The cornerstone of this blog is my 30 Before 30 list. Yesterday, I celebrated birthday 29. Giving me just one year to complete this list.

For quite a while, I’ve known that I’m not going to complete it. Not even close.

There were so many things that naive-23-year-old-Julia assumed about her life and her future that didn’t exactly come to be. It didn’t even cross her mind that she might be living in Dalhart; she hadn’t even heard of Dalhart. She didn’t think that both she and her husband would ever work non-traditional, non-office jobs. She didn’t think she’d get tired of her old hobbies, want new ones, or change her interests. She didn’t think it would be so dang hard to get pregnant. She didn’t think that sleeping in and laying on the couch at night would sound so much better than doing something active. I’m not even sure if she thought she would age.

Well, life showed her.

As I look over my list now, there are so many of the goals that are still important to me. And so many that just aren’t. With my last year, there are several goals that I’m excited to keep working on – and a few I’m excited to let go of the pressure to do. Here’s a little update on my progress… and lack there of.

Go on a safari. 23-year-old-Julia didn’t think it would be so hard to get her husband to go to Africa with her. One of these days, I’m going to get him to come around.

Give regularly and substantially to charity. Done. Having always worked in the non-profit sphere, it was easy to throw my support behind whatever organization I was working for at the time. But, it has been so fun and fulfilling to step away from working in that world and be able to give where my heart actually and fully is.

Learn to eat more vegetables. Done. This is one of the goals that I put a lot of time and effort into. I’ve so enjoyed finding new vegetables and new recipes that I can not only tolerate, but actually enjoy. The biggest hurdle – realizing that you don’t have to boil a vegetable to mush (something my dear grandmother never learned).

Learn Latin dancing. Didn’t happen. Probably not going to happen.

Learn a new language. This is the goal that I have the most regret about. I have Rosetta Stone and live with a fluent Spanish speaker. Why is the only thing I can say in Spanish “Yo quiero Taco Bell” ?!? And I don’t even like Taco Bell.

Go to all the continents (well, besides Antarctica. It’s just cold there.) I only have Australia to go! Crossing my fingers to cross this one off the list soon. Maybe for my 30th!

Learn to play tennis. Russell and I totally played tennis several times in DC. Then we moved to the part of the world where it blows 40 mph wind on a normal day, with dirt and cow poo in the air. And that was the end of our tennis playing.

Stop being so dang forgetful. I plead the fifth on this one.

Start and maintain my own garden. We started a garden, and moved, and started a new one, and moved, and so on… And it’s in my plans for my backyard makeover. I’m feeling confident that I’ll have this one checked off by next year!

Become a better cook. Check.

Improve photography skills. Check.

Start scrapbooking again. I haven’t been able to get back into paper scrapbooking, but I have done digital scrapbooking. That counts…?

Learn HTML and Flash and create a website. I didn’t learn too much HTML or Flash, but I have created a website or two.

Find ways to manage my stress besides having a short temper, crying, and grinding my teeth. Unfortunately, my dentist can tell you this didn’t come to be.

Have active savings accounts for each kids’ college and our retirement. Let’s get real… after four years as a farmwife, I still don’t understand farm finances. So, I have no idea if we are planning for retirement. Do farmers retire??

Be able to do pushups and pull-ups. Haha.

Go on a cruise. Completed!

Make a cookbook of family recipes. This is another goal that I regret not happening yet. One year left to get it done…

Do a wine tour of Napa Valley. No tour of Napa yet, but I did tour Temecula, CA

Completely forgive anyone I hold grudges against. True, total, Biblical forgiveness is so hard. You think that pain and resentment is gone – and then one day it rears its ugly head. This is something I am constantly working on and praying about. I know it’s a soul thing, not a head thing – and those just seem to be harder to change.

Move back to Texas! Check. Y’all.

Learn to drive a stick shift. I still have no idea what a clutch is or what it does.

Learn to ski or snowboard. It turns out, I still don’t like the cold. So, I haven’t spent so much time (read: any time) working on this one. And, unless I can find a place to ski or snowboard in Hawaii, I’m probably not going to.

Maintain relationships with my relatives. So happy to say yes to this one. Not only do I still have a wonderful relationship with my family, I’ve gotten to know Russell’s family so much better since starting this list. We are truly blessed to have such wonderful, loving, supportive families in our lives.

Buy myself a nice piece of jewelry. Check!

Stay fit. Ugh. This goal hangs over me every morning when I sleep in instead of getting up and going to the gym. Right now, this one is a fail.

Be a better reader. Sometimes this is true. Sometimes it’s not.

Become more aware of current events and politics. I’m a total political cynic since leaving DC and so disillusioned by our government, its leaders, and our society in general. And I avoid the news as a result. So much so, that my recent Google searches include “What is ISIS?” I wouldn’t say I’m too aware.

Enjoy life with Russell. So much, yes. Life with him is a ball.

Be genuinely at peace when I turn 30. Life has thrown a lot of curve balls and tough times over the last few years. I could have never pictured this life that I’m living – and I sure wish there were some things that I’d done differently along the way. But today, at 29, I have the most amazing husband, a wonderful and entertaining zoo of pets, a lovely home, and Purpose for my life. And I’m at peace with that.


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