Yesterday….in the middle of happy and bright and harking herald angels and the hallelujah chorus and the parties and the celebrations and decking the halls….

….something stopped me mid-merry...and gave me pause.

It served as a vivid reminder…..that sometimes….amidst all the laughter and the rosy cheeks and the wonder that surrounds us this time of year….

….so many hearts are grieving.

And full of sadness.

And aching.

And hurting.

And sometimes….even the simplest of reminders….like a song or a smell or even the Christmas aisle at Target….

….can almost overwhelm a tired and weary world.


And so today….on this beautiful winter day….

….I wanted to share a little joy with you.



Just in case you needed some.

Just in case this was a hard time of year.

Just in case you were a little sad.

Just in case the holidays were almost too much.

Just in case.

I wanted to share.


Nothing fancy.

Nothing earth shattering.

Just a little joy.

Because today….when I walked outside and the snow was crisp and crunchy under my feet and the icicles looked like diamonds hanging from the twinkling branches….

…..I stopped.

And paused.


I stopped for just an instant to take it all in….and I as I stood there with the warm sunshine on my face and trees rustling in the wind and the beauty of a winter’s day in the country surrounding me….

…..I danced down the sidewalk to the Christmas carols in my head.

And my heart was so full of joy at that exact moment that it was about to burst.


Joy that the magnolia leaves looked so pretty under a blanket of snow.

Joy that the twins’ research papers were almost done and we had learned every possible thing a person could know about these united states.

Joy that my sweet husband looked like an ad for J Crew in his knit cap.

Joy for white trees covered in drift wood snowflakes.

Joy that I discovered the wonder that is the skinny peppermint mocha from Starbucks.

Simple.  Sweet.  Wonderful. Joy.


And I was trying to think of a way to share all this joy.

So I wanted take a moment to to tell you….

…..yes….you with the coffee or the hot tea or the hot chocolate with the mini-marshmallows.


You.  Are.  Amazing.

A rock star.



I thought you needed to know during this hectic holiday season.

And just in case no one mentioned it to you today.

I wanted to be the first.

I mean….you probably already knew how amazing you are….and you probably are like….thank goodness she finally noticed and mentioned it.


And from one rock star to another…..

…..I totally agree. :)

PS  If you get a chance today….maybe spread a little joy in your corner of the world….there’s probably someone else amazing who needs it. :)

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Inspired By Charm



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Shanty 2 Chic


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  1. Image for Julie Julie

    I love your tree. It may be the most striking I've seen in blog land this season. It's wonderful and so festive. You DO rock!

  2. Image for Kendra Day Crockett Kendra Day Crockett

    So enjoyed your post...My 1st Christmas without my Dad and so nice to read and always remember...we may have sad days but life always offers so much beauty and laughter we have yet to experience...just remember to take it all in...Enjoy your Day...Kendra...

  3. Image for Amy W. Amy W.

    Thank-you for a touching of the heart post! What would we do without you in blog land. I always look forward to your posts! Wishing you a Wonderful Wednesday!!

  4. Image for Alison Alison

    Thanks so much for your post. This is the first Christmas without my Mom..been a tough year but so happy for this beautiful time of year!!

  5. Image for Lynn in Florida Lynn in Florida

    Karianne- what a sweet and beautiful soul you are! Heartfelt thanks for sharing your world with us, and reminding us to look for the tiny miracles surrounding us each moment of our lives. You are a blessing, Karianne, and are greatly loved by your fans, of which I am one! Wishing you a blessed and beautiful Christmas. Much love, Lynn

  6. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    Let's all pass those smiles and good cheer forward....this is a hard time for lots of folks! Thanks for reminding us Karianne! ;)

  7. Image for Cheryl at Snaps of Ginger Cheryl at Snaps of Ginger

    So sweet and great reminder. I think a lot of people get the holiday blues. And then add the holiday stress on top of that... So thank you for taking a moment to make me feel special :-) ~Cheryl

  8. Image for Erin Erin

    I love you! No, not in a creepy, I'm stalking you, who the hell is this person way. Just in a thank you for your writing style, your thoughtful, just what I need when I need it, funny, touching, beautiful, first blog I open way.

  9. Image for Becky Becky

    Thank you so much ~ how did you know, as I sat here with my cup of coffee that I needed to read these words from you!! I've never met you but you knew what I needed to read today. The things of the world have been piling up and the mountain was weighing down. Thank you so much for your very kind and thoughtful words. Have a wonderful day! Becky T.

  10. Image for Doreen Doreen

    Just the pick me up that I needed this morning! You, my friend, are the rock star!!! And, you give so many so much inspiration here! Your red and white Christmas decor last year inspired me to do more red and white in my home this year and I've gotten so many compliments - and it began from an idea at Thistlewood! So, thank you! You are the true Rockstar!

  11. Image for Jinny Jinny

    I am so grateful to have found this blog--just a week ago! It was meant to be. Thanks so much for this post in particular :-)

  12. Image for Marcia Marcia

    Just love your brighten my every day. This one especially hit home --- standing by my mother this Christmas in her almost year long battle with re-occuring breast cancer with chemo, radiation and on top of it all, she is now hospitalized due to breaking 2 bones in her leg. We are finding it hard to find joy this Christmas -- a daily struggle to find something good in each day. Thank you so much for your words that touch our hearts.

  13. Image for Janel@NellieBellie Janel@NellieBellie

    You have a such power and love behind your words when you write. It is so wonderful and needed. Reading the comments brought tears to my eyes. I'm so very glad to call you a friend. And so very glad that Thistlewood Farms is in blogland. We are better for it.

  14. Image for Sarah Sarah

    You always say it so perfectly! Love the lipstick red Christmas at your house. It's so fresh and bright and cheerful! Merry, merry, dear one……….Sarah

  15. Image for Kimberly Bruhn Kimberly Bruhn

    K - thank you for thinking of all of us who've had tremendous loss tearing our absolute guts out this year. The reminders this holiday season are immense but, I've chosen to soldier on. Shoot, if I can have a smile on my face and be cordial to others ANYONE can do this (even if I'm faking it some of the time!). We lost our beautiful 17-year-old son on August 29. Michael was out of options to fight the leukemia that tried to strike him down when he was 11. It didn't. You see, he's in heaven now... playing golf with Jesus. Before he passed away last summer, he shared the "Good News" with almost 30 of his friends. Friends that he wanted to see in heaven. He called them from his hospital bed on his cell phone. He didn't think he was going to make it and he wanted to make sure they, too, could see each other and shoot hoop or play a round together again....but only if they chose Jesus. Even a "kid" can have a purpose and this was his parting gift to his young friends. I try very hard to remember this gift when I'm out and people are cranky, snarky and impatient...

    1. Image for Marty Walden Marty Walden

      I'm so sorry for you Loss, Kimberly. What a beautiful testimony you have to share. I, too, know grief and just pray that God will wrap His arms around you as find joy amidst the tragedy.

  16. Image for Susan Susan

    Well, your words are a God-Send on this day. I am 6 days good after an ambulance ride, heart catherization, and diagnosed heart spasms due mainly to that great DISease: stress. Thanks for the encouragement. I have wonderful children and grandchildren to love on and I just want to feel better. I'm trying.

  17. Image for Polly Polly

    KA in KY, A Very sincere thank you for this post! Why do we sometimes think we have to have the BEST, be the very BEST in what we do and we don't! Simple JOY is what we need, and I felt that while looking at the pictures and reading your written word. It reminded me of the Be Still and Know that I am God. Blessings to all:)

  18. Image for Jill Jill

    That is so sweet and thoughtful KariAnne, you are the best! I was touched by your post and just as touched by the comments left by everyone else. God bless.

  19. Image for Judy Judy

    Your post brought tears to my eyes with its sweetness, KariAnne. Thank you for brightening my day and reminding us how much a kind word can mean to others. Merry Christmas!

  20. Image for Lori Lori

    Thanks for such a nice post. I have triple joy this morning, my twins are 19 years old today and my son-in-law just received great health news. Joy indeed.

  21. Image for Jess Jess

    Ok you made me tear up! Not a sad tear but a wow... I needed that tear of joy. Thanks for the wonderful pics and beautiful pick me up. Even though I have only joined your blog a little while ago. I LOVE it and the wonderful person you are. Im blessed just to read it thank you. Now im gonna go kiss my kids and husband and do something fun with them!!!

  22. Image for Marty Walden Marty Walden

    You are such a gift, my friend. I continue to be amazed at your writing. Because I've met you and know that everything you say comes from a heart of sincerity and kindness. Yes, Christmas is hard for many people. I have spent year in grief and pain, especially over my mom's tragic death on Christmas Eve. The year she died we had snow on Christmas Day and it was a true gift from God because it does NOT snow in NC on Christmas Day! Amidst grief there is always joy if you know the One who is the truer source. Thank you for just being you.

  23. Image for Marisa Marisa

    Thank you KariAnne for the sentiments, I think you're a rock star too. Sometimes we get so involved in the hectic pace that we need to stop and think of the truly important things in our lives: love of family, friends, and country. It is amazing that the more love you give the more you have to give. It is an ever filling well of goodness. Have a wonderful day.

  24. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Beautiful post, Karianne. Lovely pictures, and the images you conjured up in my mind while reading...precious. Thank you for a bit of joy on this cold winter day. Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season, Merry Christmas! Debbie :)

  25. Image for Catharine Inniss Catharine Inniss

    I, too, am filled to bursting with joy. And baking I will spread the love far and wide, starting with my husband and doggies today and spreading out to my bigger world tomorrow. I feel like a RockStar, you RockStar. Hugs and kisses for you. Catharine P.S. Muskoka is absolutely gorgeous today. I think you should look it up on the map :)

  26. Image for Ronda Zalenski Ronda Zalenski

    Thank you for being the wonderful person you are! You're an inspiration in many many ways! I also have twin girls....a little older...16. They are my sweet sweet girls! I get so much from reading you're blog and comments......makes me happy!

  27. Image for Laurie Laurie

    Wow! I was so touched by your post! I am very sad because yesterday I had to put my beloved 12 year old Golden Retriever to sleep. You never know what people are going through and how kindness can make such a big difference! Thanks, I could feel the love!

  28. Image for Kari Kari

    I'm so glad I found your blog this year! It has given me so much joy, I can't tell you how much...a LOT. The only sad part about your blog is not being your next door neighbor! ;0) Love and JOY come to you and to you glad Christmas too and God bless you and send you a Happy New Year and God send you a Happy New Year! Sing on! (song: "Here we come a Caroling" or "Caroling Medley" which mixes a couple of good songs like "Caroling, Caroling" by Nat King Cole as in..."Caroling, caroling thru the Thistlewood farm" - No. Really. Those are the words. Thistlewood Farms. Okay, maybe not, but you could tweak it!) Kari

  29. Image for Carolynn Carolynn

    Dear sweet Karianne, Thank you for the gentle fragrance you have blessed me with on this first Christmas without my Mom. On Thanksgiving morning my Mother slipped away into the arms of Jesus. She was surrounded by children and grandchildren. Your thoughtful and loving post is truly a gift! Blessings and love, Carolynn

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