I was teased today by the coming of spring. It isn’t remotely spring yet, being as it’s only halfway through January. It isn’t time for brunching in the sun, or enjoy the porch in a tank top, both of which I did today. I enjoyed sun bright enough to hurt my eyes, feeling quite hot in a long sleeves and leggings, and thinking of the days ahead with pretty flowers and green leaves.
But it isn’t spring.
It’s merely a taste of what’s to come. A foreshadowing. I must remember that we went sledding earlier this week. We played in SNOW in the same week as this perfect sunny day. So instead of pack away my sweaters, I’m going to take in the vitamin D, enjoy the warm sun on my skin, and prepare for another few weeks of long, hard winter.
You know what? I want another snow this year – really I do. I love playing in it with the kids, and seeing them enjoy something they rarely see. (Here in central NC we only get one or two good snows in a year.) I love the crisp whiteness, the huge, fluffy flakes as they fall, and the silent blanket over our home and yard. But the bitter cold without any snow is just… lame.
I’ll take this cheating little spring day as a reminder that winter doesn’t last forever. I’ll take it as a token that we are headed in the direction I want to go. The days are already getting longer, the solstice behind us. The sun lingers longer than it did just a few short weeks ago. But the cold is not over. The wind and snow will likely visit us again. And I’ll be prepared to enjoy it. I’ve got one perfect, sunny day, a reminder that winter and darkness and lack of sun aren’t the way life always is. Life will have a spring. Every year. Exactly when we need it.
Happy Monday! I missed last week, so I’m glad to be back on the bandwagon for Currently today! I’m linking up with Becky and the group, and talking about our winter wonderland here in NC! Join us so we can see what you’re up to currently!
Playing || in the snow! It’s been lovely having enough snow to actually play in! It was a little too icy to make snowmen or snowballs, but we sledded three days in a row! That’s a record for me, y’all.
Drinking || new beers. There’s a new growler store in town, and they have an impressive array of craft and local beers! I’m swapping growlers at least once a week to try new things. Yum!
Enjoying || a few days off. While it can be frustrating to be thrown off (I didn’t even know what day it was this weekend), it’s nice to have your plans cancelled for you, your time freed up, and the ability to stray from the norm. Our kids napped late, went to bed late, and slept late for a few days. We all played outside, which we typically don’t do when it’s frigid (and not snowy, anyway). We ate chili and soup and drank hot chocolate almost exclusively. Those are things you get to enjoy when you’re snowed in that you don’t allow yourself to indulge in too often.
Watching || football! I’ve not watched much NFL ever, but we’ve been indulging in some Panthers football this season. While I don’t pretend to have been a Panthers fan all my life (I’m not even from NC, ya know?) it’s been fun to follow some football, and cheer for a team who is now going to the Super Bowl! What a great excuse to watch a little more football!
Well, did you have snow where you are? Are you still stuck? Let’s hear what you’re up to!
This isn’t just a cutsie post about how I took a little while after the holidays to find my regularly scheduled rhythm. This is a post about how mid-winter, when the holiday rush is done, but spring has yet to begin, there is a slump. I don’t just mean in the school year (though as a former teacher, I know that is REAL) or the weather (also stupidly cold) but just in life in general. Coming down off a joyous season of celebration, family, friends, and the Lord’s goodness, I’m experiencing sadness – a bit of a Christmas hangover, if you will.
I was chatting with a friend a few days ago about how much more difficult it is to put Christmas decorations away than it is to get them out. You’d think it would be the same amount of work, and it might actually be. But it’s much harder to put them away because you’re just packing away sparkly, festive happiness. I mean, who wouldn’t be a little bummed about that? Have lots of parties, listen to happy music, see everything shining and twinkling, and then all of a sudden, pack all the joy away and return to the dead of winter? Ugh. Hubby ended up putting away the last of our decorations, with the help of his mom, one day while I was out. I had gotten halfway done, and just… couldn’t finish. Boxes and packing paper were strewn about, the tree was mostly devoid of ornaments but not totally. It just felt sad every time I thought about getting everything packed away, and I’ll be totally honest… I’d been using the still-lit tree as a nightlight.
So naturally, I’ve been dragging myself, slowly but surely, out of said slump. I’ve been trying to jazz myself up by making some fun plans for the kids and I to enjoy. I’m trying to not feel as though the winter has already peaked.
And then yesterday morning, a Sunday, when I got out of bed – at the 9th snooze – there was the most perfect distinct g of snow on the ground. My daughter – from window to window, with the excitement of a kid on Christmas morning. I had forgotten what a few snow flurries will do for a child. The joy was tangible. It spread from person to person, until everyone in the house was so excited, we had to ask whether church was canceled, in case we could go outside to play. The contagious excitement and healing laughter jerked me right out of my emotional recession and into a renewed inflation of joy.
What if the joy of the Lord could spread like that? Just a little, from person to person to person… brightening her day here and calming his fears there. What if you let the little things fill you up with unspeakable joy that others could witness in your very countenance? Let the childlike faith overcome you and your post-holiday slump, and keep the joy in your everyday life, mundane tasks, and passive interactions with others. How many lives could you change? How might you entertain angels unawares? How often would you welcome the stranger that might just be Jesus?
Life just keeps on happening, folks. The busyness never goes away, so I’m just gonna take it head on and see who wins! Here’s a little update for what’s going on around here… I’m joining Becky in her link up as usual, so tell us what’s going on with you, too!
Loving || the My Big Jesus podcasts. I was very behind, and I totally just spent a couple hours catching up. Hilarious, and even more hilarious because I know these guys. Check it out!
Learning || with some sensory play! We took some ideas from Pinterest about pine cleaners and strainers, and patterns with beads. They’re a hit, even if for a short time.
Anticipating || some snow! I know we’re going to get some, but in NC, it may be a few more weeks yet. Or it could be tomorrow. Buuuuuuut the weather here changes every 30 seconds, so we’ll see.
Playing || Spades! If you’ve never played, but you like card games, you should definitely start. It’s a four player game only, so it’s perfect for playing with couple friends. We’ve got two sets of people we play with pretty often, and I must say, I’m getting better!
Working || for a friend’s business making cold calls to possible clients. I love talking to people, so why not?! It’ll be a fun way to make a little extra cash and help out my friend. Has anyone ever done cold calls before?
Excited || to start the women’s service back up at my church this week! They take a 6 week break around the holidays, but Thursday is the first one of 2016! I’m excited to get that back into my routine, because I love the extra worship, and I adore the women in my small group. (The teachings are available here in case you’d like to watch/listen! They’re awesome!)
Well, what’s going on in your life? Tell me all about it!
She shouts. She often shouts things I’ve heard myself say. I try really hard not to shout or yell or holler or whatever at my kids, but sometimes the words I use in a speaking voice that probably are the same as yelling. Sometimes, she’s whiny and tantrum-y and needy and clingy and attached to Daddy even when I’m the only one around, and it’s hard. It can be so hard. Especially when there’s another little one who is also clingy and needy and whiny, it’s really hard. It wears on me. And let’s not pretend that my pregnancy hormones aren’t making it worse, because they are. “She of little patience” has become “Monster with no patience at all”.
Today, we had a hectic morning. I was trying to get the kids and me (with our laundry) out the door so that sick Hubby could rest without screeching (the happy or the sad kind) and bumping and whatever other kid-related noise. While I was doing the normal stuff to get them ready to go, something happened. For the first time, EK hit me. I was totally baffled. I didn’t even punish her. I couldn’t figure out why or what started it. I’d been doing what I normally do in the morning – fixing breakfasts, getting everyone dressed, finding shoes and coats, convincing them to help me get them ready to go, etc. I leaned down to pick something up off the floor (I can’t remember what, now) and while I was leaning over, she swiped at me, right on the side of my head.
It didn’t hurt. She’s just a little girl, so obviously I wasn’t hurt. But my feelings were. I’ve never clocked her on the side of the head (duh) so why would she think to do that to me? She didn’t seem particularly upset in that moment, and I didn’t even say much besides, “Why did you just hit me? Should you sit in time out?” I didn’t know how to respond, really. I just went on with getting us ready and out the door, and remembered it only a few minutes ago.
It was a terrible morning, really. We were all on edge from the moment we woke up. It might have to do with the fact that I woke up on the couch, EK woke up too early, and J woke up too late. It might have to do with the fact that I rushed them immediately out the door. It might be that I wouldn’t let them go see Daddy because I didn’t want them to get sick. It might be a hundred other things. But we were all in a crappy mood, and it just compounded when we were all doing it together.
But after we had spent a morning having breakfast with friends in our favorite little bakery (Tart Sweets – their cinnamon rolls were divine), had a few minutes of play time at home, picking up lunch from Cookout and eating at while we shopped at Babies R Us (it was a weird day, okay?) the kids were in great spirits and are now down in the second hour of their naps. A DOUBLE NAP! I’ve already prepped dinner! It’s wonderful MADNESS, I tell you! Hubby is a little weak, but still peacefully sleeping as he’s been doing all day, the kids and I had a tickle fight on EK’s bed before they napped, and I thankfully got a shower. See, my day could be redeemed. But I won’t pretend that as I packed them in the car, both crying, to go to breakfast, I wasn’t crying along with them, saying, “Jesus, take the freaking wheel.”
After a freezing cold week of being semi-iced-in, cancelled preschool and church activities, and random bouts of sickness, we needed a day out on the town, visiting friends and being productive. We needed to be worn out in a good way. We needed a day away from the TV. The kids are tired of spending all their time in one room (they’re used to roaming between upstairs and downstairs), the half of their toys that aren’t packed, and the fact that we’ve resorted to watching too much TV (even if it’s movies). It’s terrible. I’ve felt cooped up and so do they. We are ready for spring, for the renovations to be done, and for life to return to its regularly scheduled programming. Right now, in our lives, the struggle is real. But thank you Jesus for the reminder that my day, the kids’ day, our lives in general, can be redeemed.