Since we've lived here the summer has been something to endure. Eight years later and we've found so many things to love about living in the desert and continue to choose to stay here despite the hot, hot summers. And so I've decided to change my attitude about summer: I'm going to love it and not just endure it. Recently, Erica and I chatted about the concept of summer cozy and that perspective is helping.
Once I started looking for things to love about the summer I found many: Chris has a very relaxed schedule which slows the pace of life for our family (probably the best reason to love summer), swimming, summer recipes like chocolate cream pie and cooking on the grill, monsoon rain storms, Fourth of July and trips to the mountains to get out of the heat are a few.
Chris will give me updates like, "We're already 20% of the way through summer!" (we count end of summer at Halloween - which I know sounds crazy!) and so far I've stayed positive, even through temperatures above 115! We're still able to get a couple of hours of playing outside in the morning before the heat and blazing sun really get going and that helps. And the heat being "a dry heat" does make a difference; I'll take a dry heat at 105 over 95 and humid any day.
This month I have FOUR stints of solo parenting but I'm feeling pretty positive. The boys are becoming easier to manage on my own - the improved sleep definitely helps! - and I'm planning some outings like to the children's museum and maybe a new local Lego Land. The fact that these kinds of outings sound doable on my own and not completely overwhelming speaks volumes.
Big things happening in July:
+ Fourth of July! I'm starting to love this patriotic holiday. A great excuse to get together with friends and family, bake a pie, grill something and enjoy a day off work. We've also developed a family tradition of heading to our favorite The Coffee Shop when it opens, getting coffee and treats and wandering around the community gardens.
+ Lots of solo parenting. Chris will be out of town four times but at most for three nights at a time - I got this!
+ Deadlines at work. I have two big reports due at the end of the month and I'm also working on recording new podcasts about university research as part of my full time job. It's feeling really busy I'm taking it one day at a time.
+ Perfect grilled fish tacos. This is a summer-long goal of mine. I'm not a super confident griller (although I make killer grilled broccoli) and I'd like to build my grilling repertoire. Grilled fish tacos are the perfect summer meal and I'm off to a great start. Two weekends ago I marinated mahi mahi all day, grilled it and then served in in corn tortillas topped with TJ mango jicama slaw and a salsa-lime-Greek yogurt dressing - YUM. But I'd still like to make improvements - do you have a great recipe?
+ Make a killer key lime pie. Another summer-long cooking goal. Chris always tells me he doesn't like pie but then somehow manages to eat lots when I make one. Hmmmm.... Would love a recipe recommendation if you have one!
+ Meet our new neighbors. You know I love being neighborly! New neighbors moved in two houses down and I've been meaning to walk over with a loaf of bread from our neighborhood bakery and introduce my family.
+ Plan Dashiell's rooms update. This has been languishing on our to-do list for awhile. I take forever to make decisions and buy things! We want to add some art, a reading corner and clothes baskets to Dashiell's room. We kept it really simple when we moved him in and we'd love to give them room more personality.
+ Month-long spending freeze! A meal out here and there, new stamps for my Get To Work Book planner, new shoes for Dash...there's always something to buy. Chris and I are both committing to NOT buying anything extra this month. Oh man, wish us luck! And we'll definitely give updates on Matrimoney.
Recurring monthly goals:
+ Exercise three times per week. On Monday and Friday mornings I go to Orange Theory. Fitting in the third work out has been inconsistent but I'm still aiming to do it and have hopes of an early morning run once a week.
+ Publish to RISING*SHINING on Mondays and Wednesdays. Recently I've been able to get a couple of early weekend morning work sessions and get back into the blogging groove. It's a really happy place for me to be.
Happy July, happy Fourth of July and happy summer!