Yesterday there was a moment on the ship that I will imprint on my heart forever.

It was a moment that happened in the most random of places…

…the karaoke bar.

We had a little time between dinner and a show and we stopped into one of the zillion karaoke shows that take place on a cruise.

Someone sang Taylor Swift and someone sang Dire Straights and Queen and Adele and I sang along to every word. I am a true karaoke singer (from the audience).

And then?

They called my husband’s name. I looked at him in surprise. What? He was singing? I couldn’t believe it. I watched as he walked up to the stage and the first notes of Randy Travis, “I’m Gonna Love You Forever” started to play.

And in that moment?

All the years just melted away.

It was as if he was 19 again, sitting on my back porch with his guitar singing his heart.

I wish I could go back. I wish I could live all those chapters again. I wish I could tell 19-year-old KariAnne all the amazing life that was just around the corner.

And so in honor of February and love and twinkling eyes, I want to share again where it all began.

Here is our very first chapter.

There’s a curb on the left-hand side of our house underneath the widespread branches of the towering oak tree.

It’s unassuming.

It’s ordinary.

It’s so unimpressive that you might miss it if you walked by the house and blinked.

But truth?

None of this—this blog—this family—this life—this love would be possible without that curb.

It’s where every chapter of this story started.

Before there were ever Lee Press-On Nails and over-cooked pancakes and a little band called Rush and hearts that sing. And after all these years when I walk by that curb on my way to the mail or the sidewalk or the driveway or the backyard…

….I still get goosebumps.

Good goosebumps.

Wonderful goosebumps.

The kind of goosebumps that make me want to pinch myself and count my blessings and dance the Macarena and sing the Hallelujah Chorus on my tiptoes from the balcony of the Empire State Building.

Because that’s where everything started—right there on the edge of an ordinary curb.

It was our first date.

I greeted him at the back door with red lipstick, an add-a-bead necklace, 4″ high bangs sprayed with Aqua Net hairspray, a prairie skirt, and a sweater vest covered in bows.

I think I might have even had on high-heeled shoes and socks with my name written on them with dotted letters scribed with a paint pen.

At the risk of stating the obvious……

…I looked amazing.

He wasn’t a big talker.

A man of very few words.

Maybe he was shy.

Maybe he was nervous.

Maybe he was intimidated by the socks.

I didn’t care.

He was cute with dimples and brown wavy hair and big brown eyes that kind of looked like Johnny Depp and he had his own car. You know. All the really important things in life.

And besides, I thought, I’m a talker. I could talk enough for both of us.

We went to church and then we drove around looking at Christmas lights.

And as we drove under the twinkling arches and swagged greenery, I talked.

And talked.

And talked.

I told him how cute the animated Santa Claus were with their lighted banjos as they danced next to the seven dwarfs.

He said nothing.

I exclaimed with enthusiastic joy over the teddy bears sitting in the train and how cute Kermit the Frog was as the conductor.

He said nothing.

I mentioned that it was amazing that a single yard could hold a merry-go-round, a nativity, Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer and a giant 7-foot Barney all at the exact same time.

He said nothing.

I laughed and talked and sang every Christmas carol I knew and took my mittens on and off and nervously stared out the window and kept up a one-way conversation for the entire drive while he sat stoically in the driver’s seat….. 

…..saying absolutely positively nothing.

I was done.

I thought he didn’t like me.

I thought I bored him.

I thought to myself despairingly, “when will this date ever be over?”

And when we pulled up to my parent’s house.

(total aside: right there at the exact house we bought back from my parents on the EXACT CURB I walk by every single day.)

But back then?

I had enough of my own conversation.

I couldn’t get out of the car fast enough.  I hurriedly mumbled something about what a great time that I had and turned to leave. And just as I started to open the door he reached for my hand.

I stopped and stared at him.

And he stared at me.

It was completely quiet in the car.  No one said a word.

And then in the hush of that moment, in the silence of the car, in the quietest of voices, he whispered, “What if I kissed you?”

Wide-eyed, I nodded.

And right there sitting in a car pulled up to an ordinary curb in front of my parent’s house wearing red lipstick and a prairie skirt and a sweater vest with bows…..

….I got the kiss of a lifetime.

Truly.

I never looked back.

And even now, after all these years he can sing to me across the room in a karaoke bar with those twinkling eyes and smiling dimples—and that look that is just for me.

I still get goosebumps.

And then I count my blessings that this sweet, wonderful, incredible, brown-eyed man…..

……finally found his voice. 🙂

PS Do you have a favorite karaoke song? If so, I’d love to hear. 🙂

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Comments

  1. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    The sweetest love story and the sweetest life for one of the sweetest women I have never met but have heard about her loves, life and world many times. Today is my birthday, and your sweet love story was a gift to me. ❤️

  2. Image for Nana Diana Nana Diana

    What a wonderful beginning...and continued blessing. You are a lucky girl but he is also lucky to have someone that is 100% devoted to him. Blessings on your first day of February. xo Diana

  3. Image for Susann Low Susann Low

    Lovely share, thanks. We hit 30 years next month and I don't know where the time went (marriage is work, that's all I'll say!)

  4. Image for Eve Eve

    What a beautiful start to an amazing love story! I met my now husband on a blind date. I was nervous when I first saw him. I talked non stop going and coming from the movie. He kissed me goodnight. I had just turned 18 and a senior in high school. He was 23 and a junior in college. He told me I was easy to talk to. A polite way to say I talked too much!! This September we will be married 55 years. 3 Sons and 7 Grandkids later he is still the love of my life.

  5. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Oh you look so beautiful in your cruise pictures!!! And what a sweet story! I love your stories!! Is your ship the newest, largest ship sailing now? Have the best time❣️❣️❣️

  6. Image for Nuss Laura Nuss Laura

    love this story and the pics on cruise! 💕❤️ my husband’s karaoke song would be jimmy buffet and mine would be U2 or islands on the stream with dolly and kenny

  7. Image for Betty V Betty V

    What a lovely story of your romance! I can see why the curb in front of your old home is - and always has been - a very special place for you and your hubby! Thanks for sharing :)

  8. Image for Rachel Harper Rachel Harper

    KariAnne Such a sweet memory. I’d love to go back to the beginning when everything was new and I was rail thin and we didn’t have a care in the world. But I really wouldn’t want to miss a minute of our wonderful life together. I’m like you, so blessed to have a wonderful husband. But he doesn’t sing. lol.

  9. Image for Mary Anne Russo Mary Anne Russo

    Such a beautiful story! I love, love! My husband loves to karokee with his little Italina accent and he always sings La bamba and want's me to sing with him, I got you babe by Sonny & Cher. I'll sing along from my chair at the table, lol. Have a wonderful cruise! It's on my bucket list to go on a cruise!

  10. Image for Susan Sims Susan Sims

    Men are such strange and wonderful creatures that can still surprise us after many years of marriage. My husband leaves me “love notes” every morning with my coffee. The other morning we had a spat, and my “love note” read “No note!” LoL. He couldn’t bring himself not to write! 🤣😂 It ended our spat, because I melted. After all of these years, he still can touch my heart where it counts. A marriage is always work - we have been sorely challenged - but it is truly a labor of love that is worth the effort, if both parties want it to work. Happy Valentine’s Day.

  11. Image for Mary Anne Russo Mary Anne Russo

    Le'ts try this again with correct spelling, I even have grammerly! Such a beautiful story! I love, love! My husband loves to karaoke with his little Italian accent and he always sings La bamba ( not an Italian song) and he want's me to sing with him, I got you babe by Sonny & Cher. I'll sing along from my chair at the table, lol. Have a wonderful cruise! It's on my bucket list to go on a cruise!

  12. Image for Dauphine Dauphine

    It’s obvious that you married a very quiet but also very romantic man! In this day and age it’s nice to hear things like you two.

  13. Image for Laurie Orlando Laurie Orlando

    "Intimidated by the socks" - Love it😂! Seriously - what an amazing, sweet love story!! My guy and I just went on Allure of the Seas in December and it was wonderful! How was The Icon?

  14. Image for Judy Young Judy Young

    Such a sweet story! I’m sure you are having the BEST time on the cruise making wonderful new memories to last a lifetime!

  15. Image for Diana Clark Diana Clark

    KariAnne I woke not feeling well this morning. Just read your blog and once again you made me laugh and cry! I made my husband listen to your blog. You are such a talented writer pulling in your audience, making us feel we were there. Your story reveals both of your personaiities And your wedding photo shows the love in your eyes for each other. Thank you for reminding me this morning that life is great. I love that so many of your viewers have been married a long time. Mine is 53 this year.

  16. Image for Sharon Sharon

    A beautiful story. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your cruise, as I have one coming up in about a month. I'm pretty sure my husband won't be singing to me though! Your husband picked a great song to sing to you.

  17. Image for Jane Jane

    You are such a vivid story teller. Your love story is so tender and sweet. My husband listens more than he talks too. Probably because he can't get in a word for all my chatter. Thank you for helping me remember our story. Jan.30th was our 58th wedding anniversary. My story is a sweet one that I would like to relive . I would do it all over again ....even the parts that weren't so fairy-tale like.

  18. Image for Sharon Sharon

    I love this, and I love that you wore an add-a-bead necklace!! I was just thinking about mine the other day. I think I stupidly sold it in a garage sale!! We need to make those popular again! Great story!

  19. Image for Beth Scholtes Beth Scholtes

    Omg, KariAnne! I love this story so much! ❤️ So great that you are living in the same house. It’s gorgeous! Glad you enjoyed your trip and your song! 😊❤️😊

  20. Image for Elle Elle

    The best gift my late husband ever gave to me me was this: He taught himself to play and sing my favorite song, “Allison” by Elvis Costello. He said it reminded him of me. Thank you for reminding me.

    1. Image for Carol S. Carol S.

      Beautiful song and sentiment, that's a treasure. Widow here as well, loved 30 years of marriage and starting another love story six years later. KariAnne I'm glad I found your blog today looking around for wedding rehearsal ideas for my son. I really enjoyed reading your love story. Glad you didn't jump out of the car!

  21. Image for T J T J

    What a cute couple you are! Your husband must be a "quiet charmer"! Could you tell me where you got the white dress - so pretty.

  22. Image for MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA) MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA)

    KariAnne, your love story is so precious! How blessed you are to have found one another! This was meant to be and all a part of God's plan! Thanks for sharing the cute pictures! Wow! How nice for your husband to go up and sing for you that special song that has been on his heart since day 1! May you be blessed to share many more wonderful times together -- and many cruises where your precious husband can sing to you! Enjoy your cruise! We are going to check out this ship. How nice to be on a new ship!

  23. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    Oh my heart. I shall never tire of reading about those special moments. What a guy. what a great love story. ♥♥ You asked about my favorite karaoke song? WELL....we took a cruise for our honeymoon. And there was a karaoke contest - they called it Princess Idol for a few years till copyright problems, but it was based on American Idol - daily (nightly in this case) contests of elimination based on crowd noise and 4 judges. And yes, there was a "Simon." As it turned out, haha, I ended up winning that danged thing, KA! I won singing Barbra Streisand's "Evergreen." So that will always be my fav. And it was weird cuz everywhere I went after that people stopped me. My honeymoon cruise anon was quite over then, haha. It was so fun. I wish I would've splurged and bought their dvd of the week's events. I will always hate I was being too frugal. Life is short. Get those pics and such. Hug your hubs for me. ♥

  24. Image for Diana Diana

    KariAnne, what a fabulous time you are having with that handsome young man. Thank you for always sharing your family adventures with us and I'm looking forward to more stories.

  25. Image for Katy Katy

    Love, love, love this! A bright spot to my morning and as I happened to be traveling across Texas today and passed Baylor, I waved to your girls and lifted them up in prayer. You are a delight and blessing to so many and I know that special man of yours is a keeper. Prayers for all of your family KariAnne. Have a blast on the cruise!!!

  26. Image for Heather Taylor Heather Taylor

    Such a precious memory! Looks like you are both having a great cruise, looking forward to the blog piece, lol.

  27. Image for Angela Boswell Angela Boswell

    Unchained Melody by the Righteous brothers... Every time... Your story brought back memories...I feel the same way... When God puts two people together, its for life.... My heart still goes pitter patter...

  28. Image for Chris Breidenbach Chris Breidenbach

    I work as a Care Manager in a hospital, now only as needed. I am retired, but it is nice to continue to work with out the daily grind. I talk with all the patients helping them through their stay and with any discharge needs. So yesterday, I met with a patient who was being discharged. Somehow, during our conversation , she said that she followed your blog and how special she thought your story was today. I shared that I also followed you….since Kentucky! We talked for a bit about your love for your family and your skill in writing and really just what you add to our days. So while you are enjoying your time at sea, we are in the Midwest bonding over your words. 🩷

  29. Image for Mary Woeppel Mary Woeppel

    KariAnne Thank you for sharing your true love story💕💕💕 I always know your stories shared will bring a smile or a laugh or a good cry. It always feels like you are sharing your experiences, trials and tribulations with a friend. I do consider myself a friend. I have followed your blog for years and will continue to do so. I love the way you express yourself and wish I could give you a hug for making my day. As always💕💕

  30. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Tear in my eye (since tumor only left eye tears) I knew the second you wrote “they called his name.” You have the sweetest love stories❤️. Glad you are enjoying your cruise ❤️

  31. Image for Debbie Debbie

    You have the sweetest love story! You are truly blessed to have met the man of your dreams. You are truly inspirational for those of us still looking for Mr. Wonderful. Your words and your kindness truly inspire me to believe that it’s possible to find love and that all men are not created equal! I hope you continue to have a great time on your cruise. Many blessings to you and your beautiful family.

  32. Image for Stephanie Stephanie

    You need an anthology of your love stories sweet friend. Keep sharing, shining, and soaking up that sunshine with that marvelous man.

  33. Image for Ivory Ivory

    I lost my husband March 1, 2022 to blood clots to tge heart. This turned my life upside down, and it’s never been the same. I miss him every day/night of my life. He an I was each other soulmate. I thank God daily for that., and the time we had together. It is as magical!!! I miss him like crazy. Your wonderful story took me back to a moment in our life when we first met. Like yours, we knew we were the one for each other. I love your story. Keep and cherish each other. Never take that love for granted. I am so happy we did not. I just wish we were still making memories together. I love and misses him, and would give anything to have him with me. We were glued at tge hip. I say this because we did everything together, and now he’s gone forever!😪

  34. Image for Susan Susan

    I love your story and the way you share it! The memories contained in those walls (and outside) should be shared, and you do it beautifully!

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