Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Another Year Bites The Dust (Almost 30!)

Thanks to all the amazing family and friends for the birthday wishes today!

One year from today, I will be the big 3-0! Since I turned 21 (the only birthday that seemed to matter), it doesn’t seem like I’ve been getting closer to 30 each year. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was at Drake, living on my own for the first time and enjoying FREEDOM! Birthdays seem to come and go….and besides all the appreciated love and wishes from friends and family, it has always been just another day, another year passed.

Awhile back, I decided I needed to challenge myself and redefine each year. I started thinking about all the things I have always wanted to do, but for some reason, hadn’t gotten to yet. I feel like a lot of plans or dreams get lost in the shuffle of our busy lives and every day to-do lists. And as another year passed, I thought….what am I waiting for? If now's not the time to do everything….then when is the right time exactly!
I envisioned a list of comprised trips I’ve been putting off, challenges I’ve been procrastinating on, skills I’ve been waiting to acquire, roadblocks I needed to overcome, and plain old amazing things that I’ve never even thought about doing before.

So, here’s my bucket list of sorts that I intend to finish before May 7, 2014—my “30 Things to Do Before I Turn 30”.

(Since I created my list, I have actually accomplished a few!)


1. Run another half-marathon (under 2:15)
2. Do more volunteering (Girls on the Run 5k- coming up)
3. Take golf lessons (and get good…. But not sure 1 year is enough time)
4. Sew something (even if it’s just reattaching a button!)
5. Pay off any debt (with exception of student loans….those may take a lifetime)
6. Build a piece of furniture from scratch
7. Study the Bible
8. Master Grandma Mary’s coffee bread (Attempt #1=FAIL) and other recipes (borsch, cookies, etc.)
9. Blog (regularly- define regularly and set goals)
10. Try new recipes and create some of my own
11. Take more road trips
12. Get better at documenting moments (actually use my camera!)
13. Take a graphic design class
14. Reupholster or refinish a piece of furniture
15. Coach a softball team or help out at practices
16. Travel outside the country (Italy, Costa Rica)
17. Travel inside the country (Colorado, South Carolina, visit Alex)
18. Refinish an old piece of furniture
19. Create a 5 year personal plan
20. Go zip lining
21. Take a cooking lesson
22. Join a book club (or start reading more)
23. Grow an herb garden
24. Sister for Crosby (another wheaten terrier)
25. Ride a day or two of RAGBRAI
26. A new house
27a. Run a marathon…..I may be kidding on this one? But if I try, JD must do a half-marathon
27b. If not, run a half-marathon under 2 hours (aka, keep up with Stacy and Shelby an entire race)
28. Visit 3 baseball stadiums/new cities…change it up from Chicago/Wrigley
29. Reach out to family/friends more frequently (birthday, anniversaries, etc.)
30. Start a family

As I read through my list, there are many people that come to mind who can help me achieve these in 1 year. And you better believe I will be reaching out to them (YOU!) for great advice, experience and to share some quality time!
For instance, there is no way I can build something without my dad’s help….mostly because I wouldn’t have the tools! I ask for each birthday/Christmas, but apparently my dad (and JD) don’t trust me with a table saw!
Sewing…I think of my Aunt Kathie who can make anything and everything. Me on the other hand, I tried to sew on a button once and the outcome was very sad. I’m not sure why I asked for the sewing machine for Christmas (thanks Mom!) but I need to start putting it to use.
Running (no matter the goal), I know I couldn’t do any of it without my great running buddies! It’s mostly true that “The hardest step is the first step out the door” but not when you know you’re meeting up with great friends! Some days, 12 miles doesn’t seem like a long enough time to spend chatting outside on a gorgeous day! When we finish, I always look forward to the next run! Even if I can't walk to my car because my legs are SO sore!

I have made a few small dents, but it looks like I’ll be busy this next year! So, wish me luck as I continue to tackle this list. And feel free to share your suggestions or expertise!


  1. What a great list! I had a 30 before 30 list as well before I turned.. it was a great reminder of things I wanted to do. Now I should start my 40 before 40 list (sob).

    I would be interested in participating in Girls on the Run! Is it in DSM?

    1. Yes. There's an afterschool group (at a couple schools) in Des Moines that a friend has coached the past couple months. They have the 5k they've been training for on May 17. She had mentioned they needed other runners to help with girls during the run. If you're interested, the contact is Chelsey Bowermaster (chelsey.bowermaster@girlsontherun.org).

  2. Jenifer, the good news is you can zip line, read a book, use your camera and take an (off) road trip ALL in Costa Rica!! [That'd be at least 5 things off your list in one adventure). I have good travel books and can recommend where to go while there. Don't wait!! And best of luck with this list -- I'll be rooting for you and plan to ask what's been checked off next time I see you!

    1. Hopefully the list is that easy! We are still in the process (meaning haven’t done anything yet) of planning our honeymoon for later this year. Any information/suggestions you have for Costa Rica is appreciated! I think we’ve decided that is where….now it’s just nailing down all of the other details!