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Monday Mom challenge: Hold onto summer

Jen Klein is a New England-based technical writer and mother of three. When she isn't asking her kids to stop bickering, "caramelizing" the dinner or actively ignoring the dust bunnies under the couch, she enjoys knitting, gardening, pho...

One last day to remember

Whether you've made the best of every day of summer, or you've struggled to make the best of a less-than-perfect one, September can feel like it's come too fast. Sure, it's technically summer until late September, but with Labor Day upon us, the official end of summer is just about here. Take advantage of these last few days of summer, and help make that summer feeling last as long as possible.

Family blowing bubbles

Even if you need a sweatshirt on the beach, you can have one last summer blast -- and hold onto that summer feeling even as the leaves begin to turn.

1Make a list

Make a list of your favorite things to do in summer. Is it a picnic, or outdoor dinners with friends? Is it hiking in the mountains, walks on the beach or bike rides to your favorite lake? What is it that really says "summer" to you? It can be anything, but it has to have meaning for you.

2Prioritize

You probably can't do everything on your list, but what can you do? What can you fit in? That evening on the porch with girlfriends can still happen, as can bike rides and a grilled feast. Maybe you can't squeeze in that beach trip if it's several hours away, but you can hit the local pool for an afternoon of sun and swimming.

Take a hard look at the list. Choose one item near the top of the list, and make it happen!

4Make it happen

Clear the schedule any way you can and make your plan. Call your girlfriends for an evening out, make a grocery list of all your summer favorite foods for a family feast, or reschedule appointments so you can get out on that kayak. You're unlikely to find resistance to one last summer event, and that's part of its beauty. Once you're clear about what you're doing and why, your friends and and family likely won't be just guests to the party; they'll be co-conspirators.

5Take a moment

In the midst of the event, take a mental snapshot of the time and place. Whether it's your kids' laughs, the clarity of the sky or the warmth of the sun on your face, take it in and note it. Mid-winter, when it's oh-so-cold out, you'll be able to call up this memory -- and the feeling of summer will be with you.

More of our Monday Mom challenge series:

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