Sunday, February 17, 2013

Spring Today, Gone Tomorrow.

Yesterday was one of those sunny, beautiful Montana days.  Temperatures warmed up a bit, the sky was clear and the illusion of spring was in the air.  

We know better.  

Today we woke up to snow and it hasn't stopped all day.  What a tease it was.  And, I understand it is only February and spring usually doesn't make any sort of real appearance until at least May around here.  But, I was still disappointed to be smack dab back in winter.  If there is one thing us Montanans do well it is take full advantage of a pretend spring day.  I'm talking people out in shorts and flip flops when temperatures rise above 45-degrees.  Matt actually washed the car in our driveway and was not the only one on our street doing so.  It's funny...I read a blog about this mom who lives in Florida.  She mentioned on it a cold front had come in...a cold front in the way of 57-degrees.  Their cold front would have Montanans  pulling out the kiddie pools and slathering on some sunscreen.  All a matter of perspective I suppose.  We enjoyed the sunshine with a lovely drive back to Chico Hot Springs, this time with the girls...

Swimsuits and snow boots.  Matt had just taken me there for my birthday and even though the girls didn't show it, I know they were disappointed they didn't get to join us.  Especially because Ava had chosen going to Chico as her reward for filling her sticker chart.  (We were doing sticker charts to reward good behavior because we were having some...issues, to put it nicely, with Layla.  She's got a strong personality that girl.  I love it and don't want to squash her spirit, we just have to keep it a positive thing.)  Ava has been asking since we got back when we all get to go and yesterday was a great day to it.  A short drive away to spend the morning soaking up the water and sunshine, then lunch at the grill before heading home.  Perfect.

SUCH a pretty day.
Today the sunshine was long gone, so instead of swimsuits it was snowsuits.  Instead of lounging poolside, we headed to the sledding hill.  This has the added bonus of a trip to the coffee shop for hot cocoa and coffee...

The chocolate all over her face helps to hide the red puffy eye from a sledding injury.  I always worry when Matt sends them flying down the hill and I try not to, but there are a lot of "oh, not so fast"  "careful"  "watch out for your sister".  I can't help it, they're my babies.  Today, however, it was me who sent them down the hill too close to one another and Layla's face had a run in with Ava's sled.  Nothing a couple kisses couldn't fix, but I still felt bad.  This may be why I offered going out for hot cocoa instead of just making it at home.  Mama guilt.  

The snowy weather is also the perfect excuse to stay inside and cook.  Lebanese food is often requested at this house when I ask for input on meal ideas.  However, it's not something I do too often because it is a lot of work.  Especially when one little girl wants spinach pies and the other little girl wants grape leaves.  Matt wants it all.  I save most of this type of cooking for holidays or a day like today.  A lazy, stay inside Sunday that feels like a weekend still because there is no school tomorrow.  This morning I rolled a couple dozen grape leaves, made a few spinach pies and of course some hummus.  This Lebanese feast will be shared with friends later this evening.  My best friend also happens to be Lebanese...I must be drawn to them.
Spinach Pie recipe here and Veggie Grape leave here.
It was nice of Matt to let me invite our friends over.  He doesn't generally like to share this food.  

Speaking of food and good eating.  This happened on Friday night, date night...

Tons of crab legs and twice baked potatoes.  It was Matt's turn to cook and he decided to go old school.  You see, when we lived in Portland this was a meal we often splurged on.  Whenever we felt like something "fancy"  (this was back when I still cooked a lot of Hamburger Helper) we would get crab legs.  Back then we would enjoy this meal sitting on the ground using our coffee table, eating in front of the television.  Now we are proper grown ups and realize the value of some uninterrupted conversation so we have it candle lit over a bottle of vino.  Matt said he tried to come up with a different side dish but kept going back to the baked potato.  When he asked my opinion, I could think of nothing else that would fit with it.  It's like twice baked potatoes and crab legs are soul mates and simply meant to be together.  Nothing else is needed...no bread, no veggie...just a hot bowl of melted butter for dipping.  It was so good.  This is the one meal from our early marriage days that I am glad has stuck around.  (I'm also thankful none of the others have...it was that bad).

Speaking of back in the good old days, I had a couple other reminders this week.  First...Wendy's french fries and frosty's...

We are not a fast food type family.  However, we do know the pleasure of a Wendy's frosty.  My aunt gave the girls a couple coupons with their Valentine's so we of course had to go use them right away.  After school Friday we headed there and I taught them the way we used to do it...dipping your french fries in the frosty.  They both thought this was a gross idea.  Until they tried it.  Then they realized the goodness of it.  The Wendy's here in town in right across from the high school, so I spent many a day after school here with friends... ya know, just hangin.  As I saw the Hawk Letterman's jackets start making their way in, I couldn't help but smile at the memories.  

And one more throwback...

I notice my throwbacks aren't very healthy.  I guess it's good they are the exception now, not the rule.  Anyway.  These were my "Valentines" flowers.  It may sound crazy to some, but for me it was absolutely perfect.  Matt brings me home flowers on almost a weekly basis, so when he went to get some on V-day he changed his mind and decided to do something quirky.  I LOVE it.  I'm tough to surprise and I loved that he brought me something so unpredictable and silly.  Cocoa Puffs were my FAVORITE childhood cereal.  I have not bought it in years.  We are more a Kashi cereal family.  The next morning I made everyone my old favorite...Cocoa Puffs and peanut butter toast sprinkled with cinnamon.  It was as good as I remembered.  I won't go back to a bunch of sugary cereals for my family, but it was a fun treat.  And, I love how Matt knows me so well.  Made me smile.  

Now, it's time for another winter week.  I hope the "cold" front in Florida heads out fast because we'll be going that way in less than three weeks.  I'm so excited to get out of the snow, dust off my flip flops and see some real spring weather.

Hope you have a lovely week!

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