Category Archives: winter

Day in the Life – The Abnormal Edition

It’s time for the Winter Edition of a Day in the Life!  I decided to take pictures on the weekend (as usual), however, this round ended up on a weekend that was fairly atypical. I also only took photos with my phone, so we’ll see how those turned out.


Josh – 37
Heather – 34
Enzo – 4 years, 9 months
Phoebe – 3 years, 2 months
Ziggy – 14
Uzi – 12
Vega – 1

There wasn’t much sleeping in on Saturday (there rarely is), but I definitely could have used more sleep after overindulging a tad the night before at my company’s holiday party. Whoops!  Right away Phoebe asked for hot chocolate and wanted to try out her pink hot chocolate that she got in her stocking. It was neither pink or very good.

Rather than immediately reaching for coffee, I grabbed a Green Machine from the fridge.  The kids were watching some television since it was early yet, so I took the opportunity to do a little reading as well.

I slowly started to feel more normal and got up to make coffee… or maybe Josh did and I finally decided to just go grab some?  Either way, I tripped over a cat or two and finally got some coffee.

It also apparently went from really dark to really light outside. Anyhoo… I knew we didn’t have a lot planned for the day and just one or two things that I wanted to accomplish before I left the house at 3:00 that afternoon.  I figured we would just hang out and see how things went.

I figured I should get at least one picture of myself during today’s randomness, so thank you, Phoebe for making it a good one. 😉

At one point I heard giggling and looked in the kitchen to see that the kids had come up with some sort of game where Phoebe pushed Enzo around on his chair and they both thought it was fairly hysterical.

It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt and I figured that eventually it would happen. Thankfully it wasn’t bad at all, but Enzo was done with the game after that.

At some point I decided that pizza for lunch was the way to go, so I pulled out the bread maker and our go-to easy pizza recipe.

While the bread maker did its thing, I put together a couple of shoe racks because our closet was a disaster area.  Mostly my fault, I know, but it was out of hand and I wanted to try and start getting it under control.  I suppose I should actually start using those weights and the yoga mat. 😀

I could actually use another one as some of my shoes are currently sitting in the entry way.  Hey, at least I got rid of a couple of pairs??

In the meantime, Josh was keeping the kiddos busy in the living room making a fun fort.

The living room has been extra messy thanks to the aftermath of Phoebe having lice.  Thankfully, though, we have plenty of blankets and probably could have turned the entire living room into a fort had we really wanted to.  Hmm… must try that next time.

Phoebe and I spent a little time playing with kinetic sand. I love this stuff!  I need to try one of those recipes I’ve seen online on how to make your own and see if it really works as well!

At some point the bread finished up and it was time to make pizza!  I went for Chicken Alfredo this time, which the kids didn’t even want to try. What???  Oh well, more for me!

As it neared 3:00, I started to pack up my overnight bags and random items I was going to take with me on my mini adventure.  I had decided to head north a few hours and Josh encouraged me to just get a hotel room and the next morning  would get up and drive around and look for wildlife.  Not everyone’s idea of a great time, but it’s something I’ve always enjoyed.

Everyone started to feel a little sleepy since it was after lunch – cats and kids alike. It definitely just felt like a sleepy kind of day for some reason. Cold days are always that way for me, though.

Before I knew it, it was time for me to hit the road!  This time of year it always feels so much later than it actually is and I already knew I’d be stopping for coffee at some point on my almost 3 hour drive.

However, about 20 minutes into my drive, I was off to a bad start.  I had a feeling I should have taken the van to begin with when the car didn’t want to start earlier. Josh figured it was because it was cold and hadn’t been started in a few days, but something seemed off to me and sure enough… suddenly the check engine light came on.

So… back home and I went and quickly shuffled stuff from the car to the van and set up the GPS again crossing my fingers that there wouldn’t be anymore unplanned stops.

Onward ho!  I love road trips, but admit that I prefer it more when I’m not driving myself.  Haha!  I get so bored. It wasn’t too bad, though when all was said and done.

I made it to the hotel nice and easy, so I figured I’d grab my stuff and hang out and watch crappy TV or HGTV since we don’t have cable, but I had one more glorious moment of “Oh Crap” when I went to grab my stuff out of the van.

See that empty spot?  That’s where the bag with my clothes should be. The bag with long johns and my hat and gloves and also little things like deodorant and makeup and stuff.  Apparently when I was in a hurry to switch vehicles I left that bag in the backseat of the car. YAY!  Thankfully there was a Walmart nearby that is open 24/7 so I was able to get some emergency long johns and warm weather gear for the next day and for fairly cheap.

Whereas the “Old” me would have probably gotten kind of upset over the turn of events of the day, the “New” me couldn’t help but laugh that of course I would forget that bag and was just really grateful I had a backup nearby. On to TV watching!  That got boring fast, though… there was nothing on. NOTHING, which is exactly why we don’t have cable anymore.

Thankfully I brought my planner and stickers so I could do that, and a book, of course.  Since I knew I’d be up early the next day, it was fairly early to bed (before 10:00) and that was Saturday!

I really need to work on taking notes throughout the day, but I always say that and then forget or get lazy. Oh well… pictures it is!


Let there be light!

If there’s one thing I love, it’s dragging my family out to experience new things, even if it’s cold and I know there’s a decent chance of whining.  I’m a sucker for light installations, though, and knew we had to go to the arboretum when I heard about Bruce Munro’s exhibit going up.  We got tickets for 5:00 on Friday and hoped for the best. The kids seemed excited despite the cold temperatures and were even more excited to get to wander around in the dark. Go figure.




It was magical and enchanting and inspiring and despite Enzo asking when we were going to go back to the big house and get hot cocoa, I really did enjoy it.  If I had one complaint it would only be that I wish I could have stayed longer and that there had been more displays. At times I felt rushed just because… well, kids, but I’m still glad we took them to see it. Sure they may have been more excited for the hot cocoa and cookies at the end, but I do think they enjoyed it over all.




As for me… I’ve always loved the ambiance that lights can create and really did enjoy seeing it all. I was filled with ideas and motivation to start creating again and you can’t ask for much more than that.  The pictures really don’t do it justice, but I had to attempt to take a few photos while also not tripping over small bodies or my own feet in the dark. Haha!








Ice Castles and frosty toes

For someone who is without a doubt, an introvert, I get stir-crazy very easily.  It is for that reason I tend to drag my family out of the house – Phoebe comes more than willingly, but sometimes I have to convince Josh and Enzo to come too. Something about the phrase “Ice Castle” had Enzo even more excited than Phoebe.


We decided to go opening weekend since it was the first weekend where the temps were at least in the 20’s.  In hindsight, we should have probably waited until it was a tad warmer out. Enzo doesn’t mind getting bundled up, but Phoebe is really not a fan of layers and gets very unhappy when it’s time to put her big coat on.  I don’t blame her; I really am not a big fan of bulky layers either – I get claustrophobic and uncomfortable.



Anyhoo, it was cold, but the kids thought it was neat for about the first 5-10 minutes.  One big draw was an ice slide, which Enzo obviously wanted to do, but Phoebe was cold and just wanted to be held, so Enzo and I rode down the slide together. While my hips are padded, they sure could have used extra on the way down. Totally worth it to hear Enzo’s excitement on the way up and then down.  Alas, due to a faulty battery and Josh’s phone dying, we didn’t get a lot of pictures and none of us coming out of the slide. Thank goodness for smart phones!  We walked around a bit, but the kids got cold fast and wanted to head out, so to dinner and home we went!





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Probably going to ramble…

January is always a weird month.  It’s typically slow after months of being busy, and it’s also usually the coldest month.  It’s also generally the time of year my body decides to get sick. All things considered, it’s really only been a meh kind of month this year. I’ve been having some tension headaches (I think), but also have been experiencing some vertigo, so probably something going on with my ears or mild migraines? I do sometimes get the flashing light sensation. However, I don’t know that migraines are mild?  Maybe I’m just dehydrated…


I haven’t really been taking photos as often lately, so these are a little old. I do have some I need/want to sort through on my computer, but at the same time I just feel meh and don’t really feel like sitting in my cold office and doing anything. I can’t even tell you how many nights I’ve just wanted to stay curled up in Phoebe’s bed after she falls asleep even though it’s only 8:00. I get up tired and cold and any motivation falls by the wayside as I curl up in bed with a book or a TV show and 1-3 cats. There are so many things I want to do and need to do, but just don’t have it in me lately.


We haven’t gotten out much, though we did get out for a bit this past weekend to see an Ice Castle. The kids got cold fairly quick, though, despite being bundled up like marshmallows and neither of them wanted to walk. My camera battery died after a couple of pictures and it wasn’t long before Enzo asked to go home. There was a lot of fussing and whining while we tried to get them out of snowsuits with our own hands frozen and I may have had a moment where I kind of lost my head for a moment – yelled really loudly (which did get everyone’s attention), but also felt a tad embarrassed when I realized my door was open and there were lots of other families in the parking lot. Not my finest moment. We probably should have waited for a warmer day, but the previous 2 or 3 weekends have been spent in the house and I needed out.


I think it’s just my typical seasonal funk and I have to deal with it as I do every year. Granted, we’ve had some extra stress so that doesn’t help things either. I’m just trying to take it one day at a time and am allowing myself to just be meh for the rest of the month. Come February I’m going to give myself a stern talking to and make some changes. I’ve been a tad too lenient with myself and allowed myself to wallow and procrastinate long enough. So, time to make the most of the rest of this week and binge watch some more Grey’s Anatomy and Downton Abbey because you know I picked up the full season today and can now finish it at a much more desirable pace.

Gingerbread Architects in the Making

We’ve never made a gingerbread house before, so we decided to start out small and easy and I picked a super easy one up from Trader Joe’s.  Okay… we once attempted to make an enormous gingerbread creation years ago, but that was a huge mistake for multiple reasons. The first was that I had never even made gingerbread before, and mid-baking we realized that the oven we had was too small for our largest cookie sheets, and it was at that point I threw my hands up in the air and admitted defeat.  So, perhaps next year we’ll attempt something homemade, but from a box worked just fine this time around.


The kids also had Hot Cocoa cookies to eat since they wouldn’t get to eat the gingerbread house and asking children this small to not eat something made of cookies, frosting and candy is a pretty tall order.



It was a lot of messy fun and the kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  It’s always fun to watch the kids be creative and this was no different. They started out just randomly sticking pieces on the house, but then Enzo especially would start to look at it more critically and slowly place his candies. Until he realized Phoebe was just putting on as many as possible and then he had to hurry to make sure he got as many on there as she did.



Another project to cross off our “Bucket” List.