old-fashioned summer

photo credit: rachel wolf :: clean

Dear lovely friends,

I've been intending to share this with you since the start of summer, but posting lately has been difficult for me.  Still, there are a few more weeks of summer vacation, and the last few weeks before school starts always feel bittersweet.  It's a time to sneak in those last summer-vacation activities... another visit to the beach... a few more art projects... and making popsicles.

The inspiring list below was composed and featured in a blog post by Rachel Wolf.  Rachel is the owner of LuSa Organics (we swear by her essential oil Sleeping Potion blend).  To see Rachel's original post, you can click HERE.


1. Slow down.
There's no hurry to get anywhere, so let's savor where we are. You only have one chance at this day, this season, this relationship, this childhood.

2. Under-schedule.
Less on your calender means more space for the people you love. If your kids are accustom to a pretty full plate it might take them a bit to adjust. But when they do a whole world of possibilities will open up before them.

3. Make space for simple play.
I can't say enough about the magic that this brings.

4. Invite friends over for a picnic.
And don't clean first. Spread an old blanket on the grass and dig in. Memorable, real, and unplugged in the best way.

5. Have a campfire.
If only because it's high time you teach your kids what "I hate white rabbits" means. (Or as my kids say it (between coughs), "I don't like white bunnies!")

6. Build a quick and easy backyard fort.
It'll take you ten minutes and keep your kids entertained for the summer. No Pinterest perfection required. Just a bedsheet and some rope. Boom.

7. Make a habit of saying "yes".
Can we go swimming? Can we have dessert? Will you read me a book? Embrace the yes and see where it takes you.

8. Stay up late chasing fireflies.
Because what could be better?
And besides. Bedtime is over-rated. (Just ask your kids.)

9. Blow some epic bubbles.
I mean honestly. How could you not? These bubbles will captivate everyone, young and old.

10. Go swimming in a lake.
Or the ocean. Or a creek. But get your feet wet in nature. And if the water is cold I double dare you to dunk!

11. Sleep out in your backyard.
With or without a tent. Under the moon and stars, just you and your family. Summer was made for this.
If you want to take the sleep out even further, plan a road trip to a National Park. Because the Parks somehow feel like everyone's backyard.

12. Explore without agenda.
Your block, a city, the forest, your home state. Make an adventure of it. On bike, on foot, by car, or by train, get out there and find new places to love.

13. Listen to your children's stories.
As Catherine Wallace brilliantly put it, “Listen earnestly to anything [your children] want to tell you, no matter what. If you don't listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won't tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.”
Don't wait. Start today.

14. Have less rules.
The world is safer now than it has ever been. Safer than when I zipped down the driveway with no helmet and was told to "be home before dark". Children learn best through freedom, and we adults thrive with less "should" and more "want to" in each day.

15. Churn some ice cream.
Tonight, tomorrow, everyday. Always churn ice cream. It's one of summer's simple pleasures.

16. Go outside and play.
Games without rules, just you and your kids. Sword-fight with pool noodles or toss the softball, grab your rollerblades or find that dusty bucket of sidewalk chalk.
Play feeds our souls. Especially when we do it together.
And remember, we deeply need nature. Let yourself go into the calm bliss of biofilia. It will heal you in so many ways.

So often "joy" takes the backseat. Work? Yes. Commitment? Always. Responsibility? Bring it!
But joy? Oh. We forgot about joy.
Joy fills us in ways that nothing else can. Put it first this summer.

18. Dance in the rain.
Barefoot. With your kids or alone. It can't help but transform you. Note: dancing in the rain will cause epic laughter as well (which spins it's own healing magic).

19. Make some play dough.
Because you might not want to dance in every rain storm this summer. Play dough will fill the leftover rainy days quite nicely.

20. Do something you've never done before.
Dye your hair pink, head out without a plan or a map, or cook some Thai food. Surprise yourself and find joy in the unexpected.

21. Get gloriously, unapologetically dirty.
When was the last time you made mud pies or jumped in puddles? Feel this summer in every possible way. In the garden, the woods, or the river, be in it. Without hesitation.
As an added bonus, getting dirty builds healthy immunity. Who knew?

22. Fear not the unscheduled days.
For they are the most delicious days of all.

23. Unplug.
For an hour, a day, or a whole juicy week. Unplug.
Make eye contact with your loved ones. Play board games. Bake cupcakes. Tell stories.
And do it all without the distraction of technology. You'll leave your media fast feeling open, free, and deeply grounded.
No, technology isn't bad, but a break now and then can be a wonderful thing.

24. Fall in love with simple pleasures.
Because an old-fashioned summer is really about a return to simple. Simple priorities, simply joys, simple pleasures.
A meal on the porch, a bowl of hand-churned ice cream, a walk at sunset.
Make these your priorities this season.

25. And be nowhere else but here.
Because - honestly - where could be better than this?
This life of yours is more than enough.

For more thoughts about summer, this blog post HERE and this blog post HERE are really great. Both posts were featured over at Scary Mommy.

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