Bucket List

I’m still learning to have fun. I mean, if you drag me out, which is a task that often falls on Matt’s shoulders, I’m not super dull; it’s just that initiating play activities is not my forte.  But… the laundry never ends, and neither do the dishes. There will always be one more thing that needs cleaned, one more paper that needs graded, and one more lesson that needs planned. So I’m beginning to understand how vital it is- not only to put myself on my to do list, but also to create a family culture that’s more than functional- Guys, we gotta bring the happy.  Because kids need to laugh the way they need to read and multiply well. They need memories that make them smile and things to look forward to. This is another kind of glue that holds us together.

So we met in Family Council just before summer to make a bucket list. I was a little nervous about all the fun they wanted me to have, but… One month in, people, we. are. SLAYIN’ IT! I’m so proud of me us! Check out the memories we’re making:

We were terrible about photos, but a high priority on our list was a camping trip.  That there is Kausey Reservoir, where we did some fishin’ and paddled around in a rubber raft.   Also, when we did remember to pull out our phones, it was because who can resist that face?  Not pictured was a groovy campfire where Sam and Levi discussed the many things Harry Potter, a nifty prairie dog that hung out during meal times, and a camp-stove breakfast fit for the royal family.

Here, we took an overnight jaunt to Manti, Utah, where there’s a fancy pageant every year.*  (See the note below if you’re wondering what that building is, and what all these strange costumes have in common.)  This has been our very favorite thing so far- not just because of the pageant, but more because we got to visit with dear, dear friends from Texas.  Together, we rented a paddle boat and shared their kayak for a few hours at the state park, and later, they supplied us with frozen treat after frozen treat while we visited their new digs.  We had no idea how much we needed this trip.  The drive alone helped us slow down and connect with one another, the accommodations were superb (Thanks airbnb!), and connecting with old friends was almost healing.  Sometimes you need to see people who know your history, who shared your becoming.  Also, it just seemed super fitting that there were longhorns and the Texas flag to greet us at the turn off to our rental.

Here we are with some friends at our local library.  The kids are diggin’ the summer reading program- mostly because there are staggered prizes every 10 days or so of reading.  I dig the summer reading program, too, because they’re reading, but also because reading is quiet and peaceful and does not require mediation when kids aren’t getting along.

Here we are at our very first DRIVE-IN MOVIE!!!  I have to confess:  I had a bad attitude about this one.  I thought it might be too cold, or we might not be able to hear well, or there might be bugs…. I wasn’t excited…  But it was  EPIC!!!  I heart the drive-in!  There was a very slight chill in the air, but no bugs, and the sound was perfect.  So we all cuddled in close, laughed until our guts hurt, and enjoyed every minute.  Incredibles 2 for the win!

Also not pictured- a fun afternoon at Fly High, gelatos at Zeppes, and a sweet 4th in Evanston with the grands and the cousins.  Last but not least, Matt and I have settled on the very best activity your family must schedule.

We call it down time- but whatever you call it, make it a priority; because when else will you overhear your 10 yr. old ask the infant, “So… what do you think you’ll have for dinner tonight?  Milk again?  Ya, I thought so…”

Inspire us!  What’s on your summer bucket list?

  •  The Mormon Miracle Pageant is a hillside production performed each year at the LDS (Mormon) temple in Manti.  The storyline is centered around to historical time frames- The Great Awakening in America, when we believe a boy named Joseph Smith received direction from God to organize a modern day religion, very closely aligned to the teachings in the Old and New Testament, with some modern revelation for our time as well.  AND Ancient America, where Mormons believe civilizations were visited and taught by prophets and Jesus Christ himself. The Book of Mormon is a treasure to me; I love to study it alongside my Bible, and I would be happy to send you a free copy.  Hit reply or email me to request one, and I’ll be in touch.
  • The building pictured is called a temple.  It isn’t for Sunday worship, but is what we Mormons consider the holiest of structures, where our most devout can go to worship, make sacred promises, and receive very special blessings.  When I go to the temple, I feel a renewed commitment to being the best I can be.  It brings me joy and an indescribable amount of peace.  If you would like to know more about these temples, please click here.

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