Summer Benchmarks


It's always been strange to me that we live in a world that values busyness over self care. We boast about work hours, job accomplishments and GPAs only to ignore the fact that we are simply undernourished and exhausted.

For me, summertime is the best time to actually allow yourself to unplug. It's the perfect time to let your body wake up when it needs to, eat what you hunger for, and really get some good quality soul time in. It's a perfect time to reset your self care routine and start fresh. Take a vacation. Start an exercise program. Cook fresh foods. Read a new book. And, of course, sleep in until mid morning (or, as in the example above, very late morning).

For me, summer is about changing those benchmarks you have been trying to accomplish. It's not about hours worked or grades's about how you feel. Are you recharged? Rested? Refreshed? Do you feel healthy? Did you exercise you mind, body and soul today? These are my benchmarks of successful summer.

And by the looks of things, I think we are well on our way there!



A little look at our iPhone summer.

A little look at our iPhone summer.

Summertime in Charleston is full of beach days and pool time, flip flops and wet swimsuits, picnics and prosecco.

We don't always have the budget to travel to exotic locations every year or to go on exciting adventures every weekend. But we do have the budget to go to the beach for a few hours to ride the waves, search for sharks teeth (my new summer obsession) or watch a few sherbet-colored clouds float by the fading summer sky.

We get to dance for a little while longer under these lovely, lingering summer skies. And I plan on doing more of this. More meals by the sea. More days lived by the rhythm of the waves. More schedules set by sunrises and sunsets. And come August 15th, I will sigh a little more heavily as our once simple days wash out in the waves once more. 

Summer Daze.

surf's up

I am in a summer daze. A hazy, lazy summer daze. I can't shake it off. And I really don't want to. I want these lingering days to last forever. Beach picnics at sunset and surfing into the dark hours of the day. I want to stay inside these in between days of spring and summer where the sun is shining and the breeze is cool and all I do is buck the Rules of Life.

It's here I want to lay my head and rest a while. I want to float around and get comfortably lazy with our schedules and Lists of Things To Do. I want to smile into the setting sun and thank her for yet another glorious day of life and give gratitude for the things that make the rest of it a little more palatable.

So here I will stay for a while with arms outstretched into the blue skies, laughing into the ocean winds again. Here is where I will be until the Summer turns her prickly heat on me once again.

And just like that.....

File May 12, 11 33 56 AM.jpg

Summer is here. Just like that.

For us, it isn't marked on a calendar or a clock. It isn't measured by the moon or the sun or the tilt of the earth. It arrives the day we drop our schedules and routines for something looser and a little more free. It arrives on a Tuesday at 5:37PM, when we are tired of homework and supper routines and classes and deadlines. It happens when we throw caution to the wind and finally sigh under our breath, "Summer is here. It's finally here."

Welcome back, Summer. I can't wait to float around gently and purposeless in your wake.

Part of my reality

summer snapshot

It's funny to me how social media has changed our perspectives on reality. And I fall for it every time... "Why does their life look so amazing?" "Why am I not doing that?" "I need to step up my photography/life game." "They are SO lucky." Thoughts of an inadequate life rush into my head. Doubt begins to trump confidence and I stand on shaky ground.

Ironically, when I look back through my own Facebook photos and Instagram feed, I look like one of those people I seem to be wishing my life emulated. How can this be? What am I missing that I feel like my life doesn't look like this?

I think perhaps the reality of Life happens in between these delicious moments and take over the share of our brain. Laundry, grocery lists, and errands become front and center rather than these sweet spaces in between the shadows.

I know most of my life tends to look like a vacation according to Facebook. My Instagram account looks like a dream. And my Steller account make me appear to be the globe trotter I wish to become one day. But the reality is, that's only part of my reality. It just happens to be the parts I want to remember. I don't want my life to be a story of laundry and errands. I would much rather remember the lingering moments of joy that connect the rest.



Yesterday we went for a ride. It wasn't long. Or significant. It was just...different. We don't have a great neighborhood for biking and exploring. It's rather small and bordered by some busy streets which makes it hard for us to explore the rest of the surrounding areas. So I love getting out of here and doing something a little new. So yesterday, I decided we needed to ride bikes through the local county park for a change of scenery.

I haven't been doing nearly enough of this over the course of this summer...or even my life. And the older He gets, the more out of reach it all feels. But these days are fleeting. I have realized that more this summer than ever before. I can feel it coming like a summer storm over the horizon. He is getting older. Changing daily. He is becoming more and more weary of my company - as teenagers do. But I persist and demand...because I can. After all, this is part of the growing process, isn't it?

So while I struggled to push the pedals around on my rental with low tires, I watched him glide effortlessly in front of me, pointing to flora and fauna, asking questions, remarking on things, and speaking of things 13 year-old boys speak of. And I watched and listened and responded when I could. And struggled along behind, trying to keep up with him - as I feel will be the theme over the next 5 years. 

So now, the memory is there. It's permanent and locked away in my heart. Nothing can take it away. I may not remember the details surrounding it all. But I will remember the feeling I have today - happy I had a few more moments to steal. Happy to spend time with the one I love the most. Happy to be forever his momma - no matter what path life takes us down.


sandy feet

Summer is about sandy feet and naps on the beach. It's about long walks in the woods and long nights by the campfire. It's about sun and salt and sea air. Or fishing poles and lakeside docks. It's about kicking off those shoes and doing something different, breathing into the extra space of longer days and even longer nights.

It's summer. Live in it. Love in it. Just enjoy every bit of it.

Time for Summer

Time to sleep in and catch up. Time to stay up late and sleep in even later. Time to soak up the sunshine, let the wind blow our wild hair and smell the salty air for a few minutes more.

Time to read a book, eat some ice cream, watch a movie, and sleep in later than I should. Time for more sunsets on the beach with wine and warm water, laughter and love. Time for doing a little bit of nothing and a lot of everything.

Time for rest.

It's time for Summer.


Welcome Back Summer


There is that one day for me every year that it suddenly feels like summer. The weather is warmer. The days are longer. And everyone's mood is lighter by far.

The day isn't marked on a calendar. It isn't circled in red marker with a highlighter over the word "Summer!" It just has a feel - sort of like I have crossed some invisible threshold to a space that allows me to linger a little longer and relax a little more. A place where I don't have to rush or wake up early or set a rigid schedule.

A day where we can all just say for a moment "Welcome back summer. Let's linger a while."