If you’ve never heard me complain about San Francisco weather, it’s because when we moved back, I decided to put on big girl panties and stop moaning about this city. (If you ever read my old posts from four years ago, you will hear a lot of whining.) When we moved back, I decided I was not going to be just a visitor yacking about how cold it is. I was going to embrace the weather as one of my city’s lovely quirks.
Except for summer.
Summer in San Francisco is not something I can get behind. It’s often the coldest part of the year. 55 degrees and constantly cloudy. I know you don’t believe me. What? In California?
Yep. In California.
So, when Chris and I moved back to this fair city, I laid down an ultimatum: Micha does not do July in San Francisco. I can handle June. It’s sunny the first half of that month. And I can handle the month of August being cold and overcast. And I can do those things if I’ve had a good dose of summer.
So that’s what we did this July. We got our summer. And we’re lucky enough to have the ability to see our family and spend quality time with them in the process.
That’s why I didn’t write much. I got the first draft of my book into the hands of a few friends who are giving me feedback and I took a big fat break and played with my kids, celebrated Chris’ grandparents’ sixtieth (yes, 60th!) anniversary, cleaned out our stored furniture in Philly, swam in my mother in law’s pool, saw my friend Catherine in concert at an old beautiful, now empty church, caught fireflies in my father in law’s yard on the Fourth of July, vacationed with dear friends in Maine, said goodbye to my husband and took the boys to my parents in Texas, hiked with my brothers in New Mexico, and shopped with my mom in Amarillo. We got back this past Saturday and, after five weeks away, I was actually (read: somewhat) okay with San Francisco’s weather. I’m so happy to be home.
What I’ve been Reading:
On our week of vacationing in Maine, I read Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, a memoir that one of my friends recommended as I’m working on my own. You guys. This is a beautiful book. The story is both profound and entertaining, and the writing is fantastic. I highly recommend.
August and I finally finished the first book in the Growly series, which my friend Annie Barnett illustrated. I’m so excited to tell you more about the first of this series of children’s chapter books. Loved it. And August and I have been having so many conversations about Growly the bear in our everyday life.
I read Seven Sacred Pauses, a wonderful little meditative book, recommended by Jen Hatmaker in her book Seven, about pausing throughout the day and praying mindfully. It’s been a huge help in how I’m organizing my book.
I also read about three People magazines, two Real Simples, and one In Style. Just keeping it real.
What I’ve been watching
Chris and I weren’t able to see the Mad Men finale before leaving for our trip, so we actually waited for each other (five weeks!) to watch it together. We watched it this past Saturday night and I was pretty relieved that I didn’t have to go through any huge drama. I’m not as attached to Mad Men as I have been in the past. (Thus, my five weeks without watching the finale.) But I am definitely ready to see Don Draper make some steps forward. Come on, Don! You can do it!
I started Side Effects with our friends in Maine and it was too uncomfortable. I can’t handle uncomfortable. I went to bed and read Wild instead. My husband thought it was “really well done.” I have nothing else to add.
Also, my friend Christina and I stayed up late watching 13 Going on 30. That was probably the eighth time I’d seen it. I can’t help myself.
Otherwise, I haven’t watched much. I’ve done a lot of sitting outside with friends and family at night. And that’s been the very best.
What I’ve been writing
I’m pushing through this book, friends. I’m in these last six weeks of revising before I send the book off to my editor for the first round of edits. And I’m trying to balance writing with enjoying August’s last three weeks of non-school life. He starts Kindergarten on the 19th and I can’t think about it too long without hyperventilating. When I’m not hyperventilating, I’ve feeling so excited for him. This kid is ready to be out of the house every day. He will be incredible happy in school. The question is, Will I survive?
What I’ve been listening to
Prayer is really hard for me when I’m on vacation. If I don’t have a set schedule, it’s nearly impossible to find a set time to sit down and pray. I recently learned about a Jesuit podcast called Pray as You Go, which is a ten-minute, daily, directed prayer and scripture reading. Listening to it was a life-saver for me. Whenever I found a moment on my trip, I was able to throw it on and listen and focus my heart, usually while I was doing something else, like packing or making coffee, or folding clothes. I love the way the prayer time is always in response to the scripture reading. I love the British accents. And I love the minutes of music at the beginning.
My favorite August quote of the month:
“Well, you learn till you die. Right, Mom?”
Favorite vacation moment:
It’s a tie between reading a chapter from my book aloud, under the stars, to my husband and friends on our last night in Maine. And hiking with my brothers and sister in law and two nephews in New Mexico.
Also, watching my boys catch fireflies in the dusk. Also, riding a roller coaster with August at an amusement park. Also, having some Philly friends over for food and swimming at my mother in law’s and being blown away by the sheer amount of children we all have.
It was a good month. What about you? What have you been into?
Linking up with Leigh Kramer…