Cold and heartless!

There is something of a sensitive subject that I would like to bring up for my post today, and it’s not like it’s something new! It happens every year, and time and time again it seems to creep up on me and bites deep to my bones. It makes me want to curl up and stay in bed, closing the curtains and hiding away until it’s done with.

It seem’s that once again WINTER is coming! It was more apparent than ever on Saturday when our cozy little town was donned with a light dusting of the white stuff.

Most popular tags for this image include: climate, ecard, love, sleep and winter

Now I know I am not the only one out there who feels yucky about winter – just check out Facebook while it’s snowing. So you can all come out from behind your scarves, coats, parkas and show your faces. I refuse to stand alone in this season. Winter is the only time that everyone becomes fascinated with snow or at least it seems like I have a ton of meteorologists to let me know what it is I am looking at (it’s very helpful!).

It seems to be that the same people who complain about the heat during the summer also complain about the cold during the winter. They may require a map, as we do live in Canada where we have four seasons and snow can occur in the fall – hard to believe, I know!

Now, to get serious, please allow me to shrug off the sassy for a moment. The Winter Blues are something that I get and I know that Toni is also a fellow blue battler. I love being outside during the summer, and I have not quite yet perfected the art of running during the winter, and my skin HATES the dry winter air as it cracks, breaks, and scabs up in protest. Future Floridian, right here people! Although, I don’t think I could handle all the alligators.

It’s becoming the time when we get up and it’s dark out, we get out of work and it’s dark out, and it’s because of our decreased exposure to light our body doesn’t kick in to make the feel good juice, serotonin, that pumps through our body. The serotonin factory is kicked into gear when your body is exposed to light. Another fun fact about serotonin – it converts into melatonin, which is your body’s self-made sleep aid that leaves you feeling even worse! Gosh winter, you really are a bitch!

Preach, ecard, preach!

I know winter isn’t all bad. It does hold the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas, (can’t you hear those sleigh bells?!), but with my seretonin level decreasing as we speak it’s getting hard for me to be optimistic. Don’t worry, I am going to put on my big girl pants and then my snow pants and suck it up, because let’s face it, Southern Ontario gets it pretty easy during the winter compared to, let’s say, the east coast? I have a girlfriend who has recently come home from Newfoundland where she temporarily set up shop as her husband works out there (that’s right, she is superwoman (love you Court)), and it turns out she volunteered to go into super winter land! There are many other reasons she is superwoman, but I digress – this post is all about the evil mistress winter!

Hey guys, where’d your cars go? Guys?

This year I am going to be prepared! I have my daily dose of sun booked, TLT, our workout group is back in full force, which will help with my endorphins (just ask Elle Woods – they make people happy), I have a Costco-size multi-vitamin bottle that should get me through until mid-December 2020, I have purchased some winter hiking boots that are pretty impressive, and I am fully prepared to hike throughout the winter trying to make the best out of this cold, heartless season!

In the meantime, I am welcoming the beauty that comes from our trees preparing to tuck in for the winter – there is the silver lining.

Bring it winter! I am ready for alllllll your crazy!

~ Jacqui

Much needed

There’s something to be said for taking a break.

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go (don't worry, I brought clothes too...)

All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go (don’t worry, I brought clothes too…)

A breather.

Oh, hi, beautiful double bed and room all to myself.

Oh, hi, beautiful double bed and room all to myself.

A few steps back.

Hotel pillow mints have NOTHING on Laura and her welcome handmade card and wee box of chocolate

Hotel pillow mints have NOTHING on Laura and her welcome handmade card and wee box of chocolate

A rest.

The view out my window

The view out my window

And this past weekend I got to do just that. I got to go away, kid-free, husband-free, responsibility-free, and go up north a ways to a beautiful bay and take 48 hours to myself.

The cottage was beautiful – four bedrooms, a living room, dining room, kitchen, and my absolute favourite feature, a wrap-around porch (my dream house has a wrap-around porch).

Adirondack chairs on a wrap-around porch in cottage country. Heaven.

Adirondack chairs on a wrap-around porch in cottage country. Heaven.

The itinerary was ideal and perfect – hang out with five other Christian ladies, eat, drink wine, enjoy each other’s company, play games, get silly, run, sleep, read, write and do a bible study (we focused on Loving Well by Beth Moore – I really enjoyed it).

Gift journal from Laura, because she loves us.

Gift journal from Laura, because she loves us.

The weather was perfect – hot sun and cool breeze on a black sand beach. Glorious.

Does this look like the end of September? It didn't feel like it.

Does this look like the end of September? It didn’t feel like it.

And it was just what I needed.

How I spent my (weekend) vacation - laying and sunbathing and reading and writing on the beach

How I spent my (weekend) vacation – laying and sunbathing and reading and writing on the beach

I needed some grown-up time. I needed time to cry with friends. I needed time to hug crying friends. I needed time to pray in a circle of women that get it. I needed to connect with other mothers of littles and biggers, ones who have been where I’ve been, who are where I am, who are living the life I aspire to.

Sunset with incredible women

Sunset with incredible women

I met a marathon goddess who has defied great personal loss and is filled with more strength than I ever knew existed. My heart breaks for her and is in awe of her.

I met a stay-at-home mom who is living a little life, a life much smaller than she dreams of, yet does it with such grace. I hope my little life looks half as graceful as hers.

I met a mother of FOUR, including twins, who has her SECOND book being published. She gives me hope that the drips and scribbles of my writing could eventually, one day, make it past my computer and my notebooks and live in published form without sacrificing the family I love so much.

I got to know a woman of God, of faith, of hard work in the church, of solid marriage and soul. She is working so hard to have balance at home and in love and in life and she’s successful most of the time and I hope that one day I can work in faith again and have that balance.

And I got to fall in love even more with my dear friend Laura, the mastermind of the weekend, the woman who brought the six of us together, who was brave enough to lead a bible study and loving enough to be the hostess with the mostess this weekend. THANK YOU.

I even snuck in a 8km run...in cottage country...at the beginning of fall...serious heaven.

I even snuck in a 8 km run…in cottage country…at the beginning of fall…serious heaven.

I got home last night, sleepy, content, missing my family, and restored for another round of this thing we call life (chaos, mayhem, bedlam).

There really is something to be said for a break. Hallelujah.

~ Julia

PS. GIANT shout-out of love to Ben who held the fort down for the 48 hours I gallivanted about. THANK YOU. I LOVE YOU. You rock. ❤