White winters give me a warm fuzzy feeling inside and make me think back to my childhood. There is just something so magical about the snow to me. Maybe it’s the novelty of it, being from southern California where it’s still usually in the 70’s at Christmas time. But it’s also because I have so many wonderful memories of Christmases spent at my grandmothers house in Wisconsin. It was always a white Christmas at Grandma’s house….and in my memories, it was magical. Growing up in California, I always hoped i’d end up with a midwest boy. I was born in Illinois and have family all over the midwest, so although I call myself a San Diego native, I still claim a small stake in being a “mid-westerner” at heart. As luck would have it, my now husband is a born and bred Minnesotan, (turned California transplant post college). Though meeting him, you’d probably never guess he grew up anywhere but next to the ocean. I love that we both have roots in the mid west, and that we both have such an appreciation for it and it’s seasons. Even though we don’t experience them at home, we are lucky we are able to visit family that do.
When we landed at the airport in Minnesota we knew we were in for a frigid, snowy stay. And we couldn’t be more excited about it. Sam’s childhood home looks like one out of a story book. Or at least it does to me, tucked amidst the frosted trees and snow at winter time. I couldn’t help but keep saying how beautiful it was surrounded by so much white. It was Rylee’s first time seeing snow. She wasn’t impressed at first, but really….who can blame her? I stuffed her into the most uncomfortable, restricting clothes….it was cold and it made her nose run, and she could barely walk in her one size too big snow boots. “But Ryleeeee!! It’s so fuuuun!!!!” I said! haha. Eventually, she did warm up to it. And when she did, we made the most of it. As I type this, I kind of wish I could look out my window and see that snow again and take Rylee for another sled ride. But I guess there is always next year to look forward to….and the next year….and the year after that.
I am so beyond thankful for this family that I married into. I was able to sit down with my mother in law and talk about life, about the backstory of the Larson family….about where she comes from and the many things that have shaped and molded her. She was up against a lot of odds when raising her family, a lot of which I never knew about, but through it all, she chose to raise her kids in faith and with strength. And I really admire her for that. I am mostly thankful for the mother she was, and is, to her son, my husband. Because weather he sees it or not, she has influenced his life in more ways than one, and he wouldn’t be the man he is today without her. And that man is the world to me.
Sentimental rant aside, we had a wonderful week and can’t wait until we can go back again. I can’t believe today is Christmas Eve already. I hope you are all somewhere cozy and enjoying the holidays with family. Have the merriest of Christmases.
* The aqua kitty hat and mittens in the top photos are from Baruch’s Lullaby and they’re our favorite!