Thursday, October 4, 2012

Been there, done that, there is no T-shirt big enough!

Soon I will be turning 

I have no idea why but it weirds me out a little.  I think I have this feeling of being half done, half over or just plain half-way on my journey called life.  I don't necessarily believe that to be true, but the feelings are there.  Whenever I feel like shaking something like that off, I make lists or plans or just write.  I call it a brain dump!  Sort of like ripping a page out of a notebook so you can see a clean sheet on top again.  So in honor of my own birthday, I am making a list of 35 things I have already accomplished/experienced and then 35 more that I would still like to accomplish/experience...

In the first 35 years
(in no particular order!)

1) I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.  (12/7/97 - I get to celebrate 15 years soon!)
2) My best friend asked me to marry him.
3) I said YES.  (Well, actually, I said SÍ b/c he asked in Spanish and I thought it would have been dumb to answer in English!)
4) I went to Disney World 3 times.  
5) I learned to play 4 instruments.
6) Heaven gained many angels from my life.  (Grandparents, a teacher, aunts and uncles, a friend's baby, my FIL, a friend's dad, and a HS friend, just to name a few...)
7) I loved a sweet dog!
8) I made some horrible decisions and hurt some people who meant a lot to me.
9) I asked for forgiveness many times.  
10) I got bit by a dog in the nose the night before the state Forensics tournament.  I was slated to become the #1 storyteller in the state.  You try telling stories w/half your face still numb from getting stitches and drooling a little!
11) I started a blog.  Now there are 2.
12) God blessed me w/a child who grew in my womb.
13) God blessed me w/a child who grew in my heart.
14) Together w/my husband I have fostered 9 children.  (So far!)
15) I have made a house into a home.
16) I traveled to Spain.
17) I traveled to Mexico.
18) My husband and I rented a camper van and spent 3 weeks+ touring the western states.
19) My husband and I took a 3 week+ honeymoon from WI to Maine, stopping to camp in Canada, see Niagara Falls (don't go for the 4th of July fireworks!), visit Cooperstown and be a part of a family reunion (and more but those are some of the highlights).
20) I have seen various other states on trips w/various members of my original and now nuclear family.
21) I have started all kinds of hobbies, few of which stuck.  
22) I have planted many gardens.
23) I hesitantly okayed raising chickens in our back yard.  Now I recommend it!  I love the girls!
24) I camped while not-so-newly pregnant, including sleeping on an air mattress on the ground.  (It was a pretty big deal, ok?  I can brag!)
25) I almost mastered riding a tandem bike.
26) I received a teaching degree in Spanish and English Language Learning.  
27) I taught Spanish and English Language Learners in 2 cities.
28) I donated multiple inches of super thick coarse hair multiple times.
29) Many people have found me suitable to be called friend.
30) I learned the art of improv comedy and participated in a show or 2 w/some fabulous people who made me laugh until I cried and taught me to embrace a sense of spontaneity and wit!
31) I answered my first cell phone call while in a dressing room.  I felt creepy and exposed, like the person who called could see me or something, and even though I was fully dressed I still held my purse up to my body as if to cover something I didn't want seen.  What's even funnier than that (to me anyway) is that just that morning, when we were bemoaning the fact that no one called us, a friend told us we had to turn it on to actually receive calls.  Technologically advanced, I am not!
32) I watched the Challenger explode live on TV while in grade school.  
33) I watched the beginning of the Iraq War/a surprise military attack on Iraq on TV while at our friends' house in Lake Tahoe.  The night was very dark and the missiles showed up green on the screen.  I don't think I had watched that much news in my life (SportsCenter doesn't count!) up until that point.  
34) I watched a whole lot more news when the towers fell on 9/11.  I cried a lot.  I have firefighters, a police officer and many other service people in my family and I don't think I had given much thought to the job they had been doing until that day.  I'm thinking most of you can say something similar...I was teaching on that day and when I first saw the scenes on TV I thought it was from a movie.  I felt more grown up on that day than ever.
35) I participated in a Habitat for Humanity trip to Pearisburg, VA.  So much fun was crammed into that week...oh we worked too!  We worked hard!  I got to use a 'fahr rake', a hatchet and a pick ax.  (That's fire rake for us northerners.)  I used a router (something for writing letters into wood?), I bought Oshkosh bib overalls at the Magic Mart and I slept on a cot in a classroom w/about 30 other college kids.  

In the next 35 years

1) I hope God sees fit to bless me w/more children, by whatever means possible.
2) I want to rent a houseboat and go down the Mississippi River from top to bottom.
3) You will probably find me living in the country w/a bigger garden and more chickens.  Maybe w/a dog named Duke and some land to roam around on...
4) I hope to achieve a Masters' degree in the Spanish language.  I'm rusty, though, so it may take some doing!
5) I want to re-learn to dance w/my best friend.  We used to swing dance pretty well, but this girl does not find it easy to be led around a dance floor!  In my dreams we dance like the people you see on the show So You Think You Can Dance or those in movies who look like they are having the most fun together showing off for everyone!  
6) I will sew something useful.
7) I will bike 100 miles in a year. 
8) My children's children will call me Grandma, God willing.  (Or Nana, or MeeMaw, or Big Momma or Noni or Gammy or whatever!  As long as they know I'm the one who is generous w/the cookies!)
9) Prayerfully, I will be serving in some capacity at an abortion alternative type place.
10) I will write my personal history.
11) I hope to act in a local theater production.
12) I will crack the 30 minute mark for running a 5K.  (Yes, that's slow.  Set the bar low!)
13) I will enter something in the county fair.  It will most likely be something from the garden, since I'm not very artsy or adept w/the sewing machine...
14) Duke University will prevail over UNC in a game of basketball that both my TarHeel loving husband and I, a crazy kid for coach K and his boys, will attend.
15) A professional picture will be taken of my husband and myself!  (The big box store's closet sized studio w/fake-o backgrounds on pull down shades doesn't count!)
16) I want to start an intergenerational center in my area.  There is one relatively close to me right now but I haven't had the time to get involved yet.  I have had too many dreams about people of 2 or 3 generations creating, eating, and learning together to let this one go ignored.  
17) I will work w/kids again.  Right now I am not doing anything but mothering =)  I have babysat, worked in a daycare, taught kids' church, helped in classrooms, etc...sometimes I miss being that goofy lady who tells stories and can keep the attention of everyone in the room under 5!
18) I've already picked a song, but I will figure out the rest of the stuff for my funeral, burial, and will type stuff.  (Please don't think I'm being morbid - I am thinking practical, ok?)
19) I will go to Poland.
20) I will attempt to learn something about fashion so my kids aren't embarrassed when their mom drops them off at school, attends their HS awards banquets or visits their dorm in college.  (This means I need to start by ditching anything I wore in 6th grade.  Even if I believe it will come back around in fashion again!)
21) This woman will not only start, but finish the YMCA early morning bootcamp class.  
22) I will attend my friend's graduation as she receives her civil engineering degree.
23) I will tell my daughter whatever she wants to know, or whatever info I have to share, about her adoption.  I will support and encourage her to explore and define her identity, praying she will ultimately find it in the Lord and not in any person who has played a role, however small or large, in her life.
24) I will continue to be inspired, mentored, encouraged and loved by my friends.  I have some of the most faithful, generous and amazing friends, women and men alike.  I pray you do too!  Sometimes life gets so busy that I don't take the time to receive all that my friends have to offer, but when I do, my cup overflows!
25) Our family will travel in an RV to visit more than one state.  Hopefully there will be both mountains and a beach included in that trip!
26) I will set my sights on bigger goals - a half/full marathon?  Leading a women's group?  Striving towards a minimalist style of life?  Running a full farm?  Who knows!  
27) I aim to pull off a superior surprise to honor and celebrate my husband and each of my kids.
28) I will keep writing...
29) ...maybe something bigger, with a purpose?
30) I will not fear birthdays.
31) Is it odd if I hope to wear my wedding dress again?  Not to marry someone else, but maybe to renew my vows.  I somehow doubt it will still fit, but I did love that dress!  I've seen pics of people who get their dress cut up so it can be sown into their daughter's wedding dress or even just a dress-up dress.  I'm not ready for that yet!
32) I will take my kids to Disney World.  =)
33) I will make a quilt for each of my kids to put on the first bed they sleep in after moving out on their own.
34) I would love to make a time capsule of sorts for my kids.  Did you ever do one of those?  The newspaper from the day, a few things that represent what is happening in our lives at this time...I love pictures so you know there will be some of those in there!!  I think since technology plays such a huge role in our lives, there should be something about that in there.  I'm not sure if this time capsule would get buried in the yard - what if we move? - or if it should just be something we keep in a special place of the house.  I think it would be cool to have my first born open it in about 30 years!!
35) I will continue to teach my children to love the Lord and follow the example He has laid out in His Word.  Do I want them to learn what I learned, do as I did and be like me?  Sure (well, in most cases that is!  Don't make my mistakes!), but more importantly I would like them to follow Jesus.

So that's my birthday list.  =)  You'll have to wait w/baited breath about 5 years to see if I knock anything off the 2nd list!