Summer Bucket List

I made a summer bucket list with the girls a month ago. They had all kinds of fun ideas for what they’d like to do this summer, but I had only one item to add to the list – family float time at the lake. We used to do this before Everett was born: a hot summer afternoon + something to float on for everyone, and a few hours later, I had my all-time favourite summer memories, every single time.

But it’s been three years since this has happened! We’ve had some great weekends at the cabin since Everett was born, but we’ve never had a HOT weekend! It’s been rainy and on the cooler side every time we’ve gone out there the last two summers, and I was starting to get desperate! How was it possible to miss out for so long on my favourite summer activity??!

We finally got our hot weekend, and our family floated, and now I don’t care what happens for the rest of the summer, I have been satisfied.

We stayed at the lake until Monday so that we could drop Kaylia off at camp, which is five minutes away from my parents’ cabin. It’s her first time going, and we’re all pretty curious how this will go! It’s been awhile since we’ve only had two kids in the house, so Anika and I have a list of chick flicks to get through, and Everett is missing his little playmate, so he’s filling his time with “helping” me, which we all know is outrageously helpful. Although, he did empty the whole cooler when we got back from the cabin, which was legitimately helpful, so maybe it will turn out okay!

I hope your week is off to a wonderful start!




Beginning of Summer

I love the beginnings of things – the first day on vacation, first thing in the morning, first page in a journal. You just never know where things are going to go, and I enjoy the anticipation. I’m not as good at squeezing out the last drops. I guess I keep jumping ahead, and start thinking about the next thing too soon, which is great for having motivation to start something new, but not so great for staying in the moment.

End of summer and I have some work to do. But beginning of summer? We get along great. I love the promise of great things to come, the long stretch of beautiful days before us.

Speaking of anticipating things, next week is my birthday, and I’ll be doing my usual “Birthday Favorites” giveaway – I share my favorite finds of the year, and anyone who shares theirs in the comment section over the next two weeks is entered into a draw. I’ve heard such great tips and things to try from all of you in the past, and I’m super excited to get started!


Last Weekend of the Summer

This last weekend, we felt the moment when summer turned into fall.

We were at the beach and the sun was shining, but we could feel it coming – the air smelled like fall, the yellow leaves were peeking out, and we knew we were near the end.

The sun went behind a cloud and never came back.

The rain started later that evening, and the rest of the weekend was cool and cloudy, making me crave naps, books, and movies inside. Which is very nice, too, but I’m so thankful we got in one more beautiful afternoon!

It was only 13 degrees the morning we left, but my dad wanted to go for a ski. He’s been waiting hard for this! He broke both his legs in a car accident last winter, and has been going for physiotherapy for months. He finally got the go ahead for water skiing, and I’m so glad I got to be there to see it! I felt so proud of him. Life has changed a lot for him since his accident, but he’s never complained, and worked hard to push all the limits. I’m so happy to see him enjoying the things he loves once more! I asked him if it was okay to share this, and he said the part he likes to talk about is God’s ability to do miracles, and bring about healing, which is so true! It’s amazing to have days like this when we can celebrate how far God has brought him – I think He was smiling as my dad zipped around the lake.:)

It was a great way to end the summer! What did you do with your weekend?



Contemplating Summer

My best moments of the weekend were spent on a blanket. We had a picnic at the park on Saturday, and on Sunday, I napped under the shade of the trees in our backyard. I love you, Summer.

EverettpicnicBen and EverettKaylia


Kendra & EverettEllen DeGenres says, “August is like the Sunday of summer.”

I love the idea of this, but I think our family spends our Sundays differently from Ellen. To me, July feels slow and lazy, like Sundays at our house. People go on vacation, and it feels like this beautiful season will last forever. In August, it’s like everyone suddenly realizes, “Whoa, summer is going by crazy fast! We need to fit everything in before September!” And then there’s this frantic flurry of super fun summer activities, but not slow and relaxing, like a Sunday is at our house.

As I lay on the blanket under the trees yesterday, I thought about how August is more like a long weekend Monday – still part of the weekend, but usually busy with all the things that need to get done before entering a busy week, the gift of an extra day to catch up.

And that’s okay. I feel the pull towards normal life and normal schedules. I will take the gift of August – a chance to prepare for what’s ahead, but still part of summer. We see you coming, September, but you’re far enough away that there’s still time for lying in the grass, enjoying the breeze….

What day of the week is August like for you?

Summer, So Far

On my to-do list today: do a quick blog post before we zip off to the cabin to celebrate my birthday, and drop Anika off at camp. I’m super behind with getting photos off my camera and editing them, so here’s a bunch of things we’re up to so far this summer:

EverettThis little guy is into everything he can reach. I can’t even imagine how much life will change once he starts crawling!!

kidsOh, so much love, all in one picture! I have absolutely no idea what I did with all my time before I had three kids…. Pure craziness/wonderfulness.

outsideMy favorite time to go outside is in the evening after supper. The sun scorches our backyard all day, but in the evening, it’s just beautiful. The girls swing, we admire our growing vegetables, water our plants, and laugh at Everett’s reaction to the feeling of grass on his feet.:)


massageWe keep our rolling pin in the living room now. My massage therapist told us about this trick, and our calves will never be the same! It is fantastic on the neck muscles, too. Favorite moment of today: the girls came home from playing “spa” with the neighbor kids, and Anika announced that she’d requested a rolling pin, and given everybody a massage!

And now it’s time for me to go pack! Have a great weekend!

Weekend Favorites: At the Lake

I am not a spontaneous person. I like to have everything planned out well in advance. But every once in awhile, things will just suddenly drop into place, and I’ll suddenly realize that spontaneity takes all the stress out of things – if I don’t know about it ahead of time, there’s no time to get stressed! Just rush right in.

That was this weekend.

We had planned to go to my parents’ cabin with them and two of my aunts, but I got sick on Thursday, and the mountains of dirty laundry surrounding me didn’t help me feel any better. Packing for all five of us for the weekend felt extremely overwhelming at that point, so we said we weren’t going.

On Saturday, my mom texted to say that the aunts had brought loads of food, hoping we might still come, and she asked if there was any chance I was feeling better, and we might consider going to the cabin after all, to help eat.

I still wasn’t feeling great, but the laundry was now clean, and lying around at the cabin or lying around at home wouldn’t make much difference, but at least I wouldn’t have to cook at the cabin!

So we threw our stuff together, and got ready to leave in two hours.

cabinThe food was great, and it was good to spend time with family, but Everett’s night was horrendous, and at 4am, I really thought we’d made a huge mistake.

Sunday was so beautiful, however, that in the end, both Ben and I were able to overlook the awful night, and agreed that the spontaneous decision turned out to be a good one.;)

cabinMy highlight was Everett’s first boat ride. I was very curious how it would go – when Anika was a baby, the lifejacket made her scream, and she kept on screaming until the boat started moving. Kaylia, on the other hand, started screaming as soon as the boat started moving, and would wail through every ride until we finally got her used to it.

But Everett decided to show them how it’s done.

EverettHe was totally cool and calm throughout the whole thing. Ben’s reeeeeally hoping he’ll act the same way about waterskiing, since the girls refuse to try it.

AnikaKaylia, like Pocahontas, showed us a thing or two about painting with all the colors of the wind….

KayliaKayliaKayliaShe’s obviously gotten over her fear of boats.

EverettAnd Everett was so happy, you’d never guess he had the worst night of his sleeping career.

EverettAfter a beautiful day of reading, eating, and napping, we headed home.

drivingAnyone else feel like the better the weekend, the harder the Monday?! It’s a bit hard to transition from all that to school and dirty dishes!


Weekend Favorites: Photos in the Yellow Flowers

For the past month, I’ve often driven by a huge patch of yellow flowers, growing in a ditch just outside of town. It was one of my summer goals to take photos of our girls in those yellow flowers.

In my mind, it would be super fun and memorable – sun shining, the girls surrounded by waist-high flowers, laughing together as the wind tossed their hair, and me, leisurely snapping dreamy photos….

On Saturday evening, I shared my summer photo goal with Ben, he agreed to help make it happen, and we drove out of town in search of yellow flowers.

Except it didn’t happen at all the way I pictured it, which isn’t really surprising.

The flowers (and all the other crazy weeds in the ditch) were almost six feet tall! The ground was very sloped and uneven, and Ben seemed fairly stressed about me wiping out and falling into the river. The girls were fighting, and the beautiful yellow flowers were so high above their heads, I could barely get any in my shots!

But I got my pictures, completed one of my summer goals, got some smiles out of the girls, and nobody fell in the river, so we’ll call it a success!;)

flowersA & KAnika



A & K flowersAny summer goals you can quickly reach before fall stops you?!