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. A Lovely Birthday Celebration. The month started with a lovely celebration of my mother-in-law’s birthday. Several family members partnered together to host a birthday luncheon that was just delightful– a wonderful reason and person to celebrate, a delicious meal (we did a salad luncheon featuring six different salads) and such cool women with whom to celebrate. We live in a great little town with some incredible people, and it was a delight to just sit and bask in good company and conversation while celebrating a woman we all love.
2. Dinner Help. Speaking of our cool town and the great women in it, two local women have partnered together to create a dinner business. Every week, they send out a menu of some dinner options, you place your order, and then you pick up your delicious home cooked meals on Thursday. We’ve also tried some Mod Paleo meals which were equally delicious. Having a little bit of dinner help let the three of us play together some nights before dinner which was a nice way for all of us to soak up the last bit of summer.
3. Night Swimming. Well, not entirely but when you have a four year old (now a 5 year old!), night swimming is swimming at 5:30 pm, right? A few nights a week, we took advantage of the fact that we had a few healthy prepared meals in the refrigerator and headed to the swimming hole for an early evening cool down.
4. Be Unbridled and Right in the Middle. Lots of events this month which was really fun. Two extra special ones were Be Unbridled– an equine facilitated learning sampler we did out at Triple Play Farm (I got so absorbed in it that I totally forgot to take pictures!) and Right in the Middle, the mother-daughter conference that I am honored to host with Michelle Icard. So amazing to be with big-hearted women (and, in the case of RITM, their daughters) looking at ways to be intentional and whole.
5. Big Boy Room. Happy was at the point where he couldn’t grow one more inch and still fit in this toddler bed so we got to work putting together a big boy room for him. A simple new bed, lovely bedding featuring giraffes, elephants, and zebras, a brown leather chair from another place in the house to replace his dilapidated and broken glider, new grey walls, and some awesome hand-crafted masks we found on Land of Nod (see above) are in place. Now, we need to refinish a lovely dresser from BF’s grandmother, find a rug and curtains and Operation Big Boy room will be complete.
6. Running with TED. Listening to music while running was getting a little old so I decided to start listening to TED talks for part of each run, too. Best idea ever. My favorite running companion so far? Andrew Solomon’s Love, No Matter What talk. I actually had to hit pause, finish my run, and listen to the end at home because I knew that I was going to weep at the end. A gorgeous testimony to loving a child.
7. Celebrating Happy. The littlest kid turned five. How did that happen? We made the most of celebrating our sweet boy in many different iterations as the month drew to a close. And there were many musical cards to be had because, really, what is better than a card that beat boxes for a 5th birthday?
8. A spontaneous trip to the beach. A friend offered us use of his beach condo, and we went for it. It was a great time– visiting a South Carolina beach with lots of character and things to do. We enjoyed the Lazy River, hot tub, pool, and ocean during the day and then mini-golfed or cruised (by foot) the pavilion at night for the old time carnival experience.
Things I Saw or Read
9. The Way Way Back Such a good movie. Here’s the trailer. Now, take yourself to the theatre.
10. Letters from Skye And such a good book. It’s an epistolary novel, one of my favorite forms, and such a wonderful story. You’ll get all invested and stay up late trying to find out what happens.
What did you love this month?