Wednesday, May 22, 2013

35 Things I've Done By My 35th Birthday

May 23, 2013, marks my 35th birthday. I thought I would try something different this year. I was inspired to write a post about what I have done in my 35 years of life after pulling out a book an old friend gave me for my 30th birthday (Thanks Hiroko!).

It talks about all the things a girl needs to know to do everything at their best. I laughed at some of them, but then it got me thinking. I've done a lot, but I still have so much left to accomplish. With that, here are my 35 things (some are from the book):

  1. Made S'mores. Every Girl Scout is required to make these. In fact, we are really known for two things:  cookies and S'mores. Yes, we earn badges for other things that we do, but these are the main ones. If you don't know what it is, I'm so sorry for you. It's graham crackers, marshmellow, and a piece of chocolate warmed up by the fire.
  2. Made friendship bracelets (page 26 of the book). This was important when I was a girl. I would ask my mother to take me to a craft store and buy string or yarn or whatever to make these all day long for my friends. They were really cool. I should make another one.
  3. Learned and performed one of the best dance routines (page 79) that had nothing to do with cheerleading or drill team for a Talent Show at school. Nicole and I dressed up in 50 styles outfits (jeans, of course) and rocked out to Your Mamma Don't Dance and Your Daddy Don't Rock N' Roll by Poison.
  4. Learned how to ice skate (page 54), but I was never really good. I slowly skated around the rink hanging close to the walls. I think I did one twirl...slowly.
  5. Went windsurfing. Okay, really, I walked up to the guy on a beach near Singapore and told him that I would like to ride on the board. He placed me at the front of the board and I dangled my feet in the Pacific Ocean, while he steered. I still count it though!
  6. Learned how to scuba dive. My family was big in to this and I first learned at age 11 in the Bahamas. I was certifed a year later. I've swam with sharks, eels, and grouper the size of an adult human body. I've dove in an a part of the cave where you can actually breathe without your regulator. I've done shore dives, boat dives, ladder dives, etc. I've swam through a wall of small teeny tiny jellyfish that stung the crap out of me and been hit by a tarpon, while it was on his way for the 6 p.m. feeding in Cayman. I've been on night dives, deep dives, cave dives, grotto dives, and powerful surge dives. I've almost had my hand taken by a puffer fish. I've actually screamed in water when the dive master scared me on a night dive. Unfortunately, I haven't scuba dived since 2008.
  7. Rode a horse...and a couple of times bareback.  
  8. Pressed flowers in high school (page 55) for a school project. In fact, that's when I became friends with Cristal.
  9. Customized a t-shirt (page 13). I first made my own tie-dyed shirts when I was younger. And then Kate and I made an awesome t-shirt for was was awesome.
  10. Rode an elephant with Hiroko in Singapore.
  11. Went bungee jumping (albeit the reverse kind and not off of a bridge).
  12. Created a scrapbook. Thank you Kate for being the best ever scrapbook partner. Many rainy days at the dropzone didn't seem so bad when we worked on one of those. In fact, we are crafty when together.
  13. Went skydiving and met some awesome people. I've done some scary jumps and crazy jumps and fun jumps and big way jumps. I've jumped out of helicopter and landed on a beach and used a raft. And how could I forget the 11 way Horny Gorilla that pulled off until out of a Skyvan until Nick moved his foot.  
  14. Competed and placed in U.S. Skydiving National Championship. I had the best team (thank you Shannon and Jon) ever. I learned that I love competing and I don't let the stress of the day get the better of me.
  15. Went on a solo trip to another country. I think everyone should do this, especially if you are a woman. It will give you confidence you wouldn't believe.
  16. Helped fulfill my grandmother's bucketlist item and managed to see the amazing Mt. Rushmore.
  17. Stood on the beaches where so many men died in WWII.
  18. Visited a concentration camp (Dachau)
  19. Been to almost every cultural show, including a Broadway show, movies, concert, opera, play, musical, and ballet. Symphony is the last remaining cultural experience left for me to see.
  20. Watched loved ones pass away in a hospital. Nothing will build strength more than that right there.
  21. Survived a divorce...barely. Okay, this will build strength, too.
  22. Went repelling down a cliff...scary stuff until I got over the first hump. Then, it was absolutely fun.
  23. Went hiking alone.
  24. Ran a half marathon with Haley.
  25. Went tubing down the Guadalupe. Every Texan must experience this at least once. And if you don't lose something, you aren't doing it right.
  26. Got my Master's Degree. I don't often brag about this, but it was a mighty accomplishment.
  27. Went on a yoga retreat.
  28. Went and survived several road trips. If there is one thing you should do in life, it's a road trip with friends. Family is bound to whatever the head of the family wants, which is why friends can be so much more spontaneous.
  29. Partied with a celebrity.
  30. Played piano at a recital. I do not have a clue how to play anymore, but I remember those recitals and my little composer statue heads as a gift.
  31. Held my nieces in my arms and felt instant love...well, besides when I got Lady Loo Loo.
  32. Got left behind in Galveston during Mardi Gras at 2 a.m....this was before cell phones and I had no ride. Thankfully, I knew some friends down there to help me out.
  33. Performed on a trapeze.
  34. Went kayaking in some beautiful locations, which included seeing manatees, dodging boats, and surviving The Great Water Terror.
  35. Sat in a Buddhist temple and watched a closed celebration. I wasn't supposed to be there, but the guard let me watch the first half. It was amazing.

Have a great day today!


  1. It sounds like a pretty incredible life so far. Wish I had know it was your birthday. Happy Birthday. Remember to play like an all star and party like a rock star!!

  2. What an impressive list ! I've done quite a few of those myself but I'm not sure I will ever be brave enough to do a bungee jump :)

    1. Thanks Freya. Oh bungee jump isn't too bad. I would go for it, but I do with the one in New Zealand or South Africa.


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