Growing up in California, "winter" was an entirely different concept to me than it is now.

During January of my freshman year of in college in the Pacific Northwest, we were just shy of breaking the historical record for most days of rain in a row (33 days in 1953) and I was thisclose to packing my bags and transferring to a southern California school, to trade my rain boots and down jacket in for sunscreen and swimsuits.

But I didn't and I'm glad I stayed. I ended up marrying a Pacific Northwest native, and we're here now with our little family.

When you're somewhere that wouldn't be your first choice, you have to make it your first choice. Here's how I survive winter in the Pacific Northwest:

1. I get outside even when it's cold. I have been terrible at this lately, but it's one of my goals for 2017 and motherhood in general; to get fresh air every day. Even just a few minutes can make such a change in my mindset.

2. I bundle myself. I just now, this year, bought a warm hat. (??) My husband thinks I'm crazy. I never really found a knit one I loved, but these are ethically made and cute. I've also been loving my double insulated jacket and have my eye on these boots.

3. I bundle the baby. I've written about winter gear for babies here, but got a few more items that are worth a mention:

This poncho is meant for babywearing, like with an Ergo, which is Trey's favorite mode of transportation currently and I happily oblige (hands free!), but it also works great as a car seat cover. I love that it comes with a detachable hood that can be used for facing in or out of a baby carrier. Something to note that I've learned recently is that typical down jackets (that buckle under the car seat straps and create bulk) can be dangerous for babies on the off chance they end up in a car accident and need those straps tight to work properly (article by the Car Seat Lady here) so the trick is to bundle them after they've been buckled in, to keep the straps as close to the body as possible, and also warm. This car seat cover does that, and so does this fleece one (if you don't need as warm of coverage as the down one). The arm slots on these help them stay on, instead of a typical blanket that falls off, and they are the grow-with-me sizing to last a few years. I'm also using this warm hat that covers the ears and these boots.

4. I make it a point to work out. I have definitely failed at this one. But I'm convinced endorphins could save the world, at least my little one. I'm trying to find ways to get my heart rate up in the winter when it's cold. I know many people who love their gym memberships, but I am a outside-running kind of girl, so I'm trying to get creative here.

5. I plan a trip. Every February we fly south like little snowbirds, on a purposeful trip to see my grandparents in Southern California and also to get some sun. It doesn't have to be expensive or lavish, many airlines have discounted fares this time of year. Even just having this on the calendar mid-winter is something to look forward to, and sitting by a pool soaking up Vitamin D for a weekend is just enough for me to make it to spring in one piece.

And of course, when all else fails, there's always more coffee and/or wine and maybe even a good old fashioned paper chain. Spring will be here before we know it.

Shared in partnership with 7am Enfant, the winter baby gear brand I love. Thanks for keeping us bundled.