People always ask me what it’s like having twins.

Is it hard?

Is it overwhelming and are they different and how do you handle it and is it really a challenge?

And I always tell them it’s double.

Double the joy, double the work, double the responsibilities, double the drama…..

…..and double the blessings.


They just started middle school, those double blessings.

And for the first time ever, this fall, they decided they wanted to part ways and choose different interests.

One is a cheerleader.

And one is a basketball player.


The first basketball game was this past week.

It was a flurry of activity.  There were uniforms to fit and long practices and plays to learn and sidelines to perfect and wondering and hoping and worrying and chattering and discussing what needed to be done before the season started.

And then the season finally began.

Both twins decked out in red uniforms with matching blonde pony tails and shiny new shoes and eyes sparkling with anticipation.

One sister cheering from the sideline.

One sister playing the game on the court.


It was a tough game.

Both teams were evenly matched.

First one basket, then another and another and another.  Then we were tied.  Then we were behind.  Suddenly my daughter had the ball.  You could almost see the look of determination on her face.  All that practicing and all those drills and hours and hours spent trying to learn the game.

This was her moment.

This was her time.


She dribbled the basketball on the court.  And paused.  And dribbled right and dribbled left, then she lifted her hands in the air and let the ball sail through the air.

It soared toward the goal in slow motion.


The stadium collectively held its breath as the basketball slowly sank into the basket and scored two points…..

…..for the other team.


A basket heard around the world.


The other team broke into screams and shouts of joy and jumping and patting each other on the back with excitement.

Our team stood silent.


Until a tiny cheerleader standing on the sidelines dressed in red swung her blonde ponytail in determination and started a cheer for her sister.

A cheer to tell her it was okay.

A cheer to let her know there would be other baskets and other games and other times to score and she was truly amazing and that this basket did not define who she was or how she played the game.

And that’s the thing with twins.

It’s double the encouragement.

Double the cheers.

Double the swinging ponytail and sparkling eyes and double the belief in your sister and double the shaking off of disappointments and double the bond.

And always, always, always…..

…….double the joy. 🙂

diy locker project thistlewood

PS  My locker needs your vote.

If you have a minute and can pop over here and tell it that it’s amazing we would both be grateful.

Now rock star…..go take on the day. 🙂

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  1. Image for Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces

    This is such a great story, Karianne...sisterly love and support! They are great girls... Love these beautiful photos...old apple baskets are so great. Last year I tried to find baskets for picking our apples, and couldn't find any (even at the farm store)...then I found two at the thrift store! Your wonderful locker got my vote.

  2. Image for Terri Terri

    ummmmmm... once again... in tears at work.... those girls of yours.... how sweet!!! How precious!!! How amazing the bond of true love between siblings.... the cheerleader truly demonstrated the "Love of Christ" for her basket-ball playing sister!!!!! :)... I love that you share real life with us... always awesome.. always inspiring!! AND btw.... I did vote for that amazing locker of yours!!! :) Big Monday Blessings to you and yours!!!

  3. Image for Patricia Patricia

    Karianne, I too have twins, girl & boy (now 35). I was in shock when I was told I was having them. I tell people I cried, and I did, and haven't stopped..LOL!!! I wish I had written down every little thing they tried to do, did and the aftermath. I'm sure we could swap stories galore and laugh and cry together about each one. Totally agree, "Double Blessings"!!! Have a Beautiful Day My "Smiling" Friend. Patricia (NC Coast)

  4. Image for Leona Leona

    A day to be remembered and then laughed about in the future. Twins ? Not an easy task at first. I remember one Mom of twin baby girls telling me " people think its cute, but its hard , and then she broke into tears ". So I did a twin check..........Voted and a pin on pinterest ...Check Check.......double check

  5. Image for Mimi Mimi

    Oh, bless their hearts! Please reassure your sweet basketball player that it's been my experience (26 years of watching jr. high basketball games kind of experience) that this happens at least once a game to somebody. Next week it will be somebody else's turn. :-) Unfortunately, that person probably won't have a wonderful cheerleading sister on the sidelines. Such a wonderful story about such wonderful girls! P.S. What a terrific picture of the Mini Thistles! P.P.S. I love how those red leaves complement the mint?/aqua?/turquoise? box. Very striking contrast!

  6. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    aaawww, Miz karianne, you got me to crying this morning... Bless her heart, but what skill and determination she demonstrated! And a sister's love is an amazing thing to watch.

  7. Image for Sue Farmer Sue Farmer

    I follow your blog but never comment. Until today!! Your twins are the best!!!And. I voted for your locker.xoxo

  8. Image for Julianne Julianne

    With tears in my eyes I read your touching story. Sisters are truly special. While I don't have twins, or a set of sisters in my family of three kids, I know that these moments show true and raw care and love they share for one another! Thank you for making me smile this fall Monday morning in Canada - like you do with all your posts!

  9. Image for Nancy @ Slightly Coastal Nancy @ Slightly Coastal

    What a sweet story! It just goes to show that we are all going to make mistakes, but if we've invested in the relationships in our lives there is always someone there to cheer us on to move forward looking past the mistake. This occurrence I'm sure, in the end, will mean more to her than if she'd have made the basket for her team...even though it didn't feel that way in the moment. As always, love all of your inspiring photos. Happy Monday to you! Nancy

  10. Image for Megan Megan

    Good Morning.... Just popping in....its been a while since I've left a comment swooning about you and your blog and your talent and your house and your accent...... Just had to say Thank You again for always being the "Happy" in my mail email / blog box. Thank you for sharing the purity of being "real"! and btw....your daughters are simply beautiful, naturally stunning! and that is what a happy person is! hugs, Megan W.

  11. Image for Pinky Pinky

    God bless your cheerleading girl who loves and supports her sister. My sister is goung through a VERY rough time right now and lives 1000 miles away. But I am trying to support and cheer her on fom my sideline. She is my only sibling and both our parents are gone so all we have is each other. I'll go vote now!!!!

  12. Image for Toni Toni

    Oh my......despite the wrong basket it sure shows your daughter has SKILLS when it comes to basketball.....get her going in the right direction and there will be no stopping her! And with a cheer leading sister.....they are a team to be reckoned with I just bet!

  13. Image for Christina in FL Christina in FL

    Oh Kari Anne, you always have my vote! I adore your "lockers" and I love your writing style and your girls are doubly Blessed as well. :) Happy Autumn!

  14. Image for Nancy Nancy

    The story was heart warming. The photo of your girls is beautiful. I have twin grandchildren, a boy and a girl, who are almost six. They are the best of friends and then, not so much. This year they are in separate K classrooms, for the first time and loving it. Just voted for your adorable lockers.

  15. Image for NormaJean NormaJean

    Those beautiful sisters don't even know yet how blessed they are to have each other! Such a bittersweet moment, for them and for you. In the end, love trumps all! BTW, I did vote for your "lockers", not because you are such a sweet friend, but because they were the most original use of the cubes. Where do you come up with these ideas? I would never have looked at those cubes and visualized them as lockers. You are amazing!

  16. Image for Kimm at Reinvented Kimm at Reinvented

    Oh my goodness, so sweet, I'm tearing up here in Ohio. Such sweet girls with a sweet mama! AND I LOVE that locker, so there's that... Hugs to you Karianne, have a great day!!

  17. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Aw, that's so sweet. I don't know what I'd do without my twin sis. :-) (my mom always said she wouldn't wish twins on her worse enemy - we wore her out as babies, I think.) She did have 4 other children ages 2 to 9. And later, she said we were her biggest blessing. :-) Ok, girl. I voted for you! Good luck.

  18. Image for Byrdie Byrdie

    You can reassure your baby girl that this has happened even in a (gasp) UK basketball game a time or two. We take basketball pretty seriously here in KY...and it happens even to the very experienced players.

  19. Image for mary beth mary beth

    It is amazing that you feed the kids the same things and raise them under the same roof but they turn out different. But still the blood runs deep! (Voted, because again - awesome transformation)

  20. Image for Amy W, Amy W,

    Your Twin's Story warmed and deeply touched my heart! Isn't that what living a good life is all about? Looking forward to reading many more stories about them! 2 Very Awesome, Twin Sisters, and Girls they are!! Wishing you a Super Great Day! -- By the way...did vote...and honestly? ....thought your's was the best entry! Hope you win! :)

  21. Image for Susan Susan

    LOVE your lockers and showed my love by voting! I'd marry them if I could. :) Awwwww, your little mini-Thistles are the best...that's because they have such good and loving parents who have taught them to respect themselves and one another! Well done, Thistle Family, all-around...shakin' my pom poms for you! ;)

  22. Image for Dale D. Dale D.

    What a wonderful, moving experience for a mom to witness and be a part of. Double the prettiness, double the talent and most important, double the sisterhood ♡

  23. Image for Kim Kim

    This is literally the first time I have left a comment on a blog...but I MUST tell you that the story of the wrong basket is UNIVERSAL! I happened to me in middle school, and every single time folks talk about their school days there is at least one person who had the same experience! Heads high! You are not alone!

  24. Image for Cindy Cindy

    That...was a GREAT story!!! Love it:) I remember when my Aunt was going to have her first baby(s)- I told her it was a good thing that she was having twins first because then she wouldnt know any different! Lol!

  25. Image for Deidre Deidre

    I, too, loved the story. Your girls certainly have a wonderful loving bond. Please tell your basketball player that not just basketball players get mixed up. When my husband was in high school, new to the team, he ran the football all the way down the field for a touchdown , yep, into the other team's goal! ...and lived to retell the story with lots of laughs!

  26. Image for Kris Kris

    Hey, at least she can get the ball in the basket! One of my most humiliating middle school experiences was not being able to make a basket during gym class. Next game will be better--except what can be better than a sister encouraging you during a difficult moment???

  27. Image for Sherry Fisher Sherry Fisher

    Oh what a game, and how proud you are of your girls. They are becoming such lovely young ladies, and sounds like they are best friends that have each other's back, too ☺️

  28. Image for Pat Pat

    Love the lockers. And I am also an identical twin, so easy to follow your twins and the wonderful stories of their youth. When we were seniors in high school, I remember waiting at the water fountain for homecoming queen candidates to be announced AND my name was listed and kept looking for my twins and it didn't show up. I cried as I wanted both of us to be together.

  29. Image for Karen S. Karen S.

    You tell that sweet girl that most of us have a basket memory, .. and we are stronger and better for it. No shame, and a "you got this girl!!" Your family sounds adorable... you you are a rock star Mom.

  30. Image for Rhonda Rhonda

    You're the best, you little Thistlewood sweetie...loved the story and loved seeing your beautiful girls. And, your locker....well, perfection!!

  31. Image for Lois@pineridgehills Lois@pineridgehills

    Sisters are a force to be reckoned with to throw twins into the mix...well, I understand.....I have three daughters! Your girls are beautiful......cherish this time, they grow up so fast.....and your locker is.......sigh.......a Keeper!

  32. Image for Gail Gail

    We all have some kind of basket story.. Tell her it will get better.. Love the love shown. Sisters are the best. ALWAYS when needed esp.

  33. Image for Suzanne Suzanne

    Karianne, I love how you wove the baskets and the story of your girls together. They are also doubly blessed to have each other -- and you! xo Suzanne

  34. Image for Donnie Donnie

    Tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. Precious story. I have a brother and sister who are twins and twin granddaughters just a little younger than your girls. You are right - double, double - wouldn't trade the double dose of joy for anything. You are such a bright spot in my day - thanks for all you do! Can't wait to see the Alabama house - I've been following Esther's videos when she was searching and found the home and began her planning. I know what you add will be spectacular! Send some of your cool our way - still warm in Florida.

  35. Image for Julia - Vintage with Laces Julia - Vintage with Laces

    Your pretty girls are so sweet, KariAnne! You've done a great job raising them! I certainly voted for your fabulous locker. When I was in school, we didn't have lockers (in Germany) and I always had locker envy when I saw them in American movies, LOL. It's hard to believe that yours was a simple shelf once. Great job!!!

  36. Image for Rowena Philbeck Rowena Philbeck

    I just found your new site. I was missing the postings. Glad you are still around. Well, I didn't have twins but I have twin grandsons or rather had. When they were 4 years old my daughter was in a car accident with a drunk driver and one of the boys was killed. It was 18 years ago and like another lifetime ago for sure. They were a mess and always grabbing the other one bottles etc. Twice the love for sure. Then my oldest son had a boy and 10 months later a girl so they are like twins..part of the year the same age. Its a joy in any case!!!

  37. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    Whew!! I'm late today but we've been super busy. I just finished voting for your lockers and of course I read your story twice. I'm like that you know. I love happy endings -- and your stories are treasures to be read again and again. And under all that pressure -- by golly, she made the basket. YAH!!!!!!!! Great job. You've got a great family and you all rock!

  38. Image for Aphrodite Aphrodite

    Who cares about the locker,shmocker! Your story about your twins is beautiful, so poignant; l could feel a collected sigh relief when she made the basket, and your little cheerleader! Oh what a treasure in an earthen vessel, they both are! Girlie, you are "raising them right, " l applaud all of you! !!!!

  39. Image for Katie Nelson Katie Nelson

    As a mom of twins (just started kindergarten), this made me teary eyed! So awesome! I love the bond that twins have.

  40. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    I grew up the oldest of six girls, and I was eight when my identical twin sisters were born. They have been everything from a pleasure to a pain. Today I turn 62, yet they still are the babies. They are very talented. They have a love-hate relationship. One now lives in New York City and the other in Kentucky. We will see how this works out because they have ALWAYS had to live close to each other!!! I voted for your locker because it was the Rock Star of the projects!!!

  41. Image for Lynn Lynn

    What a lovely story...made me smile this morning. And your photos are beautiful as well. Thanks for sharing both and the least I could do after the joy you gave me was to vote on your locker. Good luck!

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