Acclimatization

Winter broke us in with a dusting.

Then it got serious with a few inches and bitter temperatures.

And I can’t stop laughing and shaking my head whenever I see the meme: “If you love winter, you’ve never had livestock.”

Here we go again!

Unfurling

It’s fitting that after months of isolation, we find ourselves unfurling into what will be normal-ish as nature too morphs into spring finery.

I feel claustrophobic yet free from busy, grateful but frustrated, peaceful and furious — unable to avoid the tension of the contradictions.

A recent hike was like salve to my soul.

A reminder that I’m never quite sure what spring, summer, fall or winter will be like, only sure that they will come. And that even when they are blistering hot, or bitterly cold, or seemingly never ending, there are things worth experiencing — and learning — in each of them.

 

Early Bird

After two snow storms before Halloween, I decided I don’t care if the whole world thinks I’m crazy. I’m pulling a page out of box store handbooks and putting up Christmas lights early. I was feeling pretty clever until today, when it occurred to me that perhaps the snow will take the lights with it as it slides off the roof.

Complaining or liberating?

The other day a friend made me question if all I do is complain about my kids.

I love them and wouldn’t change having them, I told her when she said it seems like people only talk about the crazy parts of having a family.

The truth is — having a family IS crazy.

Most days at our house look like:

And now we’re able to talk about it instead of trying to maintain a glossy, magazine-worthy presence of our mothers’ generation.

We’re learning — as a collective and individually — how to laugh at the crazy, find true joy in the mundane and find acceptance for the mess. How to honestly connect in the parenting wilderness, because it’s easy to get lost and there’s no time for vanity out here.

Sometimes that looks like complaining. Sometimes it looks like just needing to say something to realize how ridiculous it is. Sometimes it looks like a good cry. Sometimes it looks like elation. Sometimes it looks warm and fuzzy.

All of it looks like embracing how it feels.

It looks like recognizing the tough and relishing the meaningful:

And that is not complaining.

The Anticipation Season

As usual, I’m left asking where time went.

Unlike last year, the seasons lined up in order, none tripping into the next.

There was calving and skiing and spraying and seeding and more spraying and haying and we’ve been in the season when we wait and watch and hope and anticipate what the weather and other variables will make of the crops. It’s not much unlike a baby’s arrival, all the preparation and then the gigantic effort.

Every year it seems like the anticipation season grows shorter and the transition to harvest more pronounced. Or maybe it’s just that I’m more territorial of the time we get to spend as a family without doing something else and trying to rename it relaxing. Either way, I’m going to enjoy the last few days of anticipation and eagerly step into harvest, whenever it gets here.

Bloom

A few years ago I cheekily asked if we would consider planting flax because the blue flowers are so beautiful (priorities). Then I never made it out to take photos last year and thought I’d missed the blooms again this year. But much to my delight it still is flowering.

Is it camping season yet?

Mother Nature seems determined to keep us from breaking out the tent. I know, it’s a weak excuse to you four-season campers, but we’re fair weather folk and snow just doesn’t float our boats unless there’s enough to ski.

Sure is pretty, though, especially on all the green foliage.

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Opposites

Packing around two kids means that my camera has become an afterthought but I spent the morning clearing off my card. Here you go: some pictures of the prairie and the mountains.

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