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That's just too cool. Especially since we were supposed to get a piano this year for our family as well. Didn't turn out this year...Maybe next.
So glad you got your wish! Pianos are safer than the uneven bars. I had the same desire as you, growing up. My parents were more of a practical pairsome, and didn't think gymnastics were necessary for me. Ah well.


The great thing about learning to play the's never too late! I'm not so sure if the same can be said about gymnastics...I'm afraid the window of opportunity there is much more narrow! lol


Karen, that is just so beautiful! Have fun playing your piano. Are you planning to take lessons? I have to admit that I now wish that I had taken my piano lessons seriously when I was younger since I can't play a note today.

Sandra VV

I got goosebumps reading this! A piano, that's great:)
I had piano lessons growing up. I hated practising but loved playing - does that make sense?
Congrats on the piano - score Josh Downs!

Sandi K

I think I may join you in that "ugly cry". Just beautiful. Congrats on the piano and your choice of Josh.

Happy New Year filled with piano lessons.

Christi Snow

This is such a beautiful have me crying too! Yay, Josh did good! smiles...


what a great guy!
my hubby surprised me this Christmas with my new Nikon D60...whoo-hoo!
(i had a little ugly cry, too)

Melissa J

What an amazing Christmas story! You are so very blessed to have a man that loves you enough to really know you, and to really listen to and hear you! Thank you for sharing...


Life is but a dream and you got one of yours! That man is definitely a 'keeper'. What a beautiful thing to do for someone you love. Can't wait to hear your updates on this new venture, hee, hee!


That is so sweet. I found myself doing one of those "Ugly cries" while reading it. And because your kids are always dressed so cute, I thought that I'd share that American Eagle now has a kids line. The website is It is so new that they just put up their first round of clearance.


One of the most beautiful and touching Christmas stories I've ever heard. You know you're a lucky girl, Karen!!

Helena from Italy


Oh dear Lord, you are making me sob like a baby. Do babies sob? I don't think so...but the tears are flowing.

Jamie Southworth

I got goosebumps reading your story. I feel the same way about pianos and when I hear them played. It sounds like you had an amazingly wonderful Christmas! I've missed your posts and what a way to come back with a fantastic post like this!


I was so happy to see you updated your blog! But I have to tell you that I need to fix my makeup now since I'm sitting hear crying at your story! What a truly lovely gift; I hope you enjoy your new piano in your new, old house!
Happy New Year from Chicago!

Kelly Boettcher

What a beautiful and thoughtful gift. You are a lucky woman. I have always wanted to learn how to play the piano as well. My parents had a piano, but could not afford the lessons. One of these days...


and, of course, you got me can you always start me crying? Here's to fufillment!

Mandy Friend (G.P.)

So happy for you Karen, I've always wanted to learn how to play piano as well, but my mom never let me. I cried reading this. By the way, you have raised a gentleman of a son. When we met @ Robyn's he addressed all the adults with MRS. and MR. and he shook hands and all that great stuff. You should feel extremely proud.

We just bought a house on 3rd st. built in 1900.:)

Christina H.

How totally sweet and awesome of him. It is so cool to know some of the history that goes along with it too. I'm just glad that I'm not the only one who cried over a christmas present from their hubby! I finally got a laptop (I had been wanting one for the last 3 years or so), and I was so shocked by it I just started crying.

Peggy Lucas

Karen, could you PLS post at the beginning of an entry - DO NOT READ AT WORK because there is a great likelihood that you're going to be crying and your co--workers will wonder about you...
Thanks for sharing the story - so cool!


i have goosebumps karen. what a wonderful christmas story. what a great gift giver your husband is. enjoy!!


How wonderful! I was destined to be a gymnast too, but I never realized my destiny either. I did learn to play the violin when I was younger, but the family heirloom violin I played was claimed by an uncle, and those skills went by the wayside. Your new old piano is absolutely beautiful. It looks like your kids were captivated by the moment too, and I am sure they will remember when they are older how important it is to pay attention to the little things about the person you love.

tara pakosta

yup, he's definately a keeper, that josh downs. what a guy!
what a sweet story karen!!! you are one lucky girl!!!
though, he sure is lucky too!

meg duerksen

now you just need to get back on those uneven bars and your life will be perfection! :)

that is the sweetest gift ever. how adorable.
you are blessed karen.
and i am sure that you already know.

i am so happy to get to read your blog for over 2 years now. it's been a a total inspiration to me and made me see through my camera completely different than i ever did before. thanks for keepin' it real.
happy new year.
can't wait to see the adventures in the new old house.


Awesome, Karen! A whole piano!!! A new, old piano!!! :)

Way to maneuver the surprise, Josh Downs--you da man!!!

With an new, old house, the possibilities for gifts are endless. And with Josh Downs being so handy, he just might be able to fit uneven bars in the dining room next year too.

What a fun Christmas to remember!!!

p.s great post...


Your blog post just made me do the ugly cry, Karen. ;)
What a thoughtful and beautiful gift! Josh is a for sure keeper! ;)
So glad you had a wonderful Christmas, Karen!
Love that photo of you and your new piano. :)


that has to be the best Christmas gift and story ever! Happy New Year!!


Josh wins husband of the year! Enjoy your gift. I wanted to be a gymnast, too LOL

Libbi M.

i had a little good cry just now when i read this post. he's a keeper. you are so very lucky to have him in your life. happy new year karen and family. i really like the stockings in the background. where did you find these?


What a beautiful christmas story!
I love reading everyone of your posts!


so very happy for you!!! i had tears in my eyes as i read this. glad you had a wonderful holiday, you deserve it!!!


You definitely have a very romantic husband! It's all about the knowing you so well and working hard to find the perfect thing, not the cost or if it's easy to do.

May you enjoy every bit of music that comes from your gift! I'm sure it won't be any time at all until you are giving concerts to everyone!!

Happy New Year! May it be filled with joy and adventures - and beautiful pictures!!!


What a wonderful gift and a wonderful story! Such a lucky woman you are!
Enjoy making beautiful music and fulfilling your destiny : )

Lisa B.

He's definitely a keeper!
I see gymnastics equipment in your future! LOL
Happy New Year!


I just love your stories! And I'm so glad you got the perfect piano!

Beth P.

That's just about the sweetest thing ever! What a great husband for thinking to do that. Have fun meeting your destiny!


So cool! Though I was expecting to see a baby grand with a trampoline built in. ;)


What an amazingly beautiful and sad at the same time story. Gifts from the heart hold the most meaning and he sure hit a home run with this gift. I'm utterly happy for you:-)

Warm Hugs and A Very Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Brandi Talmadge

Jo Baer

And that is the definition of CHRISTMAS MAGIC!!

Josh, please... don't try to out-do next year... uneven bars would not be a good thing! LOL!

LOVE LOVE LOVE that picture... and your blog!

Kathy C.

WOW--seriously cool! That Josh Downs rocks! Of course he's going to remember stuff that you mentioned once many moons ago, he's just that kind of guy!

Glad you guys had such a wonderful Christmas!
~ Kathy

ps--You never did tell us what type of camera you got?

maryjo materazo

man! that josh downs is a keeper. you're one lucky lady. enjoy it.


What an amazingly beautiful gift from the heart. It's these types of gifts that mean the most and he sure hit a home run with this one! I'm utterly happy for you Karen!

Warm Hugs and a Very Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Brandi Talmadge


pass the tissues!!! That's SO sweet! I have a great piano story, too as I always wanted to play but we didn't have one growing up. I'll spare you the story but just wanted to thank you for sharing yours with us. Wow... a husband, a piano & a melon baller all in the same year! :)


that is beautiful. I had myself an ugly cry just reading it.
Your man did well. VERY well.
But I think he should have captured the ugly cry for us blog readers.


You're blessed, girl. don't ya know it?


That (the piano) is just so cool - and so amazing!! What a lucky girl you are! I'm usually just a blog lurker but I had to laugh (and tell you) about the house thing though because 5-years ago we did the exact same thing - moved from a brand new house into a very old house that has been in the family for 200 years. We also called them the old new house and the new old house. And, we still do! There's nothing quite like old house charm & history! Happy New Year!


I now love Josh Downs too.
What a beautiful gift of the heart :)


Ok, I didn't cry (everyone else who commented seems to have cried) but I got a happy little shiver inside b/c I remember how exciting it was to sit down and learn a song and realize that I could do this and it sounded pretty good! I took piano lessons for years and am, at best, a mediocre accompanist (I started being a church pianist at age 13 and, man, once you start they just do not want to let you stop) but I still love to sit down and play just for me. Or for my mom, who used to get so freaked out during my piano recitals that she couldn't even watch me play. She had to sit there, staring at her hands. Or for my husband (who is wicked awesome on the guitar and got all the actual musical talent in our family), who doesn't love the piano but loves me on the piano. I wish I could play by ear, but I can't. But with training and practice, I can sight-read really well which is good enough for me. Stick with it, Karen! I think you're really going to love it! And that playing by ear thing? If you can, props to you! But if you can't (like me), sight-reading will give you a ton of enjoyment, too. And, hey, way to go Josh Downs!

Cami @ Heart-Shaped Rock Cottage


And they lived happily after...

Cami @ Heart-Shaped Rock Cottage

damn typepad!


and one more time...


(Cue the sappy piano music)

Mary Lou Fordyce

Only one ugly cry per year was my vow and you made me do another!!! Love your Christmas story and those stockings are to die for, please say you bought them so I can buy one for my new grandson.


Well now, he may not have ruined future Christmases for you, but he certainly has for us guys with wives who read your blog :)

How's a boy gonna top that???

Nancy Wyatt

OMG. Can someone hand me a tissue! That is so awesome! What a wonderful man you have, as great as mine I might add, hehe. Congrats!


How neat! A piano is a gift for all, the children will benefit greatly from this also. Several years ago we got a piano for Christmas too, we picked it out on my birthday in November, I too, went to the neighbors house to listen and dance, the neighbor lady played a song called "turn around" about little girls turning into grown ups before you know. My friend and I would put on the twirliest dresses we had and dance and spin as her Momma played. I always wanted to play the piano, so in college I signed up for a class, but it was full, instead I taught myself to play "Silent Night" on the piano in the dorm. I played it for my parents when they came to pick me up for Christmas break. Happy tunes, Karen!!


This is so exciting. A wonderful Christmas memory.

kim Scrap to my lu

What a touching story!



I'm a photographer who keeps tabs on your site just to view you pics and read your blog, but I've got to admit, this was really got to me; both the pic and the story. Thank you for putting a smile on my face and a tear in my eye. God bless you and your family.

Mary Ann

Wow, what a story.
I love the pic of you and your new (old) piano.


What a wonderful story and what a wonderful husband you have. You are blessed!
Happy New Year.

Lisa M. Pace

What a truly touching post and a memory your family will cherish for years to come. What a great guy.

Erin R.

That is a beautiful story and Josh Downs is a wonderful hubby. Enjoy learning the piano. It is such a fun instrument (but I guess I'm partial because I teach piano).

Sandy Horton

Well, I can hardly see to type this!! Sniff. How sweet and what a great guy JoshDowns is. Just don't let it go to his head too much...For a life that you didn't imagine going this sure ain't bad. Merry Christmas from TX and Happy New Year to you all.

Laura Carter

Now this is the kind of love that's portraited in "The Notebook"..... mmm,mmm,mmm
That's all I have to say.....
oh... and add to that he's just fabulous but then again, so are you!!!!!!!


Ok does Josh have a brother?


Karen I am so happy for you. For the piano and for a husband who loves you so much!

When my son was 7 he said he would like to take piano lessons. It was my dream when I was a child but my parents didn't have the money.

He is now 17 and in his 11th year of lessons. There were times he wanted to quit and I made a deal with him (you don't have to practice every day, just don't quit). Both he and I are very happy he stuck with it.

Having him play for me is one of the great joys of my life!

Enjoy your wonderful gift for years to come!


Beautiful story, beautifully written. Your REAL destiny was clearly Josh Downs. :) So when do you start your lessons?


ya jerked a tear outta me too! so wonderful to hear about a gift that was well thought out and meaningful vs one that just costs a good deal & is flashy. bonus points to josh downs for paying attention!!!! i'm so glad you had a wonderful christmas!


that Josh Downs is a special very, very sweet!

beth s.

That post was certainly worth the wait. How wonderful! My daughter is 11 and has taken piano lessons for 5 years. I just melt every time she plays. It soothes the soul! You'll have to video tape your first song and post it :)


what a wonderful Christmas story! Ilook forward to hearing more about your holidays.

Val from Down Under

Oh how beautiful! You are a wonderful person Karen and so deserving. How awesome that he's so thoughtful! My husband is the same thoughtful kind of guy. He makes me cry every Christmas ... and birthday ... and Mothers Day. Enjoy your piano and your destiny... Thank you so much for letting us be a part of your life.

Susan Bowers

I came back to your blog a little while ago, from along time ago, and just today read this. What an awesome account! That story needs to be told to your kids. The whole shebang. So happy you are getting a dream fulfilled.

Tanya Webster

what a beautiful beautiful (and beautifully written) post this was little lady....that Josh Downs is definitely one amazing man.....give him a high five for me ok??? :) I'm so happy for you...what an amazing memory to begin a new home with!!! Merry Merry Christmas!!

Rebecca W.

Your story has given me goosebumps and brought me to tears! Congratulations on a wonderful husband!


Ok, so you made me cry!! Thanks for sharing your story. That picture needs to be framed and put on top of the piano. What an awesome picture...your hands just touching the keys and the feeling on your face is wonderful!!! Way to go Josh!!! There is nothing like a thoughtful husband...I have one too...we are BLESSED!



You will have to check out my blog in a couple of days for an answer to your the piano...I studied classical and piano theory for 8 years as a child - my parents made me...=)


What a great story and a wonderful surprise too! Congrats Karen and I want one of your first CD's!

Stacey B

ohhh that story made my want to cry!
Maybe next year he'll give you those gymnastic lessons??


Karen, that's one of the BEST Christmas story I've ever heard. You are very blessed!! Enjoy your piano and stay happy.

Brandi in OH

Wow Karen what a beautiful great story, you didn't even loose me with all the old-new and new-old house parts either.
Tell Josh Downs that he did is the THOUGHT that counts and he is so darn thoughtful. Makes me tear up.
Thanks for sharing your gift with us...can't wait to hear ya plunking away on "You Tube" lol :)


my gift to myself for completing nursing school as a single mother was to take piano lessons...i, too, felt destined to play one...well, here it is 15 years later and life got in the way and i still haven't taken my piano lessons...i still cling to the hope that someday i will...or better yet-one of my kids will play for me:) what a beautiful present that wonderful man of yours got for you...

Amy Emery

That is just the best Christmas story ever of a heartfelt gift, right up there with The Gift of the Magi and The Little Drummer Boy.

Phyllis R.

Awww! This made me get tears in my eyes. What a sweet, sweet husband you have! A beautiful start to the many lovely memories you will make as a family in your new, old house:)

CarenCrops really doesn't get much better than that! Dreams do come true.


That was such a beautiful story! Congrats on your lovely new old piano!


That is such a beautiful story. I'm glad that your destiny came to you this Christmas in your new, old home with your new, old piano. Thank you for sharing your dreams with us.


Congratulations! Glad you had a good Christmas and got the gift of your dreams (both Josh and the Piano!) Thanks for sharing this wonderful story. Lori


awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww... that's so sweet!!


Oh my, what an amazing & thoughtful gift!!! I too was destined to play the piano, but my parents never would allow it. I now have an old piano given to me by my great-great Aunt & Uncle which dates back to 1924. Thanks for sharing your wonderful gave me goosebumps!! Enjoy Karen, you deserve it!!


this just gave me chills..what a beautiful story - thanks for sharing it. I'll be celebrating 20 yrs with DH on New Years .. there's nothing like being married to someone who knows your soul. Congrats and way cool!!!

Paola Norman

Beautiful Karen, you are truly blessed.


I'm speechless


I loved reading this! It made me cry.

Alissa Hall

OMG. That story ROCKS! That husband of yours rocks too! I love that he did that for you. Happy New Year!

Lovely Cutler

I CRIED, Karen. way tooooooo sweet!


I love your love! Now I am doing an ugly cry!


I would have done the ugly cray too.
My hope is that someday soon my hubby has a similar thought at a gift giving moment.
I would LOVE to have a piano and learn out to play it.
Go Josh!

my girl

thank you for your sharing information.

Lisa Hayes

That's beautiful Karen. Way to go Josh! So lovely that you have someone who truly "gets" you.
Thanks for sharing your story.
Happy New Year from Australia!


What a wonderful thoughtful gift! You have a keeper Karen!!


awww what a beautiful story.. thanks for sharing. :) it made me tear. so sweet.


aaah! how totally awesome! so happy for you. :)

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