Thirty-Rock (My 30 things to do before I’m 30 List)


“I still remember when 30 was old…” 

Hey, Deana Carter, so do I. I had a minor freak out the other day when I realized I am turning 30 years old this year. (Side note: Avery has started using the term “freak out” as in, Me: “Avery, why is there milk all over the floor?” Avery: “I just freaked out.”)

Anyway I started looking at old pictures and reflecting on my 20s. I’ve never been one of those people who “ages gracefully.” I love to celebrate my birthday but I also get caught up in these moments of nostalgia for the wonderful people and times in my life that are long gone. When I turned 20 I promptly switched to anti-aging products on my skin. This is ironic because when I was 20 I also had acrylic nails and regularly used a tanning bed. (To my children these things will probably be so odd and old fashioned like having a perm or smoking in restaurants. Why? Just why?)

So I’m not only musing and mourning my 20s but challenging what being in my 30s means to me. Thanks to the fabulous Lisa over at Peridot Skys, I got the idea to do a 30 by 30 list (meaning 30 things I want to accomplish before I’m 30.) It clarified my priorities and I found out that I want my 30s to be more about culture, art, cuisine, travel, wellness, history, foreign language, reading, writing and basically just being the person that I want my children to know as “Me.” 

My 20s were a little bit about these things, but they were also about a lot of other things. I remember for my 20th birthday I went with a bunch of my sorority sisters to see Bridget Jones Diary: The Edge of Reason. We had dinner at CiCi’s pizza in Decatur (only 3.99!) and then went to a random keg party where I wore a tiara and drank a bottle of Andre which I later decorated with a paint pen to commemorate the occasion and displayed proudly in my room for the rest of Junior year. “Oh hey there, Carrie Bradshaw, I’ve arrived! Not to brag, but I’m in my 20s now and I drink cheap champagne out of a party cup…”


At age 21 I met Kevin Kuhlman. And we fell in love and got married. We had late nights out and traveled a little bit (but not enough, looking back). Someone gave us a bottle of good tequila for our wedding and one random night when we were first married we drank way too many Margaritas in our living room and both ended up getting really sad about how much we missed our Grandmas. The next morning we were like, let’s never speak of this again. But it’s one of my favorite memories because for some reason I knew we were going to have a great life together.


At 25 I competed in my very first pageant, (shockingly) won and for a year I made my life about that. 


At 26 and 28 I had the most important and incredible honors of my life, becoming a mother to my two girls and I’ve made my life about them. 


Last year I started a blog and it has AMAZED me to feel the outpouring of love I’ve received back from putting myself “out there.” Women that I would have previously thought I didn’t have much in common with have come out of the woodwork of my life to say that they connect with something I wrote. The profound sense of relatability between us is something I will never take for granted. I am the type of girl that gets excited about bonding over big things like getting married and having children and smaller things that sometimes seem HUGE like getting haircuts, trying skinny jeans for the first time, finding lipgloss that was discontinued, etc. We all have these nagging feelings left over from growing up about “am I cool?” “do these girls like me?” and if nothing else, blogging has proved to me that women are much kinder and more supportive than they get credit for. Any creativity or positive energy I’ve put out out there has been returned to me ten fold and people and opportunities I never expected are opening up to me.

Last fall I became a Stella and Dot Stylist and now I wish I would have done it YEARS ago. It’s something so rewarding and recharging that has nothing to do with being a Wife and Mommy. I am making amazing, beautiful hilarious new friends and it has further proved to me that women are selfless, talented, joyeous, generous creatures and should be celebrated. And also that women really love jewelry and wine. (Like, whoah.)

Anyway I came up with a list of just fun things I’d like to do this year. This isn’t like a life goals list or anything lofty (like leading a group of strangers into wild applause by starting the slow clap #bucketlist!) Some of the things on my 30 by 30 list are less than noteworthy, but I’m looking forward to seeing how many I can fit into the next 10 months. I hope you will share some of yours with me too!

30 Things To Do Before I Turn 30:

1. Read Pride and Prejudice. (I’m actually ashamed to admit I haven’t.)

2. Redecorate our guest bathroom. (Because I’ve been meaning to do it for so long and I just can’t procrastinate for another decade.)

3. Clean out my closet and donate to a women’s shelter.

4. RUN a 5k. Like actually run the whole thing.

5. Attend a blog conference.

6. Take a girls trip with my besties and act ridiculous.

7. Make a quiche. (I love a quiche.)

8. Take professional family pictures. (We haven’t taken any since Savannah was born.)

9. Go to a painting class.

10. Host a proper dinner party on fine china with place cards and a floral arrangement. Like a grown up.

11. Play a round of golf with my husband (9 holes is fine.)

12. Shop for produce at the Farmer’s Market.

13. Get new bedding (without spit up on it.)

14. Learn to play Chess.

15. Take horseback riding lessons.

16. Stay out all night dancing.

17. Go to Nashville.

18. Try the Master Cleanse.

19. Take my hubby on a date to the Museum and lunch in the gorgeous cafe there.

20. Learn French (I have the Rosetta Stone. There’s really no excuse for this.)

21. Take a self defense class (why is this not offered in every high school?)

22. Go to a concert/ballet/symphony/play

23. Sing ‘You Oughta Know’ at Karaoke. (My best friend always sings this and it’s the COOLEST. I feel like this is okay for a 20-something but maybe not for a 30-something so I might move this one up the priority list. Who wants to go out?)

24. Ride a mechanical bull. (Or maybe not. I don’t know. Should I? It seems like it would be fun, but people always look so dumb on those things. I always feel sorry for them. Also see number 23 re: acceptable for a twenty-something…Cut to future blog post about my broken arm and public shame.)

25. Visit my nephew at college in Tulsa.

26. Spa day (I love a spa day.)

27. Go to the shooting range with my husband.

28. Design planters for my front porch and keep them alive all year. (Our yard is a plant cemetary.)

29. Learn to play poker.

30. Wear a formal gown. (To an actual event. Not just like, around.)

Looks like I’m going to be busy!


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