Thursday, January 19, 2012

My OFFICIAL 31x31 List

I cheated to get this list down to 31 items by combining some of the similar things. Here's the official list, in no particular order, really. (Also, there are links, but as the night wore on, I stopped adding them. If I weren't so tired, there'd be photos too...)

The List
For my Marriage
(1) Monthly Date Night - These should probably go on the calendar too. We usually do a good job going out once a month, but I want to make it a priority. And I want to branch out from dinner and drinks, at least a little bit. Maybe a walk in the park? A trip to the beach by ourselves? And definitely a wine tasting tour of the Leelanau Peninsula. Soon our babies will be old enough for me to be away for a longer period of time. Oh! We can even learn to sail this summer. I'd like to get a list going for these as well... and probably get the dates on the calendar. 

For the Girls
(2) Pretty Toes Friday - For those of you who don't know, while I was pregnant with Sophia, Emma and I had pretty toes Fridays, which meant that on Friday or Saturday I stripped the old polish off our toes and put new polish on. Emma always gets to choose her own color. (Lately, when we do it, she chooses blue & white.) Anyway, we haven't really done it on a regular basis in a long time and we have so much fun doing it, so I'm bringing it back. And we're including Sophia in this as well. Her toes will match mine, though, until she's ready to chose her own color. Anyway, that's 52 weeks of pretty toes. Having my toes painted makes me happy. All the time. Especially when the colors I choose remind me of having my toes in the warm sand, even though it's the heart of winter and is going to be in the single digits tonight... 

(3) Outdoor Playhouse - The girls are getting an outdoor playhouse this spring. I am either designing it myself or emailing my (extended family) cousins in Portage for the plans for theirs. And then we - my dad, Matt & I - are building it for them. I know exactly where I want it to go in the backyard. I know pretty much what I want it to look like and how big I want it. I cannot wait to do it. We will break ground as soon as the snow leaves... assuming my dad can take a long weekend off to do it. It will be kinda like this, but bigger. Yes, bigger. And then I will fill it with a play kitchen and a table and chairs and it will have a painted fireplace with a mantle. And flower boxes with shady-time flowers that Emma and Fia can water themselves. 

(4) Create a Will - I am a grown-up. I have two children. I have a (very small) personal bank account and some other things of value. So I need a will. A very basic will, but still, I should have a will. Matt & I should have a will. So this year we will make one. This also means we need to make the difficult decision about who gets the girls in case we die. Gah. No one wants to think about that. But we need to.

(5) College Accounts - My girls will both go to college or some other secondary school. I hope. This will cost money. We need to be thinking about this now. I want to start putting some [of Matt's] money away for them every month. And if they don't use it for school, then they can use it for traveling the world, or having an amazing wedding, or a honeymoon, or buying a house. Or whatever. I wish we had the money to give them all of those things. But we don't. And we won't. But at least we can plan ahead and provide them with something. I'd love it if they could get through school without going into debt. That would be amazing.

(6) Love Letters - When I found out I was pregnant with Emma, I started a journal of love letters to her. And I started one for Sophia too. But it's been forever since I've taken 10 minutes to write in them. Why? Because  apparently Facebook and/or TV and/or sleep is more important to me. But it's not. So here's the goal: Every month (on their birthdate) I will write them a letter. Just 10 minutes. Longer if I want. But at least 10 minutes. This is very important to me. I want them to be able to read these letters in the future and to see how much I love them right now.

(7) Finish the Playroom - I have this amazing playroom envisioned for the girls. And it's almost there. Here's what needs to be done: hanging the shelves and the hooks in the closet, hanging the chair, hanging the new shelves, organizing, making the animal zoo, and putting up the art. My goal is that the playroom can be something like the Play At Home Moms' rooms. Something like. I'm excited about it. I want the girls to feel like it's 100% their space, but I want it to be easy to organize too. Anyway, I'm sure it'll look amazing and I'll want one just for myself. ;) 

(8) Less TV - I'm ashamed to say that Emma watches a lot of TV. On a good day, it's an hour and a half. On a bad day, we don't turn it off. At least she only watches PBS (Curious George, Word World, Signing Time, Sesame Street, Cat in the Hat, Caillou) and the occasional Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. But I'm still not ok with the amount she watches. So by my birthday next year, I'd like her to be watching an hour of TV or less a day. I know this won't be easy for either of us, but it will be better for both of us. All three (four) of us, really. I'm not sure how to do it yet, but I know it relies heavily on me being a more present mama. On reading books with my girls - not just at bedtime but throughout the day. On playing with them. On doing crafts with them. On taking them outside to play. On going on field trips and inviting friends over to play. These are all things I did before PPD hit me. Now I will relearn how to do them. And I will not beat myself up if, from time to time (especially when we are sick) we spend days in front of the TV. But her reliance on it as primary entertainment must end. We will start the weaning process soon. Yes I will.

(9) Family Fun Days - Every month I want the four of us to have a family fun day. I want to do fun things like go on bike rides (ok, maybe everyone's still too young for that) or go to the Nature Center, or go to the beach, or play at Jungle Joe's. No matter what it is, we do it together and have fun. All four of us. And I'd like to schedule those soon for the rest of the year so that our busy lives don't get in the way. If I get it on our family's Google Calendar, we will be more likely to do them. (And vacations count!)

(10) Snow Days - I will buy myself a pair of snowpants. I will play in the snow with my girls. I will have fun. Instead of doing what I do now, which is bundling Emma up and watching her from the window as she has all the fun.

For Me
(11) My Tattoo - I've wanted a tattoo since I was probably 15 years old. I still remember Jon telling me that he'd buy me my first and second tattoos whenever I was ready to get them - as long as my first tattoo was my social security number on the bottom of my foot. He said that if I could handle that, he'd buy me whatever I wanted. Luckily I was smart enough to pass that up. Because I know that my 30 year-old self would have regretted the heart tattoo that my 15 year-old self wanted. Especially where she wanted it. But now I'm very excited to say that on Saturday I'll be (hopefully) getting my tattoos. Yes, there's an S at the end of that word. So far, I've only told a couple people what I'm getting. But here it is: I want this heart within a heart image four times. On my left leg, above my ankle, I want one in sapphire for Emma's birthstone and below it one is aquamarine for Fia's birthsone.  On my right leg, in the same spots, I want two in black for my two miscarriages. This way I will always carry my babies with me. The poem alluded to is [I Carry Your Heart] by e.e. cummings and is perfectly how I feel about my babies. (And don't worry. There will be room below them for a 3rd child if he or she happens...

(12) Continue to Work Out - I've struggled with keeping this on the list, but it's really important to me so I'm keeping it. Since August, I've been working out 3-4 times a week for 20+ minutes each time. This is pretty easy for me because my amazing husband bought me a used elliptical machine for my birthday two years ago and it's in my basement. The girls come downstairs with me and play while I work out, or Emma stays upstairs and Fia takes a nap. Yes, it's been nice to lose some weight, but mostly it's a mental health thing for me. When I don't work out for over a week, I start getting angry and bitchy and life is not good in this house for any of us. So my goal here is continue doing this 4 times a week, 20+ minutes each time, for at least 45 weeks in the next year. (Math alert!) That's 180 workout sessions and a minimum of 60 hours on the elliptical. I'm impressed by that.

As a sister-goal, I'd like to get down to my wedding weight of <150 lbs. I'm currently at 157 and hope to be back to my pre-Holiday weight of 154 by Valentine's Day. I haven't been under 150 in 7 years. It'd really be nice to get there. I'll probably have to work at it, though, and I hate working at losing weight... maybe some of my other goals, like going completely Locavore for a month (see below) will help. 

(13) Purge the Stuff - Oh, I've purged and purged and purged our junk. Last summer I gave away who knows how much stuff through Freecycle. It was quite amazing. And yet, there is a TON of stuff in Barb & Mike's basement. We don't really need it, but I don't want to get rid of it. It's not even in my own house, which tells you how important it is to me. So I will go through it and get rid of what I can. And anything that I want to save, I will bring back home. It's my (our) stuff, so I should own up to keeping it at my house.

  • (14) How to Change a Flat Tire - I cannot believe I don't know how to do this. I have some idea as to the theory of it. But my goal for this year is to actually remove a tire and put the spare on. 
  • (15) How to Use the Drill - I've used a drill. But I know that I'm probably not using it as efficiently as possible. So this year, I will become comfortable with it. This goal is in conjunction with building the playhouse and finishing the playroom (see below). 
  • (16) How to Sew - I have a sewing machine. I know how to thread it. I even use it to sew together the elastic for my tutus. But I don't understand the different stitches, and I certainly can't sew a straight line. If I can learn to sew, I'll be able to quilt someday. And that's definitely on my bucket list.
  • (17) How to Knit - I knew how to knit once, kinda. I specifically remember making a blanket... for my Barbie. I don't really need to make anything super-impressive once I know how to knit, but I do want to make this Sky Scarf. Actually, I better keep a sky journal, because the Sky Scarf is more of the goal than the knitting...
  • (18) How to Bake Bread - Without using the bread machine. Ok, I know. I can follow a recipe really well. So there's probably not so much learning as there is doing. But I'd love to take the Bread Class through the Can-Do Kitchen at the Co-Op. Because the perfect whole wheat recipe alludes me... at least with the bread machine. And maybe I'll find out that the bread machine is better. But at least I'll know I can do it. And by "it" I mean: White Bread, Wheat Bread, French Bread/Baguette, Bagels? and pretty shaped breads that are fun to eat and taste like France. Ok, maybe that's a bit too much to ask. ;)
(19) Take a Cooking Class - I love to cook. And I love to learn. So I know I'd love to take a cooking class. There's one next week at the Can-Do Kitchen on winter veggies which is perfect for me. Or there are classes at Food Dance all year long. The one on cooking without recipes sounds right up my alley. 

(20) Hang Out With Friends - Yes, I have friends. I just need to make a better effort at spending time with them. And contacting them. And following through. I'd love to start doing playdates again, but really, this is about me. So I'm saying now - once a month I will get together with a friend and do something without the children. It will be amazing. And oh so good for me.

(21) Read - After having two babies, I don't read that often. But it's one of my favorite things to do. In an attempt to stop losing myself in the mothering part of myself, I will read 25 books this year. I will start with books I own but haven't read. That should get me almost all the way through the 25. And I will use the Kindle. And I will go to the library and pay my fine and borrow Kindle books. This makes me smile.

(22) Roller Derby - How many years have I been saying I want to go to the roller derby?!? Well, this is the year for it. My roller derby night will combine very well with hanging out with friends or going on a date night. I've already had two friends say they'd go with me. And Matt too. So I should probably draw straws. ;) Killamazoo Derby Darlins' - Here I come! (Maybe next year I'll want to be a Derby Darlin... you never know!)

(23) Sunroom Garden - I have had plans for my sunroom garden, but ever since 2009, they've been put on hold. It's not that easy to weed, lay stone, etc when you're pregnant. Or when you have a crawling baby. Or when you have a newborn. So 2012 will be the year my sunroom garden gets weeded, mulched, and paving stones down. I will add more flowers and herbs that I will actually use. And the Peace Pole my dad gave us years ago goes back in. ♥

(24) Kitchen Herb Garden - Speaking of herbs, I want a small kitchen herb garden hanging on my kitchen wall. It needs thyme, rosemary, parsley, oregano, marjoram, basil, and cilantro. And maybe some other herbs. And it needs to be cute hanging on my wall. This requires a cute container system and me not killing it. Good luck to me. But it will be wonderful to have fresh herbs year round!

(25) GJB Business Plan - Gracie Jayne Boutique has been fun. Just before Christmas it was stressful. The 3 weeks I gave myself as time off were wonderful. And now I have a ton of tulle in the basement, a ton of ideas, and no desire to promote and sell. So I need to sit down and figure out what's in store for GJB this year and in the future.

(26) Locavore Month - In June, I will spend a month eating 100% local. Or as close as possible. I'll work out the details as time draws nearer. I know this is possible and probably even easy, and definitely fun. We've already signed up for the CSA. June is a great month for yummy local produce - before it becomes a chore. And then I'll keep eating as local as possible throughout the year. 

(27) Wired-less Wednesdays - Starting next week, I will spend Wednesdays unplugged. This means that I will not watch TV, use the computer, check my smartphone, or text. I will make and receive phone calls ONLY. Instead, I will be more aware. Spend more time with my girls. Bake. Cook. Play. Read. And generally have a good time without connecting with the world every 30 seconds. It's a little scary, but it's very very good. And maybe, if I can do that, then some day I can limit my tech time on a daily basis. That would be very good for me.

(28) Daily Housecleaning - I will figure out how long it takes to clean each room of the house, put together a list like this, and spend 15-20 minutes every day cleaning. The list will hang on my fridge or bedroom mirror or cork board and I will look at it every day. These will be my daily chores and I will have a clean house and a happy mind. I love the idea of "faking" an immaculate house. ...That said, I'll probably definitely pay someone to clean it from top to bottom the first time... and soon!

(29) MilkShare - My body creates food. And the beauty of supply & demand is that it can create more food than is actually needed. So the plan is that I pump for 10 minutes every day and anything I'm not using that day for Fia gets put into the deep freeze. My main goal is to have a stash of milk for my niece Ava in case her mama can't produce as much as she needs. But in the event that Ava doesn't need her aunt's milk, I'll connect with other mamas through Eats on Feets and donate my breastmilk to babies who actually need it. 

(30) Stone Circle - It is important to me that my girls grow up going to Stone Circle. Part of the beauty of Stone Circle is that the audience can participate by reciting poetry themselves. So this year, I don't want to just take my girls to Stone Circle. I want to recite [I Carry Your Heart With Me] to them at Stone Circle. This might be the scariest thing on my list. Not because I'm afraid of crowds or of speaking in public. Not because I think it'll be difficult to memorize the poem. But because right now I can't even read the poem out loud without crying. And the two times I've done that, they weren't even in the room with me. Also, reciting at Stone Circle is a very loaded act for me. The only other time I've done it is with my best friend. And I miss her like crazy. So there's that too. ohmygoodness, what if she could be there too????!?  There's sure to be tears. I'll probably just have to warn the audience ahead of time. They'll understand.

(31) Dinner Crawl - For my 31st birthday, on Saturday January 19, 2013, I will invite everyone to a dinner crawl. Not only will it be a birthday celebration, but hopefully I'll be celebrating completing my 31x31 List! We will start out at Zazio's and have cocktails. Then we'll go to Fandango for some appetizers (and probably more cocktails). And then to Food Dance for dinner (and drinks). Then to Main Street for dessert (yeah, I know). And finally to top off the evening, we'll end up at North 11 for another round of drinks. I'm so excited about this, I wish we were doing it this Saturday for my birthday instead of next year. 


So that's my list. I'm very happy with it. I plan on getting right to work on it starting on Saturday, which is my birthday. I'll keep blogging as I go through everything, and as I continue to think about and plan each one. This will be a great experience and a great year. 

PS - I'm already thinking of what goes one the 35x35 list as well. ;)


                                                              1. Go you, Sarah! This is a great list. You have beautiful goals, and the best part is, they really sound achievable.

                                                                I would definitely like to help you meet your goal of being more active with your girls/turning off the tv and having play dates once we get back to Kazoo in late March!

                                                              2. Wonderful goals, and a wonderful journey so far in just creating them. I'm looking forward to more of the journey.

                                                              3. These are great! You will have a wonderful time obtaining each goal! Love you, Mom.