The Day Technology Left the Building

The Day Technology Left the Building


When we jumped to the country eight years ago and bought an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere with a creek and a pond and acres of land to run and play in….

….never did I envision a house full of children staring at screens.

Not my children.




Video games?

Why?  Why would they ever need any of those?  They had blue skies and green grass and crickets and land to run….

….so why would technology ever be a part of the equation?Continue reading

And He Rescued Us Right Back

And He Rescued Us Right Back

Pallet Wood Calendars

Five months seven days and twelve hours ago I signed all four kids up for camp.

All four chicks leaving the nest for an entire week.

At the time I thought I was brilliant.

A week of lazy days spent lounging and twirling my hair and eating bon bons and reading War and Peace?

A week of date nights and witty conversation and dancing the night away?

The future was so bright I needed shades.Continue reading

Dream a Little Dream

Dream a Little Dream

Southern Romance Dream Home Front Porch Have you ever had a dream?

You know.  Something you want more than anything.  Something that almost seems impossible, but you dream it all the same.  Something deep in your heart that makes it beat a little faster when you think about it.  And sometimes when the day is rough and the road is long and the light at the end of the tunnel seems an eternity away….

….you pull that dream out of your pocket.

And imagine.

And envision.

And hope.

And in that instant, with your dream in hand….

…..suddenly the world is a better place.Continue reading

Practicing the Perfect Pose

Practicing the Perfect Pose


To all the servicemen and women who have fought to keep our country free and the stars and stripes flying proudly from sea to shining sea….

….I salute you.

I salute your sacrifice and your valor and your overwhelming courage in the face of grave danger and almost insurmountable odds.

You are what makes this country great.


And I reserve a little piece of my heart for all those you leave behind.  The ones who wait patiently for your return.  So to celebrate Memorial Day, I’m sharing this story again about the perfect pose…..

….and the sailor who almost missed it. :)

Continue reading

Five Lessons I Want To Teach My Daughters

Five Lessons I Want To Teach My Daughters


Dear daughters of mine,

I am so incredibly blessed to be your mother.

It seems like yesterday you arrived into the world full of tiny ballerina toes and wisps of blonde hair and wistful blue eyes that spoke directly to my heart.

And now?

Now you are full of giggles and big opinions and personality and ranch salad dressing and blue eyes that roll.

And you don’t know this, but as your bare feet dance across the green grass and climb trees and play freeze tag with the crickets in the creek…

…the next chapters of your life are about to unfold.

Now is the time to pass on some very important information.Continue reading

Today I Choose Sunshine

Today I Choose Sunshine

sunshine on the back porch

Can you feel my landscaping pain?

This was the winter to end all winters.  It was cold and then it would warm slightly and then plunge us into cold again.

And again.

And then it would snow and sleet and with heavy rains day after day.

Week after week.

And all the plants and shrubs and trees sat in that wet, wet soil.

And now they look like this.

*sigh*Continue reading

Leif Garrett Where Are You?

Leif Garrett Where Are You?


flowers and decorating

This mother’s day I’m treating my mother with flowers.

Beautiful, wonderful, colorful, vibrant, incredible-smelling flowers like this You Rock bouquet from Bouqs.

I’m treating her for all the dances she chaperoned and the cookies she baked and friends she carpooled and the student council posters she printed with “Vote for Kari She’s a Life Saver.”  For all the times she lifted me up and the times she kept me grounded.

And for every single minute and hour and day that she made even more special.

Just like my sixteenth birthday.

spring porch decorating with flowers

I remember the morning of my sixteenth birthday like it was yesterday.

Maybe because it was.

Just kidding.

You know I’m 22. :)

That morning I got dressed with my new pair of glittered legwarmers and ballet shoes, applied bright red lipstick, sprayed my bangs up to greet the heavens with a can of Aqua Net….

….and pranced downstairs in all my glory.

Colorful flowers spring porch decorating with flowers


This was the big one.

I couldn’t wait to see the celebration.  Would they have balloons?  A banner?  A band?  A parade?  Lief Garrett driving up in a new convertible?

With a beating heart full of excitement, I nonchalantly I strolled into the kitchen.

There they all sat.  My ever-supportive family.  Eating Wheaties and toast.

Silence greeted me.

No one even looked up when I walked in the room.

spring porch decorating flowers

I peered at them anxiously.  Did they see the amazing, incredible legwarmer wearing, red lipstick applying teenager that stood in front of them?

Maybe it was hard to tell it was me through the aqua net haze.

I sighed dramatically for extra emphasis and plopped down in my chair.

And rolled my eyes.

And sighed again.


No response.  Not even a smile.

Apparently that morning there was not or ever would be….

…..a Happy Birthday in sight.

how to decorate with flowers

I stormed out the door in a huff, climbed into the station wagon, crossed my arms in protest and waited for my mother to drive me to school….

….because apparently Leif wasn’t showing up.

She opened the car door, put the keys in the ignition, started the car and slowly backed out of the driveway.

I let out a cross between a sigh and a grunt, promptly ignored her and slunk down in the seat.

About two blocks into the drive, I managed to pull my eyes away from my legwarmers to stare out the window.

I blinked.

And blinked again.


spring porch decorating

There before my very eyes a celebration unfolded.  Sign after sign filled the side of the road.

Giant signs.

Full of glitter and sparkles and topped off with balloons.

There must have been dozens and dozens and dozens of them.

Filling every corner and stop sign between our house and the school.

And every sign was the same. “Happy Birthday KariAnne” they read.

Every single glittered line and word for me.

how to decorate with flowers

I turned to my mother with the biggest red lipstick smile a brand-new sixteen-year-old could muster.

“You remembered,” I said.  “I thought you forgot my birthday.  I thought you all forgot.”

She smiled back at me, shifting the station wagon into park and conveniently forgetting the earlier eye rolls and legwarmer tantrum.

“I love you,” she said. “May your birthday be the happiest one ever.”

And it was.

Even without Lief. :)

spring porch decorating with flowers

Why not treat your mother this Mother’s Day with fresh flowers from Bouqs.

Bouqs is a new flower delivery service that’s easy, fresh, and beautiful with flowers cut the day you order.  The flowers are shipped directly to your door from sustainable, eco-friendly farms.

These beautiful arrangements on my back porch are You Rock and the White Knight.  They came fresh from the grower packaged with care.  When the flowers arrived, I opened the package and the room was filled with the most wonderful smell.  I cut the stems under water and arranged them on the back porch for a little spring surprise.  The quality and quantity exceeded my expectations.  The Rock Star arrangement was so big, I could have easily made two arrangements from it.  The colors are so beautiful and vibrant and full of the joy that only fresh flowers can bring.

But my favorite?

What you see is EXACTLY what you get.  The flowers I ordered looked even better than the pictures online.

Bouqs is offering a special promotion for Mother’s Day.  Simply use the code BLOOM15 to receive 15% off your order and of course the shipping is always free.

Create a special day for your mother.

For all the special days she created for you. :)

disclosure:  This post was written as part of a partnership with Bouqs.

All opinions on flowers and mothers and birthdays are completely my own.

Please my disclosure policy for more information.

The Perfect Negotiation

The Perfect Negotiation


This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with Arhaus

kitchen chairs arhaus

I live in an area where two rivers meet.

And actually if you are a river aficionado, there are two other rivers several miles up the road.

But who’s counting?

Living by that much water can be good and it can be bad.  Good because it’s beautiful and peaceful and full of lush green foliage and picturesque river banks.

Bad because sometimes it floods.

Like four years ago when the river was rising higher than it had in decades and it looked like the 100-year-flood was rearing its ugly head and the water showed no signs of stopping and the entire town built a wall of sandbags higher than my head to prevent the water from flooding the area.

It was stressful.

And overwhelming.

And so I did the only thing that a person can do in the middle of a crisis…..

….I went to a yard sale.Continue reading