FRYday : Emily

I’ve had romantic feelings toward the “Summer Live List” every time I see it pop up on whatever feed I’m scrolling through. I just love it! What a sweet idea to corral all the small and simple but quintessential things that make Summer so great into one big jar, ripe for the picking and family memory making. I have yet to make this official at my house so keep reading for the insider scoop from two of my friends who DO, and why it’s not too late!

First, Kelly @kelleyjensen has been sharing her #jensensummerlivelist via Instagram for a couple of years and doing it as a family for five+ and each photo somehow triggers such happy memories of my own.  I love that Kelly sits down with her five kids and each of them has a chance to participate and add to the list. “Jumping in the pool fully clothed” was an addition by her daughter Olive! Kelly says “This is a list of things to find LIFE in…  Magic.  Love. Gratitude.  Togetherness.  It’s about sharing time, supporting each others dreams and a way to remember what those dreams are in this season of our life.”
Summer Live List

I am so drawn to this method for three reasons: #1. I get an exuberant amount of joy over making lists. Sometimes I’ll make a list of things I already accomplished just so I can have the joy of crossing them all off. #2. Because it makes so evident what I know in my heart, which is that children don’t need anything extravagant to make a memory; they just need you! You showing them the way through something they’ve always wanted to try, or maybe even something they never knew they would like. And #3. I’ve started to see a trend in myself the last two Summers. Once the pools open and the boats are de-winterized and the heat becomes more intense, I become like the hare. You know, like the tortoise and the hare. Not wanting to waste one drop of Summer, I take off at break-neck pace, each day a different body of water to splash in, friends and family to see and a bedtime to postpone. A pool, a splash-pad a lake an advanced sprinkler system, a piece of tarp and a hose, it doesn’t really matter! We laugh and float and then we amble back to our home, peel off our soaked attire and I basically guide my boys as they tumble into bed. It is so wonderful! But then July rolls around, and I slow way down. I’ve run too hard and too fast — I am the hare! My boys however are still ready and raring to go each day. So, this live list calls to me because in my head it seems to be the perfect pacemaker. Just slow and steady!

My friend Rashelle @rashellejohansson is similar to me with this and has found that starting their Summer Bucket List at the end of the Summer is the way to go. They get all of the Summer camps, lessons, classes and scheduled activities out of the way and focus on their list the last month.

So what are their ideas? For Rashelle: things like making a day of the zoo and then surprising her kids with a night at a hotel. Going to an art museum, inviting friends over for laying on the trampoline watching a movie on the projector, or karaoke. Trying new recipes and eating new foods. And for Kelly: take Popsicles to strangers at the park on a hot day.  Write love notes to each other and hide them in each room, read books under a tree, go see the wildflowers, climb a mountain, go rollerskating, jump on the trampoline with a sprinkler on, ride a train, learn a new skill, celebrate for no reason, wear their favorite colors and make some mischief.

Aren’t those wonderful? It doesn’t matter so much it is but setting out to reach a goal and doing it all together. I asked Kelly what she has seen or felt since doing their Live List and loved her response:

“For me our Live List means a lot.  For one: it’s a part of me I get to share with my kids. An opportunity to try to teach them to be brave and happy and to look for the good in life.  But it’s not just that…  It’s about being creative. It’s about supporting each other’s ideas and doing things for our family members and others that we may not even know.  It’s about confidence.  It’s about hope and contentment.  And it’s mostly about celebrating life— specifically this very special season of life, when our kids are small and dreams are big.  This short period of time when they are just as happy sleeping in a family made fort, on the floor of the living room, than going to a tropical destination.  When laughter is easy and magic is everywhere.  Life is so special right now and it goes too fast.  I feel like we as parents are pulled in a lot of directions every day.  Challenges are real, responsibilities are heavy and life is busy.  This is just one suggestion for slowing it down and enjoying it a little more. This season of life is really, really special and absolutely worth making a list and celebrating the reasons why.”

Thanks to Kelly and Rashelle for sharing! If you dear readers have any favorite Live List items to add, please share below! I am excited to get mine together! Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

xo Emily


  1. on July 18, 2014 at 6:43 am said:

    I love your creative ideas for simple, summer fun! They get kids outdoors and inspire their creativity. Very fun!

    • Small Fry Blog:
      on July 18, 2014 at 7:11 am said:

      Thank you, Josie!

  2. on July 19, 2014 at 11:10 am said:

    I love this idea!! I’m going to have to try to do this with my kids! 🙂

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