Right on the other side of this planter with this DIY obelisk, there’s a driveway.

It curves around through the middle of our yard.

On one side there’s a white picket fence with a garden gate and a concrete paver patio and enough seating for a dozen or more smores eaters.

On the other side is the back of the house with four sidewalks that lead up to a fountain in the middle and the edge of the street curb where I fell in love with my husband.

The other day I walked through the yard on my way to this gate.

And mid-walk I discovered something.

Something I had forgotten about.

Something that made me tear up and laugh out loud and sigh and stop in my tracks.

Something amazing.


That looked like this.

Can you see it?

It’s a little hard to make out.

You’d never even notice it if you weren’t looking.

Three little letters.

Carved into wet cement with the tiniest of fingers.

Two sets of letters that read:

W T W.

W A W.

The initials are almost the same.

So close except for that middle letter.

Years ago when my mother and father first owned this house (the house we live in now) they had the driveway repaved.

You can read the story of the house and how we were able to buy it back after my mother sold it here.

Getting a new driveway was a momentous occasion.

All the grandchildren gathered around to watch the giant cement trucks and the cement coming out of the big chute into the forms built for the project.

And after the cement was poured and the driveway was still wet, two tiny four-year-old twins wrote their initials in the wet cement.

A moment in time.

A different era.

Two little blonde-haired blue-eyed four-year-old girls left their mark.

And now?

In four short weeks, they will be driving out of that same driveway—heading toward a future so bright they’ll have to wear shades. Grabbing life with both hands outstretched, ready to leave their mark once again on the world.

The irony is not lost on me.

Part of me wants to turn back the clock and take the hand of those four-year-olds and run together in the twilight of a summer evening and get ice cream and catch fireflies in the backyard.

Part of me wants to encourage and uplift and cheer them on to take risks and live life and reach for the stars.

Part of me wants to make sure they remember to brush their teeth and be kind to others and all the other life lessons I have spent 18 years pouring into them.

Part of me wants to laugh.

Part of me wants to cry.

And all the parts are mixed up together and jumbled up in a hot mess crying in the backyard looking at this.

A little slice of yesterday.

Cheering on tomorrow.

You got this Whitney and Westleigh Wood.

And your mama does too. 🙂

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  1. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    Remember you are a strong woman who raised these women!!! They will be fine and so will you--keep that chin up and wipe away those tears now!!!(My daughter left at 17 and 10 days with a baby so it could be worse!!!)

  2. Image for Lyn Lyn

    This brought a smile to my face. Years ago when my parents asked me what I would like for my birthday, I told them I would love this big beautiful antique water pump I had seen. When they gave it to me, my husband installed it in concrete in our front yard. We all put our initials in that concrete. Well, fast forward 27 years, after a job transfer forced us to leave our home town, we still go back home to visit friends and we always drive by our old house. The pump is still there. I wonder if the third new owner since we sold ever wonders who those initials belong to. We are planning a week visit back home this fall, and if the owner is outside I might get the courage up to stop and introduce ourselves just so we can look at that pump. Our daughter is long since grown with 2 young daughters of her own - where did all those years go? The memories are bittersweet.

  3. Image for Maggie Wallem Rowe Maggie Wallem Rowe

    Oh I love this, Karianne. Your family is dear to us thanks to sharing your life as you have. You have given the twins roots, and now they are spreading their wings! I am coming alongside you right now to offer to be your crying buddy when they pull out of that driveway. I founded the Frequent Criers Club and I will give you a free membership. We get points!

  4. Image for LORRI LORRI

    Oh the places they will go!!!! They will remember all the lessons you taught them because they know how important they are to you and to your husband. Hold on because their journey is just starting and you will be on their coattails.😂

  5. Image for Nana Nana

    Yes they have this and more. The world is better off fir the birth of these two precious girls who bless so many. Thank you Lord for saving them so many years ago.

  6. Image for Libbie Libbie

    Oh, KariAnne, It all goes by so fast! My two daughters both had babies (within 4 weeks of each other), and their boys are approaching their first birthdays in a couple of weeks. On our weekly FT last night, they started crying, thinking about how fast it all goes by. All I could do was smile and agree. Sending hugs to you, and I know those beautiful girls of yours are going to make you so proud!!

  7. Image for JC JC

    Such a precious story. New chapters are exciting and unknown all at the same time, but remember who is writing their story. He is faithful.💝

  8. Image for Kristin Kristin

    Dear KariAnne, Those moments hit me hard as well. It is hard to send them off... God has a plan for all of us. Our oldest was taken to heaven when he was going to begin his last year of college. So hard of a time but I knew with all my heart that he wouldn't come back even if he had the chance. He was ready for heaven! I know he is waiting for us. Our other son has a Gpodly wife and 2 precious sons. Such joy they bring us! You are a wonderful mother and I'm sure you kids are well prepared and prayed over!

  9. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    No matter how big they get you will always watch them leave and in your heart wish them well. My sons and grandchildren I just have to walk them to their cars and wave until they are out of sight. My home may feel empty but I have another memory to cherish.

  10. Image for Carrie Carrie

    The concrete holding those little initials is as strong as your heart strings as they head off to Baylor. You’ve given them roots to keep them grounded and wings to fly.

  11. Image for Dorothy Carter Dorothy Carter

    Try wet and forget on the concrete. I used it on tombstones and it did great, also on my front walk, that us if you want to see those i,rituals even better, cleaned up.

  12. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Omg, I don't even have kids and I am crying, so well written like everything you write! I am sure if they are yours they are prepared. I agree, wet it and forget it works great! Hopeful you can show your grandkids their moms initials one day!! So touching!!

  13. Image for Lynne Lynne

    No matter how many times they leave, come back, leave again, it's torture on a Mama's heart! But off they go. We get through it with the Grace of God, knowing He gave us the tools to raise them up the way we should (failures and all!), let go, and enjoy the new adults they become. And then, love those grandbabies like we never thought we could love anyone sooooo much!

  14. Image for Kim Kim

    We dont have any children but this made me cry. Both myself and my husband were so focused on our careers we missed all the joy you are feeling right now. We have a HUGE extended family, lots of kids and all that joy kids bring. I so love you stories, please keep them coming.

  15. Image for Peg Peg

    It makes my heart full that my children have grown up to be the best person they can be!! I'm sure yours is bursting with pride!!! xoxo

  16. Image for Jan Jan

    Oh my gosh, this is an awesome post! I was reading and thought yikes what’s back there, a critter or something? I certainly did not expect to be getting emotional (privately) at the end! BEAUTIFUL women! They’ll do great!

  17. Image for DC DC

    Oh goodness this brought back memories. Sending our twin girls to college in 2012 was (up to that point, anyway) the hardest thing I ever did. I felt they were ready, and we were so happy and excited for them, but oh my goodness, the QUIET. We were so used to all the laughter and fun from not only our girls, but their friends as well. I will tell you that I cried for about 6 weeks straight when they left. I couldn't even walk down the cereal aisle at the grocery store because I would pass their favorite cereal and burst into tears at the fact that I didn't need to buy it! Eventually, though, things kind of righted themselves, and my husband and I found our new routine and began to really enjoy it. And when you get the calls or texts about how well they or doing, or the new friends they are making, that really helps. It will be tough, but hang in there, and it will get better - and the pride and joy you feel at watching them accomplish their purpose is hard to beat!

  18. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    Oh, what a sweet unexpected surprise! Always touching to have those special heart-warming reminders of the littles' years pop up. Am always touched by your precious stories. Love you! ❤

  19. Image for Dee Turk Dee Turk

    Amen, they do! For the One who goes before them, who created them, and formed those tiny four-year-old hands has been holding their hands and their heart from their earliest days. His plans for their lives are so assured and it'll be a joy and a privilege to see them soar!

  20. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    Awl, KA - such a sweet story about two very beautiful ladies. You are going to be SO busy going to all the Baylor games and super fun parents' weekends.....better get some new shades for yourselves as well, mom and dad. You will need it hanging around those awesome kids of yours.

  21. Image for Renee Dillman-Kuehl Renee Dillman-Kuehl

    I had a similar experience when my daughter went away to school, and remembering things as I was cleaning up the yard, those memories come flowing back at us. I watched what you bought on Wednesday, and there are several treasures on their way to my home!!! You mentioned your weigh loss, would you share what program you used if you are comfortable doing that. Thanks and keep being you and bringing us the things that make us smile and laugh and than cry in the next sentence. Thank You for being you!!!!

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