June 2023 goals

2 June 2023

Earlier this week, a child riding an electronic scooter was hit by a car and killed in the neighborhood next to ours. We pass through the intersection where it happened every day we ride our bikes to school. While this is not the opening note I usually strike in these monthly updates, it’s been on my mind, and it felt like what I needed to write about today.

First, a reminder: statistics show that the risk of a fatality when a car collides with a pedestrian is 5% when traveling 20 miles per hour. It increases to 45% at 30 miles per hour, and 85% at 40 miles per hour. This was a sobering, but helpful, reminder to me, and I’ve committed to driving at 20 mph through neighborhoods from now on.

Second, a reminder: change is possible. I was disheartened by those in our neighborhood Facebook group responding to statistics like the one above and pleas for drivers to slow down with comments like “they’ll fall on deaf ears” or “they won’t make a difference.” Sure, not everyone is going to be moved to action by a statistic, a Facebook post, or even a tragic accident – but some people will be. People change every. single. day. Change is possible. We must believe that.

Finally, a reminder: life is full of risks. In the first few hours of this close-to-home news, I struggled to know what to do with it. Surely an event as terrible as this would require something of me – some change in our behavior, some mitigation of risk, some further action that would keep my family safer. The hard truth is, though, we already wear our helmets. We already stop at stop signs. We already look for oncoming traffic.

So yes, I can and will drive even more slowly where I know children might dart out into the road. But we’ll also continue to play outside, and go for walks, and bike to school, and slowly but steadily allow our children more and more freedom – even when it scares me.

And with that, let’s wade together into the both/and. Here’s what’s ahead in June and a few other lighter things…

Our beautiful backyard hydrangeas! They have a tough time in the heat of summer, so this is their time to shine.

On my calendar:
— My friend and I are hopping back on our bikes to ride the complete American Tobacco Trail! We finished 30 miles in April due to a rain delay. Here’s hoping the last fifteen aren’t too tough…
— June’s last day of school. She and I are currently scheming decorations for our official dinner party.
— A backyard Jess Ray concert. If you’ve never listened to her music, do yourself a favor.

What I’m loving right now:
— We are somewhat far away from having a middle schooler, but this piece by Ashlee Gadd is a heart wrecker regardless. Read at your own risk. (Her writing is just so lovely.)
— I tried out Jen’s playlist at the last Articles Club and it was so enjoyed that a few ladies asked about it – yet it also faded beautifully into the background. A perfect dinner party mix!
— You know how when you make an Amazon return at Kohl’s they give you a coupon? Well, they sucked me in on my last visit and I ended up purchasing this dress. I think the silhouette and embroidery are so lovely!

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

What I read in May:
The Inheritance Games | Meh. Am I now too old for YA books? I thought this one was fine, but for me, it certainly didn’t live up to the glowing hype. The characters, writing, and plotting were all just… meh (and I found it really hard to remember which brother was which).
Carrie Soto is Back | This was my first Taylor Jenkins Reid novel and it was solidly enjoyable! Extra fun because I was taking tennis lessons while reading it. The descriptions of the matches suck you in, Carrie is a unique character (I rooted for her even though she’s a bit prickly), and the drama of the four Grand Slams unfolding kept me up past my bedtime. The only thing that annoyed me – and I admit this is a detail that would perhaps only annoy an English major – is that I thought the author used too few contractions, which made the dialogue feel overly-formal in a way that wasn’t consistent with the characters. Make of that what you will, ha!
Camp Girls | DNF. Perhaps it’s because I don’t have my own camp memories from growing up to draw on, but what I read of this book just felt like a mishmash of one woman’s reminiscing – almost like an extended inside joke – without a compelling through-line to draw me in.
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow | Loved it and loved it and loved it. I’ve written in this post and other recent book reviews about characters that just didn’t compel me; nothing could be further from the truth with this one. Sadie, Sam, and Marx were such complete, sympathetic characters. I raced through this book, wanting to know what happened to them next (but also not wanting it to end!). There WAS a devastating turn of events about 3/4 of the way through that made me want to hurl the book against the wall, but the theme of immortality woven through was fascinating and masterfully done. And, like every other review I’ve read, it must be said that I neither know nor care a thing about video games and still found this book completely engrossing.
Every Summer After | Meh. This book suffered from following directly after Tomorrow and Tomorrow, which I know is unfair, but it just paled in comparison. The characters seemed underdeveloped and the plot felt contrived and predictable. It was also a bit racier than I was expecting, and it definitely didn’t make me sob.

My reading list for 2023! I’m 14 / 24 so far.

Revisiting my May goals:
Edit Annie in April (It turned out so fun! Sweet Annie’s third-child energy is strong and it shows in her movie :))
Organize our master bath cabinets
(Done! This area offered an especially great excuse to get rid of things we don’t use anymore, which is always satisfying.)
Organize our loft
Send invites for the book swap (Done! I asked my friend Bethany to cohost with me and I’m very excited about the details we’ve dreamed up, including decor and prizes from this shop and this shop.)

June goals:
— Settle into our summer rhythm
— Film June in June
— Paint our master bath cabinets
— Clean out June’s room (with her help!)
— Plan thoughtfully for our time in Connecticut and Maine
— Complete final prep for and enjoy the book swap
— Update our budget tracking (we’ve gotten way behind in logging expenses, so taking this on this month!)

I’d love to hear: what’s a recent (or not) book you panned but everyone else seemed to love? :)

Affiliate links are used in this post!

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
June 2, 2023 10:40 am

Oh I’m so sorry to hear about your neighborhood’s loss. Saying a prayer for that child’s family and everyone involved. And an excellent reminder just how critical it is to drive slowly when kids are around.

June 2, 2023 12:04 pm

Important thoughts at the beginning. Well said. Also have to add that I have that dress! My husband is the new Commodore at our yacht club and I wore it to our first time hosting the opening summer season cocktail party. Felt like the perfect match.

June 2, 2023 12:08 pm

Oh, Em. I am heartbroken to hear of this loss. I will pray for them and I am so grateful you wrote this. Ever since Jacqui Saldana’s son died years ago, my greatest fear has been this very thing. And yet we live – and play and ride our bikes – in spite of all the unexpected dangers around us. I join you in these thoughts. People can change and words matter. I am so grateful for your words.

June 2, 2023 12:23 pm

I’m so sorry to hear about your neighbor. So awful and tragic and scary. I love your actionable idea though of minding the speed we all drive in neighborhoods, it can really make a difference. In light of tragedies I repeat the mantra of “I will parent with love and not fear” over and over but sometimes it can feel so difficult.

June 2, 2023 2:01 pm

I’m so sorry to hear about this child and his or her family. What a horrible, horrible tragedy. Drowning and car accidents are my biggest fears with regards to my children but I had never read those statistics before. I suspect now I’ll never forget the difference that slowing down to 20mph can make and it will impact my behavior.
We are house hunting and I’ve been staunchly opposed to anything on a busy road, which has been a bit of a sticking point with my husband (since there have been a few nice homes below our budget that we let pass by). While I know this wasn’t your intention- what you’ve shared makes me feel validated and even more firmly planted in this “must have” – thank you.

June 2, 2023 2:35 pm

I wanted to like The Inheritance Games too!! I had heard such great things and I was excited to listen to the Audiobook, but the voices on the Audiobook were ???? and I couldn’t get into it unfortunately. On to other books!

June 2, 2023 3:01 pm

Friend, I so appreciate you sharing at the beginning. What a tragedy and so close to home- I can only imagine how the boy’s parents are feeling and the driver. As our kids are growing a smidge older and have neighborhood friends, giving them freedom to roam the neighborhood has been something new for us over the last 1-1.5 years…..and it’s been hard and clunky because of exactly your thoughts “we’ll also continue to play outside, and go for walks, and bike to school, and slowly but steadily allow our children more and more freedom – even when it scares me.” I also wonder too, how your perspective could be such an encouragement to your neighbors who may also be feeling the effects of this loss and pulling back! Your family continuing to venture out safely could be healing for your grieving neighbors and also a reminder to drive with caution as they see little ones out and about.
On a lighter note, five books in a month is no small feat! Pray tell, when do you find the time to read so much in this season of life?

June 2, 2023 8:03 pm

Your thoughts at the beginning sound so similar to something I pray about regularly (that Chelsey also phrased well below): how not to parent from a place of fear. It feels so daunting and intimidating that I have to give it up to God all the time. (I would love a whole blog post on this, if you have more thoughts?)

Flipping to Tomorrow x3: Fully agree about wanting to throw the book against the wall 3/4 of the way through, and yet that led to what is some of the most beautiful writing I’ve ever read. Man! I adored that book!!

June 3, 2023 9:26 am

The Giver of Stars was very popular a few years ago (I think it was a Reese Witherspoon book club pick) and I…was not impressed. I was excited to read about the WPA pack horse librarians, but it felt like too-modern characters shoved into a historical fiction prompt, and wasn’t much about the librarians’ work at all! It also seemed needlessly depressing, even for a book set in Depression-era Appalachia. On top of my disappointment with the book itself, later there was some drama about whether it was plagiarized — I’ve read the other book in question, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, too, and agree that they’re unnaturally similar — which lessened the whole experience further. I don’t think I’d read another book by this author, even though she continues to be incredibly popular!

Kelly Strawberry
June 3, 2023 10:29 am

When I saw this on the news earlier in the week, I’ve been thinking of you all. So tragic and praying for these families. You know my personality is not to worry and I mostly stay true to that. I was thinking on it this week that I talk very openly to Cam about tragic things in a neutral tone (such as “we don’t worry about things we can’t control,” “we can only control ourselves,” “everyone will die and we are not promised tomorrow” and “this life is temporary and our eternal life is in heaven with God.”) When he brings up something sad, I started telling him we can pray right now. I am probably doing these things more for myself than for him! It could just be similar genetics and personality, but so far he is pretty fearless, never anxious, and talks about death as if its a normal part of life.

I would love to hear how you approach these tough topics with your kids (if you are there yet!) and glean some ideas from you!