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5 years ago today, I tuned 30 and published a blog post with some larger than life goals attached. I had decided to participate in a 101 in 1,001 challenge, which consists of setting 101 goals for yourself and living them out over the course of 1,001 days (2.74 years, to be exact). I remember drafting the list one sweltering afternoon in the passenger seat of my minivan, AC blaring in the muggy Wichita heat. Waverly napped in her carseat, and Ryan walked around used car lots looking for a Tahoe to get us through the snowy Kansas winter. I remember the feeling of excitement and commitment I had the moment I pressed ‘publish’, and could so clearly see all of the adventures that lay before us.
3 months later, I found out I was pregnant, and the majority of that list went RIGHT out the window.
I went back to my original post last night, and decided to look over the list for posterity. I was surprised to find this sentence floating among the resolutions:
“I don’t want to wake up, be 35 with a 5 year old child, and feel like all I have to show for it is a well-refreshed Facebook feed. I need to start living life again.”
THAT certainly gave me a chuckle.
I don’t think I gave “35 year old me” a second thought. I remember so many details about my 30th birthday- what I wore, what I ate, what we watched during the Summer Olympics, what I bought with my mom at Von Maur as impulse birthday presents. Life is SO DIFFERENT now- another child, another state, a dog, and a new job that I would have confidently bet you $10,000 5 years ago I would never have on my resumé.
It’s been 10 years since I moved to New York City, and my baby girl starting Kindergarten next week… the milestones are building up all around me, and I hate the feeling that I’m slowly becoming too attached to checking Instagram to put the phone down and fully LIVE life. Looks like it’s good timing to get this thing going again.
Here is what the next 2.74 years of my life is going to look like (in no particular order):
1. Take a yoga class
2. Take a cooking class
3. Learn to can a food (make jam or pickles?)
4. Go camping
5. Finish my KonMari decluttering process
6. Have a garage sale
7. Plan a vacation with my childhood girlfriends and their families
8. Read 1 new book every month
9. Drink 100oz of water every day for a week
10. Create and complete a capsule wardrobe
11. Take a closet inventory and build a wardrobe look book
12. Do the Bolder Boulder 10k run
13. Attend a CU Buffs football game
14. Take a watercolor class
15. Take an Irish step dancing class
16. Go flyfishing
17. Take a vacation to the beach and collect seashells
18. Visit Carlton Landing, OK
19. Take my children to San Juan Island for a weeklong nature vacation
20. Throw a game night party
21. Plant a cut flower garden and give bouquets to friends
22. Put in a vegetable garden
23. Take a vacation to our family ski condo in Keystone, CO and finally teach the kids to ski
24. Start a nature journal
25. Visit a farmers market once a month
26. See Hamilton
27. Learn how to make a pie crust from scratch
28. Sew mysef a dress
29. Get a blog redesign
30. Record an oral history of my mom and dad
31. Research and put together a family tree for the Mr and I
32. Read for 30 minutes every night for 1 month
33. Go social media-free every weekend for 1 month
34. Pay off Ryan’s student loans
35. No iPhone in bed for 1 month
36. Put together a master birthday calendar
37. Send each person on the birthday calendar a birthday card *before* their birthday starting in January
38. Embroider a needlepoint hanging for each child
39. Make 10 Christmas presents for friends and family
40. Throw a dinner party
41. Make one of Julia Child’s famous recipes
42. Learn how to tie a tie
43. Learn how to tie a bow tie
44. Memorize 2 Christmas songs on the piano
45. Learn how to make felt flowers
46. Read my Bible in a Year Bible
47. Find “my” Bible verse
48. Write a thank you letter to an old teacher
49. Save $100 a month for a rainy day
50. Create a meal planning system that works for our family
51. Go 1 month without eating out
52. Learn how to play Bridge
53. Learn how to play gin rummy
54. Make Waverly’s baby album
55. Make Wilder’s baby album
56. Re-join the public library
57. Go orchard picking (apple, peach, whatever comes up first)
58. Meditate every day for 1 month
59. Lose 10 lbs by New Years Eve
60. Participate in a bible study from #SheReadsTruth
61. Blog my way through the 101 in 1,001 challenge
62. Organize ALL of my photos, get them out of the computer and into photo books to be looked at
63. Have professional family photos taken once a year
65. Donate to a diaper bank once a month
66. Learn how to make scones/tea cakes/traditional tea time foods
67. Have a picnic
68. Collaborate with my mom to make a family cookbook
69. Collaborate with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to make a family cookbook
70. Learn how to make candy from my mother-in-law
71. Teach both kids how to swim
73. Cook with 1 new ingredient a month
74. Try 50 new recipes
75. Take my children to London and Cambridge to see where I lived in college
76. Redecorate/style our bookcases
77. Take the family back to New York City
78. Take a photo of the kids together every day for 1 month
79. Go to bed by 9:30pm for 1 month
80. Learn how to make a homemade Chai Tea Latte just like Starbucks
81. Host a board games night
82. Hit Level V with Rodan + Fields and qualify for a company Lexus
83. Floss every day for a month
84. Organize all my Rodan + Fields business paperwork
85. Listen to the top 50 albums on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums list
86. Climb a 14er
87. Read 25 books from my AP English book list from 2000
88. Read a comprehensive book about mythology
89. Go through ALL of my 9(!!!) inboxes to clean them out and consolidate the accounts
90. Save up for a Lulu McGee work computer
91. (re)Learn Photoshop
92. Improve my handwriting
93. Learn how to french braid
94. Learn how to drive a manual transmission car
95. Develop a list of 15 tried and true family recipes for dinner
96. Visit somewhere in the South and eat 6 traditional Southern foods
97. Take a road trip to a new place once every 6 months
98. Learn how to play my favorite song on the guitar (Ray Lamontagne’s Acre of Land)
99. Clean through all my memorabilia boxes and do something with them (Blurb book? Scrapbooks?)
100. Buy myself an Airstream trailer
101. Throw a party for completing my list!
Happy 35th birthday to me!
Let the games begin… again…
I really miss this space.
One year ago today, Ryan flew out to Carlsbad, CA to start his first day in his new job. I woke up at 5am, packed up our hotel room, and grabbed some drive-thru McDonald’s breakfast on the way to meet our moving crew and semi truck full of personal belongings.
Well, that was embarrassing.
I just remembered that I was “actively” engaged in the big 101 in 1,001 List project I set out for myself in August of 2012, just a few months after we relocated to Wichita with a newborn in tow. It’s so funny, because I can picture where I was (waiting in the minivan while Ryan looked at a used car to buy) when I started drafting the list, and even remember the excitement of pushing Publish on the post detailing my list.
But now, I review the list, and can’t help but snort (frequently) at some of the lofty goals I had set for myself-
No. 86- Watch AFI’s Top 100 Movies of All Time? Fairly cool in theory, but what do I do if they’re not on Netflix? It’s not like I have a Blockbuster around the corner anymore, and I certainly don’t have the motivation to start stalking them all on the local library website.
No. 87- Read 25 books from my AP English book list from 2000? Another goal I’ve had since… well… since I actually took AP English in 2000. But I can’t even re-prioratize my time to get through the pile of 50+ “I traded frequent flier miles I couldn’t use for free subscription” magazines I’ve been hoarding in the garage for the last year. And let’s be honest- if I finally did carve out some reading time, the October 2014 issue of Food & Wine magazine would easily trump Dostoevsky.
Many of the items were centered on getting to know our new-to-us-at-the-time state of Kansas (visiting the Plaza in Kansas City at Christmastime, drive through the Flint Hills, take a family river fishing trip to Missouri like we used to do when I was a little kid). We were actually able to hit more of those than I expected, but the rest went out the window when we relocated to Phoenix a year ago.
I’m a little bummed that some of the ones focusing on philanthropy (No. 65- donate to a diaper bank one a month) Waverly (like No. 49- save $100 a month for the baby, or No. 62- writing a letter to the baby every month on the 31st) all fell WAY short of expectations. But I’d say that the (wonderfully) impromptu addition of No 102 to the list – Have a Second Baby- kind of threw everything out the window there.
For you-know-whats and giggles, I think I’m actually going to try and finish out the last month as strongly as I can. I’m hoping to catch up on blogging about the other items I did manage to cross off my list, because a) that’ll be fun to look back on in 10 years, and b) it will make me feel slightly better about one more grandly drafted list that I was too lazy/busy/overwhelmed to complete. C’est la vie.
Ryan’s on a red eye flight to San Francisco for work, my mom’s asleep in our casita, the kids are (finally) fast asleep, and I’m sitting in the quiet living room with a greyhound in hand, reveling at how a 3 year old’s birthday could somehow be the best non-wedding, non-baby delivering day of my entire life.
I’m surprised that I didn’t add “Learn how to coupon” on my 101 in 1,001 goal list, because I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of clipping out a little piece of paper out of the newspaper in exchange for getting groceries for free. I’m all about searching out a free shipping code when shopping online, but the act of physical couponing is SO foreign to me.
I attempted to “coupon” the first summer we lived in Wichita, since I was a new mom with zero friends, working from home and having fair amount of free time on my hands. I spent $35 for a subscription to the local newspaper, and went crazy bookmarking all of those blogs with the catchy “Couponing 101” photos on Pinterest. I honestly found the whole process to be pretty overwhelming, with the huge binders full of inserts to have on hand and all of the pop-ups associated with the online coupon printing websites. The more I looked for deals, the more I realized that none of the products we seemed to buy had coupons available to use (and I wasn’t about to start eating entirely out of prepackaged meal boxes just to save 35 cents at the grocery). Needless to say, I did not make back my $35 invested in the newspaper subscription that summer.
Fast forward to our situation today, where we have 1 more mouth in the family to feed and 1 less corporate salary to feed it with. We’re still readjusting to to the cost of living increase we’ve had by coming back to Phoenix from Wichita. Though our family is even less interested in eating process foods now then we were 2 years ago, we’re more open to finding ways to pinch a penny or two around the house.
I’ve found some interesting blogs related to eating healthy on a budget lately, and recently subscribed to Money Saving Mom’s newsletter. I’ve been impressed with the newsletter content so far, and have actually implemented a few of her ideas, so when she announced that she had just acquired the rights to Grocery University, I was intrigued.
It’s an online audio course that promises to teach you how to coupon. Fair enough, right? What struck me is that a) it’s inexpensive, and b) it’s supposed to help beginners coupon well from the beginning, and teach seasoned coupon pros how to save even more money. Oh, and did I mention that it’s inexpensive? hahaha
I’ve signed up to give it a shot, and hope I’ll have some good tips to share with you (along with some extra cash in my grocery budget to show for it).
Do you coupon? Or are you terrified of the process like me? Either way, I’d love to hear from you!
She’s doing M/W/F half days at a local private church school. Ironically, Pomp and Circumstance came on the radio on our way to her first day. God sure has a sense of humor sometimes!
I could barely handle the sight of a bunch of toddlers and little kiddos running around in uniforms, it was just the best. I was also thrilled that one of my sorority sisters has a daughter in Junior Kindergarden there, it’s nice to know another family right off the bat.
Waverly had a great day, save for the fact that she used a red Crayola marker as “lip-tick” and came out looking like a bit of a mess. But that’s what preschool is all about, right?! We celebrated by picking up her favorite doughnut at BoSa Donuts, which she ate in about a minute and a half.
I asked if she had fun, and she said she did but that she “was cryin’ because she wanted Mommy to be with me but Mommy went to California”. (?!?) What. A. Doll. All in all, it was a great day. I can’t wait to see how she grows and develops in the next year ahead!
I’ve been playing around with the idea of doing a weekly snapshot of life after coming across this fun snapshot format my friend D.O.N. posted a few months ago. Here’s a little catch up of my first week as a 32 year old:
Watching: Peppa Pig and Sid the Science Kid streamed onto our Smart TV via YouTube. Peg + Cat and too much Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on Netflix. My old Fantasia 2000 DVD, finally discovered by the kiddos. (Thinking I need to throw in a good old fashioned Netflix documentary so I can say I watched ONE thing this week that wasn’t developed for a primary audience under the age of 12.)
Reading: French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billion
This book was an impulse purchase made during a 2am nursing session during Wilder’s first few sleepless weeks of newborn life. I’m only 1/3 of the way through, but I’m really enjoying the story and subsequent “Food Rules” Le Billion has laid out thus far. I have not actually reached the part where one learns how to make your own child eat everything though, so will reserve final praise until I’ve finished.
Wanting: An entire new closet (I’m just being honest here). In all seriousness, I’m working on slowly transitioning my closet into a capsule wardrobe. It’s a great concept – a small amount of clothing you mix and match to create a larger number of outfits (think those chic ‘how to pack for Europe in a carry-on suitcase’ pins you see on Pinterest, only using that as your full-time closet for the season).
Needing: To not want to buy new clothes. The kids to both sleep through the night more than once every 6 weeks. To finally create a good house cleaning schedule.
Buying: I was a good mom and put all of my birthday money towards Waverly’s new school uniforms (hello, cutest toddler saddle shoes on the planet!), but did splurge on a neon pink messy bow head wrap for Waverly from Ruby Blue.
I discovered the brand after seeing my blog friend Fancy Ashley’s daughter rocking some amazing messy bows on Instagram over the past month. It turns out that they’re water/pool safe too, so I decided to get myself an adult sized head wrap to hold back my hair when I wash my face. So fun.
Listening To: Jamie Cullum Pandora station. Wilder crying through the baby monitor because he’s refusing to go down for an afternoon nap (for the 4th time this week).
Planning: Waverly’s first day of school next week. Setting up my own printed weekly calendar/planning binder, as my Whitney English Day Designer finished in July. While I loved (looooved) my Day Designer, I need something smaller/lighter to tote around in my purse/diaper bag for 2 still in diapers. Also, I’m trying to spend money more responsibly (aka not buying something just because I want it). I already have a printer, paper, and access to the Internet (all wonderful things I’m trying not to take for granted), so will just go with a pretty, free printable until I come up with a better solution.
So far, this free printable from The Handmade Home takes the cake.
Googling: Recipes for easy to make party hors d’oeuvres made with ingredients that are supposed to be “good for your skin”. I’m hosting a little cocktail hour and fundraiser this weekend with some sorority sisters to celebrate the launch of my Rodan + Fields business. The idea of skin-friendly apps to go along with the skincare party theme could either be really adorable, or really dumb. The jury’s still out. I’ll keep you posted.
Cooking: I’ve been working on some simple, delicious rotisserie chicken crock pot projects that I hope to blog about soon.
Experimenting: With making my own chicken stock from scratch. Trying to blog every day.
Dreaming: Life in London. This Phoenix heat is really starting to cramp my style, so I find myself mentally relocating my family to a rainy, drizzly fall afternoon in England at least 10 times a day. Loving the idea of moving back to Cambridge and walking the banks of the River Cam with my wellie-clad littles. Bliss.
What has been on your radar this week? I’d love to hear from you! xo