Tinker Verve

creating with spirit & enthusiasm…often with great results

It’s a perfect day to celebrate life!

Isn’t ‘life’ a funny thing?

Is it possible that at any age we have arrived at a place where we have it figured out?

I can’t seem to get myself to write the numbers here, in black and white, that reveal my new age today.  When I think of those numbers I shake my head…I can’t believe it…I’m beyond middle age…When I was young I looked at ladies like me and thought that they were really old!

And yet, I will say that I love where I am in life.

There isn’t a day or a year where I wish to return.

Each year has offered more…has taken me to a better life…this life.

I’m not even sure that there was a time in my life where I felt better than I do today {or if I did, I just didn’t know how much I should appreciate it}.

There are aspects of those early years that I miss…I miss the perky, thinner version of me {that just had to come first}…I miss holding my babies…I miss the places where we lived that gave us friends that we no longer get to see…I miss my grandparents…

I love that everything in my previous 47 years brought me right to where I am today {there! that was a gently way of saying it}!

The current picture of me that you see above was included in a post that Amber wrote yesterday {great post, btw…check it out}.  My first response was that of shock that she would post a picture of me like that….no make-up…hair not done…etc.  This was a work day.  We were getting ready for the workshop the next day.  In fact, she was suppose to be taking shots of the bucket of milk that I was holding.   I believe my instructions were, ‘not my face!”

I love the little lessons that life sends our way in the form of surprises. 

One thing that I have learned in my life is that I want to be real…in every possible way!

Seeing that photo reminded me of that.  That picture is raw, real, natural…all of the things that I want to be each day. 

No cover-up!

I had to put the two photos side-by-side because there is simply no mistaking that they are the same girl.  I love that little girl ~ she knew how to love life… and I also love the person she has become.  {wow! those are hard words to say…it feels bold…but the tears streaming down my face right now makes it feel less so…}

photo by: Tres Birds Photography

I will still always prefer the pictures of myself where my my chin looks like one single chin and my make-up and hair are nicely done…where the lines around my eyes are softened…

And this will be just another wonderful day to celebrate life!

photo by: Tres Birds Photography

The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.
-Madeleine L’Engle

I would love to send one of you a gift! 

A bar of my hand-made soap…made from fresh goat milk! …and a CELEBRATE charm…{like the one I’m wearing in the picture above…it is personally, my favorite charm}

Leave a comment, answering this question…What is your favorite part of your life?  What brings a smile to your face on a regular basis?  What makes you celebrate life?

August 13, 2011 - Posted by | birthday, life


  1. First Happy Birthday! What makes me celebrate? Let’s start with morning light and a big welcome to the day. Of course Family is the most important and always an occasion to celebrate. But some of the funny little things like watching my girls(hens) great me every morning when I check on them. My goofy dog having to turn around ten times before she can snuggle down with me at night. Yes, it is the small silly things that put a smile on my face. Hugs to you today and it’s my birthday tomorrow! Nope, not getting my age out of me!

    Comment by Junebug | August 13, 2011 | Reply

  2. Happy Birthday !! You are a youngin girl !! Celebrate indeed !! I celebrate my life so differantly than I ever dreamed I would. At 54 I celebrate each day by being thankful for all the little things that happen in my day. Its a day to celebrate when my pain levels are down and I can spend time in my studio creating. It is a good day when I am with family… I celebrate them, the love they give to me. I celebrate by being thankful for each moment that comes along. Appreciating the new puppy that barking his head off at a new toy !! LOL!! Ok… celebrating rescuing him from the mean toy !! LOL!! Happy day Elaine !!!

    Comment by Kristy | August 13, 2011 | Reply

  3. What a beautiful post and a beautiful lady ~ inside and out!
    Happy Birthday! May God bless you with many more precious moments & memories that make life so amazing.
    So many favorite parts of life but I have to say I truly realize how richly blessed I am when I tuck my boys in at night! Precious moments I’ll always cherish….

    Comment by Ronnie | August 13, 2011 | Reply

  4. Wow – happy birthday!
    I had tears welling in my eyes reading your post. So proud of you, even though we’ve never met. You have always seemed real, raw and natural to me. I love getting your posts in my in-box. The beauty you share of the world around you and yourself is a bright spot for me. Thank you.
    The things that bring a smile to my face would have to center around the blessings of my family as well. My children haven’t quite left the nest yet but right now I find that I am enjoying them in new ways. A closeness with my 15 y/o daughter that I missed out on with my mom, we were just too much alike at times I think. And watching my 18 y/o son stretch his wings, I never thought I was the super protective type – but it is soooo hard watching him as he is getting ready to make life decisions. So, I am learning to grow up too and discovering that I am ok, I am a grown up, I guess I am sort of finding myself again. It’s fun!

    Comment by thistlegal | August 13, 2011 | Reply

  5. Happy birthday gorgeous lady!!! Love the photos – you are such a stunner!! Hope your day, week, year are full of all the joy and happiness that you deserve and all the peace that you can handle!
    Hugs to you!
    Jen xoxox

    Comment by Jenny | August 13, 2011 | Reply

    • Thank you, Jenny – I do believe that I’m blushing! 🙂

      Comment by Elaine | August 13, 2011 | Reply

  6. Happy Birthday! Your post was a real encouragment to me….mine is coming and yes…..it’s a biggie…..can’t believe I will be 50! I love that I still have little ones at home and for the last few years I have been a stay at home mom….what a gift! Love it, it allows me to do so much more….including crafting fun things and hanging out with my kids, my youngest is 6 my oldest is 22 and I have two Foster kids….3 and 10 months…..so I have my hands full but I love it!

    Comment by Grace | August 14, 2011 | Reply

  7. One of my favorite parts of life is…… that God gives me a new start every morning!

    Comment by Tanya | August 14, 2011 | Reply

  8. Happy Birthday..I think you will look great at any age. What makes me celebrate? Well Actually my life is a bore…I work 16 hours a day on call 24/7 taking care of my patients. I am a Nurse Practitioner. Been a Nurse since 1978. Was a nursing assistant from age 18. My body is broke and worn out. I have had 4 back surgeries, spinal leaks, 2 spinal fusions. Knee replacement and the body continues to go downhill daily but I go to work everyday and make my patients well. I have worked all my life and never learned to live. So when I came across your blog it was the only happiness I could find. I love reading your blog daily as it makes me happy for all of you who are having fun. For you all who have chosen to live the life you have. So I celebrate reading your blog and looking at your pictures and dreaming that one day soon maybe I can begin to live. I am 56. So Happy Birth Day I am glad you are doing what you love.

    Comment by PAT | August 14, 2011 | Reply

    • Oh, Pat – I want to say to you that it’s never too late to find the ‘fun’ in your life…to find joy and to celebrate. It makes me feel special to be a bright spot in your life. I wish we were closer and could meet for lunch. That would make it all the more special.

      take care and give some time for YOU!…Elaine

      Comment by Elaine | August 14, 2011 | Reply

  9. Happy Birthday, Elaine! What do I celebrate? Well, first of all living! And being loved, and loving, and my artsy crafty endeavors, and the opportunity to care for my parents as they cared for me. But the two things that I really celebrate the two gifts, freely given, that I have received in my life. Salvation and the knowledge of God’s love for me, and the love of a wonderful man to share my celebrations and tears. Those truly are the two best gifts I’ve ever been given, and I am so blessed!

    Comment by Becky Garrison | August 15, 2011 | Reply

  10. Happy Birthday, Elaine! You continue to inspire me to be myself and do what I love… to be creative, to enjoy simple pleases as well as sparkley baubles, to treasure my roots while maintaining my personal and spiritual growth, to be hospitable, and live in the moment. I wish I was closer so I could make soap, bagels, charms, etc with you! (Which reminds me that I need to schedule to see Loren before whe moves away too!!!)

    Be blessed dear friend!

    Comment by Amy | August 15, 2011 | Reply

  11. My kids are amazing and bring joy to my life every day. 🙂

    and happy happy birthday!

    Comment by miacupcake | August 15, 2011 | Reply

  12. Elaine- I love and miss you! Happy Birthday! Thank you for your transparency and depth. Aging can create such a sense of loss and grief but I am thankful that God can transform that mourning. I am also thankful that with each passing moment we come closer to Him. I wish I could say that today is my favorite part of my life but God still has much to do in me and my thinking….so with that in mind tomorrow will be the favorite part of my life. Its funny because we tend to either live in the past or look to the future when all our ducks are in a row when a ring is on our finger or a child is placed in our arms. Oh life 🙂

    Comment by Nicole | August 15, 2011 | Reply

  13. Thank you for this post. I needed it today! I needed to think about what I celebrate in life, instead of what I don’t. It’s so easy to get caught up in thinking about where you are not, instead of where you are, regardless of how things where “supposed” to be. So, here goes: I celebrate every precious milestone that my amazing son reaches and exceeds in spite of autism. Every accomplishment he makes fills me with pure joy, pride, love and gratitude. I celebrate (and thank God) for the fact that I am my son’s mother and that I was given the challenge and the privilege to raise him. Thank you, thank you for giving me the opportunity to remind myself of this today. I hope you have a birthday as lovely as you are! xo Fielding

    Comment by Fielding | August 16, 2011 | Reply

    • Very, very special, Fielding….

      Comment by Elaine | August 16, 2011 | Reply

  14. What an inpsiring post. I had to think what I have been most celebrating. I kept coming back to the word imagination. How wonderful it is to use my imagination in creating food, shaping my four children in the right direction, the garden, and in the craft room. Imagination is the drive that sparks me to be better and try harder. Thanks for your Blog Elaine. I truely enjoy your writing and pictures. Just to let you know, I got to go pick 40 pounds of blueberries at Bills Berry Farm in Grandview a few weeks ago. It was total BLISS. I was having so much fun. I mentioned that I knew you. They spoke so highly of you! Blessings to you!

    Comment by rosie | August 16, 2011 | Reply

  15. Happy! Birthday! I love your blog! I think the thing that makes me smile most is the gift and miracle of life. Being able to wake up and see a sunrise, or the touch of a newborn baby grabbing your finger. The gift of seeing a beautiful butterfly on a brightly colored flower all gifts given by God, that most people just overlook. The things that make me smile most are trying to see the best in everything around me…

    Comment by Linda Moore | August 17, 2011 | Reply

  16. I am NOT very computer savvy…but I DO know how to open your messages!…and I have to say I look for them like an old friend’s phone call! I love it that you are so adventurous and brave. You DO everything I always wanted to do! Now I am 61 years young…and I am starting over in lots of ways…and am loving doing some fun “earthy” things… I get so inspired by your posts. Keep it up… you keep my spirits up in my tumultuous times. Thanks, Lizzy Bean

    Comment by Lizzy | August 17, 2011 | Reply

  17. Hi Elaine. This is your friend from Deer Park. I read your post and thought that you have learned a great life lesson that many never learn…or at least until much older. You see, I am in my 60’s, and I still hear…”remember the good ol’ days?” I remember days, good and bad, lessons hard learned and joys unmeasured spending with those I love. Some are not here with me anymore. I am sorry about that, but those I do have, I cherish all the more. I enjoy today, what it has to offer and teach.

    You are right when you say that it is important to be real…no facade, no pretense, no pretending. It starts being real to yourself and (for me) God. He knows my being..even before I was born. It has taken me a long time…a journey to learn what He knows about me. Thank you for being here, and speaking truth for many of us. Remember, you “young thing”, that there are those who are much older than you, who you have spoken truth to their heart. I am counted as one. Claudia Ramsey

    Comment by Claudia Ramsey | August 20, 2011 | Reply

  18. My favorite part of life? The not knowing, and the beauty of how it all works out. I am learning to ‘Bloom where I am planted’ and enjoying what God has given me. So many surprises show up! Most importantly I am learning to be grateful for each little moment that I make a connection with others, no matter how fleeting. I smile when I realize simple beauty, the morning sunrise, the evening dawn, my kids laughter, and my husband’s sigh when he walks through the door at the end of the day and just drops his briefcase and hugs me.
    I wish you the happiest of birthdays, and a blessed year ahead! You are so beautiful, thank you for your words of inspiration. I love your art, you are a gift to us all.


    Comment by Jennifer Morales | August 20, 2011 | Reply

  19. Beautiful post. I love knowing finally (at 55), that there is nothing I could ever do to make God love me any less. And, that there is nothing I could do to make Him love me more. And not only does He love us? He likes us. He likes me. 🙂 For years I thought I needed to bring order to my creative chaos, now I’m free to live right in the middle of it…yay 😉

    Comment by debi | August 21, 2011 | Reply

  20. Elaine – what I LOVE about my life – at 52 – that I have finally come full circle to really know who I am. To know the many things I want to be when I grow up and getting the opportunity to do them…..ALLL! That I don’t feel like I fit in an age category/bracket. that I have friends who are twenty something with babies and I have some who are great grandmothers. That’s what I love about where I am right here, right now! Everything around me puts a smile on my face – even a pile of dirty laundry – lol because I know that there are more important things in life than getting worked up over dirty laundry

    Comment by Elizabeth Colvin | August 23, 2011 | Reply

  21. What makes me happy is my family. Happy Birthday and as my grandma said, “Never act your age and people won’t be able to guess it, and your not old till your dead!” So I NEVER act my 50 something age and I’m not dead yet!!!! You look beautiful and remember how not so bright we were when we were young so we had no concept of aging. Have a great day!

    Comment by kelli hansen | August 27, 2011 | Reply

  22. After 47+ years, my husband brings such a smile to my face. I can remember asking my Mother just minutes before my wedding, “What will we talk about day after day.” Many days have come and gone and now I know what she meant when she answered, “Life.” Happy Birthday

    Comment by Sheila Mulkin | August 29, 2011 | Reply

    • Wow, Sheila – that one made me cry. I love to hear about love and dedication to marriage. Such a great answer that your mom gave you! You are almost to 50 years …congratulations!

      Comment by Elaine | August 29, 2011 | Reply

  23. I am with ya’ sister. I am loving my life at 54 and it hasn’t been an easy one. I have had more than my share of losses, but God is faithful and I am having fun with family and friends. Thank you for a post that speaks to what it is to be a woman today and all the promises that it holds today and in the future.


    P.S. I see “Teacher Becky” in your BoHo retreat picture. She taught my son in pre-school. Love her!

    Comment by Clara Strom | August 30, 2011 | Reply

  24. My favorite part of life is that even when things are hard, and they can be so hard sometimes, I have so much to be thankful for. A loving, funny, understanding husband, kids who think I can do anything, animals that love me no matter what and I have the joy of knowing that I live a purposeful life. I can sew, cook, can and dry food and enjoy the fruits of my labors. I work a stressful job, but know that I help people. I can see beauty all around me and enjoy the simple things.

    Comment by Debbie Holmes | August 30, 2011 | Reply

  25. At 58 years of age I still love my life. I am grateful for each day I wake up and see the beautiful wonders that the Lord has waiting for me. I am thankful for good health–without it nothing else would matter. I’ve learned what is important if life, since I lost my only child in 2010. I see the beauty in everything. Most important the Lord has been by my side always and I have learned how to trust in Him completely. I’m thankful for wonderful memories, they can’t be taken from you. I am grateful for a very wonderful and loving husband. It is so easy now to enjoy the simple things in life. Stacy

    Comment by Stacy Engel | September 10, 2011 | Reply

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