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.

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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!”

Friday Afternoon Bowling

Friday Afternoon Bowling

Today I spent my Friday afternoon bowling at a team building event for one of our business partners.  On the heels of yesterday’s BBQ for our team, bowling and building relationships with our business partners was awesome.  Truly,  I spent a good part of my week building relationships and on employee engagement.  Is there anything better?

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Unequivocally, one of the things I love about my job is the people I work with.  Some are on my team, but many work across the organization in the departments we work with daily.  Silos are the greatest danger to any organization.  Make it your mission to remove silos from our place of employment.  Make it your mission to make positive relationships with the people that support your department, but may work outside of it.

 

That’s all I have for career/work advice tonight.  Let’s talk about the bowling.  I’m awful.   Truly I don’t have enough fingers on my hand to count the gutter balls I threw today.  Consequently, during our second game I switched to bowling from my left hand.  The first ball I threw left handed resulted in (gulp) a gutter ball.  I promptly followed it up with a right handed spare.   Thereafter, I alternated between the hands in resulted in a score that was double my second game.

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In fact, in game two I even led for a moment.  Albeit a brief moment.  For that brief moment between the 2nd and 3rd frame of game 2, I was in the lead.  Since this never happens, I simply had to take a picture of my amazing accomplishment.  Unfortunately, I followed it up with some more gutter balls before netting another spare and two strikes.  You can only imagine the awesomeness of my post-strike strut.

My AD and I had joined the white team.  There were five teams and we rocked it.  As sure as I was that I would torpedo the team, we killed it.  We had a blast!  It was such a great opportunity to meet new  people, connect with those we know and build positive relationships.  While I will never become a professional bowler (cue the small violin here,) I look forward to my next bowling trip my colleagues.  Special thanks to our friends TE and NM for the invite.

Tonight’s song “Smooth” by Santana ft. Rob Thomas.

serving others

Serving Others

Today was all about serving others – literally.  As a thank you to our staff and business partners, we threw a BBQ for our entire South Florida team.   While this wasn’t our first rodeo, it was our third, our last two BBQs have been for a team of 40-50.  Comparatively, today’s BBQ was for a paltry 450 people! For the majority of the team, leadership included, this was their first offsite BBQ.

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Our day started early with a trip to Sam’s to pick up the food we had pre-ordered.  While MK and I got the food, the rest of our crew headed to the park to start the grills.  In order to serve by noon, we started grilling at 10.  Our chefs, as always, were fantastic. When I finally got a chance to eat a burger, it was incredible.  By the time our teams showed up to eat, we were more than ready to go.

For the next three hours, my team and I served our employees burgers, hot dogs and veggie burgers.  It was an amazing opportunity for us to interact with our teams and build new relationships on our expanded team.  We spent the entirety of our day preparing for the BBQ, executing and cleaning up the park.  Unquestionably, it is hard for us to be away from the laptops for extended periods of time, but it is worth it to serve our teams.

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Some leaders fall into the trap of getting caught up in titles and even self -importance.  True leadership, however, is about serving those that report to you.  I privileged to be part of a team that espouses the servant leadership philosophy.  After I left the insurance industry years ago, I never wanted to be in a leadership position again.  Surprisingly, here I am in a leadership position again.  What drew me back into the leadership role was the commitment to servant leadership.

Today was an exhausting, but rewarding day.  The opportunity to meet and celebrate the people that make an organization successful was amazing.  I look forward to our next event celebrating the team’s success and our employees.  In the interim, I remain grateful for the opportunity to serve my team as a servant leader.

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Lastly, I’ve been handling my iPhone X gingerly, so as to not drop it.  I’m acclimated slowly to the major changes on the phone.  Truly, the facial recognition piece is amazing. Once I’ve gotten accustom to it, I will post my review here.  

Tonight’s song: “Mr. Jones”  I’m totally on a 90s music kick this week.  Can you tell?  What’s your favorite 90s tune?

be brave

Be Brave

Be Brave, be bold, be unapologetically you!   It’s quite the call to action isn’t it?  But what exactly does it mean?  To me, being brave doesn’t mean mustering up the courage to bungee jump or sky dive. I mean, I guess in another context, it absolutely does mean bravery.  Rather, I’m talking about the bravery it takes to get out of bed after life’s darkest night’s.  When life has thrown everything it has got in your face, but you still get up, put your make up on, rock your heels and smile, that my friend is bravery.  Yeah, it isn’t jumping out of a plane or anything like that, but sometimes not giving up is brave.

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Speaking of brave, last Wednesday I wrote about my first Xtend Barre experience.  What I may not have shared is that by early Friday, my abs were so sore I could not roll out of bed.  In addition to basic movements, I couldn’t cough, sneeze or laugh without significant pain.  I was that sore!

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I’m obviously glutton for punishment or stupid because I went back for more Barre torture tonight.  There was no bosu ball madness in class tonight, which my abs are quite happy about.  Adam is a phenomenal teacher.  I thoroughly enjoy the class, but am certain that by Friday morning I’ll be unable to walk.

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Whether it is returning to a fitness class that kicked your butt or holding your head high after disappointment, be brave.  Harness your inner shield maiden or warrior , take risks and own your future.  “Audentes fortuna iuvat”  remeber Virgil’s wise words “Fortune favors the brave.”