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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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!

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Thanksgiving Is Almost Here

Can you believe Thanksgiving is almost here? It seems like just yesterday we were ringing in 2019. Yet here we are ready to end the year with the fabulous holiday season. I’m especially blessed to spend it with my entire immediate family. This holiday will be poignant for us all as it marks the last holiday for which Jake will be a civilian. Who knows where he’ll be stationed this time next year. We will certainly enjoy the moment.

I started my day by sleeping through my alarm, which left me feel like I was behind all day. Graves’ disease sucks it often leaves me tried and jacks with my sleep for no good reason. Not to mention it makes me cranky, which my family can certainly attest to today.

Fortunately, my day started looking up the moment I got my coffee. We left Dunkin’ to get our groceries for baking, so we could get an early start. At which point, we got a text inviting us to the beach. How could we say no to that? Spoiler alert: we procrastinated on the baking and headed to the beach.

This, of course, did nothing for my constant feeling of being behind all day. However, the beach was again marvelous with beautiful skies and calm seas. You simply can’t ask for a better way to spend the day before Thanksgiving. It was a bit hot, so we didn’t stay too long.
Fortunately, Goalielocks’ BFF was there and he was having a blast. Unfortunately, that made the extraction from the beach quite difficult. We ended our beach day by me starting to back out of my spot before noticing the boys neglected to close the tailgate. Consequently, I needed to make a Dunkin pit stop on the way home to try and collect my sanity.

Before heading home, we headed to Publix in search of the perfect pickles for pickle. If there’s anywhere you so don’t want to be on Thanksgiving Eve in Florida, it’s Publix. I avoided this dumpster fire by dropping my mom off at the door and parking. To be honest, I was more concerned with getting home so I could eat before heading to yoga.

Wednesday’s are my tight muscle mobility class at Open Heart Yoga studio. My teach is amazing. The class has been incredibly effective in opening up my body post Graves’ disease. In today’s class, I’m pretty sure I fell asleep 3-4 times while massaging my back with therapy balls. These balls are miracle works for tight muscles and soft tissue. You must try them.

I left my mat completely serene and ready to tackle my evening. Tonight’s beautiful sunset added to my serenity.  During class my mom has text me to let me know the Publix pickles were sub par and couldn’t be used to pickle roll ups. I got home and we headed to Earth Fare to see if they had any quality pickles, but that trip was unsuccessful. Thus, we headed back to Target where we found the perfect pickles. Plus if you haven’t gone to Target twice in a day, are you even living?

We made our way home to start are baking. I started working on my cheesecake while my mom began to prepare the pickle roll ups. My mom made quick work of the pickle roll ups while I plodded my way through baking the cheesecake. Fortunately, my mom helped me start the vegan pumpkin coconut soup that I made for my brother and I. I’m not currently vegan, but I know my body won’t tolerate too much of the traditional Thanksgiving food.

Our evening of baking, will finally be over in about an hour when the cheesecake can go in the oven. I’ll start my Thanksgiving where I start everyday: Dunkin’. We’ll then head to my brothers’ house to drop off the goodies before heading to the Mayor’s 11:00 am game.

It was just over a year ago I went through radiation to kill my thyroid. A year later, my thyroid levels are stable. I’m hopeful that the symptoms of Graves will abate in the next year (although it could be 1-3 years.) Unfortunately, my health is not where it was before I got sick, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. As I end my evening enjoying Agatha Christie’s Poirot, I am filled with gratitude for my family, my friends, healing and my life’s transitions.

Paradise Found

Paradise found indeed. Living in sunny South Florida you’d think we would live at the beach. Unfortunately, our busy work and hockey schedule has rendered the beach a foreign place. Today the kids and I joined my bro and his family along with my folks for a fun day at the beach.

To be clear, the beach is always beautiful. However, the conditions don’t always cooperate with your plans. Today was an absolute exception. First of all, it was cool with temps in the low to mid 70s with clear skies. Secondly, the water was calm, relatively warm for our out of town guests and the tide was low. It was paradise.

Unfortunately, I stayed out of the water since tendon is bothering me. Fortunately, the temperature was so pleasant I didn’t need to go into the water to cool off. I spent most of my time at the beach chatting with my dad, sister in law and her father. It was fabulous.

Meanwhile my older brother, niece, nephew and mom spent hours in the water enjoying the warm water. My Floridian boys and Jake’s girlfriend (who we adore) thought the water was a bit cool, but still managed to have fun with the family in the water. There was also plenty of beach soccer, football and volleyball. It was a great day.

I capped my day off with an incredible yoga class and Open Heart Yoga studio with Debbie. Her class is beyond divine. Tonight it was an hour and a half of per perfection. My body and soul relax and unite in paradise on my mat. The yin and restorative yoga classes are truly helping me rebuild my body, mind and soul after surviving a devastating year. Autoimmune diseases are no joke, but self care will be key in finding my path forward.

Let The Countdown Begin

Let the countdown begin! In sixteen days, Jake will be leaving for the Air Force. While it has been a work in progress for months, the reality is starting to set in. I can’t believe he’ll be leaving the proverbial nest in a little over two weeks time.

We started the countdown in the summer thinking he’d be leaving in early to mid fall. However, he waited until his he secured the job he wanted. Unfortunately, this moved his departure date back to December. Consequently, he’ll be away for the holidays. Since he’ll be missing Christmas and New Years with the family, we held our celebrated Christmas brunch this morning. Fortunately, my whole family is here from Minnesota to celebrate Thanksgiving. Thankfully, the delayed timing of his basic training is allowing him to spend more time with all of our family.

Before diving into the caramel rolls, cheesy potatoes and cholesterol bake, we took updated family pictures. Where we live, there are plenty of great spots to take family pictures without any inconvenience. We opted to take them at the entrance of a nearby neighborhood that has a great waterfall feature. For the camera, we used an iPhone 11max and the canon t6i.

You can imagine our surprise when all of the kids decided to cooperate with the photos. The weather held out with rain starting just as we finished. It was a bit overcast, which was nice because nobody was squinting in the pictures. It’s crazy to think that these will be the last family pics with all the kids still home. In our next group picture, Jake will be an airmen and living at a base far away. These are the moments that matter.

Post pictures, we headed back to the house for brunch. The mimosas started pouring early as we waited for the food to finish cooking. There definitely was a countdown for the caramel rolls to finish. Our Christmas brunch is super heavy on the carbs, which is why we only do it once a year, and is sure to trigger a food coma if you don’t get up and moving.

Consequently, I was ready for bed by noon today. Meanwhile, Luke and the boys headed outside with their cousins and uncles to play football. As the played, the clouds began to clear and the sun came out. Suddenly, it was a bit warm. After a rousing game, the younger cousins decided they wanted to swim.

We took a quick walk to the pool and found it to be mostly deserted. The cousins had a great time playing random games on the splash pad and in the pool. While they played, we sat with your feet in the water. When the kids grew tired of the games, they decided to see if they could stack P on X’s shoulders while X sat on the Mayor’s shoulders. Their efforts here were quite a site to be seen. They ended their pool visit with a cannon ball contest.

Post pool, I enjoyed my afternoon coffee and still managed to fall asleep on the couch. As I slept, Goalielocks went to work at the rink and the Mayor prepared for a sleepover with his cousins. After he left, we worked on the packet Jake will need to bring to his recruiter’s office tomorrow. It really is starting to feel real. All in all, it was a beautiful day spent with family. Meanwhile the countdown continues….

World Pancreatic Cancer Day

Today is World Pancreatic Cancer Day and across the globe we’re uniting to improve patient outcomes for this deadly disease. Pancreatic cancer is the only major cancer without significant improvement in survival rates of the past decades. Our patients, our friends and our families deserve better.

Thankfully, I have plenty of purple to wear. I started the day rocking my Minnesota Vikings shirt (Skol Vikings!) It is awesome when you can support your team and an amazing cause at the same time. I went to my 12:00 yoga in an nice purple Gaiam top and my favorite Gaiam yoga mat (also purple.)

I’m hopeful as the general public becomes mor aware of the disease that our collective voice for more research will get louder. We need more dollars out against the disease if we are to unravel it’s secrets i.e. early detection methods and a cure. PanCAN has been hard at work the last twenty years increasing awareness and research. I’m excited with that the next decade will bring us in terms of research. Nevertheless, our voices cannot be quieted until we have found a cure.

You can support PanCAN’s mission in honor of World Pancreatic Cancer day and in my friend Debbie’s honor by donating here.