(early morning sunshine making shadows = noticing what was there all along. I love summer and the time off because I really like light and sunshine and shadowed hearts on the walls)
Today was our first official day of summer vacation. (school got out on Friday, June 10th) My car was in the shop for a tune up so car less we walked to our town library. It was a cool, only 70 degree day with zero humidity. It was wonderful. I loved strolling there with my girls. And our walk and our no car day made me think. Really think about how I want to 'do' our summer.
(except for our 20th Anniversary trip) We are going to have a low-key summer. I've set some rules for myself that help me as the Mom home with my girls all summer (which I love).
Summer is sooo good. I love that the schedule has loosened up. There is less on our calendar. And the long days and longer evenings with no homework is just what my little family needs. But sometimes all that down time can create a need for a bit of structure. So I've come up with some rules for myself for this summer. Always changing and always adjusting as I go. For now...
~ Food: planning meals, writing lists of ingredients, putting away groceries, cooking meals, cleaning meals up, and starting all over again is my priority. (Scott loves food shopping and does all of it... I know, lucky) I do all that other stuff I just listed. If I don't plan out our dinners, snacks, lunches there is a panic in the late afternoon. When dinner is on time our family runs better. Period. Sure, it takes a boat load of time (especially the planning and the cooking) but good, healthy food on the table every day is my priority this summer. (we don't eat out. ever) (and yes, that fact has me worried about travel this summer)
~ Simplify, simplify, simplfy around the house. : I don't need to get to every dreamy house project that is swarming around in my head. Yes, I want to redo a wall in our upstairs hallway. But that involves painting a mat for the frame to match the oil painting my Dad did. It involves embroidery or cross stitching something, or looking for / shopping for one more piece that would tie the wall I see in my head together. But that doesn't all have to happen this summer. (and remember how many house projects we HAVE DONE over this past school year)
My priority is my children. Being with them. Not hurried, not frazzled. And in order to be that calm mama I can be, I need order in my home. Neatness counts. I need to stick to my very simple cleaning schedule and not let housework pile up. Just a little a day makes a big difference. Keeping the kitchen counters clear makes my head feel clear. No dishes drying, no papers, nothing. The emptier, the better for me.
This summer I'm keeping the playing simple. One thing out from our "feels like new" closet, one thing in. One huge set up in the playroom out at a time (not counting the always out toys like the kitchen). Toys organized and art supplies in a special drawer and cabinet.
A less cluttered house lends itself to a less cluttered summer afternoon. Like this afternoon when were all sprawled out on the couch reading together.
~ Calendar: Check it and stop and really think before saying yes to anyone or anything. Even a simple dinner with friends or family might be too much in a given week. Yes, I'm extreme in the summer at guarding our time but I don't care. I need to do what is best for us.
~ Shows, Movies, Screen Time: (please know that I have absolutely no judgement on different views here. I just know what is best for my head... and there is nothing wrong with screen time... I am in the 'waaaay extreme' here... I know)
Little or none for me this summer. I plan on keeping my blog up because I don't want to forget our memories but that 's it for me. No pinterest, only visiting the blogs of good friends, etc. I don't need my head filled with "wow! I should do that" I don't want any other projects other than the ones I already have swimming in my head. Very little screen time for the girls. And by very little I mean none except for the 10 hours on our plane trip. (thank you Grandma Bee for the kindles for the plane ride) And they use their Kindle Fires for practicing viola and Abigail Irish Dance. Other than that I want their head in books (with paper pages) this summer.
A few other little things I want to remember:
~ get up at 5:00 to work out and have Bible time and head clearing time (I am in the extreme zone here as well and am very much a morning person ... a really really early morning person)
~ put on a cute outfit every day.
~ paint my nails. just a bottle of pink polish opening makes me feel better
~ read every day on the couch with the girls
~ laugh every day with Scott
~ play all of our board games
~ keep their toys and art supplies accessible, organized, inviting
~ keep the house welcoming for the 4 of us when we get home from any errand or the pool or even just a walk
~ a walk around the neighborhood together instantly makes the day better
~ pack up for the pool the night before (with the girls help) and go A LOT. summer sunshine, sunscreen and splashing is childhood. (even when you don't feel like going, go!)
~ keep photos organized and not sitting around on the 'chips'
~ doing all this is really about not doing. doing all this makes our home a place that the girls can relax in. relax their bodies, their minds, their hearts.