Well, there's a first time for everything.
When Paul got home from work at 3 in the afternoon on Christmas Eve, we were in a blizzard warning. I'm pretty sure there's never been a blizzard warning called for in our area, at least not in my lifetime.
We were supposed to go out to my parents' farm for Christmas Eve with my siblings. Of course, I really wanted to go, but Paul wasn't so sure about it. He was not only worried about the drive out, but he also was worried we'd be snowed in there until Sunday. (The way the weather forecasts talked - which were sketchy, being as all the regular meteorologists must have taken vacation - the storm was going to move in and snow and blow from Thursday to Sunday.)
He balked and stalled on making a decision. I whined (not really, but that's what it felt like) and told him how important it was for me to spend Christmas with my family. (Christmas Eve is my family's Christmas.) Two hours later, he still hadn't made the call, so I decided for him and started loading the car. (Not a submissive wife, but he wasn't saying no, so I decided to take that as a "yes.")
We headed out a little after 5, just as it was getting dark. It wasn't too bad at first, but by the time we got to the other side of the county, we hit the snow. There were a few times it was a complete whiteout, and I just hoped that what I thought was the edge of the road really was the edge of the road (I was watching for Paul). I refrained from pointing out that had we left at 3, when Paul got home, we wouldn't have had that issue. (Although, I know Paul will read this, so I guess I didn't refrain.)
We celebrated with the fam - this gathering is just my immediate family - with way too much food. I tried homemade mozzerella sticks. Fail. I need to find a zestier breading for them. We ate then opened gifts. We have a "youngest to oldest" tradition that we've done ever since we were kids that we still do. So by the time we go from Jacob all the way up to Dad, and then multiply it several gifts apiece.... Gift-opening takes a while. But that way we get to enjoy everyone's reactions to their gifts even more.
We watched the "2009 Tacky Light Tour" after gifting. My brother and younger sister started this tradition years ago, where they go out with the video camera and pretend to be on-site reporters. They find houses with lights and/or decorations that just make you go, "What were they thinking?" and give an analysis. It's hillarious, even though it may not be very nice. This year, there was no interviews, but there was an "accidental" scene where "camera got left on" and the "serious journalists" were talking in the truck.
We finally went to bed about 11. We all got our own room. Paul and I and the boys slept in my old room (which they call JC's room, since he took over it after I got married). Lurenda and Keith and the girls got Carlsie's old room (which was Lurenda and I's room before it was hers). Carlsie got the middle room on the futon, and JC slept downstairs in the living room. We'd packed our air matresses, so that made the night a little more comfortable for everyone.
When we woke up the next morning, the wind had died down, but there were drifts everywhere. The road east of their house was drifted shut. About 11, we decided to try it. I knew it was deep, but Paul thought if someone broke through in front of us we could get the car out. Fail. We didn't even get a quarter mile before we buried it. Finally, we got un-stuck and backed all the way back to the house. Dad and Lurenda decided to go out in the Tahoe and find the best way for us to get to a road that had been bladed. An hour later, we were loaded in the Tahoe and headed home. (Ironically, the 1/4 mile just outside Dad and Mom's driveway was the worst of the whole trip.)
By that afternoon, the wind had picked up. Instead of being from the north, it was coming straight out of the west. The north wind on Christmas Eve had caused drifts on the East/West roads, but the new west wind was causing the North/South roads to drift shut.
We got home to find frozen pipes. Lovely. We hadn't really had trouble since Paul had insulated some in the basement. But apparently a little insulation is no match for 40 mph winds and sub-zero temperatures. The kitchen was open, but the bathroom was frozen tight. Paul went and applied the heat lamp and space heater, and by that evening, all but the cold water at the bathroom sink was back on.
We had originally planned on having Christmas morning brunch at our house with Paul's parents. Since we didn't even get home until almost 1, obviously that plan was off. They headed over that afternoon, bringing all the food they had prepared for our original all-day plans. We ended up having quiche, biscuits and gravy, chili, ham, cranberry salad, and pumpkin bread for supper. All delicious, even if it was a mish-mash of a menu.
Paul's parents headed home early (it seemed), but we were all exhausted after battling the snow. Elizabeth stayed the night so she was closer to work in the morning (although I was a bit worried that the road would drift shut during the night). It snowed another couple inches overnight Friday.
Saturday we went out to my grandparents house. We had originally only planned on staying a couple hours, but due to all the snow, my family didn't get done with chores until almost 6 in the evening. Paul took a nap, and I got to visit with my grandma and aunt and uncle. We finally got home at about 8, and by the time the boys were in bed, it was 10. I felt like Paul and I should have some Mommy/Daddy time since Paul had to go back to work on Sunday, but I was so tired. We watched one episode of a TV show we've been getting on Netflix (Legend of the Seeker), then I was ready for bed.
Overnight, we got another dusting of snow, and more wind, which had caused more drifting. Our driveway was actually the worst of the whole trip to church. Paul had told me to not let off until I got out of it or I'd get stuck. So I punched it (not really, but it felt a little reckless) and hit the drift at the end of the driveway. I started sliding, but kept going, and ended up exiting the driveway sideways, a la Dukes of Hazzard. Yee haw! But I was proud of myself: got both boys ready by myself, drove the snow, got breakfast at Sonic, and was still to practice on time.
During church the wind picked up and our road was starting to drift shut again. I am just glad I don't have anywhere to go today. Today it got all the way up to freezing! It's supposed to "warm up" this week (to the 30s), just in time for it to snow - again.