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So a few days ago when I wrote a post called, Not the Best Week Ever, I joked about my devastation over Tim Riggins cutting his hair.

Unfortunately, this week is turning out to be a bit worse. Hurricane Irene seriously kicked my New York ass. Before the storm, I hightailed it to my in laws because Rick was working in the city and I didn’t want to be in the middle of a hurricane, with four children, all alone.  Even with a really big tote bag to carry them all out in an emergency.

And it’s a good thing I left town because my next door neighbor had to be rescued by boat.

This was my street….

Later in the day, the waters subsided and Rick got back home to check out the damage.

This is our yard…

That brown muddy rectangle is where our swing set used to be.

We found it conveniently on its side, under our deck.

The flood water filled our basement….

and made its way up to our first floor…

The whole first floor is completely drenched.  And ruined.


We won’t be able to live in the house. I don’t know for how long.

The whole thing is quite overwhelming. So I’m working on my gratitude list…

1. We are safe.

2. Everything can be replaced and fixed in time.

3. None of my kids are named Irene.

4. So many texts, emails and message from friends wanting to help. I’m assuming one of them will move out of their house so we can live there. Forever.

5. Tim Riggins’ hair will grow back.

mama bird notes:

I am still running the best giveaway EVER. I’m giving away an iPad 2!!  The contest is sponsored by Vonage’s new “Time to Call App.” So click on this post for all the details on how to enter.

Remember the mama bird motto: Just because I don’t have a house doesn’t mean you can’t win a new iPad! Good luck.


84 Responses to and then hurricane irene showed up

  • Trish says:

    Oh wow. I am so glad you are all safe. And, I’m glad you have a lot of friends who can help you not come completely unhinged during the renovation work. Hugs to you.

  • scrappysue says:

    you have more on your gratitude list than flood photos, so that’s a good thing. water damage bites the big one. mother nature sure is one angry girl when she wants to be.

  • Katie D says:

    I’ve been in a flash flood while camping in our camper. Two kids (one with a broken arm) and a tiny Toy Fox Terrier. Scary as hell, but we got out all safe and sound AND even rebuilt our little camper. I’m happy your kids didn’t have to go through it and your safe. Selfishly, I need my mama bird fix:)

  • Glamamom says:

    Ugh. Sorry Kelcey. That totally sucks. I’m glad you’re focusing on the positive and still laughing (or rather, making us laugh). Best wishes with the clean-up. If you need a place to stay, you can always move into our second bedroom with my son and dog. Don’t worry, it’s a nice size.

  • Oh no Kelcey! I can only imagine how overwhelming this is for you guys. Im glad you’re trying to count your blessings (including Tim’s hair growing back ;). Feel free to come on out to sunny California if you need a warm, dry place to stay!!!

    So glad you are all safe…

  • LT says:

    Wish I could help – you are always welcome in ATL. I will see if I cab get in touch with Debbie and Justin. Perhaps the 3 of us can figure out a way to brighten this week. Maybe you could all move in with Justin (oh wait, does he still live with his parents? I am sure the Biebers would be happy to host the Folbaums). xoxo

  • Oh, babe, I am so sorry to hear/see that. We were all joking here in NYC about how it was such a non-event – I live in a brick apartment building on solid high ground, & I’ve been in worse thunderstorms. But wow, I didn’t realize anyone I knew had been so flooded out. And much of Vermont is being devastated right now, too.

    Thank goodness you evacuated and you’re all safe and sound! And think of the great stories your kids can tell for the rest of their lives! I hope this next part goes easy for you all.

  • Elkaye says:

    I am so sorry for all the damage. My family lives in Florida so I can understand having to deal with hurricanes.

    Thank God you and your family is safe.

  • Mynde says:

    OH NO! I am so sorry! Hopefully time will pass quickly, repairs will be made lightening fast and life can get back to normal super speedy for you! Too bad the girls missed out on the free boat ride : )

  • jean says:

    We have a large house in Michigan! But, that’s probably too far of a commute to work for Rick…Glad you’re safe. Thinking….speed. Speedy recovery and Safe family.

    Much love.

  • Peta says:

    So sorry, and thankful you did not have to escape with 4 kids by boat! Been there, and it is overwhelming. If/when your area is declared a disaster, you can file a claim with FEMA. You are in our thoughts.

  • Wendi says:

    Love that you never loose your sense of humor!! I feel a Florida vacation coming on?? Love you all and so glad everyone is safe!!

  • kristena says:

    I am so sorry to hear that… But thank heavens you made a wise decision to go to your in-laws… Could you even imagine what would have happened if you had not! Crazyness! I am glad everyone is ok… Years from now you will look back on this and laugh.

  • Tracey says:

    Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear what happened. I’ve read your blog for more than a year now and never commented, but I wanted you to know how much I appreciate your writing, sense of humor and attitude. I how all three things help you out. That and a kindly billionaire with a huge house with lots of tvs and a swing set. And some leftover nannies.

  • Michelle says:

    I’m so sorry about your house! I can’t believe it – we were along the path, but we barely had any downed trees. The worst we got was two hours without electricity. I hope they get everything dried out and restored soon for you. I’m very glad you and your family is safe.

  • Jordana says:

    I hope your house is fixed WAY before Tim Riggins’ hair grows back. That totally sucks. I’m thinking of you all.

  • Beth says:

    OH NOOOOOO! Was hoping you escaped Irene unscathed. Glad you all are safe, but your house being flooded sure sucks (as if you didn’t already know that)! Hope the cleanup is fast and you have plenty of help. Wish I lived closer (oh wait…no I don’t because I might be in the same predicament). Let me rephrase that. Wish I had the means to get in a plane and fly there to help you!

    BTW…it could be worse…my niece’s name is Katrina. Yeah. She was one year old when that one hit New Orleans so by then it was a little late to do a name change!

  • Bitsy says:

    Oh, crap! I’m so sorry. I wish I could offer you a house, but the closest thing would be my New Jersey relatives and you don’t want to stay with them. I’ll be praying for peace and calm and an awesome place to stay for you and your beautiful family.

  • Jennifer says:

    Oh my so sorry Kelcey!! I am so glad that you are all ok, I will pray for you and your family as your work though the repairs, etc. Also I am so impressed that you are posting here so soon and you are so positive, keep you chin up girl!!

  • Ann says:

    All I can think it is thank God you took that evacuation seriously.

    Sorry you have such a mess on your hands–even if that is the “upside”


  • Brittany says:

    Oh Kelcey! I’m sorry.

    I have to tell you I appreciate your humor when you’re faced with a bad situation. It’s inspiring.

    And yes, Tim Riggins hair will grow back.

  • So sorry, sweets. Your photos remind me of my parents’ & brothers’ homes when Katrina hit New Orleans. Today’s that anniversary, actually.

    I am SO glad you are all safe, but my heart goes out to you about your loss and the house, everything you’ve been through.

    Sending hugs your way.

  • Chrisy says:

    I’m sorry. Your gratitude list is noble, but you deserve a box of tissues or two. I’ll send lots of strong juju, calm focus, and general love your way… to everyone who’s rebuilding. xo

  • Marta says:

    Oh big sigh. That looks awful. Craptastic. Sucky. So sorry you have to go through this but like you said everyone is safe and now you’ll get new floors out of this. Good luck!

  • beachgirl says:

    OMG, I am so sorry, that sucks big time. I cannot believe your still have your sense of humor intact. I hope you get things sorted soon.

  • MN Mama says:

    You are welcome to come here and stay with us. I think it may be a bit too far to commute to school out there but we would love to have you. Thinking of you. You are an amazingly strong woman who can do all you need to do to take care of yourself and your family. Sending hugs to you.

  • anymommy says:

    There are few things more stressful. I am so sorry. We would have you and all four of your little beauties at our place in a heartbeat … but I’m guessing border of Idaho is a bit far to drive. Seriously, thinking of you and sending you good vibes.

  • {sue} says:

    Oh I’m so sorry! Good call on heading south. A tote bag would have been no help in that! I’m glad you are safe. You are welcome to my house although we aren’t moving out and there’s already 4 kids here. Oh, and no power. (Enticing, no?) Good luck!

  • tracey says:

    Oh honey! Silver linings are great and you are so lucky to all be safe and that everything you lost is replaceable but it still SUCKS so ROYALLY. I am so sorry that you guys have to go through this.

    Sending you huge hugs across the internet.

  • Nancy Walton says:

    Like all of your other readers/friends, I’m relieved you are all safe. What a huge burden the clean up and restoration must be but like you and your family, your attitude and state of mind seem to be safe. That’s the most important outcome. This is definitely another adventure for the family history book. Sending you warm thoughts and much love from Montana.

  • Denise says:

    Boo, I’m sorry Kelcey! I hope a plan comes together fast. I’m watching all the rivers crest today in Upstate and worried about my family. This is just awful.

  • anna see says:

    I am so very, very sorry Kelcey! Major pain, major upheaval. I will pray for your family as you navigate your way through this.

    BTW, I am still on season 1 of FNL. Do I have 6 full seasons of Tim’s gorgeous hair ahead of me I hope?

  • annie says:

    Oh wow!! I’m so sorry! I was thinking of you and hoping you were out of the way of the flooding and damage. So very glad you evacuated with your babies! I hear Montana is nice and dry if you want a vacation.

  • Juley says:

    Hang in there! Glad everyone is safe. I used to live in Florida so I know all too well the devastation of a hurricane. Just think of the new and improved home you will have…sometime in the near future.

  • Tonya says:

    Oh Kelcey I’m so so sorry!!!!! I wish I had an extra house or even some storage space to give you!! I’m amazed that you still manage to have a sense of humor. You are superhuman!

  • Alexandra says:

    Oh my gosh.

    Those pictures: I was gasping out loud.

    Hang in there, mama.

    I know you’ve heard this hundreds of times already: BUT YOU”RE ALL SAFE.

    The rest is inconvenience.

    I am so sorry…I think I”d be feeling overwhelmed at this point.

  • Becky says:

    Kelcey, I am so sorry! Thank goodness you guys got to higher ground before the storm hit. You and your family are in my prayers. I am sending good wishes your way.

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    Kelcey, I have your solution. Set the house on fire before you report any ‘flood’ damage….You probably don’t have Flood Insurance, but you’re covered for ‘fire’ on your standard Homeowner’s Policy. Didn’t you notice two homes burning down in the middle of floating away? Those people were smart…

  • Kim says:


    Sending positive vibes, and prayers that all gets cleaned up and replaced in record timing! Hang in Mama!!!! Hugs!

  • Dani says:

    Dude, that sucks so hard. 15 years ago, in California, I was a divorced single mom with three small children, two dogs, very little money, and living in a rental that flooded after a really bad storm. A telephone pole fell through our roof, we had a flowing creek running through our house, and the road was so flooded I couldn’t drive my car out. My kids and I spent 2 days sitting on the top bunk of their bed with our pets. We lost virtually everything. It’s hard to be grateful when you’re looking at your ruined home, so I give you a standing ovation for being able to do that. I hope everything is resolved soon.

      • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

        Everyone in California has been through a flood or earthquake; including me in 1982 (major flooding, neighbors rescued by boat) and 1989 (major earthquake) when I lost some possessions but my house is still standing. So Kelcey – WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA….

  • MommyTime says:

    I’m so sorry. I hope you have lots of local people’s bedrooms in which to crash for the short term. If there’s anything I can do from afar, please say so. Seriously.

  • i am so sorry and very glad you and your family weren’t there and are safe. which as you know is all that really matters. (and that you don’t have to file any name change paperwork, which i also know you already know is like totally a hassle)

  • Katrina H says:

    I’m not going to complain about my life anymore. You seriously have your hands full and I will spend my time thinking good things for you and the rest of the others who lost so much.

  • UGH! That’s awful. Fixable, yes, but still awful and unsettling and more than a little freaky–the power of nature and all that stuff. But yes, you’re safe, Tim’s hair will grow (and that Jessica Simpson thing was just a nasty rumor, right?) and probably the wine stores & Starbucks are open, right? Notice that no one is saying anything about how if you’d stayed in your cramped apartment in the city with no laundry in-house, no backyard, not enough bedrooms or closets…see if you’d been willing to suffer then…you’d not have a flood. Good luck with the digging out…So sorry that Irene got all huffy on your ass. Damn hurricane.

  • Mel says:

    Oh, girl, I am so sorry! I am really glad you and the kids got the heck out of dodge before needing a boat rescue, but that clean-up looks awful. Hang in there and feel free to come live with us in Indiana:)

  • My mom, who is an attorney, once worked in a law firm and the managing partner was named “Irene.” That woman managed to drive nearly all of the decent attorneys, including my mom, out of that practice. She was a bitch of epic proportions who I had the misfortune of meeting only once…Thank God! Looks like Irene is just an all-around bad name, and judging by the look of your home, is still a bitch.

    I’m so sorry you have to deal with this. While we still can’t travel anywhere up in this part of New York, due to massive flooding, I’m just gobsmacked when I see even more devastation and loss like what you’re facing. I know that it’s all fixable and in time, will hopefully fade to little more than a soggy memory. But that doesn’t help with the trauma of the “here and now”, especially when you have little ones…little ones about to start school!

    *hugs* Hang in there. We’ll be thinking of you and keeping you in our prayers.

  • Oh, Kelcey. I’m so, so sorry. Having lived through flooded, ruined houses, I know just how awful it feels. Your gratitude list was great, but I hope you also said “This f—ing sucks” out loud at least once. (Wow! Banned keyword! I’m such a bad—.) xx

  • I’m so, so sorry you’ve been driven from your house. Your attitude is inspiring and will go so far to make the bad memories recede for your children. Amazing you can keep a cool head and sense of humor even on your blog, where venting would be expected. I hope you all get home sooner than expected. We’ve got water damage, but it mercifully stayed contained to basement, so we can stay put.

  • Megan says:

    Just got back electricity and learned about your disaster!
    My swing set is under a tree that fell in our backyard so I
    can’t offer that to you, but our home is fine so if your clan wants
    to spend the day, you can drop them off and head home to try
    to accomplish something. Yes I can handle all four of them, I’m experienced and free, too bad I’m not a bit closer! thinking of you!

  • Lori Dyan says:

    Your sassy awesomeness in the face of a drowned house is inspirational. You and Richard Branson (different natural disaster, same’ish result) will rebuild/fix something even better!

  • Live in Myrtle Beach and we missed out on the brunt of Irene, but I’ve been watching this dove in a tree outside my window. Her nest was blown out of the tree during the storms. I had picked it up after the winds, it was a huge nest, probably weighed about 4 pounds, full of interesting twigs, strings, bits of plastic, etc. She had built her dream nest. So now, here she is every morning diligently bringing in one little piece at a time, weaving it into place, trying to rebuild the cozy home for her and her companion…actually ‘he’ is helping, but she does most of the gathering and bringing back and forth….together they are putting this nest back into place, yes it could happen again, we are only just getting into the hurricane season, but they are not waiting, just dove in and started rebuilding. That’s what you gotta do. Hope the rebuilding of your home doesn’t take too long and we’re thinking about you!

    Clay & Joe at Anything Joe’s

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