Maryland said, “Hold my beer.”

That’s actually the end of a joke. The one that goes,

“No way can you fit all four seasons into one month.”
Maryland said, “Hold my beer.”

It’s the end of President’s Day Weekend —  a weekend that often throws a major snowstorm our way — but in an unusual curve ball, we’re enjoying something even warmer than most spring days. We’re certainly not complaining about the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, but we’re all wondering if this is really it for winter. No more snow or sledding or wearing those expensive snow boots the kids won’t fit into next year?

But, before I launch into summertime posts, I need to backtrack, because we have had SOME snow this season, and since it’s been a long time since my last post, I’m overdue to post our winter pictures from the icy cold snap that stretched for a pretty long time around here last month.

The kids have both become daredevils when it comes to sledding down the hill.

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The wind at the beach was insane — you can tell because the snow was blowing straight into the water and nothing was sticking to the sand. 20170107_131034_HDR 20170107_131041_HDR 20170107_131106 20170107_133837_HDR~2

Sally was too crazy in the snow and the only pictures we got of her were of her wriggly butt.20170107_135355_HDR

These pics were from my SUP session after the snow. The marina was completely iced in, so I had to roll to the beach to launch. 20170108_100443_HDR 20170110_120451_HDR~2 20170110_130608_HDR~2

We’ve done a good job getting outside all winter long — whether it’s been snowing, summer-hot, or somewhere in between. Here are a few pictures from one of those in-between days.  Since it has been unusually windy this season–and the wind at the beach is COLD–we’ve spent most of our time this winter at the big park near Mom and Dad’s house, and I don’t have any pictures from the park since we’re busy running after the kids and racing them on slides.  They’re exhausting!

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And finally, here are a few pictures from this weekend.  The kids started out in jackets and ended up in short sleeves.  Unbelievable for February!  We had more traffic headed to the beach in front of our house than we usually have on summer days.

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That picture of Nell sums up this weekend pretty well.  Who knows what the rest of February will bring!  (Seriously, it could be anything.)

Boom.

Why, hello again, Winter. It’s been a couple weeks. I thought perhaps you would slip away for the season, riding out, perhaps, on a giant block of ice in the Bay.  But you’re back.

A light dusting, they said.  1-3″, they said.  Nothing in southern Maryland, they said.

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Apparently, we’re the “boom” of the storm–the unexpected overperformance of this snow system.  8-12″ overperformed.

So we had another day in the fluffy stuff, though the kids had their routines down this time, and Guy was much more willing to get his snowsuit on now that he knew what was waiting outside: sledding, snowballs, and slushy walks to the beach.

“Let’s go check out the water,” Nell said.

(It’s possible I say that often.)

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“It looks just right for you,” she followed up, upon seeing the calm waters lapping up on snow.  (It’s a shame that the “just right” paddling conditions these days are below freezing and drenched in snow and ice.  Is it spring yet?)

It didn’t take long before she had settled down on the snowy beach.

“I’ll just make a snow castle instead.”

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As we were walking away, she informed she that she wouldn’t see the snow castle she had built again because someone would probably step on it before she got back to the beach.

“I’m not going back to the beach until summer,” she said.

It’s not a promise either of us can keep, though!

(Obligatory shot of the boats in the snow because it never gets old watching the boats go still in the ice.)

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Also, I try to get on here more than I am doing — I start posts that don’t get finished, and I have dozens of thoughts of things I’d like to write but don’t get a chance to.  It’s hard.  We are so busy right now, and winter’s short days don’t lend themselves to many photo opportunities (unless you like stills of the Lion Guard and PJ Masks, of course). While I have no doubt it will pick up again when the temps warm up, in the meantime, I’m posting on instagram to keep pics coming even when there isn’t time for a lot of words. You can find me @homebythebay – https://www.instagram.com/homebythebay/ 

Wintering on the Water

The blizzard is a distant memory. Days in the 40s and 50s have melted away most of the snow, so that only a few dirty chunks remain here and there in spots where the sun can’t reach. Though many of these photos made it onto various social media spots, I wanted a chance to share some of the stunning last pictures we got from the storm.

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I had a chance to go out and paddle around the ice and snow and had an absolutely serene experience out on the Bay. 20160126_082454 20160126_082503 20160126_090352 20160126_090407 (1) (2)

I took a couple of months off last year when the temps dropped, but I am committed to paddling year-round this year, and I love it.  I’ve paddled a half dozen times since the New Year, and I’m part of a group of paddlers around the country aiming to hit 100 miles in the first 100 days of 2016.  It’s been a terrific motivation — not so much seeing the people from Florida out there in their swimsuits, but the folks literally breaking through ice in Canada and New England in order to get through the water.  Even if I don’t hit 100 miles, though, I am so happy to be pushing myself in conditions I would have not previously considered paddle-able.  It makes tackling the water in the summer seem so easy!

Speaking of tackling the water, I got a very cool new toy to play with for my birthday this week — a speed coach specifically designed for SUP that measures everything from distance to stroke length and stroke rate and heart rate and all those metrics that play out on charts for analysis and comparison.  I am so excited, and hope to get it set up for some paddles this weekend!

As for today, there were white caps when I checked at sunrise, and white caps when I checked at lunch, but when I wrapped my work at 4, it was nothing but gentle rollers coasting into shore on a 48 degree day.

Could have stayed on the water all night long.

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Snowmageddon 2016: Day 3

I’d like to write a lengthy post but honestly, we’re three days into not leaving our house with two toddlers who are currently competing to see who can scream loudest and we’re staring down day four now that fed government (and thus our offices) and daycare are closed tomorrow, and I am fried.

We woke up to bright sunshine and blue sky this morning — in fact, when I woke up, I was certain I had to be seeing things through the skylight and it was actually still gray out. But it was definitely blue, and we had a beautiful morning outside in the snow. It felt much warmer than the “feel like” temp of 10 it was supposed to be, but when we turned the corner to get to the beach, the wind whipped up and it felt every bit as cold as they said.

Here are some pics of the incredible sights of snow and ice on the harbor, the channel, and the beach and Bay.

The harbor

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The channel covered in chunky ice and snow20160124_102239 20160124_102436 20160124_102528

The wind- and snow-blasted sand dunes20160124_102613

Trickery… it looks like the beach extends to the end of the jetty, but midway up the picture is the actual water line where beach turns to slushy Bay and unsuspecting visitors will take a very chilly plunge.20160124_102647 20160124_102652 20160124_102737
The kids loved running up and down the snowy beach20160124_102839Both kids spent most of the day laying in the snow. And most times I looked at Guy, he also seemed to be eating the snow…

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As you can see, after just one day of melt, our house looks pretty different!

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So… who is watching the kids tomorrow?

 

Snowmageddon 2016: Day 2

IMG_7468Blizzards: the only severe weather phenomenon that leaves everything just a little bit more beautiful after it hits.

We’re just over 24 hours in. For our area, at least, the snowfall has been substantially less than estimates. We’ve MAYBE gotten 12″?  But the winds are definitely fierce, and we’re still holding our breath that the power holds through the end of this storm.

We got absolutely pummeled by solid ice overnight, which kept our snow totals low, but didn’t make for a very quiet or restful evening. G stayed up through the worst of it to make sure the fire stayed on and everything stayed secure.

We were up early this morning so G could clear the drive, and we had the kids out to play before the winds picked up. Nell was a bubble of excitement to get outside, but Guy was not amused by his snowsuit, snowboots, or gloves.  In fact, while I was getting his boots ready, he took the snowsuit off and threw it in the trash. BUT we eventually made it outside, and he was a big fan of snowballs and sledding.

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Nell took the GoPro down the hill on one of her sled runs:

Later in the afternoon when the winds were starting to pick up again, G went down to the beach.  The difference between the wind and weather at our house, as he said, was almost indescribable. We are fairly protected, but the houses right on the water were getting blasted by the strong winds. He took this video of our neighbors’ home literally losing its roof.

I — like every other water-loving person in the area — had fantasies of getting on the water under falling snow and enjoying a surreal paddling adventure.

Nope. Nope. All the nopes.

Even if the water was still in the harbor (read=frozen)…

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…it was angry and violent out on the open Bay.

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As for the beach, it was swallowed by snow until you couldn’t tell where the sand ended and the water began:

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That didn’t stop Guy from trying to make this a beach day. “Come on!” he yelled, running down the street. It will be beachy fun, he was thinking.

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