Enter your email address:

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snowmageddon '14

Y'all it is cray-zee down here. The snowstorm yesterday will go down in the books as one of the craziest things ever to happen to the ATL.

Backtracking to yesterday 5:30am B Daddy was up and heading out the door to the gym for a morning workout to clear his head. He'd just gotten the news that his grandfather passed away Monday evening and part of the heat system in our home was suddenly not working. We were scheduled to host 10 teenage boys in our home for a church retreat this weekend. His shoulders were already weighted down with responsibilities as he pushed his garage door opener only to find it wasn't working. With a  burdened heart and a cloudy head he took my van instead and headed out. At 6:30am he got a text from me to please pick up some Sprite on his way home, we had started our day back home earlier than usual - with a sick kid hanging his head over the toilet.

By 7am he'd decided we had enough crap going on at the house to justify working from home for the day. This worked out extremely well for me, who had been planning to skip Bible study and stay at home because of our sick little guy. So off I went to Bible study with the two healthy littles at 9am.

At 12:30pm the kids and I were back from our morning out. We had been enjoying the fast falling snow on our drive and the kids were squealing to get into their snow gear. Fat snowflakes were falling all around us and I was looking forward to an afternoon of play, hot chocolate and cozying up inside with the family. This was starting to look like a grand adventure of a day.

We went for a hike around our neighborhood and threw some snowballs before the kids freaked out about the cold and the snow in their gloves and we headed home for a warm lunch. That was when I checked Instagram and saw my brother-in-law's post. He'd been sitting bumper-to-bumper for 30 minutes trying to get off the main driveway of the corporate campus where he worked. That was my first inkling that God had given us a precious gift in the form of household headaches and a little throw up that morning.

Our kids went down for their usual nap at 2pm and B Daddy and I nestled in, him doing some work and going for another just-for-fun hike and me drinking tea and catching up with the Real Housewives. At about 4:30 the kids were up and we bundled up and headed outside for more play. We knew our brother in law was still driving, trying to make it home, on hour 4 of what is normally a one hour commute. Outside we started trading stories with neighbors and hearing on Facebook and Twitter that commutes all over the city were equally horrendous. It seems that 90% of the city left their offices and began commuting home between 12:15pm and 1:15pm. Supposedly 6 million people on the roads at the same time. High ground temperatures in the south means that even on cold days snow falls and melts, then freezes... unlike up north where snow typically stays snow for much longer. The roads quickly became icy and salt trucks couldn't get out onto them because of the insanely high traffic volume and gridlock.

As we came inside for dinner, B Daddy decided to head out in his truck to try and help my bother in law who we heard had abandoned his car and was walking the last several miles home on the dress shoes. My mother (an elementary school teacher) was still at work trying to help connect kids with parents who had been on the roads for 6+ hours trying to make it to the school to pick their children up.

The kids ate dinner as I watched my social media newsfeed fill up with increasingly worrying messages.  Dozens of people we knew personally were ditching their cars all over the city and starting to walk home. Many miles. In the dark. In 20+ degree temps. This was quickly becoming surreal.

Within 45 minutes B Daddy was back home. The roads he needed to take to get towards our brother in law were blocked by police trying to prevent even more cars from getting stuck on icy hills. After the kids went to bed for the night, we saw a friend's Instagram message about her husband's horrible 8+ hour commute (he was still far from home) and realized he might be somewhere near us. After reaching out to him,  he was able to park his car and walk several miles to meet B Daddy and get to our house for the night.

The elementary school that is literally in our backyard put out a mayday for blankets and snacks for teachers and students who were still at stuck at the school at 8:30pm. A few neighbors loaded up their trucks and delivered the needed supplies and then spent the next several hours out on nearby roads helping push cars up hills and direct stranded motorists to the church that had opened as a shelter nearby. It was around this time we heard on the news that anywhere from 2,300 to 3,000 students were still at schools and daycares, their parents unable to reach them.

Friends too numerous to list left their warm homes late at night to go offer shelter to stranded motorists and food and water to those who had taken shelter in gas stations and restaurants for the night. Teachers and administrators stayed at schools all night long, getting children on buses and connected to their families. There was great kindness all over this city in the form of water bottles, hand warmers, gas canisters and open doors.

This morning the city of Atlanta is all but abandoned and the roads are literally a scene out of The Walking Dead. Cars are parked bumper to bumper along off-ramps and on every median and sidewalk near the main thoroughfares. B Daddy spent the morning driving the roads near our home, picking up strangers and getting them further down the road to their homes, their friends' homes or their stranded cars.

Kids are building snowmen and sledding not far from where the National Guard is rescuing students still trying to get off buses and get home after 24 hours of this madness. This has to have been one of the strangest days this city has ever seen.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Expanding Again

It's high time I get this news out in internet-world so that I can get to posting about everything running through my heart and my mind as of late.

We're pregnant. Yep! We are officially expecting child number four.

We found out the big news in exactly the same manner we discovered the big news with #2 and #3, a belly bulge that wasn't there before - this time at Week 4. Geez. My body is super eager to get going on pregnancy apparently. I imagine my uterus and abdomen colluding with a cry of, "Let's Do This Thing!" before popping free of the flat belly confines I try desperately to keep them contained in.

Baby number 4 is expected to arrive sometime the last week of July. (My "official due date" is August 1st - but August 1st sounds a lot later than the end of July, so I'm fudging.) I went to the doctor last week for my 12-week appointment and can happily report we heard a heart pounding away at 146 beats per minute.

After 5 minutes of true panic and a few hours of holy cow this was not our plan,  B Daddy and I can honestly say we are TRULY ECSTATIC about Baby 4. Four kids! We get to have 4 kids. That is amazing.

Yes my mini-van sentence was just extended by a few years and the "you sure have your hands full!" and "have you figured out what causes it yet?" comments will surely escalate at the grocery store, but we get to raise 4 kids. Completely worth it.

This is the first pregnancy since the Squirt (our first child) that I can honestly say I'm enjoying. Right now it's pretty easy because the nausea is gone and the ginormous belly has yet to arrive...but I'm trying to focus on the miracle of it all and enjoy it as it will (most likely...very likely...hopefully for sure) be my last pregnancy.

For now my energy levels are good and I'm still able to workout as usual, which keeps me happy and sane. We aren't planning to move - we'll find out what sex the baby is and then we'll either have two kids in each bedroom or the three boys will bunk up for a while. All the logistical details that completely overwhelmed me with Blue Eyes (#3), - where will he sleep? how can we afford this? how do you fit three kids into a two-seater race car cart at the grocery store?? - no longer freak me out. I guess I've become a bit more relaxed about motherhood and all its glorious chaos.

A study released last year showed that moms of three were statistically more stressed out than moms of fewer kids...but also more stressed than moms of more children. I think I understand that. The idea of four seems like a great adventure right now and not the terrifying ordeal that three seemed.

I'll keep you posted as the great adventure unfolds - thanks for reading and for all your encouragement. Life is so much richer when we let go of our plan and let God just do His thing.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Weekend Adventure

This weekend the weather was BEAUTIFUL and B Daddy and I decided to take advantage of the warmth and all the rain we've had recently and hike to one of our favorite waterfalls in the area, Dukes Creek Falls.

The kids did a great job of hiking in. It was about a mile (mostly downhill) to the falls, and there were great views of the creek running below us the whole time. Once we got down to the falls,  the only word that came to mind was magnificent. They were fuller than we've ever seen them; we were all giddy at the sight.

We did this same hike almost exactly three years ago...what a difference huh? I can't decide who has changed more - B Daddy or the Squirt.


We spent a good twenty minutes watching the water and standing in the spray before turning around to hoof it back up to the top.

The trip back up was slower and um...let's just describe it as "less enthusiastic" than the hike in.  By the end of our trek, B Daddy had Blue Eyes on his back and Squirt on his shoulders while I carried Sweet B for every. single. uphill. step.

We decided to reward ourselves with a little DQ on the ride home and finished the day by carrying 3 sleeping kiddos straight to bed. Ice cream can be dinner every once in a while right?!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Counter-cultural Wedding Advice

Y'all know I'm a fan of Glennon over at Momastery. She wrote the following about marriage/weddings for the blog the Happy Wives Club and I LOVE IT.

Happily Ever After IS NOT A THING. We are all trained by Disney to believe that the wedding is the finish line – but the wedding is JUST ANOTHER STARTING LINE. In light of this fact- we should quit the huge, fancy, debt-inducing weddings. When I asked my parents to help pay for my wedding, they said they’d give me a little bit and then if Craig and I made it to our ten-year anniversary, they’d give us some more to throw a big party. “THAT’s the time to celebrate,” they said. My parents were right.* Celebrate AFTER hard work, not before. Young people: marry simply, start your life, and party later. THINK OF HOW MUCH BABYSITTING FOR YOUR FUTURE COLICKY BABY YOU COULD BUY WITH THAT WEDDING BUDGET. THINK OF HOW MUCH MARRIAGE THERAPY YOU COULD BUY. Invest in your marriage, not your wedding. Spending all your money on a wedding and leaving nothing for marriage is as irresponsible as foregoing health insurance for your baby so that you can throw her a kick-ass birthday party. It’s as backwards as circling the stadium with your arms in the air –  waiting for applause before you start the race. Sweat a little, then celebrate. And don’t forget the good news/ bad news – there is no finish line. Marriage starts over again

I wish every high school girl, every college girl and every single, dating and engaged girl I know would read these words and take them to heart.  Marriage is WORK, not a fairy tale. It's a beautiful, miraclulous kind of work. The wedding is only your first day. And it's not really a real day either. It's the kind of day where you carefully pick out your outfit to make the perfect impression and you're shown around the office and everyone is really nice to you, but no one expects any actual work out of you. Stop pinning wedding dresses! (Unless you're actually planning a wedding that is. And even then, just go to a store and try dresses on. It's infinitely more fun I promise you.) Start becoming the woman you'd want to spend the rest of your life with if you were the man you're looking for.

And the whole $$ for the 10 year anniversary party instead of the wedding? Brilliant! :)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Holidays

It is FREEZING here today. I think unless you live in California or Florida, it's freezing wherever you are today too. Maybe that means your kids are out of school and you have no clue what to do all day. We're going to the gym and then we'll be home. ALL DAY. Call us. Come over. We would LOVE to see you.

December came and went and all those posts I promised you never happened. Here's a run down on the past month. Warning: lots of pictures.

Christmas was wonderful this year. The kids are at AWESOME ages. They anticipated Christmas Day so much, they understood the Christmas story and what we were truly celebrating, they reacted with glee to each gift they opened and each special thing we did on Christmas Day.  Even without any Santa Claus shenanigans, Christmas is magical around here. I think we nailed the kids' gifts. Each kid had a stocking, which we opened before a breakfast of Gigi's cinnamon rolls, and then one gift under the tree (we went with a weapon theme this year - Nerf crossbow, nunchucks and Sais). We also gave a (very) small family gift to the kids (Candyland) and had their big surprise gift ready to go in the playroom.

The Squirt has been asking for bunk beds in his room since we took a trip last year and he slept in one for the first time. Since Ben should be ready for a big boy bed sometime in the next year, we went ahead and bit the bullet and bought all the kids twins beds.

We spent Christmas Eve setting them up in the playroom and then put wrapping paper over the doors so the kids would be surprised when they went in.

Their reaction was perfect.

We spent an hour or so playing around with the new toys and the new beds and then headed over to my parent's place for more chaos with my parents and the cousins. That meant that when we got home, late on Christmas evening, it was time to disassemble the beds and move them into the kids'  bedrooms before that long, wonderful day was over.

We were also given an amazing gift from B Daddy's grandmother for Christmas, two antique iron bed frames that are literally EXACTLY what I have been searching for for Sweet B's room for the past year.

Right now only one is set up, but eventually the plan is to have two twin beds in Sweet B's room. That way we could theoretically move all the kids into one room and have a guest room. If anyone was ever crazy enough to want to come stay with us for a night or two. Anyone? Anyone?

After Christmas we did a few family things that were out of the ordinary for us. We went downtown and rode the ferris wheel near Centennial Park. We took the kids to Legoland and to the local nature center. We slept in and stayed up, we roasted s'mores inside and went out to eat way more than usual. It was lovely.

I look super tired. Most likely I was.

Atlanta by night.

Little treehuggers

Then this was New Year's Eve:

That's right. We did Nothing. Exactly what I love doing on New Year's. New Year's Eve is SO overrated, right? Unless you're the type of person who likes standing in the freezing cold in Times Square for hours upon hours (which I did once in college - it was not fun) or you like paying way too much to get rip-roaring drunk with a bunch of strangers at fancy party...I don't see how anyone really finds this 'holiday' all that exciting.

But ringing in a New Year with my love on our couch? Perfectly my speed.

Now we're coming down from the chaos and getting back to normal. B Daddy was home for two entire weeks and while I absolutely loved it, it was hard not being on MY schedule every day. I'm looking forward to getting back to Bible study and Dance Battle Build, to having my early mornings alone with my coffee and hopefully to blogging more often.

Thanks for reading - I love you all!

site design by designer blogs