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Life at The Manor

Life at the manor, aka Casa de Hockey Mom, was uneventful and pleasant today. Imagine if you will a beautiful, temperate Florida day with wonderfully blue skies and minimal clouds. Now imagine spending that day inside because you’re exhausted from the preceding six days and just want to chillax. This my friends is what we called a balanced existence. After a frazzled and productive week, Sunday was meant to be a rest day.

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A few years ago, I would have taken advantage of the weather and went out for a long run. Sadly, my body needs at least a full days rest to keep up with the BBG workouts, runs and yoga classes. Consequently, taking a rest day for me is a marker of personal growth; a modicum of moderation if you will. Nonetheless, if I push it too far with exercise, I end up losing a week to two when my body rebels. Oh the joys of getting older with an autoimmune disease! Fortunately, my meditation practice does not take a rest day.

While today was a rest day, I still had a productive day around the house. As noted above, I got my morning and afternoon mediations on the books. Moreover, I got the floors vacuumed, disinfected and mopped. Truly, the clean floors made me feel so much better and relaxed. Of course, the background noise is always important when it comes to doing housework. Today’s choice was Curb Your Enthusiasm. As always, Larry David does not disappoint. I love his wit. Basically, I spent my afternoon cleaning while laughing at the hi-jinks of Larry and his crew. Needless to say it was pretty, pretty, pretty good.
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For dinner I made my second meal from Blue Apron. Tonight’s meal was Tuscan pork pasta. Just like yesterday’s meal, the recipe was easy to follow. Since my family doesn’t like peppers, I sautéed them in a separate pan, so as to not wreck the meal for them. Fortunately, I love peppers and was happy to not have to share them with anyone. My only complaint with both meals was that they were higher in sodium than what I would normally eat. Nonetheless the quality of the food is good as is the quantity.

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Our post dinner treat was a call from our airmen. He’s doing so good in tech school. We miss him so much, but we’re so proud of him. Basically, he’s trucking a long right through his tech school. Originally, we thought he’d be done sometime in July, but now it seems like it may be late this month or early next month. Correspondingly, he’ll be moving on to his final base once training is over. Significantly, he loves what he’s doing, where he’s at and where he’s headed. Lastly, you may have seen my previous post on puppy yoga. If you didn’t, please check it out. I’m hoping to post a weekly video of Anakin and I practicing yoga.

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

*Reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

*Watched Curb Your Enthusiasm 

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*Week 10 BBG day 7 rest

*Obedience training Anakin courtesy day Goalielocks

*Took Anakin, Maya and Athena on a walk. 

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Paradise

It was another day in paradise. When I left to grab coffee this morning, the temperature was 65 degrees and the dew point was in the fifties. Additionally, the sun was shining bright and there was not one cloud in the sky. After the scorching heat of last week, this morning’s weather felt absolutely sublime! I, for one, am relishing these last nice days as the heat of summer and humidity of rainy season is right around the corner.

Paradise lost, the epic and long winded Milton poem, is how I was feeling when we got the virtual school part of the day. How soon I fell from paradise to the continual battle that is home schooling. Goalielocks assured me he wasn’t sleeping, but was in class. This in-spite of me having to wake him up multiple times throughout the morning. Meanwhile, the Mayor was hard at work watching YouTube videos instead of doing class work. Oh joy!
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I somewhat recaptured paradise by going to yoga this morning with Monica. Clearly, it was an awesome class as it left my body and mind feeling incredible and at peace. Afterwards, I took the puppies on a short walk before tackling day one of BBG week nine. Oh man, what a doozy that workout was today!! I mean what fuckery is a burpee with a push-up and tuck jump? Peer torture and a hockey mom killer. Needless to say, those combination burpees were no joke. I was fried after the workout. Unequivocally, I’m totally team BBG and would highly recommend the workout and the app.

Sadly, after lunch I returned to Milton’s Paradise Lost. I had yet another argument with the Mayor over his art homework. He argued vehemently that I should have his schedule changed so he could drop art. Obviously that isn’t possible as we are already half way through the quarter! If there was a genie and I could have one wish only, I’d wish that the boys would understand it is much easier to get their work down timely instead of procrastinating or worse ignoring it.

Okay, so I know that eventually they’ll probably understand, but I’d love to compress the timeline. It was so refreshing speaking without airman last night because he’s got a clear path and plan for his career. Undoubtedly, my Hubby and I were so proud when he sent us a list of IT certs he intends to complete while in the service. Truly, the list is impressive and will afford him many lucrative career options in his post military life. I guess the point is that eventually the kids will find their way and their path. Never in my dreams could I have created a better path for him. Obviously, we are so proud of him and happy that he’s found his path.

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This week also marks week three of intermittent fasting on the 8:2 plan. As a reminder, the 8:2 plan means I eat normal five days a week and fast two days a week by only eating 800 calories. So far, it’s going well and I’ve lost a few pounds. A few ponds may not seem significant, but when you have no thyroid every pound lost is a victory. Thankfully, it’s also not difficult to follow and adhere too. When you think about it, you’re only very disciplined two days a week. There are no foods off limits, unless you have a cold allergy or intolerance like me. Consequently, I avoid gluten containing foods, but everything else is fair game!

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

*Reading My Antonia by Willa Cather and loving it!

*Gentle Flow Yoga with Monica from Yoga Mundo

*Facetime with my Airman!

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*Week 10 BBG day 1 leg day

*Virtual school torture with Goalielocks and the Mayor

*Obedience training Anakin courtesy day Goalielocks

*Took Anakin, Maya and Athena on multiple walks

 

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Happy Easter

Happy Easter to all that celebrate!!! This Easter and Passover season has been unlike any other that I have been around to experience. I love Cadbury eggs and all that jazz, but the holidays just aren’t the same in the era of social distancing. Nevertheless, we’re doing our part to flatten the curve and end this soon.

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The truth of the matter is family is what makes these holidays special. Since we can’t all be together, we FaceTimed my folks and Jake and called my grandma and my father in law. The nice part about FaceTiming my folks is seeing the snow they’re getting as I look out at our palm trees. I’d be a liar if I said I missed April snowstorms. Nope, I’ll stick to our nice Florida weather.

Our adventure of the day was heading down to Boca go pick up our Easter dinner at J Alexander’s. Their Easter dinner deals for carry out were unbelievable. I spent $65 for a 3lb prime rib, mashed potatoes, Caesar salad and carrot cake that feeds six. Oh and let’s not forget that the food tasted absolutely incredible!! We will definitely be going back for more dinners. I highly recommend you check them out for carry out.

This evening we got our regular FaceTime call from Jake, which was amazing. Anytime we get to see and hear our airmen is a happy day! Since we spent last Easter with Mel and her family, it only felt right that we call them too! We had a Easter party on FaceTime, so my Mayor could talk smack about their volleyball skills. Obviously, it was the best part of my day! I love talking to my boy and seeing his smiling face!! Especially since this is our first Easter without him. From our family to yours, we wish you a Happy Easter filled with love and light!

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

*Reading To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

*Studied and practiced Norwegian

*Drove to Boca to pick up our Easter dinner

*Watched The Other Guys and National Lampoons Vacation

*Vacuumed and mopped the floors (again)

*FaceTimed grandma and grandpa and Jake and Mel

*Called my Grandma T and father in law to check in on them 

*Took Anakin, Maya and Athena on multiple walks

*Worked on Obedience Training with Anakin inside.

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Da Weekend

Da weekend is here and absolutely nothing has changed in our day to day lives from yesterday. I’m just kidding we had a couple of outings today that were essential. We had to pick up a few things for the garden and groceries. Fortunately, we were able to stop by a local farm and get box of vegetables and fruit. The fruit and vegetables look amazing! Plus, the price of $20 total can’t be beat by any super market.

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I have been trying to get a Shipt delivery slot since my last delivery on Sunday. Sadly, there were no slots available, which meant for the first time in years I had to fo a full grocery trip myself. Ugh! To say I’ve been spoiled by Shipt would be a compete and utter understatement! Nevertheless, I strapped on my mask and headed to Target.

Target wasn’t too bad, but it’s a pain in the arse wading through the crowds in the aisles. Fortunately or rather unfortunately, I didn’t waste my time with all of the aisles since their selves were empty. Thankfully, I was able to get most of what we needed including Easter candy for the boys. When I got home the boys ripped into me for buying milk that expires in the next two days… Spoiler alert – they’ve already drank one of the gallons I bought. They totally made the milk disappear – problem averted! Sadly, since I couldn’t find enough milk to keep on standby, I’ll have to make another grocery run.

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This morning I met my Momcation friends on Zoom for a virtual brunch. It was fantastic. For this glorious occasion, I brought out the Corona Refresca for the first time. It was a bit sweet, but pretty tasty. Of course, the best part was the company. I’m so bummed we won’t be traveling to Turks & Caicos later this month for our annual Momcation. Nonetheless, Zoom brunches and happy hours will help film the void and provide some much needed socialization.

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Unfortunately, I also received word today that my dear friend and former employee Michele passed away. The news really took a bite out of my soul. Michele was a one in a million woman. She was simply extraordinary. Every thing this woman faced over the last eleven years, she faced with an uncommon strength and grace. At work, she was the glue that help make our ORS team a family. To say we loved her dearly, would be an understatement. For me she was not only an employee or colleague, she was a friend that became family. Please keep her family and friends in your prayers as they grieved during this difficult time.

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

*Reading To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

*Studied and practiced Norwegian

*Watched Family Guy and the Crocodile Hunter

*Watched American Pie

*Week 7 BBG rest day

*Brunch with my girls via Zoom

*Grocery shopping at Target

*Took Anakin, Maya and Athena on multiple walks

*Worked on Obedience Training with Anakin inside.

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Good Friday

Happy Good Friday!! The kid’s were off virtual school today meaning less stress for me. Cheers to a happy and stress free Good Friday. Since the boys didn’t have virtual school, I was able to sleep in a bit too, which was amazing.  It was nice to orchestrate my day around my schedule and not the kids.  That’s right folks we’ve had two good days in a row. Can you believe it? 
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Much like yesterday, I was pretty productive today. My morning started off with a great yoga class via Zoom with Monica. And of course, I have the pictures to prove it. Actually, the pictures are a great visualization of how far I’ve come and how much further I can go. Also I think it’s important to show yoga at its most accessible. Yoga has been instrumental in my quest for remission, so I’m eager to share my learnings.

After yoga, the Mayor, Maya and I headed to the vet to get her stitches removed. Admittedly, I was totally a proud dog mom when the vet tech was singing Maya’s praises and happy to see her doing so well. The appointment lasted about ten minutes. Afterwards, they brought her back to the car she was all smiles. No more cone or stitches for our girl.

Post vet appointment, I got my week seven day 5 resistance workout completed. My Friday workout is a full body workout. This week’s circuits were tough, but effective. My least favorite is the raised leg sit-ups and skipping rope. I’m not sure what happened between grade school and now, but I suck at skipping rope. Nevertheless, the skipping rope remains one of the most effective workouts even my disjointed effort.

The afternoon I spent with the puppies and my Mayor. I even baked another gluten free coffee cake, but it’s already gone. The hubby made us a wonderful butterflies chicken with yummy potatoes. It is definitely one of my favorite meals! Before dinner, Anakin had to spend some time in timeout after he jumped on the kitchen table. This dog loves his food!

Yesterday, as you may recall, was great. But would you believe it got even better when our Airman called home!?! Best day ever!!! It is so hard to be separated from him during this difficult times, so hearing his voice was awesome. He got his orders for his duty station and will head their immediately upon his completion of tech school. Unfortunately, he won’t be able to come home on leave due to COVID-19 before heading to his FDS. Finally, and most importantly, he’s doing great. He’s excelling at tech school and in the Air Force during challenging times in an already challenging environment. We could not be more proud!

Lastly, please join me in congratulating my parents on their 44th wedding anniversary!!!

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

*Reading To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

*Studied and practiced Norwegian

*Watched Family Guy

*Watched Moana and Blazing Saddles as family

*Week 7 BBG full body resistance workout

*Gentle Flow with Monica from Yoga Mundo

*Took Anakin, Maya and Athena on multiple walks

*Worked on Obedience Training with Anakin inside.


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Week 2 of Social Distancing

It’s only the middle of week 2 of social distancing,l and I’m ready for it to be over. Particularly, I’m ready for life to go back to normal. More specifically, I’m anxiously awaiting my boys return to school. Every statement is a battle. I’m really over having to repeat myself 1,000 times a day.  Obviously, it’s a lot of together time.

It’s been an arduous few days. I dropped my phone in the pool Saturday, so if you called or text me I didn’t get it. My dog, Athena, pulled the leash through my hand causing severe rope burns as she bolted to greet a friend. Apparently, for dogs social distancing is not a thing. Then yesterday I had Maya at the vet because her she cut open her tumor and it got infected.

Fortunately, she’s scheduled to have the tumor removed tomorrow. Unfortunately, if the tumor is a metastasis from her lung tumor (that is extremely slow growing,) her days with us our limited. No sooner had I heard that news on phone from the vet, when I backed out of my spot and the brakes went out. Yesterday was truly one for the books. No wonder I was in bed by 9:30.

Meanwhile at my airman’s base, there are three cases of Covid-19. They’re at HPCon Charlie, but I’m sure with these cases it will escalate quickly. Fortunately, he’s prepared if they are quarantined to their dorms. It sounds like if that happens he’ll still be able to do his training, which is great news. Thankfully, I know he’s being well protected where he’s at. Nevertheless, this is definitely the time I want to have him home.

Since I had no phone the last couple of days, I’ve enjoyed a bit of a respite from social media. Okay, I had my iPhone 6, but with the 15,000 photos I have on it, it was a bit slow going for me. Truly, I needed the break from Facebook particularly. Every post is either fake news, someone sanctimoniously preaching, or a combination therein. It’s annoying and counterproductive. Honestly, I just want to see memes, pictures of your families and know that you’re okay. If I wanted to be preached at, I go to church on Zoom.

The worst offenders on Facebook? By far the neighborhood pages. I’m telling you these people have absolutely lost their minds. Perhaps the most insipid post was from a father, who was asking for advice on how to tell his child he couldn’t play basketball even though other kids were playing at our courts. Obviously, that’s an easy conversation – as parents we make the decisions we feel are best for our kids. Other parents may feel differently. Of course, he had to take it a level up and post pictures he took of the kids playing basketball. I don’t know about you, but taking pictures of minor children without their parents consent is creepy A/F.

Anyway, things are looking up today. I got my new, fully functional phone, which is fabulous. We also got our new butterfly fish and goby for the tank, which is exciting. Excitingly, I got to speak with Jake tonight. He passed another block! I’m so proud of all he’s accomplishing day in and day out. He sounded congested like he normally does with his seasonal allergies, but I can’t help but worry. Thankfully, he was able to pick up some allergy meds and more supplies tonight.

As for me, I’ll be back to the regular tempo of my blog. It remains a healthy outlet for me during these difficult days. Even though times are tough, I’m reminded daily of how fortunate I am to live in a place with beautiful weather. Moreover, my family is incredible and as much as they drive me crazy, I love spending time with them. Last but not least our beautiful dogs remain steady by our side. All three of our dogs are happy go lucky, loving dogs. They brings us joy day in and day out. If anyone is happy that we’re all home, it’s them!  I love my sweet puppies!

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Emotionally Exhausted

It’s only day four of the social distancing/isolation and I’m completely and utterly emotionally exhausted.  Admittedly, I could never be a teacher.  My boys are giving me a run for a money, the thought corralling of a classroom of teenagers is enough to trigger a panic attack.  Frustratingly, I find that much of my day is spent arguing and negotiating with terrorists,  I mean teenagers.  I can’t my imagine it will be worse when both are back in school virtually.

Of course negotiating with my teenage boys all day, is a walk in a park when compared to missing my airman.  I know he’s well taken care of and that the military is taking a lot of precautions to keep him safe and healthy.  Nevertheless, it’s completely unnerving to experience this pandemic with one of my boys out of the house.  Sadly, the worst part is that we now don’t know when we’ll be able to visit him.  We had planned to go up the first week in April, but that will no longer happen.

I almost feel bad complaining as there are many military families and trainees that have it far worse.  We were lucky to be able to see Jake graduate BMT and to experience the amazing feeling that is that first tap out after 8.5 weeks apart.   Sadly, all BMT graduations have been closed to families and changed greatly.  I can’t even imagine not being able to have seen my airman graduate.  My heart would be broken.

Life as we know it has been altered, but it hasn’t stopped.  The sacrifices that we’re being asked to make pale in comparison to the sacrifice our healthcare workers, public servants, our military, the truck drivers making sure our stores are restocked and the folks working those stores.  While I may be emotionally exhausted, I’m sure these workers are being pushed to their physical and mental edge.  So for all who cannot stop working because you’re supporting our community, we thank you!

As for our day, here were our activities:

*reading Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery

*Conference call with my mentor and fellow marketing executive.  Success here we come!

*yelled at the Mayor to stop playing with frisbee in the house

*yelled at Goalielocks to stop practicing his golf shot in the house and against the house

* 2 mile run with Athena

*1.5 mile walk with my boys and puppies

*Deep Stretch – Total Body Yoga– Yoga with Adrienne

*Watched Miracle because we’re missing hockey followed Cars 2 and 3

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Post Grad Let Down

Since we’ve been back from San Antonio, I’ve been experiencing somewhat of a post grad let down.  After eight weeks of hyper focus on Jake’s progress through BMT and regular updates from my Facebook support groups those days are over.  There isn’t a daily support group for Tech School like there is for BMT.  Fortunately, there is a base group, which I found to be quite helpful.  Tech school is a much different journey than BMT and is more individualized.

As for graduation weekend, it was the most incredible weekend of my life.  The first day began super early with the Airmen’s run.  I know I wrote it about it before, but it was just so cool that I had to mention it again.  I loved seeing Jake running with his flight and singing the Jodies as he jogged. Being on base was just as cool.  Lackland is ginourmous! (Is that even a word?). Afterwards, we watched him become an airman during the coin ceremony.  Before the beginning, there were fight jets and cargo planes taking off and flying over the base, which was wicked cool.

On Friday, we watched the Airman’s Parade, which is when the training squadrons pass by command in formation to be reviewed.  It was such a neat event.  Unfortunately, it was super cold and windy, so we were a bit uncomfortable as the wind whipped against our backs.  Fortunately, for Jake the wind was not as bad on the actual field.  I absolutely loved the parade, in spite of the cold, and was so proud watching my new airman and his wingman on the parade field.

The whole weekend everyone was nice.  Everywhere we went people were nice and happy.  It’s crazy when you think about how much time you spend in line, traffic, how crowded the base was and the tight timelines you’re dealing with.   Amazingly, the happiness and pride that comes with seeing your Airman again and watching them graduate BMT, seems to put everyone in a permanently positive mood.  Even when my hubby purposely took up two parking spots in order to ensure my brother would get a spot, nobody batted an eye.  The only comment was on how smart he was for parking that way.  It is such a unique and uplifting experience!

The first time I saw my Airman’s graduation picture, I cried with pride and joy.  He looks so grown up and confident.  Seeing him in uniform all weekend was incredible.   The transformation he underwent in the 8.5 weeks at Lackland was absolutely amazing.  He left us nervous and anxious.  When we got him back for the weekend, he was happy, confident, self assured, decisive and disciplined.  Thankfully, he made a lot of friends on his BMT journey that will be his friends for life.  I loved seeing him interact with his wingmen.   Knowing and personally witnessing that he is where he belongs was beyond comforting to my hubby and I.

Of course the best part of the weekend was spending time with my Airman and our family.  His girlfriend M travelled with us for the weekend.  Can I tell you how much we enjoyed our time together?  Can I tell you how much I loved seeing my son and his girlfriend together?  Seeing their love and support for each other through the weekend was the stuff mother’s dream about.  I love them together!

Our time off base was well spent hanging out with the grandparents, Uncle Jon and Aunt Brandi and of course J&M2 (my nickname for Jake and his girlfriend- they’re J&M2 because my bro and sister in law are the original J&M.). We played Phase10, Uno, took a trip to the Alamo.  It is small, but the grounds are beautiful.  Friday night we had a wonderful lunch/dinner on Riverwalk.  Everyone was so nice!  They treated Jake like a king!  People were constantly thanking and recognizing Jake for his service and commitment to our country.  Saturday’s food was the ultimate in “everything is bigger in Texas” maxim.  We had a 3 pound cinnamon roll and an 37 inch diameter pizza.  Both were as tasty as they were large.  I’ll write more about that in a future post dedicated to why you should visit San Antonio.  I loved San Antonio!

Nonetheless,  grad week is over and the adrenaline is gone.  I loved my weekend so much and the tap out of my airman was priceless.  There is a lot of worry when your child is in BMT because there’s minimal contact.  That first time you see and speak to them after BMT is magical.  Now he’s in Tech School and there’s still a lot of worry, but also relief in being able to speak with him regularly.  So well I may be suffering from the post grad let down, I am beyond proud of my son and happy that he has found his place in the greatest Air Force this world has ever known.   We are so proud to be Air Force parents!

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My Airman

I am proud to say my son is now officially my airman. Today he and his fellow recruits transitioned from trainees to full fledged airman. It was a culmination of a tough 8.5 weeks. As well, as the culmination of the work he has put in since last summer.

Watching today’s ceremony was incredible emotional and uplifting. Words are not adequate to describe the feeling. Certainly, words cannot describe or fully encompass the emotions that come when you first tap out your airman. As we walked towards Jake this morning, the anticipation was beyond belief. When Mel rapped him out and they were reunited was a priceless moment.

We got to spend our day with our Airman on Base. While there’s plenty of stuff to do, it is also incredibly crowded with every other BMT family. Needless to say, we are looking forward to spending some quality time with Jake off base tomorrow. Of course, we’ll be attending the Airman’s Parade and taking pictures before leaving JBSA. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from today.

We Made It

We made it to San Antonio after a long, but fun day of travel. Our AirBnB is the cutest old house in all of San Antonio and in close proximity to everything. We did a trial run out to JBSA Lackland, so I think we have a handle on where to go early tomorrow morning. And now after a long day of traveling we’re off to bed since we have a very early wake up call tomorrow.