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  • A House of Sparrows

10 things before I turn 30

In exactly one month I turn 29. The last year in my 20s, and the last year I can still use the excuse of being a young kid for my mistakes. As I look forward to the next decade, I am excited for the possibilities and saying goodbye to my "youth". These years were full of self-doubting, risk taking, bouts of heart ache, finding fulfillment, and taking on the biggest role of all, mom.

I've learned a level of patience these past 9 years that I never thought I could reach, and I hope I never lose it. Patience has allowed me to enjoy the now, and not live in the past or future. My 20s were my transformation, and I can finally confidently say I like what I see in the mirror every morning. Yes, I do have wrinkles and lovely stretch marks which were a early welcome from my 30s. But every line and every crease has a story, a memory, or a feeling that has defined me. I am proud of what I have done with my youth but ready to tackle the future.

With that said, I have one more year to still be a 20 year-old and I have some things in my mind that I would like to scratch off my imaginary list before the big 3-0 appears.

10 things before 30

10 things I would like to do before I turn 30.

Dance until the morning light

There are some normal things we do in our early 20s that are looked down upon as adulthood creeps up, and dancing like no one is watching until morning is one of them. Unfortunately.

Ever since I became a mom, my nights of drinking and dancing with friends until early hours has been non-existent. You will typically find me in bed at 9pm on a Saturday night with a book in hand or watching The Office reruns. And I love it! But every once in awhile I'd love to take my self-taught Beyonce moves to the dance floor. So while I still have the 20 year old excuse to make a fool of myself at the club, I'd like to give it one more shot!


Visit 30 countries

I've been to 20 countries so far with quite a few trips planned for the rest of the year. We are heading to Italy for the first time for my birthday and have flights booked for several new countries throughout the next few months (Slovenia, Spain, London, etc.). I'm confident I will be able to reach 30 by next May and then some!


Baby #2

There is no denying the fact that I want a little brother or sister for Milena. Our year abroad has put a slight hold on the growth of our family but we are planning on settling down in the next 8-10 months. So if everything goes well, and if God-willing, we hope to have baby #2 on the way by my next birthday.


Finally start my book

Throughout my life, I have started and stopped writing countless books. I have a file on my computer of unfinished novels that silently mock me and my inability to complete things. Several months ago I had the idea of a new novel that really relates to my personal journey and I was inspired to start writing.

It's still a work in progress and I know writing and publishing books can be very difficult but I hope I can at least commit to this story and have a sense of accomplishment. Whether it gets published or is ever read by another soul doesn't matter. Its important for me to sit down and actually finish something that means so much to me.


Read 30 books

Each year I make a goal to read as many books as how old I am. While I've always gotten close to meeting this goal, I hope to finally reach it for the big 3-0! I recently bought a Kindle so I now have easy access to a plethora of books while we are living outside of the States. I'm a bit sad to be giving up the feel of paper books but really excited to have so many novels at my fingertips.


Learn German

Some of you may not know that my husband, Ryan, was born and raised in Germany. At 17 he moved from his small town north of Frankfurt to Texas and we met in high school. And the rest was history! 12 years later, I still haven't become fluent in his native language.

I know, I know... its a shame but its not like I haven't tried. I bought dozens of books, took German in college, downloaded apps and try to speak German every time we visit his family in Europe. It just hasn't happened, yet. But it is one of my top goals and now that Milena is learning German I have no more excuses.


Make a fancy dinner for friends and family

One of my favorite hobbies is to cook. I love searching on Pinterest for recipes and making yummy treats for the people I love. However, I normally make pretty simple meals that I've made over and over again. I've always dreamed of having an outdoor get together with the people I love and fixing them a gourmet meal.

There will be wine, candles, good food and conversation, and of course a beautiful tablescape.


Eat at a Michelin starred restaurant

Going out to eat is something I love to do. When it comes to a fancy meal, its the whole atmosphere that adds to the meal. Having a chef cook for you with ingredients and cooking skills you won't use at home makes it even more special.

Before we moved to Costa Rica, Ryan and I planned on traveling to Napa Valley for our anniversary. We really wanted to tour the vineyards but more importantly I wanted to have dinner at The French Laundry. While we weren't able to eat at The French Laundry due to our move, I hope in the next 12 months we can dine at another Michelin starred restaurant to experience the elaborate food and service.



In high school I volunteered quite often in my community. Giving back is something that my parents engrained in me since I was little. As I grew older, I volunteered less and after I had my daughter its become nonexistent. Ryan and I always talk about volunteering at animal shelters, children homes and homeless shelters but life always got in the way and I am tired of making excuses. Its important not only for our community but for our mental health to get involved in our city and give back to others. I also want to create a positive influence on my daughter and show her the value of volunteering.


Make a list of 40 things to do before I turn 40

One of my goals in the past several years was to make goals for myself. It provides me a long-term vision and gives me motivation to accomplish these concrete goals. They say 30s are the new 20s. Whether its true or just a marketing plea for the aging, I am not depressed or even slightly disappointed my "youth" is about to be behind me. I'm looking forward to maturing into a healthy and happy adult and I feel so many good things happen as we get older. As I look forward to my next decade, I'm thankful and blessed to know I have my health, family and a contentment with my life I've wanted for so long. So here is to my last year as a 20 year-old and cheers to y 30s!

Do you set goals on your birthday? What do you hope to accomplish by next year?

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