Life Stuff, Yearly List

New List: 30 Things To Do Before 31

I haven’t blogged in…almost a year. Bad blog host. But what an eventful year it was! A year ago, Boone and I were preparing to move to Cleveland. A year later, we have a one month old! As many of you know, I make a yearly list of things I want to try to accomplish by my birthday the following year (see 22, 25, 26, 27, and 28). It’s getting more and more difficult to make these lists. Partly because I have a rule that I cannot reuse an item until five years have gone by.

Here’s a look back at what I completed from last year’s list. I only completed 10/29…not so hot. Although, I think “get pregnant and have a baby” deserves at least five slots on this list…

Here’s last year’s list – 29 Things to do Before 30

1. Pass my Board Certification Exam – completed 7.12.2016


2. Get a job as a music therapist – completed 5.23.2016


3. Sell our condo – completed 7.22.2016


4. Move to Cleveland, OH – completed 7.20.2016


5. Take part in NEOcycle events – September 9-11completed 9.10.2016


6. Dance in the rain

7. Ride at least 1,500 miles on my bike — I only rode 835.4 miles this year. Sad day for the BMC.

8. Go to a Major League Baseball game.

9. Visit a National Park – We drove through Cuyahoga National Park…does that count?

10. Go to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

11. Go to a drive-in movie

12. Visit Niagra Falls

13. Go see my brother graduate from college! (What?!) – Well, extenuating circumstances limited my ability to travel in May. But I did get to LiveStream his graduation and saw him walk across the stage!


14. Do the Canopy Walk in Kirtland, OH. – completed 10.29.2016


15. Try yoga three times a week for a month

16. Go to a Cleveland Orchestra performancecompleted 9.3.2016


17. Eat food from a food truckcompleted 6.23.2016


18. Plan a visit to my goodest friend David.completed 10.15.2016


19. Go to Cedar Point!

20. Write a letter to myself to be opened when I’m 35.

21. Leave a $100 tip for someone when we go out to dinner

22. Record 5 covers of songs or write originals with Boone

23. Spend New Years Eve in New York City

24. Go to a new restaurant and let the waiter pick my entire meal

25. Go on a night bike ride

26. Have a “no spend” month–only spend money on necessities – completed 2.2017

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27. Learn how to play a new instrument

28. Complete a triathlon

29. Go paddle boarding

And now for this year’s list – 30 Things to do Before 31

1. Take Baby G to Tennessee

2. Take Baby G to Iowa

3. Blog more

4. Read 20 books by December 31st

5. Hike to find five waterfalls

6. Breastfeed in public

7. Go to the Taste of Tremont on July 16th

8. Go visit Kelsey!

9. Go to the U.S. Professional Road & Time Trial National Championships

10. Try East Coast Original Custard

11. Take Baby G to a Cleveland Indians baseball game

12. Watch the sunset from the Solstice Steps in Lakewood

13. Attend the 2017 Star Spangled Spectacular on June 30th

14. Take a walk through the cultural gardens

15. Go to a Cleveland Orchestra concert at Severance Hall

16. Go see the worlds largest rubber stamp

17. Keep a monthly photo journal documenting Baby G’s first year.

18. Go to Cleveland’s Labor Day Oktoberfest

19. Go zip lining with Boone

20. Take Baby G to the Cleveland zoo

21. Make a meal out of ingredients found at West Side Market

22. Go to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History

23. Take Gus to doggy training classes

24. Take a glass blowing class

25. Get a couple’s massage

26. Visit Elliot in Illinois

27. Make progress on the yard projects we have planned

28. Try a new restaurant in Cleveland every month

29. Write and illustrate a children’s book for Baby G with Boone

30. Donate Baby G’s preemie clothes to the NICU

Until next time, fellow BFs!

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Life Stuff, Yearly List

The New List: 2016 Edition 29 Things To Do Before 30

Alright, it’s everybody’s favorite time of year. The time of year when the new list comes out! First, let’s take a look at the progress of last year’s list. Overall, I think I did pretty well.

28 Things To Do Before I Turn 29

1. Go to a minor league baseball game

2. Graduate with my second masters degree! – finished my coursework 12.15.16

3. Host a fancy dinner party

4. Ride in RAGBRAI – completed 7.24-25.2015 

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5. Start my music therapy internship – completed 1.4.2016

6. Be a bridesmaid for the first time – completed 6.20.2015 at Tori’s wedding!


7. Ride a roller coaster with Boone because we have never ridden one together

8. Go away on a girls weekend with my mom – completed 5.28.16-5.30.16


9. Drive a Vespa

10. Go hiking at a local state park – completed 5.21.2016 at The Palisades


11. Complete at least three sewing projects – completed July 2015


12. Go to an arena football game

13. Go to Cedar Rapids BBQ Roundup (June 25-28) – completed 6.27.2015 
14. Go to one of those drink wine + paint pictures classes

15. Go on a coin flip road trip

16. Call someone, tell them to look out their window, and be standing on their front lawn

17. Listen to an audiobook – completed 6.25.2015 with Steven King’s Mr Mercedes — see my blog post about it 
18. Go visit my Grandma in Denver, CO – completed 7.2-5.2015 with Elliot and Mom.

19. Complete a weekend without electricity

20. Complete a coloring book for adults – this was not completed but I did color some pages…


21. Be listed as an author on a research paper published in a journal – completed 11.17.2015


22. Keep a journal. Doesn’t have to be everyday…just periodic writings – completed! I also kept a journal for my music therapy internship

23. Spend less time on my phone – I’d have to ask Boone about this one…

24. Complete a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle – completed 1.1.2016 

25. Visit Snake Alley in Burlington, Iowa

26. Be able to look at myself and be happy with what I see even if it’s not exactly where my end goal is – I think this one will always be a work in progress but the important thing is that I’m making progress toward this goal.

27. Get all fancy-schmancy and go on a date with my husband! – completed 3.25.2016

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28. Get a library card – completed 6.29.2015

And now for this year’s list! I think I have some exciting things to offer this year! 2016-17 is going to be an exciting year of transition and change. Here’s what’s on the list for this year.

29 Things to do Before 30

1. Pass my Board Certification Exam

2. Get a job as a music therapist

3. Sell our condo

4. Move to Cleveland, OH

5. Take part in NEOcycle events – September 9-11

6. Dance in the rain

7. Ride at least 1,500 miles on my bike

8. Go to a Major League Baseball game.

9. Visit a National Park

10. Go to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

11. Go to a drive-in movie

12. Visit Niagra Falls

13. Go see my brother graduate from college! (What?!)

14. Do the Canopy Walk in Kirtland, OH.

15. Try yoga three times a week for a month

16. Go to a Cleveland Orchestra performance

17. Eat food from a food truck

18. Plan a visit to my goodest friend David.

19. Go to Cedar Point!

20. Write a letter to myself to be opened when I’m 35.

21. Leave a $100 tip for someone when we go out to dinner

22. Record 5 covers of songs or write originals with Boone

23. Spend New Years Eve in New York City

24. Go to a new restaurant and let the waiter pick my entire meal

25. Go on a night bike ride

26. Have a “no spend” month–only spend money on necessities

27. Learn how to play a new instrument

28. Complete a triathlon

29. Go paddle boarding

Life Stuff, Yearly List

28 Things To Do Before I Turn 29

Okay, first and foremost…when did I become closer to 30 than 20. That’s terrifying.

Every year I make a list of X things to do before I turn X. My first list was 22, I skipped 23 & 24 (because I forgot that I wanted to do that within the year…maybe “Remember I have a list” should’ve been on that list). Here’s year 25 and 26 and here is last year’s list.

1. Create a YouTube video that gets over 1,000 views

2. Put together care bags for the homeless — *sigh* this has been on my list two years in a row and I still haven’t done it.

3. Sing solo for a complete stranger in public – completed 7.19.2014 and you can find the video on Boone’s FB page!

4. Ride a roller coster – completed 5.23.2015 thanks to Tori’s bachelorette party!  5. Complete a bike ride longer than 64 miles (which is the longest we’ve ever ridden) – completed 7.20.2014

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Rode 105K for the Rapha Women’s 100K (65.3 miles!)

6. Complete the June Ab Challenge (a Facebook event that someone created) – I completed 19 days of this but then my back started hurting

7. Fly in a hot air balloon

8. Visit a state I’ve never been to before –  completed 2.7.2015-2.9.2015 – visited Minnesota!

9. Pay off both my credit cards – completed 8.1.2014

10. Go Zorbing

11. Attend the Sweet Corn Festival in Cedar Rapids and eat sweet corn!

12. Learn a new meal each month – completed 5.2015
May – Blackened Salmon
June – Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti
July – Blueberry Protein Pancakes
August – One-Pan Chicken Burrito Bowls
September – Chicken, Bacon, Broccoli, and Rice
October – Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowl
November – I COOKED A TURKEY!
December – Chorizo Mac and Cheese
January – Red Beans and Rice
February – Chicken Alfredo Baked Ziti
March – Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Bake
April – Teriyaki Salmon with Sriracha Cream Sauce
May – Stuffed French Bread

13. Buy a lotto ticket with the numbers from a fortune cookie

14. Attend a beer festival – completed 6.7.2014 

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Corridor Beer Fest

15. Fly a kite – completed 8.18.2014

16. Run a 5K – completed 7.19.2014, 8.30.2014, 9.20.2014, 10.25.2014

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17. Go to the Field of Dreams – completed 6.13.2014

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18. Go on a bike ride every day for a week (weather permitting)

19. Go ice skating

20. Go berry picking – completed 7.19.2014

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21. Get my picture taken with all 83 Herkys on Parade ran out of time on this one…they took them all away and auctioned them off…here’s my picture with one of them. I got 20 out of 83…

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22. Go to Solon Beef Days – completed 7.19.2014

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23. Go to the American Gothic House

24. Go to the Trek Fest in Riverside, IA – completed 6.28.2014

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25. Go to a Music Therapy conference – completed 11.6.2014-11.9.2014 AND I got a scholarship!

photo courtesy of Ginny Driscoll
photo courtesy of Ginny Driscoll

26. Finish the 52 Week Money Challenge – completed 3.30.2015

27. Read at least five books and write a “book review” blog post – I completed 3 out of 5. Didn’t have too much time to read this semester. I could write research article reviews next time though…I read a lot of those. 


And now…for this year’s list!

28 Things To Do Before I Turn 29.

1. Go to a minor league baseball game

2. Graduate with my second masters degree!

3. Host a fancy dinner party

4. Ride in RAGBRAI

5. Start my music therapy internship

6. Be a bridesmaid for the first time

7. Ride a rollercoaster with Boone because we have never ridden one together

8. Go away on a girls weekend with my mom

9. Drive a Vespa

10. Go hiking at a local state park

11. Complete at least three sewing projects

12. Go to an arena football game

13. Go to Cedar Rapids BBQ Roundup (June 25-28)

14. Go to one of those drink wine + paint pictures classes

15. Go on a coin flip road trip

16. Call someone, tell them to look out their window, and be standing on their front lawn

17. Listen to an audiobook

18. Go visit my Grandma in Denver, CO

19. Complete a weekend without electricity

20. Complete a coloring book for adults

21. Be listed as an author on a research paper published in a journal

22. Keep a journal. Doesn’t have to be everyday…just periodic writings

23. Spend less time on my phone

24. Complete a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle

25. Visit Snake Alley in Burlington, Iowa

26. Be able to look at myself and be happy with what I see even if it’s not exactly where my end goal is.

27. Get all fancy-schmancy and go on a date with my husband!

28. Get a library card

Life Stuff, Yearly List

27 Things To Do Before I Turn 28

Every year for the past few years I’ve made a list of X things to do before I turn X. My first list was 22, I skipped 23 & 24 and continued at 25 (here’s both 25 & 26) so this is my fourth list! I have yet to complete a whole list because most of the time I put something that I am pretty sure I won’t get to do but that would be cool to accomplish some day! This year I had a hard time putting together a new list of things but I’ve finally finished it (almost a month after my birthday…)

1. Create a YouTube video that gets over 1,000 views

2. Put together care bags for the homeless

3. Sing solo for a complete stranger in public

4. Ride a roller coster

5. Complete a bike ride longer than 64 miles (which is the longest we’ve ever ridden)

6. Complete the June Ab Challenge (a Facebook event that someone created)

7. Fly in a hot air balloon

8. Visit a state I’ve never been to before

9. Pay off both my credit cards

10. Go Zorbing

11. Attend the Sweet Corn Festival in Cedar Rapids and eat sweet corn!

12. Learn a new meal each month

13. Buy a lotto ticket with the numbers from a fortune cookie

14. Attend a beer festival

15. Fly a kite

16. Run a 5K

17. Go to the Field of Dreams

18. Go on a bike ride every day for a week (weather permitting)

19. Go ice skating

20. Go to an apple orchard

21. Get my picture taken with all 83 Herkys on Parade

22. Go to Solon Beef Days

23. Go to the American Gothic House

24. Go to the Trek Fest in Riverside, IA

25. Go to a Music Therapy conference

26. Finish the 52 Week Money Challenge (at the time I’m writing this, we are currently on week 23!)

27. Read at least five books and write a “book review” blog post!

I’ve already completed some of these which is exciting! Maybe this year will be the first year I will complete the list!

Until next time, fellow BFs!

Life Stuff, Yearly List

New List: 26 Things to do Before 27

The third year of my to-do list came to a close last week so it’s time to check-in and see how I did!

26 Things To Do Before I Turn 27

1. Keep a daily gratitude journal completed 5.25.14

2. Complete an organized cycling century

3. Eat a Philly Cheesesteak in Philadelphia completed 6.2.13

4. Finally reach my goal weight

5. Make a family yearbook – this is in progress, I just have to compile it into a book!

6. Care bags for the homeless – I am going to put this on this year’s list

7. See another musical in either Chicago or New York

8. Go camping for the first time

9. See someone famous in person. completed 6.4.13

10. Go on a cruise

11. Complete the book “Try Something New: 100 Creative Ways to Spend Time Together” – we did not complete this but it’s in progress!

12. Go See Cirque du Soleil “Love”

13. Edit wedding videos

14. Cut the habit of biting my nails completed just under the gun!

15. Move to a new state completed 8.1.2013

16. Go rock climbing (can either be indoors or outdoors) completed 6.21.13

17. Try to go vegetarian for a month (Boone says preferably February since it’s the shortest month) completed 2.1.2014-2.28.2014

18. Volunteer at a soup kitchen

19. Help out a stranger in distress (and not get killed) – I was never really presented with this opportunity…

20. Watch the Top 50 Best Movies of all time – we started this but never finished it…

21. Go see The Blue Man Group completed 3.22.14

22. Go to a Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre completed 7.13.13

23. Sell 100 things on my Etsy shop – yeah, this was a good idea. And then I started school again…

24. Finish Baylor’s baby blanket (before he is no longer a baby…) Completed 12.29.2013

25. Make a wedding album – In progress!

26. Go to an Iowa University football game completed 11.23.13

Boone and I also went skiing this year, so I think that can count as something that I don’t accomplish this year!

Bonus: Go skiing for the first time with Boone  completed 2.23.2014

So now that this year is done, I am starting to make my new list but I’m stuck! If you have any ideas, leave them as a comment! I’d greatly appreciate it!

Until next time, fellow BFs!

Life Stuff, Yearly List

New List – 26 Things To Do Before 27

Alrighty, it is time for the yearly recap. To see which things I didn’t complete and which things I have checked off my list!

Last year’s list …

1. Spend time in another country – My first trip was to Toronto, Canada in June with the Church Street United Methodist Youth Choir. My second trip was to Dublin, Republic of Ireland; and Belfast, Northern Ireland with the University of Tennessee Chamber Singers.

2. Graduate with my masters in Choral Conducting. What UP?! Did this. Done that. Got the tassel and hood.

3. Figure out what I’m going to do after I graduate with my masters in choral conducting. I’ve applied for a second Masters degree! I’m going to get my Masters in Music Therapy.

4. Complete a 50-mile bike ride – Been there. Done that! I actually completed a 63 mile bike ride.

5. Drink a full Guinness in Ireland (I figured David, Meagan, and Ben would appreciate this one). It was actually delicious! And I had 1 1/2.

6. Complete a 3D puzzle. Boone and I finished our 3D puzzle a couple of days after New Year! You can see the picture at this post!

7. Vote

8. Write something in wet cement – Completed!!! Check out my Daily Photo Journal on June 14th!

9. Sleep outside for a night

10. Mail five “just ’cause” cards to five strangers. You can check out my Daily Photo Journal for May and see the five just because letters to strangers!

11. Buy a ukulele and play it. Boone bought me a ukulele for Christmas and I learned a few songs on it! I can play “You Are My Sunshine” and “Lean On Me” and “I’m Yours” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” … I even auditioned at Iowa University with it :)

12. See “The Book of Mormon” in New York City

13. Master one really cool magic trick. I don’t know if it’s really cool. But I can do a magic trick.

14. Visit a theme park – I went to Cedar Point with the Church Street United Methodist Youth Choir.

15. Play laser tag

16. Take a Megabus on a trip somewhere

17. Knit my first cabled something

18. Ride on a train, preferably overnight. I did ride on a train. It was not overnight. I might not count this out just yet…but we took a train in Belfast to Carrickfergus and saw a castle.

19. Read a biography Although I didn’t finish this during my 25th year on earth…I did read one over choir tour! I read “Bossypants” by Tina Fey. There will be a book review soon.

20. Make my second t-shirt blanket. Finished this on 1.9.2013!

21. Write a message, put it in a bottle, and throw it into the ocean. I finished 2/3 of this. I never threw it into the ocean because I was worried that it wasn’t sealed well. It’s still sitting on my dresser…ready to be thrown into the ocean. Whenever I see the ocean again…

22. Finish the Sunday New York Times Crossword by Tuesday … in pen … without cheating. — I attempted this. I tried really hard. But this is as far as I got…

23. Write and perform my own arrangement with reVOLution DONE! I arranged “The Star Spangled Banner with reVOLution” Hear it HERE.

24. Keep a daily photo journal. Done and donner! I am in the process of putting together a photo album for the year! I’ll post it when I’m done :D

25. Get rid of half of my clothes. Took 23 bags to the Goodwill! You can also find a picture of that here.

This year’s list …

1. Keep a daily gratitude journal

2. Complete an organized cycling century

3. Eat a Philly cheesesteak in Philadelphia. This one was a little disappointing because my mom makes really good Philly cheesesteak sandwiches…sorry, Philadelphia.

4. Finally reach my goal weight

5. Make a family yearbook

6. Care bags for the homeless

7. See another musical in either Chicago or New York.

8. Go camping for the first time.

9. See someone famous in person. When we were in New York we walked by the set of Cameron Diaz’s new film “The Other Woman”

10. Go on a cruise.

11. Complete the book “Try Something New: 100 Ways To Spend Time Together”

12. Go see Cirque du Soleil – “Love”

13. Edit wedding videos

14. Make a wedding album

15. Cut the habit of biting my nails!

16.  Move to a new state.

17. Go rock climbing (can either be indoors or outdoors!)

18. Try to go vegetarian for a month. (Boone says preferably February since it’s the shortest month)

19. Volunteer at a soup kitchen

20. Help out a random stranger in distress (and don’t get killed…)

21. Watch the Top 50 best movies off all time.

22. Go see The Blue Man group.

23. Go to a Murder Mystery Dinner

24. Sell 100 things on my Etsy shop

25. Finish Baylor’s baby blanket (before he is no longer a baby…)

26. Go to an Iowa University football game

The list is complete!

Until next time fellow BFs!

Life Stuff, Yearly List

What You Find When Cleaning! 22 Things To Do Before 23

Over break I decided to clean up my room at my parents house. I mean, let’s face it…clearly anything that stays at my parents house is not SUPER important or something I use on a daily basis…otherwise it would be at MY house. So I was cleaning out the drawers in my bedside table and found a journal. Two things…A of all, I was a hilariously dramatic teenager. B of all, I found “Emily’s 22 before 23” list. Apparently when my friend Sharon came for a visit, we decided to make this list for myself. I honestly forgot about it and now that I’m almost 25…I’m not sure what all I accomplished during my twenty-second year of living. But here’s the list and here’s what I’ve accomplished!

Emily’s 22 before 23

1. Meet someone famous – I met Deborah Brown sometime recently…not sure if it was in the past two years or not. I would consider her famous. I feel like I’ve met someone else, too, but I can’t put my finger on it. Must not have been a really cool famous person…

2. Fall deeply in love – That I did…love is an interesting game though. And sometimes not enough…

3. Paint my apartment – Good thing I didn’t specify which apartment I wanted to paint! Check!

4. Get into grad school – Check!

5. Get a better job – At the time, I was working at Ruby Tuesday’s on Alcoa Highway. A good job. But definitely not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Now I work at Maryville College. I say “check!”

6. Lose ten pounds – I’ve lost 20 pounds this past year. My goal this year is to lose 20 more! Check!

7. Get a new phone – Hell-to-the-check! I love my iPhone!

8. Go on a long hike – Maybe? This is something that I should keep on my list of things to do every year though…

9. Audition for American Idol – Check! That process is wack, yo!

10. Go on a picnic in the park with Will and Sharon – I can’t remember if we did this…I know we hung out a lot and we had picnics together but…if we didn’t do this…we need to!

11. Spend a whole day at the park – I definitely did this…but not before I was 23. It was this year. Check anyways!

12. Learn “Dance Sucka” – The Donald Brown piano piece. I still don’t know the bridge…no check.

13. Get another piercing – Hmm..at the time I made this list I’m not sure what piercings I had…I did get another piercing…I got my belly button pierced. But it has since closed up. Check anyways!

14. Go to Dollywood or a Theme Park – Check! I love theme parks. I should go to more.

15. Work on my belting technique – I can make so many belts now! Kidding…I never had the opportunity to take voice lessons until I came back to school. We’ll come back to that one.

16. Play around town with Will – Definitely did that! We were pretty good at playing around town :) Check!

17. Make new friends – CHECK CHECK CHECK! (Meagan, David, Ben, etc, etc, etc!)

18. Scat in at least one concert – Check! I scatted on my senior recital and I scat on almost every gig!

19. Read Breaking Dawn – Check (sadly)

20. Be happy – Check!

21. Get butterflies more often – Check!

22. Always keep my childish enthusiasm! – Check! I think that Sharon contributed this last one. And I think it’s my favorite :)

I say that 18/22 things is not bad! This list has inspired me to create a list every year. On my birthday I will comprise a list of “XX things to do before XX”

Yaay for lists!

Until next time, fellow BFs. I hope you had a great holiday break!