Well, we’ve made it to the deadline of my first 101 in 1001 list! And I’ve got to say, while at times I got sick of the list, for the most part I have LOVED doing goals this way. I have found that the expanded timeline of nearly three years is useful for allowing myself to dream big and put more “bucket list” items on there, but I also like the finality of a deadline so that I actually try to make those things happen and not forever put them off for “someday.”
In past reports, I only reported on items that I’d made progress on, but in today’s final report, I’m going to be commenting on every single goal. Buckle up, it’s going to be a long one!
Note: There are affiliate links in this post to products mentioned, which means I may get a small commission on any sale made at no extra cost to you.
Final 101 in 1001 Report
- Start Date: January 11th, 2018
- End Date: October 7th, 2020
Health + Fitness
- 1. Run a half marathon in under two hours
- No progress made here, but not from lack of desire. Back in November of 2018, I severely injured my back doing a workout one day, and it has prevented me from returning to exercise of any kind with any regularity. Traditional medicine and physical therapy got me nowhere, chiropractic help got me further, and now I’m hoping that my latest attempt–specialized deep tissue massage–is going to be the answer. I still desperately want to get back to running and regular aerobic activity, but the timeline is a bit out of my hands at the moment.
2. Go six months without drinking any Diet Dr. Pepper
- I did this…and then I went right back to drinking it after nearly a year of being off of it. Actually, I’d say that my addiction now is worse than ever. However, having these definite periods when I go off of it remind me that I definitely CAN, so that will be good for when I gear up to go off of it yet again.
3. Try out a new exercise class
- I tried out a few new fitness classes, both with style of fitness (such as High Fitness) and new instructors/new gyms. One thing is for sure–group fitness classes seem to be the best way for me to consistently fit in exercise on a regular basis at this season in my life (when my back is up to it, that is).
. Get back to my pre-pregnancy weight
- I was able to get back to it after having my second (which is why I’m still counting this as a goal I completed!), but I still haven’t gotten back to it after having my third. This will be a line item on my next list for sure!
5. Have a sugar-free month
- I did this, and it was kind of terrible, but necessary. I totally should make myself do this again just to reset my awful habits with chocolate 🙂
- 6. Complete a 12-week BBG (Kayla Itsines’s Bikini Body Guide)
- I got through all four weeks of her “prep” program for this, as well as *almost* the first 10 weeks…and then I injured my back doing one of the workouts. I’m a little nervous to pick this up again just because this is how I injured my back, but if I make sure to have other people check that my form is correct, I do want to complete this when I’m able to, especially because I’d never seen such big results in such a short time frame before.
7. Try 3 new hikes
- We were able to complete this with the kids, and we loved it. I’m definitely going to have another hiking goal on my next list, which will be especially fun to complete as we have a totally unfamiliar canyon by the house we’re buying!
- 8. No fast food for two months (including pizza)
- Hmmm…we got awfully close on this since Matt and I are now both gluten-free, but we didn’t quite reach it over any given two-month span. However, the goal was to cut down on fast food consumption, which we definitely have done. (It helps that we’re no longer right down the street from a McDonald’s!)
- 9. Get 10,000 steps avg./day for a month
- My FitBit broke and I haven’t replaced it, so I don’t even know how I’m doing, though I’m sure I’ve never even been close to this. As mentioned several times already, exercise in general has been very difficult lately because of my back injury.
Health/Fitness Subtotal: 5/9
10. Complete emergency fund ($10,000)
- We completed this when we sold our house in July, though admittedly we’ll be taking it down again when we buy our next house at the end of this month. But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that our emergency fund fluctuates so much over time, just because lots of unplanned financial emergencies come up over time! We’ll just slowly chip away at this again until we hit this number again.
11. Rollover Matt’s 401k to a Roth IRA
- Done. And I wrote all about the why and how of it all here.
12. Buy a bigger vehicle
- We bought a minivan just before the birth of our third last December, and we were actually able to pay it off using money from the sale of our house, so we’re debt free again (until we take on the new mortgage, anyway!).
- 13. Pay $3000 extra on the mortgage
- Before we sold our house, we’d paid just over $1,000 extra on the mortgage. Obviously a bit short, but better than nothing!
14. Set up a sinking fund for car repairs
- It’s set up and it does have a small amount in it ($500), but I would like to keep at least $1,500 in here for repairs and then gradually save up to replace Matt’s old Buick when it inevitably dies out on us.
15. Open up savings accounts for the kids
- All three kids have accounts, and now I just need to come up with a way to consistently be socking away funds in them!
16. Replace our laptop
- We used money from the sale of our old car to do this, and it was great…until it got hacked. I did pay money to have the whole thing wiped clean and reset again, but I haven’t been using it much since. I got used to using my desktop computer for everything, and I just haven’t really gone back. It’s still nice to have, though!
Financial Subtotal: 6/7
- 17. Reach 100% fluency on Duolingo (French)
- This was an extremely lofty goal, and one that would have better served me if I would have broken it down into pieces rather than just saying “Do the whole thing.” To really make progress on this again, I would need to get back in the habit of doing daily practice and also have a specific REASON for wanting to get better (aka, a 10-year anniversary trip to a French-speaking place!).
18. Set up Facebook page for produce co-op
- I did this for the last area we lived in—I basically just started a Facebook group for anyone local who wanted to be able to post and see others’ posts about produce/harvests that people had that they couldn’t use (or that they needed help picking). It ensured that at least some produce didn’t rot in the ground and go to waste, so I’m counting it as a small victory, though I would need to really push in the future to get my idea as big as I want it to be someday.
19. Perfect my homemade pizza
- We started doing pizza nights every Friday to really perfect our technique, and I summarized the final (scrumptious!) results and recipes in this post.
20. Type up the rest of my mission journals
- I filled two and a half journals while serving a mission for my church in El Salvador, and it was such a treat to type them all up and relive those experiences again! I also feel much more at ease knowing that those memories are now stored in two formats.
- 21. Learn 3 new songs on the guitar
- Matt got me a guitar as a surprise for Christmas of 2019, but I haven’t had time to work on ANY of the musical instruments I play for, well, years. This is something I’d like to pick up again in a different season of life, but now is not it.
22. Establish a personal morning routine + stick with it for a month
- I completed this one near the beginning of the challenge (before I had my second child), and now that my third is coming up on a year old, I want to pick this one up again soon. It was really incredible how smoothly it helped my days go when I was doing this regularly!
- 23. Cook through a whole cookbook
- I had been making steady progress in cooking my way through The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner, but since Matt (and then I) went gluten-free (and then we moved and are currently living with family), I haven’t hardly done anything with this. My final total was 118 out of 208. I definitely want to do this challenge again, but it will have to be A) from a gluten-free cookbook, and B) from a cookbook that has far fewer than 200 recipes since that was a LOT. Still super proud of having made 118 out of this one though, and we found sooo many favorites from doing this challenge. (You can read more about the whole experience in this post I did all about it.)
24. Try a dozen new cookie recipes
- I loooooved doing this challenge, and it totally sent me off on a crazy cookie-making spree that lasted for literally years (until Matt was diagnosed with celiac). I’ll probably be setting a similar goal in my next challenge, but with gluten-free cookies!
25. Go a week with no t.v. time (including movies)
- The great thing about this challenge was that it effectively reset my habits so that I no longer felt the need to wind down with a show every night, which meant that for much of the past 2.75 years, my t.v. consumption has been fairly low. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the number of books I’ve finished in the past three years is the highest it’s ever been!
- 26. Fill up a sketchbook
- I did five or six sketches, but I didn’t pull it out at all over the past several months. While I would love to get more into sketching and painting, I also recognize that there’s a season for everything, and now is probably not the best season for pursuing this particular hobby. I’ll probably just stick with photography until the kids are a bit older.
Personal Development Subtotal: 6/10
Note: If you’re unfamiliar with my faith as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I’ve linked certain things mentioned below to articles that will explain the significance behind them, and you can find general information about my faith at ComeUntoChrist.org.
Read the Book of Mormon in Spanish
- I had read about two-thirds of The Book of Mormon in Spanish while serving my mission in El Salvador but had never finished it (at least not in Spanish, though I read it multiple times in English). I went ahead and started over from the beginning for this challenge and was able to complete it within a year. It was pretty cool to see how much I noticed different things, just because they were worded in a slightly different way in the Spanish translation!
- 28. Visit 3 new temples + do ordinances (1/3)
- Most of my church’s temples are currently closed or mostly closed because of the pandemic, so this one wasn’t possible to finish this year, although we did go to one new (to us) temple before the shutdown. The good thing about our move coming up is that once they do start opening up, we’ll be close to several that we’ve never been to before. Each temple is unique in structure, exterior, and outside garden areas, and each one is made with the finest quality of craftsmanship and materials. It will be fun to go through those ones down south of this that we never have before.
29. Find 100 names for the temple
- It took me awhile, but once I was able to tap into a couple genealogical lines that hadn’t had too much research done on them, I was able to supercede this goal by well over 100.
30. Complete temple work for 15 people
- About 9 months into the challenge, Matt and I changed our habits so that instead of just going to the temple monthly, we started attending weekly. Once that happened, we were doing a LOT more temple work than before, which meant we blew this goal out of the water. We definitely plan to start attending weekly again once the temples are able to re-open after the pandemic has died down a bit.
- 31. Make family history photo flash cards
- I want our children to know about their ancestors and where they come from, so I still think these would be a great thing to have. Basically I just want to print out these flash cards with the ancestor’s portrait on one side and then a story or information about them on the back side. I don’t really have a specific reason for not getting these done—I just need to take a few hours some weekend to get them compiled and formatted and then print them out on cardstock.
- 32. Index 1,000 names
- I ended up indexing 531 names, so 53% of my goal. (Click on this link to find out more about this genealogical service that anyone can do.)
33. Study all General Conference talks of 2017
- Twice a year, our worldwide church leaders address all the members over the world over a two-day period. All in all, it’s about 10 hours of talks, which are then printed/published so that church members can study them. We always listen live to the talks, but it’s much like drinking from a fire hose, which is why it’s important to us to also study the talks afterwards in print. I was able to completely study all the talks given in 2017 after they were published.
34. Study all GC talks of 2018
35. Study all GC talks of 2019
- 36. Study April GC talks of 2020
- I was doing great with this one, but then we moved…and somehow the box with my conference issue of the church’s magazine got put in our storage unit. I’ve still studied some online, but it’s not the same as studying them with highlighter in hand. Once we move, I’ll find that missing issue and catch up (since we’ve now just had the October 2020 conference as well, which was phenomenal and uplifting and so much what I needed right now during such a weird year).
- 37. Re-read Jesus the Christ
- I’ve wanted to re-read this book since my mission, but I’ve been kept so busy studying Come Follow Me and doing the other study goals mentioned above that I haven’t done this yet.
Spiritual Subtotal: 6/11
38. Read 5 books off of my 100 Classics list
- I *just* finished this one in the nick of time the day before the deadline, lol. Here are the titles I read:
39. Read five books recommended by five different people
- Just recently completed this! (Note: You can see the whole list of recommended books here).
- 40. Read 15 books off of the Newbery list
41. Read 5 books off of the Pulitzer list
- Just barely finished this one before the deadline as well: The Stone Diaries, The Snow Child, The Dutch House, Gilead, and The Age of Innocence.
- 42. Read 12 books off of the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list
- I read nine. Six of those double counted from the lists above, then Sense and Sensibility, Rebecca, and Ethan Frome.
- 43. Read 50 books I own (33/50)
- I actually ended up doing better than I thought I would at 33 books read, but I’m thinking (hoping?) that this goal, should I choose to try for a repeat, would be a lot easier in our new house since we won’t have all our books packed away like we did in our last place.
44. Re-read 5 books
- I completed this one, and then some! This goal got me back in the habit of rereading again, which has just been fun.
Books Subtotal: 4/7
Travel + Fun
Seeing the final results in this section made me realize two things: 1) While Matt and I traveled a decent amount together before having kids, it’s been super hard for us to do so after having kids, and 2) Living in a pandemic world obviously has really messed with this section this year, as we were *finally* in an easier situation (aka, I wasn’t on bed rest or pregnant this year) to knock off at least a couple. Ah, well. For the next list our kids will be older, which should make it logistically a bit easier to make travel plans, at least as long as this pandemic eventually gets under control!
- 45. Visit Capitol Reef
- Matt’s family actually just barely went to this national park, but as camping with two small children and a baby just did not appeal at all, we stayed behind this time. Hoping to make this happen sometime in the next couple years!
- 46. Visit Goblin Valley
- 47. Visit a new state
- I think we only left the state once (?) in the past 2.75 years, and that was to go to Idaho to see the solar eclipse. Now that’s just sad. (Okay, I should clarify that we only went to one NEW place in Idaho in the last 1,001 days, as we went there quite a few other times to visit family.)
48. Celebrate a holiday I normally don’t
- The “Green Feast” we did for St. Patrick’s Day this year right after quarantine started knocked this one off the list for us!
- 49. Visit the ocean
- Blergh. (We had bought tickets and saved money to go to Hawaii in April of this year, but…COVID.)
- 50. Go horseback riding
- We kind of looked into doing this, but we just need to make it happen one of these days, maybe for an anniversary date or something.
51. Go to the condo in St. George
- We went just before Mathias was born!
- 52. Go to a musical or play
- Can you believe we didn’t do this?! So sad, especially as both Matt and I really enjoy going to musicals together. Looking over this section makes me realize that we really need to prioritize fun and travel more.
53. Go fly a kite
- We did this just before Mathias was born, and Raven loved it! She’s been asking us ever since when we can do it again, which means…it’s been way too long since we’ve done it (ha ha).
54. Go on a picnic
- We actually had a few, and I love how it’s such a little thing, but those are such special memories we have now.
Fun/Travel Subtotal: 4/10
Blogging + Writing
55. Break even with blog expenses/income
- Since I switched over my blog from Blogger and set up my own hosting through RamNode, I’ve started to accrue more and more blog expenses each year. I feel very fortunate that for the majority of the time since I’ve done this, I’ve been at least able to break even on the income I make here and the expenses that I have.
- 56. Make $500 profit in a year from blogging
- While I do break even most of the time with the blog, I don’t make much of a profit here either, but I’m okay with that. I’ve always blogged first and foremost because I love sharing and connecting with all of you and also having this space to record my life, so any profit above and beyond my expenses is really just icing on the cake. Currently this year I’m a bit upside down, but I anticipate that it will probably even out again by the end of December.
57. Reach 100 people on my email list
- Have you signed up for my email list yet? About once a month, I send out an email just to subscribers that’s more personal, and I try to include things I’m working on, some good books I’m reading lately, quotes that have made a difference to me, etc. I reached my first 100 subscribers awhile ago, and it’s been such a fun way to connect with you all in a different way!
58. Have a post get 1,000+ views
- Apparently I needed to set my goals much higher since I’ve blown this one out of the water with several posts! Although my blog is not huge by any standard, it has grown quite a lot over the past three years. Eleven posts have surpassed the 1,000 page view mark, with two more on their way to reaching it in the next month or two. I’ll be interested to see where the blog goes over the duration of the next 2.75 years!
59. Have a post get 2,000+ views
- My post comparing the prices at three popular grocery stores remains my most popular, with over 7,000 views. Thanks to a feature in Parade.com and a lot of Pinterest traffic, my blog post featuring my grandma’s nonalcoholic almond punch recipe has 5,800 views. The other two that have surpassed the 2,000 mark are my chocolate eclair pie recipe post and my post featuring how I rate the books I read and a collection of some of my favorite five-star fiction reads.
60. Optimize 20 old posts for
- I’m counting this one as complete, though I’m not 100% positive. Since I updated the pics and other info on 14 old recipe posts alone (and know that I updated others as well), I’m assuming I probably reached this. I definitely needed to be better at recording this one, however!
- 61. Make 100 new entries in The Motherhood Diaries
- Final total: 31. Do I wish I’d written more? Of course. But I do treasure each of the 31 entries I did manage to get down.
Blogging/Writing Subtotal: 5/7
62. Take another photography class
- Taking an online photography class made me realize that education is one of the BEST ways I can invest money into my business—while much of these goals in this section (as you’ll see) were about getting more and better equipment, I could clearly see after completing an online (food) photography class that I should be perhaps be focusing less on getting more equipment and focusing a lot more on getting more education. Some membership sites I’m considering for future classes are MasterClass (not just for the photography classes, but for several others as well) and CreativeLive, as well as some online classes offered specifically through photographers I admire on their websites. I’ve averaged spending about $250 – $600 a year on equipment ever since I really started getting into photography in about 2013, but imagine if I were to put the bulk of that money towards education!
- 63. Go to an event with the Cache Valley Photographers’ Group
- I used to be very involved in the local Facebook Photographer’s Group, but since having kids, it’s just been hard to get out to events. I did not end up making this happen, but I have at least signed up to be a part of the local photographer’s group in our new county, so there’s that.
- 64. Complete a self-portrait photo project
- Nope, and I can’t even definitively say why…I just didn’t feel inspired or feel like I had the time/energy/focus to do this right now. Maybe someday I’ll try this out, but it probably won’t be super soon.
- 65. Pare down photos from 2013-2017
- This is definitely an example of a goal that should have been broken down into smaller chunks on this list, like maybe going through ONE of these years and paring them down. I do think that I was able to pare down everything from 2013 and 2014 (or thereabouts), but once I started having kids and taking a picture a day of each of them, my digital albums have exploded (we’re talking upwards of 15,000 pictures a year exploded!). Necessity will soon dictate that I HAVE to do this unless I want to keep purchasing massively huge external hard drives. In the future, the ideal scenario would be that I would just go through and pare down the photos as I uploaded them, but that only happens some of the time.
66. Buy a macro lens
- I need to play around a lot more with this lens, but I do love having it! It’s especially fun for outdoor floral shots. (It’s the lens I used to take the shots in this post, coincidentally!)
67. Buy a tripod
- I did, and I use it all the time, but…it’s also broken twice. I did send it back to get repaired while it was still under warranty, but then it broke again (in the same place) after the warranty had expired. So it looks like a goal on my new list will be having to upgrade to a nicer one.
- 68. Buy a full-frame camera
- This is one of the only big financial goals we didn’t complete this year. This might be a rollover for the next list!
69. Give a free photo session to someone in need
- I took pictures at a funeral for a friend, and I loved being able to do something tangible to serve their family during that hard time.
70. Launch photography webpage
- I did (it’s here if you want to check it out), but I already have major plans to overhaul it (ha ha). I’m sensing a new 101 in 1001 goal!
- 71. Back up all photos
- Really, what I should have said here was to just decide on a SYSTEM for backing up all my photos and then automating it somehow. I still need to do this.
Photography Subtotal: 5/10
Family + Relationships + Service
72. Complete 1,000 book challenge with Raven
- The goal was to read 1,000 different picture books with Raven before the end of the challenge, and we *just* met it in the nick of time (literally, on the deadline!). I plan to keep on tracking all the books I’ve read with her, just so that I have a list somewhere.
- 73. Create a recent family photo album
- This goal got a lot more complicated as the challenge went on, meaning that rather than just making ONE album, it came to mean making family albums for each year of our marriage until we’d caught up to now. As it stands, I printed out and put together two (of the first three and a half years or so of our marriage), and now I just have the daunting task of starting to make the albums that cover the years after we started having kids. It’s been fun having printed-out pictures to look at though, so I’m excited to keep on working on this!
74. Sign Raven up for preschool
- We put Raven in preschool for two years, and she loved it. Both of her teachers prepared her so well for kindergarten so that my job (now that we’ve unexpectedly decided to homeschool this year) has been much easier as a result of her being given such a solid base.
75. Go on 20 dates with Matt
- We used to be super terrible about going on dates once we had kids, but once I started this 101 in 1001 challenge, we got exponentially better at this and officially exceeded the original 20-date goal.
76. Sign Raven up for swimming lessons
- We managed to make this happen before our third child was born (and before COVID hit), and now the question is just when we’ll be able to continue her swimming instruction, what with the ongoing pandemic conditions. Time will tell.
77. Give/send 12 handwritten notes or letters
- This is definitely something I want to be better about, so it was good to take a small step in that direction over this time period. This is still something I’d like to make much more of a habit, though!
78. Get family pics taken twice
- We actually got them taken three times! Extra credit!
- 79. Take an overnight trip with Matt
- This never did happen, though we might be able to swing this in the next year or so since the ages of our kids will be a bit easier on the caregiver’s end.
80. Leave a 100% tip at a restaurant
- We did this at one of our favorite restaurants after they opened back up after the COVID shutdown, and we’ve been extra generous on tips many other times too (just not at the 100% level).
81. Buy someone a just-because gift
- Awhile back, one of our neighbors was having a really tough day, and I ran to the store to get her something to save her the trip and to hopefully brighten her day, too. It always feels so good to do something like this!
82. Give someone flowers
- Right before we moved, we gifted a hand-picked bouquet from our garden and gave it to friends. Since a major goal of mine at the new house is to continue with our “backyard mini flower farm” idea, I hope to be gifting MANY bouquets in the future!
Family/Relationships/Service Subtotal: 9/11
Home + Organization
Considering that we are no longer living in the house that I made this list for, most of these are null and void. However, we were able to complete some of them before moving, and you’d better believe the new 101 in 1001 list is going to include a whole lotta projects for the new house!
83. Get bed for guest room
- We used part of a tax return early on in the challenge to knock this one off the list, and even though Matt would have rather spent the money on something else, I still have loved having a nice guest bed to offer people when they stay over! (I also love that our new house has a room for guests, too!)
- 84. Fix plumbing out back
- We never did get this done, and we ended up renegotiating our seller’s contract to reduce the price of our house by $500 so that the new owner could get this fixed.
- 85. Update at least one light fixture
- We didn’t do this one either, but we already have firm plans in place to update some of the light fixtures in the new house before we even move in, which makes me super excited!
86. Install shelves in the upstairs bathroom
- I absolutely loved how these turned out, and I’m definitely considering a similar project for a simple update in our next home. We shall see!
- 87. Install book racks in kids’ room
- Nope, but this is something I’m considering for the new house as well.
- 88. Complete built-in bookshelves
- Our new house already has some built-ins by the front room’s fireplace! Woo hoo! But I was still sad that we never got around to doing these at our other place…it would have been so perfect for that basement!
89. Plant at least two fruit trees
- We planted a peach and an apricot tree at our old place, though we never did get to enjoy any harvest from them.
90. Build a sandbox out back
- The kids LOVED their sandbox and played in it all the time, so we’re definitely going to have to build one at the new house as well!
- 91. Put shiplap up in bathroom
- Not even close. In fact, we ended up using the shiplap we’d reclaimed for this project on our chicken coop (ha ha).
92. Buy curtains for downstairs family room
- We did this, and IT MADE SUCH A DIFFERENCE!
93. Grow pumpkins
- We did this a couple years in a row, but the squash bugs made it so we were hardly able to harvest any. We’re definitely going to have to figure out a way to stomp down those little buggers!
94. Buy throw pillows for upstairs couch
- We bought some AND made some for both the upstairs and downstairs.
95. Do a refresh project of 50 Weeks to Organized
- This got done by default since we got rid of so much stuff when we packed everything up to move.
96. Plant an herb garden
- Done multiple years, with no plans of stopping!
- 97. Make a canvas print to hang in our bedroom
- No, and this is still a goal of mine to try this DIY. Having a recent DIY win under my belt will hopefully inspire me to have the courage to try others.
- 98. Hang pics up in downstairs family room
- We never did this. I’m hoping to be a LOT better about hanging up artwork at our new place rather than waiting endlessly for the “perfect” arrangement or art piece to present itself (which inevitably means that we just live with continually blank walls).
99. Buy fresh flowers every month for six months
- Such a fun goal. I adore fresh flowers in the house, and I’m hoping that as we start growing a lot of flowers for cutting and arranging that I can always have some inside for the majority of the year.
100. Buy/get a grill
- We ended up getting a grill as an unexpected bonus gift from Matt’s work, and we have loved having one! We’ve made tons of memories from the weekly grill nights we were in the habit of doing at our old house.
- 101. Review emergency preparedness + Make a will
- This was a poorly articulated goal, and much too general. We did quite a lot of emergency preparedness and I kind of started the process to make a will, but this is something that really needs to be broken down into much more defined (and much smaller) chunks, which will likely happen on the next list.
Home/Organization Subtotal: 11/19
Official Number Completed: 61/101
Stay tuned, since I’m planning on putting up my new 101 in 1001 list by the end of this month! And for any Utah locals, are there any fun staycation ideas of places we could go that would be kid-friendly?