Summer Days

Summer is here! Wednesday was the girls’ last day of school and I finished my job last week. Starting next week, we will be babysitting a neighbor for 4 weeks and possibly watching staff kids at church other weeks. At some point, there may be a foster child added to the mix. Yes, my summer is going to be filled with kids!

We have already been to get ice cream Wednesday and to the neighborhood pool twice yesterday. One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to head up to the pool in the evening for a little night swimming. It is cooler, and James can come with us. There is nothing like relaxing with a breeze!

While there is lots of craziness going on, and probably some adjusting, I may not be writing much between now and August 1. When I have updates or something to say, I will pop back in. For now I feel there are different areas that need my attention. It always feels strange to stop writing, but when it feels the strangest it means I am definitely doing the right thing.

Bring on the fun and the laughter. Bring on the sun and the exhaustion that inevitably comes with the heat. Bring on summer!

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Linking with Holley Gerth

Be all There

Here is a weekend challenge: Do something just for fun and be present.

Hike with your family or best friend. Go at the right pace for you and enjoy the nature around you.

Have a bonfire and roast marshmallows. Try rolling the marshmallows in my husband’s concoction of cinnamon, paprika, and chili powder before roasting. I promise it is good.

Host a tea party for your kids. Make sure to also serve scones or some other sweet treat.

Drink coffee. That’s it. No social media scrolling. No standing over the sink making breakfast while you drink it. Just enjoy the flavor and the feel of the warm mug.

When your child tries to tell you something that is important to them, really listen. (Unless it involves Minecraft. Then you have my permission to zone out.)

Meet with a friend for good conversation and some belly laughs.

Sit with a book and read until you decide to stop, unless you have small children who decide for you.

Walk around your favorite store with no intention of buying anything. Look and really see what is there with no agenda.

If you like house work, knock yourself out. Organize, purge, pull weeds, whatever makes you feel satisfied. Then come to my house!

Create something that isn’t for a specific purpose. Do it just for fun, even if you aren’t the best at it. Maybe especially if you aren’t the best at it.

When you take time for yourself, the stress of the world melts away and your priorities become clear. Take care of yourself, because this is the only body and mind you get.

I’ll go first.

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Linking with Holley Gerth

We Just Need to Smile

This has been the coldest winter I can remember in my 20 years in Georgia, and I know the rest of the country has been suffering. In honor of the fact that it is supposed to be Spring, here are a few jokes to make us all smile!

What flowers grow on faces? Tulips.

What do you get when you pour hot water down a rabbit hole? A hot cross bunny.

What did the dirt say to the rain? If this keeps up, my name will be mud!

Why do mother kangaroos hate rainy days? Because then the children have to play inside.

What did the fog say to the light rain after her vacation? I mist you.

What do you call a snowman with a six pack? An abdominal snowman.

Spring is here. I’m so excited, I wet my plants!

I hope Spring really arrives soon and we all start to thaw out. Even if it doesn’t, I hope these jokes made you smile more than groan!

 

Orlando….and Beyond!

Last week was Winter Break around here, so we headed farther south. About a billion other people joined us. Orlando seemed crazier than we had seen it in the past, especially for February. Also for the first time, we did no Disney!

The whole point of this trip was to get our little Harry Potter lovin’ girl to Universal Studios for the World of Harry Potter and some butter beer.¬† We made it there and had 4 other days to play. While the lines were long and the day was hot, Lauren loved it. Kaitlyn enjoyed it too.

Lauren’s favorite day may have been Universal, but her Daddy and sister loved the NASA Space Center visit. We drove out and spent most of the day checking out shuttles and learning about space exploration. We all agreed they look bigger in person.

The days in between were spent by the condo pool and a day at Cocoa Beach. I read a whole book, mostly in sunshine. We even ate dinner in front of a shark tank one night.

My favorite part of the whole trip was all of it. No, it wasn’t perfect or close to it. My favorite thing was just being together. When I said this, James said to the girls, “In case you didn’t know it, Mommy’s love language is quality time.” Oh they know it, as it is their love language too. Whether we were relaxing by the pool or playing putt putt or running around the parks, I just wanted to be together. I don’t know how long the girls will want to hang out with us. I don’t know the future and what will happen to us. All I know is I want these memories stored away.

Mission accomplished.

 

Linking with Holley Gerth

Embrace Not Being the Best

Growing up with a sister who is really artistic was not easy. When I couldn’t be as good as Elizabeth, I eventually gave up trying. Then there is my 11 year old daughter who has a natural ability as well. A friend once told Lauren, who was 4 years old, that she liked her chalk drawing. That child looked at my friend and said, “I’m an artiste.” Well, OK then. She was so humble! Seeing the creations Lauren makes has made me even more hesitant to draw anything. However, these days, I am giving up perfection and instead trying anyways.

Oh sure, I have several adult coloring books. You know what though? They tend to stress me out! All those small spaces and I have to decide what color to make them? Nope. I gave up on them. If something makes me MORE stressed at the end than at the beginning, it’s not for me.

So after finally deciding I don’t have to be good at drawing, I spent some of my Christmas money on a sketch pad, pencils, and a book* that teaches anyone to draw. I may not have natural talent, but that shouldn’t stop me from finding a way to be creative. No one wants perfection anyways, right? Since I always loved to draw horses as a child, that was my first attempt. I showed it to my husband and to Lauren and got a rather high pitched, “It’s good!” from both.

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The other day I did two drawings. The first one of a sailboat did not turn out the way I wanted. I blame the book for making it too difficult and putting too many lines in it. It crossed my mind to erase the whole thing, but I left it in the book. This is going to take time to get better. I am trying to be brave, but I am not brave enough to show it here!

Then I decided to draw the cute panda. It turned out decent. When my husband and younger daughter saw it, they both thought Lauren drew it. Now that is because it was from far away and because she is usually the one drawing, but I will take the compliment.

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Sitting with a cup of tea at the sunny kitchen table, listening to Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, I relaxed and focused on sketching. I wasn’t thinking about the future or worrying about whether or not the picture was good enough. Who cares? I was just having a fun time. Life can be fun.

*The book series I am loving is called Draw 50. There are tons of them, and the girls and I are hoping to get a few to share so we can have fun drawing together! You can find these books here.

When we don’t attempt something because we don’t think we will be good at it, we lose. When we quit something we love because we aren’t the best, we lose. Is there something you have been hesitant to try that you think you would like? Jump in and have fun!

 

Linking with Holley Gerth

 

How Often Do You Get Goofy?

If you are asking me this, the answer is frequently. Look, the world is sad and days are long, but life is too short to always be serious. If we can’t let loose occasionally, we are going to burn out.

My youngest daughter and I have had several chances to laugh until we cried recently. It felt so good to relax and not care what we looked and sounded like! I used a high pitched Mickey Mouse voice because it made us laugh every time. I face timed her from the next room and made faces at her. Neither of us could stop our laughter and we didn’t want to. Our days of school and work are long, and I feel the tension melt from my shoulders as I have a good belly laugh.

One of my coworkers is a fellow snorter. I got to hear her snort the other day and it made me laugh harder. We are moving around so much and tending to a group of kids all at once so having a kindred spirit to enjoy a joke with makes me forget the awkward conversation I may have had earlier in the day.

Don’t get me started about the content of my texts with my good friends! We love to laugh at each other’s lives and the crazy things our kids do and say. We try to find humor in the absurd that happens, and we still bring up memories from years past. Some nights we are just so tired that any chance of a filter is gone. Those are the great messages!

My favorite person in the world to be silly with is my husband. James and I are friends, which means I tell him everything he probably doesn’t want to know. We send each other texts that no one else would understand. Sarcasm is our love language some days. Other times, we sing at the top of our lungs or go back and forth making each other laugh harder. He helps me lighten up and see that everything will work out.

As the great Dr. Seuss said, “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” Don’t let these moments pass you by in silence for fear of being judged. Laugh. Snort. Make silly faces. Sing off key. Speak with an accent. Pretend you’re a pirate for an hour. Tell a joke a 4 year old would love and own it. Two words: tickle fight. Run in the rain.¬†Make up a dance on the spot.

If you need more ideas, you are on your own. You are only limited by how willing you are to look silly and have fun!

Linking with Holley Gerth