5 things we hope to learn

5 things we hope to learn

We're definitely perpetual students. If there's something to be learned, we want at it! The trick, we've found, is making time to actually do these things instead of just wishing for them. So we're each adding one of these to our calendar one time a week, and we'll let you know how it goes soon.


I seriously love learning. I dream about going back to school all the time, but I get stuck because I know I can't choose just one thing. My interests are all over the place, which keeps things exciting for sure. For now, I just read everything I can and take lots and lots of notes.

If I could learn any five things, they'd be:

1. Photography

I want to take pictures of everything. And I try. But most of the time, the image doesn't look half as good as it does to my real eyes and doesn't capture the moment I wish to.

I'd love to learn how to use my camera on manual (beyond the two settings I know) and how to edit really well so I could have pictures of everything from work to family.

2. Impact the school-to-prison pipeline

My work as a Title I teacher in a residential treatment facility for youth has really stoked my passion for justice.

I've spent the last couple of years really researching how school discipline impacts lives outside of education and would like to find something actionable to do about it on a larger scale.

Maybe education reform? Who knows.

3. Design with Adobe Illustrator (or draw in general, actually)

I can do like two things in each Adobe program. Which, if you know anything about Adobe, is basically nothing. It's just enough to get frustrated is all. 

And really, I know I could do this—just sign up for a class, make the time to study, and practice practice practice. It just never seems high enough on the priority list to do instead of something else. But! I've decided to stop scrolling social media and use it only to actually interact with people so hopefully I'll notice some spare minutes adding up soon.

4. Bake beautifully

I can bake. I make tasty things a lot. Too often maybe. Like at least twice a week. And then I eat them. But what I don't have is the patience or skill to make them look pretty. 

I see gorgeous food on Pinterest and am just FLOORED by the effort it takes to painstakingly ice 100 cookies or style a bowl of chili that doesn't look like dog food. I think if I could take some classes, maybe (Jess?) I could use the skills to drive my patience in taking things slowly when it comes to presentation.

And it'd also be good if I could just give myself a break when it doesn't turn out like I planned because at this point, I just don't even try for pretty. I just make and eat. Then repeat.

5. Advocacy for women and children

This is another one close to my heart. Advocacy is something I really want to study and put into practice because I believe in it so strongly. I feel like if something is on your heart—if it breaks your heart and makes your blood boil and makes you cry (for joy and sorrow), it's your thing. And you have to do something about it.

So beyond the projects I've started so far, I really would like to be a lobbyist or work with an advocacy group to affect actionable, measurable change for women and children. I always thought about being a CASA (court appointed special advocate) for children and I guess it's certainly not too late to try that either.


So in addition to unsubscribing from Papa John's emails once and for all, if I could learn five things they'd be:

1. Sewing

Gosh, my mom is going to kill me for this one. She literally tried to teach me how to sew every weekend between the ages of 12 and every time we are together. I never had any interest when I was younger—but man, I really wish I had paid attention. I find myself wanting to sew things all the time for Sloan. I think this is currently the #1 thing I want to learn—I just need to find the patience.

2. Calligraphy

I have always hated my handwriting. I still haven't filled out any of Sloan's baby book, in pen, because I would rather someone with better handwriting just copy my iPhone notes. I remember my dad used to make me practice my handwriting when I was younger, which I totally appreciate now and I think served me well—but it may have made me more anal about the perfection of it all.  I don't, however, think he required the same rigor from my little sister (#secondchild), because her handwriting looks like a first grader's—at best—on a good day. But, I really think calligraphy could take my grocery and to-do lists to another level. Not to mention I would save a fortune on our Christmas cards. 

3. Public speaking

The first time I took public speaking it in college I dropped the class after the first day. I was like, "Nopeeeee. I’ll do this next semester when I'm braver." I didn’t end up taking the the class until my school basically said you can not proceed with your education until you have taken this class. And I threw up in the trashcan in front of the whole class before my first speech. Gosh, I'm glad that is over now.

But it never really got easier for me. I still get nervous, despite being very knowledge on a topic. I even get super nervous before our Fireside FB Lives. I know, it is embarrassing. But it is the truth. Soooooo, I think this one is going to be all up to practice. Get excited for more awkward moments on Wednesday nights.

4. Frost the perfect cupcake

I hear that it is all in the wrist?!? But gosh, if I could learn to create that perfect swirl, I would probably drop everything and start a cupcake shop. Not really, but you better believe that cupcakes would be my potluck contribution forever and always. Jess, can you help me?!?

5. Become an avid reader

I like to read, but I never allow myself adequate time to read. I always default to trying to read at bedtime but then I fall asleep. I want to learn to turn to a book instead of my phone or the DVR to unwind and relax.


Oh boy do I love to learn how to do new things. You could say I am collector of hobbies, but there's one little problem...

If I am not any good at something right off the rip, I drop it as fast as I picked it up to begin with. Can't figure out how to finish up that sewing project—I'm done. Kill my tomato plant—I give up. If I could pick five things to find the patience to learn tomorrow, they'd be:

1. Garden like a rockstar

I love, love, love food, food culture, food policy, food history, food evvvvverything, and with every fiber of my food-nerd being I desire to grow beautiful, delicious food. One of my main problems is that I live in the mountains, where winter lasts most the year and there's not enough air for normal organisms to breath. (OK, that's a little dramatic. But it is harder!) In Wyoming our growing seasons are short and sweet, which leaves little room for error and lots of room for frustration. I'd be absolutely delighted to possess the know-how to cultivate a lush, organic garden. 

2. Express myself with paint and paper

I absolutely adore art of all kinds. I love to look at it and think about what the creator was thinking when they made it. When it comes to creating art, however, I struggle. I get too caught up in making it look perfect or emulating someone else's style. I'd love to one day learn how to channel what's in my head into artwork. How does anyone actually learn this? Send help.

3. Become a political pro

Here's the deal. I understand the basics, but when you get into the meat of it I just don't know a whole lot. I've always been so insecure about this (so don't laugh at me!), but how the heck am I supposed to learn anything new if I don't put it out there!  I'd love to know more about national and local policy making in order to fully advocate for what I believe and to make a real impact where I can. My family has a history of being involved in local politics, and while the whole idea terrifies me, occasionally a stint with city council crosses my daydreams. All I know is, if I can make an impact in my community in any way, I want to be armed with all I can to do just that, and I think I could stand to learn a lot about how our country operates.

4. Play the piano

I sorta played the piano when I was a kid. (I actually just memorized the songs and could never even read the music...sorry mom.) Now that I am an adult, I really wish I had just an ounce of musical talent, and for some reason, the piano always sneaks to the top of my list. Think I can find my piano teacher from my early years? Here's to hoping!

5. Dance!

And by dance I mean something with a partner. Just think, me + someone dreamy a la Dirty Dancing. I want it, dangit. 

Oh, did I mention I have zero rhythm?


What about you? What's something you'd love to learn? We'd love to chat with you about this in Fireside. Come learn with us!

show me more