A long time ago in a land far away….I fell in love with a sailor.

I thought that being married to a sailor would be just like in the movies.

In the movies all the sailors and their wives always meet at the club on base and drive around in convertibles and have parties with amazing hors d’oeuvres and the wives bake cookies together and wait for their husbands to come home from a weekend trip on the ship.

Being married to a sailor was kind of like that.

Except we didn’t really bake cookies and we ate pizza at our parties and we met at McDonald’s because we couldn’t afford the club….and my husband didn’t just leave for the weekend…..

…..he went out to sea for seven months.


I remember when he first told me he had to leave….

For seven long eternal months.

I told him no one ever went out to sea on a ship for seven months in the movies.

And he smiled and kissed me and told me I would be alright….and two weeks later he was gone.

Be Mine

At first I cried.

Then I got mad.

Then I sat on the couch for days and ate brownie sundaes and watched old episodes of 90210.

And somewhere between Brandon and Brenda arriving at the new high school and Kelly and Steve breaking up and getting back together again…..

….I got inspired.

Over the next seven months……I had my hair highlighted and went to the salon for the most beautiful red acrylic nails you have ever seen and had my eyebrows waxed and stopped eating brownie sundaes and started running and went on a diet

….and lost 40 pounds.

I looked amazing.



Just like in the movies.


And before I knew it… husband was on his way home.

And my amazing new self and I planned the most incredible  meet-your-husband-when-he-arrives-home-after-you’ve-lost-40-pounds outfit.

It was purple.

This wonderful rich shade of purple and it was cut to down to here and cut up to here with matching purple heels.

And I practiced wearing my new outfit in front of the mirror….until I had the perfect pose.

If I held my stomach in and put my hand on my hip and turned slightly to the right with my legs crossed and I kind of made this fish face to make my cheekbones stick out….

….I totally looked even skinnier.


And so I went to pick him up in my new purple dress with my highlighted hair and my fantastic red nails and my Lauren perfume…..

….and my pose.

I got there extra early to make sure I had time to practice the pose and stand and practice some more and to make sure I found the skinniest location to stand.

And there I stood.

Still. Quiet.  Hand on hip.  Stomach held in.  A slight fish face to make my cheekbones look even more amazing.

Exactly like I had practiced.

Flowers (1)

And as the sailors arrived….and walked off….I search the crowd for his face.

And then I saw him.

I almost couldn’t breathe… I steadfastly held my pose.

Willing him to look at me.

Willing him to be amazed.

He then he started walking towards me….closer and closer….his eyes searching the crowd….and just as I was sure he was about to sweep me into his arms….

….he walked right past me.


He didn’t even recognize me in all my purple glory.

Until I said his name.

And broke my perfect pose….to run where I had dreamed of for seven long self-improving months…..

…..right into his arms. 🙂

Naval Training Center

PS  I wish I had a picture of that purple dress to show you…..

…..but from this picture you can get the whole….”miss your husband….can’t wait to see him” idea. 🙂

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  1. Image for Mimi Mimi

    Loved that he walked right by...hah. That's real life. And you couldn't hold your pose. I was cracking up. I think we all do the same thing. I loved the whole story. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Image for Miss Flibbertigibbet Miss Flibbertigibbet

    What a sweet story! My daughter was dropped in Charleston SC a week before her husband an apartment, without a car, by herself, with a dog, at 19......OhEmGee....her MOM couldn't sleep for weeks in fear of what COULD be happening to her! These crazy girls who marry sailors......

  3. Image for nantucketdaffodil nantucketdaffodil

    What a great story! Such love. Such devotion on your part. Not an easy thing! Now I know why you are so crafty and clever, you had sooooo much thinking time! I love purple. And I really need to start running and lose a few.

  4. Image for Sherry Sherry

    Oh how I would love to lose 40 lbs! This is such a sweet story. You have a way with words that I admire so much! I've really been enjoying your Gatehouse posts too. I don't always have time to comment, but I always read! I love getting my Thistlewood Farm issue in my inbox :) Hope you're having a good week.

  5. Image for Lois from PA Lois from PA

    Ohhhhhhh, Karianne! what a beautiful love story! I hope you tell your children that story every day of their lives! its one that should be handed as for the fish face? if you do it too much your face will stay that way! I realize after forty years of marriage the reason I haven't lost weight is that he needs to leave for seven months! I will pose the idea tonight over dinner....he needs to join the Navy - ASAP! Anchors Away! Lois

  6. Image for Michelle Michelle

    I married a sailor and I remember those dreadful long deployments. It never was like it is in the movies for us either. I can picture you standing there in all your glory and him walking by. The look on your face must of been priceless. You have the best stories. They always put a smile on my face.

  7. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Love your life stories. You tell them in such a way that I can imagine as if I was there. As a wife of a Marine this touched my heart. Thank you and your husband.

  8. Image for Teri Teri

    I married a Green Beret so our separations weren't so long...usually 2 to 3 months. He never walked past me... but I walked past HIM once! In the 3 months he was gone his hair got long (never knew it curled!!) and he grew a full mustache. Did not recognize him!! LOL

  9. Image for Gina Gina

    Such a great story, thanks for sharing! I felt like I just got a condensed made for TV movie as seen on lifetime! Always enjoy your posts, keep up the great work!

  10. Image for Amy Seward Amy Seward

    I LOVE this post. I love personal stories from you after I feel I've gotten to know you through your fab, fab, fab website. You have a gift of photog, decorating, story telling, beauty & humor (but you already knew that). You inspire me and challenge me to make my site better. I may need some mentoring. How much does that costs and would you have time for an email? Amy

  11. Image for Lani Lani

    What a wonderful story. Love how you kicked your loneliness in the butt, put together a plan, and stuck with it. You are an amazing inspiration to all! Hugs ... Lani

  12. Image for Melissa@TheHappierHomemaker Melissa@TheHappierHomemaker

    Great story! I did the same the first time my husband deployed when we were dating-felt sorry for myself, got angry, then got in the best shape of my life! I also hired a photographer to capture our homecoming-best $100 I ever spent, the emotion in the pictures is priceless!

  13. Image for Heidi Heidi

    And THAT'S why I read your blog! Those sweet stories you tell all of us, making us feel 24 again! And today, I don't even have to skip over the "how-to's" because it's ALL about the story. Remember me--the gal with four thumbs? I come for the stories--keep going!

  14. Image for Karen Karen

    What a sweet and wonderful story. I loved it! I should learn not to take a sip of coffee while reading your blog. Coffee everywhere as I read "skinniest location"! I think the photo is cute and your girlies will love it when they are teenagers.

  15. Image for Cynthia Cynthia

    What a great story. I am a sentimental person and I am a person that is in love with love. You know what I mean. I just love being happy and in love. Thanks for sharing this!!! Cynthia

  16. Image for Jennifer from Chesapeake, VA Jennifer from Chesapeake, VA

    This cracks me up!!! I have been married to a sailor for almost 20 years. We have been through 8 of those type of deployments with the last being 9 months. You and I could be buddies standing on that pier because that is EXACTLY what I do!!! I loved your story and am relatively a recent follower of yours. Your home is beautiful, and I love the way you write!

  17. Image for Christine Christine

    Karianne, Thank you for sweet little love letter. My hubby works out of town and is only home on weekends, most of the time but not always. It's more difficult not that we are empty nesters and he's fighting cancer. (cancer free right now) Ahhh life .. it's just so unpredictable. We are blessed!

  18. Image for Suzi Suzi

    great story...when i was a young bride my love went to another continent for a job. in those days the only telephone was through trunk lines that were terrible for keeping the connection. he only got through twice and the second time the call was all broken up but he told me he was coming home onChristmas Eve and when to pick him up. so i did the same thing...making myself gorgeous and worked on my outfit, hair, nails & makeup till i acheived perfection. BUT...then i let my mom convince me that the time to pick him up was wrong and to go a couple of hours later. when i got there in all my gorgeousness he was furious since he had been waiting for hours and had no american money to call me!! not the reunion i was expecting but minutes later...all was forgiven. :-) thanks for the reminding me to remember.

  19. Image for Pinky Pinky

    AHHHHH, young, sweet love. I love your stories, Karianne, you are the BEST story teller. Your children will never forget these stories, ever. Now, if only I could get my hubby to go away for a few months so I could lose weight too. Not 40, I would look deathly but 20 would be pERFECT. Maybe I only need 3 1/2 months:):):)

  20. Image for Joyce Joyce

    Oh, this was so splendid! I saw each and every moment in great detail, with all of your fantastic imagery! I love -love and you painted it perfectly! Happy Hugs, Jemma

  21. Image for Diane Diane

    Sweet story and, as the daughter of a sailor, one I can relate to. We so appreciate his service as well as your's...the family's sacrifice is often over-looked. Thanks for sharing your story and allowing me a moment to spend reliving my life in the navy (my Dad retired as a captain after 3 tours in vietnam and 33 years and is buried with full military honors at Arlington)

  22. Image for Regina Regina

    I love your stories. With each one I start out s.l.o.w.l.y reading it so I can savor every sentence. Then I start reading faster and faster. What's she going to do? Faster and FASTER. I want to find out what happens. FASTER AND FASTER. The end. Awwwww! Then I have to go back and read it again s.l.o.w.l.y... ;)

  23. Image for Leslie Horton Leslie Horton

    Dee-lightful story! And I thought I was the only one that thought love was like the movies. Keep 'em coming. Xo

  24. Image for renay renay

    I think we were living parelell lives..You on the East coast, me on the West coast!! Only I was wearing red.. But I was wearing Lauren perfume,my favorite back in the 80's.. We have now been married for 31 years,have three children and four grandchildren, but I will always remember that moment when my sailor disembarked from his ship and held me in his arms!! Magic...

  25. Image for Angela Angela

    Aw.....perfect story for the end of a hard day for me!! I can always count on you to bring a smile to my face! What a beautiful love story!! ~~Angela

  26. Image for Kim K Kim K

    Hello--thanks so much for sharing!! Reading what you write is the absolute BEST!!! It feels like you're sitting on the other end of the couch & we are drinking wine & having something chocolate too. We are laughing our heads off & sipping & interrupting each other with tears running down our faces because we are both so funny!!! In other words--you make me feel like I ran in to an old friend &we are sharing whatever pops in our heads. You are awesome & have a wonderful way of drawing people close. Thanks, I really needed to laugh tonite--you are the best :) Kim

  27. Image for Abbey Abbey

    Karianne, you're a wonderful writer. I could totally "see" that purple dress! And your post resonates with me in some ways. My husband of almost nine years is from Sweden so in the beginning we had to be away from each other for just a few months at a time, but it was unbearable. Can't imagine 7 months! But, like yours, the memory of our goodbyes and re-unitings at Logan airport in Boston will be ingrained in me forever. :)

  28. Image for abby abby

    Aww this story made me smile. I married a marine, and I know the purple dress and fish face planning very well. After three deployments I never even got a single home coming picture of us! He's out now but those will always be sweet memories.

  29. Image for Barbara Barbara

    It's always such a joy clicking onto your blog, Karianne! Loved your story! From one Navy wife to another, Missouri Barb

  30. Image for michael michael

    This web site is often a walk-through for all of the knowledge you wanted concerning this and didn’t recognize who to inquire about. Glimpse right here, and you’ll absolutely discover it.

  31. Image for Jill Flory Jill Flory

    Oh I wish too you had a pic of that purple dress! Just spent awhile catching up on your blog - been too busy for much reading lately. You always put a smile on my face and laughter in my soul sweet friend!

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