What I Learned This Summer

A simple popover top

I read a post recently by Emily that made me think through what I would write about if I were to reflect on what I learned from the summer.

My first instinct is to reflect on work/life balance and a new baby in the family, but I wanted to push myself and answer the question through the lens of looking at who I am beyond those two things.

In fact, during interviews recently I asked candidates what their ideal Saturday was, aside from kids and significant others. It was really difficult for some to answer, and I actually struggled with the answer as well!

Nearly everything in my day to day life circles around my family or my work, which is incredibly rewarding! Don’t hear me wrong! But I did like the challenge of thinking through what I, Kate, as a human learned this summer!

  1. I miss my bootcamp high intensity work outs.

    Not only were they fun because every single day was different, but I also saw friends on a near daily basis at the gym. It was the best of ALL the worlds–socializing, working out, and stress relief. I plan to get back into it once I can figure out a timeline that works, but since having Emily and getting cleared to work out, I find myself looking forward to getting back into that when I can! And just to answer preemptive questions/comments–I do know that working out excessively for some can affect milk supply for nursing mothers. I’m not planning on jumping back into HIIT immediately for a few reasons a. I would literally die because I’m so out of shape and b. I want to gradually work up to that to see how my supply does. If you are breastfeeding, talk to your doc about working out.

  2. I need to be outside at least once a day.

    I’ve heard this quote over the years about kids and it goes something like “Kids are like puppies, you have to take them out every day.” Well I am also like a puppy. Going outside is mentally refreshing for me. It’s one of the main reasons I hate rainy days so much! At this point of the summer it’s swampy outside, but I will still endure the sticky heat just to go out into the world for a moment.

  3. Mexican food is my jam.

    I realize there is virtually no nutritional value of queso but DANG if it isn’t the best thing in the world, you hear me? I love a good guacamole too. I’ve had a few different Mexican meals this summer from different restaurants and find myself craving it often! I’ve made homemade burritos a few times as well, and I love how filling they are. I think I’m hungrier as a nursing mother than I was pregnant, so any meal that can “stick” is high on my list!

  4. Speaking positive, truthful statements to myself helps adjust my mindset.

    So an example would be if Emily is having a hard day of nap time failures, I’ll say *out loud* that she sleeps really well during the night and is always happy after I feed her. Saying positive things about a situation keeps me from spiraling down the path of negativity. Or if I’m frustrated about how my clothes are fitting, I’ll tell myself that I’m actively working on getting healthy now so it won’t always feel this way. Speaking truth out loud will really affect my level of positivity.

  5. I’m an external processor.

    I can’t remember who I heard this phrase from originally but as soon as I heard it I knew it described me. I have to literally stop myself from thinking out loud and processing through something (from meal plans to what I’m hoping to accomplish on a random Saturday morning) audibly. Justin knows this about me so he’s used to it, and there are times that I even need to tell him that I’m just processing and simply need him to listen instead of try to fix/offer advice on a subject. This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s helpful to know in certain times.

There are more things that I’m sure I’ll think of as time passes, but these were major themes that popped up in my life through the summer. I’m always trying to be mindful and aware of ways I can continue to grow as a person, mom, and business owner so taking time to type these out and reflect was a good mental exercise.

I’d actually suggest you do the same, whether it’s just talked through with your friend or significant other, or if you write it out in a journal. I think it’s good to look back and see how far we’ve come (or if we haven’t come as far as we’d hoped!) to appreciate seasons of our life.


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Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says · 08.29.18

I need to be out at least once a day as well, or else I just get so unmotivated. It doesn’t matter for what – even a quick trip to the grocery store works wonders. Sometimes we all just need a change of scenery, even if it’s only for a few minutes! 🙂

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

Kelsey says · 08.29.18

This is what your external processing section reminds me of: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-4EDhdAHrOg

We watched in church (it’s maybe 2 minutes long) and I DIED laughing.

I think maybe that’s how i process, too!

Allie says · 08.29.18

I think I will spend today day dreaming about my perfect Saturday – there are so many possibilities…
I love a good taco too – have you tried making them with mole spices? It adds a ton of unique flavor without being too spicy.

Maureen says · 08.29.18

I need that phrase “external processor” because I do that too! What a great way to explain it to others and myself!

Britney says · 08.29.18

I’m like a puppy, too! (I never would have thought to describe myself like that, ha!) If I don’t get outside, I start to feel groggy and unmotivated. I try to walk every day with my baby.

I’m going to challenge myself to do this, too. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

Kate says · 08.29.18

It’s always good to get out!

Abbey Mooney says · 08.29.18

Kate, your positivity is contagious… and that is what I love about you. As a mother of 3 myself, we can find ourselves surrounding ourselves with just “mommy” stuff. My new years resolution was to make sure that I stop and do something for myself at least 1 time a week – it has been challenging at times, but I know I feel much better about myself after I have done it!

Thank you for being so real for us and allowing us to share a small part of your life.

Kate says · 08.29.18

Thanks Abbey!

Heather says · 08.29.18

Mexican food is also my jam. My husband is considering a 12 step program for me 🙂

Laura Weaver says · 08.29.18

I loved this post, Kate!! I’ve been trying so hard to process our last year and remember all the things and realize how far we’ve come on our trip. I love the concept of listing out everything. I always love reading Emily’s lists too!

Kate says · 08.29.18

Yes you have had quite the journey! 🙂

Kassy says · 08.29.18

I love that you looked beyond your family life for this post! As a wife and a mother, it can sometimes feel selfish to spend time just for myself or to not put my kids or partner at the forefront. However, I’ve learned that self-care is really important and doing things that i like for myself and thinking about my personal happiness Makes me a better wife and mother. For me, I have found that I need to make sure I’m getting exercise in at least half of the mornings of the week if not more…Exercise is family time in my family but it’s also nice to do it by myself from time to time. I also carve out time for me to just sit And drink a cup of coffee and read the paper or a book for at least an hour at least one day a week. I am lucky because I only work four days a week and My wife works five days so I have one week day where I have the house to myself all day and I love it! It’s a small and simple, yet really gratifying. I also realized this summer that I need to get back into crafting. I work a desk job and while there is some creative aspects to it, I have not made the time to have a creative outlet For me personally. So this fall I’m going to get back into Scrapbooking and knitting!

Angela says · 08.29.18

Exercise is really important to me physically and for stress relief, so finding ways to get my workouts in has been challenging with two small kids. I feel like I’m always looking for new ways to get things done and becoming more efficient over time while letting go of other things that I really don’t need.

Angela at Blush & Pearls

Kimberly in NC says · 08.29.18

So encouraged by number 4! Glad to hear this helps you and I bet would help a lot of people…I’ll try to remember it next time I find myself heading for a negativity funk. I know it is best to be positive, just need to remind myself often during those difficult times!

Karen Ward says · 08.29.18

So, the way I understand external processing, it’s basically talking out loud to yourself, right? LOL! That is definitely me! I love the term – it sounds so technical!

Kate says · 08.29.18

lol pretty much! To yourself or someone close to you!

Allison says · 08.29.18

Love all of this. I get it all. Especially the Mexican food. I could eat it everyday.

Laci says · 08.29.18

We share the same birthday and I swear all of these things describe me almost identically! Great points!

Jennifer says · 08.29.18

What is your lipstick in the above photo? So good!

Kenya says · 08.29.18

This resonates with me so much! I had a baby in January (wow, he’s almost 8 months and it still feels like i *just* had a baby!) and am slowly transitioning back to work. I’m so grateful to have been able to stay home with him for so long and reading through some of your comments about appreciating this season of life is so needed! Life is crazy busy with two kiddos and working, but I know it won’t always be like this 🙂

Erin M says · 08.29.18

I LOVE this!! What a great idea. I feel like this summer has been a season of self-growth for me too. But I never actually realized it until I read this! So it was helpful for me to reflect on some of those struggles and, more importantly, move forward! 🙂

suzanne Sager says · 08.29.18

As moms, our lives do revolve around our families. Our youngest just left for college and I find myself needing to find a different rhythm. I’m so used to weaving what I need to do in between all the other stuff.
I’m with you on #2 and 3! I get terrible cabin fever this time of year. (I live in NW Raleigh). If you get a chance, try BARTACO at North Hills for some fresh Mexican.
I’m going to try saying something positive out loud to counter negative thoughts. Love this idea.

Kate says · 08.29.18

I will try that place, thanks for the recommendation!

Eva says · 08.29.18

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on life lately. I think speaking positivity to yourself is SO life changing. I always thought it was kind of wacky or a sign of an insecure person, but sometimes we need that little kick of belief in ourselves. I catch myself saying out loud things that make me feel better, calm me down, and motivate me to do good things. It helps to keep anxiety from getting the better of me!

Eva | http://www.shessobright.com

Kate says · 08.29.18


Lindsay says · 08.29.18

I subjected my family to SO many Mexican dinners when I was pregnant with my second son….and I think it transferred! Tacos are his favorite food, bar none. Handy for party planning, since he was born the day before Cinco de Mayo!

Alisha says · 08.30.18

Love this! Couldn’t agree more with point 2

Alisha x | https://alishaxali.blogspot.com/2018/08/weekendinlondon.html

Amanda says · 08.30.18

Wow…an external processor. I have never heard this term before but I believe it describes me as well! Thank you for sharing what you learned this summer and in turn helping me learn something new about myself!

Ashley Pringle says · 09.01.18

Loved reading this post! I’ve been a little uninspired lately in my own writing and it was nice to read a simple, personal post and remember how much I enjoy posts like this.

Tabitha says · 09.05.18

Love this blog prompt and response! I would love to see more like it on your blog. I am quite similar- I need to go outside at least once a day and I’m also an external processor. It’s great getting to know you, and it helps me get to know myself!

Beth Mann says · 09.06.18

May I ask what lipstick this is? It’s the perfect coral!

Amy says · 09.08.18

I have to be outside once a day, also! I need sunshine!!! I don’t mind a rainy day, and I’ll usually just go sit out under the covered patio if it’s raining. I also remember well by hearing. I once learned in a class that there are a few ways to learn: by doing, by seeing and by hearing. This class was y-e-a-r-s ago, so my facts may not be 100%, but I believe it’s like only 5% of the population that learns/remembers by hearing. It’s the only way for this girl!
Thanks for sharing!

Morgan says · 09.13.18

Loved this post – need to focus more on positive affirmations like that too as I juggle work plus 3 month old.