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


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!

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 


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


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

Summer Winds Down…A Year Gone By

I think summer always goes by too fast. Soon, I may not have a summer so I guess I should be thankful that I at least get some “down” time. Even if “down” really means “not going as fast as I usually go”.IMG_2438.JPG

This summer has been a ton of fun and I’m not saying that it’s over yet, but it’s drawing to a close. Boone and I have put over 500 miles on our bikes and we plan to do some big rides as the summer comes to a close. I’ve crossed several things off of my list of things to do this year which is good because once school starts, it is going to be really difficult to get those things done. We’ve gone to festivals galore this summer including the Trek Fest in Riverside, IA, Blues and BBQ in North Liberty, IA, Solon Beef Days in Solon, IA, and the Sweet Corn Festival in Cedar Rapids is this weekend. We’ve seen a lot of really cool music at all these festivals. And I’ve gotten to spend some quality time with my family and soon some quality time with Boone’s family! IMG_2996.JPG

Summer has gone by fast. But the past year has gone by even faster! It’s really crazy to think that we’ve been up here for a year. I will say that I’ve learned a lot over the past year. First and foremost, being away from family is hard. I thought when we moved that I would be fine because I’ve moved a lot in the past. I thought that Boone would have a difficult time being away from his family because he grew up in Knoxville and this was his first big adventure away from the south. Boy was I wrong. I’ve been the one who has struggled to be away from friends and family. I’ve been the one who comes home crying because I just want to go home. And as much as this house has become our home, I can definitely still feel a hole in my heart. 


Now before you think all bad thoughts, I will say that there have been many blessings to moving so far away. Spending our first year of marriage away from everyone and everything that we know has been a blessing. Boone and I have come to rely on each other for support. If I have a bad day, I know that he’s going to be ready with an open heart to listen to why it’s been bad and if he has a bad day, he knows I’m there to do the same. If we have a disagreement, we sit and work it out. We can’t run right down the road to our family because we “want to get away for a minute”. We go to our separate corners of the house until we’re ready to talk and then we talk about it. We rely on each other and have built a strong foundation of trust and encouragement for each other. Most people say that the first year of marriage is the hardest. We didn’t have a chance to go through a difficult time because we packed up everything we owned and moved 14 hours away from everyone. We learned quickly how to live with one another, we adjusted well to living with each other, and we moved on to tackle bigger and more challenging feats. During the times when I feel the saddest about being so far from home, I think about those things and realize that that in itself would be reason enough to spend a couple of years away from everything that we know. Having a strong foundation on which to build our marriage will be worth it in the long run! 

I have wondered many times over the past year if we made the right decision to move up here. And sometimes I don’t know the answer to that question. What I do know is that music therapy is the right career for me. Without a doubt. And that knowledge is one of the only reasons we’re still up here. If I felt like I was wasting my time, I wouldn’t go through with finishing the program. But when I’m put in a music therapy setting, my heart is at peace. My sadness of leaving my family and Boone’s family is quieted. For that 30-45 minute session, I am happy. The ultimate goal is to push through the next three semesters of course work so that I can do my internship and we can move closer to home! 

This has been a somewhat ramble-y post. And part of the reason for that is because my brain is going about 1,000 miles per hour. There’s a lot on my mind and no real direction. But I haven’t posted much about my experience up here. Mainly because I want my blog posts to be happy and exciting. But, life isn’t always happy and exciting. And I think that’s okay. It’s just taken me a while to realize that it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to miss your family. It’s okay to feel frustrated. It’s also important for me to remember to stay positive and hopeful that the next three semesters will be easier than the past year. That I won’t come home crying most days out of the week. That I can stay strong and finish what I started! 

And before I leave you with this post you should know that I’m thankful for a lot of things. I’m thankful for a supportive husband who has put up with a lot of tears over the past year. I’m thankful for loving parents who have shown more generosity and love than I can ever express. I’m grateful for new friends who help pass the time. I’m grateful for old friends who write me letters that show up at the exact moment I need them most. And most importantly, I’m grateful for the experiences and education I am lucky enough to receive. 

Thanks for reading that. Here’s a picture of Solstice and Finley who choose to eat breakfast and dinner perpendicularly. IMG_2827.JPG

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

Hawkeye Football!

Boone and I decided to cross one of the things off my 26 Things To Do Before 27 list so today we went to the last home Iowa football game of the season!


As you can see, when we left for the game it felt like it was negative one degree! So Boone and I wore layer upon layer. We both wore long underwear, wool socks, a shirt, sweatshirt, jacket, and gloves. Unfortunately we left out hothands at home.


We decided to make our Hawkeye football experience complete by taking the Hawkeye Express!



When we got to the stadium, it was about an hour before kickoff. So even though it was only 10:20, we decided to get some hotdogs and hot chocolate. You might think we were crazy. Until you saw all the drunk people walking around screaming “Go Hawks” and other such related sporting event calls.

Our seats were on the sunny side of the stadium and right behind the goal posts!


Now there were a lot of cool things that happened. Also a lot of weird things. The first weird thing was once the game started, our surrounding neighbors–who clearly were season ticket holders–began comparing stadium activities, football plays, and bad referee calls to farm equipment. For example, there was water dripping from somewhere above us and a guy behind us said “It’s leaking. Just like a John Deere combine.” Which is hilarious. But what’s even better is that everyone around us turns around and goes “ooooooooo………”

Second thing that was hilarious…as we walked to our seats we saw this dude waving a fifth of Jim Beam around in the air. Five minutes into the first quarter, two cops came up the stairs and escorted him out.

A weird thing was the noise level in the stadium. At times it was like you could hear a pin drop. The players kept having to pump up the crowd the way they do. You know how they be! I could only guess that it was because the majority of the crowd was frozen from the inside out.

And then the Hawkeyes won! What a game to be a part of! And I crossed off a thing to do!

Until next time, BFs!