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Ok, I admit it.

This winter has been rough.

Snow and cold, followed by more snow and cold.

About a month ago my family and I went to watch the Chinese New Year Parade.  It was snowy and the kids jumped into every snow bank and happily pummeled each other with snowballs the whole time. (Did I mention we have three boys?) The parade was short and entertaining and afterwards we went to a local restaurant for dim sum.  It was really nice to be outside all together. Coming home that day I found myself thinking, “I need to stop complaining about the winter.”

So I made a resolution to embrace winter. Now, don’t laugh. Really I did, just ask anyone in the office. They have mocked my resolve plenty over the last month.

Since winter seems to be stubbornly with us, here are some things I am trying to do to help me embrace winter. In no particular order:

  1. Put the kids in winter snow gear and send them outside to play more. They generally have a blast in the snow, and everyone is happier when they have a chance to run off some steam.
  2. Go ice skating outside while the city rinks are still open.
  3. Go sledding while we still can. When our oldest son was about two we took him sledding. He was delayed with his speech and couldn’t talk much. At the bottom of his first run he immediately made the sign for “more.” Well, he hasn’t changed. All the boys, including my husband, love sledding.
  4. Make fires, drink hot cocoa. Ideally with marshmallows, per my children.
  5. Smear a pine cone in peanut butter, roll it in bird seed, tie it to a tree outside and make some birds happy.
  6. Flannel sheets, down comforters.  So cozy.
  7. Make lots of soups. I am a fan of large pots of soup that last several days, supplement with crusty bread and a salad, voila! – Easy meal.
  8. Gardening catalogs.  Lovely to dream about planting … someday.

I figure winter is eventually going to end. I guess my resolve to embrace it is an attempt to be “in the moment” and not mope about things I can’t change. I know my approach is not for everyone so I wish all our Kids First families luck in surviving this last phase of winter 2014!

-Dr. Kathy Shepherd