Summer Bucket List (And July Goals/June Recap)

I'm skipping the weekly eats post (again), since my husband is going to be travelling (AGAIN) and meals are on the fly.  Also, I'm not feeling very organized and goal oriented this summer.  Perfect time to belatedly get on my goals for the month!  First off, last month:

June Goals

Get end of year teacher gifts
Another year done! Went with chocolate and Target gift cards, just in case there are teachers out there not into Starbucks.  All teachers love Target, right?

Pick a book and start summer reading program
We're already off to a great year of summer reading, and my son got to discuss his journal with the principal of his school last week!  You never know who might be stopping in to volunteer.  He felt super special.   And, I'd highly recommend the Kung Pow Chicken books for second graders.

Do summer camp sign ups
Done, and boy - I'm really looking forward to camp week...

Start training another puppy!
This doooooooooog.  

We really don't have much work to do, Vader is the bees knees.  We were rather anxious about getting a second dog and it's turned out to be the BEST THING EVER.

They are getting along smashingly and seem to bring out the best in each other.  And they actually DO entertain each other, this is a total win.

Choose and start a 5K plan
So, yeah, this brings me to the 'not feeling super organized and goal oriented' this summer.  With the weather we've been having and being busy with the kids out of school, I haven't been so keen on this goal or racing.  My run streak is still going strong (I think today was day 406) and I intend to keep it that way.  Exercising daily is a no-brainer for me and I'm aiming to average around 20 miles a week.  But beyond that, I'm just going to enjoy the summer - I even made a little bucket list!

Summer Bucket List
  • Visit at least two more new beaches, we're in a bit of a rut with two local favorites
  • Hit up a new pool
  • Go to the movies on a hot day 
  • Make smores dip
  • Keep the annual visit to Remlinger tradition
  • Pick berries (Remlinger or elsewhere)
  • Go to a free outdoor concert
  • Picnic at a new-to-us park
  • Mini golf
  • Do at least one more family hike - maybe Wallace Falls, as it's been a few years
  • Visit the mister at work downtown and go out to lunch, maybe even check out the Great Wheel
  • Find a babysitter for my annual birthday dinner to Daniels (my go-to sitters are all so darn busy this summer, but think I found one and I'm meeting her this week.)
  • Take a month long blog break!
Yep, gonna try my best to check off all the items on the list and I'm making good on that last one right now.  I did a post a day back in November; I figure I should do sort of the opposite in the summer.  Hopefully I'll have some fun stuff to share in August!


Books I Read in June 2015

All the Bright Places
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Oh man.  This is a book that Joey would put in the freezer, like he did with Little Women.  It's damn near a carbon copy of The Fault in Our Stars, but with teens dealing with depression and mental illness, rather than cancer.  Fun, right??  Ah, but it suuuuucked me in, just as TFIOS did with beautiful passages, witty and empathetic characters, and a frenetic 'MUST FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS NOW' race to the end of the book.  It's horrible, and ultimately lovely.

A God in Ruins
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

This was lacking the magic of Life After Life, and it plodded along for more than half the (nearly 500 page) book.  Things jump back and forth in time quite a bit, which I suppose is to be expected with a companion book of Life After Life.  But, it was in more of a haphazard way, not at all like Ursula's story.  Once I started reading about Teddy as a grandfather, which was so dear and compelling, I became sucked in to his story and felt bereft at the end.  I kind of saw it coming, but it still took my breath away and I'm glad I read it.

Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum

What's the deal with all these detached, depressed, introspective and yet completely vacuous female main characters?  I really didn't understand the point of this book about a very mentally ill American housewife living with her Swiss husband and their children abroad in Switzerland.  So much awful in this book, but I kept reading, hoping I'd get some more clarity into Anna's psyche.  Nope.  The fancy wordplay and poetic prose does not elevate it in my estimation, either.  

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Oh, how I loved this!  I haven't read one of Dessen's novels in two years (the same month I read Life After Life - weird), and I think I've got to go back and read MORE.  This was a heartfelt story of a girl who is dealing with the damage her older brother brought upon her family, by seriously injuring another in a drunk driving accident.  It's touching, bittersweet, and at times, fraught with tension - I stayed up hours past my bedtime to finish it.  It's much heavier fare than some of her other novels, but still full of real, relatable characters and so much heart.  I just wanted to hug this book.  

Adding links for April and May to join in Everyday Reading's quarterly round-up!