I was raised by the greatest of mothers.


She believed in me when no one else did.

She always told me I could, even when I thought I couldn’t.

She encouraged us and lifted us up and let us write on the floor and walk into the house with muddy shoes and build marble machines in the living room and decorate our own bedrooms and live and design and create until the walls of the house shook with laughter.

I never knew what a hard job it is being a mother.

I never truly appreciated the amazing essence of all she is and was.

I never understood all she sacrificed for us to help shape us into the people we are today.


Until I became a mother.

To celebrate her and all the incredible mothers on this planet we live on….

…here is the story of my favorite mother’s day present (and a few last minute gift ideas, too).

When you are a parent you do a lot of talking.

You talk about being nice and waiting your turn and making good choices and respecting each other and speaking in an inside voice and trying your hardest….

….and keeping your promises.

There are a lot of variations on the same theme.

And in the middle of all that conversation and advice and discussion and pontification, sometimes you sigh and wonder if anyone is listening.

This Mother’s Day my son gave me a gift that let me know…

….he had heard (almost) every word.

You see he gave me a book.

Not just any book.

A book compiled of all the love stories I had ever written on Thistlewood Farm.

All 13 of them.

He took the posts and put them in chronological order and had them bound into a hardcover volume.

And then he wrote an introduction that went a little like this:

“These are the stories of a real-life true love.

Sometimes happy.

Sometimes sad.

Probably embellished.

But what good story isn’t?

You see, KariAnne Wood, the writer of Thistlewood Farm, is my mother.

She’s witty.

She’s persistent.

And, of course, she’s a great storyteller just like her father.

So today, I’m sharing with her (and the world) her love story (as told with gusto by her).

Happy Mother’s Day Mom.

Love, Denton”

And when he handed me the book….

…I didn’t say anything.

I couldn’t.

I just stared at my simple stories written down in a book with real numbered pages with every last exclamation point and ellipse in place.

And I then I started crying.

Not cute crying like in the movies.  Real, honest not-cute crying that comes from a place somewhere deep in your heart.  I cried and stared and the book and cried some more.

And I hugged him.

And cried until my eyes were red and puffy.

And hugged him again.

Then I opened up the book and began to read.

There it was every chapter of a real-life love story.

It started at the beginning.

And continued with our first date.

And the first time I really tried to cook.

And the first dance from our wedding.

And the first time I saw him when he arrived home from his deployment.

And on and on and on.

Every page put together and printed by that wonderful, incredible, generous son of mine.

I had written enough for a book….

…and never even knew it.

I closed the pages and smiled at him.

When did he grow up so fast?

When did he become a teenager?

When did he get so wise?

All those years of all that conversation.

And as I hugged the book and stared up at him with a thank-you in my tear-filled eyes….

….I realized he had been paying attention all along. 🙂

PS  Looking for a few last-minute handmade gift ideas for Mother’s Day?

What about this one?

Or this?

Or this?

Or this one.

Or I think my favorite of all….this one.

Happy Mother’s Day friend. 🙂

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


  1. Image for Cindy Brown Cindy Brown

    Wow! For Denton to have the vision to make this book for you is just incredible! I cannot imagine how deep that love he has for his Mom is. I am so happy that you received this priceless gift from your son. Happy Mother's Day!

  2. Image for Rowena Rowena

    OMG that was a Wonderful Gift. I was teary eyed just reading your story. How sweet!! Thanks for sharing with us.

    1. Image for Lorri Rauscher Lorri Rauscher

      I was going to say the same thing...lol...Denton knew his Mother would love his thoughtful gift. SIGH!!!😍

  3. Image for Suzanne Suzanne

    I remember the first time you posted this wonderful story. I cried and then I told my friends about this amazing story I had just read that touched my heart so deeply. I have a son also, and I believe that is one of the reasons I related to this story so much. Love your blog!

  4. Image for Deb O Deb O

    I cried producing red puffy eyes & a warm place in my heart! Just like you KariAnne! Mother’s are enjoyfully like that, yes they are!

  5. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    Loving this! And went to your links, and laughed out loud at the car playlist that couldn't be sung because of the new deep voice... priceless?

  6. Image for Ann Baird Ann Baird

    Wonderful story! And off the subject, what is that plant with the pink buds I keep seeing? You've probably told us at some point, but I missed it.

  7. Image for beverlee beverlee

    How precious he is, and truly in keeping with the talents of your family. I am thrilled to see this continuing and the love he is showing you. More than a treasure. A luxurious love from him to you. The girls are going to have to run fast to keep up with this boy of your heart.

  8. Image for kathy kathy

    A car playlist! What a great idea! You are a fabulous mother! I wish I were a young mother reading and getting ideas from your blog,... but I am not. My children are grown and married. I will share this with you. When my children were younger, at bedtime I would dance and sing to the top of my lungs, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" (Tina Turner style). When my son was married last June, we danced the mother/son dance to this song. I did tone it down a little for the wedding. You are training your son to be a wonderful, sentimental husband and father. That book is proof.

  9. Image for Terri Terri

    I am about to boooo hoooo all over my keyboard............. sweetest story !!! What a precious and amazing way to honor his Mom !!!

  10. Image for Janette Deans Janette Deans

    Ok, so this made me cry, not just a bit but a lot.....as I sit here amongst the many sobs, still going strong, I realise why I always read your posts, buy your books and love your complete honesty, no wonder you impress your family Kerianne....and please, keep writing ......love to your wonderful, thoughtful son...xxx

  11. Image for Donnie Donnie

    So, now I'm crying. What a beautiful story and such a gift. Amazing young man - but then look at the mother! Thank you for sharing. You are always an inspiration. Blessings to you and yours.

  12. Image for Donna Donna

    The bestest gift is one that comes from the heart.....super sweet and I have always loved your stories. Wonder if all 4 kids would need a copy of the stories. I have written a few teeny tiny stories in scrapbooks but now I am happy I did. I need to have an aunt write a couple stories from that generation. Thanks for the inspiration. You are one creative girl and you have one sweet, thoughtful son. Memories.

  13. Image for Barbara Dale Barbara Dale

    Goodness, I am glad to be in such grand company as I cried reading this heart-warming account of true love between a mother and son. Thank you for sharing this touching tale.

  14. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    What an amazing mom you are- to receive such a beautiful gift from your son. You have provided the room and legacy for all of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Image for Alice Genzlinger Alice Genzlinger

    Ok, I read every story of your life chapter and when I got to Kari Waits For Me, I lost it, I am totally in love with your dad and your husband and I can see why they love you so much. You are just plain precious. Red lipstick and all.

  16. Image for Michelle Baker Michelle Baker

    I welled up with pride with you :) Moments like these let you know you are doing the right things with your kids. Seeing them grow up into thoughtful, caring people is the greatest gift. Savor these moments. They are grown up and gone way too fast. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story.

  17. Image for Sarah Sarah

    I can’t even with the sweetness of this!! Makes my momma heart melt into a puddle ♥️♥️♥️ What a sweet young man you’ve raised...😍🤗

  18. Image for Denise Cox Denise Cox

    What a beautiful story! It says so very much about you as a Mother that Denton did something so special... 😊

  19. Image for sandy wood sandy wood

    Over the years, I have read your wonderful stories. We have become an internet family. I love that you moved to the farmhouse. That was probably one of the best decision in the world. Haven't read everything in detail, so this may already be posted. But where did little Denton have your book made? That would be a big help for me in the next year for a project I am working on. Thanks Kari

  20. Image for Audrey Johnson Audrey Johnson

    What an absolutely wonderful gift. Very thoughtful. He would not have thought of that gift if he had not been raised so well it is a compliment to you as a Mom. Enjoy.

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