As you may have noticed, I haven’t blogged in a long while. I’ve been writing but haven’t had time to post a finished version of anything I have written.

Timehop and Facebook memories kind of inspired me to write something this week. As I am reminded, ten years ago today we had a snow day and 9 years ago we had a “snowcation” where Atlanta shutdown for a week.

As for today, this afternoon it got up to 60 and this weekend it’s going to be around 71 degrees.

The snowy pictures have me thinking about Ashley and the contrast in weather has me thinking about God’s timing.

January 7-10, 2011 I had to go to Colorado Springs for a Cohort Weekend for grad school. During this cohort we would be getting the results of our Myers-Briggs personality test and go over the results as well as work on group/ team building activities (I’ll eventually blog on personality and these types of tests because Ashley and I took several throughout our professional lives and the results shed some light into our relationship. Anyways…) .

Friday goes well but come Saturday the weather forecast looked pretty grim for most of the country and flights were being cancelled. I had a flight that left Monday morning because I had class all day Sunday. I got worried that I wouldn’t be able to get back to Atlanta. Talking to my professors, they agreed to extend our Saturday session and cancel the Sunday one and also let me go and try and change my flight.

My flight was with Delta and the agent was very helpful but gave me some albeit crazy, options. The snow was supposed to start in Atlanta anywhere from 6-9pm Sunday night (1/9). My first option was Colorado Springs-Denver-Minneapolis-O’Hare-Atlanta getting in at 9pm. Option B was Colorado Springs-Denver-Baltimore-Atlanta getting in at 8pm. I knew that if I went past Atlanta and the snow started I wouldn’t make it back. Option C was Colorado Springs- Salt Lake City-Dallas Fort Worth-Atlanta getting in at 4:00pm. I just had to get my first flight at 5:30am. Okay,cool that’s what I will do…Booked!

I go back to class learn how I am a ESFJ. My professor goes on to explain everyone’s scores and breakdown each other’s types. All my scores are in the middle meaning I don’t have any strong tendencies so I can as easily migrate toward other personality traits and that depending on the situation my personality will gravitate towards the personality type I need most for that situation. (Ashley said she definitely saw that in me.)

Anyways we finish class, plan to get an early dinner and grab a beer with my cohort group. I call Ashley tell her the plan for my flights. She of course is worried that I’m going to be stuck somewhere and not get home.

I enjoy an excellent steak and have a nice time with my classmates. Get back to hotel, call Ashley and call it an early night because my shuttle to the airport was leaving at 4:00am.
I make it to the airport and get on the plane. It’s a little puddle jumper so we actually walk on to the tarmac to board the plane. It’s me, the pilot, 1, flight attendant, 3 guys, and the entire BYU Women’s Basketball team. This is quite comical to me because as I get in my seat and there is no leg room and here I am on this plane with some of the tallest women country and they trying to fold into their seats.

(Okay, they really aren’t that tall but maybe I was sitting next to the 6-7 center).

I get a text from Ashley: “Love you Mr., have a safe flight. Going back to sleep!”
So sweet for her to get up and wish me a safe flight, then I think to myself it’s 7am at home, must be nice to sleep in.

The quick flight to Salt Lake is smooth but a very bumping landing. We get off the plane and are on the tarmac. I have 30 minutes to get my next flight. I’m try to get my carry-on which was put under the plane and waiting with the basketball players.  This is not good because they act like I’m their kid brother, pushing me out of the way (ladies first?) and they are not letting me get to my bag. Finally I get it.

I’m at Terminal 2, Gate E. I had to get to Terminal 1, Gate A. ( I think thats right but don’t fact check me.) It’s the complete opposite end of the airport. So I start sprinting. I get half way there and have to stop, can’t breathe. Look at my phone, they texted me to hurry to the gate they are holding the plane for me. Start sprinting again. It’s not that I’m out of shape (which I was a little, we just got off Christmas vacation) but Salt Lake City is 4,226′ above sea level.  Not as bad as Colorado Springs at 6,035’ but my body is not used to this. I finally make it to the plane start walking down the aisle to my seat.  They put me in the second from last row and everyone is staring at me because I delayed their flight. I’m a hot mess and can’t breathe… “Hehe-who-who, Hehe, who-who,” like I’m gonna birth the steak I ate the night before. I get settled and finally breathe (after coughing for 15 minutes).

We land at Dallas- Forth Worth and find out that my next flight got delayed 4 hours so now I won’t land till 8:00pm in Atlanta. That’s cutting it close, but hopefully I’ll land before the city gets shut down. (If you are reading this blog from any northern city, and have not experienced a Southern Winter shutdown, it’s quite comical. The city shuts down with just a dusting of snow let alone the actual accumulation we were expecting. Not good.

I call Ashley, tell her to go to the grocery store to get the essentials (bread, milk, bacon, beer and wine!)  She said she already went on Saturday, Sweet!  We talk for a while, go over my weekend, back-up plans if my flight gets delayed again or re-routed, etc.
Then she goes, “By the way, I think I’m ovulating!”

(For any man trying to have a baby, this is good news-bad news!  Because the pressure is on and if you miss this window, your wife is not a happy camper.

Before Ashley and I got married, she knew she wanted to be a mom but had some other goals to finish, like get her master’s and specialist degrees. Enjoy going to the pool without kids. Continue being a professional cheerleader, you know, all the things any young newlywed wife wants to do.

Ashley did all of those things then just that after a year of marriage she knew it was time to have children. 

When Ashley and I were still dating, she would ask me how many children I would want to have.

 I would always say, “As many as God blesses us with.”  Ashley would then look at me like I was crazy, overestimating and thinking I would want 5, 6, 10 kids…  Being the oldest of five boys and Catholic, she knew that was not out of the realm of possibility. 

When I asked her how many she wanted, she replied “Two, 1 boy and 1 girl.” 

I said, you know it doesn’t work that way.  She said, “I know, it would be fun though.”

I then told her if we had one or none, two or six I would be happy)

We had been trying to get pregnant for two years with no luck and it was weighing on us as it does many couples. Here I am potentially stuck half-way across the country and Ashley knows this and gets upset. Another month of not being pregnant…

I know better than to say I know how Ashley felt or how any woman feels when they can’t get pregnant, have fertility issues, or suffer a miscarriage. But I do know what it is like be deeply in love and have a heart so big that you want everything to share that love with a child of your own and can’t.

So I’m like, ” Ash, its okay I’ll figure out how to get back to Atlanta somehow.” I hang up the phone start Googling planes, trains, and automobiles back to Georgia from Texas. That was useless so, I saddled up to the bar to watch football and had a beer. (I told Ashley that part and she said “you gave up pretty quickly.”) A few hours later I get a text to report to my gate. Our plane was going to be able to take off 45 minutes early if everyone got on board.

I grab my bag and head for my gate.  Then I realize I forgot to close my tab have to go back and get my credit card.  This weekend is a calamity of errors.

I finally get aback to my gate and get in my seat and call Ash. I said love you and wish me luck. She does and I promise to call her when I land. The flight is uneventful other than some mild turbulence. I get off the plane, get my luggage and get to offsite parking. Its 8:00 or close to it and it starts snowing. I call Ash, she is worried that the roads are going to be too bad.  S then suggests that I stop at my brother Matt’s in Atlanta or her parents place in Lilburn if I don’t think I can make it all the way home.  The roads are starting to get bad. People are driving like idiots like they do… The southerners have no idea how to handle snow and the northerners think it’s the INDY 500 and forget they don’t salt the roads. I start to see some accidents, mostly cars that just slid into the ditch.  Luckily I make it home unscaved.

It ends up being the #4 worst snow storm in Atlanta history according to 11Alive. Now it was only 4 inches of snow in the city (this is still ridiculous to me) but the city has no way to remediate it other than wait and let it melt.

I am so grateful that I did make it home safe…

This brings me back to God’s timing and His plan. Ashley and I had a break from school, work, and sports. Basically our everyday life running around doing life. Now we could stop everything and enjoy being together.

Being anywhere with Ashley, was my favorite place in the world, but I admit the busyness of life sometimes had me forgetting that.  Ashley and I had a great week together stuck at home with Baxter.  

I know other people were not as fortunate as us; whether they were stuck away from their families, in an accident, homeless, or lost their life because of the storm… I do not take that for-granted…

I am grateful that God gave me a gift of Time with Ashley.  I would give anything for just two more minutes and he gave me a whole week.  He also blessed us with even greater gift nine months later of Fischer.  

There are so many things that could have happened where I did not make it home.  At the very least I could have been stuck in Dallas for a week.  I would have missed out in time with Ashley, something that I truly treasure now more than ever.  I have lots of great memories from that week and will always be appreciative of our Atlanta Snowcation.


I still cannot wrap my head around Ashley being gone a year.  

Gratitude has helped me get through this year.  I can write a million words about the people and things I am grateful for if I had the time.  God has blessed me with two awesome boys, amazing family and friends, a community that continues to look out for us and job that lets me live out my calling in life.  

But another thing that I am grateful for, is this blog…  As I started out by saying, I haven’t posted in a while.  I’ve written.  Some weeks more than others.  But haven’t been posting.  I have asked myself, “Why?”  The main reason, raising two boys and keeping them alive is exhausting.  The time, money, and creative energy needed to keep a 8 and 5yr old fed, happy, and entertained on a daily basis is a lot. So blogging goes to the back burner.

But today one of my friends posted the following quote:

I took that as a sign to actually post something.

I am still hurting and sometimes it is hard but I am grateful that I have been able to get through the year and help the boys still find joy in life. 

Last year at this time, I could not function. I was so drained emotionally and physically. Crying non-stop, unable to do the simplest tasks. Struggling to make sense of anything…

But that memory helps me to be grateful. The pain is still here, the longing for Ashley is still here… But I have hope. Because I know where to find strength and comfort when I need it.

Maybe my blogs can help someone else, I know it is cathartic for me and at the very least these memories will good for the boys. So as a New Year’s resolution I am going to work on continuing to write and definitely post more.  I hope you continue to follow my blog and go back and read Ashley’s posts while you are at it, they are awesome.

Happy New Year!

6 thoughts on “Snowcation”

  1. This post touched me in a way you will never know, but find comfort and strength in knowing that what you write matters.

  2. I hope you feel all the love and support being sent your way , because it’s there from so many in the community. Continue writing bc it really IS healing. 1 year sort of feels like a twilight zone (wondering how it’s been a year bc it feels like a week sometimes!). I enjoyed reading your post, although it brought tears, it brought smiles knowing the healing you are experiencing from remembering and sharing. She is a bright light who still shines. Never forgotten and still inspiring. ::)

  3. Man Mike. You are a blessing. Ashley’s picture is still in my refrigerator. I think of you all the time and pray for you all the time. Glad your life is busy with those boys that the two of you created. Enjoy 2020. Ashely wants you to! I still want to bring you food if you want it! Lol!!!barb

  4. Great story! I love the “9 months later” 💕💕

    Thank you for sharing your journey. It’s amazing to see life through somebody who has been through so much.

    Happy new year to you and the boys!

  5. Mike this blog is well written…. definitely tugged at my heart strings. Reading it…. made me feel the love you had for Ashley and the love you still have for her.. You’re a great guy and an even better dad from your posts. My heart truly hurts for you all. She seemed like a strong amazing woman. Always thinking of you…. you’re doing fabulous!

  6. Your blogging and being wide open helps so many! I know the pain will one day lift and from experience the longing for Ashley will never leave but knowing her legacy she left she will be with you always!

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