Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Summer Bucket List Time!

Bare feet on cool green grass, coconut sunscreen on shoulders and sun-kissed cheeks, sun tea and deck suppers and pretty sunsets and chilled white wine under the stars...summer is officially here and I am once again rejoicing over the familiar sounds of geese that fly over our house every night and the fresh blank canvas that awaits us every morning, ours to paint with all the vibrant colors of the season.

I've been preparing my mind, my heart, and my house for a summer at home with Cruz and Mila, cleaning closets and planting seeds, jotting down thoughts, and making lists.  I just finished Sara Avent Stover's The Way of the Happy Woman, and have been reminded of how much the four seasons can align with our rhythms and our bodies, helping us live a more intentional and balanced life.  Stover says this about the summer:

"Just as a child savors each day of her summer vacation, counting down the days until her return to school, we also must become more present and more attuned to the warmth, colorfulness, fecundity, and juiciness of this season through even the simplest of pleasures. Enjoy walks in the morning air, yoga outdoors, lunches in the park, moments to watch the sun rise and set, bike rides through the country, candlelit dinners on the deck, or afternoons spent swimming and sunning at the beach or pool.  Even indulging in quick snapshots of summer can do it: sip a fresh juice, sunbathe on the deck during lunch, or wear a bright color to work.  The season invites us to bring more enthusiasm, warmth, extroversion, and joy into our daily lives, to be as energetic as children.  We can stay up late and wake up early, like the sun.  We can splash in swimming holes or nap under the shaded canopy of a big tree.  We can bite into a ripe mango or a juicy peach."

One of my favorite ways to indulge in this summertime season is crafting a summer bucket list.  Every year, as winter thaws and signs of spring start to show, I start daydreaming and jotting down both favorite traditions and new adventures to embark on in the summer.  Then at the dinner table, I share a few of my ideas and invite Beau, Cruz, and Mila to contribute.  These ideas keep us creative, help us to diversify, and I love how they have grown over the years with our kids, our community, our abilities, and our interests.  There are some staples that will forever make the list - strawberry picking and fishing and Movies Under the Moon, but I'm always surprised that every year we come up with new adventures we can look forward to together.  And this might just be my favorite list yet.  

I found some tags and summertime stickers at Hobby Lobby, laid our supplies out on the table, and put together fifty tags to hang with little clothespins on our chalkboard.  Every time we check an idea off the list, we can remove the tag.  I think it will be fun for the kids to see the garland become a little more sparse as we collect sunshine and memories of our adventures along the way.


So without further adieu, here is our 2017 Summer Bucket List...

1. Go for an early morning walk before the rest of the house is up
2. Mom and Dad date night!
3. Go to the zoo!
4. Plant a cut flower garden
5. Have a trampoline popcorn and movie night
6. Cruz and Mom / Mila and Dad date night
7. Mila and Mom / Cruz and Dad date night
8. Pack a picnic and climb to the top of Prairie Lakes’ hill
9. Movies Under the Moon – Big Hero Six
10. Make homemade biscuits
11. Make homemade jelly
12. Make some all-natural cleaners for around the house
13. Make smoothies for breakfast
14. Visit the UNI Botanical Center
15. Go crafting at Hatchlings and Hens
16. Play on the beach
17. Adult bike ride to the new Singlespeed
18. Waterloo splash pad – meet Daddy for happy hour at Singlespeed
19. Driving range and Cherry Creek nachos on the patio
20. Host a seafood boil party
21. Go strawberry picking
22. Explore the new school
23. Host an outdoor movie night
24. Journal and read under a shade tree
25. Field trip to Hillcrest Farms
26. Make a summertime music playlist
27. Margarita happy hour on the driveway
28. Stain our swing set
29. Cousin sleepover
30. Build a fairy garden with Mila
31. Go fishing
32. Make homemade bubbles
33. Summer tea party
34. Host a playdate with Cruz’s friends from Blessed Beginnings
35. Read some fiction
36. Find a new park to explore with the kids
37. Go see Cars 3 in the theater
38. Family bike ride
39. Have tea with a friend at The Tea Cellar
40. Go on a bakery adventure
41. Breakfast burritos at Cottonwood
42. Water play on the trampoline
43. Try a cupcake shake from Scratch
44. Donate some books to our neighborhood lending library
45. Camping Trip
46. Family game night
47. Go to a Iowa Cubs or Chicago Cubs game
48. Try affogato
49. Go to Lost Island Waterpark
50. Go to a Saturday morning yoga class at the Waterloo Amphitheatre

Remember, this should be the most fun list you ever put together!
See this as a list to keep you inspired and give you ideas of 
things to do as the novelty of summer wears off a bit.  We've
never actually crossed every item off our list ever and often just
add those to the next year's list if they still apply.  No
pressure, just fun! For more ideas or inspiration, a few of our
past bucket lists: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013.

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