The days are droopy, sloppy, soggy, brown. There really is not a lot of pretty happening in February, at least not at first glance.

I am a passionate, loyal admirer of overnight snow storms. There's something about them that reels me in all the live-long day. Maybe it makes me feel melancholy. Maybe I like the way it lets me blur the line between "normal attire" and "pajama pants". Maybe I like all the white. The fleece. The flakes. They way it makes me feel like a five year old. Maybe I just like every ding dang thing about it. This morning I walked out to my own back yard and stopped dead in my tracks when I came upon rows of  put together snowflakes, strung up drip-dry style. I wanted to save every last one, freeze them. pull them back out in July. Lucky for me, the mastermind behind winter wonderland also does home delivery, so I scored one for my 5 year old self. I would go on a snowy hike every single day if I could. It's one of my very favorite things to do. The end.

And making tiny snowmen? Well, they just don't quit ruling the school. I've heard horror stories from several people who have tried making them for themselves and just didn't love it and I'm so very sorry. But I'm also a little bit smug, because it works for me and that just never happens. Maybe I should do custom orders. Really? I'm totally serious. I. will. hook. you. up. with some tiny snowmen of your own. I am so ferreal.

Fluffy blankets of snow. swoony. What do they put in this stuff anyway? I don't know what's in it and I don't really even know how to explain why, but I do know that I am a believer. It lives up to it's name,  fluffy, snowy white and sparkly. You know I love anything magical. Throw in some sparkle and whimsey and Heaven knows what else? You own me.

Still, as of late, even with all the sparkle, I have been feeling deep down, stuck in a place between everything that has been and all that will be. not exactly in the middle, more than halfway. I crave a slow-down. I want more meaningful experiences with my family, more date nights on the couch with the popcorn bowl in the middle. I want the grip of obligations to loosen, let me breathe. At the very same time, I'm starving for some action. I'm clamoring for the stretched out days when nine o'clock pm feels like its own kind of beginning.

I want to stay at home and never leave. I want to drive all night just to show up at the beach at sunrise. I want to cook a feast from scratch or eat out, just because. I'm beat-up sweatpants and faded jeans, stack of novels and trashy TV. Every ding dang day lately has me looking quite confused, mildly annoyed, or rain frizzed. Then again, there is probably a 90% chance I will break out in spontaneous laughter at any given moment. Here's what I have come up with...

I blame the month.

 It's not that I dislike February. It's got Valentine's day, after all. But isn't it obvious to you and me and the man in the moon that it's really little more than a bridge? January sweeps us out of December's wrapping paper, February then rescues us from the clutches of January's solemn vow to do some cardio and stop eating pie before bed. For that, I am thankful. But here I am, spinning my wheels. and what it feels like is stuck. It fits like a discarded hand me down. I see Spring up ahead, the collective melting-off of Winter's edge. I can feel it. But it's not quite here.

It's hard, here. It's no accident that February is the shortest month. We can only take so much stuck.

So here's my solution? I am grabbing these frozen days by their ears and claiming them as my own. making them into something I can love. maybe even revel in a bit. Hunting down all of winter's charms that I can find and burning them into my heart. Also, I am re-framing my expectations. February will never be June or October. She doesn't look good in shorts and flip flops and she has no leaves to paint. I am letting her off the hook. She doesn't have to enrapture me like the other months do. She's got her own appeal and she's ready to show off.

I am stirring together all of her almosts and not quites. Sifting in some antsy and cracking the shell of lazy. looking just long enough to see that what comes together here is the best of every dang thing, topped with red sugared hearts.

I am savoring the grayest day and knowing that tomorrow will be perfect for getting things done. I can spend hours with Downton Abbey and a pair of knitting needles and not suffer a single lick of guilt.

Can I really do it? I'll try if you do. Maybe we'll all notice that the drear takes a wild turn for the romantic, moody haze of a life well-loved. Yesterday morning I felt Spring in my heart. And yes, I know, it was only 24 degrees outside. lung-burning cold, but I swear, I felt it.

I was walking back into the house after grabbing the mail, and just as my foot hit the front porch step, Spring reached out and grabbed me. It was so clear to me that it almost made me tear up a little bit. Then again, maybe that was the bone-chilling wind swirling around me. Either way, it was like a promise, made just for me. The sun, rolling its eyes at Old Man Winter's last hurrah, telling me and the birds that soon, things will be warm and wonderful. I know there are some of you who wish that every day would be 84 degrees and sunny, with just enough breeze to ruffle your bangs. Not me. It's precisely this belief that convinced me years ago that I am just about as Midwestern as they come. Trust me, I gripe with everyone else when it snows in April. And I don't particularly relish the fact that I am currently wearing socks, fleecy pants, a short sleeved t-shirt over a long sleeved t-shirt and a cardigan, but days like today ensure that those sunny days waiting right around the corner will be just a little more appreciated by yours truly.

Days like today also provide me with a perfect excuse to~take a nap, make soup for dinner, and pretend I've never even met my garden hose.

As for tonight, I've got big plans to hunker down with a good book and a bowl of chips and salsa.

In a very timely coincidence, today is Spring Fluff day in my mind.

I must admit, I'm not fully fluffed. I am certainly on my way, though. Before I know it, I will look out my window and see hyacinths poking their noses out. I will see green, rather than brown. Can you even imagine?

Here's what else happens around these parts, when I get that Spring-y feeling...

 The flowery dishtowels come out.

I start baking lemony things.

A lemon yogurt cake
(go here for recipe)


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