Monday, June 29, 2015

100 Days of Summer ~ Popsicle Sharing

This Summer is our third Summer with our son.  Now that he is a little older and can do more, we've been trying new things.  Not only are we finding new activities, but new foods as well.

This Summer is about the cool treats, like popsicles.  They are such a yummy, awesome treat on a hot day or when we come home from playing at the park.

The first time we shared a popsicle with our son, he was hesitant and kind of shivered after taking a lick.  But once he realized how good it was, he dove right in.  He was willing to share with us whenever we had one.

After a few times, it turned into him choosing what color he wanted to well as what my hubby and I would eat.  Now, he just likes to have his own popsicle.  But he will ask for 'tastes" of the one you are having.  If you ask him to try his, he will let you.  However, he will barely eat his and just keep trying everyone else's popsicle. 

When Summer comes around, so do all the Summer treats.  From watermelons to ice cream trucks, it is time to try them all.  Hopefully, one of these days, we can catch the ice cream truck for that fun experience.

When it comes down to it, Summer is about sharing.  It comes in many forms.  From stories to smiles and laughs.  From the special moments to the food and activities.  Its having your own popsicle, but sharing with others while sitting in the backyard enjoying the evening...enjoying life.

Mom Confessions ~ French Fries and Fast Food

When we had our son, I told myself, we are going to limit the interaction with fast food.  Hmmm...nice try mom.  We did okay when he first starting eating real food.  Sometimes we would get a fast food dinner and share a few bites with him, but he had little interest.  But then softball season started.  We'd meet for dinner before games and my son began to eat more on his own.  Now, this Summer we have softball season, being pregnant, and house showings.  Eating out has become more common than eating in.  To say my son has his fair share of nuggets and fries to this point, is no joke.  I do feel bad that we are eating out so often and it's not something special to look forward.  But in the end, sometimes it's the easy way for us and I am okay with that.  Hopefully, once Summer is over and we've sold our house, we can go back to meals at home and save going out to eat for special times.

Friday, June 26, 2015

100 Days of Summer ~ Finding New Places to Explore

We are a family who likes to be outdoors.  During the day, we try out new playgrounds to play at and find new places to explore.  That is what SUmmer is all about isn't?  Being outside and finding places to explore.  We often forget, we don't have to always go somewhere or go far to explore.  Sometimes just exploring around in our own back yards or even in the neighborhood is an adventure in itself.

One place we have found to love is Tamarack Nature Center's Discovery Hallow.  As it says in the name, Discovery Hallow, is all about exploring.  They have a stream to play in, rocks to climb, tree stuff to build with, a giant sandbox all in a beautiful outdoor place to be in.  Added bonus, it's free.

My son and I visited there recently for the first time and he had a blast.  I found too, that I could find a rock to sit on, relax a little bit, and watch him delve into his surroundings.  It gave me a chance to take in the nature side as well and also see it through his eyes.

That is what Summer is all about...exploring new places and exploring right in your backyard.  Even more so, it's seeing what is around you in a different light, through a child's eyes, a different perspective.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

100 Days of Summer ~ Mornings

Over a year ago I began reading and hearing more about rising early.  Getting up before the rest of the house, spend the time focused on your needs and what you like to do, connecting where you need to connect.  My husband had been doing that for quite some time and knew the benefits.  I could see it too and wondered if I could rise early as well.

I tried, several times I tried to get into the routine of it.  I did little challenges, a 10 day challenge of rising early or a 30 day of rising early.  I would be fine for a few days, but then would just give in and give up.  Finally, I was able to put together a way to make it work.

I had noticed that with a simple routine for my son's bedtime and a simple morning routine as well to get ready for the day seemed to help him transition.  I thought, why not give it a try myself.  I started a simple night time routine before I went to bed and once it became natural, I created a morning routine for waking early.

That was my key, I needed a routine or better yet a list or ideas of how to spend that time.  With time, I began to wake early easily and felt better prepared for the day.  Of course, as time has gone by I have changed it or tweaked it depending on what season I am in.

Recently, I decided to continue it longer into the morning.  After having the things done we needed to have done for the morning, my son asked to play outside.  A beautiful day, sure why not go outside.  He loves being out doors.  So I figure, with the warmer weather and his love of outside might as well make the most of it.

He grabbed a few toys and I grabbed a few things for myself (my book, a cup of coffee, and paper to write).  I am not sure either of us really had any idea of what direction each of us would go in, but the chance to be in our backyard was such a wonderful invitation.

While my son explored and played, I sat and watched.  I listened, let go, relaxed, and breathed in the moment.  I thought to myself, this is what mornings are about.  Loved ones, being outside, having a good book, paper to write on, and a cup of coffee.

Monday, June 22, 2015

100 Days of Summer ~ Playground Play

My family and I live in Minnesota.  We have four seasons just like every where else.  However, our Winter lasts twice as long and our Summer is short it seems.  So when it's finally nice enough outside, then we head out doors as well.

We have been blessed with living a block from a school with a playground.  So, in the evenings after dinner if we don't hang out in the back yard, we head to the playground.  As the weeks have gone by, my son's love for playgrounds has grown.  He has alwys enjoyed being outside, no matter the weather.

The introduction to playgrounds has been so much fun for him.  For someone who likes to be a little more independent this Summer, he is testing his skills out on the climbers.  At first the idea of slides didn't interest him, but as soon as we got him to go down one he can't stop.  As for his own skills and confidence, we have seen them grow by leaps and bounds since we started going to the playground.

Summers are filled with exploration and fun.  100 Days of Summer is about slides, tunnels, climbing, and running.

Friday, June 19, 2015

100 Days of Summer ~ S'mores

As a kid I remember the Summer days camping and ending the evenings around the fire.  A lot of times it was sitting there, listening, some talking, but relaxing into the night.  But it also meant pudgie pies and s'mores.

I remember sitting around the open bonfire, toasting marshmallows or having flaming torches then squishing all that yumminess out between graham crackers as the chocolate began to melt.  We went through countless chocolate bars and bags of marshmallows each Summer.

While visiting my parents, they asked if my son would enjoy a s'more.  My response, I don't know, as he hadn't had one, let alone a marshmallow yet.  He enjoyed it, sort of.  Not as much as I thought, but it was also shortly after dinner.  And at the point he had a s'more made for him, he had already eaten a plain marshmallow.

Down the road, I am guessing that this will be something he will enjoy again.  I want to fill the Summer with sitting around the fire pit and sticky fingers and faces from eating s'mores.  100 Days of Summer is listening to the fire crackle and toasting a marshmallow or two.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

100 Days of Summer ~ Fishing

We are in a season of change in our lives right now.  In the midst of trying to make some of the projects easier, my son and I took a road trip to visit my parents at their lake house.  Little did I know, that as much as he needed it, so did I.

He had been asking to go to grandma and grandpa's house for weeks, but with all the house stuff going on we just couldn't get over there.  Finally, I made the decision to make it easier and hopefully gain more interest on our house selling, the two of us would go out of town for the weekend.

It was a fun filled, relaxing weekend, filled with many first things. One thing in particular that my son enjoyed, as did the rest of us was fishing.  Sure, he has seen fish, in a tank, but never caught one.  The excitement and joy on his face as he caught that first fish was priceless.  All weekend he kept asking to fish and the following weeks he would turn just about anything into a fishing pole.

The look on his face with a fish hanging on a hook from the rod he was holding on, was like a kid opening the much awaited gift at Christmas.  Summer is about fun, firsts, making memories, and doing what you love.

For me, seeing my son try new things, the love he has for his grandparents, and watching pure joy coming from all of it in a way only a kid can express makes me feel alive, in awe, and almost like a kid again.  Seeing my parents do the things with my son, things that I know they did with my brother and fishing from the end of the dock, brings happiness.  It brings smiles to everyone around.

Monday, June 15, 2015

100 Days of Summer ~ Bubbles

In an effort to slow down, savor the moments more, and fully live the Summer months I am doing 100 days of Summer.

For me 100 days of Summer is...bubbles.  Blowing bubbles, catching bubbles, stomping them with barefeet, and watching them float away into blue skies.

My son loves bubbles, always has.  They bring such excitement, joy, and peace.  This Summer, my son is 2 and to encourage him to try things more on his own we got him his own bucket for bubble blowing.

The bucket is small, spill resistant (so as a mom, I worry less about spills and can relax more), and comes with two wands.  My son always uses the yellow one, but he is willing to share the blue one with anyone else who wants to blow bubbles.

It's so much fun to watch him blow bubbles on his own.  Not that I don't like blowing bubbles myself, I just get out of breath and he still wants to keep going.

The other night, a nice blue sky and light breezy evening my son asked to blow bubbles while outside.  I think that is all we did that night, bubbles.  But he asked his dad to blow them with.  The two had so much fun and I had just as much fun watching them.

From blowing them in all different areas of the backyard, to catching them on the wands or with hands, to stomping in the grass full of un-popped bubbles.  The smiles and giggles are what Summer is all about.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

100 Days of Summer

This Summer my goal is to learn how to slow down, unplug, be present, and give the gift of time.

While we have a lot going on: softball, house for sale, house searching, baby #3 due in October, and normal day to day life I am finding the need to refocus.

So, during this season of change I am doing 100 days of Summer.  It may be more, it may be less, but I am going to make a point, an effort to be more present in the moment, intentionally slow down, do the things I truly enjoy, and give time to family and friends.

Some of our stories I will share through photos and writing, but others it will be saved as a moment and memory within our family.  Won't you join me for the 100 days of Summer?

Come slow down, be present, unplug, and truly live life.

Follow our journey, create your own.

Happy Summer!