The Truth Is, I’m Just Not Feeling It.

The truth is, I just don’t feel very well.

We all four let a freakin’ bug into this house. I think it started with Cassidy and was just three days of a runny nose. Then I got the same. It went away and I thought, “That’s it? That’s it!” The poor kids got it or another rampant virus and they both are on a week of coughing. You know how it is. The lingering cough. Luckily it only happens once every year or two or three around here, or I’d truly lose my mind. It doesn’t end. Or it does, but it doesn’t feel like it will ever end. In the grand scheme of life, we’re looking at a week or two, or three in the worst case. That doesn’t take away from how awful it feels when you’re in it.

It’s Groundhog Day Season – this awkward and dark cold front between Halloween and Thanksgiving/Christmas. Every morning, there is coughing. Every morning, there is trauma from getting out of a warm bed, and then, out of a warm shower. Every morning, there is the last minute scramble to get to school reasonably on time. (rarely happens) Every morning I wrestle with kid zippers (awful. we can send people to space but we can’t invent good zippers?) Every morning I wrestle with ice cold steering wheels and condensation (and condescension) on the windows and doors. Every morning we search for hats, boots and mittens.

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(Although they looked pretty cute last year, right?)

And I’m sick of it. Down with this. Down with disease! It’s only November and I feel this way.

Many of you seem to think I’m a positive person, right? I’d like to believe so. And yet November comes and I wonder. Am I only seasonally positive? Am I thriving in the spring/summer/early fall, only to falter in the late fall/winter? Can I do this?

Can we do this?

I don’t like days in which I’m watching the clock, waiting for it to end. Waiting for the relief pitcher (Cassidy) to come home. Wanting to leave the house for long periods of time so as not to waste the electricity/wood pellets that it takes to stay home.

We keep warm, though. Des hums and whines the “My Little Pony” theme song on command. Scarlet wants to hug for hours. So I am a positive person, mostly, because I can feel the warmth and life and joy radiating out of them and into me. And out of me and into them. And there’s warm coffee and our magnificent fireplace and I am so grateful for the warmth from both.

There are new photos..

..of old places. Places of late summer. The heat radiates out of the photos and into my heart.

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(That’s Des for ya.)

Please share your tales of woe and cold mornings. Tell me what it’s like. Tell me how to make it better.

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  1. I'm so sorry about the sickies. We had our own battle with the flu here, and of course, I got the worse of it. And we live in a tropical country!

    Love the pictures, especially the sunflower (my favorite flower) and the last one of Des. Reminds me of the time I said to my toddler, "Don't lick the elevator door!".

    1. Ugh..the flu!! The dreaded flu. Hope you’re all well now. I don’t even mind us all getting sick – it’s the lingering that gets to me!! Weeks of time!
      The elevator door! Well hey, that will just boost his immune system, right?

  2. it’s not that cold here yet luckily. and it’s good that for now the kids aren’t leaving in the pitch dark anymore! it’ll be back soon, but for now the extra hour of light in the morning is nice.

  3. Oh how I wish I could! Winter gets ugly here, but you knew that already. One thing I do love is running in the cold. I realize this does nothing for you but it's all I got and I cling to it!!

    Yes, they look just as beautiful last winter and yes, my boys lick everything too. What's up with that?

  4. I remember cold mornings and afternoons in our little Rockaway house. I would bundle us all up and not turn the heat up until right before your daddy came home so he would think we were warm all day. The money just wasn't abundant. The love was.

    1. Ack, what a story! I do that a lot. I don’t turn the heat on until close to Cassidy getting home. Or I turn it on very early and when he asks if it’s been on all day, I’ll say, “Not really, no.”

  5. I feel like colds that sweep through the whole house are just miserable. In every way. And adding to that the time change, and it is no wonder you feel off. My hubby definitely has an adjustment period to this time of year, too. Sending you good, healing vibes! :)-Ashley

  6. ah- intense, T! very descriptive word for you & fits your post today like a glove! I admire every description you put out there… I am not afan of the cols either & the runny noses & germs flying around… ewwww! bring me back fall!! We had to start the wood stove & it broke my heart! I miss Fall already & technically we are still there but I don't do the cold, I southern I do sunshine & 65 degrees… 🙂 LOVED this post & of course the photos… D & his tongue- priceless!

    1. We had to do the pellet stove, for about a week now. I mean I totally am in love with it and I want to marry it, but I don't like the reason for having to use it. Although on a cold night with the fire going, popcorn on the stove and the pine trees visible against the sky outside? Bliss. The only way I survive winter, really.

      1. I am in complete agreement with you T! I’m totally over the cold… however your cold weather & my “version” of cold weather are completely different, I’m sure… I bet you would laugh at my thoughts of cold weather… LOL!

  7. Winter in New England is definitely hard. While there is something so beautiful (especially that first snowfall!) and cozy about it (mugs of hot chocolate, nestling under a warm blanket to watch a movie), it also at times seem endless. It can be depressing to have it get dark so early, and to have to pull yourself out of a warm bed and be met with a coldish house. I found working from this past winter somehow made it more bearable, but I'll be interested to see how it will be when it's just me and a newborn. At home. By ourselves. I'm gonna need to get out a lot.

    1. Definitely! Maybe you'll find good baby groups and whatnot. I had Scarlet in the summer, so it was easy to get out more but also a bit hot for my liking!

  8. I love thinking about the warmth of summer when it’s cold and dark outside. Which is crazy because I wanted summer to be over for the longest time. I agree with you about the time between Halloween and Thanksgiving, although it’s usually scramble time, where I am trying to get as much as I can done before the holiday rush when there are so many planes, and cars, and so much travel that I can never get anything done. But it’s also the best time of the year, so…that pretty much makes it worth it.

    Did you get that HUGE snow this year, or were those pictures taken earlier??

    1. Oh I hear you! By the end of summer, fall is a glorious relief from the humidity!! So very much. Summer and winter are too long. Fall and spring are too short. That's my opinion! That's how they feel.

      That huge snow was last year! I guess early 2013, but I can't remember exactly which month. Soon after New Year's, I believe.

  9. Hope the whole family is feeling better. Our little one was down for the count with pneumonia last week, and it made for some miserable nights. And mornings. And days! Hang in there. At least winter means bundling your kids up in adorable snow clothes and taking awesome pics, followed by hot chocolate to warm everyone up!

    1. Thanks! It's just a long process. I'd say Cassidy is 100% better and I'm maybe 90% better. The kids are doing pretty well, but I'm still getting antsy for no coughing!

  10. Oh, Tamara. I hear you. I was so sick at this time last year that I actually started sobbing at one point … which is not me at all. In retrospect I think I had the flu, and I was running the book fair at my kids' school during the worst of it – so stressful. I remember having many of the same thoughts/feelings you wrote about here.

    I recently read a post at In Pursuit of Happiness called "Why I Will Love Winter" and it really spoke to me, just because I usually struggle so much with this season.

  11. I think you know you aren’t alone. Seriously, both Emma and Lily were sick last week and by the end of last week they still had the coughs (and still do now, too). I have spent $80 in doctor co-pays for them in the last 2 weeks. And then I started feeling run down as well by the end of last week, as well as Kevin by the end of the weekend. We, too, are a sick house and can completely commiserate. And I know it is only November and seriously not looking forward to months more of this to be quite honest. Feel better and know you aren’t alone at all, Tamara.

    1. Ugh, the co-pays!! It's the worst. Sick is ok. 24 hour viruses ok. Why do these cold things last so long?? I guess they have to really run their course, but sheesh.

  12. You guys can come and hang out here for a month or three. We keep the house warm. And think of the ample opportunity to bake sadly disfigured things! (which also helps us keep warm, by the way) Scarlet could play with Olivia across the street, who is also four. Or maybe five by now. And Des could play with Jasmine across the street, who is two, and also my cousin’s little girl. They could even pick up a bonus grandma and great grandparents, in a different big old warm house. My grandparent’s house is over 150 years old.

    1. Wait, that sounds like the best thing in the entire world. What if we totally took you up on it and just showed up at your doorstep, intending to stay for 3-4 months? What if?

  13. Ugh, sorry you all are sick! I’ve noticed that since my daughter started school, she brings home a bug almost every week! I think the time change affects everyone’s mood also. You gain an hour but everyone is off and it gets dark SO early. Boooo. But I do love your sunflower pictures. They are just gorgeous!! You need to make that single flower picture a print or something, it’s stunning!

    1. Thank you! What’s funny is that I said in a post not long ago that I NEVER take flower photos. Generally, they bore me but this snuck into my repertoire.

  14. I try focus on things I enjoy to help me get up in the morning- knowing the coffee will be waiting, scented candle, watching an inspirational message. Getting through winter takes intentional front loading of positivism… but very hard when everyone is coughing. We had it OFTEN! Hang in there:)

  15. I get to feeling this way every year around this time. I hate cold weather and the bugs it brings. We've all been feeling cruddy with coughs and sneezes and runny noses. (Also, you might want to try some Vitamin D supplements-if you can't have real sunshine, at least try for fake.)

  16. Big hugs, Tamara. I know this is a hard season for you. I struggle with it too. I don't enjoy the cold as much although our Southern California cold is kind of wimpy. But it's the

  17. I don’t know what cold is…when the temperature reaches 75 degrees we start looking for long sleeves and jeans!! But when the ick gets into our walls, its all about just sleeping and watching bad TV

  18. I just hate the time change! It gets dark now by 4:30 in the afternoon, and in the mornings my body still feels like 5:00 is 6:00, so I wake up early and can't go back to sleep. I'm having the November Blues!

  19. Oh bless your heart Tamara… I know all too well how you feel. When my kids were sick for weeks and months on end- I was desperate for another time, a sweeter softer time- summer.

    I haven’t reached your ‘place’ yet- it’s still beautiful here, so I am okay. But once the trees grow bare and the raw chill hits the air for months on end- that’s when I plummit.

    I dread those days of death (I call them. But I get better at handling them every year, because we are no longer in a nightmare of sickness.

    As hard as it is to do sometimes, force yourself to focus on the good blessings… it ALWAYS changes things for the better.

    The best remedy for dark moods is gratitude. At least it works for me, my friend.

    Praying the bug leaves your house asap and a surprising delight comes into your day. It can happen!! 🙂

  20. I detest winter with every fiber of my being. If I could hibernate from November till March I would. I thought that when I turned 40 Chris would let me winter somewhere warmer – didn’t happen so now I’m pushing for 45 (which would make this my last winter!!). Probably not going to happen so I just go into survival mode – on the cold gray days I tend to spend lots of time on my treadmill (keeps me warm and helps me mentally!). And I dream about the beach!!!
    I hope that the coughing and other issues with those lingering colds end soon!!!

  21. And what is with that? Being sick for months?? I was hoping it would be better where you live, but even if not, I'm still going to visit that open bedroom!

  22. I think I need to Google that post immediately. My mom loves winter and I always think she's nuts, but there's certainly much to love. Year round.

  23. Oh yeah! Time to break out the Vitamin D supplements. I rather enjoyed using them last year and when I was pregnant two years ago, I was told they were a must!

  24. Ugh. I’m so sorry to hear that everyone is fighting The Sick. I hate The Sick. I seem to be one of those people who will get a cold, and then have a lingering cough for months afterwards. I’ve found that honey definitely helps soothe sore throats.

    And if the winter blahs get to be too much, I happen to know someone who lives in Florida who has an open bedroom. 🙂

  25. I wear my fleece robe or a sweater from about October to April – I hate being cold but I love that I can snuggle up under layers. It's a beautiful fall day here today, so I haven't gotten the doldrums yet. Of course, no one is sick in my house (yet).

    1. Today Scarlet and I were listing things to love about November, and there are many actually! Good movies in the theater. Holiday lights going up early!

  26. I slumped a few weeks ago and my mother recently told me I've done this every fall for my entire life. Just keep staring at those sunflower photos.

    1. Right! And then I start thinking about how sunflowers look when their season is over. Have you seen it? It’s very human. They slump down and hide. It’s really sad. I’m not helping here, am I?

  27. I'm sorry you're feeling so crummy! Do you really have that much snow already? I can't even imagine… It's not quite that cold yet here in the Missouri Ozarks, but it is starting to get chilly and I am in total denial. Half the time I don't even get my children in proper coats for the weather. Sigh… mother of the year I'm not. =)

  28. Down here, in Charlotte, some mornings, I have to scrape the windshield.

    Some days, Elise and I can’t drive to school with the windows down.

    Every once in a while, I have to warm up the car, wear a coat, and even, one time, gloves.

  29. darkness and shorter days that make me struggle. I’m sending you lots of love and light. And we’ll just hold onto the happy things in this season, fireplaces, snuggly sweaters, and maybe hot cider?

  30. The cold has been killing me in the morning. There have been a couple of mornings in the high 20s. Yet G and I are still walking to school. Today was the first day I didn't feel so chilled. I think I'm getting my thicker winter skin. In February this weather feels warm. Luckily the sickness hasn't hit us yet. With two boys in school and daycare I swear we've built up super immunity systems. *knocks on wood* It doesn't help that it gets dark super early. This time of year is just dreary!

    1. Scarlet did really well last night! Her first year in school and nothing notable. In fact, she had perfect attendance all year! This year…sigh..I'm cautiously optimistic.

  31. We and the stomach thing make its way through our house a couple of weeks ago. It was miserable, but fortunately we haven't really had the colds yet. Here in NC, it's not that cold yet, but there is a definite chill in the mornings and I don't want to get out of my cozy bed. (But I never do in the summer either!) I'm actually a fan of winter – minus the germs!

  32. I have no great advice at all- because I am not a fan of winter – which is why I moved south – or even the shorter days. Eating helps (me feel better – but not my weight) as does music. As does sunlight. As does granola. I will have to send more. xo

  33. I have a "make it better" solution….if you are up for it. Take Des to a Mother's Day out at a local church or care center, then come home, take a hot bath, get back in the pajamas, grab a hot chocolate or coffee or tea, stoke up a fire, grab a big comfy blanket and a good book or just nap. You sound like you need to re-charge. I am the same way. That's actually my dream day! There are times when you need to re-charge, otherwise you are never going to run at full capacity and feel good. I am a seasonal person like you…with Spring being my favorite. Summer a close 2nd, and fall and winter I just deal with. I don't mind cold, I just miss the sunshine and hate cloudy and gloomy days. And just like Des, Addy puts her mouth on everything. Lol.

    1. I’ve never heard of that!! I need to investigate this immediately. And follow your exact orders. Thank you for the brilliant re-charge idea!

  34. So true to life! And our lives really are like the seasons! Yellow and sunny and warm, then brown and cool, then grey and wet… When my son gets a cold it takes him up to four weeks to get over it! Lots of green! LOL. Stunning photos, are you using them to publish children's picture books? You should!

  35. I’m totally with you. I feel just yucky right now. Fighting a cold flu, fighting the fact that winter is coming and will be here for many, many months. I need sun. I need warmth. I need beach. But every year I get through it. November is just a hard month. Nothing to look forward to it seems – we don’t even have Thanksgiving in Canada in Nov!! Hang in there! XO

    1. Yes, I miss the beach so much!! I think so much about our summer memories. And yours! Your big Outer Banks trip!! Well, there’s also a lot to love right now and we’ll get there again.

  36. It's not cold here, either…but I hear you on wanting the dark to go away. I am not happy that it's dark so early. Sigh. Your photos? Bring me light and happy all the way in my heart. As do your words. Hang in there friend. The snow can bring magic, too. Also the sickness SUCKS. I was up on Monday before 4am due to a "Mommy?" with vomit, bedding washing, fevers, and blah.


  37. Heya!
    Sounds like seasonal depression to me. My dad and best from (and many others in this world) suffer from it. When I was a kid, my dad even made these special lights to sit in front of at night to try to trick his body into thinking he was getting sunlight. He leaves early in the morning when it’s dark and comes home late at night when it’s dark. The lack of seeing/feeling sunshine really gets to him. Same with one of my best friends even though she doesn’t work out of the house all day.
    And did you really drop a phish reference?? Down w/disease! On purpose or by accident…I want to think on purpose. Bravo!!
    Hope to see you at E2E if you can possibly make it Saturday. Keep up the great work w/your blog. I don’t often comment but I am always reading and appreciating that you allow me to keep up on you and your family this way.

    1. Hey!! Hope I see you Saturday. It’s not really seasonal depression because I rarely feel depressed, if ever. I know the feeling (sadly) and it’s been quite awhile for me, luckily. I do have the November Blues, though.
      I DID drop a Phish reference for you, Eagle Eyes.
      Really can’t wait to see you.

  38. I wish I could help you make cold mornings feel better! If you ever find an answer, please share with the rest of us. We’re in the sick state here. The baby was sent home three days from school a couple weeks ago and she was sent home again today. Hopefully you all feel better again soon!

  39. I am hoping you guys feel better soon, that sucks so bad. I have a hard time most mornings–I never have enough sleep and my covers are way better than the subway!

  40. Oh I hate the sickies. I’m in the middle of it right now. It seems that the boys bring all their germs home from school and usually I am the only one who gets sick. Well, the boys do too but Ed never does which drives me crazy sometimes. Been sick for about a week and lost my voice on Halloween eve. It’s just starting to come back now. It’s nutso. I’m really for it to be done too. I feel the same way about November (aside from NYC Marathon Sunday and Thanksgiving) and February and just kind of sort of wish those months away. I hope that you all are feeling better and I think that I’ll just stare at your photos of the fields of flowers and that last one of Des.

    1. I do hate wishing months away. November has a lot of great things about it. So does February! I think if I just knew I had a break in all of this – a warm vacation maybe.
      Let us all heal from the sickies!!

  41. Sorry you guys are under the weather. This, too, will pass. Strangely enough, I've been the opposite since the time change on Sunday: waking up early and actually liking it. Sure wasn't that way in the summer. I wanted to stay home in bed and sleep. Go figure!

    1. That's nice – liking it! I have certainly been getting up earlier than ever! Having small children during "fall back" season is like that, I guess.

  42. In my mind I am sitting on the beach with my BFF (who lives in South Carolina) we are laughing and the husbands are taking care of the children.

    Otherwise it's just cold and damp here in the Midwest. I'm about a week away from pulling out the boots and snow pants. 🙁

    Hey, but Happy Thursday! 😉

    1. I love your fantasy! Is it rude if I crash it? I want to be kid-free (very temporarily, of course) on a warm beach. Just for a day. An hour, even!

  43. I'm not sure I can add much to what 80+ people have already said, but if it hasn't been said, I would say, MOVE SOUTH! 🙂 It's 70 degrees today in SC. Cold to us is if it gets below 30 (at night). I think if I lived in a place that was cold and dark more than it was warm and sunny, I'd be depressed too.

    I wish I had better advice for you!

  44. That is totally my personality – a different time of year – without the sickness. Sorry right now it's warm here and the windows are open. I had the air on in the car yesterday. When Spring comes I get grumpy because any minute (could still be February) it going to get HOT. So I enjoy our late fall and fake winters. Summer – is a you know. Hope you feel better.

  45. This year is not so cold here in Italy yet, but I don't know how it will be this winter, last winter we didn't have snow at all, so sad. I like snow but not cold days for so long. Amazing pictures 🙂

  46. Oh my goodness, that first photo, the very first one, needs to win a photography prize, right now. How PRECIOUS!!

    I love your words, too. November isn't the easiest time of year. Hopefully winter will come and go quickly and painlessly. 🙂

  47. Oh Tamara! It’s so opposite for me now that I’m in Arizona. It’s the summers that are so hot and unbearable! We barely went outside this year just like you seem to want to snuggle indoors more. In Arizona, it’s so hot that people don’t go out much or they find things like a splash pad for the kids. My son didn’t go to the splash pad this year. I will have to next year though. I look forward to the cooler months. It doesn’t get as cold during the day as it does for you all, though. Hang in there. This too shall pass 🙂

    1. We have a lot of heat in the summer too, and it can seem as brutal as winter to many. Fall and spring are really New England's strongpoints, I think!

  48. I am going to admit right now that I did not read this. BUT! I was just so distracted by the gorgeous photos. That is the best excuse I have got. 😉

    But, according to your current post you are feeling better, yes? So, YAY!! 😀

  49. How did I miss a post?! Things haven’t been that great around here either. I haven’t been feeling too well. If it wasn’t for scheduling I don’t know how I would have made it. Madison had a cold and now I think I’m coming down with something. It does get better and actually being outdoors do help. It gets darker earlier and that doesn’t help much. I love the sunshine of spring/summer. I can’t wait for it to get here. Love last years photos and can’t wait to see this years.

  50. it's bad enough when my husband is sick because he is one big whiny baby, but i can't imagine have sicky children. that would be awful. i would trade anything to be sick instead of them. i hope everyone gets better real soon. my big cold remedy is spicy tom yum soup!

    1. Yum! And sometimes..the husbands are bigger babies than the babies. The kids are all gung ho about not wanting to miss a second of life, so they may downplay their illnesses.

  51. I love having 4 seasons, though, it seems like we only have two anymore. We are under the weather here tonight. I hopeits nothing. I love those sunflower photos!!

  52. Awwww…..I hope you and the family feel better really soon! The bug always invades my household too, at this same time of year!
    The pics of the sunflower fields? BEAU-TEE-FUL……as are Scarlet and Des!

  53. All I could think while looking at those photos from last year was how jealous I am to not live in a place with seasons. Tamara…it’s still in the 80’s here. Shoot me. Can we trade houses maybe?
    My mom would get seasonally “depressed”. She definitely flourished in the spring and summer months compared to the late fall/winter months. Probably why she moved us out here to AZ.

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