doers vs. sayers.

Two years ago when Brett and I created our pre-baby bucket list, I honestly had no idea if we would do any of it. Not because we weren’t dedicated to the cause….but sometimes when you have really good ideas, they don’t always come into fruition. Life gets in the way. Money isn’t there. Schedules are too busy.

I’ve had plenty of ideas that didn’t exactly pan out.

All that being said, I try really hard to be a doer, and not a sayer. One of the good (and bad) things about having a blog is that it holds you accountable. If I constantly blog about how I’m working on my patience, but never put that into real life practice, what does that make me? If I post a list of things to accomplish before I have a baby but never do any of them, what does that say about me? Often it’s all too easy to get caught up in the art of verbalizing your hopes and dreams through bold statements, especially in a public forum such as this.

{ Speaking of which, now would probably be a good time to mention that I didn’t make it past day 17 of my dairy-free challenge. I’m sorry. To be honest, the first few days were great and I even thought my skin was clearing up. But then day 6-17 happened, and all improvements stopped. I also became very cranky, and very annoyed and frustrated at how hard it was to find something to eat. I might try it again someday, but for now, I’m back on the cheese. }

Where was I?

Oh yes. On being a doer and not just a sayer.

Our pre-baby bucket list was easily said. We scribbled down fifteen items in ten minutes and it was posted here shortly after. Over time I’ve received more and more positive feedback about it, and “pre-baby bucket list” became the number one search term that people use to find my blog. It’s funny how just knowing that people were reading the list made me want to do it that much more. As Brett and I started crossing items off one by one, friends and family members and blog readers alike began cheering us on from the sidelines. It really kicked my (and our?) motivation into high gear.

As it stands today, Brett and I have crossed seven out of fifteen items off the list. We were audience members at The Tonight Show (team CoCo for life), spent weekends with each of our living sets of grandparents, gambled in Vegas, went to Disneyland, saw Cirque de Soleil, took a cooking class together, and last but certainly not least, traveled to Greece.

Today, we are hopping in the car for our first official road trip (number twelve!), as we head to Oregon and Washington for a long weekend with friends. Yesterday we booked our flights to New York to a) see the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center (number eleven!) and b) ring in the new year in Times Square (number two!). I am so, so excited.

Sometimes I can’t help but wonder what the past two years would have looked like if Brett and I had never made our list. Would we have done any of that? Would we have gone to Greece?! What if I had never posted the list here? Would it be sitting in a messy drawer somewhere? Completely abandoned and forgotten about?

Of course I’d like to think no, and that my inner desire to go to Greece (among other things) was strong enough to make it happen. But to be honest, I’m not so sure.

So thank you dear friends and family members and blog readers. Thank you for reading the list, and for being listeners when we were just sayers. Thank you for encouraging us to be doers. When I imagine Brett and I as parents, I always picture us telling our children about the list, and all the special things we did together while it was just the two of us.

There is a lot of power in saying, in believing.

Saying is good.

But doing is better.

Let’s all DO something this week.

Me? I bought plane tickets to New York yesterday.

Now it’s your turn. Go.

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29 Responses to doers vs. sayers.

  1. sarah says:

    This is just the article that I need to read this week. Not just so that I kick it into gear on keeping up with my blog & 101 in 1001 list, but also so that I stop being a sayer and become a doer on the lists that I don’t publish. The ones that I write and rewrite with goals, wishes, and dreams. I’m going to take your advice and DO something today… even if I can’t do it until I make it through the next 12+ hours at the office 🙂
    sarah´s last blog post ..monthly recap – 06/2011

  2. I have a 101 things list, but I have not thought about making a list with my husband as a pre-baby bucket list. I think that’s a really good idea! We’re going to start trying in a couple years, which is just enough time to knock out some goals. And I think 15 is the perfect number too. Hmm. I’ll have to talk about this when he get home!
    Allison Blass´s last blog post ..{Friday Film Review} Playing Catch Up, Part 1

  3. Chelle says:

    It’s amazing how much influence a blog can be on a person’s life! Once I put something out there for the whole word to see, I feel that I HAVE to come through. I’ve been writing a lot on my blog about being healthier, and I’ve found that writing about my goals has been a huge motivator…especially when I backslide, it encourages me to pick up and try again!

    Congrats on all your “doing”! 🙂
    Chelle´s last blog post ..the green monster

  4. I love your pre-baby bucket list, Ashlee! It’s awesome how much you’ve accomplished so far. There aren’t too many things remaining on it now! My husband and I have no idea when we’ll want kids, but we do know it’s going to be waaay in the future, like when we’re in our thirties. So this is such a good idea. We’re saving to buy a house right now, but maybe in a few years we’ll be able to make a list like yours and do super cool things!

    I tweeted a quote today that fits this post perfect: “The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.” ~Sarah Ban Breathnach
    Laura Marcella´s last blog post ..Wednesday’s Writing Workout – School Theme!

  5. Sarabell says:

    Yay, congrats on accomplishing so much and good luck with accomplishing even more! You guys will have such great memories to share with each other. =]
    Sarabell´s last blog post ..My Weekend.

  6. love this! i’m trying to be more of a “doer” myself, and my husband and i have been talking about taking a trip for so long now so looks like it’s time to start making the plans!! 🙂
    whitney johnson.´s last blog post ..sunday love.

  7. This is so cool. We are waiting a few more years to have a baby, too, and this is so inspiring! I might just have to make a list. Thanks, and so glad I found your blog today. xoxo May all your items get crossed off this year!

  8. ps. I love meeting fellow Christians and Jesus lovers. It warms my heart.
    Jessica Zigenis´s last blog post ..the mushy stuff.

  9. Ashlee says:

    @Laura – I love that quote!

    @Jessica – Hi! 😉

  10. Angeline says:

    Love this, and just what I needed. I feel like life has been on pause for me and my plans for the future thrown for a huge loop. One of my problems is planning too much for the future (if I plan a trip to Europe now, will I be able to afford college for my kids in 20+ years?). Sometimes we just have to live for the moment and trust God for the future. I love your spirit…keep it up!
    Angeline´s last blog post ..Mirror-free is not the way to be [outfit]

  11. san says:

    I love your pre-baby bucket list… and you’re right, once you put it out on your blog, people will hold you accountable. It’s a good motivator to be a doer, not just a sayer.

    I wish I had a list like that. (I know you’re going to say “make one”, but life is literally getting in the way of many things for me/us right now *sigh*. Someday.)
    san´s last blog post ..A whole many random truths

  12. Laura says:

    Today I’m going to an ICAN meeting (Iternational C-Section Awareness Network) to try and help me heal emotionally from Ellie’s birth. I’ve been wanting/needing/thinking about going for months. And today I’m actually DOING it. Any doubt I had about getting myself into the car, driving someplace new and meeting new people was erased after reading this post. THANK YOU!

  13. Selena says:

    Great post Ashlee… Have a wonderful weekend in Oregon and Washington! xo
    Selena´s last blog post ..Welcome to Annie & Isabel’s New Web Site and Store!

  14. Paulette Hawes says:

    Dearest Ashlee and Brett –

    We are so excited to see the two of you plow through your pre- baby bucket list. Have I mentioned I can’t wait to be a grandma???

    Have a wonderful time on your road trip. Drive safe!

    Love you, Mom

  15. Michelle says:

    I read your pre-baby bucket list a while ago and brought it up to my boyfriend. Every time we mention doing something, he says “Pre-baby bucket list.” I think it’s cute. So I have written one for us but not posted it yet. They are silly things we want to do (locally and not so locally) but we want to do them together. So you have inspired me to post it and make me accountable to be a DOER! Have fun this weekend!
    Michelle´s last blog post ..It Made Me Smile, 4th Edition

  16. Christine says:

    Love this and can totally relate–I’m much more motivated to do things once I a) put them in a list and b) put them on my blg for all to see! My only problem is that my priority of what I want to do keeps changing–particularly because once I travel, I find things that I just can’t miss! Congratulations, lady–you really are an inspiration (was just looking at all I have to do on my pre-marriage bucket list yesterday… 🙂
    Christine´s last blog post ..Postcard: Is it spring or is it love?

  17. ML Awanohara says:

    Hi, Ashlee. I’m new to your blog but was attracted by the title of this post. I’m writing for a collaborative blog, The Displaced Nation, and our theme this month is road trips — so I was also fascinated to see that you are about to make one. Perhaps you can write a guest post for us about the experience? (If interested, pls email me at

    What’s more, we are discussing road trips in the context of Robert Pirsig’s book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. One of Persig’s observations was that people tend to be one of two types: 1) those who live “in the moment” and aren’t concerned with rational analysis; and 2) those who seek to know details, understand the workings, and proceed in a rational manner…

    Using your categories, Type 1 is probably more of a sayer, whereas Type 2 is the doer. But I wonder, isn’t it good to have a bit of both — some spontaneous moments as well as lots of lists and plans? What do you think?
    ML Awanohara´s last blog post ..LIBBY’S LIFE #20: Blame it on the storm

  18. Jamie says:

    You are always SO inspiring and I love the way you write. This is so lovely. <3
    Jamie´s last blog post ..Affinitia Art.

  19. Ana F. says:

    I couldn’t agree more with what you said. I also have my baby bucket list on my blog and for the same reason – I feel more committed to it when there’s people reading 🙂
    Ana F.´s last blog post ..I’m a foodie.

  20. Mom says:

    # 6 could be really easily crossed off for us parents…….have a baby!!!!!!! Oops sorry, did I really just say that?

  21. Amy says:

    I totally agree that having a blog holds you accountable. I don’t think my weight loss stuff would have been as successful if people weren’t waiting to hear about it. And I also love how people share in the joy: whether I’ve lost weight or booked tickets to NYC/Paris, it’s so awesome to have a community of support!

  22. diana says:

    I noticed when I blog about something, it does me accountable.

    Also, no worries on the dairy free for a few days. I’m cringing at how preachy I sounded when blogged about going vegan and now I’m not!
    diana´s last blog post ..Two Mornings

  23. My blog definitely does the same thing for me. There’s just something about telling people your goals that makes you want to accomplish them. I hope I am a doer not a sayer!
    jennifer blair´s last blog post ..Autumn is in the air

  24. Liz says:

    I am so so SO jealous you are going to NYC for NYE! I’m also really proud of you and how far you have gotten on your list. It’s amazing, really.
    Liz´s last blog post ..Link Bytes 9.9.11

  25. Tiera says:

    It’s so inspiring that you guys are accomplishing so much! This week I’m going to plan my mom’s surprise birthday party!
    Tiera´s last blog post ..Link Lovin’ 9.7.11

  26. jackie says:

    congratulations on being doers 🙂 it feels so good, doesn’t it? this summer was my “hell, let’s just do it” thing. i studied abroad in france, just like i’ve always wanted to. no regrets for me 🙂 and oh my gosh, new york at christmas time is the most magical thing! i’m excited for you guys
    jackie´s last blog post ..our union

  27. Yenifer says:

    i think a lot of people can relate to being sayer more than being doers…the best thing is when we reverse it and become doers!!!….right now my big “to-do” is to keep working on my blog and make it something great and creative!!!! (but i also have my own bucket list to DO!!!!!
    Yenifer´s last blog post ..Ode to Photography

  28. Carlina says:

    Funnily enough this list is actually what brought me to your blog! So excited for you guys about NYC, it’s going to be so magical, don’t forget the kindle in the plane this time…eeekk!

    xo Carlina

  29. penny says:

    Friend! I love you! I was thinking about just this yesterday … how we just go through life and things we want to do don’t get done unless we have a plan … seriously. Perhaps we were separated at birth … LOLOL … you got the better writing genes hands down!! xoxoxo!

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