Our Experience on January 28, 2014

You may have missed it in the news.  Atlanta has a big problem when it comes to a little snow.  You can find reports at any major news source about the traffic on the major highways and the incredible stories of how people survived and helped each other in entirely unfortunate circumstances.  To sum it up, if you have not heard, Atlanta received the worst possible combination of a little snow, well-below-freezing temperatures, zero preparation of roadways, and delayed instructions to leave work and release school children.  Remove any one of those factors, and you would have had an uncomfortable, but entirely manageable, commute.  With all of these things working against one another, employees were not able to get home and children spent the night at school--or, worse, on their school bus.

In the northern suburbs, we had a very different experience.  Observers.  I did not go into work on January 28 because Anna had a follow-up doctor's appointment, and she was back at home just as the snow started to fall.  Within an hour or two, reports started sounding about mounting traffic delays and parents having trouble getting to their children's schools.

As the snow started to fall, Padgett Manor and its gardens donned the beautiful white caps that a first snowfall brings.

Outside, the snow was not near as delightful.  Our road is not a major thoroughfare, but, like anywhere in Atlanta, there is a significant increase in traffic at peak times.  The roadway was already cold and awaiting the snow as it fell.  Over time, the white powder compacted on the roads into brittle ice sheets.

As you can see above, the road drapes over rolling hills.  Ice, momentum, and gravity.  On our road, it led to a rental truck spinning into a position that completely blocked the road.

It is tough to see in the picture above, but there is a rental truck at the bottom of the hill being re-positioned at the bottom of the hill.  As the roads froze up underneath the waiting cars, the commuters began trying to turn around--only to find that they were slipping down the hill.  As you can see, people simply abandoned their cars and walked somewhere else to get warm and sleep for the night: home, a friend's home, a church, a Home Depot store.

Our subdivision's street became a parking lot for abandoned vehicles.  To be clear, we went to sleep with two or three cars on the street.  In the deep hours of the evening, many more people found our street to be the last inch they could go in their half-day commute home.  Parked, gas-deprived cars.  Careful, deep-set footprints.

It was a complete mess.  But in the midst of a city's systemic failure, we still saw neighbors helping neighbors push cars, pick up kids from school, house a stranger for the night.  I am often inclined to forget about the magic that the snow brings.  Look and listen to the nightmare.  But we were fortunate beyond belief.  Anna was (and is at the time of posting) thirty-nine weeks pregnant with our third child, and travel to the hospital would have required taking risks that doctors would frown on.  I did not suffer one second of the nail-biting stress of not knowing whether I would see my kids that night.  I know that others were not as fortunate and did not have the chance to enjoy the magical feeling of the first snow.  

It would be natural and fair to dismiss the entire situation as a battle with mother nature or a lesson to be learned by city officials and/or meteorologists.  Still, on a small side street, there were two children enjoying each and every white flake that chose to land to their backyard.


We got to visit the reindeer at the nature center. It was a chilly day here but they seemed to enjoy the whole thing.  

Christmas PJs


The twins like raw spinach, I couldn't believe it, more than Mac n cheese. I should note it did have Italian dressing on it:). 

Box fun


We spent thanksgiving in Alabama with my family. These were all the pics I managed to take. :(




Helping each other out

They are learning to share:). To compromise, Asa held the harmonica for Alden to play. 


The twins love when Austin's mom, Nanny, comes to visit, and they enjoy Legos. 


Austin surprised me with this lovely centerpiece for the dining room table. He made it himself, so creative!!

Happy Birthday Lunch

Austin's Mom came up for his birthday in November. We all went out for a birthday lunch of hibachi. The twins enjoyed everything, especially the dipping sauces. Thank you for coming to visit, Nani!!



This sweet little rocking chair was made by Austin's Pops, for Austin's Mom, so it is now in its third generation of use. We are enjoying this special heirloom. 


Their noses look alike to me. 

Not only

Not only is he a musician, an attorney, a wood worker, but he cooks too! What a guy!!

Mirror fun