30 before 30.

i was about 28 and a half when i came up with the idea of my 30 before 30 list.  my brother aj, philip and i all decided we would do them together [my brother is only 18 months younger than i am, so he had a little bit more time than we did] and immediately got to work.  it took a couple months of tweaking, by right around the time i turned 29 i had the list finalized.  it has been, by far, one of my favorite things.  it's kept me motivated and engaged throughout the last year and a half, trying new things, making headway on my to-do list and stepping outside of my comfort zone once in a while.

let's see what i did -- and didn't -- get to check off my list.


have a living will.  done.  morbid, but necessary.

learn to make pretzels.  done.  i've tried a few recipes and feel like i am pretty good at them, now.

have a signature perfume.  done. it happens to be the perfume i wore on my wedding day, and have been gifted multiple times by chance. [ha!]

become a mom.  done.  what an amazing experience.

join a book club.  done.  i even one-upped myself by creating my own book club.  it's grown and i love it.

colum mccann for the win at book club.
love what i see in the mirror when i'm naked.  done.  and i still am loving my body these days.

be able to use my camera in manual.  done.  though i don't always use it, i feel much more comfortable.

plan something special for my 30th + my mom's 55th.  done.  girls day coming up soon.

take myself on a date.  done.  best date ever.

me on a hot date.
considerably downsize my closet.  done, thanks to our move from boston.  i used to use three closets in our denver house, and now i only use one. 

learn to clasp my bra in the back.  done, thanks to christie.  THANKS CHRISTIE!

'pay it forward' to a stranger.  done.  i've bought coffees just for the hell of it and delivered chili and a baked potato to a woman who needed it.   

have a glass of wine outside at extra virgin.  done.  can't wait to go back.
paint something for our house.  done.  twice, actually. 

my itty bitty watercolor, my favorite so far.
start a family tradition.  done.  we started a few at christmas, and i've started one with julian every month the night before his birthday. 

find our forever home.  done.  forever.

sing karaoke.  done.  philip and my closest friends threw me a surprise party on my birthday night at a dive karaoke bar.  in a word: yikes.  

go away for philip's 30th.  done.  can't wait to go away for mine :)

find a bottle of white wine that i love.  done.  hello pinot gris, my white wine soul mate.

me and my wine.
go skinny dipping with philip.  done.  one of my favorite moments of 2014, hands down. 

reunite with 'us three.'  done.  can't wait to do this one again, too.

sit on the glass for an avs game.  done. 

learn to knit or crochet.  done.  thanks grandma -- couldn't have done it without you. 

crocheting the day away.

run a 5k.  i'm registered to run the diva dash with my step-sister [gruesome twosome!] , but it doesn't take place until may 2nd.  so... partial credit?

make photo albums of my digital photos.  so close.  i finished albums of all of our trips and have started on each early album, so i should have this done within the next two months or so.  i can't wait to have them all in my hands!

be debt free.  close... but not quite.  by 31!

master the headstand.  not done.  having this on my list gave me something physical to work towards, and though i haven't mastered the headstand i can say i have at least mastered crow and bird of paradise, which are pretty intense poses [for me].  so i feel good about this one.

finish my book.  not done and fighting the urge to give up and throw it in the trash.  but the important thing was that having this on my list kept me motivated to get a lot done, which i did.

these last two i tried to complete, but get an 'excused' for not being able to complete them.
*donate blood.  breastfeeding got in the way of this one.  i tried, but after a zillion questions and a mini-physical, i was turned away.  bonfils told me they would happily accept my donation when i' done nursing.

*get another tattoo.  this is not something you should do while nursing, i learned, and my tattoo artist advised me to wait until i'm done breastfeeding.  so sometime after julian's birthday i will work on this one.

eighteen chapters.

it was just this story i couldn't get out of my head. 

it was like flannery o'connor said: 'i write because i don't know what i think until i read what i say.' 

and so i started writing.  i didn't think anything of it at first.  but i kept going.  and going.  and then i thought maybe it would be a book someday.  someday, someday so far off.  not a real date marked on the calendar, circled in read.  and then... and then, it started getting real.  i started writing full time.  i started on the beginning.  i split up pages of rambling into chapters.  i laid out ideas for the chapters in between that hadn't been written yet.

yesterday i was writing.  usually i get wednesday and friday afternoons, but with philip being so sick i am trying to take time whenever i can get it.  i took a look at my outlined chapters and came to a startling realization.

i only have eighteen chapters left.

so eighteen chapters might sound like a lot.  but when you've already written 15, and have a good number of those 18 already started, it's not that much more.  some chapters are short -- just a couple pages.  and content wise, i am over halfway done, because most of the longer parts are already done.

i had kind of figured this wouldn't be one of the things i would get to cross off my 30 before 30 list, before the big day next month.  but with a [lofty] goal of a chapter a day, i think i can make it.  some days i won't get there, but if i strive for it... it could actually happen.

i might actually finish the damned book.

send all the wine my way, please.

our forever home.

things are slowing down.  i feel like that happens this time of year, right before they speed back up after thanksgiving, like someone hitting the fast forward button to get to their favorite part of the movie.

but we've got a good thing going here, me and my love and our baby and this house.  we have a routine now.  all the boxes are long gone.  things are hung, but not in their temporary homes.  i've made use of nails left behind to string things up here and there. things are not 'done,' but we are no longer living out of cardboard and suitcases.  naps are in a semi-firm schedule now.  bedtime is a sharp 7 o'clock.  a grocery list sits on our fridge, snowy boots by the front door.  chubby hands sticky with pear juice or orange with sweet potato bits grab at my cheeks and wrap around my neck at all hours of the day.  we sip wine after the baby goes down, talking and laughing in front of the fireplace.  we wonder when to get out the christmas decorations.  it's only a matter of days at this point. 

to say it feels good is an understatement.  at least once a day i'm looking around this home of ours as i feel my heart swell.  it was a spontaneous decision, moving back to this home.

we'd talked about it, yes. you could even say that maybe we talked it to death.  but we didn't really, truly know what we were going to do until we did it, until boxes were being packed movers were arranged. all the while i packed, there was a little voice that i couldn't get rid of. this voice followed me around every corner to every tea date and afternoon with my girlfriends, to every dinner at my dad's loft, to every walk down newbury street.  

are we doing the right thing?

that nagging doubt, pulling at my hair, tugging at my soul, and quite honestly putting a damper on the beginning of my summer. 

trying to outrun postpartum depression.  trying to get a hold on this life before my dislike of schedules,  routines and roots ruined julian for life.  there were no prospects - we didn't like the apartment we were in but had no ideas of where to go and how to afford what we wanted. but a few thousand miles away, a perfectly good home waited for us.  a room for the baby.  a master bedroom with six closets.  a fenced in back yard.  hardwood floors and space for guests.  a chandelier that shifts glittering light onto the walls.  it was the home we bought thinking we'd bring a baby there someday.  we'd left on a whim, but still weren't positive going back was the right thing to do.  

and so it is that i find myself here, in the place that is home to me. doing the things i said i would never do. raising a family in colorado before my 30th birthday.  jazz concerts in city park.  almond milk lattes at my neighborhood coffee shop. book club nights at my house.  leaving the baby with grammy to babysit.  breastfeeding at sloan's lake.  glasses of wine in front of the fireplace.  couples game night.  strapping on the maya wrap to catch a class at the mama hood. we are exploring, playing, eating, learning, drinking, thriving.

we are up to our old tricks - working on tile in the upstairs bathroom [repairs and leaks, my friends...], putting the guest room together slowly, and planning out our annual christmas cocktail party.  did i mention i ordered the invitations?! because i did and i am so excited.  before we get too deep into the christmas season i have yet to share a few photos of our pumpkin patch visit so hereeeeee you go.

and it's feeling just right, this life here, like it should have felt, all along.  this is the life we were meant to live.  it doesn't get better better than home, now does it. i wanna be where your heart is home.

and we've finally our home.  forever.