Monday, October 10, 2016

Hurricane Matthew 2016

On October 7th, Hurricane Matthew caused major havoc to the state of Florida (along with several other places). I truly was terrified of what this storm could do to our state, mainly along the coast. The more I watched the news, the more I got freaked out - 
'catastrophic' and 'evacuate' were used more times then I would like to ever hear again in my entire life. The storm had a mind of its own, so it was completely unknown exactly how far or close it would be from the coast of Florida. It was every category that it could be & just when it would be reported as a Category 2 it would ramp up to a Category 4 or 5. 
All stores were swamped & shelves were bare -- as described by my sister, it looked like people were on the sinking Titanic. Gas stations were running out of gas, plywood & generators were hard to find or not available at all. It had rained days before the storm even came so it made the whole situation even worse. I stocked up on the essentials, we boarded up our back windows & I picked up my mom and sweetie girl to come bunker down with us at our house.
 Waiting for Hurricane Matthew to rear his ugly head... (no pictures of me because I was a crazy, anxiety ridden, lunatic)
Our power went out before the actual storm even began & was out for over 40+ hours. Luckily, our neighbor had a generator & we were able to use two lines; we kept bouncing around with charging our phones, keeping the fridge cold & a tiny little stand-up fan. It truly was not a good situation at all but I am truly grateful to God that my family was safe & our homes are still around with no damage. 
Fifteen minutes away, in downtown Saint Augustine, the waters took over the streets. You couldn't tell the difference between where the intercoastal ended and where the street began; it was all flowing as one. Beach front homes & popular boardwalks disappeared & were taken out with the ocean. 
Mom cooking gourmet dinner 
Lantern lit dinner 
Crazy looking sky once the storm started to slow down a little... 
We all had the same feeling... we are over Matthew & ready for him to peace the f*** out of Florida 
After the storm.. 
You know.. just saving animals
Power is back... 
Very minimal clean up compared to others...  
Saving more little creatures
Every time I felt myself about to complain I tried to remind myself that I am thankful for a home that is lit up inside by lanterns because of the loss of power. Thankful I have a shower to bathe in, regardless of the fact that it felt like the polar plunge. I am grateful that I had a yard to rake and tree branches to pick because that means my home is still here. Thankful that I was in my home spending time with my loved ones, playing monopoly because that means I didn't have to evacuate & leave my home to be in a shelter. My life felt out of order & like I was living a nightmare but I truly cannot imagine what people feel like who have no home to return to. I pray that they can find hope in this terrible situation & that they can someday soon find a way to rebuild their life and get back to 'normal'. 
And I am also truly grateful for our first responders (my sister and her girlfriend), they give all they have to help out the community. They are taken from their families in the scariest of times to be there for others. I hope this was the very last storm of the season or preferably the last one in my lifetime.  

In times like this we're truly reminded what is important in life.

Vacation 2016

In September, my husband and I went to the beach condo in Saint Augustine for a week. We only live about 20 minutes away from it now, so it was a little staycation for us. I had been looking forward to this vacation all year. We hadn't been on a vacation, just the two of us, in almost two years. We didn't have any plans for the week other than go to the beach & pool non-stop. 

Our first few days at the condo were super nice weather and we started to get our tan on. It was so nice waking up each day with no alarm sounding in my ear or having to be somewhere. In the middle of the week we got a terrible storm, so we ended up staying inside watching the palm trees do all sorts of yoga poses because of the wind. It was one of the worst storms I had ever seen; thankfully it only lasted a day. The rest of the trip was super nice & we basically just shared the beach with the seagulls (about a million of them). I cannot even explain how nice it was to literally wake up, drink coffee/eat breakfast, go to the beach, eat lunch, go to the pool, eat dinner & chase the sunset... on repeat for 9 whole days. Also, on our last night there we got to see the Harvest Moon which was super cool. 

It truly was such a great week - sunshine & the sea are amazing for the soul.