This morning when I heard Rocco crying and reached for the clock, it was 20 minutes past his usual wake time, an omen for a good day if ever there were one. I walked into his room, he gave me a big smile, I pulled up the window shade and, woah, am I seeing what I think I’m seeing? are we still in Nashville? Usually after I feed him that first time for the day, he plays quietly in his crib until falling back asleep, but today, instead, I bundled him up, bundled me up and headed outside to experience the surprising wonderland of Rocco’s first snow, fat flakes hitting his eyelashes and little feet standing in the fresh inches covering our driveway. Even now, hours later, Rocco napping in his room and Tim and I sitting in the living room, I’m still awed by the scene unfolding around us, winds of white laying layer upon layer on our yard, the street, the trees, the cars. It hasn’t stopped. A little while ago, I watched a group of five or six neighbor kids build a chubby snowman and dress him with a hat and scarf. Before that, Tim and I stood at the windows to cringe for the cars and trucks skidding down our road. It’s a Nashville snow day, not the kind where a mere threat of snow cancels school, but a real one, one with dangerous roads and closed restaurants and that cozy tucked-in feeling where you’re so happy you have nowhere to go but home.
One of my favorite users to follow on Twitter, @NashSevereWX, has been posting updates all morning: “one last good snowband,” and then, oh, “another ‘last’ snowband forming,” and, wow, “snow won’t quit.” Users have been sending into this account photos of measured accumulation at their homes: I’ve seen five inches, six inches, seven. And while half a foot is almost nothing in the eyes of our neighbors to the north, this kind of snowfall is more than a Music City January 22 has seen since 1966. I know this, too, because of one of today’s Tweets.
But you know what I think about when the weather quiets the atmosphere and the snow stops social plans and social media is blowing up with pictures of snow, though? Yes, I remember last year’s ice storm and, sure, I remember Chicagoland weekdays gripping my steering wheel on the drive home from work, but, mostly, I remember 2011, the first year I lived in Nashville and the year I would end up later marrying Tim. I moved down in the first week of February, after a whopping four feet of snow had hit my hometown, and I remember thinking, if only for the warmer weather (!), relocating to Tennessee was a solid choice. But then, just a week or two after I’d moved, snow came to Nashville, too, and not just any snow, but real-snow-day snow, the kind that made the usual 20 minutes between my place with my two roommates in Inglewood and Tim’s place with his two roommates in South Nashville feel as far as the distance between California to New York. I came down with a stomach bug. There in a new town. Without much in the way of groceries. Still sleeping on an air mattress on the floor. So Tim braved the roads regardless, skidding and sliding his way over the river and up to my place, bringing me a homemade smoothie (swoon), in a to-go coffee cup, so he could spend all of 20 minutes with me before leaving to take another two or so hours to get home.
Over the last few weeks, thinking about the post I want to bring you in February, with a Valentine’s theme (!), because 2016 is the year I plan ahead for FLW posts (!), I’ve been thinking about desserts and romance and love, you know, the way girls tend to do when hearts and red things are flashing at you everywhere you look, but I’m finding that actually now it’s here, today, on this surprising snow day in late January, that I’m remembering the real love that shows itself in sacrifice, whether that’s five years ago braving a snowstorm or seven months ago helping me struggle to take a shower in a hospital room. February 14 (though I love it!) has got nothing on these ordinary days, at least not to me.
Other things I’m remembering and want to share with you from this month:
- Meal Planning: I said on Instagram I want to meal plan this year, and, you guys, it’s happening! Three weeks going strong. What’s working for me is separating all my recipe pins on Pinterest into “recipes to make” and “recipes made and reviewed.” Each week, I look for new ideas from the first board or ideas I already like from the second, pick the menu, make the shopping list and then I go hit four different grocery stores to buy exactly and only that. Follow along @foodloves if you like. Bonus: our grocery budget’s never been so on track, I hope I’m not jinxing it, but two thumbs up for meal planning! At last.
- A Couple Cooks Podcast: Do you guys listen to podcasts? It’s been transforming my weekly grocery routine into something fun. My latest like is the new podcast from our friends Sonja and Alex Overhiser. It’s so practical and fun! It also had me making this and then this for dinner this last week. Both were (meatless, easy, affordable) wins.
- THIS PUDDING: This Budino al Cioccolato is, how do I say this, unbelievable. Easy. No eggs. No heavy cream. Luscious. I almost think it deserves its own post. Make it. Tell me about it. I want to try it all over again right now.
And, last but not least, more pictures of
Nashville Snow Day
Stay warm out there, friends!