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Living outside this summer

Posted by Cheryl Yul-Behrenwaldt on
What do you do with your family during this Corona summer? Hit the beach and many more.
                School is out in a week. It’s always a bit bittersweet, saying goodbyes to teachers and friends and just the fact that your little ones are growing up, but this summer is different … it’s the summer of Corona. In a way, we are so used to having the kids at home all the time anyway, so what’s two more ( long ) months, right? On the plus side, we had some much needed structure during these months of homeschooling and the kids were able to “see” their friends on a daily basis. However, I’m sure we are all over homeschooling (we did it, we made it, put that your resume! ) and are ready for summer to officially start. So now we ask the question … what the heck  do we do with three kids over the next couple of months? It’s an annual question, sure, but since it’s the summer of Corona, we are playing with a slightly different rule book this year. Camps are still questionable (if they are even open), big trips that require flights to visit family have been cancelled and casually having other kids over for playdates is harder than before.  Unfortunately, for my kids, I’m not the type of parent where I have daily craft activities set up for the kids or are okay with them tearing up the house out of boredom. I’m not fun, I know.  If I’m going to hang out with the kids, I’ll need to be entertained as well and  believe me, if I’m having fun, they are having fun. On top of that, I do need a couple of hours to work during the day, so I know that I will need to set aside “quiet time” each day to get my stuff done. So where does that leave us? 
                   For this blog segment, I was planning to write about using the Notebooks & Honey bag for traveling and then some updates on the brand (which will come later), but all I can think about now is what to do with ourselves this summer. And since I’m a planner and love making lists and online researching, I’m just going to talk out loud for a bit. What can we do, what can we do (tap, tap, tap)? Now, I will tell you right now, I don’t intend to hide inside the whole summer nor do I plan on not having a social outlet. So some of the things on my summer bucket list are singular activities and some are more inviting for other people to tag along (from a safe and clean distance, of course). 
             To start, we will be taking a lot of road trips. We are usually on the go during the summer and although I don’t feel the need to necessarily fly anywhere, this is a great opportunity to explore the many places in the US that we can get to by car. We are in Georgia, so there are the beaches, some national parks  and did you hear that Disney World is opening up? I’m so tempted by Disney… wouldn’t it be amazing to go to the happiest place on earth when they are at a reduced capacity and they have the cutest Disney masks … I digress. Along with the road trip notion is going camping, which is a pretty low risk and a fun and adventurous activity. I know, it’s not a pleasure for everyone, people tend to be firmly in "team happy camper" or “team never-camper”, but lucky for us, our family loves outdoors and camping … although I’m not sure about camping in the sticky summer heat. Spending time at the lake and going for a hike in the mountains, whether it’s for a day or for a week, is a great way to spend time outdoors and can be fairly isolating (no big lake parties please, oh no). 
               As  you can see the plan is to spend a lot of times outdoors this summer, I’m sure the kids will have screen time and do something productive indoors but we are going to spend as much time outdoors as possible.  We don’t have a pool (wish we did), but I’m happy to find the non-pool alternative for those hot days, the kids can live in their swim suits all day and we can get big water soakers and turn on the sprinklers.  Covid-safe things to do outside are picnics, biking and rollerskating, all which are easy to do with friends from a safe distance.  Another fun outdoor activity that I want to try are backyard movie nights and it’s a reason for the kids to stay up late, which is always welcomed.  We have finished bingeing all of the Star Wars series, so I think we will tackle the Marvel series in chronological order; I’m actually super excited about this one because, to be honest, I have no idea what people are talking about when they do super hero chit chat and I just want to be cool like that, plus it eliminates the brain energy and arguments about what family movie to watch next.  Finally, similar to Disney opening up, there are so many other outdoor parks and spaces that are taking great care to open up that we hope to enjoy, for instance the Atlanta Zoo and Atlanta Botanical Garden are both opening with limited capacity, which is great because you get the same quality experience but with fewer people around. 
Picnic with Notebooks & Honey
Picnic with friends ... from a distance 
             Just to round off the list, some quieter indoor things that we are going to do are read books, actual physical books. Since most of the school was online, I want the kids to remember the joy of holding books in their hands. Plus, this mandatory reading time in the mornings will be helpful so I can get through a round of emails and sip my coffee while it’s hot.  And last but not least, the big bedroom clean outs! This activity (some call it a chore) is only exciting to me, but once in a while you just have to go through all your stuff and toss out the things you don’t need anymore, shuffle things around, find that sock that you thought you lost forever ... and all in time to have a fresh start when school resumes in August. 
Reading Charlotte's Web
Introducing Honey to a childhood classic 

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