Bucket List Extraordinaire!

Photo Credit: donjd2 on Flickr (Creative Commons)

Photo Credit: donjd2 on Flickr (Creative Commons)

As promised, here is the bucket list I told you all about in this post.  Enjoy!

  1. Be a mother, whether through adoption, birth, or both.  (Did you honestly think my list would start with anything other than this?)
  2. Learn sign language.  (ASL 1: Done.  ASL 2: Starting in two weeks.)
  3. Get another tattoo.  (Yes, another.  Hi, Grandma and Papa!!!  Please don’t be too scandalized.)
  4. Set foot in all 50 states.
  5. Visit ‘The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.’
  6. Walk where Jesus walked.
  7. Change my oil on my own.
  8. Go on a camping adventure with friends.
  9. Become an award-winning blogger.  (Wishful thinking?  Eh, maybe.)
  10. Join community theatre.  (Yes, I spell that with the ‘re.’  Perhaps it’s pretentious, but I really don’t care.)
  11. Blog once a week for an entire year.  (Wishful thinking again?  One would assume so when looking at my track record.)
  12. Bake one Pinterest-inspired dessert per month, for a year.
  13. Cook one Pinterest-inspired dinner per month, for a year.
  14. Make a list of all my faults and work to improve them.
  15. Go on a cruise.
  16. Participate in another ladies book club.
  17. Make another dress.  (Should probably add “get sewing machine fixed” to my to-do list…)
  18. Keep a regular prayer journal.
  19. Eat a vegetarian diet for one month.
  20. Set foot on all seven continents.  (Yeah.  You heard me.  All seven.  Antarctica: Here. I. Come!)
  21. Write another children’s book.
  22. Learn Russian.
  23. Visit Auschwitz and other Holocaust memorial sites.
  24. Attend a Star Trek convention.  Probably in costume.  Probably more than once.
  25. Go on a road trip with no destination in mind.
  26. Get a cat.  (DONE! 9.1.12)

    My little snuggle bear, Roo.

    My little snuggle bear, Roo.

  27. Go Geocaching.  (Treasure hunting for the modern age.  So much fun!)
  28. Read the Bible cover to cover.
  29. Participate in a huge food fight.
  30. Become well versed in cake decorating.
  31. Find a circle of blogging friends and meet them at a blogging conference.  (Any takers?)
  32. Run a fun 5k.  (Color Run, y’all!)
  33. Run a baller 5k.  (Something scary, like Diamonds and Dirt.)
  34. Get out of debt.  (My grad school plans will kind of get in the way of this one…)
  35. Go spellunking again.
  36. Return to Jamaica and visit my friends there.
  37. Go to an airport with packed bags and take the next (affordable) flight.
  38. Meet at least one of my blogging heroes.  (And try not to fangirl like CRAZY.  I’ll probably fail on that part.)
  39. Go snorkeling and conquer my fear of fish.  (I will hunt them like a pro, but I am mortally terrified of swimming with them BECAUSE SOME OF THEM HAVE TEETH AND COULD EAT YOU!!!!  *ahem*  Yes, I know that is an irrational fear.  But seriously, what phobia is rational?)
  40. Make a list of my strengths and grow them.
  41. Vacation at an all-inclusive resort.
  42. Create one Pinterest-inspired craft per month, for a year.
  43. Read all of my books.  (I never plan to actually cross this one off, but trying will be grand!)
  44. Visit Boston, St. Louis, and New Orleans again.
  45. Ride an elephant bareback.  (I will quite honestly weep tears of pure joy if this ever happens.)
  46. Go to the movies alone.  (DONE! 1.18.13)

    Silver Linings Playbook. Excellent film. Loved going to the theater by myself. That might be the only way I ever go to the movies from here on out. I mean, unless you’re buying. :)

  47. Hike in the mountains.
  48. Illustrate my fairytale.  (One that I wrote for a Children’s Lit class in college.)
  49. Visit every major biome.
  50. Marry an amazing man.  (I don’t necessarily have control over getting married (I can’t *make* it happen), but I can control who I marry.  And he is going to be rather awesome.)

What about you?  Any awesome stories of items you’ve crossed off your bucket list?  Any ideas of what I could add to mine?  Hit me up in the comments!

Not-so- “listlessly” yours,

What? No goulash?

(Title brought to you by my friend John.  Confused?  You obviously don’t follow rocks.in.a.jar on Facebook.)

Just over a month ago, I got together with two of my best friends for a stereotypical girl’s night, filled with copious amounts of laughter, junk food, and, well, even more junk food.  We painted our nails, caught up on each other’s lives, talked about boys (well, I talked about boys; both of them are married, so they have been happily excommunicated from the “boy-talk” club), and had a grand time.  It had been months since the three of us had the chance to get together, and it was a much-needed reunion.

Despite the slightly frivolous activities in which we engaged, our get-together had a deeper purpose as well.  But first, a little back story…

Last summer, I came across a blogging event that caught my eye.  I couldn’t tell you the name of this event, but it provided female bloggers a place to come together in community, share their goals and dreams, and then receive advice and encouragement regarding what they shared.  Every year, these women would come together again and again to do the same.  Of course, I was instantly drawn to the idea of this event.  The mutual vulnerability, the development of community with women you had just met, the chance to support and be supported by like-minded women.  Who wouldn’t love that?

Since this wasn’t an event I would likely be able to attend, I thought I might as well try to recreate it myself with two of my very best friends.  Although it took us six months to finally find a day in our busy schedules, we made it happen and it was amazing.

Me, Marissa, and Stacey at the first of many amazing weekends.

When planning our inaugural get-together, Stacey suggested that we each write a bucket list of 50 items to share with each other.  While the idea of a bucket list had crossed my mind before, I had never put much thought or effort into creating one.  But, it’s nothing like the encouragement and accountability of two of your best friends to finally make you suck it up and get it done!**

This bucket list creation occurred shortly after “The Event,” and it was honestly a huge part of my healing process.  Putting together a list of goals, dreams, hopes, and desires for my future reminded me that I actually had a future.  I mean, obviously I had a future, but you don’t really think all that logically when your foundation has been torn out from beneath you and your entire world is crumbling down as a result.  (Melodramatic?  Maybe.  Accurate description of how I felt?  Absolutely.)  The idea I had of my future had been built entirely on the concept of “us,” so when “us” no longer existed, I felt as if my future had been lost as well.  But, writing that list of 50 goals reassured me that, indeed, I do still have a very vibrant future to which I can look forward.

I owe this rediscovery of my future to these girls.  Hey, what are sisters for?  :)

You know, other than people to have crazy dress-up photo-shoot dance parties with? Seriously, I love these girls.

Just in case you were wondering, I’ll be sharing my bucket list with all of you later this week.

Wait?  What!?  Two posts in one week, from the girl who hasn’t written in months? 

Yes.  Two posts.  Maybe more.  Get excited.

But first, I’m wondering if any of you have a bucket list?  How about a group of close friends who can serve as support and encouragement as you work to achieve those goals?  I’d love to hear more in the comments section below.  (Yes, that was a shameless plea for comments.)

Until my next post…

Futuristically yours,

**Kind of like it’s nothing like the constant needling encouragement and accountability of one of your best blogging friends to make you suck it up and finally start posting again.  :)  Thanks, Alex.