When I look back on this time someday, these are the things I hope to remember. Not how Facebook was driving me crazy or how much I hate group texts or how much I miss that sense of normalcy that we’ve always taken for granted. I want to remember the beautiful moments that we found when we were forced to slow down and focus on home.
I’m linking up with Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop today. I always love her weekly writing prompts – they often remind me of the things I’ve been meaning to write about or give me new ideas I hadn’t thought of.
Here are her prompts for this week:
1. 10 Lessons your child could teach you for a change.
2. Did you garden this summer? Share the fruits of your labor.
3. Write a blog post inspired by the word: fall.
4. Book review!
5. If you had to be a school teacher, what age and/or subject would you choose to teach and why?
6. Highlight 10 favorite summer moments so far.
With the kids back in school it sort of feels like summer is already over. But the calendar seems to think this isn’t true. We’re making summer memories right now while I type this post and my kids do their homework. But here are some slightly more Typical Summer Memories we’ve made and photographed this year:
ONE | BB and I went to my hometown’s Fourth of July parade and it was everything I remembered from my childhood. Ah yes, the quaint memories of the volunteer fire department dressing up in terrible drag to throw tootsie rolls at children. How I look back on these memories fondly. I mean, there were tootsie rolls. What more does a child need in life? The pic above was one of my favorite floats this year. Most of the floats are pretty boring TBH – a lot are just political ads because, ugh, grown ups. But there was this whole Toy Story themed assortment including guys dressed up like Toy Soldiers who would freeze if you yelled “Andy’s coming!” #nostalgia
TWO | Summer reading! We spent a ton of time reading this summer – plowing through the library’s summer reading program as well as the summer reading challenge I made for the kids.
THREE | Hiding inside with MM playing Go Fish during the big company picnic. Somehow this picnic is always on the hottest day of the summer – this year they even scheduled it in June and it was still a million and eleven degrees outside. All the root beer floats in the world couldn’t keep me outside – and luckily my twelve year old was in full agreement. They had a room filled with board games and card games and old arcade games for just this situation – it’s like they know that a company full of geeks probably includes people averse to outdoor activities.
FOUR | We did do some outdoor stuff though – the kids took a month of swim lessons and I sat in the shade listening to podcasts and playing on my phone. On Fridays we got ice cream and the kids got to go on water slides. Dorky photo sessions may have happened.
FIVE | Reading comics together at the coffee shop. I’ve been wasting the days away at coffee shops since my kids were toddlers. Back then I chose my coffee shops based on the kids play area – our town has some great choices for moms! But these days I want to know if they’ll have any newspapers kicking around so my kids can read the comics – and the play area is pretty much unimportant. Who are these giant beasts formerly known as little kids?
SIX | That time my daughter was the flower girl at a friend’s wedding. I’m pretty sure BB was born for this gig – dressing up in a glamorous dress and dancing down an aisle while tossing flower petals in the air? Sometimes she’s doing that anyway and there’s no wedding. I’m only half joking. Seriously, it was a beautiful wedding and we had such a good time sharing their big day with them.
SEVEN | Is summer complete without road trips? Not in our family. We drove halfway across the country to spend a week with our family. There was swimming and ice cream and sea food and the previously mentioned parade. Lots of hot dogs and family get-togethers and playing cards with lifelong friends that I never get to see. Everyone was older and it was fantastic and bitter sweet and there were a lot of miles logged in the car. We listened to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on audible and ate ginger snaps and complained about the traffic. So, you know, good times.
EIGHT | At the tail end of our summer vacation we finally went camping. I think this was the least camping we’ve ever done in a summer but we made up for it by roasting all of the marshmallows, cooking pigs in a blanket over an open fire, going on the nerdiest nature hike ever and we may have gone into town a few times to visit some local wineries because Door County.
TEN | Another great camping memory – we found a cute set of those old fashioned peg games like you see at Cracker Barrel. Some of them were pretty scraping the barrel in quality – but a lot of them were really fun. The kids and I enjoyed playing Finish Line which is definitely more of a game of chance than skill.
What have been some of your favorite memories this summer?
Today was their first day back to school and I have a million pictures to prove it. But I’ll be nice and only share like 5 because I know that I’m probably more interested in intensely poring over all the variations of each picture more than you are.
MM is starting 7th grade this year and he’s like, “I’ve got this down.” Mr. Cool, Calm and Confident. I kept my cool during picture time and drop off and all that but somewhere deep inside I’m like a melty puddle of mommy because like six minutes ago he looked like this:
And now we’re here:
According to his name tag, he wants to be a game designer when he grows up. I could see this happening and it makes me less irrationally angsty than when they tell me they want to be YouTube stars.
This one is in 4th grade this year and there’s some confidence here that feels new also. She ran downstairs to her classroom without me this morning and I realized I didn’t really need to follow. After I picked them up, I asked if she was okay with me not going downstairs and she said, “I like it when you come downstairs but I’m fine when you don’t,” or something like that. She sounded so grownup and rational and seriously guys.
When did the cheeks disappear?
This morning she told me she wants to be a pianist when she grows up. Not only did she know the correct pronunciation of the word, it sounded well thought out and obvious when she said it. Like, “Obviously, of course you do.” My sister-in-law actually is a pianist so maybe it’ll run in the family.
Also, can we take a moment to love on her fashion sense and that awesome hair style. That right there is a half side pony of her own invention – she’s got the rest of her hair pulled back in a normal pony tail, too. This should have looked weird but I actually kind of loved it.
Tomorrow is their first full day of school and I can’t wait to start going to Target by myself again! When do your kids go back to school? Are you feeling yahoo or boohoo about it this year?
We went to the botanical gardens this morning and stopped to pose with our favorite stone elephant. This of course inspired me to walk down Memory Lane and look at all of our old pictures with Mr. Elephant over the years. These aren’t quite all of them, but you get the idea.
A couple of my favorite pictures from the Early Years of visiting the gardens. These ones don’t feature a stone elephant but they do punch me right in the Feels.
Remember Wordless Wednesday guys? Let’s try to make fetch happen again! Post a comment if you are playing on your blog, too!
Today was their last day of school and honestly we couldn’t be more ready. Don’t get me wrong, we had a pretty terrific school year. The kids learned a lot and made some great memories and I hit a pretty stellar balance of being a Super Volunteer Mom without feeling like Overburdened Mom-Martyr Person. BUT.
We are ready for late mornings, lazy afternoons, no homework, video game marathons, swim lessons, no homework, summer reading, family vacation, no homework… you get the idea. Mostly it’s the sleeping in that I’m looking forward to, tbh. I bet you can guess what my kids are looking forward to most.
I decided to dive into Summer Vacation Mode with a new weekly calendar layout:
This is how I organize our days each week and plan our dinners. I print out a copy and laminate it so I can use dry erase markers on it – and it works really well! I keep mine on my fridge for easy access. They usually last me about a year before they stop erasing well, which is about how long I can usually go before I want to redesign it anyway.
The format is intentionally pretty minimal apart from the splashy background which I found to be surprisingly easy to write over without looking too busy. Perfect for laid back summer days but I honestly feel it will be sufficient for the school year, too. Feel free to save the image and print it out for your own organizing needs.
Okay so how many days are left until summer vacation starts at your house?
What are you looking forward to most this summer?