a bookshelf without bookends

if you’ve read my bucket list for 2018 post you may have noticed that reading made the list! 

how does reading make ones bucket list you might ask?  i thought you might… so let me explain.  reading used to be something i did to make it through a nursing course, and at best i skimmed the pages of a 2,846 page text book. i never felt like i had a chance to read for pleasure nor did i want to after the 342nd book on how to save your life. 

the issue was that although i absolutely loved the thrill and feat of finding a new book, i didn’t take the time to read the purchases i made. even after my nursing classes, which if i’m honest with ya’ll i was a nurse for 8 years before going back to school for another 2 years so what happened in between? well this… i found myself forever busy and distracted with life, just as the majority of us do.

yet, reading has always intrigued me. i believe reading is much like travel. you learn, grow, and create a world for yourself that otherwise would be left untapped.

so, in 2018, as i work to simplify and slow down my world, i’ve actually learned to pick up a book, and imagine for pleasure and not out of necessity. so that’s it… that’s how reading made the 2018 bucket list!


“reading forces you to be quiet in a world that no longer makes place for that.”

john green


first and foremost, i honestly love book shopping! barnes & nobel is like Christmas morning after santa came.

oh! & the romantic thought of quant little book shops with floor to ceiling glass windows, cozy nooks, coffee cups & quietness warms my heart.

i found this quote ironically fitting for the year 2018, and it somehow makes me a little more “okay” with the idea of no international travels this year. a direct reflection of the power of words!


"Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are." #edquote #teacher #ELA


so here goes it!  completed titles back on the book shelf:

my drop in the bucket review: milk and honey is a #1 new york times bestseller.  rupi kaur uses poetry as she shares about her life’s experiences.  this book is a riveting account of abuse, love, loss and violence.

as the author tells of her journey,  she takes you to her very darkest moments and your heart hurts as you know that the story she speaks of, although maybe not exactly your story, it allows you to pull something from your life that is ironically similar, whether it be in pain, heartache, vulnerability or simply her humbled expression of truth that most people in life never find the courage to share.

she has an elusive way of telling about her heartache, and finds a subtle sweetness in them. her perspective is one in which I think we all could learn from.



my drop in the bucket review: this hits home on so many levels as i work everyday walking people through a similar journey of facing life and death.

when we are directly faced with our own mortality something within our core shifts.

the wisdom and courage that one has in the most vulnerable places in life, is something i hope i never take for granted as i sit across from people in an exam room and they allow me to be a part of this.

at the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, paul kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.

when breath becomes air is an unforgettable reflection on the challenge of facing death.  paul became  doctor, patient and a brilliant writer within moments.

i don’t know that i can say it any better than this…

“I guarantee that finishing this book and then forgetting about it is simply not an option. . . . Part of this book’s tremendous impact comes from the obvious fact that its author was such a brilliant polymath. And part comes from the way he conveys what happened to him—passionately working and striving, deferring gratification, waiting to live, learning to die—so well.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

life is short- what legacy will you leave behind?



my drop in the bucket review:  dr. henry cloud shows that the best performers draw on the vital resource of personal and professional relationships.  these relationships can be used to propel us forward and assist in pushing us past our own limits.

popular wisdom suggests that we should not allow others to have power over us, but the reality is that they do, for better or for worse. dr. cloud shows you how to get more for yourself by drawing on the strength and expertise of others. being vulnerable, moldable and willing to learn.

we don’t have a choice whether or not others have power in your life, but you can choose what kinds of relationships you want and who those people are.

each person has special and unique qualities, however not all people are meant to be your “corner 4” people. those people who contribute the most into your life. we will encounter people from all 4 corners, the option is up to us however to choose the power they have in our lives. a great challenge for you to look into the relationships into your life and evaluate the power of the other.


i just began reading the book uninvited after winning it as a raffle prize at a fundraising event for friends traveling to india to serve. (i won fair & square i promise… come on people! this was for the work of the Lord, i wouldn’t lie!)

my drop in the bucket review: on it’s way!


together my hubby & i are nearing completion of this journey.  this has been a fun way for us to connect as a couple and enjoy a good lol funny read! one of us reads aloud until the other ultimately falls asleep since we always seem to pick this up right before bed. this of course means, we probably should have been done with this book about 4.3 months ago, however there is a lot of re-reading that happens to catch up where we left off prior to falling asleep. don’t mistake that for a boring title, however, because this book has enough sarcasm & adventure to entertain for hours!

my drop in the bucket review: on it’s way!

and then we will be entertained by this…because chris has always wanted to visit australia and we so enjoyed the sarcastic and adventurous way bill bryson tells his stories.  we will dive into this book is on audible.

i must admit, as a part of my old soul there is nothing like holding a good book in your hands, flipping through the pages and smelling the fresh new book smell, but when i do take advantage of modern technology audible & kindle are must haves!

have you tried audible?


here are the books that currently are sitting on the bookshelf waiting to be read.

click the amazon link in the margin above to order your next adventure 




                 Minimalism: More of Less by [Latham, James]

help me add to my bookshelf.  what are you currently reading?

“reading can seriously damage your ignorance.”


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2018 bucket list


it’s the end of february already!  where did the first two months of 2018 go? with the new year upon us and one month down…have you stuck to your resolutions? do you make resolutions?  me? nope! i don’t make resolutions, however i do set goals for myself and of course with each new year comes a new bucket list.

2018’s bucket list may look different then past years, because this year has everything to do with minimizing and simplifying.  i’m not going to lie, this seemed extremely overwhelming and a bit frightening at first.  for those of you who know me the best, you understand that thrifting is a God given talent of mine, and i pride myself on not wearing the same combination of clothes… well ever. LOL!

planning new adventures with my family and friends is my favorite past time.

THEN to top it all off… my husband and i talked about taking no trips this year!  NO TRIPS! okay this was definitely his idea. i argued for some time and we eventually settled on no trips abroad! so i still have the option of planning day trips, weekend get-aways and short jaunts to neighboring states.  apparently he decided his sanity was an important thing to keep!  smart man he is!  😉

the purpose in all of this is to focus our energy this year to saving, cleansing of “stuff”, home improvements, and allowing more time to enjoy the important things in life.  i can’t explain the freedom i already feel only 8 weeks into this adventure (more to come on the world of minimizing).

my hope is that you draw inspiration from my lists and CREATE one for yourself and NEVER stop being curious!

okay so here it goes…

2018 | bucket list:

(disclaimer: this is a never-ending work in progress, continuously being revised, refined, and modified)
  • ¤ tough mudder
  • ¤ design & create blog
  • ¤ learn spanish
  • ¤ take a photography course
  • ¤ visit door county  (https://www.doorcounty.com/)
  • ¤ skydive (tandem)
  • ¤ take a city tour of chicago
  • ¤ rv trip (okay so this one might have to wait)
  • ¤ go laser tagging
  • ¤ try a new food
  • ¤ motorcycle ride across the state with the hubby and pops
  • ¤ learn to surf
  • ¤ go to a musical
  • ¤ girls weekend get-a-way
  • ¤ visit and camp at life fest  (https://lifest.com/splash/)
  • ¤ spend a day at country usa  (http://www.countryusaoshkosh.com/)
  • ¤ indoor bike course http://www.raysmtb.com/about/what-is-ray-smtb.html
  • ¤ plan and play “not so newlywed game” with friends
  • ¤ visit an art museum
  • ¤ take dance lessons
  • ¤ take horse back riding lessons
  • ¤ go to the milwaukee ballet
  • ¤ go karting
  • ¤ enjoy a new restaurant
  • ¤ tennessee/nashville (ummm… my husband doesn’t think tennessee is a neighboring state to          wisco? and again this one might have to wait)
  • ¤ kids take hunter safety course
  • ¤ take motorcycle lessons
  • ¤ visit the kohler water spa
  • ¤ go snowboarding
  • ¤ go sledding
  • ¤ ride in a limo for lunch
  • ¤ go on a hot air balloon ride
  • ¤ write a letter to myself to open in 10 years
  • ¤ 52 week photography challenge
  • ¤ dance in the rain
  • ¤ go on a star gazing date
  • ¤ send a message in a bottle
  • ¤ visit a trampoline park
  • ¤ colorado camping trip
  • ¤ backpacking trip
  • ¤ create a wild flower garden
  • ¤ handwrite letters and cards to friends & family
  • ¤ see a comedian live
  • ¤ read!
  • ¤ Bible in a year


as we check items off our bucket list, i will be sure to provide updates, feed back and of course lots of pictures!  be sure to keep stopping back to check out this years adventures!


Once a year, go some place you’ve never been before

                                                                -dalai lama


what is on your list this year?  i’d love to hear about it!


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