Remember when I showed you this picture of the staircase?

We’d just painted it Sherwin-Williams Sandbar and I was so excited and talking about rooms with new outfits and planning out the rest of the house and how the renovations were coming along and how I needed art.

In the middle of all that pontificating, did you happen to see the tiny room at the top of the stairs?

The one that’s kind of trying to introduce itself, but the chairs and the chandelier cord got in the way?

The one with the story.


That room.

It wanted to say hello.

So let me make the introductions.

Here’s a closer look.

It sits between two bedrooms on the upstairs floor and it’s had a long and illustrious career as a room.

(total aside:  Buddy literally wants his picture to be in every post.  As soon as I pull out the camera, he follows me around and starts POSING.)

The current plan is to put built-ins where these desks are.

There will be cabinets on the lower half of the wall and then a bookcase on either side that travels up and around the door.

There is also a french door that goes between the rooms.  The previous owners took it off and I kind of like the openness that not having the door creats, but I’m keeping the door in the attic just in case I change my mind.

Here’s the view of the room when you walk inside.

I know what you’re thinking.

If we were sitting down over coffee, you’d give me that look and say something like, “KariAnne, I know you love neutrals.  I get it.  I understand.  But for the love of all that is good and right in this worldWHERE IS THE COLOR?”

And me?

I’d smile.

And tell you that you haven’t seen the curtains yet.

Rest assured.

Color is on its way.

The walls are the original shiplap.

They used to have a thin layer of wallpaper on it with the shiplap underneath.

The walls are totally imperfect.  Shiplap wasn’t originally designed to be seen, so the boards are uneven and have gaps and are not the perfect shiplap that you see all over Pinterest.   This is old school shiplap with all of its flaws.

But I love the imperfectness of it.

Maybe it’s because this tiny little room has a special place in my heart.

This is the room I brought the twins to when they came home from the hospital.  Our house was under construction at the time and I had four little children under the age of seven and I needed help.  So we moved in with my parents during the renovation.

This place was my home away from home.

The twins were born super tiny.

Whitney weighed 2.2 pounds and Westleigh weighed 2.8 pounds.  You can read more of their story here and here.

It was a rough road in the NICU and when I finally brought them home they were still little.  When I carried them into this space, Whitney weighed 3.12 pounds and Westleigh weighed 4.6 pounds.



Itty bitty precious bundles of joy.

These bookcases were there at the time.

There was a braided rug in the room with a couch between the bookcases and there I’d sit.

Day after day and night after night.  Holding those tiny babies close and watching and hovering and worrying and wondering.

And praying.

Praying that they would grow strong and tall.

Praying for tiny fingers and tiny toes.

Praying for the future.

Praying for all the dancing and laughing and cartwheels and twirling and spinning and running that was to come.

And that one day they would jump and hula hoop and leap for joy and run through the house with their tiny bare feet and live out their dreams…

…and fly.

And now?

Life has a funny way of bringing things full circle.

This is their space.

Their safe haven.

Their place to share their hearts.

Their tiny room to live and laugh and dream.

And reach for the stars. 🙂

PS  The other twin, Whitney, is trying out for the drill team today.

I’m still praying. 🙂

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  1. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Good Luck to Whitney!! Prayers for her, and her biggest cheerleader, MOM. I will always cherish this saying " you give wings to your children in the hopes they never forget their roots"....(or something get the meaning!) So true. Love the anticipation of color in the curtains, too!

  2. Image for JC at the uncommon pearl JC at the uncommon pearl

    I love the special lineage this room has for your girls. I'm with you on the neutrals! They are so calming, then if you need a pop of color you have the freedom to use any color for any season or mood. I do hope your girl gets her heart's desire. Mamas never stop praying❤

  3. Image for Lydia Lydia

    I always love a good "Circle of Life "story! What a blessing that those beautiful but tiny baby girls have grown into beautiful and strong young women. You have touched my heart once again and I'm thankful the Lord let me discover you Karianne!

  4. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    I love this and the story behind it! So glad the house gets another chapter with you. It's a beautiful space and I can't wait to see how it evolves! Praying for Whitney to get her dream!

  5. Image for jillian jillian

    I really love the all white! After years of color I have come to a place and time where I love and need the peace this offers. I am sure your curtains will be nice, but wish they were going to be pale. Love the rug too...where to find such a pretty rug?

  6. Image for Denise Cox Denise Cox

    Aptly said, Lydia, about your "Circle of Life" story. And, if anyone can weave a story, it's Miss KariAnne 😘. I for one, am a color fanatic. But I am getting used to the neutral family as it seems that most of the bloggers I read prefer neutral palettes in their homes. Looking forward to the improvements!

  7. Image for Denise Cox Denise Cox

    Oh... And good luck to Whitney! No need to worry, though. She has her Mother's genes... She'll make it... 😉

    1. Image for Thistle Wood Thistle Wood

      Rachel, Yes! We changed his food! He's gluten-free now and it has done amazing things for him. The vet couldn't believe it. So thankful and happy! karianne

  8. Image for Ann Teague Ann Teague

    I hate to ask perhaps a sad question, but what happened to your Yorkie? I will never forget the time you sent all the kids off to camp and then sat in the car crying, when a tiny little foot started to pat your leg in comfort. I’ve been there and am now in the grand baby stage, but I remember. Life’s fun no matter what stage you are in. Love your new “old” house and can’t wait to see the rest of it.

    1. Image for Thistle Wood Thistle Wood

      He was my best friend. For two years I never wrote a blog post without him. Sadly, old age took him from us. I haven't said anything about it because just thinking about it makes me cry. karianne

  9. Image for Patti Patti

    Your talent as a decorator is only surpassed by your talent as a story teller. You bring tears of love and joy and faith to my eyes. Thank you.

  10. Image for Janette Deans Janette Deans

    It is stunning, colour or no colour, I LOVE IT, good luck to your beautiful daughter, sure she will triumph, just like Mum does.... Happy Easter to all..xx

  11. Image for beverlee beverlee

    She IS her Mother's daughter, she will make it. (I remember that , and the happy that came after.) 3 years of busy, and I still miss it. Everything is beautiful...I don't think it needs a lot of color, it is peaceful. But, it is your room. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Image for Marty Oravetz Marty Oravetz

    I love this space and the story of the twins. However where are the other children. I don't recall seeing them on your blog or hearing you talk about them much. Share with us, we love seeing the family.

    1. Image for Thistle Wood Thistle Wood

      Marty, LOL! I need to! The boys don't like having their picture taken. Zack is a senior this year and about to go off to college and Denton is already at Baylor! I'll try to get a family picture this Easter! Happy day friend! karianne

  13. Image for Yvonne Shafer Yvonne Shafer

    Hi KariAnne! Is this room between two bedrooms, like a shared playroom? I’m trying to figure out the layout. Seems like a very large house! Love your plans for the doorway bookcase!

    1. Image for Thistle Wood Thistle Wood

      Yvonne, Yes! The two doors on either side lead into a bedroom. It's kind of like a sitting room for the upstairs! Does that make sense? Happy day friend! karianne

  14. Image for phyllis phyllis

    Your writing speaks to me because I can "hear" you sitting and sharing the words. I think Buddy works quite well as your "pop of color", with or without the coming curtains. I hope you will share where those galvanized and wood baskets came from, and if you really up for sharing, those wire baskets also caught my eye. Easter blessings to you, your family and your house of memories.

  15. Image for Rose Rose

    You have the most beautiful stories. I love reading them all. How exciting you get to relive all these stories again & again with each stepbyou take to redesign your home. You are a beautiful woman KariAnne Happy Easter 🐣 Much love, Rose

  16. Image for Sherry Sherry

    Hi KariAnne, I too was wondering about the boys and if they had reached the point of not wanting to be talked about. It is such a change when they start to move away for school and other opportunities. I remember driving home from dropping our youngest at college and my husband and I crying for 8 hours. Not constantly but long enough.

    1. Image for Thistle Wood Thistle Wood

      They are doing super well! Zack is on the varsity baseball team in high school and just hit a grand slam in the baseball game! Denton is in college at Baylor! Happy day! karianne

  17. Image for Linda Linda

    Your room is pretty, white and very peaceful. IAM sure your girls love it ! So happy to see Buddy " in every post ". Praying you and your family Have a wonderful Easter blessed by our Lord .

  18. Image for Jan Jan

    You have touched my heart today! I went back and read the girls’ birth stories. I was a NICU Mom, to triplets born at 30 weeks. It’s so different to look back now, isn’t it? Mine are now 24, with no signs of problems. God is so good!

  19. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    Praying for that sweet Whitney today! That room is amazing. And the full circle of tiny Thistles now sharing more stories there makes my heart melt. I about cried when I read your Bonsai very sorry, friend. Beautiful home. Thank you for sharing! Happy Easter!!

  20. Image for Gina Gina

    So glad the girls have their room back. What a great gift you have given them. Thanks for updating us on the boys in the comments. My son Michael is a year behind Zack.

  21. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    I'll be praying for Whitney (and mama)! Don't blink... these days will be gone sooner than you realize. LOVE the little room at the top of the stairs, by the way.

  22. Image for Sandi Sandi

    Hi, fairly new to your blog. Read your first book & loved it. Also have your new book really like it. But no where in any posts/blogs can I figure out how you got from the wonderful house in Kentucky that you worked so hard on to your childhood family home in Texas. Is there a story somewhere I am missing. I am sure it is a great story.

  23. Image for Patricia Patricia

    What a beautiful, soothing, tranquil room - I have to say I love it in all it's neutralness ! Please don't ever try to stop Buddy and his photo bombing ! He is the cutest ! Do I dare ask - where did you find that cozy, soft, luxurious looking rug ??

  24. Image for Melody Winchester Melody Winchester

    I love all of your stories but this one made me tear up reading about bringing your twins to that room and now you live there and they play there. What a sweet story and great memories!

  25. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Love that Buddy wants to be in all the pictures! He adds a little bit of fur to them :) Your rooms look so relaxing and calm!

  26. Image for Kris Kris

    I think I'll take a nap on your fluffy rug. :) OK, so I think the title of your post today would make a great title for a novel. Maybe a Nancy Drew???

  27. Image for Marisa Franca Marisa Franca

    What a gorgeous room and I love how light it is. I bet the girls love it. Put up their feet and talk. What lovely memories. I would really enjoy seeing the house where I was born and where I lived until I was 5. I can't wait to see the curtains. Happy Easter -- sending hugs!

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