Sunday, June 3, 2012

#8--Do Something Crazy COMPLETE

Doing something crazy was one of the things I knew I had to put on my list, but I was fairly certain that just before my 30th birthday, I would be justifying something barely crazy just so I could mark it off the list. You know, something like, "Wasn't it crazy how I didn't straighten all of the throw pillows on the couch as soon as you left? I waited five whole minutes." Or maybe, "I did something really crazy today. I messed up while handwriting a one page document. I didn't even rewrite the entire thing. I just scratched it out and kept going." I don't think either of these would count (even though admittedly, I would feel like I was totally stepping out of my shell in both scenarios).

"Crazy" has never been an adjective used to describe me. Instead, I still to terms like "level headed," "sensible," and "reserved." That's why even this 30 Before 30 challenge is a stretch for me. I am a big fan of routine and structure. Anything that pushes me beyond this I tend to stay away from.

If you've been reading along, you might remember here where I made a change on this list. When I put the original list together, one of my challenges was to move. I have lived in the same apartment since I graduated from college. 7 years, 2 months. I'll admit, this entry was added more as a challenge from my friends than a deep-seeded desire for a new surrounding. And, because I was never really comfortable with it, I changed it (my list, my rules).

This is where the craziness begins.

You'd think that, since I wasn't interested in moving, that I would ignore a Facebook post from college friends that they had put their house on the market. But, I remembered when these friends had bought the house and then proceeded to completely gut the inside and remodel everything. I was interested to see what it looked like inside now.

When I clicked on the link, I found a simple picture of the front of the house (I found out later that the Realtor's photographer would be coming in a few days to take pictures of the inside), basic listing details, and a price. The price is what caught my attention. For the size of the house and the amount of work that had been done, they had priced the house very reasonably.

Insert peaked interest here.

Here's how the next week went:
Thursday: Link that house is on the market posted via Facebook. Constantly thought about the house the rest of the evening.
Friday: Sent Facebook message to the owner to see if I could come look at the inside.
Sunday: Walked through the inside of the house with the owner, thus falling further in love with the house.
Monday: Contacted a Realtor that had been suggested by a friend first thing in the morning. Went through the house with the Realtor at lunch.
Tuesday: Placed initial offer on the house.
Wednesday-Thursday: Counter offer process on the house.
Friday: Signed offer.

You didn't count incorrectly. That is eight days. Eight days from the day I saw the Facebook post to the day the offer was signed. Oh, did I forget to mention that I wasn't looking to buy a house? Right. You know what that makes this scenario? CRAZY. Crazy and true.

So, over the coming few months, you'll get to see how this house will help me work on more items on my list.  Things like:

  • #2 Learn something new--Believe me. I am going to have all kinds of homeowner things to learn, so it'll probably be hard to pick just one.
  • #19 Post a picture of a new craft each month--If you've met me, you know that I like to do things the cheap and creative way. I can't wait to make things for my home.
  • #5 Prepare an actual meal for my friends--Since I'll have more than 18" total of counter space, I think this is one of the things I'm looking forward to most.
  • #23 Embrace my relationship status--You don't need a husband to buy a house.
But for now, I'll leave you with a sneak peak of the insides (taken from the listing of the house).

 View of the front from the street

 Front porch

 Living Room looking into the Dining Room

 Dining Room (entrance to kitchen at the right)


 Master Bedroom

 Guest Bedroom


 One end of the upstairs loft (currently unsure what this room will be)

 Larger end of the upstairs loft which will be a Craft & Sewing Room/Office


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

29 Things I Am Looking Forward to in My 29th Year

1.  Making the most of my last year in my 20s (age is just a number)
2. Finishing my 30 Before 30 list (366 days to go!)
3. Moving into my first house (still so weird to say)
4. Learning as much as I can about as many things as I can (love soaking in new things)
5. Enjoying as much time with friends as possible (Seriously, have you seen how awesome my friends are?)
6. Random trips to Louisville to see the fam (can't get enough of them)
7. Watching Norah and Brighton grow and take on more personality (they just keep getting more and more hilarious)
8. Attending my first Jazzercise live routine taping (and seeing "Queen Judy" herself in person)
9. Planning a trip to Atlanta to visit some sweet friends (Andrea Gray and Debbie Swag--this means YOU)
10. Learning to cook actual food in an actual kitchen (not in a microwave using more than 18" of counter space)
11. Picking Mom's brain on all things sewing (New house=8,427,534 projects running through my head)
12. Catching up on TV shows I've always wanted to see (thank you Netflix and Hulu Plus)
13. Family Cabin Weekend in the fall (one of my favorite parts of the year)
14. Growing closer to my Echo Church family (They are beyond fantastic)
15. Being able to paint a room in my own house (7 years in an apartment you can't paint gets a little boring)
16. Meeting new babies of some of my favorite friends (I'm becoming a professional Aunt Beth)
17. Learning to eat healthier (reference #10)
18. Having a room that is totally dedicated to creativity (the room in the new house I'm most excited about)
19. Eat sushi for the second time (Just to confirm I didn't think it was gross)
20. Read a real book, not one made into a teen movie (Suggestions?)
21. Learning Photoshop (just call me Deena Designer)
22. Learn more about photography (actual photography, not Instagram)
23. Finally finish reading Mockingjay (for me, Kindle version equals "out of sight, out of mind")
24. Learn how to be good at using coupons (Hello, I bought a house people)
25. Discover hidden treasures in Cincinnati (restaurants, places to hang out, etc)
26. Plan a weekend getaway with my Mom (she's earned about a 7-month vacation so far)
27. Discovering new music (insert Spotify here)
28. Reminding myself that it is okay to sit and do nothing without feeling guilty (just like my friends have been telling me for years)
29. Looking forward to what 29 will bring (Who knew 28 would have brought me a new house? You've got big shoes to fill Year 29!)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

One Week Away from Finishing #22

#22--Complete a Beth Moore Bible Study

This might sound like an easy task, but if you've ever done one of these studies, you know they are intense. There are five lessons a week and 10 total weeks of work to complete. And, we're not talking 15 minutes of work or so a lesson. We're talking a solid 45 minutes for each one.

In the past, I've started six different Beth Moore Bible studies. Yes, six. And, I've completed a big, whopping zero.

Imagine my surprise when my Bible study group decided to do one of these studies, unaware of the fact that this would help me knock off one of my 30 things.

Since the beginning of the year, we've been working our way through this little beauty:

The website describes the study this way: Breaking Free by Beth Moore leads you through Scripture to discover the transforming power of freedom in Jesus Christ. Themes for this study come from Isaiah, a book about the captivity of God's children, the faithfulness of God, and the road to freedom. It draws parallels between the captive Israelites of the Old Testament and New Testament believers in Jesus as the Promised Messiah.

Sounds simple, right? Not in the slightest. But, I will say this--this study has been incredible. I have learned so much about myself, about the women in my group, and about the God that I serve. And, is there any coincidence that my first completed Beth Moore Bible study was lucky number 7? I think not.

So, I'm one week out from knocking another thing off the list. PROGRESS!

Look back soon for a post on how I crossed #8 off the list--Do something crazy.  (A little hint--It has something to do with the picture below).

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Craft of the Month

One of the benefits of everyone around me being pregnant?  (Other than the babies of course).

A good excuse to do a little crocheting.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Friends with Kids

Last week I saw a preview for a new movie that I knew I just had to see.  Adam Scott and Jennifer Westfeldt play two best friends who decide to have a child together, even though they have no desire to enter into a relationship with one another, hoping to avoid the toll kids can take on romantic relationships.  Their close group of friends include two couples, Maya Rudolph and Chris O'Dowd play a married couple with two kids and Kristin Wiig and Jon Hamm play a more recently married couple.

When I first saw the preview, I immediately thought, "Well this looks familiar."  While I have absolutely NO plans to have a baby with a best friend just for the sake of having a baby (sorry Mom), my current life position has me surrounded with married couples, many of whom are on their way to starting families.  Sometimes, this makes life quite interesting.  Sunday morning when I woke up to teach my Jazzercise class, I decided, "I'm going to go see that movie today.  I'm going to teach and then I'm going to walk into the theater looking like an absolute mess, movie theater hot dog in hand for lunch, but I'm going."  

And go I did.  And the movie did not disappoint.  I loved basically every second of it.  It was realistic and blatantly accurate and, of course with this crowd, a bit raunchy. I even teared up twice, something that I rarely do at movies.  While watching, I couldn't help but jot down some of my favorite lines, many of which were very familiar, either spoken by me or to me at some point the last couple of years.

1. You can make that work. 
(A married to a single, in reference to a suggestion of someone she should date)

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard some version of these words as a dating option is brought up.  The conversation usually goes like this:

Friend: "You know, So-And-So is single."
Me: "I know."
Friend: "You should date him.  You know, since he's single."
Me: "There are other qualities I'm looking for besides a 'single' relationship status on Facebook."
Friend: "But you could make that work."

While obviously an important personal characteristic, there should be a lot of qualities that a potential suitor should possess other than an empty ring finger.

2. Everything is going to be the same.  Nothing will change.
(A married to a single, right after a pregnancy announcement by the marrieds)

If this were a line in a scene from Big Bang Theory, Sheldon would immediately follow this statement up with "Bazinga," a clear sign he is attempting, no matter how ineffectively, to tell a joke. Obviously, things are going to change.  When people start dating, things change.  When people get married, things change.  When people have kids, things change.  Trying to pretend that things are going to stay the same makes everything way worse.  And, it always seems that the first one to utter this phrase is the one who has started dating, the one who is getting married, or the one having kids.  Let's just save ourselves a lot of trouble and call things as they are.

3. It's the baby card.  They all play it.
(A single to a single, after they got stood up.)

I'd like to rename the baby card the "significant other/spouse/baby card."  This card is often played when people decide they don't want to participate in a social gathering of some sort but they don't have a good enough excuse to not go.  Instead, excuses like these tend to come out:

"My wife isn't feeling great tonight, so I don't think we are going to make it." 
(My spouse can totally play scapegoat)
"I forgot to tell my husband I said we'd be there, but we have another commitment." 
(Did I forget to mention the other commitment is with our couch?)
"My girlfriend and I decided that we'd spend one weekend night hanging out just the two of us and one with other people since we don't see each other much."
(Only getting to see each other six days a week is rough.)

"The baby can just be so difficult at a restaurant, and we want you to enjoy your meal."
(You know.  Babies who sit quietly, act cute, and entertain themselves are really tough at restaurants.)

I would much rather someone say, "I'd really rather stay home tonight" and leave it at that than make up a thousand excuses why they "can't" hang out.

4. Who are these people?  We've never met these people.  These people are mean.
(A single to a single, after a very interesting evening gathering)

I cannot tell you how many times I have left gatherings with friends who have moved on to different points in life and thought, "They are so different than they used to be."  (See #2).  If I am ever blessed to move on to one of these new life stages, I pray that I would be a better person because of it. It's amazing how fast an incredible friendship can be thrown by the wayside when a significant other, spouse, or child comes along.  And, it never fails, the things that drove someone crazy when they were still single (friends who were always "too busy" being in love to hang out, friends who dropped everything important in their lives to starting "loving" their significant other's hobbies, etc.) are the exact qualities they tend to inherit as soon as they move on to another life stage.

5. He's got all the time in the world, but this may be it for her.
(A married to a married, talking about Jennifer Westfeldt's character's age)

You rarely hear your weird Aunt Patsy say, "Bless his heart.  He's still single.  He just needs someone to take care of him." Instead, it's more like, "Bless her soul.  That poor girl still hasn't found anyone.  She needs to be able to have babies while there is still time."  In my family there are three kids--my married older brother with two kids, me, and my single younger brother.  No one ever seems to worry about the fact that Nathan will be 27 this summer and he is still single.  But, for me, at the ripe old age of 28, I am breaking the hearts of family members everywhere because I might never give them any cute babies to adore.

6. I have at least four setups for you, one of which is promising. 
(A married to a single, after yet another failed relationship)

Please note: If you would not consider a single fellow to be a promising prospect for me,other than the fact that he is single, please kindly forget that you ever thought of them as a possibility.  (See #1).  The level of awesomeness that I am looking for in a potential significant other/spouse does not go down with each birthday I have.  Just because I get older does not mean I need to settle in the love department.  I mean I know Charlie Sheen is single, but. . .

7. I don't get how people meet people if it isn't through college or work. 
(A single to a married, while discussing dating options.)

One word: AMEN.

Seriously.  Go see this movie.  

Monday, March 12, 2012

Another Craft in the Books!

Last spring, I helped a great friend finish some projects for her nursery for her soon-to-arrive bundle of joy Luke. I had a blast helping Rachel recover some hideous cushions for a rocking chair and ottoman they were given (I am happy to report that the cushions are much better looking after their inexpensive face lift) and to make some super cute curtains.

A couple of weeks ago, I got a message from another sweet friend, Priscilla, to help her recover some cushions on a rocker/ottoman set that they had picked up at a garage sale when they had their first little fella Simon (who is now two and such a handsome little man). For their next little guy, they wanted to change up the look in the nursery and I was happy to help! And when I saw the fabric that she chose, I knew this project was going to be a blast.

With very little spent on some new fabric and a couple of hours, their rocker/ottoman set now has a whole new look. And, in typical Rogers' fashion, I added a couple of bonus projects as special gifts for the fam--a pillow that plays off the look of the fabric and a frame wrapped in the fabric. (My mom would be so proud.)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

One Item Completed, A Lot in Progress, & One Big Change

So, obviously, I've taken a bit of a blogging hiatus.  This has more to do with my crazy, busy schedule than it does with my motivation to knock things off my list.  I'll be honest though, doing these things is not easy.  If you know me, it is no shock that I am a total creature of habit.  But, I am making attempts to do so.

One Item Completed
I am pleased to report that one task has been marked off the list.

#21--Get a massage.

I would be lying if I didn't admit that this is one of the goals I had been looking the most forward to when this list was created.  I love a good massage, and this one most certainly did not disappoint.

The day after Thanksgiving, my Mom had planned a Mother/Daughter Day for the two of us.  This was a much needed day spent relaxing and enjoying each other's company.  It started with this perfect massage and was then followed by a little shopping, dinner with my brother, sister-in-law and two totally precious nieces followed by a "Sit and Sew" with Mom's quilting ladies.  It was perfect.

A Lot in Progress

#3--Lose 10 pounds.
So I have in no way, shape or form lost 10 pounds.  But, I am down 2.  And progress is progress people.

#6--Sew something from a pattern.
My very first project making something from a pattern is underway.  When we were on "Family Cabin Weekend," Mom wanted to venture out to a quilt shop and I was her shopping buddy for the excursion.  While there, I found a pattern for a bag that I LOVED.  At the "Sit and Sew" on Mother/Daughter Day, Mom helped me turn my dream of making something from a pattern into a reality.  Now I just have to finish it...

#12--Take an actual vacation.
I don't go on vacation.  Ever.  But, this June I will be headed to Orlando for the Jazzercise Tropic Heat Conference.  (Call it a business trip if you'd like.  To me, this is a much needed getaway).  And, factored in to the trip is extra time before and after the conference for sunshine, pool time, and relaxing.  Hotel booked.  Plane ticket purchased.  Cannot wait.

#19--Post a picture of a new craft on my blog each month.
So, I obviously haven't posted any new craft projects lately, but I have been hard at work.

Mighty Ducks Jerseys made for Echo Church's Trunk-or-Treat

Quiet Book for niece Brighton for Christmas
A family Christmas gift depicting my brother, his wife, and two girls.

Asymmetrical artwork for a Christmas gift.
A new piece hanging in my hallway as a reminder of one of my favorite Bible verses.

A reclaimed wooden palette turned piece of art and new jewelry storage.

 #20--Beat my Jazzercise evaluation from last evaluation.
So, I didn't exactly beat it.  But, I made progress.  And I feel challenged to keep improving before next year's evaluation.

#22--Complete a Beth Moore Bible study.
I haven't completed one yet.  But, my Echo Bible study group decided to complete the Breaking Free Bible study beginning in January.  (And this wasn't selected to help me knock something off my list).  The best part about this?  I started the Breaking Free study almost 10 years ago in college and quickly abandoned it.  This round will not have the same outcome.

#27--Read at least one Bible verse a day.
So, I am not accomplishing this, but I am making progress.  A good friend and I have committed to holding each other to Bible reading.  So, we found a Bible reading plan that gives you a topic to study for two weeks, reading one chapter of Scripture a day.  When I am behaving, I read before I get out of bed.  But, I've learned that if I don't read it as soon as I get up, I don't read it at all.  But, again, I'm making progress.

One Big Change
When I originally set up this list, I was feeling ambitious.  And 6 months later, I still do.  But, there has always been one entry on this list that has never sat well with me.


I have lived in the same apartment for almost 7 years.  I signed my lease in April 2005, just before I graduated from college.  And now I sit here, in that same living room, 7 years later and this place feels more like home today than it ever has.  There is nothing outstanding about my apartment.  I has one bedroom.  The rent is cheap and the heat and water are included.  It is 5 minutes from my full-time job and exactly in the middle of my two "paid hobby" jobs.  I cannot paint a single wall but have been able to get pets because I've proven I'm a good tenant.  But when I walk in that door, I can let out a deep breath and know that I am home.

Now, chances are I will not live in this apartment for the rest of my life.  But, I also don't want to move just because I put it on a "to-do" list.

So, I now have a new #23.  And this one I think is even more important to my success in life.

Old #23--Move.

New #23--Embrace my relationship status.

I have a confession to make.  My name is Beth, and I am a struggling single.  If you had asked me when I signed that least 7 years ago if I thought I'd be living in this apartment for long, my answer would have been "no."  I would have told you that I expected to live here for a bit, and then within the next couple of years I would probably be getting married and move into a place with my husband.  Boy, was I wrong.

I have watched quite a few friends go down that path.  Graduate.  Meet someone of the opposite sex.  Flirt and show interest.  Start to date.  Get engaged.  Get married.  Buy a house.  Buy a dog.  Start having cute little babies.

I, however, have done the exact opposite of that.  I graduated.  Met no one of the opposite sex in which to flirt with or show interest.  Have not been on a date since the Fall of 2002 (let me help you with that math--it's 9 1/2 years).  I have not gotten married.  I have not even considered buying a house.  I did not buy a dog. And the only two "cute babies" that I have are my cats (and I constantly fight against Cat Lady status).

This life is nothing that I would have predicted 7 years ago when I graduated college.  But these 7 years have been a huge blessing.

While I am aware of all I've been able to accomplish as a successful single woman, that desire for a husband and a family have never gone away.  I constantly have to remind myself that 28 is not the same as 97 (this sometimes works better than other times).  But I am truly learning about patience.  And I am learning that I can't allow what those around me tell me about my single life to impact how I feel about my life as a single lady.  (For more on this, read this incredible post about what single people wish married people realized on  The Sexy Celibate).  And, if this had all been up to me, I would have rushed into a relationship with the first fella that came my way, no matter how "perfect" or "imperfect" he would have been for me.

So, by the time that I am 30, I pray that I not only accept my relationship status, whatever that may be at the time, but that I embrace it fully.