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30 things i'm glad i did in my first 30 years

remember that 30 before 30 list i made last year on my 29th birthday?
well ... i didn't finish it.

i started out the year marking items off the list w/ gusto:

√ finished our wedding book
√ read 5 out of 12 classics off time magazine's all time 100 novels list
√ went to a roller derby match
√ kept a budget!!!
√ went to a u-pick farm
√ purchased a tajine (though i didn't master it!)
√ watched a sunrise at percy warner park
√ volunteered regularly w/ calvin house ministries.
√ completed 3 pottery classes - not just 1.
and last but definitely not least ...
√ visited ethiopia!

10 out of 30. not bad considering it was a very ambitious list.

i plan to launch a "31 by 31 list" tomorrow (because i'm crazy like that).
but before i do ... a little pick-me-up for the last day of my 20s:

(in completely random order!)

1. married my best friend. i love you, wade. i could easily fill this list w/ 30 things i'm glad "we" did in our first 2 years of marriage. you make life so much more worth it!!! 

2. volunteered w/ calvin house ministries. this year i will watch this group of girls i've mentored since their freshman year graduate from high school!

3. ran not 1 but 2 half marathons. boy do i hate running ... but i set a goal and i stuck with it! thank you, emily, shelbie & the barefoot team for encouraging me!

4. moved to nashville. this is big considering at 10 i couldn't spend the night at a friend's house w/o crying bc i was homesick. my parents encouraged us to write our own adventures even if that meant more miles between us & heartache for them. i'm not bashful, i'm from nashville!

5. started blogging and decided to continue to blog only as long as i enjoy it!

6. honeymooned in morocco vs saving the money for a down payment on a house. big lesson learned here - memories are so much more valuable than things.

7. however, i'm going to follow that up with ... bought myself a grownup purse. wade has taught me that you deserve to reward yourself for hard work.

8. dealt w/ a bad bout of depression in high school. and became a kinder, more understanding person bc of it. (i also learned that taking better care of myself physically makes me feel better mentally!).

9. graduated college finally after 3 different schools and about 5 degrees with a job.

10. kept a great job for almost 10 years! 10 years this year. i am so thankful for a boss that i enjoy & respect. and a creative outlet - even if i'm designing for country music. ;)

11. saw the pyramids in egypt despite only having a short layover. you were right, wade. it was worth every penny. another lesson in "the memory is worth it".

12. spent my summers participating in community theater w/ the springfield muni opera. i met wonderful people w/ walks of life completely different than my own and gained from so many of those unique relationships. i also gained so much confidence in my own ability. gosh i miss those days!

13. got a tattoo and still do not regret it. thinking about getting a tattoo yourself? i say go for it - just put a lot of thought & research into what you want.

14. stayed up all night to explore london during an 8 hour layover! completely worth it (and drooling down my new husband's arm). ps - london is magical at night.

15. lived independently before getting married. it might have been easier had i married right out of school - yes i'm stubborn and like things my way - but i'm thankful for the lessons i learned & the woman i became on my own before settling down.

16. visited the awassa children's project and ethiopia for "vacation". i am so thankful for this glimpse into my husband's past. and for the work this project is doing over the pond.

17. had a beautiful, handmade wedding. (thank you, mom & dad. and everyone that pitched in to make the night of our dreams.)

18. gave a speech at a political event in my husband's absence. never again!

19. had my heart broken and learned from it. and always called my parents to get through it.

20. forgave the female gender. sounds funny - but it took time to really trust girls again. i'm so thankful for the ladies in my life.

21. conquered my fear of heights (we joined climb nashville!). where shall we climb next?

22. surfed in hawaii despite the theme song from the movie jaws playing on repeat in my head.

23. spent my summers camping & visiting grandma + grandpa in martinsville and collecting freebies at the illinois state fair with grandpa hammond rather than go on fancy-shmancy expensive vacations. lesson learned: it doesn't take $$ to make wonderful memories.

24. designed something that was in stores all across the country.

25. did the "purpose driven life" bible study with my mom - which strengthened our relationship & friendship. i am so thankful for your leadership, mom.

26. invited laura along that first weekend at belmont. who knew the "annoying freshman in the front row" would become my best friend and a huge accountability partner in my life.

27. made a special 7-hour trip to see my grandma julia one last time before she passed away.

28. sang songs i had written at the blue bird cafe.

29. signed up for a small group at church. amazing how a small group of people can make a big church feel like home.

30. made mistakes only to realize the ultimate love and forgiveness of Christ. thank you, Jesus.

my mom teased me that i should probably include potty training and walking in this list. okay - so this is a very limited list. of course, i'm thankful for those lessons too. ;)


your turn! { insert your age here } things your glad you've done - go!


Wade said...

First item on 31 by 31: Sing a song you wrote at the Bluebird Cafe. We'll invite Alex, Steven, Naomi, and everyone else we can think of who believes that's what you should do.

Tricia Miller said...

This is awesome hon! So many wonderful things in your first thirty. I really enjoy reading the things of yours I catch on Facebook. You are an excellent writer and well rounded person. Happy Birthday! Hope your day is wonderful!!

elledoubleyouu said...

Love this idea! It sounds like you've had a very full and exciting 30 years.

♥ LW

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