April 16, 2013

31 Things - an Update, or I Mostly Sat on My Bum

For my 31st birthday I wrote a list of 31 things I'd like to accomplish in the next year. Let's take a look at how well I've been doing.

1 - Lose another 45lbs.
I lost like 5 more pounds and then I got pregnant and that ended that.

2 - Run an 8 minute mile.
Lol - oh my gosh! That is so funny!

3 - Memorize the morning offering and pray it each and every day.
This I did do. I am not always consistent in praying it but it is memorized and I have done it a good 70% of the time since my July birthday.

4 - Read more to my kids.
Yes and no. I had hoped to have a time for reading built into our days but with pregnancy came exhaustion and more naps. However, I have been intentional in not saying "no" when the kids ask me to read to them.

5 - Read more for myself.
This I have done. So yay.

6 - Spend one-on-one time with each of my kids every day, even if it's just 5 minutes.
Nope. Each kid gets one-on-one day one day a week, at least that's more what it feels like. Again, the pregnancy is to blame.

7 - Get down and play on the floor more.
There's been a slight improvement here. When Ben asks me to build him a train track I say 'yes' about 95% of the time, verses 50% before. I also sit and color with L more and stack and build and tickle with JF and Resa. But it's definitely not what I would like it to be.

8 - Mop more often.
Nope. I don't even own a mop.

9 - Go to Adoration.
Yes. Many thanks to the young adult group at a local parish who offers monthly adoration with free babysitting and a potluck following.

10 - Find out the "love language" of the people I care most about and make sure I use it.
Wasn't that a good thought?

11 - Go for more walks.
I was really good about this in the Fall and with the return on good weather and healthy kids I hope to make this a normal part of the day.

12 - Arrange to spend time with my Mom without the kids.
ummmm.... things came up.

13 - Clean out my closet.
Did this. Need to do it again.

14 - Own less stuff.
Ditto above.

15 - Stop worrying about how people perceive me online. 
For the most part, yes, thanks be to God.

16 - Go to a concert.
Not yet. Did I?

17 - Share JF's story with more people.
Yes. Fortunately I've had many opportunities to speak to groups of people and to contribute to other websites, sharing the events of JF's birth and the canonization process for Fulton Sheen.

18 - Find ways to tighten our budget to get rid of debt.
We have done this. Yay!

19 - Look into parochial school for L's kindergarten.
Looked into it... still don't know what we're going to do.

20 - Homeschool pre-school for L doing school three times a week.
I have really failed on this one. I was doing so well for so long but have completely petered out. Fortunately I know that L is already ready for kindergarten but she loves learning and I wish I had more energy to do it.
I need to recommit to this one.

21 - Find more ways to honor Travis.
Yes. I did do this.

22 - Write JF's story.
Working on this - it takes a lot of effort to collect all the information and relive all those events. I want one complete narrative of what happened with JF instead of just the random blog posts I have now. I confess, most times I work on it I sit and cry for at least a little bit.

23 - Eat at McDonalds less.
I think we might be eating at McDonald's more. We really, really, really need to kick this habit.

24 - Spend more time with my grandparents.
Yes and no.

25 - Write more letters to my friends in convents.
Yes. I have done this but I still have a lot of room for improvement.

26 - Try new recipes.
Yes. And it's so fun.

27 - Cook with fresh produce.
I do this best when our garden is producing. During the winter months I usually use frozen veggies and buy fresh fruit.

28 - Buy a quarter of a cow from a local farmer.  (Anyone wanna go in on this with us?)
We did this one and it has made a huge difference for us. We actually got half a cow and we love it. We've never had money for things like roasts and steaks but now we have a bunch in the freezer. It's wonderful.

29 - Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet more and teach it to my kids.
This one would be a complete failure.

30 - Drink more water every day.
Some days I do well, some days I don't. Usually I don't.

31 - Enjoy having a baby.
This I definitely succeeded in. I have loved having Resa, which is easy with such an easy, sweet baby. When I became pregnant again I was afraid my milk supply would dry up immediately like it did with the other kids but God was good and I am still nursing her at night. Also, I exclusively nursed her for a long time so that she went from breast to table foods like crackers and cooked veggies. Being her sole source of food for so long forced me to sit and enjoy her. Also, I think my other kids have helped me delight in her. L, B, and J adore their sister and she has so much fun with them. Watching them all play together has been a huge blessing.

I admit that I threw a lot of these goals out the window when I learned I was pregnant because I knew I knew I could focus on little more than the bare essentials (feeding and clothing and monitoring the kids and some housework). I also gave myself a new goal with the positive pregnancy test of allowing myself to nap as often as needed. Sometimes the dishes pile up for a couple of days and I definitely don't dust and vacuum as often as I should but napping is good for my growing baby and it improves my mood - which is good for everyone!


  1. Hey, Bonnie, your 8-minute mile goal has been good for me. I have thought about it so many times on the treadmill, telling myself, "if Bonnie was willing to see this as a goal, then quit whining and run harder." So thanks for posting it, even though it hasn't yet worked out for you.

  2. PS-- I am not very close to an 8-minute mile myself, just so it's clear.

  3. This cracked me up! Not because you failed at some goals-just your writing style. I love it.

    And can I just say that I love you more now that I know you don't own a mop?

  4. Bonnie, this is an AMAZING list, woman! You picked THIRTY-ONE things to aim for?!!! That alone is amazing.

    You sit and play trains 95% of the times you are asked?!

    You tightened your budget to get rid of debt, you honored your husband, learned to enjoy your baby more, got rid of excess clothes and things, evangelized about Sheen/your miracle, went to adoration, cooked more and healthier, and started writing your son's story! Wow!

    (I don't want to be negative encouragement, but take yourself to McDonalds, lady! :) )

    The honesty and variety of these items just makes me smile and feel good, to see that insight into your world, vocation, hopes and struggles - I think that is what you and other Catholic mommas do through blogging so often - and it is so very helpful to me in my vocation and perspective.

    The fact that you revisit your list and just run down it with total honesty is an amazing act of openness and humility. Love it.

    Thanks for sharing yourself here with all your humor, joy and grace!

    1. Thank you for your encouragement! I need to keep you around in my life. ;)

  5. Swiffer mop!!! It's the only way we (well, my husband) mop at all. We try to be fairly green, but those disposable mop covers are BRILLIANT.

    And I'm so inspired to buy half a cow - I know it costs more but I'm sure it's so much better for us than just getting the cheapest Costco meat... Wish we lived closer, we'd go in on one with you!

    1. Years ago we had a Swiffer mop but went through those covers like CRAZY. I don't think I could afford it in my grocery budget... although I don't know why I think I'd use a bunch of them since I never mop now.

      Also, do they leave streaks on laminate?

    2. I'm a different Rosie, but we use this mop, which is very similar to a Swiffer mop but the pads are machine washable!! I fill the spray bottle with vinegar and hot water. It cleans pretty well. :)

      Loved your list, too! I'm inspired to make one for myself!


    3. We got a ton of pads for free a while ago and still haven't gone through them all, so I forget about the cost factor... But I know you can make/buy on etsy reusable covers if you already have a swiffer mop. And the kids go NUTS playing with that and the dry one we have, so maybe put them in charge of mopping? I bet you could make it into a game, even bad mopping is better than no mopping, right?

      NO idea if it streaks laminate, though...

  6. Good for you! I may try this for my 30th.. I think writing goals is do effective!

  7. Great list, second the swiffer recommendation.
    #9 sounds wonderful!

  8. I think it sounds like you've done pretty good here! I pretty much just want to copy and paste Lpatter's quote, but I'm just going to go with: Ditto everything. Ditto. And really, unless my reading comprehension has gotten very bad, it looks like you've accomplished the majority of the things on your list! And the great thing is, most of them are all "running" goals - the kind where even a "little bit" of improvement is meeting the goal, which are really the best kind because I think they work like extra motivators.

    1. That's true, Kayla. You know I had taken the approach: If I didn't conquer it I failed but your attitude is much better (for a lot of reasons and not just because it lets me off the hook a little bit.)

  9. I LOVED this post, and then I thought, wait, did I miss your birthday? What a terrific list and fun to read. I found #2 so funny because I don't think I've ever done that. Keep saying: No need for speed, Bonnie, no need for speed. True in all of life.

    1. My birthday is in July and I've been wanting to post an update since January because in July I'd like to make a new list. So you're safe!

      And Travis would agree with you, I think, on the speed thing. He thinks I should focus on being able to run for 30 minutes, no matter how slow. And others have suggested I focus on length, like doing a couch to 5k program. But I see an 8 minute mile as a secondary fitness goal with the primary one being to run a mile. Maybe this is leftover from high school PE? After that I don't really have a goal for how long or far I can run because I don't like running and so I don't really want to do too much of it. :)

  10. Babysitting so that moms can experience an hour of Adoration!! Say what?! Oh what a gift for Peoria-area moms. And I'm keeping my ears open for opps where you can share James' story here in Des Moines! It'll happen, I just know it.