BREAKING NEWS! Join us on the first ever Couples Adventure Empower Your Marriage Moab, Utah

BREAKING NEWS! Join us on the first ever Couples Adventure Empower Your Marriage Moab, Utah
The guys have been really feeling left out of all the fun so this time we have created an epic adventure and we are inviting our better halves! It’s called Empower Your Marriage Couples Adventure trip to Moab, Utah October 9-12, 2015 and this is a groundbreaking and exciting trip that you and your spouse do not want to miss! (Meet Friday afternoon in Moab, Utah, have adventures Saturday and Sunday and head home Monday October 12)

This adventure is for couples, comrades on the adventure of life but instead of mowing the lawn, running the kids here and there; this weekend it’s all about just the two of you and why you are together in the first place!

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Picture This!
Close your eyes and picture this! It’s midmorning, the sky is bright and sunny with not a cloud in the sky and yet you are about to make a surprise entrance intro a crowd of unsuspecting people in a way worthy of the introduction scene to a Mission Impossible movie! Imagine the feeling of rappelling off a 120-foot sheer rock down into a crowd of unsuspecting onlookers taking the easy way on a hike from the parking lot. As the crowd looks up with amazement suddenly a badass team of comrade’s rappel in, showing the rest of the world it’s a hell of a lot of fun to the take the unconventional route!

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Get out of your comfort zone as a couple
Now, imagine that priceless feeling you only get when you have just really pushed yourself outside the normal limits of life and done something so amazing, exciting, daring and bold that even your mother would be impressed? On second thought, maybe you shouldn’t tell your mom! That’s the kind of feeling the girls who put these weekends together love!

Our goal is to arrange the most adventure packed, wild west weekend that you have ever had and while we do that we are going to see new places, do new things and tap into our inner wild child just because most of us have long lost touch with that part of ourselves. Can you see the look of astonishment on the faces around you as you nonchalantly smile to the amazed strangers and give them that “ya, we just did that kind of satisfied rock rappeller look?”

Spots are Limited
The Empower Your Marriage Adventure spots are very limited and fill up very quickly so if you have made the New Year resolution to kick it up a notch in your relationship this is the opportunity of a lifetime and just what you have been waiting for.

Empower Your Adventure founders Jackie (Bucketlistblogger.com) and sister Vicki (IronGirl) have partnered with the worlds best and hunkiest guides at Front Range Climbing Co to offer this once in life time opportunity. The adventure will begin Friday afternoon October 9 where we will meet in Moab, Utah and continue through Monday October 12. We will backcountry camp in the stunning Moab, Utah desert under the brightest starry nights you can imagine. We are going to Moab for a power packed weekend of badasery big time, full of rappelling off Moab’s spectacular 120 foot arches, rock climbing the stunning bluffs, hiking, camping, bonding, while we recharge our batteries and make new life long friendships! Nightly campfire chats have proven to be one of the many highlights.

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Our Guides are the BEST!
Our guides at Front Range Climbing Co will take care of everything from, providing camp meals, permits, and finding the best adventures possible. We will be with professional guides every step of the way and they will provide all the climbing gear, ropes, and instruction that we need to make sure everyone on this adventure can participate in creating life long memories.

Front Range Climbing Co will customize the trip to our exact needs and offer us adventures that everyone can participate in. You need no special knowledge or prior climbing experience to participate. On our own custom Tough scale this adventure would come in at rating of a 6-7 so you have plenty of time to dust off your old hiking boots and get your spring zig back into your zag!

The Empower Your Marriage Moab, Utah Rock Climbing and Rappelling Adventure 2015 is offered at the staggeringly great deal of $485 if you register and pay in full by May 31. You will need to provide your own basic backcountry gear such as a backpack, sleeping bag, small 2 man tent, hiking boots and comfortable outdoor clothing. That’s it! We make it really easy!

REGISTER TODAY ONLINE!
All you have to do is say “HELL Yeah and click the link below today to register!”

Click Here to REGISTER Today What are you waiting for!!!!!!

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Simple is Better

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My Quest
Lately I am on a quest to simplify my family’s life. I can’t tell you how or why it happened but somehow each and every one of us took on too much and the end result is that we’ve lost our focus and our sanity at the same time.

Everything we are doing is good when you look at it separately it’s just when you apply the laws of mathematics cumulatively we have too much on our plate.

What is the price to pay we pay for this? Stress levels are elevated, sleep patterns are disturbed, weight gain has increased, fitness levels decreased, and we’ve lost the simple joy of being able to hang out and relax together.

As mom, it’s my job to pull us together, keep us organized and make the day-to-day stuff happen. When I see my family unhappy, eating badly, not sleeping well and just all around cranky, it’s my job to step in as the referee and blow the whistle.

Time to reevaluate, eliminate all excess clutter in our world and get us back to the basics.

In a society where more is always better kids are encouraged and actually barraged with invitations to try new things. Birthday parties now have to be bigger and better than last years party was, kids are in multiple sports, and then take on dance lessons and band. Between school, sports, dance, cheerleading, soccer etc the list of possibilities goes on and on.

Parents are no better, we take on extra projects at work, stay late at the office to impress the boss or go in early trying to not to be the employee that gets laid off.

I see how this happens. To me the challenge is how to use our role as mom’s to center our families, reestablish some basic boundaries, manage the chaos and reclaim family time.

This mom’s plan of attack:

It may sound radical but the past year this is what I have done.

Declutter

I led the war on clutter in my home. It was like leading the war on drugs or terrorism! I had to get serious! We’ve cleaned, sorted, purged, sold and donated all but the most foundational items. It was a painful project that took an enormous amount of time and effort but was surprisingly enlightening and empowering.

I actually found boxes that haven’t been opened for 15 years in my garage, even an unopened wedding gift from 28 years ago and a 9-year-old box of discarded junk mail! Why did I have all of that stuff? Because we collect this and then develop a fear of letting go. That or we just get overwhelmed with piles of stuff and put off sorting though it.

We get caught up in the crazy thought process, some family member gave this to me therefore I have to keep it or maybe I will need it someday.

I forced my little tribe to step back and get some perspective. It’s just stuff.

Downsize:

Trying to keep up with bigger and better is exhausting. Bigger houses, more bathrooms, bigger yards, multi car garages and excess toys all require physical and emotional support as well has a drain on your pocketbook.

Granted I took downsizing to an extreme recently but I think it is a healthy topic to at least consider. We sold the big house and downsized because we are almost empty nesting and just don’t need that much space right now. We took it pretty far by going from a large suburban house to a much smaller home but you know what? We love it!

Look at it this way, it takes me only a couple hours to clean now and with less stuff we actually know where to find the things we actually want and need! Wow!!

It was scary at first but I’m very glad we did it although it is a constant battle.


Eliminate Distractions

I took my quest even farther when I started to see positive results of a happier family. In fact, I was so radical I cleaned out the refrigerator and pantry and got rid of all the junk food that had accumulated over time. Yes, I said it, no more Cheetos, Duritos or sodas. Instead I stocked us up with vast amounts of lean meats, fresh and frozen veggies and colorful fruits! Insane, I know!

But wait there’s more! I did something else that few have had the courage to do- I turned off the tv and disconnected the house phone! While I have recently relented and we’ve restored tv, we are trying to keep a lid on it so it doesn’t get out of control again. Egad, you say!

I have watched my teen complain bitterly, crab and moan actually, but she feels better, is sleeping soundly, and has been reading more. Additionally, she is teaching herself to draw cartoon figures with a book she got at the library and is working on teaching the dog new tricks! She is learning to cook, spends a lot of time playing tennis and bike riding and has even discovered she likes beef jerky and fruit!

What’s next on my crazed quest to simplify? All organic cotton or tofu only meals? I probably will not go to those extremes but I do plan to try Gluten free menu plan for a month and see if that helps with some lingering health issues.

My point is simple

As moms we have to be willing to fight back against negative influences and we have to be able to help our families when they need it.

The fight goes on in my quest to simplify life. I believe the less bogged down with day to day life the more opportunity we have to explore our world around us and try new things and make new memories!

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

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8 Second Rule- Cowboy Up Girls!

8 Second Rule Cowboy Up Girls!

Mom’s Home
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My mother grew up in the Sandhills of the midwest on a small ranch during the 1940’s to the 1950’s. Her parents both came from modest means but of strong European roots. My grandfather, William was from Ireland and grandma, Francis, a transplant from Minnesota originally from Czechoslovakia. A chance meeting at a midwest barn dance brought these two very different people together, love kept them together.

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For my mother life on the ranch as one of five wasn’t always easy, but it was easy to develop a life long love of horses, cowboys and rodeos. Back in the day the local rodeo was the premier rodeo for aspiring professional cowboys aiming to win the big belt buckle and prize money. The late summer annual event would draw cowboys from all over the country rolling up in dusty trucks and trailers to compete at the competition to name the best all around cowboy.

Canasta by Kerosene
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On the ranch the family shared memories, learned to read paperback westerns by kerosene on cold windy winter nights, and became experts at card games like Canasta to pass the time. William and Francis managed to teach these five children the value of family, instill a midwestern work ethic that would serve them well and most importantly, taught them what the meaning of unconditional love was. They did all of this despite hard economic times, rainy farm roads and no running water or electricity.

How do I know all this? Because as a child we would frequently visit the farm and somehow every time we passed the end of the county road and the neighbors family farm headed toward grandma and grandpa’s house something magical happened. It’s hard to describe, but I’m not the only one who felt it. Ask any of the other grandchildren or family friends who all seemed to line up to volunteer to accompany us on a weekend trip to the farm.

Time stood still at the old weathered white farmhouse. Others had telephones, electricity and running water with improvements such as indoor plumbing, while grandma and grandpa didn’t, but I have never been somewhere that felt so spiritual as their simple family farm.

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Picture this, the county road ends with its well-maintained lane, turning into a simple rut filled lane. The fields on either side are a deep green hue as the Alfalfa seasons rolled past through the hot weeks of summer.

The road ends in the neglected yard at the farmhouse. Their house is the last one at the end of a string of more prosperous family businesses but this is where the magic began and my words will not do it justice but I will try.

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The farmyard looked over and down a hill passing the barn and old house, which most recently served as home to the pigs! But beyond the weathered old buildings you could see the creek melting into the river, silver slices against the green fields and cedar trees!

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Screen Door Slapping in the Sun
In the house you entered through a weathered screen door that I can still hear slapping behind us kids a 1000 times a day, into the porch that had settled at a kilterend angle into the thick soil below. The kitchen was somehow the heart and soul of this simple home and as you entered you’d be wrapped in the warm aromas of cherry pie, cinnamon rolls or maybe roast, potatoes and carrots. The ancient cook stove in the corner radiated a glow to the entire room and pulled all who entered this home into the living chamber beyond.

The next room was the dining room but this is where grandpa sat in his old weathered leather rocking chair looking out the window at his land or at the TV in the corner. Old rabbit ears tentatively placed on top, to watch the nightly news or Lawrence Welk, the only two shows that ever seemed to come through the static.

The table was where grandma pulled us together in stitches of love through her meals. We ate together, we read together, we played and we prayed together right at this table, a circle of love for all times.

It’s hard to describe how such simple people, in their weathered farmhouse, could draw their family together like they did at this wooden table. Politics, history, crops and weather were discussed in detail, the world, while far removed from this place, was still very much a part of these lives. We read books by the dozen so even though exposure was limited we learned about the world through the words of many different authors.

This is where my mom grew up believing in family, love, education, faith and possibilities.

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Whenever we’d go to the rodeo with mom she’d tell stories of how as a young girl she wanted desperately to compete as a barrel racer, or as a rodeo queen. She even confessed on many an occasion to me that she’d also wanted to ride the bull and how she’d always had a thing for bull riding wild cowboys!

I lost my mom a few years ago and while I’m still learning to live without her I am figuring out what to do with the lessons she taught me. I believe. I dream. I hold the ones I love dear. I love an adventure. I have a thing for cowboys.

The anniversary of my mom’s passing is coming up again, and every time this happens I am flooded with memories and longing to just hear her voice again. This year my sister and I met up at a country western bar for a healthy dosage of good music and cowboys, but we also rode the mechanical bull in tribute to my mom and all the lessons she and grandma taught me.

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As I faced the bull I closed my eyes for just a moment and imagined my tiny mom secretly longing to face the biggest, nastiest rodeo bull. When it was my turn and I prepared to ride the mechanical bull I could see the bull in my mind and hear him snort as he sized me up. Once on the steel beast, I grabbed the rope and squeezed hard with my legs. Why do I think my mom wanted to ride the bull? I think it has more to do with her adventurous spirit and her willingness to face the uncertainties of life and just try to hang on, giving whatever the challenge her best effort. Mom’s life had it’s ups and downs, but no matter what she never gave up on the values she learned on the farm, she believed in family, love, education, faith and possibilities.

The bull my sister and I rode was far friendlier than the real version but still not easy to ride. In true western spirit we climbed on, held tight, threw our left hand in the air and rode with all our might, trying to make it past the 8-second rule.

Strong women love fearlessly. They dream big and they know how to “cowboy up” when life gets tough!

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Thanks mom for the lessons in life and the love.

Love you.

So my friend I ask you what’s next on your list?

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Empower Your Estrogen Gets Rocky Mountain High and Wet and Wild in 2015

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Ladies! Are you ready to get Rocky Mountain high and then mix it up with a little wet and wild?

Got your attention? Good! The girls behind Empower Your Estrogen are planning an epic summer mountain experience that you will not want to miss! Trust us!

We just wanted to get your attention, it won’t be THAT kind of a trip! This isn’t a party girl trip it’s a Rocky Mountain adventure girl trip!

This is your chance to summit a mountain, yodel at the top in your superhero costume with the Bucketlistblogger and Irongirl and then soak in the breathtaking mountain vistas that surround you on Friday July 31, 2015. But that’s not all! On Saturday morning, August 1, we will get wet and wild while we go white water rafting down the spectacular Royal Gorge, Colorado’s own version of the Grand Canyon! After a day of thrilling excitement on the rapids we will spend the afternoon at The Abbey Vineyard in Canyon City for some rest, relaxation and refreshments and retreat to our secret mountain back country camping spot among the Ponderosa Pines for a second fun filled evening of campfire and chocolate! Mountain summits and white water rafting all in one trip! Add a little campfire fun, a Tough Tiara Challenge or two and a stop at The Abby Vineyard and you have an epic adventure!

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We have worked with our favorite guides at Front Range Climbing Co and made all the arrangements for you. We will meet Thursday evening and set up camp in the spectacular Rocky Mountains and enjoy a quiet campfire night. Friday we will rise early and hit the trailhead at the crack of dawn so we can enjoy the challenging alpine hike to one of the most beautiful summits in the state. This will be a mountain hike on a rocky trail only (no ropes and harnesses needed) after the hike we will return to camp for laughter, stories and our famous Tough Tiara Crowning!

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On Saturday we will white water raft down The Royal Gorge on Class IV and V white water rapids past the 1200 foot cliff walls and over Sunshine Falls, Sledgehammer & the Narrows! This will be wet, wild and very exciting! Experience two of the most breathtaking outdoor treats Colorado offers all in one girl power weekend!

You will need basic backcountry camping gear such as a small two-person tent, sleeping bag, good hiking boots and appropriate jackets for the colder Colorado temperatures at the summit. According to our custom rating scale this adventure promises to be a 6 on the Tough Girl Scale. You will need strong legs and big lungs! Our hike will be approximately 7-9 miles round trip!

Not sure if you are in shape to handle a mountain hike? No problem, For an extra $25 Coach Vicki, the Irongirl will create a 4 month long training plan custom designed for this advenutre for you so that you can start walking and hiking now and be ready for the challenge of summiting a mountian! Time to put some zing in your zap!

Our hunky guides with Front Range Climbing Co will take are of all the transportation from Colorado Springs and food, keep us on the trail, show us the best alpine hikes in the state, ensure we are having a great time and hand deliver us to the best white water rafting guides in the state for the thrill of a lifetime on Saturday!

This trip is going to be epic and full of great stories all for the amazing package price of only $299. This trip will be limited to 15 brave and crazy ladies and it’s a steal so don’t miss out! Email Isaac@frontrangeclimbingco.com or call 719-632-5822 today to book your spot!

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Shit Happens Get Over It!

Shit Happens Get Over It!

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It happens to everyone, nature calls. The question I had to ask is what exactly happens when I am enjoying the great outdoors and nature calls? I don’t want to seem look a goody too shoes here and I understand the basic mechanics but the question begs to be answered.

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Now I agree I had bigger problems that I should have been worried about like where would we sleep in the great outdoors? What kind of critters lived out there and how many of them might be interested in a toasty warm sleeping bag and excellent cuddlier? How difficult were the trails and would I get blisters on my feet? Would I be able to keep pace with the group? All these were relevant questions but the one that nagged me the most was where was I going to poop?

Suburban soccer mom’s are not supposed to worry about these things, at least according to convention, that is if we stay in the safety zone of PTA meetings, football and soccer practice, bible study, grocery shopping, work, dishes and general family nurturing the quandary of where and how to poop and pee in the wild would simply not come up. However, I am a self-professed adrenaline junkie, and as my husband describes me, at best a complicated woman.

See, I just can’t color between the lines. I want the best of both words so I flip back and forth between the world of my adventures and momville. Because of this I have to ask the questions no one else seems to want to ask.

When I interview a guide for a potential bucket list adventure I tend to be direct and cut to the chase pretty quickly. Let’s get to the meat of the situation, “where am I going to go potty and what conditions do I need to be able to handle?” I timidly toss out there.

Once I get the facts I can then begin to process the situation. Usually the unknown is worse than the reality. I like a good adventure, just not a bodily function surprise. It causes me stress, because I am a 50-year-old mother of three, I have the bladder of a pea and the minute you tell me I can’t go, face it, I have to go! The more I try to forget how bad I have to go the worse it gets so I figure I might as well put it on the table and let these young guides know what they are dealing with, heck it only seems fair.

On a recent epic adventure to Utah which would entail four days and three nights of back country camping in the desert I had to face the reality that I would be peeing behind a lot of rocks and at some point in time I was going to have to do the decidedly unladylike duty of pooping in the wild.

“Or dear Lord” was all I could think.

When I finally got the courage up to ask my guide and share my concerns with him we bonded instantly as he kindly and yet directly outlined the options. What won me over however was the sweet way he took my concerns, and those of the other women joining the adventure, to heart and came up with most enchanting solution ever!

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On the first day of the trip as we set up camp he presented us with a homemade Homer bucket complete with a toilet seat, garbage bag liners, kitty litter, zip lock bags, hand sanitizer and even a toilet paper holder! Then just like a hero on a white horse he headed into the bluffs and located the perfect three-sided shelter of rocks and proceed to set up our throne worthy of a queen! He had thought of everything!

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When I invited women to join on the backcountry adventure several had turned me down because of “other” things, obstacles like work, family, travel time, expense, back aches and more were listed as why they couldn’t join the fun. It wasn’t until I probed a little deeper did I get an honest answer here and there. The honest truth was they couldn’t imagine pooping in the wild but I have to say it really wasn’t that bad and with the improvised system created by our ingenious and intrepid guide it was practically the Taj Mahal!

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Don’t let your fear of the unknown keep you from the adventure of a lifetime. Face it everyone poops, and shit happens! Get over it, deal with it and move on! Time is wasting!!

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

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Don’t Be a Ya, But…Person

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It takes me awhile to commit to something, whether that is a person, a friend, a job or an idea. I tend to think about it, dream about it and honestly, talk myself into it and out of it a dozen times or more before I take the plunge and commit. But when I do watch out then I turn into an obsessed woman. When I’m in, I’m all in. Good, bad, right or wrong. I’m in and you can count on me.

Take grad school for example, I’d thought about going back for my master’s degree for 20 years. It was just something I’d always wanted to do and I wasn’t even sure why. I thought about it immediately after undergraduate school but talked myself out of it then because I was sick of school. I didn’t want to take any more tests! I needed a break I just wanted to work and see how that went.

Soon I discovered working full time didn’t partner well with graduate school. Then we married and started our family. The idea got pushed farther and farther back in my mind. I wanted it yes, but I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of actually committing to it. I think it was because I knew once I made that commitment there was no way I wasn’t going to do it and it frankly scared me. How would I have the energy to get it all done and still work and raise my kids?

“I should have done this back when I had the chance right out of college” I thought to myself in a kind of mental conversation but in the end it didn’t change a thing.

Then one day I just decided enough was enough. It was time to make that commitment and jet get it done. I decided that I didn’t want to be a “Ya But…Person” You know the kind! The person you are talking to about all the great things they want to do with this life and they get all excited and you can tell they really do want to do all that cool stuff but then they roll out the self defeating fun sucker words “Ya, But…” and then they proceed to tell you all the silly reasons they can’t let themselves be amazing. “Ya, But…I just don’t have time, or money, or brains, or the drive… Ya, But…”

It was that simple. I woke up one day and decided I didn’t want to be a “Ya, But…Person.” It was time to get off my butt and make it happen.

Do you know what happened next? I succeeded. I found the school and program for me. I as accepted, I got a student loan and a baby sitter, I went to class and realized I was going to not only do this but do it well. I thrived when I realized I was doing this just for me. I was going to have to earn this but I had what it took to do it. All the reasons why I couldn’t do this disappeared and I was simply just doing it and enjoying it.

I traded my “Ya, But…” for a “I did it!” I still catch myself ya butting myself every now and then but deep down I know all I have to do is make that commitment. No matter how hard something is if I let myself succeed instead of running away from the challenge cool things can happen.

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So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

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50 While 50 Doing it Our Way

50 While 50 Doing it Our Way

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As a self professed adrenaline junkie I have discovered the amazing fun that can be had by getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new and challenging. I also turned 50 late last summer, and am thus, feeling a bit of an added incentive to get going and make up lost time in my quest to forge new and exciting adventures. Now since I have not won the lottery this will take a little creative energy to fit it all into a budget but since it is early in the game I am temporarily full of confidence!

My husband and I also recently celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary and as the years roll by I get a kick out of reflecting how we each approach life in similar and yet very different manners. My husband is inclined to set really big, really ambitious, hit it out of the park home-run kind of goals. He believes in the “go big or go home” mentality. To him, anything less than a blow your mind, balls to the walls, kind of goal just isn’t worth the energy. For example, years ago he came to me one day out of the blue and announced he was going to compete in an Ironman Competition. I blinked a couple of times.

“Really?” was all I could conjure up for a reply. “You mean that crazy long triathlon thing they do in Hawaii?” I said as I frowned at him.

“Yes” he came back confidently.

“hmmm” I thought. Secretly, I thought he was nuts and this was never going to happen but I tried rather lamely to be the supportive wife.

“ok, don’t you need to work up to that, you know, do some short races?” I limply offered.

“hell no, I don’t want to do those short events. I want to do an Ironman. I am going to start training today for an Ironman.” he replied.

He did just that and has now completed 7 full distance Ironman Competitions. Granted it took him close to a year to train for it and he’s done the competitions over the past 7 years but he did it!

That was that. He was doing it his way. Go big or go home. To him it was simple and clear, if you want to do an Ironman, than do an Ironman, the rest of that stuff was just fluff. This is how he approaches life and while I agree it was ambitious and impressive, I am not to be outdone. In true Dan and Jackie fashion, we are each doing it our way, together. He prefers training hard for one massive, impressive, balls to the walls adventure marathon, I apparently don’t have the attention span of a hummingbird, so I came up with my own list of 50 different bucket list adventures and I plan to complete each and every one while I enjoy my 50’s!

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What’s Next on My List:

Meet someone famous
Visit Manitou Springs Cliff Dwellings
Attend Sunrise Easter Service at The Royal Gorge
Visit the Hot Springs at Ouray
Sit on the porch and watch the sunset over the mountains
Hike Paint Mines
Drive around with the top off my Jeep
Hike the Incline with my son
Explore 4 wheel drive trails in Colorado in our Jeep
Climb Montezuma’s Tower in Garden of the Gods
Read six books a year just for fun
Tour a gold mine in the Rocky Mountains and pan for gold
Sleep out under the stars in Moab
Rock climb and Rappel in Utah with my sister
Hang out by the campfire
Operate a chain saw
Mountain bike the entire Katy Trail
Learn to Kayak
Do a Missouri river float trip
Tour the vineyards in Missouri
Do a Canopy Tree Climb
Explore a cave
Ride the rapids down the Grand Canyon
Fly Fish
Milk a cow
White Water Rafting Down the Royal Gorge
Visit The Abbey Vineyard in Canyon City Colorado
Get published
Hike Seven Falls at night under the lights
Try Zumba Dancing
Take a Concealed Weapon Course
Go 4 Wheeling in Great Sand Dune National Park
Take my daughter to a drive in movie theater
Mountain Bike Gold Camp Road and Canyon
Do a 2-minute plank
Do 50 sit-ups in 1 minute
Do 20 REAL pushups (on my toes)
Do 1 one-arm pushups (yes one arm)
Hike a another 14ner
Inspire someone
learn to sail
whale watching trip
Go to Hawaii
Take our friends to a Red Rocks Concert
Wrestle a gator at the alligator farm
Drive a race car or at least get a ride in one
Have a roller derby girl experience
Tour Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame
4 wheel drive Lost Dollar Highway from Telluride to Ourey
Rappel off an Arch in Arches National Park in Utah
Attend a mountain bike workshop for women
Mountain bike down Pikes Peak
Go to Alaska
Renew my spirit
Learn about photography
write a book
watch my kids become adults
Take a yoga class
Learn to make homemade pie crust
Snowmobile
Ice Climb Chicks with Picks in Ouray
Write a blog about all of these adventures

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I added a couple extra just for good measure and to honor the spirit of this project, besides you never know what else will come along that I just have to try!
I am looking forward to a few big years ahead of me and all the trouble I can possibly get into along the way.

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So my friend, what’s next on your list?

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A Taste of Love

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I love this big ol crazy, nutty family. And everyone in this family has taught me something at some time or another. Aunt Mary taught me how to shop. Really.

Aunt Mary gave the best Christmas and birthday presents, no offense to all my other aunts and uncles. And of course the gifts always came from Uncle Dennis and Aunt Mary, but we all knew Uncle Dennis got the benefit of being married to the best gift giver ever and we well new where the gift had come from.

In fact, I think I was about 9 or 10 when I remember getting a birthday gift from Aunt Mary (and Uncle Dennis) that stood out from all the others. The year would have been 73 or 74 and my mom was still dressing me in little girl fashions but somehow Aunt Mary in her infinite shopping and motherly wisdom knew I was ready for more. She carefully picked out for me a bright yellow tube top type shirt and bell-bottom jeans! Oh my gosh! It screamed 1970’s and when I tried it on, for the first time in my life, I knew I had it going on! It was the most amazing outfit I had ever seen. It was smart, edgy, and swanky, and groovy and grown up and yet perfect for a little girl trying to be just a bit grown up.

See the lesson she taught me was not that shopping was the answer to problems or that gifts had to be expensive. The lesson I learned was that she loved me so much that she really put time and energy into thinking about the best possible gift for me at that time. It was the amount of love and thought that went into her gifts that made them a little magic.

Now I know she loved me but she did this for everyone with every gift they got.

I know this because you know exactly what I am talking about.

Like Forrest Gump said “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get” but when you got a gift from Aunt Mary (and Uncle Dennis) you never had to worry because your box of chocolates was going to contain the most mouth watering sweet milk chocolate covering decadent macadamia nuts from only one place in the world, Hawaii. Each box was hand selected and delivered with love to each and every one of us, every time. The only gift better than my bright yellow tube top and bell-bottom jeans was those boxes of chocolate macadamia nuts. Each bite was a little slice of heaven and I never felt so loved.

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Learn to Love Yourself- Wear a Funky Hat

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Fit is the new skinny. After 50 years I think I finally have it figured out-honestly. Self-confidence comes from within. It is not about how long and shiny your hair is, mine was always thin anyway, it is not about how long your legs are, I inherited short stout Cue family legs, and it is not about what the scale says. In fact, the scale can be deadly deceiving if you don’t know better. It isn’t about what size you wear, it’s about how you look in what you wear and it is about having a strong and healthy body but mostly it is about learning to love yourself.

I have decided that at this point in my life the only person I have to impress and please is myself. I don’t have to do anything to establish who I am other than to be myself. I just want to be healthy and have a body that will allow me to do all the fun stuff in life. I want to keep up with my kids, actually I want them to try and keep up with me!

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Society does a real number on us, especially as women. As young girls we just want to be grown up, we want long pretty hair and curves. As teenagers we want to be cool and popular, hoping others will see us as attractive. As soon as we become young women we want to be whatever we are not. We want to be in a relationship, or we want to be single, we want to have curly hair or long straight hair, we want a date to the dance and we all want to look like a model. Once we become mom’s it gets even worse, we now want to have a flat stomach and thinner thighs, we want the grey to go away and to be seen as sexy again and it is hard to do that with baby food carrots globing up your hair and a two year old wiping his runny nose on your pants. As we age a bit we find ourselves looking back longingly at pictures of us in our youth and find ourselves asking our friends “why didn’t I know I looked that good at 25?” or” I’d kill for that waist again.” Finally, it hits us. This is complete nonsense.

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For me this happened a few years ago when I found myself in a dark cramped dressing room trying on the newest style of skinny jeans and berating myself that when I looked in the long mirror under harsh lights I wasn’t thrilled with my reflection. I looked like a stuffed sausage complete with a muffin top spilling out from my tight waistband. Why don’t I look like I am supposed to? It was then that I realized what a fool I was being.

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No one looks good in skinny jeans; hell not even skinny 14-year-old pre-adolescent girls look good in them so why in the hell did I think I was supposed to? Because that’s what the magazines and TV shows told me what to think. In an act of defiance I peeled off the jeans and threw them down in disgust. This is not what I wanted and it sure as hell wasn’t healthy. Anything that makes me feel bad about myself is defiantly not healthy.

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I needed a new attitude and I needed it now. Heading back to the racks I searched until I found a modern cut pair of jeans, but ones that actually had a little fabric to them. I pulled them on and evaluated the look in the mirror. I decided then and there to focus on what looked good on me and to hell with the fashion hit of the day. This was a revelation for me. With a little research I realized I look good in A line dresses and skirts. I look nice in darker jeans. I like the look of a jacket with pants or jeans; it dresses things up a bit. I usually look better in shades of the same color; it makes me look taller somehow. I sure as hell don’t look good in base ball hats or in baggy sweats. I can however pull off a funky hat! Skintight dresses don’t do much for me either and I look downright sick in the color purple. It is important to figure these things out. Once you do I recommend sticking with it and to hell with what all these silly teenagers are wearing. Do what is right for you; a woman who knows she looks good is far more attractive than one who is trying too hard.

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So now what? Now I wear what I know looks good on me. I wear my hair in a style that compliments my face and personality. I stick to a few basic principles with my wardrobe and update it seasonally with funky accessories. I try to avoid looking older or younger than I really am. I wear things that work with my life. I do things. It’s who I am. I dream, I learn, I try new things. Some might call me nuts but I am out there hiking, biking, walking, skiing, dog sledding and rock climbing, face it. I am out there having fun. I am wearing funky hats.

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So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

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Empower Your Estrogen Moab, Utah Rock Climbing, Rappelling and More 2015!

Ladies! For Your Eyes ONLY

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Attention all ladies! Close your eyes and picture this! It’s midmorning, the sky is bright and sunny with not a cloud in the sky and yet you are about to make a surprise entrance intro a crowd of unsuspecting people in a way worthy of the introduction scene to a Mission Impossible movie! Imagine the feeling of rappelling off a 120-foot sheer rock down into a crowd of unsuspecting onlookers taking the easy way on a hike from the parking lot. As the crowd looks up with amazement suddenly a badass team of comrade’s rappel in, showing the rest of the world it’s a hell of a lot of fun to the take the unconventional route!

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Now, imagine that priceless feeling you only get when you have just really pushed yourself outside the normal limits of life and done something so amazing, exciting, daring and bold that even your mother would be impressed? On second thought, maybe you shouldn’t tell your mom! That’s the kind of feeling the girls who put these weekends together love! Our goal is to arrange the most adventure packed, giggle fest of a girls weekend that you have ever had and while we do that we are going to see new places, do new things and tap into our inner wild child just because most of us have long lost touch with that part of ourselves. Can you see the look of astonishment on the faces around you as you nonchalantly smile to the amazed strangers and give them that “ya, we just did that kind of satisfied rock rappeller look?”

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Picture you and a dozen of your 30ish-40ish-50ish suburban PTA soccer mom comrades on the adventure trip of a lifetime because you are part of the next Empower Your Estrogen Adventure! Spots are very limited and fill up very quickly so if you have made the New Year resolution to kick it up a notch in your life this is the opportunity of a lifetime and just what you have been waiting for.

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Empower Your Estrogen founders Jackie (Bucketlistblogger.com) and sister Vicki (IronGirl) have partnered with the worlds best and hunkiest guides at Front Range Climbing Co to offer this once in life time opportunity. The adventure will begin Thursday morning April 24 and continue through Sunday April 27. We will backcountry camp in the stunning Moab, Utah desert under the brightest starry nights you can imagine. We are going to Moab for a four day weekend of badasery big time, full of rappelling off Moab’s spectacular 120 foot arches, rock climbing the stunning bluffs, hiking, camping, bonding, and celebrating our womanhood while we recharge our batteries and make new life long friendships! Nightly campfire chats while we sip a celebratory glass of wine and indulge in a little chocolate treat while we crown the Tough Tiara winner of the day have proven to be one of the many highlights. It’s like a girls retreat and an adrenaline charged slumber party all wrapped up in one!

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Our guides at Front Range Climbing Co will take care of everything from transportation from Colorado Springs to Moab, Utah, provide all our food, and make all the special arrangements. We will be with professional guides every step of the way and they will provide all the climbing gear, ropes, and instruction that we need to make sure everyone on this adventure can participate in creating life long memories.

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Front Range Climbing Co will customize the trip to our exact needs and offer us adventures that everyone can participate in. You need no special knowledge or prior climbing experience to participate. On our own custom Tough Girl scale this adventure would come in at rating of a 6-7 so you have plenty of time to dust off your old hiking boots and get your spring zig back into your zag!

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The Empower Your Estrogen Moab, Utah Rock Climbing and Rappelling Adventure 2015 is offered at the staggeringly great deal of $379, includes transportation from Colorado Springs to and from Moab, Utah and all food, technical gear and instruction. You will need to provide your own basic backcountry gear such as a backpack, sleeping bag, small 2 man tent, hiking boots and comfortable outdoor clothing. That’s it! We make it really easy!

All you have to do is say “HELL Yeah and call today to register!”

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Call 719-632-5822 Front Range Climbing Co today to register! Remember, there are only 10 available spots on this trip offered at the blow out price of only $379 all-inclusive per person. I guarantee you because this is the coolest trip of a lifetime spots will fill up quickly and only the first 10 to register will get to attend!

As an added incentive if you register and pay in full before February 24, 2015 you get the discounted early bird price of $339! That’s a savings of $40!!!

If you register and pay in full before March 8, 2015 you get a discounted price of $359! That’s a savings of $20!

If you register and pay in full before March 8, 2015 you get a discounted price of $359! That’s a savings of $20!

DEADLINE to REGISTER MARCH 8, 2015!

What are you waiting for!!!!!! CALL Right now! 719-632-5822 and say these magic words “Hell Yea!”

Cancellation Policy:
Full refund available with no penalty prior to March 24. After March 24, 80% refund unless we can fill your spot.

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