I never met a happily-ever-after I didn’t like.

I can’t help it.

I’m all about a movie where everyone walks off into the sunset together.

You know—like the one about a girl who owns a coffee shop that she’s poured her heart into where everyone in the town drinks coffee and has an epiphany.  But tragedy strikes and she’s about to lose the shop because the economy has taken a turn for the worse and she tries to hide her sadness behind a super sad smile.  It looks like all is lost. It looks like there’s no more coffee shop. It looks like cappuccinos and frappuccinos and whipped cream are a thing of the past. Then suddenly a New York playwright shows up in town on a white horse, looking for inspiration and soul-saving and he drinks her coffee and writes a play and falls in love with her and saves her shop.

Or where the girl meets the guy and he’s a famous cooking personality and has his own show and she doesn’t really know how to cook and she finds him overbearing and obnoxious and thinks he knows everything about cooking (which he does because he’s a famous chef) and she wants nothing to do with him even though she has to promote him because it’s part of her job.  And along the way, she notices that he has amazing hair and discovers that underneath all that bravado is an incredible man who’s just lost his way a little.

Just a little.

And she falls in love with him.

And he falls in love right back.


Cue the fireworks.

That’s how I pictured love.

That’s how I thought it should be.  You know….red roses that show up unexpectedly and poems and songs composed in your honor and sparkling stars in the sky and trails of petals everywhere….

….and fireworks.

Fireworks every day.

Just like in the movies.

And so I got married to an incredible man and waited for all the romance to show up.

And occasionally it did.

Over the years there have been some flowers and singing and once I heard a version of roses are red when I made him potato salad and sometimes across a crowded room those twinkling brown eyes make my heart beat faster and I see sparkles.

But along the way…..you know what I’ve discovered?

You know what they never really talk about in the Hallmark movies?

It’s that sometimes the happily-ever-after isn’t in the grand gestures and proclaiming your love across the Grand Canyon or on the big screen at the football game….

….sometimes love is in the everyday.

In the smallest of gestures.

In the littlest of moments.

Sometimes when you least expect it…..a little piece of happily-ever-after shows up.

Like last week.

I was traveling home on my 1700th trip this summer and I was tired and weary and worn and trying valiantly not to cry as I looked up and saw a mile marker that told me there were still 27 miles to the Kentucky border.

I just wanted to be home.

I just wanted to see my family.

I just wanted to sit for a minute and breathe and put my feet up and drink sweet tea and have someone tell me stories about their new back pack using words like “savage” and “on fleek.”

Suddenly my phone rang and my husband’s voice came over the car.

“I was just checking on you,” he said.  “How close are you?”

At the sound of his voice, I started crying.

I told him I was worn out.

I told him I just wanted to be there instead of here.

I told him I didn’t want to smile one more smile or start one more conversation or talk one more word. He listened to me quietly as my frustration and sadness and worn-outness poured out of me.  He listened to my complaints.  He listened to my tears.

And then when I was finished?

He didn’t say a word.

Instead, he sang to me.  He sang songs about my name and old country songs and new praise songs and songs about country roads and songs that made me laugh and giggle and nod and sing along.

Every. Single. Mile.

He and his guitar sang me home.

PS  And I promise you….I heard fireworks. 🙂

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  1. Image for Linda Pinion Linda Pinion

    And that is the magic my dear! There is something in us ( at least many of us) that says "cry" when we are tired. That release of tears is good, it's cleansing. It's like, okay, now that I got that out of my system, I can move on! Music is the equalizer in all of us. Did you know that music is used to help Alzheimer patients re-connect, settle down, because it's comfortable and soothing to them? Funny how sometimes they can't remember what they had for breakfast, however, they can sing every word of a longtime favorite hymn. Glad you are home. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Image for Martha Martha

      You are so right!! My Mom, who passed away last month was a prime example of this. Shortly after having hip surgery, her dementia in full bloom,, and barely knowing us children--she sang the entire hymn of "How Great Thou Art"!! So amazing!!

  2. Image for Stephanie Ray Brown Stephanie Ray Brown

    Oh my he is precious! And knows you well, Glad you got home safely and was serenaded. Lucky girl you are. Lucky guy he is. Cute couple! Love a good love story especially when true. Bless you friend for sharing yours. A good cry always needed when weary and worn out. Take care of you sweet pea.

  3. Image for Teresa Harral Teresa Harral

    So touching! Such a beautiful reminder that while we may be looking for hallmarkers in our life we do not see the many many acts of love in the day to day!

  4. Image for Debra Debra

    One of my greatest regrets is that I didn't record my husband singing to me, especially "You Are My Sunshine". Be sure to do that. My husband passed away four years ago. Aside from his companionship, I miss his singing and he made me laugh all the time. You and I are both very lucky women indeed.

  5. Image for Donnie Donnie

    You are blessed. I, too, love the hallmark movies. However, the reality of forever love is the day to day, even when it's hard. After 47 years, still holding hands, trying to be the first to guess the group singing on the radio and laughing. Refreshing laughter - same old jokes, same old stories. A lifetime of smiles and laughter - shared joy.

    1. Image for kddomingue kddomingue

      Ain't it the truth? Grand gestures are nice I guess. But it's the small everyday acts of thoughtfulness and love, the shared laughter, the sharing of sorrows, the comfortable shared silences, the inside jokes.....those are where the forever love lives and thrives. We're 37 years into our life together and looking forward to the next 37!

  6. Image for Janette Deans Janette Deans

    You made me cry....in the best possible way....what a beautiful story and I hope you keep it close and tell the children all about it one day....enjoy your days together....so precious...and thanks for sharing...xxx

  7. Image for Cathy Clark Cathy Clark

    I don't usually like sappy stories (cause I don't have sappy in my life), BUT I LOVE this story and it made me cry!!! JUST BEAUTIFUL!!!

  8. Image for Toni Toni

    You don't need to watch a love story.....you are living one......a REAL one! Bless your husband. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Most times, it's the LITTLE things that add up to the best "let me show you how I love you" of all time. Glad you are home hearing about on fleek, savage backpacks and those twinkling brown eyes are in the same room with you. :) Happy Friday, Rock Star!

  10. Image for Linda Linda

    can I edit my totally mistake ladened comment? ...sucker not sicker... .I chalk it up to more college paper work and dog grooming appointments.

  11. Image for Rev. Suzanne Rev. Suzanne

    What a precious moment between a husband and his much loved wife! Karianne, not all your treasures are stored in Heaven for you. This blessing is right here for you. In my romantic imagination, I can imagine the hug you shared when you arrived safely to his arms. God bless you both and your family, in Jesus' name, amen and amen.

  12. Image for Rev. Suzanne Rev. Suzanne

    Sorry for the two comments. When I sent the first, I received an error message so wrote a second. Problem was, I could not recall exactly what I had written. Either way, whichever comment shows up, you are blessed.

  13. Image for Jill Brewster Jill Brewster

    Dang.......your posts never cease to move me...now I have tears running down my cheeks and no one to sign to me.....I hope you are home for a while and can relax and just spend some family time at home......Jill

  14. Image for Michelle Michelle

    That's just the sweetest and best happily-ever-after I've ever read. Made me tear up. Seriously. Have a blessed day, get some well-deserved rest and enjoy that beautiful family of yours, Karianne!

  15. Image for DeMarie DeMarie

    Oh, my. I'd say you've got a keeper there. If the adage "we live our lives in quiet desperation" is true, then "it's the little things that mean the most" that makes our lives worth living. Sometimes a look is all we need.

  16. Image for Julie Julie

    Love this...I have a sparkly brown eyed guy too! But he can't sing.....lol. But after 38 years he can just look at me and I hear music!!!

  17. Image for Bonnie Bonnie

    That is so very, very sweet to read. I'm so glad that you have a husband like that in your life and I'm sure he is glad that he has a wife like you to encourage him and lift him up when he needs it.

  18. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Awwww, that is so sweet! I love your stories like this. It just does my heart good to know there are still marriages out there still working. (And yes, mine is one of them. I'm just not the storyteller you are. :) ). So cue the fireworks! And thanks for the heart smile! hugs, Cecilia

  19. Image for Theresa Theresa

    You are so blessed with a true life love story... May the blessings continue so I can read about them.. I enjoy how your words tug at my heart strings ... Thank you!!

  20. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Oh, my. What a sweet sweet husband. I heard the fireworks myself. Here's to the sweet life, dear friend. You deserve it.

  21. Image for Kris Kris

    Aww. My hubby doesn't sing ... but he knows when to do those little things that are making me feel overwhelmed (like, for instance, washing the dishes). And his goofy humor makes me laugh. I'll take that any day over Big Gestures.

  22. Image for Marci Lackey Marci Lackey

    I feel blessed each time I hear my husband...like when the garage door opens announcing that he's home or when he tries to sneak behind me while I'm pondering world issues while doing dishes. I feel blessed because I know that I am loved each and every day by a man who is good and kind. I feel blessed because I know HE led me to him. Each and every day I know that my life is richer because of the vows we made all of those years ago. I am blessed.

  23. Image for Debra Matcovich Debra Matcovich

    Come on, are you sure you didn't take the end of that Hallmark movie you were talking about. Could you please send your husband to New Jersey to teach my husband how to play a guitar.

  24. Image for Jolene Jolene

    How sweet and how special. Fireworks are great, but the moments like you described are so precious and is what a good marriage is all about. It's the little things at the right moment, that are so BIG in that moment. Thanks for sharing. As a new blogger, it is easy to get discouraged. Your sharing as an accomplished blogger the struggle with being overextended and tired, encourages me to keep on going--I'm putting those big girl pants on as we speak!

  25. Image for Deb Pelton Deb Pelton

    Awww, that is just THE best love story in the history of ever. (I think I just read that somewhere) Anyway, I think and feel that THAT is the best capsule of love-ness eva' . You hold on to that man with the twinkling brown eyes and make him more of that famous potato salad, then take that big ol' bowl and two forks and go out under the night tI me sky and watch YOUR FIREWORKS. You go girl. Keep on being you.😊🐝

  26. Image for Vee Muller Vee Muller

    True love is like that. After 41 years the 'little thing's keep coming. Like the other day I was having an off morning and had my coffee in the living room without making our bed first. I just love a made bed. Well an hour later I went back to the bedroom to find that my knight had made our bed. I too am a lucky woman!

  27. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    How perfect...he held you with his music. And joy always makes everything better. He's definitely a keeper, KariAnne. He knows your heart.

  28. Image for PJ PJ

    Oh, how I love your story! How lovely that Denton did not advise you to change your ways, but sang you home instead. When we have overcommitted ourselves, but love what we are doing, the last thing we want/need is someone to tell us that we need to give up some of the things we love that tire us. I hope that you are able to enjoy a restful weekend in the embrace of your family.

  29. Image for Diane Walters Diane Walters

    You never cease to make me smile...or sometimes cry but always in a good way...and I thank you for all those smiles. Oh and by the way...that husband of yours sounds like a keeper!

  30. Image for Theresa Kane Theresa Kane

    Why am I crying at your story? because it touched my heart so deeply and I pray to God that I find someone who will love me like that!!! xo

  31. Image for Stephanie Wethington Stephanie Wethington

    I have to say this and I mean it from the bottom of my heart....that is more than simply amazing!!! What a wonderful man you have sweetheart!!!! I know you are not planning on getting rid of him but he is a keeper for sure!!!! I can tell that the two of you have a wonderful relationship and you just go together. Loved your store!!! Always do!!! xo

  32. Image for Sarah Sarah

    *wiping tears* what a sweet guy. And I'm praying you through this busy and wonderful and crazy and lovely time of All the Many fantabulous things for you. ((Hugs))

  33. Image for Nancy Hanselman Nancy Hanselman

    So sweet! You are blessed!!! Thank you for sharing your true love. It is always the small everyday things that are what make true love last!

  34. Image for Madonna Madonna

    Sweeter than sweet. Sometimes I think only woman can relate to this kind of exhaustion. Love how your husband kept you company & knew before you were at the doorstep that you neede TLC. May you have time to recoup. No photos would have been needed here. I loved the other comments. Listen to your heart, listen to the raindrops and you will see sunshine even on cloudy days.

  35. Image for Celeste at Penultimate Home Celeste at Penultimate Home

    I really hate when you make me cry. Like I'm sitting here at work with tears swimming in my eyes and someone is going to ask if I'm okay and what will I say? "He sang her home! (tears streaming)" They'll think I've lost it. Best, tenderest story ever.

  36. Image for Dawn Dawn

    Perfection.... love can be shown in so many ways. I used to feel like a queen when my husband sent roses to me at school. They were tall and pretty and every petal was as perfectly the same as on every stem. We own a large farm. There are fields I don't normally see. One day he came home from a long day in the rows of tomatoes or peppers or okra, dirty and tired. In his hand was the most beautiful bouquet of assorted colored roses, all different sizes, with an intoxicating scent--all shoved in a cut off water bottle. It seems that he had planted a row of roses so that he could bring me home a vase full all of the time. even I that cut off water bottle, especially in that cut off water bottle... they are perfection. Thanks for reminding us to take care of love! It's the sweetness of life!

  37. Image for Cheryl Cheryl

    Yes better than Hallmark or Lifetime as I sit here with tears. What a special husband he is to know and understand what you needed that moment. Not " oh honey, you'll be here before you know it". Love abounds in your home. I so love your posts.

  38. Image for Terri Terri

    Soooooooo.. just now reading this post!! AND... (sniff.... sniff.... ) turns out YOU really did have a HALLMARK ENDING after all ~!!!!! He nailed it !!!! He has stars in his eyes... He totally gets you !!!! WOW...... I love this post!!!!!!!

  39. Image for Gina Gina

    this is a Hallmark movie! I think about you often during this busy season of yours. even though I've never met you in person, I consider you a dear friend. I am thrilled for your success and know that it comes from your hard work and God's grace. I pray that you can endure all that is asked of you without too much stress. you are so very generous and giving of yourself. It's great to know that you have a supportive husband and family. you deserve every good thing that comes your way!

  40. Image for Rebecca Turner Rebecca Turner

    Awww! This one did make me cry! Beautifully woven story! (I'm behind on my blog reading, but catching up now.) Worth it!

  41. Image for laura {not a trophy wife} laura {not a trophy wife}

    This is my favorite post of all time. You captured it! Fireworks are overrated, only last a few seconds and make alot of noise. xo xo excited for the weeks ahead! laura

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