Deployment, Military Life

Bucket List Breakdown: Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of my Things to do During Deployment Series! (If you missed Part 1, you can check it out here!) This series is an in depth look at my Deployment Bucket List, a list I made of 100 things to do while my husband was on a 15-month hardship tour to Central America.

Although the Deployment Bucket List was one of the first things I published on the blog, I get questions about it all the time. So, I figured I would detail each bucket list item individually. Each part of this series gives you 20 of the items on my bucket list and how successful (or not) I was at completing each one.

People regularly ask for my advice on things to do during deployment. So, I figured I would lay it all out with as much detail as possible. Hopefully, it will help answer a lot of the questions that I get and inspire you to make a deployment bucket list of your own!

Here we go:

20 More Things to do During Deployment

#21 Mow My Own Grass

things to do during deployment: yard work

Number 21 on the bucket list was ‘mow my own grass’, but thankfully, I have an awesome dad that cut it for me all summer long. (Mostly because he didn’t trust me to use his fancy new mower ) However, I am counting this as a completed item, because I did a lot of other yard work, like raking and chopping down tons of overgrown bushes. Which was harder than mowing the grass anyway.

#22 Watch Some Fireworks

Things to do During Deployment: watch some fireworks

Watching fireworks on the 4th of July is a family tradition. Our hometown puts on a great show, which we were able to watch from an empty parking lot (yay for no crowds!). This picture is both of my girls watching the fireworks from the tailgate of our truck with their Gigi.

#23 Make a Countdown

things to do during deployment: make a deployment countdown

I got a little carried away when it came to making a deployment countdown. I made 3! The top left picture is a calendar that was used as a daily countdown, the paper chain to the right was a weekly countdown, and the cards on the bottom left were a monthly countdown. (You can see more about our deployment wall here.)

#24 Celebrate Lyvi’s 4th Birthday

things to do during deployment: celebrate birthdays

Celebrating the kids’ birthdays was one of the hardest things to do during deployment. But instead of dreading these milestones because daddy wasn’t there, I added them to our deployment bucket list to give us something to look forward to. Daddy was able to {kind of} join in on Lyvi’s 4th birthday celebration via FaceTime.

#25 Skype with Heff

things to do during deployment: skype or facetime

It was a given that we would Skype or FaceTime with each other while we were apart, but I added it to my bucket list nonetheless. I thanked God every day for this wonderful technology. It’s probably the only thing that kept me sane!

#26 See a Play

I have a family member that is a drama teacher at one of the local high schools. Every year, his class puts together a dinner theater. I have heard nothing but great things about the plays they do and couldn’t wait to see this year’s production. However, I ended up having to work that weekend  So, this bucket list item was left incomplete.

#27 Do 3 Pinterest Hair Tutorials

3 Pinterest hair tutorials I tried during deployment

I have a tendency to just let my hair do it’s own thing. It’s rare that I do anything with it other than a french braid, mom-bun, or straighten it. So, I had a goal to learn 3 new hairstyles (with the help of Pinterest of course). In the picture on the left, I learned how to make long, loose waves with my straightener, in the top right picture I learned how to french braid half of my daughters hair and then pull the rest into a side pony, and the bottom right picture was my attempt at a side Dutch braid. I have gotten better at all 3 hairstyles since these pictures were taken and use them regularly!

#28 Go Trick-or-Treating

kids in costumes ready to go trick-or-treating

This was another bucket list ‘freebie’, since trick-or-treating is something we do every Halloween. But it was nice to be able to mark something else off of our list!

#29 Do a Big Project

things to do during deployment: revamp old furniture

I adore a good project! So, I couldn’t pass up an excuse to take on another one. My parents gave me this old wooden armoire to put in my daughter’s room. Her room is mermaid themed, so painting it blue seemed like the natural course of action. A little paint, some fabric, and new knobs transformed this drab piece of furniture into a dresser fit for a little mermaid!

#30 Find a Show to Binge-Watch on Netflix

things to do during deployment: find a show to binge-watch on Netflix such as the Shield

I’m pretty sure Netflix-bingeing is in every military spouse’s repertoire of things to do during deployment. So, it was only natural that I add it to my bucket list. A friend recommended that I watch ‘The Shield’ and I’m so glad she did. I was hooked after the first few episodes. (If you are looking for a show to watch check out these posts 20 Shows to Watch During Deployment or 23 More Shows to Watch During Deployment. They are FULL of binge-worthy TV series.)

#31 Do More Yoga

This was probably one of the things that I NEEDED the most during deployment. However, it was one of the items that I just never got around to.

#32 Explore South Walton Communities

Walton County Florida is full of beautiful beach communities. Before marrying into the Army, I worked in the south end and was familiar with most of these communities. Since then, these communities have exploded! I was excited to check out all of the new businesses in South Walton, unfortunately, it was another one of those things that I didn’t end up making time for.

#33 Read All of the Harry Potter Books

during deployment I read the Harry Potter series

As much as I love to read, I had never read the entire Harry Potter series. I started them in 7th grade and read the first 4, but never finished the series. As luck would have it, my niece received the whole set for Christmas and was sweet enough to let me borrow them. I don’t know what took me this long to read them – they.are.awesome! I’m so glad that I put this on my list of things to do during deployment.

#34 Have My Parents Over for Dinner at Least 6 Times

family having dinner while spouse is deployed

We were so excited to finally live close enough to our family to have them come over regularly. Anytime they visited us in the past it was always a big ordeal. They had to travel 8+ hours and we had to make crowded sleeping arrangements. So, for them to be able to stop by for a normal family dinner made us unbelievably happy. I made it a point to have them over at least 6 times, but thankfully, it was a pretty regular occurrence.

#35 Walk Lainey to Her 1st Day of Kindergarten

child walking to first day of kindergarten

The time had finally arrived. It was time to walk my baby girl to her first day of kindergarten. We were both a little sad that daddy wasn’t there for such a momentous occasion, but milestones were a special part of our Deployment Bucket List and this one was bittersweet.

#36 Feed the Ducks

girls feeding ducks at the lake

Feeding the ducks at the lake has always been a fun thing to do with the girls. So, it just made sense that I would include it on our bucket list. After spending some time at the park, we made some time to stop playing and feed the ducks. No matter how small the act may seem, if it makes you happy and lets you spend time with your kids/family, add it to your bucket list!

#37 Buy a New Outfit

woman wearing a new outfit

Since, I had spent the previous 5 years as a stay-at-home mom, I didn’t do much shopping for myself (much of my wardrobe consisted of yoga pants and t-shirts ). So, I wanted to make it a point to treat myself to a new outfit during deployment. Thanks to one of my new jobs, I had buy several new outfits. Because I hate selfies (and pictures of myself in general), this was the only new outfit I got a picture of. [Please excuse my poor photography skills ]

#38 Plant Some Flowers

flowers I planted while my spouse was deployed

I love planting flowers! No matter where we live, I try to plant some every spring. I added it to my bucket list for one of those ‘easy’ things to mark off.

#39 Go Swimming at the Springs

kids swimming at some of Florida's natural springs

One of the best things about living in Florida are the wonderful swimming opportunities! You have lakes, beaches, rivers, creeks, and natural springs to swim in. My kids love swimming at the springs, despite the cold water. On this hot summer day, we decided to cool down with a dip at Morrison Springs in Ponce de Leon.

#40 Read the Chronicles of Narnia to the Girls

My girls were too young to read ‘chapter books’ by themselves, so I thought I would read the Chronicles of Narnia to them. The idea was to read each book and then watch the corresponding movie. We got through the first 2 books, but sadly didn’t finish the other 5. I definitely bit off more than I could chew with this series and it was probably a little too old for my girls who were 4 and 5 at the time and this item was left incomplete.

Complete: 31

Incomplete: 9

I was able to complete 16 out of these 20 items on my Deployment Bucket List! I knew when I began that I might not complete every item, but that didn’t stop me from trying.

Having a list of things to do during deployment motivated me to get out and do more. It encouraged me to spend more time with the people I love. And it helped pass the time until our family was together again. I encourage every military family to make a list of things to do during deployment!

Make sure you check back next week for Part 3 of the Bucket List Breakdown!

Things to do During Deployment: Part 2
collage of photos of part 2 of the things to do during deployment series