balance · self-care · simplifying · wellness


I have always loved the idea of summertime having a different vibe than the rest of the year. I enjoy it when my life feels seasonal – cozy and homey in the winter, active and fun in the spring, adventurous and busy in the summer, and slowing down in the fall.

A few years ago, I remember reading something Gretchen Rubin wrote, about wanting summer to have a different feel. She talked about people who actually live someplace different in the summer – they spend the summer at the beach or in the mountains or abroad. (Which I would love to do someday!) I’ve noticed that some friends achieve a different feel to their summer either by a) enjoying Summer Fridays at their jobs, when everyone is allowed to leave early on Fridays, or b) changing up how and where they spend their weekends, like retreating to a country home or the beach for Saturdays and Sundays.

This year, my summertime will DEFINITELY have a different vibe. This is my first summer off after starting a new job as a school social worker at my local middle school. And I am pumped. Psyched! And also, curious. Because what will it look like, to have the summer free to be home with my boys and to write and to have open, lazy days when we have no requirements for where we have to be and what we have to do?

I don’t know, but I am so excited to find out.

The vibe I want to cultivate for my family is all about rhythm, routine, recreation, and rest. I want to establish an enjoyable and healthy rhythm for our family; I want to create beneficial routines for all of us that we can carry into the next year; I want to have FUN and adventures!; and I want us all to have a good rest from the running around we’ve been doing all spring.

I love summer because it is a huge opportunity to press the reset button – to start new habits and to change the rhythm of everyday life. We have had a bonkers year – that post will be coming soon! – and it’s time for us to have a restful, rhythmic, fun-but-not-bonkers summer.  I can’t wait. Which is good because it starts TODAY!

green plants on ground
Photo by Dominika Roseclay on

Winter Balance #How’sMyBalance?

It’s been a while since I checked in, and now feels like a really good time.  We’re getting deep into fall, and winter is looming.  Life will move a little bit slower during the winter, and we’ll be a little bit more likely to be indoors than outside.

Sometimes I struggle during the winter; the lack of sunshine and the decrease in outdoors time can be difficult. 6975e96b96940b503af200914cceebc5 This month, I’m going to combine my usual check-in with some winter balance planning – I want to assess what I’ll need to pay attention to throughout the winter in order to keep myself nourished and balanced.  I’ve been trying to identify my stressful moments in the adoption wait so that I can develop strategies to keep myself centered.  In a similar way, I think it will help me this winter to have a semi-structured plan to keep myself balanced.

My last check-in was on September 22.  Here’s where I’m at right now with my heartsoulmindbody balance:

#heart – 9 postsbrain-balance-06

#soul – 7 posts

#mind – 8 posts

#body – 4 posts

#spirit – 1 post

And now, here is my semi-structured plan/list/conglomeration of thoughts about how to stay balanced this winter.

What are the things I need to keep my #heart nourished?

This is easy.  I need time with Tee, time with our families (especially our nieces and nephews!), and time with friends.  I’ve actually been doing fairly well with #heart since starting this blog; hopefully I’ll keep it up throughout the winter.

What are the things I need to keep my #soul nourished?

  1. Meditation.
  2. Writing.
  3. Yoga.
  4. Prayer.

What are the things I need to keep my #mind nourished?

  1. Reading.
  2. Writing.
  3. Puzzles.
  4. Professional growth and training.
  5. Learning new things.

What are the things I need to keep my #body nourished?

  1. I need to eat (and sometimes cook!) healthy food!  Less candy and diet Cokes and junk – more baking bread and granola and roasting veggies.
  2. I need to get some good, quality sleep.  Not too little and not too much.
  3. I need exercise – a variety of it.  Yoga, climbing, and running, in some sort of regular rotation, all winter long.

What do I need to keep my #spirit nourished?

Addressing the concept of #spirit has been the trickiest for me.  It’s also, perhaps, the most difficult concept to define.  I think of #spirit as my need for novelty and growth.  It sometimes has some crossover with #mind, in that it usually involves learning or discovering something new.

However, I think of spirit a little differently.  If I kept myself totally balanced, heart, soul, mind, and body, but was doing the exact same thing every day, every week, every month, every year – for me, that would not be the kind of balance I need.  I need to try new things, to do things that are an adventure, or things that are unique.  I considered the Brene Brown talk I attended to be #spirit food – it was new, unique, and I may never hear her speak live again.  I considered my day with Tee at the NY Botanical Gardens #spirit food.

Sometimes, #spirit can be challenging for a few different reasons: a) doing new things often costs money, b) I get stuck in my regular routine and don’t always seek out new adventures, and c) when I get busy, I barely have enough time to do my regular ol’ favorite things to do, let alone have time to branch out into new areas.   1416476359-winter-love-quotes-tumblr-6

Tee and I like to have Sunday Funday during our non-market months – December through April.  So we’ll be making a list of awesome Sunday Funday ideas.  So far, we have a band we want to check out, a few museums to visit, and a list of other items – skiing, skating, climbing, etc.

By setting some intentions and developing a plan to achieve winter balance, I am hoping that I can find a natural rhythm to my winter days. This winter will be even harder as the baby wait continues.  There will be hard days, but there will also be lots of good self-care.  It’s all about balance.