#30by30 : New Seasons. New Stories.

The end stretch is near! 3 months to go, which feels a bit crazy because A. I have 3 months to finish my list. B. I turn 30 in 3 months. Where has this year gone? There has been some updates to the list that were unplanned, but mostly because life happens. And the past 3 months have been filled with a lot of good, bad and more emotions than I usually admit too.

It’s been a few weeks of pretending everything is okay when it’s not, and a lot of apologies to friends when frustration takes over and I say things without a filter. Although for the most part my reactions are true and transparent, some times they are said in a moment of frustration and come out the wrong way. Thankfully, for the most part, I am surrounded by people who understand and aren’t offended by life.

30by30

1. Read the Bible from cover to cover.

I am using a chronological reading plan, so chapters have been jumping around a bit, I have placed an asterisk after the books I have started but not completed.

Genesis
Exodus
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy
Joshua
Judges
Ruth
1 Samuel
2 Samuel*
1 Kings
2 Kings
1 Chronicles
2 Chronicles
Ezra
Nehemiah
Esther
Job
Psalms*
Proverbs
Ecclesiastes
Song of Songs
Isaiah*
Jeremiah
Lamentations
Ezekiel
Daniel
Hosea
Joel
Amos
Obadiah*
Jonah
Micah
Nahum
Habbakuk

2. Volunteer 100 hours outside the church.

CYC: 59 Hours

3. Pay off credit card and at least one student loan.

Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, my credit card was very close to being paid off, but life happens. With an unexpected turn of events in my job as well as a flat tire, dead car battery, and dead computer, this goal has not yet been obtained. I am still aiming to have paid off my credit card soon and will continue to work towards that.

4. Take a row class at the boat house.

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5. Lose Weight.

Since the beginning of October I am down 5 pounds, unfortunately the cause was more stress of life related than anything else. However, I’ve started attending an indoor rowing class! So let’s do this!

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6. Learn to play an instrument.

I haven’t done anything towards this goal, I still would like to learn something (Preferably not a harmonica) This may get transferred to my long term list and worked on in the new year.

7. Double Savings Account.

Due to a drop in income this goal has gone in the opposite direction and is farther away to it’s end goal than when I started.

8. Read 100 Books of various genres.

Although my goal is behind, I’ve been reading many different kinds of books and have loved it. There was a good number of weeks where reading was just not going to happen so I will not be upset if I do not hit the 100 book mark. Afterall that would mean 2 books a week all year!

1. A Brush with Love by Rachel Hauck
2.Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey
3. Hawk by Ronie Kendig
4. Danger in the Shwadows by Dee Henderson
5. How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck
6. The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer
7. Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado
8. Seasons of Fire by Lisa T. Bergren
9. Rasmus and the Vagabond by Astrid Lindgren
10. Nourished by Becky Johnson
11. The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson
12. Three Little Words by Melissa Tagg
13. From the Start by Melissa Tagg
14. Taken by Dee Henderson
15. The Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot
16. A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade
17. Called to be Amish by Marlene Miller
18. Shades of Doon By: Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon
19. The Golden Braid By: Melanie Dickerson
20. Creating Magic By: Lee Cockerell (Read this! It was amazing!)

Currently Reading:
21. Unoffendable by Brant Hansen
22. Falcon by Ronie Kendig
23. Glory Days by Max Lucado
24. 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper
25. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone By: J.K Rowling

 

9. Intentional Friendships/Relationships

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Y’all stole my phone, which makes this fair game.

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10. Finish London/Wales Book

Still working on this, I need to get some pictures printed.

11. Redefining Me

This is going to be a new year, the best year yet. I am updating my wardrobe and just overall making changes to my everyday.

12. Write a book

Not Started.

This goal will be changing.

13. Finish Quilt

In progress.

14. Tithe

I’m crossing this one off the list, because my church has set up automatic withdrawals, so now I don’t have to worry about remembering!

15. Run Lights during an evening service of Youth America

Completed!

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16. Blog twice a week

I’ve realized that maybe blogging isn’t for me beyond occasional updates and book reviews.

17. Try a new recipe every month

I want to try out a new recipe once a month.

March:

Macaroons

#30by30 French Macaroons

April:

Crepes

#30by30 Crepes

May:

Marzipan

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June:

Garlic Parmesean Pasta

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July:

Spaghetti Squash with Spinach, Bacon and Goat Cheese

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August:
Italian Pasta Salad

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September:
Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup Fail.
Can’t get them right every time.

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October:
Roasted Jalapeno Popper

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November:
Roasted Butternut Squash

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18. Fear less. Love More.

19. 12 Trips in 12 Months

February: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Florida

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March: Route 66- Oklahoma

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April: Cruise- Long Beach, California, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan

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May: Beautiful Offerings Tour

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June: Outdoor Movies

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July: Maryland, Pennsylvania, Niagara Falls, Stone Harbor New Jersey, and New York

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August: Grease Sing-A-Long
Because sometimes the fun things are just down the street.

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September: Disney World

October: Wizard World Comic Con

20. Learn to whistle

Time to head to youtube.

21. Be more decisive

In Progress

22. Contacts

No contacts yet, but I do have these awesome glasses and may stick with them.

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23. New York

24. Declutter

How have I accumulated so much stuff?

25. Be More Positive

This sounds so much easier than it is. I am grateful for the people in my life that are standing in the gap and being positive for me when it’s been a struggle lately.

26. Make a decision on where to live/work/move

I need a job.

27. Have/Join a Small Group

This should start in the beginning of the new year. Can’t wait!

28. Travel

This is a constant in my life.

29. Slide the City
29. Find a job

July 25. Slide the City.

30. 30th Birthday Trip

  1. London?
    Hawaii?
    Florida?
    Australia?
    Seattle?
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I want adventure in the great wide somewhere..

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“I want adventure in the great wide somwhere…”

Alright, so maybe I kidnapped that line from one of my favorite movies, but it is so true. I’ve always had it in my head that once I graduated college I needed to find the perfect career, to be in a job that had upward mobility, that I could make a living from and have a retirement from the end. This probably came from my mom continually telling me that she wants me to just find a good job that can go somewhere (I was told this once again earlier today, you think by 29 she’d realize it’s not exactly in the plans for me).

I don’t want to just have a job, a career to be able to have a retirement in my future, I want to have a job that allows me to travel to explore. My moms idea of travel tends to be cruises with excursions that have guides to parts of islands that have been commercialized and show nothing about the culture except what is practiced and rehearsed and allowed by the cruise companies. I’ve taken to traveling on my own, yet haven’t figured out how to tell her I don’t want her idea of traveling.

I don’t want to travel and stay at all-inclusives where you stay on a resort and never leave, I don’t want to take guided tours through a city or see the the latest tourist attraction. I want to stroll through the streets of Italy eating gelato, learn how to surf in Hawaii, watch the aurora borealis from Norway, wander the streets of London searching for fabric. I want to hike through the highlands of Scotland, maybe happen upon a castle or Nessie. I want to take part of a lantern festival in Thailand and explore the marine life in Australia. I want to travel to see the world, to meet new people, immerse myself into a new culture. I don’t want to travel to escape life, I want to travel to experience all the world has to offer and more.

Over the next few weeks I have a lot of decisions to make, what job to choose next, where to move, if I should stay in the states or look elsewhere for a job. Essentially where do I go next, I don’t know what the future has in store, but I do know that I will continue to explore and search for the adventure in it all.

-Elle

#30by30 : Update Number One.

30by30

Here is my 3 month update on my #30by30 list!

1. Read the Bible from cover to cover.

Genesis
Exodus
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy
Joshua
Judges
Ruth
1 Samuel

2. Volunteer 100 hours outside the church.

CYC: 20 Hours

3. Pay off credit card and at least one student loan.

This is been going slower than I was hoping.

4. Take a row class at the boat house.

3 Classes left to go! I will be sad when it ends!

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5. Lose Weight.

Down 4 pounds…I really need to buckle down on this one.

6. Learn to play an instrument.

7. Double Savings Account.

Slowly.

8. Read 100 Books of various genres.

1. A Brush with Love by Rachel Hauck
2.Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey
3. Hawk by Ronie Kendig
4. Danger in the Shwadows by Dee Henderson
5. How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck
6. The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer
7. Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado
8. Seasons of Fire by Lisa T. Bergren
9. Rasmus and the Vagabond by Astrid Lindgren
10. Nourished by Becky Johnson
11. The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson
12. Three Little Words by Melissa Tagg
13. From the Start by Melissa Tagg
14. Taken by Dee Henderson

Currently Reading:

15. Unoffendable by Brant Hansen
16. A Love Like Ours by Becky Wade
17. Called to be Amish by Marlene Miller
18. Falcon by Ronie Kendig

9. Intentional Friendships/Relationships

This year I am committing to being more intentional about my relationships, instead of talking about meeting up for coffee I am going to schedule time. I am going to make sure to stay in better contact with friends, and reach out to good friends that I haven’t talked to as much as I would like.

10. Finish London/Wales Book

Still working…

11. Redefining Me

This is going to be a new year, the best year yet. I am updating my wardrobe and just overall making changes to my everyday.

12. Write a book

Not Started.

13. Finish Quilt

In progress.

14. Tithe

In progress.

15. Run Lights during an evening service of Youth America

Youth America isn’t here yet.

16. Blog twice a week

Failing…but getting better!

17. Try a new recipe every month

I want to try out a new recipe once a month.

18. Fear less. Love More.

March:

#30by30 French Macaroons

#30by30 French Macaroons

April:

#30by30 Crepes

#30by30 Crepes

19. 12 Trips in 12 Months

February: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Florida

March: Route 66- Oklahoma

April: Cruise- Long Beach, California, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan

You can keep track of the places I’ve been at #12Trips12Months

20. Learn to whistle

Because, why not?

21. Be more decisive

In Progress

22. Contacts

Soon

23. New York

Planned! July will be here soon!

24. Declutter

How have I accumulated so much stuff?

25. Be More Positive

This sounds so much easier than it is.

26. Make a decision on where to live/work/move

Ha. Ha. Ha.

27. Have a Small Group

After summer.

28. Travel

This is a constant in my life.

29. Slide the City

July 25. Slide the City.

30. 30th Birthday Trip

London? Hawaii? Florida? Australia?

Asking Better Questions.

I love traveling and learning and finding out information. Books have always helped me to discover new things and find new adventures to embark on. For me, people are another story. I love getting to know people and connecting with them but I struggle to actually make it to that point. Meeting people tends to be difficult, I can formulate the perfect introduction in my head and how to get to know a new person but when it comes to the art of actually speaking…well that’s where my problem comes in. My words get stuck and never seem to come out in the correct order.

I think that in our technology driven world, where we are always on the go and glued to our phones/tablets/devices we forget to really notice the people around us anymore. Sure we say hello and ask how they are doing, but do we really mean it or say it out of habit because it is what we are supposed to do. I know I am a culprit of it, but I also know that I will pass people in the halls at work who will ask me how I am doing yet continue walking before you can even answer.

I don’t want to get so focused on posting on social media, or too involved in my work and forget to genuinely connect with people. I want to learn to ask better questions that will actually tell me who a person is, what they are dealing with and why they choose to do the things they do. I want to listen to stories about life and process and how they got where they are today.

I’m over relationships being based upon what I’ve seen on Facebook and Instagram. It’s time to step back and really get to know people again. It’s a step out of my comfort zone, I’m never really the one to speak up, and I struggle with what to say and keep a conversation going. However, I think it’s time I quit making excuses and just do it.

-Elle

#30by30

30by30

Over the last few years I have seen a few friends commit to creating and accomplishing a 30 by 30 list, and throughout the last few months I have been compiling my list and things I wanted to accomplish by the time I turned 30. I admit that my list is slightly on the selfish side but I have also chosen many things that are going to be a challenge for me. So as of today I have exactly one year until I turn 30 and I decided that was the perfect time to share my list.

Throughout the year I will continue to post updates about where I am at on my list, and you will also be able to go to my #30by30 page to see updates.

I will also add as a disclaimer, that although I plan to complete this list, some items are open to flexibility due to schedules and finances, but I aim to complete each one, and if one is not possible the list will be updated with something in exchange.

Alright, that’s enough of me babbling, here is my list in no particular order…

1. Read the Bible from cover to cover.

For how much I read and I’ve tried numerous Bible Reading plans there’s just something daunting about trying to get through Leviticus and Numbers, the New Testament I can handle, but some of those Old Testament books are a struggle. However, this year I am committed to finishing!

2. Volunteer 100 hours outside the church.

Last year I was volunteering regularly with Habitat for Humanity, when I picked up a second job to pay down some debt I ended up giving up a lot of my free time. This year I want to get back into doing something that I love. I added the stipulation of outside the church because I work for my church and still serve at my church regularly, I love it and it is nothing against my church but I need to push myself a little more, and I would like to meet some different people along the way.

3. Pay off credit card and at least one student loan.

No explanation necessary. I am tired of debt.

4. Take a row class at the boat house.

I’ve always thought about taking a class doing something that sounded fun and different but have always backed away because I didn’t want to do it alone, or I wasn’t sure I could keep up. I’ve always had some interest in learning to row and than I found out our local boat house has a month long introductory course. I like that it’s only a month long, because if I find I don’t like it as much as I think I will it’s ok to try something new and I wouldn’t be committed to anything long term. However, if I love it I could always advance!

5. Lose Weight.

I need to get in shape. I have an amount in mind that I won’t be revealing because some people have discouraged me by saying it’s to much. I will say this about my goal though, it’s a healthy weight, I will not be crash dieting or doing anything insane, I am just choosing smaller portions, healthier options and exercise. The number may seem high but that is only because my body type is great at hiding how much I actually weigh.

6. Learn to play an instrument.

I’ve always wanted to learn an instrument. I’ve never played anything before, unless you count my brief time attempting to learn guitar. What instrument? I don’t know. Any suggestions?

7. Double Savings Account.

Exactly what it says.

8. Read 100 Books of various genres.

I read a lot. However, I tend to get stuck in the same 2-3 genres, this year I want to expand on the books I read. You can keep up with the books I am reading at 100 Books.

9. Intentional Friendships/Relationships

This year I am committing to being more intentional about my relationships, instead of talking about meeting up for coffee I am going to schedule time. I am going to make sure to stay in better contact with friends, and reach out to good friends that I haven’t talked to as much as I would like.

10. Finish London/Wales Book

I’ve been working on a scrapbook from my trip last October and it still isn’t done. Time to change that.

11. Redefining Me

This is going to be a new year, the best year yet. I am updating my wardrobe and just overall making changes to my everyday.

12. Write a book

It doesn’t have to be amazing, or even mediocre but I’ve always thought about writing a book some day.

13. Finish Quilt

I started a summer quilt this past fall, and I will admit it hasn’t made much progress since Christmas. I would like to have this done by Spring…or before the time it’s to hot to use my quilt lined with fleece.

14. Tithe

In the past I have allowed my finances to dictate my tithing, this year that is going to change and I am going to be making sure I am tithing regularly.

15. Run Lights during an evening service of Youth America

I’ve run lights for Youth America a few times just not an evening service, last year I had an opportunity and I was completely overwhelmed and things just didn’t go as planned. This summer I am determined to run lights during an evening service. What is Youth America? Check it out at YouthAmerica.org

16. Blog twice a week

You’ve probably noticed my blogging game has been a bit sporadic. This year I commit to blogging two times a week, the only time I am giving myself a pass is when I am away.

17. Try a new recipe every month

I want to try out a new recipe once a month.

18. Fear less. Love More.

This is kinda my mantra for the year. I want to say yes more, to take more risks. I want to be me around everyone and not be concerned of what they may think. I want people to see me for me.

19. 12 Trips in 12 Months

I  am committing to taking a trip every month. Financially this would be impossible but I am including things that are local, restaurants I’ve never tried, festivals throughout the state! You can keep track of the places I’ve been at #12Trips12Months

20. Learn to whistle

Because, why not?

21. Be more decisive

I’m not necessarily a people-pleaser but I am a peace-maker (it’s a middle child thing) so I want everyone to enjoy what is they are doing. I want to be more decisive in choosing the things I like to do, and not always negotiating.

22. Contacts

This one really has no real rationale except I’ve been thinking about getting contacts for years, and maybe if I put it on this list I will actually do it.

23. New York

No specifics for this yet,I have a friend in New York who I have attempted to make plans to visit every time I have been home the last few years. I am planning to make it work this year.

24. Declutter

Over the last five years I’ve managed to gain a lot of stuff. I really want to just simplify my life and declutter in every aspect.

25. Be More Positive

Sometimes I get sucked into negativity and this year I am going to be more positive, and be more aware of where/when I am negative and work on counteracting that.

26. Make a decision on where to live/work/move

I am giving myself a year to either commit to where I am living now, finding a real career or if I am going to move on to some place else.

27. Have a Small Group

I’ve considered leading a small group for years now, it may be time to make the jump.

28. Travel

Because it is a part of me, and will always make it onto any list of things I want to accomplish.

29. Slide the City

Because this looks awesome. Slide the City.

This one may change because the date hasn’t been announced yet.

30. 30th Birthday Trip

Because I will be 30. And another excuse to travel…not that I need one.

-Elle

Two Roads Diverged…

I didn’t plan to be writing so much about seasons. It’s not necessarily because of the new year that I’ve been thinking about the future so much, it may be part of it, but looking at this coming year I see deadlines, end dates, contracts up, leases needing renewed or preparations to make to move on. I’ve been in the same state for almost 5 years. It’s not that I am restless, I love where I am, I love Oklahoma but there is still that part of me that wonders if this is where I should be?

Moving on doesn’t scare me, and honestly if it wasn’t so difficult to get a Visa to live in the UK I would probably be making preparations by now.

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I’m always up for a change of pace, to see somewhere new. Staying…that’s another story. Staying means looking at the past 5 years and answering the questions of why I am not where I want to be. Why I haven’t developed deeper friendships, figured out a career, why I’m not as financially stable as I would like to be. Staying means answering those questions. Leaving means a chance to start over, a new beginning, new friendships, new relationships. New adventures to find.

I haven’t decided what I want to do, if I moved I have no idea where it would even be too. I have no idea what to pursue as my next job choice, I would prefer to find something closer to a career, something that I would enjoy and love. Maybe something with social media? Something that would allow me to travel would be ideal.

Right now I have nothing keeping me from staying, but I also have nothing that is keeping me from going either. Nothing is holding me back…well nothing except for making the decision of what to do next.

So now time to start considering where the next 6 months will lead me too…

-Elle