Hi, I’d like to reintroduce myself. My name is Kelly Ann Jones and I’m the queen of no follow through. I start projects left and right and never finish them. Like this blog, for instance. It’s been over a year since I made a single post. I lose interest in things. I forget about things. I can’t afford things. I fail at things.
But not this time dang it!
Yesterday I reached the age of 29 years old and I am so excited about it! I’m excited to be pushing 30! There is honestly no dread of any sort. I have no major regrets and I don’t see any of my twenties as wasted time. I know I can still accomplish dreams and goals even now that I am married and have children.
That’s where the list comes in. I want to become 30 years old a happier, healthier, more well rounded human being than I have ever been before. It’s a journey that my hubby and kids get to come along for too and they’re excited! Well, Luke is. Jameson and Ava are just excited for lunch. Much like their mother.
Some of these goals are ambitious while others will be simple. Some are experiences to be had while others are skills to be learned. Some are things to gather and gain while others are things to be rid of. My thirties are gonna rock.
Let’s get started.
1. Learn American Sign Language
For many years I have wanted to become fluent in ASL and I know a few handfuls of words but I always fall off the wagon and stop practicing. That’s no way to learn a language! I’m fortunate to live in St Augustine, FL where we have a huge deaf community and with plenty of opportunity to grow in this beautiful language. So, I’m dusting off my ASL dictionary and I’m gonna take a few classes so that by this time next year I can feel comfortable having a conversation in sign language.
2. Take Kickboxing Classes
How fun! I need a good cardio regimen and what better way than kickboxing! It’ll be a huge challenge, especially now that I’m heavier and more unhealthy than I’ve ever been in my life but I want and desperately need that to change. For myself, for my husband [who, thank the Lord, loves me and desires me any time of day] and for my kids and their kids. Plus, I’ll learn some awesome self defense!
3. Lose 50 pounds
The fact that I even need to lose 50 pounds scares me. I can’t believe that I’ve gotten to this place. The last few years have seen a slow and steady weight gain and I’m ready to shed it all! I could honestly stand to lose more than 50 pounds but 50 is just about what I’ve gained since Luke and I got married in 2009 and I loved the way I looked and felt then. I’m thankful that I’ve come to a place in my life where I love and accept my heart and body, flaws and all. However, health is the goal here. I want to learn how to eat healthier and exercise regularly all while learning to love myself even more. 50 pounds is a lot, y’all. I’m gonna need your love, support and prayers on this one!
4. Travel to Ireland
Plane tickets are already purchased for this one! Our primary goal with this trip and what we’re most excited about is to spend four days in Wales with Luke’s brother, our sister in law and two nephews!! But we’ll also be spending three days in Ireland at the end of our time in Wales. The only reason that this list item is Ireland instead of Wales is because I have wanted to visit Ireland since I was a little girl. I mean, who doesn’t want to see Ireland?!
5. Learn to Sew
Since Caleb and Crystal moved to Wales in 2013 I have been hanging on to Crystal’s sewing machine for her. Guess how many times I’ve made use of that. Twice! Twice in over two years. And that’s only because I asked my mom to teach me and then reteach me how to thread it haha. I understand how to thread it and sew a straight line but that’s about it. So, the goal here is to further my understanding of sewing. I want to be able to fix tears, hem jeans, alter dresses, create quilts and make clothes for my kids! This will prove incredibly useful when we finally move onto our homestead one day.
6. Make a Quilt
This will prove handy once I’ve made progress on number 5! I loooooove quilts. I love the story. I love the time involved in them. Growing up we had a ton of quilts that were made by the women in our family and they are some of our treasured possessions. I also love how a quilt has the ability to match colors together beautiful or be as crazy as the maker so desires. I have a feeling that’s how a lot of my quilts will be. There’s a quilt shop here in town that offers classes and I plan to take one or two to help me progress in this.
7. Spend a weekend with Luke in Charleston, South Carolina
We love Southern towns. Savannah is our favorite place to visit and we know we’ll fall in love with Charleston much the same. We understand the importance of spending time alone together and have been wanting to visit this town for a few years now. This will be an easy one for sure!
8. Host a Favorite Things Party
I have wanted to do this for several years now. The idea is to invite your girlfriends over for a night of food, drinks and gift giving! Each person thinks of one of their very favorite things that costs about $15 then they bring three of the item to the party. At some point during the evening each guest takes a minute to share what their favorite thing is. Then every lady will get the chance to go up one by one and choose three different items to take home!
9. Spend the night in the Casa Monica Hotel
The Casa Monica is a beautiful, upscale hotel in downtown St Augustine. I’ve only been lucky enough to walk through the lobby haha. No, Luke and I also enjoyed dinner at their restaurant 95 Cordova for our baby moon and it was lovely. I haven’t picked which suite to stay in yet because that will all depend on timing and finances when we can but I’m super excited about this one!
10. Be an Elephant Keeper
I. Love. Elephants. I don’t know why I love them so much, but I do. They are some of the strongest, smartest, most loving, playful and unique animals on the face of the earth. There are several places in Florida that offer Elephant Keeper experiences so I’m leaving my options open as to which one to attend.
11. Hand Letter Recipes
I have hundreds of recipes of that I’ve altered to make our own and a few that I’ve created myself. I’ve been very slowly [snail pace] hand lettering them and placing them in a book. My thought behind this is that it will be an heirloom for my kids one day but also I think it’s neat to just make a copy of that when someone asks for a recipe. So, I’m committing to finishing this project by this time next year.
12. Read 12 New Books
The main goal here is to read more consistently. I enjoy reading very much but rarely make time for it. I’m actually quite a fast reader but the problem is sitting down with the book in the first place. So, I want to pick 12 new books, fiction or non fiction, and aim to read a new one each month! Suggestions are welcome!
13. Be Debt Free
The majority of Luke and I’s debt consists of student loans but we have a few hospital bills and a miscellaneous things to pay off as well. We actually don’t have THAT much debt. Especially since the government has kept our income tax returns for the last three years in a row to pay toward the money we owed. But we both want so desperately to be debt free and to learn better money management skills. We’ll probably use Dave Ramsey for this.
14. Day at the Spa
Ohhhh the spa. I could live there, couldn’t you? If I could afford it I would have a professional massage at least once a week. There are several wonderful spas in town and I want to go one day to have an hour long massage, a manicure, a pedicure and maybe even a facial! I’ve never had a facial before and I think it would be wonderful!
15. Throw a Fancy Dinner Party
I’ve already mentioned that I love to cook. We also both really enjoy entertaining and throwing the occasional party. I don’t know exactly what this one will look like but I know I’ll cook a delicious meal, maybe a full course dinner! We’ll have some friends over, dress up fancy and party sans kids!
16. Say Yes for an Entire Week
Ever since I saw that movie Yes Man, I’ve been interested in what it would look like to only say “yes” for a certain amount of time. Then I recently came across this article and Luke and I knew this was something we would want to occasionally do with our kids. I’m an outgoing introvert and I tend to be a hermit. I cancel plans, I find excuses to not do things with people. It’s good for me occasionally but it’s also one of my biggest faults. So, I want to see what will happen when I say ‘yes’ for an entire week. When the time comes, I know I’ll have to set some ground rules for myself when it comes to money and ability but I think this will be a fun, life giving experience. Plus, if the people know about it and ask me to do something I’ll just have to do it. So, if any of you want to pay for me to go sky diving. This is your one and only chance. Please don’t ask me to go sky diving haha.
17. Start Saving Money for a Trip to New York City OR California
I’m leaving this one open for several reasons. The money saving for this is going to be extremely slow. What with trying to be debt free while also accomplishing some of the other items on this list. So, this trip may not happen for several years and by the time I reach 30 we may only have $100 set aside for this but a start is a start. And because this trip won’t happen for quite some time we’re leaving our options open for what we want most and what will be most do-able when the time comes.
18. Become a Regular Blogger
Seemingly a small goal but it’s anything but. Like I said before, I give up on almost everything including this here website. But I want to find ways to blog semi-regularly even if it’s just once a week. It will be hard to do. I have two kids, a sign making business and I’m the worlds biggest procrastinator after all. I do plan on documenting each of these 30 Before 30 in pictures and creating a blog post for each one. So there’s always that!
19. Face a Fear
I am a woman of many fears. My niece teases me about this. “You’re scared of a lot of stuff, Aunt Kelly.” I am, Kaitlyn. Yes I am. I’m scared of heights, sharks, not being able to breathe, darkness, rivers, oceans, lakes, sharp objects, boats, being alone, things having to do with eyeballs, and of course I’m scared of spiders. So even though this list item coincides with the next list item, I’m giving it its own spot because it’s a big one.
20. Go on a Cruise
Luke has mentioned a million and one times how much he would like to go on a cruise and I always shut him down because the thought terrifies me. What if we sink Titanic-style? What if the power goes out and we’re all disease ridden? What if we hit a bad storm? What if something terrible happens back home and I can’t get to my kids in time? What if pirates take over? Seriously, I’m phobic of way too much. Anyways, I was thinking about how Luke conquered his fear of going up in a “flying wicker basket fueled by fire” [aka: a hot air balloon] to propose to me so the least I can do is conquer my fear of being on a boat in the ocean for him. Plus, we hear it’s quite fun.
21. Watch IMDb’s Top 250
We are movie addicts. Not necessarily movie snobs, but definitely movie addicts. I’ve already seen 87 of IMDb’s top 250 but am extremely interested in seeing the rest of the movies on this list. This is a big one and is gonna take up pretty much all of my movie watching time but I’m okay with that. There are plenty of good ones on the list!
22. Teach My Kids to Swim
By the time I reach 30, Jameson will be almost 3 and Ava will have just turned 1 a few months before. I hear too many horror stories of children drowning to not be confident in my kids abilities if they were to accidentally find themselves in the water without supervision. Whether we put the kids into professional swimming lessons or take out extra time to really teach them ourselves we want both of them to be safe. Jameson should be able to hold his breath and paddle to safety while we want Ava Leigh to at least be able to hold her breath, flip to her back and float.
23. Have a Girls Weekend with My Sister
My big sister, Becky, and I recently realized that we have never gone off together! It’s a travesty! We live a few hours apart and we both have jobs and families of our own that will make this challenging but I know we’ll make it happen! I look forward to a weekend by ourselves to grow closer and laugh way too much.
24. Complete a Whole 30
Whole 30, as described on their website, is a “short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.” We attempted a Whole 30 last year but gave up [as always lol] after about 9 or 10 days. I’ve seen so many people succeed at Whole 30 and come out of the other side looking and feeling so much healthier! I know we can do it! That’s right, Luke, you have to do this one too! haha
25. Have a Successful Online Shop
I am currently in the process of building up an inventory with my wooden sign “business”. Within the next few months I’ll be opening an Easy shop to sell these items. I know that success is a relative term but the goal is to consistently make new products, create a business name, operate under an official small business license and sell items regularly online.
26. Cook Through an Entire Cookbook
This one won’t be too hard seeing as how I cook a full meal 6 nights of the week. While standing in line at Public my eye was caught by a BHG special edition magazine titled “Skinny One Dish”. I glanced through it to find that every single recipe looked or sounded incredible. There are 155 recipes in this book: some side dishes, main dishes, snacks, etc. Each recipe notes the recommended serving size and all the nutritional information. Both things we’re trying to pay more attention to. I’m excited to share these with y’all! I’ll have to try at least two of these a week in order to complete the entire “cookbook” and I plan on taking pictures of the final product and doing a blog post for each week of meals from this magazine.
27. Have a Successful Container Garden
I love love love gardening and haven’t “been able” to garden for a few years since we’ve been renting. But that’s simply not true that I can’t do it. In an effort to learn how to homestead where we are I’m aiming to have a successful, fairly large container vegetable [and flower] garden.
28. Learn CPR
I “learned” CPR in high school and Luke’s younger brother gave us the basics a few years back but I want to re-learn it and become certified. Especially for the safety of my little ones!
29. Visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been open at Universal for 5 years now and I still haven’t gone! It’s only two hours away for crying out loud! I’m making it a priority to finally go. Especially before I get knocked up again and have to wait to ride the rides lol. Thankfully, I know a few dozen people who would happily come along!
30. Go Without TV for a Week
Just like we love movies, Luke and I love our TV Shows. We are perfectly content with sitting down in the living room together and relaxing in front of the TV. But of course we wonder how much would happen if we unplugged the television for 7 full days. What wonderful trouble could we get into? What fun things could we do with our kids instead?
:: BONUS :: 30 Random Acts of Kindness ON My 30th Birthday ::
On May 4th, 2016 I will spend the day performing 30 random acts of kindness for other people. They’ll be random so I won’t plan this until the day of but I can’t think of a better way to spend my day than pouring love onto other people.
Alright, peoples. That’s it. Those are my 30 Before 30. I’m excited and scared!! Bring it on, 29! I own you!