The Weekend Lens


This was one of those weekends (and part of last week) where absolutely nothing went as planned.

Actually that's not entirely true, we did go see The Lego Movie. And you better believe that Simon loved every single minute of it and has asked to go see it again multiple times each day since we went to the theater.


In the middle of last week my furnace died.

Not the kind of death that could be brought back to life with a repair, but the kind that requires a whole new unit for the cost of a new small car.

On Thursday my computer monitor died. And then the toaster.

And the temperature in the house was just too darn cold (see Katie above all bundled up at her desk on Thursday when we were laughing so hard at the absurdity of the situation I found myself in).


I packed up the kids on Thursday night and headed to a local hotel when it felt like it just couldn't warm up with the space heaters. It was a good choice for that night.

We had hoped for a replacement to be installed on Friday but got a snowstorm instead and a call that they wouldn't be able to install the furnace for another week. I cried.


Snowstorms aren't the norm here. We had one last December (which resulted in the kids missing a week of school) and pretty much everything stops. This one ended with freezing rain and ice over everything which made it that much more dangerous and challenging.

We returned to the house on Friday mid-day and after leaving the bathroom heaters on the upstairs actually felt cozy. I called the furnace installer again to see if there was any way they could come out here before late next week. I got a call back later in the day that they were able to move some things around and if the weather cooperated they would be able to come out Monday morning vs. Thursday or later.

I was thankful.

On Friday evening we ventured out into the freezing rain and sleet to see The Lego Movie that we'd purchased advanced tickets for last week as part of Simon's birthday present from last month.


Saturday was spent in my bedroom, watching movies and having meals delivered upstairs on trays (by me). Between movies the kids played on and off in their own rooms while the world outside continued to freeze and branches and trees began to fall with the weight of the ice.

I don't remember ever spending that much time in my bedroom over the course of a few days in this house. It was actually really, really nice.

Anna's big school auction was cancelled for Saturday evening.

Sunday morning we finished reading Charlotte's Web out loud all cozied up in my bed. I cried.


On Sunday we had planned a 5th birthday party for Anna at my house.

She asked for a rainbow party with all kinds of fun decorations and colorful goodness and rainbow cookies to decorate with her friends. By Friday it was obvious that a very cold downstairs was not going to work for a gathering of 5-year-olds so we called a local pizza parlor and reserved some tables for Sunday afternoon.

The weather ended up being more of the issue than the lack of heat in my house as many families were stuck in their homes due to downed trees or power outages.


We took the awesome rainbow poms I'd ordered from PomLove along with us and the cake from local favorite Sweet Life Patisserie was a hit.


The kids were able to run around on the play area at the pizza parlor and get some of that extra energy out after a couple of days inside.

It all worked out just fine.

And as I type this out on Monday morning I can hear the installers downstairs putting in the new furnace.

Here's to another week of adventure ahead!

57 thoughts

  1. Paulette

    2014-02-11 08:38:40 -0500

    Oh Ali, for three years in a row our furnace had konked out every time Blake went hunting... and for three years it had been during a snow storm when it happened... Now? We have a new furnace & we come to Florida!Thanks for sharing a "we will get through this" moment... we always do :o)

  2. Gina

    2014-02-11 08:42:34 -0500

    Congratulations on getting through the weekend! It sounds like you adapted so well and although I'm sure there were some "UGH!" times, these will be fun memories. Enjoy the new furnace and the smell of heat starting up.

  3. Alida

    2014-02-11 09:13:48 -0500

    Love your sense of adventure!

  4. Lisa W.

    2014-02-11 09:27:17 -0500

    OH BOY when it rains it pours...right? Been there. I kept thinking about Simon when I first seen the Lego movie being advertised. It looks like it would be so cute. Glad he loved it. I gotta say you really made the BEST out of misery, and how cozy for you and the kids...just kinda makes ya slow down, read, and simply enjoy!!! Hoping by now your new furnace is close or done, and your warm and cozy!!!

  5. Sarah

    2014-02-11 09:32:58 -0500

    it always happens in threes. furnace, monitor, toaster.
    You should be good for awhile! :)
    Thanks for sharing your REAL life.

  6. Aubrey R

    2014-02-11 09:43:00 -0500

    That sounds like a lot of awful with some good sprinkled in. So sorry you had to go through all of that weather and cold and $ hits. :( Hope this week is much, much better!

  7. Mary Ann

    2014-02-11 09:47:15 -0500

    I had an experience like that except that it went on for two months, garbage disposal, dishwasher, dog died, water heater, heater for house and then the age difference it was cheaper to get and air conditioner, the heater went out the day before new year's eve. Temperatures were below zero. They came the next day and put in a new heater and air conditioner. Air conditioner has hooked up later with fluids. What a head ache. So I sympathize with you. It will stop.

  8. michelle t

    2014-02-11 10:28:40 -0500

    The weather definitely has been challenging this year. I hope everything gets back to normal. But on the other hand, what is that anymore? That birthday party looks fabulous. Michelle t

  9. Ruth G

    2014-02-11 10:32:15 -0500

    Hugs to you! I can't even imagine! Good things and bad seem to usually come in batches - it would be so much nicer if both could be spread out a bit more. Sometimes I wonder, though, if maybe it's good to have a cry every once in a while. I always seem to be able to take on the world after I've let all that stress out. We can't always be strong!
    I'm so glad that the kids were OK. I know that things being "off kilter" can really throw kids with ASD off, so that really shows how much flexibility Simon has learned. And I'm sure it was hard for Anna to not have the party like it was planned. It's good when things turn out OK even when they aren't the way we'd hoped they would be!
    I'm so glad that you called and that the installers were able to come earlier! Take care and thanks so much for being real!!!

  10. Marge G.

    2014-02-11 10:48:10 -0500

    Oh, Ali, so sorry to hear about your weather-related woes! Here in the Pennsylvania area, we are going through the same thing - ice, snow, downed power lines plus we are going to get slammed again on Thursday. But, it is winter, isn't it? But, I can dream I'm in Miami..........

  11. Terri

    2014-02-11 11:27:47 -0500

    Hope you have heat now. Whatever you do don't read Old Yeller. My 11 year old read it and he was in bed reading when he got to the end. He had never seen the movie so he didn't know what to expect. I thought something was really wrong when I could hear him crying in his bedroom.

  12. Paula

    2014-02-11 12:22:36 -0500

    Been there! Only for us it was our central A.C. in August with weather ranging from 88 - 100/high humidity. Off to a hotel we went, due to a family member with breathing issues. It turns into an expensive one ...

  13. Jennifer K

    2014-02-11 15:23:53 -0500

    Oh, weeks like that... Ugh! Glad everything is settling back down for you, and you could do some fun things amidst it all! (I totally would've cried too!)

  14. Jennifer L.

    2014-02-11 17:18:20 -0500

    I'm feeling terrible for you....if I'd known, I'd offer you to come back to California; here in the Central Valley, we hardly even need jackets much less thermals and snow boots, and I've been able to open the windows for some fresh air a little. Our problem is not enough precipitation, however, so let's make a deal: send a bunch of your snow here, and I'll send you some sunshine there. Okay? Or, we have trundle beds and you're always welcome ;) One thing is for sure: when that snow melts, you will have such luscious greenery to enjoy! Thanks for your share!

  15. Carolyn K

    2014-02-11 17:31:28 -0500


  16. Emily Magleby

    2014-02-11 22:12:07 -0500

    Oh Ali...I was cheering for you this week! Can't believe our babies are 5! Miss your face! And side note...get Simon the Metalbeard Lego set, it comes with little intestines you put in his chest..hilarious!

  17. Julisa

    2014-02-12 03:07:49 -0500

    *Hugs* So sorry to read about your week. I have lived a very similar week several times. I always wonder why everything has to happen at the same time. Maybe it helps us get over the frustration all at once. The way you shared your week was inspiring & real. Praying for better weeks to come for you & your family.

  18. Emma Collins

    2014-02-12 08:27:05 -0500

    Oh wow! What a week but HEY what a fabulous birthday party! My daughter Nevie turned 5 a few weeks ago. I always think of you as we last met at CHA in 2008 and we were both pregnant with our girls.

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  20. Silvia

    2014-02-12 14:24:00 -0500

    Hope the house is warm now once again :)
    Still, despite the cold it seems like you guys had a lot of fun!

  21. Anne Marie

    2014-02-12 15:18:25 -0500

    Oh dear, I hope the week so far has been better than your weekend. Hang in there!

  22. Sandra d Lomas

    2014-02-13 04:58:01 -0500

    Aw, I would have cried too (probable more times than you did). I'm glad the furnace is fixed. YaY! I love the rainbow cake. Happy Birthday to Anna.

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    2014-02-17 11:56:00 -0500

    Hi Ali, I am off topic here. But I just love your style of scrapbooking. Simple but yet it says so so much.
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    Thank you so much. Cathy

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