“A content life happens when we cultivate gratitude.” – Powersheets
I cannot believe that it is September or that the weather is feeling so much like fall that I am sitting at my desk in fuzzy socks, sweatpants, and my robe to keep me cozy. This summer season flew by quicker than any other and I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that it has come and gone. But, as I face the facts and slowly embrace the fall season that is rapidly appearing I want to take a hot minute to look back over summer and all of its glory.
With help from my intentional goal planner, Powersheets, I’ve found great value in taking time to look back and appreciate what happened each month before jumping into what the next season offers. Not only does it allow me to revisit pleasant memories of the past few months, it also gives me an opportunity to recognize areas of growth. So, as I’m looking back at summer and what the Lord taught me, I wanted to share my top 5 moments with you.
1. 4th of July week in Waupaca
We spent an entire week at our family lake house in Waupaca, Wisconsin with my family (mom, dad, sis, her hubby, my hubby and I) and it was glorious. It was jam-packed with fun in the sun, ice cream, jumping in the lake, boating to the harbor bar (our fave restaurant on the lake), swimming, and skiing. This week is especially memorable because it was the first time I felt the beautiful dynamic of the 6 of us. My sis and her husband got married just under a year ago and this was the first time all of us spent an extended amount of time together as a group; it was really special and an absolute blast.
2. Camping in our new truck tent
Growing up with a family lake house, we didn’t camp much. In fact, the extent of “camping” was pitching a tent in our backyard only to run into the house in the middle of the night because I got spooked. But this year, that changed. Instead of using a friend’s tent for our annual friend camping trip, we decided to bite the bullet and buy a tent! So we got an epic tent that sets up right in the back of our truck bed. Throw in an air mattress, and string lights and we were glamping. It was cozy, comfy and we can’t wait to use it again! Watch out world, we’re campers now.
3. Girls’ trip with my college roomies
The older I get, the more thankful I am for friendships that stand the test of time. That is definitely the case with my college roomies, Trina and Alysha. Our friendship was born as freshman college roommates and has endured many crazy nights in college, a bit of drama (naturally), ups and downs and has now evolved into the sweetest of friendships. We have been through a lot together and taking this first girls’ trip and adding a new member (Alysha’s little peanut, Skylar) to the clan only affirmed how thankful I am for them. This is a tradition I am looking forward to repeating.
4. Bike extravaganza - Tosa to MKE
One hot, spontaneous Saturday in July, seven of my fave people pedaled our bikes along the Hank Aaron trail from Wauwatosa to the lakefront in Milwaukee. Weaving our way through the Air Show crowds, we parked ourselves on McKinley beach and watched the Navy Blue Angels shoot across the sky. Once the show was over, our return trip was more like a little bar crawl; we stopped at the Irish Pub, City Lights Brewing Company, and finished with a glass of wine at Ruby Tap in Wauwatosa. It was such a fun way to see our city, enjoy the beautiful weather, and get a little exercise in too. I’ve underestimated how bike-able Milwaukee is and will most definitely be incorporating more of these treks next summer.
5. Alone at the lake
This summer has been a bit of a struggle emotionally for me, and I have found so much comfort and solace in time spent alone at the lake. Whether it be sitting at the lakefront in Milwaukee or venturing up to Waupaca for my first ever solo visit (stay tuned for more on this one in a future post), the Lord has spoken much needed words of affirmation and encouragement when I’ve taken time to be alone. Looking forward into fall, this is a discipline I want to continue.
If this isn’t an exercise you’re used to doing, take a minute, scroll through your camera roll and revisit the joys (and struggles) of the last few months. As you look back, I’m curious - what would you choose as your top 5 moments of the summer?