Before we dive headfirst into a pile of fall leaves, I wanted to prepare a summer roundup and give it a proper farewell. I still can’t believe how many activities and fun things we were able to do. In the process of recapping what we did this summer, I realized just how truly blessed we all are!
First, I want to thank all of my readers who subscribe to this blog for your continued support, interest, and comments. You may have noticed that I recently updated my website. Hopefully, you like the new look and are able to explore my past projects a little easier. I have some super exciting updates and upcoming changes that I can’t wait to share, so stay tuned!
In addition to some changes to the website, I took a short break from posting last week to make the most of the last few days of summer with the kiddos. I hope you all were able to enjoy the last bit of summer too!
Summertime with the family
My main focus this summer was to spend quality time as a family. Sometimes, life feels like it is just speeding by. I keep reminding myself to slow down and soak up all the time I can with my kids. My husband is a CPA, so we were just finishing up another (long) tax season, and were all craving some quality time together as a family.
This past week was busy, but a really great way to end summer.
First, Madison and I took a trip to the American Girl Doll store in Los Angeles. She did amazing in school last year and earned such good grades that we wanted to reward her with a fun lunch at the American Girl Cafe. Madison and I drove up, just the two of us, and had a super fun day filled with tons of laughs.
Jack started soccer a few weeks ago and had his first game this weekend. It was so cute watching the boys out there for the first time. I haven’t laughed that hard in a while!
We had a slow start with Jack’s first practice – I think he was a little nervous his first time out. But, he’s really learned to love playing and I know this is going to be a great season! (P.S. I have a few soccer season posts coming up, so stay tuned for those as well!)
After Jack’s game, we went to SeaWorld for our last “Summer Nights” shows. When Mike worked downtown in San Diego, I’d take Madison down to SeaWorld before/after we visited with him, since it’s pretty close by.
Even though Mike is no longer working Downtown, we’ve kept up with our passes. We’ll go for a few hours, see what we want, and not feel like we have to fit it all into one day. We definitely get our money’s worth during the summer.
Here’s what else we were up to this summer
We celebrated Jack’s 4th birthday in June. He LOVES Star Wars, so we threw him a May the 4th Be With You Star Wars party, complete with Pool Noodle Lightsabers and Storm Trooper Cupcakes. The kids loved the Nerf Blaster game we set up too.
For the 4th of July, the kids rode their bikes in a community parade. We had a great time with friends and family. I made No Bake Pretzel Treats and this super simple, but amazing kid-friendly Flag Fruit Dessert.
To make sure we got the most out of summer, we sat down as a family and all came up with our Summer Bucket List. We also wanted to make sure the kids stayed sharp, so Madison started her Summer Reading Log as soon as school got out.
Heading back to school is always bittersweet. The kids have so much fun together during summer, and we really enjoy the extra quality time spent as a family. But, it’s also nice getting back into a morning routine, and have a little more structure during the day. I know Madison missed her friends over summer, and she’s excited to start the 3rd grade (but Jack’s going to miss her terribly).
To make the transition back to school as smooth and painless, as possible, I like to start preparing our school supplies early, and spread the cost out as well. I’ll pick up a few supplies here and there, whenever I’m shopping at Target, and check them off my back to school checklist as we go. We’ve also got their first day of school signs printed and ready to go for those back to school photos of the kids.
I also like to start preparing the supplies we’ll need for the kid’s lunches, as these items are generally on sale as well. This year, we’ll be using a bento box to organize Madison’s lunches. I also like to print out a few note cards ahead of time so that I can tuck a special note in there for her.
I try to pick up any teacher gifts I can during summer – most of these will be on sale around the same time as other school supplies. This year, I made this super cute and incredibly easy tote bag to carry Madison’s teacher’s gifts. The Cricut machine makes customizing gifts like this so simple, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. I hope she loves it!
To wrap up summer, the kids made another batch of Unicorn slime (black space slime for Jack), then had a sleepover (with each other). We snacked on S’mores Trail Mix during our Toy Story trilogy movie night. The next day, we all had football ice cream sandwiches while beating the summer heat and watching another Chargers’ preseason game.
Wow, what an incredible summer! I love reflecting on what we did; the memories, the unexpected family “missions” we went on; stargazing on a moonless night, watching the International Space Station pass over our house, or enjoying a summer lightning storm over the mountains. All in all, it was a really special summer.
Here’s to fall and the next season in life!