Wednesday, November 30, 2011

37 before 37

Today is my birthday. I'm 36 years old. yay! (I'm an even number age, that's why I'm not super excited. Poor me. Waaaaa!  I just have an affinity for odd numbers.) To mark this special occassion, I decided to set some goals to accomplish during my 36th year of life. Some are silly, some are fun, some are going to be difficult, some might not happen, but I'm going to try my best to make sure they do. (I'm sure you've seen lists like these floating around the internet.) So, here are 37 things I would like to do before I turn 37 years old.
  1. Lose more weight. (I'm tempted to say 'lose 37 pounds', but losing that much wouldn't be healthy for me because I don't need to lost that much. Ummm...maybe I'll say 'lose 15 pounds'. Yes, that amount would be totally fine.)
  2. Read 37 books. (I was going to say 50, but thought I would try to stick to a theme of '37' for this list.)
  3. Travel to Italy with Ryan.
  4. Make my own laundry soap. (Not necessarily for economic reasons, but if it saves me money I'll be just fine with that. I'm just very intrigued by all the recipes I keep seeing around the internet.)
  5. Get current on family and kids scrapbooks.
  6. Find and prepare 37 new recipes.  I have at least half of this number already.
  7. Make a greater effort to reach out to others. (This is one that will be hard to determine if I've really accomplished it. I guess the only way to know is to simply ask others if they've noticed a difference in me.)
  8. Clean out the 'toy room'. Get rid of (through donation or the thrash) old/broken/outgrown/unused toys.
  9. Clean out and better organize my laundry room.
  10. Play the piano at least twice a week. (At home and for myself.)
  11. Finish the 2 afghans I started 3-4 years ago.
  12. Go to sleep earlier. Even on the weekends. (I'm usually out and asleep by 11-11:30. I'd like to bump that up to 10:30-45. It will help me to accomplish the next goal.)
  13. Wake up by about 5:45 and no later than 6. Except on the weekends. (I'm usually awake during the week by 6:30. 7:00 at the latest. I'm awake by 8:00 on the weekends, but that doesn't necessarily mean I'm out of bed at that time. Ha, Ryan! I said it before you could. I may not be out of bed before 8:00, but I am awake. I do my workouts mid to late morning. If I get up by 6:00, I can fit it in before the kids are awake and still get them up and ready on time. This one is going to take some time for me to accept. I love my sleep.)
  14. Stop biting my nails.
  15. Read the Book of Mormon (again) from start to finish. (I might add the Doctrine & Covenants to this. I'll try the Bible (Old & New Testaments) next year because we just finished studying it in Sunday school this year. I want to read the current year (2012)course study.)
  16. Continue to grow my hair out. I was a little overly optimistic when I thought my hair would be to the middle of my back by the end of the summer. It's long and longer than it's been in years, but it's not that long.  I want it to be long
  17. Help my two oldest children become more responsible for at least a little bit of the laundry.  Ummm....maybe.
  18. Paint at least one wall in my bedroom a different color.  I'm thinking the wall the head of the bed is on so that I can turn it into a focal point of sorts.
  19. Finally make the quilt I've been meaning to make for about 6 years out of old, worn out jeans.  I have stacks and stacks of jeans (growing all the time) just waiting to be cut up into squares and sewn into a quilt.  In order to accomplish this goal, I'm going to have to either get a serger sewing machine of my own, or go to someones house to use theirs.
  20. Buy a white Christmas tree.  I have some hot pink, vintage glass ornaments that were my grandma's and I think they would look stunning on a white tree.  I wasn't able to convince Ryan this year that I need one because I bought a new green one just last year.  I think I can convince him by next year.
  21. Eat a beet.  Why do I dread this so very much?!
  22. Contact my cardiologist and find out how severe my murmur is in order to donate blood.  Yes, I've decided to pursue it.
  23. Get to church every Sunday at least 10 minutes before Sacrament Meeting starts.  Our meeting schedule will be changing to 11:00-2:00 in January (we've been on the 9:00-12:00 schedule this year and usually get there right at, or just after 9:00) and so I think it will be very easy to do this one.  If I can't make it to church by 10:50, then there's something very wrong with me.  Especially since the building is 30 seconds away from my house.
  24. Move Peyton downstairs into what is currently the 'toy room'.  As long as I do number 8.
  25. Continue to write in my gratitude journal.  This one should be easy.
  26. Continue to try to live only for today so that I can be a better mother to my kids.  Oh, and a better wife to my husband. 
  27. Take down all the blinds in my house, wash them and hang them back up.
  28. Once my hair is long enough, actually try to do all of the fancy pants hairstyles I've been pinning on Pinterest.
  29. Make more 'fall' decorations for my house.
  30. Try canning something.  I don't know what, but I want to put some sort of food in a jar and seal it shut.
  31. Plant and maintain a vegetable garden.  If I do, I guess that would mean I'd have something to can.
  32. Learn how to really use my camera.  I'm a visual, hands-on learner.  I need to be shown how to do technical things.  But that does mean I'll have to really listen the next time someone tries to teach me.
  33. Walk and or run every week.  For sure on my treadmill, but I also want to move out onto the road for more and more of my 'runs'.  I'm not sure yet how many miles per week I want to go.  I'm not going to commit myself to a number just yet.
  34. Be better about wishing people Happy Birthday.  
  35. Get over some of my irritations/pet peeves.  No, I can't list them here, unfortunately.  And this one is going to be really hard, unfortunately.
  36. After I find and prepare the recipes (in goal number 6), post them on my cooking blog.
  37. Go to New York City for my 37th birthday.
Wish me luck.  I'm going to need it for some of these.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


So, last night I went to donate blood and was denied because of my open heart surgery 35 years ago for this condition that has left me with a murmur. It's not necessarily simply because I have a murmur. It's because I have no idea the level, grade or seriousness of my murmur. All I know is that it's "minor". This particular blood collection company (is that what they're called?) is extremely cautious and strict about it. Even though I know that it's minor, they won't even consider me until they know just how minor it truly is. Apparently, collecting blood from a person with a murmur could possibly trigger a cardiac episode and that could obviously be very bad. It's understandable.

So, if I want to pursue donating and completing my goal, I must first check with my cardiologist. Once I know the level of my murmur, I can contact the company and see if it's within their acceptable parameters. If it is, I can donate. If it isn't, I'm denied for life. Or, I was told I could try the Red Cross because they're not nearly as strict. Basically, I was told that they'll take anyone as long as they have blood and two legs. Meaning, they walked in on their own. ☺

I'm disappointed that I wasn't able to donate and I can't believe that I am. I feel like I had it just within my grasp. I was going to do something that, for me, was very hard and it was ripped away. I really wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I think I might get in touch with my cardiologist and figure out the whole murmur thing. Maybe. Probably. Oh, I don't know. Maybe just saying, "at least I tried", is good enough!?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I have a couple of long-standing goals. Items to cross off my bucket list, if you will. Both have been running around in my brain for some time because they're things that will require courage to do. They are:
  • Eat part of, or an entire beet. (If I can stomach a whole one.) I remember eating them just a few times and HATING them when I was a kid. My mom never forced me to eat them after and so I swore off them entirely. That was probably 30 years ago. Now, I'm not a person who dislikes very many foods. Beets, in fact, are really the only thing I can think of that I don't like. So, I guess I only dislike one food. I decided a few years ago that was ridiculous. I can eat so many other random things, but I can't eat a beet!? Stupid. I NEED to do this. Who knows? Maybe I'll be surprised and find that I like them.
  • Donate blood. I have a massive fear of needles. My fear of needles was pretty much the number one, driving reason for me not having epidurals during childbirth. The thought of a needle being inserted between my vertebrae and then a catheter being left behind, was simply too much for me to bear. The thought of a sharp needle puncturing one of my veins and then extracting a significant amount of blood from my body is enough to send me into hysterics. I'm getting weepy just thinking about it. I watched three vials being drawn when I was about 14 and almost passed out once I stood up. I had to sit with my head between my legs for a good 5 minutes to recover. And that was over 3 lousy vials. (I make Ryan come with me and hold my hand whenever I have blood tests done now.) Needles turn me into a wimp.

So, as I said, those things have been on my list for quite some time and because it's been so long, I've decided that now is the time to tackle one of them. It's time for me to be brave and prove to myself that I can do hard things. No, I'm not going to eat beets for dinner. I'm going to donate blood. There's a stake blood drive and I have no idea what possessed me, but I signed up to do it. Tonight. At 7:00. I'm pretty much terrified. I tried to tell Ryan that I could handle myself and do it without him. Thankfully, he could tell I was lying and will be coming with me to hold my hand. And probably pick me up after I faint. Or, wipe off my face if I puke. (He'd better be loving and supportive enough to do those things!) Why in the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks I chose to willingly let blood be sucked from my body before I ate a beet, is totally beyond me. I must be losing my mind.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lessons Learned Pt.2

Back in October of 2008 I wrote a post about what I felt I had learned up to that point in my life. I was 32 (almost 33) at the time. And now, at 35 (almost 36), here's what I feel I've learned.

I've learned that I'm always going to make mistakes. Sometimes they won't be so bad. Sometimes they're going to be enormous. Sometimes they'll be something that only I know about and notice. Sometimes they're going to be really embarrassing and very hard to hide. And that's okay. It really, really is. Yes, it's frustrating when a mistake happens. Especially when I make the same kind of mistakes over and over and over and over. (I kind of have a thick head. I'm very stubborn too.) The important thing to remember is that I must keep trying. As long as I try to learn from the mistake, that's what it's all about. Trying and learning. I also need to remember that after making a mistake, I can still be loved. I can be forgiven. Just because I made one, it doesn't mean I'm stupid. Just because I made one, it doesn't mean it's the end of the world. And finally, life will go on.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Kindle Love

My husband bought me a Kindle in August. This particular one. (And maybe you've noticed that I'm finally able to do a hyper link. And I can also use all of the other features. Yes, I figured out what was causing my blogger problems. No. I don't want to talk about it. It's too stupid.) I'm addicted to it. I've always been a big reader. I love the escape that books give me. I absolutely love the convenience of this. I have so many books at my fingertips, it's just amazing. I use it everyday. And, actually, I'm on my second one. Just about 3 weeks ago, I was reading it on a Friday night and everything was hunky dory with it. I placed it on my bedside table for the night and in the morning, the screen was funky. I flipped out and was just about to roll up into the fetal position on my bed and cry my eyes out when Tyler suggested that I call Amazon and see what could be done. (My 11 year old son is more logical that me most of the time. ☺) So, I called them, explained what was going on with my screen and they immediately placed an order for a replacement. This was at about 11:00 in the morning. I received an email around 3:00 p.m. telling me that me new one had shipped and it arrived on Monday. Talk about fast! Amazon, I ♥ you! I ♥ my Kindle, too. Oh, and I ♥ Ryan for buying it for me. Reading is awesome.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


- I have so much to be thankful for. So very much.
- My kids have great personalities. They're fun to be around and they're really funny, too. They're great kids.
- I've found that I really, really love hooded sweaters and or tees. I have at least 10.
- Reading is awesome.
- There's beauty to be found in every corner of this world. Usually in very unexpected places.
- I'm calmer and have a better day if I exercise.
- I've decided that people like the season they were born in the best. If you whine/cry/complain about fall/winter and cold temps or snow, you were born in the spring or summer. If you love the cold and hate heat, you were born in the fall or winter.
- I was born in late fall/early winter. It's my favorite time of the year. I don't, however, hate heat and don't complain about it. I don't love it, I just deal with it. I see no point in complaining about the weather. Whatever it may be.
- I'd like to know when kids and more specifically, boys, start to care about their living environment. When will they start to take notice of the fact that their bedroom, for example, is a dump and then take the time clean it up? Or, even better, simply get it clean and maintain it? My husband tells me that it doesn't happen until they move out of the house to go to college or, maybe to go on a mission. But, he says even then it's not very likely that they'll do much. He says it won't happen for real until they have a wife who will make them not be slobs. I don't have that kind of patience to wait that long.
- Cameron is taking piano lessons and is enjoying them and doing well. He seems to have a natural talent for it.
- I actually made and kept for myself some Halloween/fall/Thanksgiving decorations. I've enjoyed having them out.
- My kids are smart and I'm not saying that because I'm their mom. They really are smart and amaze me daily.
- Teenagers really aren't so bad.
- I need to be willing to reach out to others more.
- Scarves are awesome.
- I really want a brown (any shade will do) leather, satchel style bag.
- Classical music is good for my soul.
- My 1999 Chevrolet Suburban is still alive and kicking.
- Dr. Pepper is one awesome beverage.
- I love my husband and I KNOW he loves me.
- I love my kids and I KNOW they love me.
- I am very, very blessed!