Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Thing Number 3 was to see the Newseum. I went early Saturday morning on my own. I had the place practically to myself. It is such an amazing building and space, really well thought out. I was a little overwhelmed by some of the exhibits - the orientation video ("What is News?"), the Pulitzer Prize photos, and the 9/11 section. There was so much information in every display. My favorite was the News Corps. News History Gallery: front pages from newspapers since 1450s in displays that pull out like drawers, artifacts, videos on numerous topics, and interactive displays.

Thing Number 6 was to train for a half marathon. I joined the gym at work in June and went faithfully for several weeks after meeting with the trainer. I had an injury in August that made it difficult to run. So I've been running sporadically since. So while I'm not completely ready to run a half marathon, my intention is still the same.

Thing Number 25 was to write a short story. This is done! I'm really excited about it; it was really fun to write. If you would like to read it let me know and I'll send it to you.

As a PS, Thing Number 27, in case you're keeping track, was accomplished in February.

Current Tally: Done!

I have learned a lot from accomplishing my list and have been greatly blessed (directly and indirectly) by this experience. I have learned a lot about who I am and what I like to do. I am planning a list for while I'm 28, but it won't have 28 things; that would be a lot. I will post the list soon.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

New York, New York!

Thing number 11 was originally supposed to be to go see the Supreme Court in session. However, I got sick a couple of weeks ago and didn't feel it was appropriate to miss any more work. So I amended this thing to be visit the Statue of Liberty. This was something I had never done before. It was really cool. We didn't get to go inside, but just being close to Lady Liberty was worth the ferry ride. The narration on the ferry said that when immigrants coming to Ellis Island saw the statue, the whole ship would erupt in cheers.

Thing number 16 was to attend the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. This was really fun. I'm glad we did it. My mom, sister, and I got up early and found a place on 6th Avenue about 7:30 am. We had a prime spot: everyone in front of us was on the street and we were on the curb, so it was easy to see everything that went by. The marching bands were great, the clowns and other characters were entertaining, and the balloons were fabulous. It is a different experience watching them come down the street and then float overhead. This was hands down the best parade I've ever been to.


Snoopy makes the turn onto 6th Avenue from 42nd Street.

We finished the rest of our time off in New York by seeing the Rockette's Christmas Spectacular, eating at Bubba Gump's in Times Square, seeing a play with two of Jenny's favorite actors, going to the top of the Empire State Building, and eating Thanksgiving dinner.

Current Tally: 24 done, 2 in progress, 1 to do!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


"With any major decision there are cautions and considerations to make, but once there has been illumination, beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. Don’t give up when the pressure mounts. Certainly don’t give in to that being who is bent on the destruction of your happiness. Face your doubts. Master your fears. “Cast not away therefore your confidence.” Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you." - Jeffery R. Holland

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Thing #10 and surplus things

Thing number 10 was to go whale watching. Here are the whales!

This whale hangs out at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The aquarium is full of beautiful living creatures, but this whale is obviously not real. And he doesn't count as whale watching.

I had been thinking about modifying this thing since whale watching season was over in the mid-atlantic states when a trip to California for work was approved. So I left it on, did some research on whale watching trips and found one that worked with my schedule. However when I went to buy the tickets before I left, the tour that I had planned on taking was no longer on the schedule. None of the other trips worked with my schedule, but I left it on the list just in case I could get the tour. I also added seeing the Redwoods to this thing, so that one way or another something would be accomplished this week.

I drove through Henry Cowell State Park on my way from Monterey to San Jose to come home. The road winded through the mountains and the huge redwoods went for miles. It was gorgeous. I met a rancher named Jim in the San Jose airport waiting for my delayed flight (picture a leathery, grampa-type wearing denim and a cowboy hat and boots). He told me that Redwoods don't burn in a forest fire beacuse of their thick bark, but actually need the heat in order to grow.

While in California, I explored Monterey (where the conference was) and Carmel-by-the-Sea. For more pictures go here.

Surplus #1: The trip allowed me to visit with a mission companion and dear friend Rachel, who was very pregnant. She and I hadn't seen each other in about 3 years. We played with her son AJ (too cute for words), helped prepare for her sister's wedding, made chocolate cover pretezels, and caught up on things. Such joy!

Surplus #2: Due to my delay in San Jose, I missed my connection in Salt Lake City. At first they wanted me to fly from SLC to LA to Atlanta to DC, arriving at 9 am. Spending the whole night on a plane didn't sound like much fun to me, so I scheduled a flight out for the next morning. Hurrah for the unexpected. I must admit I was a little frustrated in San Jose, but talking with the rancher named Jim and realizing that I could visit Temple Square helped change my attitude. Kathleen picked me up from the airport and we had dinner at Leatherby's (an old favorite) and then went to Temple Square. Oh how I've missed it! We walked around the temple and chatted with a couple of sisters - one from California and one from Mexico. We visited the new Chuch History Library (mostly just walked in and did a random search in their catalog). We sat in on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir rehearsal for a few minutes - absolutely gorgeous - and walked up where the Christus is. Such memories came flooding back and I was very grateful for the delay that made it possible. I stayed with my cousin Megyn and her family overnight. Her kids are getting so big and are lots of fun. It was great to catch up with them and my aunt Linda.

Current Tally: 22 done, 2 started, 3 to do in 42 days!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I heart being a librarian

I'm in sunny (and windy) California for a librarian conference. This has been quite an adventure as I've been mostly on my own, which requires me to go sight seeing on my own, something I rarely do. But let me tell you it's a great experience. I get to see exactly what I want, when I want, and for as long as I want. But, I do find myself talking out loud to myself a bit more often than usual and there are moments that I wish I could share, so I guess there are some trade offs.

In the keynote session this morning, Paul Holdengraber was interviewed. This man is incredible. I've heard him speak a few times. He has revitalized programming at the NY Public Library and his vision for the library is refreshing. He has created a program called Live from the NYPL which are unique conversations, debates and performaces with a variety of people from President Clinton to William Forsythe. He even talked this morning about an opera that was performed based on E.B. White's Manual of Style. One of the things that they often do during the programs is conversation portraits. Flash Rosenburg draws as the program happens. These are quite clever and you can watch a few here.

Paul also said that of all the things that he is, he is "not a librarian; but nobody's perfect." Love it!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Anna and a Boat

Thing #15 was to take the water taxi to Georgetown. It also happened to be on Amy's list as well. So we planned to go during Priesthood session in hopes that some of leaves would be changing and it wouldn't be too cold. Well the leaves aren't quite changing and it was pretty chilly sitting on top of the boat, but it was well worth the trip. (On the way back we sat on the inside of the boat.)

The boat has a narration that points out interesting things along the way. When we went under the Memorial Bridge the narrator described it as a bridge between the North and South and that there are 26 stars (I think that was the number) to represent the number of states at the time of the Civil War. I also learned that the Kennedy Center is the federally recognized memorial to JFK. And that the Potomac River is one of the top 10 places for bass fishing (if you've seen the river, I'm not sure that you'd want to fish in it). It was quite an educational evening. In Georgetown, we had dinner at Chadwick's and wandered a little through the area right near the dock.

The monuments from the Boat (courtesy of Jenny's awesome camera)

Jenny, Amy, me, and Michelle on the top deck

Thing #7 was to read (or listen to) Anna Karenina. This was my third attempt at reading this classic. The first two times I never made it past page 100. Knowing this, I checked out the audiobook from the local library in the hopes that this would help me along. I did get farther than page 100 this time (to about page 150), but I've decided not to finish the book.

While the book is beautifully written and the characters well developed, it is a heavy book, and I don't mean physically (although depending on the edition you have it could be that, too). Tolstoy includes descriptions of cows and politics and women's dressing habits and other things that are interesting tidbits, but make for dense, laborious reading, I mean listening.

I was torn for several days deciding if I should just plow through and get it done or if I should replace it with some other thing. While pondering this, I realized two things: One, this project is about accomplishing things that I have always wanted to do. While reading AK, it became something I no longer wanted to do. And two, that the decision to stop reading it and understanding that I no longer feel the need to read it was accomplishing the goal, too. So I have counted this thing done; I have returned the audiobook to the library and removed my copy of the book from my shelf. So long, Anna!

Current Tally: 21 done, 2 started, 4 to do

Friday, September 18, 2009


Sometimes I wish I could understand myself better. That being said, this I do know: I have come to understand that every situation is different and not to expect the same thing twice. Perhaps I'm too nice, perhaps I'm too understanding, but this is who I am and I like being me. I am dedicated and loyal and passionate and willing to give people many, many chances. I am constantly learning how to take confidence in these things. Pain and disapointment are just as important to progession as happiness is.

I am reminded of the hymns "Be Still, My Soul" and "How Firm a Foundation" because they give me peace and strength as I move forward. What specifically comes to mind is "be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake/to guide the future as he has the past/thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake/all now mysterious shall be bright at last" and "In every thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be." This simply reminds me to look at the blessings in my life, that God has a hand in my life, and that I am promised joy. What more can a girl ask for?

A few of the things I'm grateful for:

random notes/texts from friends, answered prayers, work, crying, laughing, unexpected trips, geting lost, leaves changing color, accomplishing things on my list, alone time, finding things I'm passionate about, steadfast friends

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Zero Solitude and a Mill

Yay for 3 day weekends and for accomplishing things on my list! I'm so excited to be getting these done. It's teaching me to make time to do things that I always think about doing but never do.

On Saturday, thing #9 - Hike Old Rag - was accomplished! John and I headed out before the sun was up to get to the trail before the crowds. The 3 miles to the summit includes two miles of switchbacks and the last mile is a rock scramble to the summit. After lunch at the summit, we hiked the 4.5 miles down the other side. It was a fantastic day! ;)

Thing #21 was to visit George Washington's Grist Mill. This was a tour of how Washington made his living by growing wheat and corn and turning it into flour, feed, and whiskey.

outside the Grist Mill
Jenny is finally taller than Amy
The workings of the Mill

(Current Tally: 19 done, 5 started, 3 to do)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Soccer and Pottery

Thing number 23 was to see a professional soccer game. This took a little bit of coordination - unlike baseball where you can pretty much see a home game any week of the season, it seems the soccer teams only play a few times a month, even fewer times at home, and mostly on Sundays. But as luck would have it the LA Galaxy were scheduled to play in DC on a lovely wet Saturday. With even more luck our seats were under the upper level, so we didn't get wet. It was a great time with noise makers, drums, jumping fans, and of course, David Beckham! (Coincidentaly, Beckham's number is 23.) Unfortunately, our camera battery ran out and we didn't get to take many photos of him, I mean the game. ;)

Josh with some noise makers.

Matt, Nicole, and me

Jenny with the noise makers
(they give them out as you enter the stadium)

David Beckham is second from the left.

Thing number 5 was to take a creative class. Before graduation, I signed up for a summer pottery class, afraid I would be bored without having any classes (which turned out to be a silly thing to be worried about). But I think, so far, I have learned the most from this thing.

Pottery and I had a rocky start. I didn't really like it, mostly because I had no idea what I was doing and I was the only beginner in the class. But as the the class progressed, I really started to enjoy it. Pottery requires complete focus, patience, and feel. I found that as I only thought about the clay, feeling and guiding the clay to create, and not being in a hurry to finish, I could create somewhat decent pieces. This is something I am working on applying into other aspects of my life. It makes a huge difference. In the end, I was sorry not to be able to continue classes this fall; perhaps in the future.

A few of my pieces are here. I have a couple more to pick up this week. The red bowl is my favorite (the pictures don't do the colors justice).

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Thing #20 - NGS

Thing number 20 on my list was to visit the National Geographic Society.

After breakfast at Eastern Market (yum), John and I went to see the exhibits at the NGS museum. The museum is in the bottom level of what I believe are the NGS offices. If you weren't looking for the museum, I'm not sure you'd know it was there. Walking to the first exhibit, mounted on the ceiling is a topographic display of a section of the Grand Canyon.

They had two exhibits. The first exhibit was of photographs and video of lions and leopards taken by a couple that has lived among the animals for 30 years. The other exhibit was on Kodachrome and the American tourist in Europe. The photos were arranged by country and it was especially fun to see pictures of Greece!

The museum will have a exhibit on the Terracotta Soldiers from China in the winter, so I'll have to go back.

(Current tally: 15 done, 5 started, 7 to do)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hiking and Skydiving in the Smokies

Ok so I didn't actually jump out of a plane (I'm still considering it though), but over the 4th of July weekend Jenny, Amy and I took a trip to Pigeon Forge, TN (home of Dollywood) for a midnight parade, indoor skydiving, and one of the most beautiful national parks. It's so much fun to go south, almost like visiting a new country.

Thing number 12 was to go indoor skydiving. This is where you get suited up like you are going to skydive - jumpsuit, helmet, goggles - but instead you get into a vertical wind tunnel and an instructor guides you as the wind picks you up into the air. It was tons of fun. We have a video that we're working on uploading, so this picture outside the building will have to do until then.

me and Jenny

Thing number 18 was to hike 3 miles on the Appalachian Trail. The day we made it to the trail was cloudy and a little rainy, but there was enough tree coverage that we didn't get wet. The trail was a little creepy at times - narrow and almost overgrown and not very many people. At times we were hiking in the clouds we were so high up.

me with the Appalachian Trail sign
(don't look at my lack of coordination - i didn't pack very well)

Monday, June 22, 2009


I have had lots of fun planning and accomplishing the things on my list. I have learned a lot and I love being able to check things off.

The mid-year (which was June 12th) count is 12 done, 7 planned/started, and 8 to go. Here is what the list looks like as of today:

1. GRADUATE from Library School
2. Read “To Kill a Mockingbird”
3. Visit the Newseum
4. Take a trip somewhere I’ve never been before (Greece/Turkey)
5. Take a creative class (pottery)
6. Train for a half marathon
7. Read (or listen to) Anna Karenina
8. Visit the Capitol Visitor’s Center
9. Hike Old Rag
10. Whale Watch
11. See the Supreme Court in session
12. Pansy Skydiving (Vertical Wind Tunnel)
13. Go to the National Arboretum
14. See a show on Broadway
15. Take the water taxi to Georgetown
16. Attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
17. Sample a new ethnic food
18. Hike 3 miles on the Appalachian Trail
19. See an Opera
20. Visit the National Geographic Society
21. Go to Washington’s Grist Mill
22. Tour the DAR
23. Attend a professional soccer game
24. Play laser tag
25. Write a short story
26. Ride a donkey up a mountain
27. Is a secret

For the 7 planned/started: number 5 starts next Thursday; in correlation with number 6, I joined the gym at work; numbers 12 and 18 will happen over 4th of July weekend (yay for Tennessee!); 16 happens at Thanksgiving; number 23 is planned for August 22 (anyone want to come?); and I have started on number 25 (but I very often get stuck).

I think the other 8 will wait until late summer and fall.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Number 19 and an Addendum to 26

Thing number 19 was to see an Opera. I went with Jenny, Pam, Amy, and Nicole to the Kennedy Center to see Turandot last month. The third act starts with Nessun Dorma, which was the reason we chose to see this opera. I enjoyed it very much.

Thing number 26 was originally to take part in the polar bear plunge. Due to some scheduling issues with school I wasn't able to make it out to the event. So I decided to change it to "ride a donkey up a mountain." This was something we decided to do while planning our shore excursions on our cruise in Greece. I really wanted to do it but I was a little nervous since I have a small fear of falling or vertigo or something (I don't mind being up high, just being close to the edge). Honestly is was an amazing experience, definitely a highlight of the trip. The donkeys zig-zag up a wide stone path, often getting close to the edge. This is all done without a guide, the donkeys just know where to go. About a quarter of the way up, I was no longer bothered by the fear and even thought I might try skydiving next. Ha. I don't know if I actually will (why jump out of a perfectly good airplane), but riding that donkey has been quite liberating. Thanks donkey!

Kat, me, Amy, and Jenny at the top after our ride.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Thing #4!

For this thing, I went to Greece with a few friends! We spent 8 glorious days traveling the country, visiting ruins, and sailing the Aegean Sea. We spent time in Athens, Delphi, Cape Sounion, and then the cruise took us to Mykonos, Kusadasi (Turkey), Patmos, Crete, and Santorini. Santorini was hands-down my favorite part (when we got back, I even looked up how much it costs to get to Santorini - $2200 in case you're wondering by airplane). The whole trip was fantastic! I enjoyed all the places we went - Ancient Ephesus is a must, Mykonos is quaint. I now have a travel bug and am trying to decide where to go next. For more pictures, go here.

Kathleen, me, Jenny, and Amy in front of the Parthenon

the beautiful Aegean sea

me in Patmos

Jenny in Santorini

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Several Things

So it's been a little while since I update, but I've been busy accomplishing things on my list.

Thing #17 - Sample a new ethnic food

Jenny, Amy and I went to Passport DC on May 2. Several of the embassies on Embassy Row in DC open their doors to anyone. Many of the embassies have food and music and display items from their countries. It's an amazing chance to see some beautiful places and things.

We went to several embassies including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malaysia, and Uzbekistan. We bought a plate of food at the Pakistani embassy, which was delicious. As for trying new food, we had a small plate of food at the Bangladeshi embassy. It was very good, similar in taste to Indian. Then at the Malaysian embassy we tried Air Batu Campur (ABC). They were selling it for a dollar. It means shaved ice. It contained shaved ice, red beans, corn, jelly, and cherry flavored syrup. I wish I could say I enjoyed it...

Thing #1 - Graduate from Library School!!!

I graduated from Catholic University's School of Library and Information Science on May 16. It was a great day (even with the 15 mins of rain during the ceremony) with friends and family. It hits me every once and a while that I'm finished.

Matt, Nicole, Ash, Jenny, Amy, Pam, Me, and Sara

Thing #2 - Read "To Kill a Mockingbird"

Somehow I missed this classic during my public education. I absolutely love this book. It is definitely in my top 5 favorites. I adore Atticus, and loved Scout and Jem and Dill. It was so easy to get lost in the story and the language.

There's a couple more...I'll write about them soon.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Thing Number 13...

Number 13 was to visit the National Arboretum. The arboretum makes you forget that you're in the middle of DC (and that the Anacostia is a dirty, dirty river). It was a fabulous day; sunny and warm. We visited the azaleas, the dogwoods, and the pillars from the original capitol building that burnt in 1814. There was so much that we didn't see, the park is huge. I love spring in DC!

PS. Thing number 1 is less than 3 weeks away!!! I passed my comprehensive exams and am just 1 final exam away fom completing my course work.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Thing #24

Last week I went with some friends to play laser tag. It was exactly what I expected it to be. There were so many people in the game, I'm not sure I actually shot anyone. But there we more thing done. Sadly, we didn't take any pictures, but these kids pretty much sum it up:

The next 6 weeks or so should be much more exciting in accomplishing things on the list. I think there are at least 4 things that will get done in that time and some of them are BIG!