And then things got exciting.

The second night we were "back home" the girls and I went to a potluck with our previous church small group. If you're Minnesotan, you know there was hotdish.

It was great to see everyone again, and let the girls play with friends they hadn't seen in so long. We'd been with that group since before Ella was born, right up until our Big Move. And like I said, there was hotdish. Good times. I finally looked at the clock and knew I'd best leave in about 5 minutes. I had tired, tired girls on my hands. Not a minute later, the tornado sirens went off. Well, shoot. We were about 20 minutes from my parents' house at that point, and didn't really have an option but to head to the basement right where we were.

The kids were already downstairs playing video games, so the adults joined them in a very nonchalant fashion. Nothing to see here kids. Let's just all hang out in the basement for a while! And listen to the weatherman on the radio! While there's a torrential downpour outside! Everything's fine and normal!

No one seemed to notice for a while, and then Ella came up to me, dying of thirst and wanting to go upstairs and get her drink. "Not right now, honey." "BUT MOM. I AM SO. THIRSTY." I was tired. I am a weather chicken. So I think my response in a very hushed tone was, "You are not going anywhere, there are tornado sirens!" "WHAT? THERE'S A TORNADO???"

After checking the radar and having Captain America check the radar from home and calling my dad for the southern weather report, I decided to hit the road. We'd been waiting nearly an hour at this point, and the girls were falling asleep on their feet. So we hightailed it to the car in the downpour. So much rain. So hard to see. Not my favorite drive ever.

According to Captain America's radar research, if I could just make it to the halfway mark it would probably start letting up. So I forged ahead. While the cars in front of me pulled over. And the girls in the back seat said, "Is there going to be a tornado? Is there going to be one now? Mom, can you see ok? Why is that car stopping?" Then I got to the halfway point, and it wasn't any better. I think we'd missed our window of opportunity. But I kept going. Because the alternative was pulling over to the side of the road with two small, tired, worried children and waiting through more pounding rain in the car. And then still having to drive home.

Of course we made it, or I wouldn't be posting this. The girls didn't argue much about going to bed and neither did I. I could have done without the excitement, frankly. It's sort of exhausting to try and look calm and collected in front your children, so as to not pass your own irrational weather fears on to them.

My actual words in an impressively calm voice: "We're fine. It's just rain, and Mommy can drive just fine in that. We do not need to worry."

My actual thoughts: "It's raining so hard that I'm not sure I'll be able to see the tornado coming in time to get us all in the ditch and lay on top of my children in a weak attempt to save their lives! Now that we've left we'd be in between siren range! I wonder if it's safe to drive this fast or if I'm going to hydroplane us into the oncoming traffic?!"

Good, good times.