How my work days go
2018 wrap up

34 favorites

34 favorites | RISING*SHINING

Saturday is my birthday and I'll turn 35! But before I do I've rounded up my 34 favorite things from my year of being 34. When I first drafted my list of 34 favorites I went back to see what I included on my lists of 33 and 32...only to realize that I had already mentioned several things (my Instant Pot, walk and talk three-way chats with girl friends). I guess by 35 you just know what you love. But it did give me the chance to think more about the year and find new favorites to share.

And so, 34 favorites from this year:

1. Simple human trash can and corresponding trash bags. The trash bags stored inside the trash can makes me happy every time I change them. Worth the money one hundred times over.

34 favorites | RISING*SHINING
2. Peeking in on the boys in their “brother room” after they’ve fallen asleep and feeling my heart nearly burst with love. Also, often taking pictures of them to remember their crazy or sweet sleeping positions. Chris says that the way Dash sleeps always looks like he just fell from the ceiling, LOL.

3. Our Trigger Point foam roller and rolling my IT band and hip to keep injuries at bay. Hurts so good!

34 favorites | RISING*SHINING
4. Rearranging our front room including moving one set of shelves to the office, changing the orientation of the loveseat, and buying a cute ottoman on mega sale.

34 favorites | RISING*SHINING
5. Continuing my streak of great reading. Since my birthday last year I’ve read nearly 50 books and got reacquainted with audiobooks including favorites like The Heart’s Invisible Furies, Bad Blood (listened), The Hate U Give, and Born a Crime (listened).

6. Finding a library card catalog on Craigslist (for $50!!!) in great condition after months of looking. I drove so! far! across the Valley one night after work to pick it up. I’m planning to turn it into a front entry table this coming year.

34 favorites | RISING*SHINING
7. Feeling confident in my look and style. This picture captures it: shoulder-length hair with waves, side swept bangs, white t-shirt, high-waisted navy linen skirt, open circle earrings and contempo necklace. Negroni accessory is lovely, too.

34 favorites | RISING*SHINING 34 favorites | RISING*SHINING

8. Hiking Bell Rock and the Wave Cave with my friend Becky

9. Wearing my hair in a top knot with big earrings during the hot summer days

34 favorites | RISING*SHINING
10. Quitting. My. Job.

11. Driving my commute home for the final time: I stopped at Liberty Market for a treat, sat in a window booth, and wrote in my journal to capture everything I was feeling.

34 favorites | RISING*SHINING 34 favorites | RISING*SHINING
34 favorites | RISING*SHINING

12. The Kelsey Turns the Page party that Chris threw me to celebrate quitting my job. I was so touched by the speech Chris made and that so many people came to celebrate my new chapter.

34 favorites | RISING*SHINING
13. Spending an afternoon in the pool doing handstands and synchronized swimming routines and laughing so hard with two of my oldest and dearest friends during a surprise girls' weekend they planned for me together with Chris.

14. Ninety-minute Orange Theory group fitness classes on Saturday mornings. I started the year just barely able to drag myself through class. Now I can push through the whole class feeling strong (although I am exhausted by the end!).

34 favorites | RISING*SHINING
15. Trader Joe's. Somehow I fell even more in love this year. As evidenced by my Halloween costume. Maybe it has something to do with my love for Trader Joe's and podcasts combining to create Inside Trader Joe's. Plus I started sharing In My Cart at Trader Joe's and #kelseyshopstraderjoes.

34 favorites | RISING*SHININGCedric's tiny bike among all the big ones. I think he is the littlest bike rider at school!

16. Our whole school situation for the boys: biking the boys to school, spending two+ hours at the park nearly every day after school, and meeting other parents in our neighborhood.

17. Pitching K.J. to write the discussion questions for her book, How To Be A Happier Parent, and getting a “yes”!

34 favorites | RISING*SHINING
18. My custom-built standing desk, purchased with money earned from writing the above mentioned book discussion questions

34 favorites | RISING*SHINING

19. Book club retreat to Sedona and feeling deeply thankful for the circle of women I am in.

20. Tackling my huge to-do list this summer. Highlights includes replacing our fading car license plate, installing a flag holder on the house, and getting a plaque for my book club's booth at the bar where we meet.

34 favorites | RISING*SHININGDo you see me? Back middle.

21. High Fitness workout dance classes on Monday nights with my neighbor. I never would have predicted that I would love a workout class like this but it's so fun, great energy, and such a great workout!

34 favorites | RISING*SHINING
22. Showing Chris my favorite workout: an early morning run at Ladybird Lake in Austin and then a dip in Barton Springs to cool off.

23. The boys sleeping over at Chris’s parents meaning we have a whole night and morning in our house without kids. Luxurious. And so quiet.

24. My meal planning and grocery shopping routine post full-time work plus more time to cook from recipes. A few new-to-us recipes that have been home runs with Chris and me include: lemony lentil soup, spicy zoodles with crispy tofu, roasted carrot pasta salad, the KSB (we use Tofurky sausage), egg roll bowls, lentil taco soup, and vegetable stuffed acorn squash (shared with me from a podcast listener with a photocopied recipe book so I don't have a link for this one, sorry!).34 favorites | RISING*SHINING
25. Thursday night cookie dates with Chris as an easy way to reconnect on a week night. Also, the best chocolate chip cookies.

26. Great seats to see H A M I L T O N.

27. Dropping things off at Goodwill and the Town of Gilbert Hazardous Waste facility. So. Freaking. Satisfying.

34 favorites | RISING*SHINING
28. The tearful and heartfelt goodbye I had when I picked up the boys for the very last time from their daycare where they went since they were babies.

29. So many great podcasts this year. New standouts include Habitat, both seasons of Slow Burn, and Sandra. With the boys we really enjoyed Young Ben Franklin and Becoming Mother Nature.

34 favorites | RISING*SHINING
30. Sunday Paper + Pancakes

31. S’mores dessert at Culinary Dropout (and watching a Culinary Dropout being built in downtown Gilbert with great anticipation).

32. Finally upgrading from the maternity pajama pants I had been wearing to the comfiest pj's: buttery soft lounge pants and long tank tops.

34 favorites | RISING*SHINING 34 favorites | RISING*SHINING
33. A trip to New York City and to New Haven, CT for my ten-year reunion of graduating from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Chris and I met in the graduate student bar on campus over a game of pool so it was a trip full of nostalgia. Plus I reconnected with several classmates who are not only working to make the world better they're also just the funnest and kindest people. My heart felt very full.

34. Feeling the pace of our life slow down after quitting my job and having more time than ever for my two priorities: family + writing.


It was a great year and I'm excited for the favorite things that 35 will bring.


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