2,236. That is how many miles we drove round trip to see our families between Christmas and New Years. 2017 took its toll on us, and we retreated home to be with the people who know and love us best.
We asked the grandparents for winter coats and the cousins for snow suits and bought the girls hats and mittens for the road trip home. We couldn't wait to show them snow for the first time. It's magical. Calming. Peaceful. A fresh blanket covers all that is dirty, broken and neglected. And for a minute, you feel like you're living in a fairy tale.
With high hopes, we bundled in the car and drove. Only to drive right into subzero temperatures were it was impossible and dangerous to spend any time outside. So we just stared at the snow through the window. Wishing it would warm up just a tad so we could make a snow angel, build a snowman and go sledding with the girls.
Alas, when we finally drove away from the frozen tundra, it was a balmy -11 degrees, and that's not even taking into account the wind chill.
So imagine our surprise when we found out Charleston was about to have an epic snow storm, the very next day after we arrived home. We were ready...and waiting. And just like that, pure magic happened. Every kid dreams of snow on Christmas morning...and while a week or so late, all of Charleston went out and played.
It was exactly what we needed. After a long trip, a grueling year and missing home, we got to throw snowballs, make snow angels, sled down the street with neighbors and bundle up with the best of them. Magic. Beautiful. Peaceful.
We're on day four of the snow, and it's starting to melt. Disappearing into the ground. Addie is sick, so Emma and I went out and built a snow pup this morning. We even sprinkled some of Canoli's ashes on the pure white snow, much to Emma's delight. He would have loved this. And then grumbled about it after he got wet. It's still hard. Still painful. We miss him so. The hardest thing about pulling in our driveway after 8 days on the road was that the girls immediately went and looked for their dog dog. Their squeals, thinking they would see him in the window waiting for us, still pierce my heart. But the snow is comforting. It's a reminder of home. A reminder of childhood. A reminder that God works miracles and speaks to us in ways we don't understand until after the fact.
Our little of family 4, that was 5, needed a snow day. We needed a day of rest. Of contemplation. Of fun. Joy. Laughter. Smiles. Snow.
So 2018, I'm rooting for you. I'm believing in what's best. I'm believing in the story unfolding before us and obedient to the path we are walking down. Toward what? The fun and agonizing part is that I have no clue. Everything seems fluid at the moment and uncertain. But I know that it is good. It is beautiful. It is joyful. Snow has taught me that. To wait. Waiting on goodness. Waiting on God's best.