Last week, one of my kids told me, “Summer is almost over.”
When I shared this with Greg, he didn’t sound surprised. Apparently, one of his coworkers said something similar to him. Something along the lines of it being the end of July.
On July 10.
I returned to my child, and we counted the remaining days of summer. We discovered that we have a few more than 40 days left of summer break.
I thought that would help my child realize that we have plenty of summer left. Forty days is a long time, I said. “Think of how long the 40 days of Lent feel.”
For some reason, 40 days of summer does not equate with Lent. Lent is long. Summer is not. End of story.
It doesn’t help that Target’s back-to-school section is already stocked. Some of my kids love this, simply because they love pens, pencils, and cute notebooks. But others are simply not ready. And as much as I’m in the camp that loves stationary supplies, something inside of me is encouraging us to hold off on perusing those aisles.
I want my family to get the most out of these long, lazy days of summer. As the mom, I want to relish the house still being quiet at 8 a.m. as the sun shines through the tree branches and happy birds chirp outside my window. As a family, I want us to savor the slowness. I want to say yes to bike rides and ice cream in the middle of the day, and playing Capture the Flag with neighbors until dark. I want them to seal happy memories deep into their souls.
We’re halfway through summer, yes, but we still have a whole half to enjoy! Here are 10 things I am loving about summer:
1. Buying popsicles. Just because.
Our neighbors moved at the end of June, and they had a going-away popsicle party to give the kids a chance to say goodbye to their friends. It was simple, and it was perfect. Since then, I have picked up a box of popsicles every week at the grocery store. They are on hand when it’s hot outside, and the kids want to cool down. They are offered to friends who come to play. The box only lasts a day. They are such a simple treat. But in summer, they are just right.
2. Books, books, and more books.
As I’ve mentioned here before, I am catching up on my reading this summer. These long, lingering days invite me to pick up my book at 2 p.m. Tuesday and read a chapter. It is heavenly.
3. Speaking of books, how about rainbowtizing them?
I saw this idea on The Nester’s gorgeous Instagram account, and I have seen it replicated by a few others. It always looks great, and it is a fun way to organize. I recently painted this room dark gray (Texas Storm by Magnolia Home), and my dark wood bookcase looked all wrong in this space. So, I painted it with white chalkboard paint, and this corner was instantly brighter. The rainbowetical books add a whimsical happiness to the space. I love it!
4. The color green.
Speaking of The Nester, ever since I took her Cozy Minimalist home course, I have mustered up the courage to have a bit more green in my home. I have always been a bit of a black thumb, forgetting to water my plants and watching one after the other die. But adding a few plants to my decor has breathed new life into my home. It feels fresher, more alive. And even if all the plants don’t make it, I am appreciating them right now, in this moment. They are teaching me not to worry about the future.
5. My running playlist.
For the fifth year in a row, I joined Moms on the Run this summer. I am actually coaching the fitness walkers on Saturday mornings, and running on Tuesday evenings. It’s not a lot of running, but I am moving, and that is a good thing. As the heat intensifies and our intervals get more challenging, I created a playlist to keep me going. It has been a good source of encouragement for me. Maybe it will be for you, too!
6. Reluctant trips to the pool.
There was a week in June that felt very frazzled, choppy, and disconnected. Monday through Thursday, I committed to too much, and it resulted in back and-forth driving. Four trips to the same place … What was I thinking when I signed up for all of this? I never had enough time to meal-plan, and I ended up doing 1/2 loads of laundry. By Friday, I felt so behind. I could have spent my Friday checking off a million tasks from my to-do list. Instead, my kids and I went to the pool. We floated down the lazy river, splashed, laughed, and enjoyed each other. The to-do list was still there when we got home, but that anxious, frazzled feeling was not. Sometimes, we need to put the work aside. We need to worry less. We need to remember our purpose is more about hearts and less about hustle. Sometimes, we just need a day to float and laugh.
7. A weekend of silence.
Every year, I attend a weekend silent retreat. I always look forward to the time away, the time with God. The silence helps me clear my mind, and my heart is able to listen. Resting in the Lord, I feel His presence and hear His whisper. I return home with renewed strength, increased peace, and a greater assurance of who God created me to be.
8. This podcast.
I just started listening to The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman. And I really like what she has to say. Her podcasts are short, but meaningful. She invites the soul to breath and encourages us to give ourselves a little grace as we contemplate the next right thing in our lives.
9. Fourth of July
Over the past several years, a July 4th tradition has unfolded. Most of our neighbors stay home, and even if all of us do our own thing—inviting friends or family to separate barbecue meals—we also sort of celebrate together. The property lines blur, the kids run back and forth, we walk up to the cul-de-sac where our friends host a porch bar with themed drinks. We end the day sitting on lawn chairs, watching amateur fireworks shows, while the kids run around with glow sticks. I love how traditions unfold and how our kids begin to claim them as their traditions, too.
10. Iced coffee.
It doesn’t have to be fancy, but I do enjoy iced coffee in the summer. Cold brew with a splash of heavy whipping cream is my favorite.
As we reach the halfway point of summer, what are some of your favorite things about the season?