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.

Something….

…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.

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

One of the greatest privileges in my life has been to watch them grow and learn and pour into those around them and shine brighter than any star in the sky.

I’ve watched them play hopscotch on the driveway.

I’ve watched them practice their cheers and dance routines on the driveway.

I’ve watched them back out of the driveway for the very first time as official licensed drivers.

I’ve watched them host their sweet sixteen party and play capture the flag and play basketball with their brothers and spill paint after they painted their parking space at the high school. So many chapters of their life have been written on that pavement outside.

And now?

Next week, they will be driving out of that same driveway back to college—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.

Another summer is officially in the books.

Oh how the driveway and I will miss them.

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 19 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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Comments

  1. Image for laura laura

    Love this! We recently added an additional parking pad on driveway. The cement crew asked if we wanted to add initials etc.. The kids were in school so we added our Bernese Mountain dogs’ paws! Love this story! Good luck to girls!!!!

  2. Image for Karen B. Karen B.

    Oh, my goodness, your tour down memory lane almost made me cry. I remember our two sweet sons at that tender age. How can they each be married to lovely women and have children of their own?! Time flies, cherish each moment, right? Karen B.

  3. Image for lee lee

    The memories, the magic of watching them blossom. Blink and we're driving them to college... I remember my beloved Mama telling me, & quite often. Lisa Marie. Try and live in the moment! Remember to enjoy & record them all in your mind. Now I understand it Mom! She had 5, Each of us were her "favorite"....& all our memories are recorded, in our minds, eternally. . & Thank you to! Kari, you always remind us what truly matters!!! Love & Hugs ~ leelee

  4. Image for Geri Geri

    I just love your blog! Every day I am blessed with a sweet story or another idea for making my home cozier. I look forward to your post each day. Thank you so much!!

  5. Image for Judy Young Judy Young

    This is a very moving tribute to your beautiful daughters Karianne. I love how wonderfully you describe moments in time. I hope you and they have the best year ever!

  6. Image for Carol Carol

    What a gift you were given...a sweet memory almost lost! I'm so grateful you saw the initials! This time of year, when the regimen of school starting, shopping for new supplies and preparation for a new year of experiences. The shorter days, the lower sun and the cooler temperatures. The rhythm of our life, past and present. No wonder you were a hot mess!!! Great story KariAnne!

  7. Image for Linda Linda

    Such a sweet story. Love reading your sentimental posts. It reminds me of my children years ago. They all are now grown with children of their own and I'm so proud of the wonderful people they are.

  8. Image for Nicole Nicole

    Awww...c'mon! It's Friday! I have tears in my eyes! This touches my heart - and likely so many others- whose children have grown up and are out (or almost out) of the house. Very sweet post.

  9. Image for Lee Stearns Lee Stearns

    Well darn it girlfriend… you made me cry again! Makes me think of my sweet Erin- swimmer, cheerleader, 6th grade “ Good Citizen” award winner! And now an attorney and administrator at a medical school in Florida! I remember the move to dorms/apartments and many miles away from our southern home to a Midwest city for law school! I cried/sobbed on the plane the whole way home! Thanks for reminding all of us how special these gifts are to us! Great job everyone!

  10. Image for Cheryl B Acampora Cheryl B Acampora

    OMG! You made me cry. My only granddaughter is heading off to Duke. It's killing me because we are thicker than thieves. I know your girls will be exceptional students just because you have taught them well. I guess we have 3 bright stars to look forward too!! Luv your blog and uplifting antics!!

  11. Image for Janice Byrd Janice Byrd

    The good news is that you will probably get that opportunity to run through the wildflowers, gaze at the stars, and teach someone how to catch fireflies again with your grandchildren. Now, before you laugh, take my word for it, it will happen even more quickly than the cement in the sidewalk to sororities scenario.

    1. Image for Colleen Colleen

      Totally agree! Grandkids lets you experience all the kid things again. The magic of Santa and Easter bunnies…it’s funny how life is. What goes around, comes around, KariAnne! The second time around isn't so tiring, either.

  12. Image for Renae Renae

    Such a sweet post. I love the stories that an old house tells. What a wonderful legacy your house is for your family. I love the pic of the back of your house-it's stunning.

  13. Image for Rizae Rizae

    Happy tears here! I have my daughter's (age 50) 4 year old hand made from plaster in a paper plate she did in pre school in 1977. A cherished memory.

  14. Image for Katy Katy

    Poignant and perfect as so many are also poised for the fall send off Dear KariAnne! Wishing you a thousand special moments between now and drive away!!! One of my two Army sons has been here off and on this summer with some training and how lovely to turn the clock back and have him in and out the door - his music, phone calls and laughter - washing his clothes knowing this is just for a few short weeks - having his favorites in the pantry and fridge - cleaning up the kitchen after he cooks - just savoring the glorious days of a child at home again! Like the tide flows back and forth, we are blessed with these short, sweet summer days with glimpses of the past, present and future as our kids step back into our daily lives, only to step right back out that same door soon. Such a lovely and meaningful post and I know myself and many others share your sentiments today KariAnne! Hugs!

  15. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    OK. Bawling my eyes out, Just attended a farewell dinner last night to say goodbye to my niece who goes back to school to work Greek Rush - moving into her first apartment too. And said goodbye to my 90 year old bestie neighbor who is moving to St. Louis tomorrow. And said goodbye to my grand dog, who went to Rainbow Bridge on Wednesday. So this post is not only sad enough to cry but I am sorta bawling. Time flies too fast and this week has WAY too many goodbyes. And next week my other niece (both those nieces are the red-headed cheerleaders you know about) moves to Scottsdale AZ. Yet another goodbye. Lord have mercy on my sad sad heart. Children grow too fast, KA. I wish I could turn back time too. We all do. Those littles are bigs in a millisecond. Hugs.

  16. Image for Cassie Love Cassie Love

    My son is at home for a few days, he’s finishing his Masters at George Washington in DC. I wish more than anything to be able to turn back time to him being my wee baby. He’s such a good kid and I miss him terribly. I know I have to let him spread his wings to soar, but it’s so hard on this mom’s heart. My advice to any young mom is to savor every moment.

  17. Image for kim kim

    This was great. I cant wait until their weddings, we will all celebrate with you Karianne, and them. They are a part of all our familys too. Kim XOXO

  18. Image for Janette Janette

    You made me cry once again. What a sweet story and one that all mums and now grandma’s how to go through. It’s a learning curve your whole life through. They go and come back and eventually bring more people with them but those little girls that wrote in the cement, will forever be in your heart Thankyou for sharing yet another beautiful story. Xxx

  19. Image for Leigh Leigh

    They’re just absolutely beautiful LIKE YOU!!! What a precious gift those girls are! God has richly blessed you with them and them with YOU!!

  20. Image for Marlene Marlene

    I love your stories and the way you share them. Children grow so fast but, it is good to see how they become the best adults. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Image for Diana Diana

    KariAnne, thank you for sharing these moments in time. Memories are the moments that matter forever. Tell the girls we wish them the best, because they have more memories to make. ML

  22. Image for Vicky Vicky

    Such a beautiful story that touches the heart of most any mother with grown or growing up children. They are beautiful young ladies and although I’ve never met them, I am sure their beauty isn’t just skin deep.

  23. Image for Katie Emmons Katie Emmons

    Knowing you from so long ago and knowing your heart…I can just hear the enthusiasm and sweet authenticity in your voice. You are exactly who you show the world on these pages. How sweet and special to know someone who is truly the real deal.

  24. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    Oh, I love this! The stories this house hold…so glad you see and share those. Hug those twins a little tighter as they leave that driveway to start college again…and I’ll be saying a prayer for their Mama.

  25. Image for Stephanie Ray Brown Stephanie Ray Brown

    Love your stories! My driveway makes me sad as an empty nester. Even Barkley looks sadly waiting at the end of the day as I know he misses them too. But so thankful they return and our driveway looks more like a used car parking lot. I get yot and you sweet friend. Right there with you friend. Hugs from Kentucky for your momma’s heart.

  26. Image for Kathy Cox Kathy Cox

    What a beautiful way you have with words❤️ I loved reading your story about your family, all the while, thinking of my own two girls. Best of wishes to your sweet family and you. Thank you.

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