Being Mama · Fail · good life · Kids · one little word

What I Did on My Summer Vacation


So, the first part of summer kind of kicked my tail.

I had big plans – truly – to finish a bunch of projects and to write often because of ALL THE TIME that would magically appear without school or sports or other extra curriculars. BIG. PLANS.

I was also the mom at the beginning of summer rejoicing at the thought of long, unstructured days, singing the praises of getting bored and open-ended play. Who needs summer camps, I said. We have a backyard, I said.


About the middle of July, dark clouds started forming. I felt that we (I) had accomplished nothing, we were all starting to get on each other’s nerves (even in the backyard), and the prospects of my mom’s visit, week-long church camp, and our family trip to Southern California were still too far in the distance. I started planning camps for Summer 2016. I started organizing play dates with reckless abandon. I gritted my teeth and survived.

And then, after family visits, camp, and vacation, we got back into town, cleaned our clothes and our rooms, swept away the pine needles and the sand, and had a summer restart. And it’s been pretty great.

I started embracing the slow moments and the unscheduled time and, instead of trying to fill them with errands or projects or crossing things off the to-do list (or feeling guilty about not doing them), I just let them be.


And so, on the last Tuesday before heading back to school, I found myself reading a book on the daybed while the kids played in the backyard. I found myself drawing in my journal while BB and BG drew in theirs. I found myself browsing books at the library, following their whims (books on costume-making and papercrafts and dragons and masks and doll houses).

I found myself writing.

Honestly, these are all the things I aspired for our summer to be. And they are mostly the same things we were doing at the beginning of the summer, but with more joy and peace in these last few weeks. What was different?

We changed our perspective.

Or maybe it was just me. I changed my perspective.

I saw what was most important in my day. I let go of my agenda for what we should be doing and embraced theirs. And, amazingly, I accomplished what I needed and wanted as well – the dishes and the errands, and also the reading and the writing and the creating.

Ideally, all these “One Little Word” lessons would stick with me – purposeful, slow, refine – but in reality, I have to keep learning them over and over and over again.

red zinnia

But I think that’s what LIFE is about – about seeking a restart daily, about adjusting our perspective to a bigger one, about new mercies every morning and every moment.

And while I’m sure we’ll be doing a couple of organized camps next summer (I’m not crazy), I hope that the unstructured time we do have will be more like these last few weeks of summer instead of the first.


Sorry for the long, unintended blogging break (see above)! How has your summer been? What are you learning in this season of life right now (big or small, simple or profound, serious or funny)? I’d love to hear. And thanks for reading!


31 Days · Color · DIY · Fail · Style · Thrifts

31 Days: Color – Day 16: It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Green

This is mostly a place holder post. I have been working for the last two weeks (well, intermittently) on a green dress project.

tank dress

I was inspired by this dress that came across my feed on Pinterest. It’s a dress by Viktor + Rolf, and it’s on a bunch of “sewing inspiration” boards, because it appears easy to make. “DIY men’s shirt and tank” – but there’s not a tutorial to be found. Because it’s not as easy as it looks.


This is my third green men’s dress shirt I’ve tried. The first two were too small to make a dress, but this is a large, so I was sure it would work.


But when you cut off the sleeves, the width just isn’t there, especially if you want it a little flowy.

So I’m going to keep searching for a XXL green men’s shirt – and I might just have to buy a new one at Target instead of hoping to thrift one. (Thanks for the idea, Christy. Don’t know why I didn’t think of that before.)

So here’s yet another green to-be-continued project. I am determined to finish it, though. (And, Green, after this, I’m not sure you’re my favorite color anymore.)

And I’m completely out of green projects for the month, so I’m off to make something blue instead.

31 Days · Color · DIY · Fail · Sewing · Style · Thrifts

31 Days: Color – Day 10: Green Fail

Happy Friday!

So, I’ll just start by saying this project was a fail – or at least it is so far.

I’ve been wanting a pair of green pants for a long time.


I thrifted these back in the spring. They were a little too big (and are also petites), but I thought I could make them work anyway. My plan was to make them loose fit cropped pants to wear with heels. I don’t think I have any pants in my closet that aren’t denim or cords – and haven’t since my teaching days. Might be fun to break out of the jeans rut every once in a while.


I used my chalk to mark my hemlines. The turquoise/light blue chalk with the green pants made me think of this image I pinned a couple of years ago:

blues + green

Love these colors. (Can’t find image source, but pretty sure it’s J.Crew)


Since the pants originally had a blind hem, I decided to use the same technique to hem them.


This isn’t the best blind hemming I’ve done, but it’s not terrible. What’s terrible is the fit of these pants.


They are just too big. I was hoping they would look cute in a comfy-oversized-pants-paired-with-fitted-blouse kind of way. Not so much.


Love these colors.


Don’t love these pants. When I have a little more time (not trying to post every day and catch up after last week), I will follow this tutorial (yes, my own – I don’t remember how I did it) to tailor these pants to fit.

Then I’ll wear them like this and this and this. Until then, I’ll be wearing this green necklace with this blue shirt. A lot. And probably with jeans.

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This post is part of a 31 day series. Find all the posts in this series here.

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