Friday, February 28, 2014

A little February recap

Hi there . . . how you doing?  Me?  Pretty good.  Thanks for asking . . . or not.  I can't believe it's the end of February already . . . since I haven't updated this month, here's a highlight reel for February!

The obligatory kids in snow pictures . . . I never got around to posting them but darn, they are cute. 

They were happy to stay out for hours . . . except to change to dry gloves!
And the dogs are adorbs too!  Old man Pete thought he wanted to go outside because everybody else was doing it . . . he lasted about 5 minutes and didn't want to get his feet wet.  And he was pathetically shaking . . . even in his cute little coat. 
Petey and his fancy coat . . . he's a shopper. 
This girl, however, was totally in her element.  She was like a frisky puppy playing in the snow and occasionally grabbing a bite full to hydrate. 
Polar bear in it's natural habitat.
The kids and I managed to avoid the second big wave of snow and ice to hit Atlanta by getting out of town, once they pre-emptively closed school two days ahead of winter break.  We headed out with a couple of mom friends to a lake house in Kentucky on Lake Cumberland!  The kids had a blast going for hikes every day and hanging with their friends . . . and guzzling soda.  The climbed near some caves and tried to see who could find the biggest icicle. 
Crazy kids . . . but so much fun!
And they found some bones . . . which they had to bring back to the lake house.  Even they were sort of grossed out because they smelled . . . but who are we to deny the children a science education?  At least they wore gloves . . .
Eeewww . . . we speculate it was a deer . . . or a goat!
And I need to give a shout out to my "L" family girls . . . I sure hope when Amanda gets to high school that she is as composed and grounded and AWESOME as these girls!!

Another fun February event was me driving five 6th grade boys to and from a party that was about an hour away.  I offered to be chauffeur and planned to lay low in the car and at the party.  Those boys had other plans for me! 

I played DJ in the car while they danced and talked over each other.  Then when we got to the party, I let them go off to do their thing . . . which was pretty much avoiding the girls and playing basketball.  I chatted with some of the moms until it was time to go on the Scavenger Hunt.  I was in charge of the boy team and they had me running, literally, all over the 7 block downtown until we got every last item on our list.  Which included things such as crossing the street holding hands in the crosswalk . . .
This smacks of a Ferris Beuller scene . . .
And finding a Chevy, which coincidentally, had to be near a levee, which we also found!
Of course I hear "drove a Chevy to the levee . . ."
And having your leader's picture made in a sombrero at a Mexican restaurant.  Uh, check!
Yo quiero Taco Bell.
While the party was fun, the ride home is really what made the night.  I don't know if it was the sugar high, the dark car ride or just that they had spent so much time together (the party was four hours), but they would not shut up.  And it was freaking hysterical. 

They were all trying to one up each other on the jokes and stories.  I'd offer some commentary or advice here and there and made sure the conversation stayed away from the land of the naughty . . . but those boys never said anything super mean or anything that I felt I had to report back to their parents.  

They finally got around to confessions, crushes and other juicy tidbits.  Then one of them says they have to take the "bro code" . . . you know, what is said in the car, stays in the car.  They do this hands in the middle thing and swear.  And then one of them says, "You too Ms. Getz!  You're one of the bros!"  And I nearly exploded with the sheer happiness of them wanting to include me.  I am thankful that my son has good friends, especially in middle school. 

So Ryan has the idea of having a "bro breakfast" at Chick-Fil-A this week.  All the parents agreed to drop off the boys, and I would stay and drive them all to school.  Again, they laughed themselves silly, which could have been the result of 8 a.m. milkshakes, but whatevs.  Since there weren't any little kids around, I let them burn off some energy in the kids area . . . they thought they were so funny.  Dorks. 
The boys "hashtagged" this one . . . #brocode #thuglife
Crazy busy days, but I wouldn't trade them for the world!  Hope life is treating you well too!  Next up . . . March!
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow-Maggedon, Snow-Pocalypse, Snow-Jam

Call it what you want, but Atlanta was a mess last week.  I'd typically say hot mess but there couldn't have been anything further from the truth.  You should really read this while listening to the song below because it's what I heard in my head for a couple of days . . . except it was "Snow-maggedon It!"
Here's the Getz story of the snow crazy . . .
Pretty much sums it up!
They've called for snow a million times in Georgia, and we almost never get anything.  I bought snow sleds in January of 2011 that have never been used.  So last Tuesday was just a normal day around here, and everybody went off about their business.  

I was volunteering at the elementary school when it started to snow.  By the time I was ready to go, a 2-hour early closing had been issued and Kyle's teacher (wisely, in hindsight - thanks Ms. G) told me to take the kids and go before the crazy of early release hit.  I grabbed my neighbor's kid too and headed home just before 11 a.m.  

The roads were a little messy, but not a big deal.  I thought about getting the middle schoolers but didn't want to pull them out too early because of the make up work.  I kick myself now . . . I should have gone with my instincts and just gone to get them.

My neighbor gets home and says the roads are getting bad . . . it was maybe an hour later.  He has a rear wheel drive car so I asked him to watch the kids (his son and my two), and I take off to get the middle schoolers (his other son and Ryan) in "Rhoda the minivan!"  I tried to go the direct way to the school but turned around because it was jammed.  The other way was a huge hill, and I kept watching cars slide all over the place and some couldn't make it up the hill.  Rhoda made it!  Bam!  But then I was stuck sitting in traffic just outside our downtown area and my friend, by the grace of God, sees me and calls.  Thank you Brandi!

Her husband, my own personal hero, was at the middle school and she told me to call him to see if he could get the boys because the roads to the school were all blocked with accidents.  There's a way to park in the back of our big community and walk over to the middle school.  He, of course, agreed and drove the boys to the top of our big neighborhood hill, and they walked home.  I still hadn't made it back by that time because of so many accidents blocking the road.

My round trip took me about an hour and a half (typically a 15 minute ordeal), but I made it home safely.  I called Getzy after I realized how terrible the roads were and asked him to please leave early.  He told me just a few minutes more.  And this is what I said . . . a few times. 
Finally he wises up and leaves downtown Atlanta around 1 p.m., along with the rest of the city.  His commute is usually about an hour on a normal day.  Well . . . not so much this time . . . when the roads leading home look like this . . .
And this . . .
Getzy finally rolls in the door around 2 a.m.  He'd been in the car for 13 hours without eating or using the restroom.  No major damage to his car other than a windshield wiper snapped off when it froze.  He was parked in the same spot between exits on 75 North for 5-6 hours because he literally had no where to go.  So many people abandoned their cars and walked to places of business to rest. He's a stubborn bastard and refused to give up.  Ok, I kinda like that about him. 

Finally he managed to inch around an accident and headed home.  It is, without question, a miracle that he made it all the way to our garage.  Our neighborhood is a giant hill . . . as is the rest of Atlanta.  People had abandoned their cars all along the interstate, ON the interstate and all along the streets to our neighborhood, but he managed to slide right past them home safely to me.

I must say, while I'm sometimes hit or miss on social media, Facebook was a life saver that night.  I posted this in the early evening . . .
People from far and wide were saying prayers for us, giving words of encouragement and sharing their own stories.  And then folks from so many different points in my life wrote kind words on my "wall" and friends were texting me to chat when I was up waiting for Getzy late into the night.  Amazing.  Absolutely amazing.  

All throughout that night and the next day, I had a list of friend's whose family members were stranded, and I faithfully checked on them all until everyone was home safe and sound.  I also have an amazing group of friends with Jeeps that were out and about rescuing folks, getting people's loved ones home and helping wherever they could.  So many folks coming together to help each other . . . a terrible weather situation brought out so much good in folks.  The Facebook page "Snowed Out Atlanta" was created that night and folks were helping each other all over this city . . . perfect strangers lending a hand to their fellow man.  I hope it continues.

This song makes me think back to that night and praying for my husband to come home.  And he's most definitely not a Miley Cyrus fan . . . but this song . . . it's good. 
It's not always rainbows and unicorns around here . . . we are definitely not the perfect couple . . . but the thought of not having him here scared the crap out of me.  And I was envious of the families that were all together and safe when he was out there on the roads.  But all is well now . . . so hug everyone you love and tell them too.  Call a friend you haven't seen in awhile . . . just to check on them.  And be kind, even to strangers . . . you just never know when you might need them.                   

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