Memorial Day might as well be my New Years! The unofficial kick off to summer makes me want to do alllll the things. I can see alllll the potential!
I like goals, lists & resolutions and I’m eager to set them each January 1, but the reason I truly believe I don’t succeed is because the reality of winter in the Midwest smothers me right after I’ve just set all of my aspirational and life-changing goals.
The debilitating somewhere-below-zero cold settles in, the number of daylight hours dwindle. If my motivation had a sound, it would be a bit like my car’s frozen engine trying to come to life when the wind chill is 20 below.
You tell me which is more inspiring? The blizzard on the left in January or the Flamingo pool float in June?
I’ll give you a minute to decide.
Yeah, I thought we’d agree.
When the winter settles in, that wistful January 1st idea of training to run a 5K is replaced with a bottle of Cabernet as I change into my velour track suit.
Yes, I have two track suits. It’s true. One is a very classy purple and the other a classic navy) and settle on the couch under a thick quilt and binge another Netflix series.
My goal to “eat the rainbow” of fruits and vegetables is an exercise in futility. Not only are fresh fruits out of season, but they are insanely expensive. Aspirations of dieting are gone and instead I am cooking a hearty comfort food meal, which usually includes a base of pasta with a side of another carb.
My food choices are subliminally survival-minded, because I sure as heck don’t want to get stranded in a blizzard with a lettuce salad. Give me that lasagna and garlic toast thank-you-very-much; that will tide me over until the blizzard is done blowing.
All I’m saying is that for as much potential as the new year holds when the calendar gets flipped to January 1, the reality is that the timing just isn’t great.
Best intentions and motivation are better suited for summer days.
Sweet Summer Resolutions
Memorial Day… now SHE holds all of the promise.
Suddenly goals seem a little more reachable.
Maybe it’s the rebirth of all of the things out in the yard or perhaps it is the blooming of new flowers.
Perhaps it’s the seeds scattered in the garden that pop up seemingly overnight or the flowers that literally grow before your eyes.
Maybe it’s the sun’s rays warming my skin that inspires me to make a little more of my day or maybe it’s just the simple flip of the calendar to summer that invokes a certain nostalgia from childhood where the months held all the opportunity because the days seemed endless.
Whatever it is Memorial Day is the perfect time to make all of the goals, lists and resolutions.
Some people make summer bucket lists, but today I’m sharing some of my resolutions.
Recreation | Move more
The puppers love an easy 1.5 miles of sniffing and marking the trail, but what I need to do is continue to go back out on my own for a good sweat.
My goal is 20 miles per week of dedicated walking (meaning I won’t count casual steps from grocery shopping, errands, yard work, etc).
I don’t like wearing a Fitbit and setting a “step per day” goal, so I’m setting an overall weekly goal. I’m going to knock it out of the park because I won’t have to do it on a treadmill; I love walking the neighborhood or taking the path around the lake.
Oh, and I should tune up my bike too! I bought a new one a couple of years ago and it hangs from the garage ceiling.
Lastly, I plan to shave 5 strokes off of my golf game. I play in a league every Wednesday night and I am a perfectly below-average player. Time to step it up!
Summer is always when I want to pick up a good book and read! With the longer days, the extra light outside is perfect for reading on the patio.
Somehow reading a good book under the twinkling patio lights is more romantic than reading in bed as the wind and snow howl outside.
I’m not a super-avid reader, so my summer list includes recommendations I took directly from Reese’s Book Club and Everyday Reading. A couple are also recommendations from others; my sister and one of my best friends have been begging me to read Outlander!
At first I thought I’d start with a goal of 10 books.
Then I laughed at myself.
Six will be plenty for a gal like me. If I somehow become a voracious reader, I already know what I’ll add to the list but for now, here are my hot summer picks.
I know this is a laughably low bar for many, but for me, it is admirable.
Watch the Classics
Is there any better time to watch a classic blockbuster than sweet summertime?
We have an old TV and DVD player that I haul outside each year and it stays on our patio for the summer. If the squirrels eat this TV or if it gets stolen, then good riddance. It has already survived a hail storm, so we know this TV is a warrior!
Anything you would add to this summer watch list? And yes, there will be popcorn and s’mores.
Sew & Craft
I slow my roll on sewing a little bit, because “Hello!” I am making the most of the sun soaked days outdoors, but I do know there will be some beastly hot days where I will just want to hang out in the cool basement.
First goal of the summer is to finish up my Vintage Farm Girl 2 Quilt.
I joined the Quilt Along last fall hosted by Fat Quarter shop. Spoiler Alert – I got behind.
But the first order of business is to wrap that baby up! I’ll be sad when it is done. Is that weird? I have love love loved working on this quilt and I love the community it created over on Instagram.
After that is finished I am going to take a break from large projects and will focus on smaller kits or projects that I can complete in a weekend. I love wall hangings, bags and table runners.
I call smaller projects my “Weekend Warrior” projects because I know I can usually start and finish them in one weekend (like this one), which is so satisfying.
It is THE perfect way to play with fabrics yet feel accomplished. I’m making a list of a few projects I want to do! Want to sew along?
Two years ago I took a class from Studio Calico called “Summer of Sketches” and it was so much fun (and yes, I did more than 3 lessons…I just never clicked “complete”)!
I don’t scrapbook nearly as much as I used to, so this was a fun way to hop back into memory keeping.
Summer of Sketches is a 12-week class where one instructor provides a sketch and her layout she made from it. The other contributors provide their take on the project and what you get is a fantastic round-robin of inspiration!
I really really loved the class and here are some examples of pages I created from the sketches back in 2018.
I joined again this year because the focus is on Traveler’s Notebooks, which are 8″ x 4 ” in size. These are the perfect size for documenting a weekend girls trip, a quick camping get-away or even a Week in the Life.
Class starts June 1 and I am ready!
Summer goal: gather the girls!
I’m looking for ways to (safely) gather with friends a bit more. If there’s anything that 2020 hindsight has taught me, it’s not to take the ability to gather friends for granted.
I was one lucky girl last year and I snuck in girls weekends to Branson, MO; Galena, IL; and two to the Nashville area.
I’m not sure how this summer will unfold, so maybe I’ll have to re-live some getaways of my past. I guess that the $30 Summer of Sketches scrapbooking class is looking like a great investment!
I’ve realized it is the fellowship of friends that make it perfect, not the locations or fancy foods or perfect pitchers of sangria. Sometimes a gas station pizza and an $8 bottle of wine on someone’s deck is all you need.
Hit the Road
This year will likely be a bit different, but summer makes me long for the perfect vacation. I’m one of those people who is game for anything.
Give me 2 weeks in Europe or give me 2 days by the pool with some friends. I’m happy as a clam with either!
Unless something awesomely amazing happens with this pandemic, I’m going to spend my summer re-living vacations of my past and plotting my next Passport stamp.
Oh the places I still need to go!
My husband and I have been aggressively knocking out the bucket list and in the last two years we’ve hit up Ireland, Netherlands, Italy, Greece and Malta. While there are no future travel plans right now, I can use sweet summertime to dream (and hopefully write up a couple of travel guide posts if that is of any interest!)
That wraps up my summer resolution list. Drop a note below! I would love to hear from you and know what is on YOUR summer bucket list!