What We Did This Summer

First trimester nausea plus a summer heat wave is not my favorite combo. Nonetheless, in spite of feeling pretty lousy all of June and for most of July, when I look back on our summer I’m grateful for what we managed to do together as a family.

Inspired by my friend Callie’s post on summer goals, I made a really hasty summer bucket list poster in June. Whenever we thought of it, Lyle and I tacked on a few post-it notes listing some of the things we wanted to try this summer. Callie’s was muuuuch prettier than mine, because she is something of a sparkly magician in general, but in the throes of morning sickness, this sad little sun was all I could muster.

Here are some highlights:

Camping in Mt Hood National Forest

I guess this is our annual tradition? We camped here last summer mostly because it was the only area with reservations available at the very late hour of May. Most people reserve even tent sites way back in winter for the following summer. Lesson learned? You’d think so, but nope. Didn’t even think about camping until June this year. Fortunately there was still a yurt site available at our “usual” campground.


Vancouver Community Library

This has been on my kid-activity bucket list for a while. A short drive across the Columbia, this library has an entire floor devoted to children’s books, plus a sensory exploration area and a kid-friendly, literacy-oriented technology center. Completely free. We carpooled with my friend and her two-year-old and spent a good two hours there, including a music/story time. Easily could have stayed for another couple of hours, but nap time prevailed.


Jamison Square splash pad

I love this interactive fountain downtown, and wish it was a more regular part of our summertime splash pad rotation. It’s a bit of a trek for us to get downtown, but well worth it for how much it thrills Sky. We met up a few times with my cousin and her kiddos, whom Sky adores, packed lunch and played in the water until we were all tuckered out.

Sandy River

We started bringing Sky here when she was a newborn. At our favorite spot, there’s a trail to the right of the main road that leads to a mellow bend in the river. In the late afternoons there’s shade, and it’s calm enough for little ones to wade in the shallows while rafts of inner-tubers float by with beer, dogs, and boom boxes.

Pickles baseball game

Portland got its first minor league team last summer, and we went to one of the first playoff games this season with friends and family. Sky learned how to shout, “Goooooo Pickles!” and kept repeating it for a full week after the game. She had a blast running up and down the grassy slope in the family seating area with all the other kiddos.

There were also a handful of post-its we never got to. Hiking Shellburg falls outside Salem. A day trip to the Oregon coast. A morning at the zoo with just the three of us. We liked this practice so much, we’re thinking of making a new board for fall. Maybe this could be a seasonal tradition.

What about you? Do you make summer bucket lists? What was on your list this summer?

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