What was meant to be our first full week back to work since before Christmas ended up being a bit different than expected. We left Iceland right after blizzard conditions and a ton of snow dumped on the part of the country we were in and arrived just in time for a bunch of snow and ice at home. So instead of a normal week back at work, I worked from home on Monday, brought the kiddo to the office with me, and then had a late start Thursday (though also finished the day in late evening).

He still hasn’t had a preschool day yet, and since Monday is a bank holiday, he won’t have one until Tuesday, almost a full month since his last day there. It’s going to be a big transition back to normal for all of us next week, so cross your fingers and hope it goes smooth-ish for us.

The trails look so different in the snow

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.

Friday’s Frugal Five

1. Since we were all sick around the holidays, especially the in laws, we had Christmas round two with them over the weekend. Unfortunately, my sister and brother in law then had their turn to be sick and couldn’t attend, and Bob couldn’t make it down from Skagit County because of the aforementioned snowstorm that was just getting started on Sunday.

The day ended up being just us and my husband’s parents with well more food than we could eat (including a lovely roast from Midnight’s Farm). We went on a walk, my kiddo and mother in law battled on PokemonGo, and we had a nice slow day together. Perhaps not the bigger Christmas celebration as planned, but a lovely day nonetheless. And maybe Easter will treat us all more kindly this year.

2. I returned both pairs of winter boots to mom that I had borrowed for the Iceland trip (though I only took one pair with me). My regular hiking boots and work boots work just fine for around here, but it was wonderful to have some extra warm waterproof ones to take with me on the trip. They were especially appreciated the day Bob and I ran in the snow in 8 degrees Fahrenheit.

If it wasn’t for my ongoing clothes buying ban, I likely would have used the trip as an excuse to buy new boots even though I have ones that work for every other purpose already. Instead, I looked to my community to borrow some for one specific purpose (new to me winter socks from the clothing swap also came with me on the trip). Even after I start buying clothes again someday, this perspective should stick with me.

Traveling boots

3. As has become somewhat of a tradition at this point, we had dinner with some of our neighbors on one of the snow days, using mostly leftovers and food we already had in our homes.

The quick throw-together meal meant we could stay outside chatting with other neighbors for longer while the kids sledded down our hill over and over again. While clearly life isn’t always live so tightly to home, it has me longing for a small community where all my loved ones live within walking distance.

4. If you follow my stories on Instagram, you already know this, but Jessica from The Fioneers sent me a box of socks that she was decluttering after her December minimalism challenge. To say I was excited was an understatement.

The box included a bunch of quality running socks plus two pairs of Smartwool hiking socks. Opening that box felt like Christmas once again. If you’re interested in reliving some of my excitement over secondhand socks, I saved my story on Instagram under Socks.

5. As I’ve mentioned a couple of times now, I had the kiddo with me for the first three work days of the week. While perhaps not the lowest stress or easiest workdays, I so appreciate that I have the flexibility to work around snow days. The husband helped in the afternoon as he could and took the kiddo for a long lunch on Wednesday (plus had him all Thursday afternoon and evening while I was at meetings), but the rest of the time fell on me because my work can be done with a kiddo in tow for the most part, while his cannot.

Working with a kid underfoot might not be the easiest or most fun, but I am very aware how lucky I am to be able to make snow days just a bit annoying (but also fun when we get to walk in the snow and sled in the middle of the day). For many working parents (and working people without children and without PTO), snow days can be a huge financial stressor and no fun at all. Too many people lose important income or brave unsafe conditions because they have no options. I am so thankful to have options.

Exercise Update

Friday was not yet a workday but my mother in law came over to hang out with the kiddo anyway, so I got to go on a run and have a long good workout at the gym reminiscent of my pre kid days. Saturday was a two hour stroll with the kiddo and the dogs. Sunday was the first hour long run in a couple of months, and it felt great.

Monday and Tuesday were a lot of walking in the snow. Wednesday was more walking in the snow and a half hour on the elliptical. Thursday was a two hour stroll while I blogged and Jobspotted between afternoon/evening meetings.

How often do you get snow days? What do your work days look like then?

19 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (2020 – Snow Day Edition)

  1. it hasn’t hardly snowed at all in buffalo the past 6 weeks or so. it’s good somebody else share the snowy cold love this year. our schools close quite a bit around here for snow but my work very rarely closes. we’re well set up for clearing all except the worst snowfalls here in buffalo. we just go ahead and commute in it. i do recall last year being stuck on the interstate right near my house last winter for a couple of hours because snow caused a huge crash up ahead of me.

    it’s great when you can sled right in the street down a hill.

  2. Um, I also would have been thrilled to receive a box of socks! Hubby almost always gets sock from my grandfather for Christmas and he has said before it’s one of his fav gifts. Funny story: there is a home video from Christmas when he was like, five or something where he unwraps new socks in his stocking and he is PUMPED about it. Apparently his love of receiving socks has deep roots in his childhood haha.

    Snow days are…kind of common here but kind of not at the same time? By that I mean, it snows a LOT here but it often doesn’t mean much in the long run. Although the last couple years have been a little different, generally speaking, snow is such a fact of life here that it takes a lot to cancel school — and even more so for work to be impacted. When I worked at the newspaper, I never had a single snow day; since moving into my current role three years ago, I have only had one day when the office was closed due to the snow (and that’s because we got 70 CENTIMETRES IN A DAY. It was crazy. That said, my current job does allow a lot more flexibility in terms of working from home, so that’s nice.

    1. Holy cow that is a lot of snow in a day. And I love that that video exists. That is amazing.

      1. It was one of the craziest storms I have ever experienced (and I lived in Nova Scotia during White Juan – aka the blizzard equivalent of hurricane Juan). That said, even though the amount is similar, it was nothing like what just happened in Newfoundland. So wild to see photos coming from the Rock!

        Hubby’s parents were awesome for making videos when he and his two brothers were small. We watched a few different Christmas videos over the break and we were all in tears laughing. It was awesome haha.

  3. Snow day here today! (Or more precisely, ice.) Hubby’s part-time job is at a college and they closed today so he’s watching the kiddo while I work from home.

  4. We rarely get snow here (Cambridge , UK) and when we do it’s usually a couple of inches , maybe twice a year.

    I’m impressed you can blog while walking!

    And being able to work with your son around is indeed great from a flexible working point of view.

    1. “Great” but also very very challenging. And hey! I don’t think I realized you were in the UK 🙂 Met a few gals from Kent while we were in Iceland.

  5. Love wool socks, especially Smartwool, so I am happy for you!! We were happily snowed in as well. I worked from home and played in the snow with the kiddos, and husband saved a neighbor’s dog from almost drowning in the pond (hadn’t frozen over completely, poor pup). Haven’t felt stir crazy yet but I’m close!

  6. We’re due for snowish conditions tomorrow. Well, it’s going to be just above freezing with precipitation, so snow showers, which really means messy city street conditions. But I wouldn’t mind a walk through the woods you’ve included above!

    I’m still amazed by your clothes buying ban. While I’ve drastically reduced the clothes I buy, I haven’t completely ceased it. And I may even buy a heavily discounted hiking coat this week or next. We’ll see. It hurts to spend money on clothes, but my most used items are really looking ratty. Things I rarely wear look brand new more than 10 years later. I need to organize a clothing swap like the one you did.

    1. About half (?) of what I wear these days I’ve accumulated since the beginning of the ban – not “new” but new to me. So that’s a huge huge help.

      1. Good to know! I tried my local Buy Nothing Project for new-to-me clothing, but that’s not a great source. It’s mostly kids’ clothing or stuff that’s not my size. Plus, people who are on Facebook regularly (not me) snag it first. But I’m glad your system is working for you!

      2. For me it’s been friends/family or friends of friends. And the clothing swap, of course 🙂

  7. We’re so envious of your snow. Our son would love a snow day.
    It’s just plain old cold rain and a little hail in Portland. I was home alone last weekend and it was too isolating. I wouldn’t last long in Portland if I wasn’t married and has a kid. So ready for nicer weather…

Leave a Reply