26 before 26

My list of 25 before 25 didn’t all get crossed off but that’s okay because having the list pushed me to do things I wouldn’t normally have done or made time to do otherwise! I have been compiling my list of 26 before 26 all year so without further ado let me unveil the 26 things that will (hopefully!) be happening in the next 365 days!

1. Go hiking
2. Make a thrift store purchase beautiful again
4. Write one handwritten letter a month
5. Wear a button down for a whole week, no repeating
6. Learn how to crochet or knit
7. Have dinner in the Reunion Tower
8. Teach Winston two new tricks
9. Ride a bicycle built for two
10. Take blog followers to over 200 (you can help by following on Bloglovin here!)
11. Make homemade ice cream
12. Throw a party
14. Start a diary
15. Try a new food
17. Ride a mechanical bull
18. Make a KIVA loan
19. Start each week with a Ted Talk
20. Play messy twister
21. Two weeks with no TV
22. Attend a blogger conference
23. Celebrate a non ‘American’ holiday
24. Run a race
25. Make a 27 before 27
26. Read 26 books

Have you made your own Birthday Bucket List?

Do you believe in Marriage?

Marriage. It’s been on my mind lately. No, I am not engaged. I do not think I will be getting engaged anytime soon. Maybe soon. Well not soon. How do you define soon? I need to shut up.
Forget all that.
I grew up with clashing ideas of marriage. First I am one of the Disney Princess generation. The happily ever after, the glass slipper, the castle, the marriage that you only see the very beginning of but from all the glitter and candles you know it’s going to be perfect. The other view is the complete opposite. My parents are divorced, they got divorced when I was two, and that is all I grew up with. I never had the happy family scenario that other kids talk about or the sitcoms portrayed.
I thought I was okay with all of this, with the clashing ideas of marriage. The beautiful beginning and horrible ending. But it turns out I don’t think I am.
I’ve seen many people get married in the past couple of years. I’ve seen the joy and the excitement. I see the flowers, and the love notes, and the late night tv watching on facebook and instagram. But I’ve never seen the fighting, the arguing, the eye rolling, the dirty laundry on the floor, or the dishes in the sink. I guess you don’t whip out your phone to snap a photo of an argument and you sure as heck don’t post it on instagram if you do.
Then after all these happy beginnings I’m seeing, I’ve become aware of problems in people’s marriages around me. I’ve overheard issues that are turning spouses against each other, that are making one extremely depressed, and it seems the other just doesn’t care. I’ve heard cheating allegations and emotional abuse heartbreak. It seems to me I am seeing the horrible endings.
I don’t believe in marriage. Well, I started to think I didn’t. I couldn’t wrap my mind around how this beautiful covenant that God created could turn out so bad. I thought surely this is not what He wanted for us. I started to think that instead of finding happily ever after you could only hope to find happily sometimes after.  
But then I thought that while God is perfect, we are far from it. How can two imperfect people have a perfect marriage? I don’t think that’s possible. And I think recognizing that is the key to a perfectmarriage. The key to a marriage that glorifies God and that makes those in it happier.
I am not married so I’m in no position to give marital advice. I will leave that to those in that special union but I would hazard a guess that realizing that marriage is a promise to your spouse that you are going to love, honor, and respect them every single day. It is a covenant that you are going to do that, and everything the vow entails every.single.damn.day. That can only be described as hard work. But I imagine it as work that only makes your life better, work that you are happy to do.
I don’t believe it’s a promise that every day is going to be a good day or that you’re not going to be cranky but it is a promise that you will try your very hardest to not cause your spouse pain. That you are going to put God first, your spouse second, and yourself third. The minute you forget that or your spouse forgets that is the day your marriage needs a major overhaul.
I don’t believe there is such thing as a perfect marriage. I would rather call it an imperfectly perfect marriage. So yes, I believe in marriage.  
Do you believe in marriage?
all photos via pinterest

25 lessons I’ve learned in 25 years

1. Jesus is all around – does this really need an explanation?

2. It can always get worse – so be thankful for your situation

3. Quick fixes usually don’t hold – if it’s worth doing at all it’s worth doing correctly

4. If you don’t love it in the store you won’t love it at home – And it will hang there with tags on it FOR-EV-ER (please tell me someone said that like Squints from the Sandlot

5. Yoga pants were God’s gift to women – But he also likes it when you wear a dress to Church

6. Be prepared x3 – Because your map on your phone won’t be working, you will lose your only pen, you will spill on your white blouse, and you will become aware of how bad your breath smells right before you go into a meeting. So print out directions and have a map, bring 3 pens and another pad of paper, keep tide pens handy, and throw some gum and mints in your bag and desk.

7. Calling Mom makes everything better – it’s true, try it

8. If you lost something you will always find it in the last place you look – Duh. Why would you keep looking after you found it?

9. The way you were raised shapes how you see the world – realizing that different people value different things will save you a lot of time and grief

10. Starting over, turning around, retreating is not a bad thing – When you shoot and arrow you must pull back to go farther. Sometimes you realize that what you’re doing isn’t making you happy and you need to regroup. It can be hard or embarrassing but in the long run you’ll be so much happier

11. Sometimes you just need to be sad – Sometimes you are just not feeling anyone or anything and you got to go get out Titanic and cry about how Rose and Jack are never gonna be together. Then you can get mad at Rose for not scooting over on the door. I mean come ON Rose.

12. You have to make your own mistakes – otherwise you’re not going learn

13. Pets are worth every penny – See here

14. Go on more “Jane Vacations” – ‘Jane vacations’ are what we call the vacations my mother plans. It goes a little something like this: 7:30 Wake up 7:55 go downstairs 8:00 hail a cab 8:15 arrive at monument 8:45 exit monument and walk to chapel. Get my picture? While being on a strict timetable is sometimes stressful I will be you that whenever we visit a city we see more things in 4 days than people see in a week. Granted when we go on Jane vacations there is a Katie day thrown in. What’s a Katie day? A Katie day is a day where nothing is planned and we do whatever we want to do. We go back and see a painting that struck our eye, we go to lunch at the little café we spotted, we lay by the beach and read, or we just walk around.

15. It’s nice to have nice things – But I’d rather not go broke buying them. Some of the most beautiful pieces in my or others’ homes, the ones that get the most compliments are either homemade or hand-me-downs

16. You can do anything for one minute – hold your breath, hold a plank, listen to a professor, think minute by minute

17. You are doing exactly what you want – if you didn’t want to be doing what you’re doing you wouldn’t be doing it. Even if you dislike what you’re doing it means you value something else more. Example: if you hate your job but you’re sticking to it it means you value the pay check or another benefit more.

18. When in doubt: Books or Nature – when you need a break go outside or read a book, or both!

19. A house is meant to be lived in – otherwise it’s not a house, that would be a museum. If you can’t flop on the couch then why would anyone want to be there?

20. Look people in the eye – they won’t notice anything else

21. Presentation matters – in 5th grade we had to do a project on counting the pebbles in a wall. My math was horribly wrong but that project was color coded and perfectly presented and I got an A. Whether its a project or your outfit, it matters.

22. Respect yourself – or no one else will

23. Beauty is skin deep, ugly is to the bone – I’d rather be ugly on the outside than ugly on the inside

24. Leggings are not pants – this should be embroidered on a pillow

25. Never say “I Wish” for something you can attain on your own – Nike it and just do it

What are some of the lessons you’ve learned? 

Birthday weekend

For my birthday my mom came into town and we had a chill ‘staycation’ at a hotel in Plano. This hotel had a reputation as a “swingers bar hotel” that we didn’t find out until we were in the bar the first night and saw what was going on in the pool outside… Lord Almighty that was some crazy stuff! But we relaxed out by the pool, did some shopping, had some great dinners, and chatted all weekend long! What a great way to celebrate my 25th year!