When I was younger….I knew that I knew…..that I knew….

….I was going to make it onto Star Search.

To me….it wasn’t really a question of if….more of a question of when.

You see….I knew that one day I was going to be discovered singing quietly to myself in aisle seven of Wal-Mart.  The notes would dance softly across the polished linoleum floors….into the waiting ears of a big Hollywood agent who would immediately….on bended knee….offer to represent me.

And then he would whisk me away to the Star Search stage…..

….to a world of fame and fortune and a long and illustrious singing career. 🙂


It was going to be amazing.

I couldn’t wait to see my name in lights.


Except for one, tiny, insignificant, often-overlooked, miniscule detail.

I couldn’t sing.


Not ever.

Not even a note.

I can remember trying out for the solo part in “Away in the Manger” in the Christmas program at church.

I sat at the piano in the music room with the choir director as she listened to my enthusiastic over-the-top-complete-with-choreography-totally-off-key rendition of the song.

And after the first verse….she stopped me quickly with an awkward smile and asked me if I was nervous….

….and offered to play the song on the piano for me so I could hear the notes.


I took this as an encouragement.

Step 2 in the audition process.

And so I sang louder and stronger with more gusto and proceeded to act out the entire first verse of the song.

And when I finished…..

…..she sat there for a moment without saying a word.

Then…in a sweet and gentle voice….she told me that she loved my dramatic song interpretation….especially the part when the cattle were lowing.

And even though she thought that I would have made an amazing soloist….she had decided…..with moves like that…..

….I would make the perfect innkeeper’s wife.


And I was.

An amazing non-singing innkeeper’s wife that is.

I never sang a solo in that children’s choir.

But life went on.

And I grew up and got married and had four children and moved to a farmhouse in the middle of no where.

However….the story doesn’t end there.


Last week….I sat in a church pew and waited with anticipation as two golden-haired, blue-eyed twins in matching silver dresses with black bows…..stood up to sing one of my favorite Christmas carols….

….Away in the Manger.

And as the piano started to play the first notes of the song….I held my breath and listened…..

… two tiny clear voices rang out loud and strong.

Every note in tune.

Every note as clear as a bell.

They finished that long ago chapter and sang the song that I never could…..

….with voices straight from my heart. 🙂

PS  They didn’t add any choreography…..but don’t worry….I had it covered.

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  1. Image for Paula K. Paula K.

    You have such a talent for beautiful, touching storytelling. I look forward to them and today's made me smile. Your children will love reading these in years to come. Thank you for sharing your gift with us. Merry Christmas!

  2. Image for Marisa Marisa

    Awwwwww!That brought a tear to my eye. Seriously!! Children are so enthusiastic and innocent about their abilities. I'm glad the music teacher wasn't cruel. My honey, when he was in first grade, was told by the sister teaching music to put his head down on his desk. That was mean!!! I love your stories and look forward to many more. Merry Christmas!

  3. Image for Christine Christine

    Oh Karianne, You're so loveable and funny!! I can just picture you singing your lil heart out. ha! God Bless you and your family, honey. Merry Christmas!

  4. Image for Beverly Beverly

    Yikes! I, too, was in the wrong line when beautiful singing voices were assigned. Our church director mercilessly hounded me to join the children's choir, and then called me Johnny One Note when it came time to sing. I am thankful that God recognizes my joyful noise. Thank you for sharing your two sweet carolers with us.

  5. Image for Beth Beth

    Merry Christmas to you KariAnne, and your lovable, adorable family too! You are the perfect inn keeper! Blessings! Beth C.

  6. Image for Amber at the French Pressed home Amber at the French Pressed home

    I was not blessed with a angelic singing voice either, KariAnne. And like your children, my daughter has a beautiful voice (maybe it skips generations). I still sing though, just very, very quietly (unless I'm solo in the truck). My daughters friend loves it when Carrie Underwood and I do a duo to Jesus Take the Wheel. I think my daughter loves it too because she's usually moved to tears!

  7. Image for laura laura

    Thank god someone in the family can sing...and not just in the shower. Wishing those adorable carolers, your amazing husband wearing his suspenders, your sons and you, my sweet friend a wonderful christmas. Love and hugs, me

  8. Image for Lisa W. Lisa W.

    THIS was magical. You had me from Hello. It was like I was reading a book. What a wonderful story, Cute, funny, magical. Thank you for making my day:)

  9. Image for Ryoma Sakamoto.Japan Ryoma Sakamoto.Japan

    Good evening! Soldiers of the Royal Marines which I get on Christmas song of Mariah Carey and sing happily and dance it. Marine navigates it. Overjoyed at the prospect of returning to the UK for Christmas, HMS Ocean's crew decided to make a festive video to the tune of Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You. ARIGATO!!! Ryoma

  10. Image for Christopher Christopher

    Thank you for warming me up this cold cold morning by warming my heart. So sweet! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  11. Image for Lynne E. Lynne E.

    Your story brought a smile to my face. Living vicariously through our children just a little bit is allowed...especially if it involves them singing Christmas Carols. Merry Christmas!!

  12. Image for Anne Presley Anne Presley

    Your a perfect example of how God continues to mold and use us. You forgot to tell the rest of the story that NOW you can actually sing and and could done a trio with the girls and made music worthy to be heard by all. Loved you then and love you even more now.

  13. Image for Catherine McD Catherine McD

    Beautiful story, beautifully written - thank you, Karianne, for adding such beauty to this season!!! Merry Christmas and a healthy new year to you and your family!!!

  14. Image for Garden, Home and Party Garden, Home and Party

    What a sweet and funny story. The choir director, when you auditioned, was exceptional and sensitive. She could have lacked finesse, instead she found you a part in the play without making you feel bad about your singing. :) From a family (Mr. B, both sons and me) with absolutely not chance of ever singing solo, I too have always wished I could sing...not even like Barbra or Celine, but just be able to carry a tune! Merry Christmas. Karen

  15. Image for Pat @ LifeAtLydiasHouse Pat @ LifeAtLydiasHouse

    Oh sweet KariAnne, that Star Search agent missed out but I am so glad that I discovered you and your beautiful blog! You are such a gifted storyteller and your posts always brighten my day! From another who lives in the middle of nowhere, Merry Christmas to you and those sweet angels!

  16. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    You do know...that sometimes....talent skips a generation. How wonderful that it didn't skip your twins! Wonderful Christmas story Karianne! Merry Christmas! ;)

  17. Image for Kathie Kathie

    Lol I got a reality check with the Sound Of Music I was 10 . They didn't want me as Maria. Of course I too can not carry a tune in a bucket.

  18. Image for Linda Harris Linda Harris

    Kari, you are such a gentle person. I feel inspiration through your writing and your artfulness. Once, you went out of your way to get information to me re: a bulletin board from Hobby Lobby. I was so pleased with your personal response and your attention to details. Being new to your blog, I hadn't yet felt the full strength of how you naturally connect with people. I've felt that strength over the past year since I began following your adventures. You always make me laugh with your sense of humor and you delight me in your special brand of simplicity through words and art. Thank you, along with this wish for a very merry Christmas. Love, Linda

  19. Image for Sarah Sarah

    KariAnne, it never fails. When I read one of your posts, my heart gets a little ping, my eye a tiny tear. You are a dear person. Following along with Thistlewood Farm is one of the joys of my day. Thank you for sharing your sweet, unique spirit. Happy Holidays to each of you there in that beautiful farmhouse in the middle of no where. ;-) Merry ~ Merry ~ Love, Sarah

  20. Image for melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle

    I always say that in the next life, I am going to be an amazing singer. I'm going to be able to effortlessly belt out the most beautiful tunes...Whitney Houston style. But, until then, I will just sing a bit softer. And, unfortunately, I have passed my same singing skills down to all 3 of my children...But, I am confident of the next life! Life to the full! Melissa

  21. Image for Regina Regina

    I love it! I'm sure your girls were the hit of the service! We shared our Christmas cantata yesterday. Yes, I did sing a solo, but do you know what made me truly blubber through the last song? Being able to hear my oldest daughter, on the OTHER side of the choir (you know, the SOPRANO side, ugh!), singing a descant that literally rang the rafters. Isn't it great when our kids take what we want to do to a whole new level? :) Merry Christmas Eve-Eve!!

  22. Image for amy watson amy watson

    Oh, make my heart do a little flip a good way....Merry Christmas to ThistleWood Farms ♥♥

  23. Image for Kelli Kelli

    How very sweet! This touched my much. My dad passed away very suddenly, the week of Thanksgiving this year. To think that he lives on in me and my children, now gives me comfort, even though...he is at the birthday person this year. ;) Thank you!

  24. Image for Anna Starner Anna Starner

    I feel your pain. I too love to sing, the only problem, I can NOT carry a tune. Thank goodness my husband has a wonderful voice. For many years I sat at church wishing I could be up in the choir singing a duet at the very least with him. This wear I was going to be part of the Cantata. No I didn't sing, not one note, but I was part of the cantata this year. I took a reading part.

  25. Image for Kris Kris

    And did you spend most of your teen years singing into a hairbrush while watching yourself in a mirror? (NOT that I ever did that ... )

  26. Image for Patty Patty

    Love this story, and love your music teacher who was so gentle and encouraging to you! Merriest of Christmases to you!

  27. Image for Paola Norman Paola Norman

    Awww so sweet it made my heart melt. I hope you have a Very Merry Christmas with your family. You have a beautiful blog, your stories always bring a smile to my face. Not to mention your wonderful decorating talent.

  28. Image for Polly Polly

    From Indiana to Kentucky, I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!! You have made me smile, and giggle and laugh out loud and even get a little teary, thank you so very much:)

  29. Image for Pam Harris Pam Harris

    Merry Christmas and thank you! Thank you for the heart warming, funny stories of your life that you share with such brilliance! I am grateful I stumbled onto your blog recently and can live your very amazing life along with you. :-). Your children are so blessed to have you for their mom, keep up the good work!

  30. Image for Sylvia Marie Sylvia Marie

    What an adorable story, God has given you the desires of your heart through your children. Merry Christmas,Have a wonderful time celebrating our Saviors birth.

  31. Image for Jerry Stocks Jerry Stocks

    Your story brought back a memory that I cannot wait to share with my fifty-six year old daughter when she arrives for Christmas tomorrow. After not participating in singing programs through three and four year old nursery school, in five year old kindergarten, she sang a duet of "Away In A Manger" with a friend. Thank you for making me remember what a very proud mother I was. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  32. Image for Robin Robin

    A Very Merry Christmas to you, my blog friend and extraordinary story teller! I love your photography so much too! It is so great when our children can finish a dream we've had for years. As a mother, I've love seeing my children's abilities exceed my own!

  33. Image for Vanessa Vanessa

    Well if you were the perfect innkeepers wife then I would have found myself playing the part of her next-door-neighbor because that's about the extent of my performing talent! ;-) But thank the good Lord above that we get a shot at redemption through our children right? I'm so thankful for you sweet friend and pray you have a blessed Christmas!! Love you, Vanessa

  34. Image for andrea cammarata andrea cammarata

    Karianne...I wanted to drop by one more time before Christmas to wish you and yours beautiful family the best one ever...may it be filled with Joy...Love...Compassion...Comfort...Laughter and all the good things that this world has to offer! You have a heart of gold and I am so happy to count you amongst my you might make the tea a bit sweeter : ) Sending hugs and love and looking forward to the New Year and all the adventures it holds. hugs...

  35. Image for debbie booth debbie booth

    Isn't funny how we ALL have so much in common. So many young girls have and will continue to dream of "being discovered" in the lowliest of places. Ours was singing. I kinda like that there is truly nothing new under the sun and somehow those funny little stories connect us. Thanks for bringing them out in your Blog and connecting us ALL to each other and our memories of the little girl(s) in us that still have fun hopes and dreams ! Merriest of Christmas to you and your family, and God's richest Blessings in the New Year !

  36. Image for Sharon Sharon

    What a sweet, sweet story and a precious memory. I could just picture little Karianne lowing and singing and dancing. And I could see you now, a proud mama as you listened to your twin girls. I just want to hug you right now! Merry Christmas

  37. Image for Vicki Vicki

    Thank Heaven that our children are our salvation. Our best hope. And, our future. Blessings to you and yours this Christmas season and best wishes for a happy ad healthy New Year!

  38. Image for Susie Susie

    love love love your stories and your writing All i could think was...guess your girls got Denny's singing ability! I remember him singing at your wedding......................... love and hugs to you all

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