One Week

It’s been one week since I left the office for the last time.  So many emotions and so much fun has been had over the past seven days.  It’s not that I’m not sad to move on or anything like that, but I choose to embrace the madness and the excitement of moving forward. That isn’t to say I don’t have tough moments, but by and large I’m feeling good!  I started my first week off with a brilliant session at the salon with my girl Daniela and Jenja.  Nothing makes a girl feel better than a fresh hair cut and a nice brow wax.

During the intervening days, I had the occasion to meet several former colleagues and friends for lunch and drinks.   A fantastic time was had by all.  As an aside, I went to Farmer’s Table for the first time for lunch.  The food and service were absolutely brilliant.  Fortunately, Farmer’s Table’s menu had several amazing gluten free options.   I quite enjoyed the spasta with meatballs – spaghetti squash with marinara and chicken meatballs.  It was absolutely amazing.  I can’t wait to go back.  The next day, I had an amazing meal at Taverna Trela in Delray.  This meal was equally amazing.  I thoroughly enjoyed my steak, mushroom and onion rice bowl.   Another menu with some great gluten free options.  I look forward to going back there as well.

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Friday also brought a doctor’s appointment, where my doctor noted how much happier and relaxed I looked.  My blood pressure was pretty freaking phenomenal too.  They see me all the time there on account of the regular bloodwork I need to get down for the thyroid, so it was encouraging they noted the change.  It was also encouraging that my thyroid is starting to approach the normal range!  Yes – victory is in site my friends.

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The weekend brought happy hours, another massage and some mini golf.  I thoroughly enjoyed my blueberry martinis at Burt & Max’s.  The lettuce wraps were pretty freaking good too.   Of course, the Chipotle at the end of the night was pretty good.  Admittedly, it was the first time I’ve had Chipotle in years.  I enjoyed the steak tacos on a hard shell.  It brought back memories of driving across the University of Minnesota on game nights to get to the only Chipotle close to our house because it was the best thing since sliced bread. Now that Chipotle is on every corner and they’ve had a couple e-coli scares, the novelty has worn off a bit.

Sunday night we hit the mini golf course with J&M2 also known as Jake and Mel.  .  Even though we went in the evening, it was still hot as hades on the course.  By the time we finished, I felt like I had been sitting in the sauna for an hour in my jeans.  Fortunately, the club house had the same temperature as the Baltic Sea.  In 5 seconds flat, I went from near heat stroke to hyperthermia.   If I’m being honest, mini golf isn’t my sport, but we had a blast.  I’m also declaring victory having ended a mere 13 above par.  Over previous efforts, this represented a serious improvement in performance

Meanwhile in Minnesota, the boys are living their best lives with their cousins.  They’re having a blast hanging out with their cousins and chilling on the boat with their Uncle J.  The Mayor loves tubing with his cousins, while Goalielocks is enjoying fishing the Minnesota lakes.  He caught a nice sized large mouth bass on Lake Minnetonka Sunday.  Last week, their cousin X and his soccer team were playing in the USA Cup in Blaine.  Needless to say, given the heat indices in Minny last week, I’m thrilled my boys play hockey.  I’ll never be sitting by a sideline in an 115 head index.  Suffice to say, if you asked the boys, they would tell you there’s no better passage of summer than one spent in Minnesota.

Goalielocks is also enjoying lessons with his former goalie coach from the Hawks, Coach Ryan, who is now coaching with MEGA Goaltending in Minnesota.  It’s fun for the boys to reconnect with Coach Ryan and to get back on the ice.  Since Goalielocks went on a growth spurt, we’ll need to buy him a full set of gear upon his return to Florida.  Oh the expensive joys of the hockey mom life.

Today is my father’s 66th birthday please join me in wishing him the happiest of birthdays!

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Transitions

Life is full of transitions, but when you’re a parent of teens they seem to come non-stop.  The youngest two seemingly look, sound and appear older each and everyday.  I can’t wait to see how much they’ve grown since heading to Minnesota earlier this month.  They won’t be back in town until right before school starts in early August.  Yeah, early August.  I know what you’re thinking (and you’re right) Palm Beach County Schools start schools entirely too early.  Each day I call to speak to the boys, their voices seem to have shifted another octave lower.  I’ve resorted to asking discrete identifying questions to ensure I know which one I’m talking to on the phone.

The Boys
Now and Then: 2012 and 2019

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Meanwhile, Jake is deep in preparations to join the Air Force.  We met with the recruiter as a family late June to discuss the Air Force as a possibility.  Consequently, we’re pretty excited for Jake and the future the Air Force will bring him.  As a mom, it’s brought many mixed emotions as I’m excited that he’s got a solid road map for his future.  On the other hand, my boy is leaving the nest for good and joining the military (a bit scary.)   All in all, this fall promises to bring a major transition.

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Today marks the start of new beginnings as I close out my ten year career at KHE.  It is with mixed emotions that I move forward.  I will miss the work family that I have cultivated over the last ten years, but am very excited for what the future holds.  To all of my colleagues both current and former, thank you!  To keep in touch, hit the follow button on the blog. After all, everything maybe changing, but relationships don’t have to change.

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Given this week’s transitions, I’ll be fundraising much more aggressively for the Mayor’s trip to Europe next summer.   You can find the link to donate here: fundraising link

Corporate Run

Last Thursday was the annual Mercedes Benz Corporate Run in Fort Lauderdale. I was excited to participate for my third running. This year was a bit different though since I haven’t run a 5k in over a year. Unfortunately, after tearing a tendon and a subsequent diagnosis of Graves’ disease, I was sidelined for what feels like forever!

Thankfully, my doctor was able to clear me for exercise once my thyroid finally stopped functioning in February. Yay! Nonetheless, a 5k was a tall order. I trained as much as I could, but with a hypoactive thyroid my energy is nonexistent. Meaning, instead of a normal, rigorous training schedule, my body needed 2-3 day breaks in between workouts. This itself represented a massive departure from my grandiose expectations for my recovery.

I was back at my doctor’s office early last week for my six-week check-in. She made some adjustments to my medication, which should help immensely. Honestly, the effortless weight gain, the absolutely no energy, the absolute exhaustion and the absolute inability to sleep properly have gotten old. On a positive note, my blood work supports my symptoms, which in my doc’s words “means we can fix it!”  My doc is a rock star and is taking good care of me through out my treatment. Unfortunately, it’s just part of the process as we figure out the right Synthroid dosing.

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She did reiterate my ability to work out, but added a caveat about common sense. Clearly, she doesn’t know me. I did ask about the 5k, to which she responded “I hope you lose – meaning I hope you walk.” As I got up to leave, we compromised on a solid effort in the first mile with common sense dictating mile two and three.

In the end, I was nervous and excited for my first 5K in over a year. I went into the race with reasonable expectations and the hope that I’d finish somewhat respectably. As the race neared, we entered the start corral, which was huge. The corporate run had over 9,000 participants this race. Fortunately, it was a chip to chip race.  Consequently, my time was not negatively impacted by being encumbered by mobs of people behind the start line. img_0615

It felt amazing to be racing again! The first mile went pretty smooth and I felt pretty good. As I promised my doctor, I was conservative over the remainder of my race. In the end, with my foot asleep and pride swelling in my heart, I crossed the finish line. While my heart was swelling with pride, my right foot was coming back to life, after falling asleep on mile 2, as I waited patiently for my post race free beer.

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My time this race was the slowest I’ve ever logged at a 5k, but it will forever be the one that gives me the most pride. After a torn tendon, a diagnosis of Graves’ disease, subsequent treatment and no exercise for nine months, my time of 37:23 is pretty damn good! Moral of the story, winning isn’t always about getting a PR every race. Sometimes winning is not being afraid to show up and do your best no matter what cards you’ve been dealt. 

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Lastly, I had to share this photo from last year’s race as it included Paul.   My associate director Paul was someone who embodied perseverance.  While he wasn’t with us this year physically, he was definitely therein spirit.  We miss you Paul!

Terrific Tuesday

I don’t know about you, but I for one am glad that this terrific Tuesday is coming to a close.  Today was just one of those days.  There were several times I wish I could have disappeared out of a room today.  In all honesty, it could be the lack of sunshine and blue sky that has me over today.  Admittedly, we’re quite spoiled with sunshine in South Florida.  The past week, however, has been absolutely dreary.  It is driving me and everyone else here bonkers.

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Of course, a lack of sleep could also be to blame.  After all the excitement of last night, I got to bed much later than I would have liked.  #damnbird. Meanwhile, our rescued baby bird is living the high life in her protected and cushy enclosure.  As the hubby and I look for places to bring her, Goalielocks and the Mayor have been plotting to make our house her forever home. #notgoingtohappen.  Thankfully, the little birdie is doing well and is safe and sound.

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There was no playoff hockey tonight, so it has been a quiet evening for me.  I get these athletes need to rest, but selfishly I don’t want to wait for game 7.  Tonight’s game should be epic.  There’s nothing better than game 7 playoff hockey!  Since I’ll be up late tomorrow evening, I’m heading to bed a little early tonight.

We Made It

Well we made it to Friday night. It’s only 8:00 and I’m ready for bed. I’m not sure if it is the remnants of the sinus infection or what, but I’m beyond exhausted. Honestly, I was a bit puzzled until I remembered I only had one cup of coffee today!

At the office, they say I glow when I have my coffee in hand. This afternoon as 4:00 rolled around, my energy level was completely gone. To the point one of my colleagues was a bit worried. Lesson learned. Don’t skip that second cup of coffee!

This afternoon I had the opportunity to attend a baby shower for one of our colleague with some great co-workers. Our training department knows what they’re doing. The shower was absolutely marvelous and fun with beautiful decorations and desserts. Nothing compliments a vegan protein shake better than a gourmet cupcake. If only there was coffee, it would have been completely perfect.

Now we’re headed into another hockey filled weekend. Sunday I’m headed to the gym for some aerial yoga action. Hopefully, I can get in a power burn class first, so I can fully indulge in the amazing Super Bowl food. I hope everyone’s week was productive and their weekend is relaxing!

Monday, Monday

Monday, Monday

Monday, Monday it wasn’t all I hoped it would be.. Okay I’m totally exaggerating, but it totally sucked getting up earlier than the past two weeks.  Moreover, not only did it suck for me, but it really sucked waking up the boys.  After all, outside of Sunday morning for the Mayor, they haven’t seen a 6:00 hour wake up call for weeks.  It was everything I expected to be and more – i.e. it was brutal for everyone.

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I’m not a morning person, which is why my 5:30 am fitness class aspirations are such a big commitment.  This morning I hit the snooze at least three times before finally rolling out of my nice, warm bed to wake up the kids.  They fought the wake up, but acquiesced only to fall asleep again the couch.  Consequently, you can imagine the forlorn looks on their faces when I woke them up again.

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Fortunately, both the boys and myself made it to the bus top/work despite the general awfulness that can accompany an early morning especially a Monday morning.  Unfortunately, with the return to normalcy and kids in school, we also enjoyed (not so  much) a return to normal South Florida winter traffic.  I would just like to say F you to the snow bird driving 50 in the left lane.  You’re a dick.

Now that I got that out, boy oh boy do I feel better, work was great.  The team and I had a productive day and no tears were shed.  Put one in the win column for me!  I’m not letting Monday (or an annoying snow bird) get in my way!  After work I headed to spin class.  I promised my podiatrist I’d stay in the saddle.  Nevertheless, I think some promises are meant to be broken.  I didn’t go into 3rd and I had to lower my resistance in 2nd, but I pushed it to my limit. If I felt any pain at all, I went back into the saddle.  I left the studio with wet hair, super sweaty and having burnt 387 calories.  Another notch in the win column for me!

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After spin, I was able to wrap up yet another productive shopping spree on Amazon.  Thanks to Amazon Prime all my goodies, hand warmers included, should arrive before we are northward bound.  #Winning.  As you can see, my Monday wasn’t too bad. In fact, it was pretty fantastic.   Honestly, if that alarm had gone off just a little later, it would have been darn near perfect!

Tonight’s song is in honor of everyone’s least favorite day of the week.  As you reminisce about the Monday that was enjoy The Mama & the Papas “Monday, Monday.”

Magical Moments

Magical Moments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breakfast With Santa

Breakfast With Santa

Today was our annual Breakfast with Santa at work.  I know what you may be thinking.  We’re far too old to be eating with Santa, but you’d be wrong!  Importantly, our annual breakfast is the culmination of our Angel Tree drive. In fact, this year we adopted 363 angels for Christmas!

Our Angels come courtesy of ARC Broward, which is an incredible organization that provides people with disabilities and other life challenges the opportunity to fulfill their potential.  Raising children in modern times is incredibly expensive.  Unfortunately, for parents of special needs children, the costs can be exponentially higher, which is where we come in.

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This event started over seven years ago when my CRO and his wife adopted their daughter’s classroom having seen the need first hand.  Thankfully, my CRO shared this opportunity with our military team and we took up the challenge.  Excitedly, this is my second year leading the event with my partner in crime MK.  By comparison to years past, our team is bigger, more diverse and incredible this year.  We made a concerted effort to expand the team outside of our unit, so it would encompass representation from units across the company.

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First, we started off our morning staging the gifts downstairs.  As a result, our employees could get their pictures taken in front of the gifts with Santa.  The sight was beyond impressive with gifts for over 300 people including 20 bikes staged in reception! What struck me as I looked at the gifts, was the amazing generosity of my colleagues.  In that moment, I felt truly blessed and proud.  Blessed and proud to be a part of an organization where community involvement and philanthropy are prized and encouraged.

Importantly, current employee engagement theory has shown that engaged employees happier and more productive.  Since I had the pleasure of taking the pictures with Santa, I got to witness our employees reaction to the event first hand. Without fail, our collective generosity blew away my colleagues.  Time and after time, people made comments about how awesome it is to work with such great people and at a great place.  Undoubtedly, for me, witnessing both their pride and their joy was a profoundly rewarding experience.  As a result, I have no doubt that today’s event was an employee engagement win!

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Afterwards, I headed back up to meetings.  Meanwhile, the team loaded the gifts up for delivery.  I simply cannot wait to go hand out the gifts later this week.  Last year, it was such an amazing, life affirming experience.  Unquestionably, the joy on the children’s face coupled with the gratitude of the teachers and parents is indescribable.  Meanwhile I’m filled with the joy and gratitude for today’s experience.

Tonight’s song performed by  music legends David Bowie and Bing Crosby   is “Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth.” 

Super Saturday

Super Saturday

Today was definitely a super Saturday as I spent it at the rink with the Mayor and his team.  Fortunately, we were local playing two games down in Coral Springs.  Moreover, the scheduler did a great job as his games were perfectly scheduled.   Consequently, I was able to pick up the race packets for the Purple Stride event after the team lunch.

The Mayor came out on fire this morning in game 1 against the Panthers scoring a beautiful goal on his first shift.   He ended the first period with a goal and an assist.  His team has come together nicely and really plays for each other.  In the second period, his line-mate BK came to visit me in the Sin Bin.  The ref sent him to the box for for interference after he took down the kid that had just leveled the Mayor.  He came into the box and said “there’s no way I was gonna let him get away with hitting the Mayor.”   Honestly, when a kid comes to the box for defending their teammate, I’m never mad.  Sticking up for your teammate is what good teammates do.

That penalty was in the second period, but BK would be back to visit me in the 3rd.  The Mayor took the puck on our blue line and started heading towards the offensive zone when a linebacker of a player boarded him in the neutral zone.  The player really should have been called for a 2 and 10, but whatever….

Fortunately, the Mayor wasn’t hurt.  He skated hard down to the offensive zone, where the same kid had just checked his line-mate BK into the boards.  The Mayor laid this kid out.  I gotta be honest, I was proud of him for sticking up for himself and his teammate.  The hit was a real beauty and would have been perfectly legal if they were bantams.  While the Mayor may be small in stature, he is large in personality, strength and presence on the ice.  Undoubtedly, the player he laid out will remember him.

Afterwards, we headed to Lefty’s for lunch with the team.  My brother met us for lunch, so the Mayor was totally stoked.  Originally, I hadn’t planned on staying at lunch because I had to pick up the packets.  My bro was able to take the Mayor back to the rink, so I could go to Boca to get the packets.  Meanwhile, the Mayor was super excited to spend some time with his uncle.

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Both J&B and then Rich were able to join us for the second game, which was a much tighter contest.  It was a fun game to watch and the kids worked hard together.  They enjoyed watching him play.  The Mayor use his new stick even if it was a little tall for him.  He was just a little excited about it.   At the end of the day, I love watching the Mayor’s squad play.  They create an atmospheric experience at their games.  Undeniably, there is nothing better than watching these kids come together and start playing for each other.

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Now it’s off to sort shirts and put together the packets for tomorrow’s race.  Undoubtedly,  I’m nervous for the race since my training has been non-existent and I hate sucking.  If you haven’t donated to the team or still want to join (it’s not too late), you can donate at this link or register at tomorrow’s event.

Tonight’s song is “Machinehead” by Bush.

My Manic Monday

My Manic Monday

While last night’s blog was dedicated to my favorite riffs, I could have very easily written about my manic Monday.  Queue the Bangles song here please.  From the very beginning of the day, and I do mean the very beginning, I had a dubious feeling about they day.

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My Monday started as the clock struck midnight and Goalielocks woke me up.  Sadly, he was unable to fall asleep and was quite listless. His shoulder was bothering him and he had reached that point of sleep frustration where nothing was going to help.  Consequently, the poor kid only got a few hours of sleep when the alarms went off for school six hours later.

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Since Goalielocks had gotten no sleep, I made the wise decision to let him stay home and sleep.  The last thing we need is for him to be overtired all week and get sick.  Unfortunately, when he gets sick, he gets really sick.  Thankfully, he doesn’t get sick often and I wasn’t about to chance it this week.  He walked in a zombie like state to my bathroom and I sent him back to work.  For once, he quickly complied with my directive.

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Meanwhile, I still had to get ready for work and get the Mayor to the bus stop in time.  I failed.  Oh it was going to be one of those Mondays.  Sadly, the Mayor missed his bus and I had to drive him to southwest Boca for school  While his school is much closer to my work, the commute from his school to my  work is longer than my normal commute. Ugh!

All day Monday, it was one thing after another.  Nothing went right and seemingly everything was going wrong.  As I worked, I got an urgent call from Goalielocks at 3:30 pm.  Goalielocks was concerned that I had forgotten him this morning. Meanwhile, did you notice how he waited to ask in the late afternoon when it would have been too late for me to take him to school?  I did.  I chuckled and reminded him that I told him to go back to bed since he literally got no sleep the night before.  Keep in mind, I had spoken with him via text several times that day, but he never brought it up until he called me.

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When my work day finally ended, I had hoped the commute home would provide a respite.  Oh boy was I wrong.  I pulled up my Waze and kept looking for routes, but the commute got longer and longer with each refresh.  Noticing the extremely long commute, I called my hubby to let him know.  Unfortunately, he hadn’t left the job yet, so there was no way the Mayor was gonna make it to hockey practice last night.

 

Meanwhile, my drive took an hour and forty minutes.  It usually takes between 30-35 minutes for me to get home.  Oh what a little rain and snowbirds can do to one’s commute.   Honestly, driving in S. Florida is one of the most aggravating experiences one can have.  As I was literally parked on the turnpike, I noticed several drivers that felt the shoulder had become their new lane.  The fact that S. Florida drivers are that selfish, self-important and reckless is beyond aggravating.  If someone had been changing their tire or working on their car, they would have been killed.  I cant even with these people.  You see that?  They totally bring out my inner 13 year old girl.

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Fortunately, my night ended on a high note literally. I spent it writing my blog about my favorite riffs, cuddling with my boys and researching salt water tanks with Goalielocks.  Then I went to bed and shortly thereafter my hubby and Jake got home from their beer league hockey game. Before going to bed, I had sent Jake my blog link to get his opinion on my favorite riffs.  He’s a complete music aficionado, so I was both excited and nervous to get his credit.  When he came into my room to tell me good night, he told me I did a great job and that made my night.  I love my boys.  I have so much gratitude for my boys and their love.  I’m quite lucky.

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Before I leave you with my music video of the night, I wanted to be sure everyone in the blogosphere, Facebook, and Twitterverse are aware that tomorrow is the last day to register online for the Purple Stride event.  If you’re not local to S. Florida or can’t participate, that’s okay as you can support the team with your donation.  Presently, we’re over $3,000 away from our fundraising goal.  Here’s the link: Team Deb Force Five

Tonight’s song comes to us courtesy of the Bangles.  Enjoy “Manic Monday!”