This winter has been so different for us. We had snow in Kansas City but it was different. Most of the time there life stopped and you didn't leave your house. I laughed at pictures of the grocery stores with empty shelves in KC. I remember days where I stopped at the store with everyone to make sure we were set for a couple of days. I remember school getting canceled with 3-5 inches of snow on the ground. I loved it then too!
Being in Mount Prospect/Arlington Heights/Chicago area has changed our thinking about the snow.
We just know that it's a daily routine to put on your snow boots, snow pants, gloves, hats, and heavy coats. Part of life here is remembering that I need to pack Caden's snow gear for school. Here they go out for recess if the "real" feel is 16 degrees or higher. Even if it's snowing out the children go out for recess. Yes that's right 25 Kindergarteners get the all bundled up and go out for recess. Part of life here is that you have to shovel a spot for your trash can to go on trash days. Here many people put reflector sticks at the end of their driveway so you can find the end of your driveway. Here they have sticks on the fire hydrants so the fire fighters can locate the fire hydrants.
Most everyone I know here just takes it in stride and keeps on moving. No that doesn't mean that everyone around here loves it and isn't complaining. Most people have told me it's been a horrible winter compared to last year and how ready they are for Spring. I love Spring also, okay I really love something about every season but I have really grown to love this Winter Season. I think a lot of it has to do with the time, the season, the journey that Mark, the boys, and myself have had to go on together. This has been a time where we've grown closer as a family and embraced living with all this snow! ;) We are still learning and have had our ups and downs but we are grateful for God's graces and love through it all. He continues to be with us and wrap his warm, loving arms around us.
We have this great, big window in our living room. Every time it snows here it's been beautiful. Seriously, I was wondering one day if it always snowed such pretty snows. The flakes have been always big and fall so calmly. I often sit in front of the window watching the snow in awe. I've been amazed at God's beauty in it all. The reminder that he gives a fresh start all the time. I'm reminded of the grace and forgiveness he gives us. The fresh snow blankets the earth with a fresh start. (I pay no attention to the days following when it melts and becomes gross and dirty.) I am reminded to be thankful for all that I have. For the snow boots, gloves, coats, hats to keep me warm when I'm out there shoveling or playing with the boys. To be thankful for the warm house I have to sit in and watch the beautiful snow. Not everyone does. I am thankful for the joy I see in the boys when we go out and play in the snow or every time it starts snowing. They squeal with delight that it's snowing again.
How can you not see God's beauty in the smile?!
This is the boys on the mound of snow outside of church. They were so excited to be on top of the mound, I wasn't sure I was going to get them to come down and I was worried we would end up with more stitches! Thanks to some of the youth for helping Tate!
This is life in Arlington Heights! This picture is the view out our front door on a beautiful sunny day!
This is the view I get walking in the hallways at my school. Snow boot City! You should see some of the big bags kids bring to get their snow gear to school. Sometimes I think they should have rolling suitcases!
In it all praise God for this time of year. It won't last forever. It will be Spring soon or even Summer and we will be wishing for cooler weather. Be thankful for the snow and what it brings to your life. I am reminded of this song by The Afters that is truly is a beautiful life we lead.