Monday, January 19, 2009


Daniel and I have today off, but lainey doesn't (they are trying to make up for days missed due to the hurricane). I had plans, big plans. I was going to clean, run errands, make phone calls that were overdue, return emails that were sent to me days and days ago....

And then I remembered why I like working these days better than staying home. It is 11 A.M and I have been up since 7. And this is a list of what Daniel has accomplished on his day off:

1. Spill (or rather, wait till mommy is not looking and POUR) a brand new, very full gallon of orange juice all over the hardwood floor. (I know, you are asking, why did you let him have access to the juice?...I didn't and I still have no idea how he got it and how he got the top off)

2. Pour a bowl of popcorn all over the floor. And then run through it, scattering it and crushing it into tiny pieces while mommy tries to clean it.

3. Adamantly request (in no particular order): juice, more juice, popcorn, more popcorn, popsicle, cookie, cheese, eggs, more cheese, more popcorn, more juice, outside, outside, outside, 'ax and uby' (Max and Ruby cartoon), more ax and uby, fix train, shoes on, shoes off, shirt on, shirt off, outside, outside, outside, more popcorn, popsicle, cookie, popsicle, get the picture....I left some out. And by 'adamantly request', I mean that when he doesn't get it, he screams, yells, and tries to find something to break. He has gotten very good at asking for what he wants and is now in the process of figuring out that just because we rejoice over him asking for things, doesn't mean that he always gets it.

So, no honey, the house will not be clean when you get home.

I did get a couple of things accomplished, though. I posted another blog entry! (and got to vent in the process). And I got the details ironed out for Daniel's 23 hr. EEG on Wednesday. So I thought I would let anyone who is interested in praying, know what to pray for...

1. Please pray that they will be able to get the electrodes on with as little stress and trauma as possible (the last time, I had to get on top of him and pin him down with my whole body, which caused screaming until he almost stopped breathing for a minute).

2. Please pray that he will 'forget' that the electrodes are on and that I will be able to distract him for all 23 hours so that he won't screw up the test by trying to pull them off (and for energy and patience for me to be able to do this)

3. Most importantly, please pray that he will have at least one seizure that they can get a clear picture of.... and that the test will give them an accurate picture of what kind of seizures they are, what exactly happens to his brain during them, and how often he is having them.

Thanks friends! Oh, we go in 7:30 a.m. and they start putting the electrodes on at 8am on Wed. We will leave 23 hrs. after they start monitoring him (which will probably be 7:30 am on Thursday at the earliest).

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Interesting Moment inTime

I don't want to say that something about me and my family has anything to do with this weekend and the historical moment that is about to take place, but just so you know...

Daniel Max Sims was named after Daniel from the Bible and Max, my grandfather, both after their bravery...most of you know Daniel's story, but not Max's. Max was in the army national guard of Alabama and a green beret (if you know anything about what is what in army history, then you know green beret is hot stuff). Max was pretty high up when MLK Jr. started raising hell in Alabama (or AB as my dear friend Mark likes to call it). As a matter of fact, we thought we might see Max in Forrest Gump, when you see Tom Hanks imposed on the news footage of the african american students standing in the doorway of the University of Alabama. Among the many historical moments my grandfather was a part of, this was one that is most discussed. The governor of Alabama stood in the doorway refusing to let these students in, and the President ordered the national guard (cue my grandfather) to order the governor to stand aside. There was one man above my grandfather in this (and other significant) operations during these turbulent times. But my grandfather was the only one in charge who allowed his men to cover their nametags (because of fear of retribution on thier families for protecting MLK and his followers). Yet he refused to cover his. Yes, the name Max Milton screamed loud and proud in those turbulent times in Alabama. He was often the one chosen to interview on local and national newscasts, but cover his name, he did not.

When I got married, Alex thought it was partly a southern thing that I didn't want to change my name to Amanda Jeanette Sims as oppossed to Amanda Milton Sims (since he is Alexander James Sims and apparently the tradition in Texas is to drop your maiden name, he thought it would be cool if we had the same initials). but in reality, I wanted to cling to the one thing I could count on as Southern pride....and that being that Max Milton would not cover his name when he was doing what was good and right....even if it meant endagering his family.

So, you can see how one day right before I got pregnant with Daniel, I said, "Alex, I don't know if our next baby will be a boy or a girl but at some point we will have a boy and his name will be 'Daniel Max'. You see, I was suppossed to be a boy and my name was going to be Daniel Max after the bravery of Daniel of the Bible and Max of the Miltons. But my parents had 3 girls and I have all girl cousins and no one had claimed it yet, so there you go. Alex struggled with the fact that the name 'Max' was not a name in and of should be short for something like 'Maximillian'. But Max's name was Max, short for nothing. Lo and behold I soon became pregnant with Daniel Max. And I can't imagine anyone my sweet precious grandfather could be more proud of to be his namesake. And to top it all off, Daniel Max was baptized on MLK's birthday....and we didn't plan it that way. It doesn't get any better than that.

So, here is to Daniel's baptism anniversary! Sweet baby boy, I can't imagine anyone better or braver than you to take on your great grandfather's namesake...autism and all.

And just to be political for a moment, no I did not vote for Obama...simply for the reason that I can not vote for someone who is for abortion because I was told in the beginning that Daniel would not live and that i should abort. But now that the vote is over.......if someone dares to touch a hair on that man's head, I will hunt him down and kill him. Because if I have to have a pro-abortion president, I will move on and rejoice in the fact that my grandfather was brave and strong enough to not cover his nametag so that Obama could one day be president.

(And since I'm being so political, Mr. Obama, if you could be so kind as to turn an eye towards the Texas special education situation, I would be forever would Max and Daniel Max....thanks)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Speaking of Quotes

I know I just said in the previous post that I am not a big quotation person, but I have another one.

I like to read and I read a lot. I am not saying this to brag, because I only like to read non-fiction and I rarely read the same book twice. I will read anything if it is a story and I haven't read it before. So the majority of my reading has not been educational in the is my escape. So, anyway, once upon a time, my husband asked a BRILLIANT friend of ours (he taught at Harvard) one of the best random questions I have ever heard: "If you could read any book twice, what would it be?". As I mentioned, I am a book slut, so I rarely go back to the same book....but because I read so much, I know the difference between a well written book and one that is crap. But I have always had a hard time answering that question. Until I read a certain book that almost literally took my breath away: Peace Like a River by Leif Enger.

It sounds like a Christian book, doesn't it? But I am not necessarily sure that it is or that Mr. Enger is a Christian. But anyway, I am re-reading it for the third or fourth time (a record for me) and I always get my breath taken away by the same quote each time I read it. And it occurred to me when I read it this time that it really applies to a lot of things I have been going through lately. Here is the quote:

"It is one thing to be sick of your own infirmities and another to understand that the people you love most are sick of them also. You are very close then to being friendless in the world."

Somewhere along middle school or jr. high, I developed debilitating headaches. I had major jaw surgery that put me in the ICU, and I had more than the average flus, colds, etc. My sister and other family members who were never sick began to make jokes. I could see where they were coming from...what a bummer to be at Disney World and have to go back to the hotel because your sister suddenly couldn't walk because she was so sick. But I also had no control over it and was so hurt that they couldn't see I wasn't making it up.

A couple of weeks ago, our community group had our first get together of the new year. It was girls night and for the hundreth time, I sat down to write the email saying i couldn't go. I had Daniel's ARD the next day and I already knew that I would be using every spare minute preparing. But instead of writing an email talking about Daniel's ARD, I wrote about how I had told Alex he could go out and watch the football game. I had said he could do that, and there had been some talk about switching girls night to guys night because of the game....secretly I hoped it would be switched and then I wouldn't feel guilty for missing. Long story even longer, it didn't get switched and of course I didn't want alex to look like he was saying, 'you have to stay home so I can go out" when he was doing the exact opposite. So I had to write another email and say sorry, I wasn't completely honest because.....I couldn't fill in the blank. Why couldn't I say the real reason? It was a legit reason that would make complete sense to everyone. I think I found the answer in the above quote...and I think this is also the reason why I don't blog as much. To me, the most hurtful thing would be to sense someone doing the internal rolling of the eyes as I mention yet another thing about Daniel. (I am going to write another post on how I struggle with worrying too much about what other people think later....).

The beautiful thing about all of this is that with Daniel's disease, I don't have a choice. It doesn't go away and the grief and issues come up at such random times. I put myself in a predicament like I did with my community group, and then I have to come clean and say, 'here is what is going on'. and of course my sweet friends say, 'we love you and we need to hear what is going on or we don't know how to help you'. They show me the love of Christ, who loves me even when I am repetitive and am whining about the same things over and over again. And in showing me the love of Christ, they teach me that I will never be friendless. Because they are human and sinners just like I am...they could very well roll thier eyes (and probably be justified in doing so). But there is One who will never be sick of my infirmities. He knows more than me what it is like to truly feel friendless in this world...and He died for me.

Now, if I could just remember that fact every second of every day, life would be perfect.

Friday, January 9, 2009

New blog for a new year

I am not one for resolutions. They never work, and why make them on January 1st? If you are a teacher or student or even a parent with kids in school, it makes more sense to start them in August. Lainey's school does not disregard last semester's tardies just because I made a resolution of no more tardies for the new year (which I've already broken, by the way). But as I read all of the end of the year blogs with highlights and resolutions, it occurred to me that I wish I blogged more. It is so hard for me to actually publish a post. If I just wrote out my thoughts and hit publish post, I would have a lot more entries. I have lots of 'drafts', but I always feel like I have to read and edit and make it perfect before I publish.

One of my favorite quotes (and I am not really into quotes usually) is this:

"Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away."
-- Dinah Craik

That pretty much sums up my life, I think.

If I just poured out all my thoughts clicked publish post, blogging would have a lot more purpose for me and I would do it more. That is originally what I set out to do with this thing, but then the whole daniel thing started and it just turned into a blog about that. that is not a bad thing, and I am not saying that a lot of my posts won't still be about that. But if you only have posts occassionally they are all going to be about the big things, and that is usually the 'big thing' going on in our lives.

Since I don't have enough posts for a list of highlights, I'll just give one of my favorites. It is one of the first things i ever wrote about and I still chuckle when I think about the incident today.

I have lots of things to write about if you care to know what's going on. I have been super busy and preoccupied with Daniel's public school stuff. We had the big meeting to set up the goals (or rather a continuation of the meeting we started in December) and I could write a book about it. But I don't know if that is a wise thing to do right now, so I have to wait at least a little while until we get things set up for sure. The other big things are Christmas was great, the Holiday break was great, we went to see our new, one of the best in the country neurologist. He is going to test Daniel for mitochondrial disease which I am still learning about but it is fascinating. I think it could change the way autism is thought of in the future and I am really curious if Daniel is one of the 30% or more of children with autism that have it (according to recent research). He is also having a 23 hour EEG (yes, you read that right) in a couple of weeks. It is 23 hrs instead of 24 because 24 requires an official hospital admission which affects insurance paying for it, blah, blah, blah. They are hoping to catch the seizure activity and get some idea of how often he is having them.

As far as communication and all the other things, Daniel is doing pretty good. I am more and more scared for his safety as he gets bigger and faster and frequently runs for the street or most dangerous situation available. Yesterday, I was at a friend's house and he was upset about something and ran out her front door. I was in heels (I had just finished the big school meeting) and she was breastfeeding, so we both weren't as fast as we would normally be. But he was at the street before I caught him. Most people buy all of the child proof locks and safety stuff when their first child starts crawling or walking....we're buying ours when our second child is 3. (We should have bought them before, we are just lazy).

For some good news, though, the other day he came up to me and said 'eat, eat'. I had just given him some yogurt so I said (never in a million years expecting him to respond), "What happened to your yogurt?" and he replied "yogurt bye-bye". this may not seem like a big deal, but it was huge, I tell you, HUGE. Not only did he UNDERSTAND what I was saying, but he also ANSWERED a question (and for you early childhood people out there, it was a 'wh' question at that). I didn't believe my ears until I went and looked and sure enough his yogurt was bye-bye. He had eaten every bite. I have thought this before, but I felt like that incident (falong with a couple of other like it that have happened recently) proves that he is so more with it than I thought. He totally knows what is going on...which is great news. But also sad in a way too. It is sad to me to think that he knows what we are saying and is almost as smart as an average kid his age, but is 'trapped' and can't really communicate. Sometimes it is easier to think he is just out of it. But then again, to see him respond to me and actually have an almost 'conversation' is one of the best moments I've had as his mom.

So, here's to my first post of words poured out, chaff and grain together. Sift away, friends.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

theology class

Before I begin this post, I must respond to the comments from my previous post. I know this is telling about my blogging experience, but I never know quite what to do with responses. If it were up to me, I would read a comment and then be instantly connected via telephone to the person who commented. I would then gush my profuse thanks and have a wonderful conversation that would be the highlight of my week. I would have great conversations with friends I talk to frequently like Lauren, catch up with old friends like Ella, Missy and Rebekah, and make wonderful new friendships with amazing people like Kerry from 'Colored with Memories'. Kerry, I don't know you, but I love you from reading your blog. I just moved to Texas 7 years ago and I am as passionate about it as you. And your 100th post has me cracking up...I can't even tell you all the things that I loved, but the picking up for the maid thing was the best if I had to choose my favorite right this second. Where or where in Texas do you live? Close to me? I hope so...and should I be writing all of this in your comments on your blog or in my comments in my blog? Or is this whole responding to you in my own post thing appropriate? I don't know...but as a fellow PCAer, I hope you will have grace and be friends with me either way :).

It has been a very interesting day for me, and I could write at least 3 posts on it...and I didn't even go to work. But the most important thing for me right now is to document the conversation I had with Lainey (my 5 yr. old) as I was putting her to bed tonight. It started out as our usual bedtime conversation does...all of a sudden when faced with going to sleep she remembers all the wrongs done to her throughout the day and must document them. While I can completely relate to this need, it is always extremely annoying to me since I am usually counting down the seconds to my FREE TIME (does that even really exist??? I keep hoping it does, but it keeps eluding me). Tonight it was the usual 'someone was not nice to me on the playground' story. I must admit that in the past I have often fallen back on the 'hit them back' mentality and told her to just tell the kid whatever they said to her back to them. At times, I am ashamed to admit, I have even suggested that she tell them her mommy 'said so' or to tell them that her mommy was calling their mommy. I mean, really, who could expect me to deal with bullies when my oldest is just 5?? they were being rude, why can't I just tell Lainey to tell them that her mommy said they were being rude???

However, tonight the story involved a student whose parents I had met and had a short conversation with this past weekend. This time, I decided to be merciful and told Lainey that it wasn't really all this kids fault that he/she was being mean...sure it was sinful for this person to be mean....just like it was sinful for Lainey to be mean to her friends and family...but it also had something to do with things out of this child's control. "Like what?" she wanted to know. Well, like bad stuff...not stuff the child did or the parents did but stuff that just sucks...stuff that is not good in this world whether or not you are a sinner...stuff that Satan is responsible for. Well one thing led to another and the next thing i knew she was asking me, "Does God love Satan?"

Before I continue I must tell you that my husband is the head of our family and head of all things theological in our family. One thing that I love about him is that he does not live or die by theology...he loves Jesus and what Jesus did for him end of story.... But for him, his love of what Jesus did means trying to understand it to the best of his ability. I agree with this way of thinking, but I am not as smart as he is so I tend to throw my hands up and want to say "I love Jesus....isn't that enough???". So when Lainey asked, "Does God love Satan?" my first reaction was 'hell, no' and then my second reaction was to just say 'no' and my third reaction was, 'how do you answer this question when a five yr. old asks it and am I even right in saying the answer is 'no'? At which point, I said, "let's ask daddy".

Well, I won't get into what the right or wrong answer is, but the point is that after we asked daddy, we went back to bed and I continued to be quizzed on my theology knowledge. Basically the questions were "does God care when we are sick? does God want Daniel to have autism? does God want Daniel to talk? Do you believe in Jesus? does Daddy? Does Daniel? how do we know Daniel does if he can't talk and tell us? So will I see you in the new heaven and the new world? What does 'believe' mean? Does God care when Fletch (our dog) has diarrhea?" And this is just a small sampling. It was enough to make me realize there is a need for a new type of class in today's seminaries....something called "Questions About God: From a 5 Year Old". It should be a required class of all Christians before they can procreate.

I found myself sharing the Gospel with my daughter. She has heard it all before (thanks be to God) from people other than her mom. But maybe it meant something more hearing it from me. After a day of getting the 99th report on Daniel in the mail and reading about how he really does have autism and is in desperate need of all the money the school district can throw at him (from the very people I expected to wage war with...good for my not having to go to war, but bad for the whole 'your son is so bad off we aren't going to fight you' deal), it was nice to talk about the Gospel. It was nice to say in a loud, clear voice, "Yes, Satan is bad and we sin and we get sick, but God is GOOD." "Yes, even though Daniel has autism, God is GOOD." "No, God did not make autism, but God made Daniel and God is good and he loves Daniel, so if Daniel has autism, it is GOOD even if we can't see how or why right now."

It was good for me to hear myself saying these things out loud. Because in convincing my daughter I convinced myself and I believed them. And when she asked me if I believed in Jesus, it was so easy to say, "well, of course" on a day when I might have otherwise be tempted to think, "what is God thinking??". And so I proved my own point to her...even in Lainey's seemingly silly questions, God is there. He is Sovereign and He is pouring out His love and mercy to His precious children in ways we don't expect.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sorry for the Melodrama

Yes, yes, we are OK. I didn't mean to be so melodramatic and leave all 3 of you hanging. And (I am sad that it has taken me a month or more to admit this) I am getting back to normal so my posts should hopefully be more regular now.

I started to write a post while we were in the midst of the hurricane 'crisis' that included the lyrics to the song below. I hesitated to publish it simply because it seems melodramatic to post something like that when our house was not damaged, our health was intact, and life was going to all be OK in the end. However, it was insanity and it was hard. We were in a hotel room for over two weeks...and it was just like having your first newborn (for the moms out there). If we had KNOWN it was only going to be 2 and a half weeks without power, then the day that Daniel put Lainey's dress in the toilet and fell backwards off the bed and busted his head on the air conditioning unit (all within one hour) wouldn't have been so bad. But because we watched every news report with a critical eye, it seemed as if the power outage in Houston would never end. As we all know, it did end....and while we were in bottom 5% in getting power restored, we were blessed beyond all measure just to have the option of a hotel room in a situation like that.

So, I never posted those lyrics. But today as I listened to the song for the first time in a while, it struck me that there has never been such a time as this to post these lyrics (for all 3 of you who will read them). The whole financial crisis started while we were still scrambling for a place to stay with power. S87o when we watched the news and they mentioned it, we were like, "OK, great, but when can we live in our house again?". But now, we are back on track and life is still not 'normal' and while I am a melodrama queen, these lyrics are appropriate for so many today...and I hope they will minister to you as they did to me when, "Satan enraged the wind and the tide" a few weeks ago.

The Lord Will Provide

Though troubles assail
And dangers affright,
Though friends should all fail
And foes all unite;
Yet one thing secures us,
Whatever betide,
The scripture assures us,
The Lord will provide.

The birds without barn
Or storehouse are fed,
From them let us learn
To trust for our bread:
His saints, what is fitting,
Shall ne'er he denied,
So long as 'tis written,
The Lord will provide.

We may, like the ships,
By tempest be tossed
On perilous deeps,
But cannot be lost.
Though Satan enrages
The wind and the tide,
The promise engages,
The Lord will provide.

His call we obey
Like Abram of old,
Not knowing our way,
But faith makes us bold;
For though we are strangers
We have a good Guide,
And trust in all dangers,
The Lord will provide.

When Satan appears
To stop up our path,
And fill us with fears,
We triumph by faith;
He cannot take from us,
Though oft he has tried,
This heart-cheering promise,
The Lord will provide.

He tells us we're weak,
Our hope is in vain,
The good that we seek
We ne'er shall obtain,
But when such suggestions
Our spirits have plied,
This answers all questions,
The Lord will provide.

No strength of our own,
Or goodness we claim,
Yet since we have known
The Saviour's great name;
In this our strong tower
For safety we hide,
The Lord is our power,
The Lord will provide.

When life sinks apace
And death is in view,
This word of his grace
Shall comfort us through:
No fearing or doubting
With Christ on our side,
We hope to die shouting,
The Lord will provide.

P.S. If you would like to hear the version of the song I listen to (set to modern music) search itunes for "The Lord Will Provide" by Matthew Smith. The words were written by one of my favorite hymn writers, but Matthew Smith does an excellent job of making these beautiful words easy to sing loudly in your car (on your way to work, or to pick up your kids, etc.)

P.P.S. I was first turned on to the amazing stories of hymn writers such as John Newton (who wrote the "The Lord Will Provide") and William Cowper (my favorite hymn writer of all time) by a book called The Swans Are Not Silent by John Piper. It is amazing to me that these men who suffered so much for the kingdom of God could write words that are life changing and soul-blessing to such a person as I so many years later. I will gladly lend my copy of this book or my copy of Mathew Smith's CD to anyone who wants it.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Houston, We Have Power

A little over 3 weeks ago, I scoffed at losing power. My husband fretted over breaking his years long streak of not missing a daily shower. I worried slightly about the inability to turn on a video in times of crisis for the kids. But, I am from Alabama. I have roughed it. I have gone hunting and killed a deer. Not just a deer, a buck. A big one. I could live a few days without water and power. Bring it on. And then I talked to my dad.

My dad has faced many a natural disaster, so I thought it would be a good idea to go over my shopping list with him to make sure I covered the basics. You know, batteries, flashlights, water, extra laptop batteries, etc. It was Thursday and hurricane Ike was set to hit Friday in the middle of the night. I left work around 12 and called him on my way to the store. Before I could I even get to my shopping list, he said, "I am glad you called...I left you a message this morning. I just wanted to know where you are going to evacuate. If you need us to pick you up at the ariport, just let us know." My dad is very, very wise and experienced and not prone to drama (despite raising 3 high drama girls) so I felt a knot in my stomach as he said those words. Stupidly I explained to him that the great mayor of the city of Houston had told us to shelter in place...that the worst that could happen was that we would lose power for a few days and we could leave after the storm if we were 'uncomfortable'. I laughed at the idea of the Houstonians scrambling in fear of losing power for a few days....hadn't they ever gone camping? My dad (who by the way is an army man and has spent more days than anyone I know camping...and actually built a raft in high school and sailed down the alabama river just like Tom Sawyer and has a newspaper article to prove it...)said, "If this storm hits the way they say it is, you will lose power for more than a few days and you won't be able to get out any time soon because the roads will be impassable."

Why didn't we listen? I have no idea. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we spent 12 hours overnight with a one week old baby and a 2 yr old trying to evacuate to a place that was only a 3 hour drive constant fear of running out of gas and passing station after station that was sold out. Alex has a co-worker whose mom died in that storm...she died of a heart attack on the side of the road as they tried to evacuate...the ambulance couldn't get to her. It made sense for us to evacuate then since we had such a young baby who got sick that week and wouldn't have gotten the medical attention he needed if we had stayed in Houston. But for most people, it was nonsense, as the storm did minimal damage to Houston.

We did get more serious, though, after my dad's warnings. We boarded our bedroom and bathroom windows so that we would have a 'safe' place to ride out the storm. And I plugged up all personal and work laptops and our portable DVD player all day on Friday and forbid anyone to unplug really would be a disaster that we have a moment in those few days without power where we desperately needed a video and couldn't have it. I also did some things that seem ridiculous in hindsight...I went to Kroger and stood (well, actually, I called Alex and said leave work now and come stand in this line) in a 2 hour line to get a few more canned goods and more water. And then I cleaned out the closet in our boarded up bedroom and put food, water batteries and toilet paper in there so that if a tree fell on our house we could live in the little cave of our boarded up bedroom for as long as possible. Silly, I know, but it made so much sense at the time.

The day of the storm we nailed boards and waited. Our dog barked and howled like crazy making us even more worried. A couple of times I looked at Alex and said, "maybe we should go now". But we kept hearing the city officials saying over and over to stay, so we stayed. And that night we all slept in one room. At one point our bedroom door (which was closed tight) blew open. We thought for sure a window had been broken in the house and the wind was blowing open the door. We cautiously looked out and found nothing broken...the wind was coming through every crack and space it could find and shifting our house about. We looked out the windows and immediately ran back to the bedroom and shut the door. It was a very scary sight...and this was not my first hurricane. Strangely enough we slept off and on. Around 7 am we woke up and ventured out of our bedroom. Our house was intact. The storm was still going, but you could tell it was the end. I started to think, 'hey, that wasn't so bad'. Alex looked out the front windows to our street and promptly said, "Someone died last night." WHAT???? I yelled. First of all, it was spooky the way he said it and second of all I couldn't believe he was talking like that in front of the kids. "You mean in Galveston?? Of course someone died in Galveston....all of those people who didn't leave when they should have.."

"No, I mean someone in our neighborhood died, someone on our street died, a bunch of people in Houston died. Look." I looked outside and it was like a scene from a disaster movie. There were huge branches covering the ground. It would have been impossible to drive or even walk down the street just for all of the huge branches. But even scarier than that were the massive trees down everywhere. Our neighbor across the street had 5 or 6 in her yard alone...and they all fell away from her house. Looking at that it was impossible not to think that the whole city was destroyed. As the morning progressed and people began to poke their heads out, neighbors suggested that it was a tornado that had hit our street...surely it couldn't be this bad all over...why would they tell people to stay in a situation like this? Later that day, I walked the dog (our fence was gone so we had to walk him now)to go check on some friends in the neighborhood who weren't answering their phone. I realized that it was not an isolated tornado....I really was walking through a movie set of the latest disaster neighborhood would never be the same. Praise be to God, Alex was wrong. No one in our neighborhood died. People lost their houses, but they were either not there or they were in a different part of the house when the trees fell. And A LOT of trees fell away from the houses. Which was good from the whole saving human life perspective, but totally proved my dad's point about making the roads impassable.

Saturday was a very surreal, miserable day that I honestly don't remember that well. We thought about leaving but all of the reports on our battery operated radio said that people were getting hurt trying to get the hell out of Houston....rumors were flying that it could be a month before power was restored. A month!! Most people laughed at could we go a month without power in this great city in this day and age...surely it would just be a few days like they said in the beginning right??

By Sunday, I didn't care if it was going to be one month or 12 more hours...I had officially become a city girl and I couldn't take it. Not to mention that our 3 year old (oh yeah, it was his birthday that Saturday) was on seizure medication where we had been told to never get in a situation where we didn't have access to air conditioning....he could have a heat stroke as a side effect, but it was rare...and really, why would you ever be without air conditioning in Houston, Texas????

To be continued....:)