Summer Bucket List 2016: The Grand Finale

We did it!

Somehow with only days to spare we finished our 2016 summer bucket list. 

Final Summer List

When I made this list I knew that crossing everything off was totally possible, but I didn’t fully expect for that to happen. I printed it off and hung it up in our school room where we could all see it. It turns out that was just the motivation we needed. With both of the girls reading they were constantly checking in on our progress and asking to mark things off. That made ALL the difference. It was no longer completely on me to plan, schedule, and inspire everyone to join the fun. We did lose some momentum after school started again, but once we found our new routine we easily finished up our list.

Here are the final things we crossed off.

Make & sail newspaper boats

One Saturday when Russ was working the girls and I took a walk to our local nature center with plans to cross two things off our list. First up was making newspaper boats. I had no idea how easy it was to make these, Marissa even mastered it too.

bl boatSkip rocks

After we sailed boats I tried to teach the girls the “fine art” of rock skipping. Yeah, that didn’t go so well. I am terrible at skipping rocks and they thought it was more fun to just chuck them in as hard as they could. Sorry little fishies. The girls had so much fun down by the creek and have been begging to take another hike. 

bl rockRide bikes to get ice cream

The weekend before vacation I suffered a terrible allergy attack. But when the girls kept asking and I knew it was our last chance I decided to go for it anyways. We rode about 1/2 a mile away to Braums for an ice cream cone right before super time. If that isn’t one of the best parts of summer I don’t know what is!


Flashlight tag

I am kind of thankful I saved this one for the end of summer when sunset happened a lot earlier than 6 weeks ago. We stayed up late one Friday night to play flashlight tag which some how ended up turning into flashlight hide and seek. The girls thought it was the best night ever. Marissa is completely convinced that “Flashlight Fridays” should be a real thing around our house. 

bl flash

Family vacation

After months of anticipation family vacation finally became a reality. We left on Sept 10th, 2016 and spent a week in Orange Beach, AL. It was amazing and every bit worth the wait. I’ll be doing some recaps in the upcoming weeks. 


Build a sand castle

Since this was both girls first trip to the beach I knew a highlight would be sand castle building. We buried each other, dug huge holes, built walls and even made a fort. They loved it. 


The summer of 2016 was another amazing summer.

Every year as the girls get older a part of me is a little sad, I hear the time ticking away. But watching them grow and seeing how every year gets just a little sweeter has been so rewarding. So I embrace our current season of life and thank God for another summer full of memories made with my girls.

What was the best part of your summer?

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  • Jessica

    Yay!! What an accomplishment. I love when I finish everything on my list and unfortunately that didn’t happen for us. Boo! I love that you guys made newspaper boats. So awesome!! Such a fun idea.

    • It is so easy and SO fun. The only reason we crossed everything off was the girls pushing us to do things. I guess that is a perk of having older kids.

  • Amy Smith

    I can’t wait to read your beach recaps & see your pictures! The snapshots that we’ve seen are just perfect! Can’t wait to see more!

    • Girl I have to find time to share them :P. I think I may be able to put the first one out on Monday… I hope. Things in my blog planner are pretty full so I’ll squeeze them in as I can. I know I want to blog about our trip. It was too special not to.

  • You did it! I think you are the only one I know who completed their list. Beautiful photos to capture all the fun. I don’t have a favorite summer memory this year, it has been a rough summer with the breakup of my daughter’s marriage. But if I had to choose one, because there is always something good even in the bad, it is that I found a church home through all the pain. Having summer off from school also helped me to focus on helping my daughter and my grandchildren through the mess.

    • I almost felt guilty that we were able to cross it all of. I know most people still had a few things left on their lists. But with older kids asking and planning to do things, it really helped. I have been thinking of and praying for you and your family a lot this summer Michelle. SO glad to hear you connected to a church in the midst of this trial.

  • Wow!! That is wonderful but then you are an achiever for sure. What a beautiful summer with awesome memories you made for your sweet family

    • Thank you so much. We definitely had an amazing summer and made a lot of memories too.

  • Lizzie Simantz

    I’m super impressed you crossed everything off! Ours was way too ambitious and we came up short. I love that you play flashlight tag, I’m so going to do that!

    • Thank you, thank you so much. I always make these lists assuming we wont complete everything but with older kids it is just getting easier and easier every year. You totally should your kids would LOVE it.

  • Yay for getting everything checked off! It’s awesome to see your summer list completed! And I know the memories are surely something to hold on to! πŸ™‚

    • That they are. I am so happy we finished our list. It was an unexpected surprise.

  • Meghan Flinn

    Woohoo! So exciting! You really did have a great summer. I’m bummed we didn’t cross everything off ours πŸ™

    • I almost feel like a jerk that we were able to cross all of ours off. But without the girls instigating and begging to do things, we never would have. I guess that is just a perk of having older kids?! I usually make these lists assuming it won’t all get done.

  • Yay on finishing your bucket list!! πŸ™‚ Can’t wait for the recaps!

    • Thank you and thanks to my girls for pushing us along. I hope to find time to get the trip blogged. Things are pretty busy around here. I am planning to push out the first part on Monday!

  • yay for crossing things off your list! Your beach vacay looks amazing!

    • Thank you! It was amazing… SIGH! I wish we could go back right now.

  • I love so much that your summer was equally full of simple and totally doable fun! You definitely know how to really experience the summer friend. Can’t wait to see all your beach pictures!

    • Our summer was pure perfection. It is all about the little things around here. I am hoping to share some next week!

  • Yay for crossing everything off of your list! Your vacation looks like a ton of fun, can’t wait to see pictures!

    • If only I can find the time to share about it. Hopefully next week!

  • I love that you were able to cross everything off!! That’s a big accomplishment for sure! One thing we never did was get to a beach and I’m pretty bummed about that. But there is always next year!

    • Exactly! Any time I make a list I always assume we won’t get it all done. I am still shocked we actually managed to complete things this time.

  • Great job, and I love how much fun they have!

  • Such simple summer fun – what childhood should be made of! Love it!

  • Girl, I am SO impressed!! I don’t think many people actually get to cross every single thing off of their bucket lists!! Y’all have been busy for sure! And now you can start on your fall bucket list!

    • Yes! I may or may not have plans to share that tomorrow! We would have never completed this list if the girls hadn’t pushed me to get things done.

  • Summer is your jam and you killed it! What does a fish do when there isn’t any water to swim in? Asking for a friend.

    • The fish is sad…. and pale. She quietly waits for warmer weather again while letting the holiday season distract her before slipping into a lonely state of depression that the first of the year brings.

  • What a fun summer! I can’t wait to see what you have planned for Fall!

  • Desiree @ Macke Monologues

    Your summer wins!!
    The paper boat idea is such a fun one. We have a book that talks about boats, and in the back has directions on how to make a paper boat. We need to give it a shot.
    Flashlight tag! Oh my gosh, we used to play that all the time growing up with the neighbor kids. Talk about fun memories.
    And, obviously I love you beach vacation. Beaches kind of have a special place in my heart. πŸ™‚

    • It was such a great summer. So full of fun things both big and small! You should totally make the paper boats! I guarantee Marcus would love it. I found all the steps except the very last one to be super easy. The beach was AMAZING friend. I woke up early every day on vacation just to watch the sun rise at the beach.

  • I knew you could do it!!
    That paper boat is so cute. Ill need to remember that one πŸ˜‰
    As much as summer was fun, Im just really looking forward to Fall!

    • Thank you so much for the vote of confidence friend. Definitely do. It was so fun and so simple. I am just really looking forward to fall weather :P.

  • Woo- hoo you busy beavers! Your beach pics make me jealous. We leave in about 2 weeks for our beach trip and I can’t wait!

    • Oh my word you are going to have the BEST time. Nothing beats it that is for sure.

  • So fun reading all of this! Love the beach- as much as I love being on the coast there is nothing like the Gulf!

    • I have never been to the east coast so I can’t really compare it to anything but oh goodness it was amazing. Thanks Keri.

  • Yay! I can’t wait to see all of your beach pictures!

    • I took like 1500+ photos. I can tell you that because I KNOW you get it. I have part one scheduled for Monday and it includes 34 photos, ooppps. I kind of wish I took the time to edit some because I know they would look better but I just can’t edit that many. So unedited photos it is :/.