Always Remember to Dribble Right

Always Remember to Dribble Right


Pinterest is full of quotes about finding yourself and finding who you are and knowing your own path.

Quotes like “Some people get lost for so long they forget how to find themselves.”

And  “Lose yourself in the things you love and it is there you will find who you are.”

And my favorite “Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come.”

Wonderful, sage, incredible, amazing advice.   I know.  I get it.  I understand.  There are days when I feel like I need to have some of these quotes written on my hand so I remember the importance of just being myself.

But this week I discovered that  I really didn’t need Pinterest or quotes or wise advice from others.

I have a middle school daughter.


I am blessed to be the mom of twin daughters.

They are as different as daylight and dark.

And when they reached middle school, they both decided that they wanted to go all Robert Frost and have two paths diverging in a snowy wood.

One became a cheerleader.

And one took the path less traveled and decided she wanted to play basketball.


I say less traveled because she’s 4’10” and maybe 95 pounds soaking wet.

A tiny, blue-eyed, blonde-haired, never-really-played-basketball-before player going up against a world full of tall people.

At first it was tough.

I sat through practice after practice and my heart would ache.  She would dribble down the court and go up for a lay-up and get stuffed.  She would get boxed in the corner and see arms reaching high above her and be unable shoot the ball over them.  She would take a shot from the outside and someone would block the ball.

It was Grand Canyon discouraging.


But as the season progressed, something happened that I never could have imagined.

Something I didn’t see coming.

That tiny 4’10” basketball player grew a spirit that was 7 feet tall.

She never gave up.

When they stuffed her, she rebounded and got the ball.

When they blocked her in a corner, she dribbled faster and went around them.

Through sheer determination and willpower and a heart the size of Texas….

….she made them sit up and take notice.


And so it was on the last day of school when they handed out the basketball awards they called her name.

And a round of thundering applause erupted from her classmates and teachers and coaches.  With a giant grin on her face she came down from the stands and accepted her award….

….for most improved player.

So here’s another quote for Pinterest.

When faced with an almost-seemingly overwhelming challenge, remember the strength inside of you, find yourself….

….and always remember to dribble right. 🙂

table runner assistant

PS  I love you, boo.

PPS  I was all about finding myself with summer decorating in the dining room.  I hope you enjoyed the pictures, too. 🙂

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  1. Such a strong, determined young lady! She will go far with that attitude. And she’s very pretty too!

  2. Love the pictures and the story! Thank you for sharing this!

  3. Yvonne Shafer :

    Great job! BB is a tough sport but it looks like she has it conquered! Dribble right on!!

  4. How awesome! What a testament to knowing who you are/who you want to be and then being determine to accomplish it. BTW, you’ve got tablescapes down to a science. New Pinterest Quote: When your creativity is waning and your feeling all plain Jane, go to your keyboard and type Thistlewood.

  5. Cheers to your amazing daughter’s courage. I have to be honest, I had to wipe away a tear.

  6. Good morning KariAnne,
    I DID love your table setting for us today, but I always enjoy your pictures!! :o)
    It looks like your daughter might be utilizing her coloring skills in the Imagination Room?

    How wonderful that she won the award for “most improved” player and rightly so with all the determination she put into it. A big “congratulations” to her!

    I hope you’re feeling the same sunshine we have today!
    Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Mix karianne, I think she’s a true mini-thistle….a chip off of your block! Lovely too.

  8. I suspect the “Apple didn’t fall from the tree.”! You are a wonderful writer, always a joy to read!

  9. Congratulations to your sweet girl, KariAnne! I love her determination and attitude. You can be very proud of her.

  10. Beautiful table- oh my!! So when I face Grand Canyon discouraging, I will remember your sweet thistle and dribble right!:):) Congrats to her!

  11. Susie Eisert :

    Your daughter sure is full of determination! She will be able to accomplish anything with that attitude.

  12. One should never underestimate the power of pint-sized people!!! Congrats to her!

  13. One of my all-time favorite students!! So proud of her!

  14. Congrats to your lovely daughter on not giving up-love a “can do” spirit

  15. Good girl !

    P.S. I’d get lost even if you put a GPS in me ….

  16. Schultzie Smith :

    Kari Anne

    Do you happen to remember where you got the curtains in your dining room? I love them!

    Schultzie Smith
    Frisco, Tx

  17. I’s sorry but my attention and heart belonged to the story. WOW!! Our kids have us so wrapped up — gift wrapped and with a huge bow. My kids are grown and I still wonder how it all came together to make them such amazing human beings. My heart is overflowing with love. Now I’ll go back and look and your beautiful photos and I know I’ll appreciate them fully!! Have a sun filled day!

  18. Good for her! I’m cheering as I read this. Haha, my mom said we were as different as the sun and moon…I did a painting on it. Love your daughter’s determination. Beautiful!
    And I love your place settings too. Happy day to you!

  19. Leslie Watkins :

    Precious!!! What an honor to watch one of your own hurdle obstacles with a win!! Love her perseverance and tenacity…and cheering from the sidelines from a great encouraging Mom. 🙂

  20. I had a little blond that experienced the same thing. When high school rolled around she switched to volleyball and became a team manager for the boys basketball team. Hello homecoming queen. Awesome experience.

  21. Loryl Fisher :

    Girl power is an amazing thing! Congrats to your adorable daughter☺️

  22. You have the most amazing children. Such strength and determination from someone so young. It must have a little to do with two amazing parents. Then you, you always inspire me when I need it most.

  23. Another wonderful thistlekeeping post! Bravo to her, and to you mom for always having a way to beautifully dedicate posts to your children, and bring us small glimpses of your world with them.

  24. Oh Karianne, They are so blessed to have you for a mom, she’s precious and so are you. Wonderful wonderful post!
    Warmest Wags,

  25. OH, what a wonderful and personal post, thanks for sharing with all of us! 🙂

  26. I hope you make a cute wooden sign with her quote and put in in Pinterest. 😉

  27. Bravo!!!!!!!!!! Love the story and the photos! <3

  28. Wendy Johnson :

    I would be hitting my like button but I am wiping the tears. lol Lovely determined girl you have.

  29. Fantastic! Congrats to your daughter! Love that…dribble right! 😉

  30. I love this! Sometimes our kids teach us the best lessons!

  31. This was one of the best posts ever and ever! Not only do we continue to learn from the young and the examples they don’t even know they set, we get to thrive on them. I sure needed to hear the quotes of wisdom today too. Thanks so much Karianne. And, what a great kid you have. She obviously has a great role model for a Mom! lol

  32. What tenacity! The world had better watch out as this young woman has figured out how to maneuver the obstacles. (Something that many adults never figure out.) What a wonderful story, thank you for sharing!

  33. I wanted to cry happy tears for her and stand up and cheer myself. Congratulations, both you and your husband are raising beautiful children.

  34. You GO girl!!! I am cheering her from my chair!!! I was 5 foot nothing and about 100 lbs. when I played basketball in HS. Everyone was taller and tougher than me but I LOVED playing. I wish I could still play:) BTW, this table is absolutely GORGEOUS!

  35. I know you are proud of both of your gorgeous daughters! I so enjoyed getting to meet them in person. They are friendly, polite, articulate, and talented. Good job, mama!

  36. Hmmm, I think I know where she gets her spunk!

  37. Your daughters are amazing! What a wonderful accomplishment.

  38. Cindy Pierce :

    Congratulations to your beautiful daughter! Love the dining room pictures.

  39. Woo hoo! Good for her!! And good for you, mom, for encouraging her all along the way. 🙂

  40. AWESOME!

    She gets that never-give-up from her dear Momma!

    Congratulate her from me! Hugs!

  41. Those are the stories that are the best in life aren’t they? Maybe the key to staying that way for the rest of our lives, is just to let go. Remember what it’s like to be that kid. They never see failure as an option- they just do it.

  42. Tears of joy…Congratulations to your spunky daughter!

  43. So I’m sitting at my computer on a short break reading todays post and I start crying! I wanted to stand up and clap and cheer for your daughter! The spirit of one who never gives up is something to be admired and encouraged! From the sound of it she takes after her mother quite a bit!! The table decorations are beautiful as always and your spirit has shown through once again! I get so excited when I get your emails in my inbox!! Your posts add sunshine to my days and a smile to my face. Thank you for just being you………….

  44. Barbara Moore :

    Just pure sweetness….that’s what that is. lllllllove every word.

  45. I love that they are both individuals and that you celebrate that in them. You daughter and your dining room are both adorable!

  46. grammy goodwill :

    I enjoyed seeing your pictures, but my favorite is the one of your daughter. I LOVED her story. What a great attitude that will serve her well in the days and years ahead. Great spirit.

  47. Oh I love this, Karianne…she’s a lovely, determined young woman…and how wonderful to be recognized with that award!

  48. I called my daughter Boo, also. She was painfully shy throughout school, but in her junior year of high school she found herself…in the midst of French class and a year later than most exchange students decided to become a Rotary International exchange student. She studied in Belgium, later in the Ivory Coast and in Senegal and has been a high school French and Spanish teacher for 16 years. No matter what it is, kids will find themselves in the things they come to love and moms and dads will be forever proud of themj,

  49. I called my daughter Boo, also. She was painfully shy throughout school, but in her junior year of high school she found herself…in the midst of French class and a year later than most exchange students decided to become a Rotary International exchange student. She studied in Belgium, later in the Ivory Coast and in Senegal and has been a high school French and Spanish teacher for 16 years. No matter what it is, kids will find themselves in the things they come to love and moms and dads will be forever proud of them.

  50. Your cutie is awesome and I know where she gets her spunk. Don’t forget, she may spurt up in height over the next five years or so.

    My Abby, who is still only 5’2, played basketball like a champ until she started high school and then it’s all about the tall and talented (she went to a private catholic school and the girls came from all over). She’s now a high school English teacher at a school that is brand spanking new. She started the first girl’s basketball team…all petite 5’2 of her, 24 years old, with young girls who have never dribbled a ball before. They had a lousy season but I so admired her and so did those young girls. They had their chance and a lot of cheers from the sidelines. Hoping for a better season later this year!!!

    Your pretty dining room did not escape me…love, love, love!!!


  51. Happy tears for mini Thistle!!
    Beautiful table setting applause
    for Mrs. Thistlewood Farm!! : )

  52. So wonderful your daughter was confident enough to take a chance on a difficult challenge. As you know, that confidence will take her anywhere she wants to go!

  53. Donna Marie :

    YOU almost made me cry…

  54. I find we do learn the best life lessons from our children and our pets…they have such resilient spirits and are never down for long…we would do well to pay closer attention to the lessons they teach us everyday. Besides being your daughter’s greatest teacher, you are her greatest pupil. Brava to you both for not letting anything in life hold you down…you are both great inspirations to us all…and both very beautiful…lucky ladies! 🙂