Monday, June 24, 2013

hello summer

Summer is officially here and once again, we are heading into it with somewhat of a plan. Like last year, I wrote a summer manifesto for us to refer to in the coming months. And like last year, there are many of the same things on that list - like our annual camping trip (we actually have 2 trips planned this year), go on bike rides, eat outside as much as we can and more

I'm excited to display it a little differently this time around. Actually I don't know that I displayed it at all last year. I removed the meal plans and random papers I had clipped to our chalkboard (seen here + here) in the kitchen and wrote out a short list of the most important items on our summer list. Here's a peek at how it turned out :
As far as our day-to-day activities go, it feels like it's getting easier (or I'm just getting better at planning) to structure our days. Now that Morgan is out of school, we've tested out a loose routine last week, to fit in between my daily obligations, etc. Huge thumbs up from me and I think the kids enjoyed that we "had plans" to get out of the house. These are just a few of my observations :

Plan the following week out on Sunday night. Meals, errands, the must-do's and the fun stuff. I do certain things around the house on certain days, so I know which days we were free to get out and do something different. If things get changed around in our schedule, it's easy to see where we can fit it in on another day. We tend to be busier at the beginning of the week + lazier at the end.

Be flexible. I'm sure there will be days, especially weekends when we are all home, where we plan an impromptu trip to the beach (or wherever) and hope to just push the kids through any kind of quiet time or nap without an epic tantrum. I know we are going to have those days when we are camping. This is all part of me letting go in a sense of the whole "well, we need to be back home to eat lunch at noon" or "well, Parker has to nap at one" strict scheduling. It's going to be okay if we eat a light or late lunch. Or if they go to bed after 9. My kids really seemed to enjoy the spontaneity of that last week. And as they are getting older, it doesn't feel like it's throwing them completely off. Bonus.

Keep our bags packed. Or at least pack the night before. I typed up a simple list that hangs on the back of our door that goes out to the garage to remind myself of certain things to take when we go different places - the zoo, for a picnic, the splash pad. Now at a glance, I can check the list and grab what we need instead of pacing around the house wondering what I'm forgetting. That pregnancy/newborn/mom-brain thing never completely went away for me. Lists of every kind are my friend.

Have supplies ready for projects around the house. I downloaded this Camp Mom Summer Activity Pack last month and it's loaded with fun ideas + projects to do with young kids over the summer. I love using my Pinterest boards (summer fun + kids learning and activities) to organize activities for Morgan + Parker, but this pdf is nice to refer to especially because I have it printed + in a binder. I love how it's divided into themes (art, water + nature) and of course it has nice printables to use too. It was a good investment that I think we'll get several years of use out of.

Plan lazy days too. Last week we had a lazy day on Friday - to wear pj's a little longer, catchup on laundry and watch a movie with the kids. I enjoy thrive on structure, but I'm a homebody and laid back days are really nice too. 

Have fun. Be in the moment. Do what makes us happy. Practice gratitude. Just be.

I know every week will be different, but we are off to a nice start. Happy Summer to you!

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If you are looking for a nice printable to record your own summer list, check out this one from Marcy Penner. I'm going to print one for myself and use it as an insert in my Project Life album.

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