We’ve been thinking about how to stay positive in unfamiliar times, so each gal on Team Simplified answered a few questions about her own summertime. It’s fun (and comforting) to share answers in a circle of friends walking through very different moments. Some have babies and some have extra time – kidding, of course! We’re grateful for all ladies in every season experiencing this summer together! We hope you’ll take this time to reflect and answer the following questions for yourself. Happy Summer!
Q: What is your favorite thing to do during the summer season? How do you prioritize it?
Emily: Spend time outside with my family! We try to save our weekend days for relaxing. During the morning, after everyone has breakfast, we get all the chores done. Then we head out to the pool with LOTS of sunscreen! We love living in Florida!
Whitney: Definitely gardening! Every winter I have so much fun planning out what we'll plant during the spring, and I just love tending to the garden and watching the magic unfold during the summer. While the garden is pretty self-sufficient (I have soaker hoses set up on a timer!) I find it really easy to spend time checking on it in the mornings with my coffee, and again in the evening after Rob is in bed. It's my summertime routine and I find it so peaceful!
Dusty: My favorite thing to do is plan all the summer things. My girls and I sit down and make a summer bucket list every year. We categorize them by must do, want to do, and what will be the most disappointing if we don’t do, and we try to do those things first. We view summer as a fleeting moment with having a senior this year, so we are going to cram in all the family time we can manage!
Lindsey: I love hanging by the pool and traveling to see friends! Travel is a lot less present this summer, but I usually prioritize summer travel by saving money all year long. I try to embrace more flexibility, so saving for too many ice cream treats and airplane tickets makes it much easier once the price tag comes.
Brittany: My husband's family bought a lake house in East Tennessee last year, so our new favorite summer activity is spending time there together! We actually snuck away to the lake house in mid-June this year to have a little getaway, just the three of us! It's a beautiful change of scenery, and I love seeing my son Douglas (who is 3.5 years old) spending lots of time outside, fishing, going on boat rides, and throwing rocks in the lake.
Taylor: Summer food is my absolute favorite, so I love utilizing the grill during the summer months. Creating a salad with grilled meat and veggies is heavenly. I particularly love this Shrimp Avocado Salad! Grill the shrimp, red onion, and add grilled corn – you've got yourself a delicious dinner!
Hannah: Summer is my absolute favorite season. I love spending time on the water and having outdoor dinners with family. I'm from Maryland, so backyard crab feasts are a big deal in our family during the summer months. I also try to wake up and go for walks in the morning. It's a little bit cooler in those early hours, and everything is so still and peaceful. It's a great time to pray and clear my mind before the day gets busy!
Jessa: Thrifting and anything in that involves water. Thrifting in my opinion is way better in the summer. A real life treasure hunt that I try to prioritize twice a month, usually on a Monday or Tuesday after people have dropped off new gems during the weekend. Pools, beaches, springs, rivers, and plenty of hoses/sprinklers. Because my schedule is more flexible, I try to prioritize getting together with friends and their kiddos to hit a pool or beach once a week.
Q: How are you embracing simplicity this summer?
Emily: Summertime means kids are home and mom still has a full time job. We started "Summer Mode" last year, which means our team works independently, from wherever we want, at whatever hours we want. We get all our work done and meet when necessary, but it's the best flexibility as a working mom. I try and loosen up on our kiddo schedules during the summer too.
Whitney: We're due with our second little one in early August, so I think simplicity is the only way to survive the third and fourth trimesters! I've found myself lowering expectations to do all of the fancy toddler activities with elaborate set-ups. Instead, we're finding lots of joy and fun in our day-to-day: Slow walks through the farmer's market, playing with dirt in the garden, and cutting flowers for our neighbors. Those little things feel big when you give them time, put down your phone, and quit rushing to check off the next thing.
Dusty: It’s the best! No timelines, nowhere to be at any certain time, and we can stay in jammies all day if we want to!
Lindsey: I’m loving my semi-empty schedule. My family has way more time to enjoy evenings, so we've started “Happy Hour” everyday at 5pm, where we shut our laptops and meet on the deck to chat – it’s easily one of my new favorite things! My pups are also loving the additional walks they get everyday, which is just too adorable not to mention.
Brittany: Our team goes into "Summer Mode" starting in June, and I try really hard to get my work done early in the morning, during nap time, and at night, so that we can make the most of our summertime together! We're keeping it simple with lots of water play, easy grilled dinners, and popsicles—classic summer staples! This is our last summer as a family of 3, so making time for sweet summer memories is extra important to me this year!
Taylor: I'm embracing simplicity this summer with messy buns and tank tops on repeat. It's so hot and humid here in Florida, it's not worth the time it takes to "get ready" knowing you'll be a sweaty mess by the end of the day.
Hannah: I don't have any big trips planned this year, so my summer schedule is a lot less busy this year than it typically is. I've been trying to turn off my computer early and spend time enjoying a slow afternoon in the sunshine at least once a week.
Jessa: Summer capsule wardrobe – easy rotation of tanks, shorts, ripped jeans, and dresses!
Q: Do you have a favorite summer activity (or memory) growing up that you want your kids to experience too?
Emily: Yes! Easy lunches outside by the pool. We had a pool in our backyard growing up and I always remember my mom (Nana!) bringing out sandwiches, chips, and fruit (sometimes a popsicle!) while we swam and played. It was easy and fun. We'd sometimes swim and play outside late into the day until it was dark!
Whitney: Yes! I was on a swim team from a young age (later becoming a coach and meeting my husband!) and I had SO much fun at the pool. Rob is still too young for that, but I can't wait to introduce him to the world of summer swim team!
Dusty: Ice cream after the beach! We would always stop on our way home to get a scoop or two! It’s something I look forward to even now as an adult with my girls.
Lindsey: My brother and I impatiently wait to go to the beach all summer long. On our way there, we talk about what fun snacks we’re going to get at the grocery store and argue who will be the first in the ocean. I don’t have any littles yet, but I definitely want them to experience the extra family time on a road trip! I can’t wait to eventually share that excitement with my own babies.
Brittany: My favorite childhood summer memories always include the beach, which my son loves too! Living in Orlando puts us only 45 mins away from the East Coast beaches and 90 minutes away from the Gulf Coast beaches—both so easy to get to, and we plan to visit the beach often this summer!
Taylor: Growing up, my nana would buy a huge watermelon for me to enjoy outside. She'd cut the watermelon in half, then into half-moon slices. You know the kind, where you have to hold it with two hands? I’d sit on the back porch and juice would drip down my chin and arms. It was SO good. I rinsed off with the water hose for an easy cleanup! I can't wait to do the same with Kennedy.
Hannah: My family spent a lot of time at the beach and on the boat in the summer when I was growing up, and those memories are still some of my very favorite. I don't have little ones of my own yet, but I hope to share lots of summer road trips and slow days at the beach with them when that day comes!
Jessa: Random late night “Everyone get in the car” adventures. Just to grab ice cream, go for a drive in PJs, walking the beach in the moonlight, showing our children the beauty of breakfast food at 9pm... a little spontaneity makes summer magical.