Foggy Friday

It was a foggy Friday as I drove to work this morning.  It was nothing short of miraculous that I saw no accidents during my drive.  Fortunately, by the time I made it to Boca the sun had burnt off most of the fog.  The remainder of my drive was fog free and relatively painless.

Fog forms when there is less than 4 degrees Fahrenheit between the dew point and air temperature.  Given that the temperature was 68 when I left my house this morning, I’d say it was a fairly humid morning.    According this is due to an injection of humidity comes courtesy of winds coming off the Gulf.

Admittedly, I’m not a super fan of humidity, but it does keep your skin moist.  I used to hate how dry and cracked my hands and feet would get during the Minnesota winter.  Here in Florida that’s just not a problem we have!

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Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice

It’s the winter solstice today, well at least it was at 11:28 am this morning.  The shortest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere is also the harbinger of longer days to come.  Unequivocally, I hated the short days of a Minnesota winter.  There’s nothing more depressing than a sunset at 4:30 pm.

Here in Florida, the sunset was around 5:30 pm tonight and was gorgeous.   If it weren’t for the horribly short days, you would hardly know it is winter here. Piggie and I were out on our run enjoying the beautiful weather.  As we pushed to mile 3, Piggie recoiled with fright into my left knee.   My left leg is a veritable disaster with hip flexors and a IT band so tight if it snapped, it would poke your eye out.  What was the monster that frightened her so?  Perhaps another animal or a loud car?  Oh no, my Piggie was afraid of the orange cone.  If I wasn’t so out of breath, I would have ended up on the ground in a laughing fit.

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As you’ve probably gathered from reading my recent blog posts, things have been a bit stressful in our household.  It’s not always amazing to own your own business, but that’s the price you pay for autonomy.  In addition, we had a health scare with one of our boys, so we ended up at a specialists office this afternoon. Fortunately, his bladder and kidney looked good on the ultrasounds.  This gave him quick relief as he was worried they’d find something in his organs.

Nevertheless, he will have to undergo an outpatient surgery in early 2018.  This should be quite simple and result in minimal downtime.  However, if anything is discovered during the procedure it could result in a more protracted and complicated recovery.  Here’s hoping for an uneventful procedure and a miraculous (quick and uncomplicated) recovery.

Speaking of miracles, I’ll need to start and finish my Christmas shopping (food included) in the span of 72 hours.  Unfortunately, this means online shopping isn’t going to work.  Well, unless I want to spend $250 for Saturday shipping, which I don’t as that’s ridiculous.  Wish me luck as I hit the stores with the snow birds and all the glorious people South Florida has to offer.

Tonight’s song, performed by one of our hockey sister’s Julia and her classmate, is “The Prayer.”

 

 

Norway is Calling

Norway is Calling

Norway is calling (so is my bed p.s.) me back.  There’s no way around it and the kids feel the same way.  As a family, we cannot wait to go back and explore it some more.  For my kids, the city of Bergen was particularly memorable.  They’ve even started planning how they can study their in college or move their as adults.  I’d say the city left quite the impression on them.

The most beautiful part of Norway, and there were so many, for me was being able to spend time with my family.  There were no distractions of work, school or hockey.  It was just us enjoying our time together as we discovered our Scandinavian roots.  In addition, it was even more special because my entire family was there together.

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As we approach the holidays and I put out the Christmas decorations I bought in Norway, I long to go back.  One of my goals is to spend Christmas in Norway to enjoy the Scandinavian customs and celebrations.    It would be nice to enjoy a white, snowy Christmas versus our tropical Christmas.  Additionally, I’d like to explore the Christmas markets in Germany some time.

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Oh the serenity of my house was broken as the boys returned from hockey practice.  Goalielocks some how managed to knock a grocery bag with my brie baker off the table.  Consequently, my nice pampered chef brie pan has seen its last day.  Ugh… This is why I can’t have nice things.

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I leave you tonight with some of my favorite pictures from 2017.  There were many memorable moments this year, so picking my favorites was quite difficult.  Nonetheless, I think you’ll find a theme in my pictures.  Hint, hint my favorite moments are all about my family and friends that have become family.

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Tonight’s song performed by Offspring is “The Kids Aren’t Alright.”  I know, I know it is a departure from the Christmas music.  However, I was jamming out on my way to Barre tonight to this song, so I thought I’d share it.  Plus, it seems to fit with the brie, football/invisible hand calamity.

Holiday Stress

Holiday Stress

I’m sure we can all relate to the pressures of holiday stress.  At this time in the year, the stress level is maxed out as we hurriedly try to finish our holiday preparations.  When you’re a small business owner, you can amp that stress level up 100X as you wait for contractors to act on invoices sent over a month ago.  While they’re are definitely benefits to owning your own business, the added stress is not one of them.

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I’ve written about missing home before, but some times in the course of doing business I really, truly miss the Northland.  It would be unthinkable up north for a reputable contractor to sit on invoices for over a month.  Whereas, here in S. Florida it is completely normal for a contractor to pay invoices on island time.  Admittedly, I’m new to this business and my hubby assures me this is normal, but I want to fucking throat punch this guy right now.

Anyway, rant over because that’s not what this post is about.  Believe it or not this post is about ways you can reduce your holiday stress.  Here are some of my favorite coping mechanisms:

  1. Run –  Runner’s high is real and it is amazing.  The world is a better place after a good long run.  f0c4c054288a64ccf399c4ef4b13cbf2--runners-quotes-funny-motivational-quotes-for-working-out
  2. Meet me at the mat!  There’s nothing like a good Vinyasa class to remove your from life’s craziness and put you in the moment.
  3. Come fly with me….  If you’re not inclined to hop on a mat and namaste, then come fly with me at Aerial yoga.
  4. Bake some holiday treats with your loved ones or friends.  If your family is anything like my boys, make sure they don’t steal any cookies from the cookie sheet.  FL Christmas 2006 487
  5. Spend time with good friends  24883571_10155106304447371_1492472535565284382_o
  6. Enjoy a nice drink (i.e. Ciroc and vodka.)  See 5.  tenor (2).gif
  7. Pay it forward.  There’s nothing more rewarding than helping those that are less fortunate.  IMG_1144
  8. Hang out with your four legged friends.  I love chilling with my puppies!  IMG_1291
  9. Spend time doing the things you love with the people you love.  There’s nothing I love more than watching my boys (even the big one) play hockey.  I was in hog heaven last night as three of the four took to the ice.

    Monday Night Mayhem
    Monday Night Mayhem
  10.   Drink more Dunkin’!  Just think soon it won’t just be coffee I’m talking about it will be beer too!

I hope my list of tricks and tools to alleviate the holiday stress was helpful to you.  Obviously, if you’re not in to running or yoga, you suck.. I’m only kidding.  In all seriousness, if they’re not your poison, make time for your favorite workout.  It will do you a world of good!

Tonight’s song is “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”

Monday Night Mayhem

Monday Night Mayhem

It was Monday night Mayhem when I received an urgent call from my Hubby as I drove to the rink for his and Jake’s game.   Unfortunately, their team’s goalie wasn’t going to to miss tonight’s game.  They wanted Goalielocks to suit up and play for them in the championship.  Never mind the fact that Goalielocks at 14 isn’t old enough for adult league.  But from a maturity stand point I’m not sure most beer league players are old enough to play in adult league, so Goalielocks would likely fit in perfectly.

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He was not to keen on the idea of being pummeled with pucks from beer leagurers living out their childhood fantasies of playing in the NHL.  However, the Hubby and Uncle Jon convinced him that nobody on the ice could shoot as fast or hard as anyone on his current team.  It took some convincing, but he eventually acquiesced as we drove back to grab his gear.

They held the game for us and our gear.  Consequently, Goalielocks quickly got dressed and took to the ice.  For Goalielocks, the game was a much slower pace than what he’s use to, but he was busy from start to finish.  He played phenomenally.  I’m pretty sure he’s the only goalie in beer league that can do the split.  This nice little trick caught the other team by surprise a couple of times.

Unfortunately, they pulled him with 5 minutes left in the 2nd when an adult goalie replacement was available.  Apparently, you have to be an adult (chronologically speaking) to play adult league.  While they’ve made exceptions for goalies before (in a pinch), it’s better from a liability standpoint to have an adult goalie in net.   He came off the ice smiling, but was still bummed he didn’t get to play the whole game.

Goalielocks walked into the locker room to get undressed and with a smile said, “they owe me a lot.”  And he would be right, he was kept very busy in net tonight.  Fortunately, he gave their team an opportunity to win.  In the end, he watched the third period from the stands with the rest of us fan.  Unfortunately, the goods guys lost 3-1.

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While he didn’t play the whole game, I could see that he enjoyed the opportunity to play with his family.  Likewise, judging from their reaction, they enjoyed the chance to have him in their net.  Of course the best part of the night, for my boys, was the free pizza, wings and beer post game.

Sometimes all compasses, all roads, and all maps lead us back to the same place.  For my family, our compass apparently only points us in the direction of the rink.  Moreover, forget the compass for a second, when I got leave to work or my house, my iPhone tells me how long it will take to get to the rink.  Such is life as a hockey mom and I wouldn’t change it for the world!

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P.S. Goalielocks also gets bonus points for making his mom dinner.  He made me awesome scrambled eggs and waffles!  The waffles were amazing!  Finally, the scrambled eggs were divine.

Tonight’s song is Adeste Fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful) performed by Celine Dion.  I love this song.

Blissful Moments

Blissful Moments

As crazy as our Saturday was, Sunday was divinely low key and full of blissful moments.  I spent the better part of my morning cuddling on the couch with my Mayor, which is hands down one of my favorite things. My hubby, who had run out to Home Depot was kind enough to return home with my coffee. Yay!

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I worked  on the living room getting it ready for the Christmas tree.  I’m happy to report that we’ll hit our goal of getting our Christmas tree up before Christmas.  It’s the small victories in life.  Now that it’s up, we’ll have to actually decorate it before the holiday.  Meanwhile, Goalielocks and the Mayor cleaned their animals cages and did their chores. Additionally, I finally got the photos of Maya and Athena from Petco!

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Sadly, we missed the Jingle Bell Jog in Delray this year.  Our hockey schedule made it impossible for us to make the race.  This race is one of my favorite 5ks in South Florida. Its fun to see all of the runners dressed as Santa Claus.  Morever, the course is a beautiful run up A1A along the ocean.  The view is absolutely incredible.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the mimosas and beer available post-race as it is a definite plus.  Unfortunately,  we’ll have to wait until next year’s event.

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Since we didn’t make it to the Jingle Bell jog, Goalielocks and I took the girls for a nice run this afternoon.  We logged 2.5 miles today and it was a good run.  As a fyi, I classify it as a good run when I don’t want to puke the entire run.  Nonetheless, nothing beats the bliss of the post run high or running with my boys.  I love that its another activity we can share together.  Much like hockey, they’re much better runners than me, but that’s okay.  Its just another way in which they amaze me.

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I’m thankful that I went in for the assisted stretch appointment yesterday.  My legs, including my left hip, were much looser than they were Saturday.  Additionally, my legs felt great on the run.  Where I was experiencing muscle pain or muscle cramps in my legs, I experienced none of that today.  After our run, I helped Goalielocks stretch his legs and then stretch mine.  I’ll be ready to run again tomorrow!

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Tonight I’m going to back up some of our mint cookies for Christmas.  After making the dough for the second time, I’m hoping to actually have some cookies to show for the dough I made.  If I delay baking these cookies, odds are they’ll never be made.  I’ll post some pictures for tomorrow’s blog if my boys don’t eat them!

Enjoy tonight’s song performed by Pentatonix is “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”  I love this song!

Split Saturday

Split Saturday

It was a split Saturday for our crew, as I stayed home w/ the Mayor and his squad while the Hubby traveled with Goalielocks’ to Clearwater for his games.  Fortunately, hubby was able to watch most of the Mayor’s  morning game before hitting the road.  The drive to Clearwater is tedious, long and boring.  In the winter, it’s much better as any rain on state road 60 makes for a hellacious drive.

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The Mayor’s team won decisively this morning with a 9-0 final score.  He played well and contributed a goal.  I really enjoy watching the Mayor play as he’s always grinding.   Moreover, his team works hard together and it shows.  Since I got to the game late, I got to watch the game w/ Hubby.   Although I enjoyed watching the game with Hubby, I did miss the good music at stoppages.

I had hoped to go to aerial yoga in between games, but by the time I could register that class had already been cancelled.  Insert sad face here….  Instead of yoga, I ended up going to Massage Envy for an assisted stretch session.   While my upper body is quite flexible, my legs especially my hamstrings, IT band, and quads are exceptionally tight.  I had hoped to run today, but the hip pain has been vexing.  Nevertheless, I took a rest day today after a good run (2.5 miles) last night.

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Since I’ve never did an assisted stretch session before, I opted for the 30 minute session in case I didn’t like it.  I should have booked the hour because it was amazeballs.  My therapist Teodora was outstanding and instantly recognized the tightness in my leg muscles.  I’ll be getting an assisted stretch at least once a week.  This should help my hip and knee pain on the left side.

After a productive afternoon of watching the Mayor play Assasin’s Creed, laundry and baking, the Mayor and I headed back to the rink.  His team’s second game was going to be a tough contest.  This team, Panther’s Gold, beat our squad (literally and figuratively) 9-0 last Sunday.  Ouch!  Today’s contest was much closer.

Our squad came out strong.  We didn’t let the embarrassment or sting of last week’s defeat define our play.  While the Panther’s went up early, our squad responded with goal early in the second period.  Fortunately, the Mayor’s team never gave up even when they were down.  I was so proud of them.  In fact, at one point during the game we were tied at 2-2.  We actually should have had another goal when our forward was tripped into the net with the puck, but the ref disagreed with our assessment.

We went into the third period with a tight contest.  In the beginning of the third, the Panther’s opened up the game by scoring two goals.  While our team could have given up, they didn’t.  We ended up putting another one in making for a 4-3 game with 30 seconds left on the clock.  Unfortunately, we came close to tying the game, but simply couldn’t bury the puck.   Nonetheless, I’d chalk that game up as a victory for our squad.  Tonight they showed they could compete with the number one team in their division.

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We headed home post game and The Mayor was begging to go to Sushi Yama, but I wanted him to shower first.  Fortunately, when we were home in between the game and dinner, we were able to see Santa as he came through the neighborhood on the firetruck.  Admittedly, I was a bit worried that the Mayor wasn’t going to be interested in it, but he ran outside with me to wave.

Our dinner date at Sushi Yama was fabulous!   The Mayor caught the waitresses eye and we got VIP service for our dinner.  Consequently, our waters were never empty and our food came out fast and fabulous.  My dinner companion was simply the best.  It doesn’t get better than spending some one on one with one of my kids.  We had a great conversation about his team and the games today.  I love how much he respects and adores his teammates.  Meanwhile in Tampa, Goalielocks met up with his BFF Scrub for dinner.

Now we’re binge watching Family Guy before it leaves NetFlix in March. (Why Netflix? Why?)  I may bake the Christmas cookies tonight since the dough I made Wednesday is already gone.  That’s right the dough is gone and not one cookie has been baked.  Yep., living with boys is a tough gig.  You have to be quick or they’ll eat everything!  While it’s not the most exciting Saturday night you could imagine, to me its the perfect Saturday night.

Tonight’s song performed by Andre Rieu is Silent Night.  P.S.A.  You want to know what’s not silent, pissed off hockey moms!

What a Week

What a Week

What a week!  Our Angel Tree events were an absolutely success!  I cannot get over how amazing it is to witness these precious children receiving their gifts.  Moreover, I beyond excited to grow our partnership with ARC through various volunteer opportunities.  Admittedly, I was proud of the team’s efforts and how they pulled together the drive, but I think we’re all exhausted.

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In the holiday season being able to help others even if it is in meager amounts is a gift.  It’s funny how as we get older Christmas morphs from a holiday about receiving gifts to a holiday about giving gifts.  They’re is truly more joy in giving than receiving. However, I do think its important to give ourselves gifts from time to time.

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For example, the last time I received a raise, I wanted to buy a nice pair of red bottomed shoes.  I think you know the shoes I’m talking about, but instead I bought a membership to the local fitness studio.  First, it was significantly cheaper than the red-bottomed shoes.  Secondly, there’s nothing better than little yoga or barre to get oneself re-centered.  I don’t do many things for myself – I drink my DD and I go to the gym, the rest is for my boys (all four of them.)  Seriously, I haven’t had pedicure since SAHOF (state hockey tournament), which happened in March.

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Of course, the hockey mom life entails acceptance of the fact all of your money, and I do mean all, goes to hockey  My boys, again all four, would have it no other way and truthfully nor would I.  Tonight my boys headed to practice as the Piggie and I headed out for a run. As I embarked on my run, one phrase kept running through my head “I’ll remember this.” There’s no need for a backstory here only the reminder that words can cut like a knife.

Tonight’s song performed by Michael Buble is “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.”

 

 

 

Magical Moments

Magical Moments

Our morning was filled with magical moments as we joined Santa to deliver gifts to the beautiful kids at ARC Broward.  This is my second year leading the initiative with my incredible partner in crime MK.  Consequently, it was also my second time attending the gift delivery.  Last year,  the event blew my away.  When I left last year’s event my heart was full after watching these kids and their parents relish their moment with Santa and their gifts.  I couldn’t wait to go back!

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This year ARC Broward’s preschool is under new leadership, so we’ve been working with new people.  Can I just tell you how amazing these people are?  They do an incredible job educating, advocating and creating futures for people with disabilities.  When we first arrived,  Shawn ushered us into a room where ARC’s Culinary program had catered in breakfast.  Their culinary program provides post high school education via a certificate to adults with disabilities.  The food was absolutely amazing!

As we finished our amazing breakfast, ARC’s high school class came into the room to visit us.  They performed a couple of songs and posed for pictures with all of us and Santa.  It was magical.  These high schoolers had incredible energy and were filled with joy. ARC’s commitment to these teens and young adults is to give them the skillset to find a job they want in the community.  Indeed, it’s all about creating opportunities for these students to excel.

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Afterwards we headed over to the preschool to start handing out the gifts. I struggle to words that adequately describe how beautiful and amazing it is to watch these kids receive their gifts and see Santa.  While some were afraid to sit on Santa’s lap, many were excited beyond belief.  They bounded with joy to get their presents and see Santa.  Their innocence, excitement, happiness and gratitude were overwhelming. It’s hard to watch without getting misty.

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I was so excited to buy for my angels after having met them both last year.  These two girls are incredibly sweet and full of energy.  Fortunately, I had the opportunity to give one of my angels her gift today.   Moreover, I was able to meet her mom (who’s incredible) and chat with her for a bit.  Many times we donate to charities or toy drives and don’t have the luxury of getting to witness the child receiving the gift. I can tell you that there is nothing better than watching a child receive that gift.

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It’s no wonder that we left today’s event with a full heart and complete joy.  There’s something beyond gratifying in making someone’s world a little better.  As we go on our journey around the sun, it is easy for us to get stuck in the rat race.  We don’t have to be stuck!  We can live our legend, even if we’re punching the clock at a 9 to 5.  Sure we’re not crossing the Sahara looking for an alechemist, but we can find ways to fee our soul.  For me, it’s paying it forward via Angel Tree or raising funds an awareness for pancreatic cancer research.  It doesn’t have to be grandiose to be magical.  It would be a small, purple pony that you give to a little sister who didn’t think she’d be getting a gift.  Sometimes it’s all about the small things.

Tonight’s song performed by U2 is “Christmas.”

Riches of Inheritance

Riches of Inheritance

Oh the riches of inheritance! I know that many people get caught up in will, estates and tax planning, but the real gems of inheritance aren’t always subject to estate taxes.  As a matter of fact, one of our most prized inherited items is in the featured photo.  My hubby received my mother-in-law’s Suomi hockey jersey bearing the number 24 and her maiden name Ketola shortly after her passing. I’ve had the honor of wearing it to games and during parent kid games.  It gives me great pride and a feeling of connection when any of us wear it.

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As a child, my favorite Christmas memories were making cookies with my mom, brothers and grandma.  My mom always made molasses cookies with us, which is a recipe passed down from her dad’s family.  Now that I have kids of my own, we make these treasured molasses Christmas every year.  Truthfully, I think the kids prefer to bake them with Grandma Dawn, but I’ll gladly take second place to my mom.

Sometimes it’s not a treasured item or recipe that we inherit, sometime’s it’s pride in one’s heritage.  Both of my grandfather’s families immigrated to the United States from Norway.  Additionally, My grandfathers were  very proud of their Norwegian heritage.  This pride is definitely my brothers and I inherited from my mom, my dad and my grandparents.  Consequently, our trip as a family to  Norway where we saw our family farms and land was of monumental importance to all of us.  It was a true connection to our heritage, our ancestors and to each other as a family.

My mother-in-law was 100% Finnish whose parents immigrated to the US from Finland.  She was, as evidenced by the Suomi jersey, extremely proud of her Finnish heritage.  My boys are very proud of their Finnish and Norwegian heritage.  We’ve already been to Norway to see my family’s origin.  Our plan is to explore Finland to see where my MIL’s family came from.  Incidentally,  if my kid’s spend a year studying abroad in Norway or Finland, I wouldn’t be surprised.

We’ve been given a lot of inherited gifts.   It might be tokens and reminders of those who’ve passed, pride in our heritage, character traits, or even family recipes.  Lastly, inheritance isn’t all about money, but rather the intangible gifts passed down from generation to generation.

Tonight’s song is Celine Dion’s amazing rendition of “O Holy Night.”