This is the first summer in a long while that’s really felt like, well, summer. This season of mama-ing small children is…hard. Exhausting too. Some days, I wake up already so far behind that I wonder if I will only ever catch up when I’m too old to remember what I was trying to accomplish. Babies are crying. I forgot to take milk out to thaw for cereal. It’s a toss-up whether my to-do list or the mound of diapers that I’ll end up changing throughout the day is more massive.

Even so, the pace this summer has been surprisingly, mercifully, life-affirmingly slow.

I don’t know why exactly. Maybe I’m getting better at this whole motherhood gig. Maybe my kids are getting older, and it’s just a little easier to enjoy ourselves when the vast majority of our conversations doesn’t consist of asking questions like, “Are you poopy?” or “Do you want more juice?” (Not that I don’t still do puh-lenty of that too). Maybe it’s a combo deal.

But I know one thing for sure: as ironic as it sounds to say that making a list has helped me to relax…it has. We’ve made checking things off of our Summer Bucket List a priority over other seemingly more substantial tasks, and it’s been so freeing. And fun!

I thought I’d share a peak of our progress so far:


There are still plenty of check boxes to fill in, but we’re plowing through them with gusto, and, of course, doing lots of activities that didn’t make it on the list.


There have been picnics and trips to Six Flags (bottom and top left respectively), play-doh making and trips to the dollar theater by myself with all five kids—whew! (bottom middle and second row), silly string wars and slip n’ slide parties (top middle and right), soccer games and dance parties (third row, far right and left) and much, much more.

As evidenced from several of these pictures, Daddy is sometimes right in the thick of action, but more often than not, it’s just me and all five kids traipsing around town, like some sort of miniature, ragtag circus, featuring two of the cutest little blue-eyed twins in existence.

The questions and comments—“Are they all yours?” “Are you done?” “Are those twins?” “Bless your heart. You have your hands full.”—are endless and so repetitive that, when a friend of mine likened our outings to the movie Groundhog Day, I found myself nodding vigorously.

But I don’t really care. And neither do the kids. We’re too busy making memories to care.

Plus, the look on people’s faces when I saw we’re probably not “done” is pretty entertaining.


Bring on the bucket list! And viva Summer!

Have you found that having older kids (hey, 7 is old for me) makes summer more enjoyable?

Does making lists (even the fun kind) help you to focus on the good stuff?

What are you still hoping to squeeze into (or is it out of?) summer? (so sad it’s already so far gone!)


  1. This is a really weird summer/season for me. My kids are now 17 and 21 (she will be 22 in two days). Our son has worked at our church’s summer camp for 6 summers now, and this year (as well as last) he is what is known as an SMI (Summer Missionary Intern). He is required to raise his own support (all of our camp staff are missionaries). Anyway, our DD went to China for “outreach” this summer and then came home for one short night and went right to a different summer camp to work for a month. She is now done but is in the city an hour away looking for work. She will be moving to said city in about 2 weeks. I am a SAHM and this summer has been very lonely. To save on car insurance (since our son is driving and our premiums doubled) my husband and I share a car. He takes it in the morning for work so I have no car during the day, and so I sit at hoome. Occasionally I have people over and I do teach a ladies Bible study during the week so I am getting some company. Anyway, your list has inspired me to make my own, even though it will be a bit strange because it will be an “All about Me” list. Just seems counter intuitive after nearly 23 years as a SAHM. 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration! Blessings!

  2. How fun! Kudos to you for doing all those things w/ your kids!

    We made a summer bucket list too, but I think I included too many “big” things… Molly said above 🙂 They are all places to go & things to see. We have done pretty well, but with a 2 yo in tow that still needs a nap, we have to pace ourselves. (I feel like a pansy saying this since you have a 2yo + TWINS!). This weekend we went to the stock car races….fun! My boys loved it and my lil girl was less enthused. 🙁
    I definitely think the older kids make it more enjoyable. It is fun to see them having such a good time. With the tiny ones, they could care less if you are at home all day or the movies. I have wanted to get in more swimming, but there is still time right??
    Do not want to wish away my time right now, but I kinda look forward to the summers of heading to the pool & reading a good book & sipping my Coke Icee in the shade while my kids frolic & play. Right now, if they swim……I swim 🙂 It will be here before I know it!
    I am saving your list for next year (when I will have a 6 month old)….much more “do-able”. And we will save our list and continue to check-off the fun into the fall!

    1. I have five kids, too. My youngest is twenty now, but when he was born the oldest had just turned 7. I still remember coming out of Target one time, each of them with their parking lot buddy and me holding the baby when a woman stopped in her tracks and asked,”Are they all yours?” I didn’t miss a beat. I counted them then just smiled back and said that that was all of them I didn’t leave any in the store. I loved the look on her face!

      Following you from Oregon

  3. We make a summer list around here too. When we make the list I try to make sure it includes a lot of things that I know we will do and a few fun new adventures. In the past I put on too many new adventures that felt like they were more work than fun. does that make sense? I like to keep summer low key…not like we are running from thing to thing. As my girls get older summer definitely is more fun!!

I love hearing from you guys!