That’s right folks, on February 12th, 2015 I will turn 35! Shocking I know. Even more shocking, this year Susanna and her lifelong BFF Hannah will turn 30. That’s my baby sister! Turning 30! Wowza.
Over the break we got to hang out with Hannah, and I learned that she has a blog where she writes about the 30 things she wants to do before she turns 30 in May. It is a great list and the blog is a great read so go check it out. Now.
It was so inspiring to me that I decided to do a 35 before 35 list of my own. In keeping with my The Year of Rising to the Occasion, I plan to not take on too much. I’ve tried to keep it very doable and yet throw in a few challenges. I would say that 9 of these items are going to be ‘hard’ to do but the rest, while not necessarily easy, are things that I’d really love to do in the coming 13.5 months.
Without further ado, I present (in no particular order) my 35 BEFORE 35 LIST:
1. Read through the whole Bible in six months. If I’ve done my calculations correct, this means that I need to read approximately 8 chapters per day. I’ve already started in on this one and with a Bible app on my phone and a lot of nursing-the-baby time in my future I think I’ll be able to do this pretty easily.
2. Earn the Heart of Leadership for being a Star Stylist for Stella & Dot. This is a special honor given to Star Stylists for maintaing their payrank for 4 consecutive months. Since getting pregnant, I have been a major slacker in leading my team and achieving my S&D goals. It’s time to stop doing that. Plus the financial benefits of working my business will help to pay for a lot of the other items on this list.
3. Sew the girls matching somethings. Perhaps it’ll be their Easter dresses. Perhaps it’ll be little cotton skirts for the Summer. Perhaps it’ll just be matching headbands. But I’ve had girls for too long to not have made them something adorable and matching.
4. Go to Savannah, GA. I’ve always wanted to go there and since we are most likely going to Florida in July for S&D’s annual convention, I figured maybe we could work in a few days in Savannah on the way there or on the way back. This is one of two items on my list that I am most doubtful will happen but I’d love to do it. So there you go.
5. Paint an abstract painting for our bedroom. Most likely an abstract landscape like the one above. Whenever I have been given the chance to paint, I have found it to be so relaxing and wonderful. I’ve never been trained in painting, but I do have an artistic eye and I think it will be fun to try this.
6. Make a pattern of my Hospital Gown to share with the world. You may have seen this picture of me on Pinterest. Before Lou was born, I made a hospital gown by following a pattern I found online. The website where I found it has since disappeared, and I get a LOT of traffic to my old design blog from people wanting to make their own gown. So I am going to take out my gown (most likely before I go to the hospital to give birth), lay it out and make a pattern that others can download and follow.
7. Finish my desk. I bought a roll-top desk in May. Since then I have painted everything except the roll top. I really need to finish that. Oh, I also need to buy some new hardware for the drawers.
9. Read the Books “Angle of Repose” by Wallace Stegner and “Bridge of San Luis Rey” by Thorton Wilder and discuss them with my dad. These are two of his favorite books and I’ve wanted to read them both for awhile now.
10. Organize our collection of digital pictures. They are somewhat organized now but many of them are incorrectly named and the whole collection is not easy to navigate. I really need to go through them and perfect our system so we can easily find the pictures we want when we want them. And I really need to delete the blurry ones and the duplicate ones. It’s a yucky task but someone’s gotta do it.
11. Finish Juju’s Quilt (Juju = my mom). I started a quilt for her 4 Christmases ago. I got very close to finishing it 2 years ago but then Gigi came early and it got pushed on the backburner. Time to get it done.
13. Take Rock to Ford’s Theatre. Abraham Lincoln and I share a birthday (along with Charles Darwin, Christina Ricci and the inimitable Arsenio Hall) so he has always been my favorite President. It has been a long time since I went to Ford’s Theatre, and I would love to take Rock with me on a special date because I think he is old enough to appreciate it now. Hopefully we can work this in before Baby #4 makes his debut.
Make Susanna’s Birthday gift. I have an awesome gift idea that I’ve wanted to make Zuni for years now but I’ve never gotten my act together to do it. But she’s gonna be 30 this year (love how I keep writing that, Susanna?) and since I didn’t get it done for Christmas (my original goal), I really wanna get it done now. I actually started it today and can’t wait to post about it after she gets it later in January.
Find a bold lip option. I am very much a lip color minimalist. I prefer lip gloss/ chapstick/ lip balm to lipstick. But these days everyone seems to be rocking bright red lips and I wanna find one that will work for me. I’ll probably only ever wear it twice but I think the hunt will be fun.
Make spaghetti sauce from scratch. Last year my friend Carla took a professional cooking class that was incredibly intense. From duck to puff pastry to homemade pasta and spaghetti sauce, she learned how the chefs make things the right way. I had her homemade spaghetti and pasta this Summer and it was GLORIOUS! I’m not sure I’m up for making my own noodles, but I’d love to know how to make sauce from scratch so I’m gonna get her recipe and try it out.
17. Go on a date to the Newseum with Fix. The re-vamped Newseum has been downtown for several years now and it’s high time we go check it out.
18. Clear out the pantry and donate items to The Bowie Food Pantry (a non-profit that provides food for families in need in our community) at least once a quarter. I’m excited to get the kids involved in this one. We might also do the same thing with their toys – find somewhere we can donate what they no longer play with.
19. Go to a Speakeasy. There is one above Eamonn’s Dublin Chipper in Old Town Alexandria that I’ve heard is especially fun. This would be on another date night and obviously after there is no longer a child inside of me.
20. Get a mirror cut to fit the inside space of the wooden door in our living room. If you’ve been to our house since we moved to California then you’ve seen said door and you know how long I’ve been wanting to do this one.
21. Go through baby girl clothes and decide what to save/ give away. We don’t plan to have any more children so I’m ready to clear out some of the attic space and share the girls’ dresses with all our female baby friends.
22. Do a Color Run. Don’t these look like so much fun? I’m thinking I’ll find a 5K one that’s happening in the Fall and work up to running that far. The one problem with this one is that I hate to run… Hmmm… will have to work on that, too.
23. Rearrange our sleeping quarters. We’ve got a three bedroom house but one of those bedrooms is currently Fix’s study. After Baby #4 arrives and after Fix finishes his semester, we plan to rearrange the bedrooms/ whole house to make more room for sleeping and less room for study. Sorry Fix, you are gonna have to write your dissertation elsewhere.
25. Buy a LARGE gift from the World Vision gift catalog at the end of 2014. For the last two years, I have enjoyed using some of my S&D money to let the kids pick out a gift from the World Vision catalog. This year I wanna do it on a bigger scale. Instead of a share of a pig, maybe we’ll buy a whole cow? Or a group of animals? Or a well? Gotta flip through the catalog with the kids and pick something special, but I can’t wait to do this.
26. Pay for a new
stove and refrigerator. Both our dishwasher and our stove are currently broken. While we have ordered a new dishwasher (Fix found an awesome deal!!!) we can’t afford to buy the new stove just yet. I’d love to use some of my S&D income to get that. And we fear that the fridge might be on it’s way out too, so we are hoping to replace that as well. We’ll see…
27. Baltimore date day with Fix. As close as we live to Baltimore, I feel like it’s a city I have hardly explored. And Fix is anxious to go to the Walters Art Museum so I thought it would be fun to take him up there for the day.
28. Redo our coffee station. We make all our coffee on a console in the kitchen. It’s white. Coffee is not. Thus the console looks pretty gross. I’ve wanted to update it for awhile and then (wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles!) my mom gave me the Christmas gift of offering to help get that done. Now I’ve gotta plan exactly what color we want it to be/ how to go about doing that.
29. Paint our bedroom “Nimbus Cloud” grey (pictured above). Like many things on this list, I have all the supplies to get this job done – including the paint! I just haven’t done it. As soon as I’m not pregnant and the weather warms up this will be at the top of my to-do list.
30. Have 25 families from church over for dinner. If I combine groups of people (one single + one family of 4), I should only have to do 12-15 dinners this year. That’s one or two a month. Totally doable.
31. Journal. I just got this AWESOME new journal for Christmas from my husband. Okay so I may have picked it out and ordered it myself and had him wrap it. But whatever. Each day the journal asks a simple question (on January 1st it was “What is your mission?”) and there is space below to answer it (briefly) once a year for 5 years. So next year I can see that my mission for 2013 was to Rise to the Occasion and then write what my mission for 2014 will be. I’m so excited!
33. Try a Barre class. I’ve heard great things about this new exercise trend and I can’t wait to try it out at least once.
34. Take the family to Disney World. Like I said, Stella & Dot’s convention is in Orlando this year so I thought it would be fun to drive down with the whole family and go to the Magic Kingdom for the day. The last time I went, Lou was a baby and Rock was under three so they were both free. Fix has never been, and I think everyone (well, maybe not the baby) will enjoy it. Hopefully I can convince my sister to drive down from Jacksonville with her family and we can enjoy it with them.
AND LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST…
35. Learn the choreography to “All the Single Ladies” by Beyonce. Call me a total nerd but ever since I saw this music video, I’ve wanted to do the moves. After taking the trip to Savannah, I would rank this as least-likely-to-actually-happen-before-I-turn-35. It takes me a ridiculously long time to master dance moves and remember them in order. And I will have a baby to nurse and children to feed and those are much more important than trying to dance like Beyonce. But hey, you only turn 35 once. And there are step-by-step tutorials online. A girl can dream, no?
SO what do you think? Am I crazily over-ambitious? (the answer is YES!!!) Have you ever created a long list of goals like this? What should I have included? What should I take off the list? I’m serious folks, give me some feedback.