My Summer Job

Je t'aime été.

I have reached my summer love stage. In love with nothing less than summer itself, and the change it brings to our lives.

It doesn't hurt that the weather since we returned from our trip has been spectacularly summer. There were two very hot days in which it was hard to sleep at night, but other than that it's been perfect. Hot and sunny days with a few cooler ones for relief and downtime.

I am feeling especially blessed this summer because I love my job.

My summer job is to take the kids swimming and visit fun local places together; we live in a tourist destination and I have a stack of pamphlets to plan our outings with.

I love that my job is to pick up the farm veggies on the bay, go berry picking, and stock the fridge with summer fruits.

My job is to manage our home life and give some structure to our days so that we get the housework done and exercise together in the mornings; work on our projects in the afternoons; and share a healthy, albeit usually really late, supper to end our day.

And in-between the out and about and overseeing the schedule, my job also is to organize and plan for the fall school term and work on our upcoming thru-hike.

There are parts about my job I don't relish. This summer I have to work with our rental in Maine more than I like. (Oh, how I wish we could just sell it and be done.) And I have to steward our family finances through tight times. But as an ESTJ I have a few managerial strengths up my sleeve to help me work our family through these challenges.

And those afternoons I have to spend answering e-mails and pinching pennies balance out with the afternoons I have to sit on the deck chair, reading, while supervising the kids at the ocean or a friend's pool.

This summer my work is firmly rooted in home and hearth, in moving forward family goals and plans. This is a welcome break for me from the growing angst I'd been feeling this winter and spring about my online work. That angst was draining me of energy and vitality. It was stealing my joy.

And now with a re-focusing of my heart to home and family, my vitality is returning. The vitality I feel in living well; living purposefully, according to our values and goals, and with beauty.

Ah summer, how I needed you. No wonder I'm so in love.

Renee Tougas participates in affiliate marketing, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Whenever you buy something on Amazon from a link you clicked here, I get a (very) small percentage of that sale. See disclosure for further explanation.

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  • Sarah M

    Sarah M on July 19, 2013, 2:48 p.m.

    Sounds like a wonderful job description! Glad you are enjoying your summer. The photo of Brienne in the trees is just lovely.

    We're off to enjoy our beautiful summer with our church family this weekend--camping at Silver Lake and having church outside Sunday morning. We've never been a part of something like that before. Should be awesome.

    Sarah M


  • Kika

    Kika on July 19, 2013, 2:57 p.m.

    Nice. I love that after a time of wrestling or struggle you are always able to reframe and roll up your sleeves and get back to living with great purpose and joy. I also love that you recognize your personal strengths well and have learned to put them into action in your life. You certainly do live in a beautiful location and how wonderful that you order your life so as to actually take advantage of that gift.


  • Christi

    Christi on July 19, 2013, 5:28 p.m.

    My job is much the same as yours, and how thankful I am for it!  This has been one of our best summers yet, even with the work parts, and I'm happy we still have lots of summer left!


  • Angelia

    Angelia on July 19, 2013, 7:51 p.m.

    Thank you for this  Renee.  I have been reading your blog for a year and a half or so.  I rarely am able to comment but just wanted to let you know how much reading here has been a help to me.  So often your posts somehow help me understand myself a little better.  I am saddened to think of all the things I have let steal my joy but also hopeful that I can slowly continue on to a place of "more" energy and vitality.....I've been working on it:)

    By the way.....what's in your glass?  Looks delicious!


    • renee

      renee on July 19, 2013, 8:10 p.m.


      I just typed a long comment about finding my vibrancy and vitality again after a long season of struggle, but then I lost the internet connection. Darn. Stay tuned because I've been writing something about this to share on the blog.

      The drink: sunbrewed decaf black tea, sweetened with one spoon of honey and served with wild berries. 

      take care 


  • Charmaine

    Charmaine on July 19, 2013, 8:12 p.m.

    Lurker, occasional poster here. :) This was a beautiful post - I love how you frame your life as a mom and homemaker as a job but not mundane or martyrish (is that a word?!) and instead quite beautiful and meaningful. I don't always have success with that, but I'm trying. I will try to remember to come back to this when I need some inspiration!

    Please do a fall, winter and spring job post too, heh. ;)



    • renee

      renee on July 19, 2013, 8:30 p.m.

      Thanks Charmaine for saying hi. I have never felt motherhood as martyrdom. I always wanted to be a homemaker.

      In the past couple years I've branched out a bit into online work and after a difficult season these past few months I'm pulling back in that area to focus on home and family goals entirely again. (while still blogging wholeheartedly). And this feels like such a sweet relief because I love my life as mom and homemaker and my mission, purpose and also worth here, feels so grounded and real. Here at home it's not about likes and follow and stats but relationship and beauty and that's the stuff that matters to me.

      My work as mother and homemaker and home manager has always felt so meaningful to me. No one else can do this! And then, looking for the beauty in it is the icing on the cake (smile). 


      • Charmaine

        Charmaine on July 19, 2013, 8:56 p.m.

        "Here at home it's not about likes and follow and stats but relationship and beauty and that's the stuff that matters to me."

        Beautifully said!


  • Charmaine

    Charmaine on July 19, 2013, 8:14 p.m.

    Whoa, do you not have those 'share' button thingies on your posts to share via FB, Twitter, etc? I was just looking for the Twitter one to tweet this and couldn't find it! Am I just not seeing it? :)


    • renee

      renee on July 19, 2013, 8:22 p.m.

      Charmaine, Absolutely got the buttons! They're just not big because I find big share buttons annoying. You should see a horizontal row right below the categories.

      And thank you!


      • Charmaine

        Charmaine on July 19, 2013, 8:53 p.m.

        Yes, big share buttons are annoying, I agree! :)

        I can see them on the 'front page' at the bottom of the post but not when I am on the post page, if that makes sense? Anyhow, I followed you on twitter and shared that way! :)


        • renee

          renee on July 19, 2013, 8:58 p.m.

          oh no! you can't see them. I better talk to my tech support (husband) about that since I want those to be accessible to people. Not obnoxious, but available. 


  • Cat

    Cat on July 19, 2013, 8:29 p.m.

    Wow! Your french is coming along great :) Love your post Renee, makes me truly enjoy these days more. Hope to see you guys soon! 


    • renee

      renee on July 19, 2013, 8:35 p.m.

      You're totally teasing me (smile). Je t'aime ete est tres facile d'ecrire!

      Nous arrivons à Percé en août avec mes parents. Camping with them. We should get together then! We miss you guys. Let's e-mail. 

      xo, Renee


  • Alison

    Alison on July 19, 2013, 8:48 p.m.

    You can feel the spring in your step in this post - even though it's about summer ; ) 

    Glad that you are finding a good place for yourself just now.


  • Tonya

    Tonya on July 20, 2013, 12:52 a.m.

    Oh, I also feel so much more in stride when I am able to focus on being a mom, wife and homemaker. We have been working on Mike taking on more and more of the responsibility of the business so my brain is not as cluttered - it has been freeing for me.   So glad, Renee, you are finding your joy again!


  • Johanna Hanson

    Johanna Hanson on July 20, 2013, 2:08 a.m.

    This was so good. I feel like since my Olivia got sick (in Februray) I've completley lost any grounding I had. Now with an international move in front of us, I'm wondering when I will find my vibrancy again. It's not bad, I just don't quite feel myself. Anyway, I always am encouraged when I read here to find a way to reframe...even if circumstances aren't idea.


  • Nicole

    Nicole on July 20, 2013, 8:52 p.m.

    I always feel like I resonate so much with what you say. And I also love seeing glimpses into your stage of parenting since our kids' gender & spacing is similar. :) But yeah, I feel the same way about summer. It's so refreshing to my soul. Some days it feels exhausting to be going and doing and playing so much, but that does get balanced out by the quiet moments at home, and I just love the vibe of summer, in addition to all that it brings. 


  • anastasia @ eco-babyz

    anastasia @ eco-babyz on July 22, 2013, 3:04 a.m.

    Yes, it looks like I'm not alone in finding that when I focus on my family - not work, I am more inspired to do my work better and to be a better writer, which in turn leads to better content, engaged readers, and eventually enough to make the ends meet :)


  • crystine

    crystine on July 24, 2013, 6:25 p.m.

    There is something calming about your posts. In the everpresent flurry of images and words that seem to scream, "More! More! More!",  the simplicity of simply living and breathing and doing with all its ease and messiness, questions and stories that feel true without feeling heavy with expectation or absolutes are a relief. Like the end of the day sunset. Like finding there is indeed last ice cube.


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