Thursday, June 20, 2013

By Comparison, This Summer...

When I read Amanda's post on Life with a Mission, Every Summer is Different, my mental wheels started turning. Thanks for the inspiration, Amanda.

2 summers ago...
On the first day of summer, the day the first lily in my garden bloomed, I birthed a certain Meres. And she defined my entire summer. Adjusting to life with a new born with the practically sleepless nights and nursing.

I was huge. I gained the most weight with Meres of any of my babies, and it didn't just fall back off either. I tried to get back into running and swimming after the 4 week mark and I was just so tired and discouraged. My hips weren't where God designed them to be, and running just wasn't happening. But, I got adjusted towards the end of July, and all became right in that part of my world.

We had planned to stick close to home that summer, but we decided in May to book a cabin in the Smokey Mountains for the last week of August. We figured by that time our baby would be almost 10 weeks old, and would have settled into the routine of things. It was the best decision we could have made. We spent over a week relaxing and visiting our favorite haunts in the mountains. It was a balm for our souls.
Meres and me at the pool...
kids and I at the Creation Museum
Last summer...
Was a crazy busy summer! It was full of work for Mr. Hippie, and ministry for both of us. We ran a retreat together (same one as last weekend), plus 4 VBS, two of which were out of town. We spent the first half of August in Chicago for a week, and then out east in Pennsylvania, Delaware and DC. I loved visiting Philly and DC and seeing our national culture and heritage. It was absolutely amazing in this history buff's books.

Last summer is also when I feel like my blogging and blog went through its puberty stage. I made changes and started writing with a definite purpose. I started writing less for people who know me and need news, and more for strangers who need encouragement. And strangers became friends.

me and my man

Longwood Gardens
This summer...
Has had a crazy start. I can't believe we have already been done with school for a month, made a trip to OKC, finished our retreat, and now are in the midst of our one VBS of the summer.

Actually, after tomorrow, this summer looks fairly laid back. Our only planned trip is a weekend getaway for Mr. Hippie and I. We are going to visit the Windy City, and I am planning to bring our bikes. I always love seeing people using the trail along the lake front. Well, that is going to be the Barefoot Hippies in another week or two. My sister in law is taking the offspring, and I am very excited to have time just the two of us!

One of my bros and my parents will be up during the first couple weeks of July. Then I am hiring out the painting of my living room towards the end of July/beginning of August. The price is right. The painters will fill holes, paint the walls, trim and ceiling in the living room and up through the hallway upstairs. That is worth a whole lot of money in my book. I don't have to keep a certain two year old out of paint for days on end. To say nothing of keeping dirty little hands off freshly painted walls. We will set up HQ in our camper north of town for the time the painters are here.

It is a slower paced summer. Idyllic really.

Growing up, summer was laid back. In our married Barefoot Hippie lives, this has not generally been the case. Evenings and weekends get filled with family. Mr. Hippie is working hard on roofs. Roofing season is spring, summer and fall. Not winter so much. Which is why we skip town in February fairly regularly. We also tend to squeeze in a lot of ministry. Summer is generally anything BUT relaxing. This summer, however, we are sticking close to home. We joke that we have to recoup our loses from our Asia Pacific trip this winter. We are doing things in our home town, and our home state. And that is just fine by us.

We also are training for our fall triathlon. This is taking up a bit of time. But I am loving hopping on my bike and feeling the wind in my face. Rather exotic.

As for my blog, I feel like it has aged right along with me. It is about in its 30s. It is confident in its own skin, and we are not really in the comparison game anymore. We are still learning new things and trying to improve, but most of my features have held the same for months now. No new headers or buttons or sidebar distractions. My blog has grown numerically, and settled into rhythms. I am laughing with you, and sharing my heart. Sometimes it is pretty and sometimes it is ugly, but hopefully God is glorified in all of it.
a literary lunch. we usually take them outside in the summer, but today we had soup. Not good picnic food.
And this girl is 2 today! The time has flown!
She calls Mr. Hippie and I both "babe!" very insistently when she wants our attention.

Next summer...
Honestly, I have no idea what next summer holds. Mr. Hippie wants to run a marathon in the fall of 2014, so I am sure we will be running our little hearts out.

And we are contemplating a trip out west. The farthest west I have ever been is OKC. We would camp, and visit some of the national sites away out there over yonder. Hmmm...I'm totally NOT a fan of camping. At all. It rains every time. Inevitably.

I have heard somewhere that comparison is the thief of joy. So, I am not going to compare what I have this summer with what I had last year, or what I may have next year. I am just going to embrace whatever this summer holds. Fun and sun, relaxation, reading, writing, biking, and family. 

How are you embracing this unique summer of 2013? What plans do you have?