Stop and smell the snowflakes

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As southern Texans, we spend most of our winters looking longingly at the Facebook posts of family and friends in a picture-perfect winter wonderland. We sit in our air-conditioned homes wishing for a break in the heat, but those moments seem seldom and fleeting. However, this past week we were given a beautiful mini-blizzard and found ourselves marveling at the gorgeousness that was our snow day.

For me, weekdays start early, so I got my first glimpse of snow in the wee hours of the morning, at about 5:30 a.m. I rushed to get myself ready so that I could wake up the kids and have some playtime in the snow before the business of school and work began. I went into my oldest’s room first. He’s 6 years old and has been begging me for a snowball fight for years. Actually, we ended up getting the kids a playset of snowballs just so my husband and I could get a little relief from the endless question of “When is it going to snow? When is it going to snow? When is it going to snow?”

He was groggy at first, but when I whispered, “it snowed last night,” in his ear, he shot up like a rocket, got himself dressed, and ran outside. The rest of us joined him shortly, and before long I was making him pint-sized snowballs off of the top of the trash can for him to chuck at the car.

After our front-yard fun, we loaded up for school and took the long way so we could see as many snow-dusted branches as possible, and I found myself wondering, “When was the last time it snowed?” As it turns out, that was about eight years ago, and I couldn’t help but reflect on how different things were then.

Back in the snowfall of 2009, my husband and I were newlyweds, and had two precocious fur-babies – Mona Lisa, a miniature Schnauzer, and Dixie Belle, a black lab. I remember being just as excited to show them the snow as I was to show Parker. Mona was curious about what was going on outside, and I can still see the puzzled look on her little face as snowflakes landed on her nose. Dixie, however, much preferred the warmth of home, and didn’t care much about coming out to play with us. The roads were closed so I spent the day reading a book on the couch with a bottomless latte in hand, and my two best girls at my side. Our life was so different then.

Nine years later, we’re still blessed to have our Dixie Belle, but it’s been over a year since I lost my Mona. We've moved three times and had three actual babies. We've also survived layoffs, an oil crash, illness, and career changes. In as much as our world may seem unrecognizable, to me, it isn’t. Back then as I read my book, drank my coffee, and snuggled with my puppies, I also dreamed. I dreamed of having children, a family home, and getting to cozy up with my guy every night … I dreamed it, and it came true.

No, life is not perfect, and I could read you a laundry list of daily frustrations. However, when I reflect back to where I was, and what I longed for, I realized that things did have a way of working themselves out. Sometimes the road was more winding and icy than others, but maybe that just kept things interesting. I'm grateful for the gift of snow this holiday season, the reflection it brought, and the chance to throw snowballs with my son ... I wonder where I'll be for our next southern winter wonderland.

Jordan Schupbach is a mother of three living in the Houston area. She blogs at www.lattesandliving.com - sharing the good, the bad and the frenzied.

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