9.04.2017

30 before 30

The past month or so has included one annoying thing after the other. Nothing huge, but it was building up in me. First Claire broke her leg, meaning I was carrying around a 30-pound baby on top of a 10-pound baby. That created a bunch of issues all on it's own, including lots of other changes in her life (like quitting thumb sucking, trying to drop a nap, and starting preschool). This is on top of little Jane who just won't sleep. 

Because Jane doesn't sleep, I don't sleep, which meant that when Claire brought home a cold, I just wasn't getting better. This inconveniently happened right about the time that Tom started back in school too. 

Here's where it got better.

My in-laws took Claire with them out of town for the long weekend which left me missing her, but absolutely soaking up every bit of peace and CLEAN in the house. And boy do I feel recharged! 

With that energy, I was feeling a goal-planning session and thought it would be fun to try to squeeze in a 30 before 30 in the few months I have left. I had to keep it fairly tame remembering that Tom will be busier than ever trying to finish school, and I have two little ones at home. I also feel proud of some big accomplishments I've had so far in my 20s, so I'm not feeling too guilty here. 

To keep myself more accountable, I'm putting my list up here. Here are my 30 things to do before 30 in no particular order:

Run a 10K - I've done a 5k, a sprint triathlon, and a half marathon, but I haven't run since having Claire. 

Get something published- I'm not being too picky on what or where.

Learn how to bake baguettes- I thought these would be an excellent thing to master. 

Poach eggs the real way- I love poached eggs, but I always use my Henrietta, so I want to try the intimidating way. 

Master a signature hairstyle- My hair is always boring or more often, crazy. 

Sew myself a skirt with pockets- Easy enough to do with not a lot of time, but a bit of a stretch as well as practical!

Learn an old-timey dance- I'm thinking the Charleston? I want to dance along with Jimmy Stewart when I watch It's a Wonderful Life. 

Read Infinite Jest- If I don't make a goal to read this, I just will never conquer it. 

Master box one of my characters- I'm surprised by how much Chinese I've actually retained, but I can't read it nearly as well. I'd like to work on that. 

Throw an awesome party- Most likely a graduation party for Tom. 

Do a handstand- I used to do these, and loved the feeling.

Go on a minimum of 10 dates with Tom- Making time for love. 

Forgive someone- This might be the hardest one on here. 

Do a random act of kindness- Or several. 

Do temple work for an ancestor- I've already got one in mind. 

Bring dinner to someone who's struggling- Because food is the best. 

Send a handwritten letter once per month- Because who doesn't love mail? 

Make a new friend- I'm working on building my connection to others. The Dalai Lama would be proud. 

Learn a new word per week- Because one a day doesn't give enough time to really focus on implementing it. 

Do a staycation- Really looking forward to this. 

Tune up my flute- It's been sitting neglected for so long. 

Master a piece on the piano I've avoided- I'm excited by this one too, if I can keep Claire away long enough. 

Write a letter to the editor- This means I'll have to reengage in local news which is hard on my little mom heart. 

Teach someone a skill- I love to teach, so hopefully there's something I can pass on. 

Go skiing- I have literally never gone skiing or snowboarding, even after 19 years in Utah. 

Memorize ten scriptures- To keep Jesus on my mind more often. 

Make up a new recipe- And write it down. 

Learn how to decorate cakes- I can make a cake that tastes great, but I want to learn the ways of The Great British Bake Off contestants. 

Curate a capsule wardrobe- Keeping life simple and classy. 

Make a list of 40 things before 40- So I have more time for amazing goals. 

5.29.2017

A Birth Story Part Deux

Here is the story of how one of the very best things that ever happened to me, happened to me.

Leading up to my due date, I kept saying I was in no hurry to have this baby. Claire had turned into quite the twonager and I was feeling overwhelmed at the thought of making her days meaningful while caring for a newborn. And in her sweeter moments, I was mourning the loss of being able to give her all of me. 

Of course, the closer my due date got, the more I wanted it to be labor day. 

4.17.2017

Celebration Central

The past few weeks have been a flurry of celebrations around here. We had my mom's 60th birthday, Tom's 28th, and Easter, all within about a week of each other. This has delighted Claire to no end, because nearly every day she'll ask me if we can go to a party. 

Growing up, Easter was kind of a downer holiday. Of course, the candy hunt was always great (my mom is a candy queen), but thinking about Jesus dying was just so... not fun. 

After getting a few more years under my belt, I started to love Easter. That's because with the years come mistakes and deaths of loved ones, and suddenly "He is risen" become the most beautiful three words in the world. Better than "I love you" even, because what better "I love you" is there than "He is risen?"

With that being said, Claire and I had a lot of Easter fun this year and I finally documented it. Here's what we've been up to:

3.20.2017

Dad-versary

It's been one year today since I lost my dad. 

My last picture with Dad. I just now noticed he's using the pillowcase I sewed in 7th grade.

I suddenly thought of him just after noon, and when I looked at the clock, I discovered it was the time he passed away one year ago. It brought me back to the moment I learned that he'd gone, and what a strange feeling that was even though I'd had a couple weeks to prepare. I can only describe the month of March last year as an outer-body experience. I imagine that's a natural feeling, one of self-preservation. 

3.06.2017

Why is happiness so hard to write about?

I've had this question for some time now. I'm not much of a songwriter, but I dabble here and there and I've never been all that happy with the songs I write about being in love or feeling happy. They come out feeling cliche or saccharine. I've always been much more attached to the songs about loss and hurt. That goes for much of what I've written.

I posed this question in my book club on Saturday, hoping to get an answer.

1.09.2017

The Silver Linings of 2016, a Year that will Live in Infamy

2016 will go down as the year that gave me a swift and hardy kick in every pair of pants I've ever known. And not only personally-- it was the constant barrage of terrible global, national and local news that wouldn't let up. 

I'm not sure I've ever looked forward to January 1st quite so much as I have this time around. However, Tom and I started a tradition of adding the good things that happen to us throughout the year in our "Belle Jar," then reading them as a family on New Year's Eve.