Friday, October 8, 2010

Bucket List

New Adventures for 2010

This year I didn’t make a new years resolution. Instead I developed a theme, a theme to live life to the fullest while I have it. I decided to take care of me, so I could take care of you. You see, sometimes we get so busy with life, that we lose sight of things that are important. When we lose sight of those things we get stressed, when we get stressed our inner core breaks down…And when that happens, we retreat…We retreat not to take care of ourselves, but to get away from others…to get away from stress. Then, we repeat the cycle, of never truly living life to the fullest, while never giving others their fair share. So, I decided that I have spent so much of my life sacrificing, and denying myself of things I want, that I am going to step out and go for it. I work 40 hours a week, and I think I deserve to feel the benefits of my job. A part of our budget is for personal spending and entertainment. Now, I am going to use that money and not deny myself of opportunities to see and experience the world. I started off the year with the hope that every month I would do something “special.” I am writing this to remind myself of my new year’s theme and not lose sight of what I started.

January – We went to our first new year’s party. We spent Christmas 2009 in Jamaica and I wanted to do something different. At $50 a pop we decided to go a party. A real party with music and dancing. We went, ate, had a couple drinks and people watched . Then that weekend we went to with my husband’s brother and wife to the beach. I am such a beach bomb so I couldn’t ask for anything better! We climbed Dunn’s River Falls and ate well at the hotel. It was a great start of 2010.

February – We saw our first Tyler Perry play. For so long I have always wanted to go…But for some reason I denied myself because someone didn’t want to go. This year, I don’t care who wants to go or not. My husband is always willing to indulge me and I will not take that for granted anymore. So the girls don’t want to go…who cares! I laughed so much a and had such a BLAST!

March – My first Alicia Keys concert!! I think I can go on record to say that Alicia is one of my favourite singers! And when she came in my area last year I didn’t go. Why? Because I thought the ticket prices were too expensive! HELLO! This year, since I made my new year’s theme, I decided that at $150 my husband and I can enjoy the Key’s concert. This was my very first concert in the US…And I had a great time. NOW, I will go to whoever concert I want to go to…

April – Jared and I visited Tammy and Kevin in St. Louis! And who is Tammy and Kevin, only the most adorable couple in the world! This was another strategic plan and part of my new years theme. I said to myself that I cannot let money stop me from visiting my most loved ones. If we waited until we have money, then we are waiting too long. My promise to them and myself is that I will make a trip to see them at least once a year. We did some sight-seeing in STL and walked into a Casino for the first time. St. Louis has lots of casinos so I thought, why not!? Went in, checked out the lights, watched people play some slots and left. I was told that the key to playing is to go in with just $20 with the idea that you are going to “throw away” $20 and expect nothing in return. Basically, just for fun…We thought about and would have done so if I had $20 cash…hmmm, didn’t want to pay the $4 ATM fee…that would be throwing away $24…no thank you. LOL! We did the St. Louis Arch, the butterfly house, and an interesting bowling alley…It was different because it seemed like an “adult” bowling alley with a full scale bar. Probably turns into a club…ah well, we went for the bowling. We had such a great time with my sis and her husband and would do it again in a heart beat!

For my birthday we went to a comedy show in Raleigh. OMG, I laughed so much!!! This was my first comedy show and was definitely on my list of things to do for 2010. I am glad I was able to do it. Afterwards we tried a new restaurant called Cuban Revolution. At that hour it was one of the few restaurants open that hour. My strawberry daiquiri was delicious, and so was my food. Jared said he didn’t like his food. The next day we made a quick trip to DC and saw a Grenadian play. (Was this the DC trip I bought 6 bottles of wine?) Had dinner with my high school friend from Trinidad and back to Durham!

Sometime in April I had the opportunity to walk with the Dreamers! They represent immigration issues I feel strongly about. You can read more about them at But this was another first for me…To participate in a walk, in NC, of my own doing…not for a class, or assignment or grade…but because I wanted to. Because I wanted to stand up for the thousands of immigrants in this country who do so much to make America what it is today. I walked, and walked, and walked, and then walked some more!

May – The Color Purple. Another play I always wanted to see. And for the same reason like the Key’s concert or the Tyler Perry play, I had not made it. But this year I made it my business to see the play! We had a great time!

June – Jared went to Jamaica for a month. I think before he left we did something for his birthday. I believe we played mini golf at Frankies Fun Park and had dinner. My high school friend Krystalle came to visit me from DC for the first time. We had a great time and tried two new restaurants – Zydeko a new Orleans styled restaurant with a nice jazz band with a lead singer (Crystal) who could not sing! Their jambalaya rice was really good! So much so, that I looked up some jambalaya recipes and added jambalaya rice and jambalaya pasta to my repertoire. The next restaurant was Nantucket Grill. They have large portion desserts but their food wasn’t all that. I tried it again with Jared and still wasn’t impressed with the food. Will go for dessert though. The one first is that we were not together for our anniversary since Jared was in Jamaica.

 July- This was a big month for us. We travelled to Trinidad for the Caribbean Lectureship. This was special for us because this is where we met, 12 years ago! In 1998 the Caribbean Lectureship was held in Trinidad and our paths crossed. Two years later we went to the same lectureship that was held in St. Lucia and really started talking. I visited for Christmas and he visited for Jamaica and one year later we decided to start dating and the rest is history! This time we were back as presenters! Well more so Jared…I was the trusty assistant. One of Jared’s greatest passions is to work with parents in a way that would help them to be better parents, thus bringing up better kids. Jared has spent the past year researching various parenting programs and I thought what better way to introduce his research and passion to the church, that to present at lectureship! We worked together on his presentation before we left, and I assisted with the group presentations. The workshop was well received and I was very proud of my husband for taking his research and translating it into something good for the church. I am happy that I am able to be part of this “Growing up process” of us. I envision that one day we would be the dynamic couple who can present information on parenting and marriage (my favorite topic) at conferences, workshops and more importantly churches.

After the 4 day lectureship we travelled to Tobago for the rest of the week. Remember I said that I am a beach bum. Well we were in walking distance of the beach! This was our first time going Tobago by ourselves. We met up with some friends (Marsha and her family) and had a blast! As I journeyed through Tobago I could not help but think what a beautiful country I have. I never realized how scenic Tobago was until then. We trinis don’t know what we have until we don’t have it anymore. This Tobago trip was our anniversary getaway and it was a beautiful and peaceful getaway!

August – Jared’s sister and her husband visited us for the first time together! All the way from Jamaica. We went to DC for one day and visited some of the monuments and musiems. It was a one day trip and a LONG but fun day. We also took them to Carowinds theme park and I concurred my fears of roller coasters thanks to Roger!!! What a thrill!!! Those where your feet dangle in the air feel less scary than those where your feet are planted on something. It was super crazy and fast but exhilarating!

September – What did we do in September? We had our housewarming!!! After 10 months of living in our new home we were finally able to paint, clean, and put together our house and welcome everyone. This was the cleanest I ever saw my house and I think it would be the cleanest ever. It was like Christmas cleaning to tell you the truth. I was happy that we were able to have a number of first timers to our home…both from church and our work. My desire is have a home that is open and welcoming. I plan to make a more concerted effort to extend my hospitality to those I normally don’t reach, like my co-workers and older folks from church. My house definitely felt warm and the paint colors look fabulous!!

October – Our trip is not here yet but we will be travelling to Dallas and NY at the end of the month. I have never been to TX before I am really excited to visit! TX is potentially a state that we would consider living in the future so it’s great that I am getting a taste. We decided to visit TX because it was a trip long overdue! We will be visiting the Kirby’s who was instrumental in helping Jared through undergrad and med school. I owe it to them to meet them. Coupled with the fact that Weldon is sick and getting sicker :(. For the second half of the week we will be going to NY…Jared has a child conference he wanted to attend, so I thought it would be the perfect time to visit my dad. I hope to do something funtabulous while in NY. We have not done any of the “touristy” things in NY yet, so perhaps we’ll venture out and visit a couple museums and the statue of liberty…maybe even catch a show and see a little night life!

November – Jared’s folks are visiting us for Thanksgiving! They have not been to our new home so this will be exciting having them there. I love them so much, they are the best in-laws ever!! I also hope we can make a trip to the mountains. I wanted to go last year but it didn’t happen. I would like to go white water rafting again and take in the scenic mountain view!

December – TBD. I am not sure where we will go for Christmas. I was hoping we could go to Trinidad if my visa approval came back in time. But after looking at ticket prices at $800 a piece, I don’t think that’s a possibility. Maybe prices will drop? Either way, I can only go to Trinidad if my visa application is approved because my visa is expired and I cant travel outside of the US until I get it. Bummer.

Things I hope to do:

• Skiing/snow tubing

• White water rafting (again…maybe when we go to the mountains)

• Camping

• Horseback riding

• Wine tasting (Dublin)

• Cruise (hopefully for my birthday)

• Florida Keys (hopefully for our 5th year anniversary)

• Trinidad – to get my visa (December or later)