I’m still not sure how it happened, but somewhere along the way?

I started sounding exactly like my mother.

Not that it’s a bad thing.

Just totally unexpected.

I can still hear her voice telling me that “there are nitpicks all over your room” and “it’s time for chewing practice” and “if you can’t say something nice” and “watch your attitude” and my personal favorite….

….”I don’t really care what everyone else is doing.”

And me, myself and my bad attitude would sigh and promise ourselves that when we grew up we would never talk like that or tell anyone what to do or ever provide completely unsolicited opinions about any subject at any time.


Until one day I got older and wiser.

And realized how brilliant my mother was all along.

The other day I walked into the living room and there were people everywhere.

Everyone is home now and they were all together eating Cheetos and drinking lemonade and putting together puzzles and watching an intense docudrama on Disney where mermaids who live in Australia were trying to decide if they could walk on land and run for student council president at the high school.

There were people on the couch and on the table and on the chairs.

They needed more room. More space for puzzle making and lemonade drinking and general merrymaking.

And in the search for more space, someone had made the brilliant decision to move all the pillows…

….to the floor.

I stood there quietly for a moment just staring at the general melee and wondering why the pillows always ended up on the floor and trying to figure out why mermaids were even running for student council.

And as I stared a hush slowly came over the room….well….except for the mermaids and their voting populace.

“Are you okay, Mom?” someone asked in a whisper.

I said nothing.

Quietly staring at the mess and the pillows with dismay.

With great emphasis, I pointedly looked at the pillows, glanced around the room and said emphatically, “Did you know that pillows on the ground are one of my pet peeves.”

No one said a word.

They looked at the ceiling.

They looked at the floor.

They looked here there and everywhere except at the floor.

And all those pillows.

In the hush, I heard someone whisper to their sibling, “I think Moms have a lot of pet peeves.”

I turned around with great fanfare.

We do,” I said loudly.  “I think I’m going to write my next book all about pillows and why people should not eat Cheetos on khaki covered couches without napkins and all my pet peeves.”

“And,” I continued with sudden inspiration, “it just might be a New York Times bestseller.”

With that brilliant proclamation on pet peeves and pillows, I smiled confidently and turned to leave.

And as I left the room and I rounded the corner, giggles and laughter broke out as my son said out loud….

….”That is going to be one really big book.”


I’m taking my pillows and moving to Australia and maybe…..

….I can get the newly elected mermaid to put in a good word for me.

PS  I’m sure my mother would have had wiser words on the subject.

I need to phone-a-mother for advice. 🙂

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  1. Image for Nana Nana

    Remember Mothers always know best and food in the family room is a no-no! Hats off to all the mothers who are raising children at home! These days too will pass and then the house will be TOO quiet and TOO neat and TOO perfect. Enjoy and hugs around to all the urchins who really do turn into mermaids and mermen!

  2. Image for Donnie Donnie

    Okay, I so agree - pillows on the floor - I do not like this, as well. However, in my exuberance in acquiring pillow, often my guests/family are not comfortable with so many around them or we need more room for three on the couch and not one and the pillows. What’s your solution? My tables are not adequate, the bench in front of the couch has feet or drinks, etc. do you remove in anticipation of more space needed, do you have a receptacle nearby, or ??? I’ve even caught myself saying, if they are in your way, just put them on the ....... Please help, as you are the rockstar!

  3. Image for NormaJean NormaJean

    And Karianne, we all know you wouldn't have it any other way! Having all your kids together, enjoying one another is such a blessing (even if the pillows do end up on the floor)!! ((Hugs)).

  4. Image for Gina Gina

    I'm sure there was a moment of great joy seeing everyone all together enjoy the home you have created. You can't fool me. I know that means more to you than pillows. :)

  5. Image for Toni Toni

    That's a cute story. I guess pillows on the floor and having a home where your kids love to be with friends just go hand in hand. Pillows can always be put back, but hearts might not always want to come home. I say, let the pillows be on the floor❤ or provide a really big basket!

  6. Image for Robin H Plummer Robin H Plummer

    I know just how you feel. I use to tell my teenage children that when they grew up and got their own house, I would come to visit them and treat their house just like they treat mine! So, think about that! When it's Thanksgiving, I will come and clean your stove top just like you clean mine!

  7. Image for Linda Pinion Linda Pinion

    Unfortunately, my sweet Momma just passed on July 5 from COVID. I too, am remembering all of her "sayings" and of course, would love to hear them one more time. I do remember her saying "if she could be half the Mother that her Mother was, she would be happy". Well she was that and a lot more. Some of her favorites were, Pretty is as Pretty does, Because I said so, To have a friend, you must be a friend. Many years ago my sister painted a bentwood chair for her 75th birthday that had all her favorites on it. A lovely reminder today of those precious growing up years!

  8. Image for Lou E Gipson Lou E Gipson

    KA~ Rockstar Awesomeness with a capital A!!! YES! right out of the ballpark on this one!!!!! deserves capital letters and many !!!!!!!!! could be a movie in the making.. with plenty left over for a sequel!! Have just relocated to Space Coast of Florida.. Merritt Island, Cape Canaveral,,, SpaceX Launches watched the one on Monday from the front yard.. OH did i mention i moved in with my beloved son.. who is so much like his mom personality-wise.... we both have many pet peeves.. but we are learning to adjust.. because love conquers all! Have an AMAZINGLY AWESOME day! Loui

  9. Image for Ann Weisman Ann Weisman

    We all , without realizing it, sound like our Mothers.. That was some deep imprinting. And by the way, all my pillows end on the floor. No kids, my dog doesn’t like them on his sofa!

  10. Image for Jennifer Dynys Jennifer Dynys

    I know, the pillows on the floor always irk me too. BUT...it is a house to be lived in, and lots of pillows are annoying when lots of people gather. My husbands pet peeve is all the pillows! I keep a bushel basket at the end of the couch and they can stuff them in there. Now the cheetos....that one might push me over the edge! It is so good to have everyone home though isn't it?

  11. Image for Lynn W Lynn W

    I feel ya 💜💜💜. Interesting that our Moms and Dads really did know what they were talking about all along 🥰

  12. Image for Mary Mary

    I might have handled the pillows ok...but the messy Cheetos a definite NO! My OCD would have literally lifted me off the floor! My kids learned the food in the kitchen rule at a young age. But now there are grandchildren...and of course...anything goes! (Except Cheetos) Grammy has gone soft!🥰

  13. Image for Nancy Nancy

    Want to know what a perfect room looks like with beautiful pillows and a clean linen sofa looks like? Check out your past posts. Its a thoughtfully, decorated, quiet room. The time will come when you will wish for merrymakers rather than pillows. Just remember that when your are signing your newly published book in an Australian bookstore, you will eventually have to go back to your lonely room. At least, you will have lots of pillows to cry in. As time goes by and children move far away, rooms with lots of pillows seem suffocating and silent. Many of us with grown children know this very well. But I guess, we can sit in our pillow perfect rooms and read your really big book without any interruptions. I love your posts.

  14. Image for Brenda Brenda

    Ah.....the pillows! My family won't move them. They sit on them. Gets my goat....every. single. time! Most of my pillows are handmade. Some have an antique element in them. My favorite is a crazy quilt pillow with lots of embroidery that I made. The seams are coming out as is the pretty embroidery. Why, oh why, don't men understand pillows are for behind the back and not for sitting on? Thanks for letting me air my frustration. Mentioning it does no good. They just look at me without a clue of what I'm talking about. Thanks for the laugh! Have a great day, ya'll!

  15. Image for sandi sandi

    My fix is to have a huge, empty basket in the room where the pillows can be "unloaded." It works for all of us. I think what you will miss when life resumes is the company of half-adult children poking fun at Mom!


    I laughed so loud my coffee almost ended all over my computer screen! The pillow issue-what is the problem with putting them neatly behind their backs? No-they either end up smashed or on the floor getting dirt on them. The kids are grown, my husband puts them behind his back, now I have the dogs knocking them to the floor. I have resigned myself to buying or making pillow covers that I wash every week. Still literally a pet peeve!

  17. Image for Barbara Barbara

    Too funny, KariAnne! I hope they washed their hands and cleaned up their messes. Our usual couch is red but I can always unzip the heavy covers and toss them in the wash (at least once or twice a year). Still, white couches... Your son’s funny! 😊🌸 Enjoy your kids being home. It’s over too soon! Hugs, Barb 🥰

  18. Image for Carrie Carrie

    Please stop in Pittsburgh and grab me on your way to Australia! We can commiserate over pet peeves and have a great time laughing!

  19. Image for Sue Sue

    You crack me up! What’s even scarier is when you look in the mirror and see your mother staring back at you!!! I think you handled the situation with grace! Well done my dear!

    1. Image for Crystal Lynn Chandler Crystal Lynn Chandler

      Yes Sue! Not only do we end up sounding exactly like our mothers ( or as my grandchidren say ( you sound just like grandma--their great-grandmother), but we end up looking like them too. I didn't think I resembled my mother at all, but once I got in my 60s, I turned into her. LOL There is some justice/reward to all this: I've heard my grandchildren say to their mother (my daughter), "You sound EXACTLY LIKE Nana".

  20. Image for Memere Memere

    There will be a day when some of those very same pet peeves will be uttered by your children. If you are within earshot, it will bring a wonderful smile to your face (which they may not see) and your heart will get all warm & fuzzy. It’s at that moment you realize how wonderful family is and how that makes all the Cheetos and craziness worth while. 💖

  21. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    I have a navy leather sectional--no problem with Cheetoses ( but we don't eat in the living room/family room!) It may not be in all the magazines, but it is what I inherited and I love it!!! I have never liked the beige sofas today, sorry Karianne, but I am too practical.

  22. Image for Donna Marie Donna Marie

    Talking about looking like your mother--I have a funny. I was going in my mother's back door and thought there she stands only to realize it was my reflection in the glass of her door!!! Now that's scary!!! Lol

  23. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    Our children, as i'm remembering, my mom use to say at least they're at home, she was so smart and wise. Have fun and thanks for a memory you brought back.

  24. Image for Colleen Colleen

    Karianne, I am the complete opposite. I would rather people would take them off the couch and set them on the floor. I don't want them crunching my nice cushions and wrinkling the cushion covers. I always tell them to just set them on the floor. I would hope teenagers would know enough not to wipe their hands on the couch if they were eating Cheetos. My littles (grandchildren) are not allowed to eat anywhere near my furniture.

  25. Image for Kris Kris

    Oh KariAnne. You are so funny. Do you know, when I've looked at the beautiful pictures of your home with the pillows artfully placed everywhere, I've thought, thank goodness you don't have my husband and kids--that look would last about 30 seconds! Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your family life.

  26. Image for Kaz Kaz

    Hahaha I've been sounding like my mum for years and no its not a bad thing..what concerns me more is that I'm starting to look like her 😅 xx

  27. Image for Mary S Mary S

    What a funny story!! Especially your son's comments at the end. My Mom's favorite words were: 1) Ask you Father or 2) Because I said so. This was such a funny post... Maybe not so funny to you but as a reader, it really was funny.

  28. Image for Michele M / Finch Rest Michele M / Finch Rest

    Today happens to be the anniversary of the day my sweet mom went to heaven. It's been - oh my gosh I just did the math - it's been 27 years. A lifetime ago. She was much too young to leave, but we figured the Lord needed some angels that day. Cuz she sure was one. The only a few pet peeves I think she ever spoke out loud were : always buy the best percale sheets with very high thread counts, do ONE tinsel on the tree at a time. No globs or she will redo (and probably be happier we lost interest) and to always use flat paint on walls and to always use a coaster on all her wood furniture. Your post cracked me up. Anytime is great to share mom wisdom. Especially on a special day like today for me. ♥

  29. Image for Rev. Suzanne Taylor Rev. Suzanne Taylor

    Our home was always the meeting place for sleepovers, pajama parties and game nights, board and video. I made huge pots of mac and cheese, or fried rice for them and always had drinks in the fridge. Oftentimes my husband and I had to climb over legs sprawled out or bodies on the floor. KariAnne, I miss those times so strongly some days. Most days laughter rang all the way up to our 8-foot ceilings. Sometimes the tears that were shed when a child had argued with his/her parent(s) or broke up with a boyfriend soaked my Candlewicked pillows. I could never figure out why our home was the meeting place of choice until years later when my children were married and out of the house. One of my friends had come to visit. She sank down onto a dining room chair, placed her elbows on the table and her head in her hands. She looked around and sighed, "Your home is always so welcoming and makes me feel safe." Be proud of your messy room, KariAnne, with spills and maybe some yellow stains on your sofa. Be proud your pillows lay haphazardly on the floor. It means you are a comfortable safe place for others.

  30. Image for Carolyn Carolyn

    Reading your post today reminded me of the same things my mother would say and still does to the grandchildren and great grandchildren. A home is to be lived in and enjoyed. That's what the kids were doing and felt comfortable doing. I would suggest you buy some floor cushions, the nice thick ones for the teens to bring out as extra seating and provide a nice basket for them to put your pillows in. They can set everything up before guest arrive. If they put the cheetos in large red cups, the kind you get from the dollar store, kids will put the cups directly to their mouths. Provide baby wipes. No mess.

  31. Image for Kim S. Kim S.

    My son watches that show and it confuses me to no end. How does no one know they are different? How did they get legs? And most importantly how to they come to live with this normal family? I need to know all these answers!

  32. Image for Tam K. Tam K.

    I love love love reading your posts. As a mom of 3 (Dorito eating, pillow throwing, FRIENDS watching junkies - especially during the quarantine), I totally get it! But, what I most appreciate is your "story telling" ability...which really is an amazing ability to have. FYI....I WOULD BUY THE BOOK!!!!!!!! Thanks for always making me smile....or cry (happy tears of course)! Love your style - design sense and mom sense! :)

  33. Image for Dianne Miley Dianne Miley

    KariAnne, I think this is my all time favorite post. That is GREAT. And yes, moms have a lot of pet peeves and that will be a really big book. 😂😂😂

  34. Image for KRISTIN M KRISTIN M

    I would totally buy that book KariAnne! When my sons were teenagers they ate Cheetos with chopsticks so that their fingers didn't get messy. I thought it was a brilliant idea but I have never managed to get the hang of chopsticks.

  35. Image for Cheryl W Cheryl W

    To add to the perfection of this post would have been a photo of the group, Cheetos, pillows on the floor and all. Thanks for keeping it real.

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