Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow Day Interview

In North Carolina, few days are as magical as the rare snow day.

I am not talking about the typical NC "snow" day that results in a condition known as snow day disappointment-- that sinking feeling you get when you realize all 421 weather models were wrong, the stockpiled bread and milk are unnecessary, and the only weather gear you'll be needing is an umbrella for the cold rain that is falling in the place of where your beautiful white snow should be.

No, I am talking about the rare snow day when we actually get-- SNOW!

Enough snow for...

*sleeping in because school and work are both out of the question.


*making snow balls and snow men/women and snow cream.

*snow angels.

Yes, it was a glorious snow day today.

Emily and Andrew were up early this morning, and their first question was "Can we see the SNOW??"

And it was a question they asked all day long. So I decided to turn the tables and ask them a few questions.

Here's a recap of my snow interviews with each of them.

How did it feel with all of your snow clothes on?

Emily: Tight!

Andrew: It was hard to walk!

What does the snow look like?

Andrew: It's white stuff. It's white like my blanket (as he rolls himself up in his blanket).

Emily: It's white and fast.

What does the snow feel like?

Emily: It's good and crunchy.

Andrew: It's cold. I got some snow. I put it in my mouth and it was really cold.

What would Jake and Izzy say about snow on the ship?

Snow and ice melt and make water.

Andrew: They would say they want to play with us!

What was your favorite thing about the snow?

Andrew: Sledding!

Emily: Sledding!

Who goes faster?

Emily: Me!


Emily: No, Me!

Mommy: Okay, bad question. Moving on...

What's the best part of sledding?

Andrew: Going into the woods!

Emily: Going fast!

What's the scariest part of sledding?

Andrew: Going into the woods!

Emily: Going into the bushes!

If we built a snowman, what would you name it?

Emily: It would be a girl with a hair bow. Her name would be Sister.

Andrew: Michelle's snowman.

Mommy: Michelle?

Andrew: Yeah, you know, Michelle, at school.

Hot chocolate or snow cream?

Andrew: Hot chocolate!

Emily: Hot chocolate!

Mommy: Drew, you certainly weren't disappointed with the snow cream.

Snow or the beach?

Emily: Snow!

Andrew: Snow!

Mommy: I'll ask you again in June.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014



I think that word best sums up my 2014 so far.

Let me clarify, I am not talking about...
  • the new Disney movie, Frozen, which we took the kids to see in early December as a surprise celebration of the improvement in Drew's vision as a result of the patching.
  • or the way it felt to come back to December weather after our Christmas Caribbean cruise.
  • or the recent polar vortex that sent us plunging to single digits before we jetted back to 60 degrees in the same week.
  • I am also not talking about the way our hands and toes felt when we went tubing in the mountains a couple of weekends ago.
  • Or how we feel at the ice skating rink during our skating lessons.


I am talking about a bigger deep freeze...

  • the chill that seems to permeate my very being.

  • the one that has turned my motivation into a glacier.

  • the one that has stiffened my body into one, big, unmoveable block of ice.
Yes. Melissa has lost her heat, her fire, her fuel.

I almost bragged on Facebook that I was proud of myself for not setting any new year's resolutions. Then I realized that quip wasn't necessary.

Obviously, with Christmas trees still up in mid- January, I wasn't trying to signing up for any races any time soon.

Then, it occurred to me that it wasn't just the trees that seemed to be frozen in time.

It was other things, too. Other small signs of the freeze that was setting in.

  • like sitting around in a mess of a house, dishes piled high, in my pajamas, for days.

  • or putting the long in the proverbial long winter's nap.

  • or going to bed, like a hibernating bear, at 8:00, because, really, what else is there to do-- admire the icicles hanging from the unpacked suitcases that sat for weeks in our bedroom floor?

Then, it occurred to me that it wasn't just the little things that seems to be frozen in disarray.

It was a bigger thing, too. A bigger, more serious freeze had set in.

I wiped the frost away from my self- reflection long enough to realize I was frozen in the same kind of fear I thought I had cracked long ago--

  • the fear that I am not enough.

  • the fear that I might fail.

  • the fear that what I think others think of me is more important than what I know about me.


No inspirational Facebook meme was going to budge it.

No well- meaning advice from my husband about "not letting the lows get too low or the highs get too high" was going to melt it.

No self- talk backed by 38 years of hard- earned experience was going to chip it.


This is the part of the story where I am supposed to transition into the moment where my faith and wisdom kicked in, where a good friend gave me a much- needed pep talk, where I looked at my children and realized just how strong I am.

But, the truth is, the story didn't go down that way.

A freeze that deep doesn't dissipate overnight.

But what I've learned is you don't have to stay out in the cold.

So I've come back inside and I am trying to warm up.

I pick up the shoes that are stacked at the bottom of the stairs. I load the dishwasher and finally dust the TV stand. I push past the self- imposed bedtime of 9:00-- if only for 30 extra minutes. I make up the bed and hang up my towel.

And then I take on bigger things.

I get to work-- early. I engage with a lingering project that has been waiting for the right day. I think of a new idea and I pitch it. I sign up for a class-- just for the sake of learning something new. I end an email with an encouraging word.

I make some plans. I create my signature to- do list. I run some numbers. I finish a blog post.

Make no mistake...I am not lighting any fires yet, but I am gathering the tinder.

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