2014 Bucket List Recaps



And just like that 2014 is over. Usually I feel like the year flies by but I can reflect back on it this last week and put it all into perspective. It’s hard for me to do that this year. I’m sure focusing on one thing for so long has completely changed my thoughts of this year as a whole so I’m blaming my lack of effort toward my bucket list on that! Not to mention I can barely remember two things on my to do list each day… I’m sure that doesn’t help either. Here’s the recap:

1. Learn to live more simply. Looking back on the year, I think I’ve accomplished more with this goal than I originally thought. We have curbed a lot of our mindless spending, focused on priorities, like renovations and now baby stuff, and taken a break from vacationing every chance we could. We even went most of this year without cable, until football season started. I’ll take a win on this one.

2. Bake more. Didn’t happen. Time was mostly a factor in this one but also my pure exhaustion. I have been cooking a lot more though so I’m pretty proud of that. It wasn’t my intention, nor do I see it being one next year, but cooking more is a good trade-off and I’ll take it.

3. Complete a painting. Done! See it here.

4. Start a scrapbook. I’ve done some research but that’s about it. Pushing this back to next year.

5. Learn everything about my camera inside and out. With two photography classes under my belt, I’m feeling a lot more confident about picture taking but not where I wanted to be. I’m sure all the photos I’ll be taking of Carter will help with this next year though!

6. Organize my photos. Yes and no. I did go through about half my photos and organize them but still have the rest to do. I got a new phone at Thanksgiving and haven’t even uploaded my old photos to it so I kind of think that might be a success in general to realize that I can survive without having ALL of my photos with me all the time. I will be working on not letting the photos get out of hand this year though. 10,000 is a lot to go through!

7. Get on a regular yoga and meditation schedule. No to the yoga and struggling with the meditation.

8. Fill our house with family photos. I haven’t been proactive about this mostly because I know I’ll change my mind once the rooms are done.

9. Do more for my husband to give thanks. For the majority of this year, my husband will be working very hard to renovate a good part of our house and I won’t be able to help with a lot of it. So I’ve decided to show him my gratitude by responding to his “love language”, Acts of Service. Whether it’s cook dinner more often or do a chore that he usually does, I hope it will show him how much I love and appreciate him and his determination to make our house a home.

10. Work hard for a body I can be proud of AND Run a 5K. Two 5Ks DONE! Read about my first one here. As for the body, I did an amazing job between February and June (my pregnancies) and lost almost 15 lbs. I can’t wait to get back on a good routine and do even better in 2015!


1. Take one photo every day. I posted for about half of the year on Instagram (@crystalzembal using #potd2014). I hit a creative lull and it was hard to get back into the game, but I did enjoy it while it lasted.

2. Send a letter or postcard a week to someone I love or care for dearly. Sorry, but this was a disappointing item in my bucket list, I failed. The people I love mean more to me than anything else, and yet there always seemed to be something more important. Check back Thursday for our 2015 Bucket Lists where I try to redeem myself.

3. Select a space in my home to [re]organize every month. Yup. See this post and this one for a few of my projects.

4. Schedule at least one date night every month with my husband. Some months yes, some months no. We did spend a lot of time together in the last two weeks and it was quite nice. I wish we could always take as much time together.

5. Give back to the community once a month via item[s], monetary, or time donation. Yes! Of all my bucket list items this is probably the one I’m most proud of. For the last two months of this year I even dedicated every Saturday morning to nothing but Habitat builds and I had a lot of fun while filling my soul. I will continue this into the new year.

6. Create a 2014 soundtrack by noting my favorite song every month. West Coast – Lana Del Rey (January), Young & Beautiful – Lana Del Rey (February), Best Day of My Life – American Authors (March), Wildflower – The Janedear Girls (April), I’m Ready – AJR (May), Pompeii – Bastille (June), Step Off – Kacey Musgraves (July), Secrets – Mary Lambert (August), White Teeth Teens – Lorde (September), Black Widow – Iggy Azalea (October), Little Red Wagon – Miranda Lambert (November), All About that Base – Postmodern Jukebox and Kate Davis (December).

7. Training Frankie 5 commands: come, heel, sit, stay, come. Complete – for the most part. Frankie is good with commands when he wants to hear you, not so much when he doesn’t.

8. Explore meditation. I’m not sure what exactly I was expecting of this goal, but I will say that if I took a look at my pre-sleep habits a year ago to where they are now, I am in a completely different place. I’m able to take my mind to a new place and fall asleep quickly. I practiced meditation before sleep for a while and then I stopped. Whatever it is that I taught my brain to do, it worked!

9. Take a class and learn something new. Yes! I took photography classes with Annie. I also started studying and taking classes for my CFM certification.

10. Travel somewhere I’ve never been. Well, not so much. I did fly to Grand Rapids via a private plane, and that was pretty cool. Give me another month on this one, you never know where the wind may blow me.

Happy New Year! How well did your goals hold up for 2014?


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