When You Have to Play it Fast & Loose with the Definition Of “Summer Fun”

I haven’t spoken about it a whole lot, but our family has been in somewhat of a stressful season. The details aren’t important (or rather, they are, but it’s just not the time or place to do a deep dive) so my husband and I have made the intentional decision to deem this our Summer Of Fun. Because sometimes the best thing you can do is nothing, except change your perspective about things.

SO, Summer of Fun, here we come!

Sounds amazing, right?

Don’t we sound like such cool, carefree parents? (Don’t answer that. It was rhetorical.)

Well I should tell you that it’s our first official day of Summer break over here, and if I’m being honest we’re already playing it fast and loose with our definition of “fun”. If you count getting woken up by an early-riser (why, God?), putting out a fight over who gets the last bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats, answering 47 questions about the plan for the day in a way that does not dash all hope but also can’t later be misconstrued as “you promised!”, and paying bills all before 9:30 am as “fun”, then YES, we are having so much fun already.

The thing is, we did deem this the Summer of Fun, but we don’t exactly have a mile-long list of riveting activities to keep the children entertained for the next 85 days. (I like to call them “the children” every now and then, because it makes me feel fancy.)

Other than a couple trips to the beach, a camping trip with friends (in a trailer, because air-conditioning and coffee pots), and the annual road trip that Amber and I take with our kids, we don’t have much on the calendar.

And you know what?

THAT is fun.

The lure of freedom and all the possibility it represents is the most thrilling thing in the world to me right now.

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For us, The Summer of Fun is mostly about choosing to consciously find and appreciate the fun in regular-life moments. There will be lots of swimming and Popsicles, outdoor movies and late bedtimes, family game-nights and spontaneous picnics in the park.

I guess what I mean is that we will not be standing on our heads and dancing like monkeys in an effort to keep the kids happy. 

Because everyone knows that ‘keeping the kids happy’ is the biggest booby-trap in the entire world. They would ride that wave until we are fully capsized on the Sea Of Parents-Who-Died-Trying.

Am I making our kids sound beastly? They aren’t. They’re actually two of my favorite humans. It’s just that it’s Day 1 and I haven’t quite decompressed yet. I haven’t even made it out of my favorite sweatpants yet, which, now that I think about it, does technically count as fun in my book. I do love my “house pants”, as Nate calls them.

See? This is the beauty of the Summer of Fun! It’s whatever you want it to be!

Do you want to plan trips and make charts and fill the calendar up with all manner of “activities”? Yay! Go you! Do you want to shuffle around the house in your stretchy pants, reheating your coffee and letting the kids watch cartoons until 10am? Rock n roll! That counts too!

Guys, we are the parents, which means we are the boss, which means we get to choose!

Liberty is ours!

Sorry, I just get really excitable on days when I don’t have to go places and do stuff.

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One of the ways we are cultivating fun is by intentionally creating space for it to happen spontaneously. For us that means less to-do lists and more free time. It means less glancing at the clock and more watching the sun set from the back porch. It means fewer rushed dinner-hours and early bedtimes and more snuggling on the couch with popcorn and a movie.

It means that for a season we will be saying Yes to carving out time to rest instead of saying Yes to more busyness.

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For me, this means allowing myself to recharge my batteries with writing as well.

Don’t worry, I’ll still be here, writing all about our wins and fails as we gamely attempt a Summer of Fun. I’m just creating a little more space around it for myself. A little room to fill up my tank. To read books and try new recipes and have leisurely conversations with the people I love. To get inspired, to turn dreams into plans, and to actually get to work on those plans. To cultivate new relationships and pour into old ones. To host dinner parties, and coffee dates, and reacquaint myself with the joy of hospitality.

I just need a little bit of extra time and space to do so. In other words, I need to have an actual life to write about.

The good news is, I have a plan.

For once, I have a plan! 

Sorry, that felt worth saying twice.

I’m super excited because one of the ways I’ll be offering up words this summer is through a whole new avenue.

You guys might remember last month when I was a guest on the Mom Wants More Podcast with my friend Alana? (You can click the photo to listen in case you missed it!)

We talked all about how motherhood is not your only thing, how you’re creativity and your passions are so intimately linked with the dreams tucked away in your heart, and how we firmly believe that you should pursue those things with boldness and joy in the middle of your right now life.

WELL.

We had so much fun, we decided that one conversation just isn’t enough. And then we decided that two conversations probably wasn’t enough either… and basically this is my weird way of telling you that I’m going to be cohosting the podcast for the summer!

Yahoo! To borrow a quote from my girl, Kristin Wiig, “I’m just gonna dance til my feet turn into baked potatoes.”

Can you guys tell that I’m having trouble controlling the volume and pitch of my voice? Because I am.

I’m so thrilled to be joining Alana for this season, and who knows, maybe it will turn into a long term thing.

I’ll be sharing our episodes with you whenever they release, but I fully recommend heading over to iTunes and subscribing so you don’t miss out on any of the fun!

You can listen to our most recent episode from this week, HERE.

In this episode Alana and I discuss what some the benefits of pursuing your passions in the middle of motherhood actually are- both for us as the mom and for our kiddos as well. How it teaches us to push past our comfort zones, to be resilient and not take ourselves or our art too seriously, to risk, play, and embrace the adventure, and also how it teaches us to partner with God in all of it.

I hope you go listen! This really is a passion project for me. For us.

In the meantime, here’s to the Summer of Fun and being the boss of our own schedules!

Because you know, life & liberty & the pursuit of happiness and all that. 

*this post was sent from my computer and my heart*

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