Oh hey, guys. Long time no talk. Hope your April/May/June was filled with all sorts of awesomeness! ;) It’s been nothing short of crazy for both Paige and I these past few months. Both of us are chomping at the bit to get back to blogging on a regular basis but, you know, life happens. Thank you for your patience and for loving us anyway.
The other day it dawned on me that summer is here. I suppose the official date was actually last week, right?! Weather-wise, if May and June are any indication of how the the rest of the summer is going to pan out, it’s going to be very very hot in the Pacific Northwest. Anyway, as I was reflecting on the beginning of summer and reveling in all its potential and glory, I had a lightbulb moment…followed by a slight freak out.
Christmas is six months away.
SIX months, people. That’s July, August, September, October, November and December.
Now, I am one of those people that loves Christmas. I think I’ve mentioned before that I worked at Hallmark for several years. It was the first job I ever had and I loved every minute of it. There is just something really special about the holiday season when the stores start breaking out the Christmas stuff. To clarify, I’m not really talking about the early birds like Costco who start displaying Christmas trees in August, but more so that time in late October/early November, right after Halloween. I know there are some Thanksgiving purists out there who are probably shaking their fists at me right now (ahem, you know who you are). BUT, it is hard to deny that something in the air changes when the world switches into holiday mode.
Whew. Random tangent.
Anyway, why am I bringing this up now? You might (read: probably) be thinking: “Katie we have like six months, let me enjoy my summer! I don’t even want to THINK about the holidays!!”
That’s exactly it, though. Can you believe that we are already six months into 2016? I can’t!! I feel like the turn of the year just happened. I feel like I should still be working on my goals for January and February instead of looking at the end of my six month goal sheets and realizing that I am not nearly as far along as I wanted to be. Or, finding that a lot of my goals have changed since the beginning of the year.
Now more than ever, we should recognize that time is fleeting and take advantage of the moments we have ahead of us. Life isn’t going to slow down, no matter how badly you wish it would. It is so important to be intentional with the moments you do have so you feel like you are making the most of it. We must find the balance between what we have to do and what we want to do, especially for those of us who have kids.
The realization that Christmas is six months away should be considered a blessing, not something needing an eye roll or a freak out (like my natural inclination). Consider it a wake up call, if you will. Do me a favor and take a few seconds to think about how the first six months of this year been for you. Has it been good? Bad? Crazy? Busy? Slow? Intense? On par with what you were thinking? Now, think about what’s coming the next three months. June is just about over, and then we have July, August and September for the summer months. And then, of course, October, November and December. What is on your calendar? Reece and I have one huge 365-day calendar in our bedroom (which is also our office, coincidentally). This calendar gives a bird’s eye view what’s going on every day for the whole year. Each month gets it own line, so there are twelve lines total. It really puts things in perspective, because even though it seems like we have a lot of time between now and the end of the year, we can see that there are only six lines left before the end of December. Instead of focusing on the next six months and everything I have to do, and want to do, I decided to break up my thinking into three month chunks. This might help you as well, if you happen to get overwhelmed by the big picture sometimes (If this is you, holla! Let’s be friends).
Do you have a summer bucket list? This is something that I’ll see floating on Pinterest every once in while. I’ve always liked the idea of one but had never really put one together in the past because of my crazy busy season schedule with my old career (shout out to all the public accountants out there). Frankly, this summer is just as busy as when I was in busy season, if not more. Even though I’m not actually in an office working 80 hours a week, my office is in my bedroom and I am trying to fit in work where I can while simultaneously trying to entertain two toddlers who are constantly on the move.
When I think about these next three months of summer, I know they are going to be crazy and we have a ton of things planned. The last thing I want to do is to look up, realize it’s Christmas and be wondering to myself where the past six months had gone. I’m sure that the kids will find ways to be happy and to entertain themselves regardless of what we do the next few months, because they’re kids and they find joy in the little things (thank goodness). However, I am starting to recognize a habit with myself. If I am not intentional with my time and if I don’t make the effort to actually pay attention what’s going on my life and my family, I get overwhelmed and overtaken with less important stuff (like work). Then, I will take a breather a couple months later and feel sad that I missed some pretty special moments that I will never be able to get back.
And so, I decided to come up with a summer bucket list to keep my time intentional and to make sure we have a bit of fun this summer. Of course, because it’s me, it is way longer than it should be. I really am going to try hard to to make all of these things happen for our little family, though. Regardless, I just think it is important to really enjoy this summer while it lasts. It’s my first non-accounting, non-pregnant summer in two years, so I’d like to actually do some things I haven’t been able to in a while!! I thought I’d share my list with you, since I could use the extra accountability. Maybe it’ll also kickstart a few ideas for your own list!
Here we go:
Go on two hikes as a family. This one is half completed already, given that we went up to the Denny Creek Trail as a family a few weeks ago.
Visit the Woodland Park Zoo. We have gone to Point Defiance several times; however, I think the Woodland Park Zoo is a bit bigger and has several different exhibits that are not available at Point Defiance. I feel like the girls are old enough now that they would actually appreciate it.
Go outside on a day that I feel like staying in. As a stay-at-home mom it is super easy for me to try and distract my kids with activities inside because I just don’t really feel like dealing with the hassle of taking both of them outside. It is really easy for Reece to take them out but, for some reason, it is a lot harder for me to get motivated to do it. It might be because I’m always focused on making sure the girls are happy and comfortable, that they’ve been fed, whether I have any diapers to change (I usually do), and that no one eats anything they shouldn’t. I do like taking the girls to the playground at our neighborhood but M is really good at sneaking wood chips into her mouth and that totally stresses me out. I’ve actually completed this bucket list item already by joining the kids and Reece outside over the weekend and then taking Bernadette out by myself last night so she could play in the sprinkler one last time before bed. All the photos in this blog post are from their first time in the sprinklers this summer! This is going to be a recurring goal for me, I think.
Go on an adult-level hike with just Reece. A while ago we talked about our ideal date and, surprisingly, both of us had the same idea: going on a hike and then out to a brewery afterward. It sounds fabulous and so adult-like, so for our anniversary I think we’re going to make it happen. :) (HA, re-reading this makes me chuckle. That parent life, guys. It’s the real deal).
Wear a bathing suit without cringing. This is a big personal one for me. I have never been comfortable in a bathing suit and have always struggled with a positive body image (read one of my old posts about it HERE and HERE). I have been working on this a lot lately and while I have a long way to go, I am making it one of my goals to wear a bathing suit and not cringe when I look at myself in the mirror.
Read a book. I read Wild and Free a couple months ago and it was very refreshing to read something that wasn’t on a screen. It was thought provoking and not so intense that I had a hard time getting through it, which was nice. I would like to find another book that I can read for fun. Time is limited as it is, so I’m not exactly sure how I will find time for it but I really love the idea of getting up early and reading a little bit before the girls get up. I guess along the same lines, perhaps instead of reading a book I could focus on the Bible. While doing the prep for our Wild and Free Book Club earlier this month, I found such peace in reading the suggested Bible passages for each chapter. It helped me start my days on the right foot for sure. If you have any favorite Bible study courses please shoot them my way! I am not exactly sure where to start, but love the idea of a guided study.
Make a financial plan and stick with it. Our word for the year is simplify and while I have done anything but that with our schedule, we really been trying hard to do this with our finances. For these next six months reason we have been trying to come up with a plan that effectively consolidates our debt and sets us up for success in 2017. As a former accountant, you better believe I have Excel spreadsheets up the ying yang for this. We’re almost done with this one, probably one more weekend away from getting squared away.
Pick one project around the house and finish it. While I’d love to go all out and knock off ALL the dream house projects on my list (new carpets + kitchen remodel, anyone?), I would like to to pick one big project and actually complete it this summer. I think it’s going to be reorganizing our master bedroom, because right now it doesn’t feel quite like a relaxing place to sleep with all of our office stuff.
Go to the beach. There are lots of beaches in this area but the one beach that I am partial to is Grayland State Park near Ocean Shores. My family used to go there every summer for several years in a row and that place has such a special place in my heart. We took the girls there in February and had the best time. We even took our dog, Gus!! I would love for us to go when it’s a little bit nicer we can actually play in the water and the sand.
Go “camping” with the girls. Notice that camping is in quotation marks, because you don’t actually know how camping is going to go with two toddlers. We have friends that have a great property with a fire pit and have actually already invited ourselves over to have a little “camping” trip at their place in the middle of August. We have no idea how it’s going to go, so I will keep you posted. :) I’m sure there will be plenty of stories coming out of it.
Hopefully these bucket list items got your own creative juices flowing. We’d love to hear what your plans are, so please do share!!
Let’s make the most of the summer, friends.