My Goals: 24 x 24

I apologize for taking so long to write this. I can't believe it's already been almost two weeks since my birthday! Here is the follow-up to my last post. I got this lovely idea from my friend and fellow mama-blogger Ally. She posted a list of 25 things she wanted to accomplish by the time she turned 25 and I just adored the concept! So, without further ado, here's next year's "bucket list", so to speak!

1. Grow in Christ. (I have no idea what this looks like for next year because I have no idea what’s coming our way, but if I look back on my 24th year and see no growth, I’m going to be very sad.)
2. Pray intentionally each morning for my husband, my children and for patience with both.
3. Develop a consistent quiet time routine.
4. Get out of bed and spend some time alone in the mornings before my child(ren) awake.
5. Journal consistently.
6. Spend quality time by myself out of the house.
7. Make a family photo collage to fill a wall in our home.
8. Give birth to our second child fully naturally in a birth center (as planned).
9. Maintain physical health and make my body a priority (example: actually eating three meals a day EVERY day) throughout all the changes my body will go through this next year.
10. Spend more time in the kitchen and make some of my own staples (pancake mix, salsa, spaghetti sauce, baby food, etc).
11. Make a real effort to be on time more often than not.
12. Work out at home on a consistent basis.
13. Achieve softer hands than my husband’s. (I have terrible skin on my hands and it bothers both of us. I want to seek a cure and be consistent about caring for my hands!)
14. Have at least one totally awesome party at our apartment. Hopefully more.
15. Plant a mini-herb garden on our deck. I am dying to grow my own herbs because it is a joke to buy them fresh at the store so I usually just settle for dried herbs in a little plastic tube and I know it’s stunting the potential of my cooking skills.
16. Read at least one book – start to finish – per month.
17. Go on vacation with just Nick.
18. Go on vacation as a family.
19. Pay off both of our student loans and be DEBT-FREE!!!
20. Host at least one holiday at our home – and make it ROCK!
21. Invite someone new to church at least once a month – and follow up with them.
22. Preach the Gospel to Owen every day – when we read books about Jesus, when I’m disciplining him, when we’re eating, praying, resting, playing… I want to show him Jesus every second of every day.
23. Accept imperfection, revel in its glory and thank the good Lord that I do not have to be my own Savior.
24. Have fun and enjoy the blessings God has given me!!!

Please hold me to this list, friends! I am all for accountability so please ask how these things are going! How about all of you? What are your short-term or long-term goals?


23 Things I Don’t Want You to Know About Me

I turn 23 years old tomorrow. In honor of my birthday, I thought I would share some things with you that will probably humble me far more than you will even care to read them. I once saw a blogger do this and was inspired to to the same because I have the tendency to make life sound perfect when it is so obviously not. So... here goes!

1. One of my greatest problems is my pride. I am guilty of often thinking, “Wow, I’m so glad I’m better than that person…” One of the reasons I am sharing this list on the Internet is to try to force some humility upon myself.

2. When something out of the ordinary happens, my first thought tends to be “How can I make a super clever Facebook post about this?”

3. I have a terrible, awful fear of man. This results in me being a people-pleaser and very internally critical.

4. I am far more organized than the average person, but I am almost always late. (Okay, you probably knew this one)

5. I am a grammar Nazi. If someone misspells something on Facebook or incorrectly uses or omits an apostrophe, I will judge their character for it. No joke.

6. When I originally typed this, I spelled “grammar” wrong.

7. I couldn’t tell you the last time I cleaned behind/under my furniture.

8. Three of my weaknesses are Nilla Wafers, Bugles and Circus Animal Cookies (the pink and white ones). I could eat an entire bag of any of these three snacks in one sitting.

9. I have left a load of clean laundry in the dryer for four days before folding it. I also once ran a load of dirty laundry in the washer completely without soap.

10. I have gotten so angry at my cat that I have kicked him.

11. I have gotten so angry at Owen that I have made him cry.

12. I was always really unpopular in school because I did my homework and liked my teachers. It didn’t help that they liked me too. In fact, I switched schools in third grade because my only friend at my previous school was my second grade teacher.

13. Generosity is not a spiritual gift of mine. When I am blessed by a natural gift-giver, I feel really guilty about not feeling like I can return the favor with the same attitude.

14. I feel guilty a lot.

15. I am not consistent with reading my Bible every day so when I come across verses that friends share on the Internet throughout the day, I try to tell myself that “that counts”.

16. Sometimes I really want to hide under a rock and run away from my life.

17. If there are baked goods in my home, I will eat every single one unless someone else does. On top of that, it usually only takes me two or three days to go through a whole batch of baked anything.

18. I’m blonde and I really can be dumb.

19. Example: Owen “happened” because I really, really didn’t understand the Calendar Method. Yep, you heard it from me – MY fault!!

20. My husband cannot organize anything correctly unless I taught him how.

21. I love being a photographer, but I can be a really lazy editor.

22. I avoid sharing the Gospel to strangers pretty much at all cost. I just don’t want to make things “awkward”. (This one makes me want to punch myself in the face just thinking about it)

23. My own self-created standards are more important in my mind than God’s standards. And I usually don’t even meet my own standards.

All this leads to one thing I really DO want you to know about me.

1. I am not defined by my failures… or my successes. Jesus died for every single thing on my list. I am saved by grace – obviously not by my works. I praise my sweet Jesus because I will ALWAYS be a sinner and He will ALWAYS be my Savior.

Stay tuned for a follow-up post in the next few days - I'm going to post a list of things I hope to accomplish in the following year!