Goodbye Summer, Thanks For The Memories

Goodbye Summer, Thanks For The Memories

A short letter to a season of refreshment, fun, and growth.

Dear Summer,

Every year I don't know what to expect from you. Your season brings up a time of refreshment and fun, adventure and uncertainty, and everything in between. The possibilities are endless with you. You are one of my favorite seasons for this very reason. During the regular academic year, it is so easy for me to get caught up in all the fuss of work, school, and social activities. I'm constantly going, and never stopping to make sure that my whole being is keeping up. You come right on time every year, and I am grateful. You remind me of what self-care looks like and what quality time looks like. Not to say that all of my other memories aren't quality because they are, but it's a quality of a different time. You make time feel slow and fast all at once. Creating a beautiful mess of gatherings, laughs, mistakes, and moments of quite.

Every year, God uses your season to work in me and through me in ways I thought weren't possible. Giving me experiences I could never dream up. Some were bigger and more public than others which were quite and private. Your season is a time of drawing nearer to Him for not just me, but children of God everywhere. What a marvelous thing it is so youth and adults alike recommit themselves to the Lord. My heart always bursts with excitement when I think about how God will move through and use people during the summer to help not only themselves, but others around them.

This year in particular has been one of the best ones yet for your season. In truth, I was most worried about coming home, and in particular how my relationship with my mother would play out. I love my family and my mom with all my heart, but ever since my darker times there has been a hole in our relationship that I have found hard to mend. So, before the semester closed I prayed that God would use your time to heal and mend what had been broken. Do you know what happened? He answered my prayer. During your season, God has given me so many opportunities to get to know and reconnect with my mom. We've had numerous quality conversations, shared laughs, and a fun spontaneous weekend adventure.

For the first time in a long time I wish you wouldn't end. I don't mind being home. My heart still longs to be in the city, but my heart has learned that my true home will always be where my family is.

So in short, thank you summer for your season of sunshine and refreshment. I don't know what God has planned, maybe a trip to Europe, but I know without a doubt it will be a good one.



Cover Image Credit: Google Images

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.

I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Keep Your Wellbeing On Track This Summer With These 5 Health Hacks

Don't waste your time off, use it!


Summertime is here, and for many of us, these three months of vacation mean more room for slacking off with our usual health routines. Between sleeping in through the morning gym alarm, and consuming too many tempting party foods and drinks, it is easy to fall into a euphoria of laziness and lose health as a top priority.

Here's the good news — believe it or not, summer is actually the easiest time of the year to get and stay in killer shape because of all of the extra time you have!

Here are some tips and tricks to get you started.

1. Try using the five-to-two rule.

It's easy to forget the difference between weekdays and weekends during summer when every day feels the same. But sometimes it is actually helpful to be aware of what day of the week it is. Just like you would do in school, try to stay on track during weekdays. Wake up at a reasonable time, exercise, find ways to be productive throughout the day, and be conscious of eating healthy. This way when the weekend rolls around, if you choose to indulge in sleeping in, or going out and having a few extra drinks, it's more acceptable than choosing to do so every single night. You will feel more in control, and trust me, your body will thank you for the moderation.

2. Skip the junk food and embrace the fresh seasonal produce.

Summer is the season where all of the nutrient-dense fruits and veggies are in their prime season. Take advantage of this! Skip the fast food, and try cooking since you now cannot use the excuse that you don't have time! Go to the grocery to stock up on fresh produce. There is nothing better than homemade, healthy food, and with so much time on your hands why not try some fun new recipes? Cooking is actually really enjoyable and rewarding. Here are some of my favorite healthy summertime recipes that keep my body feeling fresh and energized.

Healthy green smoothie

Quinoa Salad

Chia Pudding

Salmon and Apple Kale Salad

3. If you're tired of the gym, try alternative forms of exercise. 

Whether it is hiking, kayaking, swimming, or playing a family game of kickball, summer presents you with many more fun active opportunities than the colder, rainier months of the year. Take advantage of that if you are getting bored or unmotivated sitting in a stuffy gym.

4. Build a new routine.

During the school year, we all fall into a fairly consistent routine. We have classes at the same time every week, we have responsibilities, deadlines, and all of those other things that may seem pesky but actually, serve in giving our lives some major structure. For many of us, that structure is much needed. When summer arrives and suddenly we don't have those obligations calling us to get up and be productive, we fall into a slump of doing nothing. That's when it is helpful to set a new routine. Our bodies like routine and regularity and the best part about a summer routine is that you set it how you like it.

How do I build a new routine? Decide on a general bed and wake up time, at least for weekdays. Choose which days of the week you will exercise and stick to them! Plan out your week at the beginning of the week. I like to keep a weekly calendar. Before the week begins I write down all of the things I would like to get done that week and place them on the days I plan to do them. You can even write down your plans with friends or social events.

5.. In general, spend time outside.

Did you know that spending time in the sunshine and fresh air actually has an impact on your health? Nature can boost our moods, make us feel more energized and productive. And everyone knows that a healthy mindset leads to a healthier life. The great thing about summer is that we have endless opportunities to be outside because of the close weather. You can really take almost any activity you want and move it outside. Even as I sit here writing this blog I am sitting outside on our beautiful porch looking out over a lake.

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