Wednesday was my anniversary.

It ended up looking extraordinarily un-anniversary like.

It truly tried to be an anniversary.  A celebration.  A day to remember the incredible day I got married.

It really, really did.


But all that un-anniversary got in the way.


It rained Wednesday.

And one of my children had to go to the hospital for a minor procedure that ended up being a little more involved and I spent 10 hours at the hospital worrying and praying and shredding a piece of kleenex into a million pieces and the check engine light came on in the car and we discovered that we needed a new catalytic converter and had to drive the car to the mechanic that night and then we heard on the news that our town might flood.


Now in the end it all worked out.

My son is home and wonderful and recovering and almost won Risk last night along with world domination.

The car is going to be fixed by Monday.

The river in front of the town will only crest at 47.5′, just below the 48′ sandbag level.

The sun is shining.

We are all fine.


But on Wednesday?

I was mad.

Like shaking your fists at the sky with clumps of dirt in them Scarlett O’Hara kind of mad.

Didn’t the world know it was my anniversary?

Couldn’t flood waters and a new catalytic converter wait for a day I didn’t get married on.

And the saddest part?

I wasn’t nice.

Not even a little nice.  Not even trying to be nice in the face of adversity.  Not even trying to put on a brave face and muddle through.


Not me.


I woke up the next day still feeling mad.

Have you ever had a day like that?

Where one day of mad isn’t enough?  Like you feel so righteously indignant that you need an extra day of mad just to feel justified?

Later that morning my mad self and I climbed into the car with the kids to drive into town and one of the twins asked me if she could play me a song.

This song.  This wonderful, incredible, moving, amazing song.

And these lyrics filled the car:

“Well I’ll be your shade tree in summer

If you’ll be my fire when it’s cold

And whatever the season, we’ll keep on breathing

Cause we have each other to hold

I’ll hold you ~ I’ll sing

I wanna love you forever I do

I wanna spend all of my days with you

I’ll carry your burdens be the wind at your back

I wanna love you forever ~ forever like that”

                                                                                              ~Ben Rector


As as the lyrics danced across the dashboard and I listened to the words of that song.

It was like he was singing to me.

And I was so ashamed.

Of my behavior.  Of my lack of grace under pressure.  Of my pity party.

Of all my mad.

And the tears spilled out of the corner of my eyes.


And then I called my husband.

And blubbered all kinds of incoherent things into the phone like him being the wind at my back and shade trees and sunny days ending and melodies and words on the pages.

And I was sorry.

And that I would love him forever.

I could hear his smile over the phone.

And then he laughed.

And told me he understood and it had been a rough day and cars and floods and hospital visits were definitely not on the list of anniversary plans and he would love me forever….

…..right back.

PS  I just read this post to him and played the song and he went and got his guitar and started singing to me.


Forever looks a lot like that. 🙂

PPS  Here’s to a wonderful 2016.

Happy New Year.

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  1. Image for Shonee Shonee

    Oh KariAnn!! I had a day just like that last week. Only I was feeling over worked and under appreciated. We are too hard in ourselves sometimes. Once the tears came and a jerk back into reality hit me I was back at it. Hope you can still celebrate, even if it's a few days late.

  2. Image for Robin Stephens Robin Stephens

    Were it not for the bummer days....the hallelujah days wouldn't stand out. Just look at it this way: you made room for a few more hallelujah days! *wink* Happy more anniversaries!!

  3. Image for sydney85 sydney85

    The disappointment in a special day turning out so bad just makes for a lot of madness. Hope 2016 is a happy and healthy one for you and the family.

  4. Image for Denise Edenfield Denise Edenfield

    Thank you, dear girl, for never being afraid to be real and transparent and a nice reminder that none of us are alone. Happy Anniversary.

  5. Image for Gail Gail

    Think of how much we wouldn't appreciate if we had nothing but wonderful. Every once in awhile we need a kick in the pants to remind us how lucky we are. We have the money for the hosp. We have the money for the car, Without the rain,( even though we got way too much), how would our grass and flowers grow. I think as we get older we realize that no matter what kicks us in the gut, we can make it through. So glad you are smiling again. 2016 is going to be a good year. Wishing you the best.

  6. Image for Jennifer Ross Jennifer Ross

    We can't be sweet tea-sweet, red lipstick-wearing soul mates 100% of the time. Not when the world is spinning and life is happening all around. It's just not in us. What matters is he knows that and loves you still. Happy anniversary!

  7. Image for mary beth mary beth

    I don't think you were as mad as you thought (not like most-of-us-mad) but it's a sweet lesson for all of us. Glad everything is good over there, Happy belated Anniversary and Happy New Year!

  8. Image for Lisa Cooper Lisa Cooper

    Thank you for introducing me to this beautiful song. I am running to Target to buy the CD, so I can play it whenever I have a day like that! Happy 2016!

  9. Image for Marilyn Marilyn

    You two are awesome! So happy anniversary...forever! I wish you lived next door to are the epitome of sweetness! Happy New Year my sweet bloggin' friend! May God continue to bless you and yours!

  10. Image for Cindy Cindy

    You know, you make me smile:D I feel so bad that you had such a rough day on your anniversary, but aren't kids just a treasure trove of blessings? They always seem to know what to say and when to say it. I couldn't help but chuckle when you were describing all of this because I just can't seem think of you ever being mad...not with flowing blonde hair, red lipstick, and purple toenail polish! I so picture you as the Baroness on the Sound of Music! (one of my favorites)LOL! I'm so glad everything turned out ok, and that the world is right once again:D Chief Lady Thistle, I wish you and your family a very blessed Happy New Year! Happy day to you friend;)

  11. Image for Kaye Kaye

    I always get a smile & have a better day after reading your thoughts. I turned 74 yesterday & & I love your home & decorating style & the love that abounds in your family. Thank you!

  12. Image for Debbie from MountainMama Debbie from MountainMama

    Happy Anniversary and Happy New Year, sweet KariAnne!! We all have days like that - they seem to go from bad to worse and you just can't climb out of a funk. Today is a whole new day and a whole new year and cheers to that!! Big hugs to you - xo

  13. Image for Julie Julie

    Thank you for this amazing post. Sometimes I believe we all reach "that" point when nothing is going right (or at least like we believe it should) and we are mad at the world....but when you can realize it is all gone in an instant because of LOVE, all is right with the world. I am a very emotional (blubbery, as my 2 sons say) gal and I just want life to be roses and butterflies...LOL That "ain't" ever gonna happen! But, music....ahh music, is what can always bring me back to that place where all that is important in life is well, I smile and am always so thankful. I love your posts and everything about your blog. Thanks for doing what you do. Happy 2016!

  14. Image for BeverlyO BeverlyO

    Just wondering...did my husband contact you? Or my daughter? You see, my anniversary was yesterday - New Year's Eve. And I usually have the mindset that everybody is celebrating right along with me. However, for most of the day yesterday I was mad. Peeved at everything around me and especially my husband. So, when it was time for the New Year's Eve reveling to take place I was thinking more that folks were celebrating NOT having to celebrate with me and my anniversary. Then, my family helped me get all the Christmas decorations stowed away and the floors cleaned up and shared dinner and played with Mike and me and showed us that we really do love one another and our family and that maybe the world was celebrating our anniversary but we could just flop on the couch and recliner and celebrate quietly alone together. Thanks for the meaningful post! (Now I have tears sliding down my cheeks, too!)

  15. Image for Anne Porter Anne Porter

    Dear One, Having followed you for a time; having soul-fully enjoyed every offering and certainly sharing your passion for decorating and family; and now having learned that we almost share a December anniversary; I MUST send you Happy New Year's warmest wishes! We celebrated our Dec. 28 anniversary this week...our 52nd! How can it be???? We "skipped" our 50th and 51st as we were grieving the loss of our beloved 45 year old son....a life changing blow to our souls and spirits for sure. Through the Grace of God and His forever provisions, we found ourselves healed enough to celebrate our 53rd quietly, but significantly. God is good, even in the most devastating circumstances and He does provide all needed to survive. We are blessedly beginning to "feel" again and one sign for me is that I am re-gaining my interest in all things creative. Pinterest and blogs as yours are my encouragers as I peruse new ideas (and some as old as am I) and begin to feel the passion again. Thistlewood Farms provides my daily dose of encouragement, creativity and thoughtfulness and for all of that and more, I thank you! We are truly kindred spirits, tho years apart in age....isn't that just plain cool????!!!! May God Bless all that you are and all that do!!!

  16. Image for PC PC

    My birthday is the same date and I shared your worry about the water for my family and friends in the area. Our family home is on high ground in the next county but 2 of 4 routes out of the town are covered. Hope all stays well for you and the family. Your blog kept me company on a 3 hour delay Christmas Eve.

  17. Image for Mary Mary

    Yep. Had days just like that. Of special note is when I've had a screaming fight with my sister on the phone and it still stings today. Your story brought tears to my eyes (again) and I'm so glad you wrote this. Becuase we ALL have days like yours. Bless you pretty girl. Happy Anniversary. Happy New Year. Happy day to you and your family - Breathe....

  18. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    I've had many anniversaries like that...not exactly, but you get my drift. So glad your area escaped the flooding! Sounds like it is time for a do-over! Happy Day to you! ;)

  19. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    Miz karianne.....HUMAN??? Oh no, who woulda thunk it?! I'm so sorry it was a horribly rough day, but you survived it, and so did everybody else. You're precious. Happy New Year, little one.

  20. Image for Ann weisman Ann weisman

    Dear Friend First off, we are all glad to hear you all are safe, the only thing that truly matters. We all have our bad and mad days. But aren't we fortunate to have loving partners that get us. You two are so lucky to have each other. Happy Anniversary and heres to some good and happy days. Happy New a Year

  21. Image for Carol Bray@The Red Painted Cottage Carol Bray@The Red Painted Cottage

    I really dislike days like that cause it just seems to go on and on and puts you into one of those moods. You almost wish you could go back to bed, get up on the other side and start the day all over again, with everything going in the right direction. But we all get through it and next thing you know, life is great again. Happy belated anniversary and may you have a Happy New Year, my friend!

  22. Image for Patty Soriano Patty Soriano

    Karianne, Happy Anniversary. So sorry it wasn't very pleasant. Glad you are all safe and sound....that is the best gift. We have a normally dry creek just behind the house and it has flooded more times than I can count during my 50 years on this property. It's very scary when water is all around your house and it knocks down the fence and the purple martin houses, drowns your car with all your favorite cassette tapes inside. I can relate to those in fear now. Thankfully, we did not lose our home, but we fear that it could happen one day. We celebrated 30 years last June. So many of our friends married around the same time have divorced. We are rare, Karianne, and blessed. Hugs!

  23. Image for Patty Patty

    EVERYONE is entitled to a bad day now and then. But . . . . the solution is always to tell the most important person (other than our children) that we are still there and we do still love them and we always will. That is a beautiful song but my favorite is still When I said I do. I try to live that one every day. Happy belated Anniversary, take a deep breath and enjoy the beginning of this brand spanking new year!

  24. Image for Wendy Johnson Wendy Johnson

    Sometimes I think to myself she cant't be for real and then you prove you are. Love everything you write and share. Please don't take that to mean I want you to have bad days....

  25. Image for Debrah Nash Debrah Nash

    Kari, I love your honesty and transparency(I always like using those big words). I believe, if all of us who read your newsletter were "honest and transparent", we have days exactly the same. I have been so blessed to spend 41 years of Anniversaries with my husband and many were very unanniversary like! Life gets in the way and everyday can be so hard that "mad" can last for more than one day. Sick children, cars needing repairs, work and so much more can steal our joy and celebration right out from under us. I am reminded of a beautiful verse in 2 Corinthians 12:9, And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities(trials), that the power of Christ may rest upon me." God is so wonderful to remind us of the treasures He has given us through so many avenues with a song being one that He often uses to refresh my memory of His grace and love to me. Life happens, "but God is faithful" to give you and I a husband who loves us, forgives us, cherishes us and many times reminds us of the love of Christ with their gracious love!! Happy Anniversary!

  26. Image for Rebecca Turner Rebecca Turner

    Oh, KariAnne, you moved me to tears! And you reminded me that my parent's 60th wedding anniversary was also on Wednesday. How could I have forgotten? Crazy life! We can all relate to your confession/experience, because we all have days like that. I often get grumpy on Christmas Day because I have so much to do, all by myself. My daughter is gluten-free, so I have to make two of everything...because my husband wants stuffing, etc. and no one else considers my daughter's health concerns, so it's up to me. My efforts are one way to show her that I love her, and that I care. She's not much of a cook herself, and she's too busy to help anyway. (Busy job!) Sometimes it's a little overwhelming though and I have a secret pity party for myself. This year I was determined to slow down, do the best I could, and maintain a positive attitude, and I did. It was such a wonderful day...until my daughter received news of the death of one of her employees. She took it very hard! Life has a way of throwing us curve balls, and reminding us of what's truly important. Thanks for sharing yourself, and your family with us!

  27. Image for Margaret Elkins Margaret Elkins

    Thanks for sharing, warts and all. I think it gives us all a chance to be real. Glad it all worked out. Love does look like that.

  28. Image for Bonnie Schulte Bonnie Schulte

    What a beautiful beautiful song. I had never heard it before, and so glad you shared it. I can see why it would bring tears to your eyes, it did to mine too. Happy belated Anniversary. Seems love always works itself out in the end..wishing you many sunny days, and days filled with laughter...

  29. Image for heidi @ decor & more heidi @ decor & more

    It's so hard for me to imagine you having a bad day, but all of that would definitely do it for me, too. Wishing you many more years of flowers and sunshine and perfect songs together -- even on the bad days. :) xo heidi

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

    Oh, I'm tearing up -- this is about the 40th time today but I"ll explain later. First of all, slap my forehead in stupidity. I should have remember your anniversary, especially after the no-show at your wedding shower. Happy Anniversary to you and your amazing family!! Hope you have a wonderful New Year and that all the little trials and tribulations in 2016 is miniscule. Now, for the tears -- while my Honey fished -- no that wasn't why I was crying -- I was reading a very inspirational book by a magnificent young person. The title is "My Heroes Ask Wallflowers To Dance" by Jennifer Sabin Sattley. She is a food blogger and a stronger more courageous person I've yet to meet.I won't spoil the true story of her incredible older brother and her. OMG I haven't finished the book yet and just thinking of the story has me tearing up again. If you do get the book, buy a case of tissues at Sams or Costco. People were looking at me strange today as I sat on the beach sniffling and wiping my eyes behind my sunglasses with a wadded up tissues. Big Hugs to you. I'd sing you a happy song but I don't want the dogs to start howling :-)

  31. Image for DebraShoppeno5 DebraShoppeno5

    You know the old saying; "When it rains, it pours". That is the kind of day you had. But then the sun came out and you knew the worst was behind you and your husband understood what you felt and your children love you so much. And it is another day to appreciate.

  32. Image for Lisa Bretherick Lisa Bretherick

    Real life is not always what you expect it to be..your honesty is so touching. Thank you for this post. All the best to you as well in 2016!

  33. Image for Nancy @Slightly Coastal Nancy @Slightly Coastal

    Oh that so much like what I would do. I was going down that road last night for a very unHappy New Years Eve. We are at my in laws and just warmed up left overs. Ugh. Then I decided I was going to capture the joy myself. Had a really expensive glass of wine and laughed until my sides hurt playing sequence. No party hats or noise makers. But ended up being fun because I let it. HAPPY new Year!

  34. Image for Karen Karen

    Thank you for sharing your "mad"... it made me smile,.... mostly because I was kinda feeling the same way today. Life just gets hard even when it's not the "really important stuff", ... it's still disappointing and irritating. Your an encouragement to me every time. Thank you- you're my favorite in the blog world.

  35. Image for Pinky Pinky

    First of all I can not imagine you all! But 2 days?? Now ME, that's another story and yes, I got FURIOUS on WEd. night and it lasted til today. I can not share what happened but it was almost the straw that broke the camels back. I am so happy that things worked out and that your children and husband are SO FABULOUS!!! That is YOUR leadership shining through dear girl. HAPPY NEW YEAR, Kari Anne!!! XO

  36. Image for Janet Janet

    Oh, Sweetie - mad for two days? I've spent entire weeks in a "being mad hangover." Thank God Denton is okay and all is have truly won the lottery with healthy children (four times over). Love you and can't wait to see you next week!

  37. Image for Tricia Tricia

    Beautiful post - beautiful song. I have noticed thru your posts that your children have a way of bringing you back to reality. Love your honesty, wit & humor - it makes all of us feel right at home. Happy Anniversary and Happy New Year! Appreciate your posts and look forward to them! You are definitely one of my favorites! Keep up the good work.

  38. Image for Marijean Jenson Marijean Jenson

    Happy Anniversary. That Man of yours is a keeper. How romantic, and with twinkling eyes !!!! Thanks for the smile.

  39. Image for Jane Jane

    You are human and real and lovely and dear to us. You express what so many of us can't word right and it touches our hearts---all of us ladies everywhere. Thank you. God bless your child who was in the hospital and your daughter who played that song for you. And Happy Anniversary to you and that rock in your life you call your husband! Jane x

  40. Image for Barbara Ann Barbara Ann

    Well God will'n and the creek don't rise (again) there will be another anniversary to celebrate. And another car repair that comes at the wrong time (like there is a good time) and a child may get sick again. But the Grace that God gives you is to handle each issue as it comes and come out on the other end. The creek rose but not as high, your child was very sick but God took care of them. And the car, well that is just a test of wills. And it will happen again. But with out these trial you would not have know how strong you are. And how loved you are. Don't beat yourself up. Take it out on the weeds come spring, when God shows is how much He love us. Weeds and all!

  41. Image for Vicki Vicki

    Any one of us would have reacted the same way. When life comes at us from every direction like that and no time to plan a strategy, no time to think, we either freeze up or start swinging at it with both fists. If any one of those things had come along one at the time, you would have just put on your red lipstick and sung a song and danced through it. Sometimes the Lord has to show us what is inside of us when we don't even know ourselves. (I.e. "I can't believe I said that", or, " Why did I behave that way"?). So glad your son is ok, you love your Husband, your house is dry and your heart and soul are at rest. That was a lot for one day! We love you KariAnne! Cannot wait to see what 2016 brings!

  42. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    A stressful time on a day meant for celebration...yep, I would have reacted poorly too. glad your son is doing well and your town didn't flood and the car was fixable AND your girl knew what you needed. Big sigh - you got me at the end. Here's to forever no matter how it looks on any particular day. Happy anniversary to y'all!

  43. Image for Debra W Debra W

    KariAnne, We all have days like that. It is just part of life too, along with the laughter and tears, etc. But I must say in all your madness I had to giggle at you. So don't fret: while you are mad your heart still must be singing to be able to write this post about it. And bring a smile to someones face. :) Happy that your son is fine, the flood held off, the car is getting fixed. And that your family has the singing in their hearts too. LOVE is what it is. Such a beautiful family.

  44. Image for PJ PJ

    Oh, Kari Anne, I am a puddle! Thank you for the beautiful post and for sharing that lovely song which is new to me.

  45. Image for Cindy Cindy're human. Human is hard. Human is beautiful with all its imperfections. Thank you for sharing your curves and edges and even mad with everyone. Happy New Year...xoxo

  46. Image for Gwen Gwen

    I cried. I listened to the song. Now for him. Our journeys been hard but it's all in Gods hands. I'm so glad he's alive so I can play this tonight.

  47. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    My anniversary was Thanksgiving. I had to announce it, after cleaning house, etc. etc. I bought myself a cheap $15. bracelet (which I am returning--yes, that cheap looking!) I am now awaiting results from a second biopsy and I am trying to be cool. I am spending this week the first week of my husband's retirement (which is a WHOLE NEW way of life)but, I am lovin' it...

  48. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie long as the twinklin' eyes still make you swoon and mine makes me weak in the knees we'll keep on keepin' on!!!

  49. Image for Gail Alsobrook Gail Alsobrook

    Happy Anniversary - late! We will celebrate our 53rd in 16 days! Hope it will be a beautiful, dry day with Sunshine! Thanking you for your wonderful, inspiring blog. God has blessed you and all of us who delight in your Thistlewood Thoughts!

  50. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    Oh my Good Gracious! You NEED to move to West Texas so we can be friends. We'd be really good at it. So sorry I can't make the Texas fabric show - life is getting in the way... Loved your anniversary story. Here's to many more - anniversaries - not days like THAT! :-)

  51. Image for Terri Terri

    "Grace under pressure" ...WOW... Hope it's alright that I am taking that statement and running with it!! I may use it on sticky notes everywhere.. at home... at work... in my car!! Thank you for this post!!!! Just what I needed... and btw.... HAPPY ANNIVERSAY!!!!!! Always love your "Timely" posts

  52. Image for Jessica Jessica

    Your stories paint such a good picture. I have a special needs children who almost died after birth. She was born on the 2nd and my anniversary was in the 8th and as I read your story I thought of that anniversary and being at the hospital with my impossibly small baby crying and what an unanniversary day it was. Here I am on my lunch hour. Sitting at a noisy tunnel lunchroom in downtown houston trying so hard not to cry off my makeup or draw any unwanted attention. Love your stories. Btw Lilly is 11 years old and in fairly good health now. We still have trips to the hospital but nothing life threatening. I laughed at myself a little to .

  53. Image for Patty Patty

    That was an awesome story. I actually felt chills when You started talking about the song and then your husband sang to you! Aww, that must have been sweet. Well I hope you have a wonderful year and if I were you, whenever things get bad, I would ask your husband to sing to you! lol.

  54. Image for Cathy Cathy

    this is good. the kind of good that makes me feel a bit more normal. and it makes me long for heaven a bit more too. thanks for sharing.

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