Tornado Alley

Yesterday, over 137 violent tornados bore down on Alabama, including some of our largest and most populated cities: Florence, Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and my hometown of Huntsville. Over 194 people are dead, and the toll continues to rise. I have been without power since yesterday, but from the little bits of information I have received, I know that this is the deadliest series of storms to hit the South in 40 years. Whole towns have been demolished, leaving a record number of families homeless in the wake of this terrible tragedy. Parts of Alabama resemble what I could only describe as a war zone. 

Prayers for my state would be greatly appreciated, as Alabamians now begin the long process of cleaning up, dealing with loss, and moving on. If you would like to make a donation to help those affected by these terrible storms, you can visit www.redcross.org

Thank you so much to my friends who sent prayers via twitter, formspring, and email. My family and I are just fine, and we had only mild damage compared to our neighbors throughout the state. We are estimated to be without electricity until Saturday, so the best way to reach me is by email. 

{photos via whnt and cnbc}


Talkin' about a Blog Swap!

Hello Friends! I have a real treat for you today...it's the Happenings' very first guest post. And it's from a pretty awesome little lady, my friend Janette! We swapped blogs today, so while she is entertaining you fine folks here, I'll be over in her little corner of the internet talking about some things I wish I knew before I became a mother! Enjoy her fabulous & amazing post...coming all the way to you from Jongleurville.
Bonjour Ashleylanders! Janette the Jongleur here! A girl that is undeniably delighted to be taking over the glory that is Hudson’s Happenings for a day. (Nervous!? I AM!) Just like you, I’m a fan of the dapper and destined-to-be-charmer, Hudsy and his ever-dazzling momma (Is Ash a prettypie or what?). I’m also a fan of blogging, ice crunching, thrifting and a great many other things…like mangos. But today, I’m here to talk about marriage. Yes, I’m also a long-haired lass married to my much adored hubaloo, Lovey.  I’ve been the blissful Mrs. Lovey for 2 years…going on 3! I’m here today to share 5 things of the wedded sort… And just a side note, before I begin, your beloved Ashley is safe and sound...In fact, she's over in Jongleurville doing a post on 5 things of the motherly sort...So go check her out there if you please...

Disclaimer alert!!!  I’m not here to dissuade anyone from marriage. Nor do I regret getting married (I realize the title of my exposition implies otherwise) I’m here to just share some essential things I wish someone would have told me…A virtual headsup, if you will…

I have 2 sets of in-laws…and that is probably the case for many couples nowadays. With this comes double the trouble (potentially). Yes, you do marry his family too…So please consider this and make sure you get along with his siblings, parents, AND his Uncle Steve who likes touching your long hair when in close proximity. (Can you say "awkward central"?!) But in all seriousness... There are many times Lovey and I feel stretched with familial obligations, holidays, weekly visits, sports games..etc. There are 40 of them and 2 of us…But I hold to the wise words of Paul the Apostle, "Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone." (Romans 12:18) So try to get along.

There exists a slight, unspoken rift between the married and unmarried. A few months back, I received a call from a (girl)friend who wanted the phone number of a mutual friend… She said she needed a “single girl” to talk to. One “who would understand what I’m going through”. At this point, I realized that I was of a different species. The Married Species! Did my friend forget that I was single (for years) before I was married? Perhaps this has happened to other married ladies and their single friends…Can you relate?

Love Languages exist! I’m not one to readily give credence to many things, but I really do believe these "Languages" are real (to an extent). And apparently, Lovey speaks Cuddle. He always wants to have me nearby. He feels loved and safe. I’m still learning cause I'm not much of a cuddle machine! I lean more toward the language of  “Help Me in the Kitchen without Being Asked”. (These aren’t the names of the different Love Languages, but you catch my drift.) What's your Love Language?

If I had $1 for every time these following questions were (and are asked) I would currently be on Jongleurtonia (my dream, private island near Fiji) living in an over-water bungalow, sipping on a mango smoothie...Yuppers! You will get asked the following (It's unavoidable!):
Question 1: "How's married life?"
Question 2: "So...When are you guys having kids?"
Answer to 1: Uh... good?
Answer to 2: Uh...I might be barren. Thanks for reminding me.
Oh boy! I don't mind the questions. I really don't...But maybe I can be asked something a little more original. like "What traditions have you started since your first day of wedded bliss?" Or "What's your favorite thing about married life?" "Least favorite?" (Isn't that much better?)

Marriage is about molding and shaping two separate lives into one. I love my hubaloo. I love our life together...  (Notice I didn't say "love our lives together..."). Our hearts and souls are intertwined in an ethereal way that confounds and only God can fully explain.  We are one. We are Mr. & Mrs. Lovey...till death do us part...And that's incredible to me. Seriously, someone should have told me!

Thanks for reading!


We are the Easter people, and Hallelujah is our song.

I don't think I stopped smiling once all weekend. Thanks to the abundant happiness surrounding me this Easter, I find my cheek muscles sore. It's a possibility I even sprouted a couple of extra laugh lines.

Things that made my weekend wonderful?
- Waking up to Hudson talking over the monitor, about "a egg!", as he spied his special delivery that the Easter Bunny had dropped off in his room overnight.
- Strolling through the beautiful church garden after a wonderful Easter morning service.
- Seeing Hudson and his sweet cousin Henrietta enjoy surprises and lunch with Will's parents.
- Having an impromptu backyard egg hunt at our house while enjoying a visit from my Mom & Dad.
-Teaching Hudson about the real reason we celebrate Easter through books and bible verses.

I am so thankful that I am able to enjoy the beauty of this Easter with my loving family. I hope you all remembered to celebrate Easter's true meaning. Jesus Himself said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."(John 14:6) He should know...he paid the ultimate price for us and lived to tell of it. As for me, all of my Easter eggs are in that basket.


Get Hopping!

Hudson's first Easter Egg Hunt was a true success. Our church-sponsored extravaganza took place on Saturday, and we couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day. Hudson took off under the warm sunshine, darting straight towards the pastel eggs that peeked from behind green blades of grass. Will and I were so surprised...Hudson knew exactly what to do!

After all the goods had been gathered, we left the park with a basket full of eggs, and a very happy little boy.