Baby, It Is Cold Outside


Whoaaaa! It is COLD today!

But I’m prepared.

All summer, my coworkers teased me about the blanket, hat, and gloves I keep at my desk since I sit directly underneath the office air conditioning unit, but today and yesterday, it’s been freezing and snowing outside, and our entire building is without heat.

Who’s laughing now, huh!?!?!?


Snow Flakes


It’s snowing big, fat snowflakes today!

And it is sticking. Gonna be a winter wonderland again.

Photo taken (as passenger) on my commute today.

Snow Day Morning

Snow day morning viewing of “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” with all three kids piled on top of me. I’m not mad about it.


Lola catches some rays at our home Feb 28, 2014.

When spring and summer don’t get here fast enough, you do what you can.

PS – That’s an original Rainbow Brite, the very doll I got for my fifth birthday in 1986. I just recently got around to washing the stuffed animals/dolls that were pulled from my Dad’s garage, and she’s become my daughter’s favorite these days. The memories are definitely flooding back. Her dress with that reflective material is somewhere around here. I wish they made dolls like this again.


Too bad Sochi didn’t have a snow shoveling event, because our team would have brought home the gold last night, removing the snow pile from in front of our mailbox/driveway. Check out my hat (grabbed from the kids’ pile) and Ashley’s pants (grabbed from the clearance rack)!

Good Life: Don’t Count the Minutes, Count the Laughs


I’ve been counting a lot lately.

I’ve been counting the number of winter storms, the amount of ice and snow dumped upon us each round, the number of snow days and delays from work and school, the hours trying to keep three kids and three pets entertained and active, and the number of weeks left until spring and summer.

At first, the snow days were awesome. Sledding. Hot cocoa. The sweet excitement of falling snowflakes. More time to clean up the house. More time with the kids. Yet a dozen winter weather events one right after the other can really kill the buzz.

As I wrote last week, we’re done with the snow. Yet as I type this, DC is getting another six inches of snow and ice dumped on us.

Throughout all these winter storms, it quickly — very, very quickly — became obvious that any attempt to clean or organize this house was a colossal waste of time because three children cooped up so many hours for so many days eventually evolve into a explosive whirlwind of energy that disrupts and destroys any order around them.

So what are two frustrated, winter-weary parents to do?


Over the weekend, we pulled out the gorilla suit.

Our first floor is laid out like a loop through the kitchen, the dining room, and the living room. While we normally don’t allow the kids to run around, we’ve laxed the rule lately and have jumped into the ruckus ourselves.

Usually, I assume the role of Monster, chasing them and grabbing them into a brief tickle fight before letting them go. More times than not, I sound more like a dinosaur than a monster, but just as long as I’m loud and pop out from various corners, the kids  get a good laugh.

Over the weekend, though, as I made a lap, I tapped Martin on the back as he sat working on the computer. I didn’t say anything, but just pointed to the kids who were rounding the corner up ahead of me.

No words needed. Martin got up and slipped down into the basement. I grabbed my cell phone as I passed it in the kitchen.

By the time the kids rounded the corner again chasing me, a huge gorilla leaped out at them, beating his chest and lumbering toward them.

It was hysterical.

Miss C dropped to her knees, laughing. Lola froze in place, unsure of her next move, and began to scream. Jaz, who was carrying a vacuum attachment as a sword, immediately ran into my arms, screaming as well.

Meanwhile, Martin jumped around, waving his arms and grunting like a primate.

The girls quickly recovered from the surprise, and cautiously approached their Dad, assuming gorilla behavior themselves. After a few reassurances from me, Jaz pried himself loose from my legs, and carefully swung out his sword in front of him, protecting the both of us from the advances of the monkey crew.

It was so much fun! For the next hour or so, it was us against the gorilla. And while outside it was raining and cold,  we were laughing and playing all the way up to the kids’ later-than-normal bedtime.

The gorilla made an appearance a few more times over the weekend, too, even sneaking up on an unsuspecting Ashley as she made a sandwich in the kitchen.

One of the recommendations on the Good Life poster is not to count the minutes, but count the laughs. To me, this means to focus on the quality of the time one spends together, to not focus on the clock or calendar so much.

Of course, I’ve still got my sights set on spring and summer, and the promise of sun and Vitamin D, grass, warm temperatures, humidity — yes, humidity.

But I’m also really, really trying to appreciate that this is all time for us to be together, and to use it well. It’s a good reminder to shift my perspective and think of the ways I want my kids to remember this time. Hopefully, the kids won’t notice that this house is a wreck, and their parents are stressed by the lack of order and routine.

Instead, I hope they will remember that their father took them out in the snow at every opportunity to shovel and build forts, and their mother let them rent every animated movie they ever wanted to see.

And that we spent evenings chasing a gorilla.


Rosy cheeks from helping her dad shovel the driveway. Six inches over ice. Niiiice.


Snow Be Gone

The Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument, if you can believe me.

My Dad made an observation on Facebook after I posted yet another gripe about the constant snow around here.

I shared the photo above, one I took as a passenger since Martin drove me to work. Folks seemed to be extra cautious this morning. Of course, there was typical morning volume, but visibility was an issue, and those overpasses froze up pretty fast. Lots of police officers and some salt trucks were out. The reports were saying it was going to be clear today with flurries (a dusting!) beginning tomorrow.

This was a real surprise.

So I posted, and complained.

“Julie,” he posted, “I think you are turning into me. A snow-o-phob.”

This is the man who refuses to go out and drive if there is any chance of snow. It’s family folklore, the time he saw a single snowflake on his windshield and decided to drive Martin to the airport eight hours before Martin’s flight because my Dad didn’t want to risk being on the roads when it snowed. Continue reading


So proud of my girls! They built that igloo themselves yesterday, and that’s Miss C getting low, documenting it with her camera. She’s got the crouch. She’s in the zone.

You can barely make out their tracks! They’re not even sinking down onto grass. They loooove it.