Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Happy Summer

Our fence is built and it is So Happy.  I knew that it would be a wonderful improvement to our home, but I didn't fully realize its positive impact until it was actually finished:

The dog can go outside whenever he wants off leash.  This means no more poop/urine in the house, which equals less stress and overall stink.  He also doesn't bark much at all because he has his own space to dominate and he can't see the "outside world."

Harriet can play and play and play with her wonderful new sand and water table, and when she gets tired of that she can draw on her new outdoor chalkboard.  And when she gets tired of that she can dig with her new kid-sized garden tools.  And when she gets tired of that she can push her baby in the baby stroller around the fence perimeter.  Get the picture?  She has hours of playtime waiting for her each day.  This results in longer nap times and less fuss at bed.  She is such a happy camper.

I can go out and hang up a load of laundry without being embarrassed about the poop stains on my cloth diapers that the sun will eventually bleach out.  I can putter around in my beautiful new garden beds with the baby plants and not be afraid of striking an unflattering gardening pose.  And I can do all of this without wondering where Harriet is and without constantly telling the dog to shut up.

So a big huge THANK YOU goes out to the in-laws and their willingness to come do this with us.  I don't think I'll ever be able to thank them enough.

Now that the fence is in place, I feel like summer has really begun.  During the fall and winter months (which generally equals lots of school and extra activities) I think, "Oh, I'll do [insert fun project] when it's summer."  I decided that I should make a list of all of the fun things I want to do this summer so I don't forget.  My first list looked good, but the more I considered it the more stressed out I felt.  Sew one "fun" item each week?  Read one non-fiction and one fiction book every two weeks?  Fill up the rest of the flower beds?

These ideas are all fine and good, and maybe if I were single without children or a job [think Amelia at sixteen] these plans would be feasible.  But right now, with the way life is, my summer was looking to be as busy and as stressful as the fall routine I was attempting to break from.  It's not going to be a relaxing, refreshing summer if I'm stressing about finishing a "fun" sewing project while ignoring Harriet's pleas to go "out-ide" and desperately trying to keep Edmund asleep for just a few more minutes.

Therefore, instead of making a list of summer goals, I have decided to simply label the next few months The Summer of Chill.  I know that these weeks of warm sunshine and swimming pools and summer reading programs and 4-H will get busy.  But I want my pervasive attitude to be one of calm...and not constantly looking for the next activity that will fill up my time and make me feel "productive."  I want to leave my calendar as open as possible, so that I can serve others without trying to find a spot to fit them in.  I just really want to chill.

So here's to a summer of hanging out in the backyard and going to summer reading program at the library...

...and reading fun books without a time crunch and drinking lots of iced coffee...

...and watching diapers get the poop stains bleached out and not worrying about the neighbors...

...and grilling and running through the sprinkler and watching the onions grow...

...and sewing when the mood strikes and helping the girls finish 4-H projects and running a couple of 5Ks reviving my spirit in the Word.

(And going to Florida in a month.  We mustn't forget that.)

What's on your summer agenda?