My Summer Sanity Savers

Summer is here!  My heart has done little flips of joy while relishing in this fact for the past five mornings that I haven’t had to set my alarm for 6:15, make breakfast, pack lunches, and shoo my kids out the door to catch a 7:10 a.m. bus.  Life is good in those extra few minutes I get to lie in my bed without worrying that I’ll be late for something!

Since I’m going to have all four of my kids at home this summer, plus my three nieces at my house a few days a week,  I plan to take some intentional steps to make this a fun few months….. for ME.  No bucket lists of kid activities for this mama, I know my kids are gonna have fun whether I take them on vacation or (gently!) push them in the back yard and lock the door.  They’re kids, they’re gonna make their own fun!

Here are a few things I’ve been thinking of to make this summer enjoyable for me amidst a million kids:

1.  Draw some firm guidelines about when it’s ok for my kids to wake me up in the morning.  (This would be almost never….  unless there’s blood.)  I still sleep with a baby monitor by my bed to listen for 11-month Elaina, but there is just no reason I need to be awake when the older kids wake-up.  My kids are usually pretty good about this, but this summer they will have the opportunity to practice their quiet voices every morning while I catch-up on all the sleep I missed during the school year! A relaxed morning routine is one of my favorite things about summer!

2.  Read good books, not just Facebook.  I spent most of Memorial Day buried in Girl at War by Sara Novic, and it was fascinating and satisfying, and I don’t know why I don’t read quality books every single day.  I should, and summer is a great time to do it!  Next up is Me Before You by JoJo Moyes.

3.  Play more music around the house. For someone who has played and sung music since childhood, I really don’t listen to it much in my day to day life.  I’m not in the car much, and I just don’t think to turn it on when I’m home.  But I’ve noticed lately that when I have put on music, it really lifts everyone’s mood.   I have a few Spotify playlists for me (everything from worship music to Lady Gaga), and I intend to start making washing the dishes and cooking opportunities for my own personal dance party in the kitchen.

I’ve also made a playlist for the kids (lots of Disney and musicals like Annie and Sound of Music), and I’ve noticed that music can bring them from bored and grumpy into spinning and laughing.  I’ve also started putting my little bluetooth speaker in the backyard while the they play…. this is all a part of my strategy to keep them playing outside as much as possible!

4.  Experiment with new recipes 

I’ve been inspired to discover new ways to eat fresh veggies in our meals and to break our habits of eating the same old stuff, and I’m challenging myself to get creative this summer. I’ve been following mollyrunsforlife on Instagram and have been so inspired by her colorful plates.  I mean, the girl eats brussel sprouts for breakfast and makes it look delicious!

I also just saw this Quinoa Salad Salmon, and recipes like this are totally what I’m going for— Anyone have any other favorites to recommend?

I KNOW my kids are gonna have a great summer.  Swimming, time with cousins and friends, lazy afternoons to read….. how could they not?!  But let’s get real, I need a survival strategy, and this is where I’m starting!

Anything you would add?  What’s your everyday summer fun?