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Mother of 5 challenges herself in new ways

FORT THOMAS, Ky. (Adam Clements) -- In the movie Julia and Julia, a woman sets out to cook all 524 recipes in Julia Child's cook book in the span of 365 days.

The movie gave Connie Hall, of Fort Thomas, a similar idea, one new thing every month. A challenge to herself that she says has been one of the most rewarding experiences of her life.

"I started with ballet, and I've continued ballet because I enjoy doing that," said Connie. "I've done homemade pasta, which is something I've always wanted to do. I took Spanish lessons. Hola!"

Things Connie was always too busy to learn, but at age 53, the mother of five boys decided it was time to make time.

"I decided that I wanted to do something different, so I decided to try something new every month," Connie said.

Some of Connie's ventures are fun and carefree, like learning to juggle. Others are more mental. She took a class to brush up on her grammar for the children's books she writes.

"Dear Santa, please Santa, I need one more week. This will give the meringue on my pie time to peak."

Connie says she was able to pick up some of the items on her list like that. Other things, like playing the guitar, not so much.

"It seemed like it was something I could do, but it was not. We were not compatible."

Connie's parents say they're impressed, but surprised? No way.

Connie's father, Clyde Stafford, said, "If she would have told me she was going to skateboard down Mt. McKinley, I'd have believed it."

Her mother, Ruth, added, "One day she pin curled her hair, and I've got a picture of it, and she took it out and it stood out like this. But she was always doing stuff like that."

Whether it's a less than perfect version of Happy Birthday or an intense course in women's self-defense, like she is doing this month, Connie hopes her renewed passion for life will at the very least rub off on someone else.

"Don't let age define you," Connie advises. "Life is supposed to be lived until you can't live it any longer. So, I'm going to keep doing that."

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