I love warm weather. There’s nothing I like more than being able to keep my windows open at all times and walk around in shorts and a t-shirt. I suppose I get it from my mother. She was born in California and has always instilled in me a love for warm weather and the ocean.

Unfortunately, I live in Chicago.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Chicago. I think it is one of the best cities in the world. It’s a magical city, especially in the summer. I like to think that Chicago’s crappy weather is it’s own form of population control. I’m pretty sure, if it weren’t for the winters, everyone would want to live here. Anyone who has been to Chicago in the winter knows, Chicago winters are no joke.

Normally around this time of year I bemoan the loss of summer. This year we got an extra special treat and fall started in August (what the heck?!) so I’ve had a while to get used to the idea. I’m resigning myself to the fact that my short wearing days are over for the season and I’ve already unpacked my sweaters and coats. It’s been a mental struggle because I’m really not ready to let go of summer yet, probably mostly due to the fact that it only lasted approximately 12 days this year.

However, futilely clinging to the idea of summer as I watch the multicolored leaves swirl around outside my window only makes me miserable. There are a lot of great things to look forward to about the impending winter months. So, in an effort to remain positive and embrace my life (with which I am actually quite happy) I am going to list the top 10 things I am looking forward to.

1. The Holidays

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, rivaled only by Christmas. I love the food and curling up afterward, visiting with family, and enjoying the warmth that just seems to emanate from those holidays.

2. Decorating our apartment for Christmas

I have a feeling we’ll be starting early this year. I’m making myself wait until at least November 1st but after that I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to contain my excitement. Speaking of excitement…

3. Christmas shopping

I have to admit I have already started. I’m the kind of person who is obsessed with buying the “perfect” present for each and every person. I bought my first present of the year back in July. There is just something about finding something that you know each person would like or that they said they wanted in passing and then surprising them with it later. I am, one hundred percent, a believer in “it’s more blessed to give than to receive.” The whole process is exciting, from finding that “perfect” gift, to wrapping it, to watching them open it. I’m a dork.

4. Snow

I don’t care. This year I’m just going to get excited about it. I know it’s coming so I accept it, welcome it even. It’s so pretty when it’s falling and the earth looks all fresh and new. Plus, this year we don’t have to park on the street (hallelujah!). I’m also excited to see Phoebe’s face the first time she steps out into it. I expect it’s going to be classic.

5. Christmas music and movies

Again, November 1st can’t get here fast enough.

6. Ice skating

I can’t wait to go ice skating downtown. Last year Joel and I kept planning on doing it but it was just too cold or we were too lazy on the few days it wasn’t far below zero. This year I’m determined not to let that happen.

7. My birthday

That is always something to look forward to about winter. January 17th, mark your calendars. *wink*

8. Getting warm

One of the best things about being out in the cold is coming back in and getting warm again. There is nothing quite like the feeling of coming in from the frosty weather, putting on warm pjs, fluffy socks, and a fluffy robe then snuggling up on the couch with a blanket and someone you love. Cold weather = snuggle weather = happiness.

9. Not flying

I’m a flight attendant but this winter I’m on furlough which means I won’t be working any trips. This means my life is not dictated by every flake of snow or patch of ice. It will be a wonderful feeling to hear of an impending blizzard and not have to double check that my bags are packed so I can leave at a moments notice.

10. Getting away

While I’m being as positive as possible, I know there are going to be days that I just can’t stand another day of sub zero temperatures. That’s where being a flight attendant comes in. I won’t be working this winter season but I still have my travel privileges and I plan on taking advantage of them when I need it most. Last year I escaped with my sister to Hawaii. There’s just something about looking forward to warmer weather that makes all the ice and snow bearable. I’m not sure where my escape will be to this year. Anyone have any good ideas?

So there you go. I’m done complaining about the cold, snow and ice. I love my life and right now my life is here and it includes winter. My mind is made up, I’ve decided to enjoy it. I think next summer will be that much sweeter as a result.