Friday, February 22, 2008

Birthday Winner & 1 Bedroom Is Complete!

Imagine my surprise when I was informed by Kari of Ask Kari and Kijsa that I was the winner of Kari’s birthday prize for the “best all around birthday wish that touches her heart”....out of 255 birthday wishes she received on Feb. 20!

I literally described for her what I did the morning of my 40th birthday…when I woke up I wasn’t sure how to feel! A myriad of emotions! I stole away from the house for a few moments to collect my thoughts:

The day I turned 40 years old, I walked out to the sidewalk across the street and sat on the curb staring at my house. Where had life brought me, I wondered? Right here, right now to this address with these people- husband, daughters, son.

I looked at our windows, taking a peek into the bedrooms. People I love sleep there. I could see into my dining room where we have celebrated everything from birthdays to a hard earned C in Chemistry. I looked at the porch by my front door where I rocked babies watching the world go by. I could see a slice of my kitchen, the hub of our home, filled with homework papers on the refrigerator, tears at the table after a bad day at school, hugs on our kitchen couch. Lastly, looking over the fence, I could see in our yard where we planted a long ago Christmas tree that has taken root and flourished.

And that’s what I’ve done here. Taken a family, I hope, and helped them flourish. Planted three little seeds, tended to them, and have been watching them grow into fine young people.

When you’re 40, you evaluate. Where has life brought you? What has it brought you? It’s not about material goods, it’s not about money. It’s about the affect you have left on the world.

I got up, brushed the dirt off my pants, and walked right back into our home----- the happiest 40 year old in the world.”

That was 5 years ago when the kids were 14, 9 and 2. Now they are 19, 14, and 7. The last five years have been the best, and after 22 years of marriage, I think life will only get better!

My prize is a beautiful painting of a pear from their studio which I’ll hang right in my kitchen so I can see it as I toil away each day!

Thanks, sisters!

One Bedroom Complete

Remember I shared with you that we were renovating the chhildren’s rooms? Each child had a budget and was able to pick out his/her own bedding and paint.

Well, our 7 year old daughter was the first one to be done! She’s never had her own room so she was ambitious!

She chose a brown comforter with pink flowers online from Home Visions. I liked the price as it was a complete bed-in-a-bag set. She also chose this cute wiggle lamp. The "R"s we bought at The Christmas Tree Shop for less than $3.00! The "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" sign was a Marshall's find. The dollhouse looking cabinet I bought last summer at Costco.

We took the valance to the paint store with us for a match and she chose Benjamin Moore Hot Ladies Pink. As we left the store with this can of paint I was mentally beating myself up. What was I thinking letting a 7 yr old pick out a paint color? Could I live with this on the walls? But you know what? It looks great! I never would have picked this comforter set or this paint color and I don’t think it looks half bad! I’m pretty happy with the results! Seems my daughter knows better than her Mom!


Sandi McBride said...

Tara dear, I read your 40th birthday at K&K's, thought then how lovely it was. I remember turning 40, too and believe me I took turning 60 this past January with much more grace and dignity. I love the completed bedroom, it's so "GIRLY" my G'Girl would love it!

Mary said...

I knew you had won as soon as I read your comment -- so eloquent and touching! Absolutely beautiful!

Your daughter's room is so cute! A few years ago I painted my daughter's room a lovely pale blue, wigh Laura Ashley curtains and comforter. A few years later, it is plastered from floor to ceiling with band posters and sports figures and pictures of cute guys. Aaargh!

Have a wonderful weekend!
I plan on having a fire in the fireplace and reading all my garden books. :)

kelly said...

very cute room!

Pat said...

HI Tara!
Congrats of winning such a pretty painting -- your birthday post was very heartfelt, and I loved it also.
"R"'s bedroom is delightful! That was a great idea to allow her to choose her own colors and accessories, and she made her room such a happy place.
It's going to be a cozy weekend in NY because of today's snow...enjoy!

pve design said...

My father always says, he never imagined the incredible life he is living. He was born with club feet, on a farm, traded for a "chicken"- one of 9! He built a business (still going strong) and he is 80 years alive and still amazes me! His glass is always half full!
It takes a positive outlook and love and gratitude!
You have that too! What a lucky lady!

pve design said...

oops, wow, do you just go in there and lick the walls!
looks like a yummy raspberry pop! lucky daughter!

Adrienne said...

I loved what you shared with K&K. So good and true. I wish on my 40th I had been able to have thoughts like that. We were in a very difficult situation at the time and survival was just about all I could hang on to. That and the wonderful birthday dinner my sweetheart and my mother put together for me.

I love the room redo. Such a great place to be. Thanks for sharing it with us.

The Old Painted Cottage said...

Hi Tara,

Congratulations! And gorgeous walll color by the way!

Jennifer said...

what a great cheerful wall color, and hey, looks great with your blog too!

A Romantic Porch said...

Tara, Congratulations on your birthday win. I thought the letter was so lovely.

Your daughters room is darling! Isn't it neat how creative little people can be if we just let them?!

Classic Charm said...

I loved your comment, I truly enjoyed reading it. I also love how your daughter's room turned out. It it so girly, and the brown comforter looks great with the call color too.

Beth Leintz said...

Love your positive attitude about getting a little older- might as well be positive- its not like we have a choice in getting older!

The pink & brown together in daughters bedroom is great- what a bright & cheery room!

Lori said...

Beautiful post! WOW! Lori

Janet said...

I knew you would win when I read your comment too. Congrats, you deserve it! Where do you live where there is a Christmas Tree Shop? We have two within 5 miles from my house and I have to say that they were much more exciting when you had to travel to one and make it a "shopping adventure". Love your daughter's room.


Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

That was a sweet story. How fun that your children get to renovate their rooms! Such great memories they will have of the experience, and a connection to their room!

Happy Weekend!

GardenGoose said...

really liked this post about your turning 40 reflections. the girls room is lovely! thanks for stopping by my blog..glad you liked the moon images.
Hope you have a lovely weekend.
p.s. drawings are being held at my blog in celebration of Leap Year Day. I'll be having several of them all on Leap yr. day. come join the fun.

Gina said...

Your daughter's room looks so sweet Tara, she has very good taste, just like her mum! Congrats on you win, I loved your birthday thoughts! Gx

Deb said...

Congratulations on your win Tara - what a great comment!
Your daughter's room is adorable.

John-Michael said...

"HAPPINESS!" That room doesn't say "happiness", it screams "HAPPINESS!"

And also whispers the beauty of an environment that nurtures and sets free on wings of confidence, an opportunity to let that expression be heard.

Well done!... all round.

Holly (Nickname) said...

Hi Tara~
She did such a sweet job on her room, especially for a 7 year old. Love the comfortor set!!!xxxooo Ruth

Jeanie said...

This is a fabulous room! Love the pink walls and all the lovelies all around! I linked here from Garden Goose and am so delighted with all the wonderful things on your blog! I'll be back!

Susie Q said...

I read your comment at the *Birthday Party* and loved it so much. The pear painting is wonderful!

I love your daughter's room! Such a gorgeous shade on the walls. That bedspread is so all is so pretty!


Anonymous said...

What a pretty pink room for your daughter. Congratulations on your lovely prize, too. Such sweet sentiments.

Kathleen Grace said...

Hi Tara! I think your daughters bedroom is beautiful! I hope you tell her I thnk she has great taste:>)

bj said...

I'm not surprised that you won....your note was just precious! Congrats on the pear picture.
I LOVE your daughter's room....
hugs, bj

She'sSewPretty said...

I love your 40th birthday story. What a wonderful glimpse into your life! Tell your little girl that she has excellent taste. Her room is Wow!

Siobhan said...

Hi Tara, You made me laugh today when I read your comment...your parents must have thought you are going nuts??? Australia? lol. Well, I am so glad you enjoyed the walk in the garden as much as I did.

Your daughters room looks so lovely...nice and happy!

Congrats on the birthday win, you deserve it!

Siobhan xoxo

Rosie's Whimsy said...

Congratulations, Tara. Your 40th B-day story was wonderful! I have been trying desperately to get caught up after my bout with the flu. I have missed so much!

Your daughter's is very sweet. i imagine she is very proud of it and can't wait to have friends over to show it off :-)

All Things Bright and Beautiful... said...

Tara - when I turn 40 I hope it shall be with the same deep contentedness that you conveyed in your post here and for the competition.

Your happiness and rootedness and gentle pleasure is inspiring :-)

You deserved to win.


I love your daughters bedroom (but you knew I would :-)

She has FAB taste and please tell her Auntie All Things Bright and Beautiful said so :-) :-)

Connie said...


That 40th birthday affects everyone differently, but you are right that it is a time of self evaluation. When I was in my 30s I was told that life begins at 40, it's true, every year is better than the last.

I think you have a future interior decorator in the family. Your daughter did a great job on her room.


Cottage Contessa said...

Oh my gosh Tara, you and your daughter did an AWESOME job on this room together, it's FABULOUS!! Love everything about it sweetie!
Amanda (aka Cottage Contessa)

Jennifer said...

Hi Tara-
Your daughter's room looks fabulous -- I love that hot pink she chose!! -- and, as always, your words are so inspirational and moving. I can easily see why K. loved your birthday wish. It's perfect.
Jennifer in Ottawa

annechovie said...

Congratulations on your prize, Tara! What you wrote was really sweet and very well put!

JeannieTheDreamer said...

What a great way to reward your children, or give them a treat. My DH and I will be married 6 years this year. So much more of life that i want for us... our toddler is turning two. my dh is 51 and i have 11 months to go before i turn 40. It's great to know of women who love their families and do a great job.