17 January 2008

36 things (or, the good that slipped in through the back door)

I made a different kind of list just after I turned 37. I filled up two whole pages with lovely little (and big) things that snuck up on me from behind and took me completely by surprise. things I never expected to happen, things I had no way of knowing I'd do in the course of a year. these are the things I never really saw coming.

1. went down a slide they call Big Pink.

2. witnessed a public pillow fight.

3. stood silent in a field of tulips.

4. introduced the kids to sushi and the joy of conveyor belt dining. couldn't actually get them to eat sushi but did trick them into eating seaweed.

5. learned to sew. sort of.

6. gained access to more photobooths than I knew what to do with.

7. grew flowers from seed.

8. made two trips to seattle.

9. lived comfortably through the summer months without air conditioning.

10. rode to the top of the st. louis arch without passing out. which, given my enormous fear of heights, is really something.

11. had a perfectly normal conversation with a couple walking on stilts.

12. rode a four-wheeler for the first time ever. I am so not a four-wheeler kind of girl which is why you'll never see pictures of said event. though I will admit to enjoying myself.

13. stood in the cold waters of the pacific ocean.

14. took a soak at the kennedy school.

15. cooked thanksgiving dinner all on my own (well, if you don't count ward peeling potatoes and ava helping with the cherry pie).

16. was featured in this brilliant woman's thesis project-- aka glimpse magazine.

17. took the kids to a roller rink for the first time. was comforted by two undeniable truths: you are never too old for roller skating and you are never too cool for the couples skate.

18. reconnected with a close old friend, the likes of which I thought I might never see again.

19. traveled cross country with two young children, one husband and one 16 year-old cat. saw a good amount of america through the eyes of a little point and shoot camera.

20. planted a vegetable garden.

21. watched two real parades.

22. was featured on the front page of a newspaper.

23. celebrated 13 years of marriage on the 42nd floor of a hotel in downtown seattle.

24. fell in love with a new artist.

25. crossed the continental divide.

26. purchased a new camera.

27. made pasta sauce from tomatoes that came from our garden.

28. had my photographs printed. for the first time in the two years we've owned a digital camera.

29. taught creative movement workshops at a montessori school.

30. made more new friends than I ever imagined possible.

31. spent an afternoon at the coolest library in the world.

32. carved out a sweet new workspace for myself in the basement.

33. flew down city museum's monster slide-- camera in hand, skirt up over my head.

34. wore sweaters in the middle of june. and for the first time in sixteen years, wished for the kind of heat that can only be found in the deep south.

35. averaged 7-8 hours of sleep a night. really, this is a very big deal for me.

36. learned to love coffee. okay yes, that's a lie. but I want to like it, I really do.


  1. 1. i love lists too
    2. i've read your blog for awhile and thought it was finally time to leave a comment because
    3. your entries are always inspiring and your photo lists are amazing
    4. please keep it up!

  2. Hi Andrea,
    I found your amazing works of art/ blogging skills via flickr and have been a huge fan ever since! You continue to inspire me on a daily basis and I know I can always count on you for eye candy or a refreshing take on daily life. Your spirit shines through in everything you do...keep up the good work!

    P.S. that photo of downtown Seattle at night is absolutely stunning! :)

  3. you are brilliant.
    always love seeing the world through your eyes.
    this is such an amazing list.

  4. What a list! Fabulous! I need to make a list like this. I so easily forget anything and everything I've done in the past year. Will 'learn to love coffee' be on your list of 37? ;)

  5. such beautiful and inspiring words and images. i'm so glad you share your incredible journey here.

  6. What a great list! And what gorgeous photos, too! I especially love the one taken on the city museum's monster slide - looks like a lot of fun.

  7. This is one of the coolest blog posts I've ever seen!!

  8. I love your lists and your unique perspective on life. It inspires me to appreciate the small things more and to appreciate each day's beauty. Must have been a wonderful year for you. :-)

  9. my cheeks hurt just a little bit.
    i just smiled alllll the way through this post.

    here's to more unexpected greatness for year 37 :)

  10. I absolutely love your blog, it always bring back good memories of my own adventures.

    I do miss Seattle and was very sad I didn't make the extra effort to go to Pike Place when I was there for a week.

  11. Love it! But hey, how'd you get to Oregon without going through Idaho or Nevada?

  12. Loved this list even better than the first! Who ever said we couldn't make lists "after" we did the activity!
    Our mom's are reconnecting this past week! So fun for them!
    Blessings to you,
    Lora Dawn

  13. I love love this collection. What a beautiful life!

  14. What a wonderful fabulous list. We're so lucky to have you here in Portland!

  15. I absolutely love your blog and have added a link from my blog to yours. Hula Seventy is so inspiring and filled with beauty that I had to add my thanks. I have been a life-long list maker! I will definitely check out the book. Thank you!

  16. This post is incredible! Happy Birthday.

    I really enjoy visiting your blog.

    I invite you to stop by mine if you'd like.


  17. Yay! Hurray!
    This post balanced off the previous post beautifully!!!
    - Lee

  18. love, love, love the pillow fight!

  19. marigoldie -- Ava colored in Idaho with a white crayon, making it look like we didn't go through that state. If you click on the Flickr image, you can get a little lowdown on the trip, with notes added by Andrea.

  20. This makes me think that someday I could really dig being a mom. Thank you (so much).

  21. I love this idea. I am going to turn 37 this year and maybe a list like this would be good.

  22. Did I have anything to do with number 5?

  23. I absolutely LOVE this post.

  24. you know andrea, I think I like this list even more then the original one.
    1. because it is what life handed you, and man wasn't it lovely?
    2. somethings you just can't ever expect, and yet when they happen- they stand out more then the things you did.


  25. You absolutely inspire me. I love this. Thank you.

  26. What a feel good list-I swear I feel as though I have been insight to a whole new way of life.hee hee.

    I really really want/will do this list thing this year. I just turned 36.

    So fun.

    I feel super lame with words today, and it is the first time visiting your blog. I have a slight fear that I may be making a strange first impression:)

  27. fabulous list! I really want to do this :)

  28. Hi there~ I found you via Ali Edwards & love this idea of recognizing serendipities. Thanks for inspiring me to look at those back door moments differently :)

  29. Awesome, amazing and inspiring list!

  30. Wow! Congratulations on being such an inspiration by just appreciating your life. :)

  31. This is great.
    I just turned 36.
    I need to do this!
    I also want to like coffee.
    Made my first cup this morning!
    It's great with sugar and creamer.
    Is that considered coffee? it is for me.

  32. wow this fantastic, I luv this list idea. I just turned 40 so that will be a great one :)

  33. you make lists into art
    I need to do more lists - real ones like this, not about unimportant "do tax return".
    I'll be comment no. 34...

  34. I've been making lists for a while, but I haven't blogged about them. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your style, girl. And that slide at the City Museum is the coolest, as is the outdoor climbing structure. thanks for sharing and I will be back to look around soon.

  35. What a very cool list! I hope you don't mind if I borrow your idea here. I turn 39 in just a handful of weeks. Maybe enough time to put together a few lists. I like that you have the 2 together. That just shows so well how life unfolds itself.