Summer is literally upon us. School has let out. Camps are about to begin. The heat is turning up here is Arizona. Days are longer and nights have slowed down. We are ready for what is in store and planning a few epic memories along the way. Where we do have a family vacation planned and a wedding adventure in July, as well as church camps, summers school, visits to grandmas all on the docket, we also need to make the most of the more mundane moments. Mr and I don’t get summer break quite like our kiddos do, so I have created a summer bucket list for our family that will help us focus more on moments and memories rather than two months off.
- Take awesome family photos
It’s time to update a few frames in our house and it’s time to take a few current family photos. Capture our family authentically. We love our professional photographer YTW Photography (you should really use her), but we tend to forget to take photos as a family in authentic settings… Vacations. Dinners. Adventures. It’s time our family memories were just as valuable to us as staged photo sessions. I’ll be lugging my camera everywhere this summer.
- Make the most of our weekends
When the big girls were younger we created adventure on the weekends more often than not. It could have been as simple as a day at the mall shopping or as adventurous as a family road trip to Sedona. I have so many wonderful memories of the smiles and laughter that came from breaking out of the ordinary. As two working parents weekdays do not lend themselves to epic summer memories, so this summer I vow to take adventures when we have our girls and create some more lasting memories.
- Enjoy family backyard BBQs
Swimming. Laughter. Hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill. Sometimes joy truly lies in the simplicity of just spending time together, dedicated to one another and some fun and laughter. With our older girls in high school these backyard memories are essential and fleeting. Marco Polo. Colors. Flip competitions. Diving for rings. Cookouts. S’mores. Bonfires. You name it. Simple summer fun.
- Flip out over the 4th
America! I love the 4th of July. It may very well be my second favorite holiday. There’s so much opportunity, excitement, and feelings in celebrating the 4th. Red. White. Blue. Sparklers. Hot dogs. S’mores. Oreo ice cream sandwiches. Seriously, I am already feeling all of the feels about making the 4th special. In whatever way we can, I want to make the 4th of July as epic as possible.
- Head to the water park
I used to request water park birthday parties every year (hello Summer babies). We would listen to 50’s music, pack all the essentials and spend the day at the water park. Now that Doodle is nearly 7 and a great swimmer, this type of adventure is perfect for a summer day in AZ. An easy, local day long adventure.
- Visit Slide Rock
I mentioned it before, but Slide Rock has been a memorable family adventure for us. It has been requested again this year. I don’t see why not. A trip to Slide Rock, a drive through Jerome to have a Haunted Burger and enjoy an ice cream… Sign us up.
- Embrace the neon
Y’all when summer hits I turn into a day glow loving freak. For real. I love all things neon and when the temps crest over 100 we live in neon. Really hot temps and neon truly go hand in hand. This summer we are going to let our neon freak flags fly. Neon clothes. Neon swim suits. Neon paint. Neon. Neon. Neon. (thanks John Mayer)
- Beat the heat with movies
Whether enjoying a movie marathon at home or heading to the theater to see a new release, an easy way to beat summer heat is with a movie. We love movies and are sure to indulge in as many as possible this summer. The ladies are fond of all things Disney and we are so looking forward to the DVD release of Beauty and the Beast on June 6th. There’s no telling how many times we may watch that movie.
- Conduct a family summer reading club
The Doodle needs more practice. The girls love to read. Summer vacations are the only time I get to truly dig in and enjoy a complete book in a reasonable timeframe. Though we won’t read any of the same books, why not make a fun game out of reading this summer. Charts and stickers. Books and beach bags. I love it. A little tiny sliver of education, but in a fun summer setting.
- Enjoy the small things
Sure it may sound cliche, but really, when we can truly enjoy the small things of summer, the entire summer seems more fulfilling and memory filled. I’d love it if we enjoyed the first rain of the monsoon season. Enjoyed popsicles by the pool. Enjoyed summer nights in our backyard. Enjoyed the last page of a good book. Enjoyed sparklers for no good reason. Enjoyed making fresh & light meals at home. Enjoyed summer fruit. Enjoyed baking our first pie. Enjoyed monsoon day naps. Enjoyed ice cream cones. Enjoyed slow lazy days. Enjoyed crafting. Enjoyed sing alongs to summer music in the car. Enjoyed bowls of popcorn for lunch. Enjoyed wearing sweaters after swimming all day. Enjoyed baking cookies. Enjoyed bike rides. Enjoyed sun brewed iced tea. Enjoyed a summer movie marathon – first movie – Blue Crush. Enjoyed each other.
And a few just for me…
- Create family photo albums
We take family vacations and we take photos. However, I haven’t done what I should with said photos. Early on I made albums, it’s time to play catch up and memorialize these family adventures in albums. Excited to have a craft of my own to focus on and frankly, I look forward to having these memories somewhere where we can revisit them time and time again.
- Take a photography class
It’s been on my bucket list forever. Literally so long I cannot even remember when photography became something I cared about or wanted to learn. Time to take a class or two and learn how to use that DSLR I have. Next up, epic family photos.
- Summer (spring) clean
Tackle one room in our house at a time. Reduce, remove, redecorate, reclaim. We have accumulated a lot of things. Things that don’t need to be tucked into corners and never used again. We have too much and yet in some cases not enough. It is time to go room by room and lighten the load. This weekend I am going to start with the master bedroom / bathroom. Then on to Doodle’s room. I’ll head into the kitchen and then conduct a garage sale. The rest of the rooms to follow.
- Make time for US
The husband and I love a good adventure and time to reconnect. With Monday – Friday primarily focused on careers and weekends focused on our kids we need to find time in the mix for just the two of us. Early morning runs. Late night movies. Cigars on the patio. Dinner date at a new restaurant. Errands without kids. Coffee shop dates. We are blessed to have wonderful careers, beautiful girls and the ability to create time, this summer it is my goal to ensure we maximize that created time.
- Take time for me
Health and wellness it is a top priority now that I am training for a marathon. This summer I must focus on scheduling time for me. Fitness. Food preparation. Beauty routines. Facials. Mani pedis. Rest. I want to end summer feeling as relaxed and revitalized as possible.
How will you fulfill your summer bucket list? What adventures, big or small, await you? What are you most looking forward to?