The joke is on me.

On April Fool’s Day, I woke up to a snowstorm.

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My reaction was not good.

The afternoon before, John and I had sipped cocktails in the sunshine on the front porch, squinting through sunglasses to watch Cholula frolic around, talking about road trips and landscaping the barren (but dry) front yard. Spring had sprung and I was into it.

As a native Californian, I like being warm. Few things make me happier than a new sundress. I like being tan and wearing flip flops and eating outside. I love seeing live music outdoors and BBQs and longer days. After spending 19 years (gulp) in the mountains of either Colorado or Utah, I have learned to truly love each season as it comes- but I’m always happy to bid adieu to winter for the year. Yes, this particular winter was extremely mild in comparison to recent years, but (shocker!) I was ready to move on.

I had a cloud over my head and a mini-scowl on my face all morning. I decided to spend the day in the kitchen, making homemade meat sauce for a lasagna that evening. If winter was going to stay, FINE, I’d make wintery food.  I angrily switched on the fireplace, thinking, Grrr, I’m COLD. I started taking photos of the snow outside with the intention of sending them to my best friend in California and securing an ally who would solidify my complaint that nature’s joke was NOT funny. Then a strange thing happened.

I looked through the photos on my new camera- testing different settings, deleting the blurry ones- and was caught off guard by the idyllic scenes on the playback screen.  Cholula happily gnawing on a toy in the shaggy carpet. A cozy fire burning in our newly-decorated living room. Fat, fluffy snowflakes sticking on the hillside outside the kitchen window. A vibrant rainbow of ingredients spread out on the countertop, ready to work together to make something delectable. After scrolling through the camera’s perspective, I looked up to find that my own perspective had shifted. I was in my slippers, in the kitchen (in the running for my happiest place), cooking up a yummy meal. My dog was content. My fiancé was skiing on a surprise powder day. What did I have to complain about?

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I guess it’s what you call an “A-ha!” moment.

That was when I decided that, really, no matter what, there are things to be grateful for in every second of the day. I needed to acknowledge these brief moments of bliss. I needed to be thankful for my happy life. I started taking more photos, this time with the intention of sending them to my best friend in California to make her excited to visit me later this month. To send to my mom and dad to let them know their daughter is happy.  To remind myself of the same thing. To look back on a day when nature played a trick on me- and I fell for it.

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The lasagna was particularly delicious.

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