Hey, friends. We had a rough night (collectively) at Hail Marry. That rough night revealed to us the importance of community.
Today’s podcast is short, but we urge you to find community (and list ways in the podcast). It’s vital.
Bridgette, Kristi, & Rachel
We have an announcement to make!!!!
After asking our subscribers to complete a survey, we found that there was great interest in creating an online community where we can dialogue. We’re psyched to tell you that it’s happened!
We’ve launched the Hail Marry Hangout, a closed Facebook group today where we can do just that (you have to be a Facebook member). We can’t wait to see you there!
Bridgette, Kristi, & Rachel
Lately, I can hear the ice being poured into the cooler, watermelon being sliced, children laughing and playing outside…summer must be around the corner. In our home it means the Scientist will be home for a good three months before the busyness of next school year begins for us.
The Scientist and I count down to the last day of school once Spring Break hits (probably just like every teacher out there!). We look forward to this time to take for ourselves and to really relax, although some days we are just as busy as the school year between home projects, road trips, outings, shopping, family visiting, etc.
It has the potential to be so crazy that we don’t have any time to relax. In fact, the first year we were married, we decided to just wing it—and it was a horrible summer! After that, we decided to start scheduling and planning for this part of the year. We start planning for the summer in April and it is wonderful. Here are some things that make it easier for us to schedule fun and relaxation.
The first thing we do in anything in our house is pray. We are still and listen to what God wants us to do. It is important to my little family that we have time to spend with God each day—especially in summer we have the opportunity to attend daily Mass. This really helps us focus on what is the Godly thing to do for the day.
I know a lot of people are probably thinking, “Why you are not sleeping in?!” but the Scientist and I believe that we shouldn’t waste the day the Lord has given us. Why not wake up early and enjoy the full day?
During the summer we like to do a bible study together or devotional. It brings us together as a couple and is wonderful for our marriage to refresh. It also brings us into quiet time with the Lord. This is the time where we talk about our goals for the day and if we have any sort of problems or anxiety. It’s great to have one-on-one time to work through those issues and come to a solution.
We set achievable (meaning actually possible to attain) goals for our summer. The Scientist and I can dream big and sometimes, if we don’t make our goals achievable, we will fail and it sucks.
We also made it a point to only do one home project per summer, because it’s not only more budget-friendly, but we’re not spending time worrying about getting a huge list done in three months. For us, we decided that since we would probably live in our current home for the next ten years, why rush and get things done and spend our limit on credit cards? We would rather spend time together as a family and enjoy our lives, free of anxiety.
Another thing we do is set daily goals for us. We love to schedule time in for fun and work. We believe work or chores are good for your soul and give you a sense of pride in accomplishing a goal. Sometimes our goals are as simple as everyday chores, but others they include activities. Any given day in our summer could include one or more of the following: Mass, taking a walk, playing cards, washing the car, or heading to a friend’s house to swim. The possibilities are endless because we do have a full 24-hour day to achieve these things.
The Scientist and I don’t have a lot of memberships, but most of the people we know have memberships to pools, the zoo, the science center, or any number of local attractions. It’s easy to let these memberships lapse, so make sure you give these places a quick call to make sure you are ready to go this summer.
We do have a library card, and we make sure that it’s up to date. The library has a ton of fun things to do in the summer for adults and children. There are reading programs, events, arts, crafts, and book clubs (just to name a few!). We are readers in our home and you can find one of us wrapped up in a book just about any summer day! We love to read in the summer, as this is the time when we aren’t taking people to appointments, caring for extended family all day, or working.
We have freedom to indulge into the story we picked out. Life is a lot simpler in summer; in addition to reading, we listen to the radio more often, spend our time out side on our porch, drinking lemonade and talking…for us, again, the key is simple. The Scientist and I do tend to stay home quite a bit because it centers our family. We’re careful not to overplan an outing every day or our summer will become overscheduled and hectic (which equals anxiety which we again don’t do).
We tell our families that we will take summer one month at a time. Just because the Scientist is off, doesn’t mean that we are free to road trip to St. Louis, Michigan, Florida, or New York, anytime we please. We noticed that we are exhausted just trying to keep up with our massive families.
When I was younger, we hardly went on vacation to see family. We took vacations with just my immediate family, like camping or an overnight visit somewhere. For the most part we stayed home and enjoyed our house and community. We see all these articles on social media or in magazines about having the perfect family vacation in Florida or Punta Cana, but those are not always necessary.
We make sure we write down things that are vital to our family culture. For us, that means birthdays, anniversaries, and any major sacrament that our friends or family are celebrating, and the Fourth of July. That’s about it. We like to commit to a couple of things per month, but we definitely don’t accept every invitation. We want our summertime family culture to be relaxing, not tense because we are late to another event. Think about what is important to your family and then schedule your time around those things.
At the end of the day, we really just love to have fun with our family. We play games and watch movies. We also make sure we have space open to have fun with each other. That’s another great part in not over-scheduling your summer. You have to make time for things that are important to you and your family.
We realized that all of our time was spent making others feeling satisfied and happy, but our little family was depressed. We decided to have fun and cut a lot of the nonessential stuff out with our extended family. It doesn’t mean that we don’t love them; we just need time to be a family and to learn our own culture. You can’t learn to be your own independent family when you are always hanging out with your extended family and their culture.
It’s okay to say no.
Say no to the family get together because it’s a Sunday, and have your own barbecue at home. Say no to window shopping at the mall and play with your kids when the chance arises.
Learn to have fun with each other. Cut out the anxiety, don’t over-schedule, have some part of your day focused on God, and be present with your immediate family. It’s summertime!
Don’t feel ashamed that you are taking that trip to Florida or Punta Cana, and don’t feel badly if you are heading on a cross-country trip to a family reunion. The whole point here is to do what works for your family’s summer.
We would love to hear your plans for the summer. Let us know in the comments or Tweet us, let us know on our Facebook page, or tag us in your summer vacation Instagram photos.
It’s Memorial Day, so we are taking a break to enjoy the three-day weekend with our family.
But that’s not what today is about.
Today, while being with our family, we remember those who have served and passed on, those who have fallen in battle, and those separated from families by being stationed in foreign lands, in our prayers. It is to them we owe our freedom.
Please join us in praying for the families of those who have have fallen today while we spend time with our own.
Kristi, Rachel, and Bridgette
Oh my goodness. Technology. A blessing and a curse, right? And don’t you just love technical difficulties?
For this week’s podcast, we were planning to feature one of our really good mom friends, Bridgette. In fact, we met and recorded a 16-minute podcast. The software ate it. We recorded an 11-minute podcast. It was also eaten. Next, we recorded an 8-minute podcast, which, too, was devoured. Finally, figuring that it couldn’t happen four times in a row and that we now had the script down to a science, we recorded it in a lovely 7-minute podcast. It was the software’s dessert.
Since we’re going into the long weekend to celebrate the memory of those who have fallen in service to the American people and half the working population is phoning it in, we assumed that the Hail Marry computers and software are doing the same. So, although there IS a podcast for this week, it is NOT the one it was meant to be. #LifeHappens
This made us think about technical difficulties in a different, non-traditional sense of the word.
Life is more and more reliant on technology. We are of the Millennial generation. Digital natives. We’ve been bombarded by technology since our youth. We were some of the first children in utero to be seen via sonogram, the first generation to have PCs in the home, and the generation of AOL dial-up, Instant Messaging, Skype, Facebook, and the entire suite of Apple’s smart products.
Our children are even more saturated within this. Tablets in pre-school, toys that are Bluetooth-enabled, QR codes for online games inside Happy Meals. Life is noisy with technology, and that’s never not going to be the case again (barring a cataclysm).
In today’s podcast, we talk about living in this hyper-connected world of techno-noise. It’s necessary and important, but so is taking the time to shut down from screens and tech so that we can be present with the ones we love.
Did you catch the SUPER EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT at the end?! Hail Marry blog is expecting…check out exactly what we mean in the podcast.
Until next time,
Kristi & Rachel
P.S. Bridgette is one of the coolest mom friends we have. Did you check out Wednesday’s post on Mom Friends from Michele Faehnle of Divine Mercy for Moms?