8 Things I Learned This Summer

finally jumped on board with Emily P. Freeman and others, and I recorded the things I learned this season – the summer of 2017. My goal is to do this for every season and reflect back on all the things I learned.

One regret I’ve had up until this point, especially during my relationship, marriage, and life with Kenny, is I haven’t journaled enough. So, this is my first step in doing more of that.


In all my 31 years, this summer was my first summer not living in Oklahoma. Growing up, I spent most of my summers at the lake with my family. We own a couple of boats, and every weekend it was a given that we’d be on the water from mid-morning until the sun went down around 9pm.

When I moved away from home, I didn’t make it to the lake every weekend or even as often as I would’ve liked. But I always managed to find myself next to water. Whether it was a run at Lake Hefner or floating in the pool at my friend’s house.

This 1st summer in Oregon was different.

There were no lake weekends, no laying by the pool, no day trips to Kansas to visit friends.

But I made the most of it, and in the process, I learned a lot.


Here are 8 things that I learned this summer – some serious, some silly, and some just plain useful.

1. You can care for someone you’ve never even met.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook (or receive my newsletter), then you’ve heard about my post office friend – the man I care about but I don’t even know his name, and technically have never met. We have had a small conversation though. I shared the whole story and our little conversation several weeks ago when I ran into him in the post office lobby while he was eating his breakfast.

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen him since. I still look for him every time I go to the post office, and I always keep an eye out for him when I’m driving around town. I pray for him often and hope he’s doing okay and still getting his cherry yogurt for breakfast every morning.


2. Relationships have seasons.

One would think after being married once that this would’ve been something I learned then. In some sense, I did. But I’m learning, as I get older, that this applies to all relationships. The relationships I have with others, and the relationship I have with myself.

okc brick wall


3. Hardwired smoke detectors with backup batteries chirp too.

Even at 5am. Ask me how I know this. (insert eye roll)


4. The total solar eclipse was better than expected.

Way better. We were able to watch the whole thing from our front porch. I’m so thankful I live here on the Oregon Coast where it was 100% totality. And to think, just a year ago, I wasn’t even living here and the eclipse wasn’t even on my radar. It was an experience I’ll never forget.


5. DIY Shibori.

Living in a small coastal town, it’s sometimes hard to find others who have similar interests or who are in the same life stage as me. But I was lucky enough to meet my friend, Lisa, who then invited me to join the Portland Blogger + Creative group she started. As the group implies, most of the events take place in Portland… 2.5 hours away from where I live. But when you love gathering with other women who have similar interests and enjoy creating like you do, you’ll drive the 2.5 hours.

A few weeks ago, my friend Suzannah hosted our group at her house for a fun DIY project – shibori! If you aren’t sure what shibori is, just search it on Pinterest and you’ll find all the pins. It was such a fun project, getting to see how the pillowcase looked from all the folds and scrunches was the exciting part. (Bonus thing I learned – the dye does wash out when you wash it at home. If you want a deeper color, let those things soak!)




6. I enjoy creating.

Whether it’s a blog post, DIY project, pretty flatlays, graphics on the computer, or pictures of my dog, I discovered I love creating things.


7. Mornings are {slowly} becoming a favorite time for me.

Coming from someone who’s not a morning person, I never thought I would say this. But I’ve started truly enjoying my mornings where I wake up, fix a cup of coffee, start a few oils in the diffuser, turn on an uplifting podcast or playlist, and write. Something about getting all those thoughts left over from the day before and today’s new worries out of my head and onto paper really helps the day run smoother.



8. Starting anything new takes time, patience, and grit.

This new website has been my project for the last couple of months, and I knew that it was going to take some time and effort to get it up and going. However, I didn’t realize how much time would go into all the learning, all the googling, all the tutorial video watching, all the podcast listening, all the patience, all the soul searching. But I’d do it all over again. If I hadn’t hit so many bumps in the road, snags in the process, I wouldn’t have had the chance to learn new things and feel the sense of accomplishment that I had a problem, I tackled it and researched it, and I figured it out.



Although this summer looked vastly different than last summer, I did learn these 8 new things, and I possibly wouldn’t have learned them had I still been living in Oklahoma. There were some extra things here and there, but these were the ones that stood out to me the most. As fall approaches and marking my 1st year of being an Oregon resident, I’ll be keeping my fall list in my journal with Emily’s pretty printable lists. That list will go live on November 30th. Do a list with me if you’d like!


What did you learn this summer? Share any ah-ha moments in the comments below! 


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  • Reply
    Linda Stoll
    August 31, 2017 at 11:29 am

    how fun to meet you a few rows away over at Emily’s …

    and I couldn’t agree more with your #2 observation. may we learn to hold those we love with open hands and grateful hearts …

  • Reply
    Terri Conlin
    August 31, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Hi Danielle,

    I popped over from Emily’s when I recognized your name. Hello neighbor and fellow hope*writer!

    I am still thinking about totality and how majestic our God is.

    And, I have never heard of shibori, but loved seeing your project.

  • Reply
    August 31, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    I feel like you’re a traitor for saying you like mornings, but I love you inspite of this glaring flaw 🙄😂

  • Reply
    Aimee Kollmansberger
    September 1, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Popped over from Emily’s…I love your list! You have a lovely space here 🙂

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