1. I’m really glad I have (mostly) taken the summer off from blogging. I feel like I’ve been better able to be present and enjoy the summer with my family, because all the pressure to document things or turn experiences into relevant posts for other people was completely removed.
Sometimes it’s nice to view life outside the lens of how you can write about it later.
And, interestingly, I’ve had time to thoughtfully develop some ideas to share later. Once the girls are back in school, I intend to get back to the 3-day-a-week posting schedule I like best.
2. On that note…MARGOT IS STARTING KINDERGARTEN. We went through Mila’s old school uniforms to see what fits her and, you guys, five-year-olds in tiny jumpers are theeee cutest.
While she is going to do so well and I am so excited for her, I also know this is a major shift for our family. It will take some adapting. I’m not sure I’m ready for what is coming.
3. If you follow me on Instagram, you know we tried new chore system for the summer. It’s pretty simple: Monday is chore day, and if we do all our chores we get to go out for ice cream. It was worked remarkably well. We’re staying on top of house-keeping while leaving plenty of time open for summer adventures.
(Major props to Kendra of The Lazy Genius Podcast for the framework. All I did was add ice cream, because that makes everything better.)
I really want to modify it for the school year, since it’s been more effective than any other chore chart type thing I’ve ever tried. My current thinking is this: everyone has a list of chores to do each week, and they must get done at some point during the week. Anyone whose chores have been completed by Saturday night—and who has done their homework and any other daily practicing all week—will get to go out for ice cream the next Monday.
I’m not sure how effective it will be but it’s worth a shot. Especially since I’d be really sad to give up our Monday night ice cream outings.
4. Church is hard sometimes. On weeks when it’s not my favorite, I make sure to find an hour to listen to The Bible Binge. Knox and Jamie are delightful: sometimes I have to rewind an episode because I’m laughing so stinking hard I missed the next thing, and other times I have to rewind because they share insights about scripture that I hadn’t considered before and I need a second listen. It’s not reverent but it’s definitely thoughtful. Definitely check that out if Bible stories are your jam.
(If it’s not, their other podcast The Popcast is also excellent and a lot…fluffier.)
5. I’ve been thinking a lot about boundaries + obligations, and how you set appropriate boundaries while still meeting certain obligations. Like, how do you determine what you’re actually obligated to do? If it’s not clearly communicated + agreed upon, does the obligation exist? Can it just be implied? How do you maintain healthy boundaries if obligations are only implied? Can you have healthy boundaries if they aren’t clearly communicated?
Mostly I’m trying to figure out how to be a good family member + friend + citizen without sacrificing my own + my family’s well-being. I want to have realistic expectations, and I want to help others have realistic expectations of me, and that’s a difficult, ongoing endeavor.
And if that all sounds super vague it’s because there aren’t specifics. It’s just something I want to pay attention to as our schedule becomes fuller and our children become more independent + opinionated.
6. If you need a playlist to clean your house to, might I suggest my (ever-growing) Spotify playlist “Sunny Days”? It may never be finished and perfect. I love it anyway. I am also accepting suggestions of happy songs you think would be good additions.
7. I have really enjoyed The Nester’s Cozy Minimalist seasonal home courses. I bought the full set back in fall and wait eagerly for each new season. Of course, since our summer technically starts around late April and lasts till late September, and since most of the plants outside want to murder me, I’ve had to adapt some things. But on the whole, her suggestions have been so useful, if for no other reason than to help adjust my mindset.
Don’t you love when someone puts into words things you sort of knew but didn’t know how to articulate or put into practice? That’s what these courses have been for me.
8. The thing I’m most looking forward to when the weather cools off? COOKING ALL THE THINGS. Between Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat and The Food Lab cookbook, I’m itching to spend some serious time in the kitchen. Even when the oven’s off, though, it’s the hottest room in the house. No thank you please. But come October, there will be much braising + baking. Consider yourselves invited for dinner.
9. I know it’s premature, but I’m planning an epic family road trip for when Mila is in 4th grade. Did you know 4th graders get free passes to national parks? That’s only a couple years away for us so, being the nerdy planner person I am, I’m already doing some research.
Quite a few parks are only a few hours’ drive from us: the Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Zion, Petrified Forest, Saguaro… My goal over the next two years is to visit some of the close ones to practice road tripping, Junior Ranger-ing, and possibly camping (if I’m feeling extra brave) so we’ll be ready for at least one Grand National Park Adventure come 2020!
I know Brno, Czechia, is not on anyone’s travel radar, but it totally should be. It’s right between Prague + Vienna, it’s adorable + weird, and I reeeeally want to go back. To live. Forever. I’m not joking.
11. Following through + finishing projects is not my forte. There are like six different things I want to do, all in different phases of development, none remotely close to completion. How do you get good at that?
Does anyone want to be my project manager?
12. I am not going to tell you how many snickerdoodles I have eaten this week, nor will I tell you how many hours of Netflix my kids have watched, but those numbers are probably higher than you think they are. My capacity for baked goods is large. My capacity for being a lazy mom is larger. In my defense, next week will be jam-packed with non-television, non-unseasonable-baking activities.
And then school will start.
This summer has gone by so fast. This year is going by so fast.
Children get older and I’m getting older too and Stevie Nicks is now the soundtrack of my old lady life. It’s fine.
Here’s to getting old and writing more substantial posts soon!