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I will be the first to admit that I am not a fan of snow. I loved playing in it when I was a child and made some amazing snow creations with neighbors. Then, when I learned to drive and we bought our house, things changed. Driving was suddenly dangerous, winter plans were harder to make, and keeping roofs clear of ice dams a reality.
Still, I can appreciate the beauty of the fresh white snow outside.
Later on, I will take one for the team and bundle up to watch the boys play in the snow (shoveling complete and TechyDad will rake the roof after work). You see, we already have more snow from this one storm than we had all last season. I have a five year old that jumps for joy when he sees one snow flake fall from the sky because he wants to play.
We live in the Capital District of New York. Our area was locked down in a state of emergency Monday and part of Tuesday. Hurricane Sandy’s unpredictable path made officials take extreme precautions after Hurricane Irene. People in our area are muttering about the hype, but I am not one of those individuals. No, I am counting my blessings. My family, home, and memories are secure because Sandy did not turn into our direction. What missed us did not spare countless others. Lives were lost, homes destroyed, destinations changed forever, and precious family memories lost.
Our family in PA, NJ, and NYC/Long Island have all finally checked in with us. They have storm damage and have been without power, but they are alive. Their homes were also spared a lot of what others on more coastal areas experienced. Hurricane Sandy may have “only been a category 1” storm just before she slammed into the NJ shore, but she was the biggest storm that anyone has ever seen in our region.
The reality is that the northeast is not well equipped for hurricanes because up until recent years, they were rather rare in these parts. Now, it seems to be a shifting reality. While we have the equipment to remove snow, ice, and winter weather – hurricanes and tropical storms are not something we typically brace for, especially in late October.
Growing up, I spent a lot summers going to Ocean City, MD. Vacations on the beach watching waves, time with extended family, bringing home pet hermit crabs, and more. I watched in horror and disbelief as the ocean ran up to buildings, home and businesses filled with water, and sand moved long distances away from the beach area. In this area, the bay overflowed and in some cases, the ocean breached the sea wall.
While in college, I had season tickets for the Albany River Rats hockey team. They were the AHL affiliate of the New Jersey Devils. During this time, I became very good friends with an amazing group of people who live in New Jersey. We used to spend time at their house during training camp and at playoff time when we ventured to Philadelphia. I have memories of cruising in convertible cars, walking on the boardwalk, and enjoying the beauty of the beach front area. Now, the photos make it look like a completely different world. The boardwalk was ripped off and a lot of homes on the beachfront were totaled along with stores and restaurants. Ocean Avenue and many other blocks are now covered in sand.
While I could have selected photos of Sandy’s destruction in these areas and beyond, I wanted to remind us of the beauty. The news has plenty of the heartbreaking images to go around. We must remember that each of the states that was hit needs our support. These places are homes to many people living in them full time. They are in need of massive work that will take lots of time, energy, and of course money. Together, we can help them to rebuild so more generations can experience the beauty of these amazing places up and down the east coat. Please consider donating blood, items, or money to charities that will support the individual in this area that have lost so much. Resourceful Mommy has great tips on how to help after Hurricane Sandy.
A huge thank you to my friends for their help with photos. I knew that I wanted to write this post and did not know where my pictures from trips were located. Sandy was able to send me these gorgeous views of Ocean City, MD and Shelley the ones of her hometown beach in New Jersey. Also a big thanks to my OC expert Shannan who was able to tell me more about how it looks now.
For weeks, the boys have been preparing for Halloween. This was the first year that JSL picked out his own costume and did not wear something that he inherited from his big brother. NHL knew just what he wanted to wear and JSL had to go with a slightly different choice (they don’t make Buzz Lightyear costumes past a certain toddler size). We have had everything ready, just sitting there and waiting.
The weekend was dry, so it dawned on me that it was time to break out the costumes and get photos of the boys just in case we can not do it on Wednesday. So, we pulled all of the pieces together and got the boys dressed and went outside. It was Harry Potter versus Captain America.
The boys were SO happy to be outside, run around, and show off their costumes to some of the neighbors. It also let us capture the moment and get some fun photos. No, Hurricane Sandy will not ruin Halloween for us, it will just be different.
The reality is that the boys could care less about going out to get candy, they wanted to play in their costumes. It was run to watch Harry Potter chasing around after Captain America putting spells onto him. Of course, the little guy had no clue that they were ones that a good wizard should not be making. Oy!
Safe Halloween wishes to everyone, especially those in the path of Hurricane Sandy.
Right now people up and down the East Coast of the United States are getting ready for what meteorologist and the media have dubbed the Frankenstorm. Hurricane Sandy has also caused lives to be lost in her path, and more destruction from extreme win and rain are likely. Thanks to Hurricane Irene just over a year ago, we have all learned to listen to weather reports and take them seriously. It is better to be more cautious about things than have regrets later on. The hardest part, the waiting game and watching the always changing news reports. Where will Sandy make landfall, where will she go after that, and how much wind and rain will everyone really see. A huge thank you to my friend Sandy in Pennsylvania for sharing this photo from the news in her area.
To all of my friends and family who are in the line of Hurricane Sandy, stay safe. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as we get ready for what she tosses your way. It certainly looks to be windy, rainy, and possibly issues with flooding in many areas. We have had to regroup with the boys just in case we can not go out for Halloween on Wednesday. I asked someone the other day if the Capital Region has ever canceled school for a hurricane or tropical storm, and it does not seem like it. Lots of Nor Easters, but nothing that combines the two together.
While I am nervous, this time I am able to concentrate a lot more on the reality of the storm. With Hurricane Irene, I was forced to cancel a 10th Anniversary Trip to Walt Disney World with TechyDad. That distraction meant that I was not thinking about food if we lost power. I went grocery shopping very early Saturday morning. We usually get groceries on Sunday, so we needed items. I avoided the crowds and bought thing that were needed and useful should we lose power.
Please remember safety first. If you need to evacuate your area, do it immediately. Your life and loved ones are worth so much more than material items.
As a child, I have strong memories of playing parachute games at school and during girl scouts. The parachute we used was huge. Lots of girls from our troop and others could gather around it to play games, run, jump, sing, and have a great time. Fast forward to this summer when I won a parachute from Let’s Play on Selfish Mom. On Saturday, we had a party to share the Unreal Candy (more on that soon) that we had received. Since the weather was beautiful, we packed up the scooters, helmets, parachute, and some other outside toys.
The kids all had a great time playing with the parachute. I actually wish I had taken some time to research some parachute games for them to play before we arrived. Unfortunately, I forgot to do this. Thank goodness, kids have great imaginations. They were able to make things up. Once back home, I looked on Pinterest and found a bunch of games that I remember playing as a child. Kid Activities had a great variety, but Woodlands Junior School had fantastic photos of their suggestions. The kids actually managed to do some variations of two of them, and added a new superhero approach.
We tried a variation of popcorn, but the balls we had were too big for the parachute. Next time, I will make sure we pull out some bean bags or other smaller items to use. Of course, the parachute was also a great place to sit down and watch the kids as they were running, jumping, and playing together for some fun in the sun while the sun was shining.
Have you ever played parachute games as a child or with your children? I would love to know what you have done so I can add to my list of possibilities for when the weather cooperates.
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