Summer. Everyone is drawn to it for a different reason.

Maybe you are a teacher looking forward to some well-deserved down time or maybe summer means extra time with your kids. Perhaps you have a lake cabin you are eager to enjoy, or you simply love the heat.

For me, it’s all about the longer days. After what feels like a year and a half of hibernation, I’m excited for those extra hours outside each evening, riding my bike, walking and just taking in sunsets. And unlike last summer, I’m looking forward to spending some of those extra hours with friends and family who I’ve seen very little of this past year thanks to the pandemic.

You often hear people refer to our lives as having seasons, too. Collectively, it really does feel like we are in the spring/ summer of life, with the world opening up again and people feeling inspired to recapture some of the energy lost during “the dark winter.” The one thing we know is that this season — just as the season before it — will look a little different for everyone.

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Many of the women (and men) featured in this edition of On the Minds of Moms have experienced seasons of change this past year but have emerged with passion and purpose and are ready to take on the world. Maureen Bartelt, featured on our cover, is one of those women. Despite a year filled with twists and turns, Maureen is undeterred in her focus on providing clean water for African communities through a nonprofit entity called Wellspring for the World.

Then there’s our Rad Dad feature on Doug Peters. You might know him best as the face of MSUM athletics, but recently Doug was moved to make a change. He is now taking his passion for leadership development to an entirely new stage.

As always, we have a few columnists who share their own parenting insights and summer advice, and On the Minds of Moms food columnist Jessica Rerick will help make sure it tastes good. Grilled pizza anyone?

Yes, please. To the grilled pizza, to the long days, and to busting out of this COVID cocoon just in time to enjoy this next season.