A Touch of Personality: Go Hawks!

In the Fall of 2011, we took a leap of faith, packed up our belongings, and moved our family of 5 to the sweet little town of Kalona to set up roots. Having previously lived in and around the Des Moines area, it was so comforting to be back in a small-town atmosphere. And what a blessing it was to be in a HOUSE after almost 5 years of apartment living. We finally had our own space. Don’t get me wrong, we enjoyed our old places (some more than others), but this one really felt like a home. We aren’t afraid of disturbing the neighbors with our (obnoxiously loud) surround sound during an epic action movie. I don’t have to be concerned with bothering the other tenants if my kids are getting rowdy outside or playing too loudly near their window. I no longer have to “shush” them for jumping up and down and running through the house because there are no dwellers downstairs that might be irritated by them. And for the first time in a long time… we don’t have to share a laundry room with numerous other building mates.  (Truly thanking the Lord for this one!)

 Tarahawks1Let me tell you, it has seriously been soo fun decorating the inside of our house. I unintentionally end up having themes for every room. Our daughter is donning zebra print and hot-pink while the boys’ room is decked out in Hawkeye gear – Iowa jerseys, Iowa helmets, Iowa footballs, Iowa sock-monkeys, Iowa posters and signs (what can I say, we bleed black and gold! GO HAWKS!!!). Our bedroom and living room take on more of the warm/neutral earth tones with accents of maroon here and there. Basically every room has it’s own little personality…. and I like that!

Well, after almost 2 years of living here, I realized that we were only expressing our style inside our home. I admit, I have completely neglected adding any sort of decorations or “curb-appeal” outside the house because it seemed like such a daunting task. Plus, flowers, landscaping, fire-pits, pretty little windmills, shepherds hooks, and other outdoor embellishments are expensive… and I’m cheap!!! Not to mention, since we’ve been married, we’ve never had to deal with taking care of a lawn (one perk of apt living), so we basically just mowed and that was the extent of our outdoor maintenance and décor.

Tangent – every once in a great awhile, I get super motivated to take on some big undertaking. I get all gung-ho about it and obsess over the task until it’s finished and near perfect.

tarahawks2Back to reality… about a week ago, I had one of those moments! My workout buddy had mentioned that she was heading over to the greenhouse after our run to grab some flowers and veggie plants. I instantly became inspired! Seriously, a spark lit inside me and I started having all these visions of a cute little walkway to our front door and beautiful flowering pots accentuating our driveway. And I was finally going to utilize that old iron-looking table and chair (that never got used because it was super uncomfortable) to fill that awkward nook next to the garage door. Eeeks, ideas were coming together so quickly. But, how could I add a touch of “the Claussens” to our home?! There was nothing more logical than to fill the space with our love for the Iowa Hawkeyes!

We knew we didn’t have the bucks to shell out for licensed Hawks décor, so we did the next best thing…. we made our own! We hammered out tons of projects that day! After many hours of hard work, we’d gone through countless cans of spray paint, our fingernails were caked in potting-soil, my back ached like I’d just run a marathon, and my husband and I’s determination and creativity had fizzled out. But, it was done!!! We had given our house a touch of personality! I kid you not, for the next couple days (on multiple occasions) I would walk out to the end of our driveway just to admire everything we’d accomplished. It finally looked like a home, our home – not just the house on the corner by the field. Ha!

tarahawks3So now tell me, what inspires you to give your space a touch of YOU?! Do you pride yourself in handmade and DIY projects? Are you all about giving your rooms personality? Does it interest you to do the decorating on your own, or do you enjoy handing that daunting task over to a professional? I thrive on others’ inspiration and I am always open to new ideas! =)

And one last time… GO HAWKS!!!!

Stay-at-home-Momma to 3 rambunctious, but adorable kiddos, and wife to her talented husband, Gabriel, Tara spends most of her days in a hectically blessed world! Her two boys, Simeon (6) and Solomon (5), and sassy 3-year-old daughter, Surion, help keep her on her toes. She is proud to call Kalona her home and settled in quickly after moving from central Iowa a few years ago to launch a ministry in the IC area. Her family is an avid supporter of all the local “Hawks”… Go Black and Gold! She claims that exercise is not her strong suit, but continues to condition her body (mostly through running) in hopes that one day, it will come naturally to her. She enjoys being creative through crafting and DIY projects, and admits that her body is a canvas and artistic outlet with her many tattoos and piercings. Tara has a special place in her heart for “finding a good deal,” and can often be found scouring local thrift stores for all sorts of wonderful treasures! She is truly passionate about litter-removal and recycling and hopes her obsession will rub off on the munchkins so they can lead a “clean” life in their future. Lastly, and most importantly, Tara has a heart for the Lord and is thrilled to be involved with her community MOPs group. =)



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