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As I sat on the back porch yesterday with the breezes blowing and the sunbeams dancing across the gray floor boards…..I was counting my blessings….

One by one.

For family and friends and fall and leaves and mums and striped fabric…..

….and petrified French fries.

Please tell me you know what I’m talking about.

Please tell me you’ve seen them.

The ones that escape from the pack and then bury themselves under the floor mats and harden to a substance stronger than Superman’s arms of steel.

I have a car full of them.

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I wasn’t always thankful.

The other day as I sat in my car before church….those petrified french fries were taunting me.

Along with the layers of spilled orange soda.

And capri sun packets and old sprite cans and crayons and half-filled out Mad Libs and markers and scissors and the entire tiny-pieces-of-paper population from the beautiful bluegrass state.

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And as I got out and shut the door….I noticed the car next to me.

It was so sparkling and clean.

The leather looked like it was fresh from the showroom.

Every space perfect.  Every car mat vacuumed to perfection.

Not a petrified french fry in sight.

And right there….in the pocket behind the seat….where I had just spied the remnants of a 48 pack of Crayola crayons in my car…

……was a perfectly perfect umbrella.

Perfectly ready for a rainy day.

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I think it was the umbrella that did it.

I longed for the perfection of that car with the umbrella.

I longed with all my heart for a car with shiny seats and clean floor mats and windows without fingerprints.

A car where petrified french fries would never…ever….ever….dare show their face.

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I left the parking lot and walked into the church building….down the hall and around the corner.

And then I saw her.

The owner of the umbrella pocket car.

There she sat….an older woman….poised and beautiful and dressed to perfection….without a hair out-of-place.

I couldn’t help it….I had to say something.

“I love your car,” I blurted.

“I was sitting in my car full of crayons and pieces of paper and crushed sprite cans and petrified french fries.

And then I saw yours.  And I almost cried.  It’s perfect and wonderful and clean and sparkling and….and….and….you have an umbrella,” I said quickly….the words tumbling out in a rush.

She didn’t say a word.

She just smiled a little sadly.

And then one of her friends said in an aside in a small quiet voice that pierced to the center of my heart,

“She would trade with you in a minute.”

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She’s right.

So wisely, perfectly, wonderfully, with -such-an-incredible-reminder-at-that-exact-moment-that-it-almost-took-my-breath-away….

….right.

Time passes so quickly and the days of crayons and capri suns and scissors and markers fade away.

Just when you blink.

I hugged her and walked away slowly.

And counted every blessing and then sent a small silent prayer of gratitude.

Overwhelming, incredible, joyful gratitude….for tiny hands that cut all those pieces of paper and joyful voices that chattered and giggled and laughed and told knock-knock jokes as they ate handfuls of chicken nuggets and french fries…..

….with a few left a few behind to be extra thankful for. 🙂

PS  If you want to read a few more chapters in our story….here’s some of my favorites….here or here.

PPS  And my wonderful friend Laura just posted one of the prettiest room make-overs….get ready to be inspired. 🙂

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Comments

  1. Image for Barb Barb

    Amen. Wise words indeed. My nest is achingly empty and I'd adore a fry or two. Or any one of a ga-jillion Happy Meal toys. Enjoy!

  2. Image for judy judy

    So true! So beautifully shared! Love that you gave me the privilege of reading this today, as another simple, yet powerful reminder, and that I got to see the gorgeously decorated room that you shared too. Happy day to you! Love the Thistlewood posts

  3. Image for Pam Pam

    Amen. So much to be grateful for. My grandson scratched the top of my beautiful dining table with a key last month and when his Daddy encouraged an apology from him I accepted it without hesitation. And now in those quiet lonely moments alone I run my fingers around the scratch and smile. I am blessed as well. Beautiful Karianne. Thank you.

  4. Image for Beth Beth

    Awe, so poignant. Sniff. Each season is its own. A wonderful reminder to relish each and every moment. Best, Beth C.

  5. Image for Sharon Sharon

    This one brought a tear (ok maybe more than one) to my eye this morning. I just took my last child away to college this weekend. My house and car are so empty now. I would give anything for some of the noise and mess that I complained about for years. Enjoy every french fry!

  6. Image for Cynthia @ A Button Tufted Life... Cynthia @ A Button Tufted Life...

    WHY.... do I always seem to require Kleenex for tears of either joy, laughter or sentimental empathy when I read your blog brilliance??? Perhaps it is quite simple.. it seems that no matter what you are writing about... it speaks to me. xoxo now, where is that kleenex... BTW, now I have a craving for french fries... If I have them with juice is it breakfast???

  7. Image for Sandy Sandy

    Your words made me realize how blessed we are to be near all seven grandchildren. They truly keep us young in spirit and sometimes even share a french fry or two.

  8. Image for Nancy Nancy

    How true. I'm way over not having my kids messes to clean up. lol But am thankful for my grandchildrens messes now. It seems they are growing up way too fast and each "mess" is truly a blessing. Also, I told my husband the other day that whenever I am doing something for him that I am not "fond" of ;) (such as ironing, or picking okra, or cutting okra, or freezing o...you get the idea) I spend the time being thankful that I have him to do it for. It ALWAYS makes it easier. He has told me twice since then that me telling him that really touched him and made him feel loved. :D All the more reason to keep on keepin on. And continue giving thanks.

  9. Image for Vee Vee

    May I say that I love your new format? LOVE it. For some crazy reason, it's my issue entirely, I do not enjoy clicking through to read MORE. It usually adds up to one more loading headache, I think.

    1. Image for Vee Vee

      I got so excited about the format that I forgot to read. What a great reminder of all that is precious to us. I'll try to remember as I wash the grease print from my front door.

  10. Image for Amber @ Black Rooster Cottage Amber @ Black Rooster Cottage

    I could have very well wrote this post! I would add... "I knew I shouldn't have left the truck parked in the grass in the back yard but it was dark and the cicada's freak me out because they sound like screaming monkeys. So in the morning, I went out to pull it back into the drive. MILLIONS of ants coming in through the dashboard had found all those delicious (at one time) crumbs of who-knows-what." Yeah, that really happened the day before yesterday. The funny thing is, I USED to have a car like the lady that you parked next to. That was before three of the best things of my life happened. :) Love your stories, KariAnne!

  11. Image for Christine Christine

    I got a little teary there for a second....missing my petrified fry days.... under the bed in a car seat in blue jean front pocket but always my never ending question..... why oh why do they have to put ketchup on them? I LOVE this post!

  12. Image for Christina Thurlow Christina Thurlow

    What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing that. I'll have to save it to read on days I need a reminder.

  13. Image for Lorraine@MissFlibbertigibbet Lorraine@MissFlibbertigibbet

    Awwwww....this is more like my daughter's car than mine ever was. There were. McDonald's way back then but I couldn't afford to go much, however rock hard PB&J we made at home could likely be found! God gives us grandchildren to let us re-live those sweet years of kids....all the fun but I get the clean car....with not one but TWO umbrellas!!

  14. Image for debbiedoos debbiedoos

    Wonderful reminder. I am holding on dearly these days for every second, every french fry, soda can and even dirty socks in my car. Even told my Doc yesterday at my yearly, that I am sad thinking about empty nest. I feel so selfish though when I think like that sometimes. I love your mums by the way, I am on a mission today for some.

  15. Image for Roberta Roberta

    I am the woman with the very clean car...I was never able to have children, and I still grieve their absence...I wept when I read your wonderful story...sad tears for me....happy tears for you. I spent many years longing for a car like yours and always hoped that those lucky enough to have one would truly appreciate what it represents...Your honesty,wit and wisdom always brings joy to my day and my heart. Thanks for sharing your life with us...you have impacted my sense of style and lifted my spirits....and although we may never meet, I feel like I have a very special friend and mentor guiding me along through cyber space. Thank you for being there!

  16. Image for Angela Angela

    Beautiful story! I remember when my sweeties were young and I'd get so frustrated with all the "junk". Now I miss it. Cherish all these french fry days, my friend, for they will pass too quickly. I'm hoping for round two with grandbabies! LOL!~~Angela

  17. Image for Susan Susan

    I had the petrified french fries, the stickers from every dentist visit stuck on the inside door of my 80s-90s purple woody (aka Popsicle) and then, mini-van (aka Gray Elephant) lovingly named by my little dental, baseball-playing, balance beam people. And, I mustn't forget our own beach we brought back with us from Panama City Beach. Yes, I miss "MOM, where are my shoes?" 5 mins. before the bus arrives. And, of course my reply patiently would be (at first), "Where did you take them off?" Another scream "I don't know. The bus is here." Me, not so kindly now, "Look under your bed." And, somehow -- through guardian angels watching my girl, my son, and their mother, shoes would be found, matching socks would magically appear, and bookbags packed. To all of you angelic Moms, in your mind, freeze-frame this time in your life. Yes, it goes by much too quickly until you look into your grandchild's eyes and see your children, your parents, and every generation of your family that has come before and every generation that will follow -- long after we are in our Eternal Home. Thanks for reminding me to remember fondly. FYI: To prevent petrification, if possible, use the 5-second rule when something is dropped . . . but only at home!

  18. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    Amen to that!! And yes, I've had petrified French fries...and I guess I didn't appreciate them. My oldest son is coming home from Japan in a few days for a visit and I can't wait! We'll have to stop for French fries for old time's sake! ;)

  19. Image for Beverly Beverly

    Life is good. Your share sparked memories of joy. Now, just know that one day you will have grandchildren french fries. And, then there are always those you "misplace" yourself. Life keeps on giving good as long as we seek.

  20. Image for Sarah @ An Inviting Home Sarah @ An Inviting Home

    I go back and forth so many times with an overwhelming feeling of the responsibility that comes with caring for children and the pure joy that those same moments create. Thankfulness...it truly is about thankfulness. Beautiful story. ~Sarah

  21. Image for Jennifer@The Chronicles of Home Jennifer@The Chronicles of Home

    I really, really needed to read this today. These past few weeks I have felt like I'm drowning in the mess and clutter from a 2 and 4 year old as I'm trying to get our house ready to sell next week. It's been completely overwhelming. Thanks for the reminder that there are bigger things, and bigger blessings, to focus on. xo

  22. Image for Diana W. Diana W.

    *sniff*sniff* I don't even have human babies your beautifully written tale brought tears to my eyes. Kids weren't meant to be for me. I take my joy in helping other women bring their children into the world. As I write this I'm surrounded by all four of my furbabies, of which two feel the need to touch me at all times. So to take a note from you I will be thankful for the dog toys I trip over at 2am. The whining because one is sitting in the other ones "place" and won't move, (yes, really!). The muddy paw prints across freshly mopped floors. The rugs and dog beds askew because of frantic games of chase. I will be thankful for these and a hundred other things and hold their sweet sleeping bodies (which invariably smell like corn chips) and love them long and hard. Thank you for such a blessed way to start my day. (Even if you did make me teary!)

  23. Image for Memaw 0624 Memaw 0624

    After years and years of toys and noise, clutter and full schedules. Of never knowing exactly how many I was cooking dinner for, for friends that were over for dinner tonight and stayed the night (one night I had 9 on the living room floor because we ran out of beds). I now find myself calling on my Children (grown), saying that I am lonely. And could they come around (you see, now they have the noise and toys) to spend the night. Last weekend I had 5 little and bigs on the living room floor. I slept on the couch in the living room. Next weekend I am shooting for the other 6. Love every minuite of it!

  24. Image for Terri Terri

    What a wonderful reminder of the beauty of those hectic days! I am still getting used to the empty nest (5 years later!) and as I sit here teary eyed, this post reminded me of my preschool carpooling days with 5 little boys. A neighbor boy (whose family kept their cars immaculate) found a petrified french fry or two in my car and exclaimed "Are your kids allowed to eat in the car, Mrs. ...?!!!). My reply? You could probably survive for a week with what you might find under the seats! What special days!

  25. Image for Christine Christine

    Karianne, I still buy my daughter Capi Sun drinks the ones with less sugar. I still pick them up all over the house when she comes home from Chicago to visit.....except she's 27 years old. I can't wait to be a Grandmother! It may be a while, but I am more than ready.

  26. Image for Sonya Sonya

    Wow, Karianne, this post has definitely touched a chord with so many of us. I've been just as touched by the comments as I was by your precious words. With 2 out of the house and 2 still at home I have a bit of both. Still plenty of mess and french fries around but I feel the empty nest looming. I'm so thankful for those precious years of small kids at home but equally enjoying this season of my life with grown and almost grown children. Feeling blessed this morning! Thank you.

  27. Image for Beverly Beverly

    Thank you for sharing this story because I needed to hear/read it. How easy it is for me to forget to enjoy these times with our kids. My oldest started middle school this year so I can almost hear the clock ticking away. BTW, your kitchen is my favorite in bloggy world!

  28. Image for Susan Hall Susan Hall

    What a wonderful story and I can so relate to it! My home and car were always messy and unorganized because of my 3 busy girls! Now days my car and home are clean and organized , I miss the sound of there laughter for sure but they all live close so I can pop over and see them if I want to !

  29. Image for Cheryl Cheryl

    Karianne...once again you have put life back into perspective. You have a God given talent and I really love reading your blog. It inspires me! My car too is a total disaster, as is my house most days, but your right some day she'll be grown up and move away and I will be longing for the mess again. I must not forget that.

  30. Image for Carolyn Carolyn

    A real heart warming story! As someone who has that perfect car, it really hit home. You are blessed even more because you had that epiphany.

  31. Image for HALEY HALEY

    Oh! This story touched my heart and made me cry. Yes, a story of petrified french fries made me cry. My husband and I have been arguing over the last couple weeks about "Who should clean the car and How does a car get this dirty from a 1 year old and a 4 year old!" Now, given my husband is not the chauffer of the children. He doesn't witness first hand the secret stops at the McDonalds Drive through or how a mother moves at ninja like speeds (while driving) to throw french fries in the back seat to screaming children, while trying to figure out how to grab milk shakes and open milk containers that children say "I'm done" followed by an attmept to hand it to the mother (while driving) and then letting it go. (Mothers are amazing aren't we!?!?!) So, a mother becomes kinda like a sword thrower of the french fries, and once in a while we miss and they land in secret car spots (smiling) So, why cry over a french fry? Well, because it's evidence of the time spent in the car with your children, who grow before your eyes. And the woman you approached in church, reminded me of my Grandmother who I sat by her bedside for almost every day for over 6 months while she was on Hospice dying and the memories came flowing back of her grabbing the chubby feet of my baby telling me "Oh, how I would love to see her grow up" and in the midst of it all, the day before she passed, I sat on the bed beside her, and though she could no longer speak, she ran her hands through my hair (which is always always a mess...is there any mother that combs their hair, works full time and has 2 kids..oh..3 kids including the husband) and her hand got stuck in my snarly mess of a hair do, and she smiled and winked and I said "I know, I have to do something with my hair (running joke for years between us) and she whispered "instead of combing your hair, spend time with your children for me" So, the thought of the petrified french fry made me both smile and laugh. Thank you for the story!

  32. Image for barbara barbara

    Well said, as always! They'll be on their way in the blink of an eye. Of course, that's not to say that kids can't clean up after themselves. Looking back, with a housekeeper and gardener, my kids had hardly any chores and I think it's good practice to give them responsibility, that's age appropriate. You would be able to make it into a fun game, I'm sure! Mother Hen

  33. Image for dawn@joyfulscribblings dawn@joyfulscribblings

    Thank you for the reminder! It's so true! I need to keep your story in mind when I look at my kids backpacks strewn across our kitchen entryway every day. My son will be leaving for college next year and I'm sure next Fall I'll be wishing that extra backpack was around.

  34. Image for Anna @ A Good Home Anna @ A Good Home

    Oh, KariAnne, how I cried over this post. I feel the same way about my stinky disaster of a minivan. Thanks for the reminder of the sweet blessings that each bit of mess represents, and the pause you gave me to be so thankful for them.

  35. Image for Kris Kris

    Oh goodness. This reminds me of visiting my single friend a few years ago--the one living in the charming little home decorated to the nines with ... oh, the glory of it ... her magazines fanned in a perfect arc on her coffee table ... and I thought, I used to be the one with the perfectly fanned magazines and now??? Now I live in Paper Hades! Paper and markers and pencils and tape and stickers and scissors EVERYWHERE. And then in subsequent visits, I realized there were no magneted "I love you mommy" pictures on her refrigerator ... no homemade paper Viking costumes a reluctant cat was forced to wear ... no back-patio-turned-into-a-beaver-dam-complete-with-running-water ... and somehow my cluttered coffee table seemed like a gift instead of a curse.

  36. Image for Hillcrest Cottage Hillcrest Cottage

    I always wondered if my children would have to leave in order that I should have a clean house. The answer: A definite "yes". I can also add my husband to that list as well. Oh, and all the many people who come in and out each week. ***sigh***. No one "instagrams" ( except me... Ha) what a house looks like when a college boy comes home for the summer, exploding a year's worth of dorm room on the living room floor. People and dogs = Mess. Such is the tension of life. When that "tension" is gone... We are on the road to death... Like my 84 year old mom who obsesses over a doctor visit in her schedule of " nothing".

  37. Image for Suzanne of SimplySuzannesATHome Suzanne of SimplySuzannesATHome

    Suzanne of Simply Suzannes at Home hi KariAnne! I loved reading your story . . . and smiled as I read the entire post! I have 4 children, THREE of which are under the age of 5 . . . so yes, I completely understand. I actually hung small trash bags off the back of each seat so that they have somewhere to put their trash besides the floor of the car. It's worked great :0) ! This time is fleeting . . . I can say that with conviction because my oldest is 19 and I have no idea where the last 19 years flew by. My oldest is a constant reminder to me to enjoy my little ones every day! Have a beautiful week! As always, thank you so much for sharing! Suzanne

  38. Image for Suzanne of SimplySuzannesATHome Suzanne of SimplySuzannesATHome

    Suzanne of Simply Suzannes at Home Oops! I forgot to mention that your back porch is beautiful. I wish I could have a copy of the photo you took of the morning sunlight shining on the white pumpkin and birdcage. Looks and feels so peaceful. Simply, beautiful. Suzanne

  39. Image for Michele/Finch Rest Michele/Finch Rest

    My little baby sister - my best friend in the world- turns 50 tomorrow. I have been feeling old and blue lately - watching the years fly by so quickly and nothing I can do to stop it. I just read your post and have bawled my eyes out. This hit home and deep - oh you are sooooooooooooo right. They grow and leave so quickly. I had lunch with my two adult daughters the other day and we laughed so hard we all cried....had such fun.....yes, they may grow up and away and these little messy years seem endless............but they stay friends if you love them - and they're always your babies. I mean I did pick up the lunch tab, haha. ; - )

  40. Image for Becky J Becky J

    :) Thank you for sharing...I don't know who said it, but it is so true..the days are long, the years are short...my "babies" are 21,18 and 14 and I heartily agree with God's Word, "Children are a gift..."

  41. Image for Regina Regina

    That was beautiful. Last night I was in a Beth Moore study, "Esther," and the topic was "mean girls." Yep, you saw correctly. Mean girls. The takeaway? Look at life from the other person's perspective, not you own. She may have looked sad, but you know what? I'll bet you brought back memories of messy back seats, spilled drinks, and all those other annoying instances that turn into beautiful things to think about. One of my favorites is when we traded off a car. When the booster seat came out, I found out where all those "kids meal" crayons from Bob Evans ended up - under the booster seat. There were nice, multi-colored stains there, from them melting, that will NEVER come out! It makes me smile just thinking about it! :) Have a beautiful pre-Fall day! - I need some white pumpkins . . . ;)

  42. Image for SuzyMcQ SuzyMcQ

    I'm past the petrified french fries in my car days, but happily grab used tissues from the armrests, glove box and console from the one I still have at home, for one more school year. So, yes, embrace those vestiges of a happy, fast-food filled childhood, but, never ever, consider, even when your tummy is growling, eating one of those found fries, ever!

  43. Image for Sandy Sandy

    KariAnne, once again you tugged at my heart today!! Love your story......as moms, we go through so many stages with our children. You are blessed to be able to step back now, and see what a "gift" their messes are to you. Most of us, sadly, realize it when our kids are grown. Have an awesome Thursday! xoxo

  44. Image for JT JT

    Thank you for the reminder to cherish each and every day and what it has to offer; not to "wish for" but to be "grateful for." Plain and simple...like the Trace Adkins' song says... You're gonna miss this You're gonna want this back You're gonna wish these days Hadn't gone by so fast These are some good times So take a good look around You may not know it now But you're gonna miss this and with that said...I am thankful for your post and this day that is unfolding!

  45. Image for Missy Missy

    So many years ago, I found a poem called, "The Circle". It was about a group of people sitting in a circle together, telling their problems . The writer said that when it was over, she picked up her problems and went home. She found out that hers were nothing compared to everyone else. As a parent who has lost a child, I too miss the crayons etc. in the car.

  46. Image for celeste yanisch celeste yanisch

    "To everything there is a season..." You have captured this stage so exquisitely in your writing; thank you. You will one day have a clean car and house and yard and kitchen again, but these things will come at the price of a tearful heart as you say goodbye to your little ones.

  47. Image for Lisa Lisa

    How blessed I really am! Warp speed, every year goes by faster and faster. I am trying to make sure I enjoy these last few years I have my boys at home. Thank you again. Love your blog.

  48. Image for Nana Diana Nana Diana

    I don't know why this struck to the heart of me-but it did. I am sitting here with tears rolling down my cheeks...remembering the "when"...and now I have grandkids and have crayons and "my first I-Can-Read books" all over again..and I am blessed- so incredibly blessed. Thanks for a wonderful post- xo Diana

  49. Image for Karen Karen

    I hear you! I had a similar moment when my oldest was a toddler. I chose to be a stay at home mom until my kids were in school for a full day.Thinking my house had to be June Cleaver perfect I was rushing around doing and cleaning with my little one chasing behind me.Then it hit me one day. I stayed home to nurture my children, not to have the cleanest most perfect house on the block.Our days became filled with outings, exploring ,crafting,loving and learning and my evenings after they went to sleep, was my time to clean and do. I've never regretted it.Even if I did only get 4-5 hours sleep most nights LOL.

  50. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Such a beautiful read this afternoon. Thank you for sharing and giving me a smile. (I find snack bar wrappers stuffed between the seats.)

  51. Image for revi revi

    Thank you for this sweet post. Now, how did I suddenly become the older woman, yet the one who still finds petrified French fries still hiding away in her car? -Revi

  52. Image for Amy @Mud Puddles and Tea Parties Amy @Mud Puddles and Tea Parties

    Oh KariAnne, you have a way with words that take me right along with you into each and every story! It is hard to sometimes see how blessed we are when our lives are filled to the brim with those pertified french fries and empty capri-sun containers strewn about. It is so easy to get our sights on the things that we do not have or wish we had and forget the blessings God has given us already. How greatful I am for my family!!!!

  53. Image for Laura Laura

    You are the best storyteller! I remember the days of the petrified french fries. I once found a petrified muffin in my van when my kids were young. They are now 18 and 22 and I have a spic and span car which I am driving in alone 98% of the time. Time just flies. The good news is, my almost 23 year old son is going to make me a grandma in November. So maybe in a few years, I will have petrified french fries in my car once again....

  54. Image for Lori Lori

    What a wonderful story. As a mother of 4, who just sent her youngest (twins) off to college time goes too quickly. You wonder what you are going to do now, finding a new purpose is a big challenge. On a funny note, my van was so full of food when my kids were little, my husband said it was okay, if we got stranded in a snow storm we would have enough food for a week!

  55. Image for Sharon Sharon

    What a lovely story. That still quiet voice, always whispering, teaching....it always shows up in subtle, yet attention getting ways, doesn't it?

  56. Image for Wendy Lou Wendy Lou

    Oh my goodness...you almost made me cry! My youngest of 5, the twins are turning 14 and your post hit me like a ton of bricks...those days are gone! When did that happen? It really does FLY by - so enjoy it! Mind you, they still mess up my car with hairbrushes, shoes, make-up etc...but I realized that we are moving quickly towards the perfect car and it is a sobering thought....my nest will be empty...until Grand-babies of course! Thanks for the encouragement to enjoy the day you are in.

  57. Image for Sarah Sarah

    Another great post! Funny how it takes but a moment of reality to make us appreciate all that we have. Counting our blessings is always a good thing!

  58. Image for Maria Maria

    Love the beautiful black and white pattern, Thanks for all your inspiration and wonderful ideas for the home..:)) Lots of Happiness Maria

  59. Image for Shirley@housepitalitydesigns Shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    While I do not have petrified french fries in my car...I can assure you that you will find goldfish crumbs or even a stray whole "goldfish" thankful that he wasn't eaten....your car has love and character!.... Love seeing the porch...gorgeous Kari!

  60. Image for Pinky Pinky

    My kids are long gone, will never have grandkids BUT I eat the fries and occasionally find a petrified one in my neat (with umbrella) car:):):)

  61. Image for Ann Ann

    Like you, I am envious. I am envious of your porch. My husband belongs to that elite group of decorating designers that tout, "one head; one pillow." I am envious of your pillows. Sigh.

  62. Image for Denise D Denise D

    I so love your story. I am passed the time of petrified french fries and coloring books and toys in the car. My car is now the neat one and Yes, I have an umbrella as well :) You have such a way with words......love your stories. This one touched my heart and tomorrow I will see all 4 of my grown girls and give them an extra hug.

  63. Image for Kim K Kim K

    Bless your heart Kari---with every post you make me laugh, cry, or create!!! Love everything about you & your blog!! I'm pretty sure you have no idea about the hearts you touch ,the memories you stir and the hope you give, but you are a blessing to all of us. Your awesome in all kinds of ways---thanks for being a "friend"!! kim

  64. Image for Danielle Danielle

    Beautiful post. I'm so glad I stopped by and started my day by reading this. My car doesn't have petrified fries but encrusted chocolate and other delicacies. All from my two lovely guys (three if you count my hubby). x

  65. Image for Wendy Wendy

    Hi Kari, Thanks for making me smile today. This is just so lovely. My 92 year nana always says we should embrace these busy crazy moments, when I apologize for my car being a mess with horse hair, dog prints and petrified french fries, she always says she would so enjoy having a car like that, you make me smile (or cry) every time I read your posts. Thank you! xx Wendy

  66. Image for Sandy Sandy

    Boy, do I miss those messy days and cars. Life passes by so quickly! When I moved to my neighborhood one of my best friends twins were just 1 year old. They are now 23 years old with children of their own. It goes by in a flash! I miss the noise, laughter and all the friends that my step-son would have over when he spent weekends and summers with us. He is now a young thirty something man with a wife and 3 children. My how time flies! Enjoy all those messy moments.

  67. Image for Cindy Cindy

    So true! I miss my children being younger and at home with me. All their messes, attitudes, and long days and nights at the ballpark or on the court, I miss it all! Time passes way too quickly! Our daughter and son-in-law are building their new home so they are staying with us, lots of their "stuff" too, as well as their two pups...I'M IN HEAVEN! Beautiful post Karrianne... Blessings, Cindy

  68. Image for susan b susan b

    Just sent my baby off to college 2 weeks ago (along with his older sister). My living room is immaculate - my sink is not full of dishes, my laundry is caught up and I have evenings in which to savor magazines and books for the first time in 25 years.... It's awful and its clean and its quiet and there isn't a petrified french fry in sight. Full of envy right now.....

  69. Image for Laura Laura

    I shed a tear over this one. Sometimes it's hard to see past long days of homeschooling five kids with piles of paperwork and Legos and shoes, but thanks for the reminder that this crazy like is FULL of BLESSINGS. :)

  70. Image for Marilyn Marilyn

    Hi Kari Anne, I'm going through a bunch of old emails, trying to figure out which blogs to delete, simply because I don't have time to keep up. I read this post. You're definitely a keeper! Thanks for sharing this.

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