Summer Bucket List

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It’s hard to believe the kids’ last day of school was two weeks ago already!

12 1/2 years into mothering, and this is my first summer home full-time with our kids. Six months ago, I prayerfully and intentionally decided to step away from my work as a speech-language pathologist to focus on writing, explore special needs photography and stay at home with our three children.

After six months of staying home full-time, there are a couple things I know for sure. I take life seriously. I take this season of life particularly seriously. I have no intention of sitting around eating bon bons bringing in zero income while my husband works his butt off providing 100% of income for our family. I want to follow God’s call and write like never before. I want to explore and nurture my lifelong passion for photography. And I want to grab ahold of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stay home full-time and embrace my days with our children while they’re still young. But I have to be honest, I’m NOT a natural at this full-time stay at home mom gig. Because I take life so seriously and I’m such a worker bee, I need to be really intentional about finding creative ways to relax, enjoy, explore, adventure, and nurture my playful side with our children.

I don’t want to be the mom who was always stressed.

I don’t want to be the mom who always worked.

I don’t want to be the mom who didn’t know how to chill.

I don’t want to be the mom who ignored her heart and soul.

I don’t want to be the mom who never did anything fun or adventurous.

I want to be a mom who’s intentional, insightful, thoughtful, loving, present and willing to step out of the box for the sake of a purpose-driven life.

And yes, I want my kids to know that they can learn anywhere, that they can do lots of fun things without a ton of money, that they can choose to love and embrace life despite any circumstance they may face.

With all of that in mind, I knew I needed a plan for this summer, my first summer at home full-time with the kids.

I needed a loose plan to make summer successful for all of us. A loose plan for me. And a loose plan for the kids. Something to guide our way.

I also knew that historically, summer has been particularly challenging in the way of writing. I knew I needed time to relax, to restore my soul, to nurture my love for words and creative expression through writing. I knew I needed a unique combination of freedom plus structure to ensure a successful and personally fulfilling summer of writing and living.

So when my daughter found a piece of scrapbook paper labeled “Summer Bucket List” at the craft store six weeks ago, I knew that was it.

A summer bucket list?! Perfect.

We bought that piece of scrapbook paper.

We bought a bucket. (Okay, it’s not much of a bucket at all, but I needed to kick off summer with a little bit of beauty!)

We changed Baseball Game to Canterbury Park because we already do baseball way too many nights and haven’t ever been to a horse race.

We changed Rollerblading to Park and Canoeing to Zoo because….well…to be honest, I don’t really want to go rollerblading or canoeing with three kids. Can’t a mom have a say in this, too?!

We changed Pool Party to Farmers Market because I don’t have easy access to a pool. But hmmm….I forgot about our kiddie pool. We might do that pool party after all!

We resolved to do all the other activities as listed on the pre-printed Summer Bucket List.

And we waited for summer to come.

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So here we are. Nearly two weeks into summer and we’re just getting started, but better late than never, right?

There are 22 activities on our Summer Bucket List. My daughter made little pieces of paper listing each special activity we’re hoping to do this summer. Most of the activities cost very little, but a few will cost more. And all of them will require some level of creativity, an adventuresome spirit, and a willingness to step out of the box.

This is a summer-long series. As we progress through our Summer Bucket List activities, I’ll share our adventures in blog posts so you can join in the fun!

If you’ve been around this blog for any length of time, you know I never, ever intended for this blog to be fun and filled with newsy updates from our family. While this will likely be the most casual, fun, friendly, simple and light-hearted series I’ve ever written, I also want to ensure it’s beautiful, meaningful, purpose-filled and inspiring. The tone of many of these posts, in fact, may end up being simple, beautiful and real. But there’s bound to be a lot of fun in there, too.

So let’s get to it.

Let’s get started with our Summer Bucket List!

This post will serve as the landing page for Summer Bucket List. All posts in the series will be listed and linked right here at the end of this post. I put the Summer Bucket List graphic in the right sidebar of my blog’s home page. Anytime you want to read a post from the series, go to the blog at amybethpederson.com, click on the Summer Bucket List graphic, and you’ll be directed to this post. So glad you’ve decided to join the journey. I hope we’ll have fun, relax and connect along the way. Enjoy, friends.

Ice Cream Party and a Park

The Zoo

Road Trip & Hiking

Pizza Party (and Another Park)

Family Bike Ride

Swimming & Sandcastles

Mall of America!

Berry Picking

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