several checked off on my 101 list

tim and i spent some time this weekend (an entire day, really) reflecting back on 2010 before dreaming forward into 2011. it was a deep process, that reminded me all over again of my Father’s abiding faithfulness and grace to me, even when i’m too bound up in shame or disappointment to see it. i suppose i could write an entire blog post about this, but for now, i want to write about my 101 in 1001 list, which i wrote in the new year of 2010.

i have not faithfully kept up with reporting on items completed in real-time. when i looked through my list again, i found there were 14 accomplished that i never blogged about, and many i didn’t photograph, either. (but what a treat to realize that even without intentionality, i ended up living into many of my intentions).

when i wrote my 101 in 1001 list, i lived in madison, and there is where i believed that i would stay. my list reflects that reality and i see that there are therefore many items that are far less likely to happen now that we’ve moved away (#15, 21, 34, and 50 for instance), and others that can still be accomplished, but in way different than i had anticipated now that we’re in this new place.

without further ado, my report….


#11 – buy a house on the cheap


signing on our house

on thursday, december 30, 2010, we signed all the papers to make our home-ownership complete. 762 6th St NW is officially ours, and at a price that might be considered inappropriate to boast about in this public sphere. this is such a deep blessing. tim and i are not prime candidates for home ownership, quite frankly, but because the real estate market is what it is, because my mom was willing to be our co-signer, and because Papa sees and responds to the desires of His children’s hearts, we have ourselves a sweet little house to call our own.


#17 — complete the “year of newly-wedded mornings project” and begin another of like kind

okay, so this one is half-done. i finished the year of mornings project, which feels real good, to have stuck with it like that, minus small lapses, for an entire year and then some. and not only did i finish taking the photos and blogging them, i also created a gorgeous coffee table book using that makes my heart so very happy. looking back through the year of photos — even though most of them were of only things — i am awash with memories and gratitude for a great first year with my love.

as for a project of like kind, i am still thinking about what i’d like to do. perhaps one having to do with the arrival of our babe this spring? or an evenings project? or a year of breakfasts? or… (got any ideas to insert here?)

#30 — maintain a practice of sabbath

one thing i feel that tim and i really did embed into our marriage this past year was a commitment to the practice of sabbath. this has been so life-giving. it’s built in deeply enough that i have a great deal of confidence it’ll continue as we move forward in this life together.

#35 — paint a room the same color as my SBR bedroom was


the view from our bed

it was a no-brainer: when we moved into our house, i got the old paint can and took it to home depot for color-matching. actually, the color matching proved to be a bit more difficult than i anticipated and the color is not EXACTLY right, but pretty darn close. once again, i looooove the color and our bedroom has a serene and natural feel to it now that this color covers its walls.


#36 — pray with or for a stranger

this happened in november while our friend erin was here to visit. we were walking on the sidewalk outside our house and an intoxicated man i had not met before stopped us to ask if we would pray for his daughter and his family. i have no idea what made him think we were the sorts of folks who would pray for him on the street corner, but i guess he was right.  his daughter was with him, shy and tender. so, tim led us in a prayer to bless and keep this family. turns out they live down the block. i took a photo of him and his daughter and gave it to him a little while later. they come to love feasts now, and i’m going to take a family portrait of all of them this month.

#39 — go to a folk concert with t

not long before we moved from madison, we heard that patty griffin was playing a concert at the House of Blues in Chicago. tim wanted to go soooo badly, so we rounded up a couple of friends who also love patty, which earned us a group ticket rate, and drove on down. the music was satisfying. the unfortunately memorable detail, however, was that upon arrival we found ourselves in a standing-room only situation and myself in very impractical, blister-creating high-heeled shoes. talk about sore feet.

#43 — attend a photography seminar with a photographer i admire


shooting a "bride" on location (photo by primavera studios)

kevin and kelsey of the amazing Primavera Studios in Madison, WI hosted and taught their first ever weekend photography workshop. since i was second-shooting for them that year and the previous year, i got to come because they wanted to invest in their second-shooters, making us more confident and skilled at our work. i took away countless gems from that workshop, having to do with subjects such as marketing, personal style, finances, shooting technique, posing, off-camera flash, and metering. i realized that taking advantage of such opportunities to learn from people who are already in the field and successfully running their businesses is absolutely essential for personal growth as a photographer. and i want to do it again!


#52 — have only one car (bike or walk instead)

well, our second car, the Geo Prizm which happened to be the same one i learned to drive on when i was 16, and which already had a zillion issues not worth fixing in light of how many miles were already on the thing (278,000), finally hit its final hardship in the spring before we moved. the front wheel bearings completely fell apart, leaving the car no longer driveable. it sat in the parking lot of our apartment complex for months as we debated whether or not to invest in its repair. meantime, because the weather was nice, i walked and biked to work each day and sorta liked it. so we ultimately decided to abandon the little Geo in Madison by donating it, as is, to cars for veterans. i will always remember that car fondly, but it’s been good to have only the one car, albeit sometimes inconvenient.

#57 — upgrade my camera body


my new nikon d7000


this happened sooner than i had dreamed that it could. this past year most o the revenue from my photography business has gone toward the move and the house, and it had been a little hard for me to not be able to reinvest in my business. but when the closing costs on our house ended up being a full $1,000 less than we had anticipated, and i did some research to see how a large purchase like this would affect our owed self-employment taxes, we decided it made sense to take the plunge before the year-end. this camera seems like such a perfect fit for me, even though it’s not technically classified as totally professional. but it’s just the right size, and is said to perform just as well if not better than many of the professional models. it’s such a great camera, in fact, that it’s on back-order all across the country. i cannot wait to have this thing in my hands. 🙂

#60 — have a real christmas tree


our first real christmas tree


the tenderos generously gave us free reign to go out to their little hytta, where they have a small expanse of pine-covered land, and choose a little tree for christmas. we found this straggly charlie brown tree and took it home with us. it’s perfect.

#62 — Live with or very near to friends in intentional community

ha! when i wrote this goal it seemed like a tall order because we lived in madison and there was nothing of this sort preexisting for us to join in on, and we didn’t know who we would begin it with. but here we are now, back in MI and back in Stockbridge, and within 2 blocks of us are 5 houses full of friends with whom we share life (house church, meals, carolling and parading, borrowing and sharing). it’s very sweet. on top of that, we have a housemate (had TWO until recently) that we get to do life with, too.

#67 — plan a picnic, complete with wine

alright, this wasn’t so very pre-meditated and probably wasn’t as grand as the one i had envisioned when i wrote this goal, but it did happen! jane was visiting from san francisco and we backed up my newly-purchased thrift-store picnic basket with a lovely meal we’d prepared in the apartment and a bottle of wine. we took it all  out to the front courtyard lawn for a picnic on my denim quilt.

#96 — throw someone a smashing party

blowing out the candles on the famous chocolate cake

i  had a birthday party for t’s 26th year. it was his first MI birthday party and our first party in our house. so i think it was pretty smashing. friends from the neighborhood and beyond came to celebrate with us, making the space delightfully crowded.  i made the chocolate cake that is fast becoming our official collier birthday cake, and we had lots of micro-brews to share with our friends, too.

#99 — go home for the holidays


our niece and nephew playing the piano at grammy and papaw's house

of course, when i wrote this list, i thought that would mean going back to MI from WI for the holidays. and so we have: we are home in MI for more than just the holidays, and i am grateful for that. but this christmas, we went to our other home in sun prairie, WI for the holidays. we spent 4 nights at the collier homestead there, lounging around in true collier fashion with every member of the tribe minus one (who was in OH with her parents for the first time in years). seems like wherever we live there’ll be a home that is elsewhere and to which we will return for the holidays.


and that sums it up, friends. thanks for bearing witness to the unfolding of this journey. it’s been great thus far.

(i think i need to pick up the pace of marking things off the list in this upcoming year if i’m going to make it!)


3 thoughts on “several checked off on my 101 list

  1. This is so fabulous! How wonderful that you’ve moved toward your dreams and goals in such an instinctive way. Just a couple clarifications for your reading public:
    1. The jeans quilt is mine! Unless, of course, possession is truly 9/10s of the law. Patti, want to weigh in?
    2. I love Patty Griffin, so next time, please take me and comfortable shoes.
    3. That Geo Prism is my all-time favorite car. In fact, I often call my Prius a Prism!
    4. I’m thrilled for every small intersection that occurs between your dreams and my life. I love you!

  2. I love Tim’s expression in the signing picture. And I love this sentence: “seems like wherever we live there’ll be a home that is elsewhere and to which we will return for the holidays.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s