Mighty Life List
Apr 12 2010

Before I Die I Want to… Project

The Before I Die I Want to… Project collects polaroids of people as they state their wish, then asks them to write it down and send it in.

If you’d like to participate by sending in photos, you’ll find detailed information here.

(Thanks, Karen. You always send the best stuff my way.)

Mar 31 2010

The Winner and a Reminder

And the winner is? #986. JJ, you won! You are officially a lucky person. I sent you a note with details, so check your spam filter.

As for the rest of you, it is officially the last day of March. When the Verizon campaign started, many of you promised that you’d finish three things off your life list this month too. How’s that coming? If you haven’t already commented about your victories, please do today, so I can read what you’ve been up to and include you in the roundup.

If you haven’t gotten started yet, do it! You have 24 hours to rock. Reeeaaddy? Go!

Mar 10 2010

Go Dogsledding? Check.

Am I the only one who thought you have to go to the Arctic Tundra for dogsledding? The idea is so exotic to me, I expected to be shrouded in seal pelts and lunching on whale blubber. Then again, having grown up in California, windshield ice scrapers are exotic to me, so I may not be the best judge. Turns out there’s a dogsledding operation called Wilderness Adventures in Truckee, California, just a few hours north of my home town. Score!

This is our family riding in a dogsled, you guys. Hank is covering his face because I gave him my sunglasses so snow chips wouldn’t hit him in the eyes. He loved them and got very screechy when I tried to uncover his face. I thought about fighting him, because I was attached to the idea of a crazy-awesome dogsledding Christmas card, until I realized I was in danger of turning a magical day into a Perfectionist v. Toddler screamfest. So you’ll just have to trust me that he’s looking pretty cute under there.

Sledding was a little scary in the beginning because the dogs were so excited to get going, and also because this life list project has made me afraid of going fast without an adult helmet. Bryan asked if we should be prepared for the sled to tip. On the bridge, for example.

Yikes.

Our guide assured us that there was too much weight in the sled. So he basically called us fat. Take that, huskies!

For the most part, dogsledding was sort of like an amusement park ride, only the the bumper cars can poop. Speaking of which, the dogs do let loose while they’re running, sometimes without even breaking stride. So it was nice to have front row tickets for that.

Apparently the motion of the sled is so soothing that it often puts kids to sleep, and Hank was no exception. It was so cozy to have him dozing in my lap while I snuggled up with Bryan. Dog sledding is fun for the whole family!

After the run was over, we got to go play with the dogs, which made Hank delirious with joy and slightly terrified. He’s a little nervous around big dogs, so he kept saying, “These doggies are so nice to me. They will not bite me.”

And he was right.

We rewarded Hank for his bravery by finding him a pair of his very own sunglasses.

Christmas card secured.

A huge thanks to Verizon Wireless for sponsoring my Mighty Life List and helping me achieve my dreams. They gave me a Palm Pre Plus, which I used to find my way to the dogsledding place because it has GPS, and we were totally lost. Our guide also used it to take the first photo of this post, which I frankly would not have believed was from a camera phone if I hadn’t been there. Well done, everyone.

Dec 10 2009

Your Mighty Life List Ideas

If you’re working on a Mighty Life List, please send it my way: maggie at mightygirl dot com. If you haven’t started your list yet, here’s another set to inspire you (more over here). Cribbing encouraged:

mllflowers

Melissa of Suburban Bliss is going to:
“Buy fresh flowers for the house once a week for a year.”

Bea of Bea is going to:
“Take singing lessons.”

Danielle  of Knotty Yarn is going to:
“Restore contact with three people I’ve lost along the way.”

Eleanor Black of Pundit is going to:
“Hug an orangutan.”

Jackie of A Patchwork Life is going to:
“Take trapeze lessons.”

mllchurch

Raych of The Part of My Life that is Not on The Intrawebs is going to:
“Ring a church bell (the kind in a tower, with a rope).”

R. Glaves of Underoo is going to:
“Get rid of everything I own that won’t fit in a backpack.”

Jena and Jessi of Bouched is going to:
“Sneeze on a sneeze guard.”

The Littlest Bird is going to:
“Take the Hiram Bingham Train to Machu Picchu.”

take luck is going to:
“Restore an old movie theatre.”

mllfish

La Florecita is going to:
“Own a saltwater tank.”

The Takemoto Family is going to:
“Learn to throw pottery.”

Ms. Quarter of A Quarter Century in the Cream City is going to:
“Cook gulyas over an open fire.”

McGriddle Pants of Serenity Now!! Insanity Later is going to:
“Become proficient in the use of a plane, motorcycle, tractor, surfboard, rifle, pistol, canoe, football, basketball, bow and arrow, a guitar, lariat and boomerang.”

Charmed of Ramblings of an Idle Mind is going to:
“Go spelunking.”

mllsnow

Alliecat In A Beautiful Pea Green Boat is going to:
“Take my children to experience snow. Preferably a White Christmas somewhere very, very north of here.”

J. Murray – Szarvas of Murray-Szarvas.com is going to:
“Travel across Canada on my motorcycle.”

Cahilla is going to:
“Ride the trains in Darjeeling.”

KT of Review Notes is going to:
“Spend a day at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.”

Gail of Impolite Conversation is going to:
“Become involved with a gnostic community.”

Allison of Perknitious is going to:
“Wear red shoes in the summer.”

Pumpkin Soup is going to :
“Eat caviar.”

Dakotagrrl is going to:
Finish a New York Times crossword puzzle.”

Sandra Vahtel of The Sour and the Sweet is going to:
“Travel to over 50% of the globe.”

Stacy of Sassafras Mama is going to:
“Have a front porch so incredible it could be on the cover of Country Living magazine.”

Nov 2 2009

Make 1,000 Lovely Things: Fishy and Jellyfish Costume

fishy1

Behold! The cutest little fishy on the face of the planet.

fishy2

And his little fish bum too! Oh. My. Goodness. The glue-gun burns were a small price to pay.

hallcaptn

Bryan was a sea captain.

hallmomjelly

And I was a jellyfish. I made my hat from a lampshade.

hallbuzzer

The joy buzzer was the best part of my costume.

halljellytentacles

The whole costume only cost me like $11. Before going out for the night I added tentacles and a sweater. Surprisingly, there were tons of jellyfish on the street, the best one being a girl who had affixed blacklights to the underside of a white umbrella. I practically genuflected in the street. Happy Halloween!

Sep 30 2009

Thank You, Intel

Today is the last day of Intel’s Sponsors of Tomorrow Campaign on Mighty Girl. I can hardly express how grateful I am to the Intel team, and how blessed I am to have all of you guys supporting me.

A quick recap of everything Intel has made possible in the last few months. Together, we:

1. Redesigned Mighty Girl, (with a little help from Helen Jane).

2. Took tap lessons from Mr. Kloss.

inteltap

3. Swam with bioluminescent plankton in Puerto Rico.

biobay

4. Got a little closer to tasting 1,000 fruits.

starfruit

5. Had an exceptional time in Greece.

3931462485_a9e166d57d

6. Had dinner at the French Laundry.

intellamps

7. Hosted a giant food fight.

intelfoodfight

8. Learned to roll in a kayak.

intelkayak

9. Rejected paragliding as a hobby.

intelparaglide

10. Zip-lined through a canopy.

intelzip

Because the campaign let me make my life list a top priority, I even tackled a bunch of goals on my own. We took Hank camping, played with sparklers on the Fourth of July, and introduced him to ice cream cones. I did one of Miranda July’s projects. And I even got a few friends together to help me plan a retreat.

How Did this Happen?

A lot of you have asked me how I got Intel to sponsor my Mighty Life List, and the answer is I didn’t. These guys did.

paigepicjasondave

That’s Paige Thomas, Jason Ratner, and David Veneski. Paige and Jason work for Federated Media — the company that helped make blogging my job. David works for Intel, the company that made my dreams my job.

I talk to Paige nearly every day, and about a year ago I asked her to tell the sales team about my list. Ideas like this can easily come across as “some blogger wants free stuff,” but Jason understood. He told David, and showed me some of the ads around Sponsors of Tomorrow. I thought the main ideas were in line with my values: Celebrating smart people, and embracing the future.

David eventually agreed to have Intel sponsor my life list, which was bold of him, I think. Intel is a huge company with a lot at stake, and most companies of that size want full approval over any text that goes out. That clearly would never work for Mighty Girl, so David decided to trust me, which must have been scary at first.

When we first started the campaign, Matt Jessell at FM sent me this Brady Bunch collage to pin on my board:

bradysmall

It cracked me up when I first got it, and it still does, but now it makes me a little sentimental too. This is the team behind the Sponsors of Tomorrow campaign — most of them have made their own life lists, some have become Twitter friends, and all of them played a part in changing the way I approach my life. I owe them my gratitude.

What Happens Next?

Y’all, I am going to sleep. I had no idea how much I was biting off, or how much emotion I’d feel through all of it.

It may sound cheesy, but these few months have been transformative, and change takes a lot of energy. Doing all this has helped me clarify what makes me happy, and reminded me to be more gentle with myself. I understand now that a list like this requires flexibility, and writing about all of it has shown me that I can be comically rigid. It honestly came as an epiphany that I could change my own list — add new things, delete the things that just didn’t seem appealing when I actually started tackling them.

I’ve also learned so much about all of you. That you want to travel, be role models, buy homes, start businesses. I love reading your lists, and I’m still thinking about a better way for us to work on them together.

While I sleep for a year or so, Paige will be building a succulent wall; Jason is figuring out how to found bed and breakfasts for snowboarders, cyclists and vinophiles; and David wants to write a book. I’ll let you know how they do.

In the meantime, thank you, everyone. For all of it.

Sep 25 2009

Rolling a Kayak, the movie!

Bryan spent many hours with iMovie putting this together. Thanks, mister:

Intel is making my site more interesting by sponsoring my Mighty Life List. They’re the reason I was able to do this, and so I like them very much. Thanks, Intel.