Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

February 10, 2014

AE | 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!


  • 1.
    Leslie S. said…

    As my mom always used to say — when it rains, it pours! (or in your case snows). Sorry you had such a hard week. Glad your furnace is getting fixed. Just think, this week has to be better. :)

  • 2.

    SO sorry about your furnace. Love that you stayed flexible – and LOVE that rainbow cake.

  • 3.
    Suzette said…

    Here’s to a week of warmth!

  • 4.
    Mary Beth said…

    Whew! What a long weekend of challenges, with some triumphs thrown in. Glad to hear things are getting better(and warmer). :)

  • 5.
    Nora said…

    Im so happy for you getting your new furnces in today! Ive been praying for you all weekend long. Hanging in there and here’s to a better week! Sending Love

  • 6.
    Abby said…

    Holy COW! So glad you’re getting your new furnace today! We’ve gone through similar challenges here in Southern California, but our AC went out during the hottest summer on record! I can totally feel for you and how glad you are now!!

  • 7.
    Teal said…

    As I was reading this, I kept thinking of how my mom would always call events like yours an “adventure” to help us all keep our spirits up and just find the good and fun in trying something new. How fun to see you use the same word at the end of your story. Thanks for the memory!

  • 8.
    Jenny said…

    Glad you went to a hotel for a night and had some fun, too bad you had to spend the entire weekend cold though! The rainbow party looks fun! Can’t remember your word for this year, but it does it fit in here somewhere?

  • 9.
    Cheri said…

    I suppose it is hard to THRIVE when you are freezing (I know, been there done that… tagged out heater was even scrapbooked!). But it seems you did a great job with remaining flexible and making the best of it. And by the end of today, you’ll have HEAT again! And you’ll appreciate it every time you hear the blowers kick on. :)

  • 10.
    Becky M said…

    Your word for the week….. adaptable!!! You never cease to amaze with your adaptability!

    Ali… you are awesome!

  • 11.
    Megan said…

    Oh my what a doosy of a week! We just got working heat this weekend in our house. I couldn’t imagine having to go through a snow storm without heat!

    Also, we recently experienced the monitor going out on our iMac, so I thought I’d pass along this information to you. Not sure if it’ll be useful or not. (But I had to find it myself when they were going to charge me for the repair.)

  • 12.
    k8 said…

    OMG – I cried at the end of Charlotte’s Web, too when the kids and I did a read aloud…that whole friendship thing…it was hard to keep it together.

    And don’t get me started on crying when reading Corduroy back in the day…


  • 13.
    Jen Wright said…

    I totally understand. I live in northeast georgia and our dishwasher died first, then our laptop, then the heat pump. Yup we need a whole new unit too and now georgia is getting a storm and you know how georgia handles storms. I didn’t know y’all were like us with snow storms. They say things happens in three so I’d say you and I are good to go now. Lol. Thanks for sharing.

  • 14.
    Brooke said…

    Happy birthday to Anna. Yay for your go with the flow approach.

    Living in Brisbane, Australia we never get snow. I can’t even imagine the challenges the weather throws you.

  • 15.
    debi said…

    Wow, what a week!! I’m thinking this one can only be better!

  • 16.
    Addie said…

    I cannot believe the weather you’ve had! We’ve had just rain and even some warm winds and sun in Roseburg/Glide. Hope this week is better for you!

  • 17.
    Cheri said…

    Yay Ali, so glad they are fixing your heat. What a week you had but your positive attitude and outlook are so apparent. You are an inspiration. :)

  • 18.
    Vanessa Babin said…

    Wow, that’s an ordeal! Hopefully things will return to normal this week! Stay warm!

  • 19.
    Teresa Igo said…

    Sorry to hear about your bad week. Sounds like you made the best of it though. And I love the snow pictures!

  • 20.
    christine d said…

    Ugh! Everything at once! You will so appreciate the small, normal days now! We used to have a propane stove for heat, but we never could afford the propane bill to heat the house properly. We paid $300 a month to keep the house at 48 degrees. Having to wear your down coats inside is so miserable. My back hurt all winter from being so cold all the time. Installing a wood stove was the best thing ever. I really appreciate a warm house, and I know you will now too!

  • 21.
    Elizabeth said…

    Yikes! We are serial water-heater-replacers in houses we’ve lived in. pffffffbth

  • 22.
    Christine said…

    I remember 20+ years ago when I was in nursing school. During clinicals (actual nursing and not classroom/book work) whenever our professor said “come with me. I’ve got a great learning experience for you.” Well, let’s just say no one was turning cartwheels and jumping for joy. It usually meant some seriously challenging, can I really do that, is she for real kind of thing. Our 20 something selves always forgetting she wasn’t going to leave us alone to harm or yikes kill someone. But when it was over, there was always this awesome sense of accomplishment. Yes, I did it. And no one died. Not even me! The blessing of difficulty is the look back on the other side. I which you and your kids fond memories of “do you remember the winter of 2014??????”

  • 23.
    Debbie said…

    A tough time, but as stated above, what memories you will all have of this great family time that resulted! Those colorful decorations and cake were perfect to “warm” things up a bit at the end. Much WARMTH and COZINESS to you all as this week begins.

  • 24.
    Melanie said…

    Charlotte’s Web was our first read aloud chapter book. We watched the movie this past week for movie night and there were many tears involved…

    Hope you’re warm by now!

  • 25.
    Jeanne said…

    Love Charlotte’s Web. My son read the book in school, then I let him see the movie. He said he liked the book better because it had “deleted scenes” in it. :) Sounds like one of those weeks you’ll never forget, and over time, look back on and smile.

  • 26.
    Christine said…

    Happy Birthday to Anna. Love that rainbow cake. Up here in your former neck of the woods we finally got 2 inches of snow. Thankfully it happened on Saturday and now its mostly gone. Happy to hear your furnace is up and running.

  • 27.
    Christy said…

    Im so sorry that you go through lot last week and weekend. It happened to us last year January when our heater has problem with dust stuck inside and we had gas company tested and turned out it is dangerous for us to use heater. So We called our complex manager to get it fixed but he is no where to reach so we was freezing whole weekend. Finally he called back on Monday and had guy came to see what’s the problem then said need to order parts which mean we have additional days wait for it. But Manager decided to replace Whole system instead of waiting for parts. Im sorry that few of your thing dead on you around the same time. Hope this week will be better for you!

  • 28.
    Jennifer E said…

    This reminds me of a week I had last year! I live in Arizona, we had just returned from a birthday party that night around 8 pm to a sweltering house. Our A/C unit broke, to make matters worse my back had seized up and I couldn’t walk, sit or lay down without constant pain. My teenage son called a friend and was welcomed into his home for the weekend. My husband and I along with our two dogs lived in our bedroom for the weekend after my husband drove to Lowe’s to purchase a portable A/C unit at 10 pm that night! Good times! Glad to hear your sweet little family is warm again!

  • 29.
    Patti Parks said…

    That was an Adventure! It’s amazing how things fall into place. I always remember Bob Marley’s song, “everything’s gonna be alright”.
    The Rainbow party looked great…loved the cake!

  • 30.
    young said…

    Wow, Ali, what craziness! And a teachable moment, I’m sure. :) Glad they were able to come earlier and install the new furnace and that you guys are warm in the house again. :)

  • 31.
    Kirsten J said…

    Yikes! My brother lives in Tigard and I hear some similar tales….but the electromagnetic energy in your house was way off! I’ll bet the kids will remember those adventures forever – and so happy you got your new furnace :)

  • 32.
    Rebecca said…

    What a week and what a weekend! Here’s to a less adventurous week ahead! LOL

  • 33.
    Paulette said…

    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 )

  • 34.
    Gina said…

    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.

  • 35.
    Alida said…

    Love your sense of adventure!

  • 36.
    Lisa W. said…

    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!!!

  • 37.
    Sarah said…

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

  • 38.
    Aubrey R said…

    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!

  • 39.
    Mary Ann said…

    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.

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Oh man – it sure happens all at once!

  • 40.
    michelle t said…

    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

  • 41.
    Ruth G said…

    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!!!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Oh I think it’s totally good to have a cry :) . I probably need to do it a little more.

  • 42.
    Marge G. said…

    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……….

  • 43.
    Terri said…

    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.

  • 44.
    Paula said…

    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 adventure…an expensive one …

  • 45.
    Jennifer K said…

    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!)

  • 46.
    Jennifer L. said…

    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!

  • 47.
    Carolyn K said…


    • ….
      Ali said…

      Oh you better believe it!

  • 48.
    Emily Magleby said…

    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!

  • 49.
    Julisa said…

    *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.

  • 50.
    Emma Collins said…

    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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