Life List Year 2+

One of my most fundamental beliefs is that in order to keep living, I must continue growing and expanding my personal comfort zone. In April 2013, I began a journey to have 100 new experiences in one year. When I started, I remember thinking "that's almost 1 new experience every 3 days and I'm not sure I can really do that." Much to my surprise, I achieved my goal by December 31st and finished out the year on April 10, 2014 with 160 new experiences.

Year one was transformative, both personally and professionally. Read the history of the Life List, the 2013-14 New Experiences here and read about the six lessons I learned here.

This year, I'm upping the ante. I'm pushing the limits of my comfort zone even further and have 250 new experiences. For easy reference, I've listed my initial list below and broken the experiences up by type: Adventure, Arts & Entertainment, Community & Volunteerism, Foodie Joy, Health and Fitness, Personal & Professional Development, Silly, Travel, and Writing, Photography, & Crafts. This is by no means an all-inclusive list. I expect that it will evolve during the year. Additional experiences will be added and it's possible that I'll decide not to pursue some of the adventures below.

Before you get started reading my list of new experiences, make sure you know my rules for what constitutes a new experience and more. There are only three rules. It will just take you a sec.

Want to follow my progress? Check back to this page frequently, subscribe to receive emails when I publish new blog posts below, become a fan of the Little Merry Sunshine Facebook page, and follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram all using the hashtag #LifeListYear2.

Want to join me? Send me an email to let me know what you're game for and we'll make a plan.

Have suggestions for other adventures? Send me an email.

Have your own list of new experiences? Send me an email to let me know and I'll put a link to it at the bottom of this page.

Without further ado, here's my new Life List containing 250 2014-15 New Experiences:

Adventure - 8

  1. Take a Lake Geneva Postal Boat Tour
  2. Stomp grapes
  3. Attend Red Bull Flugtag Chicago
  4. Go sailing
  5. √ Tour Wrigley Field - DONE June 11, 2016.
  6. Attend Sirens of the Deep Mermaid Camp at Weeki Wachee State Park
  7. √ See the Northern Lights. DONE August 15, 2015.
  8. Ride a mechanical bull.
  9. √ Sing karaoke. DONE December 14, 2014 with Claire. We sang Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson and I think we were pretty darn good. See the picture.
  10. Attend Chicago's Gay Pride Parade.
  11. √ Learn to shoot a gun. DONE Shot a BB gun July 25, 2014.
  12. Spend an hour in a floatation tank.
  13. Spend the night on the beach. 
  14. √ See a Blood Moon. DONE October 8, 2014. I got up at 4:00 am to see this!
  15. Watch the sunrise over Lake Michigan.
  16. Shoot a bow and arrow.
  17. Visit the Hancock Tilt (and here).
  18. Visit the Rail Fan Park.
  19. √ Visit the Crystal Lake Alpaca Farm in Frankfort, Michigan. DONE August 12, 2014.
  20. √ Drive a 1955 Triumph. DONE June 23, 2014. Read the blog post and see the photo gallery.
  21. √ Drive a 1967 Triumph. DONE June 23, 2014. Read the blog post and see the photo gallery. See the picture.
  22. √ Visit a New Orleans Cemetery. DONE March 13, 2015 with Andrea. We visited St. Louis Cemetery #3.
  23. Attend a full moon party with Erin.
  24. √ Hold a python snake. DONE July 27, 2016. See the picture here.

Arts & Entertainment - 31

  1. Attend the Tornado and Severe Storm seminar at Femilab.
  2. Attend an On the Map House Concert at BB's.
  3. Attend a baseball game at Milwaukee's Miller Park.
  4. Attend a concert in Millennium Park.
  5. Attend a White Sox baseball game at US Cellular Field.
  6. See a movie at the Cherry Bowl Drive-In.
  7. Attend a taping of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me.
  8. Visit the Museum of Science & Industry.
  9. Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art. (FREE on Tuesdays)
  10. Visit the National Museum of Mexican Art. (FREE daily)
  11. Visit the Adler Planetarium.
  12. Visit the DuSable Museum of African American Art. (FREE on Sundays)
  13. Visit the Field Museum of Natural History.
  14. √ Visit the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. DONE May 11, 2014 with Mom. See the pictures here, here, here, and here.
  15. Visit the Glessner House Museum. (FREE on Wednesdays)
  16. Attend the Blue Man Group.
  17. √ See The Sound of Music at the Lyric Opera. DONE May 23, 2014 with Tim and Michael. See the picture here.
  18. Visit Chicago's Chinatown (#45 from 2013-14 List).
  19. √ Attend The Thrilling Adventure & Supernatural Suspense Hour. DONE April 26, 2014 with Alan, Jen, and Christopher. See the picture.
  20. Tour the Chicago Board of Trade.
  21. √ Visit the Chicago Cultural Center. DONE May 1, 2015 with Kristin.
  22. Go to the Green Mill.
  23. Visit the Pullman District in Chicago.
  24. Go on the Devil in the White City Chicago Architecture Foundation Tour.
  25. √ Watch every episode of How I Met Your Mother (I only started watching in the final season). DONE October 15, 2014.
  26. Visit the historic Keith House.
  27. Attend a performance of Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind.
  28. Tour the House Museum in Rolling Meadows.
  29. See a show at Second City.
  30. Attend a Roller Derby.
  31. √ Attend the 100th Anniversary of Wrigley Field game between the Chicago Federals (Cubs) and the Kansas City Packers (Arizona Diamondbacks) with Dad. DONE April 23, 2014. See the pictures here, here, here, here, and here.
  32. √ See the documentary Anita: Speaking Truth to Power. DONE April 17, 2014.
  33. √ Take the SC Johnson tour in Racine, WI. Read the Chicago Tribune article about it. We only toured Wingspread because we spent so much time there that we missed the tour of the Administration Building at SC Johnson headquarters. Partly DONE December 19, 2015 with Christopher and Chris.
  34. Visit Farnsworth House in Plano, IL.
  35. Visit the House on the Rock in Spring Green, WI.
  36. √ Attend a murder mystery dinner party. DONE June 12, 2014 with Wini and Christopher.
  37. See the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
  38. Play Bingo.
  39. √ Have a cat drawn for me by Steve of I Want to Draw a Cat for You. ORDERED March 8, 2015.
  40. √ Visit the Gold Pyramid House. DONE August 23, 2015 with Tim and Michael. See a picture.
  41. Attend Jazzin' at the Shedd.
  42. Take a Jackson Park Tour.
  43. √ Visit the Green Bay Botanical Garden. DONE June 23, 2014. See the picture here.
  44.  Attend the Lake County Fair. DONE July 25, 2014. Done with Alan and Christy.
  45. √ See a movie at Frankfort's Garden Theater. DONE August 16, 2014 with Dave.
  46. Tour Adlai Stevenson II's home in Libertyville, IL.
  47. Tour President U.S. Grant's home (and here) in Galena, IL. DONE August 31, 2014. See the picture here.
  48. √ Visit the site of the second Lincoln-Douglas debate in Freeport, IL. DONE September 1, 2014.
  49. √ Visit Little Cubs Field in Freeport, IL. DONE September 1, 2014. See the pictures here and here.
  50. √ Attend the Mag Mile Festival of Lights Parade. DONE November 22, 2014 with David and Kyle.
  51. Attend the Wreathing of the Lions at the Art Institute.
  52. √ Tour John Hughes' home in Lake Forest. DONE May 15th. See the picture.
  53. √ Tour the Thorne Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago. DONE February 5, 2015 with Alan. See the pictures about the exhibit here and here.
  54. √ Take a backstage tour of Lyric Opera. DONE February 15, 2015.
  55. √ Attend a show at Tiki Terrace. DONE July 3, 2015 with Tim, Michael, Carol, and Becky. See some pictures here and here.
  56. √ See The Breakfast Club on the big screen. DONE March 31, 2015 with Christopher.
  57. Attend SummerFest in Milwaukee.
  58. √ See Joshua Davis in concert. DONE August 13, 2015 with Linda, Camey, and Katie. See a picture.
  59. √ Visit Interlochen. DONE August 13, 2015 with Linda, Camey, and Katie.
  60. √ See Lady Gaga in concert. DONE June 27, 2015 at Ravinia with Tony Bennett, Martha, Stefan, and Sarah.
  61. See Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
  62. √ Attend a concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music. DONE November 13, 2015 with Mom to see and meet Joshua Davis. See the picture.
  63. √ Meet Joshua DavisDONE November 13, 2015 with Mom to see and meet Joshua Davis. See the picture.
  64. √ See Kenny Rogers live in concert. DONE November 28, 2015 with Dad. See the picture.
  65. √ Attend the Designs4Dignity Kitchen Walk in Union Pier, MI. DONE October 17, 2015 with Jackie, Jen, Tim, Michael, Denny, and Stephen. See the pics here, here, and here.
  66. √ Attend Wonderland Express at the Chicago Botanic Garden. DONE December 26, 2015 with Mom and Dave.
  67. √ See Dolly Parton in concert. DONE August 7, 2016 at Ravinia.
  68. √ Attend Nashville in Concert. DONE April 2016. See the picture.

Books are My Best Friends - 2

  1. Attend the Printer's Row Lit Fest. 
  2. Tour Ragdale. Scheduled for September 24, 2016.
  3. Participate in Ragdale's Summer Retreat
  4. Re-read Little Women.
  5. Re-read the Little House on the Prairie books.
  6. Re-read the Anne of Green Gables books.
  7. Read The Feminine Mystique.
  8. Re-Read To Kill A Mockingbird
  9. Read Go Set a Watchman
  10. Read The Sixty-Eight Rooms Adventures based on the Thorne Rooms in the Chicago Art Institute. In progress - I've read the first three books.
  11. √ Meet Linda Gray (aka Sue Ellen Ewing) at her book signing for The road to happiness is always under construction. DONE October 2, 2015 with Tim and Michael. See the picture and read the blog post.
  12. √ Road trip to St. Louis to see Brad Meltzer. DONE June 23 & 24, 2015 with Mom. See the pictures hereherehere, and here.

Community & Volunteerism - 6

  1. √ Help 5 people have new experiences from their lists. If I haven't done the new experiences I assist others have, they will count as separate new experiences here. DONE August 16, 2015.
    1. √ Take Dave blueberry picking. DONE August 17, 2014.
    2. √ Book Mom on the Lake Express Ferry from Muskegon, MI to Milwaukee, WI. DONE October 26, 2014.
    3. √ Take Mom on a short tour of Route 66 and have lunch at the Artison Cafe. DONE June 24, 2015.
    4. √ Take Gardner Cousin Andrea to Batesville, MS. DONE March 12, 2015.
    5.  Take Dad to Mackinac Bridge. DONE August 16, 2015.
    6. √ Introduce Andrea to Brad Meltzer. DONE June 23, 2015. See the picture.
  2. Attend the 2014 Great Lakes Naval Station July 4th Festival
  3. √ Support the Slinky Treadmill Kickstarter Project. DONE July 11, 2014. 1/13/15 Update: Sadly, they've cancelled this project and I won't be receiving my Slinky Treadmill. I did, however, receive a full refund.
  4. √ Meet Chris Kennedy, founder of Top Box Foods. DONE February 17, 2015. See the picture.
  5. √ Join the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Chamber of Commerce. DONE January 27, 2015 as a "Friend and Neighbor."
  6. √ Support Amy Guth's Kickstarter campaign to support her documentary about online harassment of women. DONE November 13, 2015.

Foodie Joy - 41

  1. √ Attend the 2015 Chicago Dinner in White (learn about the 2013 Dinner in White). DONE August 8, 2015 at Ravinia with Tim, Michael, Lyletta, Christy, and Erin. See a picture.
  2. Take the Chicago Chocolate Tour
  3. Try Cincinnati Skyline Chili
  4. Try Bacon on a Stick at the White Sox game.
  5. Have High Tea at the Drake.
  6. Have tea at Russian Tea Time.
  7. Dine at the HobNob Supper Club in Racine, Wisconsin.
  8. √ Try quinoa. DONE August 11, 2014. It was decent, but a little bland.
  9. Make quinoa.
  10. Take the Metra to a new town just to have dinner.
  11. √ Learn to can. DONE September 2014. I canned stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, cinnamon applesauce, green salsa, regular salsa, and cranberry sauce.
  12. Learn to pour a perfect Guinness beer.
  13. √ Have dinner at Uncommon Ground. DONE September 6, 2014 with Tim and Michael. See the picture here.
  14. √ Visit Ikea and have a famous Ikea meatball. DONE September 11, 2014. I didn't particularly enjoy the meatballs. See the picture here.
  15. Have dinner at Carnivale.
  16. Drink a tropical drink out of a pineapple or coconut.
  17. √ Try a Cronut. DONE December 19, 2015.
  18. Have dinner at Girl and the Goat.
  19. Make toasted coconut butter.
  20. Make homemade marshmallow Peeps.
  21. Make homemade marshmallows.
  22. Attend the Taste of Chicago.  I've changed my mind. I have no desire to do this.
  23.  Try a Spunky Dunkers donut. DONE May 7, 2014. See the picture.
  24. √ Try brussel sprouts. DONE May 7, 2014. Considering how much I hated these as a kid, I have to say that I'm a fan as an adult.
  25.  Try a Jolly Good Fellows cupcake. DONE May 20, 2014. See the picture.
  26. Make basil butter.
  27. √ Try a P.B. & B. - Peanut Butter & Bacon Burger at Titletown Brewery Company in Green Bay, WI. DONE June 22, 2014. Thanks Peter!
  28. Visit the Green City Market.
  29. √ Try funnel cake. DONE July 25, 2014 at the Lake County Fair. See the picture.
  30. √ Have lunch in the back room at Left Bank. DONE August 19, 2014.
  31. Make Strawberry Preserves.
  32. √ Try a Kuma Burger - the best burger in the USA. DONE March 29, 2015. It was seriously the best burger I've ever had. EVER. See the picture.
  33. √ Make dehydrated cantaloupe. DONE July 4, 2014.
  34. √ Grow strawberries. DONE Summer 2014.
  35.  Attend Highwood's Bloody Mary Fest. DONE July 27, 2014 with Chris and Lyletta.
  36. √ Try the Kim Classic from the Toasty Cheese Food TruckDONE July 27, 2014 at the Bloody Mary Fest.
  37. √ Try a corn dog. DONE July 25, 2014 at the Lake County Fair.
  38. √ Make kale chips. DONE July 26, 2014.
  39. √ Make homemade Tequila Onion Rings. DONE July 28, 2014. They weren't very good.
  40.  Have lunch at The Cherry Hut. DONE August 11, 2014. See the picture.
  41. √ Pick blueberries at Putney's Blueberries and Peaches in Frankfort, MI. DONE August 16, 2014. See the picture.
  42. √ Have lunch at Stormcloud Brewing Company in Frankfort, MI. DONE August 16, 2014 with Dave and Meg.
  43. √ Have lunch at Redamak's in New Buffalo, MI. DONE August 18, 2014. See the picture.
  44. √ Have lunch at El Berto's Taqueria in Elberta, MI. DONE August 14, 2014.
  45. Make homemade ketchup.
  46. Go apple picking.
  47. √ Have lunch at The Little Goat Diner. DONE September 6, 2014 with Tony. See the picture.
  48. √ Enjoy Thanksgiving with Mom at Apple Holler. DONE November 27, 2014. See the picture.
  49. √ Eat at Lambert's Cafe. DONE March 12, 2015. Andrea and I stopped at Lambert's and purchased some throwed rolls for take out. The line was too long to stay and eat in the restaurant. See the pictures here and here.
  50. Make cookies in my Easy Bake Oven.
  51. √ Have dinner at the Lucky Platter. DONE December 29, 2014 with Tim.
  52. √ Have dinner at Dave's Italian Kitchen. DONE February 5, 2015 with Alan.
  53. √ Try a Paczki. DONE February 14, 2015 thanks to Central Continental Bakery. See the picture.
  54. √ Try King Cake. DONE ordered from Central Continental Bakery and picked-up on February 14, 2015. DELICIOUS. See the picture.
  55. √ Dine at the Gaslight Club. DONE February 28, 2015 with Tim, Michael, Kathi, and Mike.
  56. √ Drink a Hurricane on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. DONE March 13, 2015 with Andrea at Willie's Chicken Shack.
  57.  Eat beignet at Morning Call Cafe in New Orleans. DONE March 13, 2015 with Andrea, Uncle Jeff and Anna. See the picture.
  58. √ Try alligator. DONE March 14, 2015. Uncle Jeff served alligator sausage at the family BBQ.
  59. √ Do a Fireball shot. DONE March 14, 2015 at the NOLA St. Patrick's Day Parade with Peter and Andrea. If you know how much I hate shots and whiskey, you'll know how this is a big deal. See the picture.
  60. √ Eat at The Brat Stop. DONE March 24, 2015. See the picture. I did not have a brat.
  61. √ Have lunch at The Shanty from Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives. DONE August 23, 2015 with Tim and Michael.
  62. √ Have a wine tasting at St. Ambrose Mead Cellars. DONE August 20, 2015.
  63. √ Try an O and H Bakery Kringle. DONE December 19, 2015. I tried the butter rum kringle and didn't like it.
  64. √ Dine at Frank's Diner in Kenosha, Wisconsin. DONE January 9, 2016 with Chris Bellios and Chris Gremore. See the pic here.
  65. √ Shop at Woodman's Market in Kenosha, Wisconsin. DONE January 9, 2016 with Chris Bellios and Chris Gremore. See the pic here.

Health & Fitness - 14

  1. √ Visit and hike Green Point Dunes Nature Preserve. DONE August 8, 2014 with Dave.
  2. √ Practice mindfulness and meditation for 30 days in a row, working up to 45 minutes of mindful meditation daily. DONE May 16 - June 15, 2015.
  3. √ Earn my first Jawbone UP24 badge. DONE April 14, 2014 for taking 500,000 steps. See the picture.
  4. √ Earn a Jawbone UP24 badge for walking 1,000,000 steps. DONE August 30, 2014.
  5. √ Earn a Jawbone UP24 badge for sleeping 1,000 hours. DONE July 23, 2014. See the picture.
  6. √ Earn a Jawbone UP24 badge for sleeping 2,000 hours. DONE January 20, 2015.
  7. √ Get a mammagram. DONE October 15, 2014. Read about it here.
  8. √ Get a breast biopsy. I had two actually. DONE October 20, 2014. Trust me, you don't want to see pictures. Read about it here.
  9. √ Have a breast lumpectomy. DONE November 7, 2014. Read the blog series here.
  10. √ Achieve both my step and sleep goals on the same day (10,000 steps and 8 hours of sleep) according to my Jawbone UP24. DONE August 11, 2014.
  11. √ Try ear candling. DONE January 30, 2015. See the picture.
  12. √ Ride a bike. DONE August 17, 2014 with Dave. See the pictures here, here, and here.
  13. √ Make a hit at the Field of Dreams. DONE August 31, 2014 with Sonya, Andrew, and Livie. See the pictures here, here, here, here, and here.
  14. √ Have a Uterine Fibroid Embolization. DONE December 18, 2014. Read the blog post.

Personal & Professional Development - 18

  1. √ Become First Aid, CPR, and AED certified. DONE January 29, 2015. Passed the online lessons with a perfect score. See the picture. I'm certified for 2 years. See the pictures: here and here.
  2. √ Complete the 100 Happy Days Challenge I began on February 17, 2014. Read the blog post. (#189 from 2013-14 List). DONE June 24, 2014.
  3. √ Take an IQ test. DONE April 29, 2014. My IQ is high. I won't tell you just how high, but VERY high.
  4. Apply for membership in Mensa (#173 from 2013-14 List). (Based on my IQ score, I missed the minimum IQ by just a smidge.)
  5. √ Take The Confidence Code Test. DONE April 24, 2014 with interesting results.
  6. √ Read Strengthsfinder 2.0, take the test, and discover my strengths. Took the test May 30, 2014. My strengths are Individualism, Strategic, Analytical, Achiever, and Learner.
  7. √ Obtain an Illinois State ID Card. DONE August 6, 2014. Read the blog post.
  8. √ Have a reunion with Lake Forest College Class of 1993 classmate Sonya. DONE August 31 - September 1, 2014. See the picture.
  9. √ Graduate into progressive lenses so I can see distance, mid-distance, and close-up all at the same time. DONE October 23, 2014. See the picture.
  10. √ Have my make-up professionally done. DONE December 6, 2014. See the before and after pics and read the blog postSee the final picture here. Trust me, it's incredible.
  11. √ Attend a class with Garrett Walters at the Clairvoyant Center of Chicago. DONE December 29, 2014 with Tim.
  12. √ Build a website for my condo association. DONE June 8, 2015. Visit the site.
  13. √ Obtain a Cook Memorial Public Library District card. DONE January 29, 2015. It only took me 3.25 years to obtain a library card in my new home. See the picture.
  14. √ Apply to give a Ted Talk. DONE March 9, 2015. Applied to speak at TedX Oak Park Women. My application was denied.
  15. √ Have a reunion with John Hersey High School Class of 1989 friend Heather. DONE March 15, 2015 in New Orleans. See the picture.
  16. √ Have a reunion with Washington, D.C. friend Kristin. We haven't seen each other since April 28, 2000. DONE May 1, 2015. See the picture.
  17. √ Hire a career coach. DONE June 8, 2015.
  18. √ Reinvent the Gardner Family Letter. DONE April 16, 2015.
  19. √ Reunite with my friend Shannon. DONE August 8, 2015 at Chicago In White. See the picture.

Silly - 10

  1. Visit the Fashion Outlets of Chicago Mall in Rosemont (more info here).
  2. Meet Captain Jim Lovell.
  3. Make snow from boiling water.
  4. Send a message in a bottle out into Lake Michigan or an ocean. 
  5. Bury a time capsule.
  6. √ Blow bubbles DONE August 15, 2014.
  7. Build a snowman
  8. Participate in a snowball fight
  9. Build a sandcastle.
  10. Have a fish pedicure.
  11. Set a dandelion on fire.
  12. Find a business using my initials in its title and take a selfie. See Amy's example.
  13. √ Try a Cadbury Creme Egg. DONE April 18, 2014. This could have gone under Foodie Love, but it's just so silly. See the picture.
  14. Attend Tomato Blast.
  15. Attend the North Shore Flea.
  16. √ Have a slumber party. DONE June 21, 2014 with my cousin Andrea.
  17. √ Win a prize at a carnival game. DONE July 25, 2014 at the Lake County Fair. I won a purple frog and Zoey immediately made it her best friend. See the picture.
  18. √ Visit Gravity Hill and confirm it still works. DONE August 17, 2014 with Dave. It still works.
  19. Invent a game. DONE August 8, 2014.
  20. √ Own an Easy Bake Oven. DONE on December 19, 2014. Thank you Santa! ;-)
  21. √ Visit Judy Maxwell Home and meet Joan Cusack (yes, the actor, she's the owner). DONE March 29, 2015. Unfortunately, Joan wasn't in. See the picture.
  22. √ Visit the World's Largest Cherry Pie. DONE August 16, 2015.
  23. √ See the Chicago Botanic Gardens' Corpse Plant Alice. DONE week of September 29, 2015 with Tim and Michael. See the pictures here and here.
  24. √ Play Powerball. DONE January 9, 2016. Read the blog post. Spoiler alert: I won.

Travel - 12

  1. √ Visit New Orleans, LA DONE March 12 - 16, 2015 for a Gardner Cousins Reunion.
  2. Volunteer to decorate the White House for Christmas
  3. Visit Cincinnati
  4. Visit Washington D.C.
  5. Stay in a tree house.
  6. Take a spur of the moment weekend trip to an unknown city using airline miles.
  7. √ Take a day trip to Galena, Illinois. (#49 from 2013-14 List). DONE August 31 - September 1, 2014.
  8. Ride an entire Metra line from start to finish.
  9. √ Be an Amtrak Resident (Application submitted March 30, 2014; #200 from 2013-14 List). UNABLE TO BE DONE. My application was denied on June 17, 2014.
  10. √ Stay at a bed and breakfast. DONE October 16 - 17, 2015 with Tim, Michael, Denny, and Stephen. We stayed at the Goldberry Woods B&B. See the pictures here, here, here, here, and here.
  11. Visit the Wisconsin Dells.
  12. √ Visit Green Bay, WI. DONE June 22-24, 2014 for Uncle Ray's funeral.
  13. Travel to New Orleans via a Pullman train.
  14. Drive the northern route of the Lake Michigan Circle Tour.
  15. √ Visit the Field of Dreams in Iowa. DONE August 31, 2014 with Sonya.
  16. √ Drive Route 66 from Chicago to St. Louis. Done March 17, 2015.
  17. √ Visit Mackinaw City and Mackinac Bridge. Done August 16, 2015 with Dad.
  18. √ Drive through the Tunnel of Trees. Done August 16, 2015 with Dad.
  19. Visit the St. Louis Arch.
  20. √ Visit Old Mission Peninsula. DONE June 16, 2015.
  21. √ Visit Ronald Reagan's boyhood home in Dixon, IL. DONE August 31, 2015.
  22. √ Visit Herbert Hoover's Presidential Library in West Branch, IA. DONE September 2, 2015.
  23. √ Visit Michigan's Upper Peninsula. DONE August 14, 2016 with Dad.

Writing, Photography, & Crafts - 3

  1. Participate in #FMSPhotoADay Challenge for 30 days and post the photos on Instagram.
  2. Take a pottery class.
  3. √ Take a painting class. DONE August 30, 2014. See the pictures here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
  4. Take flute lessons.
  5. Build a futon. DONE on December 25, 2014 by Dave. So this doesn't count as a new experience for me.
  6. √ Write a book about medical caregiving. DONE mid-October 2015. Now I'm working on getting it published.
  7.  Write a Gardner Family Cookbook. DONE for Christmas 2015.

UPDATE August 18, 2015: 122 new experiences completed to date.

UPDATE January 3, 2016: 145 new experiences completed to date.

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    Jessica Gardner

    A native of Chicago's Northwest Suburbs and resident of the North Shore, Little Merry Sunshine comes by her name honestly. The story goes that as a child, she was always so happy that she even slept with a smile on her face. Her mom nicknamed her Little Merry Sunshine. It stuck, along with her insatiable desire to focus on the good in the world and to leave it a little better than she found it. She does this by sharing her passions and dreams, what inspires her, and maybe you too, and furthering the discussion about how we can listen to our better angels. You can reach her at LittleMerrySunshineCN[at]WowWay[dot]com.

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