Last year around this time, my daughter Tabitha and I started a #12MonthsofFun project. It was inspired by an upcoming trip to Ireland, and we decided to keep the fun going for the next 12 months before she left for college.
The other activities didn’t need to be as big as an international trip. The purpose was simply to spend time together.
We set many of the dates in August and decided they were non-negotiable. She didn’t schedule anything with her friends, and I didn’t schedule anything with work.
On Sunday, my daughter left for college! So I want to share some of these special memories with you. Perhaps they can inspire adventures with loved ones in your life.
August – #12MonthsofFun kicked off with a trip to Ireland where we were staying in a house with extended family, who was doing family genealogy research. It was interesting to hear about our great-great-grandparents that lived in County Mayo over 100 years ago. We saw beautiful castles, countrysides, and the Cliffs of Moor. We also had lots of laughs — especially at me adjusting to driving on the left side of the road. 🙂 A benefit to being abroad was that neither of us had much cell service, allowing us to be even more present.
September – We went to the local county fair and had fun walking around, going on little rides, and of course… funnel cake!
October – Tabitha loves family and connecting with them, and so our October trip was going to a family wedding in North Carolina, where we also enjoyed a fun car ride up, and a couple of nights in a hotel.
November – New York City! We went to NYC for a couple of days and did some things we’ve never done before, like visit the Central Park Zoo. As well as enjoying one of our favorite excursions — walking around the Union Square Farmers Market.
December – Over Christmas, our family went to Colonial Williamsburg for a few days. I hadn’t been there since I was a child, and it was great to see Williamsburg all decorated for Christmas.
January – Tabitha got to experience her first facial at a spa day where we enjoyed some of life’s luxuries and self-care.
February – Flying across the US to Boulder, CO, we visited two of my uncles, Patrick and Kevin, in February. We loved Boulder, going on hikes, hanging out and playing with their dogs and cats, and doing some sightseeing.
March – Nourishing our artistic side, we went to a pottery night! Tabitha made a bird house, and I made a mug. 🙂
April – In April, I joined in on the high school band trip to Disney World, wearing the chaperone hat. Although it included an exhausting bus ride experience and navigating through tourists all over the park, it was a fun trip. Seeing Disney World with a teenager was awesome. 🙂 We enjoyed the rides, shows, beach time, and Disney time.
May – Exploring our adventurous side, we went zip lining and sailing on the Chesapeake Bay!
June – Our big family trip to Alaska in June was amazing and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
July – Another family wedding brought us to Maine, where we had more family time, and a little day trip to Canada for lunch one day… so we could bookend the #12MonthsofFun with another international excursion!
Looking back on the past 12 months, it wasn’t easy to make the time for this. It was expensive and required a lot of creativity in our schedules.
But I would do it again in a heartbeat. Whether we were on a big trip across the world or going to a local spot for some fun, it was special and amazing to spend this time together.
If you’re looking for an opportunity to savor time and show people in life they are a priority and they matter, I encourage you to make the effort. It doesn’t have to be a big trip – it can be as simple as a phone call or a cup of tea. It’s not about the activity – it’s about the quality time together.
’Til next time,