30 Before 30 – 29 Looms

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I turn 29 on Friday. That means I’ve got less than 400 days to finish my list!

1. Have a kid.

We successfully gave birth to Wade, aka LBW, in April 2016. Huzzah!

2. Complete several home renovation projects.

  1. reading nook
    • We went so far as to get the walls painted, but then life happened and since it is technically a closet, a bunch of junk got throw into it and we’re back at Square 1. Well, maybe Square 1.5, since the walls are still painted (but have been dinged up, sadly).
  2. replace floors
    • This one is so close to being done!! We only have one little patch of carpet – the stairs and the landing. Maybe 2018 will be our year. Maybe even 2017!
  3. nursery
    • Honestly…I’m going to call this one done. Wade’s been sleeping in there for over a year, for crying out loud! Yes, there are some art projects I want to do, and we haven’t hung anything up on the walls, and the paint needs to be touched up, and… Well, anyway. It’s done enough. Nothing in life is ever perfect or complete.
  4. bedroom
    • There are only a few things I’d like to finish out in the bedroom. And it really shouldn’t be that hard to do them. SO WHY HAVEN’T WE?! Maybe because it’s a total garbage pile right now and forever.
  5. living room
    • Other than getting some art hung up behind the couch, I’d say the living room is in pretty decent shape, all things considered.

3. Organize a cookbook with 20 recipes.

Okay. Do y’all have any cookbook recommendations? What should I do? Should I get a binder and type/print them as I go along? Should I try to do it all digitally? Should I write them by hand in some kind of journal-type device?? I just need to do something so I can mark this off!

4. Start to work out regularly.

I started trying to do this “30 Days of Exercise” thing and proceeded to get shingles, pass out and end up in the ER, then get a nasty sinus/ear infection. No, none of thse can directly be attributed to exercise, but still.

5. Travel outside the US.

Wait. I think I have an idea. And this idea could check off multiple items on my list! Specifically numbers 5, 8, 14, and 18. See #14 for more details.

6. Be debt free and start investing.

I cross, then uncross, this one repeatedly. I wrecked my car so we have a car payment. And we had medical bills. But! I think we’ve got all the medical bills paid off, and now that I’ve lost my job (with a severance, thankfully!) I’ll be able to use that extra income to pay down on my car. We might just get it paid off by my 30th birthday! AND, since my 401(k) won’t transfer, our financial adviser is going to help us move that into some sort of investment something. idk

7. Buy a new car.

I love my Insight. I wish I didn’t have a car payment, but I still love my Insight!

8. Buy a camper.

Of course, if we do this we’ll just be in debt again I’m sure. This seemed so plausible 4 years ago…but now I’m thinking it’s not gonna happen. *womp, womp*

9. Create our own home decor.

This one was always vague and weird, so I finally just crossed it off because we’re too cheap to pay people to do stuff and have a billion half-finished DIY projects around the house. Both art/decorative pieces and more building/construction dealios. So, yeah. We’ve created stuff. Or at least started creating stuff and left it lying about gathering dust.

10. Watch all of The Office on Netflix.

This was a weird one, but whatever. I was 25 and had weird goals. I love the show, don’t get me wrong. It’s just kind of a random thing to have on a “30 Before 30” list, in my opinion. I did do it, and I did enjoy it. I might just watch it all again before I turn 30!

11. Develop custom websites.

Mom & Dad’s website got jacked up from hackers or something, so I trashed the WordPress site and made them a super basic and ugly one using Bootstrap. But that’s good enough. I’m marking this one off the list!

12. Learn to sew.

I’m so close to this one!! Mr. T needs to seal the desk, then I can pull out the sewing machine he bought me like TWO YEARS AGO and I can finally sew Wade a baby blanket!

13. Read 400 books.

This was to read 400 books between January 2013 and December 2018.

  • 2013: 85
  • 2014: 95
  • 2015: 52
  • 2016: 12
  • 2017: 89 (and still counting!)

So all-told I’ve read 333. Only 67 to go!

14. Get a full sleeve tattoo.

Okay, so. I want to travel to Montreal and get tattooed by Yann Black. I’ve known about him for years now and always wanted to get one of his tattoos. I emailed him and he responded. He told me that he’s already booked for this year, but I could email him back in October to schedule an appointment for next year. >.> lol! But I’m totally going to! It will most likely be after my 30th birthday, though. We’ve got Camp Throwback in June, then the family camping trip in July…maybe we can go in August for our anniversary? My thought is, we can drive there in an RV so that covers the cross-country road trip (kind of), owning an RV (we may rent), going into another country (it counts!), and getting a full sleeve tattoo!

15. Open Two-Tone Tattoo Parlor and secure a nest egg.

They actually just moved locations! Now Two-Tone is directly on The Square, which is just peachy keen if you ask me. He’s working on Apprentice #3 and I’m just stupid proud of Mr. T. Of course, with all the moving (and having of the baby) and just…life in general, he’s never been able to build up the nest egg he wanted. He got really really close once, though!

16. Bike 30 miles.

I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to do this all in one go, or just bike 30 miles in one year, or one month, or what. What do you think?

17. Find a new job.

I’ll be a web developer for MTSU next week!!

18. Go on a family road trip.

If all the stars magically align, we could possibly road trip up to Canada for my tattoo. But that’s a lot of stars that need to align. Also…should we take Wade? I’m not sure.

19. Have sex every day for a month.

We didn’t quite make it every day for a month, but I did manage to get knocked up, so I called it a win and crossed it off.

20. Ditch the roommates.

The only roommate we have is Wade and he’s not paying rent. The jerk.

21. Hang family photos in the living room.

I need to hang some photos up above our couch in the living room.

22. Go (more) green.

My goal with this is to cut out disposable stuff in the kitchen – napkins, paper towels, disposable plates/cups/flatware when guests come over, etc. I haven’t really done anything with it yet. Oops.

23. Make a family photo album every year.

I made one last year! I’m a bit behind this year, but it’s almost done!! I finished Wade’s baby book, too, and it’s adorable.

24. Grow hair out to shoulder-length.

I mean…it’s getting there! Surely I can get to my shoulders by the big three-oh.

25.  Experience at least one cultural event every year.

We did Bonnaroo three years in a row, then went to Pilgrimage Fest last year. I don’t know that we’ve done anything yet this year… I looked up shows at TPAC and Ascend Amphitheater but we never made any decisions on anything. Hmm…

26. Gallery wall in the stairwell.

First we need to get the stairwell and trim painted. Then we need to rip up the carpet and do something with the floors. Then we can hang something on the wall going up the stairs. No clue what…

27. Go on a date night to a nice restaurant.

We went to High Point as our first date post-baby and it was delicious.

28. Make something challenging.

I’m still trying to decide what I should do. What should I do? I want to BUILD something. Get my hands dirty. Break a sweat. Use a tool of some kind. lolol

29. Write a 40 Before 40 list.

I did this!

30. Have a BANGIN 30th birthday party.

This is a pretty significant birthday, y’all. I survived another decade! What should I do?



Planning Pages for 2017: Organization

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I’ve started typing up the planning pages for my 2017 Organization schedule, but subscribers don’t get emails on page posts, so now I’m making a blog post, too!!

Here is the main page. You can also access it in the navigation bar. I have the January and February & March pages set up as well. These are also accessible through the navigation bar, and from the main page. I’m debating on if I’ll do weekly and/or monthly updates as well, to keep you notified on my progress (but mainly to hold myself accountable). Just like my yearly home tours, these posts are probably going to be way too honest. If you can’t be honest with strangers on the Internet, though, who can you be honest with?!

I’m super excited to get this project started, and am hopeful that I can transform my life in the coming months!! Considering 2017 is literally less than two weeks away, we don’t have long to find out!


2017: Organization

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I have declared a theme for 2017. One word to sum up my main goal for the entire year. Every aspect of my life. What I most want to accomplish throughout the course of the year.

ORGANIZATION

I’m going to get organized, darnit – even if it kills me!! I’m breaking it down in great and specific detail, too. First I started by breaking the year and our house down into sections, creating a broad schedule:

  1. January
    • Sarah’s Closet
    • Master Bathroom
  2. February
  3. March
    • Master Bedroom
  4. April
    • LBW’s Room
  5. May
    • Back Yard
  6. June
    • Front Yard
  7. July
  8. August
    • Living Room
  9. September
    • Downstairs Hallway, Half-Bath, and Laundry Room
  10. October
    • Entrance, Stairwell, and Upstairs Landing
  11. November
    • Kitchen
  12. December
    • Play Room (formerly the guest bedroom)

Beyond this broad overview, I’ve broken it down into weekly tasks, and then I’ve broken it down even further using a planner I found online so I have day-by-day goals!! I’ve made it all the way through April with my daily goals, and I’m starting to get SUPER PUMPED about the upcoming year. I’m really counting on the three of you that read this blog to hold me accountable.

In future posts I’ll share my weekly breakdowns (I really don’t think you’ll care to get the daily ones, lol) and I’d love to get your feedback and suggestions!!

There are a few projects I’ll rope Mr. T into while I do this, but it’s mainly me doing stuff. His goal for the entire year are to organize two rooms: the garage and the bonus room. These are his “man caves” – one for construction and tools, and the other for arts and crafts.

I’m so excited, you guys. So excited!! 2017 is barely more than two weeks away, can you believe it?!


30 Before 30: 2017 Approacheth

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Time to check in on my 30 Before 30 list!

2. Home Renovation

12/05/16:
  1. reading nook: This hasn’t been touched in ages. Maybe one day, little book nook. Maybe one day.
  2. hardwood floors: Mr. T is talking about doing work on the concrete floors to spruce them up some. We have floors in the three rooms upstairs, but not in the landing/stairs.
  3. nursery: I guess I should blog about the nursery, shouldn’t I? Not enough hours in the day, man.
  4. bedroom: It still needs some TLC, for sure. Mr. T started building a poster bed, though!
  5. living room: I actually just posted some updated pictures of the living room to Facebook.
07/27/16:
  1. reading nook: Yeah, there has been zero progress on the nook. Actually, negative progress, because it’s full of junk and I think Mr. T used the lumber he’d bought for it to work on other projects.
  2. hardwood floors: The painted concrete is holding up pretty well, and Mr. T installed laminate flooring upstairs on his own, after a friend of ours taught him what’s up.
  3. nursery: Oh I need to blog about the nursery. I mean, it’s not finished by a long shot, and LBW is already four months old, but still. Cool stuff has happened.
  4. bedroom: Psh, whatever. At least we sleep in it again. For a month or two we didn’t even do that. Not because it was messy or anything, just…baby stuff.
  5. living room: Mr. T built shelves! And we bought new furniture! It’s going in a totally different direction than I’d planned, but I’m digging it!!
11/21/15:
  1. reading nook: So we’ve been working on the reading nook. It’s painted! I never blogged about that! I’ll do it soon! And Mr. T bought some lumber to begin making the shelves!! So hooray!
  2. hardwood floors: We’ve ripped up all the carpet downstairs (another blog I need to write) and instead of getting any other type of flooring, we’re just painting them! Temporary solution!! But I have met with a contractor to get a quote for flooring upstairs! Holy crap that’s going to be expensive!!! Hooray!!
  3. nursery: We currently have a roommate in our eventual nursery (long story) but he shouldn’t be there super long…and he’ll definitely be gone by the time LBW makes an appearance.
  4. bedroom: I mean…not much has happened since the last time I blogged about the bedroom. But! We’re getting new floors in there as well, so there’s that! Maybe that will be motivation to, if nothing else, keep it clean.
  5. living room: There is quite a bit of reno going on in the living room right now. The floors are coming out, obviously, but that means we’re getting rugs, because *brr…* concrete floors! We also painted, because why not? We ripped the carpet up! It was actually a lot of fun NOT worrying about getting paint on the carpet. :) And omg it looks so much better. So much better. I highly recommend clicking on that blog link and looking at some pictures. It. is. glorious.

So, yeah – I think we’re doing okay on this goal. :)

07/02/15: Could you spread the word about my blog? How many readers do you have to have before companies start sending you free stuff? So many blogs I read are all “While this post isn’t ‘sponsored’, Lowe’s generously sent us the majority of what we needed to build this bad boy… and we’re suuuuper grateful!” (that’s a direct quote, fyi) and no one has ever offered me anything for free, sponsored post or not. I occasionally get stuff from BzzAgent, but that’s not the same. This woman was donated a metric butt-ton of lumber to build her kids a playground.

Anyway – things I want to work on (and yes, I keep changing them):

  1. reading nook
  2. hardwood floors
  3. nursery
  4. bedroom
  5. living room

3. Cookbook with 20 Recipes

12/05/16: I actually started another cookbook, but I still don’t like the format. I think I need to give up on digital and just start a binder or something.
07/27/16: I haven’t even cooked in the past four months, much less recorded any recipes.
11/21/15: Psh, yeah – totally didn’t do anything with that list from imgur. I did just rediscover a OneNote cookbook I had started in our Dropbox. I’ll see what recipes I have in there already. I’ve got an amazeballs potato soup recipe I need to add.
07/02/15: I actually just found a really cool list of recipes on imgur that I think I’m going to try in a new blog series. But I still need to buy a cook book to record recipes in… I have a few that I want to write down!

4. Work Out Regularly

12/05/16: I still haven’t done that workout DVD… New Year’s Resolution!! >.<
07/27/16: I just bought a “Pilates for Weight Loss” DVD. Wonder when I’m gonna find the time to do that?
11/21/15: Oh, right… I’ve been meaning to look up some good yoga videos for pregnant women. Oops.
07/02/15: I’ve started walking/jogging on Tuesdays and Thursdays with a coworker. And I’ve started a YouTube series called 30 Days of Yoga. Still looking for some kind of workout that is more intense but not tedious or boring (or too hard and makes me give up).

5. Travel Outside the US

12/05/16: Trump was, in fact, elected President. That’s such a horrific thing to have to type. But still no trip or plans for a trip out of the US.
07/27/16: If Trump is elected President, we may just freaking move to Canada. So there’s that. lol!
11/21/15: Maybe we can go to Canada? >.< There is a tattoo artist I’d love to work with up there. I’m far too lazy to try to track him down right now, though. So no link for you.
07/02/15: Okay, this was the year that was supposed to happen. And we aren’t going to Costa Rica for our anniversary. :( Money’s too tight with the whole “opening a tattoo shop” thing that happened earlier this year. But Two-Tone is rockin, so that’s awesome. I just don’t know that we’ll be taking any international trips in the next 3 years.

6. Be Debt Free & Start Investing

12/05/16: Not only are we not debt-free, we’re in even more debt that’s to the birth of LBW. God, babies are expensive! I seriously doubt we’ll be debt-free by my 30th birthday, just with my car loan.
07/27/16: I just had to un-cross-out (that’s a word, shut up) the “debt free” bit, because…well, because of #7.
11/21/15: Still no debt! Kind of. But we might end up needing to take out a loan for the flooring upstairs. :\ Haven’t started investing yet, either. Our financial adviser recommended building up some savings thanks to the impending LBW.
07/02/15: Well we’re debt free! And we have met with a financial adviser a handful of times, so we might start investing soon!

8. Own a Camper

12/05/16: I’m not sure this is going to happen. Maybe if we can get out of medical debt? Maybe?
07/27/16: Still holding out for this…one day.
11/21/15: Ugh… Now Mr. T wants to buy a freakin’ SCHOOL BUS and turn it into an RV. I do love that man, and all his wild dreams.
07/02/15: Other than Mr. T and I having disagreements on what kind of camper we want (I want a pull-behind, he wants a full-on RV), the only reason we haven’t done this is $$. Oh, and storage. Neither of us wants a pop-up. But I don’t know if we could fit a legit camper in our garage.

11. Develop Software for Mr. T

12/05/16: Maybe I can do this to brush up on my software development skills in preparation for getting a new job?
07/27/16: Whoops.
11/21/15: Oops, haven’t done anything toward this yet. My bad.
07/02/15: I’m changing this one. Initially I wanted to develop my own website for this blog, but at this point that’s just silly. WordPress works fine. So now I’m going to say I want to develop software for Two-Tone. Mr. T has been asking for a client-tracking program for ages, so I should do that for him.

12. Learn to Sew

12/05/16: I told Mr. T that what I wanted for Christmas was for him to finish sanding/staining my desk so I can set it up in the bedroom and get my craft supplies organized. I really want to sew a baby blanket for LBW!
07/27/16: This still hasn’t happened. I even own a sewing machine that has never been taken out of the box.
11/21/15: Kid stuff is expensive. I want to learn how to make some of it. So I need to learn to sew.

13. Read 400 Books

12/05/16: I’m up to 8 books this year! I can’t believe I’m proud of that. But come on – I had 0 at the end of July. I think 8 in 4 months is pretty good after that. I’ll have another one finished today, too. I have like one chapter left in an audiobook.
07/27/16: I ended up reading 54 books in 2015, if you can trust my Goodreads bookshelves. So far in 2016 I’ve read…NONE. How did I get 55 in the last update? Whatever… I need to read 155 by the end of 2018. Crap. I guess children’s books don’t count?
11/21/15: Apparently I’ve read 55 so far this year. So that puts me at 246, so by the end of 2018 I need to read…154.
07/02/15: By the end of 2014 I’d read 191. So far this year I’ve read 39. That’s 230. I need to read 170 books by the end of 2018.

14. Tattoos

12/05/16: I really do want a new tattoo.
07/27/16: Yeah, still nothing new due to the baby. But I might have something brewing…
11/21/15: Mr. T did start going back into my giraffe, and he’s done a little bit with my garter, but getting knocked up (and then wanting to breast feed) kind of put a hold on any tattoo plans. Plus I’m still wishy-washy on what exactly I want my sleeve to look like. I don’t trust myself until I’ve be settled in on one idea for several months, and that hasn’t really happened with the sleeve.
07/02/15:
  • completed sleeve
  • updated apprentice tattoos
    1. giraffe
    2. steampunk
    3. garter
  • Ghostbusters tattoo

15. Open Two-Tone Tattoo Parlor / Secure Nest Egg

12/05/16: Finances have been crazy tight this year. Mr. T has had to dip into Two-Tone funds more often than he’d like, but he’s still in the black on finances!! I’m proud of him, and all he’s accomplished. But it’s been a hard year, for sure.
07/27/16: Mr. T hasn’t been able to hit his nest egg goal yet, but he kept us afloat while I was on maternity leave, AND he has three employees! I love that man.
11/21/15: Mr. T got pretty darn close to his goal for the nest egg. But then we kind of needed him to bring in a paycheck. And then he took on one, then another, apprentice. So he had to do some construction. He got super down on himself for not reaching his goal, but I’m really freaking proud of his cute little booty and all he’s accomplished.
07/02/15: I tweaked this one a little bit. We opened Two-Tone in February, and Mr. T has a goal of raising a certain amount of money into a nest egg for the company before he starts taking any income. He’s a little over halfway there!

16. Fix Bike / Bike 30 Miles

12/05/16: I may start “training” for this next spring/summer. LBW will be old enough to pull in the little cart that we have so we can take him around the neighborhood. I’m not sure how I’ll accomplish biking 30 miles, though… Originally I was envisioning doing it all in one go, but now I’m thinking I may just try to clock 30 miles total between the ages of 29 and 30.
07/27/16: I haven’t ridden my bike since the early early days of my pregnancy. We were going to ride around a couple weeks ago but all the tires were flat, and we couldn’t find the pump.
11/21/15: Are you allowed to ride bikes while pregnant? It’s going to be too cold, and then I’ll be way too pregnant, for it to matter. Some super awesome friends of ours bought us one of those little carts to pull a baby behind a bike. I mean…I probably won’t be using it, but Mr. T can. And I can bike along behind! Maybe the extra weight/bulk will slow him down to my level, too…
07/02/15: My bike is fixed! Now I just need to map out my route and start training. :)

17. Find a new job.

12/05/16: Right when I decide to just stay here and be happy for the foreseeable future, the rug gets pulled out from under me! I definitely need a new job in the next 12 months, so…I guess I need to start looking.
07/27/16: I’m still here, and enjoy the work for the most part. I don’t really know how I will ever consider my career “advanced” while here, because it’s not like I can rise in the ranks. Unless my boss leaves, which he should never ever do. Ever. I’m going to change this from “Advance My Career” to “Strive for Contentment” and cross it off. As long as I’m happy, this is resolved. If I’m not happy, I’ll look for a new position or work on my attitude. :)
11/21/15: Miss C totally works at the company that screwed me over. lol! They didn’t go under!! But I’m very glad they didn’t hire me. She works in the factory and loves her job, so I’m happy for her. That doesn’t mean I trust them. >.>

At any rate, things have improved at my old/current job. Not that they were really bad before. But I have taken on more/different responsibilities and hopefully I’m not screwing it up too badly and won’t get fired. They wouldn’t fire me, would they?! Nah…

07/02/15: Okay, so I actually tried to quit my job and start a new one. But, umm…disaster struck. The company that supposedly was hiring me is shutting down, I think. Either way, I’m still at my current job. But! This whole experience has caused what I hope will be improvements at my current work. I’m theoretically going to transition into being more than just a web developer. Fingers crossed!

18. Road Trip

12/05/16: We have to get an RV before we can even pretend to do this, so no thoughts have been given to it. I’m thinking we turn the road trip into our trip out of the country. Drive up to Canada? I don’t really want to go down to Mexico…plus there’s going to be that YUGE wall soon. I know it, you know it, everyone knows it.
07/27/16: Where on earth could we go?
11/21/15: Mr. T totally wanted to go to Florida this year. And we totally could have counted that as our road trip. But what’s more fun than taking a road trip with a tiny baby?! Good thing we didn’t go, so we get to do it with LBW. ;)
07/02/15: First we buy the camper, then we go on a road trip. I’m so excited about this!!

21. Hang Wedding Photos

12/05/16: I’m going to do this, I promise!!
07/27/16: Oh right…
11/21/15: Oh, yeah. That’s still a thing we need to do. Maybe we’ll get some in the living room and/or bedrooms. Maybe even something in the nursery, perhaps?
07/02/15: This used to be shooting a steampunk photo shoot, but I’ve given up on that dream. Banana and I started on the outfit…but I’m pretty sure the measurements she took are no longer accurate. And we really need to frame/hang wedding photos.

22. Go Green

12/05/16: Definitely haven’t done anything toward this. But I’m changing the goal slightly. Forget about homemade cleaning supplies, that’s just dumb. But I do want to cut out disposables. No paper towels or napkins, no disposable plates/cups/utensils for when we have guests.
07/27/16: Umm…
11/21/15: Oh, yeah… I’ve forgotten so many of these things! >.<
07/02/15: I want to cut out paper towels, and make my own cleaning supplies.

23. Yearly Photo Album

12/05/16: Year #5 is finished, and on its way to our house! It should be at our door by Thursday (only cost me $80!). I am SO excited. Plus I’ve been able to keep the momentum going with Year #6 and I have been working on a Year 1 baby book for LBW!

  • Year #5
  • LBW’s Baby Book
  • Year #6
  • Year #7
07/27/16: Oh, oh, oh – I only have like…a handful of pictures that need to be added and I’ll be done! Of course, it costs like $150. Maybe we can actually order it one day…
11/21/15: I did start this! I did, I did! Aren’t you proud of me? 8}
07/02/15: I’m going to start this this year, on our anniversary.

24. Grow Hair Out

12/05/16: The hair’s still growing! The mohawk is officially gone – all my hair is generally the same length now. Which is just barely long enough to tuck behind my ears. lol! I guess I need to set a more specific goal for this, maybe? Shoulder-length?
07/27/16: I just changed this from “Learn Hairstyles” to “Grow Hair Out”. #dealwithit
11/21/15: Ugh. My hair is long enough now that I don’t even straighten it anymore. I’ve regressed.
07/02/15: I need to learn how to braid my hair. And maybe how to floof it up into an awesome messy mohawk.

25. Get Cultured

12/05/16: It was SO HOT during the Pilgrimage Festival. SO STINKING HOT. We definitely didn’t take LBW, but we still had a good time. Lost the key to my car and still haven’t gotten another spare made, so that’s terrifying to suddenly remember. lol! No clue about what we’re going to do next year, though. I guess it depends on the lineup for Bonnaroo. And if I can take any time off with my potential new job.

2013: Bonnaroo
2014: Bonnaroo
2015: Bonnaroo
2016: Pilgrimage Music & Art Festival
2017: ??
2018: ??

07/27/16: I bought Mr. T tickets for the Pilgrimage Festival for his birthday this year. The lineup is so-so, but it’s close to home, in the fall, and on the weekend. We can take LBW and hopefully have a good time with low-stress.

2013: Bonnaroo
2014: Bonnaroo
2015: Bonnaroo
2016: Pilgrimage Music & Art Festival
2017: ??
2018: ??

11/21/15: 2013: Bonnaroo
2014: Bonnaroo
2015: Bonnaroo
2016: ??
2017: ??
2018: ??
07/02/15: Attend at least one major art/music thing every year. The past three years we’ve gone to Bonnaroo. We’ll see what happens in the coming years.

26. Family Tree Gallery Wall

12/05/16: First we need to paint that hallway… Ugh.
07/27/16: I’m changing this from the vague “Gallery Walls” that it was before to “Family Tree Gallery Wall” to indicate doing the string art/gallery wall thing up the stairs.
11/21/15: I wonder when I’ll consider this done?
07/02/15: We’ve done a pretty decent job of filling our living room and bedroom with art. I’d like for it to be a bit more purposeful. And, you know, framed… I also want to do a string art/gallery wall going up the stairs that has a bunch of family photos.

28. Make Something…Challenging

12/05/16: I still don’t know what I could possibly do for this… Hmm…
07/27/16: I’ll get right on that.
11/21/15: More than just crafts or sewing…not that those aren’t “challenging” – but more something that involves power tools and “measuring twice, cutting once”. A piece of furniture or something.
07/02/15: Help me come up with three more things to do. I didn’t like the last three on my list. Too vague. Oh, and I need to change #12, too. Halp me.

30. Have a Bangin’ 30th Birthday Party

12/05/16: Mr. T’s birthday was a lot of fun. It was chill, and I made a baller cake. Go me!
07/27/16: FYI – for Mr. T’s birthday this year we’re having a chill cook-out at a friend’s house. Still no clue what I want to do, but I’ve got just under two years to figure it out.
11/21/15: What sort of party should I have?! Should we go out? Should we stay in? Should there be a theme? Yes kids? No kids? Travel? Dress up fancy? PAJAMA PARTY?! I just don’t know… I guess I’ve got, what…3.5 years? Is that right? My math skills are seriously failing me. I also had to double-check that I’m 27. For a brief moment I thought I was 28. >.<

THAT MEANS MR. T’S 30TH BIRTHDAY IS NEXT YEAR.

What am I going to do for his?!

07/02/15: Aw yiss.

1. Have a Kid

07/27/16: We successfully gave birth to a Wilson spawn. Go us! Wade is…everything.
11/21/15: Ha! Psych! We were totally trying to conceive when I posted back in July! SUCK IT. I’m so sneaky… I actually might have been pregnant when I made that post, come to think of it… Ah, maybe not. I just punched the numbers in on a due date calculator. Only do that if you want to try to imagine the exact date we were getting freaky in the sheetsy. I actually just did that with MY birth date, and I might have been a Halloween baby…unsettling.
07/02/15: I don’t want to talk about it. KIDS ARE TERRIFYING.

7. New Car

07/27/16: Well it was “new car” then it was “scooter” and now it’s back to “new car” just so I can cross it off. I wrecked my car in December and we had to buy a new one! >.<
11/21/15: I still want a scooter, darnit!
07/02/15: I’m changing #7. I want a scooter, darnit.

9. DIY Home Decor

11/21/15: We DIY so much stuff. We’re DIY kings. I mean…it’s not super well-done DIY, but it’s DIY!! I’m totally going to cross this off the list. I’ll uncross it if I ever think we’ve gotten lazy.
07/02/15: I’m really bad at making bucket lists, I think. These are all so vague. I tried to make this one more specific by saying have at least three DIY decor items in each (commonly used) room. If paintings count we’re so done on this. lol! We have paintings everywhere.

10. Watch The Office

07/27/16: Dude, I’ve watched SO MUCH Netflix/Hulu since LBW was born. I couldn’t even begin to tell you all the shows I’ve seen now. What a waste of life, lol.
07/02/15: I did this! I’ve also watched all of Scrubs. And Friends. I’m good at binging on Netflix, but not much else, apparently.

19. Sex

11/21/15: I mean…we didn’t make it the full month, but we did make a baby. So I’m gonna call this one a win. Heh.
07/02/15: Alright. tmi? This is the month. I’m gonna do it. Every day in July that we’re able, we’re gonna get it on like Marvin Gaye.

20. Ditch the Roommates

07/27/16: Everyone was gone by the time LBW was born!!
11/21/15: OH MY GOD IT’S EVEN WORSE NOW. We have two roommates. We can’t start on the nursery yet!! I’M DYING. DYYYYYYYYING. The nesting phase is real, y’all.
07/02/15: Okay, so we’ve regressed. We have a roommate again. Oops.

27. Fancy Feast

09/04/16: Mr. T and I went to High Point over Labor Day weekend, while Mom and Dad kept LBW overnight. We had a delicious, way-too-expensive dinner, followed by ice cream and RedBox. It was a great date night.
07/27/16: The first place we went to eat without LBW was Camino Real, the Mexican restaurant near our house. Woo… (That doesn’t count, in case you were confused.) This stays on the list!
11/21/15: Mmm… Maybe we can make this our first date night after LBW is born? Or…maybe 5th or 6th, so we’re more comfortable going out without ze beebs, so I don’t have a breakdown and make us go home BECAUSE I JUST MISS HIM/HER SO DAD-GUM MUCH.
07/02/15: No, not cat food. I want to go somewhere reaaaaaaally nice and have an expensive, delicious dinner. Maybe one of those places that cooks the really weird food, like they cook on the reality shows (the cooking ones, not Fear Factor). Especially one where the chef is all “This is what I’m cooking – eat it!” so I don’t have to make any decisions.

29. Come up with an even longer list!

08/26/16: The first draft is finished!!
07/27/16: I have a few ideas, but I haven’t actually typed anything up yet.
11/21/15: Ha! Considering I’ve been working on this list for two years and am still struggling to finish this list, I like the idea of forcing future me to sit down and make a “40 before 40” list. Mwahahaha…

40 Before 40: First Draft

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This is just gonna be a stream-of-consciousness as a way to get started on my “40 Before 40” list… Some of them are vague, and I can guarantee this list will change a lot over the next…12 years. lol! I don’t want them to be too kid-focused, like “teach the kids how to <do something>” because I totally want this to be all about me. It’s my list, darnit! My kids can have their own “10 Before 10” list if they want to. :P I’m also not into death-defying things, like skydiving or bungee-jumping. Mr. T convinced me to add parasailing, but I’m iffy on that one. lol!

  1. Pop out a couple of babies.
  2. Adopt?
  3. Mr. T gets a vasectomy.
  4. I get Lasik.
  5. I get a boob job. (Oh, yes.)
  6. Travel to Europe.
  7. Family trip to Disney World.
  8. Family cross-country road trip.
  9. Foster at least 10 dogs. (NOT all at once, obviously.)
  10. Build my own computer.
  11. Own a 3D printer.
  12. Learn to play an instrument – ukulele?
  13. Have at least 5 hard-core, balls-to-the-wall, day-long (possibly full weekends?), super extravagant spa days. #treatyoself
  14. Read at least 50 books a year, on average. (so 500 books)
  15. Full kitchen/dining room renovation, including new appliances.
  16. Build out the sunroom/deck thing that Mr. T is always talking about.
  17. Own a Jeep Wrangler. (just for you, Mr. T!)
  18. Buy a new car for Sarah. (possibly electric?)
  19. Some sort of ladies’ retreat with a handful of friends.
  20. “Mommy & Me” overnight trips one-on-one with each child (separately), at least once a year.
  21. “Couple’s Retreat” overnight trips without the kids at least once a year.
  22. Sew cool stuff.
  23. Build cool stuff.
  24. Learn to crochet and/or knit.
  25. Do yoga (possibly Pilates?) “consistently” (at least 5 days a week?) for at least a month – ideally get into a routine where it is done regularly for always.
  26. Join a gym/get a personal trainer, for at least…6 consecutive months.
  27. Learn to snowboard.
  28. Go parasailing. (and not die)
  29. Start dying my hair again. (fun stuff, not just natural colors)
  30. Consider dreadlocks.
  31. See a play on Broadway.
  32. Learn how to cook something…complicated.
  33. Host a multi-course meal for family/friends and cook (almost) everything.
  34. Eat at a five-star restaurant. Order something exotic.
  35. Go camping on the beach.
  36. Do some sort of mission/relief work.
  37. Make a “Family Yearbook” every year.
  38. Have “professional” family photos taken every year.
  39. Develop family traditions for things like birthdays, Christmas, NYE, etc.
  40. Celebrate “40 Days of 40” and do all sorts of amazing things the 40 days leading up to my birthday.

What do you think?? What would you add/change/remove? Have you ever made any kind of “bucket list”? I don’t think I’m going to go beyond this and make a “50 Before 50” list… It would just have one thing on it: RETIRE EARLY. lol!


30 Before 30: Year 28

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I turned 28 last week – time to check in on my 30 Before 30 list!

1. Have a Kid

07/27/16: We successfully gave birth to a Wilson spawn. Go us! Wade is…everything.
11/21/15: Ha! Psych! We were totally trying to conceive when I posted back in July! SUCK IT. I’m so sneaky… I actually might have been pregnant when I made that post, come to think of it… Ah, maybe not. I just punched the numbers in on a due date calculator. Only do that if you want to try to imagine the exact date we were getting freaky in the sheetsy. I actually just did that with MY birth date, and I might have been a Halloween baby…unsettling.
07/02/15: I don’t want to talk about it. KIDS ARE TERRIFYING.

2. Home Renovation

07/27/16:
  1. reading nook: Yeah, there has been zero progress on the nook. Actually, negative progress, because it’s full of junk and I think Mr. T used the lumber he’d bought for it to work on other projects.
  2. hardwood floors: The painted concrete is holding up pretty well, and Mr. T installed laminate flooring upstairs on his own, after a friend of ours taught him what’s up.
  3. nursery: Oh I need to blog about the nursery. I mean, it’s not finished by a long shot, and LBW is already four months old, but still. Cool stuff has happened.
  4. bedroom: Psh, whatever. At least we sleep in it again. For a month or two we didn’t even do that. Not because it was messy or anything, just…baby stuff.
  5. living room: Mr. T built shelves! And we bought new furniture! It’s going in a totally different direction than I’d planned, but I’m digging it!!
11/21/15:
  1. reading nook: So we’ve been working on the reading nook. It’s painted! I never blogged about that! I’ll do it soon! And Mr. T bought some lumber to begin making the shelves!! So hooray!
  2. hardwood floors: We’ve ripped up all the carpet downstairs (another blog I need to write) and instead of getting any other type of flooring, we’re just painting them! Temporary solution!! But I have met with a contractor to get a quote for flooring upstairs! Holy crap that’s going to be expensive!!! Hooray!!
  3. nursery: We currently have a roommate in our eventual nursery (long story) but he shouldn’t be there super long…and he’ll definitely be gone by the time LBW makes an appearance.
  4. bedroom: I mean…not much has happened since the last time I blogged about the bedroom. But! We’re getting new floors in there as well, so there’s that! Maybe that will be motivation to, if nothing else, keep it clean.
  5. living room: There is quite a bit of reno going on in the living room right now. The floors are coming out, obviously, but that means we’re getting rugs, because *brr…* concrete floors! We also painted, because why not? We ripped the carpet up! It was actually a lot of fun NOT worrying about getting paint on the carpet. :) And omg it looks so much better. So much better. I highly recommend clicking on that blog link and looking at some pictures. It. is. glorious.

So, yeah – I think we’re doing okay on this goal. :)

07/02/15: Could you spread the word about my blog? How many readers do you have to have before companies start sending you free stuff? So many blogs I read are all “While this post isn’t ‘sponsored’, Lowe’s generously sent us the majority of what we needed to build this bad boy… and we’re suuuuper grateful!” (that’s a direct quote, fyi) and no one has ever offered me anything for free, sponsored post or not. I occasionally get stuff from BzzAgent, but that’s not the same. This woman was donated a metric butt-ton of lumber to build her kids a playground.

Anyway – things I want to work on (and yes, I keep changing them):

  1. reading nook
  2. hardwood floors
  3. nursery
  4. bedroom
  5. living room

3. Cookbook with 20 Recipes

07/27/16: I haven’t even cooked in the past four months, much less recorded any recipes.
11/2115: Psh, yeah – totally didn’t do anything with that list from imgur. I did just rediscover a OneNote cookbook I had started in our Dropbox. I’ll see what recipes I have in there already. I’ve got an amazeballs potato soup recipe I need to add.
07/02/15: I actually just found a really cool list of recipes on imgur that I think I’m going to try in a new blog series. But I still need to buy a cook book to record recipes in… I have a few that I want to write down!

4. Work Out Regularly

07/27/16: I just bought a “Pilates for Weight Loss” DVD. Wonder when I’m gonna find the time to do that?
11/21/15: Oh, right… I’ve been meaning to look up some good yoga videos for pregnant women. Oops.
07/02/15: I’ve started walking/jogging on Tuesdays and Thursdays with a coworker. And I’ve started a YouTube series called 30 Days of Yoga. Still looking for some kind of workout that is more intense but not tedious or boring (or too hard and makes me give up).

5. Travel Outside the US

07/27/16: If Trump is elected President, we may just freaking move to Canada. So there’s that. lol!
11/21/15: Maybe we can go to Canada? >.< There is a tattoo artist I’d love to work with up there. I’m far too lazy to try to track him down right now, though. So no link for you.
07/02/15: Okay, this was the year that was supposed to happen. And we aren’t going to Costa Rica for our anniversary. :( Money’s too tight with the whole “opening a tattoo shop” thing that happened earlier this year. But Two-Tone is rockin, so that’s awesome. I just don’t know that we’ll be taking any international trips in the next 3 years.

6. Be Debt Free & Start Investing

07/27/16: I just had to un-cross-out (that’s a word, shut up) the “debt free” bit, because…well, because of #7.
11/21/15: Still no debt! Kind of. But we might end up needing to take out a loan for the flooring upstairs. :\ Haven’t started investing yet, either. Our financial adviser recommended building up some savings thanks to the impending LBW.
07/02/15: Well we’re debt free! And we have met with a financial adviser a handful of times, so we might start investing soon!

7. New Car

07/27/16: Well it was “new car” then it was “scooter” and now it’s back to “new car” just so I can cross it off. I wrecked my car in December and we had to buy a new one! >.<
11/21/15: I still want a scooter, darnit!
07/02/15: I’m changing #7. I want a scooter, darnit.

8. Own a Camper

07/27/16: Still holding out for this…one day.
11/21/15: Ugh… Now Mr. T wants to buy a freakin’ SCHOOL BUS and turn it into an RV. I do love that man, and all his wild dreams.
07/02/15: Other than Mr. T and I having disagreements on what kind of camper we want (I want a pull-behind, he wants a full-on RV), the only reason we haven’t done this is $$. Oh, and storage. Neither of us wants a pop-up. But I don’t know if we could fit a legit camper in our garage.

9. DIY Home Decor

11/21/15: We DIY so much stuff. We’re DIY kings. I mean…it’s not super well-done DIY, but it’s DIY!! I’m totally going to cross this off the list. I’ll uncross it if I ever think we’ve gotten lazy.
07/02/15: I’m really bad at making bucket lists, I think. These are all so vague. I tried to make this one more specific by saying have at least three DIY decor items in each (commonly used) room. If paintings count we’re so done on this. lol! We have paintings everywhere.

10. Watch The Office

07/27/16: Dude, I’ve watched SO MUCH Netflix/Hulu since LBW was born. I couldn’t even begin to tell you all the shows I’ve seen now. What a waste of life, lol.
07/02/15: I did this! I’ve also watched all of Scrubs. And Friends. I’m good at binging on Netflix, but not much else, apparently.

11. Develop Software

07/27/16: Whoops.
11/21/15: Oops, haven’t done anything toward this yet. My bad.
07/02/15: I’m changing this one. Initially I wanted to develop my own website for this blog, but at this point that’s just silly. WordPress works fine. So now I’m going to say I want to develop software for Two-Tone. Mr. T has been asking for a client-tracking program for ages, so I should do that for him.

12. Learn to Sew

07/27/16: This still hasn’t happened. I even own a sewing machine that has never been taken out of the box.
11/21/15: Kid stuff is expensive. I want to learn how to make some of it. So I need to learn to sew.

13. Read 400 Books

07/27/16: I ended up reading 54 books in 2015, if you can trust my Goodreads bookshelves. So far in 2016 I’ve read…NONE. How did I get 55 in the last update? Whatever… I need to read 155 by the end of 2018. Crap. I guess children’s books don’t count?
11/21/15: Apparently I’ve read 55 so far this year. So that puts me at 246, so by the end of 2018 I need to read…154.
07/02/15: By the end of 2014 I’d read 191. So far this year I’ve read 39. That’s 230. I need to read 170 books by the end of 2018.

14. Tattoos

07/27/16: Yeah, still nothing new due to the baby. But I might have something brewing…
11/21/15: Mr. T did start going back into my giraffe, and he’s done a little bit with my garter, but getting knocked up (and then wanting to breast feed) kind of put a hold on any tattoo plans. Plus I’m still wishy-washy on what exactly I want my sleeve to look like. I don’t trust myself until I’ve be settled in on one idea for several months, and that hasn’t really happened with the sleeve.
07/02/15:
  • completed sleeve
  • updated apprentice tattoos
    1. giraffe
    2. steampunk
    3. garter
  • Ghostbusters tattoo

15. Open Two-Tone Tattoo Parlor / Secure Nest Egg

07/27/16: Mr. T hasn’t been able to hit his nest egg goal yet, but he kept us afloat while I was on maternity leave, AND he has three employees! I love that man.
11/21/15: Mr. T got pretty darn close to his goal for the nest egg. But then we kind of needed him to bring in a paycheck. And then he took on one, then another, apprentice. So he had to do some construction. He got super down on himself for not reaching his goal, but I’m really freaking proud of his cute little booty and all he’s accomplished.
07/02/15: I tweaked this one a little bit. We opened Two-Tone in February, and Mr. T has a goal of raising a certain amount of money into a nest egg for the company before he starts taking any income. He’s a little over halfway there!

16. Fix Bike / Bike 30 Miles

07/27/16: I haven’t ridden my bike since the early early days of my pregnancy. We were going to ride around a couple weeks ago but all the tires were flat, and we couldn’t find the pump.
11/21/15: Are you allowed to ride bikes while pregnant? It’s going to be too cold, and then I’ll be way too pregnant, for it to matter. Some super awesome friends of ours bought us one of those little carts to pull a baby behind a bike. I mean…I probably won’t be using it, but Mr. T can. And I can bike along behind! Maybe the extra weight/bulk will slow him down to my level, too…
07/02/15: My bike is fixed! Now I just need to map out my route and start training. :)

17. Strive for Contentment

07/27/16: I’m still here, and enjoy the work for the most part. I don’t really know how I will ever consider my career “advanced” while here, because it’s not like I can rise in the ranks. Unless my boss leaves, which he should never ever do. Ever. I’m going to change this from “Advance My Career” to “Strive for Contentment” and cross it off. As long as I’m happy, this is resolved. If I’m not happy, I’ll look for a new position or work on my attitude. :)
11/21/15: Miss C totally works at the company that screwed me over. lol! They didn’t go under!! But I’m very glad they didn’t hire me. She works in the factory and loves her job, so I’m happy for her. That doesn’t mean I trust them. >.>

At any rate, things have improved at my old/current job. Not that they were really bad before. But I have taken on more/different responsibilities and hopefully I’m not screwing it up too badly and won’t get fired. They wouldn’t fire me, would they?! Nah…

07/02/15: Okay, so I actually tried to quit my job and start a new one. But, umm…disaster struck. The company that supposedly was hiring me is shutting down, I think. Either way, I’m still at my current job. But! This whole experience has caused what I hope will be improvements at my current work. I’m theoretically going to transition into being more than just a web developer. Fingers crossed!

18. Road Trip

07/27/16: Where on earth could we go?
11/21/15: Mr. T totally wanted to go to Florida this year. And we totally could have counted that as our road trip. But what’s more fun than taking a road trip with a tiny baby?! Good thing we didn’t go, so we get to do it with LBW. ;)
07/02/15: First we buy the camper, then we go on a road trip. I’m so excited about this!!

19. Sex

11/21/15: I mean…we didn’t make it the full month, but we did make a baby. So I’m gonna call this one a win. Heh.
07/02/15: Alright. tmi? This is the month. I’m gonna do it. Every day in July that we’re able, we’re gonna get it on like Marvin Gaye.

20. Ditch the Roommates

07/27/16: Everyone was gone by the time LBW was born!!
11/21/15: OH MY GOD IT’S EVEN WORSE NOW. We have two roommates. We can’t start on the nursery yet!! I’M DYING. DYYYYYYYYING. The nesting phase is real, y’all.
07/02/15: Okay, so we’ve regressed. We have a roommate again. Oops.

21. Hang Wedding Photos

07/27/16: Oh right…
11/21/15: Oh, yeah. That’s still a thing we need to do. Maybe we’ll get some in the living room and/or bedrooms. Maybe even something in the nursery, perhaps?
07/02/15: This used to be shooting a steampunk photo shoot, but I’ve given up on that dream. Banana and I started on the outfit…but I’m pretty sure the measurements she took are no longer accurate. And we really need to frame/hang wedding photos.

22. Go Green

07/27/16: Umm…
11/21/15: Oh, yeah… I’ve forgotten so many of these things! >.<
07/02/15: I want to cut out paper towels, and make my own cleaning supplies.

23. Yearly Photo Album

07/27/16: Oh, oh, oh – I only have like…a handful of pictures that need to be added and I’ll be done! Of course, it costs like $150. Maybe we can actually order it one day…
11/21/15: I did start this! I did, I did! Aren’t you proud of me? 8}
07/02/15: I’m going to start this this year, on our anniversary.

24. Grow Hair Out

07/27/16: I just changed this from “Learn Hairstyles” to “Grow Hair Out”. #dealwithit
11/21/15: Ugh. My hair is long enough now that I don’t even straighten it anymore. I’ve regressed.
07/02/15: I need to learn how to braid my hair. And maybe how to floof it up into an awesome messy mohawk.

25. Get Cultured

07/27/16: I bought Mr. T tickets for the Pilgrimage Festival for his birthday this year. The lineup is so-so, but it’s close to home, in the fall, and on the weekend. We can take LBW and hopefully have a good time with low-stress.

2013: Bonnaroo
2014: Bonnaroo
2015: Bonnaroo
2016: Pilgrimage Music & Art Festival
2017: ??
2018: ??

11/21/15: 2013: Bonnaroo
2014: Bonnaroo
2015: Bonnaroo
2016: ??
2017: ??
2018: ??
07/02/15: Attend at least one major art/music thing every year. The past three years we’ve gone to Bonnaroo. We’ll see what happens in the coming years.

26. Family Tree Gallery Wall

07/27/16: I’m changing this from the vague “Gallery Walls” that it was before to “Family Tree Gallery Wall” to indicate doing the string art/gallery wall thing up the stairs.
11/21/15: I wonder when I’ll consider this done?
07/02/15: We’ve done a pretty decent job of filling our living room and bedroom with art. I’d like for it to be a bit more purposeful. And, you know, framed… I also want to do a string art/gallery wall going up the stairs that has a bunch of family photos.

27. Fancy Feast

07/27/16: The first place we went to eat without LBW was Camino Real, the Mexican restaurant near our house. Woo… (That doesn’t count, in case you were confused.) This stays on the list!
11/21/15: Mmm… Maybe we can make this our first date night after LBW is born? Or…maybe 5th or 6th, so we’re more comfortable going out without ze beebs, so I don’t have a breakdown and make us go home BECAUSE I JUST MISS HIM/HER SO DAD-GUM MUCH.
07/02/15: No, not cat food. I want to go somewhere reaaaaaaally nice and have an expensive, delicious dinner. Maybe one of those places that cooks the really weird food, like they cook on the reality shows (the cooking ones, not Fear Factor). Especially one where the chef is all “This is what I’m cooking – eat it!” so I don’t have to make any decisions.

28. Make Something…Challenging

07/27/16: I’ll get right on that.
11/21/15: More than just crafts or sewing…not that those aren’t “challenging” – but more something that involves power tools and “measuring twice, cutting once”. A piece of furniture or something.
07/02/15: Help me come up with three more things to do. I didn’t like the last three on my list. Too vague. Oh, and I need to change #12, too. Halp me.

29. Come up with an even longer list!

07/27/16: I have a few ideas, but I haven’t actually typed anything up yet.
11/21/15: Ha! Considering I’ve been working on this list for two years and am still struggling to finish this list, I like the idea of forcing future me to sit down and make a “40 before 40” list. Mwahahaha…

30. Have a Bangin’ 30th Birthday Party

07/27/16: FYI – for Mr. T’s birthday this year we’re having a chill cook-out at a friend’s house. Still no clue what I want to do, but I’ve got just under two years to figure it out.
11/21/15: What sort of party should I have?! Should we go out? Should we stay in? Should there be a theme? Yes kids? No kids? Travel? Dress up fancy? PAJAMA PARTY?! I just don’t know… I guess I’ve got, what…3.5 years? Is that right? My math skills are seriously failing me. I also had to double-check that I’m 27. For a brief moment I thought I was 28. >.<

THAT MEANS MR. T’S 30TH BIRTHDAY IS NEXT YEAR.

What am I going to do for his?!

07/02/15: Aw yiss.

Morning Person 2016 – Lesson 9

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Lesson 9: Get Some Headspace

Meditation provides a framework in which we are able to step back from habitual thinking and emotions, so that we can witness them with clarity and perspective. When we learn to do this, the mind begins to calm down, as does the body. In turn we experience more quiet and a greater sense of ease in every area of life. It is a remarkable shift in perspective, which really needs to be experienced, rather than explained. It is with this shift that we are able to make healthier choices in our daily routine.

How do we balance what we want to do, with all the things we have to do? How do make time for the things that matter?

How to meditate in six easy steps:

  1. Get settled – Find a quiet place where you can relax.
  2. Breathe deeply – Take five deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. On the last exhalation, close your eyes.
  3. Check in – Settle in to your body, taking note of your posture and how your body feels, and any emotion you might be experiencing.
  4. Scan your body – Turn your mind inwards and take note of your body from head to toe, acknowledging any tension or discomfort and then scan again noticing parts of your body that start to relax.
  5. Observe your breath – Bring your attention to your breathing and start to count your breaths. One, in, two, out and so on, up to 10.
  6. Allow your mind to be free – After a few minutes, give yourself a minute for your mind to be completely free. If it wants to think, let it think. If it wants to be busy, let it be busy. Let the mind do whatever it wants to do. After a minute or so, open your eyes, and appreciate the feeling that getting a little headspace can produce.

This assignment is from “Becoming a Morning Person” by Little Green Dot

We had our first birthing class on Sunday, and one of the things we did was a relaxation method that was pretty similar to this. She recommended doing it regularly to help me get in tune with my body so I can more easily relax while I’m in labor. Or…relax as much as possible as my body absolutely falls apart and a human emerges from my nether regions. *shiver

So, yeah – I should probably do this! The trick will be not falling asleep after having my eyes closed for that long, and remembering all the steps. Oh, hey – I just noticed that the email includes a link to download a meditation app. Well there you go. I’ll give it a shot and let you know how well I do! Oh, and as far as a check-in for the previous lessons…

  • Lesson 8 – diet, I haven’t started on this one yet. Next week!
  • Lesson 7 – yoga, Oh. Oops. I did the leg cramp one, which was nice! And I made it most of the way through the “Preparing for Birth” one…and then my phone died. >.< I’ll get back on this tomorrow morning and try out the “Releasing the Spine” video, because my back is getting tired, son!
  • Lesson 6 – mindfulness, I did put the note on my mirror. It says grateful / impact / focus. I definitely don’t spend 3 minutes thinking about it, though. And I had forgotten what “focus” was for. >.<
  • Lesson 5 – snooze, So I do still hit snooze fairly regularly… But I’m about 50/50 on stretching!! I have to be really careful about it, though, or my legs will cramp. >.> Which is probably a good indicator that I need to be doing my yoga videos!!
  • Lesson 4 – sleep hygiene, I’m still using that app that I downloaded. I keep the bedroom so cool that Mr. T freezes at night. Seriously – I’m under a sheet and he’s got a sheet, blanket, and either a jacket or bath robe. lol! Oh, and we have a sound machine now. My sister got one for us (mainly LBW).
  • Lesson 3 – sleep journal, I didn’t even last two days on this one. sorrynotsorry
  • Lesson 2 – roadblocks, Well…my roadblock fix was to change my alarm so I could hit snooze more…then Lesson 5 told me to stop hitting snooze! That app goes off anywhere between 5:30 and 6:00 so I’m going to renew my goal of not hitting snooze and waking up whenever it thinks is best. And then stretching. And doing yoga.
  • Lesson 1 – goal, My goal was to get out the door by 7:20am, and I’ve done a pretty good job of that!! Go me. :)

Morning Person 2016 – Lesson 8

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Lesson 8: Mindful Nutrition

When your body is not nourished, feeling drained, or taxed by bad food choices – it shows. You feel lethargic, it’s harder to concentrate and you may even feel down and negative about life. If you want to feel vibrant, clean, fresh, capable with energy and gusto for life – your everyday food choices make all the difference.

How do you start to eat for your body, to feel your best?

  1. Eat nutrient-dense food, close to nature.
  2. Upgrade your breakfast – strive for a balanced breakfast of carbohydrates, lean protein and fat.
  3. Feed your brain – aim for at least 1 rich source of foods high in omega 3’s every day…like salmon, walnuts, spinach, kale, or kiwi.

When it comes to being a morning person, you’ll notice that a well nourished body has more energy to get up, get moving and sustaining throughout the day. So mindful nutrition is not about resisting temptation – it’s about being aware the food choices you make throughout the day. Often when we think about healthy eating, the first thought is eliminating the bad. Not only is this not sustainable  – the “I’ll never eat that food again” mentality never lasts – but it puts all of your focus on the very thing you don’t want.

Start thinking in terms of more:

  • What can you do to include more whole foods in your meal?
  • What’s one small change that you can make everyday, to put the focus on giving your body more nourishment?

Make a plan this week to upgrade one meal every day.

This assignment is from “Becoming a Morning Person” by Little Green Dot

I think the easiest meal to upgrade would be my lunch. What exactly I should upgrade it to, though…I’m not sure. Also, it’s already Tuesday and I’m working from home on Friday. So I think I should strategize my lunches for next week rather than this week. This week is already lost. Maybe I’ll get some good trail mix to snack on…make sure it’s got walnuts and dried kiwi in it. Eh? Eh? Oh blech…do you know what has a lot of Omega 3s? Nasty stuff is what. Flax seed is easy to add to stuff…but what should I eat? I really don’t enjoy salads and they’re a huge hassle. Plus everything goes bad way too quickly. Maybe some sort of sandwich? But I’m not really supposed to have deli meats while I’m pregnant. I just Googled “healthy lunches to take to work” and the first list I pulled up…80% salads. >.<

I did find a few things I might try next week, though:

I’ve missed at least one week of crock pot recipes, too… :\ I did buy some frozen stuff at the grocery store, though! We’ve got a couple of lasagnas and some frozen meals for two tucked away in our freezer.


Morning Person 2016 – Lesson 7

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Lesson 7: Exercise Your Willpower

Willpower is like a muscle, it can be strengthened. Willpower is the moment you remember your goal, fight the urge to snooze and lift your body out of bed – despite how hard it feels. It’s your brain and body working together. The good news is that you can train your willpower. The better news is that as you develop your willpower, sticking to your goal goes from feeling like a stress or chore – to feeling positive and empowering.

How do you train your willpower? Practice and repetition. The idea is to pick one thing, one action that you commit to doing everyday. Something that has meaning for you. Not hitting snooze is a good one. But, let’s go further this week – and experiment with exercise as a way of training our willpower. An exercise that connects your mind and body is best for this practice. Things like yoga, stretching, pilates… smart, mindful exercises.

This assignment is from “Becoming a Morning Person” by Little Green Dot

Alright. She gave us a couple of videos to use if we wanted – a 10 min stretch and a 30 min workout. But I’m like…super pregnant. lol! Plus I don’t feel comfortable sharing everything that she tells us, since it’s supposed to be a class you sign up for. The emails are actually way longer than what I copy/paste in my little blurbs at the top of the blog posts, fyi.

Anywho, I went to Do Yoga With Me and found their beginner-level prenatal yoga videos:

So I’m thinking…leg cramps/spine on Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri mornings. Preparing for Birth on Wednesday evenings. Modified Flow on Saturday. Let’s do this. (The best part with that schedule is I don’t actually have to do anything until tomorrow night. Go me!)