Family Room

I have written posts on kitchens and dining rooms and burlap drapes and porches and pancakes and barn doors and pecan pies.

And somewhere between the pom-pom pillow and the pallet top desk….

….I wrote a post from my heart.

A post about the ability to live each and every day to the fullest.

A post about a twirly whirly skirt.

It’s such a simple post, really.   But when I wrote it…..I left my heart on the page.

When I wrote it I cried.

And then I laughed.

And then I counted my blessings.

It is my favorite post I have ever written.

So when my incredible friend tara, offered to create a hand-painted sign for me with anything I wanted painted on it.


I didn’t hesitate.

I knew.

I knew the words that would truly represent so many of the chapters in the life of our family.

“I hope you dance.”


Between You and Me


Here is our sign.

And here is the post that inspired it:

The Twirly Whirly Skirt


One of the twins had to have a twirly whirly skirt.  I guess twirly whirly skirts are all the rage if you are ten and Hannah Montana is your fashion icon.

I saw her outside one day.

Arms lifted to the sky.

Blonde hair floating in the wind.

With a smile on her face.

And her twirly whirly skirt was whirling.  Whirling ike it could whirl until today turned into tomorrow.

And my heart skipped a beat and filled with overflowing emotion and awe.


Awe at the joy and the abandon with which she twirled.

I wanted to pause that moment in time.  You see, time is so fleeting and the years rush by faster and faster than a twirly whirly skirt could ever twirl.  And one day in the not so distant future, that skirt will become a distant memory.


Fireplace With Sign


So I wanted to imprint that twirly whirly skirt on my heart forever.

For the storms ahead.

For the teenage years.

For the challenges and difficulties that life sometimes puts in our path.

I want to tell those twirly whirly skirted girls….when faced with the mountains and valleys of life….

…..I hope you dance.


I Hope You Dance


I Hope You Dance

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean

Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens

Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you’ll dance…..I hope you’ll dance

                                   ~Mark D. Sanders & Tia Sillers


PS  Thank you so much, tara for your beautiful artwork.  You are amazing.  And the two tiny girls in their twirly whirly skirts thank you, too 🙂


PPS  To see more of tara’s incredible artwork or to create your own family sign, stop by the Between You and Me ETSY shop.  She has also generously offered to give Thistlewood Farm readers a 10% discount for the entire month of October and simply enter the code THISTLEWOOD at check out and happy shopping.

Please note:  This post was sponsored by Between You and Me but all twirly whirly skirt opinions were completely and utterly my own.  For more information see my disclosure policy.

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  1. Image for Alice Alice

    As I read this tears stream down my cheeks. I remember those days when I would watch my girls play and enjoy the thrill of being a carefree child. Cherish every day because all too soon they will be all grown up. These days will sustain you through the teen years and when the twins have children of their own you will again get to watch as they twirl and enjoy the wind in their hair. God id good! We all can dance, if not on our feet, in our hearts.

  2. Image for Sandy Miller Sandy Miller

    Of all the blogs I read, yours is by far my favorite. You have such imagination and love for life. Thank you.

  3. Image for Beverly Beverly

    Made me cry on the original post, and now it has made me cry again. KariAnne, this is such a perfect and lovely gift for you and your family.♥ Signed, A former spinner and skirt twirler. (The only reason it is former is because these days I would probably get dizzy and fall on my butt. And besides, now my head spins.)

  4. Image for Yvonne @ StoneGable Yvonne @ StoneGable

    KariAnne, What a great sign! I just love that saying too! So nice of tara to make a sign for you! I could see that sign in my home as well! I just keep saying and saying.... I LOVE YOUR STYLE!!!

  5. Image for Barb @ Grits and Glamour Barb @ Grits and Glamour

    Beautiful sign for a beautiful room. Love that song and those words, too. One of my fave quotes is also a song - from Rascal Flats. Its called My Wish. Maybe I will contact her about making me a sign too. I don't think I remember seeing this side of the room, as a whole. LOVE! See you soon. xxoo

  6. Image for Gina Gina

    WOW! This song has meaning for me, too, but about my mom. Several years ago it happened to play overhead at my local Publix supermarket. There I was, crying in the cereal isle, thinking about my mom! And it is the title of your post. Kari, how do you always know what's in my heart?

  7. Image for Debbie Hein Debbie Hein

    I remember reading this post the first time. I remember it so well because it made me think of when my own daughter liked to twirl. Since they are now 36 and 29 there is not alot of twirling these days...ha. But my oldest daughter does have a daughter of her own who is 5, and Bailey is a great twirler. I love the words to this song, and it holds a special place in my heart. My youngest daughter has one of her very best friends who sang this at their highschool graduation. Since these girls had been friends since "brownie" days, it was very emotional to hear this sweet voice sing it at graduation. They are still friends today, and I often think of that moment as we prepared for these girls to go off to college. All the sleepovers, trips to the mall, dances, proms, etc. all flooded back when I heard it. Thanks for reminding me. P.S. I also have a card I framed from that ceremony with the words to that song hung in my house. It also brings a smile, followed by a tear, when I glance at it.

  8. Image for Cheryl Thornton Cheryl Thornton

    made me cry reading this post...aching for the days when my daughter was 10 - she's now 22 - we have been through the teen years and there is no more dancing on the lawn, arms outstretched, twirling in the wind...cherish that memory, because as you said, the days and years go by fast...what a wonderful memory this sign will be for you and your family...congrats

  9. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    Great sign, beautiful saying...precious post! Cried while I read it...very true saying....may we all continue to dance! ;)

  10. Image for Arranged To Sell Arranged To Sell

    I LOVE THE SIGN AND WORD ALSO!!!! I played that song at my oldest daughter's high school graduation party along with photos of her growing up on the computer. The words mean so much to me especially now as she is living and working in NYC. We all hope as one door closes another door opens for our children as they try to make their way in the world. Also, that they always DANCE! Thanks for sharing this blog, now I have to go dry my

  11. Image for Pinky Pinky

    KariAnne, you are so right: time passes WAY faster than any twirly whirly skirt can twirl. This was my daughters favorite song years ago. I remember her twirling and running and loving life. She is now 41 years old!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Where does the time go???????????? I would like to ask you to say a prayer for her if you would. She is sick right now and I am worried cause the Drs. can't figure out what is wrong but it invloves her HEART so is very scary. XO, Pinky

  12. Image for Leslie Stewart Leslie Stewart

    This is a truly beautiful post. Hold on to those twirly whirly days, because you're right…time is fleeting. This really hits home for me today, because in a few hours I'm taking my daughter on a college tour. Where did the days go? Thanks for sharing! Leslie

  13. Image for Regina Regina

    This means a lot to me today. My 17-year-old is in the midst of listening for God's call on her life. She still loves twirly-whirly dresses, and now when she lifts her arms, it's to worship God. What a blessing. I miss those carefree 10-year-old days, but when I think about the blessings to come, I smile! Your posts always seem to make me smile, even if it's through my tears! Bless you today!

  14. Image for Rosalyn Rosalyn

    KariAnne, I have to agree....this is my favorite post of yours! Just brought tears to my eyes knowing, all too well, the truth in your wonderfully chosen words. Thoughts of 3 generations of Twirly Whirly Skirts have filled my mind with joy this morning! Thank You!

  15. Image for Linda Adams Linda Adams

    Karianne, I hope when you "wake your house up" every day you pause for just a moment at that beautiful sign and carry the message out every day. Thanks for the beautiful post and reminder. Joyous Wishes, Linda

  16. Image for Athena at Minerva's Garden Athena at Minerva's Garden

    What a lovely post, KariAnne--it is so easy to lose the joy in life, but possible at any time to find it again if we remember the important things. Thank you for that reminder, and I loved the pictures of your home you included in this post--very beautiful.

  17. Image for Kathryn Cain Kathryn Cain

    Yesterday, i was with My Son and Family, deliverring my granddaughter a little piece, she calls it her closet that grandma made...She came out on Tip Toes. ....and started to twirl and say Toodles...they just got back from Disney World...O Toodles and Twirling..A little magic, made me remember being a kid and the feeling of securtiy in your own home with the people who love you....Love this posting and the way you write...tuggs at the emotions...the Sign...that song is my favorite, as it reminds me of my Mom, she used to dance while doing the dishes...She loved to dance...and now she has the Big A, and does not rememeber...but music is the one thing that still connects...My Sis and I say she is over the rainbow and I add she is dancing...this song will be played at her memorial when the day comes, as well as a wonderful version on Over the Rainbow...Thank you again and so inspiring.

  18. Image for Claudine Claudine

    Awwwww, Karianne!!! I LOVE the post!!! Somehow I missed this one!!! I also LOVE Tara's work, I actually have the Sunshine sign in my son's bedroom! Yep, shipped all the way to Canada! I read your post out loud to my husband, and had to hold myself not to choke in tears... Hugs, Claudine

  19. Image for Jenn Jenn

    I love that son, I love your room, and I love that sign!! Just gorgeous and your writing is inspiring as always. Wonderful post and perfect for our Canadian Thanksgiving today! Jenn xo

  20. Image for Anne Anne

    Beautiful sign and I agree, your best post ever. And your family room is divine... I am feeling so envious. sigh. I love my house, I love my house, I love my house... I feel better now :) Thanks for all the wonderful inspiration you offer, your beautiful soul as well as your interior design skill. xox

  21. Image for Kerryanne @ Shabby Art Boutique Kerryanne @ Shabby Art Boutique

    Every family needs a poem, a song or even a dance. Almost every home with a little girl has had a twirly whirly skirt or two... so I love that you have these words to live by and to remind you of a memory. Not a bad affirmation to live by KariAnne.

  22. Image for Michelle Michelle

    Your post made me cry as I too have a twirly whirly girl who loves dancing and singing and talking to herself. Thank you for helping me to forget the argument I had with her this morning and love her for the beautiful and spontaneous girl she is! (Love the sign too!)

  23. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I have always loved this song and this post is one of my favorites. I have boys so we don't have any twirly skirts in our house but the words still resonate with me. I'm a firm believer of When One Door Closes One Door Opens and I have always prayed that my boys will give Faith a Fighting Chance. Just repeating those words brings a tear to my eye. I'm reminded daily just how fast time goes by. My sweet little boy is no longer little he is a freshman in college and learning about closing doors and praise God he is giving Faith that fighting chance. I'm so thankful I found your blog. It is by far my favorite. I love your creative writing and your beautiful home. Tara's artwork looks amazing and I can't wait to have a piece of her art in my home.

  24. Image for Gwen Gwen

    And I do. In the car. At stop-lights. Particularly when my 13 year old is with me and some cute girls are stopped next to us. I just can't help it. Dance with all that is within the depths of your soul...

  25. Image for Mrs. C Mrs. C

    That is one gorgeous sign! I love it, the style, the lettering, everything about it. And I remember reading that post, one of my faves too!!!

  26. Image for Ellora @ Creatively Southern Ellora @ Creatively Southern

    Love this post and brought tears to my eyes - just thinking about my little girl - now only 17 months old and cherishing every single moment with her. It is already going so fast. This quote means alot to me as well. My mother has played that song for me a thousand times and it always brings tears to my eyes just hearing it. This is so inspiring. Thank you for sharing from your heart and now, I'm gonna go hold my girl! :) xo

  27. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Very beautiful post. I have a daughter, all my memories special. Making new ones with her, she is newly married. What I would give for just one more day of her being little, dancing, in a twirly skirt... Very sweet. Blessings, debbie

  28. Image for Marian Marian

    Karianne, I think this may be my favorite post yet, What a lovely sign, and what lovely thoughts to racord for yourself and your girls forever. Isn't that why we all take photos and write journals and blogs and books? So we can remember that our lives were full of moments and keep the beautiful ones with us? I read this as I was waking up today. What a wonderful way to start a day full of things. Marian

  29. Image for Jeannie-JB Jeannie-JB

    I Love the song and for years I couldn't listen to it without pulling off the road to cry {If I was in the car}. It came out right about the time my daughter was going off to College {out of state - across country}. I haven't heard it in a while and I'm pretty sure I might still have to pull over to cry. Love the sign - love your blog and my goal is to make it to the Southern Bloggers Conference in 2013 - see ya there.

  30. Image for Debbie Debbie

    I got goosebumps reading this post, love the twirly whirly skirt part. They grow up so fast. The sign is absolutely gorgeous!! Both of them are...I love them and will be checking out her Etsy shop. Debbie :)

  31. Image for Angie @ Beneath the Magnolias Angie @ Beneath the Magnolias

    Every time you write about little girls and fleeting time I cry. I have a little girl who is 10! I am in the same place you are. I have those little moments that I want to freeze in time. I want to remember every little detail and moment forever. I pray all the time for the Lord to help me to never forget twirly skirts, sweet hugs and kisses, and the way we feel about each other right now.

  32. Image for debra debra

    That is a beautiful beautiful post.....I could just picture your little girl twirling around and enjoying herself and her skirt : ) Yes time is fleeting and goes so quickly...reading your post reminded me of when my boys were young and now they are grown and while I have a little grandson where did that time go...he's already three and won't snuggle or cuddle so much anymore.... Your post and the sign are evocative and lovely...

  33. Image for lizzy lizzy

    I am 59 and I am wearing my twirly whirly is never too late to play and dance. Thank you for reminding me. Happy New Year....

  34. Image for Deb Miller Deb Miller

    What a beautiful post! Who among us doesn't remember what it was like to be a little girl in a twirly skirt? Life seemed so full of possibilities then. What a sweet thing it was for me recently, when I reconnected with a childhood friend only to learn that her husband is Mark D. Sanders, one of the writers of this beautiful song!

  35. Image for Amy @ StowandTellU Amy @ StowandTellU

    I forgot just how fun that twirly skirt used to be. I need to go out and get me one. Great songs make awesome signs. What a lovely post and reminder to dance at every chance. Thank you and Happy New Year, Karianne !!

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