If I’ve learned anything in my last 32 years on this beautiful earth it’s that the unexpected journeys bring the deepest joy. To be honest turning the big 3-0 was more difficult than I had anticipated. I looked at my life and it was nowhere near where I expected it to be. Yet I knew that I wanted to live life to the full. So on a warm August morning, I poured myself a cup of coffee and made a list of 30 brave & beautiful things I wanted to accomplish in my 30s. (You can read the full post here).
Over the past few years, it’s been a touchstone and reminder that we have to keep choosing joy every single day.
My life has been full to the brim and full of such adventure that I never thought possible. I love the days when I’m able to harvest veggies with special guests at ZA’s and evenings spent laughing on the back porch with treasured friends. I have savored family time at our Koselig Cottage in Michigan and last minute road trips to visit friends. A life that is imperfect, unexpected but so so so incredibly good. So today, on my 32nd birthday, I share with you an updated list of 30 Brave & Beautiful Things in my 30’s.
30 Brave & Beautiful Things in my 30’s
- Travel to Africa or China with Visiting Orphans
- Plant a fig tree!
No fig tree yet but my porch is currently abloom with dwarf zinnias, tomatoes, cucumbers, LOTS of Basil, lemons, and kumquats.
- Learn the art of hand lettering. (October 2016)
I took a hand lettering class at the Deeply Rooted retreat this past fall. It was such a fun experience, but I learned quickly that I should leave the calligraphy to the experts and just enjoy the process. It’s good to step out of our comfort zones and try things we aren’t good at, if only to have a good story to share.
- Get a tattoo 😀 (August 2015)
Shortly after my 30th birthday I got a small cross tattoo on my left wrist. To me it’s a permanent reminder to live surrendered and with open hands.
- Be completely debt free! (April 2016)
My amazing friend & life coach Diana helped me get on track with a budget and save for a house. However, now I’ve officially joined the “real world” with a mortgage and am working hard to pay it off early.
- Host “An evening to Bloom”
Food, flowers and dear friends gathering this Saturday, August 12th, I’ll promise to share lots of details soon!
- Weekend adventure to Nashville with girlfriends!
- Attend a farm to table dinner. (June 2016 & July 2017)
Not only have I gotten the chance to attend a farm to table dinner but it’s become one of our signature fundraisers at Zachariah’s Acres. Serving farm fresh meals to the community under the backdrop of twinkle lights and a beautiful field has been a dream come true. I’m officially a fan of anything farm-to-table.
- Write an e-book (Bloom where you are planted)
I’m currently working on a devotional spin off of this idea and plan to launch it next year. It will be a four part devotional that focuses on how we can bloom & flourish in all seasons. One thing I know for sure is that God is still writing my story and He is the best author.
- Go Blueberry Picking (July 2017)
We planted blueberry bushes at ZA last year and I was finally able to pick enough this year for smoothies and a blueberry pie. Nothing beats savoring a freshly picked berry off the bush.
- 11. Finally, visit the Country Living Fair!!
- 12. Send a special care package to my sponsor kiddo in Haiti
- Take an art class and let go of perfection! (February 2016)
Have you ever been to one of those wine & canvas nights? It’s pretty hilarious to watch what unfolds when you put a group of mostly ladies together and let the creative juices flow. One of the first ones I attended was at my amazing friend Amy’s studio. She had us create this perfectly stripped back drop and then purposely mess it up. That was HARD for this perfectionist, but in the end so freeing. When we embrace the mess of our lives, we can stop and consider the beauty.
Next up is signing up for a pottery class with my mamma. (Mom if you are reading this, let’s book it!!)
- Speak at women’s conference (September 2015, October 2015, & May 2017)
What a joy and honor it’s been to speak at a few women’s conferences over the past two years. Sharing from my heart what God is teaching me is an absolute JOY. I know this is something that I would like to continue to do in the future but know that he’s still at work.
- Complete the Bravado (run/walk, bike, kayak)
I was signed up for this year and then the day before broke my leg in 3 places and had emergency surgery & a prescription for 8-weeks of R&R. Looking forward to making this goal happen in 2018.
- Go to concerts on the square with a picnic dinner!
- Take a cooking class and learn how to cook meat! (March 2017)
I’ve taken a few cooking classes at one of my favorite cafés in Watertown (that is also strangely attached to the hospital). The Great Harvest Market has fabulous classes that teach people how to cook using fresh, healthy ingredients. I’ve also been using Hello Fresh! To try new recipes and learn how to pan fry a steak, make the perfect southern style shrimp and grits, and perfect my baked chicken.
- Own my own home. (December 2016)
I still can’t even begin to describe and imagine God’s blessing on this one. By His grace, I made the leap and purchased my first darling home at the end of last year. It’s been such an adventure to create a home, tackle yard work, and host friend & family in my own space. I have a sneaking suspicion that the Best is Yet to be!
- Complete whole30 challenge
20. Gather farm fresh eggs! (August 2016)
If you know me at all you know my heart has a soft spot for farm fresh eggs and my darling chickens. We now have about 50 chickens at ZA and I still get excited when I open the coop to find a beautiful light blue egg waiting to be gathered. #reluctantfarmgirl
- Try Stitch Fix for a special occasion outfit! (November 2015)
I’ve tried Stitch Fix a few times and have gotten mixed results. My favorite EVER jeans are from Stitch Fix and a top from my first box is still in my weekly Summer rotation. In the end, I’ve learned that I would rather splurge on a few items I really love from Anthro. Plus shopping and finding a good deal is part of the fun.
- Visit a fresh lavender farm.
- Host a girls weekend at the cottage. (January 2016, August 2016, October 2016, & January 2017)
It’s been SO much fun sharing the cabin with friends. I’ve hosted several seasonal retreats for dear friends to come relax, refresh, and renew in the Northwoods. I’ve loved creating special touches & welcome gifts, writing devotionals to encourage them, and having dance parties in the middle of the Northwoods.
- Visit APT for outdoor theater experience! (August 2016)
American Players Theater is one of my favorite places. The outdoor Shakspear Theater puts on several plays in the Summer and you are invited to come early with a picnic lunch. Last Summer we broke out the fancy dishes, picnic fair and put on a beautiful spread. It was so much fun and I can’t wait to go back.
- Purchase a really comfy, squishy reading chair. (December 2016)
Yes! I’m so glad I put this on my list. I’ve loved curling up in my reading chair with a good book and cup of coffee or glass of wine and chat with a friend. It’s become a favorite spot in my house.
- Learn to flip a pancake (January 2016)
It’s all about having the right utensils to flip and no matter how impatient you are—WAIT to flip until you see bubbles forming in the batter. My favorite pancake recipe is this Lemon Ricotta: Try it topped with fresh blueberries for a Summer brunch to remember.
- Have a day at the spa. (February 2017)
I was nominated this year for a local award and the gift was a day at the spa. It was one of the most relaxing and refreshing ways to spend an afternoon. I’ve now incorporated a weekly bath & face mask into my Sunday evening routine. Self-care is ALWAYS worth it friends.
- Attend a weekend craft retreat.
- Make lemon-basil gelato with my lemons.
- Attend Making Things Happen Conference for the 2nd time and be encouraged to live on purpose and make what matters happen. (March 2017)
I made a last minute decision to attend MTH again this year and once again it was the perfect timing. Taking two days to slow down and look at what a flourishing, thriving life looks like was a sheer gift. Add amazing, like-hearted ladies, the beautiful Carolina Inn and Springtime in North Carolina and it was one of my highlights of 2017!
I may be biased but I think 30s is the best decade. You know who you are, yet there is so much more life to be lived and adventures to be had.
Okay, I’m signing off to go enjoy the rest of my day and soak up this beautiful thing we call life.