All Photos are done by the Amazing UP AND AWAY STUDIO – KRISTY-ANNE SWART

This post is dedicated to me (it’s my birthday post so I can do that and not have it be weird) – I am posting this to capture my strength, my highlights and to most importantly remind me that nothing is wasted and to make my days count.

Last week I turned 34. It isn’t a special number other than the fact that it marks another year for me. It marks another 365 days around the sun for me to make a difference. Since my 30th birthday it has been a total grind no joke. Let me quickly recap for you. A few days before my 30th birthday Hot Ronnie and I were headed for divorce. I quit my “amazing” corporate job downtown, we had a massive $18,000 plumbing bill and couldn’t get through a conversation without ripping each others heads off. He actually used the words “our marriage is cursed” – that story for a whole separate post.  Anyway a day before that birthday I hopped on a plane without telling HR and left thinking it would solve my problems. I tend to run away when things get hard. Just ask my immediate family – I use to run away when things got really hard. It is now a running joke (ha no pun intended) as I once ran away on a family trip in Banff. Anyway – I digress.

Interesting now that 4 years later I have a tattoo on my arm that says “Run towards the Roar” which means run towards the things that scare you the most – not run away as fast as you can and hide. I started writing this in list in Missouri during the best family vacation, it was the morning before my birthday.  I woke just before 6am and couldn’t sleep it was like as if God was nudging me to get out of bed and make the most of that day and so that is what I did. I rose up, as I know when God is nudging me the best thing I can do is actually listen.

So I sat there – listening to the the hum of a few boats on the water teasing me to get out there and took some time to reflect. (For the record I ended up finishing this list 6 days after my birthday, but better late than never.) So here is my list of 34 for things that I have learnt this year. It is in no particular order:


  1. Take people up on their offers to help – I really struggled with this but could not have done this last year with out accepting a whole lot of help. Thank you if you helped me – you made this year possible! So Big mad crazy love from me to you!
  2. If you want an awesome marriage and an awesome partner then just be one yourself. It is so easy to complain about all the things your partner isn’t doing and point out all the flaws. This past year at church several of the messages have been focused on marriage and my biggest take away has been to show up how I want my partner to show up. Hot Ronnie is really good at this – I am just learning this now… me I ain’t perfect and this is still a daily challenge. CAUSE IT IS SO MUCH EASIER TO NAG THEN TO BE KIND.  But on the days when I show up patience and humble and easy going and ready to love my man our relationship goes to new levels I never dreamed it could go. So just be a dang good partner and watch the miracles that will take place – less frustration and more loving.
  3. Small choices make a big difference long term. I have seen it with my exercise and my eating. I am however a sucker for french fries though – they get me every time.
  4. Eat the dang french fries – just do it in moderation. And don’t waste your time on the crap one – just wait for the home cut kind. 
  5. Surround yourself with the best. Find people who have goals and dreams and aren’t stuck and then invest time with them. NOBODY HAS TIME FOR LIFE SUCKERS. NOBODY. 
  6. There are 2 types of people – problem solvers and excuse makers. HANG OUT W/ THE PROBLEM SOLVERS. They will elevate your game. Excuse makers just drag you down. 
  7. Some relationships are only for a season. Be okay with that.
  8. Where your heart is so is your mind is. And where you mind is so will your heart be.
  9. There will always be another pair of shoes that you want…..Lord help me. Never say “just this pair.”
  10. Love yourself and be kind no matter what the number says on the scale. It is just a number.
  11. Don’t live by the number on the scale – use it as a guide to keep you accountable to being the best version of yourself.
  12. If you know better than do better.
  13. You get what you work for not what you wish for. BOOM 
  14. Sweat – it changes your mindset and makes you feel like a million bucks. Plus our bodies were designed for movement so get moving! 
  15. Get up early. It is amazing what you can get accomplished when no one else is around. My best days are my days when I don’t press snooze 8 times.
  16. Put the damn phone down. Seriously. Who cares if you don’t capture the perfect image of what you are doing to tell the world.  Not everything has to be on your silly iphone. (Just to clarify I didn’t say I was an expert in all of these lessons – this is just what I have learned.) 
  17. Spend more time with your kids – your relationship will flourish because of it. I learned this lesson the hard way.
  18. SAY NO!
  19. SAY NO again!  I can’t do it all. And people will still like me if I say no. And if they don’t they aren’t my people. 
  20. Give more – money will always come and go but no one got poor because they gave too much and were generous. I am always shocked at how the least assuming people are the most generous. 
  21. In the morning when I say I am just “resting my eyes” I am going to either be late or not able to get everything I set out to do. So don’t rest your dang eyes – rise up and get it. 
  22. Laying out my clothes and having my to do list the night before ensures I have a successful day and helps keep me focused and on track.
  23. Drinking Bullet Proof Coffee is amazing.
  24. Purging feels so good and the stuff I say I am going to wear I never do – let it go.
  25. Tell your money where to go – don’t wonder where it all went (shoes, it probably all went to shoes)
  26. Kiss your spouse every damn day and hold on tight – make time for love.
  27. Treat your relationship like it was when you were just starting out. Let the sparks fly.
  28. Go on a trip just you and your partner. No friends, no kids, no family. You can really connect and invest and dream about your future. 
  29. Plan a weekly date night and don’t miss more than 2 weeks in a row. And working does not count as a date night – be focused enough that you don’t have to let your work spill over into date night. Keep that time special. 
  30. Plan a date night that you know your spouse would love – I booked a tee time for Hot Ronnie and I and he was so blown away but such a simple gesture of doing something that he loved. We usually always do what I want so this was a nice change for the poor guy. 
  31. Don’t let 798 emails pile up. It is so hard to get on top of. (It took me 9 months) A little emailing each day goes a long way.
  32. God has a calling for my life and yours. Trust that he will open the doors at the right time.
  33. Dream REALLY REALLY BIG! I was scared shitless about our goal of $200K but we are dollars away from hitting it. Imagine if I had only dreamed about surpassing our goal  from the previous year by 10%. Nothing can stop you when you are focused and determined. Trust the hiccups – they are probably trying to teach you something. 
  34. TIMING – TRUST THE TIMING. I still haven’t mastered this – but I am learning to continue to trust in God’s timing for it all. Truth be told I thought we would have another baby by now – we don’t – it wasn’t a part of year 33 for us  – but if I let you in on a little secret I am sure praying that it is a part of year 34’s highlight list.


I can’t wait to see what this year holds. The one thing I do know for sure is that it will be good because I choose it to be good. PEACE BABES!