Fourth of July

Click the play button to listen to me reading the story

I love the Fourth of July.

Actually I love this country and the men and women of the armed forces who have sacrificed so much for us….so that we might live in a country where we can be free.

And whenever I sing the Star Spangled Banner….I think of a sailor who loved a girl.

And a girl who loved a sailor…..

…..and her Lee Press-On Nails.


When my husband was my boyfriend….he joined the Navy.

At the time, I really didn’t know much about the Navy….except that the uniforms were really cute.

And those hats.


Actually….when he told me that he joined the Navy…..all I could think about was how cute he was going to look in his uniform.  I didn’t really understand about sacrifice and drills and boot camp and shaved heads and leaving for three months to go away.

Oh….and I didn’t understand how much I was going to miss him.

So when a plane ticket arrived in the mail with an invitation to go and see him graduate from boot camp….I was ready.  I planned for three weeks for the perfect “see your boyfriend graduate from boot camp” outfit.

It was royal blue.

With brass buttons and military style detailing.

And matching blue pumps.

And I had my hair highlighted and got a fresh tan and new lip liner and new giant medallion style gold earrings and a brand new set of bright red spiked Lee Press-On-Nails.


Remember Lee Press-On-Nails?

Weren’t they the best?

They came in a set of 10 nails with glue strips that worked really well at first….and then after a while the glue strips stopped working and you had to go old school with the nail glue.

True glamour at it’s finest.


Garden View


And so there I stood on that hot afternoon day.


Waiting in my royal blue suit with the brass buttons and military style detailing and my matching pumps and my highlighted hair and my lipstick and my Lee Press-On-Nails.

That kept falling off.  Or rather….in my nervous excitement I think I kept peeling them off.

And gluing them back on.

Again.  And again.

As I waited for what seemed like forever….as first one company and then another and another and another marched through the chain link fence into the parade area.  And finally….as the very last company marched through…..step by step in perfect time….there in the very center….was my sailor.

You see….he was the captain of the troop.

The leader.

And he was so cute and he was wearing the uniform and the hat and saying all sorts of leader-like things……..“Left….left….left…..right….left.”


Farmhouse Fourht


He marched them right into the center of that parade ground where they paused…..with their white Navy uniforms gleaming in the sun.  Then my handsome sailor turned, faced the crowd and saluted.  And then he said the words that made my heart beat faster…… “Company……halt.”

Company halt.

That was good enough for me.

I didn’t know there was any more to the ceremony.

I mean….the company had marched in….and they were stopped….and I had been waiting and waiting and waiting.

Without pausing…. I leapt up from my seat and ran down from the stands onto that parade field with my Lee-Press-On-Nails flying in the wind.

And I jumped into his arms.

And as he tumbled over and his sailor hat was knocked to the ground….I heard his faint muffled voice croaking out….


And as the sounds of laughter and applause from the crowd surrounded us….a sailor fell in love with his girl….

….and she and her Lee-Press-On-Nails fell in love right back.

Happy Fourth of July.

PS  I was not compensated by Lee-Press-On-Nails in any way for this post.  As a matter of fact….I don’t even know if they make them anymore….but for all the girls waiting on their sailors…..maybe they should.


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


  1. Image for Cindy@OldTimePickers Cindy@OldTimePickers

    Just found your blog! What a wonderful story. I did the press on nails, but they did have a habit of popping off at the most inconvenient times. Have a great 4th! From another Kentucky gal... ~Cindy~

  2. Image for Alaina Alaina

    That is the cutest story. I remember picking up my then-boyfriend, now-husband from the Air force Reserve base after being gone for two weeks. Man did he ever look so good in that uniform.

  3. Image for Danielle Danielle

    There is something about a man in uniform. Being an Army brat I swore I would never marry a military man. 19 years later...well...we are still married and sigh..retired from military life. You are a terrific writer!! I always enjoy your 'stories'!!!

  4. Image for Heather Heather

    Sob! The end. I have my own soldier boy. Will never forget the day he left for Desert Storm...and the day he came back. I ha the dress, highlighted hair and big earrings. Alas unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I was minus the press on nails. ;) Heather

  5. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    i have this vision of you running in your cute blue pumps, metallic buttons shining in the sun...hands waving all around with one missing press on nail...Leaping toward your love...a moment he shall never forget....Now I wish they had that on camera...You could have won $10,000 on the Funniest Video show!!....loved your crack me up!!...(So that is why there are more wrinkles showing up on my skin!!!...)..... Have a safe and wonderful 4th with your beautiful family...and try not to jump in the middle of the 4th of July Parade...knocking down the drum major because you love brass buttons and blue uniforms!!

  6. Image for Michelle Michelle

    What a great story. Oh how I remember the waiting and picking out the perfect outfit. When my husband graduated from OCS I was five months pregnant and flew to Florida to see him graduate. I remember not finding that perfect outfit because I was very much pregnant. I remember laughing as he was leading his class onto the field. He was shouting out orders and his voice sounded so funny. I also remember how darn cute he was in that uniform shouting out those orders. Ah thanks for bringing back those wondeful memories. Happy 4th to you and your sailor.

  7. Image for Maury @ Life on Mars Maury @ Life on Mars

    SO SWEET! I bet you were the cutest couple. My dad was in the Navy when my parents were married and they lived in Maryland for the first 10 months (actually she lived in Maryland while he was at sea). I'm so thankful for those who have served our country including your husband!

  8. Image for Beth the Press Onless Beth the Press Onless

    Oh my goodness I adore you and your storytelling and your enthusiasm and your Lee Press Ons! I'm dying to see pics of you as this young couple. Did your gold medallion earrings have lions heads on them? Those were FAB! I bet you had white pantyhose too, right? I can picture it in my head!

  9. Image for Michele Michele

    I cannot breathe from laughing. OH. MY. GOSH. hahahahahaha BWUAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA I cannot stop laughing, You didn't do this! You are kidding, right? I don't think you are. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Dang, I think I just fell in love with you two, too! TOO ADORABLE.

  10. Image for Gretchen Gretchen

    What a wonderful true story. I too sat on bleachers waiting for my sailor to graduate from boot camp. But you see, my son was the sailor I watched. Beautiful bunting.

  11. Image for Becky Becky

    I can still recite the Lee Press-on Nail commercial verbatim! We used to have contests to see who could say it the quickest. Introducing new Lee Press on Nails. They press on in seconds. No glue – no mess. Simply press on Lee super-stick tabs - then press on Lee Press on Nails. That’s all. Easy on – easy off. Use them again and again. They just won’t break or split. Polish – and they’re nearly impossible to chip. So press on new Lee Press on Nails. In natural and glamour lengths for a variety of sizes for a quick, east fit. Press on!

  12. Image for Diane Allen Parks Diane Allen Parks

    I love your story and had the same reaction when my (Kentucky) grandson graduated from Navy bootcamp in Great Lakes.......however, I did not rush the field! haha (Though I wanted to......having not seen him for several months!) That is such a charming story and look forward to more......I'm sure there are more! Thanks for my laugh of the day! God Bless You!

  13. Image for Anne Presley Anne Presley

    The best part is that he still loves you - nails and all - He learned all that patience in the Navy and it has served him in good stead - hats over to the men and women serving today and all that have served - we are a better, safer nation due to their sacrifices. Happy Birthday America!

  14. Image for Beverly Beverly

    Both of you knew a good thing when you saw it. I've always heard about the charm of a man in uniform, and your man in uniform got his girl that had on her uniform, too. Lots and lots of love to you both forever and ever. And, Happy Fourth of July, too. Are you going to the Cape this summer?

  15. Image for Kim Kim

    Oh my gosh you crack me up! My hubby was in the Navy reserves when we started dating. He was quite handsome in his uniform, too.

  16. Image for Debbie Debbie

    This just might have been your best blog yet! It had all the right elements. I laughed, I cried, I kept wanting to read more... If you could've maybe thrown in a diy project it would have been perfect. Seriously, this was wonderful. I look forward to reading each of your posts and can't believe how wonderful they are. Thank you for sharing this part of your life.

  17. Image for Kimberly from Serendipity. Kimberly from Serendipity.

    You make me smile...and get a little teary....and want to run out and buy a set of Lee Press On Nails and a cute dress, and matching pumps. You're so freaking cute! Alas, as I have no sailor waiting, and my hair needs highlights, I'll probably just paint some chairs (quickly, before company shows up tomorrow). Have a GLORIOUS 4th!!! xoxo

  18. Image for Pat Pat

    Cute, cute post! I used to wear Lee Press On Nail, however, I glued them on and the glue must have been made of something like the military uses to seal ships and planes together. :-) Have a wonderful 4th! xo Pat

  19. Image for Kathryn Kathryn

    Awwwww, Karianne... That is THE. SWEETEST. STORY. EVER! Okay, maybe not literally sweet, like Willie-Wonka-and-the-Chocolate-Factory, drown-me-in-gumdrops sweet... But romantic-comedy, don't-know-whether-to-laugh-or-cry sweet? Yup, you nailed it! :) <3 you... And your gorgeously ornery stick-on nails!

  20. Image for Betsy(@coastal-colors) Betsy(@coastal-colors)

    Awww, those men in uniform! What a precious story! Thank him for his service to our great country and for all of us! Okay, I had Lee, Press-on- Nails, on at my wedding! Stop laughing! I know! It was the only time I had long nails! I was so proud of that picture of our hands and rings! Oh, the memories! Your home looks lovely and ready for the Fourth! Happy Fourth to you and your family!

  21. Image for Jean Jean

    What a perfectly delivered story! It's absolutely ridiculous how the military makes you wait through all that pomp and circumstance before you can get to your MAN! I had to wait through a 45 minute cermony, all the while, my eyes glued on my soldier who had been gone for 11 months. Torture, I tell you! I don't blame your impatience and tackling him....maybe if we all did that, the military would buy a clue and just let them greet their families the minute their feet hit familiar soil!

  22. Image for karen@somewhatquirky karen@somewhatquirky

    Karianne! I was getting ready to go out the door and for some reason I clicked on your blog before I glad I did. Precious, precious memories - wonderfully told! I remember going to my son's boot camp graduation. It was a little different for me emotionally....but I'm picturing a fabulously coiffed blonde running out of the stands to greet one of the soldiers and it makes me smile. Thanks for sharing. Happy 4th to you and your family!

  23. Image for stacey stacey

    YOU DID NOT?!?!?! AAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!! That is AWESOME!! I wish i was there it must have been so cool to see that patriotic young lady, so excited to see her man she just couldn't contain herself! Lee Press-On Nails flying and all! Better than any story i could write!

  24. Image for Traci Traci

    Oh, such a sweet post. I loved reading about your sailor/now husband. And they do still make press on nails, I wear them all the time but next time I wear them I will be thinking of you and your sailor falling in love. Thanks so much for sharing this loverly story. Traci

  25. Image for Lorraine Lorraine

    I already wrote in the email but I HAD to write it here...This is the ABSOLUTE BEST post you have EVER written.....the CUTEST story ever hands down!! Blessings, Lorraine

  26. Image for

    Now that I've seen you, I was TOTALLY picturing you running toward him while you were telling the story! Was there hand waving while running? This was the sweetest post, and it brought tears to my eyes. I have ran toward my husband so many times on his homecoming days, most recently last November when he returned from a 96 day deployment to Afghanistan. He was the Squadron Commander, and the last rotation from that deployment to return home. It brings back such emotion just to think of it. We are so lucky to live in such a great nation (however flawed it may be) and so blessed to have the best military in the world! Happy Fourth, my friend! xoxo -Lisa

  27. Image for Anne Anne

    Karianne, Yes I do remember those press on nails :-) .I am not sure if they make Lee brand but I have still seen those out there.They never really fit my nail beds right.And they were always sliding around LOL. Happy Fourth of July to everyone.And for those that gave there lives for our freedom I salute you! ((((((Hugs)))))) Anne

  28. Image for judi judi

    karianne, you are too stinkin' cute!!! what a sweet, funny story. this reminds me of the imfamous "vj day-unconditional surrender kiss". when we were in sarasota last year we saw a ginormous rendition of this. the feet were huge! see link for the pic. happy 4th my friend and to your cute sailor-man and family.

  29. Image for Whitney @ drab to fab design Whitney @ drab to fab design

    Karianne, this post hit home for me. HIT HOME! You want to know why? Not all that long ago, I went tanning and got a mani/pedi (sorry, no press on nails hehe) and new highlights in my hair and a new dress and new shoes for Navy boot camp graduation. And when I jumped up in his arms his hat fell off too. Fast forward 4 years and he recently returned from deployment on a ship. And I've never been so happy. Ever. Ever ever ever! And now he's out of the Navy and we will always have an American flag hanging from our house. I loved your story so much. Thanks for sharing!

  30. Image for Rachel Rachel

    I just found your blog via your guest post on Whipperberry. It made me laugh, and I loved the project. This post made me laugh--and tear up--I am following you now!

  31. Image for Annette Tracy Annette Tracy

    This was the best story! I thought as I read on, Oh no, she didn't. BUT oh yes, she did! I remember living on Whidbey Island in Washington with my husband and going to church on the base on Sundays and singing the Navy Hymn. It is so beauitful. Love your writing styles and I'm so enjoying your blog. Your house and buntings look beauitful. Happy 4th!

  32. Image for Lisa @ befor meets afterr Lisa @ befor meets afterr

    What a sweet and funny story! I was so excited to see my husband after a long trip that I was running through baggage claim and tripped on some luggage! Needless to say our homecoming was spent getting stitches in my chin!!!

  33. Image for Anne Anne

    Oh for Pete's sake, now you had to go and throw out a post on how much MORE perfect your life is. Way to go KariAnne! Your whole life is such a fairy tale-like life that you give me hope that someday my life will turn around again. So sweet. I'm so glad I got to meet you and your freshy sailor man love of your life. and yes, I, too, used those Lee Press On nails for one weekend because I used to chew my nails all the time and wanted my hands to look nice for once. The glue was awful and those things stuck to my nails for what seemed like an eternity looking like they actually belonged to someone else since they were a good 1/4 inch above my nailbed due to the excess glue I had applied. Finally they fell off, one by one. Thank God. The things you do when you're a kid... lol! Have a wonderful 4th of July. Love you, xxo

  34. Image for Peggy Peggy

    Ah KariAnne, you are so sweet! I knew we were kindred spirits!!! Nope I never wore Lee Press-On nails simply because I have never been able to get over the feeling of long nails but seeing my husband after he has been deployed makes my heart go pitter patter! Especially when he is in uniform!! Yes ma'am, my daddy was in the military for 20 years (split between USMC & Army), I was in the AF for 6 years, my sweet hubby has been in the AF for 24 years, and our eldest leaves for USMC bootcamp later this fall. And do you know what??? every single time I hear the National Anthem I get all weak kneed and teary eyed.... every cotton pickin' single time!! So thank you!! For what? for being true and supportive to your then boyfriend, now husband.... especially during a time when so many guys get/got dumped due to their desire to serve their country! You make me proud! Take care now and have a wonderful Independence Day!!

  35. Image for Meegan Meegan

    Karianne, You brought me to tears. I love your love story. It truly melts my heart. As do Lee Press on Nails :) Loves! and Happy Furth of July! Meegan

  36. Image for Jo-Anne Jo-Anne

    Oh my how I loved this post I can just picture it and I have never used press on nails but I have often thought it would be cool to have nice nails............

  37. Image for HRH Sarah HRH Sarah

    WOW, talk about a tear jerker! What a fantastic story, thanks for sharing. Oh, and thank you to you and your husband for your service to our country.

  38. Image for Sarah Sarah

    That is such a cute story! That long long wait until basic training is over sure does seem to take ages! Totally worth the wait though I think. ;)

  39. Image for debbiedoos debbiedoos

    What a cute cute story! Funny story about press on nails...My Mom was a waitress for many years and would use those nails...well one time, one fell off in someones salad! Not a good day LOL!

  40. Image for Heather Heather

    Wonderful post Karianne!! Yep - I remember Lee Press On Nails - rocked those bad boys for a few years myself!! I married my military man too, my handsome soldier! I fell completely head over heels in love with him when I met him at university and saw that short haircut, clean shaven good looks and big brown eyes! 23 years later and we are still going strong! Is your hubs still in the navy? I'm an army wife!! Isn't watching them on parade just give you goosebumps??? It's a phenomenal feeling....the pride for them is unmeasureable! Have a wonderful 4th of July!! Heather :)

  41. Image for Melanie Melanie

    Are you really did that?! I am laughing so hard just picturing flying into his arms and knocking him over! TOO funny! Ah, what true love and some Lee Press-On Nails will do to a gal, huh? ;-)

  42. Image for Angie@Echoes of Laughter Blog Angie@Echoes of Laughter Blog

    That is just the sweetest & funniest story ever! Awww! The things we do when we are young & in love! I am coming over to Whipperberry to visit! Angie xo

  43. Image for Peggy-PJH Designs Peggy-PJH Designs

    What a wonderful story! So sweet and hilarious! Thanks so much for sharing it. You stopped by my blog and asked about the paint on my bed turned bench. I painted the stencil design with regular acrylic paint but I sealed it with 2 coats of matte polyurethane. Thanks for stopping by and leaving kind words. Peggy

  44. Image for Cindy Cindy

    Such a sweet story, you are a great story teller. I have two nephews in the Military and I appreciate all of the men and women who serve our countries, you see I am in Canada. But, the good news is that we are allies. Hugs, Cindy

  45. Image for Patty O Patty O

    Oh my goodness Karianne!!!! I LOVE this blog the best of all! What a sweet, wonderful story - described in perfect detail - so much so that I could picture it as I read! Love your story!

  46. Image for Sherrie Mock Sherrie Mock

    Love that story! Love your memory and your sense of humor. I'm having sweet tea in your honor. Hold the lime.

  47. Image for Melanie @ The Painted Chandelier Melanie @ The Painted Chandelier

    Karianne~ I found your blog!! Oh, my......I LOVE your story telling and your style! You make me smile and cry, as I reminisce of the glory days of the Lee Press On Nails! I love your sailor story....have to agree, I love a man in uniform. My Dad and brother are Marines....I remember going to my brother's boot camp graduation...I was single at that time. GULP. It was THAT memorable :) LOL I stand in awe at our armed forces men and women, as well. Had a great time looking around your blog!

  48. Image for Betty819 Betty819

    What a great story! Bet your boyfriend was so embarrassed he could have crawled in a hole! I'm surprized the MP's didn't grab you before you hit the parade about being Naive! It's funny now the way you told it but I bet it taught you a lot that day..One question did your boyfriend/husband make a career out of the USN or just served his 4 years? Did his CO say anything to your boyfriend about the incident? Love your blog, it's my first time finding it. Great story teller/writer.

  49. Image for Ria Ria

    I know this post is pretty old already but it made me laugh! I was trying to find out what happened to Lee Press On Nails because back in high school, my best friends mom was good friends with Dr. Lee, the inventor and owner of Lee Pharmaceuticals. He had a beach house in Newport Beach that he never went to so he'd let us stay there, it was awesome...there'd be about 8 of us, all under the age of 21, underage drinking in this amazing house right smack on the beach! Good times:) Whenever I see anything about Press on Nails I think back to that time!

Comments are closed.