Winter Blues

I am not an equal lover of all seasons. I enjoy all of them, just not the same way. Spring’s got flowers, rain, dresses, rain boots and grass. Summer has sun, beach days, camping, vacations and ice cream. Fall is colours, sweaters, pumpkins, scarves, lattes and boots. Winter has snow. Also, it’s got snow.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are some great things about winter as well. Hot chocolate, reading wrapped up in a blanket, skating, tea and that quiet feeling when it’s snowing and all the sounds are muffled and everything is soft.

Another thing winter has is cold and dark days. The days are so short, it’s dark when you wake up, and dark when you leave work. This serious lack of sunlight is quite the downer.

The past few weeks, I’ve been having the winter blues. I’m bored, but I don’t want to do anything. I want to get out of the house, but it’s too cold to go outside. I want to see my friends, but I’m too lazy to move. I want something different, but I don’t know what.

I don’t hate winter, but I’m looking forward to Spring!

Since sunshine and daffodils are still a couple of months away, I’ve decided to make my own bright and happy days. Well, to find some. I’m going to Costa Rica for a week of yoga, adventure, sunshine, beaches, turtles, surfing and bliss. I’m leaving on Saturday and I am looking forward to it!

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I’ve got nothing to do today but smile

It’s already April, yay! It seems like not too long ago, I was complaining about snow and posting happy pictures of my best February moments to get over the winter blues. It’s still so cold, it feels like winter, but at least now, the snow is melting!

Today, I’m home sick, so I thought I would post some of my favourite moments from March as well. Maybe this will become an every month thing, but I’m not comitting to it just yet, in case I forget to do it next month!

Yoga in my happy place with some of my favourite people.

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Doing yoga in the snow.

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Spending time with my friend Suzanne and her new baby Stella, a.k.a., the mini muffin.

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Funky ashtanga flow to the music of Madonna with Natalie, most awesome yoga teacher.

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Making a cake for my little sister’s birthday.

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Sisterly love.

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Deciding to stop eating sugar. I still really, really want a chocolate bar, but it’s been a few weeks and I don’t feel tired as much. I guess it’s working! (Confession: I had a Luna bar yesterday. I was sick and grumpy and couldn’t help myself!)

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This salad. Oh.My.God. Bulgar and quinoa mixed with almonds, cucumbers and tomatoes, drizzled with lemon juice and lemon infused olive oil. So simple, so delicious!

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Learning how to get into a new yoga pose. Fallen angel. Amazing.

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Making sugar free cookies. Delicious!

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New books! This always makes me happy. I actually got more than three. This is just a sample.

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Learning a new way to get into an arm balance. Something fun to work on.

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What made you happy lately?

Snow yoga

Dear snow,

I’m sorry I complained about you last week. To make up for it, I shared with you one of the most important things to me. Yoga.

I was very excited about this photo shoot. I went out to the park, then hid somewhere on the path so all the skiers wouldn’t see me posing in front of my tripod. I thought I was all awesome-photographer, now that I’ve got a fancy new camera and I’m taking a photography class. Not quite. My photos didn’t turn out exactly like I wanted, but they’re still pretty cool.

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It was quite slippery on the snow, so my alignment is a little off. I even have a yoga blooper! Love the look on my face as my feet were slipping.

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All that being said, Snow, please don’t visit again until next year!

It’s the little things

Some bloggers have a schedule. They post on certain days, or make lists on a specific day. I think that’s great, but that kind of commitement scares me. Amber, over at The Usual Bliss, blogs about the best parts of her week every Wednesday and calls it bliss bits. I enjoy reading it and I’ve thought of starting something similar, but I’m afraid I’ll do it once or twice, then forget, and then feel bad about forgeting, but still not do it, and well, you get the picture.

However, today, I’m feeling like I need a little pick-me up. My car is stuck in the snow. Again. I can’t move it, so I just left it there. I’ll deal with it later. Maybe. Or maybe I’ll just walk everywhere until the snow melts and sets it free.

I decided to look back on my month and think about the things that made me smile. There are quite a few!

Going to the museum of nature with my students.

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Practicing arm-balances on a semi-regular basis.

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Making vitamin water.

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Learning how to take long-exposure photos during my photography class.

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Making this girly pink cake for baby Stella’s baby shower.

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Baking.

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Skating on the canal.

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Exploring my wild side.

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Finishing my blanket in time for Suzanne’s shower.

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With a little help from my grandmother!

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Ah, I feel better already!

What’s a girl to do?

I’m not a winter-hater. When you live in a country where there are four seasons, it’s either embrace it or hate it. If you hate it, you’re miserable for a long time because let’s face it, winter seems longer than all the other seasons combined.

But.

Last week, there was a really mild, spring like day. You could hear water dripping everywhere and the air smelled different. It made me think of wearing skirts and dresses with boots but no tights (my favourite time of year, both in fall and winter).

I’m trying really hard not to be sick of winter.

I really wanted to go snowboarding, and I did, last Saturday. That was the last winter thing I really wanted to do. So now, I’m ready for crocuses, Easter eggs and rain boots.

Then today, this.

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Yeah. All day.

It was a fun day at work, because it was our winter activity day, so the snow was good for that. The kids could go sking, skating, tube sledding or snowshoeing. I was with the skating group and we went to an indoor rink, so the snow just attacked us on the walk there and back. The other groups got drenched. It was like huge, falling, slush flakes.

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Although fun, it was one of those days. You know, with a few sucky moments that take all your energy. Report card glitches. Running around all day. Forgetting my lunch. Having my hair turn crunchy from the snow/hairspray combination.

On the plus side, the school day ended with a snowball fight. Now, snowball throwing is not usually allowed, but there were four teachers throwing snow at each other, so the few kids who had not yet been picked up by their parents were thrilled. As an added bonus, that takes care of number 69 on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days!

After work, I figured I would go home, relax, then go to yoga.

Not so much.

I had to stop at the store to get a few things. (You would think I’d wait. But no, I just had to get toothpaste. Today.) When I got back in the car, I sat there eating Easter eggs, waiting for the windows to de-fog. I realized it might not be a great idea to drive to yoga, but I wasn’t ready to give up just yet.

I got home, only to notice that the driveway had not been cleared. Great. I tried to back up, and promptly got stuck. Like, stuck, stuck. Spinning wheels, flying slush stuck. Two really, really nice people stopped to push me out of my slush hole. Karma, send them something wonderful please.

So now, here I am, after a topsy turvy day, needing yoga. But I can’t go to yoga. So what’s a girl to do? That’s right. Wine.

Winter cottage life

You know you live in Canada when you say “It’s only minus 18 degrees outside, let’s go for a walk!” (For my American readers, minus 18 degrees celcius is 0 degrees Fahrenheit.) It was cold all week. And I mean cold, even for Canadians. The temperature was around minus 25 all week, with a wind chill making it feel like minus 30, and colder! Like most people, I spent a lot of time indoors.

I had a weird neck issue all week, so I couldn’t even do yoga. I finally went to see a massage therapist on Saturday, and I am happy to announce that I can now turn my head from side to side without making an “ow, this hurts” face. I felt like a robot all week, turning my whole body to talk to people. I don’t think the cold helped my neck at all.

I had planned to go to a yoga class this morning, then out to brunch with a friend, but decided yesterday to cancel, fearing that my neck might not be ready. I was right. I have mobility, but I feel like I got run over by a truck.

So, yesterday, after deciding to go yet another two days without yoga, I went to visit some friends at their cottage. I was planning on staying for dinner, then coming home, but since I had canceled my yoga date, I stayed overnight.

We had homemade pizza and apple pie, then played a game of “Name the country’s capital” (Yes, we are dorks.) It was hard. I’m not as smart as I thought I was.

This morning we went for a walk, since it was so mild out. (And by mild, I am referring to the -18.) I had my new camera with me and I was on the lookout for photogenic trees, as my assignment for my photography class was to take a picture of a tree. I wanted a picture where the tree was in focus, but the backround was blurry. This one is my favourite.

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I was on the roof when I took this picture. It was nice and sunny, so we hung out for a while.

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I’m also really happy with this picture. It’s pretty and it looks the way I wanted it too! I love that I’m starting to figure this out.

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All in all, it was the perfect winter weekend, even with my sore neck and cold weather. There’s always fun to be had, pictures to take and people to laugh with. Winter’s meant to be enjoyed. Next up, skating and snowboarding!

Snow days

I love snow. It’s like magic. I’m serious. There’s something special about it. Of course, I’m not crazy, so I don’t love it when I have to shovel it. I always think I’m in great shape until I try to shovel the driveway.

I was on holidays for two weeks, and I went back to work on Monday. On Sunday, I was planning to run errands, go to a yoga class, maybe go shopping (I need new dress pants, it’s no coincidence Dressember was so easy for me. All I wear are dresses!) It was going to be a busy, productive day.

Then I woke up to this.

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Yes, it is a terrible picture, but that’s what you get when you open the back door, stick your arm out and take a picture. I was snowed in. It wasn’t a lot of snow, but I knew, from experience, that I would get stuck if I tried to drive through it.

So here I was, stuck at home on the last day of my holidays. It only took me a few minutes to realize how perfect this was. Who needs errands and a busy day, when you can curl up on the couch and read an amazing book about a little girl who wanders out of the forest, not talking, but growling at everyone who tries to get close to her. (Magic Hour, by Kristen Hannah. Read it.)

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The only thing I was a little disappointed in was missing my yoga class.

Yesterday was a very different kind of snow day.

It was the kid’s first day back at school and Tuesday is my recess-duty day. It was the perfect day. It wasn’t cold or windy, the snow was sticky and there was a lot of it, and the kids were still happy enough to be with their friends after the holidays that they didn’t fight.

Some of the little girls in my class asked me to make a snowman with them. This is a lot harder than I remember! It took about four of us to put him together. How do kids do this? There were snowmen all over the school yard.

The girls named him Jack.

I love the very centered photo of Jack and I taken by a second grader.

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Added bonus? Building a snowman was number 53 on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days! Awesome.

What do you love about snow?