Monday, November 12, 2012

A hurricane, a wedding, Austin, and a change of plans

Along with the rest of the East Coast, we've had a crazy couple of weeks! We lost power during Superstorm Sandy, just 4 days before we were due to fly to Texas for my cousin's wedding. All in all we were quite lucky- our house was unharmed, and the weather wasn't too cold, so we were pretty comfortable during those days. Our town had a lot of downed trees (including big ones) and power lines, and our neighborhood was among the last in the county to have power restored (a week after the storm).

Here's a huge oak tree by our house that fell down. I've never seen so many downed trees in my life.

Since walking around in the dark with trees and power lines strewn along streets and sidewalks isn't generally considered safe for children, the village cancelled Halloween. To make matters worse for my own kids, we discovered that one of our pumpkins had rotted before we could carve it, which meant that the kids had to share a jack o'lantern. They were troopers about the whole thing! They each carved a face on one side of the remaining pumpkin, and Robert and I were super proud of their good attitudes.

A bigger concern came up a few days into the outage, when my brother called to say that his flight to Texas had been cancelled. He was officiating at the wedding, and so had arranged to take a bus up to Boston and fly from there a day later than originally planned. Robert and I spent a tense night worrying that our flight would be cancelled too, and that the airline might not be able to find seats for all four of us on a new flight. Luckily our flight wasn't cancelled and we were able to fly to Texas on the first full day that Newark reopened. Off to the land of electricity!

The wedding (and all the events surrounding it) was beautiful. It was wonderful to spend time with my family, and the weather was gorgeous. It kind of reminded me of home in fact, though somewhat less pretty to my eye, and more humid. The kids were too cute for words, reading from The Velveteen Rabbit during the ceremony. My brother worked with Zion earlier that day and Zion learned to project his voice without shouting. I gotta say- he did an amazing job! It was an outdoor wedding with no amplification, and everyone could hear him perfectly. Liel was a bit quieter, but also did a great job. Again: super proud. Many people came up to us after the wedding to tell us what a great job the kids had done, how cute they were, and how articulate.

Here are the four of us.

And here are the kids with my cousin and his bride!

After the wedding we spent another week in Texas, visiting my father in law and his wife, celebrating Liel's birthday, and visiting Robert's extra family/adopting family (dear friends who helped to raise him). We saw the bats at the Congress Street Bridge

Visited UT

And the capitol

Ate dinner at the Salt Lick for Liel's birthday (where we had one of the best waiters ever!! But no actually good pictures)

And by the end we were very, very tired.

We re-discovered that traveling, especially with small children, takes a lot out of you. So with great sadness we decided to cancel our trip to Chicago, where we were planning to visit more family and attend our annual academic conference. We both felt absolutely awful about it, but with our temporary move to India just 19 days away we feared that another 10 days on the road would have us all making that move utterly exhausted. Since Zion and I are both currently sick, I'm feeling pretty certain that this was the right decision. I'm sad that we won't get to spend time with some of our dearest friends and family before we go, but starting an adventure like that sick and/or exhausted just sounds awful! Happily, one of our friends is already thinking about visiting us when we return, and hopefully other friends and family will be able to do so as well.

Next up: my massive to-do list!

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