36 Things Before 36

It’s my birthday, y’all!

You know how some people are all depressive about it and hope someone mentions it’s their birthday?

Not me! It’s my birthday!


I am 35 today.

As I figure it, I’m roughly one third of the way finished. (Seriously – I’ve had three close relatives live to be over 100 years old, and they died back in the 1980s. Given today’s medical technology, 105 should be a piece of cake.)

Last year, I posted a list of 35 Things to Do Before I Turned 35. I think I did roughly… one and a half of them.

Regardless, I’m making a new list. It’s like New Year’s Resolutions, but specifically for me. After all, this is MY New Year. These are all things I want to accomplish before I turn 36.

1. Get down to 350 pounds.
2. Get down to 340 pounds.
3. Get down to 330 pounds.
4. Get down to 320 pounds
5. Get down to 310 pounds.
6. Get down to 300 pounds.
7. Get down to 290 pounds.
8. Get down to 280 pounds.
9. Get down to 270 pounds.
10. Get down to 260 pounds.
11. Get down to 250 pounds.

I initially thought about making this one goal (get down to 250), which IS achievable in a year. However, I’d rather have small milestones to celebrate all year, and ten pounds at a time is a GREAT way to do it!

12. Read 36 books to help make me a better person.

I’m a literacy teacher. I read all the time; I want to read books specifically to help me become a better person. Self-help, weight loss issues, personal success, personal finance, et cetera.

13. Read the entire New Testament.


I’ve read the Bible before. It was a powerful experience. I am a Christian, and I think every Christian should regularly read our most holy book. I’m ashamed to say I’ve only read it once. I think the Old Testament is important as history, but I want to read the New Testament this year. This is very doable. Part of the reason I want to read the Bible is because it brings me closer to the Lord, but not necessarily in the way that most people would suspect. The Bible is a shocking book, and I’m often amazed by how little people who quote it truly understand it. I don’t thump the Bible at people, ever, but I’d certainly like to understand it more.

14. Find a church to join.

My wife and I still haven’t found a church home. I want us to make more of an effort to make this a priority this year.

15. Finish my second Master’s degree.

I work in academia, so I get free tuition. (Greatest job perk ever.) I’m finishing up my 2nd Master’s Degree. The first is in Secondary Ed (funny, because I teach college, not high school). This one is in Educational Technology.

16. Start my doctorate.

See free tuition referenced above. I’m graduating in December, and I want to start my Ed.D. (assuming I am accepted) in post-secondary leadership in Spring 2014.

17. Finish my novel AND look for an agent.


I claim I want to be a writer, but I don’t write as much as I’d like to. I’m going to remedy that.

18. Cross another state off of my Visit All 50 States List.
19. Cross another national park off of my Visit All 58 National Parks List.
20. Take Moon Pie to the beach.


These three are kind of gimmes, but I need those. We’re going to South Carolina, and two of our stops will be Congaree National Park and the beach. I’ve never been to SC (last state on the Atlantic coast I haven’t visited).

21. Walk a 5K.
22. Run a 5K.
23. Complete the Glow in the Night 5K.

These two will nicely align with my desire to live a healthier lifestyle to be a good influence for Moon Pie. The running one will be a while, as I’m not even going to try running until I am below 300 pounds. Oh, and #23 is sort of a gimme as well. We’re already registered for it in a few weeks. We just need to GO.

24. Research our family tree.
25. Attend the Highland Games.


These two are sort-of aligned. My family is primarily Cherokee and Irish, with a few other ethnicities thrown in for good measure. My wife is largely Scottish and, in her own words, country bumpkin. We’d like to know more, especially know that we have a child of our own. And since she has so much Scottish heritage, we want to discover her family’s tartan. (You are supposed to wear a tartan you have a genetic link to. The Logsdons are Irish and Cherokee, but I’m hoping a little digging may reveal some Scottish ancestry, because I’d love to have my own! Regardless, I’ve already promised her that I’ll wear our tartan as a kilt to a black tie event after I’ve reached goal weight.)

She grew up in Glasgow, Kentucky, and every year, they host the Highland Games, a celebration of everything Scottish. We are going this year. They always have booths where you can look up your family’s tartan

26. Maintain a dream journal.

I’ve always wanted to be a lucid dreamer. Step one is journal your dreams. I need to do this.

27. Get my 501(c)(3) established.

I’ve always wanted to establish a charity. Thanks to a class I am taking this semester, the process is already underway!

28. Visit one touristy-place in Kentucky (that I have never been to) for a day trip.

Vacations don’t have to be big, expensive events. I want to visit somewhere near me that I’ve never been to before for a little one-day vacation!

29. Send out Christmas cards again.

We actually did this last year! I want to do it again this year.

30. Watch every episode of Power Rangers from Mighty Morphin to Lost Galaxy.

"Put on your helmet, Kat! You suck at keeping your identity secret!"

I have a reason for this one; I’ll explain it in the upcoming days.

31. Regularly record vlogs about my weight loss journey.

I’m not going to define regularly, so as to not set myself up for failure, but I want to vlog more. Not necessarily the funny versions I try to do periodically, but just a video record of me and my journey.

32. Donate blood four times.

I used to donate blood regularly. I got out of the habit. I’m not bothered by needles, so why not?

33. Pay off one of our student loans entirely.

Even though tuition is now free, it wasn’t always. We have some pretty substantial student loans. I want to get at least one of them knocked out.

34. Establish a nice little Plant Nanny garden.

This one should be easy, but I do want to drink more water, too!

35. Beat Super Mario Galaxy 2.

I got it for Christmas last year. I haven’t even opened it. Nice easy goal, right?

36. Write a hand-written letter to ten authors who have impacted me.

I love words; I love writing. I want to be an author, and this is in no small part due to a number of authors who have inspired me. I want to send them a thank you letter, of sorts. (I would write to Harper Lee, but she doesn’t ever want to talk about To Kill a Mockingbird, so I can’t imagine her letter would be well-received, assuming I even knew where to send it.)

So, that’s what I am proposing to do for the next year!

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Thoughts for Boston

I said I was going to do a photo post of my food today.

After the events at the Boston Marathon yesterday, anything here other than sympathies feels wrong, somehow.

I had a friend from elementary school who (along with her husband) was in the race. I’ll admit to feeling very relieved when I found out her time was 3:49 which meant she should have been well past the explosion (Which occured at 4:09). She and her family are fine.

Last night, I was holding my baby boy (seven months old, almost) when I heard that one of the victims was an eight year old boy.

The thought that just eight years ago, that little boy’s mother was holding him and loving him and wishing him a future of success and love… And now, thanks to the actions of one (or more) despicable human beings, he’s gone. He isn’t with us anymore.

I honestly don’t know how parents survive that.

I’m praying for the people of Boston and the world today. We all need it.


And the truth of the matter is… we’ll move on. We always do. Things will be back to normal even tomorrow.

I don’t have anywhere in particular I’m going with this. I just really hate this planet, sometimes.

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January 2013 Goals

In the past years, I’ve sat down and made out a nice post about the resolutions I was going to meet in 2013.

I’ve yet to truly keep a single one.

This year, I’m doing things differently.

Goals, Not Resolutions

I am setting goals that I am going to meet, and not for the entire year… These goals are for the month of January 2013. I’ll set new goals for February 2013.

This way, I don’t have twelve months to forget about them. I’ve got 28-31 days each month to accomplish these goals.

I’m going to set four different goals each month, a weight goal, a fitness goal, a personal goal, and a creative goal. There is no penalty if I fail to reach them, and there is no reward beyond the inherent reward in meeting the goal when I make them. It’s just something to help me keep each month as productive as I possibly can!

Weight Goal

I am taking part in Roni’s Diet Bet for January. I put $20 in, and if I lose at least 4% of my starting weight, then I get to share the pot. My four percent is going to be roughly 15 pounds.

Tough, yes, but achievable. So I am going to set a weight loss goal of 15 pounds for the month of January.

Fitness Goal

I’ve lost a lot of my cardio endurance. I’ll share more on that later this week. But I am working on building it back up, and it’s coming up quite quickly.

As soon as my endurance is back up (later this week), I resolve to complete an entire month of Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. I don’t expect that I’ll necessarily do all three levels as-is, but it’s definitely a nice way to get my strength back up quickly.

Say what you will about Jillian (I am personally a huge fan), her DVD workouts are tough.

Personal Goal

This one isn’t going to be a game changer, but it needs to be done. I have a lot of DVDs. A LOT. I have a subscription to a service that will catalog and organize your DVDs for you. You just enter the UPC codes and it keeps track of your library for you.

I’m going to do this. I have more DVDs than I can mentally keep track of, and I want them nice and neatly organized on my bookshelves.

Creative Goal

I used to be a space painter. I was decent at it, quite honestly.

I’m going to pick this hobby up again, and I resolve to have at least ten good paintings done before January is over. Not only that, I’m going to get a few of them posted in an Etsy shop to attempt to sell.

That’s what I hope to accomplish in January 2013. If I tackle my “resolutions” one month at a time, I think I’ll do a much better job with them than if I try to post a bunch all at once and just forget about them until next Christmas.

What do you hope to accomplish in 2013?

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Merry Christmas!

We’re unplugging for a few days. I’m sure I’ll still be on Facebook, but the blog is going to sit here for a few days. I’ll post back on the 26th with my weigh-in and plans. For now, Merry Christmas!

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Snowy Vision Board

Do you have a vision board?

A vision board is basically where you collect images that are meaningful to you and the life you want to lead/create/live, in some way.

I’ve decided to start a vision board here on my blog. Of sorts.

I’m always finding things that are in some way motivational to me on my weight loss trek. Some I save to my hard drive to keep, and others, I’m afraid, drift off into the ether, forgotten. I want to stop that from happening, so I’m going to periodically save them here as I find them.

Some are pictures of guys whose bodies I want.

Er, wait. Let’s rephrase that. Some are pictures of guys whose bodies I want to emulate? I dunno; it sounds awkward. Basically, there are guys out there with six packs, and seeing pictures of said six packs can be motivating to me. It helps remind me that I have an end goal in sight, and that while a particular treat might TASTE good, it will stand in the way of me having the body I want.

Other times, it’s a song that strikes me as particular meaningful. Or it’s a movie plot that really nails down why I’m doing this.

Today, for no real reason I can pin down, a powerful insight hit me, and I knew I had found a new theme for my vision board.


I drew a small snowflake on my left hand today. Just a tiny little thing – easy to glance to help keep me on track.

Let me explain.

I live in south central Kentucky. We get snow, albeit not as much as some places. Last year was pretty light with no substantial snowfall. I desperately hope and pray that this winter is a doozy.

I’ve blogged about snow before.

I love the stuff. I think snow is magical. It transforms a boring landscape into a winter wonderland.

Whether it’s a holdover from my childhood, where a snow day meant at least one (if not more) days off school, or just simply the aesthetic qualities, snow is one of my favorite things.

So where am I going with this?

A snowflake is a tiny thing. Small. Literally insignificant. If you try to catch it, it melts on your hand.

And yet… if enough snowflakes gather together, a magical change blankets the world.

It’s the same way with living healthy. An apple over a brownie. Choosing to exercise, even if it’s just a walk, over sitting on the couch. A Nalgene of water over a can of Sprite. Good choices over bad choices. One at a time.

They’re easy to justify. This little snowflake is just going to melt. What’s the point? I should enjoy this brownie.

And yet… when enough snowflakes get together…

Magic happens.

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12-31-13 - 412.0
1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)