June 2022 goals

2 June 2022

June marks the end of our family’s first elementary school year and the beginning of our first elementary school summer – a departure from the previous summers of more or less consistent, continuous care! We have a plan (of course we have a plan) – and I look forward to sharing my reflections and how we handled it as two working parents after we’ve lived it – but I’m also going in expecting to iterate and ready to give us all lots of grace. A few things that have been helping at the start: these summer tips from Janssen (gold, all) and printing and hanging this calendar and this summer reading chart in the 24×36 size. Keeping things fairly light on the goal front as we move into this new season!

May Articles Club in the backyard at the height of jasmine season: bliss!

On my calendar this month:
— Our tenth annual camping trip with the Rays! We’ve opted for a glamping-adjacent site in honor of a decade of adventures.
— Graduation parties for our two beloved high school babysitters! These are the girls who got two working parents through a 19-week COVID preschool closure, so we are doing it up big for them: Away suitcases and copies of three of our favorite formative books: The Psychology of Money, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, and The Coddling of the American Mind. Plus cards from the kids, of course :) How lucky are we to get to be a part of their lives!
— A fun event with Thrive Motherhood here in Cary, NC! I’m the guest speaker on June 23 and would love to hang with you to talk about one of my very favorite topics: making everyday magic as a mom. There’s a $15 ticket fee and I can guarantee you’ll walk away with some fun Cultivate goodies :)

What I’m loving right now:
— Oh my gosh, John and I saw the new Top Gun movie on opening night and it was FANTASTIC. I am an unabashed fan of Tom Cruise movies and if you loved the original, the new version just will not disappoint. So worth seeing in theaters!
— There’s been a lot written recently about the mental health crisis facing Americans right now, and especially teens, but I found this one (“Parenting Against the Spirit of Fear”) especially thought-provoking. This one (“How to Quit Intensive Parenting”) feels like a good next step.
— I am militant about sun protection on my face. I never leave the house without sunscreen, and I’m usually wearing my hat if I’ll be outside for awhile, so it hardly ever gets color. I’ve been using these tan drops (one drop mixed into my moisturizer every other night) for a few months on the rec of an Articles Club friend, and they’re brilliant! A little sun-kissed glow does wonders to even out my face and make foundation even less necessary.

As a reminder, you can find alllll the things I’ve loved over the last few years neatly organized right here!

What I read in May:
Without a Hitch | Lisa lent me this book based on our shared experience in the world of Southern weddings, and it was a fun romp through a very familiar landscape.
Apples Never Fall | My Mom asked me to put this book on hold at the library for her when she was coming for a visit. Turns out she was #645 in line, so it came in several months after she went home, ha! I’d never read anything by Liane Moriarty, but she’s kind of a big deal (Big Little Lies, Nine Perfect Strangers), so I figured I’d give it a shot. I hadn’t read a thriller in several years and enjoyed it!

My reading list for 2022, if you’d like to follow along!

Revisiting my May goals:
Download Blurb software, get familiar with it, and complete 2008 in book (Ugh – nothing!)
Start to memorize 1 Corinthians 13 with June (In progress! We memorized the first two verses and will continue! We practice on our walks to school.)
Edit Annie in April, Volume 1 (In progress!)
Go on a family bike ride once a week (Didn’t happen.)
Add bookshelves to our loft and Shep’s room
Add artwork bulletin boards to the loft (I was fully prepared to go the DIY route until I found these ones for a steal of a deal. So far, so good!)
Write out one spring/summer “brainless” meal plan (This took me approximately 20 seconds but I know it will save my rear several times over coming to and from travels this summer!)
Cull and sort January 2021 photos (Nope.)

June goals:
— Download Blurb software, get familiar with it, and complete 2008 in book
— Finish memorizing 1 Corinthians 13 with June
— Finish editing Annie in April (and film June in June, Volume 7!)
— Plan Shep’s fourth birthday party (and plan for John and Annie’s July birthdays, too)
— End the school year and begin our summer well
— Write the service I’m giving at the Island later this summer
— Pick blueberries, many times over

As a reminder, many of these are drawn from my 2022 goals!

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June 2, 2022 2:04 pm

Re: the article on the mental health crisis, I’ve learned that one of the best things for a child to have is an emotionally intelligent parent. One who can acknowledge and empathize, understands that no one is only happy or only sad, that you can and will have multiple feelings about something at once at any given time, and that that is ok. An emotionally intelligent parent also knows that if those feelings become overwhelming, there are helpful coping strategies available for every member of the family, from self care practices (not to be confused with hygiene practices) or even open conversation with a family member, friend, teacher, pastor, and most definitely access to a mental health professional if necessary.

June 3, 2022 11:53 am

Interesting articles about the mental health crisis. One thing I would encourage for all children is sleepaway camp. The camp I went to was an all-girls summer camp in Texas, and the camp directors and counselors worked hard to make it a safe environment with the perfect mix of routines, independence, new experiences and friends, and pure fun! Plus we got to be outside in nature and away from all technology for a few weeks. All in all, it was a huge boost to my confidence and mental health (especially from 8th – 10th grades). I know there are some similar camps in the western part of North Carolina – maybe something you can keep in mind for your kids as they grow :)

June 4, 2022 8:28 pm

Those articles are thought provoking indeed! Thanks for the recommendations! Putting them both down for a future Article‘s club on parenting ;)
Also, I am looking forward to hearing more about how you do summer break as working parents. I get this question all the time from friends and family in Germany – where a) the summer break is „only“ 6 weeks, and b) employees have a lot more paid leave – and I don’t have an answer. I do freelance work and am lucky enough to be able to afford taking a break. But I‘d love to know how people do it!
Have so much fun on your camping trip!! We just spend five days at Lake Lanier with Timberline Glamping and loved it. I hope you will, too!

Kristen M
June 7, 2022 10:21 am

Thank you for those parenting and fear articles. I was so excited that you linked to an article from the Dispatch – as a fairly middle of the road person politically I subscribe to the site and find it to be a good take on a lot of topics in American politics. A few years back I took a real look at my media habits and started paying for content I felt was helping to raise conversations up rather than tear things down and the Dispatch has been worth the money for sure!

June 8, 2022 2:33 pm

Thank you for the summer links & parenting advise articles! I am in the same boat as you with being working parents and having a little one out for his first official summer! I have made a chore chart and, on the recommendation of a teacher friend, purchased a school workbook. My son will have to do 10 pages per day to 1) earn iPad time and 2) finish the book by the time summer ends. . . lol we shall see how that pans out. Good luck to you and John! :)

Laura M
July 16, 2022 6:54 pm

I hope you and your family are having a great summer! I have started reading The Coddling of the American Mind because I see you so often recommend it. I’d love to see you do a post about why you like this book so much. In a spirit of honesty, I’m only halfway through, but I’m finding some parts thought-provoking and other parts very problematic and short sighted.
I have a lot of respect for the way you thoughtfully approach life, and I’d love to learn more about why this text spoke to you.

Laura M.
August 2, 2022 9:46 am
Reply to  Em

Hi Em!
Thanks for replying and sharing your thoughts. I’m still only halfway through – I’m back on the library waitlist to get it again :) – so perhaps the latter part of the book will address some of my gripes with it.
I am compelled by the authors’ argument that using the word ‘unsafe’ as a blanket term is detrimental. It has prompted me to think more closely about my language and my impact on others. (Is that really unsafe – or is it unsettling, disrespectful, or hurtful? What actually makes a space safe for someone? How can I be more welcoming, curious, vulnerable, respectful, etc.?)
My challenge with the book is that the authors seem to spend a lot of time telling people with marginalized identities how they should feel about and react to things without acknowledging that their own lived experience (white, male, educated, etc.) is different. That’s not to say that their advice is invalid or that they cannot relate, but it feels like a blind spot to not acknowledge that their privileges have altered their experience in the world and their ability to react in a certain way.
I have been listening to the audio book narrated by one of the authors, and his tone is very condescending. It’s possible that doesn’t come through in print in the same way. I was frequently frustrated with the arguments that treated young people as naïve and the authors as all knowing. (For example, the authors argue throughout the book that young people protest speakers they disagree with because they don’t want to be exposed to differing ideas. The authors don’t consider there might be several reasons to protest – like they don’t want the college to financially support a speaker who lies and is disrespectful.)
The book’s premise, that openness to hearing each other and talking about where we agree and disagree instead of shutting down, has a lot of merit. I just think the authors missed the boat on modeling that open-mindedness in their writing.
I would have loved to be part of that Articles Club where y’all discussed this book. Maybe I’ll finally have to start my own. :) Thanks for carving out a corner of the internet where conversations can happen.