A Wife Loved Like The Church

Posts Tagged ‘30 Before 30

Thanks to Jonathan for setting up my mother’s corner, I have an entire sewing area to work on #2  on my 30 before 30 list, sew a dress. I started working on my first apron and many mistakes and thread later, I have a finished product:

{Notice I have flour all over it? Already getting good use out of it!}

I think it’s pretty cute. I got a big kick out of having an apron with an apron pattern. 🙂 Although, don’t look to closely at the seams. Let’s just say, I still haven’t mastered straight lines.

I’ve started on an apron for Julia and I’m hoping to be done later this week. I’m still not confident enough to even buy the fabric for my dress, but I did pick out some patterns from Hobby Lobby last week when they had McCall patterns for 99 cents. Maybe a few more aprons in and I’ll tackle the dress.

As part of my 30 before 30 I made a goal to sew a dress this year. Funny thing is, I can’t sew. Technically speaking I can. I’ve sewn buttons on shirts, sewn together holes in pockets. And once I made a hotsling with great assistance {read: I sat and watched while my friend made it for me}. But I can’t actually sew. I’ve never owned a sewing machine and the last time I made something on my own I was 12. Sewing my own dress is sounding more and more brilliant.

Earlier this year my friend Rachel gave me her old Singer. Tuesday morning I took the plunge and fired the bad mama up.

Oh, you thought when I said old I meant old as in from the last decade. Or even from the last 4 decades.  No, no my friends, this machine is a classic. And while it isn’t fancy, I actually quite love it.

It took me a while to figure out how to properly thread it. And after nearly an hour of doing what I thought seemed right, I had to call Rachel to come show me how it is really done:

I did a few practice runs to try it out. And you know what I learned? I can’t sew a straight line. Awesome.

But, I won’t let a little thing like straight lines hold me back. I’m pressing on! I’m taking the Windhamettes on an adventure to Hobby Lobby later today to buy pins and then I’m going to start on my first home ec project: sewing an apron. Rock on.

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

Top Ten {Tuesday} This last weekend, Jonathan and I started talking about my 30 before 30 list. In 8 months I’ve managed to only mark off 4 items {with the 5th coming up}. That leaves 26 goals to complete in 20 months. Seems easy, huh? Well, since one of them is to visit Paris {and we all know how that’s going}, I’m realizing some things are going to need to be tweaked.

I’m leaving the list the same for now, but changing what I plan to accomplish before this year ends. Here’s my top ten {and the 6 that are left}:

1. Run a half marathon Finished this one back in April. And actually am crazy enough to consider doing another one in October.

2. Get a tattoo – Took the plunge in April. Might have been the best decision I’ve made all year.

3. Speak before a large audience – Finished this one back in March.

4. Learn to make crepes – Finished this in February. Funny enough, this one seemed the most intimidating {I kid you not}.

Now the ones I still need to complete:

5. Girls weekend getaway – If everything goes as planned, I’ll be spending a weekend in NYC come September. Niiice.

6. Learn to sew a dress – Jon brought my 1960’s Singer sew machine out of the garage this morning. I’ve got it open and am currently learning to thread it. No easy task for this home ec drop out.

7. Submit a recipe to Southern Living – I’m keeping the recipe a secret for now, but plan on experimenting with it later this week. Hopefully it goes well {and makes for a good post ;)}.

8. Read through the Bible – After years of following reading plans, the one year I don’t is the one year I’ve actually read more in my Bible than ever before. Go figure.

9. Finish my wedding album – Really, does my wedding album sit on my dresser half completed, taunting me? Yes, yes it does. And really, is it that hard to put photos in an album? Probably not. But since it’s taken over 5 years to do it, you’d think it was. Haha.

10. Learn to play 3 Christmas carols on the piano – For a while I was teaching myself the piano. Yeah, we’re gonna scratch that. Keep it simple – just learn the carols. And after I found the Smule piano app for my iPad, I’m thinking that might just count.

Visit Oh Amanda for more Top Ten Tuesday.

I just booked a flight to New York to spend a weekend in September crossing off # 8 from my 30 before 30: Have a Girls’ Getaway Weekend.

I am super excited to visit these three beauties:

Along with this super fabulous chick (who doesn’t know the other girls… yet 😉 ).

I completed my half marathon yesterday. Whew. It was intense. I’m glad I did it and I’m glad I’m done.

My original goal was to run in the Drake Relays in Des Moines which take place next weekend. But, between traveling with the girls and Jonathan starting a new MBA class that weekend, it just didn’t seem possible. I didn’t want to forgo all my training from the last 2 months, so I came up with a better idea:

Run for Haiti

I told Jonathan that we should organize our own run, inviting people to run various miles to raise money for Haiti to send to Compassion International. We wanted to make the run on a donation basis – ranging from $1-5 per mile. I talked to Leah, since she was the first person I knew who would be on board with it. She said she’d run one of the routes and I went from there. After doing a facebook event and sending out an email, we had 10 runners (including myself) who either ran or walked anywhere from 3, 5, 13.1 or 16 miles. I even was blessed to have company for the vast majority of my run. One of the girls who ran is training for a marathon and used today as her long run. God really knew what He was doing, because we turned out to run the same pace, which was delightful. Very nice to have a running buddy for a long run like that!

I ran the last 3+ miles on my own. I’ll be completely honest – I ended up walking about 1/2 mile or so. I started getting so dehydrated that I was feeling faint and starting to blackout. Not good. I stopping running and walked to a gas station that was on my route. I took a break while I got some water. After that I ran the rest of the way home, but at a much slower pace than before. Initially I was disappointed for having stopped, but realized it was the best thing for me. The last two miles were the most challenging, yet I stuck to it. My reward when I got home? Julia running to me full speed yelling “Mama!” as I was crossing the finishing line. Nearly made me cry.

My recovering has gone smoother than I expected. As soon as I crossed the finish line I felt like I hit a wall. The last 3 miles of the run I started getting a headache (most likely from needing more water) and it was pretty intense once I got home. We ate some pizza (my request – Papa John’s pepperoni) then I got cleaned up. After that I was pretty useless for about 2+ hours. I took a long nap, drank plenty of water and took some ibuprofen. Stairs are presenting some challenges, but over all, aside from the headache that last all day yesterday, I feel pretty great. I’m thinking I might be able to bump my recovering run up to Tuesday instead of Wednesday.

I am thrilled to say, that as for helping Haiti, we had spectacular support. We raised a total of $260 for Compassion International. How amazing is that?!

I want to say a big thank you to all the people that ran with me yesterday. I was, still am, blown away by your support and desire to be apart of this event. I also want to say thank you to everyone who has cheered for me along the way. This has been a great experience for me and I truly appreciate everyone’s encouragement and support. I can officially say “Been there. Done that.” Now to check it off my 30 before 30 list:

#1. Run a half marathon

Or die trying.

I don’t actually think I will die. But, I will say this, I am really looking forward to my run being completed. I have thoroughly enjoyed running and pushing myself beyond what I thought I was capable, but at some point I’ve started to lose steam. I wasn’t able to complete my run on Easter after the tire changing incident and have felt sort of deflated after that. Last night I went on a really awesome power run and felt some boost come back. I think it gave me the confidence I need to push through.

Come Sunday, the 18th, at 9 am, if you’re in the Iowa City area, you might see me running by. And if you do see me, I’d love a little cheer, a holler, or even a “go get ’em!”. Then when I wake up Monday morning, I hope to proudly say – “Been there. Done that.”

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Tomorrow is Easter. The day that changed who I am. The day my Savior conquered death and rose again. The day that brings me hope.

This afternoon I got a tattoo. The tattoo is named the “symbol of hope” and it represents a hopeful cure for colon cancer.

Colon cancer? Why colon cancer? Nearly two years ago my dear friend Brittney Mann lost her battle with colon cancer. She shared with me that it was one of her aspirations to get this same tattoo once she beat the cancer. Since she wasn’t able to, I decided I would get the tattoo as a way to honor and remember her. But it’s even deeper than that.

I love that it’s named “symbol of hope”. I know where Brittney’s hope laid. Not in a cure. But in Christ.

Christ is my hope.

Because of His death on the cross, my sins were washed clean.

Because of His resurrection, my life is eternal.

In Christ alone, my hope is found.

I miss Brittney more than I can express. I joyfully look forward to the day when I can see her again. When we can rejoice together in our completeness, in our healing, and in our hope. And with even more joy, I look forward to that same day when I can see my Savior, face to face, and find my hope fulfilled.

This tattoo may not be a cross or a picture of Jesus, but it represents Christ to me. It is a symbol that He came and conquered. It is a symbol that He loves me and died for me. It is a symbol that HE is my hope.

While on this earth we may never find a cure for cancer, but Jesus holds the cure for our sins through salvation in Him.

It’s the middle of March and I’m s-l-o-w-l-y making a dent in my 30 Before 30 list.

Two weeks ago, I knocked off Number 22: Speak before a large audience. Originally, I said that the audience needed to be around 50+ people. My actually audience was around 30+ people. Ok, I could get all nit picky, but I’m not gonna. Plus, I’m suppose to talk at my church’s women’s time in April, which will be in front of about 20 people. I figure, add the two together and you’ve got 50. Right? Yeah, I thought so too.

Right after Valentine’s Day, Jonathan and I cooked this pretty awesome French meal for the Abdos in celebration of Stephen’s 16th birthday. To top the meal off, we made crepes. Ahhh… so long Number 28: Learn to make crepes.

Honestly, Number 28 has been one I least expected to complete. It seems to me that crepes are better left to professionals. I’d even venture to say you need to at least know 25 French phrases (Number 23) – which I don’t – before even attempting to make crepes. But, since Jonathan was going to be along side me, and he is the better, more adventurous cook, I gave it a go. Wanna know what? It was so easy!

I followed this basic crepe recipe:

I mixed together flour and eggs:

Add milk, water, salt and butter – mix well:

Mix well:

Have your filling on hand (remember my love of Nutella?):

Pour batter onto a hot flat round pan (if you have a crepe maker it works best):

Cook until the crepe is easy to handle and flip (about 1.5-2 minutes). Flip and smear with Nutella, topping with strawberries:

Fold in half, letting it set for upto a minute while the chocolate melts:

Cut in half and serve:

You could easily top with Nutella and whipped cream for even more decadence!

Bon Appetit!

For weeks, I was ready to give up on my half marathon training. Every time I stepped on the treadmill I dreaded the next 45 minutes of my life. And then something beautiful happened. The sun began to shine and the weather got just a little warmer. So I started running outside. And I love it. It has made all the difference in the world. In fact, I even ran my last long run (7 miles) without listening to music.

I’ve been learning a lot since taking on this new adventure. Here are just a few:

1. Accepting that I am a runner.

I’ve always wanted to be a runner. That girl who can run 6 miles; who has to buy new running shoes, not because she wants to, but because her other ones are worn out from overuse. But, you can want something and never do it. For many years I liked the idea of running, but not the act itself. It is hard, sometimes boring, and always tiring. Now that I’m actually running, I keep thinking “I wish I was a runner.” Every time I run, I think how much easier this would be if I was a true runner. Not some pseudo-runner. Then, after my long run this last weekend, I realized: I am a runner. It was the longest run I’ve ever done. There were plenty of hills, and enough cold melted-ice puddles to wet my shoes through, but I completed it. Without stopping. And I felt awesome by the end. Then some lightbulb went off: What pseudo-runner runs 15+ miles a week? Only real runners do that. I am a runner.

I’ve gone from this:


To this:

2. Using my time effectively.

I’ve been training without music for the last three weeks. In my little world, that’s pretty huge. Four months ago, I couldn’t run a mile without tunes, but now it’s just me, the road and God. I use my time away to really get before God. I sing praises, have prayer time, and just mediate on Him. It’s awesome. I love feeling like I’m training my body and my spirit at the same time.

3.  Learning the difference between big and small rocks.

For a while, whether I was running 2 miles or 7 miles, I felt really, really, really nervous right beforehand. I keep thinking “I have to run 2 miles”; “I have to run 7 miles”. It seemed overwhelming and intimidating, making me feel defeated before I ever started. Jonathan started encouraging me to think of it as “I only have to run 2 miles”; “I only have to run 7 miles”, which when compared to 13 miles is nothing (or who knows, maybe 26 miles one day). Since I’ve started seeing my small rocks, the runs don’t seem that bad. Don’t get me wrong, after running for an hour, I’m glad to be done, but at least when I start off I’m not feeling defeated.

4. I may run alone, but I am not training alone.

Training for a half marathon requires a lot of time. Being a wife and mother requires even more time. My family is sacrificing just as much as I am in this whole process. It’s not easy to ask them to give up time through the week and then 1-2 hours every Saturday for me to run. But, they do. And since starting my long runs, it seems like their support has tripled. It’s amazing. And the best part? The support doesn’t stop with just my family. Last week, Shirley bought me a new running jacket for my birthday. I love it. It has pockets in all the right places, is lightweight but still keeps me warm. (Thanks again, Shirley!) I know that come the day of my race, I’ll be able to say “I couldn’t have done it without them.”.


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In January, my friend, Leah, set a goal to loose 10 pounds by her birthday. Now, my friend, Laryssa at Heaven in the Home, along with Mary at Giving up Perfect, are doing a 10 week weight loss competition.

And I’m signing up.

After Hannah was born, I was determined to get back in shape. I was tired of feeling overweight, sluggish and unhealthy.  So, at my 6 week postpartum mark, I started running. 4 weeks later, I started two workout classes at Performance Fitness and did running on Saturdays. I was feeling pretty good and loosing weight. But, I feel like I’m hitting a rut. I’m feeling “fluffy” and a little a lot restless.

Here are my challenges/goals:

– complete the half marathon training on April 24th

– stick with my daily/weekly points (Weigh Watchers)

– incorporate more yoga/stretching into my weekly workouts

– actively work on getting ripped (or not so “fluffy) abs

– lose 8 pounds and reach my “ultimate goal” weight


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