kids these days…

cameron diaz said in a recent interview… I can’t see the future, but one thing I do know is that I’m not childless. I have a ton of children in my life. I can have a kid any second, if I want. All my friends would be like, ‘Sure, come and get them.’” 

i love this quote.  it’s how i feel sometimes.  yes, i want to be a mother, but it just hasn’t happened yet.  luckily, my friends are really open with sharing their kids.  so when they are proud, i’m proud.  when they are disappointed, i’m disappointed.  and when they worry, i worry.

one of my friends is dealing with her boys becoming teenagers.  understandably, she’s having a hard time.  there are so many things that kids have to deal with now, not to mention all of the new dimensions that technology creates in their lives.  luckily for her sons, she’s an amazing mom.  she watches out for them, checks their phones, and talks openly to them about the uncomfortable topics.  not all parents are like this.  in fact, i would speculate that she’s in the minority.

obviously, i’m not a mother so i don’t have a right to much of an opinion on this topic.  and i definitely don’t have any solutions.  but i have worked with teenagers for eight years now, and my friends’ kids are special to me.

i empathize with my parent friends.  it’s a scary world out there.  mistakes are more permanent than they used to be.  news travels at lightning speed.  the media is everywhere and so influential.  growing up happens way too fast.

roots and wings

i say sometimes that i would love to go back to college.  college was an amazing time.  i learned so much about myself during that time.  but high school?  middle school?  hell no.  especially at this time.  i was a holy terror to my parents.  i can’t imagine throwing in texting, snapchat, facebook, and instagram to that mess of a situation.

it’s just so different now.  that time in a kid’s life is hard enough, but now they’re facing a new and tougher world.  not only are they having to deal with all of the media influences and physical expectations, but they’re facing constantly changing technology and pressures from all sides.  i worry for them.  even though the present and future offers so many new opportunities and experiences, it’s definitely unfamiliar and strange.

WOW 4.23 – injury, sminjury.

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i’ve talked about my wrist (affectionately called “my bum wrist”) before.  since last summer it has been “sore”.  i just thought it was tendonitis or something caused by a failed plank challenge and continued strenuous workouts.  for months, i just pushed the pain and irritation out of my mind.  i told myself that i was fine.  turns out i was wrong.

i went to the doctor last friday because i was fed up.  i had pain traveling down into my hand and up my arm.  i just knew something was wrong.  yet, i still convinced myself that it was just tendonitis or carpel tunnel.  nope.  it was a fracture.

now i have to wear an ugly brace on my arm for at least 7-10 days.  i’m headed for an MRI tomorrow afternoon to see the extent of the damage.  i’m hoping it’s just minor.  also, i cannot put any pressure on my wrist for at least a month.

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when my doctor looked at my x-ray and explained what he saw, my heart sank.  i have worked so hard on my fitness in the past few months.  i’ve been so dedicated and focused.  i’m proud of the results that i am just starting to experience.  and now i am faced with a major setback.

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luca being adorable and comforting as usual.

because of the physical limitations, i am going to have to seriously rethink my fitness plans.  i know i’m going to have to shift my focus to my lower body and cardio.  my doctor said that i can continue to workout as long as it doesn’t affect my wrist.  he said no pressure, no punches, and “nothing that hurts”.

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this experience is going to be challenging on me physically and mentally.  i have rediscovered my favorite dvd – cardio abs – and my zumba wii games.  throughout the next few weeks, i am going to have to think outside the box.  i’m going to have to slow down some.  i’m going to have to accept that this is just how it is for awhile.  i also have to come to terms with my limitations and not try to fight them because i know that it will only make my recovery time longer.

and you know, it could be worse… it could have been my right arm.  it could have been my ankle.  it could have been a bad break.  it could have have most definitely have been worse.

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my workout schedule last week.

this 40 minute lower body workout is an example of something i’m going to be doing in the next month.  it has a warmup and cool down included.  i’m definitely going to modify my workouts and the exercise, but i can still do most of what i want to.

The Hump Day Blog Hop

a book that changed my life: “to kill a mockingbird”

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i’m a big supporter of rereading books.  there are about five books that i reread over and over again.  “to kill a mockingbird” is definitely one of them.  i’m starting it over today.

i think the first time that i read this book was in high school.  i didn’t allow myself to be immersed in the story because i’m stubborn and was being “forced” to read it.  but i remember for years after, i would see it and think about it.  throughout college, i worked in a bookstore.  i decided one day to pick it up and read it again.  i was hooked.  i now reread this amazing book every couple of years.  it touches me in a different way each time.  there are so many elements that i love. to kill a mockingbird 6

to kill a mockingbird 4 usually, i require a story to have a happy ending.  tied up in a nice little bow.  but for some reason, i give this book a pass every time.  and whenever the film is on the turner classic movies channel, i have to watch it.  the characters are perfect.  i find myself in scout and jim.  i see atticus in many of the men in my life.  it is simply a beautiful story.  it’s not perfect.  it’s real and meaningful. to kill a mockingbird 2 eventually, i would like to get a “to kill a mockingbird” tattoo.  something simple and meaningful. to kill a mockingbird 5 and when i’m having a bad day, i always remember… “things are always better in the morning.”

teaching tip #42. learn email etiquette.

teaching tips from a tattooed teacher in texas

  • be brief and summarize.  no one likes a long email.  your time (and every other teachers’  time) is valuable.  so make your messages short and sweet.  use bulleted lists instead of paragraphs.  emphasize words and phrases with bold and italics.  in short, get to the point.
  • be formal when necessary.  if you’re sending an email to a friend, of course be casual.  if you’re emailing your principal, address it like a letter with “dear ___,” write the message with formal language and good grammar, and end with “thank you, [name]“.
  • choose a subject line that is completely relevant to your message that’s not too long and not too short.  sounds easy?  sometimes it’s not.  but teachers get a lot of emails each day.  make sure your subject line is to the point.
  • learn how to include hyperlinks to your text.  in outlook, this is simple.  highlight and right click on the phrase.  choose “hyperlink” from the menu and paste the web address into open bar.  using hyperlinks makes your message more fluid and simple.
  • be wary of “reply all”.  what if your message isn’t meant for your principal’s eyes?  be very careful when replying, but especially with “reply all”. check the list to make sure that your message is appropriate for every person on that list.
  • remember people read tone to text – read your message and make sure that it does not come off as disrespectful, flippant, whiny, etc.  everyone reads words in their heads.  your message could be taken the wrong way.  be very careful who you use certain humor or sarcasm with.
  • set up an appropriate signature.  in your email options, set up a unique signature that includes your name, subjects, room location, conference period, and any other pertinent information.  (i also put a “ms.” in front of my name so that parents/guardians know that i am in fact a woman since i have a unisex name.  this clears up their confusion.  if you’re in the same boat, you may choose to do this, too.)  i add a quote at the bottom of my signature to give it a little something extra.  right now, my quote is … “What matters isn’t how a person’s inner life finally puts together the alphabet and numbers of his outer life. What really matters is whether he uses the alphabet for the declaration of a war or the description of a sunrise–his numbers for the final count at Buchenwald or the specifics of a brand-new bridge.” – Mister Rogers.
  • double check before hitting “send”.  always, always check who you are sending your email to and the subject line.  reread your message to make sure there are not any mistakes.
  • if you’re upset, wait a bit.  an email sent in anger never turns out well.  wait a few hours or even the next day to respond if you feel that your message will be misconstrued or come out sounding insane.
  • every email can be found and brought to the surface.  be careful what you send in an email.  use your personal address for personal matters and your school address for school matters.  every email you send will be saved on your school’s server and can be discovered.  your school email address doesn’t belong to you.  all emails sent through your school email belong to the district.
  • save everyone the need to delete your stupid chain mails or ads or whatever else no one wants to read.
  • talk in person when needed.  sometimes, you just need to get out of your classroom and go talk to people in person.  this action often saves confusion and time.

4.18 | high five for friday!

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(ONE)  i have worked hard this week and stayed on track with my food/fitness.  so far this month, i have lost two pounds.  this is after nearly two months of nothing happening.  finally i am seeing some progress!  and that’s encouraging. IMG_0375 (2)  i am going to attempt to buy paul mccartney tickets next week.  there’s a concert this summer not too far from where i live.  i could not be more excited.  it’s not a sure thing, but i’m hoping it is!  wish me luck!  :) paul mccartney (three)  i got my birchbox yesterday.  i was kind of disappointed because for the second time in a row, something busted open during shipping.  ugh.  this time it was shampoo.  luckily, i only lost a little bit of the actual product, but i had to wash off two other things in the box.  i’m excited about the CC cream and the shampoo.  the KIND bar will most definitely get eaten very soon. 20140417-172718.jpg (4) i am going to try some new middle eastern recipes this weekend.  i love cooking, and it’s been more challenging since i’ve changed my lifestyle.  so when i found these recipes in my new women’s health magazine, i got excited.  it was quite the ordeal to track down all the ingredients.  i had to go to four different stores!  but i have everything ready now.  i am looking forward to spending a few hours this weekend experimenting with the new recipes and flavors. 20140417-172727.jpg (FIVE)  and last but certainly not least… even with all of the craziness in the world, i hope everyone has a renewing, peaceful, and HaPpY eAsTeR!

easter

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WOW 4.16 – cardio + lower body toning

20140409-184238.jpg i’m still a little sick with my cold, but it is SO much better than last week.  my food/eating has been really good.  i’ve only treated myself a few times.  i’m still counting calories and have moved my max calories per day down just a tad to see if i can jumpstart anything.  i’m just doing a little experimentation.  if i don’t see any changes after a few weeks of that, i’m going to start messing with my carbs vs. protein vs. fats ratios.  (that just sounds so tedious!!!)  i have an event coming up that is giving me some motivation to step everything up.  and just this week, i fit into a pair of banana republic pants that i’ve been waiting to wear again for months.  that’s kind of exciting.  little victories, right?

a huge part

i’m also working hard on my fitness.  last week, i alternated harder workouts with “easier” workouts.  it seemed to work well for me.  i had some variation in activity and intensity.  unfortunately, i have hurt my wrist again.  it has been super sore lately, and i had some shooting pains down into my hand this past weekend.  so i made the decision to finally go to the doctor.  i hate to do it, but i know it’s necessary.  it’s holding me back in my fitness and it hurts like hell.  it’s time to take care of it and find out what’s wrong.  i have an appointment on friday.  until then, i’m modifying my exercises, slowing down, using less weight, and avoiding pressure on my palm (i.e. planks, full burpees, down dog for too long, etc.).

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workout schedule for last week.

this 44 minute workout has six circuits.  each circuit has two exercises, one cardio and one lower body toning.  they are done in a tabata format (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off).  each circuit is repeated once.  there is a brief warmup and a yoga-inspired cool down.  this is a great workout for days when you want to do both strength and cardio training.  the tabata is tiring but effective.

The Hump Day Blog Hop

what would you write on your brick?

i’ve been reading a biography of one of my favorite mma fighters, georges st. pierre.  he tells a story about a fight at the beginning of his career.  he lost.  he was caught with his guard down and he lost.

he was really frustrated with it after afterwards, so much so that it interfered with his training and focus.  his coach noticed right away and told him that he could see the effects of the frustration and anger in his body.  he said to him that he needed to get over it or do something about it.  his coach suggested that he physically carry his anger…in the form of a brick.

his coach gave him a brick, and georges wrote the fighter’s name on it.  he carried the brick around with him everywhere for weeks.  he didn’t care if he looked crazy.  he just did it.

finally, his next fight was announced, and he began focusing this new challenge instead of the fighter that beat him.  he began to forget about that brick…and the man, anger, and disappointment attached to it.  one night, he took the brick and threw it in the river.  and he moved on.

it’s a straightforward story and a simple concept.  it covered just a few pages of paper.  but it made me think…what would i write on my brick?

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the scale (for constantly reminding me of that stupid number and my physical shortcomings)

past church experiences (for making me feel jaded toward the church but not toward my spirituality)

alcohol (for the effects on lots of people i love)

rejection (for holding me back in my relationships)

what would you write on your brick?

teaching tip #41. don’t be a gossip girl.

teaching tips from a tattooed teacher in texas

things have been a little uncertain and weird at school lately.  we are going to have some staff changes that we already know about.  on top of that, there are certain people dealing with personal issues that seem to follow them to school.

all anyone wants to do is talk.  this is typical of schools.  teachers can be just as bad as the students about spreading hearsay.  it’s even worse when you’re friends with the teachers at your school.  i’m not going to tell you that you shouldn’t be friends with your co-workers.  hell, those weirdos are some of my best friends!

but here’s the thing…it’s easy to get pulled into the speculation, to gossip, to predict what is going to happen in the future.  one piece of gossip can spread like wildfire, especially in a small school like mine.  however, none of us know the real deal.  not really.  you ever played that game of telephone?  yep.  it’s like that.  the truth (or the beginning version of it) gets distorted as it spreads.  who knows what you’re hearing by the time it gets to you?!

 

no one’s perfect.  you’re going to hear things about other teachers or administrators (and even students!).  you’re going to want to know what is happening, who’s screwing up, who’s being a brown-noser, who’s got problems at home, etc.  it’s human nature to be curious.  however, there is a line.  it’s hard to find sometimes, but you are a professional.

so try not to get sucked into the drama as much as possible.  it’s just not worth the stress of it all.  you’re never really going to know the truth and spreading gossip just makes the problem worse.

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4.11 | high five for friday!

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(ONE)  my food and fitness were solid this week.  i had a severe cold ALL weekend so i had some catching up to do come monday.  i’m feeling stronger than i have in months!

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(2this week happened to be the end of the fifth six weeks.  ask any teacher.  we hate this week.  this is the week when the kids actually care about their grade.  it’s annoying and stressful.  but grades get turned in today, and we start fresh on monday.  i can’t believe there are only seven more weeks of school left until summertime!  {please let them go by fast!}

me trying to save

this pin made me laugh so hard! this is such a good visual for this week for some kids.

(three)  this guy provides me endless entertainment and comfort.  when i was sick earlier this week, he was in my lap or laying beside me the entire time.  he’s such a sweetheart…even if he does annoy me sometimes by knocking everything off my nightstand EVERY SINGLE NIGHT at about 3 am.

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luca was watching the birds outside upside down like this for 30 minutes the other day.

(4)  you ever have one of those moments when you look at all of the things in your closet and say “i hate you all.  you disappoint me.”  well, i felt that way every single morning this week.  everything felt old, frumpy, and ill-fitting.  SO…i think i take another crack at some shopping this weekend.  

(FIVE)  i first saw this video on wednesday, and i’ve watched it a couple times since.  it made me smile.  a lot.  it show what happens when a 7o year old young grandma decides to take her first roller coaster ride.  if that’s not pure happiness, i don’t know what is.  :)

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if it makes you feel better…do it?

the other day, i was having a conversation with a friend about plastic surgery.  she told me her cousin had gotten a boob job that morning.  she was getting play-by-play pictures and cringing at each update.  she explained the reasoning behind the surgery.  to get a man.  her mom even paid for half of the expensive procedure and encouraged her to go “bigger”.

i find this kind of funny considering my own mother encouraged my sister for years to get a breast reduction before she actually did it.  it was scary and such a big change!  but she will say that it’s one of the best decisions she’s ever made.  if i asked her why someone would choose to enlarge their boobs, she’d probably have a hard time coming up with some reasons.

but people do it.  i have another friend who has actually done it.  she is very thin and never had boobs at all.  but she talked about doing it for years.  she planned and saved for the surgery.  she was happy as could be with them and never looked back. she would say it’s one of the best decisions she ever made.

i don’t know if i could really do it, the surgery part at least.  i know at some point i will reach a crossroads at which i can no longer change my body without either drastic food/fitness changes or surgery.  i don’t really want to do either of those things again.  or ever.

i’m not going to lie… if i can afford it, i will totally get some injections in my face way down the road.  wrinkles be gone!  but we all know that’s a temporary fix for a permanent issue.  and there will always be things that i want to change about myself whether it’s major or minor.  but, “vanity surgery”?  i don’t think i have the guts to do that.  i definitely don’t have the money. i’ve never even had anything more than wisdom teeth removal done.  surgery scares me.  and maintenance surgeries are even more scary.  think of the bills!

i guess surgery (or any other physically-altering activity) is a personal issue for everyone.  but there has to be a difference between a nose job or breast reduction versus a boob job or lipo, right?  or does it just come down to – if it makes you feel better, do it?

WOW 4.9 – butt and thigh cardio workout

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this week has been super tough so far. i caught a cold that has been kicking my ass since last week.  i didn’t workout at all over the weekend and pretty much camped out in my bed for most of it.  i struggled monday.  so i compromised and found a strength workout to do that wouldn’t suck the air out of me.  i’ve got some catching up to do, but i think the rest did me some good.  i still have a cough and some stuffiness, but it’s so much better.  i also food prepped on monday evening.  yes, it’s a pain, but it makes the week so much easier.

i actually went shopping on monday.  i didn’t buy anything, but i tried on quite a few things.  for me, that’s big.  i usually look online first and then just target a few things in the store, get discouraged, and leave feeling sorry for myself.  i was patient, but i just couldn’t find anything that i just had to have.  i might try again this weekend.  i’ve been on the lookout for a new dress for my cousin’s wedding in may.  i found a few black dresses, but i refuse to wear black.  it will be may.  summer will be around the corner.  i will be wearing something other than black (but not white, right? :).  so maybe things are really getting better for me in the area of shopping confidence.

never get discouraged

this fitness blender workout is 56 minutes long.  don’t let the title deceive you.  yes, it will work your lower body, but it is total body.  and this thing never stops.  it’s exhausting but worth it.  a warmup and cool down are included so you don’t have to worry about that.  when i tried it the other day, i did pause it once in the middle for a brief break.  it’s pretty tough.  be prepared!

happy rex manning day!

rex manning day

i think i first saw “empire records” when i was in middle school.  if you’ve never seen it, it’s about one day in an independent music store and all the secrets that come out as they set up for a signing by an obnoxious singer (rex manning) and attempt to fend of a big chain trying to buy the store.

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i was immediately obsessed.  i loved everything about it.  it was kind of a cult favorite so not a lot of people knew about it.  i bought it on dvd in college.  every few months, i watch it just to remember how awesome it was.

fave quotes:

“Damn the man. Save the Empire.” – Mark

“Well, Sinead O’Rebellion. Shock me, shock me, shock me with that deviant behavior.” – Gin

“Actually, [Rex Manning’s] new album tested well among teenage males.” – Jane

“I don’t feel that I need to explain my art to you, Warren.” – A.J.

“They’re my special recipe…and you know what that means… Lots of sugar.” – Eddie

“Let me explain it to you. Mitchell’s the man. I’m the idiot. You’re the screw-up. And we’re all losers. Welcome to music town.” – Joe

“Well you can’t kill me ‘cause I’m already dead. And I talked to God, and she says, ‘Yo, wassup?’ and she wants you to lose the gun.” – Debra

rex manning day 2

10 things…i thought during the Academy of Country Music Awards

1. all that confetti in the opening number REALLY pissed off some of those women in the front rows.  their faces… :)

2.  that lee brice is a class act.  he pushed the songwriters to the mic to accept the song award.  and that song is amazing and deserved the award.

3.  the douchiness of florida georgia line.  3 terrible wardrobe changes, 3 shitty performances, so much fire, and fumbled lines during an award announcement.  i. can’t. handle. it.

4.  keith urban still looks like a lesbian or as my cousin texted me – ellen’s jacked up sister.  seriously, dude.  get a man makeover.

5.  taylor swift didn’t try to take over the show with her shenanigans.  and her outfit was so cute and understated.

6.  you can really tell which singers use auto tune when you make them sing live.  i’m talking to you, jason aldean and tim mcgraw!

7.  luke bryan has the legs of a woman.  total thunder thighs.  stop with the skinny jeans.  it’s not a good look, girl!

8.  there were some great performances.  eric church is amazing, and i’m a converted fan.  george strait still has it.  and he always will. <3

9.  are we ever going to see the second brother’s face in the band perry?  move that hair, boy!

10.  george and miranda’s tribute to merle haggard was great.  i love them both, but what i love most is that they didn’t stray too far from the original music.

4.4 | high five for friday!

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(ONE)  by some miracle, i didn’t cheat on my food or fitness all week.   i took my april measurements on tuesday with mixed results.  but i’m not letting that define my work.  it’s more that what i make my body do each day.  it’s more than what i put in my mouth.  it’s about all the changes i’m making no matter how slow the progress. 20140401-204651.jpg

(2)  i saw this thing posted this week.  i love the idea of this collaboration.  i love music, and i’m excited when people mix it up.  (my cousin and i even talked about songwriting together soon!)  plus anything on cmt entertains me.  sometimes it’s for the right reasons like this collab and sometimes it’s for the wrong reasons like terrible music videos and reality shows.

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(three)  i had a stomach ache on tuesday, didn’t want to eat anything, and just felt crappy at school.  so the next day at lunch, one teacher was giving us an update on her pregnancy.  the one guy that eats with us instantly asked me “so…are you pregnant?”  i said “no, of course not”.  he asked me if i was sure.  i accused him of calling me a whore or something like that, and we all laughed about it.  about an hour later, he sends me this email.  i laughed so freaking hard.  i passed him later in the hall and he asked about the baby.  i wouldn’t let too many people get away with making fun of me like that, but he’s one of them.

(4)  this image off pinterest made me laugh out loud and for longer than it should have.  i know it’s dorky, but every time i thought about it this week, i started laughing again.  what can i say, i love corny jokes. 20140401-204520.jpg

(FIVE)  i had some great conversations this week and some tough ones.  we never know what the future holds but i’m beginning to really understand that if we can be silly, honest, and kind we have a chance at happiness each day.  the person who shows me that all the time is my niece lylli.  she is always silly, really honest, and very kind.

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my niece showed me her luke bryan “Facebook” this week. it was literally a little book with pics of luke bryan’s face. made me laugh. a lot.

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the ol’ bucket list

several years i started writing all of these things down, marking some off and adding more.  i don’t expect to do all of them in my lifetime, but i like to think about it and actually go after some of them.  i will come back and mark things off when they are complete.

travel to Scotland (the motherland!)

get married and have children

take a painting class

zipline in the rainforest (or any forest)

take a spin class

tie dye something

go to the MOMA

drive Route 66

watch the Beatles “Love” show in Vegas

write my name in wet cement

climb the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

go on a rafting trip in Colorado

get a curly hair dry cut at the Deva Curl salon in NYC

do a solo road trip  (you can read about it HERE)

take a cooking class

pet a tiger

get a Beatles tattoo  (for more info, click HERE)

climb a mountain over 14,000 ft.

take a dance class

eat Pad Thai in Thailand

attend a black tie event

visit Dollywood (i drove past it last summer but didn’t get the chance to stop.)

go on a mission trip for a really great cause

go to the drive-in theater

bar hop on 6th street in Austin  (i attempted to when i was 18 but that didn’t work out very well…)

go to a UFC fight (attended UFC 150 in Denver two summers ago – amazing!)

hug a lion

soak in a geothermal lake in Iceland

buy something at Tiffany’s

own a pair of very expensive shoes (like over $500 – i love shoes.)

be an extra in a movie

see a show on broadway in NYC

buy a macbook

write a book

be in the studio audience of a late night show (maybe Chelsea Lately or Jimmy Fallon?)

meet Harper Lee (that’s going to be a tough one!)

fly first class

buy a house

hike up to machu picchu in peru

take a trip with my youngest sister

drink a beer in an Irish pub…in Ireland

throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain

go to the Olympics and watch all of the swimming events

ride an Icelandic horse in Iceland

see Paul McCartney in concert

have Martha Stewart teach me how to bake a cake her way

go on a safari in Africa

go to the Texas State Fair and eat something weird fried  (fried Thanksgiving dinner balls anyone?)

curtsy in front of the Queen (or Princess Kate) and give her flowers

hike down into the Grand Canyon