One day my children’s children’s children will tell stories about me.

I can’t wait.


I’ll be perched on a rocking chair with glasses and a gray messy bun still wearing yoga pants and red lipstick…..

….listening to every word.

This one will say this and that one will say that and they’ll laugh and giggle and roll their eyes and wonder if the stories are true. They’ll talk about the time I brought the roast to the garden club and the day I wore Lee Press-On Nails and how I almost cried in a newspaper publisher’s office.

But the best story of all?

The real hero here at Thistlewood?

The one who shows up every day and makes sure they have gas in their car and pulls out atlases to show them the world and hands out sage advice at a moment’s notice and helps them find their way when they get lost and is the rock that holds this entire family together?

Their dad.

This past Sunday the twins had a graduation party.

We had been planning it for weeks.

We planned a coffee truck that pulled up to the back of the house that served iced coffee and sodas.

We planned corn hole and croquet and tons of outdoor activities in the backyard.

We planned an outdoor seating area with white tablecloths and ribbons and flower arrangements and white chairs festooned with helium balloons.

Every little detail all planned out to perfection.

It was going to be amazing.

And then?

An hour before the party started, a thunderstorm showed up.

It was actually more like a maelstrom.

An overwhelming deluge.


As we stood and watched the rain poured down out of the sky, we did what all good party planners do.

We pivoted.

We brought the chairs under the carport and moved the balloons to the dining room and found umbrella stands and racks to hang wet jackets and organized an entire army of little people with umbrellas to escort the guests from their car.

I was worried because I thought the rain would keep people away.

I was worried because I thought no one would come.

I was worried because I had enough cookies and cake and cheese and crackers for half the state of Texas sitting on my dining room table.

But the rain didn’t win.

They showed up.

One hour into the party, our house was full to the brim.

Full to the bursting of wet party guests without shoes laughing and talking and drinking iced coffee and chips and dip and cookies with bears on them.

All those people.

All those incredible individuals who have poured into our family and supported our twins and prayed for them through the years.

A little bit of overwhelming inclement weather couldn’t keep them away.

They poured into our house bringing laughter and gifts and joy.

They showed up.

Every. Single. One.

And just when I thought my heart couldn’t get any more full?

I looked outside.

There was their dad.

Standing in the rain, soaking wet, sweeping the water off the porch so the guests wouldn’t have to walk through a river on their way to the front door.

A man and his broom against the mighty forces of nature.

It was a losing battle, but he never gave up. He never stopped trying. He never stopped fighting the fight.

He stayed out there for over an hour until the rain let up.

Quietly doing his job without anyone really noticing.

Showing up for every sweep of the way.

The foundation of this family is built on the shoulders of that sweet, kind, incredible, faithful porch sweeper.

And so my sweet twinnies.

One day when you tell your stories.

One day when I’m old and gray and my rocking chair has a cup holder full of coffee.

I want you to remember that maelstrom and that party.

And all that showing up.

Showing up when it counted.

Showing up in the hard times.

Showing up in sunshine.

And showing up in the rain. 🙂

PS We had all our party guests write their hearts on a piece of a Jenga game with a sharpie. The twins can take it to college along with all the encouragement.

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  1. Image for Leslie Saeta Leslie Saeta

    I loved this so much! What an amazing man that husband of yours is. But just so you know, his wife is pretty amazing too.

  2. Image for Julie Pietrzak Julie Pietrzak

    I had a feeling this story was going to bring a tear to my eye and it did...........a great party to be had regardless of the weather and where it's held..........that's love.........and you and your hubby have always displayed such over your kids lives so I'm sure this memory will not be forgotten. along with the so many others....... Congrats to all of you!!

  3. Image for Lori Lori

    What a guy!! A great husband and father indeed:0) What a great mother to have put the party together as well plus a gift that will forever keep on giving to the girls. Amazing you are!! What rain!?

  4. Image for Caroline Caroline

    So darn hard to finish your posts whilst crying. There are so many wonderful husbands and daddies in this world. Lovely to hear them appreciated and celebrated 💕

  5. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    Awwww! Have been anxiously waiting to hear about the party. What a stressful hour that must have been! I'm so sorry it rained but what a great house-full! Would loved to have been a little mouse watching it all. Hope you've rested up since then. And I see you have my favorite chairs in your family room. I drool over those hoping to get two someday. Prayers and best wishes to the twinnies for a great life. They've already been filled with the right way to go! 😍

  6. Image for Beverlee Lyons Beverlee Lyons

    I have absolute faith that he WILL be remembered as the kindest soul, married to the red lipstick lady. You both have a wonderful heart. Thank you for not losing you in the midst of the mess called life.

  7. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Can an entire response be expressed in emoticons and able to be deciphered? I don’t know if blog comments do- But I am going to try. 🎓🎓😇😇🥰🥰💚💛💚💛 and extra ❤️‘S for superior dad skills and a momma who knows how to tell a story ❤️

  8. Image for Scarlett Scarlett

    This touched my heart SO much (wiping away tears). Your girls (and boys) are very blessed to have such great friends & family AND such wonderful, caring parents. This story of your dear hubby reminded me of my dad who I miss so much. He was always the steady, could always count on, the consummate Southern Gentleman. You & your kids are very lucky indeed!

  9. Image for Maureen Maureen

    A memory you all will never forget! I’m glad you still had a great time. People truly make the party! You are going to be an empty nester!

  10. Image for Gayle Gayle

    Oh be still my ❤️ I have one just like him and we are so blessed. Life is not easy but having someone like this to walk through these times with is a true gift from God!

  11. Image for Patsy Gallery Patsy Gallery

    Beautiful story. It definitely brought tears to my eyes. The love of family and commitment is real in this world and you emulate and try to show people its out there. Congratulations to your twins, they have a great foundation to take out into the world with two great parents. What a wonderful husband and partner you have.

  12. Image for Elizabeth@pineconesandacorns Elizabeth@pineconesandacorns

    I am so happy that the party was a success even though it was not how you envisioned it. Your husband is a gem as are you and your children are blessed to have such loving caring parents to nurture, care and love them and send them off on their new adventures at college.

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

    How lovely is this? Oh the heart of a good father...and a sweet mama, too.❤ Congratulations to your sweet girls...they will remember the day forever with smiles! Where did the years go? My oldest grandson graduated this year, did that happen?

  14. Image for JC JC

    Rain can never squelch a real party!! It is so wonderful to hear what a great time of celebration you had and the memories made! Congratulations to your entire family! <3

  15. Image for Kris Kris

    I'm sorry your day didn't turn out the way you envisioned .... but I'm glad it was still a bright moment in your lives, despite the rain! Your husband is a gem and if your daughters marry someone like their dad, they will be blessed indeed. I happen to know of a lovely young man just their age--send one daughter to Michigan! ;)

  16. Image for luci luci

    In addition to being a wonderful & amazing man, husband, father, etc.… perhaps his being a hospital pharmacist (one who worked many extra shifts last summer at the height of the ongoing pandemic), he felt safer not being inside, in close quarters with a houseful of people he didn’t know the vaccine status of.

  17. Image for siggy mcdonad siggy mcdonad

    Your husband is a very kind and caring father and if I might say your weight loss journey is remarkable, congradululations your smile is fabulouslous.

  18. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    You have a talented, kind and caring husband who is an excellent father. Your party for the twinners sounds and looks wonderful.

  19. Image for Gaynell Gaynell

    I don't know you personally. I call you a friend "in my head" but want you to know this made me tear up too. I too, had that kind of daddy.

  20. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    God Bless your girls, glad the party was so fun. All your children have a wonderful foundation to build their lives on, you, your husband, and God.

  21. Image for Susan Johnston Susan Johnston

    Oh, I Knew you would get me to tear up! You and your husband have walked with God and raised such a wonderful family, and then shared all that fun with us! Thank you again!

  22. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    He truly is a blessing. What a wonderful guy! My niece's grad party is Saturday - funny it usually is OHIO that has those cannot-ever-plan-on-an-outdoor-gathering-in-advance let downs. But it is supposed to be sunny - and very hot. Like nearly 90 when 3 weeks ago it snowed. Yikes. Best wishes to the twins and their fantastic future ahead of them!!!! God's blessings!!!!!

  23. Image for Janet Janet

    Such a sweet, sweet post! Congratulations on your girl's graduation. Such an exciting time! You and your porch sweeping hubby will have more time together creating more wonderful memories.

  24. Image for Toni Toni

    Such a sweet story. The only thing better would have been a picture!! Beautiful tribute to the man who loves your family well.

  25. Image for Paula@SweetPea Paula@SweetPea

    What a great dad and husband you are blessed to have. I'm sorry that your outdoor celebration turned into an indoor one but it sounds like regardless of outdoors or indoors, your guests had a great time. Congratulations to the twins! This is such an exciting time for your family.

  26. Image for Becky Becky

    In today's anti-man, tough-woman, husband-bashing world, with ingratitude sprinkled around like dandelion fluffies, it is such a blessing to hear a lady with a voice speaking out in praise and blessing of her husband. I love these posts, Karianne! You've got a good man, and you know it! Smart lady...😘

  27. Image for Jayne Jayne

    What a beautiful story! I'm so glad you got to have a great celebration with your girls - a new chapter begins! That's a fabulous idea with the Jenga blocks too!

  28. Image for Deborah Deborah

    That was soooo great I teared up! Wonderful family, wonderful Dad Thanks for sharing and good luck to your kids in college and all they do!!❤

  29. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    Oh, goodness! Sometimes a Plan B can be better after all. Memories were created to last a life time. The most important part. I can’t believe they have graduated! I must have blinked...or time moves more quickly there. Hold tight to those sweet memories...your rocking chair, messy bun version will need to share them again. And don’t forget that sweet part of the sweeper! He’s a keeper!

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