Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

Mom sent me to the store years back with only one item on the list.


That seemed like a simple request. Anyone can pick up butter, right? That’s what I thought too. But by the time I made my way into that small town grocery store and over to the refrigerated section, I had become perplexed.

“What kind of butter,” I wondered to myself. “There is that stuff in a tube that we use for bread, stuff in sticks that mom uses for baking, salted, un-salted and margarine.” 

I had no idea which one to pick up.

I didn’t have confidence to ask a clerk, so I simply choose the first box I saw. I went with my gut instinct. That’s what we’re always taught, right?


I got home and showed my purchases to Mom and the rest of the family. 

They laughed.

I had actually picked up margarine, not butter. Turns out – butter is just exactly that. 


I didn’t realize it was that obvious. I saw the boxes that had the word butter written on them – but I had assumed that was a generic brand – a cheap version of the real stuff. You all know what happens when you assume, don’t you? While they laughed, I cringed with embarrassment. To this very day, anytime I place a box of butter in my grocery cart, I think of my naive moment in history.

I turn 32 years old this week. This isn’t a pathetic ploy to get happy birthday wishes – although if you’d like to send me cheer – you know I’ll take it. Instead, this birthday thing makes me ponder a bit. What should I know at this age? I’m not talking about the stuff found in text books. I will never know the square root of 68 divided by 920 and then multiplied by 7,790; nor do I want to. I’m talking about the common sense stuff. Like the difference between butter and margarine.

In honor of my greatest day in history – I decided to compile a list of 32 things one should know by their 32nd birthday. 

  1. How to hem a pair of pants. This eliminates the need to use safety pins – which I did only once on a fantastic pair of tight red pants during a trip to New York City. Looking back, I doubt they looked that fantastic. A quick Google search shows 126,884 people have watched a YouTube video titled, “How to hem a pair of pants.”  My mom would be mortified.
  2. How to change a tire. Even though I could do it, I will always call my husband, my dad or a brother-in-law before attempting myself.
  3. How to boil water. This seems obvious. Trust me. It’s not.
  4. How to make a really good cheeseburger. This is a tough one. I’m still trying to master it.
  5. How to balance and organize your finances. 
  6. The difference between they’re, there and their. 
  7. You are never too good for a job. I have to remind myself this one. 
  8. How to be honest to your boss, your co-workers, and yourself. 
  9. There is no such thing as instant success.
  10. You should always write a thank you note.
  11. How to love and be loved in return. Yes, this is a line from a movie. But it’s really true. 
  12. The words to at least one Bon Jovi song. OK – this isn’t crucial, but I think it’s definitely necessary if you want to make something of yourself.
  13. How to have a sense of humor. I was only kidding in number 12. You can still be someone if you don’t know all the words to Bed of Roses. But I might like you a little bit more if you do.
  14. How to drive in 6 lane traffic. This makes me want to cry thinking about it. I hate traffic.
  15. Age is just a number. We are never too old or too young to dream big!
  16. It’s OK to make a fool of yourself every once in a while.
  17. How to make a really good glass of ice tea.
  18. Your alcohol limit.
  19. Life doesn’t wait for you. Loved ones die, babies grow up. This one is hard for me. 
  20. How to change your oil. Um, I don’t know how to do this one. I know. I should.
  21. The difference between good lettuce and crappy lettuce. 
  22. How to travel alone. Dang it! Failed again. 
  23. How to talk to strangers.
  24. How to surround yourself with positive people. The negative ones can and will bring you down.
  25. How to make new friends and let go of old ones. 
  26. How to log on to Facebook.
  27. How to ask for help.
  28. How to have inside thoughts.
  29. How to say goodbye to old dreams.
  30. How to defend yourself.
  31. How to say you’re wrong.
  32. Keep asking questions.

Even if they seem incredibly silly. It will save you from embarrassment with that grocery list or something much bigger.


So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Leslie Means

Leslie is the founder and owner of Her View From Home.com. She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well. She is married to a very patient man. Together they have three fantastic kids.  When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.

Lent For Kids: 40 Ways To Spend 40 Days

In: Featured, Kids
Cross with bird

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season leading to Easter. Our 3-year-old has been talking about the Easter bunny since January, when he finally understood that Christmas was over. While I’m happy he’s excited for the upcoming holiday, I really want to find some good, concrete ways to help him learn that this time of year is not only about bunnies and candy in eggs. So, I’ve decided to come up with 40 ways to spend the 40 days of Lent with kids. Some of these will work better with older children, while others are great for...

Keep Reading

Chocolate Pot de Crème

In: Featured, Kitchen

Chocolate and romance go hand in hand and with Valentine’s Day around the bend, why not have a beautifully simple and romantic dessert on the menu? With Valentine’s Day falling on a Saturday, it might be a little more difficult to get those reservations to go out to eat to celebrate. If you end up staying home, why not have an easy, romantic dessert to finish your meal? Made in a blender or food processor and refrigerated, this recipe is easy to make and the result can be a beautiful and elegant dessert that will put the perfect cap on...

Keep Reading

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup

In: Featured, Kitchen

Written By:  Rachel Gnagy @ Inscribed Photography & Design (recipe originally from here) One of my favorite ‘girly’ meals to make is soup served in bread bowls. I love getting the Broccoli Cheese soup at Quizno’s (it’s healthy because it has broccoli, right?) and Panera’s Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice soup. YUM. So when I saw a recipe on Pinterest for creamy chicken and rice soup, I thought I would give it a try! You will need: 1 Tablespoon of olive oil 2-3 carrots, sliced 2 cloves of garlic, minced 5 cups of chicken stock 1 cup of cooked chicken,...

Keep Reading

Chicken Cordon Bleu for Two

In: Featured, Kitchen

Written By:  Rachel @ Inscribed Photography (Recipe originally from here) Valentine’s Day is coming up and with that in mind I wanted to bring you an easy, delicious meal for you and your special man. This recipe is by far the easiest Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe and it is super yummy too! Pair it with some steamed veggies on the side and something chocolatey for dessert and you’re all set for a romantic dinner for two. For the chicken, you will need: 2 chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise 8 slices of deli ham 8 slices of Swiss cheese 1...

Keep Reading

Easy Weeknight Beef Stroganoff

In: Featured, Kitchen

We all have those heirloom recipes we grew up with, but when you get married you inherit a whole new set of recipes your spouse grew up with, too. This stroganoff recipe is one that my husband grew up eating and then cooked frequently for himself before I took over in the kitchen. (ha.) He made it for me once while we were dating, and I will admit – I was super skeptical. Generally, these sorts of humble dishes aren’t my cup of tea – the ones made with cream-of canned soups and noodles. However, I tried it and was...

Keep Reading

Hanging Onto Hope: The Dream That Saved My Baby Girl

In: Faith, Featured, Journal, Kids
Hanging Onto Hope: The Dream That Saved My Baby Girl www.herviewfromhome.com

Family and friends often assure pregnant women that their “maternal instincts” can be relied on to guide them into motherhood. This previously undiscovered gift will reveal itself the first time she holds her child. As a mother of four I believe in this instinct, but also recognize that experience and wisdom help. The birth of our fifth child, Kinsley, has introduced me to another source of guidance and strength that I never anticipated. Kinsley was born the day after Christmas. She was pink, beautiful and certified by the medical staff as being in perfect health. She was welcomed with unconditional...

Keep Reading

Bow Your Head and Vote, Yes the Outcome is Rigged

In: Featured
Bow Your Head and Vote, Yes the Outcome is Rigged www.herviewfromhome.com

“Keep in mind this is God’s plan! And who am I to dare question God’s plan!” I say it over and over as I watch this mess unfold before me. This mess, America is calling an election. I have never been impressed with the two-party system. It allows too much power to a select few and limits our freedoms. So, as I watch and listen and pray, as Trump and Clinton march to the White House, I only hope more Americans now see the disaster that is the two-party system. Two people that should be sitting in jail are now...

Keep Reading

This Kick-Ass Cancer Survivor Shares 20 Easy Ways To Make Your Life Healthier Today

In: Featured, Health, Healthy Living, Mental Health, Motherhood
This Kick-Ass Cancer Survivor Shares 20 Easy Ways To Make Your Life Healthier Today www.herviewfromhome.com

I recently went through quite an experience with my health. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in September of 2015. Following my diagnosis, I underwent a treatment regimen of chemotherapy, double mastectomy, and then, 28 rounds of radiation.  Before my diagnosis, I felt the healthiest I have probably, in my whole life. I was exercising regularly. Eating, conscious of my health. And after birthing three kids in 6 years, finding ways to focus on myself once again. And then — WHAM — cancer.  Excuuuuuuuuse me?!?! Cancer?!? I was, for all intents and purposes, a 33-year-old with great habits and a great...

Keep Reading

The Great Melt Down

In: Faith, Featured, Kids, Kitchen
The Great Melt Down www.herviewfromhome.com

When my brother Bobby and I were little kids, one of the great treats of summer was a journey to a neighboring town where my dad would buy each of us a hand-dipped ice cream cone. During the drive home, my mom would turn around from the front seat and point out drips that we back-seat-riders needed to lick up quick. I, the ever-eager pleaser, would anxiously eat my ice cream as quickly as possible, barely taking a breath between licks. Bobby, on the other hand, came up with the more reasonable response. He would grin at Mom and bite...

Keep Reading

The Best (and free) Drug Prevention Strategy

In: Featured, Health, Healthy Living, Kids, Relationships
The Best (and free) Drug Prevention Strategy www.herviewfromhome.com

A secret Facebook group has been uncovered by police that connects kids as young as 12 years-old to places where they can buy drugs. (see the link to the story at the end of this blog)  Shocking? Yes. Surprising? No. Kids find a way, don’t they? So what can we do? There are apps we can buy. There are rules we can make. There are punishments we can deliver.  Yet the best prevention of all is our relationship with our young people.  Time together, conversation, and honest sharing of our lives is the most effective way to influence our kids–even...

Keep Reading