This is a story about Marika's room.
Over the summer, Marika and I had reminisced about her days of riding horses competitively and how much she missed that time with her friends at the barn and the regional/national horse shows. We talked about her hours of dedication to her horsemanship that are now put on the back burner as she pursues her pre-med coursework at college.
She wondered if we couldn't resurrect and frame some of the photos that had been taken at the shows and put them up in her room as a reminder of some of the very "good times" she remembers.
We left it at that. Just "thoughts" and "wishes" that she could be surrounded by some of the really memorable photos of the horses (Oz and Baily) that took her to winning rides.
Enter "Marika's Mom" and her "need to do something creative!"
While Marika was at school this quarter, I called the professional photographer who had been the designated show photographer and had 16"x20" prints made of two great images. I had them framed (Yikes! Expensive!) and began "decorating" the room around them.
Marika had chosen a bright and cheery quilt over the summer in the rich blues you see in the photo above.
I added bedside tables and lamps and pillows from IKEA. Our indispensable handyman painted the wall the bright blue color you see (and love).
Then I went about getting the perfect candles and smaller decorative elements for the rest of the room. (Only thing I couldn't afford on my budget was a flat screen TV for the room!)
I surprised Marika when she arrived home for Thanksgiving the first night by telling her in a calm and casual way, "Go ahead and put your suitcase up in your room and come back down to tell us about your flight and school."
She went upstairs expecting her "old" room and was greeted by her "new" room. There were gasps of delight and surprise and a few joyful tears.
"Mom, I can't believe you did all of this for me!" she said.
After a few days of being here and getting used to the "newness", I asked her what she liked best about the new room makeover.
"My room smells like a vanilla cupcake every time I walk into it!" she said, commenting on the soy candle wafting away in the corner 24/7.
(And that's not such a good thing, we both agreed. Marika and I added pounds during our summer vigil in Gil's hospital room -- what else do you do but eat and go to Starbucks downstairs in the hospital cafeteria when you're a visitor all day every day -- and we don't need anything else that smells like a vanilla cupcake!)
I think we'll change out the soy candle to the pine scent of a winter forest!!
P.S. Marika gets home for her two weeks of Winter Break a week from tomorrow. The countdown of 10 days begins today.
Girl coming home soon
Her Dad's favorite daughter
Her Mom's pride and joy.