“A life without love is like a year without summer.” — Swedish Proverb
Every season I look forward to the quarterly practice of paying attention with Emily, who encourages us to notice and share what we learned. This rhythm of truly seeing the things I learn and learning from the things I see– it helps me to notice the gifts all around and to learn from my life. In the four (!) years I’ve been taking part, sharing what we learned has become a favorite thing.
What I Learned this Summer:
- David Letterman introduced himself to an audience and I’m still thinking about it. One night after we tucked the kids in, we watched a show called, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. David Letterman is the actual host of the show, but still he takes the stage, waves at the crowd and says– “Hi, I’m Dave.” Now maybe this isn’t all that uncommon, but it felt significant to me to hear someone like that introduce himself to a crowd, someone who has a universally recognized face (with or without the Saint Nick beard.) It made an impression on me and I still can’t put my finger on why. But I LOVE it when famous people introduce themselves as though they are not famous. It’s as though they recognize how normal they are– and we’re the ones who don’t see them as regular people. Perhaps they remember how small they truly are, and we simply, forget that.
- I found a new favorite podcast! Hashtag Authentic with Sara Tasker is a practical and lovely podcast for creatives. It’s packed with helpful info, and if you’re an anglophile like me– you’ll just enjoy listening to Sara and her guests.
- I finally found the dress. You know the one, that little dress that you can just throw on for a billion different occasions? I’ve been searching for a dress that would be a good capsule summer piece that I could wear with boots and a jacket in Autumn. But after three failed attempts, I found my dress soul mate– not in the arms of Stitchfix but with Elegantees. Elegantees offers great staple pieces, all ethically made in Nepal by women who are paid a fair, livable wage.
- I learned exactly what it means to be hands-free in Georgia. We have a new law, and there’s been a bit of controversy over it. Because of this I cannot leave the house without earbuds and it’s kind of been a good transition for me.
- I should not assume it isn’t helpful to someone else, just because it comes easy to me. I shared my own personal non-fancy method for meal planning this summer and can I tell you something? The entire time I was writing the post, I was trying to talk myself out of posting it. In my own head I felt as though my tips were so simple, so easy to put into practice– that you probably didn’t need them anyway. Once I hit publish, I actually heard from several people right away that needed the reminder I was offering, that needed the simplistic method I used. Of course they did. Because we all have different strengths and gifts and ideas. I need fresh inspiration from people who see things differently than I do; I’m sure you do too. We truly are better together. Like one of those last minute bring whatever you have and lay it out on the kitchen table, dinners.
What I Read this Summer:
The Secret Keeper. Kate Morton (5 stars. Because, lengthy Kate Morton books are my cup of chai.)
A Wrinkle in Time. Madeleine L’engle (Brace yourself. I had never read this before. I know. I’ll include the address of my middle school below so you can send them a letter. Because believe me, I wanted to.)
A Wind in the Door. Madeleine L’engle (I appreciate her non-fiction so much more now that I’ve read her fiction.)
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand. Helen Simonson (3 stars. I liked this quirky, unexpected book.)
The Lake House. Kate Morton (5 stars. Yep.)
Love & Gelato. Jenna Welch (4 stars. Such a sweet summer book.)
…and about a billion other books in process.
My Favorite Moments this Summer:
Standing at the beach with a long time best friend watching our passel of kids squeal and run in and out of the waves.
Surviving my first Whole30 and kinda loving it.
Collaborating with not one, but two members of my family. I was able to design a logo for my mom’s business, which was just fun and whimsical. Then my brother and I published a book together. We’ve been working on it for almost three years and we’re both completely pleased with how it turned out.
Our little family tubing slowly down the Toccoa River with my in-laws on our eleventh wedding anniversary. Blue Ridge has become one of our favorite special places to visit together.
Pool dates. Library Runs. Long mornings.
Summer wasn’t perfect and it wasn’t always what we might have wanted it to be– but as I look back over the last few months– there is nothing but a slow, smiling gratefulness that rises to the surface.