The One After Twenty-Five

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Well friends, I’ve officially conquered twenty-five years of life!

The festivities began with a Mexican feast with the loveliest bunch of girlfriends, and were followed by a homecooked meal from my loving husband and a spectacular long weekend with my family.  It’s no small progress that my birthday celebration was limited to a measly four days, since in the past I’ve demanded a solid week or more of dedicated attention.  Snaps for being sort of grown up!

I think that overall twenty-five was a good, good year.  It was the year where I (finally) felt completely settled.  It was the year where we didn’t actually leave the country at all, but still managed to find so many sweet adventures here on the East coast.  It was the year that I felt most like myself – less pretense and less insecurity; more joy and more authentic living.  It was the year where I could see God moving in my life most clearly.

It was also the year I accomplished a bunch of things on a random list I made, so extra head-pats for almost making it through the whole silly thing.  A few concessions made – original Dr. Who episodes count as black & white film; a sewing project included simply sewing a button back on a shirt, which is completely valid since needle and thread were utilized; I got to pet a few horses, and maybe that’s as close as I want to get; I still don’t know how to change a tire, but between having a Master’s degree and a AAA card, I feel confident that I could conquer that battle on the fly; hot air balloons are ridiculous and I avoided those completely; and after doing some homework I found that organic produce isn’t really my thing, so instead I embraced my local Trader Joe’s wholeheartedly.

The things I accomplished that I loved the most – buying and learning my camera absolutely was the best thing I’ve ever done (and I’m super excited to be photographing two weddings this weekend!); reading and writing are my soul-hobbies, and those will always bring me joy; finding new recipes was both awesome and delicious; the girls weekend and treat yo’self day got rolled into one awesome and expensive little weekend with absolutely zero regrets; our next big adventure is scheduled for June and we’ll be heading to the British Isles; and we’re now expert crab pickers (we now offer lessons to our out-of-town guests).

Thank you, dear ones, for joining me in this journey, and for your support and encouragement along the way.  I couldn’t have made it this far without you!

 

The One Close to Twenty-Five

((throwback puppy pic, for posterity’s sake))

 

With just over five weeks to go until my twenty-fifth birthday, the pressure is on to sprint through my list of twenty five things to do.  Here’s my progress so far:

Completed – finished a journal, had a (fabulous) girls weekend, read 25 books, established a 100-item wardrobe, went camping, hiked/ran 250 miles, had a treat yo’self day, wrote 25 letters, tried 25 new recipes, got a puppy (my favorite), spent a weekend without technology, saved for/planned a big vacation, invested in and learned to use a DSLR, found a signature cocktail (paloma for the win!), found a new perfume, made a homemade meal for family members, and I learned how to pick crabs.  I had so much fun completing all of these!

Things I’m close-ish to completing – riding a horse, completing a sewing project, watching 5 black & white movies, tithing consistently (this summer has wrecked our church attendance), and learning how to change a tire.  These few are the ones I think I can knock out in the next couple of weeks.  I hesitate to put mostly organic/local food here, because our odd summer working hours have put a wrench in our normal eating habits.  I checked yes for that one (and tithing) in the spring, but now they’ve sort of fallen back out.  So really, I’ve done those, but haven’t maintained them quite as well.

Things that will have to wait until my 30 in 30 – the hot air balloon and the student loans.  I gave it a good college try, but no success on either front yet.

I’ve completed 17 items, am actively working on 6, and am resigning the remaining two to be completed by 25-year-old Kaitlin.  She’ll know what to do.

The One with Waste Bags

Well, gosh.  It’s been a hot minute since I last wrote, but it feels like so much has happened.  Joe and I proved ourselves to be morons by trying to return doggie waste bags that were in fact, fully functional.  Sam’s Club ran out of chocolate frozen yogurt.  We rescued and returned two sweet dogs that were running loose on York Road.  And that was just our Tuesday evening.

Since that strange night, Joe and I have both nailed down new jobs and we went to see Wicked with friends.  The jobs make us especially happy – I’ll begin teaching at Stevenson University in the fall, and Joe has summer employment.  I’ve even set up a couple of photography gigs and it all just feels really exciting.  If we ever had doubts about staying in Baltimore another year, those are beyond silenced now.  Things are looking really good around here, and instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop, we’re rejoicing.  It’s finally spring and we can play outside with the wild animal and we’ll be driving to the Carolinas once a month for the foreseeable future.  This time is temporary, but it’s oh so sweet.

And for documentation and accountability and all that – a little update on my 25 things to do before I’m 25.  The wardrobe, recipes, books, crabs, camping, reading, puppy, camera goals came quick and easy.  The ones that I’m meeting with a little resistance: the black and white movies (why won’t anyone watch Casablanca with me??), the letters (low on motivation here), sewing (this would involve a trip to Jo-Ann’s a.k.a. hell on earth), and tire-changing (thanks for spoiling me with AAA, Dad).  I’m on track to complete my journal, my running/hiking goal of 250 miles, and I have plans this summer to ride a horse.  The ones that seem most out of reach are the hot air balloon, the student loan goal, and the saving for our vacation (except now that I think about it though, those jobs I mentioned above should help out with these financial goals quite nicely).  Still though, with the hot air balloon.

I guess you can’t win them all.  Except for jobs, because we’ve got plenty of those.

(And only a little bit unrelated, I took photos at a gender reveal party for our dear friends, which you can find on Kira’s blog by clicking on the photo)

The One After October

It’s been two weeks since the Write 31 Days challenge ended, and while I’ve had a few inspired moments, I just haven’t feel the pull to put words to them quite yet.

Things I’m thinking about – my 25 in 25 progress ((that hot air balloon might be the death of me)); whether professional manicures are worthwhile ((my cuticles say yes, but my wallet says no)); hazards associated with old radiators ((like whether or not they might kill me in my sleep)); and if we’re being honest, mostly I’m thinking about being in South Carolina for the holidays.

Things I’m thankful for – a healthy, slightly chubby puppy; an exceptionally great community of friends; banana nut bread candles; that I have time to give freely to people and causes I care about; lots of coffee dates ((or hot tea dates, in my case)); books that make me cry, laugh, and think; my incredibly handsome bearded husband.

This upcoming season is an exciting one and is sure to be challenging.  The cold weather makes me nostalgic for Denmark, and the snow makes me downright giddy.  But as the days grow shorter and my hermit tendencies try to take over, I’m working hard to say yes to more good things, and to make as many Christmas cookies as I possibly can.

But first, chex mix.  And an obligatory puppy photo.

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