How to Build a Last Adventures Bucket List

Well, it's Tuesday which means that I'm a day late with this week's Last Adventures blog...Oops! Yesterday just got BUSY. And I pushed this blog off until today. But I'm kind of glad I did because yesterday when I sat down to write it, I didn't have much on my mind about the topic. At least not as much as I'd hoped. But this morning, I have much more to say. So let's get into it, shall we? Today I'm going to chat about our Last Adventures Bucket List. This was the list of ALL the things we wanted to do before Joe's amputation. Just a few weeks after Joe decided to have the amputation, we were sitting on the couch talking about all the things we wanted to do. At first we were just kind of brainstorming things, and then it slowly turned into making a list of these things. And if you know Joe and I, you know that we like to actually DO those things, and so before I knew, we started to schedule a ton of things.

This was our original list:

  • Sky Diving
  • Paintballing
  • Shoot Some Guns
  • Photoshoot of us
  • Enjoy a Music Festival
  • Scuba Diving/Snorkeling
  • Go to the beach
  • Do a shot at a pool bar and fall back into the water
  • Go-Karting
  • Get a tattoo (Please cut here)
  • Parasailing
  • Visit San Francisco
  • Fredericksburg Brew Festival
  • Civil War Reenactment

We got through all of them, except one (San Francisco; which we did do by the end of the year, so I'm not counting it as a loss!). My favorite one on the list was sky diving. Joe actually surprised me with this for my birthday. He told me we were going to a huge wine festival out in the Shenandoah, and when we pulled up to an airport, we said 'Surprise! We're going Sky Diving!' Yes, it was a bit scary, but honestly, the surprise gave me less time to freak out about it so it wasn't that bad. The feeling of jumping out of the plane is unlike anything else I've ever done. It was exhilarating. And the view was amazing too.

But I think the coolest thing on our list (and what most people recognize from the story that went viral) is the tattoo. Joe got a tattoo that said 'Please Cut Here' on the ankle that he had amputated (photos below). We had an amazing tattoo artist, Ryan at Sorry Mom Tattoo, who did an amazing job AND since the tattoo is gone now (yes, it got cut off during the amputation) Ryan got us a fake foot with the tattoo on it that we now have in our house (yay...).

So anyways, we built our bucket list based on a few things that I thought I would share. Even if you don't have a big life event coming in, a bucket list is an awesome way to get things done. If you have time this summer, I definitely encourage you to make one and hold yourself accountable. Trust me, you'll thank me later! Last summer, I had some of the best adventures of my life thanks to this list.

Make a schedule or calendar.

We had a very limited time to get as many of these items done as possible. So we packed in every weekend and many week nights with items. While it was busy, I wouldn't have changed it for anything. It made us actually DO things and not just talk about doing them.

Make it realistic.

Obviously the term 'bucket list' is really more for things to do in your lifetime, but since we had a deadline for ours, we made them more realistic ventures. Things that we knew we could do within that time frame. If you have the means, try scheduling in one thing that IS on your lifetime bucket list. Why not now, right??

Create a Budget.

Obviously, a lot of these items cost money. So set aside how much you want to spend and prioritize the items you want to do making the most important thing 1st, and number the rest from there. Also check Groupon and LivingSocial for activity deals! We got our Skydiving and Go Karting tickets through those sites and saved a ton of money.

Look at your local or state calendar. 

Virginia has amazing festivals, especially during the spring, summer and fall. During our bucket list time, we didn't originally have the Fredericksburg Brew Festival on our list, but as we were checking out local event calendars (check out and we found some great local activities like the brew fest and the civil war reenactment.

Involve Family & Friends.

So many of these activities were done with with Joe's family and our friends. They were excited and supportive of the bucket list and wanted to make it happen as much as we did. A lot of these activities wouldn't have been possible without Joe's amazing family. Doing all of these things together really allowed us to bond and enjoy each other's company. I encourage you to involve other people as it can make the experience that much better!

Make it Happen.

This is the BIGGEST thing I learned: you have to make it happen. You have to be pro-active and actually start. Instead of just sitting on the couch talking about all the things we wanted to do that night, we got out our calendars and started planning them. By putting them on our calendars (and involving our families and friends), it made us a bit more accountable for actually doing them.

Do you have plans to make a bucket list? Tell us what's on it! We'd love to hear!




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Photo by Instant de Vie Photography