Christmas in the dining room

Last night was our Christmas choir performance.

I cried.

I couldn’t help it.

Mostly because hearing sheep and lambs and shepherds sing while simultaneously tugging at their headpieces and trying to look brave under the spotlights gets me every time.

And mostly because of two golden haired angels in long white robes and gold tinsel halos standing in the back of the room smiling at me and singing glory to God in the highest and peace to all men on earth.

And mostly because that is what Christmas is all about.

Christmas trees sparkle

And it wouldn’t be Christmas if I didn’t tell you the innkeepers’ wife story.

I know you’ve heard it before.

I’m like that.

If you are friends with me for more than five minutes you are guaranteed to hear a story at least twice and three times over a good cup of coffee.  And so here it is again….along with all the Christmas pictures I forgot to show you because I was inviting people over to my house from the choir loft and trying to remember to bake homemade cookies.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy telling it.

dough bowl centerpiece

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.

Christmas tree bedroom

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.

snowflake at the window

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.

Christmas mantel

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.

Christmas Gray Hutch

Last week….I sat in a church pew and waited with anticipation as two golden-haired, blue-eyed twins in matching angel costumes with gold halos…..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.

twins Christmas

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

PPS  Merry, merry Christmas week from our house to yours. 🙂

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  1. Image for Louann Louann

    Wishing you and all you hold dear a blessed Christmas! Look forward to beginning each day of 206 with you and my coffee!

  2. Image for june june

    I love the story and I LOVE THE PICTURE. The girls look so much like you. My childhood dream was to be the mom of twins. I even had their names picked out. Maybe one of my kids will produce that dream come true for me like yours did for you. Happy Christmas week to!!!!

  3. Image for melinda labombard melinda labombard

    What a wonderful story!! I would of cried too:*( It is those little things that tug at our heartstrings..Have a wonderful Christmas.God Bless!

  4. Image for Mary Mary

    I love your stories... You don't need to be able to sing becuase you are so multi-talented in so many other areas. Just stay as lovely as you are - and your girls are just as cute as you!! They have great role models it is clear!

  5. Image for Sue Sondker Sue Sondker

    God has used you in so many ways. Your blessings have blessed me. You are in TUNE with your Godly gifts and share them freely. Thank you, God's blessings on your family and Merry Christmas.

  6. Image for Cindy Brown Cindy Brown

    They, like my 13 year old granddaughter, Kaitlyn, are growing up way too fast! They are such gorgeous girls (like their Mom)I know you are so proud of them! Would have loved to hear their sweet voices.

  7. Image for Gail Gail

    You are so blessed. I went to Gatlinburg this week and the lights were wonderful but the shows were so moving. I was so proud to see that Dolly has kept CHRIST in Christmas.. The shows were moving and brought tears to everyone. Standing ovations all around.. Crying is good. Sing to him with JOY

  8. Image for sydney85 sydney85

    Love your stories. Your girls look like sweethearts just like their Mom. I hope you all have the happiest of holidays.

  9. Image for Lanita Anderson Lanita Anderson

    Love the story....wishing I could have seen (and heard!) your rendition of "Away in a Manger"!! Thanks for sharing and for sharing the additional pictures....I never get tired of seeing the pictures of your farmhouse!! Merry Christmas to you and your family, sweet friend!

  10. Image for SilvanaJoanne SilvanaJoanne

    Your posts get me every time! Just beautiful...and so are your girls <3 I wish you a very Merry Christmas week as well dear Karianne! Hugs to you and family xoxo SilvanaJoanne

  11. Image for NormaJean NormaJean

    Your "angels" are growing into lovely young ladies. Good thing they have a dad and two big brothers to keep the young men (who are surely going to flock to your farm house door before long) in line! God has blessed you and "Twinkling Eyes"with a beautiful family. Wishing you all a merry Christmas and can't wait to see what God has in store for you in 2016! Blessings and hugs,

  12. Image for Nancy Nancy

    Kari Anne, I just forwarded this to my daughter. I prefaced it by telling her it was a great story written by my favorite blogger. Knowing her as I do, I know that she will appreciate your humor and wit as much as I do. Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family! Nancy

  13. Image for Yvonne Shafer Yvonne Shafer

    Another delightful story! You're the perfect innkeeper's wife -- even if you aren't singing! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  14. Image for michele michele

    love your story about the Christmas concert ...they always get to me also...merry Christmas to you and yours too!!!

  15. Image for Betsy Betsy

    Your blogs bring a song to our hearts! As far as we are concerned you are the Star Search winner. Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family. May 2016 be a healthy and blessed year for you all.

  16. Image for Vicki Vicki

    My, the twins are growing! Your story reminds us all that lufdies come full circle and perhaps some genes skip a generation. In this case, the girls do possess the ability to carryba tune. And to God be the glory!

  17. Image for Claudia A. Claudia A.

    Good job girls. I am the mother that has to sit on her hands for fear I will embarrass my daughter . I do the throwing my arm up in the air, all the time yelling "Woot Woot" ala Julie Roberts in Pretty Woman. I too would have been the inn keepers wife. They made the mistake of putting me in choir...I was the only one anyone could hear at our Christmas program. It was totally the teachers fault telling us to was I to know that the rest of the choir was intimidated by the audience and went silent. Lol. After that, I was the first one asked to work backstage painting.

  18. Image for julianne mudic julianne mudic

    Love the story. Thank goodness our children don't inherit all of our talents. It is a blessing to them. Hey, good homemade cookies come from Betty Crocker's Chocolate Chip cookies. I bake all the time but I can't make my chocolate chip cookies taste as good as these. No one ask and I don't tell. Merry Christmas. Look forward to all you stories in 2016.

  19. Image for Shirley Shirley

    I am so glad I came across your blog it makes my day when I see a post from you. You write so beautifully. And your photos are stunning especially the last one! Merry Christmas to you all from across the Pond.

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

    *sigh* I love that story -- both of them. I bet you were fidgeting in your seat in time to the music and without a doubt your toes were tapping. Sometimes when I look at my kids and grandkids I think my heart will explode with love and pride. I believe you feel that way t00. With the happy tears I am smiling from ear to ear -- my cheeks are so sore from that huge smile. We are blessed. Sending big hugs!!

  21. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    My story, Miz karianne, is a little different than yours. I actually did sing solos and duets in my knobby knees shaking beyond belief! And my sweet daughter had a sweet little voice and she wanted to sing this beautiful song called, Step Into the Sonshine. So we got the music CD for her to practice with, but much to our surprise, THIS rendition was a little more lively than the one we'd she stood in the front of the church that Sunday night, all alone and looking positively confident, while "I" was nervously twisting and wringing my sweaty hands, waiting for the music to begin..... and then she opened her mouth......SHE ROCKED THE HOUSE! Not kidding one bit....think the music from the Rockettes, with them kicking up a storm! That was the lively rendition.....and nobody else had heard that version, either. That's when I learned my quiet little girl could really belt it out.....the audience applauded to the extent we forgot we were in church! True story, and she still sings today....your girls are absolutely gorgeous and I know they sounded like angels. And avenged their Mom....

  22. Image for Barbara Barbara

    Wonderful story! And those photos are so lovely-that is one of your many talents:) The precious girls must have gotten their voices from Mr. Sparkly Eyes:) Merry Christmas!

  23. Image for Rosalie McCreary Rosalie McCreary

    I love your stories and that you repeat them because our lives are so full I don't remember everything anymore!! I love too how the girls look alike but are separate individuals! I wish you and your beautiful family a Glorious Merry Christmas and a prosperous and healthy New Year!

  24. Image for Dee Dee

    Oh Sweetie, this was my favorite blog post! I love how kind the choir director was, she chose her words with so much grace. When l was in second grade, l was practicing with every other 2nd grader for the Christmas program at school.(Christmas programs were allowed in school back then.) The director, was one of the 2nd grade teachers, and she was also the pianist, stopped playing in the middle of the song, pointed to me in the back row (l was tall) and told me to get down. I had no idea why l was being repremanded, but l was told l sang too loudly, and wasn't going to be part of the program. My little music loving heart shattered into a million pieces. My cheeks burned with humiliation. It wasn't until 6th grade music class , and we each had to sign a short song as part of our grade; that l found out that according to her, "l had a beautiful voice!" Those words opened up a world of possibilities, l too had wanted to be on Star Search, but for a girl from a small Canadian town, it just wasn't going to happen. However, l did go on to earn a scholarship to The Royal Academy of Music, l did get to sing on National, and international television. I did start a school chorus with 130 students, l did learn to use my words judiciously, and kindly, and l did learn that He places a song in our heart that no one can take away.

  25. Image for Marjorie Marjorie

    Love your story with a beautiful ending. Such a proud Mom of two beautiful daughters. I must tell you I tried out once for a singing part, but your leader was nicer than mine with the response. I was just told I couldn't be in that group! That was about 60+ years ago and I still can't sing!! Lol but love the things I am blessed to do. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  26. Image for Cheryl Cheryl

    I loved your story and I love your blog. It always puts a smile on my face. Merry Christmas to you and yours from the wilds of Wyoming

  27. Image for stephanie bauling stephanie bauling

    What a beautiful story!!! And beautiful daughters too!!!! Thank you for the laughter and tears (good ones) you bring through your blog! I so look forward to reading your stories. Merry Christmas to you and your family!!!!

  28. Image for Mindy Whipple Mindy Whipple

    I love your story - never stop telling them! Your girls are simply beautiful and I can picture you dancing as they sang. No one but a mom could understand the pride felt when a bit of your own flesh does well, even exceeding the dreams we had for ourselves (well, except Jesus because I know He cheers us on too!). Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  29. Image for Debra Milam Debra Milam

    Wonderful story, Beautiful girls! Your choir director had more tact than mine. In fifth grade my good friend insisted I join the choir with her, great, I sing along with the radio all the time, I thought. The director finally told me after several frustrating sessions, on her part, "Just move your mouth, don't sing out loud." I never went back. Have a wonderful, very, Merry Christmas! P.S. I sing now, but only around family, none of us can carry a tune.LOL

  30. Image for Jane Jane

    I love your stories...they always have a sort of fairy tales, well almost!!! lol! Love the pic of your girls. They look so much like you, and very very pretty of course! Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family, KariAnne! Jane x

  31. Image for Bliss Bliss

    I have an angel story sort of..... youngest daughter and a group of her friends were in 2nd grade riding in my car swapping stories of their parts for the Christmas program. Two friends all excited.... "I'm an angel" "Me too!" said another. Only my daughter would sound the most excited of all of them..... "I GET TO BE THE DONKEY!!!".

  32. Image for Terri Terri

    The "Twinsies" are just gorgeous!!!!! That pic of them is magazine worthy!!! I had no doubts or fears about you and the choreography !!!!! :) ..... Merry Christmas to you Karianne and your sweet family!!! Soooo enjoy your blog posts!! Looking forward to 2016!!!! You Inspire!!!!!!

  33. Image for Connie Connie

    I think you are just one of God's angels in our mist. He has great plans for you and has Blessed you in so many ways. Love your home and your family. Thanks for sharing all your wonderful stories. Hugs, Connie, FL/IN

  34. Image for Anne Anne

    Love it! What a great story! Sweet photo of your daughters, they are as beautiful as there Mom! Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

  35. Image for Leslie Leslie

    This made my heart happy because I know yours was as those precious minis sang!!! ❤️ Merry Christmas, sweet friend!!

  36. Image for Alice hanson Alice hanson

    KariAnne, Each time I hear THE story I secretly (well mostly) smile! Your girls are so precious. They get that from their Mama! The merriest Christmas to you and your family. Smiles, alice

  37. Image for Stacy Simpson Stacy Simpson

    That story gets me every time! So funny! And sweet! I needed a good laugh this morning! Your girls are beautiful! Hope you're enjoying Christmas break!

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