Giveaway: Michigan Awesome & My Great Lake

photo copy 4If you’ve been reading my last few posts, or following along on Twitter, FB or (my personal favorite these days) Instagram, you know that I am having a full-on love affair with Michigan. It happens every summer: I become what can only be called obsessed with all things Michigan summer—blueberries, the beach, the waves, the sunset. I go on and on and on about flip flops and the porch and burgers on the grill and the farmer’s market. I stop eating all the other food groups, so that I can devote my every meal to peaches, berries, and Sherman’s ice cream. I am a Michigan summer fan. I think this has been made abundantly clear.

So it’s only right, it seems, that in our last week at the lake, I’d give away something both Michigan-y and fantastic–a reminder no matter where you are and what time of year that summer in the Midwest is where it’s at. Enter Michigan Awesome and My Great Lake, two t-shirt companies owned by friends who share my love for all things Michigan and all things Great Lakes.

Here’s the deal: there will be 10 winners. Yes, 10. Bonkers, I know. 5 people will get to choose any Michigan Awesome t-shirt—whatever size, cut, color. And 5 will get to choose any My Great Lake t-shirt—same deal. The extra cool thing about My Great Lake is that a portion of every t-shirt purchase goes to keep the lake of your choice beautiful. I just placed a serious order—for friends, for the kids, for my brother, for basically everyone in my life who loves this lake and this state as much as I do.

You can pick whatever you want….but here’s what I’d pick. My 3 favorite Michigan Awesome t-shirts:


And, of course, my favorite from My Great Lake:



So all you have to do is leave a comment with one thing you love about summer. You can enter till midnight CST on Friday, and then I’ll pick 10 winners—5 for Michigan Awesome and 5 for My Great Lake. Sound good? Ready, set, go!

290 thoughts on “Giveaway: Michigan Awesome & My Great Lake

  1. My favorite thing about summer is eating my mom’s homemade blackberry cobbler with perfectly fresh blackberries on our back porch! Yum!

  2. My favorite thing about summer are restaurant patios. For some reason food just tastes better when you are eating it with friends outdoors.

  3. My favorite thing about summer is my birthday…which so happens to be today. I was gifted your new book this morning, and I cannot wait to get crackin’ on it!

  4. I grew up in Grand Haven, MI so I am just as smitten with Michigan as you are! My favorite part of summer is getting ice cream, walking the boardwalk downtown Grand Haven and watching the sunset. It’s absloutely beautiful!

  5. The sunshine because in Oregon that can become rare! And I would really take the heat over the rain anyday :) I also love summer for Watermelons, Carnivals, Late Nights, Outdoor Seating, Gorgeous Sunsets, Patio Waterfalls, Picnics and I could go on and on ….

  6. My favorite thing about summer is spending time at home in Chicago with family, but getting to go back to school in West Michigan in the fall.

  7. Sleeping in tents and cooking over fires. Food tastes some much better after a long day playing in the sun and sleep is so much nicer under the stars.

  8. Leaving Colorado (another state that I love) to come “home” to West Michigan. Enjoying a lot day on or next to the water and ice cream from Shermans!

  9. Conversations around a campfire…sharing your happy/crappy from the day, telling jokes, life stories, dreams, fears…all is safe around the fire. The smores with pb and chocolate don’t hurt either!

  10. Dressing my baby boy in a diaper (all day, every day), curly hair, no make-up, and back-porch living.

    I should also mention that our family has a year-round love affair with Michigan–for the weather, sports, lakes, parks, and the food… oh, the food.

  11. Summer days.
    I love spending an entire sunny & warm summer day wearing a swimsuit, relaxing in a beach chair within steps of Lake Michigan, enjoying the sun, sand & water and watching the sunset over the horizon.

  12. I also live in Illinois, and I absolutely love the Midwest. But my favorite thing about summer is that both my 3 year old daughter and my newborn son were born in the summertime.

  13. Oh sweet Michigan! This morning, I loved that in this great state it was breezy and cool and we could have all the windows open. Summer loves – staying up late reading great books and sleeping in, and the fact that my kids are now old enough to actually sleep in during summer break!

  14. The bounty of the gardens and the orchards are almost too much to bear! Blueberries, basil, heirloom tomatos, cherries, peaches are just the beginning. This former farm girl can’t imagine life without receiving summer’s beautiful harvest. Love Midwest summers!

  15. My favorite thing about summer is sitting on the porch (of my home) with family members to celebrate things of life, give each other advice and laugh together while watching cars drive by.

  16. My favorite thing about summer is the time I spend eating ice cream with my best friends talking about everything under the sun.

  17. I was raised in Michigan. My favorite memories include the sand dunes and cabins. Just staying up with family and friends playing cards while slapping away those pesky Mosquitos and days jumping in the lake and jet skiing so fast my smile would dry out. Roughing it in a cabin with electricity and with friends that warm my heart. They were childhood friends that since we have drifted a part but the smells and sounds make me feel close to them again. Michigan makes me feel like those moments never passed.

  18. Warm summer nights-watching my son play until then sun goes down-while my husband and I enjoy conversation outdoors.

  19. My favorite thing about summer is porch parties with great friends; sometimes we read books together, sometimes we sit in rocking chairs drinking birch beer and laughing, other times we sit and listen to the sounds of nature all around us. No matter the people, activity, or choice of drink, summer for me always includes a classic porch party.

  20. Letting my boys play outside for hours entertaining themselves with a simple hose and bucket; their sweaty heads and constant water chugging; having ice cream way more often than any dentist or pediatrician would approve; and going to sleep to a chorus of crickets. Oh, and really cold white wine pretty much every night.

  21. Hard to choose ONE thing. Favorite summer activity -THIS WEEK- picking black raspberries with my kids (I picked a lot, she ate a lot & he played a lot).

  22. Hard to decide between the surplus of fruits and veggies at the farmers market, the sun setting after 8:00 or the endless amounts of barbecuing on porches with friends. There’s no place better than the midwest in the summer!

  23. I may live in the mountains of NC, but Michigan is my home. It’s where I come from. It’s where ‘my people’ come from. And it’s where I will always feel at home.

  24. My favorite thing about summer is fresh picked blueberries and peaches from SW Michigan. I love to put them in pies, crisps, or topped with homemade ice cream!

  25. I love: open windows, sandy feet, eating strawberries off the vine, sunshine, alfresco dining, grilling dinner every night, a nice glass of cold wine on a hot day, the first dive into the lake, reading a book on the sunporch while it’s raining and taking road trips.

  26. My favorite summer activity in Michigan is our annual trip to Drummond Island. Lazy days spent boating, swimming, fishing, eating, and enjoying God’s creation. There’s just nothing better than the fresh, clean air of the U.P.

  27. I love that you love Michigan so much! I grew up there and have many wonderful summer memories on Lake Michigan and Superior. Living in Missouri now, I miss those beachy summers! My favorite thing about summer, though, no matter where I am geographically, is NOT HAVING TO WEAR SOCKS! Which also means not having to wash socks and dry socks and fold socks and put away socks.

    Oh, and also watermelon.

    These shirts are so cute! Even if I don’t win, I am thinking about finding one for my sister and me to commemorate all those fun childhood memories.

  28. I love that my full childhood experience of summer–long, lazy warm days filled with swimming, sun, popsicles and family vacations at the lake–comes completely alive whenever I smell sun-tan lotion or hear crickets chirping or see the flash of a lightning bug in my backyard!

  29. My favorite thing about the summer is putting away grad school textbooks on the shelf and pulling out my “to read list” of fun books.

  30. Torch Lake: Sandbar, cool nights, fresh mint with fresh blueberries smashed into gin on the rocks, ice cream cones in Alden, Van Morrison playing in the background and strolling through Elk Rapids.

  31. Best thing about summer AND Michigan: Remembering our Wedding in Michigan on the shores of the lake by a perfect little lighthouse.

    Second place…. family, family, family. Relaxed schedules and family times make summer, well… Summer!

  32. I’m a Chicago girl that grew up in mid-Michigan, so I share your love affair with the area. The thing I love most about summer is the sense of celebration and tradition. Every summer, we do things like visit my aunt’s lakehouse in Northern Michigan and go camping and make favorite summer dishes, but my very favorite tradition is our annual vineyard tour in southwest Michigan (Round Barn, Tabor Hill, Lemon Creek) and at the end of the day we stop for dinner at the Stray Dog or Silver Beach Pizza, and then sunset at the beach. It’s magic every time, especially in August when we can take home a lot of fresh produce from the area.

  33. I love the first sight of Lake Michigan after a too long winter. The hot sand beneath your feet, warm breeze on your face, walking to the top of the sand dune and there it is….the sight my heart has been aching for all winter long. Lake Michigan makes me sigh.

  34. I also live in Michigan. Love the lakes! Lake Michigan is my favorite – of course, it’s also most accessible to us!

    Blueberries have been at the top of my summer eating list this year.

    How do I find you to follow you on Instagram?

  35. I love riding bikes to the beach, captain sundae, fulton street farmers markets, long conversations on the porch, hydrangeas, how much better food tastes after days on the water, long walks on my grandma’s farm in Charlevoix, fresh fruit, longer days, sunsets and the good moods of everyone around!

  36. Summer is Michigan is filled with sunshine, walks on the beach, hanging out at our trailer at the lake, trips to the farmers market and a whole lot of fun with friends and family. We have many summer birthdays in our family, so it’s a great excuse to be together, cook out, hang out on the deck and just be together. Then there’s the city. It comes to life in the summer! I love the food carts on every street corner, the outside patios open for dining, outdoor concerts, and people everywhere. There truly is nothing better than summertime!

  37. My favorite thing about this particular summer is my back porch. We put up some tiki torches with citronella oil and hung some twinkle lights. It’s a little piece of heaven, sitting outside with chatting with my husband.

    Oh, and snow cones. (-:


  38. I love taking walks in early summer mornings, before the day gets too hot. I love the sun after long winters and rainy springs! I love the beach! I love farmers markets. I could go on forever!

  39. My favorite part of summer is life at the beach.. The friends, the food, the water, the dunes, and downtown Holland.

  40. My favorite things about summer’s in Michigan… It’s so hard to choose! I love the sound of the harvest. I love the sound of the waves lapping the beach as you watch the sunset. I love the sound of the cicada’s and spring peepers. There is no better place to be than along the coast in Michigan in the summer! I am so blessed to live so close.

  41. Living in Nebraska, where it gets down to 20 below zero (or 40 below with a windchill brrrrrr) in the winter; I love the warmth and sunshine of summer best.

    My feet like living care and fancy free in slip-slops (flip-flops).

  42. You know when you take a vacation somewhere warm during the winter, and upon either stepping out of the car or walking out of the airport at your destination, you’re greeted with a gust of beautiful, warm air? And it feels so good because you’ve been hibernating all winter in Michigan, and it feels so liberating and rejuvenating to walk outside without a coat, hat, and gloves. Well, that’s every night in Michigan during the summer. That’s even most days in Michigan during the summer when the windows are down inside the house and the most lovely breeze blows through them. That’s my favorite part about a Michigan summer: the breeze. It makes you feel like you’re on vacation every day and every evening.

  43. As a Michigan native who has been recently transplanted to Indiana, I am missing a few of my favorite things about summer. Things like watching the sun set over Lake Michigan (preferably from a boat), and eating sweet, juicy blueberries by the handful fresh from Grand Haven. But one of my most favorite things about midwest summers is how special the days are. The cold will come and fall is irrepressible, but for those few precious months we have the days of long and hot sun, and we relish them more for their rarity.

  44. One thing I love about summer? MICHIGAN!

    Oh, and the beach. And Lake Michigan. And blueberries. And… There’s no way I can keep this to just one.

  45. My favorite thing about summer is buying herb plants from the farmers’ market, growing them in containers on the back porch, and adding their just-picked flavor into all our recipes all summer long!

  46. My favorite thing about summer is eating fresh fruit (especially blueberries & peaches) and drinking Summer Shandy/other summery beers :)
    Also, this is my first summer in Michigan ( moved here from Indiana!), so I would love to win a Michigan t-shirt to show pride in my new state :)

  47. oh you make me miss my home state so much! my favorite thing about summer is that everyone seems to take life (and themselves) a little less seriously, and the pace of life tends to slow a little… making it easier to ENJOY life a lot more!

    and now I’m going to go start begging my husband to take a weekend getaway to Grand Haven or Traverse City or one of the other beautiful spots on Lake Michigan! :)

  48. I love the ‘little bit crispy and chilled’ feeling you get after a full day on the beach in the sun.

  49. Spending time with my family in northern Michigan. We have a cottage with a large wrap around porch. I love spending time on the porch with my large loud family remembering the joys of all of summers spent up there.

  50. Love reading to my hearts content, eating fresh fruit, porch/deck time with friends, general laziness of time.

  51. Summer… almost every summer memory I have revolves around Michigan and The Lake. I capitalize it because in my mind and heart, it is the ONLY Lake!! Warmth, sunshine, sunsets, ice cream, sand between my toes…watching my husband and children (all 3 born NOT in Michigan) fall in love with my home state and MY Great Lake. Summer is a time of renewal and rest and family. I just love summer in Michigan!

  52. With three school aged kids, my current fave thing about summer is the break from early mornings, homework, sports schedules, etc. I grew up in Michigan but have lived in Texas the past 13 years. Last summer we vacationed at Torch Lake and it was one of the best vacations we’ve taken in a while. My kids loved it there!

  53. My favorite thing about summer is enjoying evenings outside on my patio and day trips to the area Wisconsin lakes for boating! Mmm…I can just smell the water now.

  54. I feel the SAME WAY about Minnesota summers. And of course, I’d pick Superior as my great lake. I even named my oldest daughter after our favorite town on the North Shore. (Proof of serious love.)

    Summer is my favorite season, so asking me to pick one thing is like asking me to pick a favorite child. The food? The smell of the grill? S’mores? Wearing my swimsuit more than I wear regular clothes? Sunburned shoulders? Sand beneath my toes? The sound of a loon crying under the moon? Yes. All of the above.

  55. My favorite thing about this summer in particular was traveling home, cross-country to California, for the best family reunion of my life. Seeing my kids meet their cousins, grandparents, aunts & uncles for the first time. To feel my heart try to explode constantly at the cost of gratitude, wonder, and LOVE was almost too much to take. The beach, wharf, breeze, sights and smells, the most delicious Mexican food…the most perfect summer! Summer also means picking berries, splashing in the pool, and making lots if irreplaceable memories with my family and friends!

  56. I love the long hot days of summer, and camping. My mind tends to take a vacation even though my body cannot. Living in Canada, Summer tends to be short so we make the most of it.

  57. Sunset over the cornfields (another midwesterner here)
    Watching the corn grow and the wheat turn
    Reading outside on the deck in the evenings
    Grilled vegetables, especially because my husband does most of the summer cooking

  58. My favorite thing about summer would have to be having some of my siblings come home for a weekend or at most a week! Even though my family is big and sometimes we don’t get along too well, we still have some unexpected bonding moments when I’m just soooooo happy to have them and be around them. That’s definitely the best part of summer. (AND when my mom makes good food. But I guess that’s all the time).

  59. My favorite thing about summer lately is fans…that hum of the fan in our simple little lake Michigan cottage, especially at night….is full summer. Lazy, relaxed and happy. :) — LOVE all the Michigan shirt. I love 2 hours from south haven and go every chance I get. Best beach ever. :)

  60. I love Michigan summers! I love going to northern Michigan and spending the days on the water, grilling for dinner and ending the night with family and friends around a bonfire under the stars.

  61. I grew up in a small Lake Huron Shoreline/ Harbor town in Northern Michigan, Alpena. (actually just south of Alpena in Ossineke, yes that’s a real city, lol) My favorite parts (because I can’t pick just one thing) of Summertime in Michigan, whether around where I live, or traveling would have to be sitting by or swimming in the Lake, cooking/eating outdoors, farmers markets, jumping off the pontoon, camping, bonfires, ice cream covered faces and on, and on.

  62. I literally JUST got back a couple weeks ago from my first Michigan experience and I can’t believe how amazing it is up there! My favorite part of summer is always the travel – the long nights of cleaning and packing, the rides to the airport, the road trips, and then the actual TRIP. SO wonderful!

  63. As your temporary northern neighbor in Holland. I love living 3 miles from the state park. Lake Mac is up he street from my house so listening to the boats always feels like I’m on vacation when I’m really not :)

  64. My favorite thing about summer is that I love to fly up to Canada to see my sister and celebrate her birthday with her!!

  65. i love cottage life. up north living is good for my soul: quiet lazy mornings on the back deck, long hot afternoons spent on the lake, the blueberries, the grill, the late night walks along the pier.

  66. I love riding my cruiser bike (with a basket and bell of course!) around town during the summer evenings. Nothing better than that!

  67. Growing up in Michigan, my favorite thing about summer has got to be going up north. I’m a firm believer that there is something magical about the culmination of the lake, the unrelenting family time, the sunsets, the treats (hello, Kilwin’s ice cream), the sweet perfume of sunscreen and lake water, and the surprising serenity that seeps into one’s soul that creates a feeling that can only be described as euphoric.

  68. Summer 2013 favorites :

    The way our walks at dusk to watch the fire flies have become a nightly date when we are home in New Jersey.

    Two road trips home to Michigan to celebrate two nieces weddings in a Holland garden.

    Central Park and Grom’s peach sorbet on my birthday.

    Memorizing the Sermon on the Mount (inspired by your mom) on long morning walks in the park.

    The feeling of sun on my skin – I think it makes me nicer.

  69. My favorite thing about summer is spending more time with my kids! I especially love taking them to my home state of MICHIGAN and introducing them to new places there. Last year we took them across the Bridge & to Mackinac Island. This year, my hubby & son went to Camp Paradise and got to see the beautiful Taquamenon Falls. My husband was so taken with the drive up north that he wants to plan a trip up there with the kids next summer! Pure Michigan!!

  70. I’ve been spending summers in Michigan since I was born. Pentwater to be exact. So my favorite thing about summer…time on the lake in Northern Michigan. You’re not alone in your love affair with the greatest Great Lake. Do I get bonus entries for this?

  71. being able to walk outside every day and being in awe of what God has painted just for you! but that’s every season, isn’t it?

  72. I miss Michigan summers so much!! There’s nothing like the crispy, fresh, northern air. Whenever we visit, my husband and I just deeply breathe in the wonderfulness. Can’t wait to live there again soon!

  73. Since my husband is a teacher, I love that he has the summers off to spend time with me and our son! We’re loving sunsets in Grand Haven, exploring new parks & playgrounds, and taking long walks while drinking some iced drinks from Starbucks.

  74. My favorite thing about summer is smelling the day on my children when I tuck them in at night. Fresh-cut grass, pool, strawberries, sand, fishing, the riding-bikes-down-the-big-hill scent in their hair, sunscreen, and smores. The scents of pure childhood joy fill the air with each exhalation as they drift quickly to sleep with the look of deep and settled contentment on their sweet sun-kissed faces.

  75. To follow the rules I think my best bet is to say: gatherings in our back yard. That is the “one thing” I love most because it includes….trips to the farmers market to prepare delicious fresh summer salads and food, the laughter of kids running through sprinklers and playing summer games, dear friends facing one another and entering into our challenges and joys, all under the shade of fantastic 100 year old oak trees that somehow make me feel tucked in and away, not so in the middle of suburbia.

  76. The warmth of the sun on my face.

    (And the sound of waves crashing, fried greed tomatoes and all fresh produce straight from the garden, long afternoons, reading in the sun, flip flops, and no grading for this teacher.)

  77. Summer in Michigan is so lovely! I’m fortunate to live there. =)
    One thing I love about summer is driving barefoot, which I do as often as possible. Roll the windows down, turn up some good music, and it’s road trip time!

  78. The best parts of summer are bike rides down the Michigan lake front while catching up with the great women in my life, cheering on my little sister in her butterfly as she races down the swimming pool on her swim team, holding hands with my husband on warm evening nights, eating at one of the many great Chicago restaurants OUTSIDE, and because I’m a teacher and have a break, sleeping in, making coffee to enjoy from a real mug and not a travel one, and reading endless amounts of books in the sun! Thank you God for summer!

  79. So I have three all time FAVORITE smells that I have always wanted to bottle up and make into a perfume or body spray. They are camp fire, bug spray and sunscreen. So I guess I want to bottle up summer and have it for the rest of the non-summer months to spray whenever I need a pick me up :) I love campfires and long days and BBQ and fruit and living in my bathing suit but my favorite has always been late night swims at the lake when it is bath water and the stars are out … The best memories of summer have been in the Midwest. xoxoxo

  80. easy! long days on the lake. I’ve lived in the same house on the lake since I was born and there is no place id rather be…especially in the summer!

  81. As a Michigan native who has recently moved back to this state after living in Colorado for 6 months (and Indiana before that) I can truly say that I appreciate this state so much more after being away. Growing up here I never realized how special it was. Now I know better, and I’ll never take Michigan for granted. I studied abroad in Ireland and traveled to Greece and Paris, but I have yet to find a place as peaceful as the mitten. Summer brings out the best in this state, and there are so many things that make it great. One thing I do love about summer is the ability to live life outdoors, enjoying God’s creation in a whole new way. Eating outside on restaurant patios, community meals on the back deck, walks through Michigan trails, ice cream runs, berry picking, hours spent on the beach, going on a run or bike ride through neighborhoods. All the things that we long to do in the colder months, we can enjoy in the fresh and inviting air of summer. But my favorite thing is probably campfires on the beach with old friends after sunset. Simple, warm, happy.

  82. Now that I’m in a job that doesn’t inherently allow a “summer vacation”, I think my favorite thing about summer is reminiscing about childhood family summer vacations and planning non-summer vacations. But a close second would be spending time with people who come vacation in SoCal, so even though it isn’t my vacation it’s still time with the people I love.

  83. The one thing I love about summer is the traditions we create on vacation– both settled and transforming. Having a map already laid out of the must-do’s (must drink margaritas by the lake, must climb Eagle Rock, must get deli sandwiches at the local PDQ and obviously, must read multiple silly celebrity magazines) and the option to throw all caution to the wind to try out something new in a familiar place (Berry picking? Kayaking? Take a drive to an uncharted city nearby?). Having been married just one year I am learning that my vacation customs don’t hold the same meaning to my husband, so I’m loving that we get to create our own vacation rituals and scrapbook-worthy memories as we take time from work and life to breathe in all of Summer’s goodness.

  84. I love summers because I get to spend time at our cottage in Fennville – living the same lake life as you! .. Getting sunkissed tans while reading a book, standUp paddle boarding, fresh blueberries, trips to Saugatuck, boating, and grilling out with family and friends!

  85. My most favorite part of summer is FREEDOM. I love being able to do what I want, whenever the heck I want to do it. I love being able to sleep til noon just because I can. Being able to spend precious time with friends into the wee hours of the morning, just as the heat comes up with the sun, might be one of my most favorite things about summer freedom.

  86. This is my first summer as a mom, so I am loving evening walks when we are fighting a fussy hour. Kiddo loves the view, I love being in a tank and shorts at 7 pm with the sun still out.

    I am from L.A., but we have a friend in Holland who bought my son a Smitten with the Mitten onesie. It was super cute (outgrown already, of course). We could size him up!

  87. summer isn’t my favorite season, but if there is one thing that I love it’s cookouts and dinner with friends. Just sitting out on someones back deck eating finger foods and sippin wine well into the late evening. The warmth of summer allows you to do that :)

  88. Michigan is my home; I haven’t lived there in a few years but it will always be the place that I experience the most grace, spiritual coming through the physical.

  89. My favorite thing about summer is dusk, when the day is almost gone, it’s cooled down and it’s time to settle down before bed. It’s a magical time.

  90. My absolute favorite thing about summer – especially summer in Michigan – is camping! I love everything about camping; s’mores, hobo pies, campfires, tents, being full of sand constantly, card games on pinic tables with “camp friends”, and mostly being able to spend copious amounts of time with my family doing whatever we want!

  91. I love my kids home from school, day trips to Saugatuck, NOT making lunches, watching kids boogie boarding–is that enough? :)

  92. I just moved to Indianapolis from Grand Rapids. Bless Indiana’s heart, but the summers just aren’t the same.

    Favorite parts?
    S – Strawberries from Fulton Street Farmers Market
    U – Upper Peninsula Bible Camp
    M – Michigan (the lake, of course)
    M – Marie Catrib’s for lunch
    E – Enjoying people!!!
    R – Riding bikes in Petoskey

  93. I think my favorite part of summer is that everyday is like lemonade. Yup, lemonade. Sweetness from new memories and seeing my friends engage with their lives is like sunshine. But the roll tide of life’s tang reminds me that summer is a swift season that I have to fight 9 months for. So, like lemonade, summer is that all-familiar and adjusting collection of smells, moments, and joy that mix a slightly different drink each time.

  94. Sherman’s, full blueberry buckets, sunsets on South pier ( accompanied by spontaneous applause when it’s a REALLY good one,) and long talks with friends and family on the front porch after the kiddos are tucked into bed.

  95. No place I’d rather be than cruising in our little boat on Lake Michigan with the sand dunes and Big Red in view. The oceans have nothing on the big lake!

  96. Nothing can beat a summer day on the lake in Michigan – no matter what lake, big or small. Wearing your swimsuit all day, feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin while you skim the waves in a boat, reading while your dad fishes, jumping in when you get too hot. I know when I come inside for dinner and see a reddish nose complete with darkening freckles that the day has been simply perfect.

  97. I love the sunshine that comes with July-September. We don’t get a lot of that here in Oregon so I am soaking it up and getting outside as much as possible while I can!!

    Love that smitten with the mitten shirt. Too cute!

  98. I love the way that summer smells – that combination of sweat and sunscreen, sand and sun. There is nothing else that smells like it and I love the way it lingers.

  99. Summertime! I love eating fruit and veggies right out of the garden…raspberries, snap peas and tomatoes YUM!

  100. As a displaced Michigander, my favorite thing about summer is the one week where I get to go home to Northern MI…Cherries, fudge, Pyramid Point, Lake Michigan, Torch Lake, getting my run in on a dirt road through the woods, small towns…there is no place I would rather spend my vacation time in the summer than Northern Michigan:)

  101. I don’t have one favorite thing about summer , I have many . Flip flops , long days and nights with my babies , fresh fruit , barbeques, mornings on the porch , iced tea , iced coffee , … I really do love summer !

  102. My favorite things about summer are bike rides, humidity, beach time, and fresh strawberries and cherries.

  103. Creating a list of books I want to read, reading said list, writing in my journal, and receiving renewal.

  104. The best thing about summer : soggy bottoms. Yes- you heard me correctly. And no- I don’t mean slightly wet, semi-damp swimming suit bottoms that are extremely uncomfortable. I am referring to the bottom of the cone that has been holding the liquid gold that is melted ice cream for soooo long that it has affected the structural integrity of said cone. You pop that last, delicious morsel in your mouth, ice cream dripping down your now sticky hands and there is so so little that can compare on a hot summers night.

  105. my parents have a condo on Lake Michigan (Holland) and we have been eating this summer up! my “baby” is 3 1/2 and we can finally enjoy the beach again minus nap time and sand throwing!

  106. Time on the boat, reading, lazy afternoons with the kiddos, and fresh fruit that’s summer now
    As a child growing up in the Holland,MI area it was Hudsonville ice cream with MI strawberries or red haven peaches that said summer for me especially after working in the blueberry fields all day.

  107. we are Chicago suburbanites that adore Michigan esp. in summer too :) my favorite thing about summer is my boys running around in swimtrunks, hair highlighted, bellies sticking out, enjoying being wild & free

  108. My favorite…. summer weekends spend with family and friends on Pelican Lake in Breezy Point, MN!! Nothing better than the midwest in the summer!

  109. I love both of these t-shirt companies! I am from Grand Rapids, Michigan, but live in the Dominican Republic right now as a missionary. I totally understand your love for my home state. Eat some cherries for me while you’re there!

  110. Summer: walking the beaches near Grand Haven with family on our annual Michigan (electronic free!) vacation. Also reading, games, sunsets, kyacks!)

  111. I love everything summer has to offer in Michigan! The farmers markets, the lakes, the warm days and cool evenings….but the best is our week trip to Grand Haven! We are so blessed to have such a beautiful state to soak up life’s great memories in!

  112. Summer days spent in Grand Haven – at the beach and boardwalk with ice cream and pronto pups follow by evenings filled with fresh farmers market finds, more boarkwalk time and of course the musical fountain!

  113. Oh My – just ONE thing? It can’t be done, really. I love so many things about Summer – I suppose that they can all fall under the category of the glorious Summer Slow Down… it seems we breathe in deeper, sleep in later, laugh longer… I love Al Fresca meals in desert evening sun and going out and about in our small town as if we are tourists… drinking in all that our area has to offer (which is – sadly – NOT Michigan Awesome… but still…) Oops – see? I couldn’t do it! All of those things are able to happen though – because we lean in and embrace the Slowing Down of time for all things Summer!


  114. As I just wrote on Facebook last week…

    Floating in the warm waves of Lake Michigan, with the sun bright in my eyes, on a ridiculously hot summer day, is pure bliss. Nothing like it.

  115. My favorite thing about summer is fresh picked strawberries and a nice tan. Doesn’t take much to make me happy.

  116. My favorite thing about summer has to be the way time seems to be suspended for the moment, and no one is rushed or anywhere but in the moment.

  117. My favorite thing about summer…playing in the sunshine with my girls. And, camping. And, the beach. And, eating fresh from the garden. And, ok I’ll stop now.

  118. My favorite thing about summer is spending time serving at a summer camp! Summer camp = summer: friends, the outdoors, the lake, and godly community. SO GOOD.

  119. Curtains moving in morning breeze, waking to a cacophony of birdsong, barefoot padding about, the warmth freeing and joyous. Buckets of picked blueberries and large paper bags full of peaches; morning smoothies. Time. Books and boats and beaches to explore. Fireflies, s’mores and friends around a fire pit. A guitar. Laughter. Singing. Darkness settling in like velvet on the skin while gazing heavenward to the stars. Magical. A gift from God – summertime.

  120. My favorite thing about summer is Michigan! Picking berries, walking through downtown Holland and then watching the sunset by the pier. I am (and always will be) Smitten with the Mitten :)

  121. My favorite part of summer is collapsing in bed after a barefoot day in the sun and waking up the next day wondering why my feet are still dirty…..

  122. One of my favorite things about summer is the warmth and smell of sun on your skin…knowing that it’s making freckles!

  123. Vacations with family, fresh fruits and vegetables, and knowing that fall is coming makes summer a special time for me.

  124. One thing I love (about this summer) is that I get to visit Michigan (and that means my parents and my family) in August! We just moved to Colorado and I would love to represent:)!

  125. The best thing about summer is the memories, past and present, that are conjured up with the smell of suntan lotion, the sounds of kids screaming and giggling with a background of waves and the wide night sky filled with so any stars your brain just can’t take it all in!

  126. My favorite thing about this summer was having Shauna’s new book on my kindle and being able to read it each morning of my Alaskan cruise from sun-up until breakfast! What a wonderful gift of time on a cruise ship veranda, Alaskan scenary, and “Bread & Wine”! Thank you for being a favorite part of my summer!

  127. I’m a Michigan girl and love all the things you listed! My favorite summer moments are sunsets over Lake Michigan, fresh strawberries, peaches, blueberries and lazy afternoons in the sun laying in my hammock!

  128. I love these shirts! I grew up in Michigan, so I’m very partial. My favorite things about summer is spending the day at the beach reading and taking in the gorgeous view.

  129. My favorite things about summer are morning coffee and prayer on our front porch swing and reading a book there in the evening. Nothing like getting up early in the morning thanking God for this beautiful season! And I love that I have a summer birthday!!

  130. Blueberries in a big box to bring home…the big breeze and crashing waves, long sun-set conversations, not worrying about what I’ve got to do the next day (I’m a teacher), time with God in my big red chair….

  131. I love summer dressing…sandals, tshirts and shorts are just about the best wardrobe ever! I also love the daylight, late summer nights are the best! And paddle boarding on lake Michigan is one of my favorite things to do.

  132. Escapism, blessings and beauty…

    I love the chance to escape the pressures of work, the problems of family life and my parents and my frequent hospital trips, for the enjoyment of picnics, walks in the park, catching up on good books and singing along to music with the car windows down and my sunglasses on! Life is by no means all bad, but Summer holidays bring a feeling of freedom, fluidity and the opportunity to escape and just ‘be’. 

    In this escapism I get to catch up with friends, and as we enjoy BBQs and lunches I love to just bless people in small ways. I have been so fortunate to have families at church take me in to their homes and care for me, so the opportunity to clear up the house after massive BBQs or babysit so friends can go out, and just bless people in return, even in tiny ways, is something I love to do!

    I love love love the beauty of summer!!! Wild flowers, blue skies,  sun reflecting off the water, people sharing beautiful smiles as they bask in the sun – makes me very happy!!! Everyone seems much more willing to communicate and unpin themselves from the often isolating rat race of modern life once the summer comes, and I think this is when humanity and beauty can really be seen!

    So what do I love about summer? Escapism, blessings and beauty :) x

  133. There are so many things I love about summer! I have always loved Lake Michigan but a new fav this year is South Haven with my fam. (I actually met you there on your porch) I also love the twinkling of lightning bugs, free sand pedis at the beach, sleeping with the windows open and the smokey smell of the campfire. Weekends with family spent grilling, playing croquet and ladderball and ending with s’mores. And lastly there is just something about lighthouses(I only see them in the summer at the lake)…to me they symbolize strength and steadfastness. They say I’ll always be here when you come back and wherever you are if you are lost, look to me and I’ll lead you back. I guess they remind my of my Lord and Savior in a way. :)

  134. What I love most about summer….going to the lake, of course! My family has had a cottage on Spring Lake for 20 years, so weekly boat rides and swims in Lake Michigan help me to know that it is summer!

  135. There isn’t just one great thing – sun, warmth, sand, surf, reading, sunset, cobblers and crisps, ice cream, and family. Love, love, love all things summer

  136. Born and raised in the Mitten state, left and returned like the Prodigal son. Some places just feel like home. My favorite part of summer is spending the evening with friends on my porch, drinking white wine and eating local berries, talking theology, literature, road trips (past and future), sadness reborn in hope, and all of the places we wouldn’t rather be. There’s no better time to rediscover who you are and what you love than summer.

  137. My favorite thing about summer is enjoying time off, I am a school nurse and spending that time with my 4 daughters and 3 granddaughter, life is good and I am blessed!

  138. I love summer—-there is no pretense, just taking me as I am in my shorts, T’s, and flip-flop tan-lined feet, hair in a headband, and no make-up. Early morning gardening therapy, warm lazy afternoons, and cool evening softball games with ice-cold watermelon, corn on the cob, juicy tomatoes straight from the garden and hamburgers on the grill. . . summer is good for the soul!

  139. My favorite thing about summer is seeing the kids smile and laugh because they get to play in the dirt and things that we would never (or very rarely) let them play in while inside. Dirty hands, sand in the hair, wet clothes from mud puddles… all acceptable in the summer. I love it!

  140. Since I live just a stone’s throw from Lake Michigan (WI side), it’s my Great Lake too. And THAT is the best part of summer!

  141. My husband and I call it “docking it” I.e. sitting on our parents dock during our annual visit late at night rehashing the day, drinking our favorite beer/wine, watching the fish jump in the intercostal waterway, gazing at the moon, praying to see dolphins and praying for eachother almost every night of our humid Florida summers where we fell in love.

  142. Sunsets at Holland State Park next to Big Red at 10pm. The sound of the waves and the reminder of the massiveness of God’s love.

  143. My favorite thing about this summer is my 3 and 5 year old’s excitement about growing their own sugary snap peas, and eating them right off the vine!

    1. I’m a homegrown West Michigan girl for first 22 yrs of my life… and now live in Alameda, CA. (LOVE your Alameda chapter in Bittersweet). :)

  144. Lived in SH for 20+ years…walking to the pier to see the sunset with my wife. We live in Cali now but that memory plays in my mind even to this day.

  145. I absolutely love that summer blesses me with time and space. I am a teacher and certified athletic trainer at a high school so I have summers free from most work-related responsibility; therefor, time off equals freedom! :) I love the time, space, and freedom to create; to paint, to sing, to write. Time to make plum jam, iced coffee, delicious meals, and meet with friends for breakfast. Time is the most beautiful gift with which the season of summer blesses me!

  146. Without shame I will say that I grew up, and after some brief love affairs with other states, and still live in the aforementioned lovely state of Michigan.

    Sign me up for a t-shirt. I will wear it with pride as I pick blueberries, walk the trails of Manistee National Forest and stroll the Superior coastline.

  147. I love that time seemingly stands still in the summer. I’m soaking up time with friends and family, around the table eating the summer’s bounty and in the yard playing games and laughing together.

  148. The warmth of the sun and a gentle breeze on my face, the relaxed pace and freedom from the school year schedule and so many opportunities for outdoor activity!

  149. driving the 3 hours as often as I can to see college girls and enjoy the beach through their eyes…priceless!

  150. Days at the pool. Grilled kabobs. Berries. Road trips. Waking up without an alarm. The Lake (Kentucky Lake in my case). Lunch at the park with friends. Ice cream. Playing outside. Did I mention swimming? I love summer.

  151. My favorite thing about summer is time at the lake! Whether that is one of the many wonderful beaches of Lake Michigan or the even more numerous inland lakes…Lincoln Lake is my favorite!

  152. My new favorite thing about summer is watching my toddler son discover his own favorites – ice cream, berries, swimming, and afternoons at the park.

  153. I love walking along the Lake Michigan piers, hand in hand with my family, on summer evenings before the sunset.

  154. My favorite part of summer is spending time up north at Torch Lake with my family. We spend too much time at the sand bar, stay up way too late and always end up fighting about something silly – but I look forward to it every year!

    Also- eating outdoors. The season is so short that every opportunity to be outdoors should be taken!

  155. I love being on and around the water in the summer. Lake Michigan is one of my favorite places to go to refresh and renew.

  156. Growing up in Michigan, I am quite fond of Michigan summers myself. I think my favorite thing about summer is campfires and watching the stars and twinkling lightning bugs.

  157. I love lighting bugs and sweet corn when I’m back visiting family in Iowa and I love all the Willamette Valley fruit in Oregon (marion berries, blueberries, strawberries, cherry, watermelon, etc.). And walks on the Oregon coast!

  158. One of my favorite things about summer is the long hours of daylight so I can let my restless 3 year do more outside & stay busy longer.

  159. Every single summer makes me fall in love with my home state (Michigan) again! The weather, the energy, and of course the lake!

  160. A couple more weeks and I’ll be back by Lake Michigan, Holland, and Hope College. I miss my favorite Great Lake

  161. My favorite thing about summer is heading up to my grandparents’ cabin in rural Maine and watching old movies. Heaven on Earth!

  162. Rest! My least favorite thing about school resuming in the fall is feeling tired all the time….20 kindergarten students will do that to you!

  163. Thanks so much for the opportunity, Shauna! My favorite thing about summer is the way the warm sun feels against my skin. It’s so good for the soul:)

  164. My favorite things about my MI vacation this summer:
    – bear sighting in the UP
    – pictures rocks beauty
    – the serene insanity of Lake Superior

  165. My favorite part about summer is having my kids home from school. I love having the freedom to go to the beach, zoo, pool, etc. I love family time!

  166. I grew up north of GR. Summer was day trips to the unsalted water and soft sand of the Lake that has become my greatest happy place! So glad you enjoy it too!

  167. Will I be disqualified if I list more than one? My favorite things about summer: Flying home from Denver to Grand Rapids, MI, to visit my family–spending lazy, warm days at our cottage in Holland; driving north to kayak and eat cherries in Glen Arbor; listening to frogs peeping at night from my childhood bedroom’s window…

  168. I have lived in London and Chicago post childhood and college in West Michigan. When I came home to visit my family in holland this summer, I was struck by how closely my summer memories are tied to the simple sounds, smells and tastes I grew up With. The ones that hit me this summer: sitting in my parents backyard and hearing the revving of jetski engines as they hit the waves and picking a wild raspberry along the bike path along my walk to Holland State Park. There was a tiny explosion in my heart both times.

  169. mornings on the porch with coffee & very noisy birds; evenings on patios – wrapped around tables & falling more & more in love with my friends. and sundresses. and bare feet. and pretending that ice cream on fruit crisp is a completely balanced breakfast. :)

  170. My favorite thing about MI summers is being able to go up north to go camping with family and friends by beautiful Lake Michigan!

  171. Watching my newly turned 2-year-old eat s’mores…face covered in marshmallow and chocolate and graham cracker crumbs. Still chewing and all the while asking for more.

  172. BBQs, bike rides, hiking trips, lightening bugs, fishing, star gazing, Lake MI at sunset…. summer at it’s best!

  173. My favorite thing about summer is lazy days spent by the lake, book in hand and friends and family out there with me.

  174. Margarita’s….I’ve discovered a new Tequilla, ‘Corzo’. Corzo is triple distilled using twice the agave of other superpremium tequilla’s. It is suggested you drink it ‘neat’, for me I love love love it in margarita’s!

  175. Ahh Summer:
    Time outside with my kids–playing, running through the sprinkler, enjoying time off with them –this is one of the joys of being a teacher!
    FOOD–bluebs (my mom’s way of saying blueberries), homemade strawberry rhubarb ice cream, corn on the cob, steak on the grill, fresh fruit pancakes and sour cherries.
    I also love camping at Holland State Park, enjoying time up north at the cottage, time out with friends, watching sunsets, running alone on a hot summer night.

  176. What I love about summer; outdoor breakfast as the sun is rising, sunny days at the pool with my 3 kiddos, eating fresh food right from our garden, farmer’s markets, reading in the hammock and the list could go on…Living in WI means having to do as much as possible outdoors before the cooler weather begins to arrive!

  177. We live in Holland so we love all things that west Michigan has to offer in the summer. Our favorites lake Michigan beaches, farmers markets and picking all the wonderful fresh fruit!

  178. Long summer nights requiring that you turn off all electronics, sit outside under the starlight sky and enjoy the richness of life by sharing it with good friends…and perhaps a lemon gelato. (or two!)

  179. Favorite things about summer? The Pacific Ocean, park play with my kids, and new this summer for me, learning to love the long days with my kids (and short nights).

  180. Hmmm, summer favorite: Reading a good fiction or memoir book whilst eating watermelon or home grown tomatoes. That, or the sand in my toes and being on a not-so-humid beach with the sun and the breeze brushing across your face. Delectable.

Leave a Reply