Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The big 3-0

I know I've been absent. I didn't even catch up from the end of last year! And now it's July again! So much has been going on and I'd like to make you a nice big list, but really it's just life! The kids are big, lovely, loud, and loving and I couldn't ask for more- Adam and I find ourselves still learning and growing and changing all the time and that's just fine although surprising since we've known each other for half our lives now.
God has been gracious to us and blessed us beyond measure and we really couldn't ask for more (although sometimes I feel like my "want" list is pretty long).

But really I just  had to jump in here to finish my 30 (31) Before 30 List. You see I turn 30 in 12 days, less than two weeks. I'm pretty sure I'm not completing much more off this list in that time span, so I thought one late night doing an update would suffice. 
Note on this: I've decided to count some things that still have not come to fruition or have changed and not become as important. Give me a little grace in this.
Here it is cut and pasted (and updated) from last year:

1. Run at least a half marathon if not a full one
I've been training and training and I'm NOT a good runner. I'm not one of those people who get on and get 5 or 10 miles done and smile as they hop off the treadmill to go about their day... I"m one of those coughing, wheezing types that is totally wet by the end of half walking mile 2 and will instead be icing their extremities the rest of the day. That being said, I was kicking butt in my own personal best times and then I sprained my ankle when I fell down some stairs. I'm working back up but two months later I'm still slower than I was. So frustrating.
It's so funny to read that above (posted last September)- I overcome injuries like dirty laundry, but then there always seems to be more! After my ankle finally healed, I was having hip, back and neck trouble (the type where you can't even turn your head to look over your shoulder while you are driving) and then that was relieved and now since February I've been handling heel spurs and severe plantar fasciitis. But through it all I've continued, I got a trainer, I lost more weight, I now run 4 miles pretty easily and was running more before the ol' foot gave out, but I'm on the mend. Today I was given the go-ahead to register for the Columbus Half Marathon in October. So I'm not meeting this arbitrary deadline I set for myself, but I'm almost there. So close I can taste it and smell it and my feet are anxious to get out there and run. The best part of this whole thing? I've started to think of myself as an athlete. I've been a lot of things over the years but never an athlete. I always competed in sports but it was never "me" - Now it's me.
2. Clean out my closet to things that I only actually wear (not wish I could wear or might wear someday)
This was awesome to get accomplished, but then I lost quite a bit of weight over the summer and was sad I hadn't kept a few of my favorite pieces that would fit again. But then again, I used it as an excuse to do a little birthday shopping. Now I need to go back through again and get rid of the things that are too big.
I've done this a few times over... I'm now of the mindset of why keep it if I won't wear it - the great consignment shop in town is a monthly stop for me to sell and buy :)
3. See the pacific ocean
Not gonna happen, unless I'm getting a really cool birthday present I don't know about yet.
4. Decide whether or not (and have if we are) any more children
I don't know if this discussion is ever done. Now that Penny is past the frustrating baby stage, I'm ogling babies again...
Reading that makes me laugh. We're about 99% sure our family is complete. I oogle babies, but then I like to return them when they do something gross. My kids are gross enough, thank you very much.
5. Weekend in Chicago (this was on my list last night as I was thinking of things, and that's what my gift from Adam is for my birthday! He must have read my mind)
We've been to Chicago a few times, and Max was just asking the other day if we could go again. I'd like to take the train up there sometime this fall.
We took the train in June and it was awesome, awesome, awesome. The kids loved it (and so did my friend Katie and I)
6. Learn to quilt
Well not traditionally, but I did complete a quilt. It's just about twin sized and Penny sleeps with it every night.
7. Complete another full sized afghan (either knit or crochet)
I'm working on one. It started out as a baby blanket for a baby that's now crawling. Eeps.
 I'm much better with the smaller things... I've probably knitted and crocheted two or three afghans worth in the past year. Just in small baby hats and lovely sweaters my daughter refuses to wear.
8. Decide on a career
I take tests next weekend to finish my license to teach English here in Illinois. I'm not planning on going back to teaching until the kids go to school though
Teaching license accomplished... but actually just this past month. Seriously, they keep changing the laws. I still don't plan to go back to teaching though until Penny starts Kindergarten, but I do get to try my hand at teaching my own this year as we have decided to not put Max in a pre-k program but have the majority of his schooling be at home this year.
9. Join a CSA for a summer
We haven't, but Adam did walk around one of the local farmer's markets with me on Saturday, I consider that a huge accomplishment. The kids now know they each get a few dollars to pick out produce or whatever strikes their fancy when we go. This week it was cherries and pasta. The real goal behind this one was to eat healthier/cleaner/fresher whatever you want to call it. And while my family still enjoys it's mac and cheese out of a blue box, we (mostly I really) have changed the way we view food. The kids love fresh stuff (and hot dogs, lest you think I've gone nuts) - especially Penny who would rather eat Feta cheese, fruit, and salad sometimes than Goldfish crackers. I've got a garden growing and friends who bring by more produce than I can handle during the growing months (I've got a grocery bag each of green beans and pickling cucumbers to deal with tomorrow)
10. Get Adam to eat the veggies from the CSA
Adam ate peas about two months ago with supper. They were mixed in a pasta dish. I saw him eat them. This is hands down the greatest accomplishment of my life. I'm counting this one, even though it did not involve a CSA.
11. Take Max and Penny to a real live farm to see animals and/or harvest
We went to go see the harvest and Max and Adam rode the combine
12. Visit the PNW
13. Find a little black dress I actually like
This is like the hardest thing to do EVER! But I do have a pretty turquoise one I've been wearing all the time... Maybe I'm just meant for color?
14. Finish reading the whole Bible (I've started this one so many times, but always go back to my favorites instead of reading it all)
I probably won't finish in the next two weeks but I'm on track to finish by the end of summer!
15. knit myself a sweater
I have a fear of commitment. I couldn't decide on a pattern and then freaked about committing to a yarn. So I knitted Penny a really pretty sweater instead. I just finished it last night.
I'm competing in a knitting competition starting in July and it lasts two weeks. I'm knitting myself a sweater. I've got the yarn sitting here and I've swatched to make sure everything works to gauge.
16. Feel comfortable in my own skin, no matter what it looks like, or who I'm with
I've hit some crazy crazy strides with this over the summer. I don't know when it happened, but it was all in God's timing. I love it!
17. Clean out everything we collect and make it into everything we use/need/love
This is like a never ending cycle. I'm actually on my second round through this weekend. But since I've finished one round, I'm gonna call it completed!
18. Catch up on Max and Penny's scrapbooks
I said to Adam a few days ago "I give up on scrapbooking. I'm just gonna finish each kid's first year and call it quits"
I've instead been systematically printing our pictures and putting them in albums. The scrapbooks are still languishing away, but I'm almost caught up on actually printing pictures which is something even bigger than I anticipated-
19. Have a "handmade Christmas" where everything I give has been handmade by myself or someone I know
I'm not in a position to do any better this year than last because of me opening my Etsy shop and doing a few craft fairs. So I'm calling this one completed since I'm pretty satisfied with last year.
20. Vacation without the kids (I think the overnight in Chicago might count for this one too...)
I'm totally counting it.
21. Go to Disneyland
22. Learn to use our camera in manual mode a little better
I shoot in manual quite a bit now. And I'm getting better all the time.
23. Have professional (really professional) family pictures taken
We tried. The kids were awful that morning. It's like they KNEW I wanted a nice picture. We'll have to try again.
I've given up on this one for now. But we've gotten pretty good at doing it ourselves.
24. Visit Dallas again
25. Spend some time alone on a beach and just read a book or magazine or knit
I'm hoping to get a little of this in Octob
er when we visit the gulf with Adam's parents and then end our time with a Disney Cruise with the whole family.
I did it! On Disney's Castaway Cay. It was amazing. I knitted for a few hours with a cold drink beside me and no children calling my name (except my niece Ella every now and then, but Aunt Cara is significantly less annoying than Mom)
26. See MOPS (or any other ministry I might be involved in) flourish
Our second year of MOPS starts on Friday and the response this year has been a little overwhelming if those interested do choose to participate! I love all the relationships I've built out of this and I love seeing the Lord glorified through them!

The third year is looking even more promising! We've seen a tight bond form with these moms (and they are now some of my best friends!) and more and more are being reached each year!
27. Play my cello again
Bahaha still taking up space in the back of the spare room closet.
28. Read all the books I've bought and never read
Ok so I haven't bought a book.... that is a real hold in your hands book. Unfortunately, Adam got me a Kindle for my birthday. So now I collect unread books on there too.

And then Adam bought another Kindle so we could each have our own space to store up more books besides the entire wall of bookcases that are overflowing....
29. Use trifle dish that I bought years ago but have only used to hold ice
I used it for fruit salad- I was also reminded that I totally have used it already- December 2008- 
30. Have a garage sale
It was awesome! And I loved getting rid of stuff. I might have collected enough to do another one this fall.

I just this week moved a few tubs out to the garage ready for September's round of garage sales.
31. So I've been wanting to do something for a while I've never had the courage to do. It's something kinda silly, and I was thinking I was too old to, but I realized I'm not and I've been hemming and hawing about it for a few weeks now. So mystery item number 31 is going on the list and will be revealed when I do it.
I'm not gonna do it. At least now anyway. Maybe in different circumstances I would just go for it, but not right now.

So the tally is 22 out of 31. I'm gonna call that pretty good, even though the teacher in my cringes at that percentage as it is barely passing at 70.1%. But golly gee, thinking of all the things I've done in the past two years that don't show up on this tally really gets me excited for what the next few years brings for our little family. I mean for goodness sake, when I made this list Miss P was just a few weeks old, and Max just over two. Tonight Max was writing letters just with words of encouragement from me and Penny was using the potty without a reminder. That's some pretty crazy stuff folks.