I live in a world of pillows on the floor and Cheetos crumbs and state capitols and trampolines and rabbits and deer and tortoises and salamanders and the people who love them.

And I count my blessings every day.

Even when I get frustrated or overwhelmed or weary or challenged…..because I remind myself that these moments are fleeting and the days and weeks and months can sprinkle through your hands like grains of sand.

Maybe that’s why I write our stories down.

To remind myself to rejoice in this day and this moment and these chapters in this life that we are living.


I wrote this back in April and it is one of my favorite chapters in our story…..ever.

This one is for my all-star 🙂




We have a family playlist for the car.

A list of songs that are true classics.

Songs that have been played for years….the lyrics memorized long ago.

Songs that only achieve their full potential when they are sung at the top of your lungs with your head moving side to side…..complete with hand motions and an occasional “Ooo Ooo.”

In unison.

Call it family bonding.


Here’s our family-bonding playlist:

The Eye of the Tiger/Survivor

The Lion Sleeps TonightSolomon Linda and the Evening Birds

Long Black Train/Josh Turner

All Star/ Smash Mouth

We Are the Champions/Queen


Classics…..each and every one.


As usual, the other day the playlist was blaring in the car…..

…..with each of us singing like an American Idol audition was just around the corner.


And somewhere between “Hey now….you’re an all star….get your game on…..go play” and “It’s the eye of the tiger…..it’s the thrill of the fight”….

My twelve-year old paused the music.

And looked at me with all of the earnestness a twelve-year-old boy can muster.


“Uhh…..mom.  I don’t really think I can sing these songs much longer.”

(this statement was followed by an extraordinary amount of throat clearing)

“It’s getting really hard to sing….you know….  (and with great effort and some more throat clearing…..he finished with….)

                                       …..you know…..with my voice getting so low and all.”



To my credit…..I said nothing.

I sat there with my hands on the steering wheel.

Staring straight ahead.

Part of me wanting to laugh.

Part of me wanting to cry.

Part of me afraid to turn a look at him in case he had grown a moustache and seven inches in the last five minutes.


He’s growing up this skateboarding, cup-cake-eating, wildlife-sanctuary-creator of mine.

So I gave the statement all of the solemn consideration it deserved…..

…..and reached over to slowly turn back on the playlist.

And as Smash Mouth started the chorus again, I turned to him and smiled,

“I think you’ll be fine……

……as long as you sing bass.”  🙂


PS  Thirty minutes later he was making a fort in the creek…..maybe his bass-singing days will just have to wait.

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  1. Image for Susan Susan

    KariAnn I love that wreath! What a great, great wreath that isn't only for the holidays! PS I have had All Star playing in my car for years... my baby is going to be 14 and the music in the car has sadly changed to the latest pop music. Thanks for the memory and the inspiration! Susan

  2. Image for Laura Laura

    Such a sweet post, KariAnn. They just grow up too fast, but even though mine are grown, I still sing loud in the car. My grandchildren think it is great. My grandson turned to me one day and said, Nana, I think I get being funny from you. I sure hope so. Hugs, Laura

  3. Image for Karen Karen

    Thanks for the smile and a moment of remembering about this change in our little boy's lives. My son had called home to leave a message for me. He happened to walk by the answering machine as I played his message...stopping dead in his tracks he said "whoa....that's my voice? wow it is getting deep" He was about 12 also and that moment was 15 years ago. AND...yes he does sing bass. I love listening to him sing along to the radio....he could easily do the Josh Turner songs.

  4. Image for Baileywife Baileywife

    I feel ya...my oldest is away in college (hate it)...my other daughter who is a tomboy is now in high school and boys are starting to notice her (hate it)....one of my sons is now in middle school (hate it)....and my baby is in 2nd grade and has grown a foot (hate it)....motherhood is heartbreaking! ~Kim

  5. Image for Beverly Beverly

    Happy Monday, my sweet friend. Love this wreath, KariAnne. And, just at all of those sweet faces to love. You can tell they belong to you.♥ p.s. I've had on my thinking cap. ♥

  6. Image for Gina Gina

    What a cute story! I don't think there is anything in the world that can compare to how quickly our kids grow up! I love that wreath....what a beautiful treasure!

  7. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    You sure do know how to jog our sweet memories, and get the tears a flowing! Sweet story, great response by the mom...wish I had written more things down. Love the wreath too...great for the holidays, or anytime! ;)

  8. Image for Mary Anne Mary Anne

    OK, it's not even 8:00 a.m. yet and I'm bawling. I have a 20 year old son and I can sooo relate. It happens so fast....the growing up part. I looked at all the kids in their costumes halloween and suddenly I remembered his sweet costumes through the years and I cried..hard. And I called him and told him I love him and how I miss all the special days that have brought us to these special days. I loved your post.

  9. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Oh I have tears in my eyes. Those days are gone for me until my children bless me with grandchildren....Enjoy them ( and it sounds like you are!) Love the wreath...think I'm going to make one to remind me of my 2 wonderful blessings! Thanks for sharing. hugs, Cecilia

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

    I love this story! You always bring tears to my eyes because your family reminds me how I grew up! My mom was so bubbly, creative and fun! I do miss her! Love the wreath! I have to make one of these soon! You always inspire me!

  11. Image for Colleen Colleen

    Beautiful wreath and fantastic idea! I have lots of small frames that I have found thrifting. I think I will give this a try. Great story, too. They grow up way too fast, I just kissed my baby good bye as he is headed back to college after a long weekend. Miss him to pieces! Good thing I have two more to smooch on for a few more years. Have a good one Kari!

  12. Image for Carol Mattingly Carol Mattingly

    I think one of the successes of your blog, besides the fact that you have a gorgeous layout and your photos are beautiful, and well I would go on but I won't, is your stories. They are so endearing, truthful and from the heart. Carol

  13. Image for Susan @ Afford Your Passions Susan @ Afford Your Passions

    What a great story, Karianne - thanks for sharing! My son is 12 years old, too, and he doesn't like to song along anymore - not because his voice is getting deeper, but because he thinks it's embarrassing. My husband and I did a silent high-five that we've reached the point that we can now embarrass him; we're going to make the most of this phase LOL (yes, I *am* evil). Have a fantastic, memorable week - I'm so happy for you!!

  14. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    Bless you, Karianne! The best family stories are the incidental, as-life-goes-on stories, and you will be SO glad you wrote them down! Enjoy the sunshine today!

  15. Image for Jenn B. Jenn B.

    Loved your post! I can completely relate to this moment... My oldest is also 12 with the changing voice and "shrinking" jeans. Thank you for sharing this sweet story - I haven't added to our family stories recently, and you've reminded me how important it is to journal those favorite chapters :) I originally found your wreath on Pinterest, and I'm so glad I found/read your post!

  16. Image for Pinky Pinky

    Oh Kariann, this makes me so nostalgic. I wish SO MUCH that there were blogs when my children were growing up and that I had a record of OUR STORIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Unfortunately they are only stored away in my heart and mind. But I forget so much. The wreath is precious and a wonderful idea. I am going to go see the instructions and share this with my young friends who do have young children now. XO, Pinky

  17. Image for Barb @ The Everyday Home Barb @ The Everyday Home

    Double love with a huge topping of adore this wreath. I am gonna look out for these mini frames. I think I saw them for $1 at Old Time Pottery. I know what you mean. My grandson, Roo, who just turned 3 a few weeks ago...said to me when I told him something (in a little three year old lisp) "Grammy! Are you kidding me?" :) You wanna feel old? Have your grandbabies get old in front of you. Excuse me while I go put my dentures back in. Now where's that cane?

  18. Image for leslie harris leslie harris

    I'm so happy that you write things down. You'll never regret those kind of moments. I still look at my twenty year old and remember the most precious comments coming out of his mouth---but only because they made it down on paper. Believe me, the memory really does start to go. tee hee. Leslie (aka Gwen Moss)

  19. Image for Nancy @ Artsy Chicks Rule Nancy @ Artsy Chicks Rule

    Cute story! It sounds so much like my son and me. He is 14 and the baby of the family. Time definitely goes by too fast!! But yes, it is the next phase of life. I'm just not ready to let go of this phase (or the last one!) yet. OH! I love the wreath, btw!! ;)

  20. Image for Beckie Beckie

    Oh my word! Hilarious and sad all at the same time. Looks like your baby is growing up. I will die when that day comes and keep snuggling by 6 and 3 year old right now. ;-)

  21. Image for Kelly@lilypadcottage Kelly@lilypadcottage

    I love this so post so much! Makes me want to go snuggle my little 1 1/2 year old man right now ...but since he is sleeping peacefully I will resist :) Love the photo wreath too, beautiful! Our "sing out loud" song of the moment is Taylor Swift - Never Getting Back Together - totally hilarious to hear a 4 year old sing ha!

  22. Image for tara tara

    girl. we are so in the same stage of life. my 12 year old boy goes between being a grown man (in his own mind) to a lego building boy....all within ten minutes. one minute he's too cool to look at me and the next minute he's asking me to rub his back at bedtime. i'll take whatever he gives me. i bet you're the same way. :) love that wreath....beautimous.

  23. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    Bass, treble, or soprano....he will always be your "rock star"...... Love, love, love the wreath...beautiful creation!!

  24. Image for Ann Ann

    Love this post and all the love and affection it holds! Our teen grandson is going thru his own changes now, but he still loves to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa...for now. Also, LOVE this wreath and I've pinned it and will certainly copy it and soon. Now I'm trying to figure out how to adapt it to an entire skinny Christmas tree. Six feet of family photos? Gotta figure it out!!!

  25. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Our boys and girls are long out of their pre-teens, we have grandchildren now. And one of them is 9 so it won't be long before his voice changes...and that is very scary. You are so right to enjoy them now because they grow up way too fast. And wow!! I love your photo wreath! I am pinning and I think every one of my kids will be getting one of these for Christmas. (fortunately they don't blog so they won't see this! lol) Off to check out your tutorial. Debbie :)

  26. Image for nancy nancy

    SO creative...love this idea for my daughter for graduation to take w/her to college...is it a grapevine wreath and how did you attach the frames?

  27. Image for Karen Karen

    I don't remember when would my son's voice changed. But I do recall kissing and nuzzling his cheeks and telling him that one day his cheeks wouldn't be soft, that he would need to shave like his Daddy.

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