End of the Year Wrap-Up

I have something special planned for Wednesday, so I thought I’d go ahead and get a jump on the New Year’s Resolution bandwagon!

Last year, I started a new way of thinking about my resolutions. I used to make a crazy long list of things I wanted to accomplish in the New Year, only to pitter out by the end of February. Then, my sister told me about what she does with her fourth grade students. I did it last year and I found it so much easier to track my goals!

Here’s what you do:

2: List the two best things that happened in 2014

0:  Name something you want to STOP doing in the New Year

1: Your one wish for 2015

5: Five goals you want to accomplish in the coming year.

 

Two best things from 2014:

1. Hermione’s milestones.

hermione

Watching my little Gryffindor grow from a precious little poop machine into a toddler has been amazing! Now she has teeth, can feed herself, babbles, says a few words, and is running like a Kenyan at the NYC Marathon!

2. Finishing my 30 By 30 List.

marathon

Oh my sheesh am I glad that I am DONE with that list! Well…almost done. Now I can focus on my 40 By 40 (I have time, right?). That list was equal parts fun and disaster. But it was great to experience and mark off those things I accomplished.

 

Something you want to stop:

chores

Putting other things before my family.

There are so many times when I’m running around like a mad woman, trying to get laundry put away and organize this and plan that only to hear, “Aw! Babe, you missed it! Hermione just did the cutest thing!” I’m missing moments, precious moments I won’t get back. The laundry can wait and the dishes won’t suffer if they soak for an extra hour. I have toes to tickle and snuggles to be had.

 

My one wish for 2015:

peace

Peace.

When I say “peace”, I don’t just mean, “Let’s all hold hands and sing kumbaya/give the world a Coke®”. I mean, I want peace in every aspect of my life. Peace in my home (i.e., no more nagging Huff the Hubs about his driving, being hateful because something didn’t go my way); peace in my heart (stop worrying—I will admit, I’m getting better!); peace in life (stop sweating the small stuff, see challenges as opportunities, etc.).

 

Five goals I want to accomplish this year:

1. Get back to fighting shape.

workout

I was my most confident when I felt strong. I felt my strongest before my second half marathon. My goal is to get back to that feeling and level of fitness.

 

2. Buy a house.

house

Don’t get me wrong, I love living with my sister. She’s been so accommodating and it’s been such a blessing (for her and us) that we’ve been able to bunk with her. But, I am really looking forward to being a homeowner, so started looking for the custom home builders already.

 

3. Go a month without spending.

money

By “without spending” I don’t mean things we need to live (i.e., groceries, rent, gas for cars, etc.) I mean meaningless spending. Like going out to eat, clothes I’ll never wear, toys Hermione won’t play with, and countless stuff from Target’s Dollar Spot.

 

4. Read one book a month.

reading

I’ve knocked out the classic books I want to read, now it’s time for modern books and, if I think I can hack it, maybe a biography or two.

 

5. Travel.

travel

I have been to A LOT of places. I’ve been to Europe three times, Hawaii three times, and countless other places. But, I haven’t seen enough of my big world yet. There are so many historical sites I want to see and natural wonders HtH hasn’t seen. Good thing I bought new luggage on Black Friday!

 

What about you? What are your goals for 2015?

Dirty Thirty Wrap-Up

So, as you know, I turned the big 3-0 last week! And, to lament celebrate the fact that I am now “over the hill”, I decided to do a 30 By 30 List. Last Thursday, I told you which items I had crossed off (in JUST the nick of time!) and which ones I had left. Now, to wrap this fun little venture up into a nice little bow, I’m going to do a review/critique of my year(s) in accomplishing my goals!

 

Most Favorite Goal:

Sew and wear a dress/skirt

sew

This goal was tough. I’m no seamstress, and I was afraid of what I might make. But I actually really enjoyed learning about sewing! Plus, I got to spend a lot of one-on-one time with my mom which I don’t get much anymore.

 

Least Favorite Goal:

Watch all of AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Movies.

afi

OMG. This was such a cumbersome goal. While watching some of the films on this list I thought: “Why in the world is this on here?! Its AWFUL!” Some of the movies were just downright painful to watch (Sophie’s Choice, A Clockwork Orange, Apocalypse Now) and others left me scratching my head thinking, “What just happened?”

 

Most Time-Consuming Goal:

Run a marathon.

marathon

If you want to spend your weekends waking up at the crack of dawn, running in freezing temps, and putting your body through all kinds of pain then, by all means, train for and run a marathon. I ran three times during the week and every single Saturday morning for almost five months. There were days I’d wake up before Huff the Hubs and Huff the Babe and not see them until lunchtime! It was tough!

 

Something I Will Never Attempt Again (Maybe):

Tie: Run a Marathon and Undertake a Big List (like AFI’s)

regret-nothing

Why will I not run a marathon again? Perhaps you haven’t read this post. Read it. It explains EVERYTHING.

Also, if you’re considering making a 30 By 30, keep the goals small. Don’t say, “I want to cook through Julia Child’s entire cookbook” and count it as one goal. You will regret it. Trust me.

 

Something I’d Like to Do Again:

Have A(nother) Baby.

She's my glow.

I’ve been feeling the itch to have another wee one ever since Huff the Babe turned 1. Plus, she needs a little sibling. Just not yet!

 

Goal I’m Most Proud Of:

Tie: Run a Marathon and Pay Off All School Loan Debt.

angels

Running a marathon is HARD. Not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Next to childbirth, it is the most difficult thing I have ever done.

When Huff the Hubs and I got married, we both brought in student loan debt. We wanted to be completely debt-free before we had a baby, and we met that goal! In a little over a year, HtH and I were able to pay off over $20K in debt! We were both so proud (and thankful)!

 

Goal I Didn’t Accomplish (And Wished I Had):

Tie: Get a Literary Agent and Buy a House.

Soon.

Soon.

 

I’m still working on finding an agent. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it happens at least before I turn 35! I told myself I’d try for a certain amount of time and, if it hadn’t happened yet, I’d assume it wasn’t meant to be and I’d throw in the towel. (Here’s hoping I hang on to that towel for a while!)

Don’t get me wrong, I am so incredibly grateful to my sister for letting Huff the Hubs, Huff the Babe, and I squat at her house. It’s helped us save for a down payment and has also helped her to have someone home to take care of her pup while she’s working on her Master’s. But still, I’m ready to have a house of my own. But, I know everything happens for a reason! There’s a reason we haven’t found one yet and I’ll just have to accept that and move on!

 

 

And with that, I promise to not post about my 30 By 30 Again. (Mostly because now its a 40 By 40–ha!)

 

Dirty Thirty

Well, everyone, my thirtieth birthday came and went.

30 flirty gif

 

There were no fires. No floods. No volcanic eruptions.

Okay, I’m sure those things happened somewhere in the world, but in my tiny area of existence, no such things happened.

What did happen, you ask? I ate. And ate. AND ATE.

I basically ate anything and everything I could get my carb-lovin’ hands on from sun up to sundown! Doughnuts, cheesecake, Auntie Anne’s® pretzels, truffles, cupcakes, and more cheesecake. And you want to know something? It. Was. GLORIOUS.

cheesecake

Sadly, I didn’t get everything completed on my 30 By 30 list. I’m one book away from finishing my classic novel reading list (why, oh, WHY did I leave Gone With the Wind until the very end?!), I still need to protest something (I really wanted to join the students at Capitol Hill this week but couldn’t) and I’m looking for some folks to go in halfsies with for a bottle of Cristal (I wonder if a rapper would just give me some. They still drink that, right? Or is that too “1990’s”?)

30th bday

BUT, I have accomplished quite a bit! Here’s a recap of my list:

  1.  Watch all of AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Movies 
  2. Get a literary agent
  3. Work on a political campaign
  4. Finish my book
  5. Go to Italy with BB
  6. See Graceland
  7. Meet someone famous
  8. Participate in a protest rally
  9. Sew and wear a dress/skirt
  10. Read every Jane Austen novel
  11. Enjoy a bottle of Cristal
  12. Take Noah and Ellie to see The Nutcracker
  13. Go camping
  14. Finish my classic novel reading list
  15. Take a pole dancing class
  16. Run a marathon
  17. Get married
  18. Buy my parents something BIG
  19. Go to the Red Carpet to see a movie premiere/award show
  20. Go to every state
  21. Get a job I LOVE
  22. Have a baby (or two)
  23. Change the oil in my truck
  24. Buy a house
  25. Donate my hair to locks of love
  26. Make a meal from scratch
  27. Milk a cow
  28. Learn the guitar (one song all the way through)
  29. Go skinny dipping
  30. Pay off all school loan debt

 

Considering I’ve done all of these except eight (and I’ll be checking the classic novel list off soon!) I’d call this a success!  I told myself that I’d give myself a “grace period” to wrap up as many as I could by the end of the year. Those that do NOT get checked off will roll over to my 40 By 40 list!

I’ll be honest, I was sort of dreading this birthday. But now I see that my best years are ahead of me.

30th bday 2

Sure, my twenties were great! I ended a bad relationship (not Huff the Hubs!), found myself (and God) again, and then reconnected with the man of my dreams (yes, this time I mean HtH!). I went to Europe (three times!), got married, had a baby, and learned some important life lessons.

All of that—the heartache, the disappointments, and the wisdom I’ve gained—I think will be the arrows in my quiver I can use against anything that my thirties my hurl against me. To quote the prudent and zealous beet farmer, Dwight Schrute: “I am ready to face any challenges that might be foolish enough to face me!”

A lot of people say that getting older is the pits. I think it’s awesome! After all, it’s better than the alternative, right?

Besides, I love birthdays.

lily bday

Sometimes I set expectations too high, people don’t meet them, and then I inevitably take my ball and go home to cry in my birthday cake. But this year? My family and friends not only met the bar, but passed that bad boy in a blur! They really out-did themselves!

My sisters threw me a Downton-Abbey-esque Murder Mystery Dinner (and made me a sweet book):

mmd

 

Huff the Hubs spoiled me all day. And even got a pedicure with me! (Look how excited he was!)

pedi

 

But most all, I was shown love by those around me. And THAT, my friends, is what makes a great birthday.

plan a party

The Countdown is ON!

You guys.

I turn 30 in just a matter of days:

bday countdown

And I still have SO much left to accomplish on my 30 By 30 list!

 

#14. Finish my classic novel reading list.

I still have two books left:

christmas carol

 

gwtw

 

#1. Watch all of AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Movies.

There are just three left!

ben hur

 

 

jazz singer

 

last picture show

#8. Participate in a protest rally.

protestor

There have been A LOT of protests recently. None of which I feel so strongly about that I want to participate. My credentials for a protest are: they MUST be non-violent and they MUST be a cause I believe in. I’m hoping something will come up very soon!

 

There are a few other things that I know I won’t be able to check off by Thursday. Mostly because of financial constraints. But, I feel like if I can get most of them knocked off, I’ll feel pretty accomplished! Then it’ll be time to start working on my New Year’s Resolutions–ha!

 

How are you doing with your goals? Do you have a 30 By 30 List?

Totes MaGoats: A 30 By 30 Update

With only 21 days until my 30th birthday, it’s been hectic around the Huffman Homestead trying to accomplish things on my 30 By 30 list. Last week, though, I accomplished one I didn’t think would happen:

 

#27: Milk a cow goat.

 

I had been calling dairies and family-owned farms all over the state for the past three months trying to find a place to milk a cow. Most of them didn’t allow it or their cows weren’t dairy cows. But, thanks to a family friend, I WAS able to milk a goat! This goat had recently had triplets so, even though she wasn’t a dairy goat, her owner was confident that, since she was still producing milk, she could be milked.

IMG_7154

 

So off to the country we went! None of us knew how to milk a goat, so the owners spoke to a family member and taught me how to do it. I was super nervous; I didn’t want to hurt the goat and I also didn’t want to get kicked in the head!

 

She had to be separated from her little ones for two hours before I milked her because she needed to be “full” before she could be milked. Her owners put her in a metal cage-type thing and showed me what to do. She was a little skittish at first, but once I was able to get milk out, she calmed down. It was like she let out an audible sigh of relief and I thought, “I understand ya, sister!”

 

I didn’t want to milk her too much–I know how precious that liquid gold can be!–and take it away from her sweet little babies. But I did get quite a bit:

IMG_7108

 

It was so cool to experience that! Being a “city girl”, I haven’t had much experience with things like that, so it was interesting to get to experience even a small piece of farm life.

 

Plus it was so sweet to see Huff the Babe laugh and call out to the baby goats!

IMG_7113

Mommy Monday: Travel Edition (Or, 30 by 30 Update with a Mommy Twist)

This weekend, Huff the Hubs, Huff the Babe, and I took our first road trip as a family of three to Memphis to knock off one more thing on my 30 By 30 List: See Graceland.

We’ve never really traveled with HtB before. I mean, We’ve gone down to see HtH’s grandpa down near the Oklahoma border, but we also had the in-laws there to help. We considered leaving HtB with MeeMaw and Papa, but after realizing that we would probably get halfway there and miss her so much that we’d inevitably turn around, we decided to bring the little Griffyndor with us.

We did not know what we were in for.

On the way to Memphis (a 6 1/2 hour drive by Google Map standards), we decided to stop at a park to eat a picnic lunch. This way, HtB could play and stretch her tiny legs. It actually went really well!

IMG_6860

 

She played, giggled, and ate well. When she started to get fussy, we started Frozen on the travel DVD player my sister let us borrow (which seriously helped cut down on meltdowns–for HtB and Mommy!) or one of us would hop to the backseat and read a book with her. We got to Memphis two hours sooner than I thought we would and were pretty exhausted…well, me and Huff the Hubs were. Huff the Babe was not. She wanted to walk everywhere, touch everything, and inspect everything. At one point I thought: Why did we bring her?! 

Immediately following that thought entering into my mind, she toddled over to me and hugged my legs so tight. That’s when I thought: Oh yeah! THAT’S why we brought her! 

 

We had dinner at a Memphis staple, Rendezvous:

IMG_6882

 

It was DELICIOUS! And Huff the Babe totally charmed everyone with her dancing. The next day, we went to Graceland. I was just a tad excited:

IMG_6901

 

The tour was pretty good! Since we knew we probably wouldn’t come back, we decided to do the VIP tour (i.e., entry to all of the exhibits).

IMG_6903

 

After we got our tickets, we were given an iPad and headphones to help us on our tour–complete with tour guide John Stamos:

IMG_6904

 

 

The tour was a little frustrating at first because we had to juggle our iPads, headphones, backpack, baby, and stroller. Huff the Hubs could sense my frustration and ran point with Huff the Babe so I could look at everything (thanks, Honey!).

IMG_6906

 

The tour wasn’t too “kid-friendly” (i.e., I’m sure many kids would be bored) but there were plenty of shiny things for HtB to look at:

IMG_7001

 

And horses (or as she called them, “doggies”) to wave “hi” to:

IMG_6985

 

The tour of the house (which lasted about 2 hours) had no bathrooms, which meant no changing tables. So…we had to improvise:

IMG_6998

 

We had a fun time, but it might have been better to bring a set of grandparents so Huff the Hubs and I could’ve gone alone. But, Huff the Babe charmed many of the Elvis fans and in the process, I think, became a fan of the King as well! I mean, look at how enthused she looks:

IMG_7013

 

 

Even though there were parts of the trip that were a little exhausting and frustrating, we still had a REALLY good time. And I think Huff the Hubs said it best on our last night in Memphis when he said: “You know, if we wouldn’t have brought her [Hermione], we would have such different memories. I don’t think they’d be as fun.”

 

30 By 30 Update

You guys. I have been ATTACKING my 30 by 30 List with major gusto! I wanted to update you on my progress!

 

Here’s what I’ve accomplished since I last updated you:

#28. Learn to play a song on the guitar.

 

 

Here’s what I’m currently working on:

#1. Watch all of AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Movies (Anniversary Edition).

I’ve watched SO many movies the past few weeks!

Apocalypse Now

Chinatown

City Lights

The Gold Rush

A Clockwork Orange

Easy Rider

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

King Kong

Modern Times

Patton

Platoon

Psycho

Rear Window

Shane

Sophie’s Choice

Sunset Boulevard

The Bridge on the River Kwai

The Deer Hunter 

The French Connection

The Maltese Falcon

The Manchurian Candidate

The Wild Bunch

Vertigo 

 

I’ve also got some things in the works. I just need to finish The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway as well as Moby Dick Herman Melville, and then Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell and I will be FINISHED with my classic novel reading list ((#14). And, next month, me, Huff the Hubs and Huff the Babe will take our first trip as a family of three to Graceland (#6)!

 

There are a few items I’m getting stuck on (such as milking a cow) but I’m hoping that I’ll find a dairy somewhere soon that will help me check that one off!

 

Are you working on a “Bucket List”? If so, what have you accomplished? If not, what’s keeping you from making one?