Life

We Will Survive!

After being gone for a whole week….and taking two of those days just to get home, we made it!

Our house was left alone by hurricane Matthew, and we are truly blessed! I know there are so many people less fortunate than us! Right now, I’m home with Talia and Bill is out with the (animal) rescue, helping those who are struggling with a broken levy upstate. It’s a small thing in the scheme of things, but we are really hoping he and the rescue get those animals out and safe!

In the end, we basically ended up with a trip to see family and Talia scored pumpkins! The kid LOVES pumpkins….. We also learned the proper way to sneak dogs in and out of hotels!

The day before we heard we had to leave, I started working on some soaping products for my business, Sugar Pie Spa Company. The idea was the products would be in a local magazine. I have no idea if they were able to get it put together before the storm. Here is what I was working on:

1003161532b.jpg

Then we heard we had to go…..the Birth Center where we are due to have Liam had to close, so my father being the closest parent, won getting us all at his house in PA!

Bill and I are both from up north. Give us a blizzard or nor’easter any day of the week. When someone says “hurricane,” it’s time to go! My dad didn’t hesitate when I told him we were coming with 5 dogs, 4 cats, a toddler, 2 trucks, and me at 37-38 weeks pregnant to take over his house!

1006161055.jpg

Talia loves exploring at Grandpa and Ga-Ga’s house (she calls his girlfriend Ga-Ga!). Here daddy is showing her a woolly caterpillar.

The dogs love their GIANT fenced in lot:

1006161130.jpg

Pretty sure they could do without the sounds of the cows next door, but other than that, they enjoyed being outside in such a large, previously unexplored area.

Then it was off to a local farm for pumpkins. I have no idea why, but Talia LOVES pumpkins!

We then went to my mom and step-dad’s in CT. Another trip in the car, but again, worth it!

Talia was so excited to go to Stew Leonard’s. She LOVED seeing Stewie the Duck from one of her favorite books. She also loved the giant pumpkins and getting to push ALL of the buttons at the petting zoo.

1009160853c.jpg

She also loves exploring Nene’s house. Nene is my grandmother, so Talia’s GREAT grandmother. Nene has lots of cool things in her house and so do Grandma and Grandpa, so she just spent two days exploring!

Then it was back to my dad’s to see the Hershey Bears! It was Talia and Bill’s first AHL game! In the middle of all this (the 6th) I also had a birthday……so we used this as our little birthday celebration! I mean, who doesn’t want to celebrate their birthday with HOCKEY?!!!!????

1007161219_hdr.jpg

1007161204a.jpg

Everyone had a GREAT time, even though the Bears lost. Thankfully, it was just pre-season! The best part was getting to see several of our Stingrays who moved up from here in Charleston, to Hershey!!!

Finally, we were given the all clear and were allowed to head back to Charleston. Sadly, there were parts of North Carolina just DESTROYED by rain and hurricane Matthew. Our 9 hour trip turned into two days. We sat on I-95 for 3 hours at one point, trying to go 2 miles.

Thankfully, even in 2 vehicles, all was well. The dogs pretty much slept, and Talia was just really well behaved. There was a lot of pushing and shoving in line trying to get where people had to go, most places didn’t have fuel, lots of places were just closed, and so much was under water. It was hard at the time, but I had to keep remembering we had a home to go to and we lost nothing. Not everyone was so lucky. It was hard at 1 am, trying to find a hotel to take dogs that was not already booked solid, not to lose my $h!+, but we managed. The tire Bill had a nail in also held up until we got back into Charleston. Talk about God watching our butts! Stopping on the side of the road with no spare tire (that’s a long story, but we had the OTHER tire have an issue right before we had to leave) with so much debris, water, trees down, both vehicles, dogs, Talia, etc, would have been a nightmare!

Hopefully with our upcoming move back north, we don’t have to deal with a hurricane again….and especially not at 38 weeks pregnant (I was seriously praying the whole time NOT to go into labor!!!!) So now it’s time to get reorganized, do all this crazy laundry, and get back to writing and making soap!

How did you make out in the hurricane? Did it come near you?

Life

Mark Us Safe!

I haven’t written much in the past month because I’ve been sick with pregnancy “stuff.” I’ve had everything from morning sickness to false contractions.

I was resting a lot and then the rumors started. As we started counted down the days to Liam arriving, we heard a hurricane may hit Charleston (SC, USA).

I’m from Connecticut. I can do a noreaster and I can do a blizzard. I can’t do a hurricane at 37 weeks pregnant. When our governor came in TV and said “evacuate” I called my dad and told him to make room. I then called Bill (who was in school when the announcement came) and told him to come get ready to drive to my dad’s house……with 5 dogs and 4 cats…..

We were packed in a few hours and on the road to avoid getting stuck. Apparently there was a huge issue with the last hurricane and getting out of Charleston. The birth center where we are having Liam announced even they had to close, so we really had no choice if we still wanted a birth center birth.

We did stop at about 430 in the morning because we had been up almost 24 hours, and we had to take two vehicles because of all the dogs. The next morning, some woman was smoking a cigarette as she watched Bill and I continue to keep coming out of the hotel room, walking all these dogs, and then loading them. I’m sure it looked like the reverse of a clown car with millions of clowns getting out. She stayed out there, lighting one smoke after the other, just watching it. I’m sure I heard a small gasp when we also brought out a toddler!

The dogs are more than happy to be in PA because my dad has a massive piece of previously unexplored land, all fenced in. 

We took Talia to do some neat things. I’ll be sure to post pictures later!!!!

Life · Writing & Publishing

Novel or Pocket Pet?

What a week last week turned out to be! (It was so busy, Monday Book Review will be tomorrow, Tuesday. I just didn’t finish the book in time!)

I hit a big milestone last week and I can’t wait to share.

This is a picture of what 313 pages of a novel looks like for editing:

image008.jpg

I finished editing my novel and sent it to the printer (thank you to the really nice people at Staples in Danbury, CT). As exciting as this was for me, I still have not held the book. My mom is in CT and I am in SC (USA). We are about 1,000 miles apart. She picked up the book to edit for me. Here is what it looked like when she got to Staples….

image005.jpg

It looks more like she was taking home a pocket pet from the pet store than picking up a novel!

Her goal was to start editing right away, but my grandmother had to go to the hospital. She had been feeling ill for awhile, but she also lost my grandfather back in May. I believe in broken hearts, so I think everyone thought she was just not herself because of this. My mom finally took her to the ER only to find out she has three kidney stones. They were at the hospital all day yesterday and today it was off to the urologist. She has to have surgery later this week. I really want to just head home for a bit, but I can’t travel comfortably while pregnant.

So with this said, I told my mom NOT to worry about the novel right now. It’s true “Pitch Wars” opens up tomorrow, but I’m not worried. Pitch Wars is for aspiring novelists to enter for a chance to work with a mentor to get their manuscript perfect for submission to a literary agent. I’m still going to enter, but I’m not getting all worried and stressing about it!

With the book done and out of my hands for a few weeks, we decided to get some family time in!

Our local mall has a business called “Palmetto Clayground.” It’s a paint your own ceramics store. Talia was more about dipping the brush in the pain than actually painting, but we have a really cute keepsake and a great memory!

0727161152.jpg

Of course no day out is complete without a new book!

0727161240.jpg

I would be this happy too if they would let me on!

0730161003a.jpg

We also had our first swimming lesson this week! Sadly, it only lasted five minutes.

0730161011a.jpg

Another little boy with a SUPER dramatic mother, made himself get sick in the pool because he didn’t want to go in. The mother started crying hysterically and then we had the 3-year-old crying, and the mother crying. We felt bad making Talia get out of the pool because she was so excited to get in, but we will get to go back next week.

0730161152b.jpg

We also hit up Fan Fest with the South Carolina Stingrays over the weekend. Talia was beside herself with excitement, even though there wasn’t a game going on. She scored herself a Trevor Gillies puck and some new clothes because they put everything up for sale at 75% off! We were able to find some stuff she and the baby will be able to wear!

How was your weekend? Did you do anything exciting? What did you read? Check back tomorrow for the weekly book review!