Inspiration: June


Lately, my life has been filled to overflowing with celebratory madness: proms, graduations, birthday and graduation parties, the start of summer vacation, an anniversary and a much anticipated trip to Scotland. God has been raining down the blessings and it has been really good and really crazy. Now that all the festivities are over, I’m looking forward to a laid back summer with time to rest and finally process everything that’s happened in the last month and or so. Because of all the merry-making, I’m a little late with my sources of inspiration for June. Thankfully, everything should be just as inspiring in July. Enjoy!

Inspiration: June

  • My daughter graduated from high school this month.  Needless to say, it has been a big year for “Lasts” and “Good-byes”.  This reminder was something I definitely needed.
  • This advice also struck a chord with me.  I just celebrated 23 years of marriage to my best friend so I especially agree with #4.
  • Speaking of marriage, June has traditionally been the most popular month for weddings.  And weddings mean wedding dresses, right?  See some of the most iconic wedding dresses of all time here.
  • June also ushers in the summer break from school.  Which means the kids will be at home (yeah!) and the house will be perpetually messy (boo!).  Maybe this and this will inspire us to manage the chaos and protect my sanity.
  • We’ll be camping at least once this summer.  In a tent.  But I could be persuaded to forgo hard-core roughing-it for a stay in one of these.  They are just the cutest!
  • Summer is the time for travel and vacationing for the Whimsey Pie family.  I can sometimes get overwhelmed with the planning and preparations. I’m glad I stumbled across this to gain some perspective.  From now on my vacation mantra will be “High on love, low on expectations”.
  • An Inspiration list wouldn’t be complete without some book recommendations.  These suggestions focus on faith and offer some thought-provoking reads.  I’ve already read The Shack and An Altar in the World and am currently reading Blue Like Jazz – all very good.  I think I’ll be taking one of the others to the beach with me in July.  Perhaps Walking on Water or Quotidian Mysteries
  • It’s black raspberry season right now in my corner of the world.  I’ve already made some delicious seedless jam.  Now it’s time to try this.  (Just the color of it is enough to move me – seriously.)
  • And this, for a tart taste of summer.
  • And this, which I find strangely appealing.  That sweet/salty combo, probably.
  • For my monthly photography fix, this.
  • Finally:

My sentiments exactly.  Thank God for the summertime…





A Brief Respite at the Beach

My parents have a very nice fifth wheel camper that they drag all over the countryside, obeying the wanderlust gene that runs rampant in my family.  Last week, they parked themselves, their camper, and their cairn terrier Roxanne at a western-themed campground called Frontiertown that is approximately six miles from Ocean City, Maryland.  This, in and of itself is not surprising; they are always running off someplace fun with their camper and their pup.  The surprising (and most fun) part of this particular outing is that they invited just my sister, Kelly, and me to join them for a few days.  No brother, no husbands, no kids.  No responsibilities…..

Who would say no??

Even though I was only able to join the party for two days, we stuffed the time with fun.  I was spoiled by my parents.  I slept in a bunk bed.  I watched Dancing with the Stars (for the first time in my life) and witnessed Kelly Pickler become champion for the season.  I ate delicious food.  I laughed really hard.  I saw beautiful things.  I felt the sun on my face and the wind in my hair.  I hung out with my sister.  I shopped a tiny bit.  I propped my feet up and just relaxed.  I spent time with the people I knew and loved first and who knew me and loved me first.  I missed my own little family.  And, I took pictures.

It was a wonderful 48 hours.


{ Roxanne, a.k.a Roxie }

Frontiertown has many things to recommend it which I will not elaborate on here.  There are two things, however, that struck me as especially noteworthy.  First, the bath houses were spotlessly clean and air-conditioned.  As someone who tents when she camps, I recognize this as a real luxury at a campground at the beach in the summer and I was duly impressed.  Second, at the back of Frontiertown is a quiet, marshy landscape that opens to a bay.  We took Roxie for walks there each day and it was unexpectedly lovely…




Kelly and I spent a perfect afternoon on the beach at the end of the boardwalk.  I don’t even think I read anything.  I just sat there soaking up the rays and drinking in the scenery.








We celebrated Mom’s birthday at The Hobbit, my favorite restaurant in Ocean City (and not just because of the name).  The back of the place is a wall of glass and the view of the bay alone would probably make the meal worthwhile.  Thankfully, I’ll never have to decide if that’s true because the food is delicious.  After dinner, we strolled the boardwalk, ate frozen custard, and froze a little bit ourselves.  The temperature was chilly despite the fact that summer is just around the corner.  There were no crowds and a very laid-back vibe was going on – definitely my kind of evening.  After Memorial Day, the pace will pick up considerably.







{ The leggy pine trees that sheltered our camper }

We spent my last morning touring Assateague Island National Seashore, a barrier island of scrubby trees, marshes, and windswept beaches.  It is also home to two herds of wild horses; we were lucky enough to see several bands of the Maryland herd.  The beach is undeveloped and wild.  This early in the season it was empty except for some fisherman and a few brave souls trying out the icy water or camping on the beach.  It was such a glorious day – I could have stayed on the beach for hours…


{ Scoping out the horses }






{ Kelly, trying to get that elusive horse shot }








I ended my brief sojourn in Maryland by meandering the narrow streets in Berlin.  The “downtown” area of this new-to-me village is filled with antique and vintage shops and one of a kind specialty boutiques.  Forty-seven of the town’s buildings are listed in the National Register of Historic Places – even the banks call gorgeous old brick buildings home.  Berlin was a very picturesque place to wile away the last few hours of my mini vacation.





{ An elderly gentleman waiting patiently for his friend }





Thanks Mom, Dad, and Kelly for a great little escape!

At This Moment…

I’m in a writing funk.  The ideas are there, swirling and blustering around my brain like a wind storm, but I’m unable to grasp any and hold them down into cohesive phrases and sentences.  Rather than pulling out my hair in frustration (which I’m sure my husband would think is a huge waste of money), I think I’ll follow the wisdom of writers far more experienced and talented than me who advise to write about anything if writer’s block rears its ugly head.  The topic doesn’t matter, as long as words are being put to paper (or the computer screen).  Because I really do want to write something today, and because I’m pretty sure I’m not able to write the good stuff because I’m feeling fragmented mentally, I’m going to give this a try.

This is me and my undisciplined brain on a dreary, humid Saturday in July:

I’m still dealing with a cough and cold that I picked up on my visit to California.  It is completely sapping my energy.  Having a cold in the summer is miserable.  Period.  I guess it’s  time to bite the bullet and go see Dr. King.

Speaking of California, I absolutely loved it.  The weather was perfect, and, for me, it was a wonderfully relaxing break.  Coming home to the heat and humidity was rough.  I’ve had a bugger of a time jumping back into our regularly scheduled life.  It’s been three weeks and I still feel like I’m going through withdrawal.  Here are just a few photos to give credence to my struggle:

[ At the Cove in La Jolla ]

[ The Gliderport looking over Black’s Beach ]

[ Coronado ]

[ A surfer at Windansea Beach ]

[ Anza-Borrego Desert State Park ]

[ Hiking The Slot at Anza-Borrego ]

[ The San Diego Zoo ]

[ Oceanside ]

Ok, now I’ve gotten my SoCal fix for the day.  I can move on.  If I’ve piqued your curiosity, check this out.  It’s where I gleefully write about my travel adventures and share my photos.  I’m sorry.  That was a shameful plug for my other blog, wasn’t it?  I try to post there about once a week.  Next up, La Jolla.

I went to see Disney’s Brave last night for Fun Friday with my daughter and her friend.  (The boys saw The Dark Knight Rises.)  It’s a deviation from Disney’s standard princess recipe and I really enjoyed it.  There is humor, tenderness, and growth in the main characters.  I surprised myself by tearing up at the end.  Of course, the animation was superb.  Another win for Disney, another fun movie experience for me.

I’ve been offered a job.  The perfect job, really.  The kind of job I just finished my degree for.  And yet, because it came out of the blue, I’m feeling slightly blind-sided and unable to think clearly.  I’m comfortable with my life the way it is.  Change would be stressful.  I’m not ready to go back to work full-time.  Blah, blah, blah.  This is a perfect example of God’s timing not being my timing at all.  Usually when God’s timing is discussed, it means He isn’t working fast enough for someone’s satisfaction.  In my life, God’s timing is often much quicker than my own.  I prefer time to think, ponder, and consider.  No rushing, please.  God, in His perfect wisdom knows I often need a push to get things rolling and so He steps in and makes things happen.  And so, this is the situation in which I find myself: a wonderful (albeit full-time) job dropped unexpectedly in my lap with a rather speedy decision required.  I can’t deny that it’s a wonderful dilemma to have, but the decision is driving me nuts.  I’ll just keep laying it at God’s feet and asking for guidance.

We’ve hit the midpoint for summer vacation 2012.  It’s always about this time that I have a mini-panic attack because I realize the summer is slipping through my fingers under-used and under-appreciated.   As a knee-jerk reaction, we (meaning I) have filled up the next several days with all the good things summer has to offer – a binge on summer fun, if you will.  Baseball games, amusement parks, swimming, sleep-overs, potato chip factory tours.  It will be a last hurrah before band camp and football practices steal the last weeks of summer from us like sneaky thieves.

I’ve been listening to Van Morrison’s Moondance album almost non-stop.  As a matter of fact, I’m listening to it right now.  In my opinion, it is the epitome of what summer music should be.  Of course, I’m very partial to Van “The Man”.  His bluesy, jazzy, soulful, kinda rock and roll music is easy to move to and I love the combination of mystical, sensual, and spiritual in his lyrics.  Many, many of his songs have a summer vibe.  Moondance just happens to be several of his best collected in one place.  In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, listen to this.  Caravan has got to be one of my all-time favorites:

Now I ask you, does it get any more mellow than this?  I can’t tell you how many evenings I’ve stood at the sink, doing the dishes after dinner and watching dusk settle over the freshly mown grass, and danced to this music.  Ah, summer…

For someone who couldn’t write a word earlier, I sure managed to fill up this space.  It’s very reassuring to know I can still put words together into rudimentary sentences. Thanks for bearing with me.  Hopefully, the next time I post it will be edifying, informative, creative, and thought-provoking.  (Ha!)  Enough of this self-focused nonsense already.  It’s time I faced the fact that I’ve used this post to shirk all my real responsibilities as wife and mother.  The jig is up and now I’ve got to do something useful.  (I hate housework!)