I will turn 30 in 2011. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about that fact - and no, I'm not being snarky. I really can't wait to get out of my 20's and move into my 30's - I'm ready to see what my fourth decade will hold. My 20's were filled with adventure and travel and changes and learning and I'm thankful for them. I'm thankful beyond words that before I reach my 30th birthday (in December) I will have celebrated 11 years of marriage, I will have lived on three continents and an island group (Indonesia), I will have traveled to 13 countries (not counting airports), and I will know enough basic phrases in various languages to be totally dangerous. It's not as much as some people accomplish before they turn 30, but it's more than many people get to do in a lifetime.

Tarakan, Indonesia - February 2008

And so I have 11 months until I bid farewell to my 20's and say hello to my 30's. My original thought was to set up a 30 Before 30 Bucket List. But simply trying to come up with 30 things that I might want to attempt before December 10, 2011 became overwhelming. So I've tweaked the list and come up with my 11 in 11 - eleven things I'd like to accomplish in the eleven months before my birthday. Each item represents something I haven't done before or something that will stretch me as a person. I don't know that I'll strike a line through each of these, but the list is more do-able than the original list of 30. And so here's to dreaming, to birthdays, to adventures, and to stepping outside comfort zones!

1. Eat sushi
2. Finish my (off-brand Rosetta Stone) Spanish lessons
3. Write a novel (or get a good start on one)
4. Visit one of 5 states I haven't been to (MS, AL, VT, NE, NV)
5. Ride a tandem bike with Peter
6. Buy Julia Child's cook book and try 11 recipes
7. Figure out how to turn my passions into a paying job
8. Visit Washington, DC
9. Pay off our house
10. Memorize 11 Bible verses (I'm horrible at memorizing!)
11. Overcome my fear and get a dive certification with Peter
BONUS: Write thank you notes to people who have impacted me over the last 30 years
Snorkeling in Indonesia

I wanted to add "Travel Europe" on there, but I tried to keep it fairly realistic! As it is, I think we're looking at "Paying off the house" vs. all other trips, but if we paid off our mortgage in the next 11 months, I'd be doing a major {happy dance} because that would mean we would have money to go on trips in the future! I'm hoping to take on one item a month and will write a post each month on the 10th to let you know how it's going. Stay tuned!  


  1. I love that you posted this. I have a 30 by 30 list that I'm about to post (Jan 28th is exactly 18 months until I turn 30!). I'm excited to try some new things before I leave my 20s!

    You have some really great goals. If you and Peter ride the tandem bike, please post pictures! I'm not sure if Daniel and I would be so coordinated! I also think your Julia Child cook book idea is great. I'm trying to do scripture verses too. It is a little sad how many I don't know.

    I really hope you are able to achieve your "bonus". I think that is a neat thing to do.

  2. At some point after I graduated college, I really wanted to start tracking down some of my teachers from back when and say thanks...but it was so difficult then because everyone has moved on. But perhaps with the internet, that might be a bit easier now. Maybe for my 40 before 40 list lol.

    So far, 30 has been the best yet :) Hope you get everything done on your list...and go eat sushi already!! It's the greatest -- except you'll be hungry again about an hour later lol

  3. Great post! I like your list of things to do before you turn 30, and I like even more that they are do-able!

    I love the picture of you and Peter snorkelling - were you fully clothed on purpose or was that for lack of swimsuits? There was a missionary guy here who had someone take a picture of him snorkelling.... wearing nothing but a gourd! And he used it for a prayer card picture! Yikes!

  4. Sushi is delicious! I'm sure you'll enjoy.

    I have Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and dang girl, it is hard. Good luck! I'd love to hear about the results.

  5. OOOOOOOOO, girly you know how I love a list! And this one is fantastic.
    I'm totally stealing the Julia Child item to add to my list. Love. It.

    {Can't wait to hear what you think of sushi!!!!}

    Leaving the House in THIS?!?!


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