Reverse Bucket List


In honor of turning 37 on Sunday, I wanted to think back at all of the places and experiences that I have had the opportunity to be a part of.  This blog has me thinking about the challenges that I would like to try in the future, but I also believe in living in the present and being aware and thankful for the experiences that have come my way.  Coming up with this list made me feel blessed and really surprised at all the that I had done.   I started with a list of 20 and then throughout the day, I kept thinking of more and more and adding them to the list.  When I finally got to bed I thought of more…..the memories just come back.  I think I even dreamed of a couple….

Below are the 30+ bucket list check offs that have been life-changing, thrilling, wonderful and amazing.  Hoping for many more during my 2 year sabbatical.

  1. Lived and worked in 3 different states.  I am definitely a small town girl at heart, but I love living in a city where you have everything you need within minutes.  On a whim, you can always find something fun to do!
  2. Working as a camp counselor in Georgia. I spent one summer in the Blue Ridge Mountains as a camp counselor. They hired me as the aerobics instructor of all things.   I had no business doing that, but I figured it out. 🙂
  3. Rollerblading along the sidewalk shoreline in Miami Beach.
  4. Going to a broadway show in New York,  (Les Miserable) 
  5. Found the Man of my Dreams–  The boy on the moped stole my heart in college.
  6. Became a Mom-Thomas was two weeks late, but when he finally came, Patrick had to drive 13 hours from San Antonio to Pittsburg to be there for the birth.  He was pulled over twice and got out of both tickets.  Jack was born 4 1/2 years later.  I love being a mom of boys!
  7. Bought a house.  It was Allen, Texas in 2002 and I thought it was the best house on the planet.  It was a great starter home for us and we made some life long friends living there.
  8. Finding our dog Ruby at the animal shelter 13 years ago.  We searched for a family dog for several months and one day there he was.  When Patrick wouldn’t answer the phone when I called to ask if we could adopt him, we just bit the bullet.  Little toddler Thomas and I brought him home and he has been part of the family in a big way ever since.
  9. Owned a Jaguar and BMW convertible.….both surprise presents from Patrick that I had no idea were coming.   He rolled up in the carpool lane at school in the Jaguar when I was a teacher in Texas when I was on duty.  I was thinking ‘WHAT IS HE DOING!?’   Although they were fun, they were not practical.  (But who needs practical?)  After the Jaguar..came the mini van, a much smarter purchase.
  10. Patrick and I getting our portrait drawn by a street artist outside of the Sacre Coeur Cathedral in Paris.
  11. Going to the top of the Eiffel tower
  12. Seeing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre
  13. Swimming with Stingrays in the Cayman Islands
  14. Swimming with Dolphins in Mexico
  15. Ate sushi at a fancy restaurant in New York    This was my first time (around 2006) and I had no idea what I was doing.  Luckily, Patrick’s friend was with us and showed me the way, like what to order, how to use chopsticks and how delicious a seafood salad is.  Now it is my favorite food.
  16. Going to Oahu the first time for my honeymoon.  I had no idea that a place could be so beautiful.  My favorite part of the trip was renting a mustang convertible and driving out to Hanauma Bay to snorkel.  It was spectacular.  We went again with my sister Christy and her husband Joe several years later to see my brother who was stationed there as a marine.  It was equally as fun and beautiful.
  17. Learning to ski in Vail and Breckenridge.  My friends and I went to steamboat in high school, but I didn’t have the money to afford lessons and it was miserable.  I think I almost fell off a cliff.  However, the 2nd and 3rd time I went, which was as an adult, I took lessons and had a blast.
  18. Going to Maui with our lifetime friends the Golomski’s.  Best part, realizing, after the fact, Jim and Patrick were snorkeling in shark infested waters.  We parked in front of the sign but didn’t see it until afterward.
  19. Running my first 1/2 marathon, the Hospital Hill which I thought might be impossible.  I’m glad my friend Julie talked me into it because I have been running ever since.  I have done several since with my sister and other friends.
  20. Riding in a hot air balloon for our 5th Anniversary
  21. Seeing Elton John perform in Las Vegas
  22. Seeing my brother, Nick get off the plane after returning from duty in Iraq.  The kids waved flags and we made welcome home signs.  I was so thankful to have him back and so proud he was my brother.
  23. Seeing Bon Jovi perform in front of a huge audience in Hyde Park, London
  24. Riding the London Eye, Shopping on Oxford Street and Harrods and eating fish and chips with a big beer.
  25. Going to Disney World for the first time at age 33 and watching my kids have the best time ever!
  26. Renting a beach house with my extended family in Newport Beach and Galveston.  Some of my favorite memories are when we are all together and it doesn’t happen to often anymore.  It’s pretty sweet when we can make it happen!  Lots of cards, sand or pool volleyball, board games, good food and drinks.
  27. Earning my Masters Degree in School Counseling.  This was 3 years, 48 credit hours and countless hours of my sweet time, but I will never regret taking it on.  I met lifelong friends and it taught me that nothing is ever black and white or ‘one size fits all’ with humans.  We all come with our own set of circumstances and situations.  Understanding someone comes with a sincere relationship and connection.
  28. Family Vacation in  Maui… the best part was renting a car and exploring on a one lane road.  There were Banana Bread shops on the side of the road, waterfalls and a blowhole.
  29. Running my first full marathon.  I have never felt the way I did when I crossed the finish line.  Pure JOY and accomplishment!!!  Lisa was my training partner and running turned into therapy for us.
  30. Eric Church in Vegas….AMAZING. Small venue at the Hard Rock this past May.
  31. Tulsa, Oklahoma Bryan Adams concert.  Last minute get away and Patrick scores front row.  He threw me the guitar pick.  I love his voice.  (I feel like I have a lot of concerts here but they were so good!)
  32. Zip lining with my family this mothers day… was 3 hours of just pure fun and excitement!  And of all places it was in Bonner Springs, Kansas.
  33. Watching my Dad get sworn into office as a congressman with my family in Topeka, Kansas.  For a small town man who has taught and coached his whole life, to take something new on at age 64 is so admirable to me.  I was so proud of him.  It was pretty fun campaigning too.
  34. Throwing my mom a ‘surprise’ 60th birthday…..she’s to good and we knew that she had figured it out, but seeing her beaming all night was so much fun and well worth it
  35. Our two trips to Scrub Island: the first to celebrate our 10 year anniversary and the 2nd with friends because we loved the first trip so much.  No doubt that we will be back for Patrick’s 40th next year.
  36. Spring Break in Mexico as an Adult...A lot of good friends and all their kids at an all-inclusive..  Good stuff!
  37. My New House-It’s everything I wanted!  I love the location, the neighborhood (same as before) and my neighbors.  We will be here for a long time!  I have projects I want to do, but little by little we will get it done.
  38. Winning a contest and seeing Kenny Chesney front row in Miami Beach at a small concert.  It’s funny how life works out because when Kenny started as a musician, we saw him in Pittsburg at the Memorial Auditorium around 1998  (There were only about 250 seats).  Then in 2001 we got engaged at his concert when he was with Tim McGraw in Dallas.  We go see him just about every year at Arrowhead.  So, to win a contest and see him front row was pretty special and so much fun.  A memory we won’t forget.






6 thoughts on “Reverse Bucket List

  1. So happy for your sabbatical, Lori! You deserve a break and the boys will love having you home! Enjoy every minute.

  2. Was great to read all of your adventures and experiences in life. You’ve had many great ones in the short time. Here’s to another 37 🙂

Leave a Reply