A Little of This and That in June

Jul 8, 2016

June has been everything June should be: lazy mornings, late evenings, trips to the pool and library, and plenty of time for reading. I wish June could have been twice as long. We spent our days:

Eating . . . our fill of doughnuts on National Doughnut Day--Banbury Cross doughnuts, no less. We go all out for this holiday.

Celebrating . . . Maxwell's last day of school. It felt like a long time coming, but it eventually did, and we were all thrilled.

Catching . . . not one, not two, not three, but FOUR fish!!! It was the perfect kick-off to summer.

Kicking . . . off our summer goals. They've been so good for us. I think the summer may prove too short to complete all of them, but we've been working on them very diligently and consistently, and that's the point. (You can read more about them here.)

Introducing . . . Clark to my brother, Steve. Steve just returned home after serving a two-year church mission in Modesto, California. When he left, Clark was still one week away from being born. Now he's an energetic, talkative, mischievous two-year-old. They took to each other almost immediately (as soon as Clark got over the shock of there being two Blaines).

Roasting . . . hotdogs in the canyon. We bought a year pass this summer and have been trying to take advantage of our close proximity. That said, we only went twice this past month, so we could still be doing better.

Spending . . . Father's Day with my dad. We went to Colorado for Steve's homecoming talk, and it happened to be over Father's Day weekend. It was so much fun spending time with him and the rest of my family.

Swimming . . . more times than I can count. We're so lucky to have our little neighborhood pool that is just the right size for my kids and where there are almost always friends to play with. They also took two weeks of swimming lessons, which improved their skills immensely.

Attending . . . my sister's senior piano recital at BYU and having my breath taken away by the Chopin nocturne she played. Gorgeous.

Setting . . . up a drip system for our garden. Okay, not me, but handyman Mike. It's pretty magical to watch the plants grow without doing a thing to help them along.

Feeling . . . sentimental about my little home town. My parents are moving to Utah later this summer (I am completely overjoyed!), but there's always something a little bittersweet about closing one chapter and embarking on another (for me, it's probably more sweet than bitter, but for my mom, it's the other way around).

Creating . . . my own summer reading program for my kids. The one done by the library seems to get lamer each year (this year's didn't even require them to read--can you believe it?!). I wanted one that would actually encourage my kids to read more, so I patterned it after the awesome summer library program my library did when I was a kid. I keep meaning to write an entire post about it, but the summer is getting away from me!

Admiring . . . Bradley's blonde hair. It always darkens in the winter, and then as soon as the summer sun hits it, it brightens right up again. I might be a little partial to it (shhhhh).

Purchasing . . . a high volume of books. I'm blaming it on the summer reading program. In my defense, I have been using ThriftBooks quite a bit (which tends to be a bit hit and miss for me but has great customer service), so I've been able to keep my spending to a fairly reasonable amount.

Disagreeing . . . with Maxwell. Heaven help me, that kid has one fierce and stubborn personality. 

Reading . . . comic books. Lots and lots and lots of comic books. Mike introduced Aaron and Maxwell to Garfield and Calvin & Hobbes, and they're addicted (as in, when we were at the library a couple of days ago, they wanted to check out eighteen of them--I made them cut it down to eight). I've been trying to balance it out with other books, but even I have to admit it's pretty cute to hear them laughing in their beds at night.

Writing . . . two guest posts: one on What Do We Do All Day about nine quiet activities my kids do when I'm reading aloud to them and the other on Tee and Penguin about my reading life and some of my favorite picture books. Feel free to check them out!

Making . . . Mike take a bunch of pictures of me for date night. I wanted a new portrait for the Tee and Penguin guest post. I felt a little silly, but Mike was a good sport about it, and it's been nice to have some updated pictures.

Stressing . . . about our upcoming trip (which I alluded to last month but didn't share any details). Mike and I are going to the Netherlands, France, Germany, and Norway, and at this point, we're just days away from departure. Sometimes I catch myself discussing details of the trip with Mike, like, "There's a library in Stuttgart I really want to see" or "Both Kirsten and Meagan said their favorite spot in Paris was the Saint Chapelle, so we should definitely go there," and all of a sudden I realize, This is happening!!! So on one hand, I'm very excited. How could I not be? But the thought of leaving my kids for a couple of weeks is causing me major anxiety.

Going . . . to Silver Lake. Apparently, it's becoming our new favorite spot. We went at the beginning of the month and caught the aforementioned fish and then later on in the month with Mike's brother and family (and we saw four moose!).

Recording . . . a podcast episode for one of my very favorite podcasts. I'll let you know when it goes live!

For more of our daily activities, follow along on Instagram. What were YOU up to in June?


  1. What! Europe?!!! So jealous... James even more than me. What? Your parents are finally moving to Utah! Which city? I'm so happy for you! BTW, you look incredibly skinny in your new pics that Mike took. Please tell me your secret. Post baby is brutal and seeing you so itty bitty gives me hope that the body can someday recover.

  2. Your kids are so cute! I'm super jealous of your upcoming trip but can't wait to hear all about it. Also looking forward to seeing a post on your summer reading program and hearing more about the guest podcast!!! I've gotten a little addicted to podcasts lately.

    1. Which podcasts are your favorites right now? I knew if you tried podcasts you would love them!

  3. I need to get to Banbury Cross; it's been on my list for a while but I'm not often in SLC in the mornings.

    Your library reading program doesn't require kids to read?! What do they ask them to do, then?

    Yes, definitely visit Sainte Chappelle. I loved the Musee D'Orsay. The art is amazing, of course, but the architecture is beautiful too. What a fun trip!

    1. If you go to Banbury Cross, call me!

      I know, isn't that ridiculous?! I mean, they get credit for reading, but also for playing outside, learning something new, helping a younger child, etc. All good things, to be sure, but maybe not appropriate for a summer READING program.

      Thanks for the recommendation! Do you have any favorite places to eat?

  4. Look forward to reading your summer reading plans.
    Do enjoy your trip :-) and can't wait to listen to your podcast

    1. Thanks, Erin! I'm sure you'll see plenty of pictures on Instagram!

  5. Replies
    1. Well, that IS one of my favorite podcasts! ;-)

  6. I need to try thrift books! My favorite is Abebooks for secondhand books. It has become a bit of an addiction. ☺️

    1. Oooh, okay, I'm going to check them out (not that I need another way to spend money on books...).

  7. Woohoo! So fun to hear your interview on Modern Mrs. Darcy! I tried to guess which three books you would pick as your favorites before you said them, I only got Boys in the Boat right (I really need to get on reading that one). I was surprised at Rebecca, but I also loved that book so much that after thinking about it, it's not a surprise at all. Fun times all around.

    1. What were the other two you thought would be my favorites?

  8. I'm finally catching up after my summer vacation. I've been on that trail at Silver Lake AND we saw a moose (and a moose baby) AND I didn't quite lose my younger son. It was close, though. Sounds like a wonderful June.

    1. What?!??? That sounds like a story worth telling!


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