Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What do wildebeest, Anne of Green Gables and preschoolers playing soccer all have in common?

In our last episode, I mentioned to you that Jason and I made a list last week. As we were celebrating our tenth anniversary, we decided to come up with ten things we'd like to do in the next ten years. I've talked some with Becky lately about life lists, and I've been reading Mighty Girl some as well--this girl has an extensive list, and even has corporate sponsorship for it! Pretty sweet, if you ask me!

I've never really been one for lists. Of course, I make basic to-do lists and all that, but I'm always somewhat intimidated by big-picture, goal-setting lists. That's just my weird, afraid-to-disappoint-or-be-disappointed personality, I guess. But Jason and I sat at dinner last week--that magical dinner I told you about where Grace slept the whole time--and talked about how we've been together for 14 years. We started dating when I was a 19 year old college sophomore. And barring one breakup (Jason momentarily took leave of his senses and forgot how wonderful I am), we've been together ever since. It's one of those things you hear others say all the time, but those years have flown by. So much has happened, and so quickly, it seems!

(See? I'm being all contemplative and stuff. Actually in this shot, I think I was worrying that my chipped nail polish would show up in the photo. But then I started being contemplative. You'll just have to take my word for it.)

As we talked about that, it was like I could see us having dinner ten years from now, talking about how time has flown. Our kids are little, ministry is busy and the everyday-ness of our lives can so easily eclipse the big-picture stuff.

I'll never forget when my dad stood up at my rehearsal dinner and told all of us that he had actually calculated the number of days that he and my mom had with us before we'd moved on to adulthood. That even though it can feel like a lifetime, it's actually quantifiable and finite. It is sooo my dad to actually be able to tell you the number! But the point, for me, is this--I want us to enjoy our lives and do the things we've "always wanted" to do. I want us to treasure this time when the kids are small.

This can be easier said than done, cause it's so freakin' exhausting so much of the time! I mean, I can't say I was necessarily treasuring the moment this afternoon when Nate was refusing to nap and then woke Grace up from hers. Oh, the preciousness of it all. I can barely contain myself. Oh, wait. Yes I can.

Are you still reading this? Well, God bless your heart. Alright, well anyway. You get what I'm saying. So here's some things we came up with that are important to us. I'd love to know what some of your things are.

Ten (except it's really 12) Things We Wanna Do in the Next 10 Years
1) Go back to Kenya, Travel to Tanzania
--Take a hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti
--We both took separate trips to Kenya in college--we'd love to go together!

2) Take the kids on foreign missions to help the poor and see other cultures
3) Move back to the States
--No immediate plans for this one. We're just sayin'.
4) See more of Australia.
--Scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, visit Ayers Rock
5) Nurture a genuine faith in God in our children
6) Go back to Paris and spend more time at the Louvre
7) Increase our ability as leaders and our capacity to develop people
8) Read classic novels to/with the kids
--Chronicles of Narnia, Anne of Green Gables, etc. Any suggestions?
9) Coach our kids' sports teams
--Um, yeah, that'd be Jason's goal. No one wants me coaching their team.
10) Be intentional about building memories as a family: trips, traditions
11) Learn about investments and come up with a better long-term plan
--I almost fell asleep typing that, but I know it's important. Like flossing.
12) Buy a house.

So, what are some of the things on your list? Cause maybe I'll like your stuff better and switch to yours. And then maybe I'll be all insecure about my list and be a little resentful of you for being so smart and cool. And then maybe I'll allow my resentment to boil over and make snide remarks on Facebook. Okay, maybe you shouldn't tell me.

Nooooo, I'm kidding! Tell me, do!


  1. You're safe with me. My list consists mainly of getting through the next few years while keep what little is left of my sanity!

    Good luck with yours.

  2. I think it is a very fine list. I have never done one, alone or with my Hubs. I probably should. I just do the weekly list. I did list things I want to do for me on my blog and I was good about accomplishing those things. And I did once have the kids make a list of things to do once over winter break and that worked out well.
    I certainly don't list things such as "What I want to do by the time I am __ Years Old". That is so unflexible to me.

  3. I'm kind of obsessed with making lists, but I'm more of a "next three years" type of list maker. Here is my list for the next three years: 1. Finish my degree and start receiving a paycheck for counseling work 2. Get braces (the clear ones) 3. Play polo (horse, not water) 4. Have one kid.

  4. I love your list! I've given this a lot of thought, and you've inspired me to blog about it very soon. So look for that. One thing on my list will be to, at all costs, avoid coaching a children's sports team.


  5. I got stuck at #3 and got all happy and excited!!! COME HOME!!! Let's 10 years our girls will be 15 almost 16..perfect age to help each other through pimples, boys, parents...except we're like the coolest Moms EVER! :) I'm sure they'll just sit around texting eachother about how they can't wait to grow up to be just like their Mammas! ;)

  6. Houston and I made lists a year or so ago, but it was a list of A) things we like, that make us happy, and B) things that don't make us happy (but we might be doing them anyway). Both lists were very enlightening.

  7. I don't currently have a list. But I like yours!

    Regarding #3, Ann Arbor Michigan is lovely. *I'm* just sayin'.

    And #8... what about Little House on the Prairie? Family, simplicity, resourcefulness and covered wagons, dude. It has it all.

  8. Bsouth, I hear you! I guess for me, really, it isn't so much having the physical list, as it is taking time to think about it.

    Michele Renee--I like the idea of having your kids do it. Ours are still too little of course, but I could help Ava with that type of thing.
    Bren--that is an interesting idea. I might have to try that.

    Cassie: Little House--yes! I love those books, thanks for the reminder.

    And Katie, I would strongly support you guys having a kid in the next 3 years! In case you were wondering, which you probably weren't.

  9. I'm just catching up as you can tell by me spamming your comment's boxes!
    I must say I only have a vague mental list of some things I'd like to do in the next few years.
    But coming back to your list, I have to say "Grrrrrrr" to number 3!

  10. This must be going around, this list making!
    I've just been doing this very thing, and I have Sam doing it for his 2 1/2 goal of being an exchange student.
    Writing it down has some power and substance to it, you know?
    My list has stuff like, learn Italian, take singing lessons, try a martial art, and pay off the farm.
    I think your list is excellent. And cherising our little bit of time where our kids are kids. (And not worrying that we're not cherishing properly or sufficiently, of course. :) )