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30 Things by 30

…and just like that, my twenties are over! Today I turn 30, and honestly? I’m excited. (Except for a tiny, freaked-out voice in the back of my head that I’m actively squashing.) Mostly, I think 30 is going to be amazing.

It’s “a thing” to write about the 30 things you’ve learned by 30. Trust me, it’s this whole thing. So today, here are my 30 things I’ve learned. I think this is literally, everything I know. 30 things.

I’m hoping to pick up on more than one thing a year starting now, though.
30 things I learned by 30

(The toilet will make sense in a minute.)

1. If you’re eating at a new restaurant, ask the waiter what their BEST dish is, and order it, no matter what. Even if it’s not something you’d normally eat, be the kind of person who takes risks and orders the duck. Don’t get stuck in a grilled chicken rut.

2. Sleep cures wild emotions. Don’t let yourself think about sad things when you’re tired. Wait for daylight.

3. Send handwritten letters. (Am I the only one who loves getting thank you cards in the mail so much that I feel inclined to send the sender a thank-you card for their thank-you card?)

4. If you try on a dress that you are ROCKING, get it. You’ll find an occasion.

5. Tip generously. When in doubt, tip more.

6. Be prepared to defend your opinions, but hold them loosely. Haven’t your opinions changed in the last five years? I bet they’ll keep changing. You might not feel so strongly about this in the future.

7. Give credit where it’s due. Go overboard. (Especially for bloggers: no one will think less of you if you credit your inspirations.)

8. New cars are exciting at first but the new car smell and the excitement fade fast. Don’t buy cars to impress people.

9. Don’t wear horizontal stripes unless you’re tiny. Don’t wear trends that don’t flatter you. Overdress. Wear unreasonable shoes.

10. Be vulnerable. People respect authenticity more than perfection.

11. For the love of all things sanitary: close the toilet lid BEFORE you flush. Every time you flush, it releases a spray of poo-air all over your bathroom. That junk is nasty and you don’t want it on your toothbrush. (Seriously. Someone needs to write this in the sky.)

12. On marriage: everyone says “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger,” but sometimes you just need to get some sleep and try again the morning. Sleep brings perspective.

13. On decorating: if you LOOOOVE it, buy it. Even if you don’t know where you’ll put it yet. If you like it pretty well and you think it might work and you’re sick of not having something in that corner, don’t buy it. Hold out for what you love.

14. When I have a stuffy nose, I want to actually die. I literally want to cease living. (And that’s just a stuffy nose!) Don’t take health for granted.

15. Keep your toenails painted at all times. (Unless you’re a dude. Then, keep your toenails clean and presentable. Don’t fight me on this. You are not the exception.)

16. When you’re nervous to talk to a group of people, know that everyone is as insecure and nervous as you are. Be the first to talk. People appreciate that. (Or they don’t, and I’m obnoxious. Hard to say.)

17. Choosing a good father for your children is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. (It’s pretty much all I have to offer mine.)

18. Question everything. Truth can withstand scrutiny.

19. Feelings change and fade; passion doesn’t last. Love is a decision you make. It’s a set of actions you decide to take. When you marry, or if you’re married, CHOOSE to love them. Don’t let your feelings dictate your relationship.

20. Living for what’s next wastes your life. There’s always something ahead: retirement, the weekend, your wedding, summer, graduation… stop living for that and enjoy THIS phase.

21. People are broken. We all are.

22. Only boring people get bored.

23. Give to the homeless. We’re called to help the poor; if they’re dishonest and taking advantage of you, God will deal with them. It’s not on you.

24. You NEVER know how things will turn out. Both Andy and I majored in careers we loved, worked in them for a few years and are now doing something completely different. Our college selves never would’ve guessed the jobs we’re doing now would exist, but we both LOVE LOVE LOVE them more than anything else we could be doing.

25. Marry the kind of person who will give up their seat for someone they don’t know. Who will stop and change a tire for a stranger. Who holds the door for old ladies. Who always, always tips well.

26. Be frugal so you can give generously. Holding tight to your money does dirty things to your heart.

27. Pray bigger.

28. Who you work for affects your day-to-day life more than what you do.

29. It’s not worth that gross, uncomfortable feeling you get after you talk bad about someone else.

30. You’re never going to look younger and better than you do right now. (Okay, maybe later today when I finally get out of these sweatpants and get dressed like a grown-up, that’ll be a slight improvement.)

Did you know the thing about the toilet lid? Y’all, we have to work together to spread the news on this. TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW.

But first – tell me what would be on your list!

Let's connect


  1. Happy birthday, Kelly! You’ve obviously already accrued some serious wisdom. Hope you enjoy the day and have some fun plans!

  2. Julia @Cuckoo4Design says:

    Happy happy birthday!
    I so feel ya on the toenail situation. I can’t stand dirty toenails, yuck! It makes me angry LOL. Public pools are a toe nail horror show.
    And I totally agree about not buying cars to impress other people. The value fades way to fast.
    Loved your list A LOT. Have a wonderful day spring chicken!

  3. awesome tips! i have a quote on my kitchen door right now….
    live your life, take chances, be crazy, don’t wait. because right now is the oldest you’ve ever been and the youngest you will ever be again.

    • Amazing insight for someone so young! I turn 55 on Friday……..:( it was bringing me down, thanks for the fresh perspective!

      • I was thinking the same thing! I’m 53 and she’s definitely wise beyond her years. Happy 30th birthday Kelly and a happy early birthday to you Deb!

  4. I love every thing on your list. I seriously can relate to every single one. And now I am throwing my toothbrush away and always closing the lid.

  5. I am going on 17 years of consistently (though not always perfectly) painted toes, even during the winter. When I started dancing on pointe at 11, I said goodbye to naked toes.

    I think this is my first comment, but I love your blog. I got married last month, and it’s definitely helped temper my expectation that our apartment will be immediately transformed into a perfect place 🙂

  6. I love this! I’m constantly struggling on not living in the future. Both my husband and I are dreamers big time and we can both get lost in the what if’s and our plans. It’s always in my mind to live in the here and now. And yes… the toilet! Thank you!!! Ha.

    Have a wonderful birthday 🙂

  7. Funny thing- I never really knew about the toilet seat thing until a few years when a friend told. WHY DONT PARENTS TEACH THIS?? It actually never occurred to me!! omg

    22. is awesome

    Happy Birthday!!!!!!

  8. SUCH a great list. The 2 I keep telling myself are “Trust your gut” and “Go with the flow” – both are insanely hard for me, but getting so much easier in my 30s. I think your 30s are the time you can finally cut the crap and be who you want to be. Wishing you all the best this decade! 🙂

  9. Happy Birthday! Thanks for all the wisdom you just blog bombed us with this morning! I loved it! I’m a new subscriber of yours and I must say, your wit and humor are so endearing, I love reading your blog!

    Something I’ve learned from my mom (don’t tell her she was right!) is: Good things come to those who wait. She used to tell me that over and over again, and you know?.. She really is right. I have found this to be true in looking back over my 25 year old life – in marriage, in jobs, in home purchases, and I can only imagine what else I will be blessed with in my life ahead. If only I pray and wait expectantly (and patiently) for it.

  10. Happy Birthday! You are wise beyond your years! It takes some of us a lifetime to learn what you’ve shared with us today. I am retired because of #28.

  11. Happy happy happy birthday my very young friend!!! Enjoy your thirties with your beautiful family!

  12. Great list! All of this is good advice and you are lucky to have this knowledge at your age – Happy Birthday, by the way! I particularly love #25 because I am about to do just that. Who cares if it is on my second go-round. Sometimes you just don’t get it right the first time.
    I’m going to share this list with my daughter today, and again in a few years. Thanks for sharing!

  13. First of all happy birthday. Next, you are right on with that poo-air thing, we must form a grass roots movement on this- STAT. And now because I am older and wiser, my pearl of wisdom…. #31, be prepared to relearn what you have learned at 30 when you are 50.

  14. Happy Birthday!!! I LOVE your list, and will start spreading the word about the toilet seat epidemic. Have a great day!!

  15. Happy Birthday, friend!! I turn 30 next month so I’m totally soaking in all your advanced-age wisdom. But seriously…I’m gonna AMEN to all of that – toilet ju-ju to marriage truths. You rock sista! Hope your day is awesome!!

  16. Happy Birthday Kelly!! You are 100% right about the toilet thing…so gross ! I love this list – you have such great advice 🙂

  17. Happy birthday! I turn 30 in January and I’m nervous…why? Who knows!?!? Thanks for sharing this list! Love it!!!!!!!!!!

    Enjoy your special day! Birthdays should be national holidays! 🙂


  18. Happy, Happy Birthday! I hope you have a wonderful day!

    YES, I tell everyone who enters my home to please close the lid before you flush! All I ever get is rolled eyes when I explain, though, but I won’t stop. It’s just disgusting! And to consider the half bath is kitchen-adjacent…..

    • My half bath is next to the kitchen too – a fact I had not considered or been properly grossed out about until right this second. OMG.

  19. Love it! Thanks for sharing.

  20. Kelly Palmer says:

    Happy Birthday Kelly! I hope you have a wonderful and very blessed day!! 🙂

  21. Oh, good for you! I dreaded 30 and it was rough (filed for divorce 2 weeks after my 30th and found out I had cancer 6 weeks after that). But I overcame all and felt so grown up. Like I was a legit adult. Yay for 30! Have a kick ass year!

    So, on my list would be 1. NO Racism. It’s a nasty horrible thing. I might bite your head off. 2. Be brave and daring when decorating. Putting a giant deer wearing gym socks print on your wall might just rock! 3. Don’t let friends or family give you crap because you can’t cook or sew (or whatever applies to your situation) you have other worthy talents and following their expectations doesn’t make you stand out, it only makes you like them. 4. Don’t judge others – just because someone heard from so and so that this person did that…let it float out of your ears. Judge people based on your own experiences with them, not what others heard.

  22. Such wisdom for one so young. 🙂 I love getting your emails and following on your blog. Your blog was the first I subscribed to and the last to read (I savor it). Happy Birthday!!

  23. Happy birthday! I’m turning 25 next week so I’ve been thinking a lot lately (though it’s mostly… I thought I’d feel like a real adult by now, but not really!!). Love your list – especially the toilet one, lol.

  24. I was terrified of 30. It was “eh”. 31, however, has been awesome. The 30’s are pretty cool. Welcome. 🙂

  25. As a girl who is newly 21 I really appreciated these, all except for one.
    I am not tiny. I am 5’6″ and curvy with big hips and a big chest and I can ROCK horizontal stripes.

  26. happiest happy birthday to you :). I loved this list, and I ALWAYS close the lid. And I get real mad at work and hold my breath because there are no lids (I work in a school).

  27. I love, love, love this list! Absolutely brilliant! And happy birthday! Are you thirty, flirty and thriving? 😉 (Have you seen 13 Going On 30?)


  28. I am printing out this list, framing it, and hanging it up on my wall. And if you can teach these things to your kids by the time they leave your house, they will be wiser than I was! If I had learned many of these concepts earlier, it would have saved me so much pain. Have a great day, cuz thanks to you, mine just got better. 🙂

  29. Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthdaaaaay dear Keeeelllllyyyyyy! Happy Birthday to youuuu!!!!

    I know about the toilet thing, have any ideas on how I can get my boys to put it down? the whole doodie floating around thing just doesn’t matter to them! Bleck! 😛

    One of my things I learned is that you need to stay who you are. Don’t change to fit in, or get approval. Stay kind, and giving and loving even if there are those who are not. They are the ones who need it the most from us because they’re broken even more then we are.

    And I just found out I’m boring 🙁 cause I get bored when there’s nothing going on…… *sigh*

    • That is GOOD stuff! Maybe my perspective on being bored/boring is tainted because between two kids under 3, there is never a spare moment to remember what boredom feels like. 🙂

      • No worries, some people just can’t relax or be still for long so they feel bored. What I say is in this world of constant social drinking and such, if you need to be under the influence to have fun, they you are boring. 😉

  30. Happy birthday!! The 30’s are great- no need to be scared!! I love your list…I agree wholeheartedly with many of them- especially the toilet lid. Great idea about writing it in the sky- want to go in with me to hire a skywriter?

  31. Love, love, LOVE THIS LIST! And Happy Birthday! 🙂

    I was nodding my head the whole way down this list and…guess what…I DID know about the toilet AND (you’re gonna be excited on this one…) I’ve got my hubby, my 11-year-old daughter, and 4-year-old son closing the lid before they flush!! (2 year old isn’t potty-trained yet) How did I get them to do it? Because I explained to them WHY, AND we make it a habit, and good consistent habits work well in our house. 🙂

    But I really super love this list. I’m printing it as we speak. While I, too, have learned these things over the years, I think I need to remind myself of them, ya know?

    One I think I’m going to add to mine is “Hug and kiss your husband and kids every day”….I know most of us do this all the time, but as the kids get older, I think it’s easy to lose sight of that because you think, “Oh, they don’t want mom kissing them anymore.”….they do. They really do. Seriously. And the husband…that’s one I need to work on. I love him but don’t always show him just because we get SO BUSY. I watch my grandparents (in their 70s) and my parents (in their 50s) still kiss each other goodbye! They’ve been married for 55 and 35 years, respectively. I forget sometimes to kiss my husband goodbye in my hurry with the kids and all in the morning. I MUST do better on this, and I’m sure some of y’all can relate. 🙂

    Sorry…went on a little rabbit trail there…but THANK YOU for this post. Truly made my day. XOXOXO

    • Oh my gosh I love this! SO much good advice. I’m going to remember that as my kids get older – even when they squirm away, to kiss ’em anyway. 🙂 Thank you!!

  32. Tipping is on my list for sure!! I couldn’t help yelling out “amen!” when at the end of the sermon our pastor said, “When you all go to lunch after this, please, please tip your waiter well.” I think it’s just terrible that people associate Sundays with rude groups and bad tips.

    Also, learn to read aloud well. This skill is seriously underrated, but I’m not even a parent yet and I’ve found it invaluable. If you know how to read a book aloud, you can bring stories to life, you can make the Bible no longer boring, and you can engage your audience.

  33. Happy birthday!!! I think we could be besties.. Although I have a few years on you (13) what a great post!!! Thanks for sharing.

  34. love these kelly. you so wise beyond your years!! and ew to the toilet lid. I admit i don’t always close the lid!
    I try to be kinder than necessary…especially to people who don’t act like they deserve it 😉

  35. The toilet thing drives me CRAZY. I always want to disinfect everything when we have a visitor who doesn’t shut the lid before flushing. Gross. If I had the money, in honor of your birthday I’d buy you a blimp with a sign trailing off of it announcing the toilet epidemic. But that would violate #26 in some way I think.

    Happy 30th!! 🙂

  36. Happy Birthday! Great advice.

  37. Happy birthday! I hope your day is as beautiful as you are! I love all the things you’ve learned. Thank you for sharing them. My favorite was “Only boring people get bored.” Never heard anything more true!

  38. Happy Happy Birthday sweet Kelly! I hope your day is wonderful and I enjoyed your list. You are pretty wise for being only 30 😉 I agree with the toilet lid, when I learned that gross info I have become a toilet lid shutter advocate. You left one thing off though–it is ok on your birthday to be super obnoxious and tell everyone it’s your birthday. People love to tell you Happy Birthday!! My birthday was Sun. and my son’s was Monday and now it’s Kelly Birthday Tuesday 🙂 xo Kristin

  39. Happy Happy Birthday Kelly! I thoroughly enjoyed reading through these. I feel like I should frame it and put it in my house! 🙂

  40. Well, my list would be a good bit longer, my dear… 🙂 Happiest of birthdays to you, sweet friend! You are a wise woman, a generous creative soul, and loving mom and wife… what else is there, really?
    Hugs! xo Heidi

  41. Love your list. One of my big things is: Trust yourself more than you trust others. That goes double for when you are asking for input on a project at Home Depot. They have a weird way of coming up with mystery solutions, using mystery products or just getting techniques plain wrong.

    Also while we are on the subject of Home depot: There should be a website on Conversations I had at Home Depot:

    Here is one:

    Me: I am looking for a frameless mirror.
    HD guy: Ok. What color?
    Me: Uhm … mirror colored?
    HD guy: I am talking about what color do you want the frame?
    Me: ?? … I am looking for a frameless mirror. That would be one WITHOUT a frame?

    You know, things like that…

    Happy birthday. the 30s rock!!! Almost as much as the 40s 🙂

  42. Happy happy Birthday!!! I totally knew about the toilet seat thing and it is one of my biggest pet peeves!!

    I turn 30 in March and I cannot even think about 30 things I have learned. Oh man…these are all so great! I hope your day is filled with so many blessings and lots if love!!!!


  43. Happy Birthday, Kelly! This is a fantastically insightful list! Could please come over and teach my three year old that his poop will disappear when he flushes whether he watches it go down or not!! Lol! Enjoy your day and eat an extra piece of cake for me 🙂

    • OH the poop-watching! We still battle that. It’s one of the most disgusting things about potty-training. (Of the many, many disgusting things!)

  44. Happy Birthday Kelly! I absolutely love this list! Thank you so much for sharing it with us 🙂

  45. Great stuff. I love the one about choosing to love and not following feelings. I had to correct Mulan 2 as my children were watching. I’m so tired of the “follow your heart” line. Follow your God-given conscience, yes, your fickle “heart”, no. Welcome to your grown-up years!

  46. Happy birthday! Welcome to the 30’s! 🙂 I’m going to use #22 on my kids when they complain. 🙂

  47. Tracey Cross says:

    So good ~ thank you. 30 was a little while ago for me – – – (a big while ago really) but that list was really good. Thankfully I did know about the toilet seat. Hi from Australia – Im enjoying your blog.

  48. Happy birthday! Hope it’s great! I love your list. I never made a 30 by 30 list, but I can definitely think of 30 things I’ve learned since turning 30 last year. Like remember that I’m forgiven so that I can forgive, collect memories, moments, and good meals, not things, and a good quality purse, 2 pairs of heels, and 3 pairs of shoes per season (black, brown, red) will get me through years of outfits. This is my new mantra.

    …But your #11, I think, just changed my life.

  49. I could not agree more about the toilet lid! Not only because of the poo spray, but also, why in the world would you want the first thing you see when you walk into the bathroom to be the inside of the toilet bowl? There are literally thousands of other things that are better to look at.

    I would add one thing: slow down and take a breath before you get mad. We don’t know what other people are going through. Maybe that person who just cut you off is really just a big jerk, but maybe they’re racing to get to the hospital because their child has been in an accident. Offer others the same patience you would want to receive yourself.

    Happy, happy birthday!

  50. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Your 30’s will be awesome — enjoy! I’m 43 and love that you have so much figured out at young age. (Anyone younger than me is very, very young. Haha!) This is a fantastic list!

  51. Happy birthday! hope your day is wonderful and that the year ahead is even better!

    i turned 30 last december and had posted my list on facebook, so i’ll copy it here. instead of 30 things i learned, i did 20 things i did in my 20’s

    in my 3rd decade i’ve:
    1. graduated college!

    2. bellydanced a solo routine in front of a room full of people (including my entire family)

    3. learned how to identify herbs and plants in the wild, and then learned how to use the herbs in cooking, medicines & cosmetics.

    4. met the actor Sam Neill at 11pm on a Wednesday night in a remote corner of Spain while on my honeymoon .

    5. for 8 summers i volunteered with an organization that rebuilds and repairs homes for the elderly and poor around the country. let’s just say i’m a mean dry-waller and deadly with a post-hole digger.

    6. adopted a rescued pit bull puppy with Ryan while we were only just dating.

    7. got engaged to Ryan in front of Big Ben in London, like a scene out of the romantic comedies i pretend i don’t watch.

    8. watched many of our family and good friends get married (and cried profusely at each ceremony)

    9. became an aunt to Eliza Shea (thanks Brendan & Michelle!) and an (honorary) auntie to Jack (thanks Kevin & Loreen)

    10. traveled to St. Thomas, St. John, Curacao, Aruba, England, Wales & Spain… all places i had never been before. and visited 8 new states for the first time.

    11. interviewed up and coming and established bands during my stint with Planet Verge Magazine & Planet Verge PR.

    12. discovered how much i love to bake and cook, and how rewarding (and delicious, and better for you) it is to cook and bake from scratch. then, i perfected my oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe (i like to call them “award-winning, although they’ve never won any awards.)

    13. lived with 13 different roommates (9 girls, 4 guys) in 6 different apartments since age 20 and not surprisingly, found that my favorite person to share a home with, is Ryan.

    14. was program manager and music director for my college radio station, and then put my dream of starting my own radio promotion company on hold.

    15. got my first “real” job at 25, a job that thankfully did not require me to commute into NYC to get coffee or make copies for some important person. now, i’ve kept said “real” job for 5 years and got a desk plaque and luggage set to prove it!

    16. saw several of my favorite bands play live. and got to meet a bunch of the musicians in person & shake hands or share a photo and let them know how much their music means to me. (according to foy vance, i’ve got quite a handshake)

    17. lost many friends, and made many new ones, and realized the importance of having good, solid friends.

    18. bought and paid off my first car.

    19. started crocheting again at age 20. my grandma keepers taught me at age 7, and i picked it up again in college. since then, i have made countless scarves for friends and family (including a scarf for the musician Val Emmich, that he wore to red carpet events!) and baby blankets for the little ones in my life.

    20. (and saving the best for last) i met and married my college sweetheart and best friend, ryan. if not for meeting and then sharing my life with ryan, who knows how much of the above would have been possible!

    i’m working hard on trying to age a little more gracefully. and i’m already thinking about the kinds of things i want this next decade to be full of, and i’m looking forward to the journey!

    “Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many” – anonymous

    • That is a beautiful list! I wish I knew #3 and #19 – good skills to have. Happy 30th… only 10 months late! 🙂

  52. Happy Birthday, Kelly!
    I wish I had learned all these things by the time I turned 30.
    I like them all and agree with your wisdom. I especially like the way you stated #26.
    Thank you for your great blog.
    Blessings to you.

  53. Happy birthday girl! And 15 and 17 = so true!

  54. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! and AMEN to #11! Someone needs to put that on EVERY TOILET in the world…Why they can’t put lids on public toilets I will never understand! I’m seriously that mom that makes her kid pop a squat behind the car rather than step foot into a public restroom…highway pit stops…::shudders:: That’s what nightmares are made of!

  55. Happy, happy birthday, girl! As someone who’s recently had the 9th anniversary of my 29th birthday, I have to say, spot on! Live #18 every day! I’ll add one. This was something someone said to me today and is actually my Facebook status right now. Good things come to those who GO FOR IT. Don’t wait – get everything you want from this life. Just. Go. Get. It.

  56. Happy Birthday! I’m about to turn 30 in January and I’m kinda terrified. I wish there was a support group for those of us transitioning into the next decade. Your list makes me feel better and puts things into perspective. We seem to have the same values. And the toilet thing, YES! Finally someone who feels as passionate as me towards the sanitary flush. I also have a blog. Check it out. Bgoldenblog.Blogspot.Com

  57. Happy Birthday! don’t worry about 30, life just gets better and better!

  58. With what you have already learned in 30 years, your next 30 years will surely be amazing. I am 54 and I was really impressed with your insights at this age. You’ve nailed it — stay on this path and good things will surely fall in front of you.

  59. Super congratulations on reaching the amazing age of 30. Hope your day was filled with joy, family, and fun. Love your list – you have clearly been paying attention to all that is important in life and are now passing on this goodness to others. Especially that important public safety message about keeping toilet lids closed when flushing. Noted!

  60. Happy birthday, my wise bloggy friend! Love this list, you’ve made some wise choices over the years and have learned some wise things. Particularly about poo air. I died over that term.
    Poo air. haha!
    Wishing your next decade to be even more fabulous!

  61. Happy. Birthday! The 30s is the best decade. You are confident about who your are and still adventurous enough to try new things. Don’t waste a second; you might miss them when you turn 40.

    My advice:

    Don’t regret your mistakes; they made you who your are. If you need to make peace with them, learn from them and do better.

    Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

    Do what you have to do, to do what you want to do.

    Make time for snuggles.

    Enjoy your special day!!!

  62. Happy birthday!! May God bless your next 30 years as much as the first! I’ll be 30 in April too and I feel like this is the real threshold of adulthood somehow. But like you, I feel like I was MEANT to be in my 30s so I’m excited. I’ve always been an old soul so maybe I finally feel like my age? Haha oh and in addition to my WHOLEHEARTED agreement on the toilet sitch I have to say #2 has been huge for me. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken the next day and thought, “what was I so upset about??” Coordinates with the marriage/sleep/anger one. Very wise! Have you read the book Loving the Little Years?? By a mom of 4 girls- such great insights on helping them harness their intense emotions as a strength. I think you’d like it 🙂

  63. Never be afraid of your birthday or ashamed of your age, because getting older is far better than the alternative.

  64. Happy happy birthday! This list is quite incredible…thank you for sharing! One thing I think it’s important to remember is that everyone has a story…and it’s rarely a story you would guess without getting to know them. Also, a recurring theme for me recently has been, Choose Joy! Has to come from a grateful heart, yet it’s so simple and profound…and it’s rocking my world. Happy wonderful year ahead to you. 🙂

  65. Great list Kelly! And Happy Birthday!!! I turned 30 last November and was super excited. It’s been a great year, but somehow turning 31 here soon doesn’t seem so exciting. Maybe I should start painting my nails??? 😉 Love ya!

  66. First, happy birthday! I recently found your blog, and even though I really should be grading a paper right now, I said to myself, “Just read her blog quickly first. You’ll laugh and the paper is not going anywhere.” I already loved your writing style before the BHG posts, but then when I got to vicariously live my dream of being featured in BHG through you, I was officially hooked 🙂

    Second, what a fantastic list. My blog post tonight was going to be about a piece of art that I bought the other day because I loved it the instant I saw it; fortunately, I also had a place to hang it immediately, but even if I hadn’t, it would have come home with me. Unfortunately, the light bulb above the art is burnt out, and I couldn’t get a blog worthy picture tonight 🙁

    Finally, yes, I totally did know the toilet thing and am so grossed out by it. How sad it is that I still don’t close the lid every time though? Ugh. I do, however, keep my toothbrush in a closed cabinet. Gotta work on that lid thing though because my towels hang in the bathroom to dry and get reused. ::shudder::

  67. Like you, that episode of Mythbusters changed my life forever. Since watching it when it originally aired, I’ve become downright militant about making sure the lid is always down before flushing. Actually, when we built this place in the spring, I chose a bathroom vanity that had drawers just so my husband and I could keep our toothbrushes safely stashed away in an enclosed environment… just in case a rogue flushing happened!

  68. This is wonderful, truly. Happy 30 to you!

    I actually did a full-blown “news story,” complete with reporter toned voice, on “closing that lid” for a teacher’s health class in college. I got rave “reviews” on my stick-figure re-enactment of the micro-explosion of “honey-bucket-mist.”

    Lastly, #25 made me tear. One day, I’ll be brave enough to say why.

  69. Perfect list. Inspired me to start on ‘5o things by 50’ for next year! (sigh) My story is that 50 is the new 36…..Imma just run with that!

  70. Awesome list girl! I hope you had a blessed birthday!!

  71. Happy birthday! Great list–I love the special emphasis on the importance of sleep–spoken like a mother of two small children 🙂

  72. Amen sister! You are right on target. The commode has ALWAYS been a pet peeve of mine & makes me gag to thing about all the lidless public facilities. I’m 43 & have 3 girls ages 7, 15, & 20 so I’m gonna put in my 2 cents worth.
    * Always shave your legs. Even if no one else notices it makes you feel cleaner and makes you feel good about yourself.
    * Choose your battles. Some things just really don’t matter and really aren’t worth the fight. So what if your young child wants to wear a shirt that so does not match the pants. The world will not come to an end just because they go out of the house mismatched. (Took me 12 years to learn this one when the youngest wore flip flops to Thanksgiving, we all just ended up laughing). But stand your ground on the ones that are “no compromise”, yes you do have to wear a helmet when you ride your bike. No helmet=no bike.
    Thanks for letting me share! Enjoyed your post and printed it off to share with my older two.

  73. Happy 30th Birthday, friend! I may be late to the blog commenting party but I told you happy birthday on social media twice yesterday so I feel like I’m covered.

    Great list! There are so many things I agree with. I especially love #19. It reminds me of the toast my maid of honor gave at our wedding. Homegirl isn’t even married, but she gave some profound words of wisdom on marriage.

    PS When I was typing “30th” I accidentally hit the “9” instead of the “0”. Good thing I was paying attention.

  74. ‘People are broken’ has to be the best thing on this list. Very true.


  75. Happy Birthday! Your list made me laugh, think, and gag a little. Didn’t know about the toilet seat, ugh.

  76. Happy belated! I love your list! Especially to wear unreasonable shoes 😛

  77. You are one wise woman, Miss Kelly! I hope I know that much by the time I turn 30. {I only have 7 months, so I’d better start cramming! ;)} Hope you had a WONDERFUL birthday, and I will be sure to spread the word about the toilet seat. 😀

    ~Abby =)

  78. Happy, Happy Belated!!! Love the list … and yes, I know the poo thing, it grosses me out in airport bathrooms where there are no lids and I’ve got a bunch of bags … ewwww!! Love all of your insights, great list!!

  79. I don’t know how I got to this blog, or this post in particular, but you have got to be my long lost sibling. You have summed up everything I too learned in my 20’s … including the toilet seat. I’ve been doing that for years and my husband luckily has caught on.

  80. Heather @ InteriorGroupie says:

    Holy comments, bat woman. For good reason – such a great list. Happy birthday!

  81. Happy birthday! Thanks for the advice/deep thoughts and the laughs! I did not know the things about the toilet! Yuck.

  82. The toilet lid thing actually makes me feel ill. Ew. And ew.

    Happy birthday. These are some truly impressive things to have learned and accomplished in only 30 years.

    But, I’m still hung on up on the toilet lid thing.

  83. Happy belated birthday beautiful! This list was so fantastic, I love every last item! You are a wise wise girl! And 30’s are a blast, welcome to the club! <3

  84. BTW – totally didn’t know about the poo air. So gross. Thanx for that link. I’ll forward to the hubby, but I have a feeling it won’t help. Ugh.

  85. I think I watched an episode of mythbusters where they debunked the toilet thing. From what I remember there were germs on the toothbrushes in closed drawers and tapped to the wall by the toilet. If the lid was up or not. There were even germs on the brushes they put outside the bathroom door. If I remember correctly….sorry

    • Yep, you’re right – that’s the link I put in that one. But I think they determined that it still happened, there was just not a direct connection to the toothbrushes because it was on the toothbrushes that were even still in the package.

  86. Happy Belated Birthday – I am over a decade older than you but totally loved your list! Applicable at any age and so true {esp about the toilet lid – yuck!}

    Hope it was a wonderful birthday for you – the 30s were good to me and I suspect you will enjoy them as well!


    • Im not sure what happened to my 20s. Im turning 30 in january 😉 Just yesterday i swear i was babysitting my little sisters and picking out my homecoming dress…now we are all through college and married. Im unsure how that happened. Im gonna do that 30 pieces of wisdom thing but my top three would be 1)eat dessert. everyday. 2)take big chances. it’s worth it to live your dream, or dreams, i find the more i fulfill the more i have. 3) never ever stop dreaming. ever.

  87. I was suggested this website by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as
    no one else know such detailed about my problem.
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  1. […] by 30. Trust me, it’s this whole thing. In fact, it’s such a thing that I stole that line from a blog I read a few days prior to turning 30! I grew up under the roof with an OCD mother so this is one […]

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