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Updates to my #40by40 list (aka New Year Goals)

Last October, on my 39th birthday, I gave myself a list of 40 things I want to do before I turn 40.

This list was started as a tool for me to practice defining what I want (because I am not very good at it) and has become such a motivating way for me to actually do the things I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.

I have been super slow to jump into New Year’s mode – which is really strange for me. The Christmas decorations are still up, I forgot what day it was yesterday (did you catch my instagram story where I declared it January 3rd?! Oops!), and I’m just not as quick this year to reinvent my days/habits/desires like usual.

While chatting with Ryan about this it dawned on me that maybe I’m not quite as motivated to make changes because I am actually pretty satisfied with how things are going.

And I owe most of that to my #40by40 list.

This list is made up of all the big and little things that help me celebrate and enjoy the things I love. There’s a handful of items that feel important, but always seem to slip by undone. There are skills I want to learn and places I’d like to travel, things I want to do and a few I don’t really want to do, but should anyway.

So while I would normally come up with a list of resolutions or projects to do around the house or a special word for the year … this year I’m leaning on my #40by40 list to be my New Year manifesto.

I posted about my list on my birthday last fall and listed out each item. I thought it would be fun to go through each one, make a few adjustments and see how many I’ve checked off these last three months.

Let’s jump right in …

40 By 40 List

make sourdough bread

My cousin’s wife makes the most delicious naturally fermented sourdough bread (that is even safe for the gluten-intolerant) that I’ve been wanting to make for a long time. She gave me the recipe and lots of tips and I gave it a try this fall. So far, I’ve failed at making starter three separate times. Lucky for me, my father-in-law is an accomplished chef and he shared his starter with me over Christmas break. I baked my first two loaves of bread and they were delicious. Not exactly the fermented sourdough I was going for, but I haven’t lost hope of that yet.


get a Le Creuset

The sourdough bread recipe calls for a 6qt dutch oven to bake it in. I decided to skip the spendy version for now, since I wasn’t sure how this whole bread-making thing would turn out and instead ordered myself this one in emerald green for a fraction of the price. I’ve been so surprised at how much I use it for things other than baking bread.

make apple fritters

Keeping to the baking theme (I really do love baking!) … I made apple fritters last weekend and they were delicious. They didn’t have that perfect crunchy texture on the outside so I’m not sure where I went wrong, but the flavor was really good. And we had no trouble eating them all up.

go to barre class twice per week

On my original list, it says feel good in a swimsuit, but that feels too intangible and hard to measure. Sure, I’d love to walk around in a swimsuit with all the confidence in the world (I’m convinced a ton of that is mindset but I haven’t quite conquered that yet). Instead, I’ve been consistently going to a local barre class on tuesdays and thursdays and it has been so good for me. I feel stronger, I love pushing my body and it feels good to take care of myself in this way.

go to Nashville

Perhaps the highlight of my 2017 (besides our kids being baptized on Father’s Day – that was a really great day) was our trip to Nashville last fall. Oh my goodness, we had so much fun. Ryan and I went with two of our best friends and we ate the most delicious food, heard amazing music (Little Big Town at the Ryman!) and fell in love with the city.


write a children’s book

This is so high up on my list … and I’m so intimidated! I have been playing around with a story idea for a few years and it feels so special and meaningful to me I don’t want to mess it up. But this is the year. I will get this thing out of my heart and onto paper.

plan 40th birthday trip with Ryan (to Italy? England?)

While some want to celebrate their 40th with a big party (ahem, my sister who had 5 of the best parties ever) others (like me) prefer to celebrate quietly. Ryan will be 40 a few months after me and our 15th wedding anniversary is coming up, so it feels like a good time to take a special trip.

see a whale

I can’t do a whole lot to make this happen until the spring when the whales are active in our Puget Sound waters and even then, seeing a whale is not a common occurrence. I have lived here all my life and saw my first Orcas just a few years ago. I do adore sea mammals and would literally cry tears if I saw a whale up close. Crossing my fingers for an opportunity.

decorate our bedroom

We’re still sleeping with our mattress on the floor. Still using step stools as nightstands. It’s not the worst, but I would love to make our bedroom a put-together retreat for us.

intentional date with Ethan

intentional date with Brady
intentional date with Mason
intentional date with Audrey

I hang out with the kids all the time and feel like we have great relationships, but rarely do I get the chance to do one-on-one activities of the kids’ choosing. Ethan is up first for a day of skiing.

take my supplements

This is another amended item. Originally, I wrote heal my gut, but again, too intangible. I have an annoying auto-immune thing that doesn’t improve with diet, but does get better with a crazy mix of supplements my naturopath concocted for me. I took them consistently for a few months last spring and was feeling so good … and then I stopped. Why? I have no idea. I just got distracted and bothered by all the pills. Of course my symptoms are back. Ugh. So, back to regular supplements.

host girls craft night in studio

This one sounds fun. Just need to plan it. And find a good craft to do.

plant dahlias + anemones

When do you plant dahlias? In the spring, I’m guessing? I must do some research … I know the perfect book.

frame road trip photos

We have hundreds of photos from our road trip and I can’t bear to keep them all in dropbox. My idea is to take bunch of 4×4 square prints and mount them in a grid in a big frame. The pictures are printed; just need to put them together.

look into Invisalign

My bottom teeth have shifted a bit in adulthood and I’m not happy about it. I have a dentist appointment in a few weeks and will ask if Invisalign is right for me.

whiten my teeth

My mom has the whitest teeth. I want to be like her when I grow up.

re-read The Kitchen House
re-read The Red Tent

When asked what my favorite book is, these two often come up. The Red Tent was the first book I read after college just for pleasure. The Kitchen House solidified my love of historical fiction. It’s been a long time since I’ve read either and hope I love them as much the second time.

take a photography class

A friend of a friend hosts a local photography class + wine tasting (called Cork & Click) and I’m excited to attend one of her events soon.

back-up both computers

This one sounds boring, but necessary. I have so many files and photos on both my big computer and laptop and I’m not completely sure either are very well backed-up. I should also include organize files on both computers, which sounds equally boring, but would feel really good to get done.

visit K.C. in Flagstaff

My best friend from college just moved to Flagstaff and we can’t wait to see their new house. Hoping for a mid-winter or spring break trip.

Get iphone 7

I did get a new phone and opted for the iphone X instead. So far, I’m very much loving it.

volunteer in the nursery

I helped in the 2 year old class during bible study a few weeks ago and ADORED every minute of it. I really love toddlers. Ryan and I are scheduled to help in the church nursery this year and I’m looking forward to getting my toddler fix.

attend a Barre3 class

All summer I took Barre3 online classes and really wanted to take a class in studio. My friend, Erica, took me to a Barre3 class for my birthday (we don’t have a studio near us, so we drove an hour and made a day of it). I have never sweat so much in my entire life. Since going to that class, we found a local studio that offers barre classes and have been going every since (see above).

go to Enneagram coaching

The Enneagram is a personality typing system that has been so transformative in my life. My favorite Enneagram book is by a local author who also offered coaching. I decided to step out and set up a meeting with her. That first meeting was really good and we decided that what I desire more than enneagram coaching is spiritual direction, so she is now my spiritual director. Our second session was profound and I look forward to seeing how God uses our monthly sessions to grow me deeper into my truest longing of quiet confidence.

wear earrings

I’m doing so well with this one!

start on road trip book

Since returning from our road trip, we’ve toyed with the idea of creating a book about our journey. I think the concept is good, but after lots of research and talking with an editor, it feels like this one is just a book we need to create for ourselves. We don’t want to forget all the places we traveled and stories we collected, so I need to figure out the best way to organize all our photos and words and create a keepsake book.

get a mammogram

One of my dear friends is fighting breast cancer (hi, Cynthia!), my sister-in-law’s mom just beat it (yay, Jane!), my sister had a scare this past fall and my mom’s mom passed away when I was a little girl after her battle with breast cancer. This thing is part of my life and now is the time to start scheduling regular screenings. I’m not looking forward to it, but I’ll do it anyway.

write 1 handwritten note per month

I’ve already failed at this. Oops. I really do love receiving handwritten notes and want to be better at sending them. I’m going to let myself off the hook on the monthly thing and just change it to send handwritten notes.

put up Christmas lights

We didn’t put up a ton, but it was more than last year and they made me so happy all Christmas season long.

weekend with Ellie

Ellie is my two year old niece who I can’t get enough of (she’s the dark-haired beauty in the center). I’m looking forward to keeping her for a weekend so we can get some good Ellie time and so her parents can have a little break :)

have grandma’s ring fixed

My grandma passed down her antique rings to us girls. She passed away in October and so having her ring feels extra special to me. I need to take it to a jeweler to make sure the top part doesn’t come loose from the band.

make a macrame hanging

I don’t really know why this is on my list because while I do want to make a wallhanging, I don’t really care enough about it to have it on here. So I’m removing this item. And adding the next.

switch to 3lb weights

In barre class we use light handheld weights for the arm portion. I’ve been using 2lb and wanted to challenge myself to move up to 3lb in the new year. I’m happy to report that yesterday, my first class of 2018, I did it with 3lb weights.

update JDC about page

I told myself I wasn’t going to put any business to-do’s on my #40by40 list, but this one crept on. It is a business task, but also feels like more. An about page is where your mission, your purpose, your introduction lives. I haven’t updated mine in several years and as I’ve grown and changed, so has the purpose of JDC. It’s time to take the time to define these things and allow the blog to grow along with me.

go paddle boarding

I love being on the water and we live so close (the Puget Sound is just a few minutes from our house) that now that we’re more settled in our house, I’m hoping to do more paddling, kayaking and boating this year.

P.S. Here’s a picture Ryan took yesterday morning after dropping the kids off at school. How gorgeous is that sunrise?!

practice daily silence + solitude

My sister asked me how I hear God and my answer came quickly: when I’m silent and alone. It doesn’t matter if I’m laying quietly in bed, driving in the car with the radio off or sitting in a comfy chair with my Bible open … what’s best for my soul is silence and solitude and I’m learning how to make sure it is part of my day.

buy a new pair of great jeans

Let’s finish things off with a shallow-but-oh-so-important item. I wear jeans nearly every day, so I like having a few pair of jeans that fit just right and make me feel good. I just added these toothpick jeans, which I like very much (they’re on sale!), and also these cuffed jeans (also on sale, try sizing down).


Whew! Are you still with me?! That was a lot of words. But it was fun to process through each item and explain a little more about why each one made the list.

So far, I’ve checked off 14 out of 40. Not bad!

My theme for 2018 is BE KIND TO YOURSELF. Instead of a long set of goals all about changing who I am, I love that this #40by40 list is more about celebrating and encouraging the things that make me come alive.

It’s a gentle way to keep me motivated, intentional and a little bit challenged.

I’d love to hear about what you’re goals/word/theme is for 2018. Please share in the comments!

57 Responses to Updates to my #40by40 list (aka New Year Goals)

  1. keri January 16, 2018 at 2:00 pm #

    I love this list/the idea of this list! But then, I’m a listy kinda gal. I had an idea: make a tapestry/macrame/wall hanging as your girls studio crafty day–two list items merged into one!! A local store that I adore had a workshop and I was so sad I missed it–I’ve had it on my mind ever since! I found this tutorial that uses an empty picture frame as a weaving loom and other simple items (misc. bits of yarn and roving–clean up the yarn stash, etc): http://honestlywtf.com/diy/diy-woven-wall-hanging/. Just a thought so that weaving thing doesn’t have to completely go away! ;) Thanks for all you share!!

  2. Cori January 9, 2018 at 1:03 pm #

    Curious about the sourdough starter and bread. Can you share? I to have been wanting to make bread in a Le Creuset type pan.
    Oh I love your list it is great and so inspiring. :)
    Thank you and Happy New Year

    • emily January 9, 2018 at 2:54 pm #

      Yes! I’ll share soon!

  3. Jen Gilday January 7, 2018 at 11:03 pm #

    Dahlia’s – so easy to grow! Plant in early spring and put a giant stake in the ground behind it. That helps mark the spot. And then when it starts to grow tall, you’ll already have a stake in the right spot to tie it up! They get full and heavy and can break if not tied up.

    Invisalign – you’ll LOVE it! I did it a few years ago and am so glad I did. A secondary side effect is that the trays now serve as my nightguard for grinding teeth (or not grinding teeth!)

    Travel journal – sounds like you want to journal about your road trip that already happened. But we have travel journals that we take with us on trips and write out what we did and where we went. That way we don’t forget! Mine isn’t always terribly detailed but I’ve become a terrible journal writer as an adult and I love how do-able a travel journal can be.

    Loved reading your list!

    -Jen Gilday

  4. Torey January 6, 2018 at 7:44 pm #

    Have you talked to your naturopath about MTHFR mutation? Seems to be closely linked to auto immune disorders and gut issues.

  5. Jennifer January 5, 2018 at 7:41 pm #

    My goodness, I’m suddenly excited to think about all the things I would like to do with 2018. Thank you for inspiring us with each post.

  6. Anya January 5, 2018 at 5:34 pm #

    I so appreciate how you consistently and genuinely share yourself with your readers. I really like your list and can’t wait to hear how it continues to go (bare3 is my all time favorite work out!!). My husband and I celebrate 15 years of marriage and my 40th birthday a few months later in two years. We’re planning a trip to Italy to celebrate all we’ve overcome and fought hard for these first 15. Blessings to you and Ryan as you plan your adventure and may you feel covered in the love of the Lord as you find your quiet and solitude this year. You’re a gift Emily!

  7. michelle January 4, 2018 at 10:17 pm #

    What is your apple fritter recipe?

    • emily January 4, 2018 at 10:40 pm #

      I used the recipe from the Magnolia Journal fall issue. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/24980972917127109/

  8. Kristen January 4, 2018 at 7:19 pm #

    Emily, would you be so kind as to share the sour dough recipe from the cuz? I need to up my bread game. Bring it!

    Love so much of what you do; thank you!

    • emily January 4, 2018 at 9:12 pm #

      I will! I’m thinking I’ll talk about it a little more on the next coffee chat!

  9. Kelly January 4, 2018 at 12:14 pm #

    I’d love an update on the teeth whitening. Will your mom share what she uses?

    Thanks

  10. Lauren January 4, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    I’m hoping this comment makes it through, as it’s my second try! I was just wondering how you figured out your Enneagram number. I have taken three separate tests/quizzes and I get a different number each time. Each number I get does have characteristics I can relate to, but I want to figure out the correct number. Just curious how you determined you were a 9 for sure! Thanks!!

    • emily January 4, 2018 at 1:21 pm #

      The tests are a great starting point – but often you’ll get multiple numbers as the result (or even the wrong number. When I took the first test, I came out as a 2). The best way to figure out your personality tendencies is to read through each of the typing characteristics and usually, the one that is most like you will really stick out. When you read through your number, you might feel like “how did they know this is how I felt?!”. I think it is helpful to have a book to study the types with – I love Self to Lose Self to Find (http://amzn.to/2CqK2an) and Road Back To You (http://amzn.to/2CSJXgI). I like having a paper copy so I can underline and flip back and forth easily. Hopefully this helps!

  11. Sara, Rocklin, CA January 4, 2018 at 10:19 am #

    I really like how you did this instead of some lofty resolution! I turned 40 in Dec 2017 ( love this new club I’m a part of;) and my resolution is writing and sending more birthday cards- but now I may make a list! Thanks for sharing and I look forward to reading more from you!

  12. Karen Valania January 4, 2018 at 10:09 am #

    just…”Wow!” I read your comment section (which I never do) and your readers are as inspiring as you are. That is quite remarkable, truly a cycle of creativity and kindness. God bless.

  13. Alison January 4, 2018 at 9:09 am #

    Emily-
    i love these goals so much! I’m also getting into Enneagrams…which # are you? I am a 9 :)

    • emily January 4, 2018 at 1:22 pm #

      I’m a 9 too!

  14. KC January 4, 2018 at 8:11 am #

    Does your mom have a secret to her white smile?

    Also, I know you have discussed your supplements in the past? Would you be willing to revisit this topic?

    • emily January 4, 2018 at 1:22 pm #

      I think she uses crest white strips but I’ll ask :)

      And supplements – what would you like to know?

  15. Caroline January 4, 2018 at 8:06 am #

    Could you please put up the sourdough bread and starter recipes? Thanks!

  16. Judy Caywood January 3, 2018 at 11:31 pm #

    I want to move at my own rate. Do my creative hobbies and become better at them. Love my husband and family and cherish our time together. Grow in the Lord and be still to hear him. I too hear Him best in quiet. I am doing this exercise from Louise Hay every day too.

    Try this simple and powerful exercise from Louise Hay to help you let go of anxiety and fear…

    “Letting Go Exercise: As you read this, take a deep breath and, as you exhale, allow all the tension to leave your body. Let your scalp and your forehead and your face relax. Your head need not be tense in order for you to read. Let your tongue and your throat and your shoulders relax. Do that now.

    Let your back and your abdomen and your pelvis relax. Let your breathing be at peace as you relax your legs and feet. Is there a big change in your body since you began the previous paragraph? Notice how much you hold on. If you are doing it with your body, you are doing it with your mind.

    In this relaxed, comfortable position, say to yourself, “I am willing to let go. I release. I let go. I release all tension. I release all fear. I release all anger. I release all guilt. I release all sadness. I let go of all old limitations. I let go, and I am at peace. I am at peace with myself. I am at peace with the process of life. I am safe. Go over this exercise two or three times. Feel the ease of letting go. Once you are familiar with this exercise you can do it anywhere at any time. You will be able to relax completely in any situation.”

    Print out a copy of this exercise and tape it to your car dashboard, your computer screen, your fridge, your bathroom mirror or wherever. Remind yourself that you ALWAYS have the power to choose thoughts that make you feel better.

    • emily January 4, 2018 at 1:23 pm #

      This is beautiful!

  17. michelle January 3, 2018 at 7:11 pm #

    My word is focus, but I may add “be kind to yourself” as well. Thanks for the inspiration.

  18. Marisa January 3, 2018 at 4:59 pm #

    I’m turning 40 this year too and while I’m not doing anything like this, I LOVE your list and feel inspired to do things I’ve never tried before! So sad we missed you guys on New Years! Much Love.

  19. hope c January 3, 2018 at 4:34 pm #

    When you posted your 40 by 40 list last year it motivated me to start a 30 by 30 list! I love it! I share several of your interests so I’ve added some similar adventures & experiences to my list! One of mine is take a lettering class so I was so excited when I saw your email about your course on sale! I signed up & cant wait to get started on those lessons.

    Dahlias are pretty easy to grow! & yes that book is wonderful! Where I live (Kentucky), we have to wait til after Mother’s Day to start growing. I’m not sure about your zone.

    What Enneagram number are you?! I’ve become so intrigued by Enneagrams lately. I’m a 2. :)

    Thanks for your inspiring list! Best wishes & prayers for your best year yet!

    • emily January 4, 2018 at 1:24 pm #

      I’m so glad you’re doing a 30 by 30 list! It’s fun :)

      I am a enneagram #9 and it very accurately describes me.

  20. Susan January 3, 2018 at 3:33 pm #

    Rather than a mammogram, I would encourage you to research and investigate Breast Thermography (or digital infrared imaging). It is painless, non-invasive, uses no radiation, and is FDA approved. The scan detects subtle physiological changes to your breasts which take place years before the smallest of lumps can be detected by a mammogram. It identifies concerns while there is still time to be proactive! I have been getting annual thermograms for the past 7 years, and highly suggest it for women of all ages.

    • Rebekah January 3, 2018 at 5:14 pm #

      Susan, I agree with you about the breast thermography. I’ve been doing it for several years now and it is painless and can screen much earlier than mammograms. And zero radiation. Win win in my book!
      Emily, if you think you may want to pursue breast thermography, I know of a great practictioner that isn’t too far from you. You’d love her. I’ll happily share her contact privately.

  21. Shauna January 3, 2018 at 2:50 pm #

    Go to Costa Rica! Saw a ton of whales and cried on the boat. Everyone looked at me like I was nuts…but childhood dream realized.

    • emily January 4, 2018 at 1:24 pm #

      I’m in!

  22. Kristen Tayet January 3, 2018 at 2:37 pm #

    Such a comprehensive and inspiring list Emily! And a fun way of thinking about the year. My word for the year is release: things I can’t control, burdens that aren’t mine to bear, etc. Being kind to myself is part of that too ☺️ Thanks for sharing!

    • emily January 4, 2018 at 1:24 pm #

      Yes! Release! I love it. And you :)

  23. Abby January 3, 2018 at 1:42 pm #

    This is a fantastic list! I absolutely LOVED The Kitchen House. This week I finished another book by the same author called “Glory Over Everything” and it was really great as well. You should read it!

    • emily January 3, 2018 at 1:51 pm #

      I want to! I just want to re-read Kitchen house first so I remember the characters :)

  24. Emily January 3, 2018 at 12:49 pm #

    My thought for 2018 is to “leave it at the altar.” I heard a woman share recently that her anxiety about her children, life situation, or anything flares up when she tries to take it from the Lord’s hands and solve it on her own. But when she remembers to leave it, or return it, to the Lord – to the altar – the anxiety is lifted and she can rest in the peace of His care. This visual is just what my anxious and weary soul needs this year!

    I loved this list – thank you for sharing! On a lighter note – would you be willing to share either of the sourdough recipes? I have a gluten-intolerant daughter and would love to try one for her! Thank you!

  25. Victoria January 3, 2018 at 12:38 pm #

    Thanks for keeping us up to date, I loved this post.
    I think you should do Italy, but if you choose England I’m happy to provide ideas and tips as I live in London. Our museums are free!

    Google You Can Folk It. I don’t know if they sell in the States but it’s great for a craft event as it’s easy to learn and makes everyone feel like an artist in 30mins. I’m not a teacher or artist but used it to teach a group of women and children in a shelter one afternoon and it worked great.

    My words for this year are Growth and Grace and I’m going to try to practice gratitude and plan more, so I don’t reach the end of the year like I did the last two years; feeling out of control and without direction. Looking forward to more updates from you.

  26. katie January 3, 2018 at 12:30 pm #

    Do you have any denim favorites that aren’t stretchy? It seems like everything is stretchy right now. I’m looking for jeans that a) hold their shape, b) aren’t particularly stretchy and c) are soft and supple and not extremely heavy.
    I know you appreciate good denim, so I thought I’d ask a pro :)
    Thanks!

  27. Jodie January 3, 2018 at 11:26 am #

    Marilyn Vancil is a long time dear friend of mine and someone I’ve looked up to since I was a teenager. You will LOVE your time with her!

  28. Leah Heffelfinger January 3, 2018 at 11:16 am #

    Yay for a trip to Flagstaff! That’s my home – you’ll love it here, it’s quirky and fun!

    • Mary Cristina January 4, 2018 at 5:14 pm #

      I second the “yay for a trip to Flagstaff!” It’s my home too: maybe an impromptu coffee chat at a local place??? In any case, it’s a great place!
      On the Dahlias, depends on your Sunset/USDA region. I, unfortunately, discovered by experience Dahlias in Flagstaff need to be dug up in the fall and replanted in the spring since they can’t handle hard freezes. Check with your local nursery.
      A girls night is so fun! A friend of mine had one and we just all brought our own projects to work on, no major planning required. It was great!
      Keep us posted if you’re headed down to Flag!

  29. cathy voight January 3, 2018 at 11:13 am #

    I sent you an email through your contact form regarding one of your goals. Just fyi

  30. Lynn January 3, 2018 at 11:12 am #

    Emily, do leave a time frame on your “write handwritten notes.” Consider making it MORE often to remember to do it. Your specially chosen recipients will be so touched, even when notes are short and sweet. With paper goods and writing like yours, handwritten notes should be a breeze (a thank you? thinking of you? remembering a happy time together?). And thanks for all the “notes” you share with us!

  31. Jesse May January 3, 2018 at 11:06 am #

    I love that you’re adjusting your list as you go along, and changing intangible goals into tangible ones. Thank you for sharing your progress with us! :)

  32. Sarah January 3, 2018 at 11:03 am #

    Thank you for sharing!

  33. Katie Morene January 3, 2018 at 10:58 am #

    Back-up both computers. Easy peasy. My husband and I run our own business and use Carbonite. Reasonably priced and takes care of backing up files automatically. We’ve had to restore files several times and it worked great. Hope this helps you mark off another item!

  34. KIRSTEN DEHMLOW January 3, 2018 at 10:53 am #

    My friend is the owner/teacher of Cork & Click. I love seeing all of the photos of her classes. They look like so much fun that I am considering flying out from Denver to attend.

  35. Bonnie Goodwin January 3, 2018 at 10:52 am #

    I learned to paddle board with one of my daughters during her spring break trip to Orange Beach & Gulf Shores last March. It was on my bucket list and I loved it so much. Hope you do also!

  36. Aimee Hayes January 3, 2018 at 10:50 am #

    I love all of these, good for you my friend! I’m in for as many as you need company for:)

  37. tara January 3, 2018 at 10:41 am #

    i am notorious for skipping right over most emails from bloggers i have subscribed to over the years. i have never really found that one blogger that i really connect with…..enter Emily. something about your entire aura is very “real”. i removed myself from social media in it’s entirety this past summer after i closed my business and pulled back from the semi-public eye. while i miss seeing you on instagram very much, i love seeing a “emily | jdc” email come across my inbox. you really are inspiring in a very achievable way and i feel your authenticity in everything you write. my goals for the year are very much centered around self care, including the care of my faith, marriage and relationships with my kids. thank you for being a voice and putting yourself out there for all of us to benefit from. I know you probably feel exhausted at times and probably even a little in-authentic in those moments of overwhelm but you my dear, are a true light.

    • Cheryl January 3, 2018 at 11:32 am #

      I agree! I unsubscribed from all other bloggers I was following because I never read their posts (and then of course felt guilty about it for some reason) or their posts were not as relevant for where I am. But I’ve stayed with Emily because she has such a wonderful aesthetic, inspires me to try new things and seems so transparent in her personal life and faith walk. I feel uplifted after every email/post and look forward to them eagerly. Thank you Emily for who you are and your willingness to share!

  38. jaime January 3, 2018 at 10:34 am #

    Great list! I have both a Le Creuset dutch oven and a Lodge, and I actually like the Lodge better! How awesome that you can meet with an Enneagram coach. I will have to get that book. It’s fascinating– I want to learn more about it this year. I’m a 1w9. :)

  39. Susan January 3, 2018 at 9:56 am #

    I love your list. Food for thought for me (again).

    On your road trip book: we took a 12 day trip to Puerto Rico with my in-laws 7 years ago or so. We visited my husband’s family and many attractions all around the island with them and our 3 kids. While we do hope to go back again, it is unlikely that all those relatives will still be living and that we’d be able to spend that length of time again as our kids are now in high school and college. For xmas that year, I used Shutterfly to make a hard cover book that included photos, captions and longer narratives about what we saw. I printed multiple copies for us and the in-laws. So, however you do that book, I would encourage you to print copies for your kids to have when they grow up as it was such an epic adventure! I would also say, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I’m guessing that someone with your design skills might shy away from using a template like Shutterfly or similar service, but even doing that took me quite a lot of time, so I could see how doing it all from scratch would for me be a black hole of never finishing.

    • Susan January 3, 2018 at 9:57 am #

      Also, schedule that mammogram! It isn’t a party, but really it is no big deal!

  40. Sarah Willett January 3, 2018 at 8:22 am #

    I’ve been loving the 40 by 40 updates you’ve written. I’m glad you’re keeping up with the list! My husband gave me The Kitchen House for Christmas and I absolutely can’t wait to read it. My word for the year is “intentional”, which translates into so many areas in my life. One of which is to read more!

  41. Theresa January 3, 2018 at 7:58 am #

    My goals sound similar in that I’m trying to honor my body & soul more:

    Weekly date nights with my husband. REFIT is my workout if choice (an uplifting dance-type class for all fitness levels) three times/week and I’d like to add more yoga. I havent tried barre, it sounds intimidating. Clothes that make me feel good and are of good quality so they last. Long weekends with our family of 5.

    Nothing earth-shattering, but lots of small steps towards where I’d like to be as a person, wife, mom and more.

    Thank you for sharing & inspiring us!!

  42. Beth Miller January 3, 2018 at 6:01 am #

    This is so inspiring! I turn 40 in October too! I’ve lived in Nashville (Franklin now) all of my 39 years, so I’m so happy you had a wonderful time here. It really is the most wonderful city. I got my first (and second) mammogram last year bc my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. It’s not bad at all! Just do it! I can’t wait to see what you do with the children’s book. I’ll buy in in a heartbeat! Thanks so much for sharing!

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