knowing at last that you're not alone and that you've never been judged. That life is a playground, not a laboratory; and adventure, not a test. Knowing that YOU ARE EXACTLY who you dreamed you'd become, and EXACTLY WHO THE WORLD most needs you to be. And, perhaps most of all, knowing that your thoughts create, your words shape, and your deeds summon energies befitting gods and goddesses. Your welcome friend:D

  26. Image for Linda Andersen Linda Andersen

    Mom is very awesome! I love the new(?) farm letters hanging on the wall. and are the tree cutouts on the mantel the work of your brother? I love those too. Lets face it, I love everything about your house. Have a wonderful Easter friend! Linda

  27. Image for Karen A Del Tatto Karen A Del Tatto

    This was such an uplifting, encouraging and insightful post! I found myself reading over and over again your statement, "I need to rejoice and be happy for my own journey. I need to be happy for what I have accomplished and what I have done and the twists and turns of my own path. I need to simply be happy for today. Just today." I wanted those attitudes to sink deep down into me. It was such a blessing to visit your blog today. And I LOVE your living room!! There is something about blues and crisp whites that is so inviting and calming.

  28. Image for Janice Paschal in McKinney Texas Janice Paschal in McKinney Texas

    Your Mom, my Friend, is a very wise lady. One of my favorite sayings is Blessed is the Life that finds Joy in the Journey.

  29. Image for Maria Maria

    Wise words from your mother, Kari Anne. She's so right: don't compare someone's middle chapter to your beginning. Finding joy can be hard when you're frustrated, but it's so worth it when you do. I hope all goes better for you in your new venture. Thank you for sharing your experience and motivation (and your beautiful monogram banner) with us on #shinebloghop this week! Hope you have a lovely weekend :)

  30. Image for Stacey Stacey

    Karianne, I've got a Coconut Chess Pie in the oven - it's a new recipe I'm trying. I'm also hopping around and visiting everyone on this beautiful day. Your banner is wonderful! I'm not the most creative soul so I really appreciate it when people share things like this. So happy to have you at Thoughts of Home on Thursday and Happy Easter, friend. ♥

  31. Image for Laura Ingalls Gunn Laura Ingalls Gunn

    Truly wonderful advice. Thank you for linking up this wonderfully inspiring post on Thoughts of Home on Thursday. May you have a glorious Easter! I am counting the days until you are in McKinney!

  32. Image for Jemma Jemma

    Good Morning Sweet Friend, Well, here I sit with my coffee. Aren't Mom's wonderful and they really do know what they are talking about! So, that is something for you to remember too, when your children are a little frightened, wondering about this and that and just not knowing where to go they have you, and you are an empowered, talent woman who knows exactly where she is going! I am so excited for you, your bright future, your amazing talent, kindness and genuine caring. You are beckon of hope and inspiration to us all! Happy Easter lovely one, xo Jemma

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