Finding the Good

A few weekends ago, we went up north with some friends to soak up the rejuvenating effects of being by Lake Superior.

We got there midday Friday, and after hours in the car were excited to get out into the snow.

It was super cold and windy, but when there are mountains of snow to play on, you just have to bust into your creativity and take advantage.

This dude would have no problem if you told him he could never go inside again. He just thrives on fresh air, and seems to literally envelope himself in the Earth–whether it’s sand, dirt or snow.

Charlie, meanwhile, is very in touch with the temperature of his toes. I can relate! Inside, we played with a Google feature we were not previously aware of. We were looking up some important information regarding the ankylosaurus, and discovered we could see what one would look like in our space (though, as you can see, we had not chosen to have it be “actual size” yet. Here’s a screenshot of Charlie and the dinosaur.

Saturday we hit Gooseberry Falls State Park for some cross-country skiing. Here’s our 6-person crew

Joe and Charlie

Naturally, Henry couldn’t resist the snow mountains by the parking lot, so while Joe and Phil did a loop on their skate skis, Emily and I hung with the boys on the snow piles.

Here’s the view from our cabin. Friday night we could hear the ice breaking up and floating away, and Saturday the ice was all gone from the lake. So crazy!

Deer-watching

The week after that dragged by. Only Family Dinner on Thursday kept me going. We hosted, and it was such a joy to see my niece and nephew playing at our house. The pandemic really robbed us of the opportunity to hang out in each others’ homes. It made me happy that they didn’t want to leave at the end of the night!

Last weekend, Joe won a lottery for tickets to the MN United season opener. Sadly, it was both very cold and raining. Not exactly ideal for an open-air stadium, but we still enjoyed the adventure.

I hadn’t watched soccer in a long time, and I surprised myself at how vocal it made me. I wanted to comment on everything, and to yell at players what I would say to them if I were on the field. I guess I understand people who follow sports better than I thought I did.

Our church finally opened back up for in-person Sunday school a few weeks ago–their first in-person service was this past weekend. I’m one of the 2nd grade teachers, so Henry and I are together. The room we’re in this year has play equipment in it, so often afterward we’ll just stay and play after everyone else is gone. Charlie was in this classroom for 3rd grade when the pandemic hit, and he was noticing on Sunday how much he’s grown in two years. He was even able to touch his nose to the ceiling!

Tall boys

Oh yes, and here’s Henry trapped in the dungeon. I was the Queen, and he was my prisoner who kept escaping. I had to keep chasing him down. It was very frustrating.

After Monday, Minneapolis teachers went on strike. It’s been a cold week to be out on the picket line, but on Wednesday some of my work friends and I realized that dancing keeps us more pumped up than chanting. Here we are (I took the photo, so I’m not in it) really getting into some ABBA!

In the mornings, we picket at our own schools, and in the afternoon have been district-wide gatherings. I brought the boys to the one at the Capitol, and Charlie was recognized before any of the rest of us! His math teacher from last year saw him and thanked him for coming out. Pretty cool.

Yesterday, the boys and I took the weird and rare opportunity that this strike has provided to spend the afternoon at the pool! It was a long drive out to Chaska, but it was worth it to feel like we were in Wonderland without a care in the world.

Today was brutally cold, so the morning picket was pretty demoralizing. Coming back to my warm home where Joe made me avocado toast with egg was buoying. I spent the afternoon playing board games, and am feeling back in good spirits, especially since it’s Friday. I can’t wait to sleep in tomorrow and NOT leave the house–except maybe to go to yoga 🙂

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