Thursday, July 28, 2011

20 x 40

Some of you may have read or heard on the news that my Dad was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer at the end of last year.  Although his prognosis is good, I think our family has taken the opportunity to reevaluate the "important" parts of life.  

One topic that gets more discussion as of late is the "bucket list."  Dad talks about being a cattle farmer, seeing more Major League Baseball games, and tracing our family's lineage.  All of this talk encouraged me to think about what I'd want to do if I created a "bucket list."  So, I created the 20 x 40 list.

The 20 x 40 list entails 20 things I'd love to do by the time I turn 40.  Some of the items on the list are probably unrealistic...I mean seriously, I'm not ever really going to complete a triathlon.  But I'm going to throw out my goals, my bucket list, or the 20 things I'd do if I had endless time, money, and/or energy.

So, here is my 20 x 40 list...20 things I hope to achieve by the time I turn 40

Learn to can fruits and veggies
Sew a quilt
Sew something for ME
Road trip across the United States
Take a calligraphy class
Complete a triathalon
MAKE all my gifts for a year
Shop the World Longest Yard Sale
Learn to use power tools
Write a children's book
Make Gran's cookbook
Adopt from Africa
Improve my digital photography skills (and learn to use Photoshop Elements)
Become a foster parent
Travel to 6 of the 7 continents (sorry Antartica)
Write 365 thank you notes
Take 365 photos
Learn to UTILIZE my serger
Visit a fortune teller
Live in another country for 6 months

    I've had this list sitting on my desktop for more than a year.  It really stared me in the face for over a year.  I kept thinking, "you know, I should really work on that!"  Well, I will admit that I've begun my list (just yesterday).  I have 19 more to go.  I'm planning to start tomorrow by detailing each of the items on the list (starting with the ONE I can mark off as complete), the ones I've begun, where the dreams came from, and how I hope to complete them...

    More to come...

    Friday, January 7, 2011


    I certainly don't talk often about this (especially with people I don't know first-hand), but my dad ran for Governor of Georgia over the past year and a half.

    He was Governor for four years, elected while I was in college.  After eight years of sitting idly by, Dad decided he was frustrated with the direction of the State of Georgia.  So, he ran for Governor again.

    Having grown up in politics, my siblings and I all had apprehension about the run...because we selfishly wanted him to our selves.  However, we supported his desire to improve the current state of affairs.

    (Will's homemade sign the day before the election)

    Well, after a tough race, he was defeated in early November.  A defeat is always difficult.  We've experienced them before, and they never get better.  However, you can only put yourself out there and allow the public to choose who they want.

    (Yup, even the cows made their political debut!)

    Growing up with an amazing leader as a father is one of the biggest gifts I've ever received.

    Thursday, January 6, 2011

    The Crash

    I figured I'd start the week with the good, and end with the bad.

    Several moths ago, my sister and her oldest girls (6 and 4) were in a terrible car accident.  I won't bore you with the details, but the driver of the car (17 years old) passed away the following day after hitting my sister and the girls head on.

    CLICK HERE to read one of the news stories on the accident.

    My sister broke her big toe (which sounds like nothing but is definitely still mending), the oldest girl (Lilly) had some facial bruising and a concussion (caused by the airbags), and the second oldest (Ella) broke her arm and had surgery to repair/set.

    (Ella at the hospital awaiting her surgery)

    Situations like these definitely make you thankful for family and all the time we have together.  

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    Moo! Moo!

    For the last several years, Dad claims to be working on his "bucket list."  One of the top items on the list was to own and raise cattle again.  Having grown up on a dairy farm, Dad LOVES farm, not so much!

    Since my last blog post, Dad's first two cows arrived.  Initially Dad wanted two calves, but he decided at the cattle auction that they were too expensive.  So, he chose the next best thing...two pregnant cows.

    Meet Molly and Polly.  Yes, I agree!  They're terrible names.  Dad has ALWAYS wanted to name cows Molly and Polly.

    Well, in September or was it October?  I don't really recall, but two calves arrived.  My brother's kiddos named the first one...Tiger!  My sister's children donned the second one...Frisky (the same thing they named their caterpillar last spring).

    We (and all the neighbors) have thoroughly enjoyed watching the growth of the cows.  They're very friendly, juvenile, and absolutely adorable.  Never did I think I'd say that about COWS!

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    Dr. Barnes...yup, finally!

    That's right!  It is finally official.  

    I finished my dissertation, defended it, and graduated...all since my last blog post. 

    Graduation was in December, and we stood in line for an hour to take the traditional "arches" photos.

    Such a relief to know it's over!

    Monday, January 3, 2011

    I'm Back...

    I've been missing for quite some many of you I hope have noticed.  A lot has occurred since the last time I posted, so I figured I'd take the week to update you on the happenings of my life.

    Here are a few sneak peaks of this week's blog posts...