thirty, before thirty.

See the Avett Brothers, live. 

I’m a big fan of the Avett Brothers, and I love a good concert—I just haven’t been to one in a while.  And I’ve never seen the Avett Brothers, shockingly enough.  So that’s one thing I’d like to do in the next five years.

Read all of The Chronicles of Narnia – DONE! 

I think the problem with this is that I start with the publishing order, instead of the order Lewis wanted them to be read in…which means I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and remember how good it is…and want to just re-read it instead of going on to the next book.

Update: I finished earlier this fall! I loved the whole series. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is probably still my favorite, but I also loved The Last Battle, so much.

Learn how to make a cheesecake from scratch…and do it.

I like to bake—I’m just not the best baker. But cheesecake is my favorite dessert…besides funfetti.  And I’m determined to perfect this one.

Write, and be published. – DONE! 

Even if it’s on a dotcom website.  Even if it’s just an article. I don’t want to be a starving artist, and I’m not an aspiring novelist, but I figure my affair with words should be put to good use.

Update: One missions lesson, several WMU blogs, and a real life article (or three, actually – all in The Alabama Baptist). I love writing.

Spend a year working, at a real job. – IN PROGRESS 🙂 

This one should be attainable, soon.  It will be the first time in twenty-one years that I haven’t been in school.  I’m a little sad, thinking about it.

Go to a Greek Festival in a city where I live. – DONE 

I have lived in two cities with fantastic Greek festivals…and have never been. This has to change, and soon.

Update: Done  and done. And Melanie and I had a fantastic time – it was the perfect fall day in Birmingham.

Consistently volunteer for (and maybe one day work for?) a faith-based non-profit. – DONE

I miss working with Christy. I miss the trailer park, and the craziness and beauty and ministry that was there.  I’m not sure what I want to do when I graduate.  But there’s only one way to find out…one step of trying something at a time.

Update: I work for a church. Not sure if you can get more faith-based non-profit than that, right?

Watch my Gamecocks play again…something, somewhere. – DONE

If I had my way, it would be football, in Williams Brice stadium, on the perfect day.  But right now I’ll settle for swimming, tennis, soccer, baseball…water polo…well, maybe not the last one, but still.

Update: While it’s too bad that I didn’t specify seeing them win this game, I have seen my Gamecocks play football in Tennessee. My friend Dane got us tickets, and I also got to see other dear friends from Beeson land. All in all, a happy weekend – except for the loss.

Buy another bookcase, and paint it. – DONE

Many of you have heard about the mustard yellow bookcase in my room. The “real one”—as opposed to fake laminate and not-real imitation wood.  Bought from a yardsale, painted at Casa de Splawn…and now, two houses later, it lives on 6th Court.  It needs a friend….one day.  Maybe a green one…or garnet.

Update: Chandler and I went shopping and I found a new bookcase! And it’s already painted. And it’s beautiful. Now I just need some books.

Run a race. – IN PROGRESS 

I’ve never ran an official 5K or 10K. I’ve been “running”—which in my terms is probably more like jogging slowly or walking quickly, depending on the day, since winter…but maybe next year, I’d like to run an official race.  Maybe even The Color Run!

Update: Training for a 5K! Who ever thought I’d actually semi-enjoy running?

Finish writing in my journal. – DONE

This might sound like a dumb goal, but I am notorious for getting a new journal, writing in half of it, forgetting about it, and then getting a new one.  Not anymore. I want to finish the one I’m currently in…which I bought right before I went to Poland.  Before Birmingham.  Before life here. Wow. I need to get on that…now.

Update: The brown journal is full. Now, onto the blue…

Brave new heights. – DONE

I’m afraid of heights. Maybe you did or did not know this.  Chances are, if you flew to Boston with me…you knew this.  So I’d like to do another “something scary” (this time, without the help of my friend Ativan) as far as being high up in the air in the next few years. Maybe that just means actually venturing INTO my attic instead of holding onto the stairs in panic.  I told you I was really afraid.

Update: I did something on the ropes course at Shocco Springs involving myself being attached to a wire, climbing up a ladder, and flying through the air while screaming Scripture. This goal is done, forever.

Write a “Conversations with Ourselves” piece. – DONE 

I admit, I like to read people’s blogs.  Especially people I’ve never met. Most of them I found on, a Christian writers’ blog with lots of journals and editorials and opinions. One writer does a column each week where people have conversations with themselves years before.  I would love to write something like that. Maybe that’s my next reflective project.

Update: I wrote this piece last winter.

Learn a different language.

I know I’ve “learned” Hebrew and Greek…but those are languages that can’t really be spoken, since I’ve learned them in the Biblical sense. I want to learn a language in the “for real” sense. I want to be able to communicate with someone from another country and know what they are saying, and be able to share with them.  Maybe Spanish.  Maybe something else.

Become a resident of the state where I live. – DONE

Since 2005, I have lived in a state other than the state of my residency. I sure hope this has changed by 2017.  Not saying I want to move back to North Carolina…just saying that I want a driver’s license and tags and a permanent address in the state where I live.

Update: This wasn’t a part of my plan, but when my car died in Alabama, I felt the need to get a new car, which meant getting a license and insurance and car tags. So, now I’m a transplant Alabamian. Roll tide? Maybe not…

Go dancing somewhere, maybe with someone. – DONE 

I’m socially awkward.  I’ll admit it. And I have two left feet.  I can’t swing dance.  I don’t have any rhythm.  And now that my camp days are over, all of the not-awkward-AM-show-closing-celebration-ridiculous-dance moments of my life are over.  One day I might actually want to dance.  Not anything serious.  Not anything professional.  For one night, it could be fun.  Or maybe for one dance.

Update: Lots of dancing this past year. In Zumba. At New Years. And, of course, the epic dance party that was Lindsay Evancho Miles’s wedding. Probably the best.

Stop being such a girl about some things.

Maybe by the time I’m 30, I won’t be such a girl. I won’t be so emotional.  I’ll have my head on my shoulders and a better understanding of who I am, and will worry less, and stress less, and overthink less.  However, I seriously doubt that.  But just in case…here’s to hoping.

Finally finish all of Mere Christianity.

I know thiss probably means I am a bad seminarian.  And bad Protestant.  It’s just that I always begin reading it at an awkward time and then never actually finish it.  This time…maybe it will be different.

Go back to visit the Northeast.

In 2008, I fell in love with a couple of cities.  Well, moreover, I fell in love with a  region.  The Northeast has my heart.  I love Philadelphia.  I love Boston. I really love Boston.  So sometime in the next five years, I want to go back to visit somewhere in the Northeast. Or even Mid-Atlantic. I once said I wanted to live there. I’m not sure if that’s the case anymore, but visiting sure would be nice.

Own a pet. – REJECTED 

I’ve had two pets in my whole life, that I actually considered pets (which means we are excluding the random fair fish): one was a beta, named George, and the other was my cat, named Peedabber.  Yes, Peedabber.  I  have good stories on both these pets, who met early and untimely and sad demises.  I want another pet, though.  Probably just a fish, to be honest, because I don’t like mess.

Update: I changed my mind. I don’t like messy things. No pets for me.

Write something for myself. – DONE 

I know I journal, and I blog, and I write for school.  There are other things to be written—articles and sermons and papers.  But I love words, and I love using them.  It’s the reason that my text messages are so long-winded.  It’s the reason it takes me so long to finish dinner when I’m eating with others—I’m talking, and really listening to what they have to say.  I’ve written fiction pieces before, and reflective pieces before—so this is a commitment to write something, just for me.

Update: I write a lot more these days. Sometimes for pay. Sometimes for fun. Sometimes for church. It always brings me joy, though. Always.

Experience history.

Wherever I live, I want to experience history.  The art museums, the actual museums, the beauties of nature, even something as simple and silly as the Golden Flake factory or peanut factory.

Crochet a scarf.

One day, I will learn to crochet in a straight line.  And then I will make a garnet scarf.

Go to the Alabama Theater and see a movie, at Christmas. – DONE 

This one speaks for itself.

Update: I saw It’s a Wonderful Life this past Christmas…doesn’t get better than that.

Watch a meteor shower.

I know I’m from western North Carolina, and spent time on the Parkway growing up…but I’ve never seen one. I’d like to change this.

Try at least one new restaurant each season.

I don’t eat out that much.  And to be honest—I like to eat at the same places.  I’m a creature of habit…but there are so many great restaurants, and so many great places to eat in Birmingham…I feel like I’m doing a disservice to my city NOT to try some of the fantastic fare here.

Update: So many new restaurants. Here are a few…fall 2012 (Saws Juke Joint and Golden Rule with Jed), winter 2012/2013 (Mugshots with Laine and Jed, Cantina with Melissa and Laine, my birthday dinner at Little Donkey with Dane, Sam, and Christy), spring 2013 (Rojo with RJ and Casey) summer 2013 (Johnnys in Homewood with Chandler, and also with the staff at TAB a few times, Cafe Iz with my AVPC staff, Silvertron Cafe with Melissa and also with the girls for Meredith’s birthday, Mooyah Burger with Laine and Jed, Pei Wei in Knoxville with Dane), and fall 2013 (so far, just Petro’s in Knoxville with Dane).

Go to the taco truck. – DONE

Mary Splawn and I have this running joke that when (if) I ever get married, she’s renting out the taco truck and the Doodles truck to cater the reception. It’s mostly a joke, but I feel like I should try the taco truck before I make my reservations.  We tried to go in the spring, but it rained us out—so it’s on my next list of things to do with Mary.

Update: We went there. And it was delicious. Who knows when (if?) the wedding will happen, but we should go ahead and make reservations, just in case.

Memorize a whole chapter of Scripture.

I’ve wanted to do this for a while, and I’ve memorized Psalms before, but somehow they seem easier than “normal”—so I’m thinking a chapter from a Pauline epistle.  This could be hard.  Definitely worth it, though.

Take my mom on vacation.

Maybe on a cruise.  Maybe to the mountains. Maybe just buying her a plane ticket and getting a hotel and showing her around my city.  But, I want to do this.  I am so so thankful to really LOVE my mom.


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