Thursday, February 28, 2013

Farewell February

I can't believe March is upon us! Is it just me or is 2013 flying by already? I've been reflecting on the year so far and wanted to document some of my thoughts and goings on. My mind is all over the place lately and I'd like to be able to come back and read this post to remember what I was thinking and doing.  The new year started out on a sad note for us when my elderly father-in-law passed away in early January. Being the full time caregivers for an elderly parent in our home for the last six years was often very challenging, especially in the later years. While I do have some sense of relief of the burden and strain his care put on my husband and myself and even our daughters, I greatly underestimated the empty space in our home and in our hearts that his absence would create.

For the last three years or so, I started working out early mornings so that I could be home to care for my father-in-law when my husband left for work. Now that I no longer have that responsibility, I've been getting out of the house more during the day. I'm meeting friends for lunch or coffee, doing all kinds of errands that were a hardship before, and revisiting the later morning fitness classes I used to take at the gym. I hit several of those 9 am classes in the last couple of weeks instead of my customary 6 am ones. Would you believe I've decided that I actually prefer the 6 am classes?! Truly! Sometimes I go to both. Sometimes I just go for a short run around 8 or 9 am. Like on this day when the snow started coming down..
At the park on a short run in the snow
before the paths get too slippery.
This new-found freedom to be able to leave the house whenever I want comes with a cost, though. I've been spending less time reading or blogging. I'm already five books behind in my goodreads challenge to read 101 books in 2013. My favorite books so far this year? The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley and Sins & Needles by Karina Halle! I loved both of these books.
10" of snow
We got about 9 or 10" of snow when snowstorm Nemo blew through town in early February. Lots of hours spent outdoors shoveling, sledding and skiing, too! Someone in our neighborhood sculpted a huge snow sculpture of Nemo from Finding Nemo on his lawn--the namesake of the storm. Pretty awesome!
Nemo snow sculpture
I went skiing with my husband--without our kids--for the first time in almost two decades. I was flooded with memories from our dating years and at the same time reminded of my age--exhausted and a bit grateful to end the day at 4:30 pm instead of trying to squeeze as many runs in at the end as possible.
Hers & His skis
On the chairlift with my husband. :)
I'm still having tons of fun on Instagram. I was doing so well with my Project 365 but missed a day completely in November. It really bugged me so I'm attempting to complete 2013 with a photo every day. So far so good! Knock on wood!!!! The new instagram profiles online are really snazzy. Have you seen them? I'm having fun doing the monthly photo-a-day challenges hosted by Australian blogger Fat Mum Slim. It encourages creative photo ops and I'm meeting cool people from all over the world.

I'm continuing with the #fmsphotoaday challenge in March and am also going to give a go with #EstellaGram -- a bookish photo-a-day challenge hosted by Estella Society. Fun stuff! Click the links for the daily photo prompts.

Are you on instagram? Let's follow each other there-- find me at thehappilyeverafter .

Last, but not least, a new friendship is blossoming between myself and another similarly minded reader-athlete-mother-wife-individual whom I met recently. We met the other day for coffee and it was the saving grace of my week. I was frazzled, if not utterly stressed by something going on in my world and she knew just what to say to help me let go of some of the worry and negative energy and focus on the things I have control over and the things that welcome happiness into my life. I'm already so appreciative of this friend.

Speaking of happiness... I hope you're finding happiness in your daily life, too! Scratch that! I hope you're making happiness happen in your daily life! What? .. Make happiness? Yes! Make happiness. More on that tomorrow..

March is upon us, my friends. I hope spring is right around the corner because I'm craving sunshine, long bike rides and growing things in my garden!

What has the new year brought you so far?


  1. So glad you've found a new friend! Sometimes that time away and words from someone dear are just what we need. I've fallen behind with my photography lately. Need to get back to it, it's just been hard between illness and severe joint issues.
    I hope you achieve your reading and photography goals for the month!

  2. As always, you've been busy, Christine! Great pics - loved the skiing one, neat perspective with your skis in the foreground!!

    Spring can't arrive soon enough - after a week and a half of no snow, no rain and being able to do my runs outside, we're knee deep in snow again. Back to the treadmill!!

    New friends are always a blessing. Happy March :)

  3. Yay for new friends. I'm terrible at taking pics so I'm always impressed with these photo a day challenges. I'm hoping we see the beginning of Spring here in March. I'm ready for warmer weather.

  4. I can only workout early.. 6am to 7:15 or so. After that, I am a slug!

  5. Isn't finding a new friend exhilarating? It's nice getting to know each other and sharing :)

    I'm sorry for your loss. The death of a parent can be devastating. It'll be 4 years in June for my dad and as the only girl who was fondly referred to as "thatsa my dawda" not a day goes by that he isn't in my thoughts. It never really goes away, but the shock of ice water being thrown out you for lack of a better description does.

    I can't believe February is gone too! My youngest turned 9 yesterday and like the rest I remember the day he was born like it just happened. My kids start their 2 week spring break and I'm doing the happy dance!!!

    I don't instagram, I don't know if I could handle more social networking, I do Pinterest and I try to keep up on my life blog, more so than the book one, but I've been toying with it since my kids like it so much.

    Ah, don't worry about the books, get out and enjoy what's going on and have lunches and coffee with friends. Wish I lived close enough to join you :)


  6. My reading has also slowed a bit - and I don't even have good excuses like you do :)

    There's Christine running, taking fitness classes, blogging about eating healthy....

    And here's Wendy - oh, look Spring Training baseball! And pass the chocolate over here why dontcha ya?

  7. Looks like February was a good month for you!! and I love your pictures they are all adorable and awesome.
    And you made me want to go play in the snow.

  8. Glad to see 2013 is treating you right--here's raising the water bottle, may it continue this way 'till the very last second.

    As for me...

    Well *chuckle* so far the year has been loads better than 2012--but since that one stank to high heaven, it's not really saying much in the overall scheme of things.

    Here's hoping things improve (or, says the realist in me, that they at least don't deteriorate)

  9. Brandy, I agree! A new perspective, right?
    As for photography, I have been playing around so much with my iphone and instagram that I've hardly used my DSLR at all in the last year. I need to dust it off and use it more!
    I'm so sorry to hear you haven't been feeling well. :(
    Hope what ails you improves very soon! xo

    Janet, I like that ski photo, too! I sat there on that lift with my hands out of my gloves waiting to go over a trail for several minutes. I wanted that shot! LOL!

    Ugh! So much snow for you again! I hope it melts quickly and you can get out there and continue training for your marathon.. you must be so bored of the treadmill by now!

    Happy March to you, too! :)

    Linda Right? It's been a while since I've made a new friend (outside the internet, that is.). The iphone takes really great photos for a phone! It's quite addictive. It just takes a little bit of practice and an eye for clean background/composition and voila! Everyone's an artist! :o)
    I'm ready for spring, too.

    Ti, I am the same way. Here I am on Saturday.. almost 2:30 pm and I've been wearing my running clothes since 7:30 am. .. waiting for the motivation to come. I shoulda just gone when I woke up!!!

    Paula, Thanks for the condolences. It's been different around here. Not to mention stressful settling his estate. I'm sorry the grief is still so raw for your dad.. it's good you have warm memories of him.

    Happy birthday to your baby! Wow.. NINE! A two week spring break?! Nice! Ours is later in March just before Easter. We will be SO ready for it since we lost all our winter days off due to being out of school for almost 2 weeks after hurricane Sandy. Then the last day of school got pushed out, too! Graduation is JUNE 28!? OMg

    Wendy, ha ha. I'm only reporting the busy stuff. I'm very good at being inefficient and unproductive with my time.. don't you worry.

    Hopefully we'll both find some extra hours this month to read!

    Alex, Thanks, sweetie!

    azteclady, Ugh. I sure hope 2013 is better for you.. you deserve it. xoxo

  10. YAH for a new friend. And having lost family members, I have an inkling as to the relief and the loss. *hugs*

  11. Belated condolences for you and your family. I’m so sorry to hear about your father-in-law.

    What beautiful pictures! I know some might think I’m crazy but I miss the snow!

    Your new friend sounds like the perfect fit! So happy for you. :)

  12. Thanks, orannia and Leslie for your kind words of sympathy. I appreciate it. :)

    And Leslie, I don't think you're crazy for missing the snow! I would miss it if I lived in a mild climate region, too.

  13. Sounds like you are keeping quite busy! I love to ski but haven't gone for years...I'm pretty sure that I've mostly forgotten how to :) I'm working on taking more pictures as well but I haven't joined in any of the photo prompt ones yet. They do sound like fun so maybe next month! I hope that March is a wonderful month for you :)

  14. I understand what you mean by missing your FIL, but at the same time, feeling relief of the burden. Even if he was cranky, he's someone you've cared for, so obviously, his loss left a hole.

    I'm glad you're enjoying your freedom :) and LOL, what was it with Americans, always naming their storms? Gotta say, that sculpture of Nemo is pretty awesome :P

    Hope you have a great month of March, Christine! And yay for new friendship!


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