Thursday, July 31, 2014

Seven Summer Things

We have been traveling so much this summer, but we have also had a lot going on here at home. We have just been doing all the regular summer stuff and all those simple things are a big part of what make summer so much fun to me! So, today I wanted to highlight some of the every day things that have been happening around here.

1-Keeping up with Mark.  

Did I tell you that Mark has been in Santiago, Chile this summer for an internship?  He has been working for a law firm and he just got back yesterday.   It was so good to see him!  We have missed him, but he has had so many amazing experiences and has seen so many interesting things. I am really glad that he got to go!  Here is a picture of him in the Andes mountains.

We spent a long time last night looking at all his pictures and hearing all about what he did while he was there.  I am so proud of him.

2-Spending time outside.

I love to be outside.  I try to spend as much time as I can outside in the summer unless the heat and humidity are too high and then I just want to sit by the nearest air conditioner!

This summer I have been able to spend lots of time on my porch.  I hang out here almost every single day. And at night, Steve and I will get some ice cream or a drink and sit outside just catching up on our day.  This is definitely one of my favorite summer places!

3-Hanging out at the pool.  

Let me explain my love of the pool.  When I was really little, we didn't have a swimming pool in my neighborhood, but I still loved it so much.  I remember getting to go swimming at Henry Horton State Park in Nashville in that big Olympic size pool and thinking it was soooo much fun.  That is where I learned how to swim.  When our family went on vacation, my mom said that she and my dad could barely get the suitcases out of the car before my brothers and I would have our bathing suits on-- begging to go to the pool.

Sometimes in the summer, I would go stay with my grandparents for about a month up in the mountains of North Carolina.  Two of my aunts were still in high school at that time and they would babysit us during the day.  They had a pool nearby and I would wake up ready to go every day!  We would go in the mornings, eat our lunch there, and not come home until late in the afternoon.  That pool had a slide and a high dive that I must have jumped of off a hundred times!  I'm sure I drove them crazy with all the begging to go to the pool!

Then, when I got to be in junior high, my family moved to Charlotte and our neighborhood had a pool!  I was so happy!  This is where I would meet my friends every day during the summer for all kinds of fun.

We would play tennis, swim, get grilled burgers and fries from the snack bar, put tons of quarters into the jukebox to listen to our favorite songs, and go to pool parties on Friday nights.  I LIVED for the pool when I was that age.  My mom could get me to do ANYTHING for her if she bribed me with getting to go to the pool.  I could burn through a long list of chores if I knew that reward was waiting for me!

I continued my love relationship with the pool on into high school and college and once I had kids, we would go to the pool almost every day during the summer.

Now I get to do it with my grandkids!

I think it is a great way to teach kids to swim and also just a fun way to spend a summer day.  I love taking my headphones, a good book, and a drink and spend my day enjoying the sunshine outside!

3-Trying to stay healthy.

I love all the fresh fruit and vegetables that are in season right now.  Going to the Farmer's Market or produce stand is one of my favorite summer things.  We have been eating tons of salads, smoothies, and fresh veggies this summer.

On our way home from Portland, we had a layover in Phoenix, so we met Steve's sister there for lunch.  We ate at a restaurant called Chelsea's that had a really yummy recipe for kale/quinoa salad.  I fell in love with it and made it when I got home.  Here is the recipe if you are interested!

I  have also been walking as many days as I can.  I love walking early in the morning before it gets too hot.

I even did yoga one day with Lindy.  She watches the Do Yoga With Me channel on our Smart TV.

4-Reading lots of good books.  

I already told you how much I loved the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed.  But I have also read some other great books this summer.

I read Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist (one of my favorite authors and speakers!)

I loved both of these books!  Shauna Niequist is such a good writer.  I love her style and I can relate to so much of what she writes about.  Her dad is Bill Hybels, pastor of Willowcreek Church in Chicago.  She also speaks all over the country at various events.

I just finished The Mockingbird Next Door by Marja Mills.  This book was just okay to me.  It was about a reporter that developed a friendship with Harper Lee, the author of To Kill A Mockingbird.  Harper Lee was very reclusive after she became famous for her book.  Marja Mills, however, developed a friendship with her and earned her trust.  She even ended up moving into the house next door to her.  This book is the story of their friendship.  Even though some parts were interesting, I thought the book was a little too slow for me.

I have also read some professional books this summer.  My favorite was Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire by Rafe Esquith.  He is a wonderful teacher in inner city Los Angeles.  I love how he takes children in a Title One school and does amazing things with them--even teaches them Shakespeare.  Seriously.  Some people are just gifted teachers and he is definitely one of them.

I also got the DVD called The Hobart Shakespereans.  It is about the same teacher and it shows all the things he does in his classroom to help his students become all they can be.   So inspiring!  I gave it to Ashley to watch when I was done.  We can both relate since we have both taught in Title One schools.

I am now reading What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty.  I just started it, but I am excited to read it since I heard it was really good!

I am also determined to read the Bible through, so I have been making my way through the Old Testament.  It is so interesting to me.  I love history and the way the whole Old Testament points us to Jesus.

5-Catching up with friends.

I have been able to meet lots of my friends this summer for lunch or coffee or ice cream and it has been so much fun!  Almost every week I have had the opportunity to get together with someone I don't get to see very often and catch up on their lives.  I love doing that.  When I am teaching full time, it is so hard to get together with people because I am so busy.  I am thankful I have such sweet friends.  I love spending time with them.  My assistant, Lyndsey, and I have gotten together several times too.  I will miss her so much this year, but I know we will always be friends and hopefully she will be back at my school once she is a real teacher!

One night this week I took my sweet Brianna out to dinner for her 12th birthday.  I have loved her ever since the day I met her on her first day of third grade.  If you have been reading my blog long, you know how special she is to me.  I loved celebrating her birthday with her!

6-Watching The Good Wife.

I had planned on watching Grey's Anatomy this summer because Lyndsey loves it so much and all year she would tell me how I needed to start watching it.  But somehow, I got sucked into The Good Wife and I have almost gotten through Season One.  Yay for shows that aren't silly and that actually make you think.  I think The Good Wife has really interesting story lines and smart writing, not to mention good acting!  I usually watch one or two episodes at night if I don't have anything else going on.  Steve even watches it with me and he likes it too!

7-Spending time with three little cuties.

I am so thankful that I get to spend as much time as I do with these three little sweetie pies...

I know how fast the years fly by and I want to be as involved in their lives as I can.  I sure do love them!


  1. What a wonderful summer you are having! Love all your pictures!

  2. I love how you savor every moment of every day! Your blog remains one of my favorites. I have gotten slack this summer but hope to start doing better. We leave Saturday for a week at the beach so I should have lots of pictures to share! LOVE the old swimming pool pic and the story you told about your love of pools growing up!!!

  3. Sounds like how summers are meant to be! Glad that you are soaking it up! I am blessed reading about your life!:)

  4. i love this post! What a perfect summer! cute grandkids!!


Thank you so much for leaving me a comment! I love reading them all! :)