40 before 40

Do you ever think about things you’d like to accomplish in the next year or two years?  Five years??  Ten years?!?  Do you have a mental to-do list filled with these activities and/or goals?  Have you taken the time to commit them to paper?  Or shared them others?  I initially shared my ’40 before 40′ list last year when I started to blog, however, I ended up needing to focus on other things last year and didn’t end up doing much with the blog.

I’ve updated my list and changed a few things!  That’s the beauty of your own to-do lists: you can do with them what you want 🙂

Before I made my ’40 before 40′ list there were many times I would say or think ‘I’d love to do that!’ – and then I would go on about my busy, scatterbrained day, and forget all about it.  In an attempt to not only remember but also to accomplish these things, I’ve complied this list of the things I would like to do before I turn 40.  Before I made my list I decided that:

I would choose both achievable goals and big goals.

Putting achievable goals on your list will encourage you to continue moving forward.  It’s always a great motivator to mark things off your list and to visually see your list changing shape.

Setting big goals encourages you step out of your comfort zone and really push yourself!  Striving to reach the big goals will require hard work and commitment.  The payout is extraordinary!


If you don’t have a version of a ’40 before 40′ list I encourage you to make one. You can set any number of goals to be completed by any date!  Have fun with it!

*Just to clarify – I have a house full of boys…. So when I say ‘boys’ on my list, I’m referring to my hubby (whom I also call Papa Bear) as well as our three sons.

  1. Learn to play the piano
  2. Take a walk in the rain
  3. Have an all-day movie marathon with my boys
  4. Go to Washington DC
  5. Take my kids to see the ocean – (Any of the oceans will do)
  6. Take a girls trip – Pigeon Forge with my mom and sisters Dec 2016
  7. Vacation somewhere new with my boys
  8. Have a picnic at the park – Summer 2016
  9. Take the kids to a Reds game
  10. Visit my Granny’s grave in Kentucky
  11. Take my boys to a planetarium – Adler Planetarium, Chicago, Spring Break, Mar 2017
  12. See a play or symphony
  13. Take a trip with Papa Bear – San Antonio, TX Jan 2017
  14. Volunteer
  15. Sell our house – July 2016
  16. Find our ‘Forever Home’ or at least one that we can settle into until the boys graduate high school
  17. Visit California – June 2016
  18. Go back to Las Vegas
  19. Learn to speak Spanish well
  20. Read more
  21. Get a tattoo – or not…. just decide already!
  22. Complete Financial Peace University
  23. Get out of debt – stay that way!
  24. Build a savings account
  25. Go to the zoo with my boys Fort Wayne Zoo, several times, Summer 2017
  26. Take each son individually on a mommy date ❤
  27. Host a Murder Mystery dinner party
  28. Get on a better sleep schedule
  29. Become more knowledgeable about Essential Oils
  30. Decide what I want to be when I grow up
  31. Go to a hockey game
  32. Take a family trip with family friends – Chicago, Spring Break, Mar 2017
  33. Learn to budget properly
  34. Get my nose pierced – Dec 2016
  35. Start a blog – revamped Jan 2018
  36.  Go to a drive-in movie
  37.  Visit a foreign country
  38.  Take a road trip with my bestie
  39.  Fly First Class
  40. Tour a castle

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my list and are encouraged to make a list of your own!

What types of things would you put on your list??  Leave your comments below ❤


The List

I’ve already told you how much I enjoy marking things off my lists and today begins the process of marking things off that I need to let go of!  If you haven’t read my previous blog posts Trust the Process: Part 1 and Part 2, you can find them here and here.  Even if just for this season of life (life is fluid right?!?), I am desperate to stop mentally holding myself accountable for way too many things.  The end result is a scattered, pathetic attempt to survive the hustle and bustle of each day.  I’m ready to be intentional with not only my thoughts but also my actions.  The more I work towards this, the more I find that I’m really looking forward to narrowing my focus and spending time on the things that will help me be the best me!

How many of you jump from one thing to the next, doing only what needs to be done in any given instant?  All the while, never finding yourself truly present for the things that matter most?  Or if you are like me, are so incredibly scattered and spread thin that you have lost sight of what those things even are??

What started as me agreeing to participate in the One Word movement that has gained so much popularity in the past few years, has resulted in me making the choice to COMMIT to what is truly important to me.  I’ve decided to do so publicly in my desire to not only be transparent, but also to maintain accountability.  I’m choosing to no longer waste my thoughts and energy on things that tear me down and foster insecurities ultimately causing me to feel like a failure.

I’m marking off things that I’ve decided not to focus on at this time.  I’m rearranging and combining items.  I’ve also removed the categories.  I realize that some of what I’ve listed is just part of who I am, and will always be, but I’m ready to release myself from feeling like a failure for not trying to actively master or capitalize on every interest!

This is my list:

• harmful-chemical free food/non-GMO/local food • gluten free/dairy free • leaky gut/candida gut • allergies/severe mold allergies • get fit • cooking healthy nutritious meals for my family • education • energy • hormonal imbalance • thyroid disorder • recipes • essential oils • rest • juicing • meal planning • living with a bleeding disorder • Be a light • raising boys • one word movement/commit • new house • teaching my boys to focus more on the gospel, less on themselves • being more gospel focused • choosing joy • grace • interior design • encouraging women to see their own beauty/building others up • investing in relationships • creativity • organization • marriage/wife life • focus • hair styles/products • fearless • prayer • giving • family • planner/budgeting/saving • cleaning • being present • grateful • creating memories with my family/more experiences/less stuff • being transparent • blogging • small business owner • sales/marketing • hand lettering • all things DIY • painting • cutting toxins from products we use in our home •

I’m going to continue working with this list, as I know it will organically grow and change.  I’m looking forward to narrowing my focus and giving attention to the things I’ve taken the time to identify as most important to me right now ❤

Trust the Process – Part 2

Over the last several days, I’ve been breaking down the list (with a few additions – I knew I forget a few things) from Trust the Process – Part 1 into 4 categories: Health/Wellness/Nutrition, Lifestyle, Career and Hobbies.  There are a few things that are in more than one category.  It breaks down like this:

Health/Wellness/Nutrition:  healthy diet • harmful-chemical free food • non-GMO • local food • gluten free • leaky gut • candida gut • my current health issues • allergies/severe mold allergies • get fit • cooking healthy nutritious meals for my family • education • energy • hormonal imbalance • thyroid disorder • recipes • holistic healing • essential oils • rest • juicing • meal planning • cutting toxins from products we use in our home • living with a bleeding disorder •

Lifestyle: Be a light in a world full of darkness • raising boys • one word movement • commit • new house • teaching my boys to focus more on the gospel, less on themselves • being more gospel focused myself • making things look beautiful • happiness • living with a bleeding disorder • leadership • grace • commit to goals • fashion/clothing/makeup • interior design • encouraging women to see their own beauty • building others up • growing friendships • creativity • trends • life hacks • mom guilt • organization • marriage • fear of failure • focus • hair styles • bold • brave • prayer • pride • giving • family • insecurity • recipes • photography • planners • budgeting • cleaning • being present • saving • grateful • creating memories with my family • wife life • more experiences/less stuff • measuring up • being transparent • fear of judgement •

Career: sales/marketing • elementary librarian • barista/coffee shop owner • blogging • realtor • small business owner • education • hair stylist • photography • nutrition health coach •

Hobbies: hand lettering • all things DIY • sewing • painting • interior design • writing • coloring •

I’ve already started to realize a lot about myself during the process of committing these things to paper.  It’s crazy!  There are things on my list that I’m not even necessarily interested in anymore.  But, because I have allowed my mind to topic hop and wander freely without focus for so long, I didn’t even notice my feelings about certain things have changed.  More than that, I’ve found the need to give myself permission to move on and let things go.

It seems like such a simple thing.  But I’ve been mentally hanging on to it ALL, beating myself up for not acting on certain things, not succeeding at others and feeling like a failure for not being able to work them all out.

Let me try to explain what this looks like in my mind: On any given day, I will pass a house for sale, see a design show on TV, talk to our realtor (we are in the market for a new home) etc and be reminded of just how much I think I would love to be a real estate agent.  One thought leads to another (that entrepreneurial mind thing) and the next thing I know I’m entertaining thoughts of remodeling and flipping homes, in addition to selling them (I’ve done my share of remodeling in the past so this isn’t a completely irrational train of thought to have).  The next day, we go see a house with our realtor, my love of houses is reaffirmed and I leave with visions of becoming a realtor running rampant in my head.  The following day, I’m super ill and can barely function because I was unknowingly exposed to mold in the house we saw the day before.

Without taking a few minutes to acknowledge the health issues I currently face from being in a random house for even just 15 minutes, my mind is on to the next thing – usually trying to survive until I can function again…… And I never slow down to give myself permission to let the realtor thing go.

Yes, I love houses!  Yes, I love remodeling and design, but there is nothing about my current season of life in which being a realtor makes any sense. None at all.  I live in one of the moldiest states there are.  Seriously, mold is everywhere here.  And not always in places you see or might expect it.  It’s known for hiding in walls and window sills, in carpet, in the basement, in duct work, the grass, fields, on pets, honestly, the list goes on and on.  *It’s important to note that I’m not talking about black mold that is harmful to anyone that comes in contact with it.  I’m talking about common molds that someone with a healthy immune system will never notice.

I’m severely allergic to 8 different types of mold (in addition to other allergens – but mold is definitely the worst).  I’m on a four year allergy shot plan to build up my immune system.  It requires that I get allergy shots on a routine basis where the dose and strength of serum constantly get stronger.  Because of these shots, my immune system is always under attack.  And because of this, I get sick super easy (these are bonus illnesses that I get in addition to being sick from mold).  My kids are in public school, they bring home all kinds of germs – and if there’s a sickness to be had, you can bet, I’ll be the one to get it.

Getting back on track – I haven’t really stopped to release myself from feeling like I should be a realtor.  So the next time I think about real estate, there will be an underlying feeling of guilt for not having started the process to become a realtor.  This is the same process that happens with each individual thing.  I always lump in a bunch of other things with it, never really give them much thought or consideration, other than feeling like I’m interested so I should be working out a way to make it all happen.

OH MY GOSH THE MENTAL GYMNASTICS!!!!!!!  It’s exhausting.

This, my friends, is why I started down this road to begin with.  I am ready to release myself from unnecessary guilt and unnecessary feelings of failure.  And boy, does it feel good ❤


Trust the Process – Part 1

The powers that be say: Trust the Process.  Do the things.  Make the lists.  Lucky for me, I’m a list maker.  A lover of all things paper.  And a tad obsessed with pens and markers.  There’s something so wonderfully productive about checking an item off my list.  I may or may not be guilty of occasionally writing something down just to check it off!  Does anyone else do this?!?

In an attempt to narrow my focus I’m listing things I relate to, am currently doing or struggling with, things I like to do, want to do, am inspired by, interested in – you get the idea 🙂  This is not a complete list –  I’m sure I’m leaving things out – and it’s not in any sort of order.  My goal for today is just to get them down so I can begin to look at each one individually:

• healthy diet • harmful-chemical free foods • non-GMO • local food • gluten free • leaky gut • candida gut • sales/marketing • elementary librarian • barista • coffee shop owner • hand lettering • blogging • realtor • getting fit • all things DIY – literally #allthethings • sewing • painting • small business owner • being a light in someone else’s darkness • raising boys • one word movement • commit • new house • cutting harmful-chemical exposure from everyday products for myself & my family • cooking nutritious healthy meals for my family • teaching my boys to focus on the gospel • being more gospel focused myself • making things look beautiful • happiness • living with a bleeding disorder • leadership • grace • goals /commit • fashion/clothing • interior design • marriage • organization • mom guilt • life hacks • trends • creativity • friendships • building others up • encouraging women to see their own beauty • education • writing • fear of failure • focus • hair styles • stylist • energy • bold • brave • prayer • coloring • pride • giving • family • hormonal imbalance • thyroid disorder • insecurity • recipes • photography • planners • budgeting • cleaning • being present • holistic healing • essential oils • nutrition health coaching • rest • juicing • saving • grateful • creating memories with my family • wife life • more life experiences – less stuff • meal planning • health issues • allergies/severe mold allergies • measuring up • being transparent • fear of judgement •

Are you starting to see my struggle?!?  All these things and more are constantly fighting for my mental attention.  Can you relate?

Next goal: divide this list into categories and subcategories.  aka – make more lists 🙂



Do you ever feel like you should do #allthethings??  I do.  I mean, I literally do.  If I see something that I know I can do, or that interests me, I feel like I should be doing it.  On top of that, I’m ultra impressionable – if I see someone doing something that I admire, it makes me want to do it too.  I was also born with an entrepreneurial mind.  I see business potential in everything around me.  And because I like #allthethings and want to be #allthethings and do #allthethings I end up mentally exhausted #allthetime.

Realistically, I know doing #allthethings is not an option.  I’m one person, right?!?  But I can promise you, on a regular basis, I feel like I should be doing them.  It’s a viscous mental cycle that offers me no rest.  So it’s hard to know what I want to do with myself when I can’t focus on one thing for any length of time.  And because I’m exhausted from all the mental gymnastics, I never actually commit.  I end up hanging out in limbo-land.  COMMIT is my One Word for 2018 – you can read more about that here.

Now, to be honest, I have owned a couple of small craft businesses that were successful for a time.  Success is another one of those subjective words, so let me clarify- my businesses always made a profit.  Never a ton of money, but a decent supplement to my husbands income.  The nice thing about owning your own craft business is you can try #allthethings if you want to!  And I did.  I took a lot of custom orders which kept things fresh and fun… for a time.  I loved working those businesses, until I didn’t.  I eventually gave each one up because I found myself lacking desire and commitment while being mentally pulled off into new directions.

In an effort to narrow my mental focus, I’ve decided to start writing more.  I want let go of the noise constantly fighting for my attention and settle my focus.

This, my friends, is where the self doubt comes pouring in.  What am I going to write about?  Does anyone want to hear what I have to say?  Are my thoughts my own?  Will those closest to me read my blog and think ‘geesh she is trying hard to be something she’s not.’  Will anyone relate to me?

As a blogger, how do you find the courage to open up if you don’t really know where you are going?  Is it incredibly narcissistic to think I have something worth saying?  Oh, how I envy those with the confidence to know.  They have found their place, their passion, their purpose.  My goal is to join them someday soon.


New Year, New You?

Welcome 2018!  It’s hard to believe we are ushering in a brand new year!  It doesn’t seem like that long ago, I was making my list of goals for 2017.  Each year, around the first of January, my husband and I take some time to think about things we would like to accomplish or improve on during the coming year.  We also like to reflect on our goals from the previous year.  While I’ve had some minor success achieving my goals over the years, I’m gonna be honest with you – more often than not, I’m in the exact same place I was when I wrote them down.  The goals I tend to set for myself are often vague and general.

Does anyone else do this?  Are you a goal setter?  Do you start each January with a ‘New Year, New You’ mentality?  Setting goals can be super motivating and the beginning of a new year always seems like just the right time to start.

I’ve only recently noticed that I choose goals that are not easily measured.  I suppose I think it saves me from facing “total failure” at the end of the year when I’m reflecting on how well I did or didn’t do.  For instance, I have been known to set the goal ‘Go to bed early’ instead of a more specific goal like ‘Go to bed at 10pm.’  ummmmm – early is subjective!  Undefined goals allow me lots of wiggle room when I’m rating my progress for the year.  And while playing it safe is definitely easier on my pride, (again -who likes to fail??) it makes it hard to summon motivation to work towards those goals and harder still, to feel like I ever actually achieve them.

In addition to padding my pride, and fear of failure, I find that I just can’t commit to setting specific goals.  I have so many different inspirations, aspirations, interests and hobbies that it’s really hard for me to narrow down my focus enough to make a concrete decision about anything – even something as seemingly simple as selecting my goals.

So, this year I’ve decided to try something new and participate in the One Word movement.  The idea behind One Word is to pick a single word that you would like to focus on throughout the year.  You can choose any word that speaks to you.

I love SO many words! Grace, Joy, Shine, Focus, Bright, Hope, Blessed, Intentional, Renew – the list goes on.  But, because I feel like I’m in constant limbo, lacking intentional direction right now, it only makes sense that my word for 2018 is:


I’m excited to explore commitment in various aspects of my life.  And I’m desperate to narrow my focus and have some direction!!!

I plan to use this blog as a place to log my journey as I learn to focus on my word and to commit to personal growth.  I am excited to see where this takes me!

Have you ever participated in the One Word movement?  Do you have your word already chosen??  If you haven’t ever tried it, I invite you to choose One Word and see where it takes you!