From My Many Open Tabs 1

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This was the first week of school for my kids. The kicker is we moved to a new school district, so this has brought nervous anticipation for even our school-seasoned middle-schooler. Good news: it all went as well as could be hoped. Kids are resilient. I’m apparently resilient, too, because I’m back on that 6:15am school-year wake-up grind. Thank goodness for human adaptability all around. :)

Last week, we spent (from what I can tell) our 10th summer vacation at our favorite lake in Tennessee. We always stay at the same little marina resort, spend all day every day on the water, and aim to end the summer well right before school.

This year, after a grueling summer, I was afraid of missing out on really diving deep into the gift of rest that this vacation promises. I knew I would be tempted to zone out—the cell signal has increased steadily over the past decade we’ve been visiting…now, reaching us (GASP!) all the way in the middle of the lake. I knew after being in between homes all summer I could wish away vacation, preferring routine and normalcy and nesting at home.

So, on the first day, I sat down with a pad of paper and wrote down my best hopes for vacation. I wanted to leave the week feeling like I’d connected deeply with God, engaged with my kids playfully, and was filled up rather than drained. THEN, I made a corresponding list of what I could tangibly do to reach those hopes.

  1. Read books instead of the internet (that fills me up rather than draining me).

  2. NOTICE and fully BE in nature—the sounds of the bugs and the wind, the colors of the sky and the water, the sensations of swimming. (This leaves me in awe of God and tethered to Him)

  3. Jump off the cliffs and get up on the wakeboard. (These are two things I do annually to “stay young” and because my kids love to do both!)

More than anything, I knew how I wanted to FEEL when I left vacation, so I reverse engineered the vaca and didn’t let it pass me by. It worked like a charm. This is the kind of vacation where you don’t even pack makeup. THE BEST.

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And, because someone should benefit from my 56748 open tabs:

She’s 5’9”, but how will it look on my 5’3” self? I’ve ordered, am awaiting shipping, and will report back.

Can this man actually make bread from 4500 year old yeast he found in ancient ceramic pots? Spoiler…you betcha.

All 23 matter. Everytown on every single El Paso victim.

795 (and counting) women on their magical secret talents. Cup of Jo is always delightful and insightful.

4 bus rides at 95 years old, all to pay your respects. Amnesty International asks an elderly man for his wisdom.

The Weird Magic of the Music of Summer 1999. The Ringer explores LFO’s “Summer Girls” and the rest of that summer in a hazy nostalgia.