On a Spring Breeze


I’ve been in the bloggy dumps lately.

I have so much to say and nothing is coming out right.

And it’s true that I contemplated just quitting.  Quitting the social media world.  Just posting the occasional picture here for my family and friends.

But I was talked out of it.

I was told I need to quit putting so much pressure on myself to write a masterpiece every. single. time I hit publish.

And these wise friends of mine were right.

So to take a wee bit of pressure off myself AND still share love with you all, I am starting a new guest post series here in Sluiter Nation.

It has come to my attention that there are people out there in the world who would like to know what I read every day.  Where do I get my inspiration?  Who are these phantom bloggers who give me so much joy and so much support to keep going with this little corner of the web every day?

I present to you…the Sluiter Nation Recruits!

Each Wednesday I will bring you a new blogger who, by writing a guest post, has become an official member of Sluiter Nation and can don the Nation Bling:

My first official Recruit is Nichole from In These Small Moments.

Nichole is one of the most beautiful souls I have ever met.  She is genuine and kind.  She is beautiful and strong.

She also has a gorgeous little girl named Katie.  Perfect.

And a handsome little toddler named Matthew.

And she is going to be my BlogHer roomie.

AND she is one of the co-hosts of The Red Dress Club with  me.

I am honored that Nichole agreed to be my first recruit.


As I sit here, I can hear the birds tweeting and the sun is shining, with not a cloud in the sky.

It was a long winter. A brutally long, wet winter.

But now, fingers crossed, it’s all behind me.

When Katie invited me to guest post here, as the first official recruit, I had lofty plans of writing something about belonging, about friendship, about love.

But those plans have floated away on a spring breeze.

Instead, I’m going to tell you the ten things that I’m looking forward to most about the warmer weather.

  1. Warmer weather means that turning the sprinklers on for my kids is just as good as bathing them.
  2. Meals are better served outside in the warmer months. And meals outside? Are served on paper plates. No more loading and unloading the dishwasher.
  3. Longer days are meant for evening bike rides. There’s little that’s more peaceful than that.
  4. Spring means baseball…baseball means peanuts and beer. For dinner.
  5. The clothes we wear in the warmer months are much smaller. Smaller clothes=less laundry. Even I can do that math.
  6. The spring and summer months simply beg for us to go camping. There’s unexpected joy in sleeping in a tent, getting dirty, and eating S’mores.
  7. My gardenias bloom in abundance during the warmer months. Sitting outside in the evening, glass of wine in hand, with the scent of gardenias in the air is pure bliss.
  8. We spontaneously purchased a new water and sand table for the kids. The joy in their laughter and collaborative play is pure magic.
  9. Our Katie is will soon be on summer break from school and that makes me all sorts of happy.  Watch out, Katie! You might just get sick of me by August!
  10. Speaking of Katie and August…Blogher ’11!

This summer is going to be pure joy!

Thank you for having me here, Katie. I’m so excited about this new feature and I can’t wait to see who you have here in the coming months.

Much love to you, my beautiful friend.


Much love to you, too, Nichole.  I am honored you are here.  I cannot WAIT to meet you in August!

You should also check out Nichole’s Small Moment Mondays guest post series where she asks people to explode a small, but meaningful moment.  She even had little old me over for a small moment.

But to better know the loveliness that is Nichole?  You should read Disappearing Stripper Boots…Or Why Barbie Can Stay, Because It Was Grassy and Wanted WearWithout a Backward Glance, and My Full Weight.

Now tell us…what part of warmer weather do YOU look forward to?

Me?  I look forward to the beach with my little guy!

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. Thank you again for having me here, Katie!
    Thank you for your incredibly kind words. I’m so fortunate to call you my friend.

    And I’m thrilled to be a Sluiter Nation Recruit. 🙂

    I can’t wait to read what everyone adds to the list.

  2. I love the fact that we are not stuck inside!! Having two active boys inside? Pure Hell!

    And the beach….the beautiful, blissful beach! I can’t wait for the day when I can teach my boys to surf!!

  3. Erin…
    I am so envious that you are close to the beach.
    And I just realized that you really are within driving distance.
    I’ll be right over! 😉

  4. Katie – I’m glad you didn’t shut it all down and I’m glad you posted this. So often I think it must just come so much easier to other people. Not just your beautiful words but the inspiration, the what am I going to write about. So, in some ways, it’s nice to not feel alone with the frustrations. Not that I’m glad you were feeling that way… AUGH. You know what I mean!

    Nichole – There’s still snow on the ground here, so outside meals are a ways off yet, but I’m totally breaking out the paper plates already. 😉

    • Snow? On the ground? That is just so wrong.
      I’m sending you spring wishes!
      I…um…use paper plates far more often than I should.

  5. Warmer weather = reading on the front porch swing, cold drink in hand…Surely the warm weather will be here eventually?

  6. I can’t wait for beach and pool time. SB had a blast last summer. She is a little fish. Can’t wait to get her in swim class again and see how she progresses. And speaking of summer and fish, you need to check out my post today – Ready for Summer:


    Good choice for your first recruit, btw. 🙂

    • Katie took swim lessons for the first time last year and it was amazing how much she learned in just 6 weeks. I loved watching her gain confidence in the water. I can’t wait to get her started this summer!

  7. JDaniel4's Mom says

    We just got a water table too. It is such fun.

    • Our table is broken into two parts, one for water and one for sand.
      I’ll be honest, I’m a little nervous about adding the sand, so I’ve held off.
      I anticipate a HUGE mess!

  8. What a great post! Last summer I had a newborn who couldn’t handle the nebraska heat, so now that spring is (kind of!) here I have big dreams of outdoor adventures! For now I settle for the pure joy of watching my son discover the world (usually with his mouth, but hey… we all ate dirt as kids, right?)

    • I remember when my first child was a newborn and we could do so little that first summer.
      I felt like, aside from our walks, we were trapped in the house for months.
      That next summer was amazing! You’re going to have such a great time. 🙂

  9. Beach vacation. Seeing my parents. Disney World. Lazy days with my two sweet boys. Oh, and hubs grilling every night. Can’t wait!!

    Nichole – gardenias and wine. Color me pea green girl. I’ve never had luck growing those gems. Magnolias will have to do 😉

    Katie – I’m so very sorry for the burn out. Successful blogging is a double-edged sword for sure. Take care of yourself first. You are loved. We will still be here.

    • Oh, Ash, all of those things sound wonderful!
      My gardenias thrive from neglect. 😉
      Oh, and I’m sure the California soil and climate don’t hurt.
      Magnolias? Swoon!

  10. I’m from the South. We don’t DO cold down here. And this winter? Has been cold. So to ask me what I’m ready for about the warmer months, I would have to reply ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING 🙂

    I’m ready for tan lines from tank tops. I’m ready for naps with no blankets. I’m ready for sidewalk chalking my way through the summer with Joshua. I’m ready to pretend I’m a SAHM and do SAHM things like spend time with my son during the day instead of when he’s cranky and ready for bed.

    Nice to see you here, Nichole!

    • Oh, I love tan lines from tank tops…and flip flops!
      Your list is dreamy!
      I wish you a long and carefree summer with your little one. 🙂

  11. Oh I love the summer, I’m a summer girl and you’re right all those things about Summer, even the “Cooking” is different, dinnertime can be anything we want it to be with a lot less guilt. Plus the boys will be well into 3 by the summer and maybe hopefully OMG PLEASE potty trained and that means a lot less STUFF and more FUN time. We got them a wagon for their birthday in January and all of us are itching to take it out, take it to NYC and coast it around Central Park. WHEEEEE

    • Yes, the cooking is totally different…Craig does 90% of it in the summer!
      Sending you painless potty training vibes!
      Happy Spring!

  12. I’ve been having a bloggy down-time myself. I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t shake it! I’m glad you’ve decided to stick around though, the Internet wouldn’t be the same without you.

    And Nicole’s post is beautiful, as we all knew it would be.

  13. Katie- we all need a break sometimes, but I’m glad you not going anywhere!

    I’m noticing the grass is slowly getting greener. I can’t wait to run around in it in my bare feet! I also can’t wait to take the kids to the pool. Assuming it ever warms up!

    • There is just something about walking barefoot in the grass that brings me so much joy.
      I can’t wait for that!

    • Oh i’ve already gone barefoot…even though it’s still in the 40’s round these parts! I have declared it spring!

      • I remember when I was growing up in Maine, we were so eager for spring that we’d wear shorts when there was still snow on the ground. We. Couldn’t. Wait.

  14. K –
    I’ve always tried to stick to the mantra: “If you don’t want to write it, people won’t want to read it.” With that said, don’t ever feel forced to write. And don’t think every post has be the most earth moving post ever.

    Clearly, I’ve decided to forgo all masterpieces. Banana asses, polyester jumpsuits and dirty balls. That’s what I’ve been talking about. Deep stuff.

  15. Oh I love the both of you. I am so ready to make out with spring and sunshine. This winter has sucked a lot out of my soul and I am so ready to move forward.

    • This winter has been long and brutal. We saw so little sunshine.
      I’m pretty sure I’ve never had spring fever as bad as I have it this year!
      Wishing you sunshine and warm weather!


    Thinking about ideas….

  17. I am more than ready for warmer weather. It’s currently 40 and rainy here, so I will live vicariously through you and dream of the sunshine!

    I want a water/sand table, too, and they are at Costco right now for a decent price
    I can’t wait for sandals and skirts without tights (that means less laundry too – no tights, socks, or leggings!)
    Sunglasses all the time means hiding my tired eyes
    We are taking the kids camping with my BFF and her family (even though I am not a camper, yikes)

    And Katie, we are so looking forward to visiting our friends on your side of the state to enjoy the lovely, lovely beaches of Lake Michigan.

    • We bought ours at Costco! At that price, we just couldn’t resist it.
      I love your list! Bare legs, sandals, camping, the lake! Happy sighs.

  18. Truly I just want to go barefoot on my children’s chalk covered sidewalks. That is my Summer dream.

    Beautiful post. xoxo

    • I’m looking forward to letting my kids play with the sidewalk chalk too. I can’t wait to see your pictures (hint…hint)!

  19. Lovely! What a great idea. I look forward to playing outside with the girls, watching the fruits and veggies grow in the garden and family walks after supper.

    • If you need anyone to take some of those veggies off your hands, I’m your girl! Love veggies straight from the garden.

      • Last year we had a CRAZY number of green beans, cantaloupe, banana peppers and jalepenos. Not as much corn as I would have liked, but it was good. Only one watermelon. 🙁 The brussel sprouts and cauliflower never produced. This year we expanded and added lima beans, a blackberry bush and carrots. (And by we, I mean my DH who ROCKS the green thumb.) If I thought they would travel cross-country well, I’d definitely hook you up! 🙂

  20. Katie – Glad you are sticking it out. Your writing is brilliant and would be missed.

    Nichole – I’m looking forward to beach days: lunches that always get a bit sandy no matter how hard you try to keep the grains out; sticky fingers from watermelon (go wash your hands in the ocean); my skin tight and salty and hot from the sun; conversations with good friends punctuated by the roar of the ocean and the laughter of our kids running around collecting shells.

    I’ll even take the seagulls and the seaweed. And a whole lot of sunblock…

    Cheers to summer.

    • Oh, Julie…can I spend the summer at your house? Because you have just described my ideal summer. How I wish we lived closer to the ocean.

  21. Flip flops, wading pools, tan lines and long hours outside, watching bugs, pulling weeds and that special kind of grimy you can only get from playing in the dirt in the summer….all on my can’t wait for summer list.

    Love this idea Katie and my love for my hobbit Nichole is well known.

    • Oh, the wading pool. I love lazy afternoons with my babies splashing in and squealing.
      And that love is mutual, my beautiful friend.

  22. Yes! BlogHer with you lovely ladies as my roomies is almost too much to wait for!

    And our gardenias and lilies are also all blooming and so beautiful…now if the veggies would just start growing. There’s nothing like having dinner that is totally homegrown!

    • After seeing those photos of your backyard, Natalie, I was green with envy.
      Please tell me that I’m not the only one counting the weeks until BlogHer!

      • I am counting those weeks too!

        It still feels like a dream that I am going…and staying with you guys!!!

  23. Katie? Yes. Exactly. This was the thing to do.
    Nichole? The things on your list will not be available to me until June, but it’s nice to dream.
    But when June comes along and reliable warmth returns, I want to have my Sunday morning Earl Grey on the deck. Wearing flipflops.

    • I think that those of you who live in colder climates should get extra free time in the summer to soak in all of the joys that those months bring. Enjoy that tea…I wish I could be there to have a cup with you. Wearing flip flops.

  24. Katie you can’t give up blogging because I read you religiously and I think you are one of the bloggers that has prompted me to write more, participate in TRDC, and engage with people on twitter. The education world needs you so does the blogging world!!!! Nichole, summer sounds good. School will be out and I can’t wait to suntan my legs while playing at the park and watching my toddler play in the water!

  25. I’m so looking for an excuse to get my pedi’s – flip flop weather!

    Plus summer = my birthday! Well, end of summer, anyway 😉

  26. I live in Florida, so we already have summer-ish weather here. 75-85 degrees for highs. I love this weather and really don’t want summer’s killing heat. What I DO want, is WATERMELON. And grilled or smoked food. Potato salad, coleslaw and baked beans.

    And now I’m hungry. 😉


  1. […] Please come visit me over at Sluiter Nation, where I’m guest posting and listing the top ten reasons why I’m excited that warmer weather is finally here: “On a Spring Breeze.” […]