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September is always such a weird month, emotionally. Half of me has a white-knuckled grip on summer, refusing to let go, while the other half of me is dreaming up Halloween costumes, and getting more excited with every leaf that begins to fall.
But before I can embrace evenings outside underneath string lights, football, and pumpkin-flavored everything, I have to get my End of Summer Mommy Check List taken care of.
If you’re not familiar with the list, this is all the stuff you put off and procrastinated all summer, because you were having too much fun with friends, sipping JaM Cellars Wines and hanging out at the beach — oops 😉 Here is my list:
- Boating. This one may not apply to you. Unless you’re like us, and bought a boat right before “the season” is ending. This means, we are going to be spending every chance we can on the boat. This one is a toughie 😉 Optional: sip on JaM Butter Chardonnay. Days on the lake are always great, but everything’s better with Butter!! I love Butter because you can’t tell you’re drinking a $20 bottle of wine – it’s rich, luscious, and bold! It is cold-fermented, and aged in a unique blend of oak. The result is a creamy chardonnay, with notes of lemon and vanilla, that totally melts in your mouth!
- Clean out the lockers in the mud room. School ends right when Michigan is finally into warm weather, but you don’t want to jinx it by putting away the snowsuits too soon. So the girls’ lockers become this mess of snow clothes, school backs, and then soccer and golf equipment, paired with swim goggles and flip flops. Before we transition back into cooler weather, it’s important to do a mini-overhaul. This goes for my locker, especially. I am a bag-hoarder, and have 3 jackets for every kind of weather. To say it gets cluttered easily would be an understatement!
- The Great Purge. I think giving anything a cool title makes it more exciting. The Great Purge is when the girls and I go through each of their closets. We try on every.pair.of. pants. We check socks for holes. Does this fit? Are we holding onto it because I love it but you refuse to wear it? We fill bags for donation, and simultaneously make room for new school clothes and hand-me-downs.
- Yard work. Any summer projects need to be finished NOW. Once the leaves start falling, it’s a never-ending battle of cleaning them up and then it snows for the next 4 months. So, any projects that got put on hold need to be wrapped up. Plus, there is no better feeling than enjoying a glass of Butter at the end of a long days work, admiring what you have accomplished!
- Get in a last-minute BBQ with friends. This weekend, we had the best weather, and nothing is better than a sunny afternoon, spent BBQing, watching football, and sipping on a glass of JaM Cab! JaM Cab is all about fruit, with notes of blackberries, black currant, cassis, and more! I love the burst of berries when I take a sip, and the sweet, vanilla taste at the end!
- Get my nails done! Ok, ok, this might not be an “essential”, but with a new season upon us, it’s opened a whole new range of color selections! It might be time for me to retire my token white nails for a darker shade!
- Organize the pantry. In our pantry, we have a wire basket with healthier options for school snacks. Think: granola bars, cheese crackers, fruit bars/snacks, and squeeze pouches. This does two things: gives the girls responsibilities in the morning before school, and also makes my mornings a little easier with one less task! Over summer, however, it does get over-run with chips and other junk food. So, I do my “brain food” makeover to the snack bin before school. On a more personal note, this also keeps me from being the mom that allowed her kids to take two bags of chips for snack at school!!
- Go shopping! Now that you’ve cleaned everything, it’s time to stock up on some new essentials. A cozy cardigan, a new pair of jeans, and some ankle boots make for the perfect mix and match, and will last you until warmer weather finds you again!
- Label everything. I spend a day the week before school, making sure everything is labeled. Shoes, coats, sweaters, backs, lunch boxes, forks, water bottles, heck – the kids themselves. I learned in kindergarten, if you like it then you should have put a label on it. (I’m pretty sure Beyonce will do a remix of that song when Blue Ivy heads to kindergarten!!)
- Ugly cry because your kids are growing up. You probably found a tiny pair of shoes when cleaning out the mud room, or a favorite outfit from years ago stuffed into the closet because you weren’t ready to let go. Then jump right to Number 10 because you’re so lucky to have such amazing kiddos that are growing up, learning new things, oh – and gave you the biggest headache ever while cleaning out their closets. My kids have never reminded me more of Gollum from LOTR than when I am donating their “favorite” shoes that they haven’t worn in 4 years!!
- Movie marathon. Now that the days aren’t so long, David and I have started cozying up outside and watching our favorite old movies. It’s getting a little chilly once the sun sets, so we get the bonfire going, and pull out a cozy blanket, and watch a movie on the patio under the stars. A glass of Butter is mandatory!
- Plan all the fall things. Trips to the apple orchard, to the pumpkin patch, to get fall flowers for the porch. Anything fun and festive! If you’re like me, having plans for the next season makes summer ending easier to let go!
- Soak it up. Probably the most important. Once you’ve completed your list, and your husband has finished up those last few yard work items (see 3), put the kids to bed a little early, pour yourselves a glass of JaM Butter or Cabernet, and kick back. To me, Butter is such a summer drink, while reds like JaM Cab are cozy for the cooler months.
So tell me, what is on your End Of Summer Mommy Bucket List?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.