2019 P52, Week 5. Surviving the Polar Vortex. Kalamazoo Michigan Photographer, Elyse Rowland.

What a week! We survived the Polar Vortex of 2019. Temps dipped down to the negatives and local schools closed for a week straight. I spent most of my time trying to keep our wood boiler above 150 degrees just so we’d have heat and warm water, and had to make several trips outside each day to keep it stoked while my husband worked. I would wrap myself up head to toe, with only tiny slits for my eyes so that I could see where I was going. Then I’d run out (or waddle?! so many layers…), throw as many logs as I could in the boiler, load up a sled with more wood, and haul it all into the house – completely breathless from the chill in the air of course.

I also spent several mornings trying my hand at fire-starting in our indoor fireplace, and realized it’s harder than it looks. At one point, Remy noticed how frustrated I was and came over to me. He said “Mom, why don’t you take a break and see if it starts up better in a little while”. And what do you know — after playing “Trolls” in the basement for a while, we came back upstairs to a roaring fire. :)

On one of the coldest days, we found it fascinating to play with bubbles in the frigid temps. It almost looked like the bubbles would ‘shrink wrap’ and then turn into small frozen feathers. We also threw boiling water in the air, and it would freeze and mist in mid-fall. Afterward, the kids set their bubble machine up on the table and played for over an hour. I can still hear their shrieks of joy and see the beautiful, messy chaos in my dining room. Their joy is so contagious.

Then suddenly as the weekend arrived, the cool temps rose a bit, and I decided I better grab a photo of their snowman. Remy told me he built it right outside the kitchen window for me to look at. (That boy really knows what gets me.)

Excited to see what next week holds! Thanks for following along.


Thanks for visiting my blog! I’m Elyse, the face behind Elyse Rowland Photography of Southwest Michigan, near Kalamazoo.

I currently offer both in-home documentary and outdoor lifestyle sessions. I customize each & every session to my beautiful client's lives, and I'm able to give clients my full attention by only taking a small number of sessions each month.

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