Sunday, June 22, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me

Today I turned 35 years old. I think that it is the first birthday in years where I actually felt older. And more mature, somehow. For one thing, instead of wanting the entire month to be about me and my birthday, I am feeling lower key. Not bummed or anything, I just feel like it's not that big of a deal. I am not the kind of person who fears getting older (mostly) --I do sometimes feel sad about how quickly life seems to be moving along, though.

Jared made me an amazing breakfast this morning. The boys made me some adorable birthday cards--Henry created a treasure hunt for me to hunt for his. We are having family here for dinner and games tonight. I have visitors in town (so fun.) And I have a tremendously flat tire on my new van. Drat. Happy birthday!

Anyhow, I thought it was time to check in on my 40 Things To Do Before I'm 40 list. It hasn't been that long since I made it, but I have checked a few things off. I plan to revisit the list with updates on my birthdays until I can check them all off.

  1. Get under 150 pounds without having a limb amputated. Heck, I'd take under 160, but we'll say under 150. (Not even close)
  2. Scan all my photos that are pre-digital camera. (ugh. If someone else wants to do it for me, I won't mind taking this off the list!) (Nope)
  3. Paint my kitchen cupboards. It's been on my to-do wish list since we bought the house four years ago. Sigh. Maybe I don't like the direction this list is taking. Let's try a different route. (Not yet)
  4. Use my passport again (which probably means I'm due for a new one.) My last passport-requiring trip was in spring of 1999. (I wish)
  5. Brush up on my Russian so that I'm not too scared to speak Russian to the Russian-speakers that are everywhere around here, especially at Costco. Plus it may come in handy if #4 involves a Russian speaking country. (Not enough to take credit for.)
  6. Teach my kids Russian. It's ridiculous that we haven't done that, since Jared & I are both speakers (he more than I these days.) (I have plans to start this in the fall.)
  7. Read War and Peace. (I haven't been in the mood.)
  8. And The Brothers Karamazov. I'm ashamed of myself to say that even though some of my favorite books are by Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, I've never read these two. (See #7)
  9. Learn to sew well enough to make something that I'll actually use. Okay, something better than an apron. This could be a dress for Bronwen, drapes for my house, etc. The said item will not be mostly made by my sister and/or mother as have my previous sewing projects! (Not yet. Sheesh. Maybe this was a bad idea!)
  10. Win a cooking recipe contest. Ideally, one that involves a cash prize.:) (I have to enter a recipe contest first.)
  11. Participate in a 5k for a good cause. I've been meaning to do Race for the Cure for years. Or The Run to Feed the Hungry on Thanksgiving Day. (Race for the Cure came and went without me this year.)
  12. Run a 5k for a good cause! Since I'm not what you'd call a runner, this will be a big accomplishment. (I've got to be able to run more than a quarter mile first.)
  13. Learn to love hiking and expose my kids to the great hikes available near our home. (This one is in progress. We have been taking lots of nature walks, but so far none of them have been very strenuous.)
  14. Establish a family hobby of hiking. (See #13.)
  15. Plant a garden. (Yeah! I did this one. Completed April 2008.)
  16. Actually tend it, harvest, and eat what I grow. I'm hoping to do this this year, but haven't quite gotten the beds prepared yet. I'd better hurry--it's time. (In progress, but I think I can check this one off, too, since we are actually producing food and eating it. Success! Summer 2008.)
  17. Have no consumer debt and be well on our way to out of debt completely. (Not done, but I also haven't added to our consumer debt.:)
  18. Have two months' living expenses in our savings' account. This must happen sooner than five years from now, but I still want it to be there then!:) (Not there yet, but a bit farther than I was when I wrote the list.)
  19. Learn to love Isaiah. I read Isaiah because I'm obedient, but not because I enjoy it or take the time to decipher it. (See #7.)
  20. Learn to make cream puffs. Because I need more cream puffs in my life!:) (Done! Father's Day 2008. I had forgotten that I put this on the list, but it was a good one. Now I know how easy they are and I won't be intimidated anymore by their loveliness.)
  21. Maybe 40 is too many things! This list already feels long. I'd better make a few easier ones, like: Turn 39. (Give me a few more years, please!)
  22. Have another baby. Maybe two. I'm just getting it out there now, so that people can quit asking me if we're "done," and to avoid having them ask me, "was this planned?" when they find out that I'm pregnant again. (It really is crazy how many people feel comfortable asking such questions, including perfect strangers. Aren't those kind of personal in nature?) Not that I'm pregnant again. But I plan to be before I'm 40, which is the point of this list. (I am not pregnant, nor have I had another child in the last few months. But this is still in the plans. Strangely, lots of people have been inquiring lately as to how soon we're having another one. I'm not sure if they are pushing us towards it or hoping we've changed our minds! Not that it matters what other people think about the size of our family. Which is good, because most people out there think that you are really fringe if you have five kids. Let alone homeschool them!)
  23. Write/keep another blog, entirely dedicated to food, recipes, and menu plans. (Not ready to do this right now. Still trying to keep my head above water in the other areas of my life.)
  24. Write/keep another blog, entirely dedicated to homeschooling. (Done. I wish I spent more time on it, but I'm trying to keep the time I spend blogging reasonable. Blog began April 2008.)
  25. Get my master bedroom windows treated with something other than the metal blinds that were there when we moved in. (I've picked out the fabric.)
  26. Paint the master bedroom. (Done May 2008. Thanks, Christine and Mandy! Still need to get the master bathroom painted.)
  27. Actually hang a wall of family pictures. (Puleeze! How well do you know me?)
  28. Find something that I like AND can afford to hang on the dining room walls, which are blank. (Not done.)
  29. Memorize The Family: A Proclamation to the World. (I've got one paragraph memorized. I am easily distracted, so it's been a few months since I worked on this.)
  30. Start practicing the piano again with some regularity. (The regularity part has not happened. But I did get out some old sheet music a few weeks ago and have been playing a few times a week. Still needs work, but it is in progress.)
  31. Develop a healthier relationship with cake. (This has not been a good cake week for me.) (Define healthier.)
  32. Develop a habit of writing (and actually mailing) thank you cards. I am terrible at this, and yet I believe that it is so important. The paradox between ideals and reality is not fun! (Sadly, no progress here. I actually wrote a thank you card to Teresa last week and don't know where I put it. Typical.)
  33. Help my children develop a habit of writing thank you cards. (No. I need a time out.)
  34. Mail the thank you cards that I teach my children to write! (Had they written any, I surely would not have mailed them.)
  35. Re-read Shakespeare. Probably with my kids. (Not yet, but soon.)
  36. Take an html class. (Are you reading this, Mindy?) (No, but Mindy and I are discussing it.)
  37. Learn how to not accumulate things we don't need. This will not only save money, but will reduce the clutter around my house. (I have been making progress on this, but I'm not fixed yet. I have been studying materialism and worldliness in my scripture study and that has helped. I have stuck to my new, smaller budget for five months now!)
  38. This is harder than I thought, and most of you have probably stopped reading by now anyway, so I'll just leave it at 38. Maybe I'll come back and add something later. That's it--I'm just leaving room for a few more additions. I'm still not feeling inspired to add any here. Partly because I still have a lot to accomplish. But I've got a few years left.

So, there you have it. I am pleased to see some progress made, and I shouldn't be surprised that I haven't done more of them--this list was not intended to be accomplished in three months, after all.

So, have a piece of cake today and think of me.
You can have a healthier relationship with cake some other time. :)

(Photo is of my darling nephew, Scotty, who is visiting for a few days with his mommy, auntie, and second cousin.)


Anonymous said...

Happy, Happy Birthday!!!!

I hope you have a wonderful day and I'll take this opportunity to say I'm so glad I'm getting to know you better. :)
And it's good to see that you HAVE done a few things on your list, even in only 3 months! Great job!!

scrap chair potato said...

Happy Birthday!!
I had forgotten your birthday was the day after Lucky's. Sorry, I am so bad about that sort of thing.
I hope you have a fabulous day!

Aubrey said...

Happy Birthday! I hope all your wildest dreams come true!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday My dear friend!!! See getting older isn't so bad as long as we learn to be a little smarter... I want to take you to lunch this week let me know what works....

Sea Star said...

Happy Birthday! And many more to come.

Sonja said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I'm so impressed with your list! You are so funny too--I loved reading your comments. I hope your day continues to be wonderful, that this year brings you many wonderful things, and that your tires will no longer go flat. :)

Andrea said...

Happy Birthday!! It sounds like you have fun plans for the day. I think that your list is great. I may try that some day.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!
Great food and games!

Love you lots!!!!


Macy said...

Happy birthday to you! You've got several more years to work on that list. You're doing a great job.

Grammy said...

Happy Birthday To You.
Happy Birthday To You.
Happy Birthday Dear Michal,
Happy Birhtday To You!!!!


Erika said...

Happy Birthday!
I love being here, love you & your family, and loved getting to enjoy Jared's delicious breakfast with you :-)

Allison said...

Happy birthday!I'm so lucky to have you as a sister!

Anonymous said...

I hope you realize that the most important part is done. One of the Gen RS Presidents said "a goal that isn't written down is just a wish." So you'll get there.

Wanna 'nother quote?

Barbara B Smith said, "Goals are stars to steer by, not sticks to beat ourselves with."

I think you are doing just fine. Not only with getting closer to the goals but with the beatings.

Once again, Happy Birthday.

Myrna Mom

Kimberly said...

What a fabulous list! I think I may steal half of it. I'd feel better just having such worthy goals in mind!

Hapy Birthday!!

Smith Family said...

Happy Birthday! I loved your list. You are ambitious to want to work on Isaiah! I also loved your comment about having more kids. Good for you! I agree, it is shocking the questions and comments that perfect strangers make about the number of children in big families. Let me know if you have a clever response for those nosy people. I love the story of when Elder Oaks wife had someone question her about how many kids she had and they asked her if she was planning on taking care of populating the world all on her own. And she answered something like, "well, who better to do it than me?" Great comment. That is what I think about you - your children are blessed to be in your family! I hope that you had a great b-day!

Molly said...

Happy Birthday!!! I hope you had a fabulous day.

An Ordinary Mom said...

Happy Birthday!!

I personally think you are making good progress on your list. And if you find there are some things you aren't in the mood for anymore, then don't hesitate to cross them off and do something else that intrigues you. After all, it is your list :) !!

Keli & Mike said...

Happy Birthday! Sounds like it was a great one!

Melissa said...

Hope you had a wonderful birthday. I think you should be proud of the things that you have accomplished.

Harry's Mom said...

"Develop a healthier relationship with cake?" - You CRACK me up! I adore you. That baby picture is priceless. Love you always! Stacy

mindyluwho said...

Happy Birthday!!!!

For such a huge list, you made a lot of progress! Very well done!

Prudy said...

Happy, happy day. I love your goals and the realistic pace. I think you're doing an amazing job at everything you touch. I'm rooting for baby number five for you, too. Plus, I'll be you cooking blog number one fan. :)
35 is a spring chicken! I'm creeping towards 40.... and I thought I was old at 23!

Christine said...

I am sorry that I missed your birthday. Come with me- this Thanksgiving- Run to Feed the Hungry- and check one off!