The long winter

Perhaps I should keep this to myself, but the sight of Easter eggs scattered across a field of snow this afternoon struck me as beautiful, like Funfetti sprinkles dotting a tub of vanilla frosting. 

Jane's vintage jacket with its floral fair-isle pattern and her rainbow-hued Big Bobble Hat enhanced the effect: shards of rainbow popping against white.

We celebrated the victorious hunt with a little playground action. 

 It's been, for so many, a long winter here in Minnesota. I'm still trying to honor my goal to not just endure but embrace the season

Today's chill made it even sweeter to return home for grilled cheese and tomato soup, to watch the girls construct pillow forts and jump on the bed, to indulge in a long bath and pop popcorn and read aloud another chapter from Farmer Boy, where the seasons are coinciding: 

Every day the snow was melting a little. The cedars and spruces shook it off, and it fell in blobs from the bare branches of oaks and maples and beeches. All along the walls of barns and house the snow was pitted with water falling from the icicles, and finally the icicles fell crashing. 

The earth showed in wet, dark patches here and there. The patches spread.

When I look back on this winter, I'll remember the rosy cheeks and wet mittens and tired, happy kids. 

I'll also mark this as the time I became obsessed with winter hats. It may sound silly, but I think they called forth the best in me, challenging me to put them to good use, to get artistic snaps and to embrace the spirit of each hat. 

The faux-fur pom on my Love Your Melon knit helped make this sleep-deprived mama feel fun and youthful, whether we were out cutting down a Christmas tree, hurtling down the CHS super slide or visiting the European Christmas market.

The girls' wool hats from The Woodcutter's Daughter, with their gnome-like pointed tips, compelled me to embark on enchanted winter adventures over the river and through the woods

And our Big Bobble Hats, with their outsized poms, lent whimsy to the winter, putting a spring in our step at a snow-covered Easter egg hunt.

Yes, it's been a long winter. But it's also been a really good one.



 Christina Ries is a freelance writer who lives with her husband and three young children in Inver Grove Heights. Write her at