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Friday, June 1, 2012

30 by 30!

Today I turn the big 3-0! 
For the last year and a half or so I've been on a mission to complete 30 things I've always wanted to try doing before my 30th birthday. I'm so proud to say that despite a toddler running around and a second pregnancy and then a newborn - aka very busy year! - I completed 24 of the 30 things on my list by my birthday! I intend to do the remaining 6 by my next birthday, in my 30th year.

30 by 30
My good friend, Sarah, came up with this idea, and like most of her AWESOME ideas I totally copied it! I love the idea of doing things just for me, just for fun, just to better myself and experience new things. Especially at this time in my life when most of what I do every day is NOT about me at all but about my family of four needing something from me. It was nice to focus on something I wanted for a change.

Some people make these lists and put huge things on them like running a marathon or going on a big vacation or completing a degree. I wanted to make this a manageable list, something I'd actually be able to accomplish in between diaper changes and working full time and daycare drop offs and ultrasounds and doctor's visits. Thus my list is simpler - lots of cooking really! - but it turned out great because I accomplished most on my list, proud to say.

Here are a few of the fun adventures I've tried starting in December 2010:

Make a snowman with my son, Owen! 
I could not recall the last time I'd made a snowman... so that was definitely on my list. 

Run a 5K race for the first time.
I have been really proud of myself a handful of times in my life - when I graduated from college, when I gave birth, when I pumped milk for my son for a full year, etc. But one of the proudest moments EVER for me was the second I crossed the finish line of my first 5K race! I was so proud! I felt strong and accomplished and like I could do anything. (Here I am below running, middle in orange shirt, telling myself, "you're almost there, you can do it, look at your husband and son, they are cheering you on, you can do it...") 

Plant a garden and go blueberry picking. 
Two things I'd been saying I wanted to do for a really long time. Both super fun and rewarding! My flowers are blooming again this year (score!) and I realize now how easy and relaxing blueberry picking is so can't wait to take my son again this summer. 

Stay out really late (past 3 a.m.! yikes!) and get pregnant with baby #2. 
These were super exciting ones! I had the best night out with my sisters-in-law, and then of course finding out baby was on the way was really exciting news. 

Walk in the leukemia walk in memory of my grandfather, 
and make homemade pasta with my stepdad. 
These two were really special. I'd been saying I wanted to walk in the leukemia walk for my grandfather for years, so I finally did it - 4 months pregnant, too! It was nice. And making homemade pasta was on the list from the start because I'm Italian and that's how we roll. Loved this one!

A few others that I completed:
  • Made my Italian family's pasta white, pasta green beans, soup, Easter bread, and homemade meatballs and tomato sauce.
  • Made my mom's lemon meringue pie. 
  • Made homemade salsa.
  • Made homemade cupcakes for my son's first birthday.
  • Visited a local restaurant that we'd been dying to try for years.
  • Took my son to the Boston Aquarium - something I'd been wanting to do for years.
  • Visited the local trolley museum.
  • Planned a super cute and creative tractor party for my son.
  • Messaged a few friends and told them how much they mean to me. 
  • Buried a key from our family's rental cottages so that in case the property sells someday a piece of us is always there. 
  • Learned how to use the grill.
  • Started reading a Jane Austen classic novel.
A few left on the list:
  • Learn to make my Italian family's Christmas cookies, woochadaties. (My aunt only makes them once a year so this will have to wait until this December!)
  • Go camping. (Not sure how I'll do this with a newborn this summer, but hey, we'll try!)
  • Make my mom's French recipe, shiblota. (Planning to do that in the next two weeks).
  • Take a zumba class. (I was preggo this year, so wasn't up for the class... this fall perhaps!)
  • Really carve a pumpkin. (I have only carved one once, in college with my now husband. So this October the family is carving pumpkins!)
  • Take a photography class. (OK I feel I should get credit for this one since I tried really hard to take one in the last two years, signing up every 6 months through the rec department in town but not enough people signed up and then I had a baby so couldn't take the one that people did sign up for. This fall I swear I'm going to do it!


I feel pretty accomplished...
and excited that I completed most of my list and intend to do the rest this year. I will get there. And then after this year it's on to making my list of 40 by 40! Oh boy... fun times ahead that's for sure! (A few I'm throwing out around as ideas for the 40 list include learning to knit, singing karaoke, driving the riding lawn mower, volunteering at my kids' future school, etc. oh fun!)

Now that I'm 30...
So now that I'm no longer in my twenties and I'm a real, live, official ADULT... I'm feeling GREAT about it. I'm not feeling old at all. Perhaps when I turn 35 I'll feel old or something, half-way to 40, but honestly I feel young, excited, energetic, and eager for whatever cool things are in store for me in this next decade. I did a lot of growing and growing up in the last 10 years. Now I'm ready to feel more settled in who I am and what I'm focused on in my life. Now it's about having FUN and working hard and being HAPPY. 

Bring it, thirties! 

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