Birthday Goals and Celebrations

Today, I am celebrating my 26th birthday. I feel as though I spent the last year celebrating life and enjoying everything it had to offer. It was an exciting year: I left my first "big girl" job for a job I enjoy with a company I love, figured out what I want to do with my life (this was a big one), and Josh and I moved in together. These, along with so many other things, made this year wonderful. Not everything this year has been perfect - there were some setbacks, tears, and prayers that everything would be okay - but here I am, one year later, and everything is, in fact, turning out okay.

About 7 months before I turned 25, I embarked on a seriously crazy mission to complete a bucket list of 25 things. While I fell a bit short (okay, I think I finished 15 - 20 of the things), the most profound (and definitely the most ambitious) thing that I managed to do before I turned 25 was see all 50 states (at the time I decided to make this the number one priority of the bucket list, I had 8 states left: Alabama, Mississippi, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Nevada - in case you were wondering). This amazing adventure of mine helped me to find love and taught me that extraordinary things happen every day to ordinary people. After the adventure ended (in Vegas, on my 25th birthday), I took my 25th year to cool off. My only goal, which wasn't even really a goal, was just to enjoy it - to enjoy every moment as it happened and to cherish the little things. I didn't always succeed in this, but I feel confident that I did the best that I could.

This year, however, I am setting goals. I've been inspired by many different sources (including Elise Blaha) and I'm ready to share these goals with you now. There are 13 goals, one for each month that I will be 26, and one for good luck.

Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Make a quilt.

2. Attempt one "out of comfort zone" DIY project each month.

3. Go skydiving. (Full Disclosure: This was on my "25 before 25" bucket list. I'm hoping this time, I will actually face my fears.)

4. Become more financially stable: build up my savings and pay off my credit card.

5. Run 365 miles.

6. Live passionately and spend more time celebrating life and how lucky I am to be where I am and how blessed I am to have Josh, as well as the most wonderful family and friends, in my life.

7. Practice yoga more efficiently.

8. Learn Spanish. I just want to be able to do more than say Hola, Como esta?, Muy bien gracias, and Adios. Seriously, my ability to speak Spanish pretty much ends there.

9. Make a conscience effort to not only make a weekly menu, but to actually stick to it.

10. Create a cookbook with all of my favorite recipes (and ones passed down from family) broken down into categories and indexed.

11. Learn how to cook 26 different soups. I can currently only cook 1 type of soup from scratch (and does using pre-made chicken stock really count as "from scratch"?) and while it is delicious and I could literally eat it every day, I would like to expand my repertoire.

12. Keep a meal diary with the hope that one day, this will turn into a lifelong practice and something that I simply do on instinct.

13. Grow this blog by writing in it on an almost daily basis (Monday through Friday) and allow myself to enjoy the experience and to follow the journey that it takes me on, wherever it may lead.

I am thrilled about the adventure that I am embarking on in setting these goals for myself. I am looking forward to the challenges that it will present and to each moment that it those adventures and challenges will lead Josh and I.

I hope that enjoy the beautiful weather out today and have a wonderful Columbus Day. I will be celebrating my best birthday yet with Josh and loving every minute of this day. 



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