30 Things To Do Before 30 // Bucketlist

Adult Cake Smash | 30th Birthday

Here we are, the last year of my twenties. Whoa! Allow me to let that one settle for a minute.

Life has definitely been one for the books so far. Good times, bad times, "what on earth was I thinking" times, to the best times of my life. Let's play out the more recent years.

  • I have brought two amazing children into this world, Jaden and Trinity.

  • Started a wedding photography business in 2009 and successfully going at it full time.

  • Discovered myself, gained comfort in my own skin throwing away all the worries about what people thought of me.

  • Developed a passion for really living and being me. Embracing my weirdness :-)

  • Found out what it truly feels like to love someone and share my soul like never before. Although love is everything in life and surrounds all aspects of it, I don't give my heart freely and I protect it with all my might. I feel it makes you too susceptible. But like Bob Marley said, "You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that's so real it scares you." And it could not be closer to the truth. I've let walls down and made memories into invaluable treasures kept sanctified in my heart. It's the kind of love that never fades no matter what. Love that is not conditioned on an outcome or even the acceptance of it. Just the giving because that person is worthy. It is the meaning of unconditional love.

  • Now the start of Wander Knot.

Adult Cake Smash | 30th Birthday

With my thirties coming up in the blink of an eye, I have decided to make a 30 things to do before 30 bucketlist. These are things I will complete if I am blessed with the time before that mark. Enjoy!

1. Get to have a lot more goodnight kisses. Maybe a few more 3AM talks with lollipops and claiming fame to some constellations of our own.

2. Skydive. Skydiving is extreme as it is, but I must go all out and do it in the coolest place.

3. Learn to play guitar and own my first. Already got it picked out - the Luna Flora Lotus.

4. National Park road trip out west with Christian. A serious one month adventure and stamping up our passports!

5. Pay all debt. Ok maybe with the exception of my mortgage. Attempting to stay realistic but that would be fantastic if I could accomplish that as well, ha!

6. Meet John Mayer. You caught me, maybe I am stretching the possibilities a bit now.

7. Slow dance under the stars. Music or no music. Take me in your arms and hold me close.

8. Grow Wander Knot. I have a special place in my soul for love and adventure. Let's make this huge.

9. Play board games all day (or night). Because board games are fun.

10. Write a book. I've tossed and turned at the idea of this. I've started it, I've quit, and I've started again. It's time that I actually stick with it. I hold close to my heart my beliefs about spirituality, love, happiness, and life in general. They mean so much to me it is almost too sacred to share. I also have a difficult time expressing myself. I think writing all my thoughts down will only allow myself more personal growth. If not a person on earth reads it, that's perfectly fine because I done it for me.

11. Start a tradition. Not exactly sure what it would be directed towards at this moment, just something.

12. Take my kids camping in a tent. We've been fortunate to do a lot, but this is something I am ready to experience with them. Nature is a beautiful thing.

13. Spend a night shooting to capture an extraordinary star trail picture. I am blown away everytime I see one; so it is time I create my own.

14. Shoot our sunset time-lapse on Hyatt Lane. Since the first date watching the sunset in Cades Cove, I've been waiting to get a chance to finally shoot this dang sunset video.

15. Spend a whole night under the stars in a hammock. No explanation needed.

16. Take a professional family photo with my parents and brother. I'm a pro photographer and I have yet to have one with my family that wasn't from the 90's and you can guess those are a bit outdated.

17. Complete all 50 states. I have six remaining: Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Here I come New England.

18. Build a camper van. At least start the process of finding a cargo van and converting it into a camper van to travel.

19. Watch the sunrise. Now I've seen plenty of sunrises over the years, but I have never woke up and sat with the intention of just watching our breathtaking sun bring in another day.

20. Construct a fire pit. Sitting by the fire is so nice and cozy, I want one in my yard!

21. Paint fight. Why not?

22. Learn how to skip rocks. Because I cannot for the life of me figure it out. One bounce, two bounce, plump. If that, haha!

23. Watch synchronous fireflies. All my years living at the foot the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and I have yet to ever witness these in Elkmont.

24. Introduce myself to yoga. Mind, body, and soul.

25. Fly in a hot air balloon. They are beautiful to look at - I could only image the beauty from a different perspective.

26. Murder Mystery dinner party. Someone told me about attending one of these. It sounds like fun!

27. Camping Alone. A time to reconnect with myself and dig deeper into nature’s soulful connection.

28. Dye hair blue. Because who wouldn’t want blue hair.

29. Never take a day for granted. "There’s no substitute for time” Rolling out the John Mayer lyrics. Time is all you get and your choice how to spend it. No guarantee to how much or how little you get. Enjoy the abundance of every moment and make memories to last forever. Life is a beautiful adventure. Make it a worthy one, a happy one.

30. Live one day at a time. I have a tendency to seek an outcome in situations, to be dependent on the future. I couldn't tell you why because I know better, but we are all flawed in our own ways. Maybe it is comfort in knowing there is more - satisfaction that cannot be guaranteed. The worry of tomorrow takes away from the full enjoyment of now. Live for today. Treasure what I have in front of me. This doesn’t mean to not dream and have goals (otherwise this bucketlist is completely pointless to write), just don’t put so much emphasis on needing a particular outcome. Go all in, let myself go. Depth over distance. Don’t worry with what is next. Nothing is guaranteed forever, so enjoy the moment of now. Live in the present.

And the last two are exactly the reasons as to why I need to start back at writing that book. I end up blabbing excessively. I truly treasure my beliefs and see myself fortunate to have the mindset I do. Sometimes it is hard to keep faith and stay strong when life knocks you down. Unfortunately I let it get the best of me sometimes going against my own beliefs. But in this upcoming year and for the remainder of my life, I seek to hold tightly to the important things and let loose the rest. I will always seek kindness and love wholly. Love really makes the world go 'round. It is in everything, well at least should be. Can you guess why I am a wedding photographer?

Adult Cake Smash | 30th Birthday
Adult Cake Smash | 30th Birthday
Adult Cake Smash | 30th Birthday

Trinity couldn’t stand the thought of being dirty and touching anything. Jaden, completely opposite, was super into this. Just look at that serious face right before the cake hit my face.

- Payback at its finest -

Adult Cake Smash | 30th Birthday
Adult Cake Smash | 30th Birthday