Monday, May 25, 2009

101 in 1001

In case it has not already been made abundantly clear, I love reading other people's blogs. I enjoy seeing different opinions, points of view, and experiences from a variety of sources. From time to time, I'll catch an idea from a blog and decide to run with it (kind of like my last post...).

I came across a challenge on a blog I like to read. This blogger has given herself 1001 days to accomplish 101 different goals. I love this idea!

So here it goes. Below are 101 things I aim to check off my life's "to-do list" in the next 2.75 years.

May 26, 2009-February 21, 2012

Items that are italicized are in progress, bold are completed.

  1. Purchase a home.
  2. Go on a cruise with my husband and children.
  3. Take a real vacation with just my husband.
  4. Spend a "girls weekend" at a fancy resort with each of my daughters individually. (0/2)
  5. Learn Haitian Kreyol well enough to hold a conversation with a native speaker.
  6. Learn Hopi well enough to greet, thank, and complement my husband's grandma...without making her laugh (unless what I'm saying is supposed to, you know, actually be funny)!
  7. Learn to knit.
  8. Make a scrapbook for each of my daughters' elementary school years.
  9. Go a whole month with no soda.
  10. Take my mom to a day spa for "the works".
  11. Learn to make pie crust from scratch.
  12. Read "War and Peace".
  13. Go back to Haiti.
  14. Visit Hawaii.
  15. Get back in an outrigger for regular workouts.
  16. Make 3 new friends. (1/3)
  17. Leave a really big tip for a harried server at a restaurant.
  18. Write a letter to the corporate office of a business to compliment an employee.
  19. Rent a condo somewhere fun and treat my brother's family to a weekend getaway.
  20. Surprise my husband with a "kid-free" evening at home...just the two of us.
  21. Take my children on road trips to three places of historical significance/noted natural beauty (i.e., Mt. Rushmore, Washington, D.C., Grand Canyon) (1/3)
  22. Go back to New Orleans.
  23. Pay for breakfast/coffee for the person behind me at a drive through five times. (0/5)
  24. Submit a photo I've taken to National Geographic.
  25. Hand over a proposal, outline, and three completed chapters of "my book" to my well-connected friend (she offered...).
  26. Learn to dance.
  27. Swim laps three times a week for an entire summer.
  28. Get back down to my fighting weight.
  29. Speak only kind words for a whole day.
  30. Make beignets for breakfast.
  31. Learn to say "thank you" in ten different languages I don't already know. (0/10)
  32. Keep my car impeccably clean for a month.
  33. Enter all my tasks and appointments into my calendar for a month.
  34. Learn to sync my Blackberry with Outlook and my work calendar.
  35. Purge my closet and get rid of everything I don't actually wear, seriously.
  36. Give away/donate my "teacher stuff".
  37. Take my kids on bike rides at least twice a week for a whole season (but this IS Phoenix, so it won't be summer).
  38. Get my toenails painted blue with a pedicure.
  39. Add $50 to my loan fund.
  40. Learn how to create my own backgrounds, headers, and buttons for blogs.
  41. Teach my daughters how to cook their favorite meals.
  42. Make a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry as a gift for someone.
  43. Help my daughters assemble brown bag lunches for the homeless and go with them to distribute the bags.
  44. Find a good translation of the Quran, read it, and decide for myself what Islam teaches.
  45. Reread the Bible, novel-style, start to finish.
  46. Hold a baby at a restaurant so that her mother can eat an entire meal at a relaxed pace, uninterrupted.
  47. Save enough to pay cash for a minivan for my family.
  48. Clear out my personal email inboxes.
  49. Fly First Class.
  50. Recycle something mundane by making it into something beautiful.
  51. Fully fund our emergency savings.
  52. Get back into a bikini (legitimately, not obliviously).
  53. Take a girls' trip with an old friend.
  54. Make a snap decision and be totally at peace with going on instinct, for once.
  55. Learn to bake bread from scratch.
  56. Acquire the tools do do home canning.
  57. Find a system of managing my coupons that is organized and efficient.
  58. Visit my uncle's family in Atlanta and meet all my cousins' children.
  59. Visit my other uncle in Wyoming and treat his wife to something special (because Lord knows, she so deserves it).
  60. Plan a weekend with my kids, my aunt-in-law (yes, I made that term up) and her son.
  61. Make peace with my mother-in-law.
  62. Renew my friendship with my ex-best friend in San Francisco.
  63. Spend a long weekend with my godfather and get back in touch with my faith.
  64. Take a capoiera class.
  65. Buy a lottery ticket and give it to a stranger.
  66. Go camping.
  67. Dye my hair red again.
  68. Decorate one room in my house in a Caribbean colonial style.
  69. Completely make over one room in my house using only things we already own, that have been given to us, found, or acquired for free (Freecycle, etc.).
  70. Make a summer dress for each of my daughters.
  71. Arrive early for every work commitment for a month.
  72. Attend a rally or fund raising event for a cause I support.
  73. Write letters every month to the child we sponsor in Uganda.
  74. Write a letter to one of my elected representatives.
  75. Photograph my children weekly for a year (0/52)
  76. Order ten things at restaurants that I wouldn't ordinarily try. (0/10)
  77. Make a list of ten people who inspire me and write them a note letting them know. (0/10)
  78. Spend a whole day alone.
  79. Send text messages to 15 different people with random thoughts to make them smile. (1/15)
  80. Go wine tasting.
  81. Take my kids skiing/snowboarding.
  82. Sponsor another child through Plan USA.
  83. Make a blog friend an "IRL" (in real life) friend.
  84. Start painting (pictures, not walls).
  85. Adopt a cat.
  86. Plant a kitchen herb garden.
  87. Grow heirloom tomatoes.
  88. Learn to make pizza dough from scratch.
  89. Can a year's supply of jam, apple pie filling, and peaches.
  90. Take my son for a ride on a real fire truck.
  91. Pick my own fruit at a farm.
  92. Write a children's book and have my kids illustrate it.
  93. Learn to use Photoshop or another photo editing software.
  94. Send flowers to my mom for no reason.
  95. Take my sisters-in-law out for a fun day. (0/2)
  96. Be able to run 3 miles.
  97. Hike South Mountain.
  98. Stop and photograph ten random, funny, or interesting places while traveling for work.
  99. Host a dinner party to thank our wonderful neighbors for being...wonderful neighbors!
  100. Give something I love away to someone who needs it more than I do.
  101. Finish this list and think of 101 new goals!
This was so hard! I spent over a week on this post. I feel inspired and motivated, and most of all excited about the future. I've got a lot to do. Time to get busy!

Still here...

I have been hard at work on a new post for over a week. Once I get it published, you'll see why it took so long.

In the mean time, I wanted to send some traffic here. It's a blog called "Peace in the Pandemonium", written by Jen. She just published her 600th post, and in honor of that accomplishment she is hosting a giveaway.

About 11 months ago, Jen had another giveaway that I won. I was not prepared for how good the goodies were going to be. Jen knows how to pack a great goody box, for sure!

Head on over to Jen's blog and check out her new giveaway contest. Maybe you'll win some fun treats too!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My Five

I've been made aware of a great "project" out there:

"The Noticer Project is a worldwide movement to "notice" the five most influential people in your life! Noticing those five people can be as private (just a letter or email) or as public (posting to your Facebook page or joining The Noticer Project Facebook group) as you choose, but the movement is meant to encourage us to step outside our busy schedules and avoid waiting until a wedding, graduation or even a funeral to take notice of the special, influential people in our lives. By noticing those who have made a difference for you, you not only acknowledge their contribution, but you may gain a new perspective on your own journey. If you are noticed, you are encouraged to continue the movement by 'noticing' five people in your life!"

Okay, I'm game. But seriously, am I only limited to five individuals?

  1. Mrs. Elaine Nutt: One of the most intimidating teachers at Rosary High School, she was famous for busting anyone with chewing gum as well as for being a tough math teacher. I was terrified of her. Then, I ended up having her for not one, but TWO periods in tenth grade. She challenged the heck out of me in Geometry, and made me fall in love with the subject. I still can't fathom why anyone doesn't adore doing proofs or can't recall when to use ASA...she made it like breathing for me. Mrs. Nutt was also my teacher for Western Civilization that year. I know she was forced to take that extra period, and was probably not happy about it, but she did a fabulous job. She made me feel smart, and her encouragement and structure helped me learn confidence and responsibility in my schooling.
  2. Uyen Nguyen: This amazing woman moved in with my family when I was about 5 years old. She was a refugee from Vietnam, and she had lost everything. Uyen was educated, beautiful, and classy as hell. I can't even begin to imagine all she went through on the journey that led to her staying for almost two years in our guest room. I only saw her cry once the whole time she stayed with us. She was a rock. I adored her delicious cha giao and the elegant ao dais she wore. To this day she remains, in my mind, the ultimate example of a true lady.
  3. Arlington E. "Dick" Whitman: My Pop-Pop. Probably the one grandparent I was closest to, but ironically the only one not related to me by blood. Dick Whitman was my mom's stepfather, and had been married to my grandma when my mom was in her early teens. He was the most stabilizing influence in my mom's life, and later became a similarly steadying influence in mine. He was generous to a fault, hardworking, and funny as can be. I loved every minute he spent with us when I was growing up. I am so glad he lived long enough to be at my wedding, and to hold my firstborn child. I miss him like crazy.
  4. Matthew Moreno: My evil twin. Matt proved himself a true friend my last year of college. He fed me, kept me laughing, allowed me to hide my car at his place, and never passed judgment, even when he knew I was dating a serious loser. I was trying desperately to finish school before tuition hikes the next fall, taking double-overtime course loads (24-26 units a term...crazy), and had no time for a job. My dad was great about putting money on my meal card for the dining hall, but the money didn't always last through the month, and I hated asking for more. There were many times Matt would call when I had not eaten that day. The conversation often sounded something like this: (Matt) "What are you doing?" (Me) "Oh, studying..." (Matt) "Did you have dinner already?" (Me) "Umm, yeah sure, you know, went to the cafeteria..." (Matt) "Bullshit. Come over. I'm making chorizo and eggs. You can study here." Matt never mentioned the fact that his grocery bill had to have been a good 20% higher as a result of keeping me fed that year. He also never got on my case about the fact that I'd racked up so many parking tickets on campus that I couldn't park my car at the dorm for fear of it being booted. He just told me to park it at his place. No judgment. Finally, to this day I have no idea how he kept his mouth shut about the fact that my then-boyfriend was a huge dud. Matt demonstrated the meaning of true friendship with no strings attached. He is still one of the few people I trust without question, and know that if I called on him for anything, he'd be there in an instant.
  5. My husband: He's put up with me for over a decade. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that's a herculean accomplishment in itself. He's an awesome father and a patient, supportive spouse. I am a lucky girl.
Now it's your turn. Who are your five?