04 July 2016

To Do List ( For A Year in America)

On the 4th of July, I had to say "Goodbye for a year!" to one of the great loves of my life, sending her off to conquer her sophomore year of college in the USA.

You're not supposed to have favorite siblings, so I won't, but from the day she was born we've had a special bond. We've been apart a lot, but the leaving is never easy, because every time we're together is so good. She's the only person who I can invite over to my house for the thrilling activity of sweeping and mopping all the floors. Today, I'm hurting without her. So I will cope by writing a long list as a distraction technique.

Now that I have been away from the USA just under two years, it's starting to feel like a long time since I last stepped on American soil, and the nostalgia and memories of the good parts of living there are creeping in.

Therefore, I decided to give Anna a to-do list to accomplish for me during her year in America--comprised of all the things I'd do if I went back. Here are her assignments:

1. Hug all 4 of my grandparents.

2. Play with my little cousins.

3. Dress up and go out swing dancing.

4. Visit ArtPrize in Grand Rapids in September.

5. Pick blueberries or cherries or apples at an orchard.

6. Go on a hayride.

7. Eat the cajun fries at Five Guys and Fries.

8. Eat an Arby's roast beef sandwich.

9. Eat at a really authentic Mexican food place.

10. Get all As in school.

11. Visit Bois Blanc Island.

12. Hang out on the Michigan lakeshore (could happen in conjunction with the visit to Bois Blanc).

13. Go sledding or snowboarding. 

14. Cuddle up in fleece blankets with hot cider and feel cozy.

15. Watch an American tv show at the time that it actually airs.

16. Buy a t-shirt. One that's actually long enough for your torso and doesn't have random words like "happy feelings emotion" splashed across the front of it.

17. Eat a really, really good donut. Maybe a homemade one at one of those apple orchards in the fall.

18. Borrow books from the library.

19. Play hide and seek in the dark. Somewhere. On the farm, at a's just the best game ever.

20. Visit a grocery store and buy something really hard for me to find here: disposable bowls, refried beans, tostadas, a chocolate orange, crazy stuff like that.

21. Buy me a bottle of purple haircolor before you come back again and put it in your suitcase.

22. Go ice skating outdoors.

23. Drive around looking at awesome Christmas lights.

24. Decorate a Christmas tree.

25. Listen to the country radio station while driving.

While this list keeps you busy, I'll be over here eating all the roti canai and drinking all the pineapple juice and visiting the ocean and playing with all the babies. Thank goodness for delegation, huh? Otherwise, how would we ever get everything done?

What would be the first thing you'd want to do upon returning to your country of citizenship after a few years away?
Suzanne said...

Ha ha! Happy Feelings Emotions!

Well, I couldn't be without my pug. If I had to leave her behind she would be top on my list, and then the rest of my family. ; P


Marissa said...

That's so nice of you! It can be hard to go somewhere new and have no idea what to do, and those are really personalized items too.

Abby said...

Looks like I need to add Five Guys' Cajun fries to my to-do list! I think she needs to visit a place like IHOP or Denny's and get a big plate loaded with classic American breakfast foods.

Theresa said...

These are great things to do when you're visiting America! Picking fruit is a great experience. I think she'll have a blast!

Bree Hogan said...

If you are going to issue someone with a to-do list then this is a pretty cool one to get. I think your sister will have fun ticking these items off!

Shann said...

Awe. I love the bond you have with all of your siblings! I've read quite a few of your posts and watched some of your videos, and you can tell there is so much love there. Great list of things to do...especially eating a really good donut, visiting the lakefront, and Mexican food too. I haven't had that for a long time, and could go for a great enchilada.

Anonymous said...

So awesome that you have such a close bond with your sister. Aren't sisters amazing gifts? I am lucky to have two of them.

Unknown said...

how cool! It's so lovely that you guys have a special bond like that. love all the things you put on her to do list :) it's a fun way to stay close ♥

Joules (from Pocketful of Joules) said...

Love the list and a really great 'task' idea for your sister to do. I think my lists would all revolve around eating different foods! haha

Susannah said...

Awww... I love that you gave her a to-do list! I'm sure she'll have a fantastic year!

Anonymous said...

What a fun list! I laughed when I saw the Arby's roast beef sandwich one. I haven't had their curly fries in years and now I'm craving them. :)

Me Squared said...

This is such a cute post - sibling love is the best! I've heard ArtPrize in Grand Rapids is awesome, can't wait to get there myself one day.

ohchel said...

I think that I would stock up on all the treats and snacks that I can't get in Canada... the cheeze-its for one. I so miss those.

I think that I would spend at least a few days sight seeing and getting myself acclimated again in the placed that I used to live in. That list is a fantastic idea. Hope she has fun!!

Chel / from

Farrah said...

Aww, I love this list--it sounds like so much fun + a great task idea for your sister! :] My first thing to do would be to see my friends + family again. Then I'd eat the world. <3

Allison said...

This is such a great list! I hope she has a blast!

Catherine Short said...

I love that you gave your sister a to-do list. ;-) And aren't apple cider donuts the best?! I want one right now...

Cat Lin said...

What a list! I'm sure your sister will have lots of fun in US!

Craftivity Designs said...

I did not know FIve Guys had cajun fries! I'll have to try them.This is a fun list -- I enjoyed reading :)

Michelle said...

what a great idea that you came up with for your sister.. She is definitely going to have fun.

Unknown said...

Such a sweet list! Love the sentiment

Beka @ Sunshine to the Square Inch said...

I like your list.

#16 about the t-shirt is HILARIOUS! Why do Asians feel the need to do that all that time? It's so odd but they really love it. I wonder if they look at our clothes and wonder why we don't write on them?

Also, I remember saying goodbye to family. It is really hard. I still cry every single time!

Rach said...

Numbers 15 and 16 made me laugh! I have a long torso I so remember trying to find tops in China that fit me was SO hard! And then of course everything we watched was pre-recorded (back in those days it was usually videos that someone mailed us). I remember one year we watched the Superbowl 3 months after it happened, ha!

I hope you guys handle the time apart well. I have a sister in Europe and one who is usually in the Middle East or Asia (though currently she's living three hours away from me and it is like magic!) so I know what it's like to have family far away and how much you miss them. Skype dates! Lots of Skype dates. :)

Charlene Maugeri said...

This is a great list! For the most part, they are all things I want to do in the next year even though I haven't been out of the country.