Life and Lists and Life Lists

Well, I have thought about this entry a million times and now when it comes down to actually writing it I'm having trouble finding the words. Today is a special day, but yesterday was even more special. Today, June 16th, is my birthday, but yesterday was the day I wanted to hold on to. My last day in my 20's. I told Bret that was the last day he would have the chance to kiss a girl in her 20's. For some reason the last day of everything always hits me harder than the actual day...the last day as a teenager, the last day of high school, even the last day in Elementary school (can you believe it started that early!?!) As my best friend, Andrea, likes to remind me, I cried and said "it will never be the same again". Some how I just KNEW that going to Middle School was going to change everything. Little did Andrea and I know that the many years in school would change us to the point that we would be where we are today...best friends. She was always the cool kid with the awesome ribbon belt that I wanted. Now she's the beautiful Mom and woman that I look up to. It would only make sense when Andrea blogged about her list I would soon be creating my own. Some call it a "Bucket List", or the "Burn List", I call it my "Life List". My list started way back in college, but wasn't very long and was far from complete. I've been putting off blogging this because it just never felt complete and truly still doesn't. I keep thinking of things I want to do. Some are small and silly...others are big and I realize may never happen. A fellow photographer posted a quote on her blog today which said "Shoot for the moon. If you don’t make it, at least you will land among the stars." After all, isn't it the journey that matters the most? I've listed things I've always wanted to do, things I think that everyone should learn...know...or do, things that will strengthen who I am as a person, will strengthen my relationship with God, things that will help others, and things that just flat out give me the warm fuzzies. Trying to make things measurable in order to be able to one day mark them off was a challenge, so there are some that just aren't. I'm getting butterflies just thinking about posting this. Before I post my very long "Life List", I would like to share with you another list. My list of birthday memories. Some happy...some sad. I wanted to tell stories of these, but I couldn't pick one.

* When Mommy and I lived with Papaw Ray and Mamaw Pansy. I have so many wonderful memories from there that are near and dear to my heart. Summer nights of chasing lightning bugs and listening to the "whip-poor-wills", being chased by geese, catching frogs, running around in nothing but my panties, catching all the stray animals I could, rainbow popsicles, and the list goes on. One of my favorites was a birthday one. We were having cake. I told everyone that I would go outside and come back in. When I did they all had to say "surprise!" I guess that would be my first surprise birthday party?

* The trip to Myrtle Beach with two of my best friends Amanda and Martie for mine and Amanda's birthdays. It still goes down as one of my favorite trips to the beach.

* My 16th birthday. Me, my friend Bryanne, and my uncle Mikie drove cars to the auction for Mikie's business. We stopped at a Golden Corral and I begged them not to have them sing happy birthday to me.

* My first real surprise birthday party that Bret put together for me. He knew I had always wanted one, since I was a little girl telling everyone to scream "surprise".

* Just before Mommy passed away. She was in the hospital. She realized it was my birthday, even though she had been pretty out of it for a while. She was so worried. So sad. She wanted to be with me. She didn't want to leave me. She wanted to do something special for my birthday. All she had with her and all she had to her name was $5 in foodstamps, when they were still paper. That's what she gave me. It is the best birthday present I've ever received. I didn't realize it then and I wish I had. Those are some of the saddest days. Most things I talk about openly. I can't talk or think about those last days without feeling depressed and crying. Today is different, I'm embracing all of those feelings.

* Today. At 6:00 AM this morning Bret was out cutting flowers and arranging them in a vase and hand making a birthday card. I didn't go into the office until 11 AM, in which I saw them sitting on my desk. On the front was "Happy 30th Birthday" (with the 30th in a heart). Inside it read something like "You will always be that same 22 year old in my eyes. Only more beautiful."

Now...for the LIFE LIST.

1. Play putt-putt golf (completed with Bret, Andrea, Brad, Bailey, & Jake, while I was pregnant June 2011)

copyright Priscilla Baierlein Photography_0216

2. Become a Mom (August 7,2011 I didn't dare write this on my list until after, but it was certainly always there)

Processed with VSCOcam with b3 preset

3. Grow our own fruit trees/bushes

4. Take salsa lessons

5. Scuba Diving

6. Go back to Europe (preferably a European tour)

7. Visit Savannah, GA

8. Visit New Orleans and try all the delicious food that Bret talks so much about

9. Raise children who feel love and belonging with shame resistance

10. Write a book and try to have it published

11. Learn how to can food (2011)

12. Make my own jam/jelly

13. Make pickles (summer 2013)

copyright Priscilla Baierlein Photography_0221

14. Have a healthy birth with as little interventions as my body will allow (August 7, 2011) Photo credit Amy Parsons Photography

copyright Priscilla Baierlein Photography_0224

15. Sing karaoke by myself

16. Bake my own bread (summer 2013)

copyright Priscilla Baierlein Photography_0225

17. Make butter

18. Have a fire pit in our back yard to roast all the marshmellows and hot dogs we want! (thanks to Bret & Steff, summer 2013)

copyright Priscilla Baierlein Photography_0226

19. Live a bold, intentional, authentic, and meaningful life full of little and big adventures

20. Take a girls trip with Andrea only Feb 2014

2014-04-04_00152014-04-04_0012

21. Run a 5k (I like the idea of the color run)

22. Begin a tradition to do something for a charity every Christmas

23. Do yoga on a regular basis

24. Take family walks and/or bike rides on a regular basis (step 1...get a bike)

25. Start praying more and strengthening my relationship w/ God (on going, but yes :) 2014?)

26. Read and understand the Bible to the best of my ability (working on this now)

27. Go parasailing again (Completed with Bret June 2010)

28. Write letters to those who have made an impact in my life. Mail some of them.

29. Learn family history...even the things no one wants to talk about

30. Have a back yard family dinner with a beautiful long table, eclectic chairs, white lights, and the food all spread out on the table (September 2013 & hopefully many more)

copyright Priscilla Baierlein Photography_0227copyright Priscilla Baierlein Photography_0228

31. Use my photography to make a difference (on going)

32. Give our Wilmington honeymoon another shot (our last was cut short)

33. Hawaii w/ my little family

34. No credit card debt

35. Go a week with out the internet (on purpose)

36. Really use our back yard (hang out, grill, plant, etc.) often (ongoing, of course Summer 2013)

copyright Priscilla Baierlein Photography_0229

37. Have my sewing machine out in a place where I can use it when I want to

38. Be happy with my body

39. See a Broadway musical

40. Visit Chicago

41. Truly make a difference and let my life be a testimony for God (on going)

42. Run the Marine Corps 10K in Washington DC

43. Make drinking water often part of my every day life (January 2014 :))

44. Grow several large hydrangea bushes

45. Swim with dolphins

46. Help Andrea mark things off her list (at least 5 things)

47. Finish Andreas scrapbook

48. Zip line

49. Sky dive (not positive about this one)

50. Drive in movies Summer 2014

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

51. Private :)

52. Take a big camping trip with my closest friends

53. Visit Great Wall of China

54. See the Eiffel Tower at night with Bret

55. Pay Mikie and Erica back in some way

56. Go to the beach often...I always feel closer to God there

57. Learn Mommy's story and tell it the way she would want it told

58. Have something a little stronger than a Coke in Monte Carlo

59. Own my story

60. Take Chasity to the KY Derby

61. Tip someone unexpecting a very large tip (i.e. a dive restaurant waitress, a street musician, etc.) (2011 at Asuka, left before we could see his reaction)

62. Go to a major music festival

63. Tour the White House

64. Write a hand written card or letter per week for 6 months.

65. Go on a ski trip complete with a cabin, fire place, hot tub, and hot chocolate

66. Go see an old black and white movie in a theater

67. Private :)

68. Ride (or drive?) a paddle boat

69. Ride a jet ski in the ocean

70. Visit Africa

71. Create an album for each year since the year I became pregnant

72. Have a sushi lunch (many times since...with Bret, with my friend Laura)

73. Learn to make sushi rolls

74. Play in a warm summer rain (complete with puddle jumping) (yes! with Bret & Steff August 2013)

copyright Priscilla Baierlein Photography_0230

75. Learn to bake my own baguettes

76. Fly a kite

77. Learn to change a tire

78. Donate blood (UGH!)

79. Host an out door movie night

80. Fully learn to drive a stick shift

81. Visit New York City in the fall or New Years Eve

82. Go to a beach in the winter when it's cold. Bundle up in sweaters and my boots. Preferably with a fire and roasted marshmellows.

83. Blog something personal once a week for three months

84. Watch a meteor shower (unfortunately I can't remember when!)

85. Organize my old photos

86. Travel to CA and have a photo shoot w/ Tara Whitney

87. Visit Greece

88. Make home made ice cream

89. Visit the new Busch Stadium

90. Get on a horse again

91. Get over my fear of public speaking (this one use to be so terrifying that I didn't put it on the list...I'm one step closer)

92. Cookout on the beach at sunset in Dunedin (with Bret, Andrea, Brad, Bailey & Jake, while I was pregnant, June 16, 2011)

93. Have boudoir photos taken of me (of course very tasteful ones!)

94. Eat a snow cone at the beach Completed with Bret in Dunedin June 2010

95. Visit Mt. Rushmore

96. Give a TED talk

97. Take a drawing/painting/pastels art class (one or all)

98. Take a ceramics class

99. Learn to crochet

100. Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity

101. Go hang gliding (apparently this is more dangerous than skydiving but I am leaving it on here for now...it still sounds so beautiful)

102. Volunteer abroad for at least one month

103. Give ice skating another shot

104. Visit Niagra Falls

105. Relax in a natural hot spring

106. Learn to build a fire

107. Learn the Heimlich maneuver and CPR (completed class before son was born, but not sure I remember it)

108. Learn to jump start a car (sometime in 2012)

109. Go to the Ellen show

110. Go to a zoo August 2014

copyright Priscilla Baierlein Photography_0231

111. Stand under a waterfall (preferably in Hawaii)

112. Have a successful herb garden (oh yeah...summer 2013) I think it's become a little more than an herb garden

copyright Priscilla Baierlein Photography_0232

113. Fly fishing

114. Visit the Grand Ole Opry December 2014 to see Rockettes

115. Have a family reunion at the place where I grew up

116. Learn to play poker

117. Learn self defense techniques

118. Volunteer with Toys for Tots

119. Meet Loretta Lynn

120. Shoot with an old film camera

121. See the July 4th firework show in Washington, D.C.

122. Take the road trip I had planned for our honeymoon that includes stops along the Blues Highway (adjust the trip to our liking)

123. Visit Graceland

124. Read at least 50 of Newsweeks Top 100 Books

125. Visit 10 different kinds of churches and learn something about that religion

126. Grow the business enough that allowed for enough time to give and enough money to help

127. Spend a night on a boat under the stars

128. Go to the KY State Fair

129. Have a swing at our house (either porch or tire) and/or a hammock (summer 2011) Picture isn't of a porch swing, but it's somewhere up there in the other pictures :)

copyright Priscilla Baierlein Photography_0233

130. Meet my friend Stacy in person

131. Photograph a water birth

132. Be featured on Creative Mama blog (a couple times :))

133. Live a wholehearted life

134. Tell my story...let it be heard...let it help others "Don't hog your journey"

135. Pick fresh strawberries at local "u-pick" place (the way strawberries are taking over our garden, this may turn into my house)

136. Inspire five others to create a "Life List" of their own

137. Make someone's dream come true

138. Stop drinking Pepsi (or any sort of pop/soda....except for the occasional sip) January 2, 2014 failed and trying it again

139. Find a church home and be an active member

140. Begin a random acts of kindness advent tradition for Christmas

141. Attend the Pursuit 31 Conference

142. Meet Bob Goff and Glennon Doyle Melton...such inspirational people

143. Renew our vows in our favorite spot in Dunedin

144. Go to Disney World with my little family

145. Give a birthday party to a child in need

146. Teach my child/children about what's really important in life

147. Raise kind and loving child/children

148. Wake up my son to walk in a fresh snow like Bret and I use to do

149. Travel and volunteer together as a family

150. Go sailing

151. Go canoeing or kayaking...I really don't know the difference

152. Go hiking or backpacking as a family

153. Spend a month as a vegetarian

154. Take my son to watch the sunset at my favorite spot in Dunedin June 2014

copyright Priscilla Baierlein Photography_0219

155. Prepare my will

156. Support someone through their birth

157. Empower new mommas

Now...I encourage all of YOU to create your own life list. Bret has to remind me that the point of the list is not to simply mark things off. It shouldn't become a job. The point is to live life and this truly empowers you to do so. It feels like you've really accomplished something, even if it's the smallest thing. Life passes by so quickly. Before you know it, you're 80 years old, sitting in a rocking chair, thinking about all you wanted to do. Or 30 :) We met a lady while parasailing in Clearwater. She said her life used to be filled with fear. What if this happened? What if that happened? Then she decided to put all the fears behind her. My favorite story of hers was that she showed up at the airport, got a ticket to Peru. While there they were watching all these people hang gliding and thinking how crazy that was. Next thing she knew, she was up hang gliding with them...up above the skyscrapers. Can you imagine just going to Peru on a whim? Hang gliding on a whim? Your list doesn't have to be filled with adventurous things. Just filled with things you want to do. Anything you've thought "oh I would love to do that" and thought it was too far out of reach, put it on the list and it may just motivate you to do it. Of course, if you're like me, you may have to win the lottery to accomplish them. Maybe I should put that on the list too?