Wavy Alabaster

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break down the bucket list: thirty-one

break down the bucket list: thirty-one

Another year has come and gone and I am dancing my way into my early thirties...

Thirty was good to me. Really good. I rang it in alongside my best with a tent party in the woods complete with friends, family and the Tussey Mountain Moonshiners. Love and dancing to hometown bluegrass; it doesn't get much better. I tore through my thirty year bucket list too, well for the most part. I failed pretty miserably on the once-a-month newspaper reading. I did, however, digest more local and world news thanks to this conscious consumption effort. I'll chalk that up to a win.

The highlight of my bucket list? That one is easy. I gained a brother. I am biased, but I don't know if I've witnessed a more entertaining and emotional day than the day of Greta and Tyler's I do's. Touching details mixed with simple, powerful intentions made for moments that we will relive as a family for years to come. The outlaws have grown. Welcome to the family, Tyler.

From adding a pup baby to our family in April to a calligraphy class in February to expanding the presence of this blog to surrounding myself with flowers to buying properly-sized bras, thirty was by all means a success! With recapping and reflection coming to an end, it is time to look at the year ahead. September 22nd marked the year of 31 and here is what I am going to accomplish: You will find, that epic day aforementioned was a huge source of inspiration. 

// write in three new states // There is something about breathing new air, taking in new places, new smells. Exploration fuels my pen. I will not be biased as to the type of writing - blog, letter, journal, thoughts on a napkin - just as long as I write. Crossing state lines for the sake of inspired writing -- it is quite poetic. Hopefully that poetry translates into thoughtful posts. 

Photo by Merritt of Merritt Lee Photography

Photo by Merritt of Merritt Lee Photography

// respond to all Facebook well wishes // With each birthday comes an onslaught of quick Facebook well wishes. Some surprising, some expected. In recent years, I brushed these off. I categorized them as being predictable and lacking thought. This past birthday, I played devil's advocate to this thinking. These folks are taking the time to notice and recognize my birthday. They are typing out the words, including small personal messages about how I love whiskey and hope dance parties treat me well. It is thoughtful. There is no degree to thoughtful, it just is. So, thank you FB pals, I'll be hitting you up for a quick thank you message soon. 

// plant a tree // It seems crazy I have yet to plant a tree in my lifetime. Time to change that fact. Only a few stipulations come to mind; it will not be in my own back yard, but it must be in a place where I can visit and watch the sapling grow. 

// carry a handkerchief or a bandanna // My dad always had his trusty red or blue bandanna available at the first drop of a tear or the sniffle of a nose. At the sight of Greta on her big day, this kind offering was given to me by a fellow bridesmaid (thank you, Courtney). I remember the moment well and how that small action brought me great comfort. Offering one's clean hankie is one of those small, kind gestures. Small, kind gestures are fading. They need to be brought back to the 21st century with gusto. This is my part for that movement. 

// published by another // It is simple. In this upcoming year, I plan to be published by an outside publication, media outlet, etc. Monetary compensation is a bonus, but not a must. I'm marking it the next stop in this self-fueled career. 

// give more hugs // While on a visit to Philly, there was an enormous chalkboard sign not to be missed on Arch Street. It was propped against the brick wall surrounding the historic Arch Street Meeting House. It asked a powerful question. As I was reading the answers folks shared, a simple answer in the bottom left corner caught my eye. I don't know who wrote it, but consider me a part of the "give more hugs" community.  

// aunt julie's records // If you recall in my family ties post, the eldest sister of my mother and my dear aunt Julie was battling cancer. Sadly, Julie is no longer with us. She went quietly with my mother holding her hand. She is missed everyday. My husband and I were gifted all her records, and what a gift it was. This upcoming year, we are going to listen to all of them from start to finish. There are many. And, many of them are not our preferred choice of music. It is no longer about the type of music, however, it is about Julie's presence and keeping it with us. 

// spice up my whiskey // Aunt Julie will love this next one. It is no secret whiskey is a great love of my life. I am a purest when it comes to my cocktail of choice: a simple, count to three, pour of rye whiskey over ice topped with a Maraschino cherry. But every routine deserves a little mixing up from time to time. Ten different whiskey concoctions will be attempted; any volunteer taste testers?

// update my web site // I have taken entirely too long to refresh the format in which you all digest my thoughts. As a marketer in a past life, making quick definitive decisions resulting in positive return on investment was a daily occurrence. It wasn't easy, but sure as hell did not take me as long as I am pondering over my own web site design (and entire brand!). Diving into a personal venture changes the game. Each decision seems heavier. It is time to buckle down, set a deadline for myself, and get it done. 

// always have fresh flowers // This is a carryover from last year's list with an expanded twist. A Free People blog post encouraged me to learn about these beauties which fill my house. Flower and plant knowledge will only increase my admiration and care-taking abilities. Thus, a plant-folio will be born. I love a good reason to buy a new journal. 

Photo by Alyssa of For Rue Photography

Photo by Alyssa of For Rue Photography

Cheers to the year ahead, folks. It is going to be a good one. 

Jessa

All the wedding photos were captured by the lovely Alyssa Florentine of For Rue Photography
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Photo of the journal is by none other than Merritt of Merrit Lee Photography  
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Photos of my beautiful Aunt Julie by Trinity of Trinity Photography
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the world in rose

the world in rose

sans cell

sans cell