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One Final Snow In St. Louis?

2015 March 4
by Becky

After months of cold, yuck, windy, miserableness, I was about ready to back up and leave for spring break a week or two early. I just can’t take it. New mom hormones mixed with zero fresh air = an insanity plea.

But then we finally had a perfect winter day. Not one where we run from one heated area to another, a giant red RSV sign flashing in my brain as I shield Finn from blistering wind and patiently urge Ethan to “Go faster!!” in his efforts to block the entire sidewalk in speeds slower than molasses.

We had a real, beautiful, snow-glistening in the warm sunshine winter day. Isn’t it fair we get something from this cold weather prison? Ethan certainly thought so.

SnowEating

SnowBalls

SnowFall2

We got a dumping of snow on Saturday night so Sunday was all snow, all day. We were barely able to drag Ethan inside for lunch and a nap, he just wanted to play and play in the 30+ degree temps. Digging, sliding, stomping, throwing, rolling. Stu and I were SO proud—we’ve seen plenty of the 20-minutes-and-I’m-too-cold scenario to get our hopes up too high. He came in dripping, sloshing, caked in snow.

To top it off, everything was absolutely lovely here in the neighborhood.

SnowHouse

SnowRide

It looks overcast in these pics because we were out at like 8:30am. Ethan seriously couldn’t be contained.

This was the day Stu and I decided we want snow pants. Kids in snow pants are invincible and we want in on the fun. It would make building a snowman MUCH easier…crouching over to roll and pack snow is not all that great on the back.

SnowBaby

Hey, I made a picture!

Finn’s been handling this dressing-up-for-the-cold thing very well. While I’d gladly make out with JJCole for the genius that is the BundleMe carseat blanket, allowing me to tote my wee babe around in nothing but a onesie and pants, Finn’s been extremely tolerant of “The Bear”. He gets suited up and lets me tuck his little feet into my coat to watch big brother have a blast in the white stuff.

We loved having Ethan’s buddy over for some front-yard sledding and were excited watching the older neighbor kids run down the sidewalks, visions of the future in our eyes as we think about the dozens of nearby 2 – 5 year olds that will be building sledding ramps together in a few short years. It’s only going to get more fun around here.

In the meantime, Ethan was content to continue his Snowmapalooza with just boring ole Mom and Dad.

“Mom, are you SURE it’s a good idea for me to go down the slide?”
“I PROMISE IT WILL BE AWESOME!”

SnowSlide2

SnowSlide

SnowySkies

The fun continued to Monday before things started to get slushy. While I claim to love these days, I won’t miss them. Stu keeps telling me about 60+ temps in the very very near future. If it’s true, don’t expect us to be home.

I can’t wait to complain about the heat in a few months.

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What I’m Reading: By The Fire

2015 March 1
by Becky

I’ve been plowing through some really good books lately. It must be a mixture of breastfeeding time and monthly book club that keeps the pages flying by. No doubt this weather has something to with my literary appetite, nothing beats snuggling on the couch, fire blazing, cat in my lap, for some naptime reading.

And there’s the treadmill. Trying to get on that basement dweller is tough so a good book helps my motivation.

Whatever the case, here’s what I’ve been reading…there’s some REALLY good stuff on this list:

What i'm Reading: The Farm What i'm Reading: Wild What i'm Reading: Traveling to Infinity What i'm Reading: Big Little Lies
The Farm Wild Traveling to Infinity Big Little Lies
What i'm Reading: Americanah What i'm Reading: All The Light We Cannot See What i'm Reading: Dad Is Fat What i'm Reading: The Poisonwood Bible
Americanah All the Light We Cannot See Dad Is Fat The Poisonwood Bible

1. The Farm was a book club pick that surprised us all. It was a murder mystery like none I’d ever read before. Set in Sweden’s countryside, the book is written almost entirely as dialogue, a story told through story-telling, if that makes any sense. I was uncomfortable with it at first, but was so intrigued to continue that I quickly got used to the style. There are twists, turns, and it left me (and my bookclub friends) with many unanswered questions. Different and captivating. No way of guess the ending!

2. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail was one that hooked me with the opening chapter flash-forward. I just HAD to know how someone could hike after losing their boots! Knowing nothing about the Pacific Crest Trail, this book was really  fascinating and had me frequently Googling maps of California. I’ve never hiked like this, but having traveled through Yosemite several times, I was pretty baffled just thinking about people hiking through those soaring mountains. I really enjoyed the story, felt like I was hiking right along side Cheryl. I still love the part where she packs her backpack for the first time. I can imagine just how that will play out in the movie.

3. Travelling to Infinity: The True Story Behind The Theory of Everything wasn’t on my radar until I saw the movie preview. It looked fantastic. While I have samples of Hawking’s books on my Kindle, I’ve never read one of his books. This option was too intriguing, I had to read it. I’m not quite finished, had to take a break for another book club title, but I was really interested and liked the story. Learning about Jane’s knowing commitment to Stephan’s constant needs due to his early-onset condition in addition to the care of their two children is almost more than one can conceive. Her candor is sometimes hilarious but mostly humbling, telling great detail about their lives, most of which were spent in a world ill-equipped for people with disabilities.

4. Big Little Lies was a treat. Quick, fun, and well-written as all of Liane Moriarty’s work. She’s an Australian author and I’ve read so many of her books I sometimes feel like I’ve visited the country, which speaks to her descriptive story-telling. This one starts with a school trivia night—those of us in St. Louis can relate oh-so-well—where a death has occurred. The meat of the book is about the events leading up. I love how her characters’ lives swell and suddenly converge. While not brain-busters, her books inspire me to write. They are just enjoyable.

5. Americanah This was another book club pick, one we all went completely nuts over. Adichie’s authentic characters leap off the pages, the settings of Nigeria, London, and several American cities materialized around me as I read. I couldn’t get enough of her details, they were addicting. It’s a story of racial struggles and immigration, making me see so many situations in so many different ways, and of course there’s a love story intertwined. The writing style is incredible, the characters so authentic.

6. All the Light We Cannot See is currently cooling on my nightstand…I burned through to the end just today. I wanted so badly to finish it for our book club gathering, the story is so outstanding. At first a little confusing, it’s comprised of flashbacks, flash forwards, and…I guess present-day? The lives of two unrelated children in WWII—a brave blind girl in occupied France and a genius orphan boy in Germany—converge in an incredible and almost inconceivable way. It’s a close up of life during the war, details of every day survival for small town residents with a treasure hunt woven throughout. I’ve actually visited the area near San Malo, France where much of the book is set, and it’s a place that’s always topped my list for a return trip.

7. Dad Is Fat is by one of my favorite comedians, Jim Gaffigan. If you’ve seen his stand up special Mr. Universe, you’ve heard a lot of what’s in this book. He lives in a two bedroom Manhattan apartment with his business-partner wife and their FIVE children. Five. Just the description of his family’s bedtime logistics makes this worth a read, if not his outstanding take on a family trip to Disney World. This book takes one plane-ride to devour.

8. The Poisonwood Bible was on my list after my poor review of another Kingslover book. My friends and my mom promised this one would not disappoint and oh man, it didn’t. Going in with NO idea what to expect, I was gripped from beginning allllllll the way to end (this book is really long). A Baptist minister takes his wife and four daughters to the African Congo in 1959. They are horribly ill-prepared. What starts as a year “assignment” turns into a multi-decade story of how this experience changes and shapes every member of the family. My friend Kirstin said, “Wait till you get to the part about the ants, you’ll never want to put it down again.” She was not wrong. The female characters in this book were astoundingly well written.

So what should read next? March is my turn to pick for book club. What was your favorite winter read? Have you enjoyed any of the books above?

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