Hey there! This is Amy Sorensen, and I'm writing to you from the zone. You know, the war zone your house becomes in the summer when all the kids are home? Where you're refereeing eight arguments, reminding someone four times that yes, that chore does need to be done now, and proffering up thirteen different suggestions for what that bored kid could do instead of complaining about being bored. (All numbers are approximate but occur hourly.)
Yeah. I'm in that summertime war zone. And I'm guessing I'm not the only mom in the trenches! I really do love summer, even though it comes with all those entertain-the-kids challenges.
Speaking of challenges, that's exactly what I'm doing today (and the other two times I'm hosting the blog this summer): offering you a challenge. This one's designed to help you embrace the reality of what your summer is like. Your summer, right now: what's it made of? What details make it different from any other summer you'll ever have? What are the little things you want to keep fresh in your memory? What things do you discover around yourself only in the hot months of the year?
Here in Utah we're having weird weather (the ski resorts are staying open till Independence Day) so all of my flowers are blooming at the wrong time, our family's hayfever victims are suffering more acutely than usual, and my oldest daughter is taking driver's ed. (An event which has caused me to stop counting the individual appearance of grey hair; it's becoming a deluge!) One kid is obsessed with playing catch, another's deeply involved in hanging out with friends, and yet another is shooting hoops nonstop. Since those specific circumstances (and more) will only happen this summer, I want to make sure to get the uniqueness documented. Hence, the challenge:
Only This Summer Photo Challenge
Here are the rules if you want to play along:
1. Find your camera.
2. For the next hour, take some photos with the goal of documenting the summer stuff around you.
3. Look for both the tell-tale summer signs and the more unique, this-year-only ones. Think about the everyday rather than the eventful.
4. Don't pick up your house. Don't declutter or rearrange or straighten up. The messiness is part of the story!
5. When you're finished, blog or journal about your pictures so that when you've got time to scrap them, the words are already there.
That's it! As I did this challenge yesterday, a little bit of magic happened: that anxious knot of summer-is-making-me-edgy start to dissolve. Documenting the details helped me remember I only get this very summer once in my life, so I should try harder to enjoy it. Here are two handfuls of my favorite challenge pictures:
1. Wet laundry hanging to dry on the swing set.
2. Such a not-smart idea: I totally left the clippers out in the grass after deadheading my poppies. Considering my kids' proclivities for getting into stitches-required situations, this was a close call!
7. Just where is that missing white flip flop? No one is certain, but luckily there are just a few extra pair sitting around. Not that those shoes are actually worn much. In general it's a barefoot ruckus around here.
9. They almost look like friends, don't they? My running shoes, my daughter's running shoes. She's deep into cross-country training time, while I run just to keep my sanity in place and my thighs from becoming monstrous.
Want to play along? Leave a link to your blog in the comments, or post a few photos on the WCS Flickr page. I hope the challenge helps you, too, discover the unique goodness in your summer!