In orthodontic news, last week the twins got braces.

It’s kind of one of those milestones in life.  You know.  Like taking your first step or losing your first tooth or the first day of kindergarten or memorizing the multiplication tables or learning how to ride a bike.

Except maybe not as fun.

They were so excited about the new adventure.  They counted down the days and talked to their friends about rubber band colors and grinned at themselves in the mirror and tried to imagine what they would look like with braces on.

And then early one morning they arrived at the orthodontist’s office….

…and walked out with a new smile.

vow renewal 22

At first the braces didn’t hurt.

But I was ready.

I was prepared with applesauce and shakes and pudding and soup.  But they didn’t want any soft foods.  They told me they were fine….

….and laughed in the face of jello.


Until later finally arrived.

twins imagination room

They are troopers, those twins of mine.

Even when the braces started hurting, they didn’t really complain.  Most of the rest of that day and the next they simply sat with sad faces and sipped soup and held their head in their hands and tried not to move their mouths too much.

It broke my heart.


Later that afternoon one of the twins came into the living room and curled up next to me on the couch, laying her head on my shoulder.

“I’m so sad, Mom,” she said, tears welling up in her eyes.

I put my book down and looked at my weary, blue-eyed, golden-haired teenager, trying so hard to be brave.

“I’m so sorry,” I said, wishing I could wipe every bit of the hurt away.  “Are you sad because your mouth hurts?”

“No,” she sighed softly. “I mean that’s part of it, but it’s not really what I’m sad about.”

“Is it because braces aren’t as fun as you thought?” I asked curiously.  “Is that what you are sad about?”

“No,” she said. “That’s not it, either.  It’s something so much sadder than that.”

Oh no.  This was serious.

This was sadness central.

twins braces

Suddenly, she burst into tears.

“Mom, you don’t understand,” she sobbed.  “I was upstairs trying to sing my favorite song…..and….and….I couldn’t.  Every time I would try to sing, I couldn’t get the words out fast enough.  I tried and tried…

….but I couldn’t get my lip over the top of my braces in time.”

I wanted to laugh out loud.

I wanted to tell her that braces would pass.

I wanted to fix her some more soup.

But I didn’t.

Instead, I told her not to be sad, not to cry, not to worry.

I could sing extra for both of us. 🙂

PS  When I saw this yesterday I almost cried.  Thank you Country Living for the shout out.  I adore you.

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  1. Image for Susie @ The Chelsea Project Susie @ The Chelsea Project

    Oh those sweet little girls. My heart breaks for their mouth pain. In my former life, I practiced pharmacy and can't tell you how many times I counseled parents to premedicate with ibuprofen (Motrin) before getting the braces and before the dreaded tightenings. Right drug. Right time. Right dose. It was my old motto. But now, I do DIY..... LOL..... but for you, KeriAnne, I'll dust off the old shingle. XOXO Susie from The Chelsea Project

  2. Image for Nancy @ slightly Coastal Nancy @ slightly Coastal

    What a sweet story. She'll soon be able to sing her favorite song when that lip adjusts. I swear my Hayden didn't smile a toothy grin for a month. He looked like he had tobacco in both lips. Now, he has his big smile back again...braces and all. Sweet girls. Nancy

  3. Image for Amy McConnell Amy McConnell

    Oh I hate to hear that! Went through that recently with my 12 year old daughter. She was so upset after getting her braces on because she realized she couldn't play her flute anymore. But it did get better and she is playing well again! Please tell them it will get better and they will be back to normal before they know it!!

  4. Image for Melinda Melinda

    Congrats! You made it into the top five!!! You do a great job of decorating; that is why I follow along:) Your girls are so sweet. I can relate to you as a mother who went through the braces stage with my kids...they will love it in the end when they have them off. Changing out the bands to suit the season? My daughter and son did it all. Bands for their college teams, orange and black for Octorber,hey the list goes on. Get out the was if you have any.

  5. Image for katzcradul katzcradul

    It won't be but a few days and she'll be singing again, and all the words will come out right. A few days of getting use the braces is all it takes. My teen experienced the same thing. He now plays both clarinet and trumpet with braces and sings in the high school choir. No problems. Your daughters are so lovely.

  6. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Oh KariAnne. Did she tell you it was ok, you didn't need to sing for her? I remember that story...ha! Too precious. They look adorable with the braces too. We went through the braces thing too. Some good, some bad but in the end, straighter teeth ( and room in their mouths!). I love that you got the shout out in Country Living! And surprise! I follow most of the ones mentioned. (No surprise really. Y'all all rock!) I jumped up and down for you! Yay!! Hugs, Cecilia

  7. Image for Becky Becky

    Oh my, brings back memories. Three kids, three sets of braces. We did it all, appliances, rubber bands, expanders, the list goes on. We even did a dumpster dive for a retainer once. Yep, that day I had one panicked kid getting off the school bus. Tell them, it's not fun but it does get better. They are such pretty young ladies. Hang in there girls!

  8. Image for Barbara Barbara

    Beautiful sweet girls! I worked in an orthodontic office for 18 years, so I understand. Keep smiling and singing, it will be all worth it the day the braces come off!

  9. Image for Terri Terri

    Awwwww..... poor baby just wants to sing............... (like her Mama !!! ) :) .... This too will pass and she will be oh so happy with the "After" !!! lolol... and of COURSE Mama will sing extra ( for as long as it takes ... Right?? ) PS: That first pic of both of them... made me smile.. 'cause I remember when you posted that !!! How time flies !!!!!! Have a great day Karianne !!!!

  10. Image for maureen mawby maureen mawby

    As a past voice instructor, tell your daughter it will all work out. Her tissue will adjust to the braces in her mouth. She is junior high I am thinking and it should be about having fun singing with some beginning vocal technique if she is thinking seriously about music. Most of the work is done with the tongue and a wide open mouth anyways. Junior high hormones are in high gear at this age. Your girls are lovely and sensitive. You are doing a great job as a mom and they will be fine! Give them lots of hugs!

  11. Image for Becky Becky

    Karianne, I'm commenting a second time bc I just went to the Country Living site and I just want you to know I would SO watch your show!

  12. Image for Beth Beard Beth Beard

    The twins are gorgeous! Braces are difficult to get use to and it will get better. It takes time. I love the idea of you on HGTV!! I so hope it happens! I would watch it everday! Your show would be amazing!

  13. Image for Terri Terri

    Ugh, those first several days when it hurts to move your mouth...looking like a ventriloquist when talking. But, alas, it gets better and the inside of our cheeks and lips adjust in their own way. How do I know this? I'm 56 (soon to be 57) and I just got my braces off a couple of months ago. Yep! 20 months of braces for an old-er lady. Best thing I have done lately! Tell your precious girls if this old gal can do it!, they will be rockin' those braces in no time! They are so beautiful now, imagine their smiles down the road!!!

    1. Image for Jennifer Jennifer

      Hi Terri! Your comment made me smile! I am 52 years old and just got braces this past April! I have wanted to do this since I was a young girl. Finally my turn! It's a bit different for us "old-er" girls! However, I do agree it is the best thing I have done for myself in a long while! Enjoy your new smile!

      1. Image for Terri Terri

        Jennifer, you will be so happy you did this for yourself! It's worth all of the inconveniences! In the meantime, smile big and have fun with color only do this once!!!

  14. Image for Sherri M Sherri M

    I was wondering how they were doing. Tell them to hang in there. I was almost fifty when I had mine. It will be so worth it. I have to say, Country Living has good taste. I see a Farms show in the future.

  15. Image for Cindy Brown Cindy Brown

    You tell that adorable daughter that she will be back to singing normally in no time! My 14 year old granddaughter is a singer also and once she got used to her braces, she was back and competed in state competition and got excellents from the judges. So no worries and shine that bright smile!

  16. Image for june june

    HGTV needs to wake up and smell the roses...happy to read Country Living is shouting out praises of your talents!! What I love most about your blog is it literally feels like you are talking to us. You are a very gifted woman Miss Karianne and I would LOVE to see this become a new chapter in your life:) Give those lovely daughters hugs and lots of TLC.


    Oh poor things, it's a season and it'll pass but sometimes it seems like forever!!! (I had braces too, it seemed an eternity!) YAY For the Country Living shoutout!!! How could they NOT!??? You are so amazing! HUGS Terry & Agatha

  18. Image for Carol Neibling Carol Neibling

    Would love to see you on HGTV and replace some of those old, worn out shows. Be sure you let your humor, tenderness and talent and freedom of spirit show. You would have a huge following. Love those twins who will look and be like mommy.

  19. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    Hey, Country Living, I agree! And on that note, bring back the shows that show you how to make something or a smaller decorating project that we can REALISTICALLY do ourselves, without hireing a crew of 25 people to totally revamp the entire house.

    1. Image for june june

      You hit it on the head. My sis and I were just chatting the other day about all the great shows that HGTV started with. I miss their holiday specials. I have noticed however between the influence of blogs and I'm certain some of those fixer upper shows their seems to be more pride in street appeal when I drive through neighborhoods...especially those with 20+ year old homes

  20. Image for Sue Sue

    I bet those other blogs were tickled to be in a category with the fabulous Karianne. As for those two cutie pies,the pain is going to be worth it when those dazzling smiles are reflected in the mirror. In the meantime, hang in there! My girls used wax to help. (Do they still use wax?)

  21. Image for Cindy Pierce Cindy Pierce

    The twins are beautiful before and after braces. Give them some hugs!!! Country Living is right, you are so talented!!!

  22. Image for Susan Susan

    Awwww, I'm so very sorry for the pain the Thistlettes are experiencing and that they are finding it difficult doing some things they used to do easily...I hope they can keep in mind that braces aren't forever...and with Mommy singing extra for them, they've got the tunes covered! :) Those are some of the most beautiful smiles EVER, by the way! And very happy congratulations going out to you, KariAnne, for your shout out from Country Living!!! They are only saying what I've felt all SHOULD have your own HGTV show...I'd happily watch every single day!

  23. Image for Mindy Mindy

    Oh - such sweet girls! There is a learning curve wit talking and singing but she will get there. Big congrats on the shout-out from Country Living!!

  24. Image for Maureen R. Maureen R.

    I would love it if you had a show on HGTV; and it would revitalize the network's offerings. So much fun for you to be acknowledged in this way! Love this blog!

  25. Image for Shelley @ Roots North and South Shelley @ Roots North and South

    The twins are so pretty with or without braces! And I would so watch you on HGTV. I've mostly given up what used to be my 24/7 channel because of all the real estate shows. They need you and your big personality to breathe life back in to that stale network. You would put the "H" and the "G" back in HGTV my friend!

  26. Image for Michelle Michelle

    The pics of the girls are all adorable--with or without braces. And you're such a sweet, caring mom to take their teenage earth-shattering dilemmas seriously. And, by the way, you totally deserve your own HGTV show! I would so watch. You know I would!

  27. Image for Patricia Potter Patricia Potter

    Sweet Girls.. My kids went through it and as the saying goes..This too shall pass!! But they will have the most perfect teeth and the Singing Twin will sing even more beautifuller!! (I meant to spell it that way)!! Would love to watch you on your own HGTV show. That would be Stellar!!! Working on my twig wreath..!! Patricia (NC Coast)

  28. Image for Shawn Shawn

    KariAnne, although this does not have anything to do with your most recent post (love them all!), can you share where you got the metal oak leaves that appeared in some of your recent and older posts? Thanks in advance.

  29. Image for Susan Takeda Susan Takeda

    Thank you for sharing such great stories about your twin girls. As a twin myself, I can relate to your two sweeties. I am like your cheerleader and my twin sister is like your basketball player. We are so different in many ways but have a unique bond as twin sisters. My twin lives in Danville, KY while I am still in Orange County, California. She is a tomboy at heart and a police officer who loves her country life. I am a city girl who loves dressing up, entertaining, decorating and going places. When you share stories of your girls, I am transported back to my youth and the hours my twin and I shared together, including getting braces. Thanks again for being such a great story teller.

  30. Image for pamela lepage pamela lepage

    Its always hard to see our children hurting, Not much to do but comfort them and help any way we can... Congrats!! on the Country Living Mag. Choice. Have an awesome day!

  31. Image for jae jae

    Those poor sweet girls! Of course braces dont last forever, their winning smiles will, but I remember my daughter in tears from the pain. Breaks your heart! Country Living is just affirming what we have been saying all totally rock!!!! Glad you are getting your well deserved recognition.

  32. Image for NormaJean NormaJean

    How can you still look THAT cute and have a mouth full of braces? BTW, your Country Living focus? I saw that in the cards for you waaaaaaaaaaay back!!! Can't wait for it to happen.

  33. Image for Patty Patty

    Your daughters are absolutely beautiful. Country Living is my favorite magazine and I couldn't agree with them more!

  34. Image for Kris Kris

    I have checked out many of those bloggers recommended by Country Living, and I like them, but you remain my favorite. :) Oh ... not just one, but TWO bills for braces at the same time! I'm sure mom and dad are feeling their own pain! I will keep reading to see how they transition with their braces--my almost-13-year-old will likely be needing them in the next year or so. Sigh. Anyway, they are beautiful girls and I think, as they get older, that I am getting better at telling them apart. Their features are maturing. One of those bittersweet things that happen.

  35. Image for Randi Randi

    Ah, there is a big dose of sweetness in this post! And your girls look adorable in their braces. Just can't imagine the bill for two...!!!

  36. Image for Kathy Kathy

    Your girls are so pretty! Hope things get better for them. Congratulations also! I just got done reading some headlines on yahoo and saw you were one of 12 bloggers who should have their own HGTV show. It was from Cosmopolitan I believe. I look forward to every of your posts.

  37. Image for Pinky Pinky

    Your girls are so sweet and bEAUTIFUL with their braces. I know the beginning is hard but by next week they will be singing their hearts out. CONGRATS again on the CL shoutout!!!

  38. Image for Ellen Ellen

    The Twinthistles are so beautiful- they look so like their beautiful Mother!! These photos are treasures, I couldn't pick a favorite but really love the last one with their braces. It is a "painful" experience, I remember my own going through it long ago. At least they can share the misery! You are the best Mom, loving and so supportive. I agree with Country Living, you would have the best show ever! Thank-you for this sweet post- keep on singing!

  39. Image for Jean McGee Jean McGee

    After my four daughters had had their braces it was like MY turn and I was in my mid forties. I was advised to read aloud when I first got them - that was a BIG help. Now I am 76 1/2 and still using my night brace...........after all that pain I don't want my teeth moving. One night I did forget my brace and let me tell you when I went to put in my brace the following teeth let me know I had forgotten the brace..........and it was only one night............YUK!!!! This too shall pass girls and Mom. Jean McGee

  40. Image for Peg Peg

    Oh those mini Thistles are just as beautiful as ever!!! Number 4 on the list, huh? Well you're number ONE to me and many other of your other readers, I'm sure!!

  41. Image for Botanic Bleu Botanic Bleu

    KariAnne, Where to start? Yes!!!!!!! A Thistlewood Farms HGTV show would be a big hit. Your girls are beautiful, and these photos will become more treasured as they grow older. Your first photo is amazing. Did you shoot it in RAW? Judith

  42. Image for Angie M Angie M

    I can't carry a tune in a bucket, but I'd be devastated if singing was totally out. She'll get used to them. I'm sure. Oh and I agree with Country Living! You would be awesome on TV!

  43. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    My heart goes out to your sweet girls...but it will get better! What a super shoutout from Country Living! I would so watch your new show ....are you in contract negotiations yet? ;)

  44. Image for Shirley Shirley

    Your girls are turning into such beautiful young ladies. Love the photos. But not being able to sing Taylor Swift songs..... I feel for them. What a great honour to get a shout out from Country Living! They know what they are talking about. I also follow Lauren I must check out the other ladies!

  45. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    Three of our four girls had braces and I remember their days of pain, as I do my own (tho' mine were many. years. ago. teehee!)! Your two lovelies will soon see that all returns to just a slightly bit different, though still very good, normal! As for Country Living recognizing you, I wonder why it took so long!? And to HGTV: "Let us know her day & time slot, please ~ her audience is here WAITING!" Above all, you're No.1 the Farmhouse Style Blogger in my mind (and many others') I see! Love everything about you ka, and your sweet family, including those guys! Grins & Hugs, kj

  46. Image for Marijean Jenson Marijean Jenson

    Cutest story, hands down , that I've read all week ! Thanks for sharing. I'll be listening for the singing!

  47. Image for Marian@CMShawStudios Marian@CMShawStudios

    #4 on that list is pretty impressive, lady! And how's the book? You keeping pace? Your kids look like they have inherited your fun and goodness. You can see it in their eyes, braces or no. The Other Marian

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