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Life list: Attend a Greek Festival

This is where my love of dance started… The Greek Festival. When I was in fifth grade, my dad took me to the Greek Festival in Tucson, AZ. My dad and I jumped in during the open call for Greek dance lessons mid-afternoon and we were the last two to leave the dance floor at closing time.

Greece holds a special place in my family’s history. My parents met at Athens Community High School in Athens, Greece when both of my grandfathers were stationed at Athenai Air Force Base. My parents and grandparents have fond memories of Athens, and I love hearing the stories of the Greek culture, music, food, and of my parents falling in love. My mother even won Miss Teenage America while living in Greece and sang a medley from The Sound of Music for her talent portion of the competition.

So when I saw the Facebook announcement for the local Greek Festival, I marked it on my calendar. I was so excited to take the kids and dance. Unfortunately, we waited until the last night and so there wasn’t an opportunity to dance with the kids. Instead, we ate amazing food and then ate some more. Then I soaked in the joy of the dancers and their relatives who were so proud shouting ‘Opa!’, while taking pictures and throwing dollar bills on the tops of their favorite dancer’s heads.

All the dance groups from Kindergarten to young adults danced separately and then together for an impressive finale. The costumes were magnificent and the music and dancing just made me smile. I felt as if I was in fifth grade all over again wishing I could just pull my dad onto the floor to dance to one more song.

Next year, I am dancing. Nothing is stopping me. And perhaps, just perhaps I might consider converting to the Greek Orthodox church just so I can jump on top of this pyramid.

This past weekend, my family celebrated my maternal grandmother’s 80th birthday. I loved hearing her stories and her advice for her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

My hope is that in the next couple of years, my family makes it a priority to travel to Greece together. Oh how I would treasure seeing Greece along side of my parents and three grandparents. And better yet, just one more dance with my dad.

Blessings sweet friends,

Attending the Greek Festival was a part of my 39 list -> I’m 39 now but am determined to complete that list in addition to completing my 40 list this year before November 20, 2013.

My 40 list

My first day of 39 was terrific. I spent the day buying fabric for my December Daily album, talking to good friends and family, and eating a cupcake. After the Thanksgiving holiday, I’m going to be having all sorts of fun checking items off from this new list as well as completing my 39 list.

I can’t begin to tell you how much fun it was reading through my original life list (only part is on this website) and feeling energized and excited about the next year. I still remember writing my first 100 list items with Bud. He was my chemo buddy that I based my 52 cupcake series on. His words continue to be an inspiration to me almost eight years later. Boy do I ever wish he was here to dance with me.

As I was going through pictures in my Project Life album, I came across this picture of Ben and his friends at an amusement park. I printed an extra picture off for my refrigerator to remind me to live my life with this same childlike joy and laughter. It’s hard for me not to smile remembering their infectious giggles.

So here are the 40 items I hope to learn and experience over the next year before I turn 40 on November 20, 2013.

Knit a blanket
Complete my dining room table project
Take a ceramic class
Go see the Beach Blanket Babylon show in San Francisco
Complete the Phoenix Summit in November 2013
Participate in the Color Run with the family
Run a 10K
Run a 5K in under 30 minutes
Go tubing in the Salt River
Hot Air Ballooning
Plant a garden
Experiment with healthy school lunches
Go on a girl’s retreat
Visit the winter Olympic Training Park
Make the kids their birthday cakes
Take a letterpress class
Watch a Diamondbacks game from Friday Front Row with Julie & Chris
Complete a sprint triathlon
Make our porch a sukkah and host Sukkot dinners
Take kids to Slide Rock
Brew beer
Host a Halloween costume party
Take a food photography workshop
Take a woodworking class
Get season tickets to the theater
Ride a mechanical bull
Teach kids how to snow ski
Make 3 versions of homemade ice cream
Make a catapult with Ben
Host a monthly Project Life group
Teach kids how to cook and bake
Host a Friendsgiving
Visit Mount Rushmore
Learn three new book binding techniques
Go boating and tubing as a family
Stay at an Ace Hotel
Take on the trapeze
Make fresh pasta
Go on a white river rafting trip
Make homemade stacked enchiladas with Sam

As my children say, the next 363 days are going to “Ah-mazing”, “Boss”, and “Amazeballs”. I’m excited for the possibilities. Life is good.

Blessings sweet friends,

-> As always, feel free to follow along and leave a link to your list you are working on in the comments.

40 minus 364

I’ve added another candle. I probably shouldn’t light them all as a smoke detector might be set off as my family is sleeping. All joking aside, I am pretty thrilled about it.

Yes, I am a year older. Yes, I am 364 days away from turning 40. But, I am alive. This year started off with a bang. I had never lived so intentionally. Piano lessons, dancing with the family at Disneyland, and baking cupcakes like never before. As life would have it though, several curveballs were thrown my way.

Double feature with Rebecca- gotta love movie theater light
I completed over half of my items on my 39 list this year. I still need to post several items including the Greek Festival and Young Life camp (and those are coming). Normally, I am a task master and someone who likes to follow through with their goals, especially when voiced out loud. One might think that I am disappointed, but that would be far from the truth.

You see, I still lived intentionally the last half of the year as well. It just wasn’t as visible on this site. I continued marking items off my list, but I also spent a lot of time being still, resting, recovering, and listening. I also learned to accept help from others. This about killed me at times as I prefer to be self sufficient, move, and do things with my hands and feet. Yet I’ve changed through the process. I can look back at my year and see growth, bruises, and a heart that is thirsty for God and all things real.

I only have 61+ years left so that means I don’t have any time to mess around. I want to surround myself and my thoughts on things that are real.

I plan on completing my 39 list. And yes, I’ll share my 40 list tomorrow. It’s going to be an epic year friends.

I woke up this morning energized and grateful. Grateful for life. Grateful for my family. Grateful for you.

Hello 39. Let’s make it an amazing year.

Perhaps I’ll start by eating a cupcake and then dancing with a stranger.

Blessings sweet friends,

Life list – Attend Round Top Antique Fair

Last month, I flew to Austin, rented a 16 foot moving truck, and drove 75 miles southeast to Round Top, Texas.

Twice a year, Round Top, population of 90 people, hosts a large vintage and antique fair. I read about this fair years ago on a blog and then was reminded last year when my friend, Nancy, posted some pictures of her adventures on Facebook. Then the owner of my favorite local furniture store, Found, told me that he purchased many items in his store from Round Top, so I knew I had to go. I planted the seed in Jeff’s ear of our need to travel to Texas to purchase some treasures. (more…)

39 List – Attending the Olympic Swimming Time Trials

June was terrific. It will be tough to beat. I was able to attend the Your Story Retreat in Portland and now I’m heading home from a long weekend trip to Omaha, Nebraska where I saw America’s finest swimmers compete in the Olympic Time Trials for a chance to represent our country in the 2012 Olympics. It was surreal.

Living JoyFULLY – June Edition

Living life intentionally with a grateful heart despite my circumstances.


I was challenged by a friend to come up with my mantra in 10 words or less. This is what I came up with. Leave it to my verbose nature to use all 10 of them. In researching a little bit about the words intentional and grateful, I came across the word joyful.

Joy and happy are often used interchangeably but are very different in meaning. (more…)

39 list – Your Story Retreat

I had the opportunity to spend five days on the coast of Oregon for Your Story Retreat which was a gift from Jeff for my 38th birthday. I went with no other intention other than to enjoy myself and make connections. I came away with so much more.

I wore jeans, long sleeve t-shirts, and sweaters. A much needed break from the Phoenix heat. I had time for self reflection with a reinforced belief that I am responsible for my choices and my story. I loved hearing the sound of the ocean as I wrote in my journal. (more…)

Summer Manifesto

Ahh.. summer. Summer has arrived here at the Meyerson house. Our summer plans originally were to be traveling cross country in an RV for the summer. The plans were in full force and we were supposed to take off last week. But some exciting changes happened and Jeff opened up his own law practice this month, so we are staying put in sunny Phoenix.

Other than some baseball and swim practices, I really desire our summer to be unscheduled and low key. So the kids worked on a family summer manifesto last night. I contributed #14 as my only concrete plan for the summer.


1. Waterpark + picnic lunches.
2. Make homemade jam. Double our amount from last summer.
3. Backyard campout with smores.
4. Finish making our 52 cupcakes.
5. Visit our friend at the nursing home every week this summer.
6. Try new fruits and vegetables at the Farmer’s Market.
7. Cook with mom and dad and make homemade ice cream.
8. Go to Slide Rock.
9. Go to the circus.
10. Road trip to Grandma’s house for ice cream cones and scrambled eggs.
11. Ride bikes and scooters with our cousins.
12. Eat hot dogs, watermelon, and corn on the cob.
13. Blow bubbles.
14. Dream session + story retreat for mom.
15. Learn to braid each other’s hair.
16. Draw, paint, color, sew, and/or build everyday.
17. Read the Harry Potter Series out loud and then host a Harry Potter Movie Marathon with friends.
18. Play baseball and tag in the schoolyard behind our house.
19. Invite friends to go to the AZ Science Center.

So lots of rest, water, art, and food is on our Summer Manifesto. What exciting things do you have planned this summer?

Blessings sweet friends – Jenny

Linking this post today over at Ali’s awesome community here.

Life List – Watching an Arizona Diamondbacks Game Poolside

Last year Jeff and I were sitting in the nosebleed section of an Arizona Diamondback game eating hot dogs and peanuts when a bunch of couples jumping into the pool flashed across the giant Jumbotron screen. Jeff lifted his chin and said, “I could handle watching the game by the pool. You can add that to my life list.” I grinned and gave the chin lift as my mouth was full of healthy ballpark snacks.

So in February, Jeff walked into the house and told me to sit down that he had exciting news. I was thinking life altering stuff friends. Possibly an international adventure? Is he pregnant?

Then he quickly blurts out, “I just got us 2 tickets to watch the Diamondbacks game by the pool in May! I bought them from a local sports radio station. They were doing a telethon and you know I’m willing to donate for a good cause!” He was doing this little happy dance and his sheer joy just made me giggle.

Monday was the day and we headed out to the game. We walked below the stadium to get to the pool which sits just beyond the right field fence at Chase Field in Phoenix. Jeff and I are simple people and we LOVE sports. So this felt a bit surreal.

The view was incredible. The field wasn’t bad either. Hubba hubba.



List – Cake Balls with the Kids (Special Holiday Edition)

Today in our household we are celebrating a national holiday…

After today, March 28th will forevermore be known as “No More Meyerson Children Day”!

That’s right, poor Jeff is having a little procedure this morning. So if you know Jeff and I personally, you know that we love to laugh. We love to belly laugh, love slapstick movies, and love witty people.

So I had to go buy frozen peas and boxer briefs for Jeff as that was suggested on the pre-procedure form. But I was determined to make Jeff something fun for after the procedure and for something to take to his urologist. We want to make sure that Jeff butters up his urologist since he is working on some prime equipment.

So what better gift for Jeff and Mr. Urologist than some balls of course. Cake balls to be precise.  So I let the kids make these and thus they look a little bit more like cake blobs than cake balls, but we laughed a lot and they taste great!



It’s been on my life list to make cake balls and to teach the kids how to make them. Know that when you let the kids make them, expect a bigger mess, imperfection,  and lots of smack talking like “My balls look better than yours!”

  • 52 Cupcakes

  • Project Life

  • 39 Before I am 39

  • Jeff's Story