I’m editing the last chapter of the book right now.

It’s so close to being done.

Shhhh….don’t tell the publisher, but it was so much easier to write than I ever imagined.

When I started I was a little scared.  A book?  Seriously?  What was I thinking?

And then?

I just sat down at the computer and wrote and wrote and wrote and then I drank some coffee…

…and wrote some more.

Just between us, it really wrote itself. It’s like the story was right there at the tip of my fingers just waiting to come out.

When I was researching stories for the book, I found this one.  It made me laugh and cheer and tear up a little, especially because my tiny basketball player just had emergency eye surgery and had to cut her season short.

This story is written for everyone who has ever faced a challenge.  Everyone who stares a mountain in the face and takes that first step.  Everyone who falls down, dusts themselves off and tries again.

You got this.

We are cheering you on.

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. 🙂

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  1. Image for Amy W. Amy W.

    Ahhhhh! Life's Greatest Moments.... so worth writing and telling about over and over! Congratulations on near finishing your book! Can't wait till I get my hands on a copy! Wishing you a Terrific Tuesday!

  2. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Aw, that's so sweet. I love how they support each other even while pursuing different activities. Yay for them! As a twin, I love twin stories. And I am beyond blessed by my twin sis. She's my best friend even though we have many different interest. I can always count on her to support me and I try to do the same for her. Thanks for sharing. I hope your sweet girl is healing nicely and will be back to playing in no time. Hugs, Cecilia PS My dad said we were also double trouble. What? I don't know what he was talking about. ;-)

  3. Image for Dale Deacon Dale Deacon

    How special this story was. We all need a cheerleader one time or another and if we are lucky, it will come from family, friends or even a stranger. Those middle school years are some of the toughest to get through and to know that your twin sis has your back must be such a comfort during a awkward time of self discovery. Yea to you and family and that last chapter of your book. When a task is so easy, it was meant to be. Congratulations! Waiting patiently with my reading glasses in hand, grin. Merry Christmas Karianne.

  4. Image for Patty Patty

    As always - a wonderful story. Can't wIt to get your book - have been wanting you to have a book for a longgg time. I knew you could do it!

  5. Image for Charma Charma

    The love I read through you in beautiful. No one said parenting was easy. Goodness no, however you muddle through the yuck and come out joyful every time. Your house.........it's so beautiful. The snow I can definitely do without, but your home is stunning. And so are you. Merry Christmas.

  6. Image for Dianne Bell Dianne Bell

    Your home is so lovely, so charming. Its like looking at a dream. You should frame these pics and have them hanging together somewhere. I'll never live in such a grand home, but my daughters and I live in a manufactured home that is warm, pretty and it's simply, Home, where we hang our hearts. ❤ Huge pine trees wrap their loving arms around the back of our small yard and in the summer we have a small island we made for flowers. ? And, God dwells within our Home. Just as I know he does yours. I love reading your posts and I enjoyed hearing you that one time. Hope you'll do more. I can tell that even in this grand home, you're a down to earth person. Someone it would be easy to share coffee and chat with. Have a peaceful Christmas and a blessed New Year. Joy! ?❤

  7. Image for Preppy Mountain Farmer Preppy Mountain Farmer

    Once again, what a beautiful story! I can't wait to see your book on the shelves. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Karianne.

  8. Image for Dinelle Dinelle

    Bless her heart, it's easy to get turned around when you are so into the game. For sure she will never forget this moment in her life and then knowing she Sis was right there for her trying to lift her spirits. Merry Christmas

  9. Image for Robbin Robbin

    Kids are such a blessing. I have two kids, but not twins, and they have always been close. I love that. Love your stories and the pictures of your beautiful home. I'm looking forward to the book. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  10. Image for Leona Leona

    Ms K.....I have been waiting for you to finish your book !!!! I knew you could do this. Hurray !!! Now count me in as a pre-order :) Your stories are magical in your own style. I love your blog as well. You should be very PROUD of all your accomplishments....a mother/ storyteller/fabric designer/decorator/photographer/blogger/........and now an Author. Congratulations {{{hugs}}}

  11. Image for Janet Janet

    What a wonderful story about having a cheerleader at the right time and what a wonderful storyteller to share it! Merry Christmas to you & yours.

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

    I knew the story but it didn't make any difference, I still teared up. That is twice within 15 minutes. The first time was when I finished reading The Littlest Angel -- a gift for my youngest grandson. *sigh* I'd never read it before but it certainly moved me, just like your stories. KariAnne, you have a gift and I'm so glad you share it with us. I will be preordering your book because I want to one of the first to receive and read it!! Merry Christmas to all of you, you make me feel part of your family. Love and hugs!!

  13. Image for Megan Lacey Megan Lacey

    What a precious story. The bonds of sisterhood are sacred, but there's definitely something special about the bond twins have. This story has warmed my heart and reminded me (in a time when I really needed it) that as humans we are resilient. We make mistakes. We mess up. There is something beautiful about that, because when we do, our ability to prevail and rise always makes up for the initial failure. Thank you for sharing this story. :)

  14. Image for Lu Ann Lu Ann

    Beautifully written and so very true. Double the Joy. I have twins. Fraternal. A boy and girl. What fun. They are adults on their own and doing well. The stories I could tell, they go on and on. But we are blessed again. Twin granddaughters. Our third child blessed us with twin granddaughters. Oh my goodness. Twins are truly a blessing., even thought one goes one way and one the other and it is hard to catch them let alone keep up with them. Enjoy every minute and it sounds like you do. They grow up so fast. Ours are a true blessing, and I wouldn't trade one moment. Merry Christmas

  15. Image for Nancy Nancy

    I can't wait to read your book. Reading your blogs makes me feel like I know you and your sweet family. Your story reminds me of my great niece who had to have a tube inserted to drain fluid off her brain when she was born. She was a natural athlete and played basketball early on. But the more she grew the more that tube gave her horrible, incapacitating headaches. So she gave up playing, but was manager and worked hard. She has coached a lot of young players too. School was hard for her but she preserved. She not only graduated from college about a month after having surgery to help with the headaches, but she recently graduated from The Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, KY.

  16. Image for Laura Ingalls Gunn Laura Ingalls Gunn

    There is nothing more precious than support in a difficult moment. You have instilled such beauty and grace within your girls. I cannot wait to read the book! May the blessings of the season be yours.

  17. Image for jenni jenni

    DOUBLE the blessings is so true. my twin boys saved my life after our son died. i needed snuggles on my lap and someone to cry with and someone to just sit and listen to my heart. i could never have made it through all that horribleness without them. they are still that way...even now. they have my back. even though they live states apart...they are just as close as they ever were and can reach out to each other and comfort each other in ways that no one can...not even their wives. we are so blessed...doubly blessed...to have twins.

  18. Image for Sue Sue

    Oh KariAnne I love your writing! What a great story to share with all of us. I had twin daughters 37 years ago, and you are absolutely right. It was double everything, and it was wonderful. God only gives the multiples to those who can handle it. And you did, and you are! My daughters are "tight" to this day! They live an hour away from each other, but get together as often as they can. They have been there for each other, when their babies were born, and every other time. Through every heartbreak and through every joy. I have loved watching them every minute. It has been my eternal blessing that God chose me to be a part of their lives. I believe you will have the same blessing. Keep writing! You are the best story teller. That is a gift from God as well.

  19. Image for Michelle Michelle

    How exciting -- the last chapter!!! You're always there to encourage others and I know the 'doubles' see that and emulate you. So many things about your stories that I love. This was no exception. Happy Happy Day, rock star cheerleading mother of doubles!

  20. Image for Kim Kim

    Oh such memories flood my mind. I did the same thing in a field hockey game in high school! I was so focused I didn't look up. And I was able to get around all of my team mates who were trying to stop me! Then I was mortified. I didn't have a cheerleader but Now it's a blip in the screen. I had totally forgotten. BUT I'd never forget what the cheerleader did! Boy, you are so blessed to have those children. God certainly led you perfectly raising them. You should be so stinking proud and I'm sure you are! Enjoy it. Savor it. It goes by in a heartbeat. Merry Christmas.

  21. Image for ColleenM ColleenM

    My daughter did the same thing a couple of years ago! She was bummed afterwards but I told her, "it's just a game." Typical mom... Love your stories:)

  22. Image for Debbie Nolker Debbie Nolker

    Good afternoon Karianne, I am soooooo happy that your book is almost done. Really really I have looked forward to a book from the first time I read your blog. After one of the stories I commented that you needed to write a book and you said that you did not have a publisher. It will be like a surprise package to see which stories that you have included in your book. I love them all. Kind of expect that your book will be on the bestseller list soon ? Your friend, Debbie

  23. Image for grammy goodwill grammy goodwill

    I love this story. It brought tears to my eyes. (I always wanted a sister and a twin sister would be even more wonderful.)

  24. Image for Peg Peg

    I just love those mini Thistle, double joy, double blessings, blonde pony-tailed twins, and I love your stories!! I simply can't to read your book!!! : )


    KariAnne, God has truly blessed you and given you so many gifts -- a wonderful husband, beautiful family, cute little dog, lovely home, putting your thoughts into writing, photography, etc., etc. We thank God for the gift you are to us through your posts. We always look forward to reading them -- and we can hardly wait for your book! MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOUR PRECIOUS FAMILY!

  26. Image for Shonee Shonee

    Such a sweet story. I remembering reading this one before but it doesn't matter, it was just as good the second time. Hope she is on the up and up! Hugs. So excited for your book! Shonee

  27. Image for sandi sandi

    . . . . and once again "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree"----your girls are just exhibiting what they have "caught" at home. Happy Holidays to my favorite blogger!

  28. Image for Alice Hanson Alice Hanson

    KariAnne, We are doubly blessed as well! You are such a gifted storyteller! Have a wonderful blessed merriest of Christmases! From down under in Oz! Smiles, alice

  29. Image for Marilyn Marilyn

    Your book is of special interest to me. I am a twin. My sister and I are as close as can be. I hate when I hear siblings are not close. It is so sad. Glad your girls support each other and are close. I always call my sister my womb mate! We also have most of the same friends. We did get separated in elementary school and did have different friends in school. Cannot wait for your book. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a 2017 of blessings. Marilyn and family P.S. Hope your daughter's eye is doing fine.

  30. Image for Stacey Keeling Stacey Keeling

    Love, love this story! Thank you for the smiles and sweet encouragements all year long, KariAnne. I hope we have the opportunity to meet again here in the great state of Texas. :)

  31. Image for NormaJean NormaJean

    Karieanne, you have such a gift for writing. I was transported to that gymnasium and was holding my breath as that ball made the basket....then my heart lurched, when I realized it was the other teams hoop. Reading on, I was overcome with feelings of relief and pride when your little cheerleader stepped up and supported her sister!! I predict that once the word gets out, your book will become a best-seller!! You can be sure I will be standing in line waiting for my copy.

  32. Image for Bonnie Bonnie

    I just love that story. I'm so proud of both of the girls - the one who did her very best and the other one who cheered her on when she could have just stood there and done nothing! God is so good to give us people in our lives to encourage us and lift us up when things go wrong. Having a sister is such a special blessing.

  33. Image for susan b susan b

    So I see this email with the subject line "The Last Chapter". WHAT?!? This is the last of the blog?!?!? Nooooooo...... Okay - the last chapter of the book - whew! I was worried there for a second! This is the one blog I subscribe to. Most times my inbox has about 7 emails from you because I wait until I have time to "savor" the reading instead of skimming and deleting! So now I'm really going to read what this is about since I've calmed down!

  34. Image for Katie Katie

    I recently discovered your blog -- what a sweet space! I'm cheering you on, too, as you finish your book. Looking forward to more!

  35. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    Just a note to say again that I want one of the first copies of that book! Loved this story then ~ and now ~ just as I love them all, my dear gifted friend! And the bond your twins have is as much a treasure as your writing. Wishing you and your sweet family a Very Merry Christmas! kj

  36. Image for Ellen Ellen

    I am beyond excited- "THE BOOK" is almost finished!!! HAPPY,HAPPY, HAPPY DAY! I can barely wait to hold YOUR BOOK in my hands and slowly open to the first page! Oh, the anticipation is almost too much! Love this story as I always love twin stories, they are near and dear to my heart. The Twinthistles are so grown up and every bit as beautiful as their Mother. Thank-you for this wonderful update and Bless YOU!!

  37. Image for judy judy

    This was a very touching story and I to also love to hear "twin" stories because I did give birth to twins, however, they were born dead. Not to make anyone feel bad, it has been part of my journey and God has been beside me the whole way. It has been many years ago and I do think of them on occasion. Some things it's best to think on in small doses. Anyhow, as I see the picture of your beautiful "blonde" headed girls I naturally wonder what mine would look like. I did see one of them and she had lots of black curly hair. Beautiful. Anyway, it is good to know that even though my story did not turn out the way I had hoped, that my heart is so healed that I can rejoice in your "Joys" over your beautiful daughters. All I can say is keep writing, it is what life is made out of. We are blessed. I do enjoy your site so very much and this is the first time I have responded. You picked my heart strings though!

  38. Image for Anne Anne

    How exciting that you finished your book. I've been working on mine for 2 years. I've gone back and fourth feeling like it's just not good enough to publish. I'm going to finish it in the next couple of months but I still can't decide if I can publish it or not. I found it to be the hardest thing I've ever done. But I'm not a writer, never have been. I love reading your posts because you voice comes through. I wish I had more time to visit. You're girls are beautiful I hope all is well too.

  39. Image for Marian@CMShawStudios Marian@CMShawStudios

    I can't wait to read it! You, my friend, are inspiring. And yes, I am stalking your blog weeks after you wrote all this. T'was a merry, but insanely busy holiday this year. So many promises to keep and dreams to make come true. But it all happened. And they all went back to school today. So yay for quiet. I am in the middle of undecorating the tree. But it was taking too long, so I thought I'd catch up on your blog for a bit. I hope you had a wonderful, fantastic holiday! And that you sell a million pairs of those fantastic smocked curtains - I am stalking you backwards- and that your twins are living happily ever after, especially since they are the last chapter. Have a pleasant day friend, I'll be lying on the floor drinking Diet Coke until I can convince myself to move. The Other Marian

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