30 before 30 | A birthday resolution

Time. There’s never enough of it, and it only goes faster the older you get? How can it be that that years between K-12th grade seem to drag on forever and ever, and the moment you are out on your own, life is flashing by. I’m writing this blog on my 29th birthday, the final year before the big 3-0! Luckily, I have lots of friends who will take the plunge before me, and can forge the path ahead. Honestly, as I thought back about this year, and gathered photos for my recap I got a little teary-eyed! I can’t believe this is the last year in my 20s. Seriously, what. happened!?

How about a little photo recap of my 28th year to get this party started?

Last year on my birthday, I was surprised with an all-day scavenger hunt & surprise part with my friends & family! And my favorite hometown band.


Rudy & I celebrated 10 years of high school football & graduation.


The holidays flew by with friends family & our one year birthday of Salt + Paperie.



We survived Snowpocolypse 2015 and our least favorite season.


We jumped into new adventures with Encourage Huntsville!


I worked, a lot, but loved it every minute of it along the way! It’s actually not that easy to not work on my birthday today…. but one more day won’t kill me! (Thanks for understanding!)

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I finally got to see Elton John in concert!


We celebrated 4 years of marriage and took a kick-butt trip to Mexico.

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We spent a lot of time by the water!


We loved on our crazy, furry Gils.


We were surrounded by friends & family who love us, support us, and keep us sane!

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Most importantly, this year, I have fallen more and more in love with my husband. There’s really no words to explain how love grows over time, but it perhaps the only good thing about time passing by. My 28th year would not have been anything without the constant love & patience from this man!


And as part of my birthday celebration, we finished off the summer with a trip to my favorite place in the world.


Yesterday, on the way home from my birthday beach trip, I started a list of 30 things I want to do before I turn 30. I scoured others’ lists for ideas, and so many of them I had already done! Among those things: run a half marathon (2013!), visit somewhere that feels like the end of the earth (Alaska!), go scuba diving (Mexico!), go whitewater rafting (tons!), etc. etc. Also, there were some things on there that just don’t sound appealing, and probably never will like skydiving or bungee jumping… I’ve ridden that slingshot at the beach, and that’s as much as I will ever want to do. Sorry to disappoint all those that wanted me to add that to my list! I also saw a lot of “write a book” and “bake a cheesecake”…. neither of those sound appealing to me either. (Cheesecake??)

I also found that most of the lists I saw were created with 5-10 years to go before they turned 30, and well, I missed that boat! I created my list by thinking of things I feel like I probably should have done by now, or things that I really want to do (and could actually do) in the next year. I did try to keep in mind that money is an object, otherwise, I would have been putting 30 places to travel before I’m 30. There are some travels on the list, but only one requests being out of the country.

I am putting them online with the hopes of updating you as they are accomplished. My blogging has been slacking like WHOA. Even two weeks ago when I had time, it’s like I forgot how… and none of the things I wanted to write about seemed important enough. This is in hopes that I will get back into blogging in the coming weeks and be able to complete one of my New Year’s Resolutions.

If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m a total list person. Rudy told me when I was struggling to start my list, “You know you don’t have to do that right?” Oh yes, yes I do. I feel like life lists help me move forward, and keep trying new things, and pushing myself to do things that I really would have never done. (i.e. not eating meat for a whole year) Birthdays are like a personal “new year” in which you can set new goals… without the pressure of everyone else doing it too!

Without further ado, my 30 before 30.

30 Before 30
1. Create a true “bucket list”
2. Give blood*
3. Watch 100 of the Top 250 IMDB films
4. Start my 401K
5. Shoot a gun**
6. Attend a music festival
7. Travel out of the United States (location TBD)
8. Run a half-marathon as a couple***
9. Unplug for a whole weekend (no phone, texting, tv, computer)
10. Take my dogs to the beach
11. Become familiar enough with Spanish to hold a conversation with Rudy’s family
13. “Tour” Huntsville (i.e. Visit the Space and Rocket Center, Train Depot, etc.)
14. Visit Graceland & see the ducks at the Peabody
15. See the Dismals
16. Stay up for 24 Hours
18. Host a huge dinner party
19. Fly with Rudy’s mom somewhere, anywhere…
20. Learn to drive stick shift
21. Get a tattoo
22. Plant blueberry bushes on the farm
23. Read 10 classic books**** (Where the Red Fern Grows, Catcher and the Rye, Moby Dick etc.)
24. Try an adult ballet class*****
25. Go sailing, and participate
26. Ride in a hot air balloon
27. Organize my iPhone photos
28. Take up yoga/pilates
29. Go on a horseback trail ride
30. Spend my 30th in Disney World!******
*Sadly, I’ve never given blood without a medical reason.
**Nope, never shot one.
*** Poor Rudy, he’s in on this one. He did agree on the way home yesterday. Since I had already run one by myself, this was something I really thought would make it more fun! This one just has to be scheduled to run by my 30th!
**** I loved my education at a Christian private school, but our reading lists were weird. Or, maybe, I just didn’t pick these books. Either way, I haven’t read hardly any “classics”.
***** My friend Mary just told me to add this one this morning, and I totally love it. It will be an ab work out from laughter, if nothing else!
****** YO, fam & friends, block it off on your calendar! And go ahead and think about what character you want to be!
Thank you all so much for being a part of my life and making my years greater and greater! Without you, without your support, without your love… I would be nothing.
29, you’re mine!