Summer Anthems!

Summer Anthems

My husband recently downloaded a neat, new play list on my iPod that I listen to on my early morning walks or while I work in my yard.  Each song seems to remind me of some of the fun adventures we’ve enjoyed with friends and family this summer.  It got me thinking–if your summer had a theme song…..what would it be?

Summer Anthems!

“Summertime is always the best of what might be!”  Charles Bowden

The Songs Of Summer!

Summer seems to embody all the simple pleasures of life that we love so much, and like a great song…..we find as it nears its end, we want to play it all over again on a shuffle repeat!  Summer anthems don’t necessarily need to be about summer; I just like ones that inspire our carefree, adventurous spirits!

Musical note ear buds.

“Like a lyric to a favorite song, you stay with me all day long.  And when I get to the end, I wanna hear it again!”  Toby Mac

Here are a few of the songs that describe my summer…..

◊ Vegetable CarJoshua Radin (Listen here.)

Summer Anthems!

This song summons up my love of visiting all the quaint farmer’s markets around my hometown; one of my very favorite summer past times!

Utah Farmer's Markets.

“She drives a vegetable car.  Diesel Mercedes, green two door, Lisa Loeb glasses…..I do wish that you’d ask me to ride along.”

Lyrics “Vegetable Car” by Joshua Radin

◊ Ramblin’ Man:  The Allman Brothers Band (Listen here.)

Adventures await... www.mytributejournal.com

I think we all love to travel and see new places during the summer.  The classic song “Ramblin’ Man” by the Allman Brothers Band, speaks to the carefree spirit in all of us.  My son seems to have been born with an extra dose of wanderlust, and we have enjoyed some amazing journeys with him!  Luckily, his wife and little boy are always up for some fun adventures with him too!

Summer adventrues.

“Lord I was born a ramblin’ man, trying to make a living and doing the best I can.  And when it’s time for leavin’, I hope you’ll understand…..that I was born a ramblin’ man.”

 Lyrics “Ramblin’ Man” by The Allman Brothers Band

◊  A Summer Song:  Chad and Jeremy (Listen here.)

Summer ahead sign.

I’m dating myself a bit with this iconic summer song–but if there ever was a summer anthem for the magical summers of my youth…this song is it!  Now I get the pleasure of enjoying wonderful summer days with a little bit different perspective as I experience so many of them through the curious and fanciful eyes of my grandchildren!

Summer adventures.

“Trees swaying in the summer breeze, showing off their sliver leaves as we walked by.  Soft kisses on a summer’s day, laughing all our cares away…..just you and I.”

Lyrics “A Summer Song” by Chad and Jeremy

◊  Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days Of Summer:   Nat King Cole (Listen here.)

Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer.

It’s a bit ironic that I remember my mom often singing this song under her breath as she had me help her do yard work and other chores during the summer months when I was growing up.  She’d just wink when I’d asked why we weren’t actually being lazy!  It took becoming a parent with a home and family of my own to fully realize that just like any other time of year, it’s important to find a good balance between work and play.  Truth be told, I don’t think there’s ever a shortage of some lazy, hazy and indeed crazy days during the summer!

Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.

Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer…..you’ll wish that summer could always be here!”

Lyrics Those Crazy Hazy Lazy Days of Summer” by Nat King Cole

◊ Saturday In The Park:  Chicago (Listen here.)

IMG_6692

This song is the ultimate summer party song by one of my all-time favorite groups.  Being able to watch my two older granddaughters play their violins at fun musical concerts in so many beautiful parks, just adds to my love of this summer anthem!

Summer concert in the park.

“Saturday in the park, where every day’s the fourth of July.  People talking, really smiling; a man playing guitar and singing for us all…..and I’ve been waiting such a long time for today.”

Lyrics “Saturday In The Park” by Chicago 

◊  A Little More Summertime:  Jason Aldean (Listen here.)

Endless Summer sign.

Every season seems to create its own nostalgia as it starts to wind down, but I always seem to lament every year about the end of summer coming too fast.  My sensible hubby is quick to remind me that too much of a good thing makes it so it’s not as special.  Still, at summer’s end, I can’t help but wish that there were just a few more weeks left…then I remember everything I love about the other neat times of the year and the great songs I associate with them!

A little more summertime!

“If the sun would have just hung up in that sky just a little bit longer; if the blue waves could’ve stayed at our feet on the beach instead of going out with the tide…..if only I had a little more summertime.”

Lyrics “A Little More Summertime” by Jason Aldean

It’s hard to believe that there’s only about a month of summer left–I hope it’s spectacular for everyone and full of all the wonderful things that make the best memories…and that they linger through the winter months to come!

Summertime!

“One must maintain a little bit of summer…..even in the middle of winter!”  Henry David Thoreau

I’d love to know if there’s a particular song that reminds you of happy summer days whenever you hear it?

 –Mary

Happy People!

Happy People!

With the anticipation of all the summer adventures ahead of us, what better time to remind ourselves of all the things that make us happy……and do some of them!!!

Emoji balloons!

“Happiness is not ready made.  It comes of your own actions.” 

Dalai Lama 

If you need a fresh perspective on truly being happy, listen to the lyrics of “Happy People” by the country group, Little Big Town.  The following is one of my favorite lines from the song:

Happy People by Little Big Town.

“Well, life is short and love is rare, and we all deserve to be happy while we’re here…so here’s to whatever puts a smile on your face!”

Here’s To Whatever Puts A Smile On Your Face!

I certainly don’t need to remind you that life isn’t all roses, in fact, it can bring us to our knees (literally) sometimes.  But perhaps we can all do a little better at making a conscious effort at seeing the fun and funny side of life!  So let’s consider a few of the little, everyday things that might make us smile!

1. Setting your alarm to a song that makes you happy to wake up!  I know, that’s a stretch…but I’ve tried it and it works!  I’ll find myself humming or singing some of the words to whatever song I woke up to throughout the day!  The song mentioned above is a good one—and will surely put a smile on your face.

2. A hot breakfast!  Especially if you don’t have to fix it!  On the weekends, my hubby will often make hot oatmeal with blueberries (so good) and wheat toast with fresh jam–eating it out on our patio during the summer months definitely puts a smile on my face!  A weekend brunch after doing some early morning cleaning is a win/win–and sure to have you smiling all day long!

The Park Cafe in Salt Lake City, Utah

A favorite brunch spot of mine is the Park Café!  (If you live close or find yourself visiting Salt Lake City, I highly recommend eating here!) 

3. Being outside when the weather is just right!  After a long winter season and a wet, rainy spring here in Utah, it seems that finally being able to get outside has everyone I meet sporting a happy smile!

Adventuring outside up City Creek Canyon!

A recent hike up gorgeous City Creek Canyon on a perfect summer day with two of my granddaughters had us all smiling! 

4. Laughing!  There’s no better way to put an exclamation on your day than laughter!   There are few things in life that lift my spirits more or put a smile on my face quicker than hearing my son’s deep, full-hearted laugh as he shares funny anecdotes from his experiences of living abroad in Germany, or as a dentist for the US Army.  Life can get hectic–we’d all do well to just smile and laugh at the craziness a little more!

5. Growing something!  I learned to love gardening from my grandmother, and my husband and I have planted a little vegetable garden almost every year.  The accomplishment of tending to something, watching it grow and then harvesting the fruits of our labors is rewarding and indeed smile worthy!

Growing strawberries!

I tried my hand at growing strawberries this year and I have to admit, I had a giddy smile on my face when I saw the first few blossoms turn to strawberries and start to ripen!

6. Encouraging others!  Being genuinely happy for others and offering them support and encouragement as they try hard to live their lives to the best of their ability can’t help but put the most satisfying smiles on our faces!

Being happy for others quote.

My parents were always quick to impress upon me the importance of showing love and appreciation for those who were happy to see me make accomplishments and achieve my dreams, as well. 

7. Being curious!  I’m a firm believer that inquisitive thinking and a passion for exploring will nourish our minds…and that my friends, is something to smile about!

8. Remaining young at heart!  No matter our age, don’t we love to be around those who have chosen to live, laugh and love with the infectious playfulness of a person untainted by the harsh realities of today’s world!  Let’s face it, when we choose happiness, we’re more fun, more childlike, we smile more…and hopefully, those around us will too!!

I love the saying, “Happiness appears where dreams meet preparation.”  It implies, that like most things in life, happiness takes a little work–but living a more fulfilled life is the ultimate reward–that, and a lot of smiles!

Happy looks good on you quote.

Add to the list…I’d love to know some of the little, everyday things you do that help you smile more?

–With love and a big smile, Mary

Hello 2017! Let’s Try A Little Harder To Be A Little Better!

Hello 2017!

It was such a fun holiday season…but as a new year gets underway, I’ll admit I’m dragging a bit.  One lazy morning before we had to head back to work, I asked my hubby what he was looking forward to most in the upcoming year…as pragmatic as always, he simply said, Just another great 365 days, if I’m lucky!”  Then he turned and looked at me with that knowing look that says, “I know you hate New Year’s resolutions, so let’s see you answer this one!”  Now, I’m not usually quick with a witty come back, but this time I think I genuinely surprised him with my answer…..“I’m just going to try a little harder to be a little better!” Just try a little harder to be a little better!

Let’s Try A Little Harder To Be A Little Better!

While making New Year’s resolutions seems to take on the notion that big changes need to be made in your life…trying a little harder to be a little better seems very doable!  Here’s a few things I’m going to try a little harder at being a little better at:

I’m going to try a little harder to be a little better at being more healthy!  A healthy focus shouldn’t solely be on weight loss.  I once heard the statement that we should exercise like a diabetic heart patient with a stroke so that you never actually become one!  While this may sound a bit extreme, taking good care of our physical health should always be a priority.  Starting the year off with an exam from our physician will help determine our present state of well-being and where we can improve.  Doing this doesn’t guarantee a long life, but working a little harder to be better at exercising daily and eating more healthy will certainly make for a more active, enjoyable one.  My son, who is a dentist, would also add to floss and brush your teeth regularly too.  Dental problems are awful.

Exercising cartoon.

“Someone’s health can often be judged by what they take two at a time…..stairs or pills!”  Joan Walsh      

I’m going to try a little harder to be a little better at being more content!  Life can’t always be a party. Darn!  We need to learn to appreciate the small things and be present in the moment; find contentment in our daily routines.  As Dave Dero wrote in his article,  Advice From Some Old People“We don’t get to stay on this crazy/wonderful planet forever, and the greatest pleasures can often be found in the most mundane of activities.  Instead of sending a text, pick up the phone and call someone–or better yet, go visit them and have a conversation about nothing in particular.  Those are the moments to hold onto!”   

"Live in the Moment!" quote.

My dad always used to tell me,  “Mary, just enjoy life, don’t waste away your days looking for better ones ahead!”     

I’m going to try a little harder to be a little better at being more loving!  We’ve all heard a lot of good advice on this topic.  There’s just no better feeling in the world than knowing that you truly mean something to someone else.  Let’s be unafraid to express and show our love for others!  Let’s plan things to celebrate love!  Let’s make the most of the time we have with loved ones!Funny love quote.

I came across a fun idea for some neat date nights here.

Date Night Jar

Creating a Date Night Jar helps keep the romance alive–especially when you haven’t made other plans!

♦ I’m going to try a little harder to be a little better at giving my best effort!  There will always be demands on our time.  Our dream jobs aren’t always a dream every day, family and friends require a certain amount of commitment to help keep the relationships strong–in short, life can get overwhelming.  Let’s all remember to take a deep breath when needed, and simply vow to not make excuses and do the best we can in every situation.  Ultimately, I think when we put our best foot forward, so to speak, we are rewarded by others acting in kind…it’s a chain reaction of good!  No matter what though, it’s just a great feeling when we know we are giving our best under the the various circumstances we encounter!

Determination quote.

♦ What I really want to try a little harder to be a little better at this year is enjoying more adventures, connecting with more people who have good energy and learning a few new things that help me grow.  We all have that list of things we want to try someday…..new experiences we’d like to have, perhaps a talent we’d like to develop more–whatever it is, let’s pick one or two, make a plan and go for it!  I don’t want to wake up one day and be sad that I didn’t try some of the things I’ve dreamed about doing.  My husband and I are taking on something we’ve dreamed about for a few years now–I can’t wait to share more about it in the near future!

Curly Girl card.

Happy New Year, everyone!  I hope yours is off to a great start! 

Inspire us!  Share some of your goals and plans for the coming year.

–Mary