Saturday, March 5, 2016

To Do...

When I created my HUGE TO DO list (click here to check it out) a few years ago, I looked at it and thought,"I have almost three years to finish this. Plenty of time. Easy peasy."

Yes, I do actually say 'Easy Peasy' to myself. I'm kind of a big nerd.

Then, all of a sudden, it's two years later, I have 7 months left to finish the list and I have 68 left to go. Talk about procrastination.

But thanks to some awesome friends and family who have been pushing me and helping me with my list - even if they didn't know it! - I am able to cross a few more off just in the past few weeks.

#4 Take an overnight NON-KID vacation with The Hubs

Without either of our families living in the city, or even in the state, it seemed that we might not get to do this one. Then my parents retired and life was GOOD! They have flown cross-country to see us about once every 2-3 months, so we took advantage of that last time and drove up to Las Vegas for the weekend. The kids had a blast. Grandma and Grandpa took them to Chuck E Cheese, McDonald's and to play mini golf. They watched movies, had make your own pizza night and learned to color within the lines on the IPads coloring pages. Meanwhile, we met up with The Hubs' brothers and their girls in Vegas and spent three days losing money in penny slots, going back for fifths at the buffet and sleeping in until 9. (Okay, so I was still up at 745. But I let The Hubs sleep in until 9!) I had forgotten how relaxing it was to not think about if someone needs a snack, to go to the bathroom or has to nap. If their feet might hurt or if they are cranky and tired. It was so nice to think about just us and what we wanted to do and I WANT TO DO IT ALL THE TIME. Well, maybe not ALL the time. But definitely again.

#17 Visit the Desert Botanical Gardens

Visiting the Botanical Gardens in Phoenix has been on my to do list since I moved here nine years ago. I wanted to see the plants and flowers in their natural desert habitat. I don't know what I expected, but it looked much like the rest of Phoenix does. Rocks, cacti, dirt, green shrubbery and plants throughout. My friend and her daughter went with Peanut and I, and it was such a great walk, but I really hoped for more flowers, more butterflies, more......different. It was like walking through my neighborhood (minus all the houses). We went in January, and I heard later that coming later in the spring was better. I think if I had waited until March or April, it would've been beautiful with all the blossoming flowers and plants. I might have to make a trip back. 

#39 Make 12 blessings bags and pass them out to the homeless

The kids and I have been making blessings bags for a few years now, and I wanted to make sure that we continued this tradition. With the nice weather in Arizona in the spring, fall and winter (notice I didn't say summer!), there tends to be a large number of homeless at street corners and in downtown. I don't like to pass out cash, not first of all because I don't usually have any! I try and keep blessings bags in my car and my handbag. These are gallon Ziploc bags filled with small non-perishables. I like to put in a granola bar or two, some water, an apple juice, beef jerky, cheese and crackers, etc. I also like to add travel shampoos and conditions, soap and lotion and toothpaste. Toothbrushes, a comb, a pair of socks, some Kleenex, chap stick. I like to pick things up at the dollar store or on sale and stuff them in to the blessing bags. If I remember to grab some, I like also like to put $5 gift cards to McDonald's, as the likelihood of a McDonald's near to them is pretty good. It is such a small thing to have with me, and I hope that it makes someone feel that I want them to be cared for. Best of all, the kids love to help me make them, usually throwing in a fruit snack or a lollipop from their candy stash. And they fight over who gets to hand them out. I love that they see how happy it makes people. Most volunteer organizations around here allow kids to start volunteering between the ages of 6-8, so this is a way to involve them before then.

#62 Go Zip lining.

I LOVE extreme sports. But I promised The Hubs that I wouldn't go skydiving while the kids were under the age of 18, and I have already been bungee jumping a few times. So what was next? While ziplining may not be extreme, it still has a big rush and I wanted to feel it!  So while in Las Vegas, my brother in law, future sister in law and I hooked ourselves up to a large slot machine in downtown Fremont Street and ziplined over drunk and half naked people to the casino at the end of the way. It's called SlotZilla and it really is shaped like a huge slot machine in the middle of the street. You can zipline or zoomline (zip line is shorter, lower and you sit, zoomline is higher, longer and you fly like superman) and of course we chose to go big or go home! We zoomlined past the casinos, and it was awesome! I supermaned the whole way across, flying over people, laughing all the way.

#90 Hike Camelback Mountain.

A friend of mine has been asking me to go hiking with her every week. The first week we went to Piestewa Peak and while I didn't make it to the top (let's be honest - I didn't even make it near to the top), I was hooked. I loved it! Why haven't I been hiking the entire time I lived here in Arizona? I had no idea it was this much fun. When she asked me to go the following week to Camelback Mountain, of course I said yes! They don't make it easy to get there, though. It was a good 45 minute drive from my house, and then I had to park about a mile away from the mountain. That was before we even started hiking! It wasn't very crowded and at times we had to stop and take a look around to make sure we were still even on the trail! It was not very well marked, except for some rocks that were more worn than others. Part of the trail was on the side of the mountain and only wide enough to go single file. And I'm pretty sure that someone caught me on their GoPro going down one part rock crawling, missing a foothold and sliding down ten feet on my butt. Not very graceful, but at least I caught myself before the big drop off!

Now I only have 60-something left to go. In seven months. Time to go!

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