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    Jen’s 2018 Summer Bucket List

    Jen's 2018 Summer Bucket List

    Even though summer hasn’t officially started, the pool is open and we are looking forward to the slightly slower pace summertime affords us. We plan to spend lots of time at our pool (especially with the boys joining the swim team this year!) and with family & friends. Summertime is our favorite!

    Last year, I was inspired by my son to create a summer bucket list. I had never done one before but it was so fun! And it kept me focused on the little things I can do that really matter. Like stepping off the sidelines of motherhood and jumping in with both feet. This new outlook has changed how I respond to my boys when they ask me to come out and play. Whether it’s playing checkers, shootin’ hoops, or playing catch, I try to say yes as much as I can. Do I have things I would rather be doing or need to do? Yes. But I want their childhood memories to be filled with memories with me doing things with them.

    Not all of the items on my bucket list have to do with my kids. I’m always looking for things to that will help my mental and physical health which is often a challenge for me! Not because I don’t care but I don’t always take the time to do the things I know are good for me.

    So here it is – my 2018 Summer Bucket List:

    #1 – Hike/Walk 

    My running days are officially over. I miss the mental release and the joy of running with my girlfriends but I don’t miss the impact on my body. After injuring my hip in 2015, I was never able to run without pain (during & after). It just wasn’t fun anymore. So what now? I joined a Pure Barre studio earlier this year and have loved it! It is low impact but my goodness – it is a good workout! But I really miss being outside, especially since the weather is warmer!

    This summer, I’d like to go hiking and take more walks. Especially with our sweet dog, Katie! She LOVES being outside (not so great on the leash yet but practice makes perfect!) and she deserves more exercise – she tolerates a lot in our house.

    But hiking? Back in October, my mom and I hiked the Billy Goat Trail. I can’t say I was all that happy during the hike but I have to tell you, the satisfaction of completing it (unscathed) was pretty awesome! And my mama treated me to a lovely lunch afterwards which was super fun!

    While we were enjoying our lunch (and wine!), mom said something that really struck me. She said that she didn’t want to stop doing things, she wanted to remain active even as she gets older. She’s set a goal that I think is so awesome – to do something that physically challenges her every year. So far this year, she’s kayaked in Cuba and she’s talking about hiking Old Rag. I was so happy to hear about her commitment to staying active and healthy! Mom has a big birthday to celebrate next year and as part of that celebration, my sister, Lisa, and I are going to hike the Grand Canyon with her. I have no idea what to expect (except 4 days of hiking!) but I need to start preparing now – another reason for including this on my bucket list!

    #2 – Day Trips

    I was born and raised in northern Virginia. We might have some of the worst traffic in the country but I still love it!

    I know how blessed we are to have so much to do and see within a short drive. Virginia is the perfect launching point for seeing so many wonderful things!

    This summer, I want to take more day trips to see things like Monticello (I’ve been but I don’t remember being there) and Gettysburg (I have never been!). We’ve also never been to Hershey Park. I know we won’t be able to hit all of these but at least one!

    #3 – Golf 

    This was on my bucket list last summer and it didn’t happen. Paul broke his shoulder last Spring and his recovery took a lot longer than we had hoped. I mean, look at his hardware…

    In fact, we didn’t play our first round of golf in 2017 until we played in the NDI Gives Back Tournament. So this year, I’m committed to playing AT LEAST 5 times this summer! That is only 1.67 rounds per month – surely I can make that happen. Because there is nothing like the peacefulness of being on the golf course.

    I’m not there to win. I’m not there to impress anyone. I’m there to unwind and disconnect for a few hours. It is blissful. And restorative.

    #4 – Camp

    One of the most challenging bucket list item from last summer was to camp with my family. I didn’t consider myself to be much of an outdoorsy person but after our first camping trip in July last year (oh my, it was so hot), I was hooked!

    I know this may sound a little strange, but camping makes me feel like a real person. When we’re out in the woods preparing our food, tending to our site, or just taking a hike – it’s real! Sometimes I get into such a routine at home that I feel more like a machine vs. a real person. Can you relate?

    So this is will be an easier item to check off this year’s list, but I’m including it because I want to make sure we make time to camp as a family at least once a month. I really hope our schedules allow for this time together because I love it.

    #5 – Grow Something

    I’m a terrible gardener. I can execute the planting but the maintenance is quite another story (so thankful for Paul for watering what I plant). This year, the boys and I decided to plant some herbs on the back deck.

    It has been a while since I planted anything edible but the one thing I’ve always been successful in planting is basil. It is hearty, easy to care for, and we love eating it!

    But all of the recent rain coupled with lack of sunshine has killed much of what we planted just 6 weeks ago.

    But we are not giving up! We’re planting new basil and rosemary and I’m also going to attempt patio tomatoes. I want garden fresh tomatoes!

    I’m really excited about this summer – it feels like each passing year, with the boys getting a little older, doing things together gets a little easier and it is a whole lot of fun. I also know these years are numbered – it won’t be long before they are choosing to spend their time with their friends vs. their mother. That’s OK – I’ve got them to myself for now and I plan to enjoy every little moment.

    Dream Big. Live Life.

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