Lately, I feel like I've been doing ten things at once. None of them all that well. I thought I could do it all. I thought I could manage to juggle all the things. I can’t. I’m dropping balls...left, right and center.
Something’s gotta give.
And it can’t really be my high school boys or my almost college freshman daughter or my concussed husband...so, it’s going to be the next two blog posts.
My apologies. I like to be consistent here, but I also know my limits.
I need to listen to my gut.
And it's telling me that since life feels too full to be 100% present for writing...I need to step back and pull myself together.
I hope you enjoy the last two weeks of August. I'll be thinking of you as you send your kids back to school or off to college. Busy times.
I’ll return in September.
I can’t promise I’ll be refreshed after leaving my first born in a far away dorm room:-(...but I’ll definitely be ready to write again.
Here are two posts that you might have missed or find helpful to revisit.
It's on sale- when is it okay to buy?
Navigating the summer sale racks - here's how
I promise to put together an Anthro Faves post next month, but for now...
I have to share these jeans.
Oh, my goodness. I love them!
You know that Citizens of Humanity - Emersons are my most favorite boyfriend jeans.
Well, these Pilcro Mid-Rise Slim Boyfriend Cropped Jeans are a very close second.
$138. Just the right amount of distressing. Super soft. Great wash.
They do run a little big, so you might want to size down. Best to read the reviews on the Anthropologie site. Our customers leave detailed, honest product feedback.
Thanks for your patience with me. I look forward to being back at my computer once I handle a few stray balls.
If you don't already see me in your inbox every week...sign up here.
This isn’t really a post. I needed to take the day off. This week has completely kicked my butt. On Tuesday, Matthew was in a car accident while out of town on business. Thankfully, he will be okay, but currently he has a concussion and whiplash. He's feeling pretty crappy.
In addition, my boys head back to school in a matter of days...
and Greta leaves for college (many states away:-( in two weeks.
I. am. feeling. it.
I need to soak up some time with my people. And maybe take a soak in my tub. And just maybe, as my dad would say, "Soak my tongue in some whiskey".
Thank you for understanding.
I'm happy to report that amidst the stress and craziness, I’ve surprised myself with my ability to stay present.
I’ve been breathing into the tough stuff and trying to welcome (not resist) the challenges and changes.
In place of an actual post...
I wanted to share a few books that have helped me immensely over the past year or so...and continue to provide wisdom and guidance to me now.
Loved this quick read. Excellent reminder of how our minds never stop talking!
I didn't want to like this one, but it contains some valuable take-aways.
Refreshing and matter of fact. He nails it.
Okay, your turn...
What are you currently reading?
What book has helped you the most?
I hope you have a wonderful week ahead. Enjoy these final days of summer vacation. Soak it all in.
If you have questions about any of the books I mentioned, please ask. Happy reading.
Weekly Updates...right here!
Have a super week.
If 'hoarding' is to reserve in mind for a future use, then I guess I’ve always had a bit of a problem with hoarding. Or to put it more accurately, I guess my problem is one of ‘saving’. I tend to save the things I really love. I save them for later. Waiting for the perfect time to actually use the things I feel are special. This ‘saving’ is prevalent in many areas of my life. I save beautiful gift wrap, my best note cards, handmade cloth napkins, magazines (as I mentioned here), and clothing.
I obtain lovely treasures and then I wait.
Not wanting to ‘waste’ the specialness on just any old day or occasion.
I’m beginning to realize that this habit isn’t serving me very well.
I’m not sure it ever did.
Earlier this season, when I pulled out my summer clothing bin and examined the contents, I noticed that some of my favorite pieces were beginning to show some wear. Fabrics weren’t quite as fresh, silhouettes were losing their shape, styles didn’t feel very current. (All of this led to my new t-shirt shopping trip)
I realize that most clothing (especially softer summer pieces) won’t last forever...but looking at my summer wardrobe, I became acutely aware that I didn’t really wear the pieces I love most very much last year.
I was too cautious.
Saving them for the fantasy life I live in my head.
(I'm hoping you know what I mean because you have one too:-)
The life you picture when you shop for cozy cashmere sweaters in pale neutrals- “Hello, Cameron Diaz” in The Holiday or the gauzy, breezy tunic you’d wear after sunning yourself on a yacht anchored just off the coast of a glorious Greek island.
Those scenarios are not my current life...but my current life is pretty great, so why don't I dress like it?
I’m finished saving my stuff for later.
If I’ve learned anything from watching my daughter graduate from high school in May, and from a recent trio of wake-up calls, it’s that life does indeed pass by in a flash!
Why haven’t I been wearing I my favorites?
I’ve been doing lots of work on myself over the past 8 or 9 months. Digging deep to figure out my baggage/habits/tendencies and make corrections where possible. (And yes, for the record, it's kind of exhausting;-)
I’ve long been aware that when I really love a piece of clothing...I save it. I don’t want to wear it out. I like knowing that I have it...but I hesitate/struggle to pull it on when it’s time to get dressed.
If I’m really honest and explore my thoughts about this habit, I come up with some twisted reasons for not wearing my favorites...
Tomorrow’s weather might be a little better (rare in Boulder:-)
I might spill something on it.
It elevates my outfit a bit more than the grocery store warrants.
I’m only going to be dressed for a little while.
I’ll just wear something older so that the new item can stay new.
This is pure crazy talk!
NOW is NOW!
There is no tomorrow. By the time tomorrow arrives it’s NOW again.
Saving clothing or other stuff for ‘someday’ is not living in the present moment.
So, if you're like me, there is a simple cure for ‘hoard-your-clothes-itis’...
Just wear it!
With the exception of a special occasion piece waiting for the occasion, start wearing your clothes. Today!
Clothing doesn’t last forever. Even if you don’t wear it often, eventually, all fabrics start to lose their luster. Why not squeeze every hour of use out of each and every piece you own?
You paid good money for the items in your closet.
You spent your precious time shopping for your clothing.
Ideally, you should love all of the clothing in your closet. And all of that clothing should support your current lifestyle.
So...wear your clothing!
If you find yourself saving things, remember the ‘cost per wear’ goes down every time you wear a garment. More wear = money better spent!
If you’re stuck on actually wearing all of the clothing in your wardrobe, you could try this challenge…
Wear Everything You Own
It's free and eye-opening and fun!
It's August already! It'll be time for fall/winter clothes before I can blink. I’ll be taking my own advice. I’m planning to wear what I already own. Often.
What are you saving for later?
How would you feel if you actually started wearing or using what you’re saving?
Please share your thoughts! I'd love to know I'm not alone in this bizarre habit:-)
Have a super week! Thank you for following along.
Weekly Updates...right here.
Today’s post is a little off my normally beaten path since I’m certainly not a beauty blogger. However, in an effort to stay real and keep you informed, I’m sharing a recent personal maintenance experience.
Maybe you’ve already heard of this somewhat unusual treatment. Seems the inside of the nose is enjoying a hair removal moment right now.
If you have your eyebrows and/or lip professionally waxed, expect that your gal might mention nostril waxing (if she hasn't already) while she has you on her table. After all, she can see right up your nose!
Clear view of those lovely nasal hairs.
This was the situation for me about 4 years ago. My long-time, trusted waxer was putting the finishing touches on my brows, when she asked if she could do my nostrils.
I said a tentative, ‘Sure’.
Mainly, because when your waxer suggests that you try something, it’s easy to feel self-conscious and begin obsessing over how long you’ve been walking around with errant, unsightly nose hair!
If you’re brave (or simply prefer the visual) you can skip my description and just watch the video linked below.
The technique seems fairly straightforward. Dip a skewer-like stick into warm wax to create a small lollipop. Gently insert the waxed end into the nostril. Hold the stick until the wax begins to set.
Some waxers choose to insert both sticks at once (for me this creates a bit of breathing panic, but it does ensure that you’ll actually go through with both sides...much like simultaneous ear-piercing:-)
After giving a thumbs-up sign indicating that you’re as ready as you’ll ever be...the waxer gives a swift tug and out comes the the stick, the wax and your nose hair. Here's the video version on Instagram...@makeupbysepi.
You might see stars.
Wow! I’ve had this treatment twice and I'm still not sure it's for me.
After my first nostril waxing four years ago, I thought the results were nice. I don’t recall the pain being too terrible. It felt clean and smooth.
She only removed the hairs just inside my nostrils. It looked nice. Well maintained.
I felt a bit like I’d done something naughty and secret.
The last time, which was about 4 weeks ago, was rather unpleasant.
I was at a very popular, highly regarded, spa-type salon. I’m not mentioning the shop because I think they’re awesome and do amazing work...I just didn't love my nostril wax experience.
I believe the problem was that my gal truly cleaned out my entire nasal canal (if that’s even a thing).
Like baby’s bottom clean.
Too thorough for me. And way too painful.
And even two weeks later, it still felt odd.
So, for now...when necessary, I’m sticking with a battery-operated nose hair trimmer. It does the job just fine for me.
I’m thankful to cross one personal maintenance appointment off of my list.
Okay, your turn...
Have you tried nasal waxing?
Do you like it?
If you haven't tried it, would you?
Please share your thoughts...
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I hope you're having a fantastic summer!
Stay present and breathe...maybe through freshly waxed nostrils:-)
Four years, tomorrow. July 22, 2013, my family and I closed the door on an empty house in Pennsylvania and opened the door of an empty house in Colorado. The biggest leap of faith we’d ever taken. Hands down.
We relocated 1,700 miles from the edge of our comfort zone…and looking back, we’d do it again in a minute.
Before we moved, I saw myself as someone who would most certainly live somewhere other than where I’d grown up. I pictured myself living in a place that would truly feed my soul. In the meantime, I grumbled about my surroundings and I waited for an outside force to change my situation.
I figured that someday, life’s circumstances would push me beyond the boundaries of the only life I’d known...and I’d end up in a land with abundant sunshine.
I wasn’t taking any action to create a new life in a different location.
I’m not a risk taker. I’m not an early adopter.
I’m slow to change.
So how did we end up taking the leap?
Looking back on it now, I believe the Universe decided merely to force our hand a bit.
It basically came down to three things…
1, Our first family visit to Colorado. August, 2012. Sunny, dry and 80 degrees. My eyes were opened to an alternate summer. There was indeed a climate other than "hazy, hot and humid".
2, We endured yet another late winter filled with sleet, freezing rain and endless gray skies. 40+ days. Our moods were dark and our spirits low.
3, Greta was finishing 8th grade. High school was only months away. Our three kids are just 42 months apart in age...we knew we needed to jump or stay put for another seven years.
We held family meetings, considered our options, worried, researched, cried, talked, voted, explored and ultimately...
We made an enormous decision to make an enormous change.
It was the very best choice we’ve ever made. Period.
If you dream of a change...
a new job, a new spouse, a new body, new friendships, a new business, a new house, a new city…
Decide what you want and commit to the change you envision.
Begin by taking the necessary steps to get things rolling. Baby steps are fine.
Hold on tight...it might be a bumpy, unfamiliar ride. That’s okay. The road is smoother on the other side.
Expect some panic. Breathe. Keep breathing...right through the anxiety.
Trust that you’ve made the right choice and allow yourself to settle in to the terrifying, but exquisite newness of a fresh chapter.
For me, it was moving to a place with more sunshine. What's your dream change? Please share!
If you don't feel you can write it in the comments, feel free to email me at email@example.com
I firmly believe that the simple act of putting your dreams out there is often just enough for the Universe to take notice...and begin shifting your story.
Change is all there is.
This summer, I'm reminding myself of this daily. (sometimes hourly:-)
Big changes happening again for us in the next five weeks or so. Greta is finished high school and heading back across that 1,700 miles to attend university.
Feeling stuck can seem safe, but it rarely allows for anything amazing to unfold.
Test your limits. Stretch yourself.
Don’t wait. Start today.
Just imagine who you could be when July 21, 2021 arrives...
Thank you for being here and sharing this journey with me. As always, I welcome your comments and questions.
Weekly Updates keep you informed. Sign up here.
Have a fantastic week!
“The days are long, but the years are short.” Whoever first said those wise words was certainly wise to the reality of raising children. A new adult arrived at my house this week. Greta turned 18 yesterday. As I reread that sentence, my breath catches and a lump forms in my throat. Huh? There must be some mistake. My first born child has just wrapped up her childhood? Incredible and impossible at the same time.
In honor of Greta’s big birthday, this post is about her.
Recently, as one might expect, my mind has been flooded with memories of Greta as a child. Much as it seems like a ‘blink’, the giant bank of memories tells me that she has been around for quite a while:-)
I guess it is time for her to be eighteen.
Whenever I pause to sift through the 'Greta moments' , one always stands out. This specific event highlights her very essence. Greta's giant, thoughtful, loving heart was especially evident on this particular day.
I’m a little blurry on the exact timing, but Greta was around six years old.
In our basement, I kept a container of ‘special’ gift wrapping supplies. The container held a collection of beautiful ribbons, ties and tags reserved for embellishing very important gifts.
One afternoon, Greta decided to do some type of ‘craft project’.
For the record...I come from the craft-projects-are-almost-always-too-much-trouble camp. My own mother, however, comes from the complete other camp...the-bigger-the-mess-the-more-fabulous-the-project! Thus, Grandma was always in charge of making things like Valentines and granola:-)
Anyway, Greta was busying herself with her project...while I was most certainly in the weeds with whatever her two little brothers were up to.
Greta was always incredibly well-behaved and mature. I knew I could count on her to ‘play nicely’ while I tended to the needs of the boys.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I have no recollection of the finished product.
I only remember that she helped herself to one of the ‘special’ ribbons.
She had chosen a piece of wine-colored organza ribbon.
She cut it in half.
For some reason, this sent me over the edge of parenting that day.
I freaked out.
Irrationally and loudly and cruelly.
I’m not sure if it was because she hadn’t asked. Or if I’d had an especially tough day with three kids under six. Or I had important plans for that exact strip of ribbon. Doesn't matter.
No excuses. I really messed up.
A while later, Greta appeared with the ribbon.
With pride and pure love, she presented it to me.
She had hand-sewed the two pieces back together to again form one long length of ribbon.
Revisiting this memory is painful. Heart-wrenchingly painful.
I’m still embarrassed by how terribly I’d reacted.
I hurt Greta and crushed her sweet spirit.
And in return, she worked to secretly repair the damage with small, sweet stitches.
The love in her gesture has blown me away ever since. I’m humbled by her kindness, which I surely didn’t deserve. With five deliberately placed stitches, she showed me that our teachers can be tiny.
Greta shared with me the incredible power of love...and it’s ability to heal.
I kept the ribbon tied softly around the rod in my closet for years. Seeing it was a reminder to choose kindness first.
I still have the ribbon. It’s tucked away in a box of treasures. It’s one of the trinkets that will survive every KonMari Method clean-out I ever perform.
This small strand of ribbon is a keeper.
Before I pulled the ribbon out to take a photo for this post, I casually (and cautiously) asked Greta what she remembered about the incident. I was afraid to hear her thoughts. I feared it would upset her to relive that day.
She smiled and looked a bit blank. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, I don’t remember that at all”.
She went on to mention that she believed I was ‘making it up’.
I thought of the repaired ribbon safely tucked away downstairs.
And silently thanked the Universe for such grace.
I was sure Greta still wore the scars of that day. Thankfully, it seems I was wrong.
I’m blessed beyond belief to have this amazing human in my life. Being Greta’s mom is a true pleasure. I’m thrilled to be soaking it all in before it’s time to move her across the country for the next chapter.
Mamas...hug your babies close.
It. Goes. So. Fast.
Just for fun, here are a few more bits about Greta…
She loves stripes as much as I do, possibly more.
She dislikes Auntie Anne’s pretzels.
She speaks French.
She’s had Scarlet Fever.
She hated Paris on her visit. (Thankfully, that’s changed)
Her bedroom is always straightened up.
She spent years galloping instead of walking.
She was breech and born by Cesarean...12 days late!
For a few hours, her name was Amelia.
And here’s a link to my interview with Greta about fashion and style. It was part of a writing challenge posted while back. Missed it all? You can check out the entire series, 31 Days of Simple Style here.
Weekly Updates, here.
I hope this phase of your summer is lazy and lovely.
Thank you for following along and for letting me bask in all things Greta this week. I know my recent posts have been a bit more personal as a result of the current season of my life. Your continued support is the best. Sending you love.
I don’t know exactly what I expected from my 50’s, but I’m finding this season of my life to be very interesting and eye-opening. I’ve been doing some intense work on myself lately. As many of you know, this work began in earnest last October with a 31 day writing challenge (Simply 50 - refining life for the next decade). Since then, I’ve been in the thick of it as I try to really live the words I chose for that challenge. I've discovered this work is fascinating and difficult.
I’m realizing a lot about myself...
I have changes to make.
I have habits to break.
I have limiting beliefs to release.
I want things to happen faster.
I want things to slow down.
Recently, I was becoming lost in the minutia. The details of the journey were bogging me down.
I was completely overwhelmed by the entire process and by the urgency I was feeling to fix myself!
Then, right on cue, the Universe stepped in with trio of wake-up calls.
I’ll quickly share the recent events that have led me to reevaluate my Project Fix Kristen timetable and some of my methods…
Most of us vividly remember our first best friend. Mine was a neighbor in the suburbs of Philadelphia...and later a school-mate. We were about four years old when we met. Her name was Susie.
Ours was my intro into the world of friendship. I’m smiling as I type, recalling our easy joy and shared laughter.
Decades ago, we lost touch. While I think of Susie fondly from time to time, I haven’t connected with her in ages. I learned recently that she died several years ago at age 45. I had no idea. The news stopped me cold. My heart aches knowing that she’s gone. (Update below)
At a family wedding, my father-in-law collapsed just as the bride was about to walk down the aisle. Out cold. Chest compressions. Ambulance. Overnight hospital stay.
He’s only 68 years old. Thankfully, it was diagnosed as dehydration and he was released the next day. He’s feeling fine. What a frightening 15 hours.
My daughter’s boyfriend left our house around 10 pm. He drove literally one block and in a freak accident, rolled his small convertible car. Miraculously, he walked away uninjured. Shaken and scared, we waited for his parents to arrive. Surrounded by a fire truck, police cars and a dozen neighbors... I tried to shut off the ‘what if’ game in my head. Thankfully, everyone was safe.
Once I moved past feeling completely rattled, I witnessed the true wake-up call potential of these events that occurred within the span of one week.
Crisis has a remarkable way of slamming us into the present moment.
Everything else falls away and we are here. Now.
The little shit no longer matters.
We’re left with compassion.
It’s how we deal with what happens that determines our happiness. How we perceive our circumstances really is our choice. Every moment of every day.
Half-empty or half-full.
Some days my commitment to choosing happiness always is strong and other days the work of finding even a sliver of happy seems daunting.
But...I’m all in.
I’m fully committed to this journey of self-improvement.
There are times when I’m so excited about the changes I see in myself that I’m positively giddy.
But, there are also moments when it feels like I’ve opened a can of worms that I’ll never control.
Two steps forward, one step back.
I'll take it.
All this to say, a trio of wake-up calls has put me back on course. Moving forward (with more patience) towards the changes I'd like to make. And the person I'd like to be. At the very least, I owe it to Susie to continually strive to live my absolute best life.
What changes are you making?
Are you gentle with yourself during the process of changing? (If so, please share your tips:-)
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Thank you for reading. And commenting...my replies might be slow, but I always read every single comment and smile:-)
Have a super week!
P.S. Regarding my friend Susie...
The Universe is truly amazing!
Okay, here's the brief update...
After I learned of Susan's death, I spent some time searching for her mom and brother online. I haven't had any contact with them in 30+ years, but I hoped to locate them and offer my condolences.
Through Facebook, I found someone I believed could be Susan's brother's wife.
As I was sharing this experience with my family, my daughter mentioned a boy with the same (unusual) last name who'd been in one of her classes her sophomore year. '
We did a bit more research online...
The world is incredibly small:-)
A week ago, I had the pure pleasure of sitting down with Susan's brother, sister-in-law and mother at her brother's home. Less than three miles from where I currently live! Over 1,700 miles from where we first met. Neighbors again and we didn't even know it.
I'm blown away by the workings of the Universe. It was such a full-circle moment that I'm still breathless when I think about all of us sharing stories and remembering Susan. And missing her.
Gotta love the Milky Way!
Top photo credit: Peter Cain
Loveland Pass. August 2016. Family 14er Adventure.
When I’m asked a question often enough, I try to turn it into a post. I figure if lots of women are inquiring about a certain topic, maybe it ought to be explored. Today’s question is this…
What should I do with the clothes in my wardrobe that I've worn, but aren't really dirty?
In my opinion, this category of ‘not dirty enough to launder yet’ clothing is mostly limited to the pieces we hang out in or wear casually.
The bulk of the clothing that I wear for life outside of my home...to work, on dates, to events...is hung back up after I wear it unless it truly needs to be laundered.
If I wear a blouse for a few hours, I usually hang it back in the closet until the next time I wear it.
Here’s how I handle the pieces I’ve worn that aren’t yet ready for the wash...
All of my denim is folded in a wire basket on a shelf in my closet. After wearing, I give my jeans a shake, unroll the cuffs, empty the pockets, refold the jeans and put them neatly into the basket. Once my jeans start to feel a bit too stretched out and saggy or show any actual dirt, I toss them into the wash.
Same goes for chinos and washable pants.
Sweaters are refolded and returned to the sweater shelf.
Blazers are hung up and buttoned.
Cotton t-shirts are usually washed after every wear. Unless I’ve only had a top on for a short time. I prefer the freshness of a clean t-shirt when I’m getting dressed to go out.
If a garment becomes soiled or smelly, I wash or dry clean it immediately.
Then there’s the already-worn wardrobe grey area.
I believe what women are really wondering is this…
What should we do with the items of clothing we wear almost every day?
The hang-out-at-home clothes, kick-around jeans and shorts, sleepwear, etc?
Here's my solution...
I have a large fabric-lined wicker basket (similar to this one) in my closet that acts as a holding tank, of sorts. When I’m changing out of my ‘everyday’ clothes and they aren’t dirty yet...I loosely fold them and place them into the basket. This way I can grab them easily the next time I get dressed.
This basket holds...
The clothes I wear when I'm working from home.
The pieces I throw on to drive my kids to school.
The comfy stuff I change into when I arrive home after I’ve been out in ‘real clothes’ all day.
I’m more than happy to wear these items on repeat until they really need to be washed.
Other methods for storing your 'not quite dirty' clothing...
Use a designated hook in your closet to hang the ‘wear again tomorrow’ garments.
Dedicate one drawer to hold the items you'll wear several times before laundering.
With five people in my family, I try to do as little laundry as possible. (I still do multiple loads, 4 days a week) So, I definitely want to avoid washing things that aren’t really dirty. Plus, machine washing and drying takes a toll on fabric and I want my clothes to last.
For the record, I do wash the obvious stuff after every wear...socks, undies, workout clothes, swimwear, etc.
As for the semi-clean clothing, the ‘holding tank’ solution works for me.
What do you do with your ‘not ready for the laundry clothing’ between wears?
Please share! It's always helpful to hear new solutions to silly everyday issues.
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Have a super week!
It’s official. We’re in a new season. In the Northern Hemisphere, we’ve just passed the longest day of the year. Summer has arrived. Depending on your circumstance, summer can mean three months of warm, lazy days and nights...or endless weeks of wrangling littles who are out of school.
Most moms with school-age children feel a bit of panic at the start of summer vacation. I’ve recently heard at least a dozen moms lament that having their kids home is really "kicking their butts"!
I get it.
As a mom of three, I’ve sometimes had a love/dislike (hate’s too strong a word for the season of sunshine:-) relationship with summer.
The dog days of this season can seem longer and hotter when the kids are home all day.
The end seems completely out of sight.
Until it isn’t.
I can see the end. At least I can glimpse it when my eyes aren’t full of tears.
This is my eighteenth summer as a mom.
The days of wondering what I’m going to do, plan, create, or invent to help keep my three children entertained are long gone.
If I find myself counting the minutes until nap-time, it will be for my own nap.
It’s highly possible that I’ll see less of my children in the coming weeks than I do during the school year.
But the absolute, knock-the-wind-out-of-me kicker...is that this year, at the end of these sun-drenched nine weeks... it will be time to pack up my oldest and send her off to college.
I’m no longer the mom who’s dreading summer because of how exhausting it is to have small children at home...all day...when you’ve grown accustomed to having a few hours to yourself.
I’ve crossed over to the other side of parenting.
The side where my kids are busy doing their own thing...and my first born's childhood is wrapping up.
And while almost all of me is completely good with it, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to the sometimes crushing sadness I feel at this milestone.
I know this is exactly what should be happening now. I’ve worked really hard for 18 years to arrive at this point, but it sure changes how I feel about summer break.
I’ve always loved summer.
Sunshine and warm temperatures are the foundation of my happy place.
But when I look back over the past 18 summers, I recall lots of stuff I resisted…
smearing sunscreen on squirmy, sweaty little bodies,
too many errands with tired, crabby toddlers,
a bathtub 'swim' to cool them off when they looked like they might have heat stroke,
wiping sticky hands after a melty, messy Popsicle.
And sadly, I’m certain I said, "No" too often.
I’m more present now than I was back then. I pay attention better...possibly because my 'mom tasks' are fewer. We all have more time and more energy at this stage of the game.
But, August is coming fast. I can feel it waiting just up ahead.
My plan is to settle in. I’m going to soak up this summer. I’ll deep dive into all the feels of having Greta prepare for her next chapter.
And I'll begin preparing myself for mine.
After a bit of soul-searching, I've decided there are some things I could change to help make this summer more enjoyable and ultimately more memorable.
I’m committed to the following simple tweaks to bring added presence and joy to this fleeting season...
Really listen. Put down my phone and ignore my computer when my kids want my attention. Yes, I should already be doing this...but sometimes I don’t. This one simple shift and the season already feels better.
Eye contact. They deserve this. Always. Morning, noon and night, I love the sight of these people. They matter. Hopefully, this gesture helps to remind them of that important fact.
Hug more. I think sometimes I shy away from hugging my kids because their teenage bodies feel so big against mine. Their little kid selves are almost undetectable now that they’re tall and strong and capable...and some days that's crazy painful for me. Get over it, Kristen. Hugs those kids!
Laugh often. Have fun together time each week. Within the fullness of everyone's schedule, sometimes we forget to laugh. I’ve never been the ‘fun mom’, and while I can’t go back, I can bring more fun and silliness into Now.
Keep it fresh. I vow to do one new thing every week. Last week it was as simple as buying two boxes of packaged, frozen treats. Ice cream sandwiches and Dilly bars. So simple. My kids lit up with delight. This week, Greta and I took our first High Fitness class together!
Stay present. Aim for less internal and external freaking out about the future. Now is Now...all three of my kids are home this summer. I’m going to be here too.
Skin care. I'll apply sunscreen happily when asked. This will be my job for only a few more summers. I'm certain I'll actually miss it. Luckily, there are still some areas it’s easier for mom to reach...my pleasure.
Read and nap. This one's just for me. Self-care:-) I’m settling in to this new habit quite nicely. A few pages of a good book followed by 20 minutes of shut eye and I’m a new girl!
Be the driver. Willingly and with a smile. I have no licensed teenage drivers at my house. I’m okay with that. Two have permits and we’re quickly rounding the corner to a time when I won’t need to drive them anywhere.
Soak up the sun and all the rest of it.
Be here Now.
Do you find summer stressful or relaxing?
How do you stay present to enjoy the season?
Thanks for reading. I hope you're summer is off to an amazing start!
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My apologies for the video glitch. I'm re-posting this with a video that actually works.
As I unpacked my summer clothes a few weeks ago, I realized that I desperately needed a few fresh tops. My old favorites were starting to look a little sad. One of the beautiful things about tops for warmer weather is that they’re usually made from wonderful lightweight fabrics. The downside of those dreamy, delicate fabrics is that they don’t hold up to lots of wear and washing. Realistically, you might only get one solid season from a top before it starts to lose it's luster.
I wanted several new tees and tanks, but I didn't want to spend a ton of money. Determined to find some deals, I enlisted the help of a shopping partner...in this case it was my son Peter:-) and we hit the mall.
It was a bonus day in the world of top shopping!
I actually found too many styles I really loved. In the end, I narrowed my choices down to the eight best!
If you’d like to know where I buy my go-to, wear everywhere, affordable tees and tanks…
and see which ones made the cut and came home with me…
Check out the video below!
Where do you buy your favorite tops?
I'd love to know...please comment below.
Thanks for being here:-) I hope you're enjoying the season!
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Hello, I'm Kristen.
As a personal stylist,