I always think it's fun to read/listen to other's lists like these, so I thought I'd make my own - though most of these things aren't necessarily life-saving, just happy things I'm grateful for.
1. Morning Walks -
This summer my morning walks have stretched out most days beyond my every-day one mile loop with an extra loop around one more block, or two, or three. It has been so great to have this little time and space each day, and I have felt so grateful to be feeling strong and well and able to do this!
2. My pink zebra hat & sunglasses
Every morning as I head out the door for a walk, I grab my phone & earbuds and my hat and sunglasses. A couple of summers ago when I realized I really needed to do better at protecting my skin, I started wearing sunscreen every day and bought a hat too. I liked it so much that when (I thought) I lost it the next summer, I ordered another. Then when I happily found the original I was just so glad to have a back up!
Similar story --
I bought a pair of sunglasses years ago (a random purchase from Costco when we first moved to Logan and still drove down to Ogden for Costco/Target/Kid-to-kid errands). I liked them so much that when I lost them at the Provo Freedom Fair a couple of years ago, I searched and searched until I found another pair online (at this point they were 6-7 years old!) Last year, those broke and I tried several others that weren't quite right and this summer I was able find another pair of these online (10 years old now!) so I am back to my favorite sunglasses again!
3. Cut-off shorts
Ha! Similar story --
I had a favorite pair of jeans that I bought at a used thrift shop in Provo back in college (almost 2 decades ago!) I liked them so much (there's a theme here! :) that I went back to that same shop and found another pair. Years later one pair had been cut off into shorts and the others were so worn they had to be retired. But, I searched online and found another pair of the same pants! (15 years after I bought them used!) This summer I needed a new pair of shorts, and I searched online and found the same pants to make into shorts (again -- almost 20 years later now! This just feels like such a happy wonder to me!) and now I have some perfect fitting shorts again. (I've found that if my shorts/jeans don't fit well at the waist - too loose or too snug - it makes me feel just kind of grumpy all day, so good fitting pants/shorts really are close to to that 'save my life' description!)
4. Every day lunch --
Pretty much every day this summer I've had the same yummy lunch (crispy quesadillas + guacamole, veggies & fruit) And I have loved not having to think about what to eat every afternoon!
5. Popsicles & chocolate covered cinnamon bears
My favorite treats of this summer! (Plus a new favorite popsicle this summer - Outshine coconut - yum!)
6. Bike rides with Ellie
At least once a day, and often more Ellie asks me to go on a bike ride, and I have loved these bike rides so, so much! We ride to the rooster (a funny metal statue in a front yard in our neighborhood) or for a loop around the school (that we've gotten to watch change day-by-day as they've been building/finishing.) Jordan has started coming along on these rides also, and that's been fun too!
7. Our garden
We've had a nice garden almost since we moved here with garden boxes and kid assignments to take care of each one. Jordan had the idea to also plant a really big garden in our park strip this year where there used to just be rocks (& weeds). He (and all of us too!) worked really hard getting it all ready (and I think I was just kind of going along with his funny plan.) But then I started planting seeds and taking care of them and seeing them grow and pretty soon this was just such a happy part of my day to go out and work in the great, lovely garden we'd grown! It has been so fun - since it's out front I've gotten to see so many neighbors who stop to visit or say hello as they're walking by. Working out there has just been a delightful way to start my summer days.
8. School planning
The choice to have the kids do school at home this year was really hard and overwhelming. But once the choice was made, it has actually been really fun to work on all the planning and prepping. And so far, (about 1 week in) everything has been going really well with our school time too!
9. Prodigy for Isaac
In the Spring, one of the hardest parts of our school time (when school was canceled) was helping Isaac find good things to do while I was trying to help all the kids with their things as well. We found our groove (including an assigned 15 minutes "play with Isaac" for each of the kids as part of school time) but it took some work. So far in our first week, prodigy has been a great help for this too! :) There have been enough times that one of the kids is playing prodigy for a few minutes after finishing their math and Isaac will finish what he's working on and just watch them play until I finish with someone and can help him get started on the next thing. It's just a little thing but it's really been surprisingly helpful!
TPT has been very supportive throughout this COVID time. One amazing thing they have done is giving parents some extra PTO to help with child care. This has been a life saver for us. Each Wednesday (since April I think!) Jordan has worked an early half day (5- 9-ish) and then taken the kids on some kind of adventure while I've had some alone time. This has been so great. I love my family and my kiddos and I also get overwhelmed with so much happening so much of the time with everyone always home. So it has been great to have this quiet time. To get jobs done, tidy up, take care of little things, and even sometimes eat Rice Krispie treats for a morning snack or other silly things like that :) And these Wednesdays will probably be the most happy and memorable time of the summer for the kids too with hikes at Tony Grove and screen time/game time + hammocks at Old Main and other fun adventures too.
+ Reading scriptures each night with Ellie,
+ Waking up slowly each day with one or two of the kids always coming in to rest or talk or draw on the iPad for a few minutes beside me.
+ The right medicines that are helping me feel good so much of the time!
+ Pandora music (favorites this summer: Lori McKenna, Cat Stevens station, Hamilton, For what it's worth station, John Denver station, Finding Neverland station, 90's country station... lots more!)