Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Stolen Day

My boys on a carousel at the Birmingham Zoo
We live in Alabama, so the snowpocalypse, polar vortex, circumpolar whirl stuff tends to pass us by.  That said, any chance of snow or sub-freezing temperatures can whip folks around here into a bit of a milk-and-bread-grabbing frenzy.  So the potential for icy conditions and single-digit wind chills this week caused a bit of a shift in our back-to-school schedule.

Yesterday was our first day back after Christmas break (both my husband and I work for a local school system).  We reported two hours late - sans students - and had a fairly quiet day of reacquainting ourselves with the groove.  A few minutes after we got home, though, word came in via Twitter, texts, and robocalls that the students' first day back would be postponed til Wednesday due to the cold.  We can't call it a snow day because there won't be any, but I'll take the day nonetheless.

I have family up north who are giggling at us right now for being so squeamish about the balmy teens while they continue business as more-or-less usual in far chillier climes, but that's okay.  What we have on our hands today is what's referred to in our house as a stolen day - a day in which, by choice or by chance, we get a reprieve from the daily routine.  A stolen day such as this one, when it's really too chilly to venture forth, calls for special breakfast (served in the AM or PM), movie watching in our jammies, living room dance parties, video games, and lots of story reading and telling.  More than anything, the requirement is to pay attention to every minute of it and soak up the unexpected time together.

Happy Snow Stolen Day!

P.S. Circumpolar whirl just might be the best legit term ever.

Sunday, January 5, 2014


I'm Laren (like Lauren, not Karen), and this is my blog.  It's not much at the moment, but it'll grow over time and offer a place for documenting some of my family's stories and the junk rattling around in my brain.

As a fairly avid online reader, I've noticed bloggers posting resolutions, intentions, goals for the New Year, and it seems fitting to me to do something similar at the start of the year and the life of this blog.  While I do have some specifics in mind for 2014, the form of goal-setting that grabs me the most is identifying a word for the year.  I think the basic idea is that this word should focus the chooser's intentions over the course of the whole year, and I like that.

My word for the year is adventure.  I believe that my parents both had adventurous spirits; they liked travel (though my mom preferred to do hers in a moving van) and spontaneity, and they passed this characteristic on to me.  They taught me that adventure is an attitude.  It's about flexibility, positivity, and an understanding that the right frame of mind can turn simple experiences into epic ones (Exhibit A: bi-annual car rides to Dayton, Ohio) or transform unexpected frustrations into fond memories (I'm lookin' at you, Christmas Eve spent stuck in the Newark airport).

I want that attitude to guide my actions this year and every year, and I want to pass it on to my son.  So here goes...  Starting this blog is the first step out of my door.