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Embracing Every Moment: Making the Most of Summer with My Teens

As the last few days of school are here I find myself reflecting on the fleeting nature of time, especially as a mom to two incredible teenage daughters. This summer feels really important to me. When I start to think about only having 3 full summers left with my oldest before she heads to college and one summer before my youngest heads to high school I get this pit in my stomach and pain and tightness in my chest with fear and a bit of sadness.

Have I showed them unconditional love and grace? Have I taught them the basics of life, can their mindset and mental and emotional health be ok all college long?


And then my biggest fear sets in……. When they head off to college will they want to come home every break and spend time with me still? Will they grow up and still want to come home with their family one day. As I realize that I only have three summers left until my oldest heads off to college my momma heart can hardly bare the thought. These precious summers are opportunities to create lasting memories, strengthen our bond, and prepare them for the next chapters of their lives.

Here's how I'm planning to spend this summer with my teens, embracing every moment with love and intention.

Cherishing the Present:

Time seems to slip through our fingers faster than ever as our kids grow. The days of endless summers filled with playful laughter and carefree adventures now give way to packed schedules, budding independence, summer volunteer hours, them baby sitting, and them wanting to spend as much time as they can with their friends. This summer, my goal is to be fully present. Whether we're lounging by the pool, on our boat, exploring new places, out to a family dinner, or something as simple as enjoying a quiet evening at home, I want to enjoy each moment without distractions. 

Creating a Summer Bucket List

To make the most of our time together, you can create a family summer bucket list. This collaborative effort ensures that everyone’s interests and passions are included. Here are some of the activities we have had in the past ( we haven't created our's for this summer yet)

1. Road Trips and Day Excursions: Explore nearby towns, national parks, and hidden gems offers a chance to break from routine and embark on mini-adventures.

2. Movie Marathons: Watching our favorite films and introducing the girls to classics from my own teenage years.

3. Outdoor Activities: Hiking, biking, and picnicking in nature to soak up the sun and enjoy the beauty around us. Beach volleyball, tennis, pickle ball, and golf are our favorites!

4. Creative Projects: Engaging in DIY crafts, painting, and gardening, which allows us to express ourselves and work on something tangible together. One of my daughter's has just taken up crocheting, I will need to learn and join in on this one,

5. Cooking and Baking: Trying new recipes and baking our favorite treats provide not only delicious results but also cherished moments in the kitchen. Both of my kids love trying recipes and baking from videos they watch on TikTok.

Heartfelt Conversations

As my daughters grow older, I cherish our conversations more than ever. This summer, I want to carve out time for heartfelt talks about their dreams, fears, and everything in between. Whether we're sitting on the porch, on our boat, or having a late-night chat, these moments of connection are invaluable. I want them to feel heard, supported, and loved as they navigate their teenage years.

Teaching Life Skills

With college on the horizon for my oldest, this summer is a perfect time to teach essential life skills. We’ll be focusing on practical skills such as budgeting and time management. She already knows how to cook and do laundry but if you have kids that don't this might be a great place to start. These lessons are not just about preparing them for the future but also about spending quality time together and building their confidence.

Embracing Their Independence

Watching my girls grow into independent young women is both a joy and a challenge for my momma heart. This summer, I’m learning to embrace their independence while still providing guidance and support. It’s a delicate balance of giving them space to grow and being there when they need me. I want to encourage them to pursue their interests and passions, even if it means they’re spending time away from home.

Capturing Memories

Teens hate having their pictures taken every waking minute but I’ll be capturing moments throughout the summer to have not to post on social media but for my memories. I plan to create a summer scrapbook, filled with photos, ticket stubs, and little notes, as a keepsake for us to look back on. I want to start doing this every vacation too.

Navigating My Emotions

The thought of my oldest leaving for college in 2 years brings a mix of pride and heartache. This summer, I’m allowing myself to feel these emotions without guilt and man can you imagine how I will be when the actual summer is here if I am already having this hard of a time and she still has 2 more years of high school!?!? I remind myself it’s okay to feel nostalgic and to mourn the passing of time. At the same time, I’m celebrating the wonderful young women my daughters are becoming.

As we embark on this summer together, I’m holding each moment close, aware of how precious our time is. These days are filled with laughter, learning, and love, and I’m grateful for every one of them. My momma heart may ache at the thought of my daughters growing up and moving on, but it also has pride and joy at the incredible individuals they are becoming. Here’s to making the most of this summer, and every moment we have together, as a family.

This summer, as we create memories and share experiences, I’m reminded that the love we share is the true constant in our lives.

What does your summer plans look like?

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