Summer Series: Do What You Love

It’s been a crazy summer. Politics, vacations, new apartments, and just the Louisiana heat make this summer a bit overwhelming. While in the midst of all of these cultural and personal changes, there is one thing I have been trying to remember this summer… and that is to do what I enjoy.

I enjoy many things, but this summer I have really enjoyed reading. I used to read constantly when I was younger, and I was a binge reader so I could read through books pretty quickly. Once I started college I became a bit burnt out from all the scholarly, mandatory reading I had to do for classes, so reading for fun fell to the side in the off months.

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However, since graduating I have enjoyed picking up any book I find interesting and reading as many as I can. The summer provides the perfect time for this since the summers in the South are pretty brutal, so I spend most of my time inside enjoying all the AC (Thank you, Willis Carrier!) that I can. I know, I know… I should be outside… but it is too muggy and too HOT, so I will take my books and my fan, thankyouverymuch.

All this to say, this summer hasn’t really been what I planned. I expected to be at the pool a lot, writing nonstop for the blog, and hammocking. Instead, I have had more free-time than I expected and really found a joy reading and rereading some great books.

Basically, just do what you want this summer.

Do you want to go to the pool everyday? Do it. Do you want to picnic and go camping? Go for it. Do you want to be huddled in your home with a good book and cool air? YES, DO IT.

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This summer is still your summer, and you should do what you love. If you have the time, do it. If you don’t… make a little time to chill and find a hobby. πŸ˜‰

This summer (which is almost over… NOOOO!) use your spare time to accomplish your goals, even if it is last minute. Do what you love. 

much love. much grace.

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PS. If you want to know what I’m reading this summer, or ever, I am on GoodReads and I love it! I update whenever I can and would love some book suggestions. 

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This Summer: Come Home

Home… Such a funny word.Β For some, this brings memories of family in cozy rooms, yummy food, and welcoming smells. Memories of fights between siblings, traditions for holidays, and getting ready for school. For many people, home is wear they grew up; a town, a house, a school, or a city. To “come home” is what a person does to visit their childhood room and show visitors their teenage haunts around town.

Home [hohm] noun
1.a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household.

2.the place in which one’s domestic affections are centered.

For me (and many others)… home is different.

In the traditional sense I don’t have a “home”… and I never have. I have never experienced the giddy feeling that one attaches to a building. I moved around several times in my childhood so houses, even towns, don’t really provide me with warm, fuzzy feelings of “being home.”

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The closest I have ever come to feeling at “home” in a place is with climates. I feel at home in cool mountain air or when smelling a cool, saltyΒ ocean. Smelling evergreens and feeling cool breezes through my hair are things that feel at home to me. I am not entirely sure why, but places with these things are places where I feel not just relaxed, but a sense of belonging and purpose.

Since I haven’t lived in that type of a climate since I was very young, home to me has since become the people in my life.

Not family as much as the friends who have surrounded me. My family has always been very spread out, so while that family is obviously there and loving, the friends I have made have become family. Β Those who have taken the time to know me and love me, even at my worst, these are the people who enable feelings of comfort and “coming home”.

So this summer, take some time to figure out with whom your home lies, and come home. Take time to visit with those who love you and care for your well-being, andΒ be home to those people as well.

Much love. Much grace.

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Wear the Bikini

I love swimming!

When I was a teenager I was on a swim team and have honestly just always felt at home in the water (salt or chlorine… doesn’t matter!)

I always wore a one-piece or a tankiniΒ for most of my life up until pretty recently when I decided I really wanted a bikini. Cute one-piece suits are hard to find, and I always loved how bikini’s have mix-and-match options.

So this February, I decided that if I could lose a certain amount of weight, I would wear a bikini in public. So I set a goal, created a time-table and eating plan, and got to work. I have lost some of the weight I wanted, but not nearly as much as I planned in my over-zealousΒ schedule. But you know what? I still wanted to wear my bikini… at the pool… in public.

Such a conundrum.

I had bought the cutest two-piece as a motivation to work out and be healthy, so I already had a cute suit. And Mr. Yell and I were going WAY out of town on an anniversary trip, so no one I knew would even see me wear it. All I had to do was wear it.

And wear it I did.

You guys, at first I was totally self-conscious and worried about my “problem areas” but after about 30 minutes, it felt so free. I forgot all about my weight and “fluff” and just enjoyed swimming. It was so wonderful to not worry about what other people were thinking and just enjoy my time swimming.

 

For the first time in quite a while, I was able to feel comfortable in my body and who I am in this point and time. This is who I am right now, and this is how I look. I can love it or hate it, but in the end it is the only body I have.

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This is the first post in the “Summer Series” and I wanted to show ya’ll how committed I am to this being MY summer. And YOUR summer. Don’t let fear hold you back from what you want to do. This summer is for you and for your confidence to shine. We are in this together! So wear the bikini, or not. It’s YOUR choice. Wear what you want to the beach… and own it.

Much love. Much grace.

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This Is YOUR Summer

I have been particularly struggling with this idea for some timeΒ now, not because I don’t think it needs talking about, but because I wasn’t sure I was qualified to write about it. Body confidence, and confidence in general, is something I have struggled with for a while. For many women, this struggle is a life-long battle in loving herself.

This summer I am going to write about the most difficult topic; self-worth.

Let me preface this by saying I am not a professional by any means. I don’t know five easy steps to loving yourself, I don’t know how to help you lose/gain weight, nor do I have a killer workout to help you with your booty gains. I am just a 23 year old woman who knows the struggles of finding, keeping, and desiring self-love. All I know is what I wish someone would have told me, or what I wish I would have listened to about loving myself.

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Those are the things I am going to work on in myself and try to share during this season. This won’t be every post, but it is a theme that I am wanting to challenge myself during these warmer months.

Much grace. Much love.

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If you have a story or comment or anything you would like to share on this topic, please let me know by contacting me. I would love to hear/share your story in growing or searching for coming to like/love your physical self.