Mar 31, 2014

This rain feels familiar...

I woke up to discover that I was the new proud owner of waterfront property on Sunday morning! Actually, not so exciting. After raining all weekend, and raining quite hard on Saturday night, it turns out that my poor little backyard was saturated and just couldn't take it anymore!

Luckily the water went down a little while later and Grace was able to take advantage of her a) new rainboots and b) love of jumping in puddles (thanks Peppa Pig.)

If you like Pina Coladas (me) and getting caught in the rain (Grace).
Who Wore it Best?
But as I said in the title of this post... there was something eerily familiar with this rain... Maybe to all of Southern New England. Unless you've blocked it from memory because it was so horrible??

The Great Floods of 2010! It was March 30-31, 2010. Exactly 4 years ago.

In fact, I wrote about it here, but I'll give you a recap below:

One Year Ago… 3.30.10

Exactly one year ago, I woke up early and got ready for work. Typically out of character for me, but I was motivated to get to work early and finish some important items before leaving the office for 2 and a half weeks to celebrate my wedding and honeymoon. At the time, I was living in Norwood, so I hopped into the car around 6:30 a.m. for the 50-minute commute. It was raining, as it had been for nearly the entire month of March, and the sky was still dark. Backing out of the driveway, I heard a strange sound – strange enough that I jumped out of the car to see that my left rear tire was flat! This was the second flat tire in about 6 months, both happening in my driveway. Beyond annoyed, I pulled the car back into the driveway and called up AAA. I thought about waking Matt up, but at this point what could he have done? I just had to wait for my tire changing saviors to arrive. To kill time I actually decorated the table with our runner and placemats that we received the weekend before at our shower. I was silently freaking out (and decorating) while Matt slept upstairs. I wasn’t freaking out so much because of the precious time that I was losing at work, but because at 8:30, I had to host the first webinar in a series for 30 of our recently hired store managers. Without a backup, this would be a very bad situation if I wasn’t there. Yikes. 
This is the text I sent to Matt while he was asleep.

AAA finally showed up about 45 minutes later. I always find it awkward (ok the 2 times I’ve dealt with this situation) about where to be when the AAA guy is changing your tire. Do I wait outside? Even if it is pouring rain? This particular AAA representative didn’t even say one word to me. Luckily, I knew the drill after my last tire situation so he didn’t really have to I guess, but a hello would have been nice! Needless to say, I waited outside, in the rain, while the tire was changed. Tire done. I hopped back into the car and started on my 50 minute journey to work, freaking out that I’ve already driven more than the allotted amount on that spare tire, and that I had to go 50 mph for almost 40 miles (straight highway to work!)

Miraculously, I made it into work at my normal time, a little after 8:00. After some login issues (which ALWAYS happen with Webex), I finally got everything up and running. My facilitator showed up just in the nick of time, coffee in hand. Not two minutes into our presentation, my facilitator, KNOCKED OVER her coffee into the keyboard, all over the mouse, and narrowly missed the phone. A look of complete terror washed over her face. Amazing. I mouthed, “Just keep going!” and then scrambled to find some paper towels to clean up the coffee spill. Luckily, we didn’t really need that keyboard and the mouse was still working. The funny part is this episode didn’t really even faze me as 9 out of 10 webinars are usually pure chaos anyway!

After a quick break, and then another webinar, I finally had a chance to get out of the office and go to get my tire fixed at Sam’s Club in Warwick. It took some creative re-routing due to flooding that was going on in the area, but I finally made it. When I stepped outside of the car in the parking lot, I heard sirens all around me, such an eerie feeling. The massive store was completely deserted and as I walked up to the Customer Service desk I could hear them talking on the phone about a possible closing that the Governor would announce at a press conference. I must have looked a little desperate because after I explained that I was leaving tomorrow for my wedding and needed my tire fixed, someone begrudgingly agreed and discovered I had a screw in my tire. Believe it or not, this was great news because it meant that my tire could be fixed for FREE. Ladies and gentlemen, I highly recommend Sam’s Club tire purchases, this is the 2nd issue that they fixed for me free of charge. My tire was fixed and I was on the road again! 

I pulled into the parking lot at work and was immediately taken back by the lack of cars. When I was walking into the building, everyone else was walking out. Keep in mind, I had only been gone for a little over an hour. I got back to my desk and the entire department was gone! At this point, I hadn’t been able to get any of the last minute items done so I started working. A few minutes later, the VP came in and explained that the Governor had called a State of Emergency and the building was evacuated. The Pawtuxet River, which was only a quarter of a mile down the street, was causing big BIG trouble and roads all around our building were flooding. Later that day and into the next, this river would not only flood and subsequently close the Warwick Mall for months- everything inside and outside of it was destroyed, but also shut down Interstate 95, not to mention other destruction to nearby businesses and homes.

At the time, my ride north back to Massachusetts was without incident and I was able to finish up work on my laptop from the comfort of my own couch. Also worth noting the sheer terror I felt as I peeked down in our basement, but thankfully- no water! As my own personal hell was ending, it was gearing up for many of my wedding guests who would be flying out to Jamaica two days later. First, I got a phone call from my Mom who was returning from her Level III PSIA exams in Vermont. By the time she was on her way into Rhode Island around 10:00 p.m. there were multiple road closures, including 95 and many local roads on her way home. I was on the phone with her keeping her up to date on the road closings as they happened, and I must say that the RI DOT did a great job of keeping their site and Twitter up to date. My mom finally made it home safe and sound; to then discover water in the basement. Nice! We also got a call from Matt’s parent’s- again, water in the basement. How we didn’t get water in our basement is still a miracle and I’m so grateful for it! Rhode Island did receive the brunt of this storm, although our Neponset River flooded, so if you didn’t get water in your basement you were in the vast minority. 

I remember going to bed that night with the news on (Massachusetts news by the way) and watching people on jet skis in Cranston zipping around the road behind my office. I always thought I would go to bed the night before I left for Jamaica with visions of jet skis in my head… I just never thought they would be in floodwaters behind my office in Cranston!

Flood Flashback ABC6

Now, flashforward to 24 hours after my flat tire discovery. Matt and I are on the plane at Logan, after just being bumped up to first class thanks to American Airlines and my oversized bright pink wedding dress bag. Life is good. We are on our way to be married in Jamaica with our favorite people in the world. 

First class breakfast... time to relax!
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Mar 23, 2014

Weekend in Review

Usually when I look back at a weekend at home it's a whirr of paper towels. I honestly don't know how our foremothers survived toddlers before these were invented. Sure, I feel a little guilty about my carbon footprint in this area but seriously, I'm happy to make it up somewhere else.

Aside from the grand messes, we were actually quite productive this weekend! It was kind of nice to reset the productivity vibe in the house after being away for the past few weekends. It also helped that we had Spring Cleaning on our minds as we started to make some strides in that department. When we moved into our house in December, we left quite a few boxes at my Mom's house. It served us well for a while, but now that we've lived in the house for a few months we're just about ready to retrieve the odds and ends (like a cutting board? Or our colander?) We really wanted to wait until it got warmer so we didn't just move boxes from one garage to another. We want to be able to take the time to go through them and decide what to keep, donate, or trash.

The slow and steady approach this time has gone against my grain a bit, but I'm happy with the results so far! Anyone who has visited us since we've moved in would see pretty empty bookshelves, that we're lacking serving bowls, or that we don't have any art on the walls. Hopefully that will all change soon! It gives you a chance to use the new house for a while, step back and see what's really important.

In other news, our toddler has crossed into the Terrible Two Territory. It's like living with a tiny Tempest in a Teapot. Poor little thing, she goes through phases of rabid curiosity where she gets into EVERYTHING. It's almost like we've regressed to the 15-18 month mark where she was relentlessly trying to either kill herself or make a colossal mess. We've got that again but she's even more stubborn. What a nut.

Oh and did I mention she figured out how to get out of her crib right before I left for Austin so we converted her crib into a toddler bed. Transitions are fun!

Stopping for lunch on our way back from Home Depot. I told you we were productive today! And this is seltzer water. I stopped drinking Diet Coke in February and this was one of the reasons why... she kept demanding whatever I had. Time to grow up and be a role model I guess!

Mar 20, 2014

Because I'm Happy

Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof.
Pharrell's Happy will always remind me of Despicable Me 2. How could it not, I watch it at least once a day, maybe more. Why? I have a Minion obsessed 2 year old!

But for realz. How cute is that shirt? Apparently Grace saw it at Target and begged Memere to have it.

Mar 19, 2014

Where have I been lately? From the Deep South to the North Country

First of all, is Texas Deep South? Probably not... Southwest? That doesn't seem right. I'm sure someone will correct me.

After the work trip to Miami and Austin, I was home for 2 days and then packed up the car and the family to head up to the North Country for my birthday weekend. We usually stay in Jackson, NH or the North Conway area, but this time we stayed at Mittersill Alpine Resort, overlooking Cannon Mountain in Franconia, New Hampshire. 

On Saturday we were graced with 40F weather and the largest crowds Cannon saw all year! It was truly a wonderful Spring skiing day. In the afternoon the temps dropped and it actually started snowing hard. Bye bye bluebird skies, hellooo frigid temps! I couldn't believe how cold it would get over the next few days!

Despite the freezing temperatures, we still had beautiful sunny skies so that helped a bit. But damn. It was cooooold and I'm still not over that. Especially when you expect March to be a little more tolerable than January. Heck, I'd even take temps in the mid-20's! It's better than 3F. 

Now we're home and it feels warmer but WHEN are we going to shake these cold temps?? I even made myself wear flats today because high 30's are as good as we're going to get! Actually, I just did my own fact checking and it looks like we have some 50's on the calendar! Wooooooo. I might even get to break out my new birthday trench coat!

Mar 13, 2014

Home is Where the ... WiFi is?

Dearest Readers,

I've been away. But now I'm home. Well for a few more hours anyway. Then I'm off to spend my birthday weekend in the White Mountains where I always seem to be on my birthday.

I have so much to recap from my time at SXSW and I'd start telling you all about it tonight, but you see I've contracted the SX Flu and I've only got a few more minutes in me before the NyQuil kicks in (and no, this post is in no way sponsored by the good people at NyQuil, but they should, right?).

Anyway, it's good to be home and although I'm heading back out tomorrow, I'll be surrounded by family. We roll deep when we make the trek to New Hampshire.

I leave you with this quote. Leave your home and family for a few days and then tell me this isn't true.

Mar 8, 2014

Day 1: Three Things at SXSW

I just arrived in Austin for the annual intersection of Music, Film and Interactive -South by Southwest (SXSW) last night, directly after my trip to Miami. 

I will spare you the full recap, but her are three things about SXSW Day 1.

The taxi line. 
As Austin is inundated with badge holders arriving from faraway lands, the cities resources are obviously going to be a little drained. This is probably the longest taxi line I've ever seen. 

Art is everywhere. 
One of the things I love most about Austin is the creativity. It's literally everywhere and always unexpected to a straight-laced New Englander like me. This photo was taken outside of Chuy's restaurant. 

A Mantra

Forget the ABC's of SXSW and you'll be sorry. Luckily you can usually find a free plug, just don't forget your charger!

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