Capri Sun provided free product for this post. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.

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Well.  Here in East Tennessee there’s only a handful of summer days left.  I think we went ALL  in.  I feel equal parts rested and spent.

As sad it I am to see summer fading, I’m equally excited to see fall coming, for reasons like boots and sweaters and football.   (GO BIG ORANGE!)

We have wrung every possible joy out of summer until she’s left lying on the floor like a dried up monster cookie.  (Which has been the official cookie/meal/snack of the Wadsworth Summer of 2014.)

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We didn’t do anything fancy this summer.  We mostly just hung out together.  I took most of July off from blogging and it was a much needed respite.

And listen, I love Pinterest and blogging and social media  as much as the next girl, but summer’s too long to be burning out in week 3 from trying to create the perfect magical Pinteresty summer.   And also? #aintnobodygottimeforthat

I’ve been doing a  lot of writing this summer so our activities needed to be low key and 1970’s-esque.  (As in, mostly free activities that require very little adult supervision and zero trips to Hobby Lobby.) I’ve been up by 5am  most mornings, trying to finish my work by 10 or 11. Then I walk around in the gardens and admire the extravagant growth of EVERYTHING! Including the girls, who are both as tall as me! The girls read and do chores (theoretically) and in general let me work until nearly lunch.  (We picked blackberries from our yard almost everyday, which counts as both a chore and a fun activity!)

 

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After lunch, we try to find something that involves the out of doors. It helps that we live on the lake, I’ll grant you that, but still, corralling the troops to do something active/productive/screenless/outdoors is not always that easy. As you well know. And we don’t travel much in the summer so we have taken summer staycationing to a whole new level. Here are a few things I’ve learned about making summer family memories without taking expensive vacations and without killing yourself from elaborate Pinterest inspired DIY projects.

  • Do everything you can outside

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Everything is better outside, isn’t it? And outside is usually free.  So far, we’ve waded in the creek, swam in the lake, rode 4 wheelers in the mountains, made s’mores by the campfire, and fished in the pond.

But there’s a whole host of indoor activities that are way more fun outside, like reading, painting, talking, taking pictures, journaling, art projects, and almost anything else you can think of. I know it’s hot. Listen, I live in the South and the humidity alone can make you crawl into the fetal position. BUT. The early mornings and late evenings are perfect for dates with the out of doors and then, if you add water to said activity, almost any time of day is manageable.  And also?  Back yard camp fires and s’mores makes every day better, am I right?

 

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  • Invest in some outdoor gear

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It’s amazing what a few inexpensive summer-y items can do for the general morale. For a no excuses summer, invest in a few things like hammocks, yard games, sprinklers, a fire pit, etc. Our favorite game lately is corn hole.  We’ve played it ALL SUMMER LONG.  It’s portable, easy to play for all ages, and so much fun. I’d like to say I’m the reigning champion but then that might sound like I’m competitive with my kids or something, which COULDN’T be farther from the truth. I’m offended that you would even think that. #naryatruerwordhasbeensaid #neverletthemwin

  • Be prepared with plenty of cold stuff

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I have a small cooler that I take with us almost everywhere, even if we’re just outside playing. We keep bottles of water, Capri Sun juice drinks, Monster Cookies, almonds, pistachios, and fruit. We all have big water bottles that we drink on all day, but it’s fun to have something to look forward to after a riveting game of Corn Hole. And Capri Sun juice drinks have no artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors, so they’re awesome for moms and kids. Capri Sun has also made some changes to its packaging with juice drink pouches that now feature clear bottoms due to customer request. We’ve been buying those little handy pouches for years and they come in so handy when you need something portable. You can even play your yard game WHILE you drink. Maybe the refreshment as you play will help you beat your mom. But, I doubt it!  One last thing. I highly recommend doing the occasional summer photo booth.

It’s totally worth it for the laughs.

 

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I’m so sad summer is ending but I LOVE gearing up for fall, too.  I cleaned out the fridge today and am working on some last minute cleaning and organizing before school starts.  I also just had my porch ceiling repainted so I may just have to spend part of the day out there too!

(Wythe Blue by Benjamin Moore, in case you’re wondering!)

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You can visit the Capri Sun parents site here and visit their Facebook page here.

My question for you is—what was your favorite thing about summer 2014?

 

16 comments on “How We Made the Most of Summer”

  1. Your life is truly blessed. I love the 1970’s style summers. We had one just like that this yearn Our children need to see a bit of what we had as the youth in the 70’s. So many of us are craving, no screens, no pressure to pin your life away….really just being and resting and refreshing in the summer. Isn’t that really what summer is about? Thank you for your sharing your summer. I am going to try to get my “northern” family to do a little do si do…

  2. Family time is what rocks my world. . . Every summer. What a blessing to watch my little hoodle dos grow up. AND I have not invited you out yet like I said was going to this summer! Ahh, I was still trying to work on stuff even though I said I wouldn’t. I am back at school now so I am back to a weekend or late afternoon. Let me know when you are headed out west, Farragut, that is, and you and the girls will have to stop by and join in on the fun of whatever might be happening at my house. It is always something good!

    Oh, and I don’t think I have told you how much I LOVED your Podcast. You are my first to ever listen to and enjoy. thank you.

  3. My favorite summer moment has been the birth of baby boy number 3. We are so blessed to be surrounded by the love and chaos of our little men! Summer is a time for letting go and enjoying the love, laughter, & unpredictable moments of “no plans!”

    PS-the paint is beautiful!

  4. Our summer was filled with our three littlest performing in community theater. Whoa, it was a much bigger commitment than I envisioned! Still four more shows to go! Looking forward to seeing you Edie at Becoming 2014! This is my first conference and my first time away from my hubby and kids. I’m shaking in my boots, but ready for this new adventure!

    • Amy!! I’m so excited to meet you! You’ll have a wonderful time. Don’t be shy. My secret for myself at conferences is I try to not focus on myself and how nervous or fearful I am, but instead, I try to focus on others and see if there’s someone I can be a blessing to.
      It really helps!!
      Can’t wait to see you!
      xoxo

  5. Is summer really almost over in your area?? Here in Texas it just goes on and on and … (I can’t complain this year; we haven’t burned up completely AND we got rain last week, which is pretty much unheard of this time of year.)
    And boots and sweaters won’t be needed for a good while yet. I am jealous of places that have all four seasons.

    As an empty nester summer isn’t that big a deal, so I don’t have any great adventures to share. But I applaud your “simple summer.” That’s the way I grew up and secretly I think it’s how summer should be.

  6. Very nice. : )) I think a 1970’s summer is about as good as it gets. It’s exactly how I want to live my life all year, add the internet and really nice coffee machines here and there. ; )) I keep a pretty similar schedule here at the farm, and when we have kids visit I sometimes worry if they will be bored, but really they are just plain rested. They seem to love the quiet and slower pace, and I love that. We make a lot of memories that way.
    So yes to family activities that require little else besides resourcefulness. And yes to being outdoors every possible waking minute, because soon enough well all be suffering from cabin fever and wishing for summer again.
    Yes to early mornings with books and notepads, garden walks at lunchtime, all of it.
    I will forgive you for even mentioning fall because of such beautiful summer talk. LOL
    xoxoxo Hugs from Oklahoma!

  7. My favorite thing this summer was being my daughter’s labor coach for the birth of her second child. What a blessing to be asked. I was also blessed to coach her first labor 2 years ago. Am I lucky that that sort of thing is just not something our SIL is comfortable doing?

  8. I’m in East Tennessee, too, and we spend as much time as possible outside. Notable this summer are my middle girlie taking off on the bike without training wheels and accomplishing several big (for our family) hikes. It won’t feel like fall for another while, but we have made the most of this simple summer in between last and next year, which hold great changes. It has been precious.

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