Sunday, January 22, 2017


"You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything."
-John Maxwell

January is always a period of beginning again. The rush of the holidays has passed, and we're craving normalcy. The rhythm of our days resumes. But once the monotony of it kicks in, we begin looking forward to what's next, already harboring ill will toward the long winter season.

Such longing for warmer days has filled our house. Ice storms closed school for two consecutive days and we quickly remembered what hibernation with two wild boys feels like. Loud and crazy and oh so busy. But even as I exclaimed my desire for school to reopen, I really kind of loved it, in that wide-eyed, hair pulling kind of way that makes bedtime all the sweeter.

Lately we've been outside as much as our bodies can stand the cold. Once the ice melted from the storm, slushy puddles formed and the kids realized what ice water feels like once it seeps in through your gloves. The younger two prefer the warmth of the house, but Spencer could last all day playing in the snow. Shoveling. Sledding. Snowball fights. I really think he prefers winter to summer.

I try not to look too hard at the calendar in fear I'll dwell on the monstrous amount of days left until the weather warms up. Instead I'm trying to embrace this phase of our lives separate from the weather. Spencer is a glorified big boy. Reading more and more each day. He joined wrestling this year and I don't think I've smiled as big ever in my life as I did watching his teeny body in the tight singlet try to pin his opponent. Ashton has matured a lot since the start of the school year. Going to preschool two full days has made a huge difference in his attitude and I'm remembering what a sweetheart he really is. His imagination constantly amazes me, and it's fun living in his land of superheroes and villains. For a short period each day, anyway.

Jillian is the one I'm trying to hold onto the hardest. The growth in the first two years of life amazes me every time. Like a punch to the gut. I'm loving all she's learning, but I'm also lamenting her babyness. She is sort of walking and talking and using sign language to communicate basic needs. Her favorite things are dancing and eating and her big brothers, even when they invade her personal space all too often.

So much living happens in the winter months and it's hard to wish them away simply because I prefer to be warm. Jillie's first steps were on a cold December day, while I was away for the longest stretch of her young life, of course. Ashton and I made up a Fog Monster game on the way to school, quickly becoming a favorite morning pasttime. Spencer and I started a running tally on games won after pulling out my beaten up childhood Trouble board game one snow day (current tally has me in the lead by one game, by the way). And cabin fever inspired my grand idea for our first Bad Word party, where we set a timer for five minutes and say all the inappropriate words that aren't normally allowed. Imagine us huddled in Ashton's room yelling things like:  Stupid head! Fart brain! Poop breath! Rat face! Dummy! Idiot! Poop poop poop! Butt butt butt! The goal of the Bad Word party was to set a time it's ok to spew out all the stuff rattling in their brains, desperate to get out, in hopes it gets out of their systems and not be so prevalent in our every day. We will see how this works.

All this every day living happens even in the coldest of months, when the mere number on the dashboard thermometer threatens to send me into a seasonal depression, so I trying this year--like I attempt every year--to focus on the little things. Jillian's cute new butt dance. Spencer's Lego creations. Ashton's newest superhero love affair. Netflix binging with my husband. Soon enough we'll be booking camping weekends and packing up the boat for evenings on the river. Until then, we'll be hiding in our bedroom forts and sipping hot cocoa and reading all the Judy Blume books we can stand.

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