Summer Goals

Shoyu Ramen bowl at Shio in Kansas City
Ramen goals are so last year
A year ago I shared a carefree list of summer goals with my readers. As usual, it was heavy on the foodie side: Empanadas, ramen restaurants, farmers markets. I also planned field trips of varying lengths to thrilling places, like downtown Olathe, and Lucas, Kansas. The list was light, fun and free, as befits a woman in her forties—the prime of life.

Today I turn fifty.*** I like to think this summer’s goals reflect my newfound maturity.

Here are my 2017 summer goals:

  • Birthday dinner with my family. I can’t wait to feed them homemade pizza baked on my new pizza stone. I’ve been practicing my dough-making skills with this recipe from the Pioneer Woman.  Which brings me to Goal Number Two.
  • A birthday trip with my sister-in-law. In the immortal words of Suzy Boggus, we plan to Drive South—ain’t gonna pack our nylons—to the two hottest destinations of 2017: Pawhuska, Oklahoma, and Waco, Texas. If you don’t know what we’ll do there, you haven’t been paying attention. (Also, you can find out here, and here.)
  • Peach nehi and flag
    Peach Nehi Floats

    Getting my daughter back—the best birthday present. Betsy’s time at Oxford is drawing to a close. Right now she’s finishing her classes and trying to put closure on the life she’s built in that ultimate university town. In two weeks, she’ll be ours again. I. Can’t. Wait.

  • Family Day at Boy Scout camp. My son is seventeen. His camping days are numbered. It’s show-up time, whether he likes it or not.  While I’m there, I plan to enjoy a traditional peach Nehi float.
  • A writer’s workshop in July. My writing life is a good-news, bad-news story right now.The good news: Lottie’s Hope is finished and will be published by CrossRiver Media sometime in the coming months. I’m proud of Lottie’s continued adventures, and can’t wait to share them with you.

    The bad news: My twin enemies of Overconfidence and Inexperience nearly submarined this second book. I didn’t even know what I didn’t know about writing when I started Lottie’s Hope. Boy, did I learn some lessons in humility! And the result, as I mentioned, is pretty enjoyable. BUT….

    I’m on an urgent quest to improve my storytelling skills. That’s where the Glen Eyrie Writer’s Workshop will help. I’m so excited to spend a few days with fellow fiction writers, talking shop and learning new ways to write.

  • A really exciting birthday celebration for somebody else. Jon’s grandma turns 100 this year. Who even does that? Of course we’ll be there to celebrate.

B&E and Great Grandma 2
Great-Grandma with Betsy and Emily
That’s what I’ve got in mind, friends. Now it’s your turn. I want to know: What are your summer goals?

***I told my daughter I didn’t want to make a big deal of this birthday. “No big announcements,” I said. “I have mixed feelings about this.” So much for that approach. Sheesh.


  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! I know you are excited for Betsy to return – and what stories she will have to share. The Writer’s Workshop sounds divine. What a fantastic summer you will have this year 🙂

  2. Happy Birthday Jane! So now you’re going to go to Waco??? We lived there for 4 years and you never visited us in “Jerusalem on the Brazos”. Ok, I realize Chip & Joanna Gaines weren’t transforming the place back in the late 80s & early 90s, so you’re timing is probably better now. Have a great summer and think about heading east in the near future. Love you!

    • “Jerusalem on the Brazos”! I need to remember that. And oh, I’d love to head east this summer, but alas! I’m stuck in the middle of the map. Love to you, my oldest friend!

  3. The Glen Eyrie conference, I trust that’s in Colorado Springs at the Eyrie? Amazing place and magnificent terrain to inspire you!

  4. Happy belated birthday, Jane! I hope you have a great trip! My summer goal is to get my name changed to Irons on everything – Where did this year go?

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