6 Ways to Have an Awesome Summer

My heart is light, my spirit sings. There’s an excitement in the air, and a joy shared by children and adults. As the days start to get longer, the nights sultrier, and the mornings lazier, I can barely contain my excitement.

Summer is finally here.

I can’t help it. I love summer. The other seasons have their wonders, but summer is the best. (Sorry to all you Autumn lovers; it’s true.)

It’s the time for lemonade and s’mores on warm evenings, and waking up to a fresh, clean morning filled with the scent of newly cut grass and the sound of birds. It’s the time for bare feet, hands dirty from the garden, and wearing shorts. The table is filled with steaming ears of bright yellow corn dripping with butter and triangles of juicy watermelon.

Are you excited yet?

One thing I try to do every summer, is make a couple of goals. Not only does it keep me from getting lazy (which often happens on hot summer days) but it also helps keep the kids from going bananas. This summer is the first summer in a while where I will actually have a bit more freedom, since my youngest is two. When you’re in the middle of the baby stage, it’s hard to really do anything, no matter the season.

I’m planning to have an awesome summer, and I thought I’d share my tricks.

Make a Schedule

Go ahead and laugh at my slightly Type A personality, but I really benefit both as a person and a mom by having a daily schedule. I’m a teacher, and while I may have summers “off”, I don’t actually have summers off. I need to make sure I schedule time to work, but I also need to make sure that it fits within the rhythms of my family. So I plan it out. Everything from cleaning, to chores, to work, and tv or play time gets planned. Now, I’m not such a stickler that if the schedule gets throw off I go nuts, because I have to be flexible. Things come up or get disrupted and that’s ok. But having a schedule is a nice road map for my day.

Take “Adventures”

There’s nothing more irritating than being a few days into summer vacation and the kids are already fighting, bickering, and claiming they’re bored. Uh, no thanks, bucko. I’m not having that.

Part of my plan is to get them out of the house regularly. Things like swimming lessons, camps, and stuff like that will help, but I’m also planning on doing little “adventures.” (This serves two purposes, as I actually would like to get to know the area around me a little more – I’m still new.) Things like, going to the beach or pool, trips to the library, going for hikes or bike rides, trips to the zoo, checking out new parks. Depending on what’s around you, there’s many ways to get out and have some summertime fun.

Enlist “Help”

Got a kid who’s bored? I have the perfect cure. Work! Yep, my kids are going to being helping mom around the house and doing some chores. Some they will receive a commission on, but others will be because they are a part of this household. Things like picking up their toys and putting away their laundry, weeding the garden, dusting, and washing windows. I’m hoping that if I can get them into a habit now, it’ll carry on through the school year. (Fingers crossed.) I’ll let you know.

Clean Up Your Eating

Is there any better time to embrace healthy, clean eating than in the summer? So many delicious fruit and veggies are at their peak and are bursting full of nutrition. In the early season, asparagus and dark leafy greens fill my plate, later we fill up on watermelon, beans, beets, lettuce, and corn.

Consider planting a garden and having your kids help you in it (see previous point) or take an “adventure” to a farmer’s market and let them pick out a fruit or veggie to take home and help you cook. (Or grill. Let’s just cook everything on the grill, shall we?) Visit a farm stand, or go strawberry picking. There’s no better time to enjoy healthy, nutritious foods.

Get Outside

We spent about 5 months cooped up inside during the winter; it’s time to get outside! Almost all of my runs and workouts are done outside if I can. The weather is way too precious to waste.

Sure, the hot weather may be uncomfortable, especially if you live in a very hot or humid climate, so take advantage of the early morning or late evening hours when the daylight still sticks around and get out for a nice run or family walk. Of course, wear sunscreen, but get outside!

Schedule “Downtime”

There’s nothing I love more than relaxing during the summer. We have a couple of vacations planned, (and by a couple, I mean one and one trip to visit family) and I fully intend to relax and enjoy them.

Be sure to slow down a bit this summer. Read a book. Sit on your deck in the evening with a glass of wine and relax with your spouse. Do the things you are always “too busy” for during the rest of the year. I know that summers are still a busy time with kids’ activities, work, vacations,  clubs, and commitments, but allow yourself some moments of relaxation and quiet, because the hustle and bustle of the next fall and school year will be here before you know it.

Let’s have a fantastic summer! Enjoy this warm months with your kids! Get outside and have some fun, because September will be here before you know it!

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