Wednesday, March 25, 2015

30 by 30: The First Month

I thought I made a good bit of progress for just 1 month, but then the thought of only having 11 months left completely overwhelmed me. Things will ramp up as the weather gets warmer, but it was a good reminder that I have to be diligent or time will fly. Here is what I accomplished this month:

#8 Blog every week
So far, so good. I blogged every week this month, and most importantly, I enjoyed it.

a new print above our bar cabinet.
#20 Hang more things on our walls
We hung 2 coat hooks, 1 key rack, and 1 print this past month. Someone should ask Jon about how much he looooooves hanging things on our plaster walls. It's always an adventure, and I know he is thrilled that I have 12 frames on order and 3 vintage maps at the custom frame shop as we speak.

#16 host more dinner parties
I made this one more narrow than I should have. The spirit of the task was to open our home more often to more people for more fellowship. It doesn't always have to be a dinner party per se, but it also can't be regularly scheduled events like church community group. This month, I hosted a girls night (we may or may not have watched clueless while eating peanut butter M&Ms). We also had our friends Robby and Caroline over for Thai takeout and games.

#23 Commit 12 new Bible verses to memory
I memorized 2 Peter 3:8-9. Our pastor has been preaching through 2 Peter over the last several weeks so I picked a verse from that book.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

#4 Learn how to make royal icing
A sweet friend and fellow baker invited me over for some sugar cookie fun on a rainy Saturday. Using the same recipe I had failed at multiple times, the royal icing we made together turned out perfect on our very first try. I guess sometimes you just need the moral support of a friend. I'm not crossing this one off the list quite yet, but we are well on our way to success.

#15 Beat Jon at Settlers of Catan
The board game to rule them all. We played 1 game of Settlers this month (See #16). Jon didn't win, but neither did I so it doesn't count.

#2 Read 30 Books
I read two books. One was a fiction book called The Sisters, which I had started before the list came into existence. It wasn't the most amazing book I've ever read, but since I had already started it, I figured I might as well finish it. Frankly, I'm glad I'm done with it so I can move on. I don't like reading more than one book at a time.

The other book was a social science book about French parenting. It was so interesting that I breezed through it in a few days. Since I actually liked this book, I'll write a little review for all of you soon.

In order to be more intentional about my reading this year, I made a book list. Yes, my 30 by 30 list has a sub-list. The more things to cross off the merrier! I tend to do most of my reading on planes, in waiting rooms or on vacations. Thus, most of my reading (outside of the Bible) is pretty mindless fiction. I like the escape of a fun, easy read, but I wanted to challenge myself to read more "real" books so I divided the list into a few categories and then some suggested titles. This is all subject to change, but you'll get the general idea. If you have suggested books that I should add or subtract, please send them my way.

10 Non-fiction 
In Cold Blood
Team of Rivals
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The Hiding Place
Behind the Beautiful Forevers
Born Standing Up
The Devil in the White City
Escape from Camp 14
The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America
Bringing up Bebe
You Are Not That Smart

5 Christian
Pilgrim’s Progress
Mere Christianity
Desiring God
Marriage Matters

5 Classics
Great Expectations
Grapes of Wrath
A Farewell to Arms
All the King’s Men
Gone with the Wind

10 Fiction
The Sisters
The rest are TBD - since fiction is my go-to genre, I don't think I'll have too much trouble coming up with other titles as I go. 

While it's not on the list, I couldn't resist adding #31 - maybe a rotating bonus experience from each month? This month's was "Spend more time with adorable babies." I got to hang out with Anastasia one Saturday. We (I) baked a cake and chewed (her) on the remote. There was also a one year old birthday party we hosted for Eli whose fat rolls also double as crumb catchers. I can't even.


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