Summer bucket list: How I did

photo-397Earlier this summer I posted a summer bucket list with 24 things I wanted to do over the next few months. Since summer is officially over (well, except for my vacation over the Rosh Hashanah long weekend) it’s time to assess how I did.

1. Pick strawberries

I picked strawberries in late May, and also picked peaches and raspberries later in the summer. I need to find a date for apples this fall! I learned how to make home-made whipped cream to top the fresh fruit, and I loved every bite.

2. Get some “tri” days: run, bike, swim

Oddly enough, I didn’t touch my bike this summer. I had several “bi” days, but zero “tri” days. I haven’t quite figured that out, but I do hope to do some biking this fall.

3. Run along the Schuylkill trail smelling the honeysuckle

I did a few long runs, including the half-marathon in June. I’m back into training mode for fall half-marathons as of next week, and will need to do some more 10+ mile ones.

4. Run a half marathon (planned for mid-June)

Done! Slooooow (sorry Lynda!) but done.

5. Swim solo, so it’s relaxing and not a lifeguarding affair

I fit this in several times. Usually I’d do it as a break during the workday when everyone had gone away somewhere. Just 15-20 minutes, but lovely.

6. Get my garden going

It’s been better. I ate two tomato and pepper-based dishes based on its output this week, but it hasn’t been particularly prolific. I’ll aim to be more pro-active about plant selection next year. My tomatoes have been a bit fussy.

7. Do some early AM runs on the boardwalk (we’ve got a Jersey shore trip planned)

Done – several runs with my sister-in-law on the boardwalk. And a bonus run with her (and another with my brother) in Indiana. I love running in the morning, especially on hazy summer days.

8. Eat at our favorite Jersey shore ice cream shop

Done. I discovered I love sundaes with hot fudge and peanut butter cups. This is probably not an earth-shattering revelation, but I am more than willing to stop eating sandwich bread, cereal, and rice, in order to eat sundaes once or twice a week and still weigh what I weighed at age 25.

9. Do a date overnight w/husband (sitting is planned! Now we need to figure out other logistics)

We did this in late June in NYC. It was a lovely night.

10. Eat lobster in Cape May

We did not make it to Cape May. We may go this fall to watch the birding, and hopefully it will still be warm enough to eat lobster and visit the beach.

11. Visit a brewery

Nope. I did drink a lot of beer.

12. Get a better swimsuit

I purchased a lovely Tommy Bahama number in “mare” and “coral.”

13. Go on a long bike ride (maybe w/big kids. I’ve now learned baby is too young for Burley)

Nope – maybe a fall thing.

14. Sit on the porch in the early AM and the late PM, enjoying coffee or wine, depending on the time (or simultaneously, depending on the day…)

I did do this a fair amount — coffee and wine on the porch separately, that is. Any time the baby has me up to early, I try to go out there. My husband and I would sit out there chatting some weekend nights.

15. Plan fun Fridays. I’m mostly covering Fridays with my kids during the summer, so there is some space for adventures.

I did pretty well on this front, though crowd control is always an issue. I do now feel competent enough to take all four to the zoo, or out for ice cream.

16. Come up with my next book idea


17. Enjoy the launch of I Know How She Does It. Pause and think about how awesome it is that this project came to fruition.

This was pretty cool. While I would have preferred swifter velocity out of the gate, it continues to sell, and I’ve had some amazing publicity — Nightline/GMA, Morning Joe, being reviewed in the WSJ, the photo shoot for More magazine, etc.

18. Walk along Lake Michigan (another planned trip)

Done! I also went kayaking and stand-up paddle-boarding in Lake Michigan.

19. Eat somewhere lovely in Chicago during that trip

We wound up doing our anniversary dinner at Tabor Hill Winery in Michigan instead of Chicago. My husband went to South Africa for half the vacation, so it didn’t work to go into the city with him. Instead, we went out while we were at my parents’ house in South Bend for a few days.

20. See the miniature houses at the Art Institute of Chicago

I took the kids to Shedd Aquarium, which is more kid-friendly than the Art Institute. I am speaking at Chicago Ideas Week in October, though, and plan to go to the Art Institute and see those miniature homes then.

21. Take another round of family photos

Done – Yana rocks!

22. Set up kid camp awesomeness: I’ve got some outdoor stuff, art stuff, church stuff, and science stuff. It’s a good mix.

The kids had a great time at their camps, and indeed I’m recognizing that next summer they should probably do more camps. I will admit that I am cheap, and there is a fairly intense burn rate to having three kids in camp (especially since I have full time childcare in addition to that). Better figure out that next book.

23. Host my 8-year-old’s book club

Done! It was a lot of fun. We discussed Harry Potter #1 (they even argued from the text!) and then we ate pizza and went in the pool.

24. Read three novels

Nope. Sigh. I didn’t even read that much non-fiction except what I needed to review. Instead, I read a ton of magazines. My brain is kind of fried for anything substantial.

How did you do on your summer bucket list?

23 thoughts on “Summer bucket list: How I did

    1. Thanks! Sorry this was sitting in spam – my new settings don’t automatically approve comments from past commenters, and I was gone for several days. Ugh! Well, nice to see 10 comments stacked up…

      And yes, biking is better in fall!

  1. Inspired by your original post, I made my own summer bucket list ( I had 12 items on it, and accomplished six of them, including taking my horse to the beach, making homemade pesto from my basil, and going to a baseball game. I might still squeeze in a day by the pool and working at the library for the day–summer here in FL lasts until November, so I’ve got time!

  2. Laura, I love this idea! Not only does it force some planning and give you the anticipation of things to come but it also makes me realize how much fun we have had! While reading I Know How She Does It, I penciled in the back the fun big things we had done this year and was amazed at all we had done as a family and as a couple so far in 2015! My husband and I both have big jobs and we have three little children (2, 4, and 6) so it’s nice to make sure that the story we are telling ourselves about our lives is accurate!

  3. We made sure we visited the Indiana Beer and Wine Exhibition (tasting room) at the Indiana State Fair, having missed it last year. While this is a pretty small bucket item, it’s easy to become distracted (or tired) at the Fair and not get to the exhibits we wanted to visit!

  4. We didn’t do a summer list this year- we just stuck with our “family fun list” for all of 2015. We’re a bit behind on that- 12 items on the list maps so nicely to 12 months- but doing OK. I don’t care if we do one item per month or not. Some months we have more time for fun than others! Just this weekend we crossed off the “go to a candy store and buy candy” item my older daughter put on the list this year…
    You know my solution for your fiction reading issue- read shorter things! Here is a novella I read recently that I’m recommending to everyone because I loved it:

      1. I have been viral and coughing for the last few weeks so it has been that long since I have run, too. It’ll be nice to get back out there again once I stop wheezing! We can drag our slow bodies down the trail together.

  5. My family did a decent job getting the close to home items off of our list; splash pad, library reading program, lots of friend time but didn’t make the trek to south bend to see the extended family. It is a hard 700 mile drive with 7 kids & I just couldn’t psych myself up for it. Next year for sure. When there the kids love South Bend chocolate factory, potato creek park & shopping in Michigan City. Now we are setting our sights on some cool weather!

    1. @Melissa- it is a hard drive with kids. Our 550 mile journey was bad enough. Every additional mile would have hurt more. We have officially declared we are done traveling with the kids for the year and everyone can come see us.

  6. Suggestion for your next book:
    Look at people who work variable shift work i.e. Pilots,stewardess,nurses and doctors etc.
    Trust me establishing a schedule and good habits is very hard.

    1. @marie-france- I’m sure it is hard to get good habits going when work is variable. I’m not sure I could write a whole book on this, but I think the key is being very clear on your top non-work priorities, looking at the shifts for a week at a time (if you can — hopefully it’s scheduled that far in advance; I understand it isn’t always) and blocking in what you can in the remaining space. But yes, not easy.

  7. I didn’t have a summer bucket list, and I wish I did. Since I’ve gone back to work, a lot of our longtime small traditions are forgotten until it’s too late–little things like reading aloud certain books on the first day of school or watching the Charlie Brown Easter special. So you’ve inspired me to do a fall bucket list and then one for each season after that. Thanks for that!

  8. My summer goal is always to get some time at Lake Michigan. This year we were able to have three separate weeks, one in May, one in August, and one very special one with you in September! Of course, fall and winter are also great at the “big lake.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *