Saturday, February 28, 2015

Snow Days

We were having a really mild winter, until a few weeks ago.  In the past two weeks we've been snowed in multiple days, school has been cancelled and Marcos has even worked from home on a few occasions.  My favorite day was when we were all snowed in, and our internet was down all on the same day.  We were fortunate to have power (many in the Triangle were out), but it was new and refreshing to be completely disconnected from the internet.

The first big snow dump was a strange one.  The top had iced over, so although it looked soft and inviting, it was basically an ice skating rink right outside our door!  Here are some photos from that day.

First, the kids trying to get up the hill!  The neighbors across the street have a hill up to their home, and Gigi and Michael (our next door neighbor) had a difficult time crawling uphill on the icy snow.

My courageous girl, love her.

We brought out the sand toys for Orion to play with and it threw him off.  While we were outside he kept shoveling piles of snow and saying, "Look at my sand, Mommy!".  Almost, buddy, almost...

I love this one of Michael, Gigi and Orion.  Whenever we talk about someday possibly moving, Gigi is upset because she wants to live next door to Michael forever.

The next big snow dump the following week was your typical deep powdery snow - perfect for snowball fights and for making snowmen! 

Our collective snowman had such personality!  I think it was the eyebrows.

Michael, James and Jacqui, our beloved neighbors.  When you live in a duplex and share a wall with another family, it's very fortunate if you get along with each other!

Over the past week, we have had conversations with neighbors with whom we haven't exchanged a word in a year.  The snow really stopped life and allowed everyone to come out of their caves and connect with each other in this magical winter wonderland.  Warm weather also tends to do that around here, but I can't even remember what warm weather feels like.

Later that afternoon, Marcos took the kids out for a walk around the block.

They stumbled across a couple who had made an igloo, lit it with candles, and were eating a dinner of ice cream together!

But on that trip around the block, Gigi and Orion's socks had gotten soaked, and they returned home wet and freezing cold.  It was time to turn on the space heater and let the kids snuggle up!  Lots of hot cocoa, lots of snuggling and family time this week.  Thanks, winter weather!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Part of it was due to the long stretch of the cold season which turned my usual warm greetings and moments of connection at Gigi's School into hasty hellos en route to the nearest heated car or building, and part of it was due to a holiday season full of family time but slim on friend time, and part of it is just a product of being a parent with small children and giving most of my best energy to my littles.

But for a short while in January I felt extremely lonely.

The feeling started to build over a number of weeks, and then there was one day when I went out on the town and said hello to everyone, and felt connected to absolutely nobody, and that was the deepest day of the year.  I went home and could not shake off the funk, until the evening when I dug out a heavy box full of relics from my mission to Japan, and found an old journal full of letters of love from old mission companions and friends.  The power of that affirmation even ten years later was so sustaining, and had the immediate effect of buoying my spirits.

But being a person who tries to be in tune with myself, I have spent the weeks since then trying to make time for meaningful connection.  My biggest therapy was my Valentines Gal's Night at the beginning of the month.  Marcos took the kids out on the town to give us space to kick off our party, and when he came home (with the kids asleep in the car, dear man) he saw the joy on my face and said that I looked so happy I should do these parties every other month, at least.  I agree.  The combination of close friends (with whom I was due for connection time), the great conversations that we had that evening, the collaboration of Valentines snacks, and making festive crafts together was balm to my soul.  I think that we all parted that evening with a new bounce in our step that came from having a boat load of fun with people we really liked.  It was the best.

How do YOU get out of a funk when the season is growing too dark and cold and long?