No matter how busy I am throughout the year, I always make time to slow down in the summer. I make time to pamper myself and those I love. I make time to relax. To laugh. I make time to be present in the daily moments of wonder, of gratitude and of beauty.
So here’s my recipe for a magical summer:
Daily one-on-one time with my sweetie. Yup. I KNOW he’s gorgeous.
Eating well. Summer is my favorite food season. Oops, second favorite. Winter’s first;
Long talks with my BB’s - beautiful brilliant - children. Far into the night;
Creating. Playing. Relaxing;
Ice cream dates. Every day. Why not?
Get-togethers with friends. The conversations, the laughter, the ease of being with people who love me and don’t judge.
Reading. Reading. And more reading. Inside. Outside. On a blanket at the beach. On a blanket in a field. Anywhere. Anytime.
How about you? What are your recipes for a great summer?
I did the whole numbers in a hat thing, and Ms. Moon, the owner of comment number 8, is the lucky winner of Blackbird! I hope you enjoy it just as much as I did, Ms. Moon. Please send an email with your address to: angiemuresan(at)gmail(dot)com, and the book will be on the way to you.
Thanks to all of you, my lovely friends, for the warm welcome back, and for participating in this giveaway. I’ll stop by for a visit soon, and also have a new post ready in the next week or so. Until then, I hope the rest of your weekend is fabulous!
Since we gave up our television set a little more than a year ago, we have been doing a lot of reading. In the beginning it was a bit hard to get used to the seemingly empty evening hours and I confess I was anxious to fill the time with anything that would make the hours pass. After a few nights of going online to get the news and chat with friends, we realized that our decision to kick the TV out had been in fact a desire to create a bond between us, and not just to prove our superiority to our family and friends.
So we brought out the cookbooks and cooked up elaborate meals with the kids participating, stocked up on board games and delegated Sunday night ‘family game night,’ and went to the public library and made library cards for each one of us. (As I am writing this, I am looking out the window at an elderly woman walking along and reading a paperback. I see her everyday at about this time and sometimes she stops and reads, flipping the page, as though wondering what she missed. I want to ask her what she’s reading so intently that she can’t wait until she gets home or to the bus stop. It must be good if she’s willing to risk falling or tripping and breaking an ankle! I have done that a few times, dragging myself off the couch and walking around the house in an attempt to get some exercise in besides my reading. I have ended up either stubbing my toes or bumping my head on a wall that suddenly came up. Consequently, I have determined that I much rather work out my brain.)
I am thrilled to say that reading became our favorite pastime. Every evening (unless I go to one of my two book clubs, on a date with my husband, or to the bookstore or library with the family), following a yummy dinner where we sit and chat about our day, school, work, current events, books we’ve read, etc., we all retreat to our cozy family room lined with brimming bookshelves and depending how cold it is outside, a blazing fire, and read until time for bed.
It doesn’t take much to get us into the holiday spirit, even without a TV, or without trips to congested malls. The kids open the respected day’s flap on the advent calendar, select a book from the overflowing holiday bookshelf, my husband and I find our places in our books, and we’re on our way. Silent reading is the best! Nonetheless, memories are made while reading to one another, so we try to remember to include that in our nightly ritual. Following is our recommended holiday list. Pick one, pick all, just sit back, sip something comforting (a little spiced apple cider?, a hot cocoa perhaps?), and enjoy making memories!
The Gift of the Magi O. Henry
The Fir Tree Hans Christian Andersen
A Miserable, Merry Christmas Lincoln Steffens
The Legend of the Christmas Rose Selma Lagerlof
The Birth Of Christ St. Luke 2:1-16
The Three Wise Men St. Matthew 2:1-14
A Pint of Judgment Elizabeth Morrow
The Miraculous Staircase Arthur Gordon
The Story of Holly and Ivy Rumer Godden
The Little Match Girl Hans Christian Andersen
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe C.S. Lewis
Toot and Puddle: I’ll Be Home for Christmas Holly Hobbie
Christmas in the Big Woods Laura Ingalls Wilder
Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree Robert Barry
Eloise at Christmastime Kay Thompson