Bucketful of endless possibilities

    Never put off for tomorrow what you can do today. This was something that I heard constantly growing up. If there’s anything that I have been constantly learning through out my life, it is that the journey through life can travel quite quickly. If you close your eyes for even a swift blink, if you let a single opportunity pass you by, then you may be missing out on more than you would even expect. Because of this, I’ve tried to live every day and every experience in my life to it’s absolute fullest.
When I started thinking about this idea, I thought about all that I have been fortunate enough to do in the short but full 23 years I have lived so far. I’ve been able to travel to over half the states in the US, visit a handful of countries, made a difference in my community, let out my daredevil side through sky diving, thrown out the first pitch at a baseball game, tried surfing, stood under the Eiffel Tower, accomplished several goals (and never stop growing through setting new ones), competed on one of the most prestigious stages when I represented Idaho at Miss America, and so much more that I am so thankful for. But what I’m most appreciative of is that I have been raised in an environment where I am encouraged to be outgoing, spontaneous, take risks, and dream as big as I possibly can and then some.
    I have never stopped setting goals, and I don’t think we ever get to an age where we should stop setting goals for ourselves and cease to dream. There should always be something to look forward to and something to lure us in, grasp our attention, and make us feel as if life wouldn’t be complete without giving this idea a try. That was when I got the idea to make an official bucket list.

    What exactly is a bucket list? This idea comes from the term “kicked the bucket”. A list of things that one wants to accomplish in their lifetime before “kicking the bucket”. It can be anything and everything from places one wants to see or travel to, experiences they want to engage in, tasks they wish to complete, people they would like to meet, challenges they would like to overcome, new hobbies they’d like to pick up, and everything in between. I took the time, and by taking the time I mean I sat on my couch for hours a day for a week putting together everything I’ve ever thought would be absolutely amazing to experience or see in life. Then, I found pictures to show what I had accumulated on my bucket list. This is what I came up with, for now. I’m sure it will only grow, I’ve already found a couple to add to it! And I would encourage you to make one of your own. It’s quite exhilarating to think about the endless possibilities that one can experience.

It only seemed fitting that the first thing on my list would be to make an official bucket list. Now that I’ve made one, I would like to make one similar to the picture above by placing cards in a frame of all the things I’d like to accomplish. Then place it in a bucket once I have done them. The remainder of things on my bucket list are in random order.

I’ve always had a case of the travel bug. I guess you could blame it on the fact that my parents were biking with me around the country while I was still in diapers. I never have lost the thrill of finding an adventure each place I explore and I love that every culture is it’s own and can teach us so much.

   I have looked up to Audrey Hepburn since the first time I saw Breakfast At Tiffany’s. Though my admiration for her probably would have began even sooner had I been aware of how extraordinary of a woman she was. Everything about her from the challenges she overcame in her upbringings, how genuine she stayed through out her career, her volunteer work through UNICEF in Africa, and the loving mother she was. Because of this I would love to one day have breakfast outside of Tiffany & Co. in New York City.

 

I love a great adrenaline rush! I sky dived with my dad the year after I graduated high school, and what a rush it was. I loved every minute of it and want to experience bungee jumping someday. What better of a way to experience such a thrill than in one of the top 10 places in the world? At 197 feet, one gets to fly through the entire gorge. Though I’m not quite sure I would be able to focus on the beautiful scenery during the free fall! Definitely would have to save time for a little sight seeing

Graduating from college is something that is definitely at the top of the list. I am currently in my final semester at Boise State University. Go Broncos! I will finish with my courses in December to earn myself a degree in Mass Communication with an emphasis in Journalism and could not be more proud and thrilled beyond words to finally be in my last semester of college.

It only seemed fitting to follow this up with what I aspire to embark upon after graduation. I have a passion for educating people on smart actions for a healthy and active lifestyle and love writing. Because of these two things, and the fact that I have always loved Women’s Health Magazine, I would love to be a journalist for WH. I can not wait for that day to come and until then this is a dream that is at the very top of my list!

I’ve ran several races through out my life, typically ranging from 5k’s to 10k’s and even did a couple bike races growing up. Though I’ve never trained for a triathlon. Having a slight fear of water has always kept me from trying to train for a triathlon though it’s something I have always wanted to do. I suppose the first step in this process would be to first overcome my childish fear of water, and then actually work on training for a triathlon.

       I absolutely love, and I mean LOVE Kelly Ripa. From her witty, spunky personality to her fit little frame. Some mornings, her humor and ability to poke fun at herself is the one thing to get me through my cardio time. I think she would be a blast to sit down and have coffee with and would love to co host with her someday!

Each person is brought into our life for a reason, and I am a firm believer in this. I met my very best friend Kelsey the second year of college and despite the many times we have had several thousands of miles between the two of us, she’s still the one person I found that has always been there and who I have the best time in the world doing even the simplest things with. Currently she is having another one of her exhilarating adventures while living in Singapore for the next year and has started up her own 52-week journey to show others that it’s possible to find time to enjoy the ride even during our crazy schedules. Here’s hoping that next summer we get to take on another fun filled adventure together! Until then, make sure to follow her weekly adventures on http://52-weeks.net

 

Italy is absolutely BEAUTIFUL, from what I’ve seen at least.  I would love to travel to Venice, and of course ride in a  gondola upon arriving there.

I consider one of my many blessings in life
to be that I have the best dad, ever. I know that I’m probably biased, but I also have proof! Not only does he fulfill all the requirements for being a great dad in the first place, loving his family unconditionally, putting food in our bellies, being at every soccer game, etc. But he has gone above and beyond. He finds the time to this day to spend quality time with my sister and I and was the greatest “pageant dad” a girl could ask for while I was competing. He was my traveling companion/photographer/body guard (as I would tell the kids at my appearances) but most importantly helped in making some of the best memories from that year.
      Someday, not only do I hope to run a half marathon, or even possibly a full marathon. But I would love to dress up and run the Disney Princess Half Marathon with a group of friends!

I love that even after 23 years of marriage, my parents still have their goofy personalities and are able to joke and act slightly immature even after a busy day at work. I hope to be able to always be a goof with the person that I grow old with and that we never lose that .

                                                                                   I always believe in doing something for a good cause. And donating blood is something that I’ve wanted to do for years. Unfortunately, due to a slight fear of needles puncturing into my skin and anything involving the sight of blood especially blood being drawn out of me, these fears have prevented me from ever doing so. My first thing I would want is to be able to be rid of these fears and then donate blood for a good cause.

See this picture? Enough said. What a relaxing and beautiful vacation that would be!

It took me three tries before I earned my Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor that a Girl Scout can receive. Finally, on the third try I decided to design and facilitate self-esteem workshops for girls. In these workshops, we talk about what confidence is, how we learn to embrace our differences and realize they make us unique, the importance of respecting ourselves and others, helping our communities, giving our bodies the proper nutrients and exercise that it needs to keep it running properly, and other essentials to helping build self-esteem. We then finish up with a project where each girl in the group decorates a painted treasure box to reflect her personality and inside the box will be filled with notes from the other girls in the that say what they like best about that girl. The idea is that each girl goes home with a memory of the workshop and a reminder as to why they are each unique and wonderful in their own way. I’ve expanded my workshops to nearly 3,000 girls now and have gone to Girl Scout troops and camp, schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, women’s shelters, alternative schools, churches, a virtual self-esteem workshop on Facebook “Free To Be Me”, and various other organizations and events. Now I would love to turn my workshops into a badge so that Girl Scouts all across the country can learn from these educational and effective workshops.

A couple years ago, my best friend and her boyfriend visited New Zealand and absolutely loved it there. I think the scenery looks amazing and would enjoy experiencing this place myself as well.

Since I was in high school, Greece has always had an appealing factor to me. Maybe it’s the breathtaking contrast between the deep blue waters and the brilliant white architecture or maybe it’s the fact that I love hummus and pita bread. Either way, this is a definite spot on the map I would love to visit.

   If you couldn’t tell from any of my previous blog entries, I am a hot yoga fanatic. It’s the one thing I do nearly everyday for myself to give me an hour and a half of quietness to focus on relieving stress and staying at peace with what is important in life. Sounds a little cliche and maybe even crazy. But once you try it a few times, you would see what I mean! I have practiced hot yoga for two years now, and because I’ve seen how beneficial it has been for my life, I want to help others find this as well through hot yoga by becoming a certified hot yoga instructor.

Who hasn’t at one point thought that it would be amazing to ride in a hot air balloon? Well, maybe those with a slight fear of heights. But I am not one of those people. I’ve sky dived before and that in itself was such a rush but I found myself wanting to continue floating and admire the scenery. Riding in a hot air balloon seems like the perfect way to experience this!

One of my favorite quotes is, “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.” If you followed my blog during my 22,000 miles of traveling as Miss Idaho last year, then you know that last year was by far one of the busiest, incredible, and memorable years of my life. Towards the end of my attempt to savor every moment of that wonderful year, I happened to stumble upon a very pleasant surprise when I least expected it. The story behind it in itself makes for a good laugh, but that’s for another day. Long story short, since meeting that person I have had even more incredible memories to add to my short lifetime of exceptional moments. This person makes me laugh so hard that sometimes I feel like my cheeks are going to burst, is just as spontaneous as I am and is constantly leaving me surprised, hasn’t stopped supporting what I want in life since the day we met, is one of the most driven people I know, and shares the same love for life (and riding bikes!) that I have. My mother always told me that you want to share your life with not only someone who you love, but someone who you love being best friends with. She also has raised two strong and driven woman and has shown us through her strong marriage that your marriage should be to your best friend and should be the only one which will last you a lifetime. Needless to say, this is exactly what I eventually want one day in my marriage.

I’ve already talked about how I love anything that gives me a good adrenaline rush. And that includes roller coasters. Since I was tall enough to ride my first roller coaster, which took a little longer than most people given my slight height challenge, I’ve loved the feeling of butterflies filling my stomach as I approach the top of the track and how giddy my sister, dad, and I would get as it dropped us racing down and up and twisting and turning until we felt like our lungs were going to jump right out of us. I think we need to make a road trip to New Jersey to ride the world’s tallest roller coaster “Kingda ka”!

Juliette Gordon Low founded Girl Scouts in 1912 as a way to gather girls and women from all walks of life to help them develop self-reliance, become confident, well rounded individuals, and help prepare them for their future. In Girl Scouts, girls were educated in the backgrounds of arts, science, community service, business, and technology. Juliette Gordon Low would have been a phenomenal woman to have met, but visiting her house in Savannah, Georgia would be an experience in itself as well!

They say that when you throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, that it will bring a promised trip back to Italy. Each evening the fountain is swept and the money is donated to a charity called “Caritas” which was designed to help the poor and those in need. It’s quite the fascinating organization! For more information on the program in Italy visit the link below. http://www.caritasitaliana.it/pls/caritasitaliana/V3_S2EW_consultazione.mostra_pagina?id_pagina=964
   I’m not going to lie, this idea may have first stemmed from one of my favorite movies of all time, Serendipity. There is a scene of them ice skating in Central Park and it looks so beautiful with the snow falling down. Hopefully this too will be accomplished in the next year!

                                                                                  Okay, kind of a silly one. But I bet the question has crossed your mind once or twice as well! How many licks does it really take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? Will the world ever truly know? I want to one day find out!

I am fortunate that I have come from a strong family background. We have had our fair share of head butting and crazy moments, but at the same time I would not trade a single one of our bizarre hysterical outbursts for anything in the world. From my goofy, brilliant sister to my outgoing mother who believes that even the sky can’t limit you to my father who has the driest sense of humor in the world and all the patience to go along with it. He needs it in a family full of hormonal ladies! I hope to take the love, laughter, and countless memories to help build a strong, unique family of my own one day.

I could go on for a thousand words about all the things I love about the City of Trees. Boise offers a supportive and caring community, a vast amount of opportunities to enjoy the gorgeous outdoors, and gives you the friendly feel of a small town atmosphere while still giving you the opportunity to constantly meet new people and grow. But with my hopes of making it into the journalism world, I realize I have a better opportunity to expand my ambition in a major city. I can’t wait to see the places I may go!

One of my favorite memories on Thanksgiving morning was waking up to the smell of a turkey(Turkeys that my family typically named during the defrosting stage. Looking back, I realize how disturbing it was that we named a already deceased turkey, would mock it by moving it’s “drumsticks” so it looked as if to be dancing, and then would turn around and eat it the next day), fresh made bread and apple pie, and my favorite, twice baked potatoes. My sister and I would then turn on the fire place, snuggle in our jammies under a blanket, and turn on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. We would talk about how much fun it would be to be in New York City and be amongst the 3,000,000 other spectators as giant Mickey Mouse would fly above us. Did you know that from 1928 to 1933 the helium balloons were released into the air with return addresses so that people who found them could return them  for prizes? My sister and I used to get excited when a hot air balloon landed in our yard, I can’t even imagine an inflatable Snoopy in our backyard!

Our country’s 28th president, Woodrow Wilson, once said “You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” So often in life, especially with our economy being in the tragic state it is in today, I think we are so focused on the thoughts “If I only made this much more money….” or “If I only didn’t have this bill to pay for….”  then life would be easier and more enjoyable. But would these really help to improve our value of life? Would we be happier and have more time to give a helping hand, enjoy life’s simple pleasures, spend more time with loved ones, accomplish goals that we have set out for us to endeavor? Or would we still wish for more. I think people don’t understand the power that making a difference, even the smallest act of kindness, can have on our world as well as our own personification. When I leave this world and my name comes to people’s mind, I want them to smile and remember me for the differences that I made and the legacy that I left behind.

Nearly every summer since I was born, my mother, sister, and I take an annual girl’s road trip. One of our favorite places to go is Pacific City, Oregon. My favorite memories come from the beautiful runs I would have on the beach, sipping coconut soy chai while reading a book or working on my photography, sand boarding, or simply taking walks on the beach in our comfy sweatshirts and looking out into the ocean as our gazes became captivated by the waves making their way to shore. Whiles those waves would make their way towards us, I found myself always looking for 1 of 3 things. The first was sea glass. I remember being introduced to sea glass when I found a blue translucent rock on the shore. I came to find out that this was actually broken pieces of the glass’ edges had been smoothed as it had been tumbled in the waves. The second was to find the perfect, whole sand dollar. We would spend hours and hours just walking along the sand and collecting shells hoping that we would be lucky enough to find a sand dollar that hadn’t been cracked yet.

Now the third thing was something I had yet to find, and I hope one day I will because it could make for a very intriguing experience. I also kept my eyes open for a bottle, floating atop the waves and inside it would be a message. How exciting would that be to get a message in a bottle, from somewhere in the world? Then again, what would be the likely hood that a bottle would survive out in the ocean? I always wondering if any of the sea glass that I found were pieces that had been part of a message in a bottle that had broke out in the ocean and it’s message had been lost. Besides finding one, I would like to send my own message in a bottle the next time I visit the ocean.

The Men’s Health Urbanathlon is a 9.5-11 mile obstacle course that takes place in New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco. During this race, solo or relay teams will not only have to run up to 11 miles, but they will have to do complete it in it’s entirety through intense obstacles through city landmarks. I challenged myself by running the 10k Dirty Dash in Boise last summer, but I can only imagine just how much of a challenge the Urbanathlon would be! One of my next races to check off on the list!


Can you tell yet that family is something that has been powerful impact on shaping the person who I am today? I truly admire the fact that my parents have maintained a strong, balanced marriage after all this time and have remained loyal and supportive of each other and their family.


Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in Western Europe. With it bordering both Italy and France, where you are standing depends on the name of this beautiful mountain. In France, it is referred to as Mont Blanc and it Italy, Monte Bianco or “White Mountain” for it’s gorgeous features of snowfields and glaciers.

If you have made it this far into my bucket list, I’m glad you found it intriguing enough to go on! I must say, I think it is. But we have now come to a more serious part of my list, and if you aren’t familiar with Neil Patrick Harris, I am going to insist that you go on Hulu or google “How I Met Your Mother” and watch a couple episodes. One of the funniest shows with one of the most hilarious people. I was able to watch Neil Patrick Harris on “Live! With Kelly” while he was trying out as a co host. I must say, I do wish they had chose him! Not only is he absolutely hysterical and nearly leaves me in tears from laughing so hard, but he’s also quite the interesting man. He currently serves as the preside of the Academy of Magical Arts, was named as one of the 100 Most Influential People in 2010 in Time Magazine, and random fact of the day, played Toto in the Wizard of Oz when he was three-years-old. To really understand what makes him so entertaining, you’ll have to watch him on “How I Met Your Mother”!

Another random bucket list entry. But one of my favorite colors is what I call “happy red”. I explain to the girls in my self-esteem workshop that it’s a mix of coral, orange, and red and whenever I wear anything with “happy red” in it, I’m pretty much guaranteed to have a phenomenal day! So I’m pretty much convinced that if I have a kitchen painted “happy red” or orangish red, then every meal I make will turn out pretty much close to perfect and will serve a little plate of happiness. This may be hopeful wishing, but at least I’ll have a fun kitchen!

One of my favorite parts of being Miss Idaho were the opportunities I had to go out in the public and speak at different engagements. Anything and everything from reading Dr. Seuss to a kindergarten class, speaking at a Honor Society induction ceremony, even a HAM Radio Convention. The feeling of knowing that your words are potentially having a powerful impact on some one’s life is one of the most incredible feelings in the world. To be able to be a motivational speaker and have the opportunity to continue talking to girls and women about self-esteem and loving and respecting the person they are would be one of the best jobs in the world!

In the 1980’s, the John Lennon Wall was dedicated after Lennon’s murder to share a message of peace and love. This wall is near the canal in the Mala Strana, which is where one will find the Charle’s Bridge. On this bridge, couples will take padlocks and lock them on this bridge and throw away the key to symbolize an ever lasting love. I want to lock my own padlock of love on there one day!

I already have the absolute best golden retriever in the whole world, Sunni. But I would love to one morning wake up with the sweetest little mini Sunni with a big bow around his fluffy head!

Robie Creek is one of the most challenging races in the Northwest. This half marathon takes place in the beautiful Boise Foothills including the steep dirt trails and rocky roads. One day, I WILL be able to complete this race!

    These lanterns are made up of oiled rice paper with a bamboo frame with a small candle inside. The flame will heat the inside air and cause the lantern to float. Many legends are behind floating lanterns, but in the states they were originally used to alert troops during warfare. Now they are often used to celebrate something and release messages and prayers into the sky.

Audrey Hepburn was one of the most astonishing women. She definitely did not have it easy growing up, but regardless of this she continued to have the most outlook and love for life.

Reebs, Reba, Reba da beeba, Becca boo, we have a ka jillion nicknames for my sister. Though, there are only a couple that she will actually listen to, the others she is quite reluctant to! She is one of the funniest people I have ever met and is beyond talented at finding the beauty in the world and capturing it through photography. I would go above and beyond for her and always want to be the best sister I can be because she deserves the very best in life.

I’ve always loved go-cart racing because of the thrill one gets from the speed and excitement of passing opponents. But the true rush would be driving an actual race car!

I’ve never been an amazing cook, due to lack of time to actually make a meal and fact that I don’t have the patience to wait while a meal “simmers” on low. Wouldn’t “simmering” it on high be the same but just prepare it more quickly??? Lately though I’ve started to not only enjoy making meals, but if I do say so myself, they aren’t just edible but rather delicious! The pulpous zucchini fritters aren’t included in this list of delectable meals. I’ve officially checked zucchini off of my list of foods to cook with. I would love to learn how to make an authentic Italian meal though! Pasta and bread from scratch and everything!


One of my dreams is to intern and then work at an online women’s health and fitness publishing company. Many of the publications are located in New York and I will love to one day make it into an apartment in downtown New York City!

I’m sure you could tell from all the different areas I would love to travel that I have a bit of a travel bug. Okay, that’s an understatement. I have a massive travel bug! I love seeing new places, meeting new people, and learning about different cultures. One day, I want to have a map, take a dart, close my eyes, and throw it at the map. Wherever it lands, that’s where I will travel to!

I find the Taj Mahal to be one of the most fascinating and beautiful structures in the world. Built back in the 1600’s, it took 22 years and over 22,000 workers to complete one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Something even more interesting is that all of the artisans and workers removed their hands so that no other structure would even slightly resemble the Taj Mahal and it would remain a unique architecture. The color of the building is constantly changing with the time of day and setting of the sun and this structure is seen as a “symbol of love”.

One of my fondest memories from being in Girl Scouts was helping a refugee family when they came to the states from Somalia. Since they didn’t speak very much English, and we didn’t speak any Somalian, we had to rely on drawings and nonverbal communication to communicate. But we learned so much from them, patience, kindness, how to dominate at soccer….okay, so Ali and Halima always beat me every time, but we had a blast. I want to now go over to Somalia to help over there.

Especially with the hustle and bustle and jammed packed schedule with school going on, an ideal morning has taken on a whole new meaning. Sleeping in past 6:30, having time to brush my teeth for the actual whole two minutes with flossing included, be able to sit down and enjoy my breakfast, but even better would be to enjoy my cardio time in the morning by not having to read notes for my next class but rather be able to watch the Today Show and Live! with Kelly. My best friend also loves the Today Show and there were some mornings we would sit on the couch and watch the Today Show talking about how much we would love to be on there together!

I’m not a huge fan of plain vanilla pudding, ideally I love chocolate swirl vanilla pudding or banana! But I do think it would be interesting to put vanilla pudding in an old mayo jar, go out in public, and watch the looks on every one’s face as I eat “mayo” straight out of the jar. Mayo happens to also be my least favorite condiment, so I don’t know if even I could handle it!

I’ve ridden on many different roller coasters with different highlights. Upside down, spinning, twirling, backwards, quick speed rushes, but never one that dove into water like this one does!

I’ve found that the best way to organize my closet is by articles of clothing and color coordinating them. But it’s still difficult to quickly put together an outfit! Having a walk-in closet would be not only a luxury, but ideally save me time in the long run. That’s going to at least be my reasoning as to why having a massive walk-in closet would be an essential when I own a house.
Like the other billion people who watch the Times Square Ball drop on New Years, I love to partake in this yearly tradition. But one year I want to actually be in Times Square and enjoy watching the ball drop!

I am fortunate to have a loving and supportive mother. She gives the best advice, encourages and supports my decisions, and has opened my sister and I to so many new concepts and places. She encouraged my sister and I to be strong, driven women and never stop being ambitious. The firm foundation that she and my father provided for me makes me want to one day be the best mother. Definitely in the far future; if you’re reading this mom, in the definite far, FAR future! After graduating from college, finding a career, traveling, and for dad’s sake, after I’m old enough to be married and you’re still young enough to keep up with a grandchild. Hmmm, we may have to rethink how we’ll balance our definition of those last two!

It would have to be more than just my name and date or drawing a heart and smiley face in cement. But one day I want to come across some wet cement, and write something empowering in it!

The thing that I love most about my friends and family, is that they are all active, have a great sense of humor, and a passion for life. My mother always taught me that you are who you surround yourself with, and I love that those around me will always keep me young at heart. And that’s something that I hope never changes!

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