Finally

Finally

Tonight we’ll finally put to rest the year that was 2017. In many respects, 2017 was a brilliantly evolutionary year. While in others it was a devastating year that often brought us to our knees.

2017 started off with the loss of a beloved employee, followed by the loss of a beloved employee’s son. In March, we lost a dear friend, who was family to us. Unequivocally, the loss of our beloved friends and co-workers was tough to stomach. Death is never easy, but losing people young is particularly cruel.

In loss, there was a beauty. We carry forward the many memories and lessons that those beautiful souls imprinted on our hearts. I look forward to running again, so I can see the yellow butterfly that greets me as I make it to Debbie’s neighborhood. This is just before I hit the mile mark. Consequently, I’m struggling find my legs, my will and my strength. Miraculously, the butterfly greets me and encourages me on every run.

To say I learned a lot from Debbie would be an understatement. One lesson I’ll always carry with me is to live fully. In fact, she was a huge inspiration in us going to Norway. It was an expensive trip, but it was worth every penny and more. There is no greater gift we can give our loved ones than the gift of time and experiences together. To this day, if you ask my boys, they’d move to Norway in a heartbeat.

2017 was very much a transition year for our family with Jake graduating high school and the Mayor transitioning to Middle School. We also sent Jake to Italy with school while the Mayor went to DC with safety patrol. There were a lot of big life changes for us last spring. Albeit the boys handled these transitions beautifully. Mamma bear may have struggled a bit, but that’s life and completely normal.

Now as we wind down the clock on 2017, Jake has a semester of college under his belt. The Mayor has acclimated beautifully to Middle school while Goalielocks is slaying his last year of Middle School. 2017 was a year of transitions, loss, beauty, experience and love.

As I look back on 2017, I remember the moments spent with those I love. The marquis moments of my kids’ lives and our incredible time in Norway. Lastly, we will always carry the the beautiful people we lost in 2017 in our hearts and minds.

To celebrate the New Year, we’re headed back down to Lauderdale to hang out at the marina. My younger two boys will spend their evening fishing with friends as we relax on the boat with our friends. It’s a boy mom life for me and one I wouldn’t change for the world.

Tonight’s song performed by the Beatles is “In My Life.”

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Almost there

Almost there

We’re almost there.. Almost to the end of the year and the grand beginning of a new one. I started my day at Burn with circuit burn and aerial yoga. My leg tolerated both reasonably well with only the mountain climbers causing discomfort. Fortunately, I was able to modify the move to accommodate the injury.

Meanwhile, the Mayor was one an adventurous sleepover on a sail boat in Fort Lauderdale. I have to say I had many amazing sleepovers in my day, but never one a sailboat. Clearly, he’s having a great day based on the photos our friends have sent.

The Mayor and his teammate E have spent their day fishing in the marina. Fortunately, they’ve had a pretty productive day and have caught some nice fish. In fact, the Mayor even caught a nice sized Crevalle Jack!

Now the sun is starting to set and we’re making our way down to the marina. Unfortunately, it’s a bit colder than we’re used to, so we’ve got our hoodies, jackets and some blankets to keep us warm. I’m rocking my new BCBG linen pants with my not so sexy flats (thank you tendinitis.)

As we drive south, Goalielocks is playing the music. He loves his country, but he also loves Tupac’s “Hit ‘Em Up,” which is an awesome song. It definitely brings me back to my school days and the old East Coast West Coast feud. Admittedly, the song is laced with profanities and violence, but at least it’s not insipid like “Gucci Gang.”

Tonight’s song performed by Tupac is “California Love.”

Winding Down

Time marches on and alas the year that was 2017 is winding down.  2017 for us has been a doozie full of amazing highs and unimaginable lows.  As December comes ot an end, I’ve been looking to the future.  Like many people, I’ve been ruminating over resolutions and goals for 2018.

Of course in order to create  resolutions and goals for the new year, one most reflect on the current year and its results.  Unequivocally, not having specific race targets for 2017 hurt my training.  Unlike 2016 in which my resolution was to run 12 5ks in the year, last year I set no goal for races.  Not surprisingly my training fell by the wayside as life got busy and my 5k time suffered greatly.  In 2018, I’ll be back to setting race goals both in time, distance and quantity.

Unfortunately, my legs are not cooperating with me at the moment.  I spent my afternoon in the urgent care with severe lower leg pain.  Fortunately, the x-ray showed no stress fracture.  Consequently, I left with a diagnosis of posterior tibial tendinitis, two prescriptions and a directive to follow up with a specialist.  How lame is that?  They gave me a strong anti-inflammatory (which I can only take on a full stomach) and muscle relaxers.  Now the last time I took muscle relaxers I was a complete disaster for days, so wish me an the boys luck.

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The good news is that while I can’t run until cleared by the doctor, I can keep going to yoga, spin and the circuit classes.  For the circuit classes, I may have to modify some of the moves to not put pressure on the leg.  Truthfully, I’m just happy that I can keep working on my endurance and cardio via spin.

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As 2017 continues winding down, I’ll keep whittling away at my goals and resolutions for 2018.  Truly, I don’t envision anything extravagant, but rather very focused, specific and achievable goals.   As your 2017 winds down, what are you thankful for?  What do you wish would have went differently this year?

Tonight’s song performed by The Notorious B.I.G. is “Hypnotize.”  We ended up listening to this song on the way home from my brother’s house on Christmas Eve.  Additionally, my spin teacher played it today, so I thought I’d share it with you.  Undoubtedly, this song brings back great memories from high school.

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Come Fly With Me

My Day

My day was fantastic. Last night I was feeling good post-spin, no leg soreness, fatigue or pain in the proverbial arse.  Unfortunately, I woke up to the post-spin pain in the butt.  It wasn’t nearly as uncomfortable as I expected, but nonetheless it was omnipresent.   Fortunately, my legs still feel pretty good.

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Ordinarily on Thursdays, I run 2.5-3 miles before yoga.  However,  my left leg is still bothering me.  Consequently, on the advice of my massage therapist and prudence, I skipped the run.  Admittedly, if my massage therapist hadn’t suggested I see my doctor about the leg and skip the run, I probably would have been running tonight.

Thankfully, aerial yoga doesn’t put much stress on my leg.   One of my favorite things about yoga is that I can see my progress from week to week.  Each week, I’m gaining both flexibility and strength.   It’s absolutely rewarding to see and feel the progress as the weeks go by.  I totally love it!

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Now I’m back home all comfy and cozy on the couch with an ice pack on my leg binge watching The Office.  This show, much like music in other people’s home, is the sound track to our lives.  We’ve recently transitioned from Family Guy to the Office in anticipation of the Family Guy leaving Netflix in Mid-January.  P.S. Netflix, we’re not happy about this!

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Goalielocks finally got his new pads, but is still begging for a dubia roach colony.  Talk abut things I don’t want in my house and roaches will be at the top of the list.  Nonetheless Goalielocks in persistent request to buy a roach farm.  Now that he’s financially responsible for the lizards’ food, he’s pricing out the cheapest options.  Meanwhile, he doesn’t understand why neither mom nor dad want a roach colony in the house.  Undoubtedly, Goalielocks’ would give Gerry Durrell a run for his money when it comes to collecting animals.

I’m off to ice my leg again and cuddle with my Mayor.  Tonight’s song performed by The Cranberries is “Zombie.”

 

 

Spin Class

I must confess until tonight I’ve never taken a spin class.  I know, I know, its hard to imagine, but I’ve always gotten my cardio fix from Zumba or running.  Well tonight the stars aligned.  My circuit burn teacher was subbing tonight and barre was cancelled, so the 30/30 (spin plus weights) class it was tonight.

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The class title says it all, but for clarity its about 35 minutes spin followed by weight training.  It’s the perfect balance of cardio plus weight training.  Undoubtedly, it was also the perfect introduction to spin for the uninitiated (myself included.)  Admittedly, I was a bit nervous before class.

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I definitely learned a couple of key things today about spin.  First, running shoes aren’t the best fit for the spin bikes.  It is much better to have a narrower shoe that fits into the pedal straps.  Secondly, bring a towel.  Even after only 30 minutes, I was sweating buckets. Truthfully, it didn’t take too long for the sweat to be dripping.   A headband is also a must!

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Thirdly, the seat isn’t super comfortable.  However,  this discomfort supposedly abates after taking a series of classes it gets better.   Honestly,  I didn’t find it horribly uncomfortable, but again I didn’t do a full 60 minutes of spin.  Moreover, make sure you hydrate wisely.   I brought two bottles of water, but I also took electrolyte tabs before class.  You could also add Nuun tablets (electrolyte tabs) to your water bottle.  This will make sure you replace the minerals you lost as you sweat.

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Additionally, as with any other workout, you gotta respect your body.  I have tendon/ligament issues in both of my ankles.  Consequently, there were times when my ankles didn’t tolerate 2nd or 3rd position.   When this happened, I simply went back to sitting to take pressure off my ankles.  Lastly, I really enjoyed the class and variety is the spice of life.  If you only do the same workouts over and over, they lose their efficacy.  When you introduce variety it keeps your body guessing leading to a more effective workout.

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Tomorrow it will be back to running and yoga for me, but I thoroughly enjoyed my interlude with spin.  Tonight’s song performed by Shakira is “Whenever, Wherever.”

Back to Reality

Back to Reality

It was back to reality today.  I gotta say this whole Christmas on a Monday and back to work Tuesday stuff is for the birds!  Nonetheless I headed into work Dunkin’ hand.  Truly, I was somewhat relieved that my clothes still fit after this weekend and that traffic was relatively light.  When I got to work, the parking lot was absolutely empty.  At its peak, it wasn’t even close to half full.

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After a weekend of eating everything in sight, today was a good time to get back on track.  Unfortunately, I have a proclivity for sweet treats.  As much as I planned to be good, how could I turn down a perfectly good Christmas cookie?  After all, I won’t be making them again until next December.  I don’t think you can argue with that air tight logic.

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Since I indulged in a couple of sweet treats today, I definitely had some extra motivation for my run.  The Piggie and I logged 2.5 miles before I headed to yoga.  Indeed it was a nice run with comfortable temperatures and a pretty consistent pace.  As I ran, I was a bit mad at myself for not maintaining my running last spring.  In some ways, I feel like I’m back to the beginning of training.  Whereas, last spring I finally got my mile below 8 minutes, I’m back to running a mile in 9:5 minutes.

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In 2018, I’ll be re-committing to running and regular training. I’d love to finish 2018 with either a half marathon or two 10ks under my belt, but more on 2018 in a later post.  In order to train successfully, I have to make sure my legs stay healthy.  Consequently, I spent a good 15 minutes stretching my legs post-run tonight.  I did this even though I knew I’d be headed to yoga afterwards.

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In addition to my post-run stretch, I’ve been going to Massage Envy a couple of times per week for assisted stretch.  Not only is this helping loosen up my legs for running, but it’s helping my yoga practice as well.  While I enjoy a good massage, the assisted stretch sessions have yielded much better results.   Unfortunately, neither my yoga teacher or massage therapist can help with the huge bruise I got on right thigh at paint ball.   I’m pretty sure that bruise is going to be around for a long time.    I’d post a picture, but it’s borderline indecent.

Tonight’s song performed by Michael Buble is “Feeling Good.”

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I hope your Christmas was as wonderful as you had hoped.  Ours started early, but thankfully not too early.  The Mayor woke us up shortly before 8:00, which is a lot later than it used to be. Back in the day, the boys would wake us up well before 7:00 am.  My friends and family know how little I enjoy waking up early, so the super early Christmas wake up calls were tough!

Unquestionably, Christmas is much more meaningful as a parent.  Its not that I don’t like getting gifts; its just that giving them is so much better.  In our house, opening gifts happens like a hurricane as the boys tear open their gifts.  This year their Christmas lists were markedly smaller than previous years.  Although they did include some interesting items like: a teacup pig, a puppy, a tegu, a bearded dragon, and a MacBook.  Unfortunately, there was no teacup pig or puppy under the tree this year.

After they opened their gifts, the Hubby and I got to work preparing for brunch.  He made his famous Cholesterol Bake (totally worth every calorie,) while I finished my caramel rolls and started the bacon.   Additionally, we had to get our drink bar ready.  We had plenty of OJ and champagne/asti for mimosas.  Moreover, this year we added a coffee bar, so my bro brought cold brew coffee and we paired it with Bailey’s and/or Ciroc French Vanilla vodka.  To the uninitiated, the coffee (we used Stok) with Bailey’s and vodka is smooth and absolutely sublime.

While I finished cooking the 85 lbs of bacon and rolls, the boys played show and tell with their menagerie.  They were more than happy to share their animals with our guests.  After showing off Lil’ B (our little beardie,) Goalielocks and the Mayor brought down their two chameleons.  Surprisingly, Goalielocks was able to get the normally shy chameleons to eat in front of company.  Of course it’s a bit of a show when the chameleons eat.

Fortunately, all of the food turned out awesome.  Surprisingly, we didn’t end up in a food coma after eating copious amounts of caramel rolls, cholesterol bake and bacon.  Once brunch was done, the boys headed outside to play football.  Unlike Minnesota, which was -5 this morning, we were balmy in the 70s this morning.  For paintball we were in the low 80s, but without too much humidity.

This year we went to paintball a little later with a 1:00 pm start time.  Unlike years past, the paintball place was completely crowded with groups of uninitiated paint  ballers.  We’ve done this for several years on Christmas not to mention the numerous birthday parties the boys have attended.   Nonetheless, I have zero patients for morons who shoot randomly when not on the field or take their masks off on the field.  Darwin would have been proud!

Straightaway, after getting our guns, we headed to the far fields away from the crowds.  We had the far fields to ourselves for over an hour before a couple of the inexperienced and not so bright groups came on over.  Despite the ineptitude of the people around us, we managed to have a good time.

Our group was pretty small, so we stuck to the smaller fields.  We split up the teams a number of different ways to make interesting throughout the day.   The adults took it to the kids several times, but don’t worry they got us back.  Both the Mayor and Goalielocks have their own guns, which are far more powerful than the rental guns.  Both took me out several times from afar.  I didn’t even have a chance since my gun couldn’t shoot that far.

In one round, Jake, Brandi and I played against my brother and my two younger kids.  My brother came running across the field, thinking there was cover (there wasn’t) and all three of us shot him simultaneously.  Whoops!  Thank goodness my brother is a good sport!

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Between rounds, we Face-timed my parents from Paintball and was able to speak to everyone there, which was awesome.  I definitely miss seeing my family and extended family this time of year.  I have many cherished memories that  I have from holidays spent with my grandparents and extended family.  My hope for my boys is they cherish the traditions we’ve started that put a premium on time spent together having fun.

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Post-paintball we headed home and ordered some friend rice and chicken teriyaki.   Tonight we’re going to watch a movie on NetFlix and relax.  Unfortunately, tomorrow is Tuesday and not a holiday meaning most of us will be back at work.  Can you hear the collective boo?  I’ll leave you tonight with my favorite Christmas song.  This song performed by Mariah Carey is “All I Want For Christmas is You.”

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is here and almost gone.  Today was hectic and we rushed to finish our last minute shopping and preparations for Christmas day.  I think the boys will be happy with what they’re getting, but we’ll see.  Truthfully, I had hope to spend more money on experiences or even a trip than gifts.  Oh well, there’s always next year.  Its probably a shift that’s easier to make gradually than in one fell swoop.

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In addition to last minute errands, I had (and still have) a lot of baking today.  I made another round of mint cookies today in addition to krumkakes and toffee candies.  Fortunately, all three of the items turned out really good.  As I write this, I’m starting to make the main star of tomorrow’s brunch — the caramel rolls.  Ah yes, no less than 1,000,000 grams of carbs and sugar in these beauties, but they’re completely worth it.   Honestly, all calories on Christmas should be free, I think Santa would totally agree.

Krumkakes are a traditional Norwegian cookie that I was excited to try making this year.  After all, I have both cloud berry and blueberry jam from Norway to pair with the cookie, so now is the perfect time.  In order to bake said cookies, however, I had to order a krumkake iron.  I opted for a new school plug and play model versus the old school iron you heat up over a burner.  I think we can all agree that nothing good would come from me using an old school iron.

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The dough is quite simple to make.  You can use either vanilla or almond extract to flavor the cookie  Today I used vanilla as that is what I had on hand.  Once the dough has been mixed up, you bake one cookie at a time on the iron.  These cookies cook quite quickly albeit individually.  Moreover, once they come of the iron, you need to shape them around the cone to get their famed conical shape.

My first attempt at shaping a krumkake was lackluster, but I had also overcooked the cookie.  After the first couple of cookies, I got the process down pat.  You can definitely bake these cookies by yourself.  However, it would be easier to an assistant help shape the cookies once they come off the iron.

After all the baking, we headed to my brother’s house for some games, movies and appetizers.  Before though I had to make a pit stop at Walgreen’s for some whipped cream and dollar bills.  I had no cash on me and we needed singles, so we could play Left Right Center at Jon’s.  You can only imagine the look the clerk gave me when I asked for my change ($20) is singles, but I digress.

We quickly ate our appetizers once we got to Jon’s, so we could start playing Left Right Center.  Goalielocks didn’t want to spend any money (even though I was funding), so he manned the music tonight.  Per usual, the game was not mild.  Both the Mayor and Jake ended up winning two games, while both Brandi and I won a game.  Throughout the games, the Mayor was full of witty one-liners.

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Once the money dried up, it was time for krumkakes.  I served them with whipped cream and either blueberry or cloud berry jam.  They were absolutely heavenly.  Moreover, I forgotten how much I loved the Norwegian jam.  I have yet to find either cloud berry jam or a good blueberry jam stateside.  When my family goes in January, I hope they bring some more back for us. Hint, hint…..

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Now it’s off to finish wrapping presents and baking caramel rolls.  Tonight’s song performed by Mariah Carey  is “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”

Come Fly With Me

Come Fly With Me

Come fly with me, no seriously, you’ve gotta try aerial yoga at least once.  Now that I’ve have several classes under my belt, I’m starting to feel much more comfortable in the silk.  After an rousing hockey game last night and kick arse circuit burn class this morning, aerial yoga with Monica was the perfect way to decompress mentally and physically.   Additionally, the communal atmosphere of the class is awesome.  Everyone is supportive, eager to try new things and happy to cheer others on.

I know you’re wondering, what’s so awesome about aerial yoga. So let me tell you.  First, aerial yoga is great for your back.  While you’re in the inversions, your spine is able to decompress and there’s minimal strain on your back.  If you’ve got back problems, an aerial yoga practice may provide relief.

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Since the silk supports you in the inversions, you’re able to get into inversions, like handstands, and hold them much longer.  Consequently, you build not only strength, but also muscle memory for the poses.  This will translate into your mat practice.   Moreover, there are parts of the aerial practice that are nearly identical to TRX.  You’re able to use your own weight as resistance to build strength and flexibility.

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Thankfully, I was able to decompress both my mind and my spine this morning otherwise I would have lost my mine at the mall.   The Hubby and I are way behind the eight ball when it comes to Christmas shopping.  Although to be fair, the boys just posted their Christmas wishlists on the fridge yesterday.  Consequently, I headed to Kohl’s to find a present, but left empty handed.  I could not believe how picked over the shelves were. Since Kohl’s didn’t have what I needed, we headed to Macy’s and Dick’s.

What should have been a five minute ride took nearly 20 in the snowbird laden mall traffic. Ugh, Christmas shopping is bad enough, but throw in winter traffic and it is insufferable.  We ran in to Dick’s first, but again came out empty handed.  Afterwards we made our way to Macy’s, were we finally found what we needed to buy.  Unfortunately, we spent more time trying to exit the mall parking lot than we spent in Kohl’s.  Road rules and traffic regulations are not strong suits of Florida drivers.

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Later the Mayor and I went to Target, so he could by his brothers some presents.  Fortunately, Target was better stocked and well staffed.  We were able to get our groceries, the presents and check out in less than an hour. This was amazing especially considering we made a detour to Starbucks as we shopped.

Tomorrow we’ll finish out last minute shopping after aerial yoga and then head to my brother’s tomorrow evening.  Of course, we’ll have to wrap all the presents and start preparing the dishes for Christmas brunch.  My family looks forward to Christmas brunch as its usually the only time I make caramel rolls.  You may recall that for hurricane Irma I made an exception.  Unfortunately, we were house bound so we couldn’t work off the calories.  Consequently, Jake and I are already planning a long run Christmas Day to counteract the thousands of calories and carbs we’ll consume at brunch.

Tonight’s song performed by the Chairman of the Board Frank Sinatra is “Come Fly With Me.” This song is one of my absolute favorites.  Enjoy!

My Favorite Night

My Favorite Night

My favorite night of hockey season without question is the night we hold our annual Parent-Kid Hockey game.  I was a bit torn earlier in the week about sending the kids to practice tonight as the Wild played the Panther’s this evening.   However, when I found out the parent-kid game was taking place, the choice was easy.  Tonight was the night us parents took on our mighty peewees.   The parents came ready to play, beer buckets in hand, and motivated to win the night’s contest.   Some hit the ice with a bit of trepidation, but quickly found their stride.

As for me, it’s been a year since the last parent-kid game (and I’m retired from beer league), so a 60 minute skate against kids that are in shape wore me out.  Fortunately, I was able to connect on a pass from Coach P and bury one.  It only took 3,000 attempts, but I got it.

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There are so many reasons to love the parent-kid game, but let me walk you through just a few.  First, the bravery of the parents that have never played suiting up to take on their kids is nothing short of heroic.  If you’ve ever hit the ice with a bunch of kids, you know exactly what I mean.  Secondly, there’s no better way to build camaraderie on a team than competing against your parents.  It turns out kids really hate to lose to the old people….  Consequently, our boys were talking a lot and moving the puck quite well.  Bravo!

Honestly, you can’t beat the cardio that comes from 60 minutes of ice hockey.  In addition to the cardio, your core, legs and back muscles are engaged at every moment.  Yes parents that means tomorrow we’ll be nursing our wounds in Epsom salt baths with cocktails of Aleve.

In addition to the great workout, the parent-kid game is a great reality check.  It is so easy to shout instructions from behind the glass.  If you’ve ever been in a rink, I’m sure you’ve heard it.  Things like “keep your stick on the ice” or “get up goalie.”  I mean not for nothing, but if I had fallen in tonight’s game, I can’t promise you that I would have gotten up and I wasn’t the goalie.  Also, it turns out keeping your stick on the ice is easier said than done.  As it turns out, even with my stick on the ice, the likelihood of me connecting on a one-timer is still 1 in 3,000.

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Finally, there’s no better way to bond with your kid then in a lively game of hockey.  Tonight there were three of us moms out there and you could tell the boys were proud to have their moms on the ice.  Well at least at the beginning of the game. Its quite possible that by the end of the game the Mayor may have disavowed knowing me due to my poor performance (damn 1:3,000.)

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This is also the 6th year I’ve played in the parent kid game against the Mayor.  Being on the ice tonight was a great opportunity to personally experience the evolution of  his game. It makes me appreciate the hard work that he has put in, but also the hard work all of his coaches have put into making him better.  My Mayor can totally skate circles around me, but I would never give up an opportunity to be on that ice with him.  Above all the parent-kid game is about having fun and loving the game of hockey.  It doesn’t get better than that!

I’m off to bed.   Here’s hoping the soreness from tonight’s hockey game doesn’t hit until after tomorrow’s classes at Burn.  Otherwise tomorrow morning’s classes are going to suck!  Tonight’s song performed by Bush is “Machinehead.”  I chose this song as it is one of my favorite pump up hockey songs.