Guest Post Courtenay: Full to the Brim

My bucket is brimming, full to the very top of life, children, love, joy, and creativity.  With every step I take, I carry it carefully, trying to keep every golden drop safely in the bucket so I don’t waste a moment.My bucket contains everything I have always wanted, everything my heart has ever desired:

The love of my life, my husband, who walks hand-in-hand with me on the journey of our life together.  He is patient, gentle and loving.  He is funny, smart and responsible.  He makes me smile, laugh and blush every day.  He is a caring and selfless father.  Best of all? He loves me.  And he would rather spend any minute of his spare time with me and with our kids than any pastime.  He is mine and I am his and I have never — not once — questioned that bond.  We are supposed to be us.If my husband is the love of my life, my children are its purpose.  We waited until we were darn old to start our family and my, oh my, was it ever worth the wait.  I see absolute perfection in my children – I’m not saying that they are perfect, but that they are perfectly themselves and their little selves fit perfectly into my heart, like interlocking puzzle pieces snapping together to form a complete picture.  I have never felt more at peace than I do holding a sleepy babe in my arms, my world both infinitesimal and exponentially huge at one.  I am struck breathless by each of them daily as I watch them grow, learn and discover.

From these fertile grounds of love and joy, creativity springs like a geyser.  Motherhood unlocked my voice and it sings, sings, sings.  I write, I dance, I sing, I play and I love every minute of it.  I don’t care who is watching and I am happy to make a gushing fool of myself.

So, you see, my bucket is already quite full.  So full, that when Brook asked me to share my bucket list, my first thought was, “I don’t have a bucket list!”

I don’t have any plans, but will take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. I don’t have unmet desires, but am happy to try new experiences that come my way.  All I want to do is live honestly and keep my soul open to the many miracles that dance by on the wind, dandelion seeds carrying possibility and adventure.  I make a wish and blow, hoping that my children grow to embrace their world and themselves.  Magic is all around and you don’t need a fairy to show you the way to unfettered joy; look inward and embrace all that is good and amazing.

Courtenay is a happily married working mama of two young kids, infant twins, two cats, a flock of chickens, and one large dog… Life is good! Motherhood is a full-contact sport; sometimes she wins, sometimes she loses — but she always has fun playing. She is funny, irreverent, and sarcastic — not for the faint of heart. Her blog Soup isn’t a gross-out blog, but the inherent danger of parenting involves discussing more bodily fluid than she ever thought possible.


Guest Post My Mom: The Simple Things

A new week, and new guest post from someone who is very near and dear to me…MY MOM. Yeah, she may not have a blog, but boy can she write. Perhaps she will make more appearances here. Hint, hint…

My Oh-So-Smart daughter has asked me to write an article for her blog.  The subject is ‘Bucket Lists’. I told her I don’t have one. This seemed to surprise her a bit. She asked if there was anything I really wanted to do. I told her the only thing I’ve been thinking about for the last 6 years was getting back to Iowa/Illinois. We’d been in Michigan for the last 26 years. We were able to accomplish the move in December 2011.

Now that we’re here, I find the only things I want are for our family to be happy and healthy. I want us to be around to see our grandkids grow up and our kids to remain the great successful people they are now.

I don’t seem to care so much about traveling to far away places or climbing mountains. Heck, I don’t even care if I ever get curtains for the new condo. I want to be able to see our grandkids at a moment’s notice. Cook a meal or 2 or 3 for them. I’m happy that everyone gets giddy when I announce I’ve made a batch of dinner rolls. Instead of paying for plane tickets and hotel rooms at some exotic locale, I’d rather spend the money on a new outfit for one of the grandkids just because ‘it’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen’. I want to buy them books that they’ll keep and cherish and hand down to their kids.

At my age I realize there are lots of things I’ll never do or see. But I’m so very happy for the things and people I have in my life now.

Guest Post Kim: In the Wisps of My Memory

In the wisps of my memory, I pick at a loose thread.

And gently tug.

The memory unwinds bit by bit as each fiber of the filament sees the light of day.

Remembering Chicago…a girls’ trip with book club…deep dish sausage pizza…kissing a handsome Italian stranger on St. Patrick’s Day…exploring a vibrant city…celebrating my 40th birthday…shopping on Michigan Avenue…a bucket list written in jest on a napkin from a bar.

Ah, a telltale sign of the beginnings of middle age: a bucket list.

The list of things to do before one dies. Stuff to do before you kick the proverbial bucket.

Teenagers don’t think of life that way. Young adults don’t either.

But those of us who have hit the middle years come to a sudden jaw-dropping realization that time is fleeting – ephemeral – and that there is not nearly enough of it in one lifetime.

In the desperation to prove that we really have LIVED, we craft for ourselves a list of incredible things we want to do before we die. If we manage to accomplish these things, you see, the theory goes that we will have fewer regrets upon our death bed. We won’t have wasted the precious minutes of our lives.

While I do recall a few of the items from the bucket list I started in Chicago, and I fully intend to see that I achieve at least most of them, my true bucket list should not just include the things I want to DO before I die, but the things I need to stop wasting my precious minutes doing while I live.

So, I propose that we should all craft a Reverse Bucket List.

For the rest of my life, I refuse to spend one single solitary moment:

  • holding on to anger and resentment – Why should I let it poison my todays?
  • reading a book I don’t enjoy – Why waste that time?
  • letting fear hold me back – What do I have to lose?
  • spending far too much time making a simple decision – Don’t I have something BETTER to do with that time?
  • dashing through life with such haste that I miss the beauty in this world – the tiniest flower, the most intricate spider web, the smile of a stranger – each represents a miracle in this world. Wouldn’t it be marvelous to allow each one to make my ordinary days extraordinary?

And on a lighter note, no more:

  • listening to political robocalls on my phone – hang up already!
  • putting up with rude people – I can just walk away…
  • actually reading the junk mail – recycle bin, here it comes!
  • playing nice with the snarky PTA mom who will just talk about me the moment I turn my back – no more artificial niceties.
  • liverwurst, okra, or scrapple – life’s too short for food I don’t love!

If I honor every thought in my Reverse Bucket List, even if I never see the aurora borealis, climb to the top of Machu Picchu, or eat fresh mozzarella crafted by hand by an Italian artisan, my life will still have held fulfillment.

Treat each day as a gift.

Isn’t that what prevents regret?


Kimberly is one overworked, overwrought mother juggling two active boys, one neurotic dog, and a rubber chicken. By day, she’s a librarian extraordinaire. By night, she’s a carpool chauffeur, Food Network junkie, resistant exerciser, and single mother who isn’t raising criminals. At Rubber Chicken Madness, she blogs about her high adventures in transforming teenage boys into confident young men, treasuring her imperfect life, and figuring out a way to use her minor in Philosophy to generate income.