One of my favorite bloggers and real-life friends, The Frugal Girl, makes a bucket list every summer. In her words, it’s the list of things she wants to do before summer “kicks the bucket.” I love reading her list every year – it’s inspiring! But I’ve yet to make my own! This summer, that is officially changing.
We moved this summer and the last two moves of ours were long, drawn-out, cross-country, living-out-of-hotels kind of moves. This year was a providentially simple, quick, door-to-door move and now we have the rest of the summer to just enjoy our new location, entertain company, take some trips, and just RELAX! It’s been amazing so far! So since I have what feels like “extra time” this summer, I’m finally making my own list. Summer is a challenging time to keep to any sort of routine, because after the crazy of the school year and being cooped up in cold weather, summer just feels like an opportunity to break free and throw caution to the wind! This is plenty good in many ways, but I do feel – at least for our family – it is helpful to keep some sort of routine going, even through the summer. Having a “bucket list” will help us with that!
So here we go. In no particular order…
The library closest to us does a fantastic summer reading program every year. We participated last time we lived here with our then 2 year old and she loved all of the amazing prizes! She’s kind of a book nerd, like her parents, so that was easy entertainment. 🙂 But this year (or at least, this is the first time I’m aware of this option) the adults can participate as well! So I have personal reading goals this summer. I want to get through at least half of the books on my “I really need to read that!” list… of which there are at least a dozen, ranging from parenting books to religious ones to fiction to self-help…it’s pretty exhaustive. 🙂 Ok I just went and counted: there are 15 books on my list. I’m nothing if not an overly ambitious goal-setter.
Our girls took swimming lessons during the winter and spring and are now ready to rock the water this summer! In fact, they’ve already been rocking every swim day we’ve squeezed in during the last few weeks! Our new living situation has four different pools available for our use, all within a 10 minute drive from our house. This is perfection. I want to take the kids swimming as often as possible, but at a minimum of three times a week. Vitamin D, a chance to cool off, read some of my many books, exercise (read: tire out the children ;))… what is better than that??
We have a unique opportunity in our nomadic lifestyle to explore new parts of the country on a regular basis and it’s one of the things I love about my husband’s job! I want to take advantage of our pretty open summer to schedule in some family fun days, so my goal is for us to do something a little extra special twice a month. Short road trips to museums, amusement parks, hikes, etc. There’s a lot to do in this area! And during the week, the girls and I will poke around to new playgrounds, play dates with new (and old) friends, and whatever else we can find! I don’t want our summer to be over-scheduled, so we will definitely plan on lots of down time as well.
Despite the buggy mess that this area seems to be and the chaos it has wreaked on my children’s skin, they still love to be outside! It’s good for all of us to soak up as much outside time as possible in the summer. So another one of my goals is for us to eat outside every Saturday. Lunch and/or dinner, nothing fancy (I mean, it’s outside, with children…ha), just throw some food on the grill, put out some paper plates and napkins, eat with our hands, get messy, soak up the last bit of sunshine of the day… in my head, it’s idyllic. In reality, it’ll probably be that, plus a little bit of chaos, because #reallife…but that’s ok. It will still be worth it.
I’ve gotten pretty good at enjoying the moment. So good, in fact, that I am completely out of practice of taking pictures of things we do! I know many people give up this habit when they are trying to cut back on screen time, and especially phone time (because who actually uses a real camera anymore?!), but it’s yet another one of those things that needs a healthy balance. I don’t want to look back on our summer and have nothing to show for it! And I don’t mean exclusively for social media, either. Yes, I’ll share some pictures and video there for sure, but just for our own family’s recollection and enjoyment… I want pictures! ❤
I think these five big goals pretty much sum up all of my little goals among them. Overall, I want to enjoy the summer, but also learn and grow throughout, just like any other phase of life in which I find myself. I want to be mindful of the choices we are making, but not overcommit or overschedule. I want to let my kids be kids and get filthy and eat with their hands and climb things and stay up a little later. I especially want my big kid to enjoy all of this freedom because she will be entering school this fall and with that comes a big, new, transition for her. Growing up is bittersweet, but I want summer to be as close to 100% sweet as possible, for all of us.
Do you ever make a wish list or bucket list for summer? What kinds of things are you hoping to do in the next couple of months? I knocked out many of my organizational/practical goals before our move this year, but I’m sure next year my list will include some of those things as well, since we won’t be moving, but the house still needs to be deep cleaned and purged of things that are no longer needed. 😉