100 days of summer…
During those wet, cold, dreary days of winter, this seems like a dream sometimes. Summer seems a lifetime away, but then we see the tulips peek out, and the cherry blossoms coat the city, and the little flame of hope gets ignited yet again. And then, before we know it, May 29 is here, and we start to languish in the prospect of the next 100 days of fun.
But in years past, as much as our family were looking forward to summer, once it comes around, it goes by in a blur. Maybe it’s because the adults are still working most of the time, or the kids are just happy to relish in the lack of bedtime and screentime limits, but we found many days where “family time” just never comes around. “Maybe tomorrow”, we say, confident that the summer will drag on as long as the days it is made of. And then, it’s Labour Day, and we can’t say where the time went.
This year, we’ve decided to make a conscious effort to do something special every single day for the 100 days preceding that dreaded Labour Day. These things are personal to our family – we put our heads together and wrote down whatever summer means to each of us. What says “it’s summer” to us? Which activities do we look forward to doing every summer? Some may seem ordinary, some take 5 minutes, some cost money, some involve a day of driving … there’s something for everyone.
We’re excited to see how this will bring our family closer together, and we invite you to join us on this “100 Days of Summer” adventure. I’ll be there with my camera for most of them (and sometimes … sometimes I will even make it to in front of the camera!).
Day 1 – Kick a soccer ball around
After an unfortunate incident last year involving our soccer ball and Blakeburn Elementary‘s roof gutters, it was time for a new ball. Jamie chose the brightest one she could find, and we were excited to take it for a kick at the school field next door (away from the roof this time, lol).
With all of us looking on, Rob was happy to show off some skills. Sure, they were rugby skills, but kicking is kicking, right!
A little game of 2-on-1 ended with a few calls of obstruction … which was then retaliated with a rather obvious foul of tripping two poor defenseless kids…
(And ahem, the drama gene is strong with all three of these people!)
After everyone pretty much got red carded in the soccer game, we used the ball for a game of Four Square. There were a lot of rules. So many. I’m surprised these kids remember those but not that they have to actually brush their teeth EVERY night.
It was time to come home … and then someone said “Hey, we should make a Four Square court in front of our house…”
The sun was down by the time we all went inside. It was a good Day 1.
Day 2: Watch a family movie together
We never got around to watching The Lego Batman movie in the theater, so we snuggled up on Day 2 with bowls of ice cream and popcorn, and streamed the movie. I had to remind myself that spending the time together was more important than the quality of the movie. In fact, I had to remind myself several times over the next 129 minutes. By the end, the night just got a bit long for the little girl, and she snuggled up with her daddy for a snooze.
Day 3: Make root beer floats
Growing up in South Africa, I was popular in the summer for 3 reasons. One, we had a pool. Two, my granny would make bologna (or polony as we called it) and Marmite sandwiches on thick white bread after we’d been swimming for hours. Don’t gag, it was awesome. And three … we always got floats as treats, complete with long plastic Tupperware float spoons. Granted, we had Cream Soda and Fanta Orange floats, and had never tasted root beer before, but floats are quintessential summer memories from my childhood.
Our kids have inherited our love for floats, and it’s always a big treat when we make them. And just like we did as kids, they enjoy sucking up the foam the best!
Day 4: Visit a library
Reading is SO much more fun when you don’t have to do it for school!
Getting a bunch of books from our local library, especially in the summer, is always a treat for our kiddos. If I left them there, I’m pretty certain they would fall asleep among a stack of books while lying in an aisle.
At school, Jared devours books in every free minute he has in class. In fact, when he does something wrong, the teachers take away his books as punishment! But he has to read “real” books, so at home he is happy to read his beloved Archie comics. It’s always a treasure hunt to see what new acquisitions the library has!
Day 5: Eat a sundae
What is a summer without a sundae? And so we may as well go the daddy of all sundae spots: Glenburn Soda Fountain in Burnaby Heights!
To provide some balance in the family, I treated myself to a chocolate banana milkshake. Yummmmmmm!
And in typical mama-fashion … I lost most of my milkshake to these three crazies.
Day 6: Go on a bear hunt
In early summer, the bears wake up, and they’re hungry. So they go berry-hunting. And when the bears go berry-hunting, the Hepworths go bear-hunting.
It basically just means that we take some snacks, bundle up the kids, and go drive along all the roads in our neigbourhood where we know we are likely to find bears. It’s a total hit and miss. This time, it was a relative success. The roads looked pretty ominous, but we had one mam bear sighting, and one where you could barely make out 2 cub ears watching us from the brush.
And then, as we drive home with the sun setting, the day gets too long for my big guy.
Day 7: Bake cupcakes
Well, you don’t need to wait until summer to bake cupcakes, of course. But since my birthday is on June 6th, it seems just appropriate that making cupcakes is an early summer tradition. The kids did the whole thing from start to finish (it shows!).
We waited in anticipation for the cupcakes to be ready. I’m not sure what the kiddos did to these poor cupcakes, but they bore a striking resemblance to something from a Dr Seuss book! But who cares about the looks … they tasted great, and I got to have a cupcake not only that night, but also for breakfast on my birthday, as is customary in our household.
That’s it! Week 1 of our 100 days of summer is complete, and I can honestly say that despite all the stress of getting the list organized, and getting ourselves organized for the list, we’ve had so much fun laughing together! I can’t wait for the next 93 days!
Rochelle Hepworth is a Vancouver lifestyle family photographer who specializes in capturing the moments of everyday life that seem ordinary today but is cherished and missed in days to come. Allow me to tell the story of your family in a candid, relaxed session in your home or at your favourite outdoor location. Contact me, and we can chat about what makes your family unique!