· summer

Finding that Summer Niche (and my Reading List)

We took them to camp yesterday. I miss them already, which is a conundrum because last week when they were home I yelled a little too much. It’s that whole adjusting to summer routine that takes about two weeks. But if I send them off for a week, I’m afraid we’ll never get adjusted.

Too late now.

They’re at Camp Strong Rock this week because I won a raffle. So Annabelle got to go after all, and I’m a little panicky over that. I mean she’s a tough kid. And by tough, I mean picky. I’m trying really hard not to be that parent, so instead I texted my friend Kristi because her husband is the camp director.

See, totally not that parent.

I’m lucky I have friends who put up with me.

In the meantime, I’ve got paperwork for the arts camp they attend and I lead in a couple weeks, VBS volunteers to wrangle, and a beach trip menu to plan.

Because naturally I’m concerned about what we’ll have besides low country boil and homemade pizza.We’re going to Edisto with some friends this year and I’m pretty sure they’ll wish they hadn’t agreed to vacation with the menu planner who is currently writing a novel set at the vacation destination. I plan to get my toes in the sand, and my fingers on a keyboard in the history museum.

Speaking of that novel, I learned at my writer’s conference that one of the most important things you can do as a writer is read.

Gosh, this job is so hard sometimes.

So here’s a smidge of my summer reading list.

I actually already finished The Road to Testament (and it was fabulous).  It was written by Eva Marie Everson, whose encouragement at Blue Ridge made me believe this might actually happen someday. The Wedding Dress is by Rachel Hauck who made me feel so welcome over breakfast one morning that I couldn’t wait to read one of her stories. So far, I’m rounding out novels this summer with a little Barbara Kingsolver, because I really like her style and The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor, which is for my book club.

I’m also finishing A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman. It’s one of those books I pick up and put down because I like to ponder in between. And I can’t wait to finally crack open Rhinestone Jesus by Kristen Welch. Someday I’d love to be a part of the Mercy House Ministry the Lord has given her.

In the meantime, I’m finding new little niches of my own this summer. The kids and I were planning a lazy July, but then the big girls and I got cast in The King and I, so we’ll be hanging out at the theater a good bit. But we’re going to make time for hiking and swimming and picnics and reading since that was all they wanted when we made our bucket list last week.

I officially stepped down from MOPS in May, and am fully embracing the call to write and freelance. I’ve got several projects in the works and the kids are starting to see this as mommy’s job, so that’s helping. In addition to the novel, I’m working on some pieces for magazine submission, marketing for my friends Chris and Heidi’s farm, and of course, still musing at the local paper. I’m telling you all this because I want you faithful blog readers to know that while this is certainly not going away, I am going to slow it down for summer and get caught up on begin mom first and writer second. My goal is to write here at least twice a week. I’ve got some more giveaways planned too, so don’t go away!

As I slow down posting, I’m going to be taking the time to employ some of the great blogging advice I received at Blue Ridge as well.  Hopefully it will make my site more user friendly and keep you coming back. Until then, have a beautiful week and enjoy all the beauty summer has to offer….fresh vegetables…ice cream…starry nights….mildewing bathing suits because someone forgot to hang it up….

you get the idea.

Did you read about how my kids were all in a wedding? I’m still a puddle over the adorableness.

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