As we start summer, I've been thinking about a lot of things. I've been feeling the pull to write again, and I think it's supposed to be here. I needed to step back and take a break for a while--I was getting focused on giveaways, and pageviews, and "monetizing" my blog, and was having a hard time getting back to writing in a way that felt meaningful to me. Then, when you add a kiddo who is a terrible sleeper into the mix, I just felt like I had to take some things off of my plate. And I'm glad that I did, but I have also missed writing. I have always felt like I am supposed to write--and I'm not sure exactly in what capacity, but this is enough for now. We still sometimes go back to my Letters to Lizzy to read about what she was doing at a particular age, and I do miss that for Becca.
Anyway, as we're settling into summer, I have some hopes:
-I hope to find a routine for our days that gives a good balance between doing what needs to be done. Cleaning, meal prep, laundry, exercise, tending the garden--those are things that just need to be done, mostly every day. But I don't want to spend *all* day doing them. I want to leave space for reading, playing in the backyard, and even letting my kids be bored. I don't want to be their cruise director, but I also want to be available just to read and play with them in activities that they initiate as well.
-I hope to continue to build self-care into that routine. I was blessed to be able to share part of my story at my Mom's Group retreat this year, and what it boils down to is that for me there is a list of specific things that I need to be doing on a regular basis in order to keep my anxiety at bay. For me, those things (exercise is one of the major ones, for me) need to be the priority, not the things that I do if I'm not too tired at the end of the day. Because the bottom line is that without that self-care piece, I can't live the life that I'm called to live. Right along with this, is also putting myself "out there" so to speak, and initiating visits and playdates with friends. I am *terrible* about this. Friends text me sometimes and ask if we want to meet at a park, or come over for lunch, and I'm always like, "YEAH! Absolutely!" and we go, and have a great time. But, I'm really bad about ever initiating things like that, because honestly, it almost never occurs to me. I'm just a huge introvert, and it isn't the first thing that comes to my mind when we have a free morning or afternoon. The reality, though, is that I need that time of fellowship with friends, and so do my kiddos, and I hope to be better about initiating it this summer.
-I want to spend a lot of time reading with the girls. I want to get back into the habit of going to library story time. I also hope to spend a lot of time swimming with them--whether it's in our little backyard pool, at our parents' larger pools, or at the river/lake.
-I hope that we can be better about carving out some intentional family time AND date nights for Justin and I. In looking at our calendar, almost every weekend is already booked through mid-July. We've committed to some worthy things, and I'm glad we committed to them, but we also need to carve out some down-time. Justin and I have a weekend planned to go away just the two of us, and it is *much* needed.
-Berry picking. Lots of berry picking.
There's more, but those are some of the major ones. Of course, I'm going to have a lot more imperfect days than perfect ones. And that's where this week's printable comes in:
I've seen this paraphrase of John 1:16 before, and I just really love it. I need the reminder this summer--there is grace, upon grace, upon grace both for me and for my kiddos. Every single day.
Here are the details:
-This is an 8x10 image. Click on the image above to go to Flickr, where you can download the above image and print it out as you wish. This is for personal use only, not for commercial use or sale.
-The flower graphic is a free graphic from We Lived Happily Ever After.