#SummerNotes: First week (almost) down

It has been a very busy first week of summer. I realized today when I was finally replying to comments on my blog that before I know it summer will be over and the kids will be going back to school. Summer is sensational in Minnesota but our season is short. Sadly, school starts before Labor Day which is really a bummer because it is usually still swimming weather the first week or two of September and no one wants to be sitting inside in school.

They are smart marketers! They park the ice cream truck right outside the soccer fields.

They are smart marketers! They park the ice cream truck right outside the soccer fields.

I made a check list of things I want to do this summer with my kids along with a few things I want to do for myself. Here is what I came up with:

With Kids:

  • Teach Sophia to inline skate around the entire lake (about 3 miles).
  • Get Sophia comfortable on her gear bike so we can enjoy the many biking trails of the city. (She has been biking with us for years on the “Tag-along” but now is too big).
  • Do some hiking at one of the many State Parks
  • Go kayaking
  • Enjoy evening picnics while listening to live music at the Lake Harriet Bandshell.
  • Spend a weekend “up north” at a cabin on a lake.
  • Read, read, and read.
Lake Harriet Bandshell Minneapolis MN

The bandshell (one of many) at Lake Harriet.

Lake Harriet Bandshell Minneapolis MN

View from the Bandshell of Lovely Lake Harriet

For me:

  • Try paddle boarding.
  • Get up to walking 4-5 hours exploring the urban lakes and city (Kilimanjaro training!).
  • Learn to grill! (Normally my husband is the griller in the family but I’ve mastered a veggie burger and hot dog for my kids).
  • Read a ton of books (I have a huge pile and am on page 450 of a 933 book).
  • Finally get my “Mother’s Day” massage.
  • Tend my summer flower garden and get the flowers to survive!
  • Make sure to spend time with friends.
  • Learn to make more summery, healthy vegetarian meals (ideas welcome!)
  • Travel! (That is taken care of!).
Sophia at Lake Harriet

Sophia at Lake Harriet

Getting my girl to love reading outside

Getting my girl to love reading outside

Meanwhile Max is at a week long "bike, swim, paddle and fish camp". He biked 25 miles yesterday!

Meanwhile Max is at a week long “bike, swim, paddle and fish camp”. He biked 25 miles yesterday!

Within the craziness of the first four days without school, I’ve made a list of everything I have decided to give up for three months and not stress about:

  • Having a clean, organized house without toys everywhere!
  • Washing and styling my hair on a regular basis. (That is why they invented the ponytail!).
  • Yoga, blogging on a regular schedule, reading all my favorite blogs as often as I normally do (sniff sniff), getting enough sleep, having down time, and practicing photography.
  • Loosening up on my strict rule of ice cream and popsicles (one per day will have to be two!).

Instead, I decided to dive into laughter, fun, adventure, exhaustion while somewhat losing a tiny bit of sanity in the realization that my kids are growing up way too fast and pretty soon they will want nothing to do with me in the summer. Embrace. Enjoy. Have fun! And don’t forget to breathe!

Sunset on the soccer field. Pearl Park, Minneapolis

Sunset on the soccer field. Pearl Park, Minneapolis

Tomorrow morning, Sophia and I are heading “up north” as they call it here in Minnesota. With over 10,000 lakes, the state has a very strong “cabin culture”. We don’t have a cabin but thankfully many of our friends do. Sophia and I are doing a mother-daughter weekend about four and a half hours north of Minneapolis on a lake. I’m really looking forward to late nights filled with campfires, s’mores and wine for the women! Should be a “hoot” as they say in Minnesota.

Stay tuned…



    • Thanks Alison! So far so good! Weather is beautiful except I’m covered in mosquito bites now after being “up north” over the weekend. It was incredibly beautiful so I will post the photos soon!

  1. Sas

    Check out the Deliciously Ella cookbook for great veggie recipes that are super quick to make (leaving you more time to have fun) 🙂

  2. That bandshell looks great, Nicole! I’m totally unfamiliar with the concept but it sounds good. Have a fantastic time with your babe. 🙂

    • We have over 12,000 lakes here in MN and bandshells are quite common. Most were built in the early 1900s and used for music and festivals which they still are today. The urban ones all now have restaurants which is great fun. 🙂

  3. I can identify with this post in many areas, Nicole. The goal to get your summer flowers established without killing them and to have more time for yourself without stressing about writing your blog or reading other blogs on a regular basis are two goals that I strive to meet, too. It is so difficult, though. First, I have no green thumb. My flowers see me coming and they shrivel and wilt. I think it’s their way of showing their dissatisfaction with my care or lack of care. When my internet went off, I was frantic for a while. I had so many blogs to read, which I dearly enjoy. But, life is short, sometimes you have to make some “me” time, and the stress melts away. Enjoy your summer, and let us know what your favorite books were when the summer is over.

  4. What a wonderful list (rules for keeping sanity included)! My kids are just 3.5y and 8m, and since i work, i try and make the most of evening and travel time. Your list, though, makes me want to take summer holidays and do stuff with them, once they are little older 🙂

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