Family Fun, Kids, Life

Fitting in family fun…. with busy teens

Last night we managed to fit in a family fun night!!

Lately, I’ve been lamenting some that life just feels “different”. Ethan has a job now, so there are times that he would normally be free, but now instead has to work. If he’s not working, he has soccer. Or something. Asher has had some sort of sports practice almost constantly this fall, it seems. Then other times when we are actually all free, we are often sort of….. tired, and no one really feels like doing much of anything. Ha.

The boys are also both basically teenagers now (well, Asher technically has a month and a half to go, but rounding up- he’s already practically 13.) They are into that age where they are pretty happy to just “chill” in their rooms, playing video games and chatting with friends, etc.

Not that they have morphed into those sulky, moody teenagers you hear about and might envision, but they aren’t these little caterpillar-finding goofballs anymore, either:

October 2015- they were 5 and 7 years old here!

I am trying to be mindful of this and be a bit more intentional with scheduling some “little and big” adventures into our weeks (thanks again Laura for the reminder… 😉 ).

We travel pretty big and hard when we travel, and we do a LOT of awesome things. We lean soooo hard into Family Time on our family vacations- which is probably why our family trips are basically some of my favorite and cherished moments of my life.

But seeing as we obviously do not travel 52 weeks out of the year, I’ll admit I could be a little better about taking advantage of more local treasures. Things like local events, attractions or even just going on a local hike or bike ride!

So, last night we took the boys to a University of Wisconsin Badgers hockey game downtown.

two trips by the Capitol in one week!

It was super fun!! The Badgers lost quite horribly, but that is beside the point. It was just wonderful to be there together, experiencing something out of the ordinary for us.

(UW Madison is my alma mater, too, so I always get very nostalgic hearing the famous UW band play and of course the singing of Varsity and all the awesome Badger traditions…..)

Bucky was there, as usual:

What a guy. Who knew Bucky Badger is also a proficient ice skater.
refillable popcorn bucket, always a fan favorite
Realized that no one else in my family owns any University of Wisconsin gear except me! Hmm. Christmas idea? jotting that down…

No one looks that excited here except me, but I swear they all had fun. The boys were being a little salty about me asking the lady next to me for a picture, while a bunch of strangers watched us stand there and pose. 😆

Afterwards, we stopped by our usual Friday night date night nacho place, but this time with all of us.

It was FREEZING OUTSIDE!!!! I was dying walking back to the car after the game. Brrrrrrr!!! Not ready for those 30-40 something temperatures.

Ethan was cold too, lol

At the restaurant, the boys each got non-alcoholic cocktails- a pina colada for Asher, a strawberry margarita for Ethan. 🙂

The place is decorated very cutely for Dia de los Muertos! Lots of festive touches everywhere.

All in all, a very fun evening!! And, a great kickoff to my “birthday weekend”, because it is coming up on Monday!!

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for creating an open window of time for some family fun last night. Asher had to leave soccer early/ skipped swim practice and Ethan had to make sure to request off work, but, we did it.

10 thoughts on “Fitting in family fun…. with busy teens”

  1. This all sounds so fun – from the shared family experience at a hockey game to a delicious meal together. Yay! I’m all about adventuring in the local area as much as possible (not that it replaces more exotic travel, but it’s a nice compliment).

    And how exciting your birthday is so close!!! I hope the whole weekend feels like special fanfare for your big day 🙂

    Also, that picture of the boys at 5 and 7 is hopelessly adorable. Oh. my. goodness!!!


    1. I think there is part of me that just doesn’t get as “excited” by local adventures because they’re.. local! So it just doesn’t seem as thrilling for some reason. I often think maybe I’m glad I don’t live right by the beach, or would that lose its charm for me, too?? Haha. But in seriousness, I think we live in an area of the country that is very beautiful but often overlooked by typical tourism. There’s no like, Grand Canyon here, but we have lots of beautiful nature and neat things to do too, not to mention the big college town and all that it has to offer (like the hockey games!).


  2. It is a challenge to find activities for the family outing as they grow older. It’s great that you managed to have a fun night out for all members of the family.
    I’ll definitely have to be more mindful about it as I start scheduling activities for the girls to make sure we have free nights for family plans.


    1. Yes, your girls are just a bit younger that I don’t think you have to worry about this part quite yet, but it is good to be on the outlook for new ideas as they grow out of the “let’s all go to the park” stage. 🙂


  3. That looks like fun! My sons are 18 and 17 and sometimes we still have fun nights with them, but more often we don’t. This looks like it was a great time!


    1. I know it’s normal for things to change as they get older, so I’m trying to not make a huge deal about it… but also trying to keep carving out at least some times like this!


  4. Happy birthday eve!! That sounds like a fun family night! I didn’t grow up watching hockey but enjoyed going to games. I went to a big hockey school (UND). Hockey was our only division 1 sport. They built this incredibly arena when I was going to college. I guess it is nicer than some NHL stadiums!!

    The weather cooled off sooo fast! We actually woke to a dusting of snow on Friday. It was 80 on Tuesday! So quite the crazy week for weather.


  5. How fun. I know (second-hand through my sister) how much more difficult it gets to have family outings when the kids get older, but I think you’ve laid a good foundation and your kids still genuinely enjoy spending time as a family! You just gotta carve out those outings more carefully these days!


  6. I love that you found something to do with the teens (yikes) and that you were able to extend your date night to family night. 🙂 I have not (yet) gone to see a hockey game (or, well, any other game or match…). Part of the problem is my limited amount of WI gear… and my preference for just following along with streaming/TV if I randomly have access.

    The pic of the kids when they were little is just priceless. They look like mini versions of themselves now! 🙂


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