Wednesday’s W’s–What did YOU do this summer?

WHAT did you do this summer?

This post comes as a reaction to a facebook status from my friend Rebekah who wrote, “What we did on our summer vacation (alternately titled, why my house is a wreck).”  She wrote of 113 things (I counted them all) she experienced with her cool four kids, from feeding a swan to getting a letter from the President….

Here is a little chunk of her wonderful list: “ate dinner in the car, watched drum corps, did puzzles, made and decorated bread cookies, made bagels, raced, watched the sun set, ate ice cream, climbed a rock wall, slept on the sand, shopped for furniture, went to the Planetarium, city sledded, made waffles, celebrated a 70th birthday, picked flowers, played dodgeball, picked blackberries, jumped in a ball pit, made jam, had dessert with someone from Australia, read about Narnia …”

You know what this tells me?  Life comes in moments—ordinary moments, surprising moments, moments that take our breath away, moments that shape us.  My friend Rebekah seized them. She lived them fully and gave her children the gift of experiencing them.  Way to go, Rebekah!

So… what did YOU do this summer?  What interesting/fun/challenging/forever-etched-in-your- mind/ordinary/extraordinary moments did you live in between May and now?

I’ll go first:

I danced at three weddings with my 7-months old buddy Linc, broke my little toe but was still able to squish my foot in my fancy shoes two weeks later, got a new haircut that made me feel like a movie star for a least three hours, cried with a friend who went through an unspeakable trial, listened to crickets late at night, picked blueberries in the early morning, laughed out loud, went for hikes in Whites Woods, had flowers delivered to me (!), made movie popcorn and ate most of it, stood on my street and watched the 4th of July fireworks, hugged Isabella, hosted a garden party for some of my favorite people, witnessed a miracle, moved my daughter from one city to another, ran up cardiac hill, ate grilled shrimp, grilled tuna steak and grilled zucchini, worshiped God, swam under the stars and counted at least 27 of them, sat around a fire at night, watched my youngest son’s face dissolve into tears when he saw his bride, sat in my hot tub with friends late at night, busted with pride as each one of my four children got new jobs, drove in city traffic without panicking—that’s a really big one, saw the sun set on a lake,  

saw the sun rise in my backyard, called my mom, won a push-up challenge, stressed over, prayed and finally smiled at my future, went to the baseball game and sang “take me out to the ball game,” planted flowers, drank some really good wine, made good friends while we sweated together at Boot Camp, did loads of smelly laundry, had dinner in Pittsburgh with my best friend to celebrate 31 glorious years of marriage, lost my footing in life and felt like the earth shook under my feet but then found myself steadied by the Word of God, read a wonderful book, had strong coffee on Saturday mornings, saw giraffes and elephants and had a polar bear swim above me, discussed theology till midnight without being able to settle the centuries-old questions, thanked God for His faithfulness, started running again, almost fell asleep in a hammock, revamped my blog, ate Danni’s cheesecake, mulched my yard, sat in the dark with candles and music, lived out loud.

What about your moments—would you share them with us?



  1. What I did the summer of 2011….
    Watched my son play soccer, also watched him play lacrosse, watched my daughter play basketball, went to see the division 1, 2 & 3 Lacrosse Championship games in Baltimore, went to an aquarium, sat around a bonfire with good friends, watched my daughter dance beautifully in her recital, grilled dinners, worked out, ate outside on our deck, played trivia games with friends, went on a retreat with my book club, hung with an old friend from Colorado, had a wine tasting, had a massage, crashed a high school reunion, danced, ate local corn on the cob, hosted a dinner for old childhood neighbors from Michigan, swam along a shore line in an Iowa lake with my family, went boating, played with my god son and his brother, held hands with my dad, visited the Crayola crayon factory with my daughter, colored pictures like a kid again, rode crazy wild roller coasters, ate at a fondue restaurant, visited two science centers in two different states, watched the US women’s team play in the World Cup, shot hoops, celebrated my dad’s 87th birthday, spent my first fourth of July in Indiana, hosted a picnic, watched local fireworks, laughed till I cried with my sisters, sipped good wine, played Can Jam, ate fresh berries from local farms, read two good books, missed my mom, cleaned out a few drawers, cuddled, learned how to use my new I-Pod, sang out loud to music, drove my kids and their friends around town, played Bingo with my dad, got back in touch with relatives from Norway, did lots of laundry, played corn hole, made sun tea, embarrassed my teenagers, talked with my sisters on the phone, prayed, went for walks, ate chocolate marshmallow ice cream, went to high school graduation parties, saw the Milky Way out in the country, wished on a shooting star, rode a go-cart, visited with family in Iowa, talked with good friends over good coffee, told my dad I loved him, cried with my family and sisters over the death of my father, was comforted by my faith, went to Disney, rode crazy roller coasters (again), saw the last “Harry Potter” movie, rode the new “Harry Potter” ride at Universal, rode the Tower of Terror three times, saw amazing animals on a safari, saw a baby gorilla and its mom, experienced the kindness of strangers, ate Morrocan food for the first time, saw amazing firework shows, found my inner child, went down big water slides, visited all the countries at Epcot, held hands with my husband, saw beautiful sunsets, took lots of pictures, hosted sleepovers, ate an Asian dinner cooked entirely by my daughter, rode in the car with my son who just got his permit, laughed with my neighbors, made up a new recipe, hugged my friends, marveled at the kindness and compassion of good friends, felt my Father(s) shining down on me from Heaven.
    P.S. This was fun to do!!!


  2. A summer of firsts! teeth, crawling, 3 weddings, 3 dances with Barb, only boy at exercise class, game nites, picnics, drive inns, road trips, hotels, cheerios, early morning walks, late night walks, eggs, swimming, daddy tosses, baby proofing, sitting, remote controls, signing time, Sootie and Moochie, bumps and bruises, cuddles, fireflies, cotton candy, Idelwild, Pirates games, fireworks, ice-cream, cousins, playing, water bottles, thunderstorms, air-conditioning, construction sites, naps, books, grandparents, big sister Mo, garage sales, bat in the house, garden party, new friends…..and so much more!


  3. The Summer of 2011 went way too fast but I have a lot of great memories. I went to three Professional baseball games, got to see my son play baseball with his team at PNC park, went to many other baseball games my sons played in, was proud of my daughter for 2 freshman semesters on the dean’s list, proud of my sons for being on the principals list, did my first duathlon, took 12 minutes off my kayak race time, set some goals I didn’t complete but will not give up on, have worked out hard, trained with family and friends, kayaked, rode bicycle, played tennis, jogged, sweated, hiked, climbed on logs and over large boulders, found out my depth perception isn’t what it used to be and rolled down the hill several times, entertained my family, enjoyed family time at the Pittsburgh Zoo, picnics, boat rides at the river, was wiped out on the inner tube by my nephew, wrecked wakeboarding several times, was able to finally wakeboard and successfully finish the run standing up, went kayak fishing with my son, went shopping and lunch with my daughter, jumped off of a bridge and did a watermelon off a high bank, went to the Chiropractor, drove with family on the Blue Ridge Parkway, saw beautiful scenery and many many many trees and mountains, we laughed,made up names for one another, they got tired and crowded and slept, drove by Gasaway,WV, climbed Grandfather Mountain praying our brakes would hold out then stood on the high mountain with no guiderails and could see for miles the beautiful landscape, crossed the mile high bridge, hiked to see several waterfalls, saw a blue heron having it’s lunch, did a strenuous hike to a remote waterfalls and climbed a big rope up over boulders to slide down the waterfalls into river below, slid down a natural waterslide to drop into 48 degree water, I shivered, took many pictures and videos, ate breakfast in North Carolina, whitewater rafted in Tennessee, and ate dinner in Georgia, enjoyed fine cuisine and local brews at great pubs, walked and jogged on the beach, swam, rode boogie boards and played catch in the ocean, cleared the ocean for the manatese passing that we did not see, relaxed on beach chairs doing nothing, watched my two sons get launched 300 feet in the air by a slingshot and returned safely, ate at a Churrascaria, ate pounds of crab legs, saw a beautiful Estate built in 1895 with 250 rooms, pretty gardens and sampled many wines, rode category 4 rapids and two hours later saw the same river almost empty, rode motorcycle with friends and family, did an all day trip with 38 other fellow bikers, rode with my son and played miniature golf and dinner in the Forest, saw Kinzua dam, Hellam Furnace and Kinzua railroad bridge that was torn apart by a tornado years ago, rode the train from Titusville, was very hot, took pictures and family took a little nap, attended a revival, went to a small country church with a weekly attendance of 18, listened to live bluegrass music, got whiplash on the wild mouse, wet on the Pittsburgh Plunge, a headache on Phantoms Revenge, tired from the Meclizine, went to the Chiropractor again, tore up carpet, sorted, organized, stripped, painted, helped put ceramic tile down, decorated, rearranged areas of my house, thought about more projects that are still waiting until school returns, enjoyed shopping in the strip district, sampled gourmet popcorn, ate sandwiches made with coleslaw and french fries, chocolate covered pistachios, bought tuna, blueberry stilton cheese, and vanilla beans,listened to live rock bands that my friends children played in, felt a little older, my dad was sick,we spent the day at hospital,he had good test results and is recovering, shopped for a new car with my daughter and found out a lot of the used car dealers in Pittsburgh must use photo shop for their pictures, have gone to tailgate parties, drive-ins, graduation parties, had a pool party, enjoyed time by the fire, fireworks, eating ice cream, playing cards, tried new recipes,lost some weight and inches and gain a few back, got a new kitten to climb up my curtains and wrestle with our dog, enjoyed breakfast with friends, lunches, dinners, conversations,laughed until it hurt, have comforted friends, prayed, been comforted too, lost my job, was stressed, got a new job, have cried over the choices of others, have been comforted by my heavenly Father, have had hope and peace restored and strengthened by His Word, have felt happy and sad, am learning to let go and trusting God to complete His work in each one of us, in His timing. I cherish the moments spent with family and friends. Life is an adventure and time with those you love make it so much more worthwhile. It’s been good to reflect on my full summer…it makes me smile and be thankful.


      • I remembered my comma…ha.ha..went to drive-ins, graduation parties,etc…. and yes jumped off a bridge….all in fun though…


  4. Let’s see what I remember!! A job, 3 weddings, Las Vegas, 2 bachelorette parties, praying with friends, standing with 2 wonderful friends as they got married, trying new foods, working out, campfires, sleeping out, fellowship, breakfast with women of God, provision and blessings, interviews, losing a job, the beach with family, birthdays for the young and old, visits from friends across the pond, packing to move, garden party, dancing, pirates game, a tour of the capitol, walked around the mall, naps (ah), lunches with women of God, drive-ins, fireworks, steelers pre-season, softball game, meeting new people, prayers for healing, knowing the Lord more and more!


  5. Finally catching up on everything I’ve missed on your blog Barbara! Let’s see what I remember from summer!
    I laid out in the Oak Grove, read a lot, ate lots of Chinese, played frisbee, took 2 summer classes, met 2 new friends in England via skype, 2 wonderful weddings (and my first 2!), a bachelorette party, campfires, late nights with wonderful friends, breakfast with women of God, a birthday party, fireworks, softball game, drive-ins (another first!), saw D.C., became closer with good friends, moved apartments twice, stood up for my faith in Jesus and the persecution, knowing the Lord so much more, been provided for and shown blessing and love and faithfulness, watched Dumb and Dumber, praying with friends, received words from the Lord, sleeping in a camper, game nights, beach with my family, home time with my family, band camp, workouts, meeting someone from England in person, bible studies, cried tons, lost and regained a friend, seeing how good the Lord is always!


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