Monday this week was "Family Day" - a good excuse for a public holiday in February. I wrote this then.
The thing about living in a country where winters are long is that you have to make the most of them. This year has been especially cold. It was -6C today and the children were peeling off their layers as they raced down the hill in their toboggans. That's perspective for you... -6 is positively balmy when we've been stuck with -20 (and colder) all winter!
It's Monday of a long weekend and I'm sitting here on the couch with a cup of tea (made with love by my other half), a hot water bottle on my sore lower back (it froze up yesterday probably due to the roughhousing I attempted with my 5 year old - there's a reason I usually leave that up to their dad) and this computer on my lap.
3 year old is sleeping. And the girls are painting.
"Don't get mad." says the 5 year old to her sister who had made a mistake on her first sheet and got frustrated. "Just take deep breaths and it will get better." I love hearing them talk to each other.
We've had a weekend filled with family commitments. We had dinner on Saturday with my in-laws. The sun was shining and so we took the children out tobogganing before supper. Tobogganing (sometimes known as sledding) is basically sitting on a contraption (known as a toboggan) and sliding down a hill. It's super fun and can make the grumpiest of us, scream with laughter. Nothing like beating a bad mood out of your system with sliding down a snowy hill. This week someone had piled the snow into ramps at the bottom of the hill to create a ramp. The children loved picking up speed and flying off the ramp. I kept wishing I'd brought the camera to take photos. The sun felt warm on our faces. As opposed to being frigidly cold, it was a brisk cold that made you glad you were outside.
Sunday dinner was at my mums with my side of the family. More cousins, more chatter and laughter. I don't think I saw the children the entire time. Both sets of families are growing. New additions means lots of babies to cuddle. It's fun to watch them all interact, the older ones looking after the little ones; last year's baby, crawling across the floor in break neck speed; the littlest ones snuggled in the arms of their grandmas while their mums and dads enjoy a much needed break.
My sister-in-law asked me the other day if the only reason we moved back was for family. I'd say it was. I love watching my children with their grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins. I only have one brother but I have lots of cousins with whom I am very close. I love that there is a new generation of little ones getting to know each other, building their own memories. I wanted my children to be a part of that. I think it's as good a reason as any.
And the snow of course.