I still remember the day I saw those two blue lines.

They were faint.

So faint it was almost impossible to believe they were there.

I had taken the pregnancy test on a whim.

At the time, I co-owned a faux painting business called “How Great Thou Art” and I spent my days sponging walls with glaze and striping walls and designing stenciled walls with layers of plaster and paint.  Our company was about to start a job creating a one-of-kind finish on kitchen cabinets that required specific products.  Products with labels that made you stand up and pay attention.  Labels that were serious and meant business and warned you about catastrophe and doom and gloom—especially if you were pregnant.

So just to be extra careful.

Just to be extra safe.

Just to eliminate any doubt or worry.

I took a pregnancy test.

And then?

I blinked.

And there they were.

Two faintest of faint blue lines staring back at me.  If I squinted they might not even be there.  I couldn’t believe it.

WHAT?  I was pregnant?


It wasn’t possible.  How could this be?

There were two tests in the package and because I didn’t believe the first test, I took the second one.

It came back negative.

There was nothing.

Not a blue line or two in sight.

I immediately called the doctor and explained the situation.  I patiently told them that there really wasn’t any way I could be pregnant and those blue lines were probably a mirage and I had taken a second test that was negative and what in the world did it all mean?

And did they understand that the lines were super faint?

I wasn’t pregnant?  Was I?

They told me to come in and have a blood test.

I might not be pregnant, but they wanted to be sure.

The next day, me and myself and my pregnancy tests went to visit the doctor.

They drew blood and told me I’d have to wait a few days.

And then?

Two days later they called me.


Yes, it looked like I was ONE WEEK pregnant.  That’s why the lines were so faint.  That’s why the one test showed up as negative.  They couldn’t believe the lines had shown up at all.  But then they mentioned that something wasn’t right.  Something looked out of the ordinary.  My HCG levels were off and didn’t look normal.

They tried to prepare me and my tender heart for the road ahead.

Just in case.

Nine weeks went by.

Nine incredibly long worry-filled weeks.

Each week seemed like it took a year.

Finally, it was time for my doctor’s appointment.  I went with my grandmother and a box of tissues and a carton of chocolate chip cookies.

Just in case.

Just in case the news I got wasn’t the best.

They added goop to my tummy and swirled the ultrasound wand in the goop.

Over and over and over again.

Nervously, I peered at the screen.  All I could see was a whole bunch of black and white dots and some black and white swirls.

No one said anything.  It was silent and still in that exam room.  Just the whir of the ultrasound and the fan of the air conditioning unit.

I wanted to scream.

I wanted to yell.

I wanted to demand, “SOMEONE SAY SOMETHING.”

But I didn’t.

Instead, quietly and softly I whispered, “Do you see a heartbeat?”

The doctor paused.

He turned and looked at me with a solemn expression.

I braced for the worst.

“You aren’t going to believe this,” he said.



I couldn’t believe it.

That’s why the levels had been off.  That’s why the HCG didn’t look normal.  That’s why the pregnancy test showed up positive after only one week.


I literally cried and laughed and screamed with tears running down my face all at the same time.

The nurses came running.  They thought that something was wrong.

But instead?

Something was wonderfully, amazingly, awesomely right.

And here we are.

Sixteen years to the day.

And I’m sitting here writing this post and once again, I have tears streaming down my face.

Sweet, amazing, beautiful daughters of mine,  I am so incredibly blessed to be your mother.  It seems like only yesterday you arrived into the world full of tiny ballerina toes and wisps of blonde hair and wistful blue eyes that spoke directly to my heart.

Do you have any idea how much I love you?

I can’t help it.

I loved you from the very first moment I saw those two tiny heartbeats.

A black and white grainy screen with lines and swirls and two beating hearts.

And the moment…

…that forever changed my world.

Happy sweet sixteen.

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  1. Image for Bonnie Bonnie

    Happy Sweet Sixteen to your beautiful girls! I'm sitting here with tears streaming down my face reading this because it is also the birthday of my beautiful first born - a girl - who is 20 years old today!

  2. Image for Eileen Eileen

    What a sweet post! Happy, happy birthday to your girls....and to Bonnie's girl, too, who is 20 today, above me in the comments.

  3. Image for Tylynn Tylynn

    What a beautiful story. There's nothing quite like the feeling when you see those two lines and hear that little heartbeat 💙 Happy sweet 16 to your girls!

  4. Image for Joanna Joanna

    WOW! What a beautiful story....your girls are absolutely beautiful! Wishing them a "sweet 16" birthday and all the best in the years ahead. What a truly special day for them - and for you. Being a Mom is the best gift in the world. Enjoy and thanks for sharing.

  5. Image for KittyLuvr KittyLuvr

    Now I am sobbing....even though I knew the outcome...so beautifully written and such a wonderful LOVE story to share!

  6. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Happy Birthday to a sweet, smart, fun and beautiful duo. Such sweet blessings from two faint lines! Hope they have a fantastic sweet 16 year filled with wonderful moments.

  7. Image for Renae Renae

    I have tears running out of my eyes and they're not even mine...God's blessings on all of you. Such an amazing and wonderful outcome. From the One who knew exactly what you needed...

  8. Image for Sandi Sandi

    Such a beautiful story. It is amazing how big and overflowing our hearts are for our children - a love you’ve never known until you are a mama. Happy Birthday to your beautiful girls!

  9. Image for Sharon Smith Sharon Smith

    Tears on my face! What a wonderful story and what beautiful girls. You are so blessed! Thank you for sharing.

  10. Image for Jeanie Jeanie

    It's my birthday too! Please wish those little thistles a happy birthday from Tulsa! I'm so enjoying your devotional book. Thank you for writing it!!

  11. Image for karen karen

    What a sweet story and what beautiful girls. I have read your blog for a long time... and I said out loud, "sixteen... no way !" . I can only imagine how fast it has been for you. Daughters are the best =)

  12. Image for Cathy Cathy

    Happy Birthday to the twins! Reading your heartwarming story was the perfect way to start the week!!! All of you are so blessed. Love all the pics!

  13. Image for Amy W, Amy W,

    What A Beautiful Story! Happy 16th Birthday To Them Both! And Happy Birthday To The 2 Wonderful, Dedicated Parents Who Have Seen Them Through All Mile Stones Of Life To This Grand Birthday Number!!!

  14. Image for Kim Kim

    Beautiful story and wonderfully written. I discovered I was having my twins on a Good Friday. They just turned 25 and I love them even more than when they were two tiny spots on an ultrasound; if that's even possible.

  15. Image for Carol Carol

    Had to wait to respond...tears had to dry for me too. Heartwarming! My daughter just had twins 2 weeks ago today. We didn't find out until birth that she was blessed with another little boy, and last one out, a little girl!! She and her husband already have two little boys at home, and now 4 under the age of 3. She couldn't believe it either. She said, "I just wanted one more, but God has a sense of humor!!!!"

  16. Image for Anne-Marie Anne-Marie

    Incredible how they look like you ! Happy birthday to them. P.S. I wish you'd stop making me cry so often .......

  17. Image for Dianne Miley Dianne Miley

    What a SWEET story! Happy sweet sixteen to you and your daughters and your whole family. I precious stories like this! PS - I worked at a pregnancy center for 4 years and now run a non-profit that helps pregnant women. :)

  18. Image for Kris Kris

    Happy birthday, girls! And KariAnne, the next time you are looking for a shade of blue, you should match the color of your daughter's eyes! :)

  19. Image for Ann Ann

    Dear KariAnne-- Your daughters are lovely, and (though of course I have never met them nor you!) their photos remind me of the spirit I sense reading your blog. I'll bet they are a lot like their mom! =) Happy Birthday, twins!!!

  20. Image for Sharon Garner Sharon Garner

    Such a precious story. In the days before pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and all that other stuff, we depended on the old-fashioned method of time and doctor’s educated guesses! No twins here bu4 healthy, happy kid’s and later; 12 grandkids who were confirmed w/sonograms and almost 7 greatgrands, the baby excitement is still there! All healthy & happy! Congratulations. Your twins are beautiful!

  21. Image for Janet Cole Janet Cole

    It's just not possible! I just picture us at that age...wow, where did the years go? Extra hugs to those angels, and I will see them for Homecoming October 26!!

  22. Image for Rosalie McCreary Rosalie McCreary

    Happy Sweet 16 to the girls! They are just beautiful and reflect their Mom & Dad. Congratulations and a job well done!

  23. Image for Betty in Arlington Betty in Arlington

    From one twin to another, Happy Birthday! Many years! It's fun to be a twin! I see mine at church every Sunday!

  24. Image for Monica Monica

    Oh geez Louise!!!! Now I’m sitting here, at 12:44 in the afternoon, when I should be folding laundry, with tears in my eyes!!!! Ugh!!! You are such a great teller of stories. This is one of your bests!!! Your girls are so lucky to grow up with this story about them!!!

  25. Image for Cindy@countyroad407 Cindy@countyroad407

    They are so beautiful, inside and out. Just like you. You and Denny have done a fantabulous job bringing them up in the Lord and nurturing and encouraging and blessing and loving them. Hold on tight girl. Cherish every moment with them. Dang it! Now I'm crying. Ugh

  26. Image for Sandi Sandi

    Love the pictures! My girls are not twins but both in their 3j0's and it gets more fun! Enjoy and Happy Birth day to you momma!

  27. Image for Leila Jane Leila Jane

    Well, you just made all of blogland cry out here, Karianne, LOL!!! What a beautiful story interspersed with those lovely photos of the girls looking all healthy and happy and so pretty!!! Happy 16th Birthday to your beautiful girls. Oh, and I guess that was the end of your faux art painting business?? It was just a way to move on to another creative phase in your life! I'm glad you're here writing to all of us now and not painting walls anymore!!!

  28. Image for Kathy S Kathy S

    Today my baby girl was born also. . . she is 31!!!! I remember when my pregnancy test came back positive and going to the doctor to confirm it and listening to her heartbeat. We didn't really do ultra sounds back then. All of it is etched on my heart and soul forever. Every little smile, giggle, hurt, cry, disappointment and success she has had is the best part of my heart. She met a wonderful man and is married now. And someday when she is lucky enough to feel everything that we Mommas feel and have experienced she will understand the depth of the love in our hearts! Happy day to you and your girls!

  29. Image for Deb Deb

    How sweet is this, Karianne. :-) I am crying here in Virginia with you, but happy tears of course. Only a loving and amazing God could give you, not only one, but two beautiful miracles. I am sure they are a reminder of His awesome faithfulness to you. Party big, girls! :-)

  30. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    Oh my goodness....teary eyes have difficulty seeing clearly, even so I can clearly see how much they've grown since I've been following you and your blog. Amazing. And they're so like you. Precious. Happy Birthday to the twins, and Happy BIRTH day to YOU!

  31. Image for june june

    Happy Sweet Sixteen girls🎂! In my family, my sis calls her twin granddaughters the twinkies😊 I too am trying to type amongst tears. You should capture this story in print with pictures for each of the girls. Thanks for reminding me how important it is to tell stories. I need to write each of my boys stories about the day we found out we were expecting each of them. Long awaited pregnancies. Thanks for warming this mamas heart a little more today.

  32. Image for Rhonda Rhonda

    Chill bumps! What a wonderful, joyful story! I remember the anticipation of those first ultrasounds -- mostly good news and the happiness they bring! Wishing your beautiful girls a beautiful and blessed birthday!

  33. Image for Debera Debera

    Happy sweet sixteen to the girls!! You need to tell us about your adventures with glazing all the wonderful things you did to walls back in the day....

  34. Image for Judi Judi

    BEAUTIFUL. Just beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story. We’ve talked in the past about premies and how very special they are simply because they survived insurmountable obstacles to make to where they are today. Happy birthday to your sweet, lovely, kindhearted girls. Wasn’t it just yesterday that you were sitting with them in the NICU praying they would be alright? Time certainly flies.❤️

  35. Image for Sandy Sandy

    Happy birthday girls. God has indeed given you a fabulous, loving, creative, blessed mother. You girls are so cute. It has been fun seeing you twins grow up. Hope you have your favorite cake(s) and ice cream(s.)

  36. Image for MIchelle MIchelle

    I laughed and cried too when I read this post. Being a mom is the most challenging, heartbreaking, truly fulfilling and altogether amazing thing on this planet. And the only thing that equals it is being a grandmom. Happy Birthday to your two beautiful daughters!

  37. Image for Jennifer Ferrell Jennifer Ferrell

    I can’t believe it!! Happy Birthday to the sweetest girls I know! We miss you guys! Love from the Bluegrass State❤️

  38. Image for Shelley Ganem Shelley Ganem

    I can't talk now...I can't see thru all the tears to even type...a Mother's Love-there just isn't anything like it in the world...and your girls won't truly understand that until they too are mothers.

  39. Image for Pat VonSick Pat VonSick

    Yes, Happy Sweet Sixteen! This brought tears to my eyes and I’m a grandma! My dream is to one day have one, or both, of my granddaughters want me to go with them for an ultrasound of their babies. God willing. And He has the control.

  40. Image for Denise Cox Denise Cox

    Happy birthday, twins! I'm a little late in the day. Enjoy your party Mom has planned for you.! Make happy memories for you to remember the rest of your lives.. 😘😉

  41. Image for Debra Debra

    It’s a really sweet story and your girls are just sooooo beautiful! Happy Birthday to them both! Gorgeous, really!!

  42. Image for Barb Barb

    Happy Birthday! Twins ROCK! Just read this out loud to my husband and HE is in tears!!! His father is 92 and he is a twin,they both are still out and about, Minerva & Melvin. My father in law, Melvin, was surprise with twin daughters!. One of the twins gave birth to TRIPLET identical boys. 18 months later TWIN boys, almost 10 lb. each. One of the triplets went on to have twin girls! None of these involved drugs. My Grand Mother was a twin (father side} my Mother had a twin brother and sister. When it was my turn to give birth they thought I was having them too! Just a 10lb.30z Boy! Next time 10lb.4oz girl. Just waiting for the Grands!

  43. Image for Jill Jill

    Happy Birthday to you and your girls! May this year be filled with adventure, laughter and love! Thanks for sharing!😘

  44. Image for Alice Genzlinger Alice Genzlinger

    Good gracious, at my age I should get over crying every time you do! But I do because you know how to pull my heart strings and because those babies are so precious.

  45. Image for christiann Erkel christiann Erkel

    Thanks for sharing, that was beautiful! What's running through my mind as I was reading is just how TOO fast our children grow! Your girls are beautiful and may their teenage years be blessed!

  46. Image for Sherry Sherry

    I’ve got all the feels. I, too, had to have what was called the”rabbit test” in 1975. I was sixteen days pregnant and was sick as a dog....but it was ok! By the way, your girls are gorgeous like their mother! Happy Birthday to them!

  47. Image for Mary S Mary S

    Your stories are always so beautiful - just like these two BEAUTIFUL YOUNG LADIES!! God definately has blessed you and your husband and your entire family. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE TWINS!!!

  48. Image for Nita Nita

    Happy Birthday to your beautiful daughters, who amazingly look so much like you! My precious granddaughter just had a 16th birthday in July. Children, indeed, are a precious gift from God!!!

  49. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Such a sweet, sweet story! Happy birthday to your beautiful daughters. May this coming year be extra special (because 16 is a magical age after all!).

  50. Image for catherine steele catherine steele

    Happy birthday to your gorgeous girls. I am also a twin. My Mum only found out the night before we were born that there was twins. A nurse heard a second heartbeat. It is lovely to hear what a special gift your girls are to you xx

  51. Image for Susan Spinney Susan Spinney

    Happy Sweet 16! You just blink and the years have gone by. They have grown into wonderful beautiful young ladies:) x0

  52. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    Sixteen--it can be glorious or awful--all in one day!!! Happy, Happy Birthday Girls!!! You are wonderful!!!

  53. Image for katzcradul katzcradul

    I may skip over some decorating post on your blog, but never when it's about these precious girls. They're exquisitely fine. I know you're so proud and thrilled to have them.

  54. Image for Terri Terri

    Ohhhh Myyyy Goodnesssss.... Precious .. so very precious!!! Your very own "Twinsies" ... turned 16??? WOW!! Gorgeous !!! Happy Sweet Sixteen!!!:) .... PS: Nothing.. Absolutely Nothing is "run of the mill" at your house .. is it !!!???????LOLOLOL:)

  55. Image for Jeannie Jeannie

    Happy 16th birthday to your lovely girls. And congratulations to you & your twinkly-eyed husband for raising all 4 of your very special young people. Love your writing. Happy tears.

  56. Image for Lorri Lorri

    Happy 16 th to your lovely daughters!!! You are so lucky to have daughters!! I have 2 wonderful sons but knowing how I am with my own Mom Daughters are just different with Mothers!!😙 Love yr pictures of the girls.

  57. Image for Tanja Tanja

    Such a touching declaration of love to your daughters!!! Reading this I'd tears in my eyes, too. That's one of the most emotional and personal post I've ever read.

  58. Image for Susan Ronnfeldt Susan Ronnfeldt

    Bless your heart...what a sweet story! I too have twin duaghters. They are the blessing of my life! I too had to have a blood test to determine if I was pregnant or not. Because I was JUST pregnant. One week. I feel so very very Blessed that my two blue eyed blondes are in my life. We just lost their Dad, my husband,, to cancer three weeks ago, and I do not know what I would have done without them there by my side. God has a plan, and I am so glad His plan included these lovely young women I call my daughters.

  59. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Such a sweet story-happy sweet 16 to you and them! All of you are blessed to have each other.................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  60. Image for Cheryl Autrey Cheryl Autrey

    Happy Sweet 16 to your Beautiful Girls! With tears in my eyes this brought back Amazing Memories of when my daughter and I saw her ultrasound that said she was having twins! Two Beautiful and Precious little boys that will turn 18 next month! Thank you for sharing with us and God Bless you and your Precious Girls.

  61. Image for Dee Turk Dee Turk

    Thank you for letting us in on your experience with a beginning of your blessed pregnancy! Wow how special that was! I feel honored that you included us, thank you for sharing your beautiful family I just feel so encouraged in the Lord when I "spend time with you!"

  62. Image for Mary Mary

    God Bless your beautiful girls KariAnne! They are the light in your life. I too have four kids and after the boys were born I yearned for girls. Got my wish too!!

  63. Image for kathy kathy

    I love, love, love this post!!! Your girls are so beautiful and look just like you. You picked wonderful photos to share with us. I had a very similar story the first time I was pregnant only not such a happy ending. I was soooo excited about the possibility of twins but never heard heartbeats. I did go on to have two beautiful children who are now 25 and 31 years old and happily married. Other happy news is that my nephew and his wife are having twin girls around Thanksgiving. (They will have three girls under 15 months....almost like triplets!) Hopefully, we will have grandchildren sometime soon! KariAnne, soak up every moment with your children. They are too quickly grown!

  64. Image for Lisa Lisa

    First time poster here! As there are 100 posters before me I don't know if you'll have a chance to read this comment but, I have twin girls too! Identical girls who will be 30 in January. My story is similar to yours only my husband was the radiologist who found our girls on ultrasound. My doctor had said I was big for my due date and ordered an ultrasound. My husband was unconvinced as my OB was his former professor at Brown Med and was known to be ultra conservative (a good thing I think in a OB doc) and sometimes ordered "too many tests." The ultrasound tech performing the test had to tell him there were two heartbeats as he was unconvinced. "How did that baby get over there so quickly?" They were born at 32 weeks and have been nothing but a joy to me and us. They have lived in Rome for 7 years and have wonderful jobs. I talk to them daily but miss them desperately. Hold on to your girls. The years pass so quickly after high school.

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