Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Life In The Midwest

****First, I'm happy to report that Caroline left ICU on Monday morning, is in a regular room.....took a shower and walked yesterday. Huge progress for my brave sister. We should all be lucky enough to have her strength! I'm immensely proud of her. Please keep praying.

In 2009, I wrote about Colorado. You can check out that post here. I compared our lives there to the South. The Midwest has a lot of similarities......and some differences, too.

The leaves have to be the greatest change. I have never seen such a beautiful Fall.

And, once most of the leaves have fallen, clean up crews take care of the mess. Our association dues include 2 sweeps of the neighborhood....November and then December...huge trucks come out to remove the leaves from the ground and people are hired to clear the roofs and gutters.

It's all very exciting to a 3 year old.

Snow falls......seems like nearly as much in Colorado this year......and toys sometimes get covered. Jack found this tractor a couple of months after playing with it. It had been buried in the snow.

Geese usually signify a change in season.......coming or going.......and they're everywhere.

They're at the zoo, in the neighborhood, in parks, and cruising through parking lots.

And, we're not supposed to feed them.

We wear lots of boots. And, when we come in, the snow melts in these rubber mats to save our wood floors.

This part of the house looks like a mess half the year. Boots, scarves, coats, sweaters, vests, hats.....we're constantly layering and preparing for life outdoors.

One of our smartest purchases ever......Weather Tech mats. They're custom fitted to my car so that the carpet is protected from winter effects. 3 kids in slushy boots will stain your carpets in no time. I actually recommend these for any part of the country. Love them.

We learned (the hard way) this year to let the snow thaw before removing Christmas decorations. Never happened in Colorado......but lots of our lights and lawn pieces broke due to the cords freezing and breaking upon removal.

But, don't worry. Tacky plastic Santa is safe. I know you were wondering.

We cover sidewalks with sand or ice-melt to prevent slips and falls. Luckily, our neighborhood plows the driveways and our little stretch of sidewalk is all we have to maintain.

The snow comes and goes and we keep moving. Stepping in the snow seems like the most fun.

We ski here......yep, not just in the mountains.......there are resorts throughout The Midwest to feed our cravings. It's entirely more laid back and perfect for kids to learn. So happy to have the option here.

Lots more rentals here than in other areas......because people ski here less. Grateful we bought our gear while we lived in Colorado. To outfit all 3 kids for one day of skiing is over $100. And, that doesn't include lift tickets!

I know I've left out thing that is common in Colorado, that many houses don't have fences for their back yards. Coco didn't understand this as we drove through suburban KC. Our patio is fenced in, but not the yard. Some don't even fence their patio. Add that to the wood construction of houses, people staring at our massive jogging strollers......and Coco's pretty little head was spinning. I think the slow style of the South suits her better.

So, that's The Midwest. We're loving it. And, wondering where we're off to next. Time will tell!


Sara said...

Coco's pretty little head is always spinning, isn't it??

I find the whole fence thing a little strange too. Very different from TX where EVERYTHING is fenced.

Carrie Darney said...

You still have christmas music playing...God rest Ye Merry Gentlemen...I jsut noticed.

No fences weirds me out too! I would feel like my privacy is you ever?

starnes family said...

Christmas music playing when you click on the blog? That song is always at the top of the list......but it shouldn't be playing automatically.

No, the fence thing doesn't bother me. In Colorado, we had 1/2 fences......not high privacy fences like in, we were eased into it. We also play in the sideyard of our house b/c we're on a corner lot more than we do in the back.

Many people have playsets and such just out on their land......same lot sizes as in Texas.....but no fence.

I actually prefer the 1/2 fence or none at all.....because it feels more open and looks nicer. However, we don't have a dog, so that could certainly be a factor for many.

The Soladay Family said...

How do people keep their dogs in? Shock collars? Yikes! My pups would be g.o.n.e. without a fence. Does that mean we're holding them prisoner?

I have a whole new appreciation for dressing and undressing, layering and unlayering after visiting Ryan's parents in NY. It takes lots of prep time!

So glad Caroline is out of ICU and experiencing progress. =)

Shannon said...

The same way that Coco's head spun in Kansas, our heads spun in Texas. Why all the BRICK? Why all the 6 foot high wood fences? So WEIRD.

I'm about to do a Texas/Kansas comparison too. We did it when we move from Texas to Kansas and now we're going to do it in reverse. Pros/cons to every you know, mah dear.

Allyson and Dave said...

I am so happy to hear that Caroline is improving.

We don't even have yards to fence in here in pool is screened in...does that count? I thought that was the craziest thing when I moved here from TN. Who screens in a pool? And then I met the thousands of bugs and critters that live in my yard. I like the screen now.

Dee Stephens said...

I've seen those fenced in pools in Fla. crazy indeed!
We have fences here but not at our house. We don't even have a yard! boohoo! We have to actually go outside and walk our dog!
As for skiing with kids.. what I wonder is how you can afford to keep them in gear with them growing so fast? Seems like it would add up? you should do a post about that..

Anonymous said...

that might be the best hoa perk ever! if i front you the money, maybe they can swing by here.

and tacky santa's always survive--they're like roaches...

...or herpes

Coco said...

Texas is not slower than the midwest. At all.

Remember, Coco freaked a lot of folks out. I talked to store clerks and got stared down. The people didn't think my jokes were funny. It was weird and you know it.
Though I did LOVE KC and will be back a lot. I think I was a little too fast paced for a lot of the peeps we bumped into.

And the fence thing is so weird. But I wish we had wood houses here in Texas, I just love that look. Just too dangerous.

Hattie said...

The midwest sounds fun, but cold!!! I wish we had fall here in SW Texas! I love seeing the leaves turn colors.

Rebekah Williams said...

Welcome to our part of the world. You're a wonderful addition to the Midwest!

merrilee said...

The space deemed "mud room" was clearly invented in the Midwest....lots of stuff to keep track of. I just have a massive supply of flip-flops to organize(not so bad). Darin's sister lives outside of Chicago and they don't have fences either. It really freaked out Darin's parents at first, but I thought it looked more open, too.

Heather said...

So glad that Caroline is making progress!

Really, what do people do with their dogs with no fences?

I barely survived 3 snows here this winter, I would never last with all that cold weather. I would be happy if it was 80 degrees year round. Can't take the cold. can't do it. it makes me cranky.

Tutus and Choo-Choos said...

In our neighborhood in Nebraska, we do not have a fence and the only people that do have a fence live on the opposite corner from us. During the summer the kids just run through all the yards playing and laughing. Some people have fences, but it is common not to fence in your yard.

timmonstimes said...

My hubby is from Iowa and they are without fences too. I am still not used to it when we go but I sure do love to sit on their porch and people watch in the evenings. It's almost like watching a soap opera on mute :) I do love watching the kids run from yard to yard. All of their neighbors swing sets are free game for any of the kiddos at any time, which is super neat!

SO GLAD to hear Caroline is improving!

Jodee said...

So glad to hear Caroline's progress and so glad you are lovin' the Midwest. We love it here too! However, we couldn't live without our fence!

Happy Hump Day!

donatelli98 said...

So happy for Caroline! BTW - loved your comment for Trey on Sara's blog! Too funny - right there with you right winger!

We have block walls here in the desert.

The Luis Family said...

I would love to experience fall. The pictures of the changes leaves is beautiful! I would really really like to see that for myself some day!

You are right ... those car mats are the BEST!! We ordered them right before we made the move to Canada and they have been great with the snirt (that's what we call the snow dirt mix) we now have!

Merry Mack said...

I am so glad to hear the good news about Caroline. I hope she continues to improve. Great post. Those fall pictures are beautiful. I would love to have skiing that close to home even if it is hard on the wallet. The dog thing is the only objection I can think of to the fence. I am not sure I care one way or the other and I only know one way of life.

Moni said...

There is a neighborhood of wood look houses around us in cute with all the different colors. Such a different look than brick which we are used to here in Texas! I have to have a fence, have to! I couldn't get used to the constant layering when visiting NYC back in December. And wearing a hat for a purpose and not just to look cute drives me nuts!

Kristen said...

I adore the Midwest... I don't know if I will ever leave.

And so proud of Caroline!! Amazing strength and courage and grace... what a great example she is for your kiddos and for all of us!! Go Caroline! I will keep praying for her :)

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