I didn't realize when I started this list that it would be as long as it is. I don't feel like I need to do all of these things or even most of them during my lifetime in order to be happy or satisfied. I have already experienced so much joy in my life - wonderful things that I can already cross off my bucket list. Become a wife and mom, check. Learn to play piano, check. Visit Door County, check. Make the perfect cupcake, big check. But, in the spirit of dreaming I continue to think of things I'd like to do. So, here are a couple more things I've added to my bucket list:
17) Stand under a waterfall. Just because I think it would be amazing.
18) Finish giving our home a complete makeover. We have made a lot of progress so far this year with the painting and the new flooring and the basement remodel - we, meaning mostly Vince. But there is more to do. I want us to get to the point where we have purged all the things we can live without, better organize what we keep, and clean every nook & cranny (whatever those are exactly, I want them clean!) This may or may not involve hiring a cleaning person!
That is probably enough things for my list...now on to DOING them!!
7) Take a long weekend (or longer) trip to Napa Valley (with Mr. Wonderful, of course), where we can visit some amazing wineries and stay in a cozy bed & breakfast. Or three. Yea, we need more than a long weekend for this one.
Wait...I was going to think of some smaller things. Ok.
8) Swim with dolphins. DANG IT! That's a big thing too.
Aren't they just the cutest things ever?? I love dolphins so much. And if I got to actually swim with a baby dolphin I think I would die right there.
9) Make a Rollingstone calendar. Our little community has alot of character and beauty. I didn't take these pics, but I'd like to take pics of our town throughout each of the seasons and make them into a calendar.
10) Run a 5K.
11) Take a nap in a hammock. In my backyard. Lots of times.
12) Build a raised garden and actually grow vegetables in it. Then I want to learn about canning so I can can the produce, as well as homemade pasta sauce, pickles and strawberry jam.
13) Learn how to make really good potato salad.
14) Finish my scrapbooks. I haven't printed pictures since 2009!
15) Grow roses and lilies in our yard. And as long as I'm dreaming a bit...I'd like to landscape the whole yard, build a new multi-layer deck with a covered roof, comfy chairs and a firepit. And frame the whole thing with a white picket fence covered in vinery. Is that a word? It should be.
16) Live debt free. It's doable. Then we could truly enjoy all of this.
Since April I have tried to like my iPad calendar instead of a paper planner. I really did. But it just didn't take, because...
I LOVE PLANNERS!!!
It's time I just accept the fact that I need to have a paper planner for all the rest of my days. So today I ordered my new baby and it will be here on Tuesday :) Happy days are (almost) here again and all feels right with the world.
I've never written my "bucket list" before, so tonight I've decided to start to compose mine. Here goes...in no particular order:
1) Tour the Holy Land. I have wanted to do this for some time, but to be honest I have never thought I would actually go. I hope to someday. I want to be as close to Jesus in this life as humanly possible and I think being where He was on this earth would be amazing. Seeing what He saw...the sunrise over the Sea of Galilee, walking the streets of Nazareth where He grew up, sitting on the hills where He preached, and praying where He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. I have no doubt it would be life changing.
2) Spend a week at a cabin with all of our kids and grandkids, every summer. It would be cool if we owned our own cozy little cabin, somewhere within a few hours of home so we could spend weekends there too. But renting a place would be good too. Somewhere rustic, on a lake, with a pontoon, a firepit outside and a fireplace inside. And a hammock in the yard. Lots of flowers and birds. And someone else to keep it clean and maintained, of course! A little bit of time together with no distractions and no worries. Talking, laughing, exploring, relaxing. Heaven.
3) Reach my ideal weight and optimal health. So I can enjoy the rest of my life to it's fullest, and be comfortable and energetic doing it.
4) Vacation with Mr. Wonderful in Hawaii - because salmon! And they have some of the best snorkeling in the world and I FREAKING LOVE snorkeling! And my husband. And sunsets over the ocean.
5) Take a trip to New York City and see a show on Broadway...Wicked, Phantom, and Lion King would top my list.
6) Tour Europe - specifically England, France, and Italy. I want to walk the cobblestone streets, smell the flowers, eat authentic Italian food, enjoy the beautiful architecture and listen to people speak French.
Hmmm....I'm sensing a pattern here. Apparently most of my bucket list involves traveling! I should probably pick some smaller things too. To be continued...
It seems this place inspires me! I haven't written since the last time I was here, almost two months ago. I went back and re-read the post where I talked about fear. There have been many posts actually where I wrote about the topic of fear because as I have already explained it is something I have struggled with since I was a little girl. But now as I sit here today I can happily say that God has brought so much healing to my life. I'm almost afraid to type out the words in case they aren't really true, but I will do it anyway...fear no longer grips my heart and mind. Not like it did. Not even close. I have a peace that I haven't known for a long time, maybe ever. And the only reason for it is that I have chosen to believe God.
To trust Him.
I am still learning what that means, but what it means to me today is that I do not let my thoughts run wild with worry. I choose to believe that God is able to do what I can't and I trust Him with it.
For instance, there is the teeny tiny little baby issue of my son being in the path of the WORST HURRICANE IN THE HISTORY OF FOREVER. Right now as I am typing this, he is being shipped off along with the rest of his unit to a bunker in the mountains as they prepare to ride out the storm. Yes, I know he will be safe. The army is prepared for this and will take care of their people. But my mama mind envisions my baby clinging to a tree all alone being assaulted with wind and waves and big hard objects flying at him at 200 miles an hour. Yes, I know he's a strong army man, but...
Honestly tho, after going through some mild panic after talking to him earlier in the week, I'm not overcome with fear. I am surprisingly calm.
Peace that passes understanding is REAL people!
Because this is not something I would or should have peace about. This would normally send me over an edge or two. But I have realized (with help from Joyce Meyer) that I need to do what I can do, and trust God to do what I can't do. I wrote that down on a post-it and put it by my computer at work. I should put it on a post-it like everywhere I go. Just attach it to my glasses so it's right in front of my face all the time. It really helps. This is a hurricane. My son is 1,981 miles away and in the direct path of the storm. There is absolutely nothing I can do to change that or protect him.
So, I will focus on what I CAN do...I can call and text him, at least for now. I can encourage him and send him scripture like these:
And I can pray.
There is more power in that than anything.
I am praying for his protection, of course, and for the protection of all the people in this storm's path. How terrifying it must be for those who are faced with losing their homes, and possibly their lives. I think of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, where people are already struggling and poor. More than anything tho, I am praying for people to turn to Jesus. To cry out to Him...those who have been putting faith in God off, thinking "some other day" they will consider it. Those who have been keeping their faith in their back pocket because things are going well for them. Those who have never opened their hearts to the Savior. I pray that this crisis brings people to Him and changes their lives for the better. God will do whatever it takes to reach His people. He can calm the storm with a word, but He doesn't always. And sometimes that is the greatest blessing.
Wednesday found me in this beautiful, tranquil place. It's called the healing garden at Gundersen Medical Center in LaCrosse. The stone wall in the background is a wall of water, you can't tell from the picture but the whole wall is flowing with water.
I spent a lot of time in here when mom was making her journey to Heaven a year ago.
It is very peaceful, has a skylight and lots of plants and flowers. The sound of water is so therapeutic for me. It's a wonderful place to pray, have a coffee, and watch a Beth Moore devotional video, which is what I did on Wednesday. I think this is going to be a regular thing for me.
This is from one of my scripture books, one that I made about hope...something I have been needing lately. Well, I always need hope but as evidenced in my last post, I have been needing an extra measure of it lately.
And a little aroma therapy added to the experience.
Saturday morning we piled in the car and headed down to visit Bill, Brittany and Rebekah. Of course it was a wonderful time. Bekah is changing every time we see her...getting even more cute, mobile, and expressive! We saw some of her strong-willed-ness coming out already. Could that possibly be from her mommy??? :)
Britt made me my favorite cake to celebrate my birthday...yellow cake with chocolate frosting!
Louie, our grandpuppers :)
Home-made "Cold Stone", one of our family's favorite treats :)
We played a new game...Catan. I was confused for much of it (which should be no great surprise to anyone) but I eventually caught on and it wasn't too bad - for me, that's a positive statement. I usually live by the rule that entertainment cannot require you to use strategy or thinking or too much brain activity of any kind because THAT'S NOT FUN! But this was actually fun for me - not so much because of the game itself, but because of these crazy peoples...
Kyle loved it...and won!
And this happy little peapod joined Papa and Grammie in bed this morning in her jammies :)
Oh, Auntie Hopie, you're just the best :)
Chillaxin' with Uncle Kyle
Nappie time with Grammie...this girl is far too busy to nap for very long.