SUMMER PLANNING! and what’s next

May 28, 2024

May 25th . . .

. . . was a date stuck in my head for quite some time. I knew that once the race was over, it would essentially be summer – but I hadn’t really let myself start thinking about summer with any real mental energy because I was so focused on Bayshore.

Well, now the marathon is over and summer is indeed upon us! I mean not technically (it’s June 20th this year!). But school is ending (next week), camp is about to start, and allllll of the normal life stuff that goes on during the school year is about to vanish in thin air. I guess that’s a bit dramatic, but it really is quite a shift!

No more evening dance.

No more travel soccer (well, until August)

No homework (aside from summer reading)

No early school drop-off!

We are waiting to hear about a possible summer sports commitment for one kid, but even if that works out, our mornings and evenings will be much less hectic than they were from August through May. And I am NOT AT ALL SAD ABOUT IT. I enjoy the bustle and I love that the kids are doing lots of things, but also – a break seems very appropriate right about now. And with severe weather season kicking into gear it will be nice not to be rushing around every evening worrying about lightning alarms.

(Note, those alarms are still going off in August when everything starts back up which is unfortunate, but I am still grateful for the respite).

Another shift will be that I will not be marathon training! This is kind of sad and exciting at the same time. That said, I plan on ramping back up to 50-60 miles/week so it’s not like things will be thaaaat different. Just a lack of 20 mile runs, which is good because I am not as tough as Jenny and really do not want to be out in the heat that long!

So What Will Fill the Void?

The above included a lot about what summer won’t contain – so what will fill that gap? I haven’t made any official proclamations (no summer manifesto YET) but here are some of my current thoughts:

CAMP. The kids will be in camp most weeks! Mostly they are doing specialty camps (examples: dance camp, lacrosse camp, guitar camp) plus the big kids are doing 3 weeks of M-F overnight camp like they did last year. Most weeks feature 2 drop-offs, but never 3, so that should be doable. This will be done by me some days and our nanny other days as the camp starts are too late for me to make it to work on clinical days.

READING. Super excited to go nuts with summer reading. I usually move to more novels and less nonfiction during the summer. I kicked this off diving into Lottie Hazell’s Piglet on the plane (propulsive but REALLY DARK; I am not sure if I would recommend or not at this point) and I am just excited to read lots of juicy fiction this summer. I’m also really hopeful the kids will get into the summer reading habit, too. G is not quite reading on her own but she’s getting there and I’m also thinking this might be the right time to get her into some audiobooks.

WRITING. My goal is to have a book proposal ready to send out (somewhere) by the end of July. BAM! I need a deadline and I think this is a realistic and appropriate one. I am planning on a personal mini-retreat to get a nice head start with this and then will build and edit/revise/send for feedback.

FITNESS. I’m still somewhat sore from the race AND Josh and I are already signed up for Jacksonville Marathon (12/14/24)!!! Ha! But that is far away and I would like my training to take a different structure the summer, with more of an emphasis on speed (and fewer 18-20 milers). I think it would be fun to do a timed track mile at the beginning and end of the summer and perhaps choose a (local, hot) 5K to target in early September. Maybe the one I was unhappy with back in 2022 would be a fun choice! I would love to break 22 minutes but I’m not sure that’s something I could do in the heat (or possibly at all, but I guess who knows until I give it a try).

I also need to bring strength training back into my life. I’m going to keep things super simple and just use Peloton for now (perhaps one of their pre-done splits with lower / upper / full). NOTE TO SELF to use lighter weights to start with, I need to swallow my pride so I don’t end up beyond sore after the first session and lose any desire to continue.

BAKING. Summer outings = meh (I am not a curmudgeon, I am just realistic and this is entirely weather-driven). I mean, I’m sure we’ll go to the pool in our neighborhood. But otherwise there’s going to be some significant down time at home while it’s 95F and/or stormy outside, or at least I hope so. I think it would be fun to do some more baking, perhaps showcasing summer fruits. Muffins / scones / fruit crisps / etc.

DECLUTTERING AND ORGANIZING. More on this to come (not because I’m trying to be mysterious, more because I’m really trying to think this through.)

FINISHING . . . our estate planning! I think now that things are in motion we will be able to get done. Dare I say within Q3?! I think maybe!

PHOTOS. Our kids were going nuts looking at old photo books yesterday and it lit a fire in me to get 2022 and 2023 done. From past experience this task takes actually NOT that much time once started (I just have to pick photos off of google photos and then I use the auto-arrange method). It is not totally inconceivable to do one book in June and another in July.

TRAVEL. Two trips this summer, though nothing as dramatic (or $$$$) as last year’s Alaska/Vancouver adventure! We are doing a quick trip to PHL in July to see my family and then Seattle in August to see Olivia Rodrigo, among other things.

So this isn’t a goals post per se, but I’m exited to think in even more detail about what the next ~2.5 months will look like!

Have you planned summer yet? Anyone else excited to have less overall going on?


  • Reply Hanna May 28, 2024 at 1:51 pm

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around summer planning and how our faux quarters/year splits should work. My partner works in college sports (especially football), so summer for us really starts after commencement the 1st weekend in May and ends Aug 1 when they start training in earnest/he gets busy. Its definetly a different season though lol, with 2 concerts, 3 family visits, few trips, plenty of PTO from work, etc.

  • Reply Lisa's Yarns May 28, 2024 at 2:12 pm

    Our kinder still has 3 more weeks of school so it doesn’t quite feel like summer yet – but it’s coming! He goes to a school-based program for summer care so his schedule does not change at all so summer feels a bit like “status quo” for us. For 5 minutes I thought about swapping a week of the summer program for a camp but he loves the summer program and camps start several hours after we need to be at work so I decided “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” and took the easy route of keeping him in the summer program all summer.

    My travel is leveling off for the summer which I am excited about. I only have 3 trips so far – 1 in June, 2 in July. This is THE PEAK SEASON for us Midwesterners so I am glad I’ll be around more for post-dinner family walks, etc. I’m hoping to take the boys to the local pool a handful of times this summer, plus we’ll go to local lakes + my parents lake home.

    I perused 3 summer reading guides so have a list of holds, but since I only get books from the library, I won’t be reading many of the hot summer books until the fall or next winter probably! I did get “Real Americans” from the library this week which I am loving! It is 600+ pages but I am flying through it.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 28, 2024 at 2:14 pm

      I saw that book at Barnes & Noble yesterday – didn’t buy it but WOW is the physical book beautiful!! I can’t wait to read it.

      • Reply Emily May 28, 2024 at 7:39 pm

        Ooh I just got this book from my library holds, and I’m taking it on my vacation on Thursday. Glad to hear it is a propulsive read as those are the kind of books I like to read on vacation.

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 28, 2024 at 8:48 pm

          Just finished it , it’s also quick! But dark!!!! I actually liked it more once it was over if that makes sense …

  • Reply Gillian May 28, 2024 at 2:24 pm

    Here in NY we have a month before the end of school. Yesterday it was 68 degrees and raining. My brain cannot yet comprehend summer…but this is a reminder it will be here soon enough. We need to finish planning, though it is mostly done.

    • Reply Coree May 28, 2024 at 2:28 pm

      We have another month here in Scotland and have had torrential rain and flooding. Summer feels very far away.

      • Reply Katherine B May 29, 2024 at 4:52 pm

        Did you see the forecast of the wettest UK summer for 100 years Coree? Not sure I can stand it if so. We live on the drier Eastern side of England but have 2 separate weeks away booked in West Wales and Cornwall, renowned for being much wetter , why, oh why, did we do this? I now ask myself!

  • Reply Erin May 28, 2024 at 2:56 pm

    We still have two more weeks of school and school-year activities (dance, travel basketball), but it’s already feeling like summer! Unfortunately, our activities don’t slow too much; my middle does swim team in place of her dance/gymnastics classes, and this summer both she and my oldest are doing basketball — one team for the middle & three teams for the oldest, although travel team slows down a lot in the summer, thankfully! My husband and I are doing a kid-free, 10-day trip to Italy (kid-free trip postponed from summer 2020, a lifetime and one kid ago!) in July and then we will do the beach with the kids in tow later in the summer. I’m really looking forward to both trips!

    We have a full-time nanny so we are able to stagger camps a little to minimize driving time and let the kids have some unstructured play time with their friends at home. It’s definitely hectic until swim team ends mid-July, but looking at the calendar–thanks to your/Laura’s summer planning advice, it’s been pretty set for a while now–we will have spurts of down time here and there, and lots of free weekends. Knowing when that time is helps it from feeling too overwhelming!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 28, 2024 at 4:20 pm

      10 DAY KID FREE ITALY TRIP!!!!! Erin that sounds amazing and much deserved with the amount going on!! Excited for you.

  • Reply Coree May 28, 2024 at 3:32 pm

    Our summers are super short (first week of July to 2nd week of august) so I try to move into summer mode from this weekend, since I’m not convinced any learning happens at school. T has his class field trip, we are going on a very chill camping trip (tents are prepitched, there’s a nice restaurant on site), having some friends round. I’m going up north for a friend’s birthday party. Normally I do some post aftercare park picnics but the weather has been atrocious.

    When school lets out, T and I will decamp to the grandparents in Portugal for 2 weeks, and then a mix of camps, a beach trip with the cousins, until school goes back.

    I really want to use this month to take stock and plan for the rest of the year. I’m not teaching all year and stupidly said yes to everything, so feeling like I’m just responding to the next urgent thing on my list, rather than being intentional. Not aided by working in politics in an election year. Any suggestions for a mid year evaluation / reset very welcome. I keep thinking maybe I need a planner but I always revert back to notion anyways.

  • Reply LVL1992 May 28, 2024 at 3:58 pm

    I really liked Piglet!!
    And I would recommend “Kids Run the Show” – a bit dark as well – about a family who is active on social media.

    • Reply Coree May 29, 2024 at 3:31 am

      Oh I loved kids run the show.

  • Reply Noemi May 28, 2024 at 8:06 pm

    I just did that thing where I block out the future until some big events pass and then when dust settles I start looking ahead in earnest. It can be a little disorienting!

    I still have three weeks of school but my kids are done a week from today. The end of the school year is always weird because we get off at different times.

    If you’re looking for audiobooks for G, I would highly recommend the Ivy and Bean audiobooks. Both my kids listened to them multiples times. They are a family favorite. A staple really. They both watched she show (little mini-movies really) when they came out, even though they were pretty old by then, because they had such fond memories of them. The Percy Jackson books are also huge favorites of theirs. My son has listened to them all so many times.

    Your sounds really lovely. I hope it all goes according to plan.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 28, 2024 at 8:49 pm

      Oh that’s awesome. I was wondering what a good series would be for her. That’s perfect.

      • Reply Coree May 29, 2024 at 3:34 am

        The Hilda audiobooks are great, especially if you think familiar stories would help. I think G would like them. T is an audiobook obsessive, he loves How to Train Your Dragon, Harry Potter, but there are some good ones on audible plus that he’s listened to loads.

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 29, 2024 at 5:44 am

          thank you Coree!! Will check these out!

      • Reply Laura May 29, 2024 at 9:50 am

        The Dory Fantasmagory series is great on audiobook, too!

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 29, 2024 at 10:33 am

          These are huge favorites (the print) at our house!!

    • Reply Ali May 28, 2024 at 8:59 pm

      I’ll check out that series for my kiddos, too! Always happy for a kids’ book rec.

      Not sure how your kids listen to audiobooks, but have y’all tried playaways? They are at our local library. It’s like a small audio player for books. It is so smart and easy. My youngest is 5 and they are simple enough for him to use.

  • Reply Kristin May 28, 2024 at 10:03 pm

    My kids are done Thursday and for the first time since 2020, my husband is teaching and therefore off for the summer! So childcare will be significantly easier this year (even if they will probably get WAY more screen time than I would prefer). The kids have a couple “specialized” camps (like basketball) which tend to have shorter hours and we’ve never been able to do before with both of us working. My two sisters and parents are each coming separately for at least a week, so hosting will be our big summer activity! They all live in Arizona so coming to the Midwest in the summer is a real treat for them. I have my same goals of organizing and decluttering, but after afternoons in the pool or outside, I tend to spend my evenings reading on the couch and even less gets done!

  • Reply jennystancampiano May 29, 2024 at 7:54 am

    Ha, I’m glad you think I’m tough, but I’m also excited to take a break from long runs in the heat! At least I say that now- I’ll probably miss them soon. I also want to focus more on speed this summer to get myself out of the “tortoise” category.
    Our last day of school is tomorrow, WOOHOO!!!!!! Like you, I’m ready for a break. I don’t love the summer weather down here, but I love the easier schedule.

  • Reply San June 5, 2024 at 11:52 pm

    It’s funny how people with kids always think about the summer break and how everything shifts in the summer… I am almost a little envious of this (I remember it from when I was in school myself), because nothing really changes for me (in my job) during the summer and it never feels like things are “slowing down”. Haha. I’ll live vicariously through all of you 🙂

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