Monday, May 21, 2012


Miss Meatball taking a dip in our makeshift swimming pool.  

It actually feels like summer has been here for awhile.  It is already so darn hot!  It feels like we skipped spring altogether, or had it back in February.  I didn't understand what people meant when they said "at least it's a dry heat" until we moved to the South.  If you have never experienced humidity, believe me.  It's brutal.  I would happily take a dry 95 degrees over a humid 82 degrees any day of the week.

With the arrival of summer, I still get that school's-out-let's-play feeling, even though 1.) I completed my degree 3 years ago 2.) The Buster and Miss Meatball still have awhile before they are big enough to go to school, and 3.) Summer doesn't really mean no school for Mr. O.  In spite of this, I find myself getting really excited for all of the possible fun to do summertime things.  As I'm gearing up to put together my summertime wish-list of things to do and places to visit, I've been thinking a lot about this series of posts from Design Mom.

Basically, they are a reminder to get out and to explore where you are living, finding fun things to do in your own backyard (granted, Design Mom's backyard is France and my back yard is the rural South, but still...). This is an idea that really resonates with me.  Maybe it is in part because more often than I like to admit, I don't love the place I live.  Because of Mr. O's schooling, where we live has a very temporary feeling to it.  This time next year, we will probably be neck-deep in moving boxes and gearing up for the next leg of our adventure. Sometimes it is really easy to fixate on that "next leg" before we get there.  The days when it is too hot to play outside, the kids are cranky, I am frustrated with our town's lack of bookstores and a restaurant that isn't Chick-Fil-A, or Mr. O needs the car yet again because there isn't any public transportation...those are the days that I find myself dreaming of a fully-funded doctoral program someplace perfect.  The problem with these daydreams is that they take the place of actually getting out and doing something. Comparison is the enemy of contentment, even if the comparison being made is between the present reality and unrealistic possibility.  For me, there is an active, decisive component to loving the place where I live.  And not just the geographical place, but the stage of life I'm in as well.  I'm talking embracing life as it is, right here and now (that's right, Mr. O,  I just went all existential).    

There are a lot of things that I want to do, and a lot of places I would love to see around the South.  I'm thinking some Civil War battle grounds, possibly the beach (I've never seen the Atlantic Ocean), and some big-city attractions as well as some local berry-picking, trips to the public library, and an unprecedented amount of popsicle-eating.  I'm feeling inspired by this chalkboard chalkboard checklist and this family list project, even though my list is more likely to land on the back of a used envelope.

What's on your list this summer?  Will you make a giant to-do list for the whole family?  Will your adventures focus on things close-to-home, or will you travel far away?  



  1. Oooh, I love reading your blog, Jen! Let's have lots of library time and playdates this summer!

  2. I pretty much just want to kiss those chubby cheeks of the bathing beauty.