11 things I learned in June.

Linking up with Emily Freeman to share 11 things I learned in June, from the serious to the shallow, the sublime to the ridiculous:

1. Sometimes procrastination is rewarded. I wanted to buy some big beautiful flowers for our blah front porch, but I never found the planters I wanted at the grocery and I never got around to making a special trip to the nursery.

Then I went to Home Depot for something else entirely and stumbled upon these huge beautiful planters marked down to $15 each from $50 … because it was already June. So worth it, and made me feel much better about dragging my feet.

2. My good intentions for yard work don’t count for much. I told you yard work was one of the things we’re splurging on in this season, because Will and I don’t enjoy it and I am super-allergic to grass. Our great yard guy mulched 80% of our front yard back in April, and I told him, don’t worry, we’ll finish the rest.

Then I called him back six weeks later to ask if he could please come finish. (He did. Hallelujah.)

Everything Is Better On A Tray

3. Everything looks better on a tray. I read this in Lessons from Madame Chic last month and it is proving to be true. For me, my nightstand looks a little prettier. For my daughters, it makes a much bigger difference. Their dressers quickly turn disastrous and the trays help. A lot.

4. Sometimes I strike out with book recommendations for my husband. I recommend titles to him all the time—and usually, he enjoys them. But when he recently read Peace Like a River on my recommendation, his reaction was Why did you think I should read that one?

My answer: because I liked it, and I thought he would, too. But when I got thinking about it, I realized that he’s an NT, and NTs aren’t likely to appreciate its magic and mysticism.

In the Myers-Briggs summer reading post, the book for his type is 11/22/63, which he loved.

5. Black and white cookies taste more like cake than cookie. We brought some home from New York for the kids (because my daughter is obsessed with this short instagram video). I thought they’d taste like shortbread. I was wrong.

6. It is incredibly easy to get 10,000 steps a day in NYC. In my town, I almost always need to go for a long walk or run to hit 10,000 steps. In NYC, we hit 10k before lunch.

7. When the kids wash the car, the point isn’t to get the car clean. It was hot last week, and my kids were (are) still moping about our dog, and for a change of pace we decided to get out the hoses and buckets and wash all winter’s road salt and grime off my car.

The kids did it, and they didn’t exactly do a great job (although they did get the salt off) but I am in the stage of life when I would rather have a filthy car and happy kids. (That’s not always the exact trade-off, but this month it was.)

8 Year Old Birthday

8. A tattoo parlor is a great place to take your 8-year-old … when she’s getting her ears pierced. Lucy got her ears pierced on Saturday and even though I’d done a lot of reading up on ear piercing, I was still shocked at the difference between Claire’s (back in January) and the tattoo parlor. That probably deserves its own post.

9. The summer uniform thing is totally working for me. Although I’ve learned that if I don’t do laundry, it turns into a problem.

10. We’re all in this together. When our dog dog died, the kids were adamant about wanting to say a prayer at church for Harriet, and make sure our friends and neighbors all knew. When I was crying at the vet’s office, the staff started crying about their own recently deceased pets. They reminded me: we’re all in this together.

I’ve been surprised by the overwhelming number of people who’ve told us some form of I’ve been there too. 

I also learned this beautiful prayer for laying a pet to rest. (Thanks so much to Karen, who shared it with me on the MMD facebook page.)

11. It’s a mixed bag. I wrote about this in the MMD monthly newsletter. June was filled with the sad and the wonderful. Such is life.

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Leave A Comment
  1. Suzanne says:

    It’s funny. I lived in Brooklyn for almost ten years and I never had a black and white cookie. 🙂 They taste like cake, eh?

    I enjoy what you share on your blog! The NYC blurbs have really been great.

  2. Danae says:

    I’m a few years away from letting my daughters pierce their ears, but I would love to read a post comparing your experience at the tattoo parlor with the mall store.

  3. Ciera S says:

    I decided that I wanted to try my hand at taking care of household/balcony plants for the first time this summer, but haven’t gotten around to buying any yet. Your post gives me hope that I’ll also be rewarded!

    Glad to hear that your community has provided you with some comfort in the difficult parts of this month.

  4. Anne says:

    Your flower pots make me want to try the thriller, spiller, and filler in the same color. Also, I want to try trays but then get caught up in the *perfect* one that matches/looks just right/blahblahblah and don’t do it. Argh. 😉 Great list!

  5. Connor says:

    I am completely on team Have Your Ears Pierced by a Professional. I had my daughter’s ears pierced at a tattoo parlor as well, and it was well worth it.

  6. Maggie says:

    Whenever my husband does something with the kids, I always remind him – the only point is the doing of the activity — not the outcome of the activity. Your carwash point is great!

  7. Byrd says:

    I’m an INTJ. I read Peace Like A River a few months ago on your recommendation and *loved* it!! Meanwhile, I really do not care for Jane Austen. Too much talking.

  8. Leisa says:

    I also would love to read a post on your ear piercing experiences as well. I promised my daughter she could get her ears pierced for her birthday (in December). I’d already decided to have it done at a tattoo parlor just from my own experiences and from my reading.

  9. I’ve never thought about books through the lens of myers-briggs and why as an INFP I might lean towards books filled with magic! Peace Like A River is one of my all-time favorites. I keep trying to get my husband to read it but he’s picked it up and put it down so many times and can’t seem to get into it. This explain it, except for the fact that I read and enjoy books from *almost* every genre. But perhaps that’s to do with being an INFP and one of our best superpowers: empathy? Hmm…lots to think about.

  10. Teresa says:

    Uh oh! I just gave my husband my copy of Peace Like A River to read on vacation next week! He doesn’t read much fiction other than political thrillers and I wanted to suggest something outside of that genre.

  11. susan says:

    My husband is an NT and about all he reads is science fiction and fantasy. He did love the Martian and Ready Player One that I got for him based on your recommendations though, so thank you!

  12. Steph J says:

    I love this post, too. Thank you so much for sharing the prayer for pets…it says just what I think is important without treading on the do animals have souls question.

    As a chronic procrastinator, I am reminded all the time of how it CAN be a boon (not always, unfortunately). Just recently I was feeling very badly for my sister -in-law who was waiting for us to buy a van so she could buy our old car from us, but my husband and I are BOTH procrastinators so it was delayed a long time. In the meantime, a friend from their church small group gave their family a much nicer car (no charge)…I’m so glad we procrastinated in this case–it worked out much better for them!

    Finally, I’m stuck in figuring out whether I’m INFP or INTP…and I liked Peace Like a River. hmmmm…

    • Anne says:

      If you truly do want to decide on your type my (unsolicited) advice is to read through the various descriptions and see which one resonates. 🙂

  13. We have never done flowers in a planter. Although I love seeing fresh flowers around the house, I have always felt like it was just too much work (maybe I can relate a little with your yard work intentions…). The pictures look beautiful, though, so I might give planters a try!

  14. M.E. Bond says:

    Interesting thought about Peace Like A River… most people I know love it, but my husband is not interested in trying it and he’s definitely an NT. I know there are exceptions to every rule, but I’m intrigued by matching books to personality types… maybe they should have taught that in library school (I have my MLIS)!

  15. Southern Gal says:

    #1? That needs to happen to me NOW! My window boxes and planters are still empty and it’s July!

    I loved Peace Like a River. I didn’t even think of recommending it to my husband. Hm.

    So sorry for your loss. Pets are a part of the family. It’s hard.

  16. Victoria says:

    Uggh…I typed out a big long comment and then it disappeared when I clicked “post comment”.

    I don’t have it in me to type it all back out, so I’ll just say this.

    YES!!! to:
    trays, black and white cookies, summer uniform/necessity of laundry day/laundry day teaching ME that there are a few more pieces I can get rid of, kids cleaning cars = at least the car is clean-ER than it was before!

    • Anne says:

      I wish I knew because I’d snatch up some more! I stumbled upon these on mega-clearance at J Crew, and I found some adorable ones at Target around Christmas time. Anthropologie is a good place too, but I’d want to wait for the sales.

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