30-before-30: How’d I do?

Oh, hey, I’m 30!

I’ve actually been looking forward to this birthday for awhile. I’m pretty happy with how my 20s turned out, so it’s not that I was wishing them away, but the 30s seem to be the decade of really owning where you’re at and appreciating life’s journey. Most of my good friends are rockin’ their 30s already and seem to agree. It’s a decade of feeling more comfortable in your skin. Right before it really starts to wrinkle, right?

So, how’d I do on my mostly random Before-30 list? Did I accomplish everything? Not even close! Maybe 14-30. But I’m seeing it half-full, because making the list definitely inspired me to try a lot.

When I look back on the time between when I created the list (August 2013) and now, I’m amazed by all of the opportunities and experiences, big and small, life has bestowed on me. What’s more, many of the things I did manage to do were accomplished while growing another human being and raising a baby-turned-toddler.

The list:

1. See manatees in the wild. Status: Achieved, January 2015! Kayaked with them, too. Huge, life goal unlocked. Read more.


2. Complete a sprint triathlon. Status: HAHAHAHAHA. Swimming is still part of a triathlon, right? Pieathalon, 2020?

3. Finish the quilt I started for my mom’s 60th last fall. Status: Maybe in time for her 64th birthday. But I have made some cool baby quilts, in the meantime, including this self-designed dog quilt for my bestie, Regina.


4. Learn how to shape and fill in my eyebrows. Status: Kind of. Was introduced to the best product ever for lazy brow-enthusiasts: Modèle Sourcils Brow Groomer. Magic wand!

5. Complete and submit a short piece of fiction for publication. Status: Still just freelance magazine pieces, because let’s face it – it’s nice to get paid.

6. Read the Anne of Green Gables books. Status: I read the first one! IT was just like the PBS movie that I know by heart, which is to say – AMAZING.

7. Visit the Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah. Status: We have an early fall babymoon-type weekend in Northeast Iowa planned, and this is so on the agenda.

8. Take Emmett on a Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad ride. Status: Achieved, in pajamas! We did the Santa Ride, which was kind of overrated and crowded, and at night when it was hard to see out the windows, so I’d like to do a summer picnic ride, too.

9. Shoot the hot dog gun at an Iowa Cubs game. Status: Achieved! One of the best experiences of my life in Des Moines to-date. Read more.

10. Take a dance class with Joe. Status: That would involve having regular date nights, right? Maybe there’s something on Netflix?

11. Bake a multi-layer cake from scratch. Status: Achieved! Two layers and dripping frosting (also from scratch) count, right?

12. Do Yoga in the Park at Gray’s Lake. Status: Achieved! Even better? It was on a weekend visit with Regina. Actually, this week I also did yoga at Greenwood Park with Pop Up Yoga. Check out their events this summer!

13. Learn how to get a hula hoop twirling from my arm to my waist. Status: Does taking a hula-hoop class one morning at the Des Moines Social Club count? I’m counting it. Read More.

14. Float down the river in a stock tank. Status: A girl can only dream…

15. Have my own stamp fabricated. Status: I kinda started on this a few times, but no finish.

16. Take a spontaneous road trip to somewhere more than 2 hours away. Status: Achieved-ish! Clearly I was delirious when I wrote this list as a new mother. Iowa City is almost two hours away, and we hopped in the car on Memorial Day to spend a pretty spontaneous afternoon with two families we rarely get to see. And we peeked at Iowa’s Largest Walnut Cane Rocking Chair in the Amana Colonies (the basket and broom shop was closed!) through the window, which totally makes it a road trip.

17. Make cheese in the kitchen and have a few friends over for a wine & cheese tasting. Status: I have a cheese kit and everything, so I have no idea why this hasn’t happened yet.

18. Plant sunflowers. Status: Planted them! They did not thrive, but I did get a few blooms.

19. Have a buy nothing new month. Status: My debit card statements will probably tell me otherwise…

20. Take an online, non-academic class. Status: Achieved! I took a creative nonfiction class taught by my idol, Susan Orlean, on Skillshare. I’ll confess that I didn’t make time to do the assignment, though.

21. Tour the Iowa Capitol. Status: Achieved! We got to do tours as part of Mentoring Day on the Hill when I worked for “I Have a Dream.”

22. Visit a psychic. Status: Achieved! One of the most fun dates Joe and I have had. Read more.

23. Order from the swim-up bar at Adventureland. Status: Probably not going to happen for this preggo this summer.

24. Organize my basement craft corner. Status: Meh. Still looks like a hoarder lives here, but I did tidy up the other day before we got a new washer/dryer delivered. Also, this was a lame goal. Instead, I went to a live Burlesque show at the Vaudeville Mews with a bachelorette party! Woo! 

25. Go on a house tour in Des Moines. Status: Achieved! Not only did I go on my neighborhood tour, I volunteered for it.

26. Take a Chicago Architectural Boat Tour. Status: My brother made us a “coupon” for tickets to tour (and an offer to babysit!) and we SO need to plan a July/August trip to Chicago when there isn’t another big event going on.

27. Hit balls at a driving range. Status: Kind of fore-got about this one! Nope.

28. Learn to drive stick. Status: I can drive on lonely country roads, but not out to get groceries. Still scared of stop-and-go, hills, sharing the road with other vehicles.

29. Learn a recipe for something complicated by heart. Status: Does taking photos of meals Joe makes count? Naw.

30. Ride at least one day of RAGBRAI, the Register’s Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. Status: Was planning on doing a day last year, but Joe’s grandma passed away. We did a 35-mile ride on the Wabash Trace that doesn’t quite count, but made me feel better about achieving this goal! Pie!


Filed under What I'm into

2 responses to “30-before-30: How’d I do?

  1. Mimi

    When you wrote your original list, I thought, poor girl is putting too much pressure on herself because she doesn’t know one can accomplish nothing with a little baby/toddler. You proved me wrong! Awesome job. And inspired me to make my own list. Maybe a 40 before 40. Yeesh, sounds like a lot. We’ll see if I even get around to that…ha. Loved the “must have fore-got about this one…” 🙂

  2. Pingback: At home with the Heggens | BS in the Midwest

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