This post contains a few links that are affiliates and many links that are not. In the midst of a full summer, I’m pausing on purpose to list some of my favorite things so far.

It happened again. I woke up this morning with a compulsion to write on the blog again like it’s 2009. This is not the first time that has happened. If there’s one thing I’ve learned after writing four books and over twelve years of blog posts it’s when you feel the compulsion to write something down, don’t fight it.

Just follow it.

The odd (and annoying) thing is, I don’t necessarily have anything worthwhile to share today which goes against everything I teach, believe, and basically live by. Have nothing to say? Wait. Listen. Stop wasting all the breath and words.

But something else I’m learning, and this is faint and small and let me assure you I’m giving it the side-eye, is maybe there’s still a place to shoot the breeze with each other and maybe it’s okay to do it online sometimes, too.

In the spirit of late June, here are ten things I helping me sabbath this summer even though probably these things are more like “taking small breaks” than sabbath, but I’m learning the difference and showing myself grace.


1. Looking through old photos.

When my schedule is full as it is right now, I take less photos. This might seem a strange thing to note, but taking simple photos brings me life. (I’m talking photos from my phone you guys, this is not a fancy thing I’m doing.)

Though I haven’t been taking as many this summer, I have been scrolling through some from summers past. These are from when John and I went to Italy in 2016 for the Tuscany Writer’s Retreat.

2. This yoga app.

I saw someone’s before and after workout photos on Instagram recently and went temporarily insane and signed up for a free workout ebook regimen online, forgetting everything I’ve learned about myself.

I love yoga, zumba, and walking. Why do I, now and then, forget what I love and think I want to be Jillian Michaels real quick instead?

The work isn’t in finding a new workout routine so I can tone myself, the work is in remembering who I already am and doing the next right thing.

This morning, that meant a 15 minute yoga practice in my PJs before I took a shower.


3. Evening drives.

I did not understand the evening drive when I was a kid. Mom and Dad would ask me after dinner, Do you want to go for a ride?

I’d say, Where are you going?

And they’d be all, For a ride.

And I’d be, Yeah but where to?

And they’d be, For a ride.

And I’d roll my eyes and say no.

Now I realize they were probably glad for the time alone together on those warm, Indiana summer evenings, windows down, radio off. Boring bliss.


4. Planning to co-lead my first trip.

Over a year ago, my friend Tsh Oxenreider floated a crazy idea by me: I’m thinking of leading a trip to London next summer. Any interest in co-leading it with me?

Photo by Heidi Sandstrom

!!! This is a dream trip for me. Next month, Tsh and I will be traveling with a small group of women through London.

While Tsh will lead us in the way she loves to travel, I’ll come alongside as a co-listener and fellow journeyer, holding open thoughtful space to simply make sure we don’t miss it.

(This summer’s trip is full, but you can add your name to the waitlist if you want to learn about possible future trips!)


5. Arugula.

All the arugula I’ve had this summer has been right on time. I eat it straight out of the bag like potato chips and I can’t quit. For salad inspiration, listen to The Lazy Genius Makes A Salad.


6. Making a list of books I want to read when grad school is over.

I still have 10 months left of school which means my reading queue is straight up full and assigned until then. But I’ve been making a list (and checking it twice) of the books I want to read after I graduate and the list is long and lovely, let me assure you.

I would list them here now, but I’m working on a book post for you because I have a lot of other things to do so writing on the blog has become Very Important And Exciting.


7. Bocce ball.

This caveman like game was a hit at the beach a few weeks ago and we just can’t quit it. We play in the front yard, the cul-de-sac grass, the neighbor’s front yard, basically any kind of yard. I don’t have one solitary photo of it, but if you don’t have a set here’s one on Amazon a lot like the one we have. This one has a measuring rope which we do not have but I think is remarkable and much more accurate than the janky way we have been doing it.


8. The shade of pink in my guest room.

We have a tiny guest room in the back of our house and it’s where I do any video stuff for my work or for school. Oprah used to say a room should “rise up to meet you” when you walk into it, and when this room is clean that’s the feeling I get.

If I have to work in summer, at least there’s pink.

Here’s a list of stuff in this photo that you might ask me about listed from most helpful to least helpful.

  • Amazon: wall dots.
  • Wayfair: Day Bed – not an affiliate link, just showing you the bed.
  • Picture on the wall: Goodwill
  • Pillows + blankets: Combo of Target, Marshalls, and TJ Max
  • Drapes: local shop one thousand years ago
  • Lamp: No idea.


9. Palomino pencils.

I bought one of these pencils while we were in California and now I can’t read my school books without it. Maybe it’s the flat eraser? I don’t know, it just feels right in my hand.


10. The east coast beach.

It’s gentle and powerful and I learn something new every time I stand on this southern, east coast beach. What a gift to live a few hours away.

Well look at that. I had the compulsion to write and I feel completely satisfied now. You’re welcome (I’m sorry?) Would love to hear what your favorite things of summer are!

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