A Life Well-Lived

“A life well-lived is the most exquisite form of art,” wrote Erwin McManus. This weekend my family lost our matriarch, my great Grandmother. As I contemplated her passing, I kept coming back to a life well-lived. Her life, while never easy, exemplified this axiom. My great grandmother Nellie Brown (nee Reynolds) and her twin sister Zella (Caroyln) were born on May 16, 1916, in Long Prairie to Florence and Andrew Reynolds. At this point, there were only 3.3 million cars registered in the entire US while only 11% of the population had a telephone. When she was just a toddler, the Great War was winding down, but the Spanish Flu epidemic was in full swing. She began her life as the Spanish flu pandemic took hold and her life ended as we continue to contend with COVID. Can you imagine how different the world is now compared to 1916?

Great Grandma Brown, her sister Zella and her mom circa 1920

Shortly after my grandmother’s birth, her father headed to Europe to fight in the Great War. After the war, her father left and her mother remarried. She grew up in Long Prairie, where she met her husband. In fact, she was telling Jake and me tales of watching Lindy practice while tending to the fields. In fact, they would wave as he flew over and he would tip his wings to them. Of course, Lindy was Charles Lindbergh and this was long before his famous flight across the Atlantic in the Spirit of St. Louis. As we drove back to my folks that day, Jake and I were trying to wrap our heads around the massive changes she witnessed in her 104 years. I would give anything to be able to sit with her again and listen to her stories.

One thing that was clear about my Grandmother is that change didn’t challenge her. Her generation was no stranger to loss having experienced both World Wars, the Spanish flu, the great depression, polio, the Korean and Vietnam wars. Perhaps that is why she was so adaptable and resilient. In fact, as the age of the internet broke, she didn’t run from it. She had an old computer that she used until she lost her eyesight. How many people can say they got emails and forwards from their Great Grandma? Not many, but I can. Undoubtedly, her adaptability and great genes played a role in her longevity, but it was more than that.

My Great Grandma lived her life according to three pillars: love, family, and God. As she held Jake’s hand that blustery October day, she shared the importance of rooting himself in love, family and God. I was struck at the moment by the power of her words, influence, and the moment. I was blessed to witness that moment. On that trip, she and Jake formed a deep bond that he’ll carry with him forever. We spent many weekends at my Great Grandmother’s house with our extended family. Our extended family is huge! Yet, she delighted in hosting all of us. Family really was everything to her. After my grandfather lost his mother to cancer in the mid 50’s, my great-grandma treated him as if he was her own child. She loved my Grandpa dearly.

She lived independently in her own house until the very end. After she suffered a stroke two weeks ago, my grandma and aunt stayed by her side. My heart aches for my Grandma, who just lost her mom. I took a picture of them together during our last visit. When I look at that picture, I realize no matter how old we get, we always want and need our mother. My Great Grandma was a woman, who lived according to her own terms. It is no wonder that she left this world exactly as she lived in it surrounded by love and family. Until we meet again Great Great Grandma, godspeed.

Nellie Brown 5/16/1916-1/30/2021

What Goes Up

What goes up, must come down. Or so goes the saying. In this case, it’s mighty true. While the arrival of my airman caused elation, his departure caused sadness. I guess I had hoped that the goodbyes would get easier as time goes by, but this has turned out to be false. True, I have more peace of mind now that he’s comfortably in his role, yet it doesn’t change the fact that I miss having him home. The myriad of emotions that the military parent goes through is like the tallest roller coaster at Universal. It’s one hell of an exhilarating ride. The goodbye is so tough, but we couldn’t be more proud of what he’s accomplished.

His visit, unlike most Mondays, went by in the flash of an eye. Like seriously, I’m pretty sure he just landed yesterday. At any rate, it was so good to have the house full again. Our sweet Anakin, albeit shy at first, took quite a liking to Jake. Athena and Maya were stoked to have him back home again. Unbelievably, Athena seems to know when he was leaving. As we prepared to go and took the last few pictures in front of the tree, she sat on the couch looking downcast and depressed. She’s quite the perceptive puppy. When saying goodbye, I try my best to be stoic. He’s the kind of kid that would feel guilty and that’s the last thing I’d want. Admittedly, this time I failed in my attempt to be stoic.

Truly, the best gift was seeing my three boys together. Since Jake’s left for the service, his relationships with his brothers have shifted dramatically. After he left, the first question I asked Jake was if he missed his Siamese twin. Throughout his visit home, the Mayor had attached himself to Jake’s hip. If we went anywhere or did anything, he had to sit next to Jake or ride home with Jake. Previously, he would have balked at the suggestion. Meanwhile, Goalielocks and Jake also spent quality time together. Perhaps my favorite memory from his visit home was his brothers fighting over who got to ride home with him from Uncle Jon’s.

And now, here we are the first Monday in 2021. The boys are back in school and I’m working late. There’s been no grandiose shift since the new year has started. I’m still working my way through BBG, which is amazing. In the midst of Jake’s visit, I didn’t get all the workouts down last week, so I’m repeating week 33. Fortunately, I really enjoyed the leg workout from work 33, so I’m looking forward to the repeat. I had hoped to run this morning before work, but the weather and my stomach were not so accommodating. Oh well, I shall try again tomorrow.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Red and The Black, by Stendhal

*It’s day 1 of BBG 3.0 week 9, which means it is leg day.

*Still trying to get the Mayor a rapid COVID test. This whole thing sucks.

*Today I thought about running two miles and that’s as far as it got. Somes days it’s just not meant to be.

*What goes up, must come down. Unless of course, you’re talking about my, post thyroid disease, weight, which only stays up.

*Today’s word of the day is galavant. I cannot wait to go galavanting through Europe once this pandemic is over.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. I’m a bit sick of them tracking in the mud on the freshly vacuumed white tiles. It has been so humid here in the mornings that they’re getting a bit muddy in the backyard.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is Here Comes the Sun, by the Beatles.

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The Day is Finally Here

The day is finally here that special day we have all longed for. The end of 2020. To be certain, 2020 was a dumpster fire of a year, but that’s not to say there weren’t some bright spots. It’s become too easy to focus on all the negative 2020 has brought, mostly because it’s omnipresent, but 2020 has also brought us some blessings. First of all, we got a chance to slow down the pace of life. The pandemic brought a hard stop to the incredible business of our lives. Since our kids started travel hockey a decade ago, every weekday and weekend has been incredibly busy. It was nice, for once, to not have anywhere to go. Obviously, the novelty of nothing to do wore off really quickly.

Unquestionably, 2020’s greatest blessing was watching our son graduate from BMT. Having a kid far from home with no way to contact them was a test of strength for us. His graduation couldn’t come fast enough for the hubby and me. When we caught our first glimpse of him during the Airmen’s Run, we could tell he had changed. The way he carried himself was completely different. In fact, I would say we dropped off a boy at the recruiter’s office in December to be reunited with a man at BMT graduation. Truly, the change was that dramatic. More importantly, it was obvious that he was where he belonged.

His class was one of the last classes to have public graduation ceremonies before the pandemic shut them down. In fact, our first clue at how severe this pandemic would become while on base for his graduation. We just happened to be on base when the Americans evacuated from Wuhan arrived on JBSA Lackland and the base hotel. It was surreal seeing the CDC folks there in their contagion suits. I shudder to think of how I would have felt if we had been denied the opportunity to see him graduate from Bootcamp. Undoubtedly, his BMT graduation will forever be one of my best and proudest memories.

Of course, he left BMT for tech school and his transition continued. Now he’s at this FDS and in his first “real” job. I have no idea what he does, but I’m sure it’s pretty spectacular. Nevertheless, 2020 gave us the gift of watching our child launch from unsure teenager to mature and gainfully employed adult. That’s pretty awesome! There will be no “Failure to Launch” parodies inspired by this kid. Now our oldest has started his career in a growing field, which will always be in demand, and continues to develop in his role in the service. Moreover, he’s taking advantage of the resources provided to continue his education and broaden his skill set. I’d say we’re pretty proud of him, but that would be a gross understatement of how we feel about his accomplishments.

2020 also brought us our newest addition to the family, Anakin. It’s been almost a year since we’ve added him to the family. Athena and Maya love him dearly and he loves them. Amazingly, all three dogs get along very well. He and Athena have the best time playing together, while Maya basks in the joys of being left alone. Albeit, Maya does like to join in on the play from time to time. She does, however, enjoy the fact that Athena no longer harasses her to play all day every day. All three dogs are happy to have Jake home for the holidays. They also enjoy our new normal of work from home and virtual school.

Anyway, the day is finally here. We’ve waited since March for this dreaded dumpster fire of a year to be over. While I sift out the negativity that 2020 brought, over and over and over again, I count the blessings that the year brought. I reflect in gratitude at how much good came out of a year that was so very bad. Here’s to 2021 a year full of love, gratitude, health, and opportunity!

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Red and The Black, Stendhal by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 4 of BBG 3.0 week 8, which means it is cardio day. However, I still have to complete the arm workout.

*I’m so excited!!!! He’s here!

*Our NYE’s plans have completely blown up as our youngest was exposed to the virus. He won’t be playing in that 3v3 tournament after all. Bummer!

*I will, hopefully, finish my baking again. We’re doing a brunch 2.0 for Jake.

*Today I ran two miles and walked a quarter of a mile. I’ve started running with Anakin outside since the weather has been nice. He’s much faster than me, so it’s been quite the adventure.

*Today’s word of the day is turn. I cannot wait for the year to turn as I watch the countdown in understated elegance (aka my pajamas.)

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. I’m a bit sick of them tracking in the mud on the freshly vacuumed white tiles. It has been so humid here in the mornings that they’re getting a bit muddy in the backyard.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is How Great Thou Art performed by Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill:

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours. As I write this, we’re still celebrating with family at my brother’s house. I thought I’d write while we wait for the the steaks to be finished. Lord knows I could use some protein after carb loading this morning. Speaking of morning, I started my day early since I decided to make a double batch of caramel rolls.

Before we opened presents, I started the second batch of caramel rolls. Meanwhile, I set out the first batch to bring the dough back to room temperature. Fortunately, the boys sleep in later on Christmas morning now that they’re older. I even managed to make a quick trip to Dunkin to grab a coffee before we opened presents.

It was awesome having Jake back home to open presents. We definitely missed him last year. Although he was the highlight of last year’s brunch when he called us from BMT to wish us a merry Christmas. I know having him home for the holidays is the equivalent of winning the military lottery, so I’m cherishing our holiday all together. I was definitely filled with jubilation when I heard his leave had been approved.

We had a wonderful brunch with family and friends, who have become friends. In addition to our traditional mimosas, I added a peach Bellini to the drink menu. Additionally, my sister-in-law added some coquito to the mix. Unbelievably, we went through more than 40 rolls, a pan and a half of cholesterol bake, hash browns and countless cookies. Needless to say, we were all in a carb coma after the meal.

Afterwards, we cleaned up the leftovers, while the Roomba vacuumed up for us. The hubby took a quick nap and then we headed over to Mel’s house for games. At Mel’s we played dachshund themed Monopoly game followed by poker. I lost badly at both games.


Now we’re finishing the day at my brother’s house with another awesome meal. Fortunately, this one is heavy on the protein. Albeit, I couldn’t pass up Brandi’s incredible hash browns. Consequently, I have now eaten enough in one day to meet my calorie requirement for the rest of December. For the love of humanity and my clothes, I should probably fast all day tomorrow. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

All I Ever Wanted

“All I ever wanted, all I needed was you…” Yep, my happiness can easily be summed up with the lyrics from a Depeche Mode song. Now all I want for Christmas is all three of my kids under the same roof. Our airman made it home safe and sound for Christmas earlier in the week. Hence the lack of communication here. Obviously, I’ve been spending my time with him these past few days. However, I’m working today and he’s out on a lunch date with his beautiful girlfriend, so here I am.

The reunion between Jake and our puppies was absolutely priceless. After all this time, they remembered him like he left yesterday. There was a lot of excitement on their part. In fact, Athena, who is not a cuddler at all, spent Sunday morning cuddling with him on the couch. A dog’s love is wholesome, complete, and unconditional. It was a beautiful thing to witness. Initially, we let out just Maya and Athena, so they could reunite with Jake without interference from Anakin. Eventually, Anakin joined the party and welcomed Jake home with lots of kisses to his ears.

We headed to church with Jake to surprise Mel, who was signing that morning. It was a fabulous service. Afterwards we headed to brunch with Mel and her family. Goaleilocks had to work, so he and Papa Nerd stayed home. As for the rest of the time, I’ve really made no plans. Whatever my boy wants to do that’s what we’ll do. Lord knows he has plenty of structure in the service. In the mornings, he’s been hitting the clubhouse gym, which pales in comparison to his gym on base, with the Mayor. I went with them Tuesday, so I could complete my leg day workout. My workout schedule is all sorts of off this week. Nevertheless, the clubhouse gym provided a much needed opportunity to amp up my workout.

I’ve been baking for our Christmas brunch all week. Initially, I had some pretty ambitious plans, but I have decided to keep it simple this year. Mostly because it took three attempts to get the mint cookies completed since the dough goes quite fast. Yesterday, I baked another batch of mint cookies, the joulutorts (Finnish star cookies,) and mint bars. I’m going to start my caramel rolls this morning, so everything is ready to rock and roll tomorrow morning. I’ll also get the pulla baked today. Both take significant time to make, but most of it is not active time. There’s a lot of waiting involved for both breads. Late this evening, I’ll knock out the Krumakes if I’m up to it. Those could be easily made tomorrow morning before guests arrive. We will be filling them with whipped cream, cloudberry jam, lingonberry jam and blueberry jam.

Speaking of cookies, my dear friend Brian dropped off his famous Christmas cookies Tuesday afternoon. It was such a gift to see him. Naturally, we really enjoyed the cookies. In fact, they didn’t see Tuesday night. Moreover, my airman and him were able to speak about their experiences in the Air Force. It was nice to be a party to the conversation. As we celebrate Christmas Eve tonight and Christmas tomorrow, my heart will be full. Rest assured we will savor every moment we have with all three of our boys during the holiday season. While our hearts our full of gratitude, we hold in our heart the servicemen and women that aren’t able to be with their families this holiday season. Lastly, we send them and their families our love, gratitude and prayers.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Red and The Black, Stendhal by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 4 of BBG 3.0 week 7, which means it is cardio day. However, I still have to complete the arm workout.

*I’m so excited!!!! He’s here!

*We’re headed to church with Mel and her family for Christmas Eve. Afterwards, we’re heading to my brother’s for some appetizers and games.

*I will, hopefully, finish my baking.

*I am enjoying the MN Christmas blizzard from afar. Our temps are a bit warm today as we head back into the 80s.

*I actually know that today is Friday and I’m pretty excited about it. It’s here and I’m pretty damn excited about it!

*Today I ran two miles and walked a quarter of a mile. I’ve started running with Anakin outside since the weather has been nice. He’s much faster than me, so it’s been quite the adventure. Fortunately, he hasn’t killed me trying to pursue a lizard or mouse.

*Today’s word of the day is rejoice, which is pretty fitting for my current emotional state.  

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. I’m a bit sick of them tracking in the mud on the freshly vacuumed white tiles. It has been so humid here in the mornings that they’re getting a bit muddy in the backyard.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is Carol of the Bells performed by Lindsey Sterling;

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Still Don’t Know What Day It Is

I still don’t know what day it is. Early into the pandemic, I wrote a post about having no idea what day of the week it was now that everything is on a from home basis. Flash forward to now and I still don’t know what day it is. You would think it would have gotten marginally easier as time elapsed and some normal activities have started again. But alas, I’m still lost. In fact, I spent much of today thinking it was Friday. However, as my calendar so painfully reminded me, it is only Thursday or Friday eve.

It would be magnificent if it was Friday as it would mean my new fridge would be here and the workweek would be almost over. As it happens, I’ll have to cook one more dinner traipsing between the garage fridges and the kitchen. Our fridge is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow between 7:00 am and 1:00 pm. If there anything like AT&T, they’ll arrive in January. Obviously, I’m hoping that there on time and nice, professional people. Honestly, I’m a little fearful of having them deliver a fridge without the hubby home. After all, a delivery man employed by Best Buy’s delivery contractor murdered a woman last year when delivering an appliance. If you haven’t read the story, it’s horrific.

Also, if it was Friday, I’d be one day closer to Jake being home. I mean, the countdown is on! I cannot wait to have all three of my boys back under the same roof even if it is only for a short time. As for the younger two, they’re pumped that Jake will be home for Christmas. We are all looking forward to seeing how Maya and Athena react to having him home. Athena is quite perceptive. Every-time he would come home from the recruiter’s office, she would be depressed. It was like she knew that recruiter was going to her Jake away from home. Needless to say, I think she’ll be beside herself when he gets home.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 4 of BBG 3.0 week 6, which means it cardio day. However, I was feeling a bit under the weather yesterday, so I’ll be completing the upper body workout today.

*I’m so excited!!!! I’m counting down the days until my oldest boy comes home for Christmas! His arrival is getting closer!!!!!

*I still don’t know what day it is…..

*Today I ran a mile and walked a mile. It went well today.

*Today’s word of the day is bomb. I hope I don’t bomb my life insurance licensing exam tomorrow. Instead of decorating with rustic simplicity, I’ve been studying the nuances of life insurance.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. I’m a bit sick of them tracking in the mud on the freshly vacuumed white tiles. It has been so humid here in the mornings that they’re getting a bit muddy in the backyard.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is Forever (Garage Version) by Mumford & Sons:

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It Gave Up

It gave up. After serving us dutifully for over 14 years, our refrigerator has decided 2020 was the year to stop working. Yay! Fortunately, for us, it decided to give out during the holidays. A time in which there are no added expenses or stresses. We first noticed this wonderful gift when the dogs began licking the floor around the fridge. I mean, dogs like to lick stuff, but licking the floor constantly is a bit weird. That is when I noticed some meat had defrosted and was leaking through the seal, which clearly doesn’t work well, and on to the floor.

Last night, it was only the freezer that wasn’t freezing. Well, this morning I noticed the fridge side has also thrown in the towel. In case you were wondering, it is loads of fun to move things from one fridge to the next. Fortunately, we have two fridges in the garage and a freezer. Thank god for the garage fridges that are a true hallmark of raising teenage boys. In fact, we could probably add another garage fridge and be just fine. Who knew humans could eat so much and gain so little. This human is a bit jealous. I watch them eat and gain weight.

Nonetheless, some good will come out of this. All of our kitchen appliances will finally match. Until now, all of our appliances except for the fridge are stainless steel. For some inexplicable reason, the original homeowners selected a black fridge for the kitchen. Truly, it was the one bad choice they made when it came to building this house. Needless to say, it will be nice to have all the appliances matching for the first time in fourteen years. It does, however, suck to have to spend some serious coin on a boring refrigerator this holiday season.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 2 of BBG 3.0 week 5, which means it cardio day!

*I’m so excited!!!! I’m counting down the days until my oldest boy comes home for Christmas! His arrival is getting closer!!!!!

*Today I ran two miles and walked a mile. It was not easy, but I did it!

*Today’s word of the day is laud. I laud folks that continue to wear masks out of respect for others.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. Today’s footprints may have included some ashes since they knocked over the grill. There are, however, no kitties in this house.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is Seasons of Love from RENT.

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One Year

One year ago, we said our goodbyes to Jake at MEPS Miami. We headed home, while he awaited his departure to basic training. It’s amazing how quickly the year has gone, but also amazing how the memory of all those emotions comes flooding back. Last year, I felt I had left a piece of my heart at MEPS as my boy went off into the unknown. We didn’t really know what to expect as he began his journey in the service, which left us with a bit of anxiety and fear. Of course, all of those emotions were mixed in with the immense pride we felt in seeing him take the oath.

Now here we are a year later, we’ve fallen into the rhythm of what it means to be a military family. It took adjustments. Particularly, it took a lot of adjusting in the beginning. His time in Basic was definitely the worst since we rarely heard from him. Once he graduated Basic and headed to Tech School, it got a bit easier. I say a bit because it’s never easy to be away from your kids. Also, his tech school was really rigorous and a lot of people don’t make the cut. Not surprisingly, he soared through tech school as he soared through Basic. I had worried that he’d sound sad or upset when calling from Basic. You can imagine my surprise and relief at hearing him sound happy, confident, and knowing that he was now where he belonged.

When we left him at MEPS, he was our boy. When we saw him again at BMT Graduation, he had transformed into a man and world-class airmen. Without a doubt, the young men and women that serve are given an incredible gift. They’re given the gift of understanding an objective that is bigger than themselves. Their Instructors teach them that under no circumstance is a wingman left behind. Moreover, the military teaches them responsibility and discipline. Imagine if more people lived by that credo. Maybe we wouldn’t have people fighting over wearing a mask to protect others. Perhaps people would learn to see the world through a wider lens instead of being so self-absorbed.

As for the present day, I’m now on a whole new countdown. Now, I’m counting down the days until he comes home for leave. That’s right my friends, my boy is coming home for Christmas!! Best present ever! Before he arrives, we have some decorating to do. I finally have all my photos framed and ready to hang for my Air Force wall. We also got a new Christmas tree today, which we’ll be putting up shortly. I’m curious to see if Anakin likes to hide under this one as much as our old tree. Our old tree finally gave out after fourteen years of service. It was starting to look like an extremely tall version of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*I can’t believe it’s been one year! I’ve been looking back at photos and blog posts from last December. It’s fun to look back at the pictures and see how shy he looked. The transformation from December to February was amazing!

*Today I ran one mile and walked a mile today.

*I spoke too soon the universe continues to correct me.

*I’m looking forward to crashing on the couch after work with my beloved puppies!

*Before I crash with the puppies, I will be cooking up a delicious meal courtesy of HelloFresh.

*After today, my running streak stands at 3 days. Today’s run really challenged and frustrated me.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. The only challenge is when the muddy footprints continue onto the white tile.

*BBG 3.0 week 4 day 4: running! After taking a six week hiatus from BBG, it’s really kicking my butt.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them!

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A Different Holiday

It was a different holiday this Thanksgiving thanks to the second wave of COVID, but the virus didn’t stop us from spending quality time with the family. Thankfully, technology allows us to be together even when we’re miles apart. It was awesome to see Jake, my folks and my brother’s family on Thanksgiving.

Naturally, I would have preferred to see them all (especially Jake) in person, but this was a great substitute. Jake, by the way, looked great, which warms my heart and lessens my anxiety. Unfortunately, the younger kids don’t like to be on the Zoom. It was like pulling teeth to get the Mayor and his cousin on the call. Goalielocks was a little better, but he was still fighting it.

Obviously, we ate entirely too much and continue to do so thanks to leftovers. Fortunately, my daily uniform continues to be yoga pants, which are mighty forgiving. I was, however, able to re-start my BBG workouts after changing the my schedule and getting the blood pressure under control. It has felt good to log some serious work outs this past week.


Tomorrow I’ll be back to work while the Mayor plays in the championship game. He’s had an awesome tournament this far leading his division in points and points per game. I’m proud of how hard he works for his team on and off the ice. Unsurprisingly, his hard work is paying off. It’s a lot of fun to watch him and his team play.

Lastly, help me wish Our Sweet Anakin a very happy first birthday! For his birthday, he got a new chewy bone, some raw hides, a Christmas collar and some Christmas outfits. Naturally, I also got his sisters some goodies too. I’d hate for them to feel left out. So even though it was a different holiday, we have a lot to be thankful for including our sweet birthday boy!

Thanksgiving 2020 Style

Thanksgiving 2020 style is wildly different for most of us thanks to COVID. It also makes our first Thanksgiving with Jake away from home. Last Thanksgiving was wonderful with my whole family in town, so he could have a great send off to BMT. Speaking of which, we are coming up on his one year anniversary. I can’t believe how fast time has gone.

This year has been tough, but there is still so much to be thankful for. First, 2020 was a year of awesome accomplishments for Jake. From graduating BMT and tech school, to earning his SEC+ certification and shipping off to his first duty station. To say he had a banner year would be an understatement. We couldn’t be more proud of the man and airmen he has become.

While our boys continue virtual school, they’re doing while and have managed to stay healthy. Hockey, thankfully, is in full swing. Too often we underestimate the importance that our kids sports and other extracurricular activities are for their development. Now with Covid, these activities are there only lifeline to the outside world. Kids need socialize.

As for Luke and I, we keep trucking on. After a rough fall that saw us replace two failing vehicles, we’re ready for the winter. I should also say we know have an additional driver, Goalielocks, which has helped a lot. I started a new role back in insurance, which I’m loving. Albeit, it keeps me extremely busy. Especially during the long hours of AEP.

To all our friends and family and to all our military families near and wide, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. To military families like ours, who have an empty chair this Thanksgiving, we send our love and gratitude. May God keep our family members that serve safe and sound. To our military folks servicing near and far, thank you for your service!! Today we hold you up in prayer and gratitude.