I Was Raised on Happily Ever Afters

I Was Raised on Happily Ever Afters



I was raised on happily ever afters.

You know….where the girl meets the guy and he’s a famous cooking personality and has his own show and she doesn’t really know how to cook and she finds him overbearing and obnoxious and thinks he knows everything about cooking (which he does because he’s a famous chef) and she wants nothing to do with him even though she has to promote him because it’s part of her job.  And along the way she notices that he has amazing hair and discovers that underneath all that bravado is an incredible man because he’s lost his way a little.

Just a little.

And she falls in love with him.

And he falls in love right back and they walk off into the sunset together.


Cue the fireworks.


That’s how I pictured love.

That’s how I thought it should be.  You know….red roses that show up unexpectedly and poems and songs composed in your honor and sparkling stars in the sky and trails of petals everywhere….

….and fireworks.

Fireworks everyday.

Just like in the movies.

And so I got married to an incredible man and waited for all the romance to show up.

And occasionally it did.


Over the years there have been some flowers and singing and once I heard a version of roses are red when I made him potato salad and sometimes across a crowded room those twinkling brown eyes make my heart beat faster and I see sparkles.

But along the way…..you know what I’ve discovered?

You know what they never really talk about in the Hallmark movies?

It’s that sometimes the happily-ever-after isn’t in the grand gestures and proclaiming your love across the Grand Canyon or on the big screen at the football game….

….sometimes love is in the everyday.

In the smallest of gestures.

In the littlest of moments.

Sometimes when you least expect it…..a little piece of happily-ever-after shows up.


Like last week.

We’ve been snowed in here at the farmhouse.  And while the first day was a novelty and full of snow fun and mittens and snow fights, all that fun quickly wore off and left me grouchy and irritable and feeling a little like the abominable snowman’s second cousin with really bad snow hair.

Several days into snowmageddon 2015, my grouchy self and I were walking outside with my husband.  We were trying valiantly to make it to the gatehouse through two feet of snow.  My feet were getting soaked and I was questioning the wisdom of moving to the country and calling the snow very bad names in my head and muttering to myself and randomly kicking at the snow…..

….when my husband stopped me.

winter back field

“Wait,” he said.  “Stop where you are.”

This is the part in the story where I seriously think I rolled my eyes at him and the snow.  Then I stopped and watched him walk ahead several steps, his boots leaving large footprints in the snow drifts.

After a few steps, he paused and turned around, his pants and boots covered in snow.

“There you go. Now you have a path,” he smiled. “You can walk where I walked and your feet won’t be covered in snow.  Just follow my footprints.”

I looked at the footprints and looked at him and right there in the middle of that freezing snowmageddon….

….my heart melted.

PS  And I promise you….I heard fireworks. 🙂

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  1. To me it is the little things that mean the most. When our boys were small and I had a particularly bad week – colds – flu – chicken pox etc. when I woke up there would be a small present on my night stand and a note thanking me for taking such good care of our boys. Sometimes it was a pack of seeds, a cigarette lighter (bad days when I smoked) or a small box of candy. That meant more to me than anything. Now it is going to the kitchen Hon want more coffee. It gets better and better every year.

  2. That made my eyes leak!

  3. Of course there were fireworks…. amazing how the seemingly little things in life are “Heart-Melters”…… (thumbs Up to the Hubby!!)

  4. Awww! These are the gestures I find the most romantic of all: the practical ones. What a great post you wrote and well…AWWW ^.^

  5. Thank you for writing this post! I LOVE it!!

  6. Okay. You just made me cry. And get a shiver from my head to my toes. THAT is true, lasting love. Thank you, KariAnne, for sharing this moment.

  7. .

  8. Love, love, love your stories. Thanks for the reminder about the little things. ( I really think you should incorporate your little stories into a bedside table for quick easy reads.)

  9. I just love your little stories Karianne. My husband isn’t a romantic, grand gesture kind of guy either and that’s OK. Oh sure it would be nice to have that but it isn’t a reality for most of us. Life happens. A friend once told me – when I was complaining – that my husband loves me the best way he knows how. That has stuck with me now for 33 years. And…Now the fireworks that happen have been with kids and grandkids in tow and those are the best kind of fireworks I know.

  10. Amen. The Little Things.

  11. Precious and true. You always seem to have your eyes opened to the smallest lil’ gifts in life. Would that all would be as you, KariAnne. Sweet reminder. You sure you’re a writer for Hallmark? 😉

  12. …and how beautiful is that!
    Thanks for the smile…you are an incredible writer.

  13. My friend’s definition of love has always been gifts. My definition is a basket full of towels folded the way I like.

  14. I’m so glad you saw it that way, sometimes we miss those moments which are precious. Years ago when I was about 7mo. pregnant, I was driving home from my job as a RN @ a hosp. in a nasty snowstorm. It was after a 11-7am shift, coming out to a surprise snowfall,no boots,cleaned the car,1hr ride home,definitely tired & frazzled. We had a long curved uphill driveway & there was no way I could make it up that hill. After seeing my few unsuccessful attempts, my husband appeared , said ” come on” scooped me up & carried me up to the house trudging though the deep snow! That ranks up there with my best memories & it was 38 yrs ago, thanks for reminding me of big the little things are.

  15. Thank You!♥

  16. Sniff…how lovely…your words painted the pictures in my head…sitting here at my desk with tears…a lovely post..thank you.

  17. Ok, you made me tear up. What a blessing to recognize love in all it’s forms. And I’m pretty sure there were fireworks and an orchestra too!

  18. With a little over 42 years of marriage I can say with out a doubt, It Is The
    Little Things! I think the reason there is so much divorce these days is women believe in the Happily Ever After. Marriage can be tough and there can be days that are hard but if you really love each other you do those small things for each other that show you care and love them. Little things are way better than a Hallmark card

  19. I just cried…You are so right….it’s those little everyday things that are the most memorable and beautiful!

  20. Awwww, love it! You make me believe in love.

  21. Your post is heartwarming and relatable.
    My husband travels a lot. But….he always does the little things around the house before he leaves. The other day I noticed that he re-stocked the toilet paper. So romantic, I smiled and felt loved.

  22. And that is beautifully said. So true. Thanks for sharing your gift with words.

  23. That was a beautiful “sometimes love is in the everyday” story. He sounds like a keeper for sure!! I love your blog.

  24. What a great guy!

  25. That was beautiful! I long to have a story again someday!

  26. Out of the blue always makes it even sweeter! Nothing like a “just because.”

  27. Well, I feel good that I was not the only one brought to tears. Yeah, the kind that drip. I love you, I love Mr. Twinkle brown eyes but most of all I love your stories. I don’t know why you don’t collect all these anecdotes that you tell us about and publish them in a book. You have a public following already…you could capitalize on that. I swear Karianne you ought to do it. Such wonderful life insight. Such a flair for story telling…….Besides, I never had what you have and it is far too late to achieve it. That’s OK. It makes me feel so good to read about those who do. OK, I’ll stop. At least think about it.

  28. Aren’t wonderful husbands the greatest of blessings? My wonderful husband does just those kind of things, too. I am smiling for you, sweetie.♥

  29. I had a similar eye rolling experience. My 17th of feb. Snow happy snow! Kids and hubby ( that is never out of work) all home.. Neighbors. Sun shining calling me to lay in the snow to make an angel, as I walk the dog. Then it happened. I fell, broke my femur, it was 10:30 am. There goes my day. My knight shows up. I’m in tears and he wraps me in his arms… And says for better or worse.
    I’m doing great!!! This was more about my knight than my leg. What a Great guy.

  30. Yes…yes…yes! You know how decorating is all in the details? So is love…every single time. You’d think it would be all in the grand gestures…but it’s all in the little details! 😉

  31. After 47 years, there have been some big moments but the best ARE the little things. When you know he is thnking of you and what would make your life easier, or better, or happier or whatever! My guy does that all the time, and I try to as well. Thanks for this sweet story.

  32. I saw that same Hallmark movie! Too cute. Yes, I’ve been married almost 14 years and have to agree, it is the little things… like the fact that my hubby usually makes dinner for us most nights because he gets home earlier than I do and he likes to cook so who am I to stop him? 😉 Or the fact that I surprised him with a night out on the town for Valentine’s day and he had no idea we were meeting up with his very best friend and his wife for dinner. KariAnne, I wish I could transport you here to Boise for a few days…it’s in the 50’s and sunny (granted it’s not Florida or Arizona weather) but it’s better than two feet of snow! Hang in there!

  33. Fireworks and sirens sound almost the same when you got a honey like that

  34. I thought that was better than flowers, not that I’d turn them down. My husband pats my head and tells me he loves me every day. We been married 46 years, and each day is a gift from God.

  35. so very true. My moment came about a year and a half ago. ( It was a big gesture and a small gesture). On my very first day of a new job, I came home and discovered that the diamond in my engagement ring had fallen out. Yes..there was much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. I looked everywhere in the house, of course and went back to work and combed the floor with a fine tooth comb. To no avail. The ring was insured, so in due course, hubby, the sons and I went to the jewelers to pick out a new ring. I wanted no part of it. “It’s not the same!” I cried. He looked at me and grinned. “What about this?” he said. “Pick out a new diamond, and how about a sapphire on either side to represent the boys.” Wow, you may say, that’s pretty generous! It was, but that wasn’t the point for me. He saw how unhappy I was about losing the diamond that we had picked out together, that he had rushed to the band to pay for before it closed, and then got onto his knees to propose. He wanted to make things better, and he did. It really was the thought that counted for me.

  36. So sweet. So awesome. Go Mr. Twinkling Brown Eyes!

  37. Very, very sweet!!! I think it was sort of symbolic, too. I just love that guy of yours!

    Jane x

  38. omg…u get me every time…so true about those lil moments stealing our hearts. I love my guy (hubs) for all those same reasons.

  39. Dianne Bell in Michigan :

    KariAnne, you really touched my heart. It is the little things, not the big things, that truly touch are hearts. And that is True romance. You’re one lucky lady. And yes, you are a good writer and should compile all your stories into a book.

  40. ….and remember. Don’t wait to thank him and appreciate all those quiet, thoughtful acts of love after your true love is not there anymore. Say it out loud to him. I did for 66 years,now I only have memories but no regrets. Very important so don’t forget.

  41. Karianne
    Today it’s 21 degrees outside in No.Indiana but reading your genuine Love Story warmed my heart! I could only wish to have such a man to make me a path as yours did! You deserve such love cause your a sweetheart! Love ya, Lori

  42. You know what is really beautiful to me about this experience you had…..that you RECOGNIZED the selfless, loving action of your husband. When we live for others, it always comes back to bless us.

  43. Do your daughters a favor. Give them a copy of this story when they are ready to hear it–when they are trying to figure out life and love. We need to train our children to recognize Good Spouse potential, to teach them to be good spouses themselves someday, and to recognize the truly important moments in life. And to be thankful for them. Your little story illustrates all of that.

  44. Goosebumps and heart smiling

  45. Your story reminds me of a Carly Simon song that she once recorded!
    “Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of!”

  46. Yep, Karianne, you got yourself a keeper! You got me all choked up over that story.

  47. What a man; that was beautiful! I’ve been married 44 years and it’s those little moments that stay with you forever. Such memories helped pull me through some of the hardest times and always remind me of the reason I said “I Do”.

  48. Brought a tear to my eye for real. I found my true love too and it’s those little sweet moments that make life happy. I love the way you write about them.

  49. Love this post!! I would love to read most posts about marriage!! How do you stay giddy for a man? How do you work out conflict? How do you grow Spiritually together?

  50. Thank you for reminding me what love is all about. When we lived in Chicago my husband would occasionally lay in bed on MY side while I was brushing my teeth. He would slide over when I was done and let me have the cozy warm side.

  51. I absolutely adore this post! We’ve only been married for about 3 years, but we had just about everything possible thrown at us in the first two…law school, failing the bar, major health issues, loss of loved ones, buying and restoring a 110-year-old home, multiple new jobs…but we feel so much stronger now and I have definitely come to realize that love isn’t about the grand gestures. It’s about the million little things that happen each and every day. Thanks for sharing!

  52. tears. really. so sweet.

  53. This reminded me so much of “Footprints in Sand” like when Jesus carries us when we cannot walk anymore!
    My shining knight moment… this Valentine’s day… no reservation, stand-still traffic, and he walks out of the car (I was driving)passed the traffic and reaches the restaurant before I even entered the parking lot. When I arrived, there was a table waiting for me w my knight in shining armor smiling at me.

  54. It is definitely the beauty and love in the everyday moments. My husband and I both retired 7/1/13 and were looking forward to many years of travelling together…..then 10/30/14 he was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. Never did we imagine to get such a kick in the gut at the beginning of our retirement! Once we were over the shock and dismay and anger and sadness…we realized we’ve been given a gift. Our love, and the love of our family and friends is something we are thankful for every single moment of the day. We say I love you to each other and our children and grandchildren every day and the meaning and intent behind it is so powerful. More so than if we were living our Before Cancer lives. We are a loving family, always have been – but the intention behind our love as we move forward is something we would not have recognized in the same grateful way before.
    Savor those beautiful, loving moments every day. Live with intention. We are most truly blessed!
    I love your blog, Kari Anne. Beauty, love and hope……thank you.

  55. My dear friend, Beth, is moving from the sunny south to snow country, which she has never experienced. I certainly hope her husband leaves her footprints to follow, because she certainly deserves them. I wish them much love and happiness, and a new adventurous journey!

  56. My Good Heavens, that was beautiful <3
    Have you ever considered writing a Romantic Comedy?
    Cause I'd go see it, and watch as you won Best Screen Play 🙂

  57. How sweet!!!!!! Love YOUR stories!

  58. Ahhhhhhhhh

  59. Awe that was so sweet! Especially for short legs trying to
    Navigate through all this sensational but sloppy ( and yes cold!) snow in the Bluegrass!! Do not forget Cats need you tonight to cheer on the big blue!!! Love you and those cats too!!

  60. I think that is one of the most romantoc gestures i have heard in a long time. Its the little things.

  61. Such a great story and read! Did you share it with your husband?

  62. well i know about snow i live in morgantown no mail no plows so i know where you’re coming from love story when i had surgery on my hands my husband washed my hair one of the most endearing th

  63. Oh my…my heart went pitter patter! Lucky girl!!!

  64. Now that is sweet and more women ( and men!) need to appreciate those gestures done out of love! My sweet hubby of almost 40 years has spent the last 5 weeks showing me love each time he shovels and snow plows the over 9 feet of snow we have had in that time. Yes, I giggled just a little when you said you were stuck in with 2 measly feet of snow ;-). And he shows me love when he gets the mail on a rainy day so I don’t have to get my hair wet, and when he calls after leaving the golf course to see if I want some tomatoes from the cute little farm stand… That is love to me and why I’ll keep my guy with the twinkly blue eyes for another 40 years God willing!

  65. The little things do matter! Today I came home after an especially tiring day at work to find our bedroom dustedn furniture waxed, and our bed sheets changed. My semi-retired hubby of 37 years had done all of that! I fell in love with him because he made me laugh every day and still does! He does so many small and big acts of service for me and others. We are living our own happily ever after here in Oregon. My cup overflows with blessings!

  66. How sweet is that!

  67. I was too, my parents have been married for 54 years and I have been married for 30 years

  68. I love your blog for so many reasons. Your decorating…Your craft projects. Your lovely photos. Your kids. But it is always the stories about the guy with the twinkling brown eyes that get to me the most. Those are the ones that get me to comment. Maybe its because for 40 years I have been married to the one with the twinkling blue eyes. Yea he is great at all those little things, too. Maybe it is those kind of love stories that I want Larry Levinson who brings us so many of the Hallmark Love movies to write about. Maybe you should just send him your stories. I would sit watching them and have a good cry!

  69. Love love love how you tell a story. If you wrote a book I would buy it.

  70. What a lovely story! You are blessed with Mr. Twinkling Brown Eyes. My wonderful husband of 42 years is not a demonstrative person. But there are so many, little, everyday things he does because he loves me. It is the little things that matter.

  71. Ladies! About the book, think of it *this* way: KariAnne will write a book if/when she is ready ~ just now, tho’, she’s writing for us … we are her audience, the one she is happy with! And who knows, she could already be writing one, and simply can’t tell us yet! (How great would that be?!?)
    I, too, love all these stories! So I’m just waiting patiently … (TeeHee!)
    How great the “footprints in the snow” story was! I also have a sweet and thoughtful man who does those types of things often, and still almost every time he surprises me, but always makes me feel so loved. I know I am truly blessed …

  72. Simply beautiful !

  73. Thank you for always making me smile, laugh and cry, all in one of your beautiful recaps of a simple day! You make me like the world again. 🙂

  74. KariAnne you nailed it. It’s the little things that make up the happily ever after!! And your twinkly brown eyed love is a keeper. He makes me want to do little nice things for my peeps (I too feel like the abominable snowman’s cousin with all this snow and it might be making me a *tad* cranky 🙂 🙂 🙂 ). Thanks for your sweet post to brighten my day!

  75. Kari Anne, how blessed you are. Iam so happy for you that you share life with a wonderful man. But in saying that, you are an incredible woman. Full of passion, creativity, warmth, caring and appreciative of what God’s goodness and mercy brings to you.
    Someone once told me, when those moments where we grumble under our breath about our husbands short comings, there is another woman out there that would gladly take your husband faults and all! What a sobering thought!
    Ladies love your men, they really are little boys who want to be strong and manly in our eyes.
    When you give love , you receive love, it may take time but LOVE always WINS!!!!

  76. My forever love has blue eyes! After almost 45 years we still have those magic moments and much laughter. I wish this for you and Mr. Brown Eyes, as well. Biggest compliment – he says – “You get me” when I laugh at some crazy thing he’s said!

  77. *sigh* Yep that’s amore! You know, after 45 years of marriage we still hug and kiss. We still spend most of every day together. Some people may think it’s boring but he’s my best friend. You’ve got your knight in shining armor — I’ve got mine. We don’t celebrate Valentines Day. Every day is Valentines Day. There are too many women and men too who think of themselves first — if the people you love come first, my gosh, the love and satisfaction that comes back to you is a thousandfold. We are truly blessed!! Let the fireworks begin!

  78. Yes!
    it’s those little moments.

  79. Wow! You got one of those guys too. We are such lucky girls. Thanks for sharing such a sweet mans love with us.

  80. Debbie Esparza :

    Tears in my eyes. What a wonderful husband you have!

  81. Love this story…… Thank you for sharing 🙂

  82. I just discovered your site through the link-up (your photo was gorgeous so I followed it here) and I’m SO glad I did. I love your post. My husband sets up the Keurig for me every night so I only have to press a button to get my coffee going in the morning, and it makes me feel loved more than flowers or jewelry ever would (not that I’m opposed to those things). Happy to be following!