This week we are on vacation.

I have been kayaking and swimming and beaching and shopping and thrifting and sightseeing and simply enjoying the wonder that is my family.

And I am wonderfully, joyously, exhaustedly tired.



So last night, I watched the Olympics, yawned, stretched and announced to my family I was not going to be writing a post for tomorrow.

No post.

Can you believe it?



And I do have things to post.

Wonderful, exciting, creative posts.

But you see…..there’s this family…..and this beach.



But I guess the family was worried.

They were worried that there would not be a post for Thistlewood Farm.

Concerned about me.

Concerned that I was tired.

Concerned that a day might pass without a little blog update.


Because when I woke up this morning…..renewed and refreshed and ready to head to the beach….this post was waiting on the laptop…..

…..waiting to be published today.

A new post.

Written for just for me.

It seems last night my teenage PR executive had been working overtime writing a post for today.



So today’s post is a little different.

Today’s post is brought to you by the sweetest, most incredible, thoughtful son in America.

Girls and Clams

Collecting beach souvenirs is not for the faint of heart.

From collecting driftwood to harvesting clams, you must have an iron will and an eagle eye.

And not be scared of a few hermit crabs.


Today, we took my sisters out to a sand bar for the first time.

My brother and I were intent on gathering dinner in the form of large sea clams.

My sisters, not so much.




Matters got worse when I showed them the sand dollars.


And don’t even get me started on what happened when we asked them to hold the clams.

Eventually, they were rescued by my brother, who brought them a kayak to paddle back in.

In the meantime, we had captured 8 clams, and learned an important lesson.

Sand bars are not for everyone.


So, while there are many things to do at the beach, there is one important thing to remember when choosing your activity:


Never force a cheerleader to hold a giant sea clam.


PS  Dear PR Executive…..I won’t let your sisters read this 🙂


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  1. Image for Fairfield House Fairfield House

    KariAnne, Glad you are enjoying your time at the beach -- the perfect place for the ultimate DIY project -- resting, refreshing and restoring YOU! Such a sweet gesture and post by your PR Executive. Let him know the girls that grow up on the shore {at least in NJ} have no problems with clams, crabs, jellyfish, surfing -- it's even been rumored we wrestle sharks for fun. :) Your Friend, Deborah

    1. Image for Rasonda Rasonda

      Oh my, you are the cutest thing ever! That was a great post- you have got some skills kids and a great sense of humor!

  2. Image for Doreen Doreen

    Loved it! Looks beautiful there! Enjoy your family, relax, have fun! We leave the end of next week for our beach vacation and I can't wait! Blessings, Doreen

  3. Image for Beverly Beverly

    You know I am smiling thinking of you at the beach. I know part of your heart lives there. And, then this sweet post. Love this, KariAnne. I think you need to hold onto your PR Executive.♥

  4. Image for Linda @ it all started with paint Linda @ it all started with paint

    BEST. POST. EVER! I laughed out loud Mr. D! And now I'm YOUR biggest fan. Oh, wait, I was already your biggest fan ... Seriously, I'm so impressed ... can I hire you to be my PR exec? And late night when I'm too tired writer? You can have your very own weekly byline over here at Paint .... :) me, aka, your biggest fan, aka, Paint, aka, Miss Linda ...

    1. Image for Denton Denton

      I will totally take you up on that! Haha I was inspired by your husband's posts - I've been asking for a byline for a while :)

  5. Image for Peggy Peggy

    How sweet! hate to break his bubble and tell him not all girls are freaked out by sand bars or hermit crabs even... that is until they keep turning the shell and mr hermit crab climbs out of his shell onto said girl's lap as she sits between her grandparents while her dad is driving over one of the many bridges joining the florida keys with no room to pull over. however all ends well when said denuded hermit crab is quickly scooped into a container with the vacated shell and numerous other shells to chose from. mr hermit crab gets a new home and the girl learns a lesson... but still picks up hermit crabs every chance she can get in hopes of keeping it as a pet.... she also tries to catch lizards but always seems to end up with just a tail. silly girl! and your son is such a sweetheart for thinking of you in your hour of need! have a great day! well week, i guess! enjoy the beach and sand and water and the gorgeous sights!!

  6. Image for Lesley Lesley

    Ah ha! What a gift for you! I had a very rough day yesterday starting with being very upset at my older son (he has been seriously challenging to raise) to the point of crying for a full hour. Then my best friend came over to the house to inform me of the sudden passing of a dear, mutual friend. I was so distraught and so was my daughter over his passing. Then the high school (we just moved to a new place) called with a bunch of stuff I HAD to do, fill out and such that I was consumed for three hours with that stuff. Why am I sharing this??? Because when my hubby came home from work to find me sad in my office working diligently on the paperwork, my daughter came walking in and announced that SHE had fixed dinner for the family. I didn't even realize that it had gotten so late and that she had been working in the kitchen. You should have seen the spread served family style. Some kids are just a gift....your little pr executive and my cooking maven.:)

  7. Image for Andrea Andrea

    That is so sweet, and well written! Perhaps I should ask my girls to do a post. On second thought, no one wants to read about how Justin Beiber is just not cool anymore, how Mom is so mean to not let me start shaving (at 8!!!), and how sisters are highly overrated.

  8. Image for Gee Singh Newbanks Gee Singh Newbanks

    AAAhhhh.. Thanks KariAnne's son. Nice looking out! Such a sweet post. As a mom of 2 boys I can relate ... only I was the girl on the sandbar being told to open my hands and have these 'weird' things popped in them amid my screams . Agreed, sandbars are not for everyone. Enjoy your family time. Relax and restore... come back energized. Cheers, Gee

  9. Image for Michelle Michelle

    How sweet. Thank you PR Executive for thinking of you mother. You'll have to post more and let us know how those clams turned out. KariAnne enjoy your family time. Looking forward to hearing all about your adventures

  10. Image for missy george missy george

    Ha..What a great son...I don't know what a day would be if I didn't have "words" from "Thistlewood" and Karianne.A strange day indeed..Warn us , if that's ever going to happen so we don't worry but certainly, you are entitled to a day off...Enjoy your vacation..Looks lovely..

  11. Image for Kelly Kelly

    Your son is a natural at this whole blog thing! He even writes in a similar style as you! Ha! Looks like you're having a wonderful time. That beach looks amazing! You'll have to share what beach it is. Looks like you're up north.

  12. Image for tinam61 tinam61

    Love it! What beach are you on? Something wrong with cars on the beach and no dogs! LOL We often take our little poochie to the beach with us. It looks very nice and quiet where you are. We like the less populated areas. Have fun!! tina

  13. Image for Erika@BeBookBound Erika@BeBookBound

    What fun to see that charm and wit and perfect prose run in the family! Dear Thistlewood Son, if ever you are looking for a new PR job, I'd love to hire you. Do you happen to do dishes and mow lawns, too? :) Thanks for such a fun post. Good luck with your sisters. Have a great vacation.

  14. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    Well, all I can say is that the apple does not fall far from the tree!....Great post!!.....So glad you are having a great time....Now, he can borrow my granddaughter...she is fearless....We just got back from the Outer Banks.....she caught a little crab and wanted to take it home....we convinced her that they need the ocean to survive....So now she wants a hermit crab for her room....!... Great post Mr PR guy!!!....loved every word!!....Looking forward to the next one!!

  15. Image for Kelly @ JAX does design Kelly @ JAX does design

    Hahah! Very cute post :-) I love walking along the beach and searching for sea treasures, but I've always got one eye out for hermit crabs and jelly fish and other things I wouldn't want to step on. When we were in PEI earlier this summer, I watched one hermit crab literally pull another hermit crab out of his shell and then he grabbed the shell and ran away with it. The naked crab chased him down and somehow managed to get back into his shell. Meanwhile, a smaller crab was watching and a bigger crab came over and acted like the referee. it was bizarre & hilarious! Hermit crabs are nasty little guys! Enjoy your family beach vacation!

  16. Image for Lynn @thevintagenest Lynn @thevintagenest

    too too cute! I would love to get my youngest to write a blog post for me. He is sooooooooo funny! And I am so jealous of the beautiful sand dollars. I think I have found a total of two in all my years of going to the beach! Enjoy family and the beach! xo

  17. Image for Dawn Dawn

    Yes, yes, and yes! I agree with all previous posts that this is spectacular! What a wonderful son. Keep him:) I, too, want to know what beach this is? It looks amazing.....

  18. Image for Regena Fickes Regena Fickes

    Congratulations! You have someone to fill in whenever you need a break! Great post--a new blogger is born!

  19. Image for Anne Anne

    I LOVE IT! Obviously your son has your wit. Great post and I laughed as much as I do at your posts KariAnne. You have a wonderful family. xox

  20. Image for carmel carmel

    So cute - and funny - must run in the family. My 6 yr old girl took phone pics of lamps she liked at Lowes the other day - when I asked her why she took them she said,"I'm going to put them on my blog!". hilarious!

  21. Image for Kathy Kathy

    Oh Kari----Your dear son most definitely has his Mom's writing talent!! WooHoo! Enjoy your vacation....ahhh---the beach...the most relaxing, peaceful, tranquil, yes, yes, & yes! If I listen closely I think I can hear the beach calling my name! :) Blessings!

  22. Image for GinaE GinaE

    You've been raising that boy right...what a lovely gift he left for you to find! Enjoy your time at the beach!

  23. Image for

    Oh my gosh! You obviously passed on your writing gene to the PR Exec! What an awesome post! Give that boy guest spot on the blog whenever you need a little break! Very entertaining and well written! I hope you enjoy every moment of your vaca with your sweet family! Relax and enjoy! (The blog will still be here when you get back!) xo-Lisa

  24. Image for Bliss Bliss

    Ah ha ha ha ha. Cute post Jr. Thistlewood. I'll trade you a couple clam and sand dollar loving girls. There are some chickipoos out there who love that sort of stuff..... our cheer leader is the worst (or best depending on how a brother looks at those things). ~Bliss~

  25. Image for Linda Adams Linda Adams

    Hello Thistlewood Family, happy to hear your are having fun at the beach! This was an excellent post and I just love those awesome sanddollars. Joyous Wishes, Linda

  26. Image for NanaDoll NanaDoll

    you have raised him well!!! great job and so wise to learn such valuable lessons about girls and cheerleaders at such an early age. and i am jealous of your vacation location! have a great time!

  27. Image for Alice Alice

    I absolutely LOVE your PR person! He is such an awesome young man. His brother and sisters are pretty awesome as well. Hope everyone enjoyed the meal.

  28. Image for judi judi

    oh karianne, enjoy.enjoy enjoy that beach vacation! are you in new england? can you see me waving to you?! (since you're now in closer proximity to where i live) love the post, have great writing skills, keep it up.

  29. Image for Zolane Zolane

    What a sweetheart...and so thoughtful. Loved this post! Denton has your incredible knack of making us feel like we're all along for the fun. Continue to have a wonderful and relaxing time and please thank Denton for his terrific post!

  30. Image for Cindy Cindy

    Your post is lovely, but your son's is stupendous!!! He is obviously a very intelligent young fellow, his grammar is excellent! Wow, Karianne, you've done something right. Well, many things I'm sure. Have fun with your sweet family, you are blessed. Hugs, Cindy

  31. Image for Barbara F. Barbara F.

    What a treat! I enjoyed every word and every picture of this great post. When do we get to hear from the PR Exec again? A BIG fan, Barbara

  32. Image for andrea andrea

    Everyone needs a little R&R, even from blogging. How sweet of them to author a post and have it ready to go! Are you bringing one of those giant clam shells home? I appreciate you stopping by my blog, thanks for visit. Enjoy your beach vacation... soon winter will be here and we'll ALL be holed up!

  33. Image for Kelly Kelly

    How sweet! What a great kid you have there. :) funny story, though. Brings to mind this: "I'm not a policeman...I'm a princess!" Which my husband says to me on occasion pretending to be me... Dork. have fun at the beach! Kelly

  34. Image for Jo-Anne Jo-Anne

    How great that your PR Executive stepped in and wrote this post for you...............what a great kid, you know none of my girls would do that for me but they really don't get the whole blogging thing...........I think if they tried it they would get

  35. Image for Laurel Stephens Laurel Stephens

    That a son would write a blog post for his mother is about the sweetest think I've ever heard... really choked me up. Then I read the post and laughed out loud. Kari Anne, your son has your wonderful sense of humor and your knack for words! Lucky boy! Lucky mom!

  36. Image for Merri Jo Merri Jo

    I visit regularly, but don't normally comment-- this post is fabulous ! As always, gorgeous photography, and your son's post is GREAT! He has the makings of a writer! He could appear regularly--give mom a break & hone his writing simultaneously. :-)

  37. Image for Betty Betty

    Too cute! My 11 year old daughter is my blog designer/ computer expert. She has gone to camp this week and has left me detailed written instructions on how to add pinterest button to my blog. This after she designed the grab button last week. What would we do without them? ~betty

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