Snow Day Traditions

I grew up in Maine, and we had our share of snow days. Back then you had to listen to the radio or watch the scrolling cancellations at the bottom of your television to find out if there was school. I remember lying in my bed listening carefully for the G’s, on red alert after they said “Gardiner”, hoping Gorham would be next.

On snow days we liked to start the day on the couch in pajamas drinking hot chocolate watching Kevin Mannix discuss how much snow we were going to get. If he was wearing a sweater, it meant it was a serious storm.

Nostalgia has me wondering what my kids’ memories will be.

Which snow day rituals will stand out?

They love snow days so much it’ll be hard for them to pick.

And I love little rituals that make life feel special, so we’ve given them a lot to choose from.

I love bringing them to the library the day before an anticipated snow day so there’s plenty of new reading material.

I love telling them they can wear their pajamas all day on snow days… even if a friend comes over.

I love watching them play outside, and going for a family walk down the snowy street on the snow days when Greg is home.

I love watching family documentaries together in the afternoon (Blue Planet II is amazing), or building a fire and playing crazy eights, spoon, or 21 while Greg and I enjoy a nice bottle of wine.

I’m oddly bad at remembering to make hot chocolate.

All these rituals give my kids something to look forward to for snow days beyond “no school”. Snow days aren’t just exciting for them because of the absence of rushing out the door in the morning or sitting through writer’s workshop. Snow days mean the presence of all these beautiful and fun family events that they look forward to.

And the more library visits, pajama mornings, snow forts and afternoon card games we have… the more likely it is that those will be their cherished and beloved snow day memories.

Like our peaceful mornings growing up cuddled on the couch watching the snow fall while Kevin Mannix made projections in his sweater.

Thanksgiving prep! Here’s our Menu

Working on Thanksgiving food prep today!

Here’s our menu:

For appetizers and drinks at a friend’s house we are bringing:

Olive tapenade stuffed cherry tomatoes

Cucumber slices topped with white bean dip and pomegranate seeds

Red wine

For our Thanksgiving:

Field Roast Celebration Roast

Mashed potatoes

Mushroom gravy (from the Oh She Glows cookbook)

Green Bean Casserole from Isa Chandra


Steamed Carrots

Cranberry Sauce

Chocolate Hazelnut Torte from the Oh She Glows cookbook, similar to this one.

My little helper

It was such a joy shopping and working on food prep this morning with my four-year-old. He’s so eager to help and loves spending time together and having a purpose. (You may have seen photos of him drying dishes or washing fruit peppering my Instagram account). From using tongs to select crimini mushrooms at Whole Foods to eagerly peeling carrots, things are just more fun with his energy and enthusiasm right next to me keeping everything from feeling like a chore.

The trouble is… I don’t have these one-on-one opportunities with his big brother. I’ve started to dread picking my oldest up from school because I go from precious one-on-one time to sibling squabbling.

I need to find ways to spend more time with just my older son, whether it’s arranging a playdate for my youngest or finding a really engaging craft that he can do in another room. That may even help with the sibling squabbles because I think my 6-year-old can sense that we had a lot of fun without him. That would make anyone feel left out and cranky.

I think it’s time to find some Thanksgiving prep for him and me to do alone together!


Feet – my new favorite transportation 

Both kids are back to school, which means I’ve got double drop-off duty every morning from now on.

My daily commute today looked like this:

  1. Will’s School
  2. Andrew’s School
  3. Home
  4. Andrew’s School
  5. Home
  6. Will’s School
  7. Home

These little trips added up to a total of 4.8 miles.

I walked all of them, with a little running to catch up with a bike or scooter here and there.

I sent Greg a picture of it mapped out with the mileage, and he pointed out that if I did that every day, it’d be a 25 mile week!

It’s not quite as effective as running those miles without breaks… and it’s certainly not as fast as driving, but that’s extra time outdoors in the warm September sunshine right now.

I also love how happy and independent the kids feel when they’re able to hop on a bike or a scooter instead of strapping into a car seat for their commute. Both of them absolutely love it, and it’s exercise for them, too.

I think I’ll miss this come January!

Early Morning Bike Ride

Spotted these beautiful deer yesterday morning going for a bike ride just after day-break. No filter, the ferns really were that vibrant shade because of the sun’s harsh angle in the early morning.

It was a wonderful ride.

Peaceful. Still. Very few cars on the road.

There are moments, when I’m watching deer eat their breakfast, or flying down a hill past sunlit groves and river bends, that I wonder if I ever would have found this if I hadn’t had my children so close together. If I hadn’t hit a low point during that crazy period in my life when I had two children under the age of two, 5 different scheduled naps a day between them, and never, ever enough sleep… would I have ever decided to do Couch to 5k?

Would I have stuck with running afterwards, if the relationship between exercise and how patient and happy I am as a parent wasn’t so evident and important?

The biggest challenge in my life required me to make the biggest transformation.

And now, here I am, joyfully cycling through the peaceful early morning.