What better topic for Ten on the Tenth this month than "My Favorite Things About Summer"...especially since today is the last day of school in our little community. No, we don't normally go to school until June 10th, but the nine snow days we had during the winter months led to this seemingly interminable school year. Summer is going to feel exceptionally short this year, because it will be, but I intend to enjoy every minute of it. I feel extremely blessed to have a job where I have summers off. In fact, if you are not similarly blessed, you may not want to read any further. If you choose to do so, I claim no responsibility for any extreme feelings of jealousy you may experience.
That being said, here are my ten favorite things about summer (in no particular order):
1. Not having to set my alarm clock. What an unspeakable luxury it is to go to bed at night knowing I don't have to be up at a specific time in the morning! My husband still has to get up...high school principals don't get the summer off...and just to be able to roll over and go back to sleep....Aaaaahhhhhh! Now, I'm generally awake by 7:00 or 7:30 even without an alarm, but it's just knowing that I don't have to get up that I enjoy so much.
2. Not having a schedule. There will be many days this summer when I won't leave the house at all. And now that Bethany is driving and begging me to give her errands to run, I may not have to leave the house all summer long! :)
3. No homework. Yes, I know I'm too old to have homework, but when Bethany has homework, it feels like I have homework. This year, she had to make a leaf collection for her Pre-AP Biology class, and it quickly became a family project. Even her Grandpa Sullivan, who, thankfully, is a retired forester, got sucked into this one! I know that getting her homework done is her responsibility, but I'm always aware of the dates her work is due, and am relieved when she gets her assignments turned in. And then there are those Spanish tests, with the endless lists of vocabulary words that must be memorized. I think I learned as much Spanish as she did this year! Actually, she has an AP English assignment for the summer...reading "The Scarlet Letter" and "All the King's Men"...and I've decided to read those on my Kindle as well. I like to know what she's reading in class and to be able to discuss it with her. Oh well, maybe "not as much homework" would be a better way to phrase Item #3.
4. Not having to "dress up" every day. I enjoy my job very much, but I don't enjoy standing in my closet every morning trying to decide what I'm going to wear that day. During the school year, Friday is my favorite day because it's "jeans day". I love slipping on my favorite pair of jeans and a Panthers t-shirt and being ready for work. And this summer, I'll be in shorts and a t-shirt every day except Sunday. I can handle dressing up one day a week!
5. Having time to do all those things that I never seem to have time for during the school year. You know...all those projects around the house that need to be done, like cleaning out the closets, rearranging the kitchen cabinets, painting that old dresser...the list goes on and on. I find that I actually enjoy doing all those things when I have time to do them!
6. Evenings at home with the family. Other than church-league softball, our summer evenings are generally free. This is a huge contrast to our evenings during the school year, which seem to be completely filled up with school-related or church-related activities. All good activities, in and of themselves, but they sure drain away a lot of family time!
7. Cooking! I rarely have time to cook during the school year, and since our family is usually involved in all the above-mentioned activities, it seems that we're rarely home during the dinner hour anyway. And to really cook well, you must have time to plan your menus, make a shopping list, go to the grocery store, unload the groceries, cook the meal, and clean up afterward. In the summer, there's time to do all that. I hope to even have the opportunity to try out some new recipes, because I sure get tired of cooking the same thing all the time! And there's always the grill -- a great opportunity for the hubby to show off his cooking skills, such as they are!
8. Walking on my treadmill every day. I really, truly enjoy the hour I spend on my treadmill, probably because it affords me an uninterrupted hour of reading each day. During the school year, it's hard to keep up a regular exercising schedule, but it should be no problem this summer.
9. VACATION! We have always tried making family vacation time a priority, and I'm so glad we did. We have such wonderful memories with our girls at Gulf Shores, Disneyworld, Yellowstone, and Washington D.C. I wouldn't trade those trips for anything. This summer we'll be trying Panama City Beach for the first time, and we are looking forward to that. Vacations have become somewhat bittersweet, though, because we really seem to feel Hannah's absence more sharply during special family times like that. We've become somewhat "accustomed" (not really sure if that's the right word) to her absence in our home, but we are acutely aware that she is not with us when we are out of our normal routine.
10. Time to blog! During this past school year, it's been hard to post as often as I would like to. Too many times I've had a great idea or thought about something I wanted to share, only to be too exhausted at the end of the day to sit down and write about it. And after several days of that, the great idea just seems to fade away. I'm hoping to remedy that this summer by having an actual plan for posting on my blog. Starting next week, I hope to post something every (or nearly every) weekday according to the following schedule...
Monday Mourning -- I plan to write about some sort of grief-related topic.
Tell About It Tuesday -- I plan to share something that I love, such as a favorite product, recipe, restaurant, website, etc.
Wacky Wednesday -- Something funny from my week...could be a personal story, a video, or a funny Facebook post.
Thoughtful Thursday -- I plan to share something from my personal Bible study or reading time, something that makes me go, "Hmmmmmm."
Free-for-All Friday -- Could be anything. I may even try a give-away or two, like some of the bloggers I aspire to be like do from time to time.
That's the plan, anyway. We'll see how it goes. I realize that in all reality, I probably won't be able to post every day, but I'm going to try to follow this schedule when I do post. By following this plan, my posts should be shorter, too, since I won't be trying to cram everything I want to say into a single post just because I have time to write it. Like this post, which started out as "Ten on the Tenth", and has somehow morphed into my new blog plan.
Oh well, I didn't have anything else I had to do today anyway. Just one more thing I love about summer!