I had a book signing at Barnes and Noble.

It was amazing and overwhelming and incredible and all the things I ever imagined a book signing could be and a little surreal seeing your book on the shelf of a place you’ve shopped at your entire life.

Here’s a Facebook Live I taped right before the event.

Before the signing, my husband and I went to dinner with friends.

We were laughing and talking and I remember vaguely waving my hands around and acting out part of a story and when I sat down, my husband reached for my hand.

His eyes twinkled just for me.

And right there in the middle of the restaurant with the lights sparkling all around me and the yummiest pasta with chicken sitting right in front of me…

….I got goosebumps.

Good goosebumps.

Wonderful goosebumps.

The kind of goosebumps that made me want to pinch myself and count my blessings and dance the Macarena and sing the Hallelujah Chorus on my tiptoes from the balcony of the Empire State Building and think back to where it all started.

The first time those brown eyes twinkled for me.

The very beginning.

It was our first date.

I greeted him at the front door with red lipstick, an add-a-bead necklace, 4″ high bangs sprayed with Aqua Net hairspray, a prairie skirt and a knitted sweater vest covered in tiny, plaid red and blue bows.

I think I might have even had on high-heeled shoes and socks with my name written on them with paint pen.

At the risk of stating the obvious—I looked amazing.

He wasn’t a big talker.

A man of very few words.

Maybe he was shy.

Maybe he was nervous.

Maybe he was intimidated by the socks.

I didn’t care.

He was cute with these dimples and brown wavy hair and big brown eyes that kind of looked like Johnny Depp and he had his own car…..all the really important things in life.

And besides, I thought.  I’m a talker.  I like to talk.

I can just talk enough for both of us.

We went to church and then we drove around looking at Christmas lights.

And as we drove, I talked.   And talked.   And taaaaaallllllked.

I told him how cute the animated Santa Claus were with their lighted banjos dancing next to the seven dwarfs.

He said nothing.

I exclaimed with enthusiastic joy over the teddy bears sitting in the train and how cute that Kermit the Frog was the conductor.

He said nothing.

I mentioned that it was amazing that a single yard could hold a merry-go-round, a nativity, Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer and a giant 7-foot Barney—all at the same time.

He said nothing.

I laughed and talked and sang every Christmas carol I knew and took my mittens on and off and nervously stared out the window and kept up a one-way conversation for the entire drive while he sat stoically in the driver’s seat….. 

…..saying absolutely positively nothing.

I was done.

I thought he didn’t like me.

I thought I bored him.

I thought to myself despairingly…..will this date ever be over?

When we pulled up to my parent’s house, I couldn’t get out of the car fast enough.  I hurriedly mumbled something about what a great time that I had and turned to leave. And then?  Just as I started to open the door, he reached for my hand.

I stopped and stared at him.

And he stared at me.

It was completely quiet in the car.  No one said a word.

And then in that moment, parked on the curb, with the Christmas lights in the distant background and the smell of winter in the air, he whispered in the quietest of voices, “What if I kissed you?”

And he didn’t wait for an answer.

My monogrammed paint pen socks got goosebumps.

And me?  On that starry night long ago, wearing red lipstick and a prairie skirt and a sweater vest with bows…..

….I got the kiss of a lifetime.


I never looked back.

Even now, after all these years, sitting in the middle of a restaurant about to go to a book signing with the noise and the busy swirling all around us, he can look at me with those twinkling eyes and smiling dimples and my goosebumps get goosebumps.

And then I count my blessings and my heart does cartwheels and I smile to myself with joy that this sweet, wonderful, incredible, brown-eyed man…..

……finally found his voice. 🙂

PS  I read this post to my husband and he informed me that he didn’t really talk because I neglected to bring up something really interesting….like “the unsolved mystery of Bigfoot.”

Of course.


Why didn’t I think of that? 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Carrie Carrie

    My daughter LOVES all things "Big Foot" and if she had been around when your first date was occurring, she may have jumped out of the woods right into that car to join you in Christmas Carol singing, comments about decorating and of course, the latest sighting of Big Foot. HA HA...I truly love this story: Every,Time.You.Post.It. It could be posted once a week and I'd love it the same as seeing it the first time. Dreams do come true~ you are proof. God Bless you ,your personalized socks, and the man who gives your goosebumps goosebumps!!! :)

  2. Image for Brocanteuserose Brocanteuserose

    You and I clearly had the same sense of style, Ah the good old days, when we looked divine! I'd like to think I still have a few divine wardrobe moments. Although thanks to my little darlings (who do not have their mothers' fabulous fashion sense), I am often circumvented prior to leaving the house to wear something a smidge less fantastic! Fortunately for me my hair never got the memo the 80's have passed, and remains fully at attention on the top of my head. Unless of course it's humid outside (which it always seems to be- even in winter?) at which point it stands at attention on top of my head, and the sides and the back... Sigh.

  3. Image for Donnie Donnie

    What a man, you found the one in a million for you! My book arrived Wednesday - savoring chapter by chapter. Don't want to rush, because then it will be over! Congratulations on achieving this goal. When's the next one coming out? Seriously, hope you have time to savor these moments. There will only be one first - enjoy!

  4. Image for Pam Kaufman Pam Kaufman

    Such a sweet story! It is truly a blessing to find the right person to share our lives. I've been married 16 years now and still feel the wave of love I felt the first time we met. Marriage is not always easy but it certainly helps to be with someone you truly have a spiritual connection with.

  5. Image for Peggy Peggy

    As always, love your stories and the comical sense of your experiences!! Thanks for making me laugh. Had preordered your book and am enjoying it thoroughly!!

  6. Image for Denise Cox Denise Cox

    Ahhhhh Karianne.. You are such an entrancing storyteller!! Your book arrived a couple days ago... I'm going to start reading it once I finish this Fall decorating... which will be today.. Can't wait! Then off it goes to KY for you to sign it for me... 😀 Congratulations on your much deserved success!!!

  7. Image for CathyAnn CathyAnn

    A true love story never ends. Your love story gave ME goosebumps! (ps...I am blessed to have one of those 'once in a lifetime" men)

  8. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    As usual your stories touch me...even though I've read them before. No matter...I'm always entranced. Then, also as usual...I have to go back to actually look at the pictures...because I was so busy reading a story to which I know the ending, that I forgot to check out your photos. Go figure? May your goosebumps continue to have goosebumps!! ;)

  9. Image for Michelle Michelle

    What a sweet beginning to a wonderful life together! And you captured that moment when you know that 'he's the one' perfectly. It is a goose=bumpy moment. The first time Ben asked me out and I said I would love to go out with him, he wasn't expecting me to say yes. He got all flustered and said something like, "Oh, OK, well...but I have to check my calendar." LOL And the Bigfoot thing? It reminded me of when my son, who was 7 at the time, started talking about Bigfoot at the dinner table one night. I said, "Oh, you mean Saskatchewan." He looked incredulously at me and responded, "You know him?!" I can't say enough how happy I am for you about the book. I remember when you thought it would never happen. But it did. And here you are celebrating its arrival. :-) I wish, I wish, I wish I could have been at the party and the book signing. But please know that I have been there in spirit, throughout, praying for you and cheering you on the whole way.

  10. Image for Grace Grace

    Thank you Karianne, you never fail to make me feel good about life, goosebumps included. I'm looking forward to reading your book.

  11. Image for Paula Paula

    Karianne, you are truly a bright light in my day! This week I was "triply" blessed to have a new blog post to read, your book in my mailbox, and you as the author of my Proverbs 31 newsletter all in 1 day! I am loving your book and am trying not to read too fast so I can savor every word! ❤️

  12. Image for Deb Deb

    What a love story! Ours was about the same...except for the b word. Yes! I was a new dept. head in a local store. He was a college kid who worked summers and had worked for the now promoted assistant manager. I was new to the job and had ideas of how I wanted displays to look. He was experienced at the job and knew how the displays used to look. This led to some tension, causing him to tell the assistant manager that he didn't want to work with that b word. Well...it was rough. Finally I asked him if he would like to get a coke and clear the air. We did. And I noticed the way his eyes (why do guys get those thick lashes?) twinkled as he laughed. I noticed his college guy ways. I noticed, most of all, his values and his intellect. I inwardly sighed, thinking that he really wouldn't notice me that way. But he did and 39 years and three kids later, he's still here, celebrating his family...and me. All the hearts!

  13. Image for Judy Judy

    I downloaded So Close to Amazing after it was recommended by ANOTHER of my favorite bloggers last week. I started reading right away and barely came up for air until it was finished. Your book is heartwarming and truly beyond amazing. And, BTW, today's blog was another get jerker, toe tingler. Thank you for being a day brightener for so many of my mornings.

  14. Image for Wanda Wanda

    Your new book arrived and immediately I began to read. I did not stop until I finished it, YEAH! LOVED IT! Thanks for a great read.

  15. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Haha, best.story.ever! Bigfoot. Too funny. My guy is quiet too. Bad thing, so am I. Well, not as quiet as I used to be. Congrats on your book signing. That is so stinking exciting! Hugs, Cecilia

  16. Image for Lorri Rauscher Lorri Rauscher

    I love reading your stories..you sure can make me smile..and I just keep on reading ..spell bound to what you are going to write next...Oh yes ..love looking at your decorating as well..just icing on the cake...yummy icing. Good luck with yr book.😆

  17. Image for Pinky Pinky

    Oh honey, I can not wait to get your book. I have to make a special trip to B and N as there isn't one nearby....BUT I will get it AND I have a gift card! Loved todays post!

  18. Image for Jan Fusco Jan Fusco

    My book came in yesterday! I'm so excited and can't wait to get reading. I live on the panhandle of Florida so we have a close watch on the hurricane so I'm a little distracted now but I'll get to it soon.

  19. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    Love this! Keep making wonderful memories. You know...as my blue eyed super man always says, "you are either making memories or sharing them." Love doing both!

  20. Image for Sarah Sarah

    Oh girl. You are THE best storyteller ever. In the history of ever.😍 To say I'm beyond excited/ecstatic/thrilled/jumping for joy over all your success is the understatement of the century. I'm so thankful for you. You are such a blessing in so many ways. ((Hugs))

  21. Image for Michelle Hayes Michelle Hayes

    I met you on lifeingrace's blog interview. You are a doll! I've ordered your book, signed up for your email and am following your blog. Thank you for allowing God to use you!

Comments are closed.