Firm affirmations, & a loose plan.

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It was our first weekend with the kids out of school.  Yet after the initial Friday excitement, the anxiety slowly started to settle in.  The one that arrives right about the same time every year... at the start of summer.  

Our summers are always a little hectic- fun, but hectic. For one, Hailey's birthday is right around the corner, in early July.  And she is nothing like Jacob when it comes to birthdays.  She's been talking about her party for the past 6 months... how she wants a slumber party, who she wants to invite (his list was always a couple of friends, and the rest- family; hers seems to include all the girls in the 2nd grade, and then some), how she wants to go to Disneyland on her actual birthday- and stay in the money pit hotel.  So, even if I "go small" and accommodate only a few of her wishes, this always takes a little (or a lot of) extra mind share- the planning, and the recovery.  

Then we have our big summer camping trip.  Hands-down, our favorite part of summer- but definitely a lot of preparation and work- pre & post.  For these reasons, and many more- each summer seems to get overtaken a bit- rushed and incomplete, when it's all said and done.  Even though I'm not one to fill each and every moment with major activities & camps (sometimes, our "activity" of the day may be renting a movie, and getting frozen yogurt- and they're beyond okay with that)- the same thing happens each year.

In an effort to avert the madness & shred the stress, I'm starting this Monday- this summer- off with a few little vows.

  1. Less electronics- more nature.
  2. More time preparing meals in the morning (Crockpot!)- less time in the kitchen- more time to play.
  3. Time with Ryan- without the kids (with their 'flex bedtime' this often gets squeezed out of the equation).
  4. Lots of laziness and just enough structure.
  5. Work, then play (let's face it- there's always stuff to get done- summer or otherwise, and when it comes to tasks & chores- my kids do a thousand times better if they know that FUN awaits).
  6. Popsicles & iced coffee daily.

This morning, we'll conjure.  We'll plan.  We'll dream.  We'll record some 'summer to-do's' 

And I'll keep my vows in mind.


  1. I like a list like that - just enough structure but not too strict! I must try those popsicles asap!!

  2. did i ever tell you why i initially visited your blog? you mentioned disneyland corn dogs in a comment on joslyn's blog. i knew we'd be fast friends after that. =) i don't generally eat corn dogs, or any kind of "dogs" for that matter, but i will tell you that i will NOT miss my corn dog at disneyland. ever.

    just a little off topic, but your mention of a disneyland trip for hailey's bday reminded me.

    hope you are drinking some good coffee right now.

  3. I LOVE your vows. Especially #1. I'm really struggling with my new love affair with Twitter. It's fun but I don't love all the time I spend checking my fun and tuning out of the day. Our tv broke on Friday morning and I nearly cried. But now I'm realizing how quiet my neighborhood is in the mornings and that little birds are chirping everywhere and that Emerson has all kinds of crazy things to say when she first wakes up. It's been such a gift. So I'll share that first vow with you.

  4. I wish I had thought to do something like this before I started my vacation. A month suddenly with no real schedule was kind of overwhelming at first.

    Mmmmmm. Iced coffee. That has been added to my to-do list.


  5. @Stephanie I *did not know that! Yes- they are the BEST, and I'm so glad it started/formed our bond =).

    (& I am drinking some good coffee right now... hope you are too)

  6. @Estelle Yes, I can totally relate with this one. #1 is meant equally, if not more for myself than for the kids. Last summer, I had just started the blog, and I spent way too much time on the computer- trying to figure the whole 'blog thing' out. This summer- with FB added to the list, + twitter, + many, many more sites on my feed... I can see it becoming "dangerous."

    Love your story too =).

  7. These are awesome...I wish there was a voucher to the money pit so you could surprise the daylights out of her. On that note I need a popsicle to get this morning started. Oy

    pssst-what happened at Madewell. I got two tanks for $22. *passed out*

  8. What a great list! Can I co-opt your vows? They sound perfect. Hailey's bday plans sound like Iris'. Every day she asks me how many days until her birthday... :)

  9. Popsicles and iced coffee are my kind of goals :)

  10. No. 1 is key for us. I am trying so hard to resist my son's urgent request for video games since all his friends have them. And I am the dorky mom who has yet to succumb to Wii but man is it ever hard. So all that means I have to work extra hard to keep my little ones busy and some days are better than others (namely the ones where I'm not so bogged down with chores). I would so love it if you would share some of your crock pot recipes. It has been a while since I've used my crock pot and I love your idea of cooking in the morning to get it over with.

    My daughter's birthday is coming up and she is only three so her only request is that I do Dora so that will be fairly easy. But my five-year-old reels off a long list of boys he wants to invite to his party just a month later!

    I love No. 4. I think that's the key to a perfect summer!

  11. Popsicles and iced coffee...I love it. Less electronics for sure...but I don't see it happening around here. Make ahead meals are needed too...I love that in the summer, well, all year ;)

  12. You are the best! Such a sweet heart. This is the perfect Summer list.
    PS: don't forget this giveaway end today.

  13. Popsicles my face! Nice to have plans, sounds like you have a really good balance planned. I still have not mastered the balance. I used to load my kids up with camps every week and wondered if I should let them have more free time. Then they would get crazy bored during a free time week and just watch the telly all the time. Though they've become better about tempering that with wandering around outside and playing basketball. Camping is the best vacation for kids, they love it so much. But we find it so much work. I always wish I was a kid again and have my parents do all the work, they loved camping!

  14. Oops sorry not my face, Popsicles my fave!! Too many of the spiked popsicles I'm afraid...

  15. I totally need to work in number one!

  16. I love your list Torrie and your summer sounds exactly the way summers should be...with lots of iced coffee and Popsicles. I am trying to figure out what things to do for Ariyana this summer. I don't think we'll be camping but I agree-more nature, walks, and just enjoying the simple things will be nice. I kind of wish I had the summer of to just hang out with A!

  17. This will be the first summer where we do year round school (due to all of our travels), so I feel a little bittersweet about not having a huge chunk of free time -- but nonetheless, I know what you are talking about. I can't wait to hear about your next camping adventure!

  18. LOVE THEM ALL! Love the less electronics the best. Kids need to spend time being creative, playing outside or even inside but just being creative with their time! I love it and your just the best mom ever-I know they feel the same way! :)

  19. just reading your vows makes me feel a little bit more RELAXED!! sometimes less is MORE!

  20. "lots of laziness and just enough structure." amen and hear hear and all that. i have 3 little ones at home with me, and i couldn't agree more with your vows. love summertime!
    -brittney (my daily outfit blog...come on by if you'd like!)

  21. Can we combine two great tastes and get some iced coffee popsicles going? I'm thinking Vietnamese coffee-inspired with some sweetened condensed, yum!

    Love the image for this post!

  22. @Rebecca LOVE this idea... totally doing it.


  23. Agreed! And yes to coffee popsicles.. I like that caffinate and stay cool all at the same time...


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