I’ve been reflecting on a decade – this past decade in my 30’s – for the past few months.

The first place I took to while reflecting were the actual words I wrote and lists I made along the way.

Because I no longer do any personal blogging at A Gutsy Girl, you can’t find those words or posts anymore (for the most part) because I’ve removed them from the site and set to “draft.” What this means is that I can still see it all, but Google (and you) can’t. This was a very intentional business move.


As I reflect back on my 30’s, here are some major things that stick out to me:

  1. On my 30th birthday, I titled the post, “My Next Thirty Years.” Underneath those words, I said, “I am enough.” This is coming full circle, but a decade later.
  2. For my 31st birthday, I titled a post, “30 Things I am Glad I Didn’t Know Would Happen in Year 30.” Looking back on that list makes me smile, but mostly due to these 5:
    • I’d receive a food processor for my 30th birthday, and I’d begin whipping up snack and dessert nut butters.
    • More days would be filled with thoughts of cold, miserable Minnesota than sunny, palm tree-ing California. I’d click my non-existent heels and think, “It’s true. There is no place like home.“
    • I’d embrace being an introvert (this one truly took me 30 years to finally admit and then not only be excited about and proud of, but truly own).
    • My dad would get on a plane to come visit twice in one year (and before that he has never come to California to visit).
    • My favorite part of 30 is the one I get to start year 31 with….our Little Legume. (p.s. That is Samarah, by the way.)
  3. The 32nd birthday brought my list, “105 Things in 1,095 Days.” This was a list of 105 things I’d do in 1,095 days which would take me to my 35th birthday.
  4. And for my 33rd birthday, I simply did an update of those 105 things. And by that time, I still had 71 to complete. But I also admitted on that birthday just difficult year 33 was. It was the year when we had 3 under 3 at home, Ryan traveled a lot, and I chose to start letting some dark things out with therapy.
  5. For my 34th birthday, I shared my Paleo Birthday Cake with Unicorn Frosting recipe which is still a popular recipe on the website. I was in the thick of trying desperately to heal my gut then, so that makes sense.
  6. On my 35th birthday I made a 40 before 40 list. We had just moved back to Minnesota from California and at the end of my list I wrote, “And last, but definitely not least, making this the 41st goal (and perhaps the best part of this list). My hope is to spend my 40th birthday with family – all of them in Minnesota. My biggest and best wish today, on my 35th birthday, is that on the day I turn 40 and this list is complete, that I find myself clanking glasses with and toasting to my dad who will have kicked cancer in the a#$.”
  7. “36 Candles” was the name of the post for year 36. And that year I noted, “‘I threw myself a birthday party last night. My cousin Julie texted me this week and said, “Next year I’m planning my own bash like you did – love that idea.” Planned my own bash? Yes.”‘ My cousin Cory “decorated” with embarrassing pics of me everywhere. I’m still laughing at all of it.
  8. On my 37th birthday, I started all the birthday posts on this site. So, you can see it HERE. But the thing I remember most from that is this (with regards to what I wrote on my 35th birthday), “Dammit. I do not cross this goal off this year, nor will I ever get to cross it off. When Dad was well, he would whisper, “Happy XYZ birthday to my little girl/baby.” He’d smile, do a slight chuckle, and poke me in the rib to tickle me. Seriously, that’s what my dad always did. Sucks that the one thing I’d love to cross off more than anything else, I will never get to cross off.”
  9. I skipped writing on my 38th birthday.
  10. And finally, last year for the 39th year I recapped the 40 before 40 bucket list.

The end of a decade

And today, February 9, 2023 is the very last day of this decade for me.

I’ve never, in the history of my birthday days, not been excited to turn the page on a new age….until now.

Truth be told, I’m still trying to put my finger on why.

And I’m not going to pretend to have the answers. I don’t need to have the answers. In fact, that’s maybe the most important thing I learned during my 30’s…..

you can’t rush answers and it’s okay to let things be as they are.

But it’s not all doom and gloom as it may seem through my words.


I built the strength in my 30’s to carry forward to a new decade. And when I say strength, I mean both physically and emotionally.

  • Adopted 3 babies from the foster care system in 3 years.
  • Found my cadence as a mom (from my 40 before 40 list!)
  • Wrote not one, but two books.
  • Had massive break downs in order to massively build back up.
  • Gained a ton of strength and confidence in the gym.
  • Healed. My. Gut! It took a decade+ BUT I did it!
  • Moved back from California to Minnesota.
  • Launched my own supplement line.
  • Bought the building in Waseca I always wanted for 257 personal reasons. (And on our way to buying #2.)
  • Figured out who I am; cowboy meets hippie with no shame in this person.
  • Fought the demons; but also found God in a whole new way.
  • Said ‘good-bye’ to Dad.
  • Learned who and what my “tribe” consists of.

Honestly? I could go on and on, and that let’s me know that mayyyyyyybe the 40’s shouldn’t be dreaded after all.

Besides, yesterday a hummingbird came to me in the most unique way.

Something crazy happened when the hummingbird came, and I cannot wait to share.

You know, next week. When I’m 40.

p.s. I think I’ll make a 50 before 50 list. Goals.




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