January 5, 2016

Why I Love Winter (& What I'm Hoping to Do During This One)


Several posts ago, I made the following rather shocking admission, which I know puts me on the fringe of decent society:

I am not a summer person.

And then, I plunged ahead with this personal bombshell, which I understand by most people's standards launches me squarely into the category of "weird to the point of being socially scary":

I love winter.

Yes, really. No, I am not kidding.

At the time, the reason I love winter was a subject for another post with a working title of "Why I Love Winter."

Now that everyone is putting up their "this many days till spring" countdowns, let's get on with it.

First I must clarify that I am not writing this while I sit on my Hawaiian lanai and sip a pina colada. I am writing this from my Midwest sitting room. We do get some snow here, although not nearly as much as I'd like or as much as most people who live here seem to think we do.

When I say "I love winter," I am absolutely saying "I love snow." As much as possible.

(Note that I am not saying I love driving in snow. If you're thinking, "Listen, honey, I'd love winter too if I didn't have to drive in it," I readily concede your legitimate point.)

If you're still reading this far in, I suspect it's for one of three possible reasons: 1)you are my mother (thanks, Mom); 2)you are one of the, what, three other adults in existence who also likes winter and lives in a state that gets it; 3)you are horrified and/or perplexed by my views on this subject but are sticking around to confirm your suspicion that I am, in fact, insane.

If #3 applies to you, I imagine you would give me a little leeway if I said the reason for my frozen devotion is that I am an avid skier or snowboarder (as if...girls, quit laughing at your mother) or snowshoer. While it is true that I tried skiing once and enjoyed it, I have a daughter with orthodontia and the bills to prove it, and thus I do not ski or take part in any number of other expensive hobbies. I do like to ice skate, and I exercise outside every morning even in a blizzard, but outdoor enjoyment is not the reason I love winter.

I love winter because I am a homebody introvert and few things thrill me more than when something I am supposed to leave the house to do gets cancelled and so I am required to stay home. (Maybe the weather will get so bad the governor of our state will actually ORDER me to stay home!)

This does not happen in the summer. There is no hope of my being able to spend an unexpected evening by a roaring fire in July. There is no chance in May or August or even October that the school event we have to attend will suddenly appear at the bottom of our TV screen on a list of cancellations due to weather and my little family will instead spend the evening playing "Beat the Parents" while we watch a movie and eat chocolate-chip cookies. 

I love winter because I am all about cozy, and I am all about comfort. Just let me put on a sweater and eat a bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup. I am not the slightest bit comforted by shorts and salads.

I love winter because if you are curled up under a blanket on the couch on a Sunday afternoon in, say, February, and someone finds out about it, they think you are just being seasonally appropriate. Whereas if you do the same thing in the spring and someone finds out about it, they frown disapprovingly and suggest that perhaps you should be outside gardening.


And so, dear winter, I remain your faithful (if rather lonely) fan. And while you are here, will you please allow me to at least hope that I might...

1. Wear fleece. And hoodies. And fleece hoodies.

2. Drink many cups of hot chocolate. My favorite quick-mix version is 1/2 a packet of Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate with 1/2 a packet of Swiss Miss No-Sugar Added.

3. Watch for the National Weather Service to issue a Winter Storm Warning for our county.

4. Get a school-cancellation text message and have the unparalleled joy of waking my girls up to tell them they get to go back to sleep.

5. Get a night-before school-cancellation text message and have the thrill of staying up late drinking hot chocolate (see #2) and watching movies with my daughters. (Their father, alas, almost never gets a snow day. So we put him to bed and then watch girly flicks while we feel a little guilyy. But only a little.)

6. Watch the "Little House on the Prairie" TV series episode where the entire extended Ingalls family gets snowed in at Pa's place on Christmas Eve. Here, I will make an exception and watch a Christmas-something after Christmas.

7. Watch/listen to The Piano Guys' "Let It Go," which they intertwine with, appropriately enough, Vivaldi's "Winter."

8. Wear fuzzy socks. If they have those gripper dots on the bottom, so much the better.


9. Sit by a fire in the fireplace and watch snow fall gently outside the picture window. 

10. Ice skate on my parents' pond. Were I to use this pond in the summer, I would have to wear a bathing suit and, afterwards, drink a root beer float, neither of which I like. In my beloved winter, I get to wear many layers and, afterwards, drink hot chocolate (a recurring theme). 

11. Put fuzzy sheets on the bed.

12. Burn possibly five more calories per hour exercising outside in the cold weather than I do any other time of year.

13. Not have to paint my toes.

14. Make pot roast. This recipe is comfort in a Dutch oven, mama.

15. Respect the wisdom of the Creator. "God's voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things. He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth' " (Job 37:5-7). Say what you will about winter, but I, for one, am not arguing with the Almighty.

If you've read this far and you're not my mom and you're not convinced I'm crazy and you do happen to at least appreciate winter, I'd love to hear from you! Even better, add something to this list. I'll be drinking my hot chocolate and waiting to see what you come up with.

Previous posts that have something to do with this one:
What I'm Hoping To Do This Summer
Grumpy Gardener Girl
31 Things I Love (That You Might Love, Too)

This post may have been shared at some of these blog link parties...

64 comments:

  1. Ooooohhhh...you KNOW I'm with you on the event cancellation thing, #4 just tickled me to no end, #6 reminded me to tell you that Gv and I only have 2 chapters left of Little House in the Big Woods (and she's been loving it!), #7 is just fabulous (and "Winter" just happens to be my favorite musical piece, ever), you know #10 is right up my alley, I'm really hoping for a chance to join in on #11 this year (although we're still in shorts, so it's not likely), and #15 is just awesome. I'm not arguing with Him, either! Oh, how I love your posts!

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    1. Aww, thanks, my greatly appreciated friend! You = the best. Shall I pray for a Southern cold snap so you can put on those fuzzy sheets? P.S. How's the bike riding coming? ;) What a tale you had to tell...

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  2. What else should be on this list: 1)Make Sweet Potato Lentil Soup from Syncopated Mama...http://syncopatedmama.blogspot.com/2015/07/savory-sweet-potato-lentil-soup.html. 2)Plan and DO our family's annual "No-Snow, No-Go" at-home winter retreat weekend. We assume no snow so as not to be disappointed if that's the reality, but the no-go is what we REALLY look forward to. (To be continued...)

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  3. Elizabeth, I love winter too. And pot roast. And Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate. Not fuzzy sheets, though ... I don't need anything in my bed that makes me hotter than I already am at night. Which leads me to something else I love to do in winter: sleep well because it's so cold outside! Great post ... I'm still laughing about No. 4. :-)

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    1. Thank you, Lois! Heehee...I have heard from several mamas who said they can't do the fuzzy sheets, either! It may come to that sometime for me, but for now, they work in our old farmhouse! I long for #4 to come true because I know it would make my daughters so happy, but things are not looking promising during this non-winter winter we're having here in Michigan this year. Thank goodness pot roast and hot chocolate aren't snow-dependent! Thanks so much for taking time to drop by!

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  4. GREAT reasons to love winter! As much as I love a warm blanket and good book I look forward to warm weather, lower heating bills and being outside ;)

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    1. I hear you, Samantha! I know I am rather "unique" in my preference for cold weather and being indoors! But I heartily "amen" your mention of lower heating bills. They ALMOST make it worth the shame and pain of wearing shorts! ;) Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  5. Now Ok, I am totally with you on the cozy and the fireplace and the warm socks and fleece. If I never had to leave the house, maybe I wouldn't hate winter all that much :)

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    1. Hahaha, Julie! Thanks for meeting me on some common ground! :) Here's to a warmer and sunnier-than-average winter where you are! We're having that here, but I cannot bring myself to raise a toast to it!

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  6. Well Elizabeth we are kindred spirits then. I don't mind winter. Moved from the north to the south and seeing snow rarely happens and when it does it is the most exciting event that hits these parts. With that said...my reasons are pretty much the same as yours, except I love the peacefulness of it. I love being holed up inside too. Most of my family hates it and so they don't like when I'm all about "cold."

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    1. Ah, Michelle, yes: kindred spirits indeed! I love your "peacefulness" addition. In fact, this is one of the reasons I love winter: because sometimes it forces our fast-paced society to slow down. When we occasionally get a big snow storm, I love how people stock up and hunker down. I love the idea of families who are normally running all over the place in separate directions having some rare moments at home together. I am all about home and family togetherness, so I love winter for sometimes forcing this issue! Thanks so much for stopping by...may this winter bring you some peaceful, holed-up moments!

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  7. I'm right there with you, Elizabeth! Snow is lovely, as well as the seasonally sanctioned holing up. I also think winter makes us appreciate the other seasons all the more. I lived in Chicago for several years, and I have never seen a city more decked out with flowers and finery and outdoor dining options in the warm months--I think it's because winter makes those hearty Chicagoans know how to party outside when the sun shines!

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    1. "Seasonally sanctioned holing up." Brilliant, Jen. Love. It. Hope you're getting to do some of that this winter! And yes, I love living where the seasons vary one from another. I will say I'm not sure I've got a "what I'm hoping to do this spring" post in me. Do try to contain your anticipation as you wait to see if I pull one out.;) Thank you for stopping by...you have to know that hearing from you is always a highlight of any day it happens! :)

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    2. Ah, spring--known here in these parts as "mud season"; yours too?

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    3. Um, yes. Don't even get me started on the mud. I'm ornery just thinking about it. Okay, fine, I could have stopped with "I'm ornery." But the mud (thinking about it or the actual thing) makes me ornerier. Good thing I have Mommy Tries to take the edge off! ;)

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  8. While Winter isn't my favorite season I still do enjoy it. We finally have some snow here again but it is supposed to rain this weekend...and then go back to temps in the teens next week. Crazy MI weather!

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    1. I know, right, Rebekah?! As I have testified above, I want SNOW as much as possible. But I am thankful this is proving to be a gentle winter for my new-driver teenager to "learn" to winter-drive in...bit by bit! Thanks for stopping by, sweet mama!

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  9. I can't way I love winter... far from it; I live in New England and even though it's only 17 today I am wearing my flip flops around the house because I can't bear to put them away. That said I do enjoy nothing more than wearing a hoodie, being wrapped up in my electric blanket, sitting in front of the fire reading a book while sipping hot cocoa. SO I can KIND OF get your point but once the white stuff hits it makes everything else take ten times as long as twice as much of a chore... driving, carting wood into the house, shoveling, dressing three kids for the weather.... ick!

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    1. Oh, Mother of 3, isn't this the way it goes: one mom's trial is another mom's treasure! I'd LOVE to live in New England, where you are blessed with "real" winter! :) But I can absolutely see your point about snow making all those chores take longer. So send it my way, and I'll gladly deal with the wrath of my fellow southern-Michiganders! Thanks for stopping by...hope you get to sip some cocoa by a roaring fire SOON!

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  10. Ok so I'll admit, I did think you were crazy at first. But I'll also admit that I think you're on to something. I hate winter. Or at least that's what I always said before I read this. lol What I hate about winter is having to be outside. I LOVE being inside. Curling up next to the fire. Reading. Seeing things cancelled etc etc. I am an introvert and I work from home and winter is OK as long as I don't have to go anywhere. That being said, by the end of winter I usually feel a little cabin fever despite my introverted-ness and I am so ready for spring and summer so I can get out into creation and explore. But for now, I'll enjoy my hot beverage and latest read and smile. Because you're right, that's the best part of this season!

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    1. LOVE IT, Charlene! And in the interest of full disclosure, I am fairly crazy, apart from my views on winter. But thanks for doing me the honor of reading my ramblings and coming over to my side of things a little! Maybe you'll become a winter lover yet! ;) I'll leave it to you to put up a pro-spring post in a couple months...in the meantime, enjoy that book and beverage!

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  11. I had to read this post because I am totally not a fan of winter! Haha! But I have my list of what I do enjoy this season (and remind myself often):
    1. No bugs.
    2. The wood stove.
    3. People wear clothes!
    4. No mowing.

    That pot roast recipe sounds like a winner!

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    1. LOL, Cheryl! I LOVE your list! Can I post it on my FB page? #3 is my favorite. Way to go, mama, for even making a list. And take heart: spring is just around the corner, according to all the countdowns everyone but me has been putting up! Thanks for coming by, albeit under some protest! ;)

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  12. I love these things too! I'm so grateful that we have opposite seasons to make us appreciate the beauty in each one. (I'm still a summer girl at heart, though!) :) :)

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    1. Aw, thank you, Erica! I've heard from many "summer girls at heart" who are graciously choosing to appreciate some of winter's gifts. Thank you for taking time to stop by...I'm so glad I found you earlier on your lovely site!

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  13. I am with you on ALL of this! I, too, am introverted, and while we don't have much snow in Mississippi, I still enjoy using the cold as an excuse to stay inside, wrapped in a blanket and drinking hot tea. Although, around here, the extreme heat of the summer is often a better excuse for staying indoors.

    Thanks for linking up with The Alder Collective! Your post has been pinned to our group party board. We'll hope you'll join us next Tuesday at 8 pm EST!

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    1. Woo-hoo, Abby...so glad to meet another like-minded mama! (Even if you do have to use the heat of summer as your "stay-inside" excuse. The spirit is the same, right? ;)) I'm so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of The Alder Collective party...I look forward to it every week! Blessings on you...hope you have a chance to do the cozy today!

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  14. I am so not a winter person at all, but I do love everything you listed--especially the many excuses to drink hot chocolate. :-) And I do love being inside in the winter and having a reason to snuggle up with a good book or The Good Book and just be warm and quiet. Your writing makes me smile! :-)

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    1. Well, see now, Christine, that's the spirit! Winter or no, there are some good things in life all sensible people should like (books and blankets and hot chocolate among them). Not that I'm opinionated about this or anything. ;)Thanks so much for stopping by...YOU make ME smile! :) #4realmoms

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  15. We have a lot in common, I'm an introvert, too. I love winter - snow! I'm a Georgia girl living in eastern Montana. After 5 winters, I am still amazed at the amount of snow each year. I love the coziness of our little house when it is -30 degrees out. BUT, I do miss seeing all the green and flowers we had during the winter months back home. Once April hits, I'm ready for spring and fall, but not summer. I've never been a fan of summer heat and humidity. I don't have any hot chocolate on hand, but I do have coffee. I think I'll have a cup. :) Thanks for sharing with Thankful Thursdays, Elizabeth.

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    1. Yay, Lori! Eastern Montana sounds heavenly to me! :) I do hope you had that cup of coffee in your cozy house. Thank you for hosting Thankful Thursdays!

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  16. I'm so with you. There's nothing like drinking coffee on a crispy winter morning. Thanks for linking up with us.
    www.arrowsandwarriors.com

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    1. That's so encouraging to hear, Heather! Thank you for stopping by from Mommy Moments...I've just been visiting--and Facebook liking!--your lovely site! :)

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  17. You make a really good point about loving winter! I'm a home body too and I love snuggling in my cozy blanket with a good point. I don't think I can join you in going so far as to say "I love winter," but it's definitely better to focus on the good stuff rather then the yucky parts of it!

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    1. with a good book, not point. (oops!)

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    2. Well, thank you, Judy. :) That's the spirit! Book- and blanket-loving homebodies, unite! Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  18. What a fun post! And certainly a lesson for us all in giving thanks to God for what is GIVEN rather than pining for the NOT given! Happy winter! We have a storm on the way here in Maine!

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    1. Thank you, Michele! Oh, Maine! Winter storms! I am SO envious. I would TOTALLY move somewhere more wintery in a heartbeat, but when I mention this to my private-practice attorney husband, he always brings up minor issues like his client base and the mortgage. But we have snow here today, so I am happy and grateful. So glad for the blessing of sharing this post over on Tuesday Talk!

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  19. Snow and fleece hoodies sound awesome. Also, I think it's pretty cool that we don't have to paint our toenails this time of the year :)

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    1. Right, Kelsie?! I am dedicated to toenail painting when my shoes show it, but I don't mind the break when my feet are hidden inside boots and fuzzy slippers! :) Thank you for stopping by this winter!

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  20. You either have a lot of mothers, people masquerading as your mother, or a lot of curious people. I read it because I am your friend (even though we've never met) and I was waiting for this post. I admit, you have a good case. However, being an extrovert who simply MUST go out every day (though I know not why), and one who LOVES LOVES LOVES the outdoors, I argue against cold, snow, and little daylight. We can agree to disagree. I did love your post though!

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    1. Oh, Mary, Mary...I was waiting for your comment (which, BTW, did not disappoint)! I knew this was a point of respectful disagreement between us, but happily, we are, as you say, able to agree about our disagreement and to be friends anyway. I do believe the general consensus is that I am a lunatic, but as I am pretty sure that was the general consensus before I wrote this, I am okay with that. And some of my fellow introverts have crawled out of the woodwork, which has been gratifying. ;) I'll end this comment now so you can go outside and find some person to extrovert with while I happily stay inside and pray for more snow such that my meeting in two nights might be cancelled. Thanks for stopping by, my funny, outdoorsy, social butterfly friend!

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  21. oh I loved the Piano Guys video! Beautiful!

    Great list :) those are some of the things I do like about winter too :)

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    1. Thank you, Erika! Isn't that a great video? If you haven't already, you should check out their "Fight Song." INcredible.(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOO5qRjVFLw) Hope the rest of winter is unexpectedly delightful for you! ;)

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  22. I think I like your reasons for liking winter! They sound lovely to me and hot cocoa is a MUST! We even put a drop of peppermint oil in it. Delicious! Thanks for entertaining me tonight. I loved reading your post! Blessings to you!

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    1. A drop of peppermint oil? Brilliant, Gayl! I want to go make a mug that way right this minute. Thank you so much for dropping by, for leaving me that delicious tip, and for your kind words. Winter blessings back to you! :)

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  23. Shared this post on FB and Instagram. Didn't see that you were on Instagram and so wanted to let you know.

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    1. THANK YOU, Michelle! You have made my day (and night)! I know...I need to jump into Instagram. Must figure that out soon. ;)

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  24. I love winter too, Elizabeth! The fuzzy socks, the days out of school, the fires, the food!

    I found your post today on Works for Me.

    Hope you have a blessed day~
    Melanie

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    1. Woo-hoo for winter, then, Melanie...so glad to meet a fellow fan of it! ;) Thanks so much for stopping by from WFMW!

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  25. OK your list has me (almost) excited about it being freezing outside! :) But I will say, fuzzy sheets are the best even though they make it really hard to get out of bed in the morning!

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    1. Victoria! At last: a fellow mom who can tolerate fuzzy sheets. (I know they're too warm for some of our tribe!) And you are SO right about them making it even harder to get out of bed in the morning. But, oh, the joy of looking forward to getting back into it and then of actually doing it. Happy winter* to you! (*Not an oxymoron.)

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  26. We don't have much of a winter in Houston, and what we do get usually doesn't involve snow, unfortunately! I'm like you with regards to staying home, though. My husband is out of town on business now and he talked about coming home a day early and I was like, "Oh, no, honey, you should explore that area of the country!" LOL, I just want one more day to myself (we both work from the house). :-)

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    1. Oh my word, Linda, I love that about your husband. I can totally relate (no offense to either of our husbands, of course!). Enjoy your alone moments when you can get them, and thank you again so much for encouraging me greatly today!

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  27. Great list but I don't think there is anything that could make me love winter, lol!

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    1. I know, Ana...you are not alone. (See previous comments.) Want to write my spring post for me? ;) Thanks for being willing to read anyway!

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  28. Elizabeth,

    I couldn't resist coming to read this post for many reasons... I don't love winter, but I don't hate it either. I do LOVE summer, though. I also have to admit, I smiled most of the way through your words, laughing by the end because, living in the Midwest... I get it. :) I knew most of the points you were going to share, in general, because I am quite sure they have proceeded from my own mouth at one time or another. In fact, I just told the kids that I love the way that winter makes us wind down, I get SO MANY BOOKS READ, and the comfort food that we make. ( ummmm another reason I love Summer is because my pants fit.) And the way that time makes us sit and enjoy one another's company. Now that my kids are getting older, there are times when they are not sitting with us in the evening and it makes me treasure the quiet winter nights snuggled under blankets and enjoying each other and the grace that comes in the slowing of the seasons.
    Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog last week, too. :)
    Blessings,
    Dawn

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  29. Dawn says: "I couldn't resist coming to read this post for many reasons... I don't love winter, but I don't hate it either. I do LOVE summer, though. I also have to admit, I smiled most of the way through your words, laughing by the end because, living in the Midwest... I get it. :) I knew most of the points you were going to share, in general, because I am quite sure they have proceeded from my own mouth at one time or another. In fact, I just told the kids that I love the way that winter makes us wind down, I get SO MANY BOOKS READ, and the comfort food that we make. ( ummmm another reason I love Summer is because my pants fit.) And the way that time makes us sit and enjoy one another's company. Now that my kids are getting older, there are times when they are not sitting with us in the evening and it makes me treasure the quiet winter nights snuggled under blankets and enjoying each other and the grace that comes in the slowing of the seasons.
    Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog last week, too. :)Blessings,Dawn"...
    Aw, Dawn, thank you so much! I am honored that a dedicated summer-lover would take time to read my ode to cold! ;) Because it is always lovely to meet a fellow Midwesterner! Thank you for taking time to stop by!

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  30. I love all the seasons! I am ready for some spring weather though so we can get outside and go for walks. And see flowers. Loved your post :) I hope you can stop by:

    http://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com/2016/02/songs-on-sunday-one-thing-by-hillsong.html

    Colletta

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    1. Mercy, Colletta, I'm so sorry I'm just now seeing and responding to this! How did I miss this? I, too, enjoy the change of seasons. :) I'm just partial to this one...clearly! ;) Thank you for stopping by...I'm over on your blog right now!

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  31. Yes! Every last bit of this! Well, except your parents' pond. But yes - the hot cocoa, watching movies, curled up in a blanket, praying for the blizzard and road, town, state closures. Oh, glorious winter!

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    1. Aw, thank you, Rebekah! I love it...we are not only sisters in Jesus but also sisters in snow! :) Feel free to stop by my parents' pond anytime you're in the area (just be sure to check with me first on those pesky ever-changing ice conditions)! ;) Thanks for the support...most people think I'm crazy to take this position! xoxo

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  32. Love this blog! (Esp the story below about the counselor. Sounds just like something Kira would say to me!) Winter, eh, I can take it in small doses. Here in Indiana we have to make up every. single. snowday. So we don't hope for them, because that's one less vacation day or summer break day. As for being an introvert, I'm on the borderline between introvert and extrovert, but with a job where I'm dealing with spreadsheets alone 8 hours a day without even a lunch hour, I'm on the borderline of lunacy.

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    1. Aw, thank you so much for your kind words...and sympathy for my story! ;) But now I'm sending sympathy your way for having to make up those snow days! Yuck! And 8 uninterrupted hours alone with spreadsheets every day might even make me want people! You poor thing! I'm so glad you found your way here and that we've been able to reconnect...I still remember confusing our girls' little brown heads at preschool pickup! :)

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I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!