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This is 32 | A New List

My final portrait from my series, taken on the eve of my 32nd birthday.

11, 699 days in so far in this thing called life, as of today that is. I had every intention of actually getting these words out into the open over a week ago when I rang in a new year of life but...life happened per usual. Work happened, raising kids happened, trying to catch up on sleep kind of happened but who are we kidding, really? 

I have a feeling that year thirty two is going to be a good one for me, one like I've never quite experienced before. Why? I'm not sure how to put my finger on it but this past season has been one of swift and immense change in just about every area of my life. I feel like this new year is going to be much the same and I'm kind of just along for the ride so far.

 Looking back upon my life over the last decade, I never really thought I would be where I am now. I'm back working at the office that I left 4 years ago and it still is strange to me to sit and work in that office once more. Every morning that I go into work, it still feels strange to put on my name tag and walk through those halls.  We have two children, which is still seemingly mind boggling to me in many ways. Becoming a mom has changed me more than anything else in my life. 

As of last week, we have officially transitioned back to the church we called home when we were newleyweds and into the years of our lives pre-babies. I have been trying to be intentional and cry out for my family in this season more than I ever have before. No longer working at church opened up my ears and my heart more to where God was leading us in this new season. He has lead us to return to where we once were. As with all decisions of this caliber, it has not been easy especially because many of th people I was in ministry with, I have been in ministry with for over half of my life. That’s a long time. But, sitting in our new (old) church home on Sunday, I was flooded with so much peace and I know we are where we need to be. Sometimes transition is hard and I have felt that in so many areas of our lives. But lately, I have felt peace the surpasses all of my understanding in this life and I know I just need to keep listening. 

Every year for the past few years, I have created a list of things that I want to accomplish before my next birthday rolls around, as it always does. Now that I am on my way into my mid-thirties, at least in a few years, I feel like it is expected of me to get my crap together more. My twenties feel very, very, very far away now and life looks completely different than I thought it would. Good different, but different nonetheless. 

Here is my list from last year. I have gone in and crossed out the ones that I actually accomplished. There are some things on this list that I have placed on the list every year and every year I don’t accomplish them, but here we are. I know many of you could really care less if I cross off items on my list, but I love things like this and I will probably continue to make these lists for a long time. 

Below is my list for this new year of life....I am now 32, which still seems odd to me in the grand scheme of things. But, I’m ready to dive in to this new year, full of hope even though so many things still feel like they are unknown. 

33 books
Read through the Bible
Go camping
Become debt free
Get another tattoo
Sell our house (This is probably the biggest undertaking on this list...) 
10 year anniversary trip
Family Trip
Holiday Bucket List 
Try Buki Yoga & Lekfit
Secret Thing #1 (Wouldn’t you like to know?) 
Fly in a plane
Farmers Market
Use the library more
No Spend Month
Drive in Movie
Find another side hustle
Fall Bucket List
Play a show or play FOCOMX 
Have pie in Estes
Intuitive Eating
Go to a concert
See the ocean
52 Blog Posts for the year
Stay at the Elizabeth Hotel
Get a massage
Finish a song
30 Day Challenge
Revamp the weekly cleaning schedule
Go meat free for a while
New pick up and tune up for my Martin acoustic
Family Dinner 2x per week and focus on meal planning
Make bread from scratch



This is 32. 

Portrait Ten & Eleven


I am always doing some sort of catch up but at least I'm getting these accomplished at some point. They were taken weeks or months ago. These are part of my 32 Things Before 32 List where I set a goal of taking one self-portrait per month. I haven't been very good at it and really don't enjoy taking my own photo but I made this as part of my list because of that. I need to be stretched. I need to be able to capture where I am at in in a certain season of my life. 


The first image feels very veiled to me. In this moment in time I am debating making even more changes in our lives, even more changes than I have already brought about in this past year. Something has been stirring inside of me greatly since I left my job at the church. Something has not stayed quiet and I feel like we have found a new home and community. I realize this is all very vague but I took this photo sitting on our steps in our house after we had just been at church and realizing mid service that we might not be there much longer, at least in the capacity that we have been. That is a big deal and a very big change. It has been hanging on me for months and I feel like we are finally getting to the point of being on the other side. Soon, very soon. 


This second photo was taken in an average hotel room in Montrose, CO on the day of my grandfather's funeral. I was tired, missing our kids, and ready to return back to our lives after traveling Thursday through Saturday, two weeks in a row. But, the fact that Ryan and I were both able to travel to Montrose for the funeral and see our family was a great gift, one I don't take lightly. I was thinking a lot about family and life, as one does when celebrating the life of another. Life really is short and I have no desire to waste my moments that I have with our children, friends, and family. Those things are what really matters. My job won't matter. Our house and cars won't matter. The number in our bank account won't matter or the number on the scale won't really matter. People matter. I need to be reminded of that a lot lately and I am grateful for the reminder. 




Sullivan Turns One



It's been nearly a month since our little dude turned the big O-N-E. June and July have whizzed by so quickly that I feel like I've just been trying to catch my breath all summer. Lots of trips and changes have been occurring in our lives. I am thankful for all of it but phew...school will be starting before we know it. Marin will be going off to Pre-K at a different preschool. We will be working hard to get our house on the market in the spring. The holidays will be here before we know it. Good things. All good things. 



For Sullivan's birthday, we ended up postponing the party by one week because we all had been sick. I feel like we are all finally healthy. Somehow, Ryan didn't get hit with it and he's lucky. Usually we just keep passing around whatever sickness has made it into our home.



We gathered the family at the Hollen's home for our traditional Raising Cane's Chicken, baked beans, french fries, salad, fruit, and cake extravaganza. We usually do the same for Marin's birthday parties because it's affordable and delicious. I wanted to have everyone over to our house but our back porch is in need of some love and the Hollen's have a backyard oasis. 



The weather was perfect, nice and hot. Sullivan ate his chicken and french fries like a little champ, which is normal for him. After we all ate, we opened gifts for Sully and Grandpa-doo, who's birthday was on the 19th of July. Sullivan is now decked out in some cool new clothes and pjs. He also got a lot of rad toys, a puzzle, a little swimming pool, tons of books, a swing for our swing set out back, and a wagon with a canopy. I can't wait to get the pool out and use the wagon for a parade we are going to on Saturday. 





Having the birthday cake was probably his favorite part. He ended up eating it with a fork like a proper little man. He crashed into bed very quickly that night once the sugar rush ended. 





Thank you to everyone that came to celebrate Sullivan and his first year with us. We are so thankful for this little guy and I cannot imagine life without him. Happy Birthday, Sully! We love you! 




Baby Sullivan | Week Fifty Two, 1 year old!!!




Folks, we have made it. Sullivan James Hollen is officially one year old. Technically he's now 369 days old but we aren't focusing on technicalities. I was hoping to ring in this one year post with pictures from his birthday bash but unfortunately that won't be happening quite yet....

Marin picked out these birthday toys for Sullivan. 


Most of last week over his birthday the kiddos and myself were are very much under the weather. The sickness presented itself last friday and has stuck around in one form or another until today. We are still coughing a bit and our noses are still red and running. Being sick over your birthday pretty much is the worst. Being sick and having to take care of two sick kids is also pretty much the worst. But, we are slowly on the mend and have rescheduled his big birthday bash to next week. I know he probably won't remember the fact that we celebrated his big day ten days after the fact. Oh well...





He is one. He is one! Our little man, our last baby, our wonderful son is one years old now and every time I look at him lately he seems to be turning into a little boy right before my eyes. Everyday he gets longer and his pants get a little more snug. Everyday he starts babbling different sounds and little almost words. Everyday he gets a little bit more excited about food and shakes his little fists in the air in pure excitement because just loves to eat that much. Everyday he inches closer and closer to getting mobile and I'm just praying that it's sooner rather than later. He is stronger everyday. 





It's hard to believe that a year ago today we were just bringing him home from the hospital. The new baby smell and sleepless nights have slowly worn away and now I welcome any little cuddles that I may get from him because he wants to be doing something at all times and is fascinated so much by the world around him. 





Sullivan made me a boy mom and I'm sure we have many years ahead of us of peeing all over the toilet and around it, fart noises, and rough housing. Maybe he will want to play sports and pick up the guitar. Maybe he will love to read or just prefer to be outside in the mud. Maybe he will love music as much as we do, maybe not. Whatever he goes after in this life there's one thing I know for sure, I will forever be his mama and I wouldn't have it any other way. 



He's growing up so quickly and that does make me sad but at the same time I am loving seeing him grow up into the little boy that he will be. I'm thankful that we are getting past the little baby stage and into the little boy stage. This is when it starts getting really fun. We are finding our groove as a family and it's only going to get better. 



Happy Birthday, a few days late, Sullivan James Hollen. You were made to be a part of our little family and we cannot imagine living life without you!