around 2:30pm on christmas eve, my folks picked up the kids and me to head to my grandma's house, brady was working. the roads were horrific and some kind of belt on their minivan broke off when we hit a snow drift, so we were stuck in the middle of an exit ramp, the car totally dead. there were abandoned cars all over the roads, it was completely surreal. it was snowing, and brady said allegedly there were up to 50 mph gusts of wind! we wrapped up the kids in blankets and started walking towards a house that was about 1/2 mile away. my dad had theodore, i had violette and jed had emma. thankfully a woman stopped and picked up me, violette and the baby. we got to the house, and the lady's car got stuck, so my brother and dad had to push her out. we got inside the house, and the nicest folks ever let us in and started taking care of us. the threw our wet blankets and coats in their dryer, made us hot cocoa and coffee and put on a christmas movie for the girls. i have to admit that it was probably the most shocked and unsettled i've ever felt in my life, it was chaotic. the girls were scared, so i was putting on my mom face trying to keep them calm, and that was hard. thankfully, it was about 2 miles or so from my grandma's, so my uncle was able to come pick us up and get us there.
my 3 other siblings were in a different car, and they got pinned in between other cars that were stuck or broken down, so they started walking. i'm not completely sure of their story, other than i know they ended up at a hotel, and had to stay the nite there.
when we got to my grandma's, we got warmed up and i realized i didn't have a way to contact brady, since the cat poured water on his cell phone. i started to get a little anxious about that, realizing that we were there for the nite. i called his office around 6 and left a number for him to reach me, and waited to hear from him. we didn't, so my dad called around 8:3o or so, and the lady told him that she thought they were headed back to the shop. so around 9 i think, he called and i have never felt such relief and gratitude to hear his voice. he had to drop off a friend and then come to my grandma's, so he got there around 10:45 or 11, i don't know. it was the longest evening of my life. thankfully, my grandma let the kids open a few gifts and we sang some songs. my aunt and uncle and their 2 kids were there as well, and i probably wouldn't have made it without everyone's help with the kids, and my uncle's sense of humor!
we all slept in my grandma's room, and we woke up really early yesterday morning. brady rallied the troops and shoveled the driveway and packed us all up and got things moving. we got to our house, and then he and dad and my brother left to go get the other kids from the hotel. i don't know what time it was, but when we were all together at my house, i finally breathed again and felt completely home.
brady had to work yesterday, so we packed up all the kids presents from santa and us and went over to mom and dad's. this whole thing had blown all of our plans and traditions, and we were all determined to roll with it and have good attitudes. we all wrapped presents and got ready, and brady got there around 2:30 or 3, and we went sledding and played in the snow with the girls.
then we went back to mom's, had a fantastic brinner and opened our gifts. it was fun and wonderful, the kids had a blast. i think emma was a little sad we didn't get to set out our cookies for santa, but she was okay with him being a little late.
her version of the story is pretty great: we got stuck on a snowy mountain, had to walk to a house on the side of the mountain, uncle greg was our hero and rescued us.
here's to hoping next year will be quite calm :)