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Winter sometimes feels so redundant. It can get somewhat difficult to come up with new things to do to on the weekends because it's either "too cold" or the winter blues have got you convinced that you need to hibernate in your house all winter until the sun comes out. (haha, no? Just me? Oh, okay.) Anyway, I've been really trying to challenge myself to get out and do things despite the fact that it's hard for me to feel motivated to do so during the winter (and also because what the heck are you supposed to even get out and do when it's freezing cold outside???).

Every winter, up in Midway, there are these spectacularly cool ice castles that get created at the Homestead resort. We went for the very first time last year (when Billie was just a few months old) and thought it would be fun to go back again this year now that she's a little older. So we bundled up the best we could and met up with Yauna and Blake to take a nice little waltz through a magical frozen castle. 

Billie kept slipping and sinking into the snow when she was trying to walk. It started to really stress her out so, before long, she insisted that we carry her instead. It probably didn't help that we arrived at the ice castles an hour after her typical bedtime... but you gotta do what you gotta do. (Hence the adorable, rosy-cheeked yawner pictured above.)

If you plan on staying for an extended period of time, I'd suggest wearing a snowsuit or something waterproof and super warm because it gets pretty cold up there. Also, the ice slides are probably much more enjoyable when you don't soak the butt of your jeans after just one slide down. (lol) Billie's little face turned pink when it was kissed by the cold winter air but the rest of her stayed nice and cozy thanks to the fact that she was bundled up like a marshmallow. It was fun to see a whole bunch of older kids running around and screaming with glee as they let their whole night be consumed by the wonder of the illuminated towers of ice jutting up in every direction around them. I couldn't help but to smile as I pictured an older, more mobile Billie running to and fro whilst yelling, "Mom, Mom, LOOK!" behind her as an older (and probably more tired version of myself) tries to keep up with her in the slushy snow.

We got a couple of cookies and some hot chocolate to warm us up from the inside as we wandered between green and blue pillars of ice. Billie ended up with more cookie on her face than she did in her mouth (which also means that I ended up with a whole lot of cookie on me as well).

It was really, exceptionally cool to witness the ice castles from the perspective of a one year old child. I know I always say this, but it really is a neat experience to feel like you get to "re-experience" things for the first time alongside your child. I mean, the ice castles are cool and all, but they're even cooler when you get to see the way they light up the reflection in your baby's eyes.

We finished off the night with an unexpected firework show. I've never experienced something like that before! I typically associate fireworks with summertime and holidays like the Fourth of July... but it was really something else to see flurries of light and sound exploding in the sky above the ice castle skyline. It was the perfect combination of fire and ice that resulted in the perfect end to a perfect little family date night.


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