Tag Archives: winter

Roses in January {Spin Cycle}

On the first day of January, it was a beautiful, 40 degree day! There was no snow on the ground and we took a walk/scooter ride to the playground. I remember thinking that if the rest of winter was this good, I would be happy!

girls on scooters

We had celebrated New Year’s in Iowa with my family. On the way home, we stopped at one of our favorite places; the Wasserbahn at the Amana Colonies. We splashed and played at the waterpark first, and then we drove to Amana to our favorite German restaurant, the Ronneburg. It is a once-a-year treat to be able to eat schnitzel and sauerbraten at the Ronneburg.


The after-holiday blues set in soon after we got home. Then winter also set in. The temperatures dropped, school was cancelled, and I got the “cough and fever” that was going around. It felt like January had really begun.

We slowly got back into our routines once school started again. I started feeling better and took down the Christmas tree, the kids went back to school, and we finally got a little snow. The temperatures crept back up into the 30s, and one Saturday, we went skiing! Fun things do happen in January!

Just as I thought things were getting back to normal, Lily got the stomach flu. Bam! Home from school again! Fortunately, it was only a 24 hour bug and she was back to normal in no time.

Then I got it, too. I was down all day last Saturday. I couldn’t even function, and I had so much work to do! Laundry needed to be done, meals needed to be made, and there were a couple of writing deadlines looming over me. But I just couldn’t do it. The silver lining was that Ed was home that day, and he took care of everything for me. Well, not the laundry, but he took the girls to piano lessons and fed them. That was good enough for me.

This week, the last week of January, has been very normal. School every day (yay!), everyone is healthy, and I figured out what to make for dinner every night. That in itself is an accomplishment.

And on Monday, it’s my birthday!

roses in January (2)

How was your January? Link up your January post right here, and be sure to visit other Spins and leave some comment love!

Spin Cycle at Second Blooming

In 2015, I’d like to get the Spin Cycle grow. Here are some ways you can help:

  • Write a Spin Cycle post any day this week and link it up here!
  • Copy the code for the Spin Cycle button on my sidebar and paste it in your Spin or include a link back here in your post so that your readers will be able to find more Spins.
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Winter Wonderland

Driving through the brown farmlands of Illinois, we came around a curve and the white hills rose into view. The snow covering the ski mountain was not cloud generated, but made by snow machines. The emotions floating around in our car varied from anxiety to excitement. Emmy was vacillating between wanting to take ski lessons and wanting to drive home. Remembering the fun she had had last year, Lily could hardly wait for the day ahead.

I was along as part of the support team. I was the booted half, Ed was the half on skis. While I’m not much of a skier, Ed loves this winter sport.  While we were dating, skiing was one of the first things he wanted to introduce to me. The problem, however, is that we live in the flat Midwest. A Midwestern ski resort is not big; it’s not fancy, but it does just fine as a place to learn and have fun.

Midwest skiing

Being in boots instead of skis made it easier for me to run errands and help out, even though most of the time I was just standing still and watching Emmy and Lily become more comfortable on skis.

Emmy amazed me with how quickly she learned to maneuver on skis. She shuffled up the carpet path on the learning hill easily, skied down the hill effortlessly, and got back in line to do it all over again without ever once crossing her skis and falling down.

Lily quickly remembered what she had learned on her ski trip last year, and at the end of her lesson, she learned how to use the tow rope. Oh, that was hard for me to watch! The first time she grabbed hold of the rope, it yanked her forward so hard that she fell flat on her face. The instructor gave her some tips, and then…the rope yanked her again! She lost her skis a couple times. Lily is tenacious, however. She finally got the hang of it and was able to get to the top of the hill. She skied gracefully between all the cones on the way down, not hitting one of them.

I was so grateful that Ed had been watching the weather carefully. The temperature was about 40 degrees, but it was windy. “You look cold, Mom!” one of the ski lift operators told me as he walked by. “You need to start dancing…it’s like the potty dance, except without the ‘having to pee’ part!” I laughed as I pulled my scarf up higher over my rosy cheeks.

Cold as I was, I was content. I’m glad that my children were learning something I don’t know how to do. I’m glad they were fearless in a place where I have been frozen by fear.

Maybe next year I’ll put the skis back on and try again to get over my fear of falling; my fear of heights. I know from experience that once I get that fear behind me, I’ll love the feeling of being on skis. But this winter, it was my time to just be there, watching and supporting my girls.


Winter in Chicago

Old Man Winter

Dear Old Man Winter,

I know that you feel like the most unpopular season of the year. People complain about you all the time. It seems like nobody has anything good to say about you.

girls shoveling 2011
No one liked to shovel, right?

In a typical Chicago winter, there’s the cold, the snow, and the shoveling. And the hat hair. Oh, the hat hair!

But this winter, Sir, you’ve been very lax. You blew in some ice and some cold, and that’s it.

Where’s the snow?

If we are going to have to deal with the cold, the frost, and the drab brown landscape all winter long, I’ll be very disappointed in you.

The only ones enjoying the park right now are the geese
The only ones enjoying the park right now are the geese

Without some snow, how will we go sledding? How will we build snow forts and snowmen? How will we romp around in the white fluffy stuff and throw snowballs at each other?

My three-year-old students don’t even remember the scarce snow from last year. And when you blew in a blizzard in 2011, they were just babies. They need to play in some snow!

Lily's snow tunnel in Feb. 2011
Lily’s snow tunnel in Feb. 2011

It’s the middle of January already, and you’ve given other parts of the country snow. Fortunately, Lily and Emmy have grandparents in Iowa, so they have already been able to build their snowmen. I’m getting nervous that this will be the most snow-less winter ever.

Before the season ends and Spring comes to take your place, will you please just send us a couple inches? You don’t need to overdo it. Just a little snow will be fine.


The Lemon Drop Pie Family

Chicago skyline from inside the Shedd Aquarium--it's cold out there!
Chicago skyline from inside the Shedd Aquarium–it’s cold out there!

Spin Cycle at Second Blooming

I’m linking up at The Spin Cycle today! Why not try your own Spin? This week it’s Winter, next week it’s Clean. Try it, you’ll like it!


Swim to Snow

Swim to Snow

I SCREAMED as I slid down the pitch black tunnel. I pointed my toes and leaned back so that I would drop down faster, and then I screamed again. Suddenly, I burst out into the light with a big splash. Lily was waiting for me. “Did you like it?” she asked.

“Let’s go again!” I said in reply. We held hands as we bounded for the stairs. She went up quickly, lithe as a little sprite. She was soon out of sight as I lumbered up the four flights of steps behind her, but she waited for me at the top and we went down the water slides again.

bottom of slide

We were spent the morning in the hot, humid water park, splashing, swimming, and laughing. By the time our fingers were wrinkled and pruny, we went back to our hotel room, packed our bags, and bundled up. We headed out to the parking lot. Now we were slipping and sliding on the poorly plowed pavement rather than sliding down a tube of water.

That afternoon, we headed out into the sunshine and the snow. We had arrived at Grandpa’s house! The temperature was winter-warm. The snow was just right for packing into snowmen and snowballs.

making snowmen

We searched for good snowman making materials; long, curly sticks from a willow tree, dry brown leaves and smooth gray stones, plump red berries that had fallen on the snow.

Making snowmen

It was a day of opposites; swimming, water slides, snowmen and snowballs. What fun it was!


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