Time Heals

Time Heals

They say time heals all wounds, but I’m not quite sure I agree with that.  Tonight marks the 6th anniversary of losing my mother-in-law Sandy to Triple Negative Breast Cancer.  Her illness was quick, horrible, painful and for those that love her excruciatingly short.  In the turn of mere months, my mother in law went from living a normal life to hospice.


Cancer is such an insidious, deceptive, merciless disease.  By the time, doctors discovered my mother in laws cancer, it had already metastasized to her lymph notes, arms, and spine.  In reality, her entire abdomen was riddled with cancer.  It wasn’t until she suffered from debilitating back pain that her cancer was discovered.  Unfortunately, as is the case with many people, her cancer was discovered in an advanced stage.


Cruelly, until the onset of the back pain, there was nothing that suggest that something was severely awry.   Coincidentally, this is where I plug genetic counseling, mammograms, MRIs and pro-active preventative medicine.  Ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to tell you that these tests – mammograms, colonoscopy, PSA tests, breast and testicular self-exams are essential for your health.  Do not skip them!

Late into Grandma Sandy’s illness, my hubby spent most of his time in Minny with her while I stayed back in Florida with the kids.  During that time though, the kids were in school, so going to Minny for long periods of time wasn’t in our wheelhouse.  Honestly, it was one of the few moments, since moving to Florida, that I really wanted to be back home in Minny.  Truly, it killed us not to be there with her or with my hubby.

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Since the moment I started dating my hubby, Grandma Sandy was always in my corner.  Admittedly, she spoiled me and wholeheartedly welcomed me into their family.  The feeling was mutual.   She never doubted us or our relationship even when we got pregnant with Jake.   She supported us through the hardest moments from beginning to the end.  I remember going over to my Hubby’s house and she had gone shopping.  She probably bought Jake the entire store that day.  I loved everything she bought and in fact still have a lot of it.

Grandma Sandy was fiercely proud of her family and her Finnish heritage.  Both of her parents were of Finnish descent with both sides of her family immigrating to the US in the around the turn of the 20th Century.   If you ask me, Goalielocks definitely looks like the Ketola side.  Of course, my family is mostly Norwegian.  I guess it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that everyone in Norway and on the SAS flight thought we were Norwegian.  My Mother-in-Law had a big, loving Finnish family that was and is an incredible support to her and to us.  We’re forever grateful for the great care they took of Grandma Sandy when we couldn’t be in Minny with her.


I can’t speak for everyone, but I miss her love of Bingo, Barbies, all things Finnish, the Twins, the Wild, the Vikings and of course Dan Marino.  I’ll never forget watching the Vikings lose to Atlanta in 1998.  As the game clock winded down, her, the hubby and I found ourselves pacing nervously in the garage.  Of course, Gary Anderson would pick the most inopportune time to miss a field goal in a perfect season, but at the time our nerves were shot and full of hope.  (As an aside, it seems the Vikes can’t escape their kicker issues.)

Even though it has been six years, in some ways it feels like yesterday.   I think she’d bit surprised that I’ve allowed a veritable zoo in my house, but she probably saw it coming.  I certainly didn’t.  Additionally, I think she’d be super nervous about Jake driving, but also so proud of him.  She’d be proud of all the boys.  Certainly as we start to hit more milestones like Jake’s graduation, her absence is punctuated.   The truth of the matter is that she’ll never truly leave us.  She’ll always be with us in spirit, in the mannerisms my hubby and kids have inherited from her and in our hearts.

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Sometimes, she even shows up in my yoga class.  One Saturday morning, my favorite sub Kaye was teaching the vinyasa class, when her iPod randomly switched to Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” which was my mother-in-law’s favorite song.  My teacher couldn’t for the life of her figured out how it happened.  When we spoke after class, we figured it out.  So tonight in honor of Grandma Sandy,  hold your loved ones extra tight, forgive and forget because at the end of the day life is far too short.

Tonight’s song, in honor of Grandma Sandy, is Patsy Cline’s “Crazy.”  I love this song as it reminds me of her.





Tonight’s the night Vikings returns for season 5 on the History Channel.  I love this show, so I’ve been looking forward to tonight.  For the last several weeks, snippets of the 5th season have been showing up in my Facebook newsfeed.  I’m not into many shows, but Vikings is definitely one of them.  Fortunately, its also a show my kids love.   In fact, when we traveled to Norway this summer I made sure we incorporated some Viking themed scenery in our trip.  Although it would have been hard to avoid Viking related sights in any trip to Norway.


Serene Fjord

In Flam, we took the boat out on the Aurlandsfjord.  This Fjord deep in the heart of Sogn Og Fjordane is sublimely serene and overwhelmingly beautiful.  As we boated around the fjord, we approached an outcropping from the cliff.  There was a grassy area on this outcropping, which was home to a Viking Burial.  It was pretty cool to see.  As an aside, Lagertha according to legends is from the Gaula Valley, which is in the northeastern part of the Sogn Og Fjordane region.

Now that the show has started, I’m writing during the commercials.  How fitting that Ikea is one of their advertisers, but I digress.  As an American of Norwegian descent, I enjoy watching a show about Norwegian/Scandinavian history.  My dad’s family emigrated to the US from Sogn Og Fjordane the very same region that Lagertha is thought to have come from.  Clearly, I was born to be a modern day shield maiden or Viking queen.

Our trip through Norway gave us a deeper connection to our Norwegian roots, heritage and Norway.  Now as I watch the Vikings, I long to go back and explore the Norwegian Countryside.  Additionally, I’d like to explore Ireland, where the show is largely filmed, and the U.K. retracing the Vikings travels.  While in France in 2011, we ate lunch at a small seaside Norman town.   As we enjoyed our crepes, our view was a replica Viking ship moored in port.  It was beautiful and imposing much like the authentic ships housed in the  Viking Ship Museum in Oslo.

Finally, tonight’s song, in keeping with my Norwegian theme, is “Take on Me” by Aha.  I know a collective sigh of relief went out as you realized I wasn’t gonna torture you with “What Does the Fox Say?”

Yoga With Jake

Yoga With Jake

Tonight I loved yoga class because tonight I went to yoga with Jake.  As a huge fan of the Beatles, Jake has been intrigued by yoga, veganism and other facets of Eastern culture that the Beatles have espoused.  in particular, George Harrison was deeply spiritual, a devoted yogi, who wasn’t shy about sharing his views.  You may recall from a previous blog post that the song “Got My Mind Set On You” was one of the few songs George Harrison released that wasn’t about religion.


George, the quiet Beatle, did a lot for bring Eastern ideas and practices to the Western world.  The Beatles’ found yoga while travelling in the Bahamas.  There they had met Swami Sivananda, who was the founder of Sivananda yoga. Lucky me!  Here my son’s love of the Beatles’ (who I also love) and my love of yoga coalesced.  There’s nothing more enjoyably than being on my mat except when I can share it with someone I love.  Consequently, tonight Jake joined me at class.


For the uninitiated, it can be a bit intimidating.  Unquestionably, he was probably second guessing his decision as he quickly realized he was the only guy.   Thankfully, one of the other yogi’s in class tonight is also in his Thursday night class at school.  Ice broken!

The class was rigorous and fun.  Yoga is definitely one-way to spend quality time improving one’s self, while also building physical strength.  I’m curious to see how he feels tomorrow night.  As for me, I can already tell that this class will leave a mark.   Notwithstanding that tonight was his first yoga experience, Jake dove all in.  He even went up into a headstand!

Lastly, today is Giving Tuesday, which is the perfect opportunity to donate to Team Deb Force Five.   You can help us double pancreatic cancer survival rates by 2020!

Tonight’s song is none other than “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison.  This is one of my favorite songs from a former Beatle. George may have been the quiet Beatle, but his musical talents speak volumes.

Just Another Drive

Just Another Drive

Just another drive down the Florida Turnpike with an incredible sunset off to the west.    Florida’s sunsets do not disappoint and this one was no exception.  Fortunately, Goalielocks was able to take pictures for me while I drove.


Mundane Monday Challenge #137: Learn Photography


giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday

As we wind down a glorious Cyber Monday, may we give our full attention to Giving Tuesday.  Tomorrow is all about paying it forward and supporting causes that are near and dear to our hearts.  November, for me, is all about building awareness and funds for Pancreatic Cancer Research. When I run, however, I use charity miles, so for every mile I log a donation is made to the ALS Foundation.   Undoubtedly, it is a wonderful way to tie my training and important causes together.


This month our Purple Stride Team, Deb Force Five, raised almost $10,000 for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.  A lot of this important came from the tight knit hockey family, which has rallied around Debbie and her family since diagnosis.   The support of the hockey community continued last weekend, which was great to see.  Debbie would have been proud.

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In addition to the Purple Stride event, the Mayor’s team also collected food to donate to families in need this Thanksgiving.  For my kids’ it is almost incomprehensible that their are children in their community without a bite to eat.  I’m so happy the Mayor had an opportunity to participate in this initiative.  A big thanks to VM, SF and JF for organizing it for our team!

Speaking of bites, I’m gonna make bake some cookies tonight.  I wanted to bake them for the boys’ lunches yesterday, but ran out of time.  While they bake, perhaps I’ll finish the copious amounts of laundry that went undone this weekend or perhaps not….

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In the spirit of Giving Tuesday, here’s the link to Team Deb Force Five.  While the race and competition is over, the need for funds is not.  Consequently, you can donate here: Team Deb Force Five.

Tonight’s song is “Buddy Holly” by Weezer.  This video was one of my favorites when it debuted in the mid 90s.

Cue the Exhaustion

Cue the Exhaustion

Cue the exhaustion folks, it’s Sunday night after a major holiday and hockey tournament.  Undoubtedly, I am exhausted beyond belief along with all of my fellow hockey parents.  I’m positive I’m not the only one regretting not taking tomorrow off to recover.  It’s month end, which means I cannot afford to miss a minute let a lone a day.  So I’ll be back to work tomorrow at 8:00 am with bells on.

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Our Thanksgiving holiday was marvelous.  We had a great Thanksgiving dinner at Jon and Brandi with family and friends that have become family.   After a great dinner, we played some Right Left Center and another game with a box.   Jake had a great night and walked away with some moula after winning two rounds of the game.  After playing games, we watched Star Wars “The Force Awakens.”  I know I’m late to the party here, but I enjoyed the movie.  Although, it is sad to watch knowing we lost Carrie Fisher way too soon.

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I wrote about our early hockey games on the blog earlier and today was no exception.  We were back to the rink by 9:00 am and didn’t leave until after 4:00 pm.  It was a fun weekend at the rink with our hockey family.  These tournaments are exhausting, but are much like a family reunion.   Its a great opportunity to catch up with former teammates, their families and other friends we’ve made throughout the years.


Yesterdays games were awesome, but I still had quite a few visitors yesterday in the Sin Bin with a lot less (thank goodness) today.   At U-14  body checking is legal and these hits are incredibly loud and percussive.  I’m pretty sure they build the boards to amplify the noise of the hits and increase the hockey moms collective anxiety.

Our boys finally clicked this weekend, after a couple of painful months, which was awesome to see.  These kids have so much potential there aren’t enough superlatives in the English word to adequately describe it.  Nevertheless, I am beyond proud of each of them for their efforts.  As the team went into the championship game, they were definitely the underdog. In the end, we lost a nail biter to a strong Russian team in sudden death OT.

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Of course the bitter reality of leaving the rink at 4:00 pm on a Sunday, is that I still had to grocery shop, finish the laundry and finish all my other errands upon leaving the rink.   I’m pretty sure I heard a collective ugh as us parents left the rink to head home and on to our errands and chores.

Tonight’s song is for my Goalielocks.  Enjoy “May We All” by Florida Georgia Line.

Hustle Like An Underdog

Hustle Like an Underdog

 “Attitude of a champion, hustle like an underdog.”  I saw the Daily Prompt and couldn’t believe my luck with today’s word.   This pretty much sums up this morning’s game  the Clarington Toros.  Goalielocks team came out with hustle like an underdog, but the heart of a champion.  The team’s first period was absolutely brilliant as they worked together scoring five goals.

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The squad was beset by a number of penalties in the 2nd and 3rd, which kept me quite busy.  We didn’t net nearly the number of shots as we had in the 1st period, but the boys still played well.  B2 was solid between the pipes while his defense did a great job protecting him.


We didn’t expect to win this game against the hearty Canadian squad.  Today the team played with heart, hustle and for each other and the results speak for themselves.  Post game we headed home for lunch – more leftovers – and I got in another 3 mile run.  Today’s run was markedly better than yesterday’s, but I’m still slower than molasses in January in Minnesota.

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In a few minutes, we’ll drive back to the rink in a few for the second game of the day.  If the boys play like they did this morning, particularly in the first period, the sky is the limit for this crew.  Lastly, I’m hopeful that I have significantly less visitors tonight then I did this morning.

Today’s song “Feel Invincible” by Skillet.

Black Friday

Black Friday

Unlike many Americans, we spent our Black Friday morning at the hockey rink at not the mall.  Quite frankly, I can’t stand the malls down here in season let alone on Black Friday.   Unquestionably, the normal rudeness and ineptitude ramps up a couple of notches when season kicks in.  If there is anywhere someone would get shot over a cheap TV, it would be here.  Needless to say, I’ll be avoiding Best Buy and the mall for the next month.


I think that’s probably why Cyber Monday is more my thing.  No crazy people or horrible drivers to contend with as I surf the web, what could be better?  Nonetheless, the younger two and I did venture out to Dick’s and PetSmart.  Neither store was incredibly packed and both were well staff to handle all the shoppers. My boys left the stores empty handed much to their chagrin.  To stores was all I could handle, however, so it’s back to shopping online.


We started out morning at the rink.  If you ask me, a 9:45 am game is way too early for bantams.  I thought the scheduling Gods would be smiling on us by bantam and we’d get later games.  Honestly, I prefer the later games as I am not a morning person.  This morning, Goalielocks was excited and relieved to have been dropped off at the right rink at the right time.


Their first game was against the Florida Bulldogs, who Goalielocks played for 2 seasons ago.  Our squad went up handily in the first period notching 3 goals and only allowing one sort of shot on their net.   The rest of the game was much more even although we continued to out shoot them 2-1.   Moreover, our goalie came up with some clutch saves down the stretch.  As the final buzzer rang, the boys rushed the Goalie to celebrate their 4-1 victory.  We’ll be heading back to the rink shortly for their second game of the day against the Everblades, which should be a much tighter contest.

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After eating my weight in Thanksgiving goodies yesterday,  I was committed to getting in a run.  Consequently, the Piggie and I headed out for a 3.25 mile run around the neighborhood.  As with my last run, it was a bit laborious and a tough go of it.  Certainly, today’s run wasn’t fast! Hopefully, these runs will start to get a little bit easier and a little faster.


Today’s song is “Walk on Water” by Thirty Seconds to Mars.  I love this song! Who remembers Jared Leto from MY So Called Life?  Leto still acts, but has also found success with his band Thirty Second to Mars. 

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Today is a day to reflect upon our blessings, eat 5 million calories, watch football and live with gratitude.  I started my morning at the gym with a little Xtend Barre followed by weights.  Of course, I strategically timed my work out  before Thanksgiving dinner, so I won’t feel to awful about all of the things I’m about to eat.

As I baked the cheesecake last night, I started watching a new show that is wonderful.  My colleague recommended The Durrells of Corfu as it  reminded her of my kids..   This ITV produced show takes place in the mid 1930s in Britain and Corfu, Greece.   It follows the story of a widow and her four children (3 boys and 1 girl), who move to Greece after getting fed up with life in England. As an aside, the show runs on PBS’s Masterpiece Theater in the States.


I quickly realized why this show reminded my co-worker of my kids. The show’s writers based it on the books written by the youngest Durrell.  The youngest son Jerry, much like my kids, caught and brought home every animal he caught.  Of course, the mom losing her cool on her kids that weren’t listening to her or helping around the house resonated with me as well.  The scenery, the characters and the plot are quite interesting.  My kids and I will definitely continue to watch this show.

Today we’ll be heading to my brother’s for a relaxing Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family.  It’s a far cry from the large gatherings we were accustomed to as kids, but its a nice change of pace.  I remember watching movies at my grandma’s with the family on the holidays.  One year we watched Star Wars Emperor Strikes Back and another year we watched Gremlins.  Speaking of gremlins, I’m pretty sure if I don’t get enough sleep tonight, I may turn into one tomorrow morning.

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To all my friends and family, I am forever grateful that you are in my life.  If there’s anything I’ve learned in 2017, its that life is precious and not promised.  Let’s be thankful today for the beautiful people that have helped shape our lives.  Let’s be grateful for the opportunity to rise and grind another day.  Lastly, today we remember those that are no longer with us.  While they may no longer be with us physically, they’ll always be with us in our hearts.


Today’s song is the Beatle’s masterpiece “A Day In The Life.”  This song penned by Lennon and McCartney is one of my favorites and is both haunting and beautiful.  Moreover, this song features one of the most famous ending chords.  Interestingly, when Paul McCartney played A Hard Days Night in Miami he and his band ended on this chord.  (I hadn’t picked up on it, but my music expert Jake certainly did.)


Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Happy Thanksgiving eve to the blogosphere.  I spent my night running, at Barre and baking a cheesecake for tomorrow’s festivities.  This of course after I enjoyed a very slow, but productive day at work.   Fortunately, I don’t have to cook tomorrow only bring my cheesecake and an appetizer.


After my disappointing at last Sunday’s race, I was eager to hit the pavement and log some additional miles.  Sadly, much like last’s Sunday’s race the miles were slow and laborious.   Nonetheless, I logged a little over two miles with the Piggie before heading to pilates for the evening.   I am hoping that my run Friday goes a bit easier than tonight’s run.   The boys are an I are planning to run the Jingle Bell Jog for the 3rd year in a row.   Hopefully, by then my pace has improved and the miles aren’t nearly as laborious as they were tonight.


Post-run, I headed back home to hang with the boys before they headed to the Panther’s game. While I headed to the pilates studio, Goalielocks and the Mayor headed to the Florida Panther’s game with Uncle Jon.  They were so excited to go that the Mayor had his chores down by 9:00 am.  In fact, he even sent me pictures to prove that he had done it.  When I got home from work last night, none of their daily chores had been done.  Like a tyrant, I told them if they didn’t their chores today, there would be no hockey game tonight.  This proved to be a great motivator for them.

As they enjoyed the free food at the Corona Club at BB&T, I was working my tail off at Burn.  Tonight, my instructor Adam, showed no mercy as we took to the TRX for the first half of class.  TRX is a great way to get strong and get fit without a lot of equipment.  Undoubtedly, I will feel this class tomorrow.   Fortunately, I’m heading back for more punishment tomorrow before our Thanksgiving dinner.

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Tonight’s song is “Dreams” by the Cranberries.  I loved this song from the moment it hit the airways.  I would have bought the CD if my dad hadn’t beat me to it!