Inspiring Stillness in the Everyday

A Slow Summer

Living in western Pennsylvania, the idea of elusive summer calls to me about 9 months out of the year. Our winters are long and cold and dark. I think about spring and the fleeting summer and short fall during those cold months. Despite my best to embrace the cozier cold season...I ache to feel the sun on my skin. When summer does finally arrive, I often feel like summer it disappears in a blink, much faster than I expected. So this year I decided to make a summer bucket list.

My hope was that a bucket list would help me to be intentional and get outside more so that by the time the weather cools, I've had my fill. Last summer specifically I was inside too much as I just found it overwhelming to spend my days outside with my then baby girl. I think one of the reasons I am usually not read for summer to be over  I've realized part of it is that once it's here I hide indoors! I picture lazy days outside soaking in the sunshine and playing with my kiddos outside, going on long walks, bike rides and jumping in the pool.  The reality? It hits 80+ and I'm seeking shelter inside of my house hiding from the heat. But, this year our ac isn't working so well, so besides a window unit in our bedroom at night- I'm letting myself feel summer. The hot, sticky thing it is. And to be honest, it is a nice change of pace. Our windows are wide open, I can breathe the fresh air, and a glass of lemonade is WAY better when you're actually hot and thirsty! Having the windows open and being an uncomfortable temperature reminds me of how most people in the world live and takes me back to my summer in Italy- a summer full of life and heat but not a single fan or AC unit to be found.

It's already July so this post is a bit late, but I'd encourage you to make a bucket list for the last month! Truly- it can be low key, but hopefully by the time fall comes, you fill like you got your fill of this season! My rule was that my list needed to be approachable, slower paced... feasible with littles. We currently have a 20 month old and a 4 year old! My list doesn't have anything truly EPIC on it (no bungee jumping here!) not even a family vacation. But, I'm having fun with it and it's helping me to be present and remember the fun things we can do! (That said- this was my attempt to embrace summer for what it is and not miss out on these months because we are hidden behind screens and seeking shelter indoors. Summer can be such a great season to slow down, have extra quality time with your kids and have a looser schedule and take a breather as a whole family. Dinners can be outside, kids can run outside and hosting gatherings can be more low key because everyone is outside! However, despite all that beautiful potential, in the tends to easily become too full and too busy with every camp, VBS and BBQ you can fit in. Over scheduling summer, in my opinion is the easiest way to miss a low key season meant for some refreshing time. If you find yourself overwhelmed by your schedule and the plans you have made...maybe scale back your next month...get sweaty, get your hands in the dirt, get outside and just enjoy the season for what it is. Our spring and summer have been more rainy than I've ever remembered, so taking advantage of the sunny breaks is even more important for us! We are half way through summer and I'm about half way through my list- but seriously- how have I not made popsicles yet?? Ok, enough said! Go enjoy your summer, list in mind ;)

My Summer Bucket List:

X Garden
X Picnic at park with kids
X Blueberry Picking (just did this today!)
X Host a Pool Party
X Lake in the evening 
X Watch the fireflies
X Make ice cream 
Ice block treasure hunt with kids
Make popsicles
Date night to winery
Water Gun Painting
Day at the lake with the kids
Day trips to hike or bike with kids
Watch the Stars with Dan after the kids go to bed

Here's to the rest of our summers!

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