60 Before 30

28 February 2014

With my birthday, this project has concluded! Go here to see my full recap.

Happy birthday to me! 27 is the first year, I think, that has felt “older.” Not “old,” and not older in a bad way, just… older. It seems like I’m closer to late-twenties than mid-twenties now. I see 30 on the horizon, and I want to be ready for it. So, instead of launching a third 101 in 1001 list, I’m trying a 60 Before 30 list! Some of these “goals” are silly, some are serious, some will be really hard, and some are already well on their way to completion. More than anything, I hope writing these things down and working toward them will help me become the person I want to be — strong in mind, body, and spirit; capable and adventurous; encouraging and kind; grateful and generous — when I reach a new decade.


Start: February 28, 2014
End: February 27, 2017
Items completed: 43

1. Cultivate a lemon tree and/or blueberry bush (blueberry bush planted April 2015 and I am so excited!!)
2. Post a guide to the Triangle on EFM
3. Support a friend in something he or she is doing (Kollin’s Kickstarter!)
4. Expand on my very minimal eye makeup techniques (thanks to my personal consult with Sam in December 2016!)
5. Host a themed party
6. Go on a missions trip
7. Plant something pretty around our mailbox (March 2014)
8. Order an heirloom-quality wedding album for our home (January 2015 – post here)
9. Make a watercolor, oil, or acrylic painting
10. Develop a repertoire of at least 12 plant-strong meals we love (post here)
11. Make an appointment with an allergist and consider treatment plan options (June 2014)
12. Pay off the Mariner car loan (February 2014 – post here)
13. Pay off the Focus car loan (June 2014)
14. Fully fund a savings account for our next car purchase (completed December 2015)
15. Host a favorite things party (February 2017)
16. Make our porch a comfy place to gather (in progress)
17. Learn to French braid
18. Celebrate our two year anniversary (September 2014)
19. …and our three year! (September 2015)
20. …and our four year! (September 2016)
21. Hang a giant wedding canvas in our living room (February 2014)
22. Barter a skill in exchange for family photos (January 2015, for June’s newborn session in January 2016! :)
23. Become a morning person (a.k.a. a person who has a habit of waking up at 7am or earlier) with a consistent morning routine
24. Buy a headboard/frame for our bedroom (I’m marking this complete in September 2016 with the addition of decorative pillows after deciding the headboard we want is not in the budget right now!)
25. Develop a consistent and fulfilling prayer life
26. Make a square newel post for our stairs
27. Extravagantly and unexpectedly give to someone else (December 2016, to Nancy’s Dressember)
28. Renovate our backyard so it’s more private and a great place to gather (in progress!)
29. Explore the California coast (May 2014 – posts here, here, here, here, here, and here)
30. Film and edit a video for our church (February 2017 – didn’t film or edit it ourself, but chose the team and helped facilitate it!)
31. Convince Nancy to give me a hair tutorial
32. Open a Fidelity Giving Account (April 2014)
33. Grow a cutting garden with dahlias, roses, and peonies
34. Send out a Christmas card that conveys what Christmas means to us (December 2014 – post here)
35. Pay off at least 35% of our outstanding mortgage
36. Arrive at a compatible bike situation with John (road bike bought on Craigslist September 2014!)
37. Weed through my shoes and remove/sell the ones I don’t wear and decide on storage for the ones I do (September 2015)
38. Go antiquing at Brimfield, Round Top, Scott’s, Alameda, Brooklyn Flea, or another famous market
39. Start a luminaria tradition in our neighborhood (February 2017 – found out there kind of already is a luminaria tradition, so I started a Favorite Things party tradition instead!)
40. Replace my everyday bag (June 2015 – new Longchamp purchased while in Paris!)
41. Expand our family (here she is!)
42. Run a Chick-fil-a 5k
43. Make a will
44. Create a drop zone near our garage door
45. Go to Europe (Paris, Provence, Cassis, and the Cote d’Azur in June 2015)
46. Give away as much as we spend on Christmas gifts in 2014
47. …and 2015
48. …and 2016
49. Canoe down the Haw River (March 2014 – post here)
50. Follow a year-long Bible reading plan with John
51. Send my mom flowers out of the blue (December 2016, for her handbell concert)
52. Rehabilitate luggage rack passed down from my grandmother (April 2015)
53. Increase yearly giving until we are tithing
54. Learn some flower arranging skills (January 2015 – post here)
55. Post a full house tour on EFM (downstairs + upstairs in 2014)
56. Make at least one friend in our neighborhood (Hi, Ally!)
57. Write an article for our church’s newsletter on something we’re passionate about (December 2014 – see it here!)
58. Start Life Handbooks for Tegan, Wes, Maisie, and June
59. Buy a new Bible for the long haul – one I love and can scribble in (February 2017 – ESV Study Bible)
60. Make a quilt

There you have it! I’d love to hear your thoughts, if we share any goals, or if there are any goals you’d like to help me tackle! Here’s to a marvelous three years!!

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February 28, 2014 9:42 am

Oh goodness, what a marvelous list!! I’ll be turning 27 in two days, so it’s fun to follow along since we’ll be turning 30 within days of each other. I also feel like 27 is definitely an ‘older’ age – ah! So many of these goals are the same (or very similar) to some of mine… flower arranging skills, go back to Europe, prayer life, host a themed party. I love reading through all of your goals – I know you’ll excel in completing them!

One of the things I can’t WAIT to do is own my own home. Until then, I only dream about planting my own garden, having a cozy & inviting front porch, and doing a full home tour. Someday! (Soon, I hope!)

February 28, 2014 9:54 am

Such a good list!! I may have to snag some of these ideas to add to my own long term goals list! I actually made my mom a quilt for Christmas (my first one) and it was a little wonky, but hey, it adds character, right? And my mom has it hanging on a wall in the house now because she loves it so much!

February 28, 2014 10:20 am

Happy Birthday, Emily! I love #31 – Nancy does have the best hair! :) I love your perspective on approaching 30. I think getting “older” is much more rewarding and less scary when you can look back and see all that you have accomplished!

February 28, 2014 11:11 am

Happy Birthday, Emily! I loved reading through your list of goals for the next upcoming years. You’ve inspired me to do some of the same in my own life! Praying for you as you tackle this wonderful and fulfilling list!

February 28, 2014 11:52 am

These are great! I really like your perspective towards how you want to approach the next three years. Happy birthday to you Emily! :)

February 28, 2014 1:09 pm

Happy Birthday, Em!!! I love this list (especially partial to #40 *wink*) and can’t wait to follow along on your journey to 30!! Biggest birthday hugs!

February 28, 2014 1:20 pm

Happy bday!!!! Turning 29 this year so I hear you on the 30 is on the horizon perspective. I love antiquing at Brimfield! Do it :) My best suggestion is to go in May because it’s not as crowded or as hot as July and you can usually negotiate better deals. And wear good sneakers. It’s one of my favorite places on earth and I’m hoping to be able to make it this year, but with numerous weddings out of town this summer, it seems unlikely. And they have Del’s lemonade and amazing homemade cider donuts, so I get a lovely taste of New England whenever I go back.

February 28, 2014 1:43 pm

I love you list and am cheering you on in all of these! Happiest 27!!!!!

February 28, 2014 1:45 pm

*your list. Once again, a reminder of why I am grateful to have you in my life. Among MANY things you do, you help me not look like a fool in my writing! Ha!

February 28, 2014 2:01 pm

Happy Birthday Emily! I’m celebrating #29 on Tuesday and I’m working towards completing my own list of things I want to do before I turn 30. I’ve loved reading all about the financial information you share with all of us and I wanted to ask you, would you consider a post on making a will? My husband and I are researching a lot about those types of things right now and I think it would be really helpful for your readers. Just a suggestion! Enjoy celebrating your birthday!

February 28, 2014 5:17 pm

Love this list! Do you have any idea where you’re going to look for an heirloom-quality wedding album? I still haven’t make one for our wedding because I want to wait and make sure I find the best one.

February 28, 2014 7:44 pm

OK all of these are so great but I laughed out loud at #36! Because I know you guys and I can see this situation happening to you both and it made me chuckle. :) Oh and #41!!!!!!! Yes please. :) Happy Birthday!

February 28, 2014 9:36 pm

These are all so great! I love the idea of growing a cutting garden and I can help teach you number 17!! :)

March 1, 2014 4:51 am

Happy birthday Em. Such a lovely and inspiring list. And very wise to start working on it now. At 29 and a half, I decided to do a ’30 for 30′, of sorts. Pondering, growing from, and blogging about, 30 heartfelt questions. At 31, I am still going. Better late than never!

March 1, 2014 8:03 am

I am admitting that I have been waiting for this list so I can glean from it and make one of my own! Bravo, friend. What a wonderful list of accomplishments to complete prior to the next decade. My mind is already spinning with ideas for 17, 22, and 31! No convincing needed! ;) Oh, and I really want to learn #60 with you. Quilting class, maybe?

March 1, 2014 6:24 pm

Such a great list! The cutting garden sounds like pure perfection. I turn 27 in a few weeks and completely agree that it feels significantly older than 26. Happy birthday to you!

March 2, 2014 9:06 pm

Hi Emily– Just wanted to say that I really enjoy your blog, especially your lists and wedding posts (I’m planning a wedding for this summer). Thanks for sharing your great ideas!

March 3, 2014 4:38 pm

Love this! I always love your lists. Definitely keeping in mind. Maybe I’ll do one for now to age 27? I feel like my goals tend to change dramatically as the years go by (even just in 1001 days!). 27 sounds like a lovely, lovely year! Happiest birthday, Em!!!!

March 4, 2014 3:21 pm

Happy Happy belated birthday!!! Hope it was an AWESOME one!! I might have squealed out loud about #6. They are absolutely life-changing!

March 4, 2014 9:20 pm

I love this! I’m hoping you’ll do posts on throwing a favorite things party.. I’m smitten with that idea!

March 9, 2014 2:58 pm

As usual, thoughtful and lovely and life changing goals – always so proud of you!
And speaking as the potential grandmother, I hope 41 refers to babies! We have enough grand-cats and grand-dogs and not near enough grandchildren! No pressure tho :) Love, love, love you

December 17, 2014 3:00 am

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January 15, 2015 6:30 am

Stumbled upon your blog and this list this morning while enjoying my latte before the kids woke up. What a wonderful idea! When I was 27, I was so wrapped up in the day-to-day, I never thought of creating a list of goals such as this. I’m turning 50 next August. I think I’m going to create a 50 before 50 list!

January 29, 2015 4:20 pm

Hey! I just listened to the powersheets webinar and Lara gave your blog. I was intrigued by your fruits of the spirit challenge and then I stumbled upon your 60 before 30. I want to do this! I am turning 27 in a couple weeks and also feel the weight of year 30 looming nearby. Cant wait to read more!

March 30, 2015 11:11 am

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June 4, 2015 2:08 pm

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