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. 

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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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Summer Bucket List: Update #2

The last week of our summer break may be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean that the summer fun is over. We still have a lot of things to cross off this years bucket list. When I decided on a large list I knew marking them all off would take some effort and work, but so far it has been totally worth it.

Here is a look at our progress.

Bucket List Update #2

We have marked of 5 more things since our first bucket list check in. That means we are almost half way done with 11 of 23 items finished.

Go skating

I hoped to sneak this in there once a month, but the girls love to swim so much we almost always end up at the pool instead. However on one rainy afternoon I surprised the girls with a trip to the skating rink. They did so much better than the first time we went. I think we will be spending a lot more time there in the future. 

skateKids cook dinner night}

I couldn’t completely turn them loose, but they made about 80% or more of our dinner with no help. On the menu was black and white brownies, chili dogs, chips and peas. Not the healthiest meal but they were SO proud. Marissa immediately requested that we make this a monthly thing. I think we totally will.

kids cookBuild a fort

One day I handed the girls a pile of blankets and turned them loose to build a fort. They draped one blanket over 4 chairs and called it good. So I challenged them to think BIGGER and we came up with this. I would also like to add that I may or may not have taken a really short cat nap in it while the girls were playing with something else. 


Eat watermelon & spit seeds

I knew our list wouldn’t be complete without watermelon, especially seeing we have our very own watermelon patch in our garden this year. The planting, waiting, watching and waiting some more made the watermelon taste even better too. The girls were giddy when we were finally able to harvest our first two melons. It was definitely worth the wait!

WatermelonScavenger Hunt

We have done so many different scavenger hunts over the years. This time I wanted to think outside of our normal, so we ended up at the grocery store! It was different, cool, and so much fun. This was a HUGE hit with the girls and they really want to go back. The only problem is there aren’t to many grocery store scavenger hunt printables out there… guess I know what I need to work on making.

scavenger hunt 
Y’all I think we are totally gonna finish our list!
We still have like 7 weeks to go!

Another #summer #bucketlist check in is on the blog. 11 down, 12 to go! Click To Tweet

How is your summer bucket list progress going?

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2016 Summer Bucketlist: Update #1

Just a little over a month ago I shared our 2016 Bucket List. It was crammed full of all things summer fun, adding up to 23 items. Easily our biggest bucket list so far. The good news is fall doesn’t start until September 22nd (although most would say it is the day the PSL returns). We have more than enough time to tackle this list. 

Here is a look at our progress so far. 

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Swim lessons

Our 3rd year of swim lessons were even more successful than the previous two years which makes for one proud mama and two little girls that have almost grown fins.


Watch fireworks

We missed the big fireworks on The Fourth but we made up for it a few days later. Russ’ job is close to the local minor league ball park so we pulled up some front row seats with our friends and stayed up way to late to catch one of their Friday Fireworks shows. 


Make Root-beer floats

Marissa discovered what is now her favorite summer treat.
Emily discovered she hates root beer.

Rootbeer Float

Go to the drive-in

A family favorite tradition. This year we saw Finding Dory. The girls had already watched it a couple of weeks ago when their grandparents took them, but they were more than happy to watch it again as a family.

Drive In

Make Strawberry Pie

I have wanted to make a strawberry pie for a few summers now. I wish I could say this one turned out perfectly, but it didn’t. I think I’ll keep looking for a better recipe. The girls did have a blast making it with me though. 


Mom-cation with Anna

Since this one gets a post of its own next week, I won’t share too much. It was great to get away with this lady though. That is all I will say for now :). 


Have a picnic

A picnic dinner while waiting for the drive-inn to open up was the perfect chance to mark this one off. Usually by this part of the summer it is way to hot to eat outside… unless you have some great big trees to sit under.

Picnic Collage
And that is just a little peek into our summer fun so far!

It is hard to believe that school starts in less than 3 weeks. But just because we go back to school doesn’t mean the summer fun has to be over completely. There is still so much time and 16 items to cross off our list. Including a vacation we have already waited over 5 months for. 

The summer may be short but the memories will last forever!

Sharing our #Summerbucketlist progress so far. 7 down, 16 to go! Click To Tweet

What is your favorite summer memory so far?

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2015 Summer Highlights, Bucket List Finale

With the completion of our bucket list and Labor Day weekend coming to an end we have decided that summer is “officially” over!
Attempting to make fall feel welcome and trying to forget about the current heat wave, we started out our day with pumpkin cinnamon rolls, homemade PSL‘s & fall decorations. Hopefully by embracing all things fall the weather will soon follow suit #wishfulthinking.

Today I wanted to look back on our favorite memories from the summer of 2016 and celebrate a completed bucket list.

It was “The summer we went to the pool all the time”!

2016 is the year the girls REALLY learned to swim. Marissa went from a little girl who didn’t love getting her face wet to being able to swim across the deep end and Emily isn’t too terribly far behind her. 

The year we took a vacation, finally.

 It wasn’t fancy, far away or very long but it was ours and it was together.

Part 1/ Part 2

It was the year Marissa learned to love roller coasters.

I’ll never forget the excitement she had when she rode her first BIG roller coaster
A summer spent with friends and cousins.

The summer she turned 7.

The best summer ever. 

So many amazing, happy memories were made this summer. 
We played, lived and laughed TOGETHER.
A little part of me wanted this summer to never end, but the memories made will live on in my heart (and my blog) forever.

Make sure you come back tomorrow to check out what we have planned for our 2016 fall bucket list! Plus there just might be a little something special *cough* a give away *cough* that I know you won’t want to miss!


Happy Labor Day friends!

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Summer Bucket List Update: Almost Done

With school well underway summer seems to be coming to an end fast.
I am not sure how things go in your house, but here we embrace all things summer until Labor day then the very next day we wake up ready for fall and pumpkin spice everything. 
Who’s with us?
There are only about 3 more weeks until fall “officially” arrives so we need to get this bucket list wrapped ups soon. If you missed our last bucket list update you can check it out here. 
This is what our bucket list looked like after our last check in.
This is where we are now.
Library Story Time
So we never actually made it to a technical story time. Our library has a very short program and we had to many schedule conflicts. But, we did make it to the library MANY times to play, explore and we completed both levels of the summer reading program so I am calling this one a win.
We read nonstop this summer usually checking out 30-40 books at a time. Here the girls are having  a post library trip “story time” in the car while waiting on the pool to open. 
Go on a Picnic
We actually managed to go on quite a few picnics recently. There were several days that we packed up our lunch and ate at the park while waiting on the pool to open (of course).

Host a Summer Playdate
I honestly thought this one just wasn’t going to happen. Between vacations, VBS and swim lessons we just weren’t home very often. We were so excited to have our friends come visit us on their last day of summer break. It was great to catch up after a summer of barely seeing each other.
Go to the Drive-Inn
As soon as I put this on my list I knew exactly how I wanted this to work out. We oh so patiently waited for the Minion Movie to go to the drive-inn and it finally did.

We picnicked before the gates opened.

Waited out a random rain shower in the car.

And watched the movie with friends.

I love that we have a drive in close by.
It is always a summer highlight for us.
Swim Lessons
Swim lessons this year were and epic success.
In case you missed it, here is the post where I shared all about my little fish 

Water Gun Fight
This past weekend we got out the slip n’ slide and the water guns and had a blast. I was pretty brave with the “big girl” camera and had a few close calls but the shots I got were worth it. 

We are <this> close to knocking out the rest of our list!
With my favorite car show of the year coming up this weekend and 3 weeks to finally make some popsicles I am pretty sure we can complete our list with plenty of time to spare.
How is your Summer going?
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Pool Time: Becoming Fish

If I had to count up how many times we have been at the pool over the past 2 months I am pretty sure it would be close to 50. We have spent countless hours in or around the water by ourselves (rarely), with cousins and with our good friends. 

Anna and I were recently talking wondering if someday the kids would say “Hey remember that one summer that we went swimming all the time” Hopefully next year won’t be any different and they can recall multiple summers spent that way as they get older. 

Creating memories for my kids brings so much joy to my heart.

Last year we mad a few pool trips and took swim lessons towards the end of the summer. We grew a bit in confidence but finished summer just a little better than where we started. 

Last day of swim lesson August 2014

Last day of swim lessons July 2015

Oh how quickly things change.
Just two months ago Marissa would only go down one of the “baby” slides, wouldn’t put her face in water, disliked floating on her back, wouldn’t jump off the edge of the pool and could not swim.

Emily, well let’s just say she was exactly like her sister only more extreme.

The proof is in the photos (and a video) friends.
Take a look at a few things that happened during our summer at the pool.


You learn how to swim… all the way across the pool.

Nail your cannon ball form.

Emily has a pretty silly face with goggles on. 

Tread water? No problem.
Lifeguards get to know you by name.

And make water balloons out of gloves for you. 

You make improvements on diving and finally quit belly flopping (most of the time).
With only a couple weeks left of summer you learn to swim
 Then conquer things you never would’ve done just a few days earlier. 
 Pool time and swim lessons are better with friends.
 As well as jumping in the pool.









No slide is to big.

And if you have enough confidence the guards might let you go down a slide that you are actually to short to go on. Which will be repeated by you going on it 50 more times that day.


Words can not express how proud I am of these amazing girls.


This is the summer they learned to swim. 
The summer they became fish.
The best summer we’ve ever had…
So far.

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