Thursday, October 22, 2015

30 Before 30 - Part 4

{back to part one}
{back to part two}

{back to part three}

21) Eat caviar - 8/30/2015

i'm not quite sure how i expected caviar to taste, but it was definitely fishier than i anticipated. and i do like seafood, but it was just overpowering. a few teaspoons spread on a triscuit was about all i could handle. this ranked right up there with coconut oil in coffee as an experience i won't be repeating! 

22) Get blog up-to-date - 9/4/2015

well, it was nice while it lasted! every few months i go through a period of quasi-writer's block, where i just don't feel that inspired to write, or when i do try, the sentences come out all stiff and bland and and inarticulate. so instead of spending my free time blogging, i read other blogs voraciously, or peruse Facebook, or clean the house while listening to podcasts, or read library books on my Kindle, or watch Parenthood on Netflix. but i really do want to keep writing more consistently, to document the little details of our lives that i always think i'll remember but that realistically, i won't.  

23) Read Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh - 9/5/2015

i first heard about this book on the Fountains of Carrots podcast, which is one of my all-time favourite podcasts about motherhood, spirituality, and great books, produced by the Catholic bloggers Haley Stewart (of Carrots for Michaelmas) and Christy Isinger (of Fountains of Home). Waugh's writing is delightfully peppered with evocative words that i never knew existed, like jejune (naive, simplistic, superficial), baize (the green felt material that covers pool tables), nugatory (futile), caryatid (a stone carving of a draped female figure, used as a pillar), glaucous (blue-purple, covered in a powdery substance, such as Concord grapes), and escutcheon (a shield bearing a coat of arms). beyond the bonus vocabulary boost, the story is a powerful character study of a British army captain reflecting on his life, friendships, romance, and spiritual growth. highly recommend!

24) Join a Hike It, Baby hike - 9/7/2015

Hike it, Baby! is a national organization that was founded by a new mother who wanted to get back to the great outdoors and meet up with other like-minded parents after the birth of her first child. the Pittsburgh chapter schedules several hikes of varying difficulties each week -- hikes for adults and older children only, easier walks for adults with babies in carriers, unscheduled meanderings for toddlers, and even playdates at local parks. on Labor Day, Greta and i joined up with a hike at Raccoon Creek State Park, and we had an absolute blast. the group was so welcoming and even shared snacks with us when Greta started to have a tantrum in the Ergo during a spot on the trail where she couldn't safely walk by herself :/ the trail led for about a mile through varying terrain -- broad sunny paths as pictured above (photo credit to one of the dads on the hike!), and a steeper trail up a set of switchbacks in the shade -- and then we turned around and came back for a nice 75-minute walk. 

25) Take a Just Ducky tour - 9/10/2015

these amphibious vehicle tours have intrigued me since i was a child! we used to see them driving around Seattle and i always wanted to ride on one. like Phipps Conservatory, this is another Pittsburgh attraction that i thought would be fun to do when our extended family visits, but it just hadn't happened yet and so Greta and i checked it out by ourselves, on one particularly drizzly morning. the tour was lighthearted (read: lots of cheesy jokes) but truly informative, and Greta loved "quacking" at the pedestrians we passed. she even got to sit in the driver's seat and steer the boat when we were in the middle of the river, but she was a little shy or scared and just wanted to sit back down in our regular seat. lots of fun and i'd definitely do it again, with family in tow! 

26) Visit the Carnegie Science Center - 9/15/2015

we kicked off my 30th birthday by visiting the Carnegie Science Center in the morning! i was pleasantly surprised by how many activities and exhibits were appropriate for Greta. of course, much of the science center is geared toward school-age kids (and adults!) as well, so i imagine this was just the first of many visits. we explored the whole building from bottom to top, but spent the most time at the Exploration Station Jr., which features a water-play exhibit, giant teeth with giant toothbrushes, blocks, and a giant ball factory. there's even a vibrating table set up with Lincoln Logs so you can experiment with building different house structures to see what design would withstand an "earthquake". we finished out the visit with a little quiet time on their first floor Ponds & Rivers exhibit. 

27) Get a jogging stroller - 9/15/2015

thank you, thank you, thank you to my friends who all pitched in and bought me a jogging stroller (also: a bottle of blue champagne)! i had been driving myself crazy reading online reviews of various jogging strollers, and i couldn't be happier with the one they picked: the Eddie Bauer Endurance. it's lightweight and versatile, with bonus features like cup-holders in each of the included parent and child's trays, but still budget-friendly. aka i'm not a serious enough runner to justify buying a $500+ BOB. having this stroller means that Greta and i can now go hit the trails (our favourites include the [relatively flat] Montour Trail and the Panhandle Trail). the stroller's wheels glide so easily over uneven terrain that it practically pushes itself, so i can devote more of my energy to actually jogging (and i can replenish Greta's supply of fruit snacks and goldfish crackers without breaking my stride). most of the time i aim for a 3-mile run, but one glorious day in November, i hit a PR! 

28) Take a gardening class - 9/26/2015 

there are some things about which i'm totally, utterly clueless. as in, i don't have even the beginnings of an instinct or a gut feeling about how to proceed. and one of those things is gardening. i just don't really know how to go about planting a seed and then transferring it into a pot (i mean, it sounds easy enough, but yet i'm sure if i tried it, i'd end up with nothing but dead plants). or what kind of plants go in what types of soil or with what types of sunlight. and even though those specific questions could be answered with a Google search, i don't learn well without having a broad foundation and framework of information to build upon. (hence why it drove me crazy in school if a lecture didn't follow an outline -- i have to know how to categorize and organize the information in my head before i can remember it clearly!)

SO! i decided to take a class. at home, on my computer, through Universal, because then i could do it during Greta's naptime. and despite the plethora of free online courses that are available, i opted for this one (the price when i signed up was around $30), because it includes actual essays and tests that are graded by an actual instructor, so i would have to really, actually, genuinely, learn the material and not just skim over it and pretend that i understood it. (not that i've ever been guilty of that...)

as you can see by the date, i was about 11 days overdue on actually completing the course, and this also coincided with the start of fall weather. so i haven't, in fact, started a garden. but in the spring, i do plan to dip my toes in the water of container gardening. and i'm cautiously optimistic!

this concludes the items on my list that i was able to accomplish. stay tuned for an update on the final two! 

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