Nearly forty years ago, they met at camp. Then they got married. Now they’re running the same camp! This week, we’re closing out For the Love of Summer with our crowdsourced episode, featuring Stacy and Darell Smith. For more than thirty years, Stacy and Darell have been directors at The Firs, a Christian camp organization in gorgeous Bellingham, Washington. And they have seen it all: kid tomfoolery, pet shenanigans, pranks galore. They’ve even rigged dates between their camp counselors (some of which resulted in wedding bells!). Stay and Darell are experts in summer magic and creating memories for kids (and leadership skills in young adults) that’ll last a lifetime. By the end of this conversation, you’ll want them to adopt you, too.
Summertime is book time. Whether you’re by the pool, on a road trip, clutching your pearls in the AC, or on a cruise (#jealous), now’s the time to escape. And there’s no one better for book talk than Anne Bogel, author and founder of Modern Mrs. Darcy, the loveliest reading and lifestyle blog you ever did see. Anne stopped by to tell us a few of her favorite summer reads, and we covered it all: classic beach reads, family sagas, thrillers, nonfiction, books for all the kids, and even Anne’s all-time favorite book (of the moment). And keep your ears peeled for a fun freebie that will help all your summer reading dreams come true.
Rachel Macy Stafford was missing life. Her planner bulged, her phone buzzed, her calendar constantly full. In a painful moment of realization, Rachel discovered she was choosing distraction over connection with her young family—and she decided enough was enough. In 2010, she started the Hands Free Mama blog, where she documents her journey to slow down and focus on what truly matters. Since then Rachel has become the New York Times bestselling author of three books: Hands Free Mama, Hands Free Life, and Only Love Today. In our conversation, Rachel tells us what living “hands free” means and gives us practical tools to help us slow down. We talk about how to teach our kids to use technology, how to let go of mom guilt, and what kids really want to do with their parents this summer (spoiler alert: it’s not going to Disney World).
If there were ever a family travel expert, it’s Tsh Oxenreider. In 2014, Tsh and her husband Kyle sold their house, put all their stuff in storage, and went on an almost year-long trip around the world with their three kids—ages four, six, and nine. Tsh wrote this experience in her phenomenal travel memoir At Home in the World. Today, Tsh kicks off our “For the Love of Summer” series and tells us about her fascinating trip around the globe. She also gives some practical tools to help us make travel memories on any schedule or budget. Tsh has a ton of tips on packing, saving money, setting the right expectations, stewarding our kids’ energy levels, and so much more. Tsh helps us see that we can create lifelong memories with our families with just a backpack, some snacks, and a laid-back attitude.