We are in the thick of our 1st hot summer in Texas. We are swimming practically every day and every one of us has an awesome golden tan. I’m truly enjoying the long days with all my kiddos home with me. We have definitely had our moments of boredom and conflict, but at the end of the day I just feel so grateful for the gift of another fun and memory filled summer with my 5 sweet babies.
That being said, I thought it would be fun to share something a little more fun and lighthearted this week–my 2022 Summer Favorites. Perhaps this list will be helpful if you are looking for some inspiration or you need some encouragement. Or maybe you just need a recommendation for something new to read or listen to as you lay by the pool or beach.
- Relatable with Allie Beth Stuckey
- This podcast has been my favorite for years and it is still my go-to when I want to catch up on political and cultural issues from a Biblical worldview. Allie is articulate and easy to listen to. She does not shy away from speaking the truth and has a knack at bringing encouragement from God’s word even when discussing really heavy issues.
- Morning Wire
- This podcast is produced by the Daily Wire. I try to listen to its short episodes daily in order to get a quick overview of the “news you need to know.” As a busy mom, I appreciate its succinct stories that lay out facts quickly and effectively.
- I’ve been putting their worship music on in the mornings, especially when things are hectic and my mind is racing as my kiddos are running circles around me. Their biblical lyrics and calming melodies help get me in a better headspace to face my day with worship, peace, and gratitude. My favorite songs are Good and Gracious King, Only a Holy God, and Christ is Mine Forevermore.
- The Ology:Ancient Truths Ever New by Marty Machowski
- This is the book I have been reading with my kids when we do morning devotions together over breakfast. Its short chapters go through the deep truths of scripture. It is written with a simplicity that children will understand while also explaining the difficult truths of the Bible with great beauty.
- The LifeGiving Home by Sally and Sarah Clarkson
- Such a sweet, inspiring book about creating a loving and memorable home for your children. They write about each month of the year emphasizing the traditions and rhythms that they practiced as a family in that particular month. It’s a super encouraging read full of lots of practical advice and wisdom.
- Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie
- I just started this one, but it came very highly recommended by many homeschool moms I admire. So far so good, but I can’t give a full overview yet. I thought I would share in case there are any other moms desiring some encouragement as they look towards the beginning of a new school year with their kids.
- M is for Mama: A Rebellion Against Mediocre Motherhood by Abbie Halberstadt
- This practical and encouraging book is written by a Bible believing mom of 10. She has an account I follow on Instagram because I was inspired by her big family and her seemingly happy and calm attitude toward parenting. Her book portrays a Biblical view of motherhood which is opposite of the cultural narrative that encourages moms to wallow in the hard aspects of mothering.
- What is a Woman? (A documentary by Matt Walsh)
- Such a well done documentary on the Transgender movement that is permeating our culture. It’s so important to hear what some of the people behind this movement have to say and where many of the ideas of gender ideology come from. It’s truly heartbreaking.
- Sing 2
- This is my favorite movie that I watched with my kids this summer. I love all the songs and the story is so sweet.
- Top Gun: Maverick
- My hubby and I watched this film on a date night. I honestly had pretty low expectations, but we both actually really enjoyed it. Just a good, uplifting story with no hidden agenda.
- Field Trip Fridays
- This is a new cheesy thing that I started doing this summer. Every Friday we try to make a trip to a new place in our new area. Sometimes it’s educational like a museum or aquarium or sometimes it’s just a new and fun place that we can explore together. One of the perks of living in a new state is that it has provided a long list of new places to visit.
- Keep “some” routine
- It’s summer and the temptation to waste away the mornings with cuddles and cartoons is very tempting, but after a few days with no routine my kids and I are noticeably both more irritable. We have a significantly laid back schedule during the summer, but making sure to keep the important things in our daily routine has made a world of difference. Making sure I get my work out in and spend time in the Word are vastly important to making sure that I am a better wife and mom. Providing my kids with structure that includes time in God’s word, time reading, time outside, and time as a family adds the routine that helps all of our days flow more smoothly.
- Play with your kids
- I’m in no way perfect at this one, but I have noticed that the days that I am intentional about playing with my kids are usually much more peaceful and happy. I try and make it a point to always swim with them, find ways to be silly with them, and put down my phone or what I am doing to be intentional with spending time with them. I have a vast range of ages from a teenager to a 1 year old, so investing into each of them looks very different. But whether it’s playing the Floor is Lava with my 6 year old or taking my teen for a pedicure, I know that intentional time with them is never wasted time.
- Explore your new state with your spouse
- Having my parents live with us has allowed us to go on regular dates and it has been so fun! We are loving all the fun new restaurants and places that we get to explore together. If you have moved recently, I encourage you (if you are able) to get in some extra dates this summer. Have fun exploring all the new things your new state has to offer.
- “Aniston” Salad
- Because the summer days tend to be so busy, I have been enjoying meal prepping a big salad that I can eat for lunch for a few days in a row. The “Aniston” salad has been one of my go to recipes to make a big batch of. Apparently, it’s the salad that Jennifer Aniston would eat for lunch while filming Friends. Whether that’s true or not, it is delicious. https://www.eatingbirdfood.com/jennifer-aniston-salad/
- Iced coffee Nespresso pods with coconut syrup
- After one too many afternoon trips to Starbucks, I pulled out my Nespresso machine. I went on Amazon and bought the iced coffee pods as well as some coconut syrup. This combo makes the most delicious and summery afternoon pick-me-up. Try it!
- Bahama Buck’s
- They serve fancy shaved ice and we are all obsessed with it. Its probably our favorite treat this summer. Definitely look and see if you have one in your area.
OK, that’s a wrap on my summer favorites!
Whatever your summer has looked like, I pray it has been a good one!
If you would like some additional recommendations for great books, music, and movies, then check out this post that my fellow ramblers put together a few months back:http://redstateramblings.com/feeling-drab-weak-uninspired-here-are-some-resources-to-help/