I’ve been looking forward to the last day of school since, well, since the FIRST day of school. It’s just so nice to not have to worry about making lunches and being the homework warden. In our crazy life of running here and there and everywhere, there is a little bit less there and everywhere, and a lot more here. The days are longer and less crammed with ALL THE THINGS. There are more opportunities to say yes because there aren’t so many pressures to say no. The to-do list isn’t necessarily shorter, but this list of fun things to do is longer.
We are so ready for these summer months.
Each family celebrates summer differently. There are some families who plan big trips and are gone for weeks at a time. Some families stay closer to home with weekend camping plans and neighborhood block parties. Summer camps and daycares, staying home or staying in, there are no right or wrong answers to enjoying summer. It’s only important that you do.
In all my years being a mom, I’ve spent many summers wishing I could be home with my kids. It’s not easy sending them off with family or friends (or camps or daycares) while I head off to work. It took me many years, and a lot of regret, before realizing that focusing on what I don’t have is an excellent way to spoil a perfectly good summer. Would I love to be home all summer with epic travel plans? Of course. But there is no reason why we can’t have the BEST summer while making the best of what we have.
I think it’s time we make some new summer traditions and resurrect the old ones. Here are some things that are on our mind as we head into the summer months:
Last summer, our family accidentally started the best summer tradition ever: Campfire Wednesday. Many of you have followed along (and started your own) but what began as an impromptu dinner at my parents’ house, turned into a campfire in their backyard with all the fixins for S’MOREs. Each week, usually on Wednesday, we kept showing up and there was a campfires and S’MOREs for everyone. It is one of my favorite summer memories to date. (Note: this also applies to backyard campouts. Put up a tent! Break out those sleeping bags! You don’t have to drive far to have some camping fun.)
Put On That Swimsuit
When the opportunity strikes, even/especially if it’s in your own backyard, STOP AVOIDING THE SWIMSUIT. I am terrible at this. Our ‘new’ house happened to have a swimming pool and do you know how many times I went swimming last summer? I think three times. Maybe four. This summer, I promised myself that I wouldn’t be such a weenie. It may not be convenient, and I may not love squeezing into a swimsuit, but spending time with my family is most important.
Nora was telling me how she was thinking about starting up Taco Tuesday again. It wasn’t just about having tacos for dinner (but let’s be honest, tacos are always a good idea) it was about inviting family or friends over for dinner. It was taking time, even during the work week, to enjoy the summer with some of your favorite people.
Evening Bike Rides
It can be a trip around the block or finding the nearest ice cream place, but a bike ride with the family just screams summer. (So does ice cream. So maybe the bike ride should always be to ice cream. I don’t know.) To be honest, I don’t own a bike, but this is something that I want to work on to make happen. It just makes good summer sense.
We have twinkle lights that are on a timer in our backyard. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but they make me happy as soon as they click on. I can’t explain it, but it just makes the backyard feel special. I know, it sounds a little silly! But whether you’re sipping on a cocktail with friends, or eating popsicles with the kids, twinkle lights just add to the awesome. Trust me on this one.
Yeah. I said it. My family has been threatening to have a food fight for YEARS. I announced a couple of weeks ago that I do believe we’ve waited long enough. It’s time to throw some noodles. And whipped cream. Maybe some jello. I DON’T KNOW. But it’s happening this summer. Because I said so.
Putting some summer ideas and plans out there make me feel like I’m not missing out on all the fun. I’m really excited to spend a lot of time with my family and friends. We may not be able to plan huge camping trips or travel adventures, but staying close to home can be just as awesome.
Welcome to summer, my friends.