Hurricane Irma

We live pretty far from the coast and our area tends to get very mild weather when rough patches come through. Usually we’re far enough inland where things dissipate before they reach us! The buzz about Irma started about a week prior to the storm actually hitting. I will say there is good and bad about our technology and knowledge now! While it’s GREAT for preparation and to allow those who need to evacuate their areas to do so, it’s also a cause of undue panic for many people too. One friend on FB posted they just wished it’d all hurry up b/c the anticipation was so frustrating and I agree with that, it felt like it took FOREVER for the storm to finally hit!

Zach and I aren’t “panic” type people. I needed to do our monthly grocery shopping that week so I went ahead and went early in the week in hopes of avoiding the crowds. Man I went shopping a FULL WEEK prior to the storm and our stores (remember we’re a good couple hours from any coast) were OUT of water already. People were lining up to grab it!

This was what was predicted for our area earlier in the week (Valdosta)

Our town made the news πŸ˜‰ It was C-RAZY driving around 75 because it was so backed up. The day they announced that Florida had to evacuate I was going to Katie’s and had to take a bunch of backroads on the way home to avoid sitting in that line! 

Had to have some humor with it πŸ˜‰ Disney was FINE in the storm…very minimal damage and it was all repaired quickly!

Of course in the days leading up to the storm Zach finished our new porch railing!

As the week went on we did start taking things a little more seriously as it seemed like our area was going to be affected at least at some level.

The storm was set to hit on Monday October 11th. We were supposed to be meeting with Mama E that day and then Zach had planned to work a prison but our whole week ended up getting shifted around due to the storm and missed school and such. I was a lot more nervous about this storm than I’ve ever been about any of them (which says a lot as I lived in a small beach town where we had hurricanes decently often) because of Mama E. Jacksonville was a direct line of the storm path and it was just very scary not really knowing how she was doing since she decided to stay home and wait out the weather. I’m so thankful she and her babies were FINE (she actually later told me she slept through the whole thing ha!) but it added an extra level of stress and concern to the situation for sure. 

I will be sharing a post about prepping kids for these type of things but we kept it super casual with them. I think it helped them not freak out because we didn’t freak out. They helped with prep and we talked about how we could possibly lose power for awhile but that was basically it! 

Britt was the most concerned about looking good πŸ˜‰ 

My biggest concern was our freezers. We (meaning I) recently over-ordered on chicken from Zaycon so we have a TON of it. Plus we have deer that we shared with Robyn and Matt. And I’ve started meal prepping and freezing food for baby. Basically we have a TON more freezer food than normal (although we always have a well stocked freezer). I was super stressed over losing all the food and meat. It’d be so so gross to clean out, expensive to replace, and a PAIN to deal with. Really that’s the only thing I was super nervous about with the storm coming. I did what I could to try to protect everything. We have four freezers total (one stand up, one deep, two attached to fridges) so I took all the stuff out of the two fridge ones and crammed them in the deep ones to try to fill them as much as possible. A full freezer stays frozen longer! 

I also filled up some gallon size bags with water to help keep them full and cold!

We tried to make the pre-storm days as fun as possible and tried to do a lot outside and such since we weren’t sure what all would take place after the storm!

Zach and I learned a good bit about each other during this storm. I’m a prep-now so I don’t stress later person, he’s a wait and access the situation closer to time person. The morning before the storm he checked out all the available info and made the call to go ahead and do some house prep as well as to go to town and find a generator. We both joked that we KNEW if we bought one that we wouldn’t need it. And of course it was non-refundable. But honestly we’re insurance people. We’re allllll about peace of mind haha and it did just that. We had a great peace of mind going into the storm and knowing we had it and it’s something we will have in the future as well so we’ll always have that peace of mind if other storms come through! 

Kye was ready to fight the storm away πŸ˜‰

Robyn had a great idea to make a ham before the storm to have meat to snack on and it was SO YUMMY! I never knew cooking ham was SO EASY. We just put a little water in the pan, cooked for a couple hours and BAM! Delicious!

Our night church was canceled (we missed morning church due to the prep and generator search) so we decided to get out of the house for a little bit and go down to our McDonald’s to use the app for a cheap dinner πŸ˜‰ 

Zach made fun of me but when else can you wear rain boots and rain coat?

My jacket is from Target and I love it!

Z and I were literally up the entire night prior because we kept getting weather alerts so free coffee (and free size upgrade) was my treat of choice!

Britt was so cute wanting to be so dressy for McDonalds!

Matching rain boots! I love her little pose!

We kinda went all out with the food which is Zach’s favorite thing to do. Dude is all about some grub! 

Sausage balls are one of his favs and they are a GREAT thing to take on trips, amusement parks, and to have on hand for snacks! People on IG hadn’t heard of them so I shared the recipe too πŸ™‚

Zach and Kye worked on tying down our playground the best they could and added concrete bags Zach had to try to help it stay put in the wind!

Britt, Tess and I focused on more snacks πŸ˜‰

I saved the cupcakes to decorate the next day as something fun to do with the power out!

People were going nuts on social media with tips and tricks and things to have on hand so I just tossed stuff in a basket just in case. We never needed any of it haha

I also saw that laptops make great phone chargers. I pulled out all the ones we have which are SEVEN of them. One being from my high school days haha and a couple with completely broken screens but I figured they can at least charge a phone (well the one from high school doesn’t have USB but it did have a DVD player so I figured kids could watch a movie if needed). Everything our town was notifying us about was making it sound like we could expect to be without power for a week so I figured the more options, the better! Thank you Aflac for Zach having so many laptops πŸ˜‰

My main concern was the freezers. My concerns with the house were the playground (which insurance would replace) and a tree on the corner of our neighbors lot that if it fell would fall on our house. Insurance would also cover that damage but I didn’t want to risk Tess sleeping in her room (hers is the window in the picture) just in case. 

So she got to have her first sibling sleepover!!! We put them all in Britt’s room which was upstairs but Zach wasn’t too concerned with high enough winds to affect the upper level of our house (especially b/c our second story is in the roof) and her room had the least temptations for Tess to want to play with πŸ˜‰ 

Sweet Siblings!

When we tucked the kids in we told them we may have to come get them in the night but that the storms weren’t supposed to come through until the morning. We went to bed with the power on!

We all woke up when the power went out around 6:30, which wasn’t too bad at all and was a good nights sleep for us all! If you have to have a major storm come through, you’d rather it be during the day!

We all sat together in the living room to watch the storm through the windows 

Once it started to get daylight I took the kids to the playroom to let them play and kept an eye on things from that window. 

The kids had a great time pulling out their rarely played with toys πŸ˜‰ 

I took two videos: 1 and 2

By 9:15 the storm had totally ended!

It was light enough for us to play some family games

And decorate our cupcakes!

We were very blessed and thankful to have NO DAMAGE to our home. None of our family members did either (other than a bunch of limbs down). We did have a couple of church families have some damage to their homes (one family was already not living in their home due to damage from a tornado last year…how crazy for them to have major damage again?). I know many areas weren’t as fortunate. We had been told to expect winds that were around 100 mph but Zach could tell that morning that it wasn’t anything that high for sure! 

Zach and I slept for 3 1/2 hours and Kye woke up early and made drawings haha

Our wooden train set is a huge favorite here so we pulled out those tracks for the kids to enjoy! The kids also put on a dance show πŸ˜‰

I took the time to clean out my closet a bit and to find comfy clothes to pack for the hospital! Can I bring gauchos back, plllllease?

Seriously the timing couldn’t have been better! We lost power right when we woke up that morning and it was back on by bedtime that night! The kids literally had just brushed their teeth when BAM! Lights!!! We were super fortunate in that area as well. Many of my friends were without power for several days and even over a week!

This is the actual wind measurements for our area during the storm. High winds, but thankful not the predicted 100 mph ones!

We let the kids sleep together in Kye’s room that night, not out of any concern…just for fun and also since we didn’t know the power would be back on because we were trying to conserve the batteries in their sound machines πŸ˜‰ 

No regrets on the generator! We ran it on and off throughout the day and everything was still frozen. All of our fridge stuff was also still cold! We didn’t have to toss a single item!

The kids ended up not having school for four days that week (some in our area took off the whole week). Zach and Kye spent the ENTIRE day after the storm helping clean up at Big Daddy’s and Mema’s so the girls and I had a girl day πŸ˜‰ 

Moana while nails dry!

Coloring pictures for the boys!

And even playing games πŸ™‚

You would think a major storm would knock out some love bugs, right?!?! INSANE they were RIGHT BACK! 

Two days after the storm the kids helped Daddy clean up our yard! So thankful for these sweet helpers! 

I often complain about living in Valdosta but I have to say, this experience made me pretty thankful for our location. Yes, we had some people in our area with damage but overall it was much, much less severe than predicted for our area and especially less severe than many areas in Florida. We were so thankful to hear that Mama E was okay and that none of our family or friends in Florida were directly affected. 

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