10 Ways To Enjoy Summer In A Surburb

10 Ways To Enjoy Summer In A Surburb

It's summertime, baby!
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As the days are getting progressively warmer and nicer as summer is nearing, it's important to start enjoying the warm weather while it lasts. Even if you're staying close to home there are plenty of ways to enjoy the fleeting summer months. If you're like me and live in a small suburb, it may seem extra hard to find a place that is both exciting and accessible but if you look closely there are actually plenty of ways to enjoy summer even while living in a three-mile suburb.

1. Bike through a park.

There's no feeling like going for a relaxing bike ride in the fresh air.

2. Go for a hike.

You may be thinking "Isn't hiking intense and where would I find somewhere to go? I live in a suburb." But in actuality there are a lot of places that offer very low-intensity hikes with high-intensity views, AKA they're amazing.

3. Go for a walk at sunrise or sunset.

For some reason, I think things look better in early morning or early night. The lighting just makes everything look softer and the air feels fresher. That sounds annoying but try it and I promise you'll like it.

4. Have a BBQ.

Barbeques are an American tradition. Even if you're a vegetarian there are veggie burgers, grilled corn and mushrooms.

5. Sit outside with a glass of lemonade or iced tea.

Nothing tastes more refreshing than sitting outside in the warm sun and then drinking a glass of cool lemonade (or if you're like me, a glass of iced tea).

6. Camp out in your back yard.

If you aren't able to get out of town for a vacation, you could always have a staycation. Set up a sleeping bag or tent in your yard and spend the night in it. Star gazing is always great fun! Even if you live closer to the city and seeing stars is a little harder, staring at the night sky is always calming.

7. Plan a day trip.

Another way to get away without really getting away is to go on day trips. Even if you have a summer job, on your day off this could be a fun thing to do. If you're lucky enough to have friends home in the summer with you, together you could plan an awesome day trip!

8. Try new restaurants or recipes.

The summer is great time to try new things! If you're able, try that new restaurant or café you've been meaning to try all year but haven't had the time to. Or if you're without a mode of transportation or short on cash try to make a new recipe at home that would be equally as delicious as something at a restaurant.

9. Spend time with yourself.

Having time off in the summer is a great way to refocus and relax. Spending time with yourself to relax is just as important as spending time with your friends. Do something that makes you happy and puts you at peace. Read, watch a movie or order food––whatever makes you feel good and relaxed.

10. Make the most of it.

Whatever you end up doing this summer, make the most of it because as they say, summer is fleeting, and though three months seems like a long time it goes by so quickly you won't even realize it until it's over. Spend time enjoying the warmth and doing what makes you happy. Happy Summer!

Cover Image Credit: Google Images

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10 Things I Learned When My Best Friend Got Pregnant In High School

In this world where you can be anything: be a friend (and be a good one).

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Life: full of amazing, unforeseen circumstances. How you roll with the punches only reveals your strength.
True friends are like diamonds: bright, beautiful, valuable, and always in style." -Nicole Richie

I remember when I first heard the big news. I didn't want to believe it. My heart dropped. I was worried for you. What would happen? How would you get through this? Nothing we knew would ever be the same. Our world was about to change forever. I recalled the verse Isaiah 41:10, "Do not be afraid, for I am with you." I knew God was with you and would always be. I knew God needed me to be here for you, no matter what.

Turns out, you had this all in the bag. You handled everything with grace and dignity. You were strong even on your hardest days. You were overwhelmed with faith and you inspired me with your perseverance through the hardest times. I could not be more proud of who you became because of the cards you were dealt.

To Meaghan: I love you. I'm always here, no matter where. Hudson is so lucky to have you.

Here's what I learned from you and your sweet baby boy:

1. Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT the end of the world

Start making plans for the future. Pick out clothes, decorations, and toys. Help with all the madness and preparation. She would do the same for you. Plus, 9 p.m. runs to Toys-R-Us just to buy the baby some socks (because you do not know the gender yet) is always a good idea. You have to focus on the big picture. Life doesn't stop even when you want to.

2. No matter how much you want to freak out, remain calm

Getting unexpected news is never easy to hear. If needed, cry. Cry until you cannot anymore. Then, get up and be strong, she needs you. Be flexible (You want to come over to hang out? Right now? No, I'm not in the middle of ten thousand things, come on over). Be available (yes, even for her 3 a.m. insomnia calls just to see "what's up?") "Meaghan, why are you even awake right now?"

3. Radiate positivity. Always. 

This is an emotional time. The LAST thing she needs is someone bringing her down. "No, honey, you're glowing!" "You do not look fat in that bikini!!" "You are rocking that baby bump!" "Oh, that's your the third day in a row you're eating a Sonic burger for lunch? You go girl!"

4. Be ready for all the times: happy, confusing, stressful, sad, (but mostly) exciting

Mixed emotions are so hard, but look for the silver lining. With your support, she will be strong.

"Who knew picking out the brand of diapers to buy was so stressful?"

5. This world is a scary place. You never want to be all alone, so don't be. 

Like the song says, we, really do, all need someone to lean on. Just being there for someone goes a long way. "Meaghan what the heck are you doing in MY bed? How long have you been here?"

6. Lean on God. His plan is greater than we could ever imagine. 

When you don't know where to go, or who to turn to, pray! Pray for the burdens you feel. Pray for the future. Pray for patience. Pray for the ability to not grow weary. Pray for a heart of compassion. Pray. Pray. Pray.

7. Something we never knew we needed. 

Some of the best things in life are things we never knew we needed. Who knows where we would be without this sweet face?

"Hudson say Lib. Libby. L-- Come ON!" "CAT!" "Okay, that works too."

8. "Mother knows best"...is accurate, whether you believe it or not

Turns out, seventeen-year-olds don't know how to plan baby showers. Our moms have been there, done that. They want to be involved just as much as we do, so let them! Listen to their guidance. After all, they're professionals.

9. There will *almost always* be a "better way" of doing something...but, be a cheerleader, not a critic 

This is something many people struggle with in general, but it is not your DNA, it is not your place to be a critic. Let her raise her own baby. You are there to be a friend, not a mentor. ****Unless she's about to name the baby something absolutely terrible -- for the love of that baby, don't let her name that kid something everyone hates.

10.  At the end of the day, it's not what you have or what you know; rather, it is all about who you love and those who love you

Life has adapted, but for the better. We grew up, learned, and became stronger. All the while, we stayed friends every step of the way. We still have the same fun and most definitely, the same laughs.

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A Wake Up Call

It is crucial to remember: YOU ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR.

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Bad days. We all have them. Sometimes they come in batches, and sometimes, they're random. Regardless of how frequent they are, it's just a bad day. Not a bad life.

As cliched and over said as it is, time heals wounds, and things will get better. When we face hard times, we always feel suffocated and hopeless. We start pushing away our friends, and the things we love.

We beat ourselves up over the smallest things that we couldn't control. We welcome feelings of insecurity and sadness like they're the things that can help us.

But they don't help.

It's okay to cry. It's okay to feel sad. It's okay to not be okay.

But it is crucial to remember: YOU ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR.

The situation will end. That guy won't matter anymore. That GPA won't stop your dreams. You will feel worth it again.

As people, it is easy for us to stress out over things we can't control, but it's important to step back and breathe.

If that means you have to sit and cry while binge watching Netflix, read your favorite book and turn the phone off, or just write out your feelings 'til you just can't anymore, then do it.

You are the one who chooses your happiness. No guy or crappy day can take away YOUR happiness.

No one is your boss, but you. Your mental health is important. Don't push yourself to the background because you're stressed because it is okay to take time for yourself.

You should always come first in your priorities list.

Remember that life gets better. One bad situation does not mean you won't ever be happy again. One bad semester will not be the end of your professional career. One bad relationship will not ruin your love life.

You will come out of this better and stronger. It's okay to take your time. Everyone moves at a different pace.

Be gentle with yourself because you're doing the best you can.

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