I have been struggling. I’ve definitely hit an upswing, but the past few weeks have been really, really difficult. Because of very cold temperatures and excessive snow, my life has been either cooped up or trudging through heaps of snow with layers of scarf around my face. I am so grateful that a normal day for me does not require the use of a car, because the cars I see on the road seem to be struggling. The one day last week I needed to drive, I got stuck on ice and had to shamefully ask an elderly man to help me push my car off of the side of the road.
The boys have also had a LOT of cancelled school days. I love them, and I love spending time with them. But I’m used to a few hours a week to myself to go to yoga, do grocery shopping, or read without being asked for constant affirmations. “Yes, that Lego creation is really cool.” “Yes, Chernobyl was terrible.” “Yes, we are bears hiding in a cave.”
That combined with my inability to see friends (because of road conditions), my mental health suffered. In order to make it through, I took photos of some of the things that made me feel good.
Henry (in the blue jacket) playing with his friends at preschool on a day when he actually had school.
A re-up on groceries! It feels good to know that at least you have the food supplies you need, especially when they are neatly jarred and labeled.
Henry and I can walk to his school, meaning I do not need a car for routine life. Recently, either sledding or going on foot have been his options for transportation (he’s used to the stroller). He LOVES the sled. He fills it with snow to make a mold of his body underneath with a “snow blanket” on top of him.
This is his happy place.
My Christmas poinsettia from Colleen is thriving! It brings a riot of colorful life to my daily setting. Henry brought the card home from school. I thought it might help me feel like we’re in celebration mode instead of survival mode. Sometimes it works!
Charlie is in the middle of Jump Rope for Heart at school. Usually I kind of hate that time, but this year they included a log of daily activity. It means Charlie is motivated to use his physical body every day! It falls at a very convenient time, because shoveling is of the essence.
The boys also have been utilizing the basement a lot. It’s the place they can jump, kick balls, and bounce all over the place. The other day, Charlie decided he wanted to try to fit into a box. Here’s what followed
And when those super cold days, like ones where we’re getting warnings from WCCO that
“In such bitter cold, frostbite can set in on exposed skin in as quick as five minutes. As such, those who venture outside should be sure to bundle up and limit their time outside”
stack up day after day…sometimes what you need is to do the brave thing and venture outside anyway. We walked to Curran’s again this week for a delicious breakfast. It was wonderful.
On a day that wasn’t “dangerously cold,” just like -10 degrees or so… we hit King Park for some sledding.
Henry loved running behind Charlie, grabbing onto the sled and then “skiing” down behind him.
Another hard thing for me has been Joe being unavailable for much of the past two weekends. This weekend he was ice-fishing with his sisters’ husbands and all of their dads. Luckily it was in town this year, and when Jim came to pick him up, he brought doughnuts!
Sunday, for the first time in a long time, I finally got to see human beings I wasn’t related to (not counting preschool people). My friend, Em (she’s got a lovely blog at https://wordsbyemily.co/ ) taught a hand-lettering class inspired by the Valentinesy season of love. I got to gather with some wonderful people and make beautiful marks with all kinds of pens and markers. Here was my final product:
The bus ride home over the Mississippi River was wonderful. It’s so great to have a transit system I can count on, especially on days that being in a car feels (to me) terrifying and not worth the risk.
Snow. It’s the cause of such trouble, and it gets a bad rap, but it really does make things more beautiful. It’s natural glitter and it’s very pretty.
My street. I do love my street.
I love my life, and I know that I do. But, some times more than others, I need reminders of why.