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Three husbands, 11 kids, and two dogs had to fend for themselves when my two best gals, Janna and Rebecca, and I headed for a girls' weekend out in Las Vegas to see pop culture icon Tom Jones shake, rattle, and roll at the MGM Grand. The three of us don't drink or gamble, but a weekend in Vegas was just what we needed to rejuvenate and get away from our crazy, demanding schedules. After we rendezvoused with four other friends, we ate, shopped, screamed and danced to the legendary songs of "The Voice" himself. And, at least for these two days, we got to enjoy ourselves and forget about the pressures waiting for us at home.

I think it's important to take time for ourselves and schedule much-deserved get-a-ways or an hour at a spa or even just a 10-minute bubble bath at home. It's okay to be selfish… in a good way. These breaks can help make you a better wife and mother. We have so many daily tasks to accomplish for others and so many times our "quiet" time gets rescheduled. To have a balanced, harmonic life, we have to take care of ourselves before we can take care of the other people in our lives.

After I had my first child, almost 12 years ago, my friend gave me a magnet for my fridge that I still display to this day. It states a three-step approach to a happy life: have a grateful heart, perform acts of service, and take time for yourself. Over the years, I have found these three ambitions truly do make for a happier life. The third one, taking time for ourselves, is especially true for us moms.

As for the second step in the "happiness" equation, I have no doubt that performing acts of service can make us happy! I recently interviewed two men that seem to have this philanthropic philosophy down: Jim Ranger and John Patterson. In our "Mothers, Shakers, and Community Makers" article on page 10, you can read more about Jim Ranger, father of three, worship pastor, and singing sensation on American Idol; and John Patterson, father of five and church camp director, who helps Ukranian orphans. Both of these fathers are true examples of compassion and service.

When I met with John Patterson and his Ukranian business partner Sergiy Loguynenko, they took such pride in Ukrainian traditions that they wanted to share some of its culture with me. Sergiy made us, from scratch, an authentic Ukranian dinner including a cabbage soup called Borsch and two kinds of Vareniki: one with potato and mushroom and one with cottage cheese. This was a truly unique dining experience for me and it was delicious. Thanks John and Sergiy!

In this issue, Tracie Grimes's Humor at Home article, "Not Ready for my Close-Up, Apparently," on page 8, has us empathizing and laughing at the same time. Tracie writes about an early-morning trip to Target donning sweats and a ball cap where she was mistaken for someone who was "destitute." She sums up her philosophy on these "foot-in-the-mouth" kinds of moments: think before you speak!

In Rick Epstein's Fatherhooding article, "Little Sister Strikes It Rich," on page 17, he writes about his eight-year-old daughter's financial desires and her money-making strategies – some work, some don't. A masterful speller, she has even cashed in with her classmates, who pay her a quarter to spell words for them.

During March, I encourage you to take some much-deserved time for yourself. Afterall, who couldn't use a break? And, even if it's just a quick soak in some bubbles in your own home, remember "me" time is part of the "happiness" equation!

Don't forget to the Save the Date for KCFM's Camp Fair April 8th!!!

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