My Don’t-Call-it-Bucket Life List

Yesterday I already let y’all know why I won’t be making any resolutions this year. Mainly because life with two small children is too incredibly unpredictable to be nailing down a list of even five lofty goals for one year. But I like the idea of having things to accomplish. Just as long as the pressure of having to complete things within a year is off.

Then a fellow blogger/writer Alissa over at Clever Compass came up with the incredible idea of writing and sharing our life lists. Honestly I’d never put together a definitive travel list let alone ALL the things I want to accomplish in my years on this Earth.

It’s kind of hard to think of isn’t it? Try to come up with the top 5 things you want to do in your life and list them right NOW…

What’d you come up with?

Hard, no? And yet, it’s hard to stop once the ball starts rolling. In fact I thought of so many things I want to do I need five lifetimes to accomplish them all. I know some things may never happen, like seeing the Shire or going to outer space. And I know I’m tempting fate by saying I want to see my girls have babies. But still…these are the things I WANT to do, not the things I know will come to pass.

And no this isn’t a Bucket List. Cause I don’t want to look at this list like something I have to do before I kick the bucket. I want to look at it as things to do while I’m alive. A reference in case I’m ever bored and wealthy. You know, for the Lottery Years.

So without further ado and in no particular order my Life List

  1. Become a prenatal and postpartum Doula
  2. Adopt or foster a child
  3. Own our own European-style cafe where you can get an awesome cup of coffee, or beer or wine or whiskey, a great bite to eat and watch a band or a film or read a book or write a book or meet your friends or meet new friends
  4. Get a Master’s Degree or Law Degree
  5. Run for political office
  6. Meet President and Mrs. Obama
  7. Visit NYC during the holidays and ice skate at Rockefeller Center
  8. Take the girls to Disney World
  9. Go to Lebanon and meet Michael’s grandmother and see their village, Deirmimas
  10. Learn to speak Arabic and teach my children how as well
  11. Take a RV trip to the West coast and back with my husband, kids and my mom
  12. Go on a road trip with only my sister Tracey
  13. Write and produce a feature film
  14. Go on the White House tour
  15. Read all the Harry Potter books with my daughters (and Narnia, Tolkien and Hunger Games)
  16. Take a photography class
  17. Begin a monthly dinner party club
  18. Write a children’s book
  19. Write a fiction book
  20. Write a memoir
  21. Publish something I write
  22. Sing a song in public that isn’t karaoke or Happy Birthday
  23. Record a song with my husband
  24. Build a coop and raise chickens (thanks for the reminder Kelli!)
  25. Have a proper and well-tended vegetable garden
  26. Learn to compost
  27. See the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin in concert one more time.
  28. Go back to Tuscany, rent a villa outside of Montalcino and renew vows on our 10 year wedding anniversary
  29. Find a forever house, buy it and fix it up and never move my things again.
  30. Find where my ancestors are from in Africa and go there
  31. Live in a foreign country for at least a year
  32. Meet my long-lost Uncle
  33. Go on an ancestral road trip from here through Indiana, down to Mississippi and back through West Virginia seeing all the places in this country where my family is from
  34. Visit the Forbidden City and Great Wall in China
  35. Visit the Shire in New Zealand
  36. Visit our friends in Cape Cod
  37. Visit Las Vegas, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle
  38. Visit London, Dublin and Glasgow
  39. Travel through the south of France by car
  40. Visit Vienna, Berlin, Budapest and Prague
  41. Visit Vietnam, Thailand, Bejing, Honk Kong and Tokyo
  42. Travel through Brazil to Argentina all the way to the southern tip of Chile and back up to Peru
  43. Hike Macchu Picchu
  44. Go to the World Cup or the summer Olympics or both
  45. Visit India and see the Ganges and ride an elephant
  46. Go on the Amazing Race with my husband and see the world
  47. See my daughters get married to someone they truly love
  48. Be an Auntie
  49. Be a Grandmother
  50. Grow old with my Michael
BONUS: Go to Outer Space. Preferably the Moon but Mars would be nice too. Or anywhere with The Doctor.

So what do you think? Are there things on my list that you’ve already done? Anything that you think I should add to my list? What do you think is the most easily accomplished this year? I’d love to hear from my readers as well as other bloggers what’s on their lists.

If you are a company or blogger who can help me check any of these off my list I would gladly accept your help. You can contact me at

aliwayout (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Thanks for reading! Now link up!!







I Think I Can…

So I know, most of you don’t make resolutions.  In fact nearly everyone I know claims not to make resolutions cause they don’t keep them anyways.  It’s become this antiquated and trite notion.  But you know what?  I like the idea of having this clean slate with which to begin again.  Like a cosmic reset button.  The problem is that a resolution implies that you have resolved to make a change, or rather to have a firmness of purpose.  I guess that’s why people don’t make resolutions.  Cause they know their intentions aren’t there and that they’ve set their sights too high.  But I have resolved to work on things I KNOW I can accomplish.  For crying out loud I grew a person last year!!  I can do anything!!  Or at least I’d like to think I can…I think I can…I think I can…

1. I’m gonna lose my baby weight.  Yea, so this is what everyone starts out thinking in January right?  That they’re going to start this whole new diet and exercise routine and be like five sizes smaller by bikini season, right?  Well I’m just not that unrealistic.  First of all, I’m no gym rat.  I’ve never actually joined a gym cause, well, they kind of intimidate me.  Treadmills are fine, elliptical are tricky but alright. But I have NO IDEA what to do in a gym beyond that.  The weights, the machines, the sweaty people.  Not really my bag.  I need to go to a gym or to classes with someone I know so that I can figure it all out.  I’d much rather mall walk or do a yoga tape or do a Wii Fit thing.  So realistically…I’m not going to get a get a bikini body until I’m done having kids and get some lovely reconstructive surgery and laser treatment on my midsection.  Cause seriously, crunches or not, NOBODY wants to see what’s going on down there.  Come January 3rd I reinstated my Weight Watchers account because it works.  I’ve lost weight with WW before and I know it can be done.  Besides, have you seen Jennifer Hudson?!  She looks frakking amazing!  And she just had a baby…  40 pounds by summer?  I think I can…I think I can…

2.  This blog will be redesigned, I will get my own domain name and ::gasp:: may even switch to WordPress.  If this past year of blogging has taught me anything it’s that I really really really need this outlet.  And I want to take it more seriously.  I’m not sure how my Google Followers stalled out at a measly 24, or why my Facebook Fans stopped at 129.  It’s not really about how many people like me, I just want what I write to reach more people.  I want other Mamas out there to feel like they’re not alone.  Like they have a friend out there somewhere.  Cause those first few lonely months of being in a new city with a new baby I was literally rescued by the likes of Teresha and Eliza and Diana and Kate & Lydia.  When I went back to read some of my earliest posts it’s easy to remember just what it was like in the trenches of new mommyhood.  But let’s be honest, if I’m going to pay for a fancy new page with a button and all that shit I’m going to have to start taking it more seriously and writing more consistently.  It’s exciting to think about a whole new year of writing and communicating again.  So two to three blog posts EVERY SINGLE WEEK.  I think I can…I think I can…and speaking of writing…      

3. I’m going to write a screen play.  With my sister.  A family drama with a healthy dose of sarcastic humor a la classic Sims sisters.  She came with a pretty genius premise and now it’s just a matter of getting down to business and committing to the process.  Writing a screenplay is hard.  The format is rigid.  The language is tricky.  You have to be perfectly descriptive but concise, which I’m sure you could already tell is a bit hard for me to do.  But when you consider that most screenplays are 90 to 110 pages long, it’s doable.  It will require a lot of discipline, like turning the TV off when Cedella goes to bed.  Or ::gasp:: having Michael watch Cedella for a few hours a week so I can get out of the house and go write somewhere.  But writing something with my sister is something I have always wanted to do.  And using my incredibly expensive Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies is something I NEED to do.  A few pages a week.  That’s what I’m starting with.  I think I can…I think I can…
4.  I’m going to learn how to take absolutely amazing pictures of Cedella with my new Canon DSLR.  Sure, it’s not the newest model, but it’s a seriously kick ass camera.  On the Auto mode my photos have already become 10x better.  Imagine what I can do when I remember all the basics about photography like F-stops, shutter speed, depth of field and focal length.  And lighting?  Well I really have to brush up on that.  Though I like the idea of all the happy accidents that come from just trying different settings and taking a shit load of pictures.  I’m going to give myself assignments and teach myself how to use every last single button on that thing.  First assignment?  Cedella’s One Year Old photos this week.  We’ve got wardrobe changes and everything.  Can’t wait!  I know I can…I know I can…    

5. I am going to find out all I can about my ancestry.  After literally receiving an subscription for Christmas I have no choice but to dig in even further than I already have.  My Grandma Rose and Great Aunt Billie were pretty serious weekend geneologists.  They used to travel all over Indiana and the rest of the country going to graveyards and court houses.  Making notes by hand and photocopies on ancient Xerox machines.  The furtherest back they were able to go is our ancestor in the Revolutionary War.  And thanks to the magic of the internet, not only can I digitize all of the hard work they did, but I can go even further than they ever imagined.  In fact as of today I can go back to my 9th Great Grandparents on my maternal line.  That means I can tell you who my relatives were in the 1650’s in Germany.  There are so many empty spaces on our family tree.  So many mysteries to be solved.  So many stories and scandals and inspirations.  It is so much more than a hobby…it is an obsession.  I can’t wait to see what I find tomorrow and the next day and the next day.  I know I can…I know I can…

6. And finally, cause I haven’t given myself nearly enough hobbies…I wanna have another baby this year.  Michael and I have always wanted to space our children out by only a couple of years so that our kids grow up close.  And I’m not gonna lie, when I see my neighbor’s sweet little two month old boy, my ovaries go ::thump thump::  Cedella is such a big girl suddenly and she’s sweet and gentle with other kids.  She is going to make a great big sister.  So we’re thinking summer or fall, but the who knows, we didn’t have to try very hard to have Cedella.  I know we can…I know we can…

And that’s it.  Way more than enough to keep me busy and just enough that I certainly won’t get bored.  Who needs chores and housework when you have so many other things to do?  Cause if there’s one thing I’ve given up on resolving to do?  It’s keeping a pristine house.  We’ll have a spic and span house when and if we can afford a maid.  So what are you resolved to do this new year?  Whatever it is good luck and I think You can…I think You can…

And now your moment of gratuitous cuteness: