Vortex Walk

I braved the vortex this morning to walk to a local supermarket (less than two miles round trip). In the end, to my surprise, I overdid the layers. I was hot and sweaty when I got home. The only real challenge was my face. I brought goggles, but the wind wasn’t blowing hard enough to justify them. In the end, I just pulled up my neck warmers and that was fine. Moisture control is a pain, though, with every breath creating crackling ice.

Post-walk frost.

Winter With a Vengeance

Apparently our winter has tired of my mockery. Thus far it has been a toothless sham — moderate temperatures with little snow. As often as not, I’ve walked to work in my summer shoes.

All of that is changing this week. The kids’ school (along with all nearby public school districts) closed yesterday due to snow and will remain closed through Wednesday. My school, generally loathe to close, is closed today and tomorrow. Thursday is unknown at this point.

Polar Vortex 2019

This is all due to the latest polar vortex that’s bringing a mass of arctic air down from Canada. Raw air temps aren’t all that crazy (we see a few days pushing -20 most years), but the winds will be increasing dramatically, creating some insane wind chill values. As someone who walks to work, I can attest to the fact that the wind is the most important factor that I consider when planning my layers. When temps are below zero, even a moderate wind in your face is basically a show-stopper without face and eye protection.

Wind chill predictions

When we got up this morning, it wasn’t so bad. Cold, but safe enough if you’re properly dressed.

Morning temperature. Note the lack of wind chill.

I’ll post updates later to see what actually happens out there.


Not exactly how we planned to spend our Thursday, but G is now appendix-less and is recovering semi-comfortably. Thankful for trusting my (also appendix-less) gut, fantastic staff at Children’s Hospital, parents and friends who help take care of our other two kids, and overall health, all things considered. The staff here have been raving about how fantastic this kid is, and I couldn’t agree more wholeheartedly. Looking forward to getting home ❤️

Oliver’s Second Birthday

We celebrated Oliver’s birthday a bit early this year because we’ll be up at the cabin on the actual day, and we wanted to celebrate with Grandma Pam and Grandpa Jeff. We enjoyed a birthday brunch together featuring a fabulous spiced squash cake that everybody loved except for Oliver. (He ate about half the scrambled eggs instead.) Pictures below followed by two short video clips.

Blowing out his candle (and some very sour grapefruit!):

Opening Maggie’s gift:

Update: We took the following picture on the 25th at the cabin:

Today, we celebrated the youngest member of our family, Oliver Louis, by boot skating on the lake, cutting our Christmas tree, and playing in the snow. Today, he turned TWO. We love this guy to pieces and can’t imagine our lives without him.

The latest news from Sarah and Andrew.