60 Adventures in 60 Days: Summer 2017


To say I’ve had a great Summer would be an understatement.  I’m a chronic over-planner, and my family is always up for adventure, so we cram our Summer FULL of fun.  I’ve published two other Summer-fun lists, in 2013 and 2014, and now my children are eight and five years old, so our exploits and abilities are expanding as they grow.


We’ve found some incredible hidden gems this year; check out some of our experiences, and keep them in mind for yourselves!

1. BlueJays game on Canada Day.

2. Canada Day fireworks at Spencer Smith Park.

3. Port Dover beach.

4. Golfing at Lowville Golf Club.

5. Both kids playing baseball with BOMBA.

6. Batting cages at Mainway Sports Centre.

7. Tri Kids triathlon at Appleby College.

8. Blood donor appointments at Canadian Blood Services.

9. Hockey Hall of Fame.

10. $5 movies at Cinestarz Burlington.

11. Hot yoga.

12. Honda Indy in Toronto.

13. 11-year anniversary dinner at DiMario’s Trattoria.

14. Half marathon training, including weekly long runs with my wonderful Michaela.

15. Sunday brunch with girlfriends.

16. Royal Ontario Museum.

17. A week at The Wave hockey camp for my son.

18. A week at Pedalheads bike camp for my daughter.

19. Weekly Monday-night dinners with cousins.

20. Monthly book club meetups.

21. Coffee catchups with friends.

22. Regular massage tuneup appointments.

23. CrossFit Kids Saturday morning sessions.

24. Food truck festival.

25. The Donkey Sanctuary, just outside Guelph.

26. Rainbow loom bracelet-making. (Thanks to family and friends who handed down their rainbow-loom supplies a few years after this trend passed; my kids were too young for it  then, but they both love it now.)

27. Fishing (Robert Edmondson Park and LaSalle Park marina).

28. Having nieces and nephews for sleepovers.

29. Evening beachside walks with friends.

30. 1-on-1 Date Days with our kids: BlueJays games, pony rides, Mountainside Pool, and bowling/laser tag at Splitsville.

31. Dinners on downtown patios.

32. Bi-annual optometrist appointments for the kids.

33. Checking out the newly-renovated Nelson outdoor pool.

34. RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey.

35. Trips to Central Library.

36. Ottawa!

37. Helping at Wellington Square’s Friday Night Community dinners.

38. Lemonade stand.

39. Family reunion for my mother-in-law’s family.

40. Touch football league games for my husband.

41. Standup paddleboard yoga at Christie Lake.

42. CrossFit classes.

43. Assumption Sports Camp.

44. Bad Axe throwing with the Burlington Sports & Spine team.

45. Disco Dash 10k race.

46. Toronto Island sprint triathlon for my husband.

47. Fit in the Core outdoor yoga class at City Hall.

48. Burlington Children’s festival.

49. Backyard BBQs and fireside chats with wonderful friends.

50. Writing letters to Samuel, our sponsored child through World Vision. (As an aside, this is one of the BEST things we’ve done; we began sponsoring Samuel in the Spring, and we write to him often.)

51. Dinner and arcade games at QB’s Sports Grill.

52.  Family workouts at the Chedoke and Dundurn stairs.

53. A cottage weekend at my sister-in-law’s cottage in Muskoka.

54. Go-carts at Lakeland Kartway.

55. Assumption Football Camp.

56. Zac Brown Band concert at the Budweiser Stage.

57. Regular kid’s visits and chiropractic appointments at Burlington Sports & Spine Clinic.

58. Aspire Climbing gym in Milton (American Ninja Warrior course, climbing walls, and bouldering).

59. Family sleepover at our dear friend’s home in Kitchener.

60. Ribfest.


“My heart is just filling up”

I never envisioned myself as a mother.

As a teenager imagining my future, children were never a part of it.  As an early twenty-something I even told people that “I’m never having kids.”  I’m not a caregiver by nature, and children were never on my dreams list.  I saw myself with a husband and a career I loved, living a wonderfully happy life and spending all of my free time and money on travel.  But times change and priorities shift, and I found myself in my late twenties, married, with a husband who wanted children sooner than later.  My biological clock was tick-tocking along, and for the first time in my life, I felt the pull of motherhood.

I had my first baby in January 2009 and my life suddenly all clicked together.  So this is what all the fuss about, I thought, as I held my son and redefined my life’s purpose.  My daughter was born in March of 2012, and our family was complete.  “You surprise me,” my own mother told me once, “how much you love being a mom,” and she reminded me of that never-having-children statement I’d made less than ten years earlier.  But to raise my children has become my biggest source of joy and my single greatest accomplishment.


So, when I tell you stories about parenting and share my child-rearing experiences, please know that they come straight from the heart, unfiltered and vulnerable, likely accompanied by tears on the other side of this keyboard.

That’s where today’s story comes from.  Let me set the scene, so you can see what I saw on Sunday morning.  It was a busy day, full of birthday parties and family get-togethers and flag-football finales; our divide-and-conquer parenting strategy was in full effect, and I was spending the morning with my daughter at a classmate’s birthday party.  On our way to the party, my little five-year-old gem smiled in the backseat.  “Mommy,” she said, “it’s a girl’s morning and my heart is just filling up.”  She phrased it just like that:

Her heart was filling up.

What a perfect description for a perfect morning, and she couldn’t be more right.  My heart was filling up too.

This Summer, we’ve got a list of places we’d like to visit, a list of day trips we’d like to take, and two special Day Dates carved into the calendar.  One day for my daughter and I, while my son and husband do their thing, and one day with the opposite pairings.  The only rule of Day Dates is that it’s child-planned; we’ve talked about it a lot already, and the kids are excitedly plotting these special days, full of activities entirely of their choosing.  And when looking at our upcoming Summer, these Day Dates just might be the highlight of the whole season.

In fact, my heart is filling up just thinking about it.


Summertime is the best time, isn’t it?  THE BEST.  My husband is a teacher, and my work hours are currently part-time (but growing enormously next week; stay tuned) so Summer for us is all about time.  Time together, time apart, time to explore, time to grow, time to learn.

A few years ago, I started making lists of our adventures (60 Adventures in 60 Days), both to use as a reference for myself at a later date and to share with others who might enjoy some of our finds.  This year’s list comes from our goal to have a “low key” Summer, following our busy Summer of 2015 when our move to a new house occupied much of our time.  A low-key Summer it was most definitely not, but an amazing Summer it was.

I hope you put some of these gems on your Summer 2017 list (and yes, many of them are food related.  No judgement.), and I’ve included links on most if you’re curious to learn more:

  1. Canada Day 5km and 1km races.
  2. A toy and lemonade sale to benefit the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation.
  3. The Farmer’s Market at Burlington Mall.
  4. My daughter’s weekly soccer game with the Burloak Soccer Club.
  5. Sleeping on a sailboat in the Picton Harbour.
  6. Sandbanks Provincial Park.
  7. Wild Waterworks.
  8. Strawberry/raspberry/pea picking.
  9. Blood donor appointments.
  10. BlueJay games.
  11. Way of the Woods Camp (Conservation Halton).
  12. Burlington Beach.
  13. Royal Botanical Gardens 1/2 day camp.
  14. Taco Tuesday at Maracaz.
  15. Overnight guests- friends and family from Alberta!
  16. Cupcakes at Kelly’s Bake Shoppe.
  17. The boat pond at Spencer Smith park.
  18. Sunday morning runs by the lake.
  19. Dundas Driving Park and splashpad.
  20. Finding Dory in 3D.
  21. Biggest Little Night festival.
  22. Camping at the Pinery.
  23. Centreville at Centre Island.
  24. Hosting friends and family for backyard BBQs.
  25. The City of Burlington’s SNAP camp.
  26. Doughnuts at the Sunshine Doughnut Company.
  27. House projects (painting deck, painting fences).
  28. A weekend at my sister-in-law’s cottage.
  29. Assumption Sports Camp.
  30. Family reunion for my mother-in-law’s side of the family.
  31. Sunripe kids triathlon.
  32. Making a batch of pickles using a many-generations-old recipe.
  33. Kid’s dentist appointments.
  34. Optometrist appointments (new prescriptions and glasses for both kids).
  35. Weekly Wednesday morning 3-generation golfing.
  36. CrossFit.  CrossFit.  CrossFit.
  37. My monthly book club meetings.
  38. Hosting hot tub parties.
  39. School uniform shopping.
  40. Fishing and feeding chipmunks at LaSalle park.
  41. Hot yoga.
  42. Pool time in family and friend’s backyards.
  43. Monthly massages.
  44. Watching my husband’s touch football games.
  45. Mountainside Pool.
  46. IV therapy for athletic recovery.
  47. Playdates for my kids and their school friends.
  48. Tragically Hip concert.
  49. Burlington’s Children’s festival.
  50. Stand up paddleboarding.
  51. Celebrating 10 years of marriage.
  52. Watching the Rio Olympics non-stop.
  53. Fishing at Robert Edmundson Park.
  54. Hiking at Mount Nemo.
  55. Lunchdates with girlfriends.
  56. My husband’s annual NFL Fantasy Football draft.
  57. Driving range and the mini putt course at Within Range.
  58. Ice cream at nearly every Burlington ice cream shop.
  59. Grandpa playing in the Canadian Men’s Senior Championship at the Grand Niagara Golf Club.
  60. Ribfest.