things to do

Things to do Before 32: Update 3

Things to do Before 32: Update 3

So on April 11 of 2016 I turned 31 and around that time I created a post about the things I’d like to do before my next birthday. This list consisted of a wide range of goals including trips with the family, school goals, and friends goals. You can find that post here.  Back in July I posted my first update at a quarter of the way through the year and in October I posted my progress at the halfway point.  Now here we are closing in on the last 3 months before 32.


things to do


Time to check in on my progress.

1.Make 5 recipes from Pinterest – We have made progress here! Over the holidays I made pumpkin bread which was delicious!! I also tried this chocolate braid which was delicious and so so simple!! I am hoping to make more with the help of T this winter!

2. Go to the zoo at least 3 times – We have gone to the zoo four times so far since I made my list. So this one can be checked off plus I am sure we will go again in March. You can read my tips for zoo trips here.

3. Go on a real vacation – This one is probably not going to happen, but we are OK with that. We had wanted to take a family vacation in the fall. However, with all of the medical expenses from Hailey’s diagnosis not to mention her constant doctor’s appointments I don’t think it’s in the cards. We can renew this goal for the next year.

4. Read 2 inspiring books – So far I read Eat That Frog which I talked about in this earlier post. As I said in my last update, I attended the online Mom Conference last year and was utterly inspired.  So many good presentations.  My favorite was the presentation by Ramona Zabriskie.  Based on this I picked up her book Wife for Life and I devoured it.  The insights she brings to the relationships between men and women can transform your relationships no matter how good they are into even better ones.  I even picked up tips for interacting with my son! Bonus!!

The Mom Conference was free, but can now be purchased for $97.  Not only do you get access to all of the presentations of the conference, but you also get a ton of freebies.  Ramona included one of her courses in the package which alone is worth $50.  Definitely go check it out!! You can find my review of the conference here!

5. Rent or sell my house – The house is currently on the market and we have had several showings.  This is slow going. We were actually getting a decent number of showings in the fall and then the holidays hit.  Hails outgrew here bassinet and so now we have both kids in one small bedroom.  It’s functioning, but extremely tight.  I really want to get baby girl her own room as soon as we can.  Here’s hoping we can make a sale soon.

6. Move to new home – See #5 above.

7. Get back in shape after baby – I am doing really well with this.  I am at 124 lbs and pre-pregnancy I was around 120-122 so I am like right there.  I am still breast feeding so I think I pretty much nailed this.  While I don’t have a 6 pack back but I am feeling good in my clothes again which is amazing!

8. Perform in 2 dance productions – It’s funny how our priorities change.  After Tyler, I was so gung ho about getting back to performing.  This time, not so much.  I am still dancing and teaching, but I’m in no rush. This may not happen but not for lack of opportunity, it’s just not really a goal anymore at the moment.

9. Finish writing my book – Progress!! See #11 below.  I think finding the book I wanted to write has made this a hundred times easier.

10. Start creating vertical images for blog – Done!!!

11. Do 3 DIY projects from Pinterest – This one is done! We have made a bunch of crafts this year inspired by pinterest finds.  Not all have made it to the blog and not all were successes, but we have tried a bunch.  I am compiling the best toddler crafts we have created and will be putting them into a book soon!

12. Declutter – We were doing really well with this one. We organized Tyler’s room, the living room, the downstairs closet, and have made progress with the basement. Then Christmas threw up all over our house.  I love it but it was getting claustrophobic.  I am happy that Christmas has been taken down and we can get back to this one.

13. Plan a T and mommy date at least once a month after Hailey is born – Having a newborn that breastfeeds has made this difficult. I finally figured this one out.  On Friday nights I drop T off at dance and then bring the baby to my mother in law.  She watches Hails while I go back to the dance school to teach my class.  T sticks around for my class and then we have a little snack date after class and before we go the Hailey.  It’s not a big date once a month, but its a little date every single week.  He seems to enjoy the one on one time!

14. Complete 27 credits of grad school – This is done!! I finished my 2 winter classes and got B’s in both, yayay!! Now I just have 2 more classes and 2 other requirements left and I will be a Math Master!!

15. Have consistent date nights with the hubs – As I said, this is super hard for us because I work days and my husband works nights. We did well the past three months with at least 1 date night out and 1 at home date night.

16. Complete cookbook for my nonprofit – Before I had Hailey, I presented the idea of doing a cookbook to my board. I had explained that with a newborn I would not be able to take the lead on this project. However, a cookbook would be a lot easier than organizing and holding photo shoots for the calendar. My board however has not gotten this project going….

17. Have a couples game night – We had another game night on New Years Eve where we played Disney Pictopia. It was super fun although T wanted to play so bad but isn’t really old enough yet.  Since then I have modified the rules so that we can play one on one together and he loves it.

18. Plan and have a girls brunch – This still hasn’t happened yet… Everyone has super busy schedules and everyone is popping out babies… I have however had the chance to have some one on one dates with the girls. Hopefully, a group brunch will happen soon!

19. Participate in 2-3 charity walks – We just completed the diabetes walk on October 9. That one is close to my heart. The pancreatic Cancer Research Walk is coming up at the beginning of April so that will be number 2 and this will be completed!

20. Run a donation drive – This didn’t happen over the holidays.  With grandma being in the hospital -plus all the normal holiday rush, there just wasn’t time.  I may still do one in the next few months.  We’ll see.


So that’s my progress so far on my list on things to do my 32nd birthday. I’ve made pretty good progress on most of the items. There are a few more to start working on more and a few that are just no longer goals for this year. That’s OK too.  Sometimes the goals we set at the beginning of the year become less important or impossible as circumstances change.  It is important to take time throughout the year to assess and re-evaluate.  I am looking forward to the last 3 months of being 31 and smashing my goals!

Do you have big birthday goals? Tell me about them in the comments.

Have a great weekend!!



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Author : Emily Bendler

Emily Bendler is a mom, wife, full-time insurance adjuster, professional dancer, dance teacher, graduate student, and founder of I Hope You Dance, Inc., a non-profit supporting youth dance. Read how Emily used her dance ambitions to become a time management maven using the about me link in the main menu. Feel free to send Emily a message using the contact page which can be found in the main menu under About Me.

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25 Comments on "Things to do Before 32: Update 3"

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Great List!! All the best with accomplishing your goals!


I was curious to see what you wanted to do before turning 32. I had my last baby at 32. Our list would have been very different.

Sarah Althouse

I had to check this out because i’ll be 32 in May and had to see if there was anything else I should do by then. Good luck on your goals!


Love posts like these! Looks like you are doing pretty well! Good luck!


Great list! Good job on your progress!!

Kim Studdard

I love this! I need to go ahead and start checking stuff off of my new list!

Alexis Schroeder

I also want to do more charity walks/marathons. Or just a 5k!


Good luck with your goals!


Such a amazing list Emily! Thank you so much sharing!! 🙂

Sarah Prince

I’ll be turning 31 this year and too would like to have a REAL vacation! LOL 🙂


I love the idea of setting yearly goals that are NOT new years resolutions. I am turning 31 at the end of January and I will be following your lead and making a list of goals. Its very inspiring.


This is a really interesting list! I need to make this for myself. Good luck with your book! 🙂

Alisha Webster

You’re rocking it! good luck!