35 Before 35: How I Did


I feel like I am squeezing dear loved ones I haven’t seen in years! It has been a while and I have missed this so!! I’m so happy to “see you.”

It has been a hard few months over here. With the reality of it being our last days of my beloved mama and me season, I really slowed down this summer to savor every second with my girl. It was wonderful and I’m so grateful. It brought up a lot about what was next for me, for our family, with my planning business and my blog. And honestly we are still working through some of that. But the sense of that season closing was really hard for me. Sometimes I still can’t believe there was a time I didn’t want to have kids! These last four years have been my happiest and best days, hands down.

School started early last month and it has been incredibly hard. We of course expected this transition to come with challenges but it has been so much tougher than we imagined. For all of us. Lots of tears, tummy aches, and sleepless nights. Lots of hard conversations and heartbreaking days. We wondered if she was at the right school, or even ready for school, praying nothing more major was going on causing her anxiety… Seeing her struggling and so sad was just devastating. For me, the worry and sadness was consuming and I just needed to be where I needed to be. I couldn’t even think about getting back to being in this space. Though we are still having hard mornings, we are recently starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m so grateful. I’ll be sharing more about this journey another time…but for now— Thank you so much for sticking by me. And for all of you who sent sweet messages online and in real life, your support means to the world to me.

I’m looking forward to us getting our footing in this new season and hope to be posting much more now that I’m breathing a tiny bit easier.

Now… Friday I turned 35! I am so grateful for my last year of blessings and had such a wonderful weekend celebrating. I wanted to share my final update on my list of goals for the last year. I certainly didn’t nail all of them, but all in all I made some progress on some bigger goals and am happy with how I did. I definitely plan to do something similar for this year. It’s such a fun and easy way to stay on track and live intentionally.

In no particular order, here is how I did on my list:

  1. Take a special family vacation We ended up taking Olivia to my college town this summer and tacked on two visits with both her great grandfather and her great grandmother at their homes. It was not necessarily what I had imagined when I first wrote this goal, but it ended up being the most special trip and I am so grateful for it.

  2. Read 4 books I read The Life Giving Home and The Magic of Motherhood. I did buy Chasing Slow but haven’t finished it yet.

  3. Run a half marathon This was a big bummer for me. After having more issues with my wrist as well as a new IT Band injury, I had to say no to the half marathon I was signed up for last month. I was really disappointed, but may try to start over again with training. We’ll see.

  4. Take a weekend trip with Chris Well, we were thinking of using our good friend’s wedding in Atlanta for this early next year…but that ended up turning into an extended trip down South with Olivia to Disney World1 We are SO excited for this, but now we definitely need to plan a new getaway for just us.

  5. Organize all family photos -- this may be the most daunting on the list! This felt like one of the “more important” things on my list, but it also felt the most overwhelming and while I did make some progress with organizing family photos, I have a long way to go still. I’m hoping I can think of some sort of system that will help simplify this so it’s not so easy to put off. If you have any great ideas, please let me know!

  6. Make yearly photo albums starting with Olivia's first year I am excited to do this once I'm caught up with everything. We will probably order through Artifact Uprising. I love their albums.

  7. Brush up on my French I did enjoy doing this some this year, and hope to do even more in the future.

  8. Be diligent in using my power sheets I did a pretty good job staying on track with these. They are so helpful in worrying about what matters most to you.

  9. Spend 30 minutes a day in meditation/gratitude/manifesting We started doing a gratitude exercise before bedtime with Olivia and it has become one of my favorite things ever. We each say three things we are grateful for from the day. It's just the sweetest addition to our routine. I have also been spending more time doing this myself throughout the day. I also started incorporating essential oils which has been a wonderful addition.

  10. See a play (Hamilton?) We never made it to a play…

  11. Teach Olivia to read Olivia is definitely reading some! She has tons of sight words she knows and we are working on reading more and more. It’s so fun.

  12. Take Olivia to her first movie In November, we took Olivia to see Leap (a movie about a little girl who dreams of being a ballerina in Paris, aka the story of her life!) It was such a fun experience; one I'll definitely never forget!

  13. Take Olivia to her first ballet In December, we took Olivia to see the Nutcracker. It was absolutely magical for her. She loved it! I think it's safe to say that will be a new tradition for us.

  14. Travel somewhere we haven't been before (doesn't have to be far away) I’m hoping this will be where we take our weekend away.

  15. Find a wellness doctor and schedule a visit I went to the Raby Institute last month and am grateful for a clean bill of health. I have a few suggested supplements to start which I’ll do soon.

  16. Go to the dermatologist I went to a new dermatologist in January and have been really good sticking with my new skin care routine.

  17. Learn about essential oils and start using them for our family By now you all know about my dear friend Erin, who is my wellness mentor, tireless cheerleader and all-around incredible friend. Our wellness journey is well underway and we LOVE essential oils. I am so grateful to have these tools to help our family. Some days I wonder what I did before them! I’m going to do a full post on this soon- stay tuned!

  18. Go to the dentist I went to the dentist in November, and am so happy to report I am all caught up and back on track!

  19. Survive Olivia's first day of pre-school- I could cry just thinking about it! This has been hard. Really hard. Harder than we all thought. We are slowly finding out footing in this new season and I’ll be sharing some things that have helped us in another post soon.

  20. Complete Whole 30 with Chris We realized Whole 30 was too challenging for a vegetarian, so we created our own month long challenge instead. In January we had 30 days of no eating out (not even a coffee!) and made ten new recipes. It was so fun! I think we'll do it again.

  21. Celebrate our 7th Anniversary This is June 18th! We had dinner at one of our fave spots and then took Olivia to our wedding venue, The Chicago History Museum. It was SO fun. We had a second celebration where we always go just us at Le Colonial (our rehearsal dinner spot and one of our all time favorite restaurants.)

  22. Take a multivitamin every day I have been ok with this..definitely need to be better about not missing days.

  23. Finish all remaining paint projects at home (Windows and Stairwell) We still need to paint our stairwell.

  24. Complete Kayla Itsines 12 week workout program I didn’t end up doing this after my injury, but may try it again at some point.

  25. Reach 10k followers on Instagram I reached this goal a while back but have lost some followers since I’ve been so MIA! Come say hi if you haven't seen my feed in a while! I love to connect with people there, too!

  26. Make serious progress on a super secret project ;) -- sorry to be so cryptic but it's too early in the process to say much more :) I think this going to be even farther away than I imagined...but we'll see :) It’s definitely on my heart a lot.

  27. Attend 1 professional development conference I didn’t end up doing this but hope I may be able to next year.

  28. Submit one of my children's books to publishers/learn this process! Would you believe I have written a few and they’re just sitting on my computer?! If you know anything about this, please let me know! :) This process is well underway and I am so excited!! I haven’t formally submitted yet, but am in the final stages with my final manuscript, and cover letter ready to go.

  29. Finish office decor and start using it more regularly I am working on the office decor more this week and am excited to use my space more!

  30. Find a mentor Unofficially Erin is totally my mentor. For wellness, for mamahood. She’s the best. I would love to find someone to help a bit more with blogging and writing but still don’t know who the right person for me is.

  31. Start using Pinterest for my business I have signed up for a class for this, but haven't really done much else yet. I definitely want to make this a priority for 2019.

  32. Complete a city guide for the blog I haven't started working on this yet either, but would still love to do this!

  33. Complete a reader questionnaire/survey for the blog I did this in December to help direct content for the new year and it was great! Thank you to those of you who provided feedback! <3

  34. Start thinking about /researching what it would look like to start my non profit/charity Honestly, until Olivia is in school full time I think it's going to be hard to do a ton more with it just because my time is so limited. But-- I am still really excited by this idea and really do want to learn more to see if it's something I'd actually ever want to do.

  35. Start working on my legacy project This hasn't gotten any attention yet...but I haven't forgotten about it :)

Thank you so much for all of the encouragement and support. I am so excited to continue crossing things off my list and will share my new set of goals soon!