Small Town Winter

It’s currently 17 degrees out, and I’m wearing tights, boots, and a sweater over my regularly-scheduled clothing.  So far this winter we’ve made it through a Polar Vortex, a Snowpocalypse, a Bomb Cyclone and just your basic freezing-your-ass-off weather.  It’s been a long year, and it’s only February. I’d cry, but my tears would stick to my face, and my eyelashes would freeze together, and then I’d be even worse off than when we started this whole weather mess.

February in Grand Haven, Michigan

The weather takes a toll emotionally too.  We haven’t had sunshine in what feels like years, and everyone that I know is suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder…which, if you’re not from Michigan you need to know is an actual and verifiable disorder.  It’s what happens when you don’t see blue sky or green grass or don’t get any Vitamin D for over a month. It’s what happens when you’re cooped up inside and get sick of looking at the cracks in your ceiling, the dust on your bookshelves, and the people that you live with.  And it’s symptoms are horrific…they include anger when you can’t stay hidden under a heated blanket in your bed for weeks on end, disappointment when you have to actually try to function in a socially-acceptable way to others around you, and an overall sense of crabbiness at the world in general.  This is Seasonal Affective Disorder…and no wonder it’s acronym is SAD.

It’s even worse when you are a not-outdoors-person.  I suppose I could stave off SAD by going cross country skiing, or snow-shoeing, or ice fishing…I mean, I hear that just being outside is helpful, and I have a friend who continues to train for a marathon in this weather (I use the term friend loosely, because let’s be honest…I just don’t know if I can actually be friends with someone who trains for a marathon in the snow) but honestly, being outside sounds worse than suffering from SAD, and truth be told, I would rather put hot coals in my eyes (because then they would be warm) than go outside and try to get some exercise in the fresh air.  Look, I don’t even want to exercise indoors, I can’t even imagine heading into the snow to do it. That seems unnecessarily excessive

February in Punta Cana

As if all of this isn’t bad enough, my daughter and her roommate left today for a week in Punta Cana.  I had dinner with them last night because I had to bring her an extra swimsuit and her sunglasses (insert eyeroll here) and her biggest concern is how much sunscreen to use each day to get the right sunburn/suntan ratio.  On top of that, my son is leaving for Arizona on Thursday to spend a long weekend with his grandparents. He’s a little bummed that it’s “only going to be in the 70s,” and I kind of want to kick him. Seriously? That’s what you’re complaining about?  Because if I look at the forecast here, I’ve got 5 degrees and a blanket of clouds coming up.

On the upside, each of my kids gets to spend this week with a set of grandparents, and Chris and I get a weekend to ourselves…and since it’s too cold to actually do anything, we’ll probably hunker down under a pile of blankets and watch Netflix and drink wine (well…I’ll drink wine) and wish we were on a beach somewhere…all the while being thankful (but slightly jealous) that our kids are traveling around the world and escaping from the blight of Seasonal Affective Disorder and hoping they bring some sunshine back with them…and hey…hunkering down under some blankets isn’t such a bad thing either…I mean, I can think of worse ways to spend a weekend…like training for a marathon or walking to the driveway, for example.

So, I’ll take my blankets and my space heater, my husband, and my Seasonal Affective Disorder and pretend it’s summer…and we’ll hold on until July 4th when we can break out the warm-weather clothes and get some Vitamin D for a week before starting the cycle all over again. And then we’ll buck up and cross our fingers that mother nature takes pity on us next year and makes up for this year’s snowy nonsense by turning up the global warming and turning down the cold. But until then, we’ll just look at pictures of our kiddoes enjoying their beaches and their deserts, their beachscapes and their canyons, and hope they bring some sunshine with them when they come back home.

Much love from a cold-and-very-jealous-of-her-kids Small Town Girl

Chris Goes Shopping

Here is the drama that occured in my house this week…my husband went grocery shopping.  Now, I get that this is a really nice gesture.  It’s been a long week, and I’ve put in long hours at work, and I didn’t even have time to place a Shipt order…because, when on earth was anyone actually going to be home to accept the delivery??  So…Chris went shopping.

And he did so much right.  He bought everything that we always buy…

  • 2 packs of bagels (gone in 3 days)
  • 2 packs of Snapple (gone in 3 days)
  • A family pack of Nutty Bars (gone in 3 days)
  • Perrier…because they were out of LaCroix (I’m still quite suspicious that they were actually out of LaCroix…all LaCroix?  Even the melon flavor that no one buys?  Is it *possible* he was looking in the wrong aisle? Just a thought).
  • No milk (for obvious reasons…and if this doesn’t make sense, you may want to start watching my Instagram stories). 

And he even bought laundry detergent…and I’m going to stop right there…because as excited as I am that he went grocery shopping…I just need to point out that for 10 years.  10 YEARS. I have used the exact same laundry detergent.  I have not deviated once from the Tide with Febreze for sport…NOT ONCE.  

I know this beyond a shadow of a doubt because I literally remember the very first day I tried it.  We were living in Fort Lauderdale, and like every good steward I always skimped on the laundry detergent and bought whatever was on sale…Cheer, Gain, Arm & Hammer, the weird powdery-one that they sell at the Dollar Store…until one day Tide with Febreze for sport was on sale and this is what happened…

Me: Folding clothes in the living room

Kaitlyn: *Holding clean clothes up to her nose* Is this what clean clothes actually smell like?

Me: …

I never bought another type of laundry detergent again. NEVER.

So Chris…in his super loving gesture went grocery shopping this week.  And he bought laundry detergent…and he even bought Tide with Febreze…but that is where the similarity ended.  And I have to tell you…I am currently sitting here writing, and all I can smell is Spring Renewal because THAT IS WHAT HE BOUGHT.  SPRING RENEWAL.  And I’m trying to be thankful.  But I CANNOT.  BECAUSE I SMELL LIKE A FLOWER STORE.

I apologize for the capital letters…but it only seems appropriate that in this case, I say how I actually feel…and I (in capital letters) am devastated about my clothes smelling different than they have for the last 10 years.  Not to mention that I do not like floral smells…or fruit smells for that matter (in the event that you are planning to buy me a candle for Christmas).  I like the smell of Vanilla…and fresh air…and FEBREZE FOR SPORT.


Guys…Chris is so sweet.  He literally said to me: “Don’t worry, I bought the same detergent that you always get…you can even check.” And then I went into the basement and looked at the PURPLE CAP.   PURPLE.  I have never in my life bought laundry detergent with a purple cap. And I almost cried. Because…purple cap.

And in the end, here’s the thing.  I’m grateful for my husband.  And I’m grateful that during really busy weeks he is willing to go grocery shopping.  But truth be told…I am also glad to have already placed my Shipt order this week with an order for TIDE WITH FEBREZE FOR SPORT.  Because…there are just some things that should just not be messed with…like laundry detergent…and garbage bags…

He also bought the wrong garbage bags…

But that’s a story for a different day.

With much love from a smelling like SPRING RENEWAL Small Town Girl