Thirty Before 35 Progress Report


Happy birthday to me!

Last year (when I turned 33) I posted about how I suck at birthdays and generally fail at aging gracefully — mentally. I look great. 😉 Anyway, you can read all about it HERE if you like. The gist of that original post is that I wanted to create a part to-do list, part bucket list that makes me feel positive and accomplished and excited about the passage of time.

I’m happy to report that so far it’s working. I’ve crossed twelve of the thirty items off my list over the course of the last year. Now that I’m 34, I’m determined to knock out as many of the leftovers as possible. (Though there are a few I’m not sure I care about anymore, like #8 and #21. Oh, well. If I manage them, great. If not, whatevs.) So. Here’s where I’m at…

  1. Bake a Rainbow Cake.
  2. Sell a novel (or two!).
  3. Complete a 500 piece puzzle.
  4. Have a picnic on the beach.
  5. Read and review a Stephen King novel.
  6. Drink a Hurricane in New Orleans.
  7. Have professional family photos taken.
  8. Run Disney’s Princess 1/2 Marathon.
  9. Attend a writers’ conference.
  10. Order a Stitch Fix box.
  11. See a musical.
  12. Plan and host a tea party with my girl.
  13. Make a quilt.
  14. Take an international vacation.
  15. Watch Friday Night Lights in its entirety.
  16. Complete a three day juice cleanse.
  17. Write a manuscript that’s not contemporary YA.
  18. Pass 2K Twitter followers.
  19. Read Speak (my most shameful YA gap book).
  20. Host a brunch.
  21. Master “Space-A” travel.
  22. Attend a writers’ retreat.
  23. Get a massage.
  24. Make Chocolate Babka.
  25. Add another child to our family.
  26. Visit Mount Rushmore.
  27. Master “Crow” pose in yoga.
  28. Go to a(nother) country music concert.
  29. Plant an herb garden.
  30. Teach my daughter to swim (really well).

Cheer me on, okay? ❤


31 thoughts on “Thirty Before 35 Progress Report

  1. Miss Cole says:

    Happy Birthday!!! 😀

    May I recommend going to Mount Rushmore during a thunderstorm? Makes for hilarious pictures, trust me 😉 Well… it did when I was 21 😛

    • Katy Upperman says:

      Thanks, Cole! Seeing Mount Rushmore during a thunderstorm never even occurred to me, but now that you’ve mentioned it, that sounds kind of awesome. *consults calendar & forecasts*

  2. Alexandrina Brant says:

    I keep meaning to do a list like this of goals for the year, but, especially with writing goals, I’m not sure if I’d ever get ANYTHING done. Only this week, I’ve come up with a new story idea I’d like to write…

    • Katy Upperman says:

      You should totally write up a list, Alexandrina! I’m at the point where I don’t really care about what I *don’t* accomplish. I’m just focused on feeling proud of the things I have crossed off. It’s been super motivational!

    • Katy Upperman says:

      You should do it, Rebecca! I got the idea from Ghenet, and I’m so glad I totally copied her. 😉 My list has been super motivating. Let me know if you make a list and post it publicly — I’d love to cheer you on!

  3. Jaime Morrow says:

    Hope you’re having a great birthday! You’ve crossed a lot of things off your list in the past year. I should consider making a 40 Before 40 list. (Eek.) There are definitely things that I would like to do before that rolls around. Here’s to another year of great things for you, Katy!

    • Katy Upperman says:

      DO IT. I might make another list after I knock as many items as possible off this one. It’s been very inspirational and motivating. Let me know if you end up doing one too. I’ll definitely be rooting you on!

  4. Temre Beltz says:

    Happy, happy birthday, Katy!! You are doing awesome on your list and inspiring all of us, too 🙂 I can’t wait to see what adventures await you this year! Birthday hugs ❤

  5. Krispy says:

    Happy birthday!!!! And you are killing this list. For international vacation, I might suggest Europe as the Euro and the dollar are at a good exchange rate right now, so it’s actually a good time to go. 😀

    As for musicals… The Lion King is fantastic, Phantom of the Opera is classic, Once is bittersweet & wonderful, Camelot is hilarious (especially if you love Monty Python), and Wicked is, well, it’s Wicked. 🙂 In a few days, I’m headed to NYC to see Hamilton, a new musical, which I hear from a friend that it’s possibly the best musical she’s ever seen. So, I’m EXCITED.

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed for No. 2 for you. xoxo

    • Katy Upperman says:

      That’s an excellent point about the Euro/dollar exchange, Alice. We’re talking about France/Germany this summer. I *hope* it works out! And thank you for the musical recs. I would love to see Wicked. Is it kid-friendly? I read the book ages ago and remember it being sort of… bawdy. And thanks for your well-wishes on #2. ❤

  6. Sophia says:

    Happy birthday Katy! I’m with Krispy, you should visit Europe for your international vacation. I would even go so far as to suggest London (but in the summer because it’s so grey and cold at the moment and everyone’s in a bad mood) so that you can see a musical in the West End and have a tea party at Claridge’s!

    Good luck with the rest of your goals!

    • Katy Upperman says:

      Europe is our most-likely option for our international vacation. We’d love to see France because my husband’s grandmother grew up there. And I want to see some castles! And if we hit up London, it’ll definitely be in the summertime. I’d love to see it! Thanks for the recommendations, Sophia!

  7. Jennifer Pickrell says:

    Happy birthday!!! I’ve got a 101 in 1001 list (101 things to do in 1001 days) and a three-day juice cleanse is on mine, too. I’m aiming to do it sometime in the next few months so I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

    Hope you’re enjoying your day!

    • Katy Upperman says:

      Are you going to buy a juice cleanse, or make the juices yourself? I’m torn. The ones you can get online are SO expensive, but I think I’m more likely to follow through if I have all the juice made and on-hand. I’m lazy like that. 🙂 Best of luck with your 101 — that’s such a cool idea!

      • Jennifer Pickrell says:

        I’m going to make them myself, that way I can adjust the ingredients more to suit my tastes. Plan to make a day’s worth the night before so it’s there when I wake up otherwise I probably won’t follow through either 🙂

  8. crystalschubert says:

    Happy birthday!! I did a list like this before 30 and it was SO motivating! Make a quilt was totally on mine, too, and I made a crib quilt for my son. Time consuming, but lots of fun and it turned out great. Tempted to start a new list now…

    • Katy Upperman says:

      Quilts are so much fun, aren’t they? We’ve decided to make one for our cat (my daughter’s idea, actually) and we picked out fabrics yesterday. Hello Kitty was our jumping-off point. And I highly encourage you to make a new list. You’re right — they’re so motivating!

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