Wednesday, April 30, 2014

It was Just Like College

Here in Alabama, we take severe weather very seriously.  We'd been hearing for 4-5 days that there was a moderate threat for severe weather Monday and Tuesday.  It never fails that if there is going to be severe weather, Patrick is going to be on second shift.  I sent out a text on Sunday afternoon to three of my best friends that don't have basements that they could come ride out the storm at my house if they wanted.  I thought "this will be just like college" Ha.
They took me up on my offer and everyone arrived around 5:00 Monday evening.  We ate pizza and baked cookies and settled in to what would be a long night of storm watching.
I didn't take long for it to look like a tornado had already passed through the living room. Ha!  We bathed the kids and Kristen bathed the dogs and we were ready.
The kids had a blast playing together.  It was fun watching them play!
We tried to get them to lay down in hopes they would fall asleep.  We had no such luck but these pictures were so cute of them together.  Elise would have probably fallen asleep if Barrett wouldn't have been picking at her.  He was so tired he was doing everything he could to fight sleep.
It wasn't long until the storms were headed our way.  There were several storms in the viewing area and we spent many hours glued to the TV.  There was a storm headed right for us and for a few minutes they down-graded it to a thunderstorm and focused their attention on another storm in Tuscaloosa.  Well during this few minutes Joseph went upstairs to get something and we had that tv on a different channel. He came back down saying that channel was saying it was headed right for us.  About that time James Spann said he was getting reports of a tornado on the ground at our exit (about 2 miles from our house).  Cue the silent panic.  I quickly put on my tennis shoes and we grabbed up the kids.  We sat in the floor all huddled together.  Once I realized that the power was still on and the satellite was still on my nerves calmed a little.  My phone started blowing up with people checking on us.  That will make a girl feel loved.  It wasn't long till we started hearing reports of damage in Kimberly (about 3 miles away).  We were hearing that Lorie and Joseph's neighborhood was hit, so of course we were all a little on edge.  Patrick was still at work and stayed a little late to make sure it was safe.  
This part is kinda funny now.  After we got the all clear for our area, Joseph and I were upstairs for some reason and he casually said look outside, it looks like there's a funnel cloud.  Sure enough the lightening lit up the sky and it looked just like a funnel cloud.  I panicked and ran down the stairs and Joseph was right on my heels.  We got in the corner of the room and put the kids in the built in book case for more protection.  It took a few minutes to realize that they weren't saying anything on tv so we probably didn't see anything.  Which is funny to me now.  While this was going on, Barrett lost it.  He was screaming and crying. He was exhausted and needed his bed to sleep.  There was still more bad weather on the way so I wasn't comfortable putting him in his bed so I went and rocked him and he went to sleep easily in my arms.  It wasn't much later that Patrick got home from work and he and Joseph left to see if they could get to their house.  The highway was blocked by downed trees so they just came on back.  We stayed up late tracking the last of the storms and watching the damage reports.  It was 3:00am when we finally crawled into bed. (not before watching an interview with a local woman that rode out the storm in her mobile home. I felt sorry for her and was embarrassed for our area that she was representing all at the same time.)
We were all up by 8:00 Tuesday morning.  Joseph left to go check out the house.  He came back and Lorie and I rode with him to get her car.  There was a lot of damage in their neighborhood but thankfully they just had a few shingles blown off.  
I took a few pictures of damage as we rode through.

We got home and relaxed and watched movies and hung out most of the day.  They were predicting another round for Tuesday night.  Luckily it ended up not being as bad.  We watched tv and just had fun together.  Around 8:30 Joseph got a call saying their power was back on.  We were so surprised.  He left to go get the house aired out while Lorie and Elise stayed and helped pack and clean everything up.  It wasn't long until my house way empty again. 
 I was so thankful that I wasn't here with Barrett by myself.  We laughed several times commenting it was "just like college" with two kids and two dogs.  In college we would spend days on the couch catching up on tv shows and watching movies, which is exactly what we did Tuesday.  I got to see Frozen which is 100 times more adorable hearing Elise sing the songs.  We also watched Beauty and the Beast, which is my all time favorite Disney movie. 
I'm still exhausted today.  I can not recover from a late night as quickly as I did in college. I'm still dragging today.  We are so thankful that is wasn't any worse than it was in our area.

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