Time passes so quickly in a place with four seasons. The heat melts away as vibrant leaves fall from the trees; then sheets (upon sheets upon sheets) of snow finally relent to make way for budding flowers, signaling the fast approach of the same heat you started with.

It’s a bit of a whirlwind. I’d sort of forgotten that.

East Coast seasons mark the passage of time in a way that the endless summers of the Southwest can’t. Each season is beautiful in its own way and they all feel so fleeting, so I find myself desperately attempting to commit every detail to memory.

I’m the idiot you see driving around, wide-eyed and swerving, marveling at the trees, the sky, the flowers, the everything. It changes so fast; I don’t want to miss a moment.

Right now, I’m in awe of the way the large trees are forming a green, flowered canopy over every side street. I take deep breaths as Ryan and I drive around town with all four windows down and the music blasting. I’m loving the way it feels humid after it rains, the smell of fresh cut grass, the way the sun warms my bare feet.

Also? Ryan’s first year of preschool has come to a close. As of Friday, we are officially on summer break.

How is that possible? Didn’t I just take this picture:

First day of preschoolSeptember, 2013

First day of preschool
September 2013

(Those shoes look so new and HUGE on him … Now they are faded, worn and small.)

Before I knew it, I was taking this picture:

Last day of preschoolMay 2014

Last day of preschool
May 2014

I thought I was going to be a little wary of the school year coming to a close. After all, having a few mornings to myself each week to grocery shop, run errands, watch Real Housewives, etc, is not entirely unpleasant.

But I’m excited to have the extra time with Ryan. He had a bit of a rough year in preschool. In hindsight, maybe he just wasn’t ready for it this year. The summer break feels like the perfect chance to regroup, slow down and refocus on having fun and allowing him to be a kid.

In preparation, I did what I do best: I came up with a plan for how we should spend all this extra time we’re going to have together.

The 2014 Phase Three of Life Summer Bucket List

Summer Bucket List 2014

I love mini seasonal bucket lists. I think the key with these is to not live and die by them. If I don’t make homemade crabcakes all summer, I’m not going to berate myself. These lists simply help me focus on what is really important at the beginning of a season and provide me with creative ideas on those inevitable boring, uninspired days.

Each change of season feels like you’re trading in one kind of awesome for another. Before we know it, the outdoor BBQs will give way to indoor pots of soup, we’ll trade in our ice cream for hot cocoa, and Ryan will be slinging a brand new school bag over his shoulder every morning.

So for now, I’m going to focus on the awesomeness that is having my son home with me every day to be lazy, to explore, to enjoy the outdoors and to create memories.

4 Responses to Our Summer Bucket List

  1. Jaclyn says:

    I love how you view the seasons. I see them similarly, and I’ve found myself especially trying to grasp onto the sunlight recently (I think because of the ridiculous winter we’ve had). I look at how full and busy my summer weekends are, and I’m so happy … but then I look at the weekends with nothing on the calendar and find myself even more excited for those. Because the best summer weekends seem to be the ones when I get out of bed with nothing on my mind but “What to do today??”

  2. Christy says:

    My son isn’t in preschool yet but I’m a teacher so summer break is oh so special around here. Can’t wait! I love things about every season but nothing beats sleeping in every day and waking up with absolutely nothing planned.

  3. [...] I’ve done before, I’m straight up stealing this post idea from Phase Three of Life. Thanks for always being an idea person, Meg [...]

  4. Angie says:

    I’ve never lived anywhere but some place with all 4 seasons, so I’ve never really thought how the passage of time might be different elsewhere. That was an interesting observation. And I have my summer bucket list taped to my fridge, ready to go! Spencer’s last day of school is tomorrow. He’s set to wear the exact same outfit (ok, shirt, since I’m fairly certain the shorts no longer fit) so I can pose him in the same exact place in front of the door for a comparison photo. Yep, I’m that mom ;)

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