30 Things for Year 30

In one week I will be 30!

I had to pause for a minute to let that sink in. 30 years old. What a milestone.

My life has looked very different from what I imagined it would be when I was younger. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would be whereEce I am right now. It’s funny how life works out.

As I think about the year ahead, I’m filled with optimism. I feel like my life is only beginningEv, like I’m just now discovering who I am and stepping into the person I was meant to be.

To celebrate year 30, I created a bucket list with 30 things I would like to accomplish in this next year. Some things I’ve done before. Some I’ve only dreamed of doing. Some I never thought I would ever do. I’m looking forward to stepping out of my comfort zone, having some new experiences, and maximizing this life I have been given.

Cheers to 30 years and many more!

30 Things for Year 30

  • Get a tattoo
  • Visit California
  • Write at least one blog post a month
  • Take a dance class
  • Read 6 new books (includes finishing some I’ve started)
  • Take a cooking class
  • Journal more
  • Plan a girls trip with friends
  • Redecorate my bedroom
  • Participate in a 5k
  • Go to a concert
  • Go to the movies alone
  • Try a new class at the gym
  • Build muscle strength, tone
  • Buy one new clothing item a month
  • Volunteer
  • Find a new hovby
  • Study The Bible more
  • Learn to do my nakeup
  • Establish a better skincare routine
  • Take a fun family trip
  • Take a writing course
  • Eat better; focus on whole, plant based foods
  • Make a new friend
  • Don’t be afraid to say no; set boundaries
  • Go dancing with friends
  • Try more local restaurants
  • Unplug for a day (or weekend)
  • Have a spa day
  • Splurge on myself at least once

A Fresh Start

It’s officially Spring! However, here in Indiana it doesn’t quite feel like it yet. It’s is snowing as I write this.

The best part about Spring is that it’s the perfect time of the year for a fresh start. I have to admit, the last two months or so have been challenging in terms of working toward achieving some goals I set for myself at the end of 2016 and the beginning of this year. Last week one reminder notification on my phone opened my eyes to just how little progress I had made.

Working Out

At the end of last year, I set a goal to focus on building a more consistent workout routine. My plan was to workout three times a week. In order to accomplish this goal, I set some smaller goals that I wanted to accomplish along the way. I set a reminder in my phone 90 days out so I would remember to check my progress. Well, that reminder popped up on my phone one morning this week. The 90 days had come and gone and I unfortunately have not made much progress toward this goal. The one smaller goal I was able to accomplish was purchasing my FitBit. I wear it everyday, but it hasn’t made too much of a difference in helping me build a solid routine.


At the beginning of the year, I wanted to be more intentional about posting regularly (at least weekly) on this blog. If you keep up with me here you have probably noticed that it has been over a month since I’ve posted anything. #fail. I feel like I started the year off on a good note, but I fell off during the month of February. Maybe I set my goal too high given the amount of time I actually have for writing. Maybe it’s been a matter of poor planning.


Recently, I have devoted less and less time to personal reflection. It has been easy to just coast through life without taking time for introspection and recording the lessons I am learning. In my college years, I ended most days journaling, taking time to express my thoughts and things I was learning about myself. I miss those days. I know I need to make more time for personal reflection in order to clear my head and process what is going on in my life.

My work schedule has been one of the biggest barriers that I have struggled to overcome as I think about the lack of progress I have made on my goals. The past two months have been extremely busy and most nights (and some weekends) I have been bringing work home. After spending hours in the office, working from home, caring for my family, and other commitments, I have had little energy to think about or do much of anything else, even when I have a few moments to spare. It has been rough! The ultimately result has been lack of self-care and opportunity to engage in things that I enjoy. Seeing that reminder on my phone this week was the last straw. Something has to change.

Even though work presents a challenge, I refuse to use it as an excuse any longer. It is time that I take charge of my life and be more diligent in planning time to do things that are important to me. Yes, work is important, but taking care of my physical, spiritual, and emotional health is an even greater priority. So while I may have “failed” or “missed the mark,” I am motivated to do better.

I realize that motivation will only take me so far. A recent sermon at church reminded me that I can’t overcome the challenges I have faced or make progress in my own strength. Thankfully, as a believer in Christ I can rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to fill me, empower me, and help me. In my weakness that’s when He shows His strength.

“Then I will ask the Father to send you the Holy Spirit who will help you and always be with you.”

– John 14:16 (CEV)

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

– 2 Corinthians 12:9

My new plan is to use my time in the morning, before anyone else is up, for working out, writing, or personal reflection. I have mapped out which days I will do each of these things and I will plan my workouts in advance. That way I am waking up with a plan each day. Yes, that requires me to sacrifice a few extra minutes of sleep, but I think the reward will be much greater. My prayer is for a fresh start, continued motivation to move forward, and positive changes in my life in the weeks to come.

In love,


Have you missed the mark when it comes to accomplishing your goals? What strategies have you used to bounce back and start fresh?


My 2018 Reading List

For 2017, my goal was to read 6 books. You can read more about that goal here). I was just shy of achieving that goal; I ended the year with 5 books under my belt. To some, this may not seem like a lot, but I’m proud of what I accomplished as most of those books were read in the latter half of the year.

What I Read in 2017

  • 27 Revelations by Harlow Hayes
  • The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney
  • Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
  • She’s Still There: Rescuing the Girl in You by Chrystal Evans Hurst
  • Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul by John and Stasi Eldredge

In my last post, I mentioned one thing I want to focus on for 2018 is self-care, doing more things that nourish my mind, body, soul, and spirit. Reading is definitely a hobby that nourishes my mind, soul, and spirit, depending on the book I currently have in hand.

For 2018, my reading list includes books from my 2017 list that I didn’t read, books to help me grow as a wife, mother, and professional, others to read just for fun, and a few cookbooks to help encourage creativity in the kitchen and more healthy eating.

My 2018 Reading List

Reading List

What’s on your reading list for 2018? Have you read anything on my list?

I’d love to hear from you. Comment below with your thoughts!



2017 Goals: Eat Better

In case you’ve missed the last two weeks, I am reflecting on some goals I created for 2017. Check out my previous posts to see what I have been focusing on this year!


Goal 3: Eat healthier foods

Similar to physical activity, I didn’t feel like I was doing the best with my diet at the start of this year. In the peak of nursing, I was always hungry! And although I wasn’t eating terribly, I didn’t always make the best food choices. There were several nights where my bed time snack was a whole bag of movie theater style popcorn. And I was not up for sharing! Just ask my husband. At the start of the year, I decided that it was time to make a change to the types of foods I was eating and serving my family. Obviously, my goal of eating healthier foods was pretty vague, but I have since refined it.

New Goal: Consume 5-6 servings of fruits/vegetables per day 

As I evaluated my family’s diet, I realized that we weren’t consuming nearly enough fruits and vegetables each day. My focus is now on choosing meals and snacks that incorporate a variety of these types of foods. These days, my guiding principle is to “eat a rainbow.” This means choosing a variety of different colored, whole foods to include in our meals. The more color the better!

So far this year, we have made significant changes to our lunches and dinner. To save money, Tommy and I choose to take our lunch to work each day. In the past, our lunches mostly consisted of PB & J sandwiches, chips/pretzels, granola bars, and either an apple or orange. Our lunches have changed significantly. Most weeks we are now enjoying salads, switching up our toppings to keep things interesting, and a variety of fruit.

Our salads might include any of the following: romaine or green leaf lettuce, spinach, tomato, cucumber, carrots, sweet bell pepper, corn, ground turkey or beef, baked or grilled chicken, and black beans.

lunch this past week

We take time each Sunday afternoon to prepare our salad ingredients. This helps with lunch prep during the week so that everything is ready to throw into our lunch containers. We also wash and store our fruit for the week which saves us time and ensures we have fruit readily available for snacks.

In addition to improving our lunches, I have also enjoyed trying new foods and recipes for dinner. A new favorite favorite meal of mine is roasted vegetables served over brown rice or quinoa. This meal super easy and I can always add variety by simply switching up the vegetables or adding smoked turkey sausage for extra protein. I typically include green beans, broccoli, bell peppers, and red potatoes. Some days I made zucchini or sweet potatoes. Like I said before, the more color, the better.

Overall, I am happy with the changes we have made so far this year. I think focusing on one aspect of our diet, increasing fruits and vegetables, has been a good starting point and has allowed for the change to be sustainable in the long run. Nowadays, there are so many diets and nutrition fads that require drastic changes in a short time period. In my opinion, changes like that are usually not sustainable. I have found that focusing on this one thing and trying to do it well has been a catalyst for inspiring other healthy eating habits for our family and allowing us to explore and enjoy new flavors.

What are some ways you incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet?


2017 Goals: Be Active!

Last week I mentioned that I would be taking the next few posts to reflect on my goals for the year. If you missed my Goal 1 post, you can check it out here. This week I am sharing the changes I have made to my second goal.

Goal 2: Workout at least twice a week.

When I wrote this goal at the beginning of the year I was in a fitness rut. I had stopped attending the Saturday boot camp class that I had been in during the latter part of 2016 and I was participating in no other physical activity outside of walking the stairs at work between pumping sessions. Beginning with committing to working out twice a week seemed like a reasonable place to start.

During pregnancy, I gained about 25 lbs. Once I delivered, I was basically back to my pre-pregnancy weight. By the time Jaden was a few months old, nursing had contributed to me losing additional pounds with no real effort. I was the smallest I had ever been in my adult life. Even though I was losing weight, I could tell that I was also losing muscle strength and I was lacking in energy. Now that Jaden is almost weaned from nursing, I have noticed that I have gained back some of the weight that I lost. I’m not upset about the weight gain, but now more than anything, I am more focused on improving my overall health, strength, and energy level. I know that being more active is the key. I have realized that my goal of working out twice a week is not enough. The good thing is that I am now in a place where I feel extremely motivated to be more active.

My new goal: Participate in some form of physical activity at least 5 days week.

Here’s what I’m focusing on to achieve this goal:

  1. Planning ahead. Establishing a schedule for going to the gym has been important. I know that if I don’t schedule time to workout it won’t happen.
  2. Getting a gym membership. I’ll be honest, I had a membership that I didn’t use for over a year. However, we recently switched gyms and joined our local YMCA. What I love most about the Y so far is the family friendly environment and the variety of classes offered.
  3. Doing workouts that I enjoy and trying new ones. I love Zumba and cardio dance workouts. I’m looking forward to participating in these classes at the Y. I also plan to try out some of the strength training classes.
  4. Home workouts. On days when I can’t make it to the gym I have been doing home workouts. I have found several fitness challenges, body weight routines, and strength training workouts on Pinterest and YouTube. These have been great because I can get a workout in from the comfort of my own my family room.
  5. Walking. I enjoy walking during my lunch break or with my family in the evening. I strive for walking for at least 20-30 minutes. Not only does walking allow me to incorporate physical activity into my day, but it often also allows me to time connect with co-workers or my family.
  6. Last, but not least…focusing on how I feel, not the scale. Judging myself by the number on the scale has never been helpful. Instead of obsessing over how much I weigh, I want to concentrate on how I feel. Do I feel energized? Do I feel confident in my own skin? Do I feel comfortable in my clothing?

Nothing like a new pair of shoes to motivate you!

I’m looking forward to the progress that I will make in the coming months.

What are your fitness goals? What are you doing to accomplish your goals?