Wednesday, April 29, 2015


A year ago I began the #100HappyDays challenge. I took up the challenge because, as I wrote in my first post on the subject, I believe happiness, at least to a certain extent, is a personal responsibility. It is my responsibility to surround myself with people who lift me up, instead of drag me down. It is my responsibility to focus on the positive, instead of the negative. It is my responsibility to be kind, say thank you, forgive others, and above all, LOVE, because these acts bring and sustain happiness.

I joined the challenge because I wanted - and needed - a daily reminder to seek out and document the happiness in everyday moments, and to teach my children to do the same.

I stuck with the challenge for 100 days (though I admit to missing a day here and there), and then continued capturing happy moments and sharing them here - on Friday as my Happiness Highlights - for another 265 days.

When I realized at the beginning of April that a full year had passed, I went through all 365 (give or take a few) photos and relived every smile, every laugh, every happy tear. Here are, in no particular order, a few of my #365HappyDays.
He did it!
Exploring the River Walk in the rain.
Will, Hallie, and friends (Will's on the far left and
Hallie is right next to Will) in their youth yoga class.
Silly Lily on her first day of preschool.
My parents on their 38th wedding anniversary.
A ninja and a dancer in front of their Christmas tree.
Will and his award-winning Christmas card.
Mama Bear and Goldilocks on Halloween.
Hallie, Kara, Will, and Kaylee on the last day of school.
The same foursome on the first day of school. 
Hallie's fifth birthday.
Hallie and Grandpa celebrate a victory.
The spread of my future. 
My newly-painted front door. 
The Ferris side on Jenna and Ferrell's wedding day.
Pure joy.
Will's eighth birthday.
Kaylee and Will after the Nutcracker.
Sweet girls, sweet ice cream.
A trio of soccer stars.
That's one nice Grandma.
I bought myself a Christmas gift.
Elsa, Anna, and Elsa working out.
Mama and her boy.
A hot - and cold - mess.
Sweet dancing girls.
Will and Ben, out for a rainy run.
Celebrating the bride in Nashville. 
Big Event 2015
The Mueller side on Christmas 2014.
Our newest family member, baby Forest.
Remembering our younger years.
A typical family vacation.
Bringing our Tuxie Wuxie home.
A little Milwaukee Brewers tailgating.
Will lovin' on Lily.
The four "Mueller" cousins.
Watching the 4th of July fireworks.
She was so brave!
A big toe-head and a little toe-head.
Meeting Reveille for the first time.
My loves.
Last Friday's post was the last one to include Happiness Highlights, but I have no plans to leave behind "high fiving" on Fridays or focusing on life's Happy every day of the week. After watching a moving documentary on Saturday night, I have a new idea for encouraging and supporting happiness in my life and my children's lives. Stay tuned…

Thanks for taking this happy ride with me, friends. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tuesdays With Tux (4.28.15)

Tux learned a new trick.

After watching the video and/or seeing Tux perform his trick in person, many have suggested he has worms (gross, I know - sorry). Thankfully this doesn't seem to be the case, and because Tux shows off his trick only after spending time outside, our best guess at this point is that the grass and leaves in which he plays make his rear end itch.

Whatever the case, Tux's trick is adorable. I especially love that in the video you can hear me ask him to do it…and then he does. What an obedient little buddy.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Run Like Hell

A few weeks ago, Will and Hallie received an invition to a snake-themed birthday party at the Museum of Natural History. Because I loathe snakes with every ounce of my being, I seriously considered just dropping the kids off and picking them up after the party. In the end, however, I attended along with Will and Hallie because I love both the birthday girl and her mama. The things we do for friends…

During the party I heard for the first time a saying commonly used to help distinguish between the venomous coral snake and the non-venomous king and scarlet snakes.

Red and black, friend of Jack.
Red and yellow, kill a fellow.

As I understand it, if a snake's red stripes are next to its black stripes, you're safe. If a snake's red stripes are next to its yellow stripes, you're in deep trouble.

Throughout the party and for a few days following, I repeated this saying both out loud and in my head, hoping to commit the words to memory in case I ever need to quickly determine whether or not I am about die at the hands fangs of a snake.

But I eventually forgot about venomous snakes and the sayings that could potentially protect me from their venom, at least until we visited the San Antonio Zoo and then suddenly, there I was, face-to-face with either a coral snake or a king snake.

Ok, so I didn't come face-to-face with a real snake, rather an artist's painting of a snake swirled into the cement outside the zoo's snake house. I flashed back to the birthday party and excitedly exclaimed to Tom, Will, and Hallie that I could identify this snake and determine whether or not its real-life version could poison us. And then, for nearly five minutes, the three of them laughed at me while I tried unsuccessfully to remember and share the saying. "Red equals dead? Yellow and black, run to Jack?"

"Are you dying, Mama?", Hallie asked.

"Who the hell is Jack?", Tom muttered under his breath. He then added that if the cement snake had been a real snake, we'd all be dead by now.

Finally I gave up on recalling the actual saying and made up my own shorter, sweeter version.

See a snake, run like hell. 

I think that saying will serve me just fine.

Friday, April 24, 2015

High Five for Friday (4.24.15)

1. A new raw juice bar opened up (perhaps too) near our house, and on Saturday I took Will and Hallie to its grand opening. The kids couldn't get enough of the bounce house and gleefully accepted from the clown two free balloon animals each, while I fell head over heels in love with every single drink this little shop sells. Or at least I fell head over heels in love with the three drinks Will, Hallie, and I chose (and purchased for exactly $0, courtesy of the ongoing grand opening). I foresee a lot more juice in my future…

I have no affiliation with nor did I receive compensation of any kind for writing about this juice bar. I'm just a happy customer!

2. Tom had to go out of town unexpectedly for a few days this week, and while the kids and I missed him, we made the most of our Mama and kiddo time. We walked/jogged/ran/scooted to the park to feed the ducks, saw Home in the theater (did anyone else "ugly cry" during that movie?! Both Hallie and I did), read lots of books, went on a picnic, and had two sleepovers. When Tom travels I usually let the kids alternate sleeping with me, and this time around Will only took up 2/3 of the bed (an improvement) and Hallie only talked in her sleep for 20 minutes (also an improvement). High fives all around!
Shortly after falling asleep.
An hour later. Mama doesn't get much room.
3. Two words: Full(er) House. In 2016, Netflix will bring back at least a portion of the original Full House cast in a new family comedy called Fuller House. I lived for Full House and the TGIF line-up as a little girl, and before Suddenlink took away our Nickelodeon channels, my kids enjoyed watching Full House reruns as well. I have a feeling the premiere of Fuller House will be quite the event in the Ferris house!

4. My in-laws arrive for a visit this afternoon and I can't wait to see them. (No really, I always look forward to spending time with both my MIL and FIL. I'm lucky like that.) The kids can't wait to take Grandma and Grandpa to karate graduation, two soccer games, and Strutter Dance Camp show-offs, and I have my fingers crossed that on Sunday afternoon Tom and I will be able to escape on a "work date". (For those of you who may be unfamiliar, a work date is a date during which both parties tackle work projects with their computers set up side-by-side in a coffee shop).

5. Happiness Highlights
"Can I watch the sunset, Mama?"
Tom asked Will and Hallie if they'd like to help him assemble our
new television stand. Will lasted five minutes. Hallie, on the other
hand, stuck around and actually helped for two hours.
Will drew this picture of the hat he designed as part of a GT homework
assignment. He read his written description of the hat to me, but I never
looked at his picture before he turned in the assignment. Rookie mistake.
Hallie, two of her besties, and their dance teacher from last year. Love.
Me, Grandpa Paul, Grandma Brenda, Will, and Hallie in the
photo booth at the kids' elementary school's book fair.
Happy Friday, friends!

Linking up with High Five for Friday!