This past weekend was full of joy and laughter and celebrating and chips and queso and school ring shopping.

I can’t believe I just typed that.

Yes.

It’s true.

The twins will be SENIORS at Baylor next year so it was time to go and pick out their class rings.

I hadn’t ever been school ring shopping in very long time so I was completely unaware of all the weighty decisions that were involved in the process. What type of seal? What type of gold? What type of stones are around the seal? What type of setting? What type of band? What type of bucket?

I brought along my Baylor ring to help.

I laid it on the counter and we studied it together—the twins, the jeweler, and I.

We turned it this way and that way and looked at the seal and the stones and the setting.

And then?

Right there in the middle of the jewelers in Waco, TX with the bright lights and tufted seats and glass countertops all around me, I flipped my ring over.

And discovered something that made the jeweler cry.

When I was a senior at Baylor I wished with all my heart for a ring like this—one that glittered and shone with a gold seal and a star in the center.

My friends had ordered theirs and I watched as their rings arrived one by one, each one more sparkly than the rest.

But a class ring wasn’t in the cards for me.

My family didn’t have a lot of money—Baylor was such a stretch for us. It was only possible with scholarships and work-study and loans and so many sacrifices by my parents.

And besides.

I was getting married right after college to the cutest boy on the planet with twinkling eyes and a heart of gold and a grin that made me melt.

There was a wedding to plan.

No time for a class ring.

I got a ring with an “I do” instead.

But life has a funny way of adding another chapter to its stories. Ten years later, I stood in front of a restaurant in downtown McKinney and waited in line with my husband to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.

Suddenly my husband knelt on one knee and slipped a ring on my finger.

For the second time.

He surprised me with a Baylor ring for our anniversary.

Just like I dreamed of all those years ago—one that glittered and shone with a gold seal and a star in the center.

I couldn’t believe it.

How had he known?

How had he understood how much this ring would mean to that KariAnne inside of me from all those years ago?

I burst into tears as he slipped it on my finger.

I’ve worn the ring almost every day since.

I was wearing it when I slipped it off my finger to help us with all the decisions that we had to make. We decided what type of seal. We decided what type of gold. We decided what type of stones around the seal. We decided what type of setting. We decided what type of band.

And just when we thought we had all the answers, the jeweler had one more question.

Did we want to engrave the inside of the ring?

Seriously?

Engraving on the inside of the ring?

Was that even a thing?

Was that something the twins wanted?

So I turned my ring over to see if there was any engraving on the inside of my ring.

And saw this.

(edited to add: Getting so many questions on who Denny is. That’s my husband’s nickname.) 

Wait?

WHAT?

I LOVE YOU, DENNY was engraved on the inside and I didn’t even know it was there.

I’m sure I saw it when he gave it to me. I’m sure he told me when he slipped it on my finger. I’m sure I read the message once upon a time.

But somewhere, somehow in all the years that had happened…

….I had forgotten.

Sigh.

I couldn’t believe it.

This message had been sitting there all along.

A love letter from my husband wrapped around my finger through all the years and the challenges and the ups and downs and the chapters of our journey.

The jeweler looked at the expression on my face with all its surprise mixed with joy mixed with wonder mixed with awe…

…and started to cry.

That’s the thing about love stories.

Sometimes they happen when you least expect them.

Sometimes they fill you with wonder.

Sometimes they make you cry happy tears.

And sometimes?

The love story has been there all along…

…just waiting to be discovered.

PS The twin’s rings are engraved (of course) with WE LOVE YOU, MOM & DAD. 🙂

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Comments

  1. Image for Cathy Rinehart Cathy Rinehart

    This brings me to tears. I love your Love Story! It makes me think of mine and how lucky I am to have found mine after divorce. I can’t believe the girls are going to be seniors!! Go KU!! 😉🤣🤣 Cathy

  2. Image for Cindy Vojanec Cindy Vojanec

    Awwwww, that is the sweetest story!! I can’t believe the girls are going to be seniors! I know that their rings will be as beautiful as yours. Perhaps we can see them when they are done?

  3. Image for Lee Stearns Lee Stearns

    What a beautiful story! All about love! Love for YOUR parents in understanding why no ring, for your girls for being involved in their lives and big decisions and LOVE of your husband for YOU- he knew what meant something to you and gave it to you! Not perfume, flowers, dinner… but something meaningful, unexpected and from the heart! Your family story just gets better and better! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Image for Diana Diana

    I can not believe the girls are seniors. Time goes faster every year I hope they love their rings and hope they share picture of it with us. Yours is beautiful and so different than most university rings. I'm so happy you got one, sometimes the wait is worth it : )

  5. Image for Kim Kim

    I always look forward to your stories. I love how wonderful your family is and how you are all so close. Having said that, I want to know who Denny is also. Is it a pet name? My husband calls me Bug. When we were first dating I always hugged him so hard when I first saw him, so he called me the huggy buggie. It was after a zillion years shortened to just bug. Oh well he could call me worse things right. Love Kim XOXO

  6. Image for Laurie Laurie

    Such a sweet story! I did notice you wear your ring. All the more special that your husband gifted it to you. I need to wear mine and remember all the sacrifices it took to get it. My story is so similar to yours. Scrimping, saving, student loans, summer jobs, work study, and working at the Gap in Richland Mall. Such a special four years in my life, so glad your girls are getting to experience Baylor.

  7. Image for Rizae Rizae

    Lucky in Love... And momhood!!! Cant believe the girls will be seniors! Do they still have the boutique? Big Hugs,

  8. Image for Teresa Teresa

    I never even thought of getting a Samford class ring. Like you it was a sacrifice for my parents to send me there. And, like you I married my sweetheart in June after graduating in May. And, our last name is Denney so of course love that your hubby's name is Denny even without our extra e. :) Exciting that your girls will soon be Baylor grads.

  9. Image for Annette Annette

    What a beautiful story!!! You have beautiful daughters who have a strong resemblance to you. May their futures be bright and happy, full of good health and love.

  10. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Another great story! Seniors man time goes so fast! What a great day with your girls! Your very lucky to have the life you have! I wish you a lifetime of great times!

  11. Image for T J T J

    Your girls are so cute! And that husband of yours is thoughtful and romantic! The ring is gorgeous. What a storyteller you are! This was my favorite. Except the tears - couldn't see the words for a while! ha

  12. Image for Debra Debra

    With all of the craziness in the world today, this is such a remarkable story. It brought tears to my eyes; I am a romantic at heart and it sounds like you are too. What a sweet sweet jester that your husband did all those years ago too. You have a beautiful family and the girls so blessed to have you as a parent. Go Baylor and best wishes for the girls. I too went through college with work-study programs and internships, etc.

  13. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    Hallmark has nothing on you Kari. That is the sweetest, loveliest story I have read in a long time. What a great couple.

  14. Image for Shelley Shelley

    KariAnne...along with all the others, this touched my heart on a deep level with immense JOY for you and your family! What a beautiful story of love and commitment from your husband! Your girls are beautiful and yay, they got their Baylor rings! ❤️ My daughter in-law went to Baylor as well. BLESSINGS🕊️

  15. Image for Tracey Enright Tracey Enright

    I always admired how pretty your ring was, it’s so different, and a few years ago I asked you about it. It’s very special that you shared your love story with us. I can’t believe the girls are seniors already. Where does the time go! You’re all so pretty, you look like sisters!!

  16. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    Holy moly! A twofer! Tears from two stories. And yes, I cannot believe the twins will be seniors next year. Seems like they just graduated from high school! Oh, my gosh! And what a sweetie of a hubby to do that for you. So precious! 🥰

  17. Image for MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA) MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA)

    KariAnne, how precious -- your post, your Baylor ring given to you years later by your hubby, that engraving on the back of your ring by your hubby which you just discovered and the engraving on the rings for your girls! These rings will be treasured forever! Bless you all!

  18. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    Doggone it, KA, you did it again. I thought I heard all the stories (still cry when revisiting them) but oh man. I now look like Alice Cooper did in the 70s with mascara all over my face. That is beyond precious. WHOO HOO!!!! ♥♥♥ Denny is such a romantic. Just wow. WHAT A KEEPER of an incredible man. You give him a big hug from all of us with tears of joy at this sweet sweet story!!! I do hope you plan on sharing the twins' rings selections. And curious: did they get the same one?

  19. Image for Janette Deans Janette Deans

    You have done it again....your stories always end up with me crying and thinking what a wonderful life you have. This is another story of love, you seem to be surrounded by it, its amazing. xx

  20. Image for Lyn Lyn

    This got me to thinking about something that happened years ago. My husband of 54 years unexpectedly passed away 3 weeks ago, and I have just been thinking about everything that happened over the years. When our daughter was in high school we ordered her class ring at a local jeweler. I went in one day to pick up the ring, and when I went to pay the balance due I was told it had been taken care of. By who? It was my Dad. Such a wonderful memory of days gone by.

  21. Image for Sheri Hartley Sheri Hartley

    Oh.my.goodness.!!! What a heartfelt story. It touched my heart. How sweet of your thoughtful husband. He’s definitely a keeper. How inspiring for your daughters as well. You are just the sweetest person. I love your IG page. ❤️

  22. Image for Stephanie Stephanie

    Oh my those baby girls are college seniors!! So beautiful they are. You have such a wonderful way with words. You wrote from the heart so your stories make other search their souls as well. Just precious that ring is.. but that story? Priceless. Hugs from Kentucky. Oh in case you did not hear.. we have a new coach!😂Loved our old one and excited about this new one too.

  23. Image for Laurie Laurie

    You sure got a keeper there! I hope your girls find husbands that can live up to the sweetness of their daddy!!!

  24. Image for Karen Karen

    NO WAY your girls are going to be seniors!!! Didn't they start college, like, yesterday??!! So sweet that you rediscovered D's love letter. blessings to all, Karen

  25. Image for Vicki Vicki

    What a beautiful story! You are leaving your children and grandchildren-to-come with such precious memories. They are so lucky!

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