I spent yesterday dress shopping with the twins.

Much to my surprise, they are in ninth grade.  I’m truly not sure when that happened.  I’m almost positive that yesterday I was helping them organize their stuffed animal collection and reminding them they should say please and thank you and turning on Blue’s Clues and making treat bags for their classes for Valentine’s Day.

And now?

I’m getting them ready for their first school dance.

It’s called MORP.  Otherwise known as PROM spelled backward.

What?  High school dances?  Seriously?  It seems like the years are spinning by faster and faster and faster and I’m trying to hold on to each minute with the strength of a linebacker facing 4 and 1 in the Super Bowl.  But hard as I hold and as hard as I wish and as hard as I try to remind myself life is a journey.

They are growing up.

But for today, could we press pause.  Could you indulge a mother with tears in her eyes and poignant joy in her dress-shopping heart?

When you write a blog for six years, it becomes a journal of all that has gone before.

Especially stories from fifth-grade.


About historical figures and the people that love them.

I spend the evening consoling a fifth grade Jackie Kennedy look-alike.

Tomorrow the entire class would be full of famous characters in history….

….and my Jackie wasn’t even ready.

Her gloves were too big.

Her wig was a left-over clearance item that looked like it should be in its own music video.

Her pearls were “mom pearls.”

And she couldn’t understand why Jackie didn’t wear feather earrings.

And her twin sister Betsy Ross…..

…..was skipping around waving the flag.

It was enough to make a president’s wife cry.

We fixed the dress.

And the gloves.

And brushed the hair and trimmed the rock star right out of the wig.

And told Betsy Ross to sit down and eat a carrot.

At the end of the night when the costume was ready and the speech was prepared….

……I went to tuck her into bed.

I hugged her and told her she would be amazing and that we were so proud of her.

She smiled and yawned and turned her head towards me.

“Thanks, mom,” she said sleepily. “I think it’s going to be okay, but I’m kind of worried about John F. Kennedy. 

He didn’t even start on his speech and yesterday he was goofing off with Abraham Lincoln.”

I couldn’t help it.  I laughed out loud.

“Good thing you are there to keep John F. Kennedy on track,” I said with a smile.

She shrugged and sighed.

“Husbands,” she said and rolled her eyes. “Someone needs to manage them.”


Good thing there aren’t any husbands like that around here. 🙂


Some days are full of joy.

Some days are for wearing pearls.

And some days?  You just have to make sure the rock star is trimmed out of your wig.

Here’s to celebrating each and every moment we are lucky enough to have. 🙂

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  1. Image for Betty in Arlington Betty in Arlington

    So cute! Love the shopping story and adorable outfits! Live on! p.s. - I am also a twin, my sister has the straight hair and I have curly hair!

  2. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    They are beautiful young ladies! Yes, time goes by so quickly. One day you look up and your little girl is walking down the aisle, ready to start a new life. All we can do is live in each moment and cherish them. (I couldn't imagine how a wig needed the rock star trimmed out but ah! I see. Cute!) They are so cute all dressed up. Sweet memory!

  3. Image for Rosemarie Rosemarie

    They are a riot! So true to their characters...they look perfect! Children are such a gift and grandchildren are pure gold! Enjoy every moment because, as you notice, the years just fly by in a wink.

  4. Image for Karen Karen

    Beautiful girls !! I am thinking today I may have to just "poof it up" and put some rock star back into to mine =) It's cold and dreary in Arkansas and I have much to do. Thanks for sharing your tribe with us.

  5. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    You blinked. I love this post so much. And I love that you realize that sweet passing of time. My, when you blink again that MORP will be spelled PROM. I can’t wait to see more of those beautiful faces making their Mama hit the pause button one more time. You, my friend, are an amazing Mom. Keep rocking it!!! And loving those precious Thistles.

  6. Image for Toni Toni

    Another precious moment story told as only Karianne can! Just this week my son told me of his complete emotional meltdown realizing his son would start high school next year. Yes, just like puppies, they do grow up. So the memories become all the more precious. Thanks for starting my day with a smile and a tear.

  7. Image for Stephanie Wethington Stephanie Wethington

    Just a wonderful story!!! You are the best Karianne...and I believe your girls are also. They seem to be very special. Yes, the time does fly when they are growing up. Don't blink your eyes for heaven sakes! You have and will continue to make beautiful memories with those beautiful daughters of yours. Jackie and Betsy looked great and I hope JFK and Abe pulled off their parts!!! Bet they did but probably not as well as your girls!! xo

  8. Image for Lourdes A Lourdes A

    They are adorable! Jackie and Betsy would be very proud as I know you are! Thank you so much for sharing such a special moment in their lives! Happy President's Day Weekend!

  9. Image for Sue Sue

    What a duo, the girls are beautiful. Can’t believe they are in the 9th grade ( a big hug ). Jackie and Betsy would be so proud.

  10. Image for Holly Browning Holly Browning

    What a fun article...I have 9th grade twin boys. Some days are fun and others? Well....you know! Thank you for always putting spirit and thought into your posts. They are so fun to read!

  11. Image for AmyG AmyG

    Enjoy each and every second - because in a flash they are grown. Beautiful post today Thank You for sharing your heart in your words. Take lots of pictures on MORP night.

  12. Image for jillian jillian

    so cute. please post photo of morp dresses! When my youngest was a senior in high school I spent the whole year crying. I tried so hard to enjoy it all, but was still so sad. And not just because he would be grown up and off to college. All of his friends...kids we had know since first grade...were also grown and going off to their lives and we would not know about it anymore. The end of an era for us as parents. Not to dismiss all of the joyful times, but it was very hard to see that end. You are so right to appreciate the moments.

  13. Image for jae jae

    Thank you for this wonderful post.. One of the things I love most about following you, besides your general awesomeness!!, is how much you love your family. Life is fragile, and and children grow so quickly. Your girls are beautiful.

  14. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Time flies so fast! So glad you are embracing all the memories and events. When I think about those years now it seems like they were a blink. They (your girls) are so beautiful!

  15. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    OMG!! I love the story!! Your twin Thistles look so cute and they're growing up to be beautiful young ladies. I'm sure they'll have the gentle compassionate heart of their mama. And the Jackie wig? I used to wear my hair exactly like that!! 😎I thought I was super sophisticated looking. Certainly not on Jackies's level. Sending super big hugs!! I know the MORP will be great.

  16. Image for Kris Kris

    Oh my goodness, they look like mini-KariAnnes. Too cute. Love the Jackie/Betsy pics. I have a 9th grade boy and I try hard not to think about how quickly time has gone.

  17. Image for Sharon Garner Sharon Garner

    These two are so cute! My last granddaughter will soon be going to Prom wearing the gown I designed and made for her sister in 2012! Its unusual, very different, bright colored and original! She's so excited and so am I! So thrilled that she wants to wear it and be the special beauty she is! They grow up waaay too soon! Hugs! Sharon Garner

  18. Image for Charley Charley

    While Betsy Ross looks great, Jackie Kennedy looks like she was dressed & coifed by Paramount Pictures! Wise girl, that one. I hope you and others are reading the blog Lenny. Today the story is about someone's very old Grandmother who told her ' don't let men use you all up' and 'keep your own money'. While these notions seem harsh, they are much more useful than romantic, fairy princess tales. Yes indeed, husbands need to be managed and wives need to know how to take care of themselves.

  19. Image for Margaret Margaret

    I love it! Husbands often do need to be managed. Wise girls! I think I'll quote 'trimming the rock star out of my wig' with a hat tip to you. Some days that just says it all!

  20. Image for Marti Marti

    Beautiful girls...I can hardly believe how much they have grown since I started reading your blog....where oh where does the time go!!

  21. Image for Laura Harrie Laura Harrie

    My two youngest children will be getting married this summer. What happened to my little girl and her baby brother? Thank you for sharing a lovely memory with your precious twin girls!

  22. Image for Stephanie Stephanie

    Awe loved this one like I have so enjoyed watching them grow up through your posts and pictures. One of my favorites and hope they have a fabulous and fantastic time at the MORP. Blessings from the former crazy concession stand lady in WC.

  23. Image for Michele (Finch Rest) Michele (Finch Rest)

    Oh too cute - they look incredible in their historical costumes! And gracious, they look so much like their cute momma! ♥


    Such beautiful girls who have such an "ABSOLUTELY AMAZING" Mom! Bless you all! Enjoy all these wonderful moments with your gorgeous girls, KariAnne!

  25. Image for Ananda Ananda

    what a sweet beautiful family you have!! =) and thank you so much for the feature on thistle!! wish you all a wonderful spring filled with love and laughter!! xo

  26. Image for Lisa B Lisa B

    I have identical twin girls who are now 29. Where did the years years go! They live and work in Rome and we manage two visits to them and they manage two visits home a year. They had identical grades in college and graduated 3rd and 4th from the College of the Holy Cross class of 2011. All I can say is when they're small the work load along with the older kids seems overwhelming and you spend time asking yourself when will the diapers, the car seats and shoe tying ever end. Now I long for those days!! Older women tried to tell me how quickly the years passed but I never listened. Yesterday I saw a mom with twins and a two year old and stopped to chat and started to cry because I DO MISS those moments when they were young. She must've thought I was batty!! LOL Enjoy every minute with your kids!!

  27. Image for Janice Janice

    I also have identical twin girls who are 29! They have 3 older brothers. What fun I have had with those girls. I'm writing to say how much I love your blog! Your Thistlekeeping articles are always such fun to read. I look forward to reading each one! Just finishing "So Close to Amazing", and I hate to see it end. Looking forward to reading your next one. Enjoy your girls...high school flies by in a flash!

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