5 on friday: welcoming summer

welcoming summer

Happy Friday, friends! Yet another week of June is ticking away, and I am here. for. it. It might sound somewhat redundant, but we’re ready to sort of “distance ourselves” per se, from the beginning months of this year. 2020 got off to a pretty rough start, and watching the weather turn, seeing life return to some semblance of normal has allowed us to get our proverbial feet back under us. To top it off, it seems that the PNW has finally gotten the memo, and we’re enjoying welcoming summer as the weather begins to turn in our favor. It was a very rainy, chilly spring, and combining that with quarantine made for a rough mental start to this season. Now though? Now we’re starting to enjoy these rare summer months.

Ryan has about three more weeks at home before he heads out for his next TDY and, in true Army fashion, those are being spent busy, bustling, and in full-out preparation for the next departure. His TDYs have been shorter as of late, thankfully, but the next one is a bit longer, and it will take some time to fall into our rhythm again. So, in the meantime, we’re soaking up every ounce of togetherness that we can. Last week, I posted our summer JBLM bucket list, and we’re already starting to tick away at it, having visited Moulton Falls last weekend. Today, I’m sharing five things we love about welcoming summer in the PNW.

1 // Beach & Lake Days

One of the best parts of living on post at JBLM is our proximity and access to American Lake, which is a mere five-minute drive from our house. We spent a lot of fun summer days at Summer Cove last summer while Ryan was deployed, and I’m excited to do so again this year – and with Ryan, no less! It’s rare that we actually have him home for a decent stretch of summertime, so we’re going to try to enjoy every ounce of it that we can.

2 // All the Farmer’s Markets

As things begin to reopen here in Washington, the farmer’s markets are following suit. We went to the Steilacoom Farmer’s Market this past Wednesday evening, and it was the first time we’d gone since our trip last year. Mieke was able to enjoy it this time, riding along in the little red car, and the boys actually walked with me to and from the market this year, as well. It’s funny to see how things change season to season and year to year, but I’m grateful to have the opportunity to bring them back to little things like this and make new memories. We had a little ice cream picnic by the water, and we bid farewell to some great friends. It was a beautiful, bittersweet night together.

summer days pnw

summer steilacoom

steilacoom summer farmer's market

farmer's markets near jblm

pioneer orchard park

steilacoom park

pnw farmer's markets

when your military spouse friends move away

3 // Purging the Excess

With this being our last summer at JBLM, I’m doing my best to get a jumpstart on emptying out the excess from our  house. Like every family, we tend to accumulate items, stuff, and things over time. Whether we mean to or not, our home gets a bit cluttered, and this is the perfect time for us to work on weeding out what we do and don’t want. We’re now allowed to have garage sales on post again (with social distancing, of course), so it’s been the perfect time to go through stuff the kids have outgrown and that we no longer need, passing them onto other families.

4 // The Best Running Weather(!!!)

I’ll admit; running took a backseat through COVID and quarantine. While I did run, I didn’t train and, because of this, I decided to put any marathon plans I had on hold. Instead, I want to focus on overall health. I want to get my body back to a good, comfortable, happy weight, and I want to prioritize functional fitness over training. So, I’ve been running about four times a week, simply between two and three miles. And you know what? It’s been such a welcome change. The great running weather doesn’t hurt either.

5 // Dinners Outside

One of the bummers of life returning to normal is that family dinners aren’t always a thing anymore. When we were quarantined, we were able to enjoy family dinners at the same time almost every single evening. Now, things are a little more rushed, and some of that frenetic energy has returned. I’m grateful for the Friday and weekend evenings that we can sit outside on the patio as a family and eat dinner, watching the sun slowly set and listening to neighborhood kids play. It’s heaven.

I told my mom the other day that, once again, we’re living by countdowns. We’re counting down to Ryan’s TDY. We’re counting down to the start of Kindergarten for Spencer. We’re counting down to the holidays we’ll be spending back East. And, of course, we’re counting down to that day that we finally receive orders – hopefully this winter. Summer is a beautiful season because it’s that last stretch of calm before the storm starts again, and we’re ready to soak up every single second.

Tell me – does it feel like summer yet where you live?