A Wife Loved Like The Church

Posts Tagged ‘30 Before 30

I’m sure you’ve all been waiting anxiously to hear about our weekend in New York. I will write a post soon. For now, I’m still in recovery mode – which should tell you just how awesome the trip was.

I’ve always wanted to read The Great Gatsby, it’s even on my 30 before 30 list. But for one reason or another, it never made it to my “reading now” list. Until about two weeks ago. I was at the library and noted that had a copy on their “for sale” rack, so I bought it {side note – library “sales” are awesome and cheap}. I set it aside with the hopes of reading it in New York.


{photo credit}

Fast forward to the morning we fly to New York. I opened the Great Gatsby, read about 8 pages, and stop.

Clearly, not a stellar beginning.

On the flight home, we had time to pass at the airport, so while Jonathan finished up some work, I started reading. And reading. And reading. I read 100 pages in one sitting. I finished the book after two more sittings.

For those of you who have never read the book {or are hoping to see the movie this summer}, I won’t ruin anything. Promise. But, I was struck with this thought –

I didn’t like The Great Gatsby.

The story seemed like a dream that weaved in and out of consciousness, making it hard for me to separate reality from fiction. Based on the plot, I suppose that is exactly what Fitzgerald was going for. A surreal feeling stood with me from start to finish.

I had to mull over in my head if I was actually disappointed by The Great Gatsby. I had expectations of a great book, one that would become part of my annual reads. Instead, it will become a book “I read that one time”. But, the beauty of it is this – Even though I didn’t think The Great Gatsby was all that great, it’s still a wonderful read.

When an author can make you feel exactly how he is writing, that is something amazing. When you read a daydreamy, fuzzy-around-the-edges book and you feel grounded the whole time, the author has missed his mark. But, even 70 years after his death, Fitzgerald has my head twirling around, slightly dazed and confused. Just like his characters.

Fitzgerald taught me something, something beyond his written word. He taught me that whether someone likes your story or not, you need to make them feel your writing. Make them hate you or love you, so long as they feel you.

This weekend, like most, was done before I knew it even started. My birthday was Sunday, but we began our celebration festivities Friday night with tacos from Torchy’s Tacos ::

Saturday morning was a laid back but productive. I managed to get some cleaning done, laundry put away and relaxing with the girls while Jonathan and Joseph slept in.

Around 11, things took a turn for the crazy, when we discovered that Hannah ate an entire bottle of children’s chewable vitamins. Like, rushing to the ER crazy. {I have a whole post about it for you tomorrow.}  But despite all the drama from the morning and afternoon, we went ahead with my birthday dinner party {which, thankfully, was only a mile from our house since I was slightly paranoid to leave Hannah}. It ended up being a good way to close out a rather emotional day.

Sunday was my actual birthday. We woke up early and headed downtown so I could run in the Capital 10K race with my friend, Adriane.

It was a really fun race, but I was surprised at how packed it was. Since it’s a “fun run” there were a lot more casual walkers than I expected, which was challenging for the first 2-3 miles as we weaved around the crowds. I initially wanted to finish in under an hour, but with all the masses came in at just over an hour {1:03:17}. Given the 20K+ people participating, and being stuck right in the middle of the crowd, we still made really great time.

Thanks to the back of my shirt, I got quite a very “happy birthday!”s while running. 🙂

The weekend ended quietly, spending time with good friends and our missional community.

How was your weekend?

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings
I’m turning 30 this weekend. Thirty. The big 3-0. And frankly, I’m freaking out a bit.

Typically, I don’t think much about age, but this birthday is throwing me. A little over two years ago, I set up 30 goals I wanted to accomplish before I turned 30. I’ve gotten about halfway through the list. It’s not looking like I’ll complete it before Sunday. And with that looming over me, I’ve been wondering, “what have I done for the last two years of my life?“. I figured, I’d do what I do best – make a list of the highlights from the last two years.

1. Bought my dream home

2. Ran a half marathon {3 times}

3. Had my first ever girls weekend in New York City

4. Moved to Texas

5. Attended my first ever blogging conference

6. Bought my husband’s dream home 

7. Saw my best friend get married

8. Found out we were bringing a boy into our very girly home

9. Celebrated not just five, but six years of marriage to an amazing guy

10. Had sweet little Joseph Judea

So, I might not be reaching my 30 before 30 goal by the weekend. But I’d say the last two years {plus the 28 before that} have been down right amazing. Here’s to making the next 30 just as kicking.

Visit Angie at Many Little Blessings for more Top Ten Tuesday.

I ended 2011 by jumping, fully dressed, into a pool.

It was cold. It was crazy. It was awesome.

I’ve realized I’m not going to complete my 30 before 30 list by my birthday in March. Sure, I still have time to knock off a few items, but it won’t be fully completed. And I’m ok with that.

When I first wrote my list two years ago, it was a personal challenge. A challenge to push myself to try new things, be okay with failure, and most of all to say yes to life.

So on Saturday, December 31, when I had the chance to jump in a freezing cold pool, I went for it. It’s something I’ve always secretly wanted to do, but never thought would happen. Well it did happen. I said yes and made it happen.

What are you saying yes to? What adventure should you try?


This post will be linked to Try New Adventures Thursday with Alicia’s Homemaking.

In my effort to mark off more from my 30 Before 30, I have been perfecting my yeast handling abilities. Last week I decided to make French bread rolls from my Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook, because, well, I have a love of French bread that might board on obsession. Not to mention, it looked like a crazy-easy recipe.

French Bread Rolls

1 to 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water {when it is neither hot nor cold on your wrist}

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast

1 tbsp butter

3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cup sifted flour

Mix water, salt and yeast in a mixing bowl until yeast is well dissolved. Add in butter. Slowly add flour, until well blended. Knead bread, folding dough over toward you. Then press down away from you with the heel of your hand. Give dough quarter turns, repeating kneading, until it is smooth, elastic and non-sticky.

Place dough in greased bowl, turning once to bring greased side up. Cover. Let rise until double {about 1.5-2 hours}. Once risen, punch down, pulling edges into center and turn completely over in bowl. Let rise again until almost double {about 30-45 minutes}.

After second rising, divide dough into 16 equal parts. Form into little buns {or balls}. Place on grease baking sheet. With scissors, snip rolls in half, then in half again, cutting almost through to the bottom. Brush with water. Let rise one hour.

Brush with water again. Then brush with egg white and sprinkle with poppyseeds.

Bake at 425 for 10 minutes.

It might sound like a lot {especially if you don’t bake with yeast often}, but it’s really quite easy – I promise!

Once the rolls are done, they are hard on the outside {like french bread} but super soft and yummy on the inside. They make a plainer meal – like Monday night meatloaf – something a little more spectacular.

And for that, I’m marking mastering yeast off my 30 Before 30 list!

Bon Appetit!

Visit Alicia at Alicia’s Homemaking for more Try New Adventures Thursday.

Visit Jill at Diaper Diaries for more Things I Love Thursday.

On my updated 30 before 30, I decided to learn to crochet. Last Friday I took the girls to Hobby Lobby to buy my supple of crochet needles and yarn. While walking the aisles, I had visions of crocheting afghans, baby blankets and cute girl sweaters.

Then I got home.

And I realized maybe, just maybe, I should stick with learning to crochet a pot holder. Because, while crocheting hasn’t been hard to learn, I’m no Martha Stewart, and have as much creative talent as a monkey. So a pot holder it will be.

After the weekend, this is what I had:

Some how, I got my rows off and the pot holder has taken on a trapezoid shape. Not to mention the knots {is that what they are called??} aren’t all very tight. I decided to take a break and work on the other yarn that I got. It started off well, but then {thanks to a certain 3 year old who will remain nameless} my rows were unraveled. Which meant I ended up redoing a lot of my work. So, my pot holder isn’t quite the size I was going for. Maybe it’ll turn into a doll’s baby blanket?

Have you ever crocheted? Any advice for this novice?

Visit Alicia at Alicia’s Homemaking for more Try New Adventures Thursday.

I have a habit of biting off more than I can chew. I set goals for myself that seem achievable, but are pretty unrealistic {especially when raising 2.5 kids}. And then when I fail, I am overly hard on myself.

In January 2010, I set out on a quest to accomplish 30 things before I turned 30. All great goals, though some were a bit lofty. Like knitting my girls a blanket, when I can’t even knit. Or sewing a dress, when I don’t know how to sew. Or getting my teacher’s certificate {which in Iowa would have meant getting my Master’s and in Texas means redoing part of my undergrad}. Then there was a cross country move, financial choices for not taking a trip overseas and realizing why on earth would I want to start my own business {I am so not a business type person – I will leave that to Jon}.

Now, while I typically would hang my head in defeat, I’ve realized, my 30 before 30 is about setting goals for things I want to accomplish. And it’s totally okay to change them up some along the way. While I might not have learned to knit in the last year, I did learn to finally bake with yeast {and that’s saying something!}.

So, without further ado, here is my revised 30 before 30 list {the first ten are the new additions}. And, if things don’t get done, I’m okay with that – so long as I keep making progress.

1. Learn to play Over The Rainbow on my ukulele

2. Potty train Hannah

3. Learn to build a fire without using matches

4. Learn to crochet {pot holder}

5. Form a pen pal relationship {specifically with my friend in Switzerland}

6. Finish War and Peace {currently reading}

7. Attend a UT football game as a family

8. Learn to bake with yeast {I’m still experimenting, but I’m feeling pretty confident with yeast now}

9. Take the girls camping overnight

10. Take both girls on a horseback ride

11. Run a half marathon (DONE!! 4/18/10)

12. Learn to sew a dress (Learned to sew, now just working on a dress, still)

13. Learn conversational Spanish – 25 phrases {I am up to about 15 phrases – Muy bueno!}

14. Write a children’s book for the girls

15. Learn to play 3 Christmas carols on the piano {I can currently play 2}

16. Read through the Bible {I am about half way through}

17. Have a Girls’ Getaway Weekend (DONE! 9/16/10-9/19/10)

18. Go on a family mission’s trip

19. Visit Colorado

20. Host an over-the-top 5-course dinner party

21. Finish my wedding album (DONE!! 12/27/10)

22. Get a tattoo (DONE!! 4/3/10)

23. Read The Great Gatsby

24. Submit a recipe to Southern Living

25. Speak before a large audience (50+ people) (DONE! 3/3/10)

26. Boldly share the Gospel to the people on my prayer list (While this is on going, my brother did get saved!!)

27. Own a Leg Lamp (DONE! 11/18/10)

28. Learn to make crepes (DONE! 2/21/10)

29. Have another baby {due November 2011!}

30. Learn conversational French – 25 phrases

Do you have a bucket list? What is on yours?

Visit Oh Amanda for more Top Ten Tuesday.

We only have five more days in Iowa. Yesterday was the first day that everyone was health {or relatively enough to have outside contact}, so we did a lot. And in the craziness of everything, two amazing things happened:

1. We found renters for our house! Praise God! After several postings on Craigslist, with no response, we finally had a couple contact us for a showing. They are moving into the area for work and just fell in love with the house {who could blame them?!?}. They signed the lease yesterday – the same day we gave them a tour. It all happened in four hours! Whew. Talk about a whirlwind.

2. My sweet and dear friend, Leah, gave me this:

"Would you look at that? Would you look at THAT? Holy smokes. Do... Do you know what this is? This is... A lamp!"

While my version is a night light, it is perhaps the coolest Christmas gift I have ever received. I love it. And owning it now allows me to cross off #27 of my 30 Before 30 – Own a Leg Lamp. Thanks again, Leah!

I’ve always thought it would be wonderful to speak a second language. I took four semesters of German in college, and while I could speak/understand it then, I can’t even recall any words now. Jonathan grew up in Texas with a Spanish speaking family, but they never taught him and only spoke to the children in English.

When we had the girls, we decided we really wanted them to learn Spanish. Not only do we think it’s an important language to know, we want them to have a strong connection to their heritage. {For those who don’t know us personally, despite having a very Anglo last name, Jonathan is in fact Hispanic.} When Grandma moved in with us we saw it as a great opportunity for the girls to learn Spanish.

Then Jonathan decided that rather than just having the girls learn, we should make it a family adventure. And so, our family has embarked on learning Spanish. We got some amazing books from the library and are constantly quizzing Grandma on proper enunciation and wording. The girls {i.e. Julia} are slowly picking up on different words and I’m putting together sentences {Yo quiero uno vaso de lecha, por favor – I would like milk please}. It’s been pretty fun, listening to Spanish songs and reading through the picture dictionaries. Hopefully we can say a few Spanish phrases for families back in Texas the next time we visit.

Visit Alicia at Alicia’s Homemaking for more Try New Adventures Thursday.

Those were Jonathan’s words to me this weekend when I started stressing about my trip this weekend to New York. Did I tell you I was going to New York? Well, I am. And I cannot wait. Lots of plans have been made {including a bus tour of the city and a trip to Brooklyn for some pizza} and a wonderful time will be had. Yet, insecure Sarah has a slight nagging.

Will I stick out?

Will I look New York cool {’cause there is a difference from Iowa cool to New York cool}?

Will all my hip New York friends think I’m lame?

{Have I mentioned I’m still in junior high?}

As I was going through my “Will I” list, Jon stopped me and said “All you have to worry about is your purse.” He went on to say that for the 72 hours that I am gone, all I need to worry about is having my purse. Don’t worry about naptimes. Don’t worry about training. Don’t worry about sticking out. Don’t worry about being lame. Just relax and enjoy being away.

Come Thursday night my only care will be having my purse – and getting a taxi from the airport to Manhattan.