Just a Little Whitewater…


Well, I managed to check another item off of my 101 list over the weekend!  While in Columbus, GA with B and his family for their family reunion, we opted to go on a whitewater rafting excursion.  Initially, I was a bit nervous about going (as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become a real coward…having absolutely no control over my fate is increasingly hard for me to handle), but what an awesome time I had!  After my nerves settled, our time on the water was the most relaxing two hours of the entire trip.  We were on Class I-III rapids, so they werent’t too bad.  In fact, by the end I was thinking, “That rapid wasn’t even that challenging!”  We did 360 degree turns through the rapids, we jumped in the middle of the raft and let the water carry us through the waves, we surfed the rapids, and we jumped out in the water and floated down a lazy river for a bit too!  No one fell out of the boat, but B’s cousins weren’t so fortunate.  Their raft capsized as they were surfing the rapids…from what they say, flipping over was kinda fun!  Had that been our boat, I’m pretty sure I would’ve been that one who was kicking and screaming!  I’m thankful to have been spared that bit of embarrassment and shame.  But given how fun the experience was, I’m hoping I’ll be more open to trying more new and adventurous things in the future, even if they may be a bit nervous.

Now about Columbus, GA…what a neat small city!  B and I have become quite the tourists whenever we travel together.  We tend to be the ones in the group who go out and explore the stores, restaurants, and museums in the area.  On our first night in town, we tried out a donut burger at Nonic Bar and Kitchen.  While a trendy dish, it wasn’t my thing…I really wanted a polish dog, but we decided to go with the recommendation of our waitress.  It was certainly an interesting mix of sweet and savory, but it was way too sweet for me.  I don’t think I’ll order that again. We also ate at a neat little “inexpensive” spot called Plucked Up Chicken.  We split an order of chicken and biscuits and a biscuit sandwich with ham, goat cheese, and jalapeño jelly.  The food was AMAZING!!!!!  The chicken and biscuits was definitely a play on chicken and waffles…they were sprinkled with chopped bacon and drizzled with syrup.  I’d definitely go there again.

We also spent one of our afternoons at the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning.  The mission of the museum is to honor the legacy and valor of the U.S. Army Infantryman. Hands down, this has to be the best museum I’ve ever been to.  We didn’t get to spend nearly enough time there.  We got to walk through the last 100 years of 10 major battles fought by the infantrymen of the US Army, view lots of weapons, tankers, helicopters, and uniforms, watch amazing videos about the army, Ft. Benning, and the infantry experience, and read the stories of some amazing soldiers.  The figures in the museum were incredible.  According to our curator, several soldiers from Ft. Benning were sent to New York where their bodies were cast and used to create the replicas observed in each of the exhibits. The replicas were so lifelike…it was insane!  While I’m not a history buff at all, I left the museum wanting to learn more about world history.  I was quite sad that we could not see the entire exhibit, and will definitely go back if my travels should ever take me to Columbus again.

So, I’m very thankful for another opportunity to live life to the fullest!




101 Update…

In November 2013, I began a journey to complete 101 things in 1,001 days.  Day 1,001 is August 13, 2016.  I’ve not gotten as far as I had hoped on my list, but I’m fine with that.  I’ve decided that I will start another 101 journey on August 14 that will incorporate some things from my current list, and add some new adventures/challenges!

Despite this, I’ve still got just under a month to check some more things off the list, and I’ve managed to do several things I set out to do…yay!  This experience has also caused me to realize that when we write things down, they somehow start to happen!  Last year, I checked going on a missions trip off my list (it was one of those things I wrote with no clue about where this would take me), and next weekend, I’ll be checking going whitewater rafting off of the list.  This was yet another item that I had no clue how I would complete, but I’m heading out on the water with Brendan and his family during their family reunion!  Exciting…I’ll be sure to take some pictures before or after the adventure!  The thing that strikes me about both of these things is that I was not intentional in planning to complete these things, it just happened randomly.

One of the not so random things that I recently checked off the list was attending a fireworks show!  Those who know me best know how difficult this was for me!  I hate fireworks with a passion.  I’m certain it’s because of the noise…I’ve been terrified of loud noises for as long as I can remember.  As a child, when the fire siren would ring, I ran in the house as fast as I could to escape the noise…when the saints started shouting at church, it was all over, I had to run outside.  I’ve just been terrified of loud noises my entire life, so fireworks have never been on my list of things to do.  But…this year, I decided to tackle my fear, (Brendan being a huge fireworks fan kinda helped me check this off of the list) and I survived!  It didn’t matter to me that it was a small, local fireworks display where they shot off 1-2 fireworks at a time, that worked for me, all that mattered was checking this off the list.

I may never go see fireworks again in my life, but I managed to face a huge fear, and check the most difficult challenge off my list.  Now for the next few weeks, I need to get busy tackling some of the smaller challenges on the list before the next journey begins.

Until next time…

Things to Do/Personal Challenges

1. Finish writing my 101 list…this is hard stuff! – Completed 11/16/2013

2. Complete photography CE certificate requirements.

3. Watch the 1st season of Scandal.

4. Write 5 letters to 5 people who have had a positive impact on my life. – 1 of 5 completed

5. Organize my computer files.

6. Organize my iTunes library.

7. Make a list of my fears and what I can do to face and defeat them.

8. Make a list of what is important to me in a relationship. – Completed 12/5/2013

9. Complete a 30 day photo challenge.

10. Attend a summer fireworks show. (This is by far the most challenging item on the list.)  – Completed 7/2/2016

11. Make an address book with contact information for family and friends.

12. Go speed dating in DC.

13. Subscribe to Real Simple magazine. – Completed

14. Go to Morgan’s Homecoming Gala.

15. Go to Morgan’s Homecoming game.

16. Write on my blog weekly for 52 consecutive weeks. – In progress

17. Get to work by 8 am every day for an entire month.

18. Go without watching TV for one week.

19. Go whitewater rafting.

20. Bike round trip from Baltimore to Annapolis.

Personal Growth and Enrichment

21. Read 10 books I currently own but have not read.

22. Write a living will.

23. Write a letter to open in 1,001 days. – Completed 11/19/2013

24. Writer a letter to open when I’m 40.

25. Write a Personal Mission Statement.

26. Go away for a personal silent retreat. – Completed 5/6/2014

27. Write in my journal for 30 consecutive days.

28. Write a letter of forgiveness to those people who have hurt me in my past…won’t send it, but will write it.

29. Get my CPR certification. – Completed


30. Go on a vacation (maybe a camping trip) with my immediate family.

31. Have lunch with my Dad.

32. Take a photography workshop with my brother.

33. Go on a spa day with my sister-in-law.

34. Go to tea with my mother.

35. Spend a day with my oldest nephew.

36. Go on a movie date with my middle nephew.

37. Bake holiday cookies with Kim.

38. Go to Ebenezer’s Coffeehouse with Pastor Ann.

39. Go on a weekend ski/snow tubing trip with friends.

40. Fix and have dinner with my grandmother and great-aunts. – Completed Mother’s Day 2014

41. Host a dinner party for my church “mothers”.

42. Complete a 5K (walking or running) with Ronnie to celebrate her weight loss journey.

43. Visit my aunt for a weekend in NC.

44. Send Sentell a care package. (This may be mission impossible!)

Faith and Spirituality

45. Complete a Daniel Fast.

46. Read the Bible in its entirety.

47. Create a prayer and meditation space in my home.

48. Apply to seminary. – Completed 6/23/2014

Lifelong Learning

49. Take golf lessons.

50. Take tennis lessons. – Completed 6/2014

51. Take swimming lessons.

52. Take a guitar class.

53. Take a piano class.

54. Take a cooking class.

55. Take 3 photography courses. – “Shooting in the Dark” (February 2014)

56. Learn how to make vegetable beef soup. – Completed

57. Learn to hand dance.

Health and Fitness

58. Run 30 miles in 30 days. – In progress

59. Complete a 10K race.

60. Lose 25 pounds.

61. Go rock wall climbing.

62. Run in the St. Michael’s Running Festival.

63. Bike a century.

64. Complete a sprint triathlon.

65. Complete a 50 push-up challenge.

66. Complete a plank challenge.

67. Consume zero cookies for an entire month.

68. Document my meal choices for 30 consecutive days.

Things to Own

69. Upgrade my dSLR.

70. Buy prime lens. – Completed

71. Buy a new TV…the tube TV has been out of style for some time now! – Completed

72. Buy a new bed. – Completed

73. Buy a dresser for my bedroom…I think it will help with organization. – Completed 5/2014

74. Buy a new nightstand. – Completed

75. Buy a desk. Completed…January ??, 2014

76. Buy a new iron and ironing board. – Completed

77. Buy new lamps for my bedroom and living room.

78. Buy my first home.

Financial Milestones

79. Pay off my car.

80. Save 10% of my annual salary.

Things to Do at Home

81. Organize my filing cabinet.

82. Create a weekly cleaning schedule. – Completed…can’t remember date!

83. Finish decorating my bedroom.

84. Make my bed every day for 30 consecutive days.

85. Create an office space in my home. – Completed

86. Frame and hang my artwork from Nigeria.

87. Frame and hang some of my own photos.

Places to Visit

88. Go on a European vacation.

89. Go on a cruise.

90. Go to New York during the Christmas season and see the Christmas Show at Radio City Music Hall.

91. Take a trip to Canada.

92. Go to the US Open…I love tennis!

93. Attend the Martha’s Vineyard African-American Film Festival.

94. Spend an afternoon in St. Michael’s.

95. Spend a weekend as a tourist in DC. – Completed 5/3/2014

Giving Back

96. Go on a missions trip. – Completed 6/2015

97. Organize a scholarship fund to give a book scholarship to at least 1 high school senior annually.

98. Donate books to a school/organization.

99. Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.

100. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. – Completed

101. Join the Pratt Contemporaries.