Author Archives: Stronglikemycoffee

Bucket List Item #30: Make a Coffee Table Scrapbook


I am feeling so relieved to have this freaking bucket list full of check marks on the eve of my birthday and its deadline. I had many a sleepless night wondering how I would get through this commitment, and we definitely rallied over the last 30 days to fit in more than I thought was possible.

But we will reminisce another day. Today I am just here to share with you the details of item number 30 of 30 because I have a big plush king bed next to a fireplace calling my name for a peaceful night of sleep as soon as I hit “publish”!

Scrapbooks are such special ways to document memories. Now that all of our photos are stuck in our phones, it’s important to me to make an effort to print my favorites and put them all somewhere that we will actually look at them and can set out for others to peruse through when they are over.

I ordered a Baby Book right when I had Brynnley to make sure that I kept up on the milestones, big and small. I also have amassed over 12,000 photos and videos since her birth 11.5 months ago…… and I do try to go back and delete ones I don’t “need” but I NEED THEM ALL!

So here’s an effort to make some of them more accessible. This is a very simple little book, which I think is smart because if/when we add more babies to our family, I can make them something equal. I feel like if I did some extravagant effort for Brynnley’s baby keepsakes because she’s my first and only child, then I would feel pressured to keep up with something equivalent for any future babies and that might be a little more difficult as I add more to my plate! Simple = smart.

I do enjoy the more colorful and creative sides to scrapbooking, so I have another separate book that I’m slowly working on with more scrap paper and stickers and fancy journalling. That is obviously a lot more time-consuming.

Over the past few days, I got this Baby Book completely up to date and filled in with all of Brynnley’s big photos and milestones from the past 11 months. We take a photo every month on the same blanket with her little lamb I bought her while I was pregnant and a little wooden round sign with her age on it and it’s so fun to see the big changes month-to-month.

With that, the list is complete. <3

Tomorrow, I will celebrate a new decade. The goal of this list was to feel like I was making the most of my twenties while they lasted. I’m very thankful for the memories and the challenges. I am also feeling the exhaustion of the last few items while working full time and taking care of a baby so I am going to spend the last few hours of my twenties tucked in bed with a book, a face mask, and a glass of wine. Goodnight friends.

Bucket List Item #29: Run 13.1 Miles (Half-Marathon)

Who would have thought, one month ago today when I still had TEN items on my list, that we would be here at the penultimate post on my birthday eve-eve?!? I didn’t know how much of a procrastinator I was until I gave myself 365 days to complete 30 things…..and I saved 33% of them for the last 30 days. It has been a VERY busy month. The cleanliness of my house has taken the toll. I have a deep-cleaning day scheduled for myself next week 😅

Running the distance of a half-marathon (13.1 miles) would have been just a normal Sunday for me, back in the day. I spent the better part of a decade in running shoes. I truly LOVE running (long distance. No sprinting here haha). After all, this blog began when I was a NCAA Division 1 athlete for Northern Arizona University’s Cross Country, Indoor Track and Outdoor Track team. (Anyone been here since race recaps…? ☺️) That was the time in my life that I look back and am most proud of. I’m so thankful to have had that experience!

Though I never saw myself continuing to run competitively after college, I do see myself as a lifelong recreational runner. And I know that it’s totally natural to have peaks and valleys in everything so I will openly admit that I’ve been in quite the valley when it comes to running lately. Particularly since becoming pregnant and now having a baby for the past 11 months. I run here and there but not as consistently or structured as my past, which is a goal of mine going into spring.

This was another item I prolonged til the deadline, and Idaho isn’t particularly known for its “ideal outdoor running weather” in February. Looking at the forecast, I decided this afternoon was my best shot this week. It would be sunny and upper 40’s, though windy. At this point, I have to take what I can get!

I was able to start my run around 2:30pm. Zeb was home until 4:00pm and could watch Brynnley while I ran outside for the first chunk. At 4:00pm, he had to get to work and I would have to come inside and use the treadmill while Brynnley snoozed for her afternoon nap. There was a good chance she would wake up during this portion and we could log the remainder of my miles outside again with her in the stroller. I had a plan!

After attending my MOPs meeting in the morning, I came home and meal-prepped for Zeb to take something healthy on his work trip. I made a Greek salad with tomato, cucumber, lettuce, green onion, feta, a creamy dressing and delicious pan-fried pork patties on top with a little cup of hummus for each container. I fed Brynnley her lunch, wrote a blog post for my regular job and then changed into a weather-appropriate running outfit.

The key to getting into the long-distance zone for me is MUSIC! I could not imagine running to a podcast or an audiobook. I HAVE to be listening to really good music with a beat that fires me up. I have my go-to playlists on Spotify, which include 1990s punk, 2000s hip-hop, current country, lots of Daughtry, some Avril Lavigne, a random Linkin Park song. 😅

I ran 5.5 miles straight without stopping at an 8-minute mile average. To be perfectly honest, that’s the longest I’ve run since fourth of July! I took a short walking break to blow my nose because the wind was really getting to me. I took this picture of a random house just to show the wind in the flag:

When I started again at the 6-mile mark, I thought “uh oh. I should not have stopped.” My legs immediately felt SO HEAVY after stopping. From mile 6-12, I ran as much as I could but stopped to walk when I needed to. I never went more than a mile without running. My butt, thighs, shins and calves let me know that I would regret not training more for this haha. Here is another random snap from my run of a dead frog that really freaked me out…

At the 9-mile mark, Zeb needed to leave for work. So I returned home. Brynnley was still asleep, so I grabbed the baby monitor and hopped on the treadmill. It is so much better to run outside than on a treadmill!

She woke up 20 minutes later. I’d gotten in 2 miles, so my grand total was 11 miles.

I needed 2 more, so I got her cozy in her stroller and went back out into the neighborhood.

We made it through the remaining distance, but I did end up walking the last mile because my legs were practically THROBBING. I just know that I will not be able to walk tomorrow. I’m really surprised that my lungs weren’t more of an issue though because I expected my breathing to be more out of shape than my leg muscles. I also didn’t sweat very much at all even though I hydrated quite a bit for this, and I’m assuming the wind just helped to dry it all off pretty efficiently.

The main takeaway from this task is: I don’t know why I don’t run more. I truly enjoy it. I have proved to myself that I can fit it in with Brynnley. Especially now that the weather will start getting nicer soon, I no longer have any excuse to stay in this “valley” of my running performance. I am here to publicly commit to making long-distance running a more regular part of my lifestyle again. It makes me happy :)

Bucket List Item #28: Sing Karaoke at a Bar

Honestly, I put this one off as long as I could! Every time I looked at my bucket list on our fridge, this one haunted me…..haha. But I already used my mulligan! Since I waited until the last minute, I needed to figure out what bars had karaoke on Wednesdays and how we could swing a mid-week night out with Brynnley’s bedtime schedule.

Brynnley is a good sleeper but she doesn’t like to be put down by anyone new, and I wouldn’t have any fun out if I knew Brynnley was upset and tired at home. So we decided to just do her full bedtime ourselves at 8pm and have a babysitter come over afterwards. It felt very strange to get her to sleep and then go curl my hair and put on make-up. Its usually when I knock out a couple chores or go curl up on the couch!

We found a spot that had Wednesday Night karaoke called Whiskey River, and Zeb invited a couple other friends who had been before and love karaoke. It wasn’t too crowded when we showed up at 8:30 but by the time we were leaving at 11pm it was starting to fill up.

When my husband Zeb went up to the bar to order a beer for him and a white claw for me, I snuck a song entry in for him to sing Like A Virgin by Madonna. He did not appreciate it. His buddy Jared helped him be a good sport and power through, while the rest of us died laughing back at the table.

Our friend Ashlie sang Strawberry Wine, Sarah sang You & I by Lady Gaga, and then it was finally my turn.

The only other time I’ve sang karaoke was in 2018 at a dive bar and I picked Shania Twain’s Any Many of Mine. I didn’t want to repeat myself but I stuck with the Shania theme and sang Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under. I’m not a singer outside of my car, and I am too embarrassed to even look at the video that Zeb took of me singing.

Before the night ended though, I went up one more time to duet with Sarah Heads Carolina, Tails California & it’s a lot less scary when you have someone else’s voice mixed with yours! I was also feeling my White Claws by this point, which also helps 😉

I am just relieved that this bucket list item is crossed off and I won’t spend another sleepless night thinking about it!

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