What I Did On My Summer Vacation

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. We participate in other affiliate programs as well. For more details, please see our disclosure policy.

Is it gone already? Where did it go? My 42 days of summer vacation are spent before I even got warmed up. And I had such big plans!

How did I spend it?

I cleaned the schoolroom from top to bottom. My dreams to do the whole house fell by the way-side. I’m so glad that this was at the top of the list. Not only did it help bring closure to last school year, I think it has set us up for success for this year. Ordering new books was easy since I already had an idea of what we had and what we needed. And other than free CVS school supplies, I didn’t worry about getting new, especially since I found so many rulers hiding out in every nook and cranny. Now we can measure again! Joy!

I saw family. We only made one trip out of town, to visit my in-laws and my sister and her family, who all live in Santa Ynez, just north of Santa Barbara. But, my mom came to stay a few times, and my youngest brother has moved in with us. He’s going to be our “Charles in Charge” this coming year – Yeah! (Only his name isn’t Charles and he doesn’t look like Scott Baio.)

I learned the inside of my dentist’s office very well. Not only did everyone get a checkup and cleaning, but I had four fillings! Me! It was very humbling. Before I turned 35 I only had one. Now I have EIGHT! I guess it is all downhill from 35 after all. Sniff.

We got to see a little of our community. We visited SeaLife Aquarium in July as well as made a few trips to the beach. We tried a few new Fish ‘N Chips restaurants which were good, but so far nothing compares to the food at Alfie’s in Lompoc. Unfortunately Lompoc is lacking a little of the atmosphere that places like Carlsbad can afford. FishPapa and FishBoy 12 took in a Padres game. The whole family is looking forward to a few more trips down to Petco Park. There’s a wealth of stuff for families to do there!

I celebrated Christmas in July. If you missed the series live, you can still browse the archives. The giveaways were really fun, and readers offered some great comments. Don’t worry; the holiday season will be upon us before Halloween, so we’ll revisit these topics and get to discuss them again. In the meantime, mark your calendar for Cynthia Ewer’s Christmas Countdown which starts October 25. Or if you’re more ambitious, check out the Houseworks Holiday Plan or the Holiday Grand Plan both beginning on August 30. Since I’m moving in the very near future, I’ll be tackling the Christmas Countdown.

I found out we have to move. This, I must admit, sent me into a downward spiral. I had just made the mental commitment to settle into this house as we’ve decided to forego purchasing a home for another year. We’ve got canyon views, no backyard neighbors, and a large park across the street. I don’t love the house itself, but the location is hard to beat. I was all ready to unpack and start decorating. Switching gears — and homes — was not what I had in mind. That said, it’s been a great exercise in faith, to trust that God knows what He’s doing and in hope, to believe that He has something better yet ahead for us. I’m more than a little stressed about finding a new place, packing up, and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. But, I think He can handle that, too.

I dejunked several rooms before I got too depressed to continue. Every little bit helps, even if I didn’t perfectly cross off everything on my list. I got rid of lots of kids clothes and instead of the stress and hassle of a garage sale, took them to Children’s Orchard. They only purchased a small handful of items, but they paid me $34, far more that I would have got hawking them in my garage.

I have one less child in diapers! The FishChick practically trained herself. In less than a week she was dry 24/7. Hallelujah!

I canned 15 pints of jam. It was a hot weekend, but I survived. FishPapa harvested the nectarines from the tree out back and I cooked much of them into jams and syrups, combined with blueberries and strawberries that I got for great prices. Nanna trimmed and pitted another lug of nectarines for freezing. It felt goooood to go back to my roots in a sense. My grandmothers both did plenty of preserving every summer as did I when I was a young, non-cavity filled mom.

I “unplugged” and lived to tell about it. I did what I thought I couldn’t do — lived without computers for four days. It was much easier than I thought it would be and very refreshing. I’m hoping that this will be an encouragement to me not to get sucked in, but to take the good, and then turn off so that I can enjoy more time with my peeps.

How about you? What did YOU do on your summer vacation?

Read Newer Post
Read Older Post


  1. How did you get FishChick potty trained so quickly? I've been struggling with my 2 year old. She is good for stretches and then has days where she wets 3 or 4 times.

  2. Loved the Charles in Charge reference. Used to love watching that show (and Scott Baio was too cute…) Now the theme song is in my head….and I haven't thought about that show in ages. Thanks for the memory.

  3. Southern Gal says:

    I didn't do much of anything. I gave myself a real vacation after my daughter got married in May and my son graduated from high school two weeks after that. I spent the whole month of June recuperating. Then when July came along I couldn't bear to look at all the wedding paraphernalia in my room that is supposed to be my schoolroom. (The kitchen table didn't work well with my first grader last year, so it's back to a schoolroom.) I did manage to get through some of it and order school books in time to get them this week. Now I'm looking at it all and sighing. I've got to get to work and it's time for school! Plus my son will be 18 next month and I have to find pictures for a photobook. Why do I do this to myself every year?

  4. Love the post. Yes, I was going to paint the laundry room and the deck and organize every inch of the house. I did pressure wash the deck. I didn't catch up on scrapbooking, either

    Instead I went to the gym and lost 7 lbs of fat!
    Started my own blog,
    Went river tubing, swimming, rock climbing and biking with my kids,
    Saved lots of money at the grocery store by "playing with" coupons every week

  5. JessieLeigh says:

    Redecorated the front bath. Gave birth to a baby girl. Moved two weeks later. Lost more weight than I needed to. Signed a contract on a new house halfway across the country. It fell through. Signed another one. Fell through. Signed a third. Fell through. Starting to question the wisdom of this move!

    But, mostly, I've been able to enjoy my three precious children and cherish the early days with my sweet baby girl!

    Your summer sounds wonderfully balanced! You do such a good job with that… just one of the many reasons I always come back. 🙂

  6. You crammed a lot into your 42 days! I love your faith concerning the things that concern you. Thanks for setting a great example for those of us who struggle with that still!

    My summer was slightly longer than 42 days, and it was awesome! I spent my first summer at home with my children!

  7. Katie @ goodLife {eats} says:

    You were one busy mama that's for sure!

  8. waldenbunch says:

    Thank you so much for your honesty. My "summer" never seems to be a time of rest and play. I have 5 kids, 2 bio and 3 adopted. The adopted kids have major emotional and learning disabilities. I also homeschool and feel like I can never do enough because their emotional issues cloud their learning. It's a constant struggle. My dad also passed away this year and my mom is in a nursing home. I feel completely overwhelmed most of the time and faith is the only thing that gets me through. It just feels good to see others being honest about this real life journey we're on.

  9. You should feel accomplished! This is what I did:
    I worked.
    We went to Connecticut on vacation with a group of friends and all of their kids. (10 adults and 8 kids).
    We got a new washer and dryer. (Thanks mom and dad).
    We went to a family reunion in Lake George.
    My daughter went to camp.
    My son learned how to eat puffs, clap and wave. (he is only 8 months). He also learned how to say daddy.

  10. I Love your photo of the Sealife Aquarium!! We lived in Carlsbad 4 years ago and loved it!! We only had 2 kids then, now we have 6! Legoland was our playground!! This is a great Blog. It is nice to read about other large families, sometimes you can feel lijke you are the only one! Enjoy the rest of the summer!

  11. Tammy from Ca says:

    Sorry you have to move!!! I hate moving.Moved like 15 times in less then 21 yrs of marriage. I did it in baby steps.One room at a time when the kids went to sleep at night. As for our summer, we traveled to Missouri and Kansas .We hit the flea markets,antique stores and thrift stores there.Bought kids clothes for .10 shoes were 1/2 off.We have a small cottage there and took the kids fishing and to the fish hatchery there.They loved that.We always try to go back about the 4th of July cause in our little town we can have REAL fireworks.We spend about 75.00 and have about 3 hrs of fun.We have a big bbq also.Then it’s back to Ca to get ready for school here.

Thanks so much for participating in this conversation about "a mom's life."

This is a place where moms can be themselves. Remember that each mother's path looks a little different. Please keep your comments respectful and kind. Reasonable minds will disagree in a nice way.

So let's talk about it, using "our big girl words."

Share Your Thoughts