I hope you all loved Ashley’s post yesterday as much as I did.
It’s so crazy, no matter how confident you seem on the outside, putting yourself out there – as we do weekly on the blog – is difficult. There is so much behind every post, and we never quite know how they’re going to be received. There are days when we pour our hearts – and souls – and time – into a post, only to get a minimal response. As Ashley said yesterday, here, sometimes it makes us doubt what we’re doing.
But then there are days like yesterday.
Days when all of the supportive comments, emails, and texts we get from our readers make it all worth it. The outpouring of love and support you showed to Ashley yesterday was an incredible affirmation of why we blog, and we can’t explain how much it meant to us.
So from Ashley and I – Thank you. Thank you for being so wonderful. We love hearing from you, and we love knowing when we’ve struck a chord with you.
Now… onto the next order of business… this post.
I cannot believe summer is coming to a close. Summer has always been one of my favorite seasons – and thinking back on my life, most of my fondest memories were made during the summer. Growing up, we had a home in the Adirondacks that my father’s family, quite literally, built with their bare hands. It was called the “Farren Camp”. If you’re not familiar with the area… summer homes in the Adirondacks are called camps. << I love that.
Every Memorial Day – when the air was still brisk in the morning, we would load up the car, and make the four hour trek from Connecticut to Upstate New York to open the cabin for the season. All summer long we would make the trip back and forth, and like I said, the memories we made there are some of the best of my life.
|The Farren Camp – after many additions and remodels through the years|
Every morning, for the day’s sustenance – my Uncle and Dad would make us a huge spread of bacon and eggs for breakfast. On days when we were really lucky, my Aunt would make her world famous Pizza Fritta – literally fried dough covered in cinnamon sugar.
The house was set up on a hill, with a quarter mile stretch of lawn between the front porch and the lake. So after breakfast, we’d load the tractor with coolers, sand toys, water skis, life vests – you name it – and we’d all head down to the beach. While the adults relaxed in their lounge chairs, all of us children would be running around, swimming, and just being kids. At the far end of our beach – blankets of blackberry bushes covered the sand, and growing up we affectionately referred to them as “Farren Berries”. We’d wait all summer for August when they’d finally be ripe enough to pick, and when they finally were – we ate them with every meal.
It was during these summers that my grandfather taught me how to bait my own hook. I’ll never forget the first time I caught a fish by myself and ran all the way up the hill to the house to show him. I combed the beaches with my grandmother at sunset, searching for arrowheads and pottery pieces. My sister and I would catch tadpoles, salamanders and bullfrogs with our bare hands. And when I was finally old enough, after years of watching my older cousins, I learned how to water ski.
From 8am to 8pm we were outside. We only knew it was time to come in for the day when our parents would ring the bell for dinner. At night we’d have bonfires on the beach, we’d roast s’mores, and my Poppy would teach us how to pick out the Big Dipper and the North Star in the sky. Then after our long days, my Dad would carry my sister and I upstairs – already asleep – and put us to bed.
To me, this is what summer is all about. It’s enjoying the long, warm, beautiful days with your family. It’s feeling the sun on your face. It’s adventuring outside. It’s experiencing nature. It’s delighting in the simple. Joe and I are making it a point to see to it that William has a similar view of this amazing season.
We’ve started small. This summer – his first summer – he’s been on numerous hikes with us, we took him to the beach as much as possible, he had his first boating experience, and – with the help of Nanny Abby – we planted our first backyard garden. You can see some of the fruits of our labor below. No pun intended. Even though William can’t eat solid foods yet, he seems to enjoy being in the garden with us, and I know that next year he’ll be running around our yard, picking every strawberry and tomato in sight. <<< Just thinking about this makes me smile.
As Ashley and I were on the phone the other night, talking about our upcoming posts, we decided that we’d be trying to spend every last second of summer outdoors. Ashley is headed to Sonoma this weekend for sightseeing and wine tasting, and I’m heading to LA to visit family and friends. I’m so excited to swim with my little family, to hike the canyon behind my Aunt and Uncle’s house, and to dine al fresco with the people I love.
As for the title of this post… lately I’ve been checking out the hashtag “getoutside” to help me get in the adventuring mood (no, this is not an ad, just sharing for the heck of sharing) and I hope you check it out too. The photos there are absolutely amazing and if you need a little “getting back to nature” inspiration and motivation, you’re sure to find it there. If you have any hashtags you look to for inspiration, let me know in the comments. I love exploring the vast depths of instagram and sharing is caring loves!
Lastly – since my favorite memories of summer are outdoors – I thought it would be fun to compile a list of my favorite – and under $5 – weekend activities to help you #getoutside and make amazing memories. Enjoying your weekend doesn’t have to break the bank, and with the money you save you can #treatyoself to something special. So here it goes!
– Head to your local farmer’s market and make something delicious with the ingredients you find.
– Go yard sale/estate sale hunting – you never know what you’ll find, or what you can re-purpose.
– Run through the sprinkler. Nothing makes you feel more like a kid.
– Grab a coffee early one morning and explore your neighborhood by foot… and bring your camera. I love doing this early as the light is best then… and no one is around 🙂
– Pack a picnic and set out to the most beautiful, serene spot you can think of. For Joe & I this is Sugar Pine State Park in Tahoe where we took our engagement photos.
– Spread out a blanket, lay down, close your eyes, and listen to an inspirational podcast
– Sit outside and make a list of goals for the week, month, even year. <<< I love doing this!
– Take a hike you’ve never taken before – and don’t check your phone – not once!
– Head to a park and actually lay in the grass – instant relaxation.
– Venture to your nearest body of water – river, lake, ocean – whatever – and enjoy what nature has to offer.
– Download a constellation map, sit in your backyard, and see how many you can find.
Have a wonderful rest of your week loves. Be sure to let us know about your favorite hashtags and how you plan to #getoutside. And if you’re looking for something soft and comfortable to wear on your weekend adventures – this Hye Park and Lune top is one of my favorites!
I love your list of under $5 weekend activities! Walks can be so calming in that early morning light with a cup of coffee in hand (of course). The Farren Camp sounds dreamy by the way! I also love your entire blog and look forward to each of your posts every week! I'm just starting out blogging and it's super intimidating. You guys make everything seem so flawless and like it's your second nature!