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A Cold Embrace 

click to enlarge Alison, Mira and Theo at Shelburne Farms in 2011 - ALISON NOVAK
  • Alison Novak
  • Alison, Mira and Theo at Shelburne Farms in 2011

A few months after my husband, Jeff, and I got married — almost 15 years ago — we relocated from New York City to Vermont. When we told people of our plans before the move, a common refrain was, "But what about the winters?" It was as if people imagined we were packing up and heading to the tundra, where we'd have to develop keen survival skills to make it through the cold season.

We moved to Burlington in July. By the time winter rolled around, we were ready to go all in. We loaded up on cold-weather gear, learned to snowboard and scaled peaks on snowshoes. On our second anniversary, we were gifted a snowstorm and spent the day gleefully riding down the mountain at Sugarbush.

When kids came into the picture, it complicated our winter plans a bit. Some days, we preferred to stay home watching "Peppa Pig" and reading the Berenstain Bears, rather than bundling Mira and Theo up for the snow. But still, many of our greatest family memories are of snowman making, winter festivals and — as the kids have gotten older — cross-country skiing and epic sledding adventures.

At Kids VT, we subscribe to the mentality that it's easier to get through winter when you embrace it. Check out our events calendar for two months' worth of indoor and outdoor events that will keep your family busy and entertained. Go here for recollections of favorite winter memories from accomplished Vermonters, from renowned author Chris Bohjalian to Olympian Judy Geer. In "Fit Families," get insider tips for getting your little one on skis or a snowboard. And in "Destination Recreation," learn about the Intervale Sea Caves in Burlington, a fun family excursion when the water freezes over.

Of course, parenthood is not always easy and simple. In "The Strength Within," I write about Kelly Breeyear, a mom of two who leads a support group for pregnant women and moms who are in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Breeyear's own story of addiction and recovery is a powerful one, and it puts a human face on the opioid epidemic we hear so much about in the news. I hope you'll take the time to read her heart-wrenching but hopeful story.


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