At the end of each month, I take stock of the previous month. What went well? What did I learn? What brought me a simple joy? These monthly reports are a way to encourage myself to take delight in the littlest of things. I find that Ten Things I Loved allows me to always see the silver lining, even when there are hard moments in a month. And taking joy in the simple things is paramount to how I want to live, making 10 things an invaluable tool for me. Here’s this month’s simple pleasures.
Things We/I Did
1. Bowling. We bowled a couple times this month and it is now one of Happy’s all time favorite things. What’s not to love when you are four years old? You get to throw a big heavy ball that makes epic noise while knocking things down. And it is all sanctioned. There is really nothing better in Happy’s world. And you know what? Give me some bumpers and I don’t just enjoy bowling, I am brilliant at it.
2. Stand Up Paddle Fitness. Our local YMCA offers a Stand Up Paddle Fitness class. Basically, you hop on a paddle board, vigorously paddle out to the middle of a lake for cardio and then when you get to the middle, you do strength training exercises on top of the board. Some you do while standing—like squats and calf raises- and some while laying down (bicycle crunches). Oh and there are plenty of push-ups and planks in the mix, too. I ended up in the drink the first night of class while plié squatting on my tip toes but have managed to stay on board since. It is a good hard workout at the end of the day that I am really enjoying.
3. Yogalosophy. Yogalosophy, written by Mandy Ingber, is an at home 28 day yoga guide. It shares a similar format with Beautiful You where there is an essay reflection at the beginning of each day and then she has a yoga/strength training lesson plan for you that day and usually a mind/spirit activity, too. I’ve been eager for a more regular yoga practice of late because the classes offered locally don’t really work with my family and work schedule so this has been a great solution. I do it in a looser fashion than Ingber expected (not daily), but I think the beauty of these kinds of books (including Beautiful You) is making them your own and so I do YL a few mornings a week.
4. Passion. Purpose. Plunge. Virtual Retreat launch. When I first announced the PPP retreats, I was instantly asked if I would be doing these virtually. I am a little intimidated by technology so I decided to launch the in-person retreats first and then figure out the technology to do them virtually. In late June, I announced the virtual PPP retreats with a plan of using July for piloting. The piloting went well (another awesome thing from this month: Learning how to use the magic of Skype!) and now the globe is the limit with the Passion. Purpose. Plunge retreats. In fact, I already have an international PPP planned (Guten Tag, Deustchland!). And before I forget, there is an introductory special for the virtual retreat that takes 27% off the price for those who pay their deposit by the end of the day on August 1st. Interested? Email me at rosiemolinary at gmail dot com and we’ll get things rolling.
5. Mommy Camp. During the summer, Happy does a few weekly day camps a month so I can still squeeze in some work time and then enjoy the afternoons with him (since I rely on preschool time to get my work done during the school year and though I don’t teach in the summer, teaching is really my smallest responsibility and the others don’t go away during the school year). It typically works out that he does three weeks of day camp in the month and then the fourth week is free. In June, we went to the beach , but this month we did our Mommy Camp which is where we sit down, make a list of fun things to do, and then try to do as many of them as possible. We had a great mommy camp week that included LOTS of pool time at the local town pool and a day at the amusement park. And ice cream. Because it is our favorite food. Good times.
6. Happy’s Camp Performances. So one of the fun things about Happy’s day camps is that if he does a theme camp (as opposed to the spend all day in the water day camp—he alternates between a theme and just regular ole’ day camp), there is a “performance” at the end of the week to demonstrate what they’ve learned. So far, we’ve been to a soccer scrimmage, baseball game, triathlon, and gymnastics performance. These performances fill me with so much happy but not for the reasons you would expect. I love when the kids stop in the middle of a game and chase a butterfly or walk off the field in the middle of the game to talk to their parents. It is just so sweet and unself-concious and real and it makes me happy..
7. Farmer’s Market Cooking with Nikki Moore of Food Love. I took this amazing cooking class mid-month with a friend who is an amazing chef and teacher We made Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho, Fried Green Tomato Salad with Buttermilk Dressing, Summer Vegetable Tart, Sweet Tea-brined Pork Tenderloin with Peach Salsa, and Individual Shortcakes with Mixed Berries and Freshly Whipped Cream. It was definitely the best meal I had this month, a lot of fun, and I was impressed with how much I learned. I will definitely be signing up to join Nikki again in the future.
8. Circle de Luz Board Retreat. Once a year, the Circle de Luz Board of Directors gather for a day long epic reflection and planning session. This year, we had a grant to hire a consultant, Charles Page of Cool Springs Center, to work with us and were able to take advantage of his conference space- which is a yurt! As always, I was blown away with the thoughtfulness and passion of this board. Working with them is such a pleasure and makes me even prouder of the work we do!
9. Baseball. We try to hit a local, very minor league game every summer. We did it on what turned out to be a very rainy night that had a comedy of errors quality to it and even though it didn’t turn out the way we pictured it, we all still had a lot of fun.
10. PicMonkey. I’ve wanted to create my own images/ graphics for the site for a long time but had no idea how. Then a few people recommended PicMonkey to me and I love it. I am also using MorgueFile for photos. Designing the images has added a fun creative layer to the blog process and helped me sharpen a few technology skills (which isn’t saying much).
What did you love this month?