I love every season but, oh, summer! I love the freedom of it and the simple joys that come along with the season. Simple joys like flowers from the yard. The other day, I gave myself a bouquet of two dozen roses. Not only are they gorgeous on my kitchen table and smell heavenly, but they were free! The rosebush in my yard is exploding with blooms right now, as well as many of my other flowers: yarrow, Jupiter's beard, lilies, bachelor's button, salvia, lamb's ear, sage. My house feels so much cheerier with all these flowers, both inside and out. I always try to keep fresh flowers in my home. I tell you, they're good for the soul and I heartily recommend giving yourself a bouquet today, whether it's from your yard or from the grocery store!
Here's a mish-mash of summery links to celebrate this first week of June!
Summer Goals...with a Plan :: 71 Toes
I don't know about you, but I've been seeing all sorts of blog posts about summertime lists: bucket lists, to-do lists, checklists. I'm not the most organized of people, but I do want a little structure for my kids, especially my older son, this summer. This post at 71 Toes is pretty amazing (seriously, these people are super-parents). If I'm being honest, their summer goal-setting, checklists, and plans may be a bit too structured and organized for my brain, but the post is still giving me some good ideas on how we want to organize and plan our summer.
It's Okay to NOT Have a Summer To-Do or Bucket List :: Life As Mom
Then again, summertime is supposed to be about freedom and relaxation, too. One of my best friends and I were just talking yesterday about easy it is to feel overwhelmed by bucket lists and the feeling that you alone are responsible for making summer perfect, magical, and memorable for you and your family. While I plan on making some goals and plans, I believe I'm more in favor of the fluidity of the approach in this post.
Old Fashioned Lemonade Recipe :: Making This Home
Lemonade and summer are pretty much synonymous. I like this recipe because of its simplicity and because it sounds likes it's more on the sour side. I believe a truly good glass of lemonade should make your lips pucker a little. (I'm totally going to try this lemonade in my other favorite summertime beverage -- you can find it here.)
10 Creative Ways to Make an Outdoor Oasis for Kids this Summer :: Apartment Therapy
I want to do every single one of these.
How to Build a Water Balloon Launcher :: Frugal Fun for Boys
Making this soon. My boys (as well as their neighborhood friends) will LOVE it.
Strawberry Sorbet Recipe :: Andrea's Notebook
This recipe sounds super simple and delicious. Plus, it doesn't have that much sugar in it. I'm totally counting a bowl of this sorbet as a serving of fruit.
On a more serious note...
I couldn't write a post today without mentioning the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. Years ago, while I was visiting the Special Forces Museum at Fort Bragg, I came across a quote from John Stuart Mill that really struck me and that I think of often when I think of the military:
"War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares about more than his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."This quote offers such an interesting perspective and insight into the character of those who do fight our wars. That's what really humbles me about the picture above, why it is so moving -- in that boat sit men, all of them having lives and families back home, ready to head onto the shores of Normandy seventy years ago, knowing full well they might not survive. I wonder how many in the picture did. And if they did survive, they most likely survived with painful memories of that horrific but tremendously important day in history. I'm willing to bet that each one of those men in that photograph were afraid as they sat on that boat, but their courage lies in the fact that they went ashore anyway.
I come from a military family -- my grandfather fought in the South Pacific during World War II and my dad served a full military career during many conflicts, including Vietnam. I have a particular soft-spot in my heart and deep respect for the military. Yet, more than ever, days like today strike a little closer to home because I have a brother currently deployed and serving in Afghanistan. I understand the cost of freedom in a way I haven't fully appreciated before. There are no words for my gratitude for the brave men and women who have served and serve our country today, who are willing to pay the ultimate price to defeat tyranny and defend freedom. On this 70th anniversary of D-Day, I remember and honor the bravery of them all.
Note: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have disclosed.