How I Enjoy Winter

Surviving winter can be rough.  Surviving winter when you grew up with twenty something Southern Californian versions of winter and then now your doing an Idaho winter, can be rough.  Then add two small children and a baby to the mix and it’s just like, wow.  I am definitely not complaining.  I love my life.  I love where we live. And believe it or not I actually kinda love winter.  There are some days where I might say I’m over it, but thats only because my California roots are calling and I just simply want to walk barefoot to my mailbox.  Or not put on a thousand layers just to run to the store. When I first moved to the colder climate, I remember thinking that the white snow all over the trees and covering rooftops made Christmastime seem so much more festive.  And I loved it! But then after the holidays when life was back to the normal routine, the snow and single digit temps still lingered.  I didn’t know what to do with that. I just felt like I was waiting for things to warm up.  And waiting is hard when thats all you’re looking forward to.  After the passed six years living with the changing seasons, I have learned a few things about making the best of the super colds months. I have learned that I can enjoy it while not feel so much like I am waiting for something else.  I truly believe there is joy in every journey and half the fun of getting to your destination is the ride.  haha enough cliches for you there?;) Here is what I have learned and here are some tips that have really helped me truly enjoy the winter:

BUNDLE UP.  Coming from CA, my version of bundling up was a hoodie and some Uggs.  Not anymore. Layers are a necessity.  Yes I’ll still wear the hoodies and Uggs, because they are the epitome of comfy, but I have muchos layers underneath. Socks.  I never even really wore socks before I moved here.  I didn’t really have a reason to.  I basically wore flip flops and sandals 24/7. But now I love socks. haha who knew.  A good pair of snow boots.  These don’t need to be the top name brand pricey kind.  In fact, it might be more fun to spend that same amount and get a few different pairs for a better price.  One of my favorite pairs of snowboots were from Old Navy on clearance for like $35.  Coats.  I’ve learned to invest in lots of those.  At first I had one pair of boots and one nice coat because i refused to spend money on a season that I was just waiting on to leave.  When I finally embraced the winter, I went out and bought more coats, scarves, beanies, and cute mittens.  Now I look forward to getting all bundled up in my cute winter clothes.  

GET OUTSIDE AND ENJOY IT.  In the winter my kids love to build a snowman and make snow angels. They love when Derrick pulls them around on sleds and I love when we get to go snowmobiling. I still haven’t learned to snowboard but I think that would be so fun! Thats on our winter to do list.  Wintertime can be depressing for lots of people because they lack that good ol vitamin D that the sun provides.  Even if its just for a few minutes, get out and breathe that fresh, crisp air and just FEEL.  It can be beautiful if you allow it to be.  My time outside is usually doing photo sessions.  I’m outside with my camera for at least an hour capturing beautiful scenery and appreciating all the gorgeous snow all around my subjects. I’ve come to really appreciate the beauty of the winter.  It makes all my usual locations have such a fresh feel.  We love taking drives in the snow to see what everything looks like. I find new photo locations and the kids love the view also.  This is also a good time to see whats going on in the community.  Our local library and indoor trampoline park are two of our favorite places to go in the winter.   

GET COZY AND SOCIALIZE.  When we aren’t out sledding or building a snowman, Winter time out here is mostly spent indoors. I look forward for this time to get to be cozy and stay in with my family.  Playing games and drinking warm cups of hot chocolate and herbal teas. We bake lots of goodies and take them to friends because after the first few batches, my waistline can’t take anymore! At Christmas, we didn’t buy our kids bikes or a trampoline or any outdoor stuff, because heaven knows that won’t get any use for a loooong time. (We wait till Easter to get them all the outdoor stuff;)) Instead, we got board games and craft kits and supplies for art projects. My kids love to play Zingo, Operation, Perfection, Hungry Hippos, Break the Ice etc.  And I have piles and piles of their artwork on my kitchen counters. Derrick and I love our games of Settlers of Catan and Scrabble while sipping our drinks and listening to something cozy like Coldplay or Jack Johnson or Michael Buble.  We have lots of warm blankets and slippers for these cold days and being cuddled up in our warm home is bliss.  It’s also a fun time to invite friends over for game nights or play dates or yummy brunches. Bake a treat and visit friends.  I’ve gotten to know my new friends so much better in the winter, where we are indoors chatting over some homemade treats or soups. It’s also kinda nice that a lot of new shows start back up in the winter. Some of my friends and I have Bachelor nights once a week.  And really it isn’t about the show for me, it’s about getting out and spending time with friends.  We also love when we have family or friends from out of town come visit.  So if you're one of them and reading this, we have a guest room just for you;) 

ORGANIZE AND GET MORE SLEEP. The truth is, when it’s warm and fun outside in the summer, I don’t want to be stuck indoors.  In the winter I feel the opposite.  I want to be inside and warm.  So while I am at it, I try to get all the yearly honey-do’s completed so I can enjoy the spring and summer guilt free.  I organize kids rooms and closets as well as my own.  I deep clean the pantry and cupboards.  Maybe that sounds not so fun to most people but I feel so good when I open my pantry door and everything is organized and all the junk is thrown out! The sun goes down pretty early so that means the kids go down early and we have no complaints about that here! That gives me a few hours of ME time! Or even better, Derrick and I get US time. Can I get a hallelujah?!

PLAN A GETAWAY OR TWO.  Packing up the kids and sleeping in a bed that isn't our own is just refreshing sometimes! We try to take a few weekends throughout the winter where we stay at a nice hotel in a fun nearby city or a cozy cabin in the woods.  We've taken these trips with friends and family and just with our little family.  It's always a good time:) 

Well this turned out to be a little long winded.  All THREE kids were napping and that never happens! Hmm maybe I can actually make this blogging thing happen a little more often! Until then, enjoy your winter;)