Let it snow, snow, snow (whether we like it or not)

Winter snow

The weather reports are pretty unanimous now: we’re in for a big one. At least a foot of snow, if not more, plus strong winds, ice, low visibility — the works. Needless to say, all plans are cancelled and we ain’t going anywhere. It’ll be our first family snowed-in weekend!

Our last major snowfall was the February snowpocalypse of 2010. About 2 feet of snow fell around D.C., grinding the area to a halt for more than a week. It was about a month before I met Spencer, and I remember everyone — ev.ery.one. — logging into OkCupid, bored at home and rekindling their efforts to find romance. It was kind of fun.

So now it’s six years later, and we’re staring down another monster storm. I’m a little excited . . . and nervous, too. It’s strange to know a crazy weather event is coming to pummel your area full days in advance. We’re grateful for the warning, of course, but we’re all just holding our breath as we wait. It’s going to be bad, but we don’t yet know how bad.

As long as the power stays on, we’ll be fine.

And if it doesn’t, we’re heading to the basement.


Spencer and I have spent the last few weeks transforming a little-used storage room downstairs into a space for my crafts, home decor, organization of random junk I’ve somehow carried through two moves, etc. January seems to be the time for that. Put away all the Christmas decor and you’re suddenly aching for a clean, fresh, unsullied start.

After dropping way too much cash at Lowe’s, Spence is building me a counter/table work space. I’ve been Googling “craft rooms” and saving all sorts of photos to my own for inspiration, turning to Pinterest and basically pretending I know what I’m doing. (I don’t know what I’m doing.)

But we’re figuring it out. Sometimes it’s easier to pinpoint what I don’t like, decor-wise, and I basically buy everything from Zulily, anyway. So soon I’ll be dragging plastic storage bins down from every corner of the house to finally have my art supplies, stationery, seasonal decor and such in one place.

No more chaos. Organized chaos, perhaps, but I can work with that.

I’ve never considered myself OCD, but a coworker recently commented on how “clean” my desk was. I glanced over at a strange blend of clementines and bananas (always have healthy snacks on hand! Still going strong on Weight Watchers), many scratchy notes on Post-Its, various magazines I’m using for research, Coke Rewards caps, etc.

Everything was in tidy piles: right down to the bottle caps. Square things were at right angles; round things were grouped together.

I’ve always thought of it as being orderly. I just like things the way I like them.

But we have to be flexible sometimes, right? With the looming storm, we’re converting my soon-to-be craft room — currently just a newly-painted space with a bookcase — into The Bunker. The basement is strangely warmer than anywhere else in the house, plus it’s below ground . . . and, as in a tornado warning, that makes me feel safer.

The Bunker will have bottled water, extra blankets, a power pack for charging cell phones, the baby’s formula and extra bottles, flashlights, etc. I don’t know why I’m treating this like, say, a hurricane . . . but weather-related disaster prep is apparently all in one mental manila folder.

I have always lived in suburban Maryland, surrounded by bedroom communities with commuters heading into D.C. every day. The jokes about Washingtonians not being able to handle a single inch or two of snow aren’t wrong, but that’s not the full picture. Trust me, I get it; my husband grew up outside of Buffalo. What freaks me out doesn’t even begin to worry him.

But the roads quickly get congested and messy here. Our traffic is horrendous on a normal day, let alone during a rush hour with sleet coming down. We’re not used to cruising on ice, and hey — no one is safe on ice.

Plus, in our case, we have this little baby now.

I can worry about my own safety just fine, but worrying about Oliver’s safety is an entirely different shade of anxiety. Being responsible for a child is stressful in the best of circumstances, but having a 9-month-old still recovering from a weird virus, refusing to sleep and dealing with an upcoming blizzard has had me hitting the coffee — my drug of choice — pretty hard lately.

We took him to the doctor yesterday, knowing he wasn’t too ill yet . . . but we’d soon be stuck inside for days, and on a weekend. We’re no stranger to emergency rooms and urgent care, unfortunately, but I’d rather stave off that sort of craziness if we can.

Ollie is doing better today, thankfully, and I’m hoping the worst has passed. I stocked up on diapers, water, formula, etc. on Tuesday, ducking out after work before the crowds got unmanageable. Marylanders do tend to panic at the word “snow,” but this time? Well, I think that’s warranted.

I’m not going to lose my cool, though. We’re working from home today and tomorrow, Ollie is doing better, we have plenty of peanut butter for PB&Js if it should get a little dark in here.

And if nothing else, we’ll have stories — many stories — to tell.

Stay safe and warm, my friends! I’ll be looking for your Instagram photos and snow totals this weekend. Keep those yardsticks handy.

Snowpocalypse: The extended version

So that little storm we had back in December, the one we called the “snowpocalypse” and panicked over just before Christmas?

That blip had nothing on this weekend.

Yes, friends, I’m snowed in again — for the third time this winter. Maryland isn’t exactly known for its crazy seasonal shifts, but this winter has brought more than 44 inches of snow to our region. And this snowpocalypse dumped 22 inches of the fluffy stuff on our cars, yards and weekend plans, basically “paralyzing” the Washington, D.C., region through tomorrow.

Everyone is milling about now, grabbing shovels and rock salt and trying to dig out. My sister, Dad and I attacked the driveway yesterday afternoon — just before another six or seven more inches fell — to try and clear up what we could, but the rest had to be done today.

At least the sun is shining — and those blue skies are a really welcome sight! I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much snow in my life, and I traipsed through tons of it to grab some photos and, you know, clear a path for us to actually leave the house. At some point. (Hopefully soon.)

Every muscle in my arms and back is aching, but I’m ignoring that and focusing instead on the fact that my “snow workout” means I won’t have to do any other running or exercising for a few days.

Or a week. Hard to say, really . . . I mean, that was a serious lot of shoveling! Heavy! Cold!

And I’m going to go make some cupcakes as a reward for all my hard work. (Pink, with pink frosting. I’m loving it!)

The snowpocalypse comes to Southern Maryland

So we’re in the middle of a snowpocalypse here in the Washington, D.C. metro area! The most snow ever reported in December has covered our area in a thick blanket of white. Of course, the kid in me felt a smidge disappointment when our snow day falls on a Saturday, but the adult in me feels grateful none of us had to try and get to work yesterday! Because, you know, almost two feet of snow? That’ll slow down your progress a bit.

Since we definitely weren’t going anywhere yesterday, my family hunkered down to tend to all sorts of Christmas-related activities! And on the top of my list: baking. My sister and I made our annual sugar cookies and they came out quite stunning. And by “stunning,” I mean delicious… because I quickly ate my way through the first batch. But, you know… that’s what they’re there for. Santa won’t mind!

The big part of any snow day, of course, is actually digging out. We’re lucky my dad is such an intrepid believer in tackling the snow as it falls, rather than waiting for all of it to come down before venturing out with a shovel. We went out yesterday and moved as much of it around as we could, but by the time we reached the end of the driveway and turned back — the concrete was covered again. Frustrating! And what’s worse? Muscles I didn’t even know I had in my arms, shoulders and back are screaming at me in the most shrill of voices. I feel like I spent yesterday moving boulders with nothing but my hubris and bare hands.

But I’m trying not to be a sissy! And I still have plenty of sugar cookies to help ease my suffering…