It's been a crazy couple of days here in Birmingham. It all started on Tuesday morning. The weather forecast called for a light dusting of snow but nothing serious they said. Well it turns out the forecast was off by several miles. I went on in to work even though it was already beginning to snow (bad decision). After approximately an hour at work it became apparent that the snow was going to stick--so we locked up the church and headed home. Except the drive home (which typically takes about 10-15 minutes) took me 3 hours.
All of the schools and businesses closed at exactly the same time and led to the mass chaos that you have seen coming from Birmingham and Atlanta. It was seriously crazy. Many people had to abandon their cars to make it safely to shelter and many children just had to spend the night at school because no one could get to them.
Luckily, we work close to where we live and were both able to get home safely and stay put. We even brought a houseguest back with us! My friend Mary Elizabeth (see photo of us walking above) lives down 280 and I suggested to her Tuesday as we were both driving out of downtown that she come on over to our house and we'd make a game plan from there.
3 hours later and the game plan became, "How about you just stay here and spend the night with us." Best decision ever! She actually ended up staying 2 nights because the temperatures didn't get high enough Wednesday for the roads to thaw out. So in the meantime we found our way to the top of the hill by our house and joined in the Crestwood sledding party!
It was a bit scary there for a while in Birmingham. We had many friends who spent the night at work, at school, with strangers, or in shelters that opened. Thankful that today it looks like the roads will finally thaw and everyone will be able to make it home!
Snowpocalypse 2014 was definitely one for the books.
We decided that we would take the plunge and head out of town for one of the World Series games this year. While Fenway was a bit out of our price range, our dear friends Dan & Jillian recently moved to St. Loius, MO--location of games 3, 4, & 5. Convenient? Most definitely.
And even better than just being able to attend Game 4, the Red Sox won! Here we are in all of our fan gear with the field behind us. It was so much fun!
And then only a few days later, the Sox took the World Series! Here is Matt with everything Boston he could possibly find to celebrate (including our wee Boston Terrier).
It was a fun year to be cheering for the Red Sox! Maybe next time we will make it to a World Series game at Fenway.
(Note: the Sox also won the World Series the year Matt and I very first started dating. I was at his apartment, really still getting to know him, and he went nuts! It was fun to relive that moment)
We have learned so much about the pancreas over the past year. Since I finished off in April 2013, you've missed the two other times that Matt ended up suffering from Pancreatitis (that's 3 hospital stays total for the year--bleh). It was not fun, so maybe I wouldn't have written about them anyway, but it was an important part of our journey in 2013.
(this photo has nothing to do with the pancreas but what's a post without a photo?)
The long and short of it is that after the 2nd round (which was right after our return from Australia...) Matt had an endoscopy so that they could try to figure out what was going on. From that procedure they were able to determine that Matt has pancreatic divisum. Basically he has two ducts when the rest of us have one. And that 2nd duct is probably a bit small and causing the enzymes to back up. So we knew at this point that we would need to see a specialist should the pancreatitis return.
And guess what, it came back. In November, we had an epic journey of craziness in order to get Matt to the right hospital to see the right doctor. It's too long of a story to type out. The important part is that we did finally get to the right specialist and in early December he was able to insert a stent into Matt's pancreas. And so far, it seems to be doing the trick!
Our trip was probably one of the highlights of 2013...it most definitely was a grand adventure! Here are a few of the top sights:
We began our trip in beautiful New Zealand and stayed at the most glorious B&B around outside of Rotorua (Check it out HERE). Rotorua proved to be one of the most fascinating and stinky (geothermal activity) cities we've ever visited. Here's the view from our B&B bedroom:
This is me in front of one of the stinky, smoking pools where the geothermal activity really gets going:
And our trip to New Zealand was definitely complete with a stop to Hobbiton. Here we are outside our very own little Hobbit hole:
Here's a view of the whole place:
From Auckland, New Zealand we headed on out to Sydney, Australia. It was beautiful but also a little cold since it was still winter for the southern hemisphere. But seriously, we could not get enough pictures of the Opera House or the Harbor Bridge....beautiful landmarks.
We found our way to a Rugby match (I still don't get it):
Did some "glamping" (that would be glamour camping aka a tent with heat, air, a bed, and a toilet):
I got to pet a lazy kangaroo or two!:
We did some serious hiking:
Tasted the wine:
Visited the beach (but you couldn't have paid us to get in there--it was COLD!):
And not to be forgotten, I GOT TO PET A KOALA BEAR!
It truly was the trip of a lifetime and one we will never forget. If you get the chance, you should definitely visit! If we had to pick a place to return to some day we have decided that New Zealand is totally worth the long flight--it is so beautiful, serene, peaceful, and yet filled with all sorts of fun and adventurous things to do (like THIS). Here's to the next adventure!
And we are still here. Although you wouldn't much know it by this blog.
So for those of you still out there (hi mom & sis), I am going to do my best to play a bit of catch up and keep you up to date with life in 2014. The next few posts will get us back to where we are now & fill you in on what you've missed along the way. And then I'll get back on track with the new year!