I can’t believe it! Another year is coming to a close. I’m going to be 25 on Sunday. While those of you who have already passed this point are going to laugh at me, I’ve still got to say it. Something seems different about 25. It seems older. I will officially be in my mid-twenties. I’m supposed to have my whole life figured out by now, right? (Ha!) And I can now rent a car. My hubby’s happy cause our insurance costs should go down, lol.
Looking back, it’s been a great year. And I can say that with confidence, because I have this awesome record of all the things I’ve accomplished. I completed all but 5–3 of which have simply been deferred and two of which I made good progress on but didn’t quite complete. All and all, it’s been a stellar year!
Check out next week’s post to see what the next year will bring!
1. Gain 200 blog followers.
I have 107 followers on Bloglovin’. (If you could help me out that would be awesome!) Not great, but I also have 237 likes on the blog Facebook page. So it all depends on what you count as followers. As for me, I’m going to smile and count this as a win 🙂
3. Exceed 5,000 social media followers.
Just broke 13,000. Wooo hooo!!!!
4. Redesign the blog for ease of use, retention, and style, including new header!
New header? Check! Related posts? Check! How else can I make this blog better for you?
5. Attract advertisers and post sponsors.
Yay for Amazon adds! Somebody please click on one before I lose my spot 😉
6. Create 5 original craft posts.
Brighten Your Space with a Push Pin Board (most popular) – 9/24
Tissue Paper Wall Art – 11/10
1-Hour DIY Summer Wreath – 6/23
7. Learn how to take proper craft photos and create backdrop.
Backdrop created! And I don’t know, what do you think? Am I taking proper craft photos? It seems to me like it’s a yes 🙂
Our travel plans have been a bit delayed. We are jumping the pond later in September, so did not make these goals in time, but I have toured Nashville, TN, lazed around and Myrtle Beach, SC, and explored the island of Oahu in Hawaii so I’m still calling this a win!!!
8. Be serenaded on a gondola ride in Venice, Italy.
9. Gobble down a freshly-baked pretzel while touring the sites of Munich, Germany.
10. See my cousin Richard’s new house and my aunt and uncle’s new flat in the UK.
Everything is clean and organized. The bookshelves are assembled, and my few hundred books are sorted by genre and then placed in alphabetical order by author… Yes, I’m that person.
12. Makeover the laundry room (that’s really just a closet) so that it’s easier to use.
Done! I got up some hooks and made a hanger carrier that has made my life so much easier!
13. Somehow attractively cover that giant hole above the fireplace… maybe tasteful shelves?
Yiiiiiiiipppppppeeeeeeee!!!!! This is complete! What was once a horrible hole in the wall is now whole again. Check out my now beautiful mantel!
14. Make 10 blankets for Covered in Love (a partner with Safe Families for Children.)
1 – Camo and Orange Stripes, Boy’s Blanket
2 – Brown and Green Waves, Boy’s Blanket
3 – Greens and Camo Hexagon, Boy’s Blanket
4 – Brilliant Hexagons, Girl’s Blanket
5 – Blue and Yellow Squares, Unisex Blanket
6 – Yellow Diamond, Baby Blanket
7 – Rainbow Granny Squares, Unisex Blanket
8 – Blacklight Hexagons, Unisex Blanket
9 – Baby Green, Unisex Blanket (almost finished)
Okay, so I might have been a little over ambitious with this one. I had to really push to get these nine done, but I’d sent in four blankets just before my birthday, so I hope you’ll pardon me counting this one as complete!
15. Cut and assemble 50 pairs of shoes for Sole Hope.
Unfortunately, I did not finish this one. I assembled 33 pairs before we sent in the haul (not counting all the parts I made during our two shoe-making parties). Once it was sent in, I didn’t have a great way of getting them the show pieces, so I let it fall by the wayside. I still love this charity and hope to get involved again in the coming years.
16. Sponsor two local children for Christmas through yearly church outreach.
This year we supported two of the mothers with basic health and beauty supplies. It was a lot of fun! And I hope our contributions lifted the spirits of some in-need women this Christmas.
We’re also sponsoring two kids through World Vision. They are absolutely adorable. World Vision is doing so much for communities in third-world countries. It’s incredible! Part of our sponsorship money goes to the building up the community, so that eventually sponsorship won’t be needed because the community will be self-sustainable.
My hubby and I have been working through The Story and Experiencing God’s Presence by Chris Tiegreen, which is AMAZING! We haven’t finished either yet, but I love the progress we’re making.
18. Spend 10 minutes at the beginning of the day in the Bible and in prayer for a month.
Since I started getting up with my husband at 6 am, I’ve been doing my devotions regularly. The hour is painful, but I’m getting so much more done, and beginning my morning with God starts the whole day off right.
19. Get an agent or decide to indie publish.
This is a long story, but I did it, so it’s counting!
2. Complete my second novel.
I finished the first draft of Storm Warning, an inspirational romantic suspense. Oh my goodness, I love it! I’m doing some work on the plot lines right now after the ACFW conference (read about my experience here), and then I’ll be looking for some beta readers! If you’re an avid reader and think you might be interested, please email me at meggonzalez [at] me [dot] com. There’s a Starbucks (or Amazon) gift card in it for my first five readers!
20. Do one death defying act, such as parasailing or bungie jumping.
I went on the ropes course in Pigeon Forge. It was so awesome! I darted and dodged through three stories of wires and planks with my younger sister. It was an absolute blast. And it ended with a three-story free fall. Terrifying!
I also went paddle boarding in Hawaii! For more on the experience, check out this post. Warning: it involves an incredible sea turtle!
21. Be able to easily converse in Spanish with my in-laws.
This past weekend when we had lunch with some friends from Mexico, they said I almost spoke with a Mexican accent. I was so proud!
22. See 4 musicals/plays/concerts.
Carlos Vives/Marc Anthony Concert in Chicago, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dream Coat at the IU Auditorium, Yo-Yo Ma and The Bric Project at the IU Auditorium, Once at the IU Auditorium
23. Read 40 books.
I was pretty impressed that I was able to make this goal in half the time. To keep going, I upped my goal to 80. And I hit that by the next quarter (I had a fierce research period going on). So I challenged myself to hit 100… 120, if I dared. And drumroll please, my total is 126 books! (And I’ll probably finish two more by my actual birthday.)
Fiction Reads: Summer by Summer by Heather Burch, Kiss and Blog by Allison Nöel, Addison Blakely: Confessions of a PK by Betsy St. Amant, The Daughters by Joanna Philbin, The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan, The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan, The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan, The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan, The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan, Nobody’s Prize by Ester Friesner, The Daughters Break the Rules by Joanna Philbin,The Daughters Take the Stage by Joanna Philbin, The Daughters Join the Party by Joanna Philbin, Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, Reclaiming Brynn by Susan Crawford, The Boss’s Bride by Brenda Minton, Cress by Marissa Meyer, The Looney Experiment by Luke Reynolds, Winter by Marissa Meyer, The Doctor’s Second Chance by Missy Tippens, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia, Cinders and Sapphires by Leila Rasheed, Diamonds and Deceit by Leila Rasheed, Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson, Honeymoon by James Patterson, Along Came a Spider by James Patterson, Heiress by Susan May Warren, Esther: Royal Beauty by Angela Hunt, Girl Online by Zoe Sugg, Kiss the Cowboy by Julie Jarnagin, My Name is River by Wendy Dunham, The King’s Highway by Carol McAdoo, The Seen Ones by Melissa Ferguson, Reclaiming Nick by Susan May Warren, Flunked by Jen Calonita, Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson, Angelhood by A.J. Cattapan, The Newsmakers by Lis Wiehl, Firewall by DiAnn Mills, Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey, The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert, A Reason to Stay by Kellie Coates Gilbert, Submerged by Dani Pettrey, Shattered by Dani Pettrey, Stranded by Dani Pettrey, Silenced by Dani Pettrey, Sabotaged by Dani Pettrey, Double Cross by DiAnn Mills, Deceived by Irene Hannon, Accused by Janice Cantore, Chasing Danger by Sara Grant, The Heist by Janet Evanovich, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade, Killing Floor by Lee Child, The Guardian by Dee Henderson, The Truth Seeker by Dee Henderson (58)
Non-Fiction Reads: Write Better, Faster by Monica Leonelle, Dictate Your Book by Monica Leonelle, Quit Your Job in 6 Months by Buck Flogging, QuitN6 2: Your First 10,000 Email Subscribers by Buck Flogging, QuitN6 3: Internet Business Blueprint by Buck Flogging, How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson, How to Make a Living As a Writer by James Scott Bell, Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran, Class 11: Inside the CIA’s First Post-9/11 Spy Class by T.J. Waters (9)
Listened to audiobook: The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy, Starring Me by Krista McGee, Emma by Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin, Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck, Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix, Murder Simply Brewed by Vannetta Capman, Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson, Confessions: The Private School Murders by James Patterson, Confessions: The Paris Mysteries by James Patterson, Confessions: The Murder of an Angel by James Patterson, The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson, School’s Out Forever by James Patterson, Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports by James Patterson, Final Warning by James Patterson, Max by James Patterson, Fang by James Patterson, Angel by James Patterson, Nevermore by James Patterson, Maximum Ride Forever by James Patterson, I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter, Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter, Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover by Ally Carter, United We Spy by Ally Carter, Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter, Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter, Deception on Sable Hill by Shelley Gray, A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Waller, Buried Secrets by Irene Hannon, Thin Ice by Irene Hannon, Breach of Trust by DiAnn Mills, The Chase by DiAnn Mills, The Negotiator by Dee Henderson, Always Watching by Lynette Eason, Tidewater Inn by Colleen Coble, Vanished by Irene Hannon, Trapped by Irene Hannon, True Devotion by Dee Henderson, When the Smoke Clears by Lynette Eason, When a Heart Stops by Lynette Eason, When a Secret Kills by Lynette Eason, Taken by Dee Henderson, Last Light by Terri Blackstock, Cape Refuge by Terri Blackstock, (45) Southern Storm by Terri Blackstock, The Camel Club by David Baldacci, Six Years by Harlan Coben, Undetected by Dee Henderson, The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie, The Twelfth Imam by Joel C. Rosenburg, The Tehran Initiative by Joel C. Rosenburg, Damascus Countdown by Joel C. Rosenburg, Inescapable by Nancy Mehl, Brink of Death by Brandilyn Collins, Without Warning by Lynette Eason, Elusion by Claudia Gabel, All Fall Down by Ally Carter (59)
24. Workout 3 days a week for 4 weeks consistently.
Done and done! I walked between 20-120 minutes each night around my neighborhood this summer. It’s been amazing. I’m feeling great and sleeping better. What more can you ask for?
What are your goals for the next week, month or year? And don’t forget to check back in next week for my 25 goals for my 25th year!