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Weather-wise, summer in Mississippi will be with us for at least another 8 weeks. But as for freedom, well, that is slowly coming to an end.

School resumes in 8 days. I’ll have an 8th grader in my house. The spontaneity of some things will give way to routine.

Here are some things that have made this summer one to remember:

10. Day trips

I’ve documented our trips, and if you missed them, you can click on the Travel category on the home page and go back to read them.

They’ve worn me smooth out, but so many memories were made. I wouldn’t trade them for all the naps in the world. And I do love a good nap (or three) on the weekend.

9. Work

Hey, I said the summer was “memorable”- that doesn’t always translate into “enjoyable”.

In my life, I was always taught, “work before play”. This summer has been one of the busiest I’ve ever had, professionally speaking. My stress level has been through the roof and I’m hoping that things will begin to calm down a bit as August begins.

Reagan has learned a lot about work also. In setting a goal of buying her own laptop for school and photo-editing, she compelled my parents to hire her for work around their house and farm. They obliged, and there is a new shiny laptop on our kitchen table this morning.

It’s been really good for her, having a routine like she’s had these last 6 weeks or so. And she’s learned a lot. I’m proud of her for learning about what it means to work hard, save her money, meet a financial goal.

8. Late nights

I’m pretty religious about being in bed at a semi-decent hour. This summer though, I’ve taken in a couple of 10 o’clock movies with the kiddo, stayed up late hanging out with her, just embracing my nocturnal side.

I’ve never been a “night” person. I suppose I’m turning into a morning person, but really, I’m more of a ……..10 a.m.-awake-on-my-own-with-no-alarm clock person.

But the late nights have just meant more time with my daughter. And we’ve had a lot of fun.

7. The weather

It’s the south. It’s summer. It’s hot, humid, and downright oppressive…..usually.

This, by all previous standards has been a pretty mild season. We’ve had our share of heat waves this year, but Sunday night, hubs and I had an outdoor Dairy Queen date. And it was FABULOUS weather. I can’t tell you the last time I sat outside in late July, even past sunset, and didn’t feel like I was melting.

6. The writing

I’m very close to meeting a writing goal. Had I not been in such a funk during April and May, I’d probably already have met it.

When you blog, you do so for several reasons. But one of them is to share your words with the world. So far, 2017 has been my best year to date since I started A Pensieve View. I’ve almost doubled my page views from last year and July has just ended. It’s been an exciting year for me as a writer.

I’ve let go of some things I thought I wanted as a writer as well. For the most part, anyway. And that growth and acceptance of what this part of me needs to be and was intended for has made a huge difference in how I approach it.

I’ve had to learn how to be an artist. I think I’m growing a lot in that department. And it’s very liberating.

5. The transformation

I’m not the only one growing as an artist. Reagan has blossomed a lot this year in terms of embracing her inner artist as well. She’s a very good writer in her own right, and an amazing photographer.

The beaten down shell of a girl that sat before me at the end of basketball season has been reborn into someone who picked herself up, dusted herself off, and discovered new and exciting talents within her own being.

I can’t wait to see how she uses her talents in the coming days.

4. Nature

This is the first summer in the 11 years we’ve been married that none of our plants have died under the oppression from the summer heat. We’re learning what survives and thrives and have been focusing our gardening energy on those. *Kudos to my husband for keeping the plants watered.

3. Giselle

I bit the bullet and bought a new car at the end of March. She’s already got 10K miles on her, but I’m enjoying racking them up.

I think we’re in for a lot of memories together.

2. Simplicity

With every passing season, I grow to appreciate the little things in life, more and more. Like the beautiful sunset and hot cup of coffee I’m enjoying right now.

1. Opportunity

I received a promotion at work several months ago. I’m exploring new territory in my professional life and it is definitely a challenge.

But challenges were meant to be conquered. I have no doubt that I will do just that. And on the days that I’m feeling overwhelmed, I will let my mind wander back through the memories of this summer. Remind me of all that these last few months have taught me, and look ahead with hope and determination to make the next season as memorable as the last.