Sunday, July 10, 2016

July, in All its Glory

Ah, summer. Is there anything better? Doubtful.

It's a different sort of summer for me. My girls are old enough to be dropped off at the pool; no more do I spend every afternoon on a lounge chair with a book, dipping in when I get too hot. That said, I am still at the pool plenty of afternoons.

Elin Hilderbrand for the win

It is the summer of Elin Hilderbrand novels. Oh, my. One of my favorite friends, a work bestie, introduced me to her recently, and I'm now officially addicted to her books. Her women characters--they are mostly women protagonists--are charming but flawed; thus, they are so relatable. Note: these books are sometimes referred to as romances, or as beach reads, and while I would agree with the latter (in the best sense only: absorbing, summer-set, beachy, warm), the former really isn't quite right. Yes, there is often romance of some sort. But Elin Hilderbrand's themes--as far as I've read so far, anyway, which is just three: The Rumor, Barefoot, and The Matchmaker--are more complex than simple romance. Because life is complex! Motherhood, infidelity/divorce, cancer: These are Hilderbrand themes (beyond the largest and most obvious theme of Nantucket/summer/beach). I could read one after the other nonstop, like eating popcorn or those unwrapped miniature Reese's peanut butter cups that come in the stand-up bag.

It is the summer of girl projects and greater self-sufficiency. Children grow, after all.

A summer of fewer trail runs, more interval runs--because they give me smokin' legs, of course! (I can't sprint in the woods--too paranoid of tripping on a rock or a root and wiping out.) I miss the trails but love the results. I also highly recommend this 30 Day Squat Challenge, which I did last summer and again this past April, and have kept up since then (not every day, but I do about 350-400 squats [in sets of 50 with a short break between sets] a few days a week, and nothing has benefited my rear view, or my weak running hips, more, ever, so there's that).

Speaking of legs, here are the shorts I picked up on a Target run the other day, that my youngest said were "pretty good, but kind of look like pajama shorts."

I wore them anyway.

My girl! Who is she to talk? She'd wear pajamas all day if I let her!

So, we took a family trip to the Black Hills/Badlands. The South Dakota Wild West, you all! It was fantastic.

That was just a tiny fraction of what we saw of course. You'd hate me if I uploaded every photo.

We are home now, and back to basketball, Tae Kwon Do, mountain biking class (them); and interval runs, many squats, and Elin Hilderbrand novels (me). We are back to wishing every perfect summer day would never end.

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