Look who’s 30!


Hello, and happy birthday!  MY birthday, that is. 🙂

Today is my 30th birthday, and I’m excited to be celebrating this huge milestone. To me, 30 is the age I’ve always considered to be when you are really a real adult. For most, 30 means no more school, no more entry-level jobs, and probably having had a huge life shift from “It’s all about me” to “Life’s actually more about people other than me.” I know that I have experienced that shift recently, mostly as a result of having a baby and leaving full-time work. Now my days are less consumed with what I’m doing for me and my goals and more focused on taking care of those around me—namely, my family.

A few years ago, when I shared my “Thirty by 30” list with some older friends, they sort of laughed at my idea of continuing to accomplish goals after having children. They warned me that all other goals will fade away when that day comes. And while that’s partially true, I still have aspirations of doing most everything that I set out to do five years ago. I was definitely unprepared for how challenging it would be to continue doing these things. In fact, I think I spent most of the first year after my daughter was born not doing much of anything for myself!

But now that I am at a more stable place in life—not birthing babies, not selling/buying/moving houses (I did that recently, too, by the way), and not struggling to figure out work/life balance—I’d like the chance to tie up the loose ends on the goals set by my 25-year-old self.

I’ll be taking some time over the next year, while I’m 30, to work on some of these things, and I’ll spell out which ones and why in a future blog post. I’ll also be sharing some of the progress I’ve made lately that I simply haven’t had the time to blog about.

So… CHEERS to 30 years, to becoming the people we want to be, and to dreaming new dreams!


A little Pinspiration

Are you on Pinterest? I am. All… the… time. Ok, not really, but I do check in a couple of times a day. It’s become a great place for me to store ideas and how-to’s to access later as well as a fun way to get inspired.

I’ve created a Thirty x 30 board where I’m keeping track of helpful info for achieving my goals. You can check it out below, and please send me any pins you think will help me in my quest.

{Click to view board}

Happy birthday to me!

Today is my 29th birthday, which marks the beginning of the end of my Thirty x 30 list. At this point I don’t have a lot of confidence that I’ll be completing it, but I do want to achieve as many goals and experiences as possible in this final year.

My plan at this point is to start what I’m calling a “goal snowball”—starting with the simplest, most readily achievable goals and using that momentum to work my way up from there. Here are the five I plan to tackle first. (Click on any one to read more about the motivation behind it.)bday

  1. #8  Learn to drive stick
  2. #9  Wear red lipstick
  3. #14  Cook Grandma’s chicken strata
  4. #20  Order wedding photos
  5. #22  Make homemade pasta, egg rolls and crepes

Let me know if you’re interested in getting in on helping with any of these or other goals on my list. I’ll likely be looking for a museum, cake class or study buddy soon!


365 days until I turn 30

Never too old

A friend of mine posted this on her Facebook wall recently:
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” -C.S. Lewis


And just in case C.S. Lewis isn’t really your guy, I offer you instead a pep talk from Kid President.

It doesn’t matter how old you are. Get on the path that leads to awesome.

Baby Stepping

Every once in awhile I’m reminded of my “Thirty by 30” list by a friend, or when I have the opportunity to tackle something on it… or occasionally when I realize just how quickly my 30th birthday is approaching.

Today I was motivated by reading the post of a friend and fellow blogger whose own “30 Before 30”  list has a few items in common with mine. So, here I am, giving the blog a cutesy new look and finally setting a recurring reminder on my phone to give Thirty by 30 more than just the occasional fleeting thought.

I plan to begin sharing with you a bit of what I HAVE been up to and will hopefully be tacking some more challenges, or at least circling back around to talk about them and make some new plans!

It’s all about the baby steps.*


486 days until I turn 30

PS~ If you’re subscribed to my blog and therefore actually reading this post, leave a comment to let me know about it! I’ve found I am most motivated when I know I’m accountable to someone else.

*For your viewing pleasure, this clip from one of  my family’s fave movies:

Two down, three to go

Last week I had my 27th birthday. For that reason alone, I figure Thirtyx30 is due for a progress report.

For those keeping track at home, I’m now two-fifths of the way to my 30th birthday. I wish I could say I’m two-fifths of the way through my list, but that’s not the case at all. In fact, as of today I’ve only completed about 13% of the goals on my list.

I know what you’re thinking… “Yikes, Lauryn, that’s kind of a long way to go.”  Well, true. Especially when I have goals as big as traveling cross-country, procreating, and reading half the library. (exaggeration much?) I’m not stunned, though. This summer is the perfect time to knock out several goals from the list that have been waiting around undone. For one, many of the items require nice weather. The summer is also one of my least busy times work-wise, which makes it great for spending time on other endeavors.

A goal that’s not on my list, but should be, is to blog more often. Now, I’m sure you’ve a heard a lot of washed-up bloggers (myself included!) blathering on about how bad they feel indebted to their fans to write more, and how they promise to write more, and blah blah blah… No, this will be more about me than my fans because, well for one: I don’t actually have any, and two: Thirtyx30 is more of a journey of experience and discovery than checking things off a list, so my new plan is to write about whatever I feel like, even if it has nothing to do with my goals list.

So. Happy birthday to me, and here’s to another three years of youth!*



*Just kidding. We all know thirty is the new sixteen, or something like that.

5 Things I learned from running a 5K

About a month ago I wrote about running my first 5K, something I never expected to do. It was quite an experience for me, and I wanted to share some of the things I learned.

1. Being healthy is awesome. This is actually something I’ve been learning over the last several months as I’ve been losing weight, but the eight weeks I spent training for the race I felt it more intensely. While eating healthy and exercising regularly are a serious commitment, the payoff is totally worth it. I look and feel better than I have in years, and I have a better outlook on the future when I’m not stuck in a hole of unhealthy living.

2. Set reasonable goals. If I had decided to set out on day one and run 3.1 miles, I most likely would have died given up part way through and never tried again. Similarly, if I’d spent every workout during my eight weeks just jogging around the block once, I’d never have been able to run the race when the day came. The Couch to 5K program was great for helping me to work up from a lighter workout to a full 5K run. Training was certainly no picnic, and I had to push really hard to make it through each run, but the goals were never out of reach.

3. Everyone needs a cheerleader. Running a 5K is something I never would’ve done on my own. Aaron and a group of our friends set the goal for themselves, and my only plan was to give the program a try in an effort to be more active. Having Aaron as a training partner was really key to my being able to keep going, not just with the program itself, but literally in every workout and sometimes every step. “Just 30 more seconds” or “Look how far you’ve come already.” Our group of friends checked in on each other throughout training and got the opportunity to cheer each other on on race day. It’s so amazing to have people you love rooting for you at the starting line and celebrating as you cross the finish. And I was surprised to find that there were people all along the course we didn’t know who cheer for everyone who passes by. Now that’s cool. I plan to be one of those people at some point.

4. I hate running. Wait, what? You’d probably expect that someone who trains for and runs a distance race would either like running to begin with or learn to like it somewhere along the way. Nope, not me. There were certain aspects about running that I did enjoy, like being physically active and spending time outside, but running itself will never be an ongoing hobby for me. Even on race day I told my comrades that I wouldn’t be continuing to run like they would. (They’re all talking about a 10K now.)  I do, however, plan to continue being physically active and spending time outside doing things I actually enjoy, like playing tennis. Oh, how excited I am to get back on the tennis court!

5. I can do anything (with help). The most important thing I learned is that I can accomplish things that seem impossible. I seriously would’ve laughed in your face at the thought of me running 3.1 miles, but here I am on the other side and laughing instead at the old version of me. I certainly didn’t do it alone, though. As I mentioned before, my husband and friends played a huge role in my success. More importantly, though, I believe that God gave me the strength to keep going. If you’ve never pushed yourself to the brink before… it’s a very spiritual experience. There were workouts where I wanted to cry or quit or both, and I was seriously like, God, the only way I’m going to get through this is with your help. In those moments I was reminded of truths like “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” and “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength… They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” And that is ultimately what carried this little blob of a non-runner through miles and miles of training and eventually across the finish line.

We did it! Hanging out at the finish line.