40 By 40

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40 THINGS TO DO BEFORE MY 40TH BIRTHDAY.

1. Find a form of exercise that I truly ENJOY and do it habitually.
Kathryn Jernigan’s classes at the Choctaw Wellness Center!! Loved step for a year or two, and started going to her hip hop dance class after she stopped teaching step. I actually love dance even more than step, and exercise is truly part of my normal routine for the first time in my entire life.

2. Start and maintain a car replacement fund.

3. Keep some higher-maintenance plants alive.

4. Take a class with Daniel.

5. Start planning meals monthly instead of weekly.

6. Give away something really expensive, anonymously.

7. See one of my favorite bands live in concert.

8. Master the basics of another language.

9. Spend a minimum of two weeks traveling in Europe.

10. Take a sister trip with Robyn.

11. Make at least three recipes from every cookbook I own.

12. Identify mentors in my life, and make time to meet with and learn from them.

13. Set up a home office space.
Hahahaha….did NOT think this would happen as a result of a global pandemic and subsequent quarantine, but here we are!

14. Send more birthday cards, thank-you cards, and just-because cards.
2020 – check! Thanks, quarantine!

15. Read at least 30 new books.
1. It by Stephen King, finished in 2020
2. The Reason for God by Tim Keller, finished in 2020
3. The Mystery of Marriage by Mike Mason, finished in 2020
4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, 2020
5. The Gospel Comes With a Housekey by Rosaria Butterfield, 2020
6. Friends, Partners, & Lovers by Kevin A. Thompson, 2020
7. What Grieving People Wish You Knew about What Really Helps (and What Really Hurts) by Nancy Guthrie, 2020
8. Every Good Endeavor by Tim Keller, finished in 2020
9. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki, 2020
10. Go Pro by Eric Worre, 2020
11. How Can I Love Church Members with Different Politics? by Jonathan Leeman and Andy Naselli, 2020

In progress:
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Problem of Pain by C. S. Lewis

Enjoyed again:
The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, 2020
The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, 2020
The Divergent series by Veronica Roth, 2020
The Maze Runner series by James Dashner, 2020

16. Make a food passport and fill it with “stamps.”

17. Unplug as often as possible. Schedule weekly device-free time and stick to it.

18. Go skydiving.

19. Make my own pasta.

20. Spend intentional time nurturing the marriages around me.
2020 – Daniel and I started leading another foundation group
2020 – I taught the wives’ breakout sessions at Lakepoint Date Night

21. Pay it forward at least once a month.

22. Make peace with my body’s ‘flaws.’

23. Celebrate 10 years and 15 years of marriage.

24. Take another friendscation.
1. Definitely did not expect to be able to check this one off so soon – my surprise 30th birthday trip to NYC was the best-kept secret ever!! I’m 100% convinced I have the best husband and the best friends in the entire world. ♥
2. Our November 2020 cruise got cancelled because of COVID, but we made up for it by spending the week in Nashville instead, and it was a blast!

25. Do something risqué.

26. Come up with a system to keep track of when food goes bad and stop throwing away so much freaking produce.
Step One: Get quarantined and become forced to stay home and cook all the time, lol.

26. Break out of my comfort zone and do adventurous things just because I can.
1. Tried authentic Chinese barbecue in Chinatown, NYC
2. Stopped being intimidated by homemade bread dough and pie crust and made a freaking BALLER chicken pot pie
 and croissants that were so complicated they took 3 full days to make

28. Read at least one book out loud with Daniel every year.
2020 – Every Good Endeavor by Tim Keller

29. Save up for something expensive.
1. 15 acres of raw land – 2020

30. Do some real landscaping in our front yard.
Not the front yard, but we finally hired some guys to do dirt work and lay sod in the backyard in May 2020! My dreams of having a pretty backyard have returned ;)

31. Spend one year doing a “month without:” a month without Netflix, fried food, biting my nails, dessert, etc.

32. Make a calendar for all family/friend birthdays.

33. Host a beauty swap or clothing swap party.

34. Start recording my prayer requests.

35. Write letters to the 10 most influential people who have impacted my life.

36. Play the piano every single week.

37. Remodel our downstairs bathroom.

38. Sponsor a child, and maybe even go meet him or her.

39. Invest in quality skincare and use it consistently.
Over the last six months or so, I’ve been slowly acquiring everything in MONAT’s new-ish skincare line. If I’m going to try it, I want to try all of it together, the way it’s supposed to be used, so I can get the best possible results.

40. Host a backyard dinner party, with multiple courses and everything.

Bonus: Each year, visit a new place I’ve never been before.

  • 2020: Back to NYC for the second time, but this time around, we ate at a bunch of new restaurants, saw a lot more of Central Park, went to the New York Public Library, Chinatown, and Little Italy, and watched Phantom of the Opera, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Drunk Shakespeare // Colorado Springs, Pike’s Peak, Manitou Springs, Garden of the Gods, rafted Royal Gorge // San Diego, California // Nashville, Tennessee
  • 2021: ________
  • 2022: ________
  • 2023: ________
  • 2024: ________
  • 2025: ________
  • 2026: ________
  • 2027: ________
  • 2028: ________
  • 2029: ________
  • 2030: ________

On my travel wishlist:
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
The Grand Canyon
Lake Moraine and Lake Louise in Banff, Canada
Switzerland
Redwood National Park

To find out why I decided to do “40 By 40,” click here!
To read my original “30 By 30” post, click here!