Tuesday, July 22, 2014

summertime, and the living is easy...

Just living is not enough, said the butterfly.
One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
~ Hans Christian Anderson

I'll be honest. My summer hasn't felt too summer-y to me this year. Much of my focus, time, and energies have been spent at doctor appointments, dealing with the stress of ongoing illness and injury, driving kids here and there, and adjusting to the dynamics and  needs of each of these children who are all living at home this summer. Preparing, within the next month, to also send Sam off for his two year church mission.

There's been a lot going on in my life and in our home. Days that have been hard, stressful, and disappointing. Through it all, I've felt strung out and stretched thin.

The summer that I had anticipated and planned for just didn't materialize. I longed for a vacation. I longed for relaxation and rejuvenation. I longed for carefree mornings and afternoons. I longed for healthy, whole bodies for me and my daughter. Days without the pressure of crossing off to-do lists.

As I'm starting to realize that there's really only one month left of summer before school and routine start up again, I'm kind of panicking with this tug of war between the pressures of the to-do list versus the desire and need for rejuvenation and ease. I'm trying to let go of some of my summertime expectations of the past and especially of the now, and just be able to find contentment and beauty in the moments that we have been able to experience this year.

What I've finally come to realize is that for me, summertime really is a state of mind. That for me to be truly happy and at peace, I must search for the the joys that already surround me. The simple pleasures of this season. The beauty in the quiet, everyday moments of my life. It's a conscious decision; one that I needs a mantra of sorts to remind, review, and repeat to myself to help me get through this next month:

I choose love.
I choose beauty.
I choose ease.
I choose joy.

P.S Jane and I secretly agree that our summertime will officially start when everyone heads back to school!

I'm posting these old photos more for my sake than anything. So good for me to see the fun and simple moments of those summer days we spent in years past....

Here are some things that make my summer soul sing:

paddle a canoe

play lawn games or night games with your friends

go barefoot

light sparklers when it gets dark

bring the flowers indoors and make beautiful arrangements to fill the house

go on bike rides

sit around a camp fire, sing songs, tell stories,
and make s'mores

eat corn on the cob

eat our meals outside

go to a cabin in the mountains, watch the clouds go by, and star gaze at night

enjoy a vegetable garden 

go to a lake or the seaside

pick some berries

go out for ice cream

have some fun and thrills at an amusement park

make a trip to the library and immerse yourself in a good book on a hot afternoon

enjoy the smell of a newly mowed lawn

explore nature and go on a hike

plant some geraniums, sit on the porch, and sip a cool glass of lemonade

Don't hurry, don't worry, you're only here for a short visit. 
So be sure to stop and smell the flowers.
~ Walter C. Hagen


  1. Sorry your summer has not been the one you anticipated. I love your mantra, and your images are just lovely. Hang in there.

  2. Ohh, you do have a busy household and agenda these days don't you. I think we put too much expectations on summertime. We have to take full advantage of the season and pack in every bit of enjoyment or else. Or else what, we lose out? We disappoint ourselves that we didn't fit it all in? Depends on how you look at it I guess. I put heavy expectations on summer, especially where I live when its only really sunny and warm 3 months of the year! Oh, but how I easily feel ripped off when I don' t make every minute count. Life happens, for everything there is a season. I too am learning to embrace and be ok with a season that gives me great stress because my kids are home and the oldest is babysitting, because I am watching summer pass me by in my view from the window at work. Sometimes it is what it is, I guess what I'm trying to say. I'm working on it too my friend. You know this better than I, I bet. Let's both embrace the present moments and do our best to enjoy them eh? Cheers!