One Day More

One day more until Jake ships out to basic. I can’t believe the day has finally arrived. Today itself has been quite unreal as he said goodbye to the house, our beloved puppies, his brothers and his beloved Mel.

We dropped him off at the recruiter’s office where we waited an hour and half for the shuttle to take off. From there he went to MEPS to complete paperwork and get ready to ship out. Tomorrow he’ll have another physical before taking the oath of enlistment.

I did pretty good for most of the day. Until I took my dog for walk this afternoon. I have a gratitude/relaxation playlist that I like to listen to when I walk. When Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole I lost my ish. There I was walking my dog, enjoying the scent of th Hong Kong orchids and ugly crying. I don’t know why it hit me at that exact moment, but it lasted for a good mile and a half.

I was a complete mess. I finally started to get my shit together and then John Lennon’s Imagine triggered me again. As I walked and cried, I thought about how all the moments of his life prepared us all for this moment. From his first day of preschool to his last day of high school everything was getting us ready for him to fly the coop. Here were are on that day and he is ready to soar and I’m struggling to let go.

Tonight the boys, Mel and I headed to Miami to join Jake for dinner. He was finished at MEPS around 6, so we got there around 6:30 after missing the exit the first time around. Dinner at the hotel was quick and convenient. My salad was great, but everyone else’s burgers looked like hockey pucks. We did indulge in some dessert since it seemed like the perfect occasion to eat our feelings.

Jake, the hubby and I were the original trio. It was us three for almost five years before Colin came along. As Jake grew up, so did we. Tonight as we drive back from seeing him in Miami, I am in awe of the many he has become. Love you Jake!

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Down to the Wire

We’re down to the wire in our countdown to Jake’s departure for the Air Force. Honestly, it still feels completely surreal. I had a hard time sleeping last night after a crazy day of amped up hockey and emotions. Reading Crime and Punishment before bed isn’t helping my sleep either. Last night, however, I was in an anxious space between sleep and being awake. It’s just a lot to process.

My alarm for synthroid is set for 5:00 am, so I didn’t need to set a separate alarm for the Mayor’s games today. Unfortunately, when I got out of bed it was clear that another early start to a really long day wouldn’t work for my body. I went back to sleep, but still couldn’t find a peaceful sleep.

I got my Dunkin’ and headed to Kohl’s this morning to do some Christmas shopping. Fortunately, I essentially had the store to myself and was in and out in minutes. The store was also fully stocked, so I was able to pick up some great gifts. After Kohl’s I took drove Jake to Mel’s, so they could celebrate Christmas together.

We met Mel, Jake and the Florida aunts and uncles for lunch at ZinBurger at the Boca mall. By some miracle of god, I was able to find parking in short order. This was a win since the snow birds driving 30 mph doubled our drive time. The burgers (gluten free bun), fries and coffee were absolutely fabulous.   My favorite part was definitely the french fries, which came as a charitable sized side order.   Next time, however,  I’ll opt to forego the bun instead of getting the gluten free one.  The restaurant was nice and not too pricy. It as the perfect venue for lunch. In hindsight, it might have been a good idea to separate Uncle Jon and Goalielocks as there were lots of shenanigans coming from them.

Meanwhile on the west coast, my Mayor played two great games. His squad came through with two critical win. They’re now in first place in their division. Happily, my fellow goalie mom Erica broadcasted the entirety of the Mayor’s second game. It was awesome that I was able to watch it live. I love watching that kid and his squad play!

Goalielocks has spent the day cleaning his room in anticipation of moving into his new digs later this week. With Jake leaving for basic, Goalielocks is super anxious to move into the bigger room. Unfortunately for him, I won’t let him move into his new room until his old one is clean.

As I enjoy my hibachi leftovers from lady night, Jake and Mel went back for more this evening.  It’s hard to believe that tonight will mark the last night Jake sleeps at home until after trade school. He’ll be spending the tomorrow night in a hotel near MEPs.  We’ll be driving down as a family to have a dinner with him after he finishes processing. Tuesday morning the hubby and I will head back to Miami to watch him take the oath of enlistment. From there , he’ll depart for basic training and this hockey mom will become a military mom.

Countdown clock: two days (can’t believe we’re down to the wire!)

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Three

Three events today. Two at the rink and a dinner afterwards. It was a busy day to say the least. It also happens to be the number of days until Jake leaves for basic, which is crazy talk. Three was also the number of jackets I thought I’d need for the normally frosty rink. However, my Graves was raging today, so I was quite comfortable in just a hoodie.

We left our house bright and early for Goalielocks’ game in Kendall this morning. Since we had to be there by 7:45, we left the house at 6:30 am with a car full of crankiness. It’s been a minute since we’ve had all the kids in one car, but old habits die hard. We hadn’t even left the driveway yet and they were already arguing about space.

Goalielocks first game was quite exciting. Sadly, due to timing and a suspension we were down a couple of players., which put pressure on a shorter bench. Thankfully, Goalielocks played really well. He saw a lot of shots, which is good for him, but bad for goalie mom. Fortunately, his offense was able to find the back of the net and put my nerves at ease. His team went up 2-1 in the third, which helped me relax a bit.

Unfortunately, one of his teammates was knocked out on a play late in the third. I was working the penalty box when the play unfolded in front of me. He grabbed his head suddenly and then lost consciousness as he fell to the ice. In the end, he was out for a couple of minutes. It was absolutely scary; we were all relieved when he regained consciousness. Thankfully, they didn’t need to transport him via ambulance.  He left the ice and play continued.  Our boys put in a quick goal after his injury making the final score 3-1. Fortunately, he was able to come back through the handshake line after the game was over.

The second game was closer and Goalielocks was busy! In the second game., we had our two players that missed the morning back , but lost one to a concussion in the earlier game. Thankfully, he was released from the ER in time to support the team. The game’s pace kept my heart elevated throughout. It wasn’t a good game for my goalie mom nerves. They out shot is 2:1, but the game ended in a tie. Our boys worked hard to find the back of the net. All in all, Goalielocks had a great day at the rink.

After hockey, we headed to a farewell dinner for Jake at a hibachi restaurant with his Florida aunts and uncles. As always, the food didn’t disappoint. Goalielocks killed his plate after not eating enough throughout the day. I’m proud to say that I was not a member of the clean plate club. I left three pieces of filet and fried rice for the hubby to eat tomorrow.

We had a great night and an exhausting day. It was great to have the whole family together at the rink for one last weekend. It certainly felt like the beginning days of our hockey lives as we always travelled as a pack of five in those days. Jake got to see a lot of hockey families we’ve known for awhile and meet some new ones. It was great to see everyone excited for his future. Moreover, it was great having all the support for our family. Tomorrow brings another early day with lots of hockey, so this hockey mom is off to bed.

Countdown clock: three days

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Time is Ticking

Time is ticking away. We’re less than four days away from Jake leaving for Basic training. We’re so excited for Jake and all that he will achieve in the Air Force. After all this is the natural order of things. You raise kids, hope they turn out ok and send them out into the world. Only it hurts. It’s hurts to let go and acknowledge that this phase of his life and ours will soon be over.

Inside a myriad of emotions swirl about at a million miles an hour (thank you Graves) that it’s hard to make sense of it all sometimes. At its core is the immense pride and joy in seeing our eldest son leave the nest with a great plan for success. In that core is also sadness and regret that it’s time for us to let go and let him fly.

Needless to say, if you see me and Luke in a rink this weekend (because that’s where we’ll be,) we’ll definitely be in need of all the love, hugs, encouragement, prayers and coffee one can find because time keeps ticking away.

 

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Happy Birthday Big Papa

Today we wish a very happy birthday to Big Papa, who turns 96 today. Luke’s grandfather has been one of my favorite people since the moment I met him. His heart is as a big as his tall frame. Throughout our marriage, Big Papa has always been one of our strongest supporters. We are forever grateful for all the time we have spent with him and for his love and support.

Jake and I were blessed to spend sometime with him in October on Jake’s farewell tour. He looks absolutely amazing for a 97 year old man. Unfortunately, he’s in a memory care facility with little of his memory left. Words cannot describe how beautiful it was to see his eye light up with Grandpa Steve told him Jake was joining the Air Force. It was magic.

He didn’t remember me, but he responded to Steve’s news by saying Jacob with the German pronunciation. He had an uncle Jakob and has always associated our Jake with his uncle. Throughout most the visit he spoke mostly German with some English sprinkled in. It was a special time. While he did not remember me, he thought I was way too young and pretty to be Jake’s mom. Score one for Grandpa Ed – still my favorite Lorbach!

We love you!  Happy Birthday Big Papa!

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Progress

Progress isn’t always the number on the scale or the time on the race clock. Sometimes progress is being strong enough to carry the weight of life’s burdens. Sometimes progress is mastering a yoga pose that has eluded you for years. Today I slayed my white whale of yoga poses: the headstand.

This seemingly simple pose has eluded me since I started practicing over a decades ago. Honestly, it’s been quite vexing to be so challenged by a pose so easily attained throughout my entire childhood. Yet, here I was an adult yogi that couldn’t do a headstand on her own.

So how did this victory come about? After all, I’ve just returned to my yoga practice last month. While, here’s the deal. My fellow blogger posted on the movies Brittany Runs a Marathon. I had heard great things about it, but still hadn’t watched it. Her post was the final push I needed.

Wednesday afternoon as I folded an infinite supply of laundry, I watched Brittany Runs a Marathon. The movie was fantastic and I totally recommend you watch it. Obviously, the ending (much like the Titanic) is a give away, but that’s not the most important part of the story. Brittany’s transition to a runner and her finishing the NYC marathon is the key here. Throughout it all, including an injury, she perseveres. It was enough for me; I was totally inspired.

Last night I was working on my inversions in my yoga silk. It dawned on me that it was absolutely ridiculous that I the headstand remained elusive. After all, I have the strength and the balance. Finally, I resolved that I would slay the beast and move my practice forward.

Today’s yoga class brought the perfect opportunity! We were using blocks to help get into the proper position. My teacher was helping another student into the headstand when I decided to try it on my own. You can imagine my surprise and delight when I was able to go up into a headstand on my own. Yep, I was jubilant!

Meanwhile, Jake’s been busy getting ready for basic as we’re now only five days from him leaving. As Athena and I took our walk today, I couldn’t help but lament our lack remaining time together. Tomorrow will end the work week give way to a whirlwind weekend of hockey and goodbyes.

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Six Days

Six days until my boy is wheels up and on his way to basic. Our impending new reality is drawing closer and closer and I’m full on Charlie Kelly freaking out. If you don’t watch It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, you probably should.  The lump in my throat that arose when he gave me his BMT has come and gone over the past couple of months. Not anymore that anxiety laden lump in the throat tears in the eyes are here to stay.

We couldn’t be happier for Jake and his future. It’s just that he’s our little boy in the Buzz Lightyear costume leaving voicemails for his grandpa. Now he’s joining the greatest military in the world. If he had been assigned a different job he had applied for he, like Buzz Lightyear, would have been assigned to the space force. It’s just tough to admit that this chapter of our life is over and a new one is beginning in a mere six days. Damn those six days!

I’ve been blessed to spend these last several months with Jake after leaving corporate America. Thankfully, the timing has been amazing. I’ll always be grateful for the time Jake and I have gotten to spend together this fall. Nevertheless, the anxiety and nerves are in full freak out mode. I’m trying my best to avoid gluten, which increases my Graves’ symptoms, but it’s hard when you’re eating everything you see.

In other news, I started Kayla Itsines BBG on the Sweat app. At first, it’s the beginner course which covers eight weeks. Ordinarily, I would have skipped the beginner part and jumped to the regular workout. However, I’ve been out of commission for awhile and need to start out slow. Stayed tuned for reviews and updates.

Sadly, I missed my yoga class today but it was for good reason. Since Jake turned in his lease, we’re down to two cars. He really wanted to spend time with M today, so I let him take my care tonight. Consequently, the Piggie and I found serenity and gratitude on our walk instead of our mats. I did, however, help Jake with inversions on the yoga swing. These will be a great way for him to build strength and decompress the spine before he leaves.

Tonight has been spent trying to manage our schedule through Tuesday. It’s the middle of hockey and holiday season, so our schedule couldn’t possibly get crazier. Naturally, It’s Always Sunny will he playing the background.

The Last of the Travelers

The last of the travelers, my parents, headed back to Minnesota after almost two week in paradise. It was paradise for them on account of perfect weather and having their whole family present. Likewise it was paradise, completely uplifting, for us having them here. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.

We started their last day in paradise with a nice hot cup of Dunkin. This morning our temperatures dipped into the refreshing 40s, so most were hundred up. It is mornings like this that my heat intolerance comes in handy.

With our Dunkin’ in hand, we headed upstairs to work in Jake’s room. He’s started to pack up his room, so it will be ready when he’s off to his first duty station. Meanwhile, Goalielocks is delighted and counting down the days until he can move into the much larger room. On the other hand, it was emotional for me. It’s hard to believe this time next week, he’ll be on a flight to Basic Training.  In between the organizing and coffee, my mom and I took Athena for a nice 1.5 mile walk. Today’s highs were in the 60s and there were few clouds in the skies. Our Florida weather was sublime. I love those days when we can open up our windows.

My parents were a bit anxious, rightfully so, about the check in and security lines. Consequently, we headed to the airport early. Traffic was light and uneventful other than the snowbird driving 45 mph on the turnpike. It’s one December 2nd and I’m already over them.

We got home and my mom texted that they had made it to their gate and that there were cookies stashed in the freezer. I guess the gluten free diet will start once those are gone! Fortunately, they got to their gate pretty quickly, but the travelers were delayed by mechanical issues. Thankfully, they were able to get out this evening. Nonetheless, the house feels empty now that they’re gone and it’s about to get worse.

For the next week, I’m pretty sure I’ll be vacillating between abject sadness, complete pride, excitement, denial and a whole myriad of emotions I haven’t even thought of yet. You might want to say a prayer for the hubby as he deals with me coping with all of that plus his own emotions.

 

Hockey and Holiday Madness

The last several days have been nothing but hockey and holiday madness. I mean complete and utter mayhem. Our Thanksgiving started off with rushed morning we had to drop off the food at my bro’s before heading to the Mayor’s gams. We had also orchestrated a plan to surprise him with the whole family coming to his game. Thus delaying our Thanksgiving meal just a bit.

The slight delay was well worth it and the Mayor was pumped to see everyone at his game. Note to readers if you have nieces and nephews involved in activities, make an effort to see as many games, recitals and concerts as you can. It means everything to them.

Unfortunately, the game didn’t go the way we wanted with the KB Stars, from the Czech Republic, handily beating us. The Mayor played a very physical game and wasn’t afraid to check the kids that were over six feet tall. Honestly, whenever the Mayor’s on the ice, he’s working as hard as he can and isn’t one to avoid the mayhem. He was even able to draw a penalty against them after pinning one to the boards.

Fortunately, he was able to shower post game at my brother’s house. There are probably few things in this world that smell worse than a fourteen year old hockey player after a game, but I can’t think of one. My sister in laws left the game a bit early, so by the time we got there the cooking was well underway.

As with every Thanksgiving, I started the day with the best intentions. I was going to abstain from gluten and dessert. Truthfully, my doctor thought I should be a bit flexible with my diet around the holidays, so naturally I exploited that flexibility to the fullest. There wasn’t a carb being served that I didn’t it. Fortunately, I was wearing sweatpants on account of the Mayor’s game at a cold rink.

The annual football game had the added delight of the boys’ cousins X and P and their uncle J being in town from Minny. It was a lot of fun watching them play against their uncles and burn off the turkey calories. As for me, I watched the game and made friends with a woman from the UP, who happened to be walking her beautiful Golden through the park. We ended the night at Mel’s house playing Jack Box games with the family.

Your welcome

Unfortunately, the hockey gods were unkind with the Mayor’s schedule, so we had to be in Pines by 7:00 am Friday morning. Since Pines is so far away, we were out of bed at 5:00 and out the door before 5:45 am. To say I was Graves raging all morning would be an understatement. It didn’t help that the rink was 15-20 degrees colder than normal. As some one with a heat intolerance issue I didn’t anticipate suffering from hypothermia at the rink. Fortunately, the boys picked up the W and my mayor played well. For my post game celebration, I grabbed another cup of Dunkin and sent the Mayor home with his friend.

Fortunately, I was able to relax on the couch before the Mayor’s second game of the day. Naturally, on my way to the rink, I stopped for my third cup of Dunkin. Even with the three coffees, my exhaustion level was defcon 10. Nevertheless, I’ll move mountains to watch my boys play. I thought my boy worked hard, but the team came up short. Good news is you need to learn how to lose before you can win.

After a quick post game shower for him and cat nap on the couch for me, we headed with the rest of our family to my brother’s for taco Friday. My oldest bro and his family were flew out Saturday’s so this was our last chance to hangout and do the white elephant game.

Dinner was terrific, but the white elephant game was magnificent! Some of my favorite moments were: Jake winning the Justin Bieber memorabilia, including a singing toothbrush and M’s dad winning a cache of Korean beauty products. Goalielocks won a one minute mystery game that we played immediately. The game was quite fun, however, the big mystery didn’t come from the game. Rather the true whodunit arose when there were farts coming from the bench where the Mayor and X were sitting. Neither would claim the odorous magnificence, but both were laughing hysterically and soon so was everyone else. Sadly, another early alarm cut our night shut.

Saturday I was ready to leave the house with Goalielocks by 8:00 am, so we could make his practice in Miami on time. While the Goalie was dawdling, the Mayor was fully dressed for his 8:00 pm game… Truly, it was a tale of two kids. As always, Goalielocks’ practice didn’t disappoint. Good food, good hockey, good friend and great coffee, what could be better?!?!

By the time I made it to the Mayor’s game, I had already put on 290 miles on my car and had drank 3 large cups of coffee. However, I changed up my afternoon coffee enjoying a wonderful cafe con leche. Saturday night’s game was full of mayhem. It was fast, it was physical and my Mayor was on fire. He had an awesome assist followed by a great goal. The whole game he and his teammates worked hard. In the end, they were able to hold on and secure the hard fought win.

We ended the night by celebrating at Coldstone with some ice cream. I finally made it home after midnight with more than 200 miles logged on the car. Needless to say, I took several naps and drank lots of coffee yesterday. Our weekend may have been complete hockey and holiday madness, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!