Category Archives: 33 before 33

Snail Mail

I made a list of 33 things I want to do before I turn 33 in June 2014.  See the full list here.

10. Send one snail mail card each month. Between my grandmas and all my friends scattered about, I’ve got quite a few options.


I actually did this! Cards and packages went to Chicago, Seattle, Tacoma, Omaha, Kansas, South Dakota, Raleigh, and the last package I sent went to my friend Regina who lives in Zimbabwe. Mac & Cheese, taco seasoning, Twizzlers, all the great U.S. goodies…I went out with a bang.

I like receiving mail, and I like sending mail. I think I’ll keep it up.


All the new restaurants

I made a list of 33 things I want to do before I turn 33 in June 2014.  See the full list here.

8. Try one new Omaha bar or restaurant each month.  We love our city, but tend to go to our old favorite places all the time.  Time to branch out.


I haven’t been very good about blogging about these restaurant excursions, but actually, in addition to Kitchen Table, Block 16, and all our new friends in Benson, we’ve done a good job of branching out in the way of restaurants this year.


New-to-us places we’ve tried this past year include:

  • Wilson & Washburn – Good happy hour and fries.  I’d like to try their beet burger.
  • Avoli Osteria – Um, AMAZING.  I’ve heard that it’s the best food in Omaha right now, and I wouldn’t have much of a case for disagreeing.  Get your boss to pay if at all possible, cause she ain’t cheap.
  • Taco Truck on Saddle Creek – Darn good tacos on the cheap. (pictured above)
  • Rivera’s Mexican – our company that night was far better than the food which was just okay, and the atmosphere was terrible.  The tile floor and crowded tables made it almost impossible to have conversation.
  • The new Bread Oven – I have such fond memories of the old Bread Oven, but the new one’s food seems at least up to par with the old.
  • Railcar – Okay, not amazing.
  • Salt 88 – Better than I was expecting, actually.  Too far away to make our regular rotation.
  • Heartland BBQ – Come to mama.  That brisket is to die for.

See new restaurants #1 & #2#3, #5 & #6) here. What was #4? You tell me. I don’t remember.

Family room, a little better

I made a list of 33 things I want to do before I turn 33 in June 2014.  See the full list here.

23. Finish decorating the basement family room  Hang curtains, hang some art.  I’ve got a Pinterest board and everything.


Several years ago, we pulled up the carpet in the family room due to years-old water damage.  The water came from run off from our neighbor’s driveway, and since he didn’t fix the driveway, we didn’t replace the carpet.  The room is barely used, so it’s not a big deal to have a cement floor.  For a while.

I got tired of the stacks of rubbermaid tubs sprawling out from the corners and the cobwebs on the walls, and finally decided to do something about it.

I bought an area rug on sale at Garden Ridge (admittedly not the best color for the room, but really cheap), hung the curtains that my friend Amee gave me, bought some throw pillows and hung some art.  I corralled some of storage tubs into the corners that you can’t see, got rid of some stuff (THE BEST), and moved some stuff out to the garage.

Family Room

We’ll replace the carpet down there eventually, and maybe get some side tables and lamps someday, but for now, it’s better.


I made a list of 33 things I want to do before I turn 33 in June 2014.  See the full list here.

14. Take meals to 5 new mommies.  Are you having a baby?  I want to bring you food.


No, I’m not pregnant.  Calm down.

My friends have cute babies, you guys.




Soft and warm




And so, so sweet.

Not pictured – the mom who was stuck in the hospital on bed rest who got a homemade meal, the baby shower I planned, the baby I held while mama took an actual shower (“We have groceries,” she said.  “I need a shower.” Deal.), and Little Miss Anna (pronounced Ah-nah) whom we hopefully get to meet this weekend.  Who may or may not actually be named after me.  Probably not, but a girl can dream.

Books books and more books

I made a list of 33 things I want to do before I turn 33 in June 2014.  See the full list here.

22. Purge/organize our books.  Deep breath.


I gave a little tour of our book shelves and piles several months ago, in which y’all saw that we have a lot of books.  To say that we own several hundred books would not be an unreasonable estimate.  Not unreasonable, but a bit ridiculous, I’ll admit.  And, there were some unruly piles growing around the house that needed to be returned to their homes.

photo 1[2]

Today was the day, I decided.  10 minutes later, this box was full.  It was easier than I expected, honestly.

photo 2[2]

I had hoped to get rid of “a lot” of our books, but for now, 45 will have to do. I’m working on experiencing grace this year, right?

I’m also moving Chad’s old economic textbooks to the basement, as soon as I get another box.

The pursuit of God in the company of friends

I made a list of 33 things I want to do before I turn 33 in June 2014.  See the full list here.

24. Attempt to join a Journey Group.  Our schedule may make this difficult, but we’re big fans of intentional community.


company-of-friendsSince last July, I think there have been maybe 4 or 5 weeks total that we’ve actually been in Omaha for the whole week. Every week we’re in a different barn, in a car, in a meeting or three, or in an airplane (and definitely still in love).

What we’re not in?  A Journey Group.  Small Group, Community Group, Bible Study, Life Group, whatever.  We’re not in one.

I could pretty easily call this 33 Before 33 goal a failure.  We didn’t try to join a group this year. Not even a little bit.  Mission not accomplished.

But what we did do?  Stay invested in the lives of many people whom we love.  Have drinks and dinner and celebrations and make time for long conversations and Big Life Moments and laughter with people who love us and fight for us and pray for us and hold us up and ask hard questions about faith.  In the words of evangelicals these days, we did life together.  We’re not registered in any church’s database, but we do community.  We do grace.

Chad and I travel many (many, MANY) miles in a car together. But we do not journey alone.


In 2014, I’m reclaiming (and writing about) the word GRACE with OneWord 365.  Read more here.

Twitterature / June 2014

I made a list of 33 things I want to do before I turn 33 in June 2014.  See the full list here.

16. Read A Year of Biblical Womanhood.  It’s easier than undertaking the adventure myself, it seems.


A Twitter-inspired look at books I’ve been reading recently.  (And here’s what I read last month.)  What’s on your bookshelf these days?


A Year of Biblical Womanhood / Rachel Held Evans
Checking this one off my 33 Before 33 list.  As a regular reader of Rachel’s blog, this felt familiar and enjoyable.  I appreciate her honesty, wit and love for scripture.


Someday, Someday Maybe / Lauren Graham
Franny navigates the pursuit of her heart and dreams in New York City.  Charming, quirky, and as delightful as I had hoped Graham’s novel would be.  An easy, breezy read.


The Slap / Christos Tsiolkas
I should have read a few more review of this one first.  I was hoping for an interesting look at humanity and society with sympathetic, likable characters. Nope.  Despite renewing the book to allow myself more time, I couldn’t bring myself to finish it.


Admission / Jean Hanff Korelitz
A book that inspired a Tina Fey + Paul Rudd movie?  YES.  But, NO.  You guys, I couldn’t even get through 3 chapters.  Life is too short to finish boring books.


Burial Rites / Hannah Kent
Dark and stormy and beautifully literary telling of a true story, set on the stark landscape of Iceland.  Haunting and eery, this book contained zero humor but was so, SO strangely enjoyable to read.


I’m linking up with Anne Bogel for her Twitterature series. Hop on over to Modern Mrs. Darcy for more.