Check Lists

Well, it's summertime again. Summertime. I don't know why, but that word always seems to carry something more with it. Like Christmas. It's special and when I say it, it's like something magical can happen. I'm almost done with my masters degree, thank goodness. My life has swarmed around that for this past year and I am SO ready for it to be over. School is out. In fact, today is the first day of summer for us elementary school folk. And, did I get to sleep-in? Nope. I was up bright and early, helping my mom at her school with her classroom. I've been constantly on the go since Sunday. Sunday was the Mud Run at Camp Pendleton. And, oh man, was it fun. It was my first mud run and I had no idea what to expect. But I had a blast. Plus, all those Marines everywhere wasn't bad. At all. I came home and told my family all about it. I got them hooked and now they all want to do it with me next year. I can see us having fun, but I can see nearly all of us getting competitive. We'll just have to see how that goes. On Monday, it was the Staff vs. Sixth Graders in the softball game. Staff won. Duh. Then every day since then, it felt like I was running all over my work, trying to help everyone with everything, while packing away my classroom at the same time. But it's over. I finally reached Friday. And summertime. Whew! I was looking over my last Summer Check List and was glad to see that I was able to complete a good number of them. I completed my book, had a blast on the Epic Road Trip, and even went to a writer's workshop, among other things. I have even started on a new writing project--which I can't technically call "started" since I had already started it. I'm just now adding to it and finishing it up. I've made some adjustments and renamed the Summer Check List--because I felt like it--keeping things I have and haven't finished, and added new things I need to accomplish.

Summertime Check List

• Finish my book.

• Get edited version back from friends and make corrections/changes.

• Once done with book, start on second book in the series.

• Maybe start playing on a sports team.

• Move my room downstairs, while getting rid of literally everything I don’t need.

• Read as many books as possible.

• Write, write, write!!!

• Write in my Diary more.

• Watch all the movies I now have time to see. (Which I totally didn't have time for last summer, if you can believe it.)

• Start running, even if I have to wake up early.

• Walk my dog more often.

• Take Western riding lessons. (Already know English style.)

• Spend as much time at the beach as possible. (Maybe even learn how to surf.)

• Go to at least 3 new places.

• Teach myself how to play the piano.

• Get more involved with church/community.

• Go camping.

• Do at least 3 new things.

• Bake treats I have always wanted to try.

• Do something that scares me.

• Dance even more.

• Reach my goal!!!

• Read the Bible more.

• Go to Disneyland as much as possible. No blackout dates. Oh yeah.

• Spend a lot of time with friends.

• Don't waste a single day of the summer.

• Just have fun!

Last summer, I didn't expect to be very busy, but one thing right after the other happened, and before I knew it, the summer was over. I kind of felt like I never got a chance to just enjoy the summertime. This summer, I plan to set aside time for just that.

I'm actually taking a trip to a B&B that isn't too far from where I live. All. By. Myself. At first, I was looking at B&Bs near the beach, right on the water. I've never stayed at a B&B and with the suggestion from one of my friends, I decided to search for one. But, during my very extensive research, I couldn't find what I was looking for. Or, I did, but it was WAY out of my budget--or the B&B was about seven hours away, and I didn't want to go very far from where I live. I thought about going up to Big Bear and though I love it up there, I've been there. A lot. There was actually a time I gave up on the B&B all together, but I decided to research just one more time. And then Julian popped up.

Now, Julian has a very special place in my heart. It was one of THE worst camping experiences I have had. Ever. Julian is absolutely gorgeous, but one thing went wrong after the other. It took us an hour to put up the brand new tent (because SOMEONE chucked the directions and didn't want to set it up before the trip--like I always do with a new tent); it started raining on us when we were putting up said tent; there was a rattle snake who liked to circle our tent at night; my side of the tent was on a decline and my niece kept rolling into me, so I would wake up with her on top of me and my face smashed into the side of said tent; we heard a mountain lion eat a coyote, and then said mountain lion visited our campsite; I got stung in the ear by a bee on a hike and had the worst headache for the rest of the day; an entire colony of mountain fire ants decided to make the underneath of my sister's tent their freeway system; since my mom loves fishing (and I don't, by the way), we all had to wait until she caught a catfish--which she then let go; and my dad got a bad sunburn. Did I miss anything? I'm sure I did. It was over ten years ago, and I try to block out even the things I do remember. I always joked with my family that they jinxed it since I have never had so much bad luck on a camping trip. When I told my family that I had decided on a B&B in Julian, my mom promptly said, "You mean where we saw the mountain lion?" I reminded her that the campsite was nowhere near town, which the B&B is, and that I would be in an actual building and not a tent. I can't wait for the trip and I already talked to the lady who owns it on the phone. She seemed really nice. Teased me about running away when I told her it was just me coming. I said, "What?--No.--Er...yeah...." I'm only bringing my story, a couple books, writing notebooks, tons of pens, and a few movies--but only to watch at night. I wonder if I can handle how quiet it's going to be.

But back to my Summertime Check List. I actually did research a lot of writer's workshop and the one that fit into my budget, location, and schedule was the Big Sur Writing Workshop. The Andrea Brown Agency that hosted it were all just amazing, as well as the writers and editors who came. The entire weekend was go-go-go, and personal writing time was left for the late hours of the night or the early morning. But I learned so much, met some awesome people and new friends, and have been itching to try another workshop. Since this one went so well, there have been a couple other workshops I have my eye on I hope I get the chance to go to in the near future. It was really nice being around people who were trying to accomplish what I was. Writing a book. Of course, I got so many suggestions and feedback, it's been difficult weeding through the ones that will help make my book better--hence, the week in Julian.

I'm itching to get started with everything on my Summertime Check List, but I am plain exhausted from this week. I think I'll take the rest of this first day of summer to relax and maybe even sleep to recharge my batteries. Especially since I will be busy this entire weekend, and pretty much all of next week.

I'll leave you with the best payback ever. Since I Post-It a coworker's car, and wrapped TP around another coworker's car, they and a third coworker did this to my truck. Simply epic.