Starting a new segment on the blog today: Soul Sundays. Who knows if it will stick, but if y’all like it enough, I’ll keep it around.
The purpose of Soul Sundays is to get a little more personal. Beyond the glimpses of our vacations, DIY projects, recipes, reviews, and whatnot.
When I first started blogging back in 2004, my blogs were basically online journals, but then as my kids grew from babies to toddlers, as my businesses did the same, and as the whole “mom blogger” craze busted into a wacky new world everyone with a computer wanted a piece of, I pulled back protectively, with purpose.
But this year – and this month, in fact – I turn 40. Forty, for me, has already been a time of rebirth, renewal, and strengthening of self. As I reach this almost-mid life stage, I realize how important it is to have representation in this online world that is beyond the young, trendy, popular.
So while I still love sharing recipes (there are some good ones coming up!!), travel tips, fun and easy DIY projects, party ideas, and printables, I’m going to start writing a little more from the soul on Sundays. You can all let me know if you think Soul Sundays should stick around or not. :)
Sometimes life stops you when you need it the most. I am fond of saying that because in my almost-40 years, I’ve found it to be completely true.
2014 has been a whirlwind already. Lots of events, signing new design, branding, and social media clients, teaching workshops, launching a new Portland, Oregon city guide, tons of kids’ activities and family and friend get togethers. My To Do list for the next two months was already longer than all of last year’s and I was starting to get a little overwhelmed.
Then last Thursday, a snow storm rolled into Portland, Oregon, bad enough to send our kids home from school early.
We rarely get snow in Portland, and when we do, it’s usually just an inch or two for a day or two, and then it goes away.
This snowstorm was different. This was Snowmageddon and Snopocalypse rolled into one.
And it was GLORIOUS.
For three straight days, we were outside enjoying the snow. We live in the middle of a fairly steep hill, and our elevation is around 500 feet, so we received between 8″ to over a foot of snow, depending on where you walked. We couldn’t leave our driveway, let alone our street. We were snowed in… and loving it!
Snowmageddon 2014 was perfect for sledding, snowball fights, building snowmen, burying each other in the snow, and snowboarding. My husband and I haven’t been snowboarding in YEARS, but watching the kids skillfully use their sleds as snowboards, we realize it’s time to get the whole family up on Mt. Hood for some snowboarding fun.
Our dog LOVES snow and had so much fun running around outside with us. As you can see, he kept trying to sled as well :)
Sometimes it’s easy to get wrapped up in our own lives, moving at frantic pace. We nod and smile with our neighbors, and make small talk, but this storm forced us all outdoors, where we had hours and hours each day to chat and watch our kids play together.
By Day 3, the snow accumulation was impressive for Portland, Oregon. This is the view outside of one of our windows…
On Day 3, my son uttered the first “I’m bored…” whine, and that’s also when the freezing rain started in our area (which we’re used to, and it is SO bad usually where we live), so it was time to break out some indoor activities.
As you can imagine, baking is always a beloved indoor activity at my house. I baked some sugar cookies while the kids were sleeping on Friday night (the night of Day 2 of Snowmageddon 2014), so we decorated them on Saturday.
Hearts for Valentine’s Day, and LOVE cookies using the new Fred Letter Pressed Cookie Cutters my husband gave me for Christmas. I love how the letterpressed cookies turned out – and they were all delicious!
To help stave off boredom, I broke out one of my daughter’s birthday presents – a Loom Bracelet Kit – and let her have it a couple of months early. It was a good call, because I think it helped distract us all a bit and keep us busy. We ended up watching some YouTube video tutorials, but were still confused about some of the directions. Thank goodness for neighbors who came over and helped us figure it out!
And while Snowmageddon was the perfect excuse to bake and cook up a storm inside while the snow storm beared down outside (oh do I have some new recipes for you coming up! So excited!!), it was also a good chance to rediscover and make peace with the occasional enjoyment of convenience foods. While I believe in real food and making meals from scratch, this weekend I rediscovered the magic of . . . frozen waffles.
Oh hello, old friends . . . topped with a homemade strawberry compote, frozen blueberry waffles were delicious!
Now, as we wind down Day 4 of Snowmageddon 2014, we’re chilling out with more indoor time: movies, cartoons, more loom bracelets, with a little bit of super fast (scary-for-mom!) sledding down the sheets of ice that the freezing rain has layered upon the feet of snow.
Now, I’m starting to think about all of the work that awaits once the kids go back to school. I’m looking at my To Do list, and instead of stressing out, I’m ruthlessly making cuts with a song and a smile.
Because if you step back from the stress, remove yourself from the situation, I bet that you too will see items on your own To Do lists that can be cut, or moved out, or delegated. I was putting so much stress on myself before, and while I know myself well enough to know that I will do that again, this snow storm came at the perfect time to make me stop for at least a little while, and remember the WHY in all that I do.
And maybe the kids will go back to school tomorrow, and maybe they won’t. Either way, I think I’m ready.
Thanks, Snowmageddon 2014. The memories my family made together these past few days have been priceless!
What about you? What’s on your mind this Soul Sunday? If you’re in Portland, how have you felt about Snomageddon 2014?
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