41. Go to Buddy Holly’s grave

This weekend I went to Lubbock, Texas, to see one of my best friends from high school, Emily Gandy, and to go to the OSU vs. Texas Tech game (10-0 y’all!). While in Lubbock I knew I had to knock something off my bucket list. So I decided that I would go to Buddy Holly’s (his real name was Charles Holley) grave.

Growing up I did not listen to Buddy Holly and the Crickets, but in seventh grade that changed. In my Texas history class in middle school we watched a movie all about Buddy Holley and I fell in love with his music and his story. After watching that movie I went home and purchased six or seven Buddy Holly songs. I became obsesses with That’ll Be The Day. I’m pretty sure I listen to it on a weekly basis still.

Going to see Buddy Holly’s grave would be harder than I thought. Emily and I drove around the cemetery for a good 20 minutes before we found his grave. For someone who was so influential we assumed he would have a huge headstone and would be clearly marked. We were wrong. He has a simple headstone with a few flowers and small sign pointing to his gravesite. It was really cool to see his grave and still see fresh flowers on it. I think I am so amazed with Buddy Holly because he had such a short career before his death but was so successful. He and Elvis Presley changed rock and roll. The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and others were influenced by him. Buddy Holly had a huge influence on the music industry and I hope that my generation and later generations learn about him and how important he was.

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5. Meet Someone Famous

When it comes to seeing or meeting famous people, I am that typical girl who is super obnoxious and the famous person probably assumes I am a crazed fan who stalks them…but I am far from that, I just get really excited. I am pretty sure the first famous person I ever “met” was Dennis Quaid, at a charity fashion show he put on in Austin. And by “met” him, I mean scream his name from 3 feet away and him ignoring me.

The first famous person, who I actually met and had a conversation with was Shay Butler, better known as Shay Carl. Now, a normal person who is not obsessed with YouTube probably has NO idea who this is. Shay Carl has multiple channels on YouTube and he puts up daily vlogs of his life that I have watched since day one. I know this sounds crazy, but this guy and his family have had a huge impact on me. If you watch the videos, you soon realize what an amazing man Shay is. He has a gorgeous wife and four children and you can just tell his family is his world. I started watching the Shaytards (his YouTube channel) in 2006 after my heart transplant. It kept me entertained and gave me something to look forward too. I think I enjoy the Shaytards so much because it has proven to me that someone can have a job they love and be legitimately happy. Time and time again I have heard adults complain about their jobs, and Shay, whose job is making youtube videos, has proven to me that happiness is a choice and if you’re not happy with something, change it.

Me, Shay, and Emily. I was geeking out.

I met Shay in Austin last spring break when he was there shooting a video for GE Ecoimagination, It was during SXSW, a huge music, movie, technology conference, so Austin is packed with people and it is just crazy. Well I happened to be downtown with two friends, Jamey and Emily, walking around and soaking up the weirdness Austin has to offer. I knew Shay was in Austin because he had tweeted about it, and I knew I had to meet him. After grabbing dinner, Jamey, Emily, and I headed back to my house to hang out and RIGHT as we got on the main highway, Shay tweeted saying he was at the GE solar powered Farris wheel. I am pretty sure I have never driven that fast in my life. I turned the car around and headed to the Farris wheel. When we got there, Emily and I jumped out of the car while Jamey drove around the block. Right when I saw Shay, I yelled his name and ran over to him. I was shaking and tearing up. I told him how much I love him and how he’s such an inspiration for me (he’s the reason I started a YouTube channel) and I gave him a package of pop rocks. Why? I have no idea…Emily and I got a picture and said our goodbyes and then went to go find Jamey. I was freaking out, jumping up and down and just squealing. That was one of the coolest moments of my life, hands down. When you finally meet someone who has impacted you in some way, and they are genuine and a nice person, it’s amazing.

P.S. Funny story, the following Sunday I met Michael Cera. He was not nice…at all.

Michael Cera and my friend Sarah in the blue. Doesn't he look friendly?

28. Visit The Bluebell Factory

For people who do not live in Texas, they might not realize the pure awesomeness of Blue Bell ice cream. Growing up all I ate was Blue Bell ice cream, specifically the milk chocolate flavor. Around junior year of high school I was introduced to Ben and Jerry’s ice cram and while I do enjoy Half Baked  sometimes, it will never compare to any of the Blue Bell favors. The first time I visited the Blue Bell factory, I was under the age of 10. As you can imagine, I was in heaven. Being able to see your favorite flavors being packaged was amazing.

After enjoying some Blue Bell ice cream while watching a movie, me and three other friends decided we should go visit the Blue Bell factory out in Brehnam, Texas. The drive to Brehnam is about two hours from Austin, but it was well worth it. The factory had changed quite a bit since I had been there last but it was still just as breath taking. The tour was my favorite part. We got to see where they packaged most of the ice cream and waved at the workers who smiled and waved back. I think the most exciting part of the tour is the free scoop of ice cream at the end. The little kid inside of me came out. There were so many flavors….and I had to choose just one. I ended up choosing some triple chocolate heaven-like flavor. It was delicious. One of my friends got to have her favorite flavor, Birthday Cake, which we learned was seasonal and that is why we could never find it in stores. I highly suggest going to the Blue Bell factory if you ever get the chance. It’s very cool to learn all about the history of Blue Bell but it’s also exciting to try some of the delicious ice cream.

     

Side note: in between Austin and Brehanam there is a street called Memory Lane, we got a kick out of it.

Photos courtesy of Samantha Sherman

Apple.

With Steve Jobs passing away this past week, I wanted to give a small tribute to the legacy he’s left behind. Here are three photos, all differently focusing on the Apple logo. First the Apple logo up close and personal, next the logo with the keyboard at an angle, and lastly the whole desktop in its glory.

17. Rappel Down A Building

When I put number 17 on my bucket list, I assumed I would never cross it off and I was ok with this. When I received an email from my Dad with the opportunity to rappel down a building on June 25, 2011, exactly five years after my heart transplant, I jumped on it. I saw it as a sign to show everyone how far I’ve come in five years, and to prove to myself that I had the guts to do it.

Since heights are not my thing, I decided I would feel more comfortable if my brother rappelled with me. For us to be able to rappel we would have to raise $1,500 each and the money would go to Make-A-Wish of central Texas. This was a challenge in its self. I made YouTube videos that I sent out to companies, family and friends.

We made it down!

In the end we ended up reaching more than our goal and on June 25, 2011, we rappelled down the American One Center in Austin, Texas. It was the most thrilling thing I have ever done. I highly doubt I would have made it over the edge of that building if my big brother had not been by my side cheering me on. I really owe him for letting me drag him into this, but he had an amazing time (and won fastest rappel!) so I’m pretty sure we’re even. While rappelling I was freaking out and so nervous, but it was amazing reaching the bottom and seeing my family and friends cheering for me.

When creating my bucket list I wanted to have some crazy things on there and this is definitely one of them. Allowing myself to have faith and trust in the ropes to hold me as I went over the edge was so hard. I knew I was safe, but it is only human to second-guess safety. If you ever get the chance to rappel down a building, do it, you won’t regret it. A great way to find a place to do it is the Over The Edge website. Keep an eye on it and if there is a foundation you are passionate about, I highly suggest raising the money and doing it.

My brother Ryan and I

Photos by my mom & dad 

54. Go to a rap concert

I know in my last blog post I said that I would write about number 17 this week, but after experiencing a rap concert, I decided that it was worth it to add to my bucket list because it is something I never want to forget.

Austin City Limits poster (Credit to ACL)

This weekend I traveled back home to go to Austin City Limits musical festival. I have been to ACL before and have witnessed some amazing concerts (Mute Math, Kings of Leon, Gnarls Barkley), but none as amazing as Kanye West. If you know me at all, you know that all I listen to is country.  Every once and awhile I will listen to another genre (right now I am obsessed with Mumford and Sons) but not very often.

Growing up I listened to Kanye West because he was played on the top 100 and a lot of friends listened to him. I had nothing against Kanye…until he felt the need to bash my girl Taylor Swift. After that, I never listened to him. If Gold Digger came on, I would sing along and enjoy it, but I never felt the need to go listen to his new songs.

When I learned that Kanye West and Coldplay would both be headlining ACL Friday evening, I knew I had a hard choice to make. I ended up seeing two Coldplay songs (one being Yellow, incredible), and then decided to go see all of Kanye’s show. As soon as it started I was taken back. His stage presence, the lights, the background, the ballet dancers; it was amazing. From start to finish I was having a blast. I was dancing along with the crowd and “rapping” along with the songs I knew. As someone who despises rap, I was in shock with how much I loved this show. If you ever get the chance to go to ACL, I recommend that you do. You’ll be able to step outside your comfort zone, music wise, and maybe you will even become a fan of a genre you never liked before. Seeing Kanye West was not on my top things to do in my life, but now that I have, I am a new fan.

52. Camp out at Gundyville

Born and raised in Texas, I soon realized how big a deal football was. Not only to my family, but to the whole state. At a young age I jumped on the bandwagon and became obsessed with Texas Longhorn football. When college came around, I knew I was going to go to a Big 12 school. I wanted to go to a university that lived and breathed football. When I started visiting colleges, I quickly realized how much pride and love Oklahoma State had for their Cowboys.

As a freshman at Oklahoma State I would always hear about Gundyville. Students would camp out at Gundyville and if they camped out from Thursday at 5 p.m. to Saturday at 8 a.m., they would be allowed into the game 30 minutes early, guaranteeing some amazing seats for a Cowboy football game. My freshman year, I sat outside the gates of Boone Pickens Stadium for approximately six hours so I could have amazing seats for the Texas A&M vs. OSU football game. I ended up being on ESPN, which was also on my bucket list (number 9).

Not the best picture..but I'm in white.

As a sophomore, I decided it was finally my turn to camp out at Gundyville. The first game of the year was against Louisiana-Lafayette. Since you campout in teams, we decided to give each person a different shift so other members of the campout team would be able to go to class or work. My shift was Friday from 12 to 3. So far, the weather in Stillwater had been crazy hot, but I didn’t realize how hot it truly was until I sat in a tent, in the sun, for three hours. I brought homework and my laptop so I could watch Netflix, but the whole time, all I could do was count down the minutes until my shift was up.

I was sweaty and disgusting from camping out, but I’m so glad I did it. I got to show my pride for my school and have a cool experience. So far my Cowboys are 2-0 and I’m pretty confident that our season will stay on this track. If you’re a student at Oklahoma State and are crazy about the Cowboys, I highly recommend camping out at Gundyville. It might be hot, but it’s well worth it.

Next week: number 17.

45. Cut and donate my hair

Creating my bucket list is a never-ending task. I am always adding new things that I would like to accomplish and trying to discover which item to knock off next. I highly encourage anyone who loves living life to the fullest to have a bucket list and to start crossing off items.

Number 45 on my bucket list was to cut and donate my hair. This item did not take much planning but took a lot of time preparing.  Senior year of high school I started growing my hair out and only getting it trimmed. After my first year of college, I decided my hair was finally long enough to cut. The hardest part about number 45 was finding a hairdresser who knew how to cut hair in preparation for being donated. Once finding a hairdresser, I wanted to make an appointment as soon as possible. I enjoyed my long hair but it was getting annoying. Summer was starting and I wanted a cute short cut that would be easier to style and deal with. I finally made an appointment and patiently waited for the day.

The day of my hair appointment I was nervous, but also super excited.  As the hairdresser put my hair in a ponytail and measured it, she told me I would be donating around 11 inches. At that moment, I was no longer nervous because I knew that donating my hair would mean I was helping women who were going through chemotherapy receive wigs.

After lots of research I decided to donate my hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. I really liked their program and what they were doing for women with cancer.

Donating my hair was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Not only did I get a cute “bob” haircuts, but I also got to help women who are going through chemotherapy. If you have thought about donating your hair, I highly suggest doing it. Do your research and decide who you would like to donate it too,  make sure you find a hairdresser who has cut hair to be donated before, and make sure your hair reaches the donation requirements.

Next week: number 52.