A winter storm for a me is like going to Disneyworld for a kid!
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While there are many that hate a winter storm, I am one who loves waking up to a winter wonderland and seeing the excitement on my kids faces. And lets not forget all of the fun things to do with friends during a winter storm.
I love to bundle up so that my toes don’t freeze off. I love lounging in my comfy clothes and wrapped in a blanket that has been washed in my smell good, Topanga Scents. You may even think I’m crazy in making sure my blankets are washed in this laundry detergent. But, it doesn’t have all of the bad chemicals and the scents are UNBELIEVABLE! Super cozy for sure!
I love the cozy feeling of sitting by the fire, snuggled with a blanket and sipping on my coffee in the mornings.
I love hearing the crunching sound of my boots stomping into the snow
And, I really love when we get almost a foot of snow and my clinic is shut down for the week! This means staying up past 10 p.m. to watch Outlander and sleeping in as late as I choose.
*On a side note, if you have not seen Outlander on Netflix, I highly encourage you do. The cast is amazing and Sam Heughan might be the most gorgeous man alive. I even have a joke of with my husband that Sam is my new boyfriend. JK JK!
Winters in Arkansas
While I realize it doesn’t sound very professional for me to say, when you live in the south where snow falls every few years, you want to take advantage as best you can. And this means, no work or school!
You never know what it may feel like when you walk outside on an Arkansas morning. It may be 75 in January and a light snowfall in May. But typically, Arkansas winters are pretty mild with the high temperatures around the 50’s and an occasional freezing at night.
We tend to play in the rain puddles more than making snow angels in January and February. But every now and again, there will be a light snow fall and everyone rushes to purchase milk and bread.
You should see it, the grocery stores are empty and people act like an apocalypse is coming. Then you wake up to find a light dust of white in your front yard.
But in 2021, we had a beautiful winter storm throughout The Natural State. Some areas even got a total of 10 inches!!
Now, I realize that my cousins in South Dakota are probably thinking this is pocket change to what they get. But, it looked like a blizzard to us.
The snowfall was so strong that it was impossible to enjoy sledding and when making snow angels, you would be blinded by the impact of snow particles dashing into your eyes.
Our gloves even became frozen solid after 10 snowball attacks and our animals wanted to potty on the concrete because the ground was so old.
Bless their little feet, but I absolutely loved this winter storm!
Memories made is most important.
If you know us Berry’s, you know that we always have an open door policy. When you ring the front doorbell, you may hear us say ‘why the hell are you at the front door’?
You also know that we love having a good time, always making last minutes plans, and cherish the memories with friends in our home. This is something that has always been important to me.
For one, it’s how I was raised on Ayecock Hill in South Arkansas. When there would be a winter storm, everyone showed up to be pulled on the car hood by T.A. (my dad). Or we would slide on the frozen bayou in front of our house, hoping that it wouldn’t crack.
So many memories made at my childhood home during a big snowfall that I will have friends message me saying ‘what they wouldn’t give to be at Ayecock Hill right now’.
I’ll admit, there is a part of me that does get homesick when a winter storm hits this southern state. But, I also want my kids to cherish the memories and traditions we have made when Searcy gets a white winter storm.
There is nothing super special that we do when there is a winter wonderland outside. It is more about the spontaneous family adventures created and the last minute plans with friends.
This year, we had a unique winter season.
It first started with a sheet of ice the first week followed by almost a foot of snow the next. Schools were virtual for two solid weeks, businesses were closed, and my family practice clinic opened late due to the ice storm and closed the entire week during the snow storm.
Our kids were screaming at the site of snowfall and I was wondering when was it too early for a hottie toddy.
We made lots of fun plans with friends, including the family that stayed two nights with us. Even their dog. They had so much fun they never left! (And only kidding, we invited them to stay and play). The kids ran wild in the snow at 10pm and us parents partied like it was 1999! It was as if we were back in college, but with kids, responsibilities, and terrible hangovers. For me, at least.
And so, it got me to thinking I would share 10 fun things we did with friends during the 2021 South Arkansas winter storm. I realize that we may not get to have moments like these for another five years, but it is still fun to re-live as I share with all of you.
The Berry’s perspective on fun during a winter storm.
We live in an area where one may call a golf cart community. Everyone knows everyone and always excited for the fellowship of gathering to slide down the country club hills.
But, it’s not always just your normal sledding.
One of our friends built a huge snow pile to get an extra whiff of speed while going down the hill behind their house.
Bill, my husband, pulled the kids and us moms behind the 4-wheeler on both a car hood and an innertube. This was so much fun, until us moms and our big booties busted a whole in the 20 year old tube. Ha!
And we also attempted to slide down the hill on an antique, 10 foot wooden sled. Of course, the kids were able to go much faster!
Campbell learned to snow board on his second attempt and one kid even fell in the ice cold pond while sledding. Luckily, he was ok!
It definitely was 4 days of fun, family adventures.
2. Snow Ice Cream
Snow Ice Cream
- 1 C Milk
- 8 C Snow
- 2 Pinches Salt
- 1/4 C Sugar
- 1 Tsp Vanilla
Making snow ice cream is a long, southern tradition when we get to enjoy a winter storm. It’s fun for the kids to gather the snow and add all of the fixings of their choosing.
After the ice cream is made, I like to take it a step further and make one of my dads famous concoctions! It is soooooo good and a great dessert cocktail!
3. Snow Mimosas
In case you can’t tell, this momma likes her cocktails. And I’m not ashamed to admit it.
Plus, when you own a liquor store, you like to try out new things. (That’s my excuse at least. Ha).
My friend and I got a little creative with making mimosa from the snow. OMG! It was so good. Cold, refreshing, and the perfect way to start our morning.
Of course, we had our coffee first so that we would be able to hang with the kiddos. I’m sure a little Bailey’s would be good in that too, if only we had some.
4. Family Bunking Party
As mentioned earlier, kids aren’t the only ones that get to enjoy bunking parties!
Having another family over was so much fun. We stayed up late, cooked together, created random cocktails, had dance parties with the kiddos, and laughed until our sides were hurting.
But most importantly, it was a memory that our kids will always cherish. The fun of living spontaneous and doing random things with their besties. This is what it is all about!
5. Soup Party
This is an old tradition I love doing at my house. When we have a winter storm, whether it is 2 inches or 10, I love making soup. You may come in my house with 3 soups boiling on the stove for whomever decides they want a bite.
This year, I made a new favorite that my friend, Missy, introduced me to. It is a Whole 30 meal and AMAZING!!!!!!
And as you can tell, I love having friends gather and find any excuse to turn it into a party.
Just call me a southern, social hostess with the mostest!
But when we have the special moments of winter weather, various family friends will come over for fellowship and instructed to bring a soup dish. We may have 3 different soups, or there may be 8. It just depends on whom can or wants to come at that time.
It’s also a fun way of getting to try out different recipes and finding new favorites!? This particular dish is created by The Defined Dish
6. Double Dog Dares
This is always fun. However, may not be the best influence for kids. And can sometimes become a little too much.
At our crib, we double dog dared our friend to run in the freezing snow without his shirt on and then belly flop into the snow. It was awesome!
7. Pool Party
Now, I know you are probably asking why on earth would one go to a pool party in the middle of freezing cold weather?
Well, when you have special friends with a heated pool and hot tub, why not? After a long day of sledding and walking back up the hills, the hot water was very relaxing on these old muscles.
8. Hooky From Parenthood
Is this bad?
I mean, I’m not saying I decided to be irresponsible and let my kids run rapid. But come on, when you are off work for a week who doesn’t want to be a kid! Let the kids play in the snow at 10 at night. They aren’t bothering you and they are happy.
9. Snow Ball Fight
Think about it. With a snow ball fight, there are no rules, its the only acceptable time to throw an object at someone, fun to do with the kiddos, and can be an adrenaline rush.
If you are competitive as am I, Built By Kids blog has a great blog on How to Win a Snowball Fight. Heck yeah!
10. 4-Wheeler Riding
What is more fun than riding 4-wheelers in the snow. I realize not everyone has access to a 4-wheeler and they must always be handled cautiously. But when you are a country girl at heart, I love nothing more than riding 4-wheelers in the snow and even being pulled on a car hood behind one.
Living On The Wild Side
I’m sure some moms may be thinking, ‘wow, I can’t believe she lets her kids do those things’ or ‘ride on dangerous machines’, but sometimes we need to let our kids have some adventure. In my opinion at least.
The fun things we did with our friends are nothing more than what I grew up doing and I think I turned out ok. Well, that may depend on who you ask.
Whatever you may decide to do with your family or friends during a winter storm, I urge you to make the most of it. Whether it is playing a board game with your family or trying to slide down the hill fastest, it’s about the time spent and memories made. I continue to live with the most precious snow storm memories to this day and hope to create this for my family as well.
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Jessica Myer Berry, APRN