Winter has always been my least-favorite season. It's long. Its cold. (Did I mention that it's long?!) Somewhere around February I yearn for green and living things, in the midst of all of the white and grey swirling around. I recently read a blog post about making a list of things that are saving your life right now, in the midst of dreary winter. I loved this idea...similar to gratitude list, but more season-specific. I figured I'd give it a try and it turned out to be quite long! This practice was another reminder to me that there are always blessings tucked into difficult and dreary seasons, so long as we keep our eyes open to see them. So, without further ado, here is my list of some of the "wee little" (I couldn't resist!) things that are saving my life this winter:
|Megan catching snowflakes on her tongue :)
1) Trips to the library
The kids and I always look forward to visiting the library, but there is definitely an extra life-saving element to it, when we all have a case of cabin fever. When we start to feel too stir-crazy, the library promises hours and hours of FREE entertainment. We shuffle off with empty tote bags in hand and excitedly peruse the shelves for interesting titles. The kids' moods are instantly improved, as is mine! When we get back home, we pop some popcorn and dive right into our bags of printed goodness!
|Our current "haul" (and I do mean a literal HAUL. Those totebags get HEAVY!)
2) My slippers
A couple of years ago I picked up this pair of shearling slippers on an after-Christmas sale, and it's been true love ever since. They keep my feet toasty warm without over-heating or getting all stinky and sweaty, like synthetic materials sometimes do. They are SO super comfortable...it's hard to take them off when I need to go somewhere! Which leads me to #3 on my list...
|My favorite slippers...well worn and well loved!
3) Boots with wool socks
I've always had low blood pressure, so my hands and feet get cold very easily. When I need to head out in the snow, I LOVE wearing boots with wool socks to keep me warm and dry! The boots keep my pant-legs from getting all soggy (the WORST!!) and wool socks keep my oft-icy toes super toasty! It's *almost* as good as wearing my slippers!
I've always been a soup-aholic, and have even shared a few recipes over the years of my personal favorites. There's nothing like warming up with a steaming bowl of homemade, healthful soup to cheer up a dreary day! I love to serve mine in an over-sized mug, while warming my ( icy!) hands on the sides. This Chicken and Couscous Stew is one of my current favorites. So so good.
|Butternut Squash soup--one of my faves!
5) Celebrating "little" holidays
After Christmas and New Years, there is a whole 'lotta winter left, without much celebrating to do. To help cheer us all up, while waiting for Spring, I like to make a semi-big deal out of the little holidays, including: Chinese New Year, Valentine's Day, Groundhog Day, Mardi Gras and St. Patrick's Day. We make crafts, we bake tasty treats, we put up decorations and read fun books. It really helps make the remainder of winter more exciting!
|Making "Fai Chun" for Chinese New Year
|Our silly Mardi Gras masks we made last year
|The "wearing of the green" for St. Paddy's last year. (How did a whole year fly by so fast?!)
6) Trying New Hobbies
Winter is the perfect time of year to dig into some new hobbies. This winter I'm trying my hand at making homemade wine. It's a lot of fun! It's still in process right now (in the "secondary fermenter"), but I hope it will turn out yummy!
|Luke's latest hobby is 3D puzzles!
7) Afternoon Tea with Read-Alouds
I love the simple beauty and cheer of gathering around the table every afternoon for a cup of something comforting, a little snack and a great book to read aloud. Sometimes we make tea, other times it's hot cocoa or even lemonade (usually coffee for me!), but we always have a great book to go with it. Right now the kids and I are enjoying the American Girl Felicity Series. I wasn't sure if the boys would get into them, but they like them, too! We've been reading this book along with the series, which also has great information about life circa 1774.
|Sometimes we get fancy and bust out the nice china, but most of the time we keep it pretty simple!
|Thank you, library, for helping us keep our sanity this winter!
This is just a small section of my much longer list of things are "saving my life" this winter. They're just a few of the little things that help brighten my day and fill me with hope and joy. I'd love to hear some of yours! If you'd like to share your list or see some others, check out the link over at Modern Mrs. Darcy.