Becoming a Trilogy

My rental car saga from Chicago is becoming a trilogy. And not a good one. It’s becoming one of those trilogies Hollywood makes because they’ve run out of ideas. I have been working with Hertz since 1/14/23 to close out my failed rental car. You may recall, Hertz had to tow my rental back to O’Hare because it had a bad starter. Yet, here I am over a week later still fighting to get the contract closed.

Yesterday, Hertz customer care assured me that someone would be calling to resolve my case. Well, today Hertz called me about the rental. I answered thinking they were calling to resolve my escalation. You can imagine my surprise when they asked why I hadn’t returned the rental. Consequently, I lost my shit. By this point in the game, Hertz should have more than adequate documentation on this farce of rental experience Honestly, I tried my best to temper my reaction as it wasn’t that representative’s fault Hertz doesn’t have their shot together.

After forcefully explaining Hertz O’Hare has had my rental since 1/14/23, I provided her with confirmation that the tow was received at O’Hare and the roadside assistance case detailing the ordeal. How is it possible that none of this information is on their systems??? I have literally spoken to customer care at Hertz several times a day since before our trip. Candidly, I don’t understand how this went from a weekend rental to becoming a trilogy.

Thankfully, I blocked all charges from Hertz on my credit cards. Otherwise, they’d be charging me daily for a car they think I didn’t return. What an absolute clusterfuck. Hertz’s ubiquitous incompetence at all stages of this experience has been exceedingly frustrating. Here’s hoping this ends as a trilogy because I can’t deal with a whole series of this shit.

In other news, my right shoulder exploded with an angry-looking rash. I figured it was either dermatitis or cellulitis, so I set up a telehealth medicine. Unfortunately, the doctor couldn’t do anything for me via telehealth because of the possibility the rash was caused by a scratch from one of our dogs. Consequently, I headed to urgent care this morning.

The name urgent care is such a misnomer. There is nothing urgent about urgent cares in Florida. I’m a reasonable person, but I have my limits. Clearly, I should have checked in at home and waited until they were ready to see me. Instead, I waited almost two hours in the parking room and waiting room. It’s so frustrating!

I finally saw the doctor, who felt it was likely it was a contact dermatitis reaction. Since, however, I hadn’t made any changes to my routine (i.e. no new soaps, shampoos, cleaners, detergents, or clothes,) he opted to treat me for both. I am relieved that it is not from my dogs, but I’m at an absolute loss as to what caused the reaction. Hopefully, the rash will clear up quickly with the steroid cream and antibiotics.

Today’s accountability tracker:

Big Day

It was a big day in our house as Goalielocks moved out this afternoon. He’s headed to Orlando to start college and live with his buddies. He’s super excited and so are we. We’ll sort of….. It’s a little bittersweet to see our secondborn fly the coop. Nonetheless, we have been making bets about how much our electric and grocery bills will decrease now. Stay tuned. To be honest, I will be counting down the days to his coming home.

Luke and the Mayor traveled up to Orlando this evening as well. The Mayor has two games tomorrow in Orlando including an early morning game. Since our dog sitter moved to Orlando today, I am skipping tomorrow’s games in Orlando. Also, I’ll be traveling to Chicago next weekend for the Mayor’s tournament, while Luke stays home to work. Consequently, I came home after the Mayor’s two home games this afternoon to chill with my puppies and do nothing.

Since it’s just me and the dogs tonight, I ordered some good healthy food via UberEats. Now I’m not a food delivery guru, but it shouldn’t take over an hour from pick up to delivery of the food. For some reason, the drive from the restaurant which should have taken ten minutes took over an hour. Fortunately, the food still tasted pretty damn good reheated. Nonetheless, the delay was pretty aggravating. Good thing I was home alone and angry.

As for the Mayor’s games, his team tied the first one and won the second game. Both games were nail-biters and fun to watch. The Mayor spent more time than usual in the box, but he still had a great day. He’s so much fun to watch. In the first game, he had a beautiful assist on the tying goal. It was an absolute beauty of a play starting with his defensemen and ending in a goal. He just sees the ice so well. Well, this big day is going to end nice and quiet here.

Today’s accountability tracker:

In With the New

It’s that special out with the old in with the new time of year. Personally, I can’t wait to wave 2022 goodbye. At the same time, there were definitely some bright spots, 2022 of as an emotional roller coaster punctuated by gut punch after gut punch. Unfortunately, I know I’m not alone in this. 2022 was a rough year for so many people that we know and love. To say I’m looking forward to the hard reset that the new year new you offers would be a vast understatement.

One of the highlights of 2022 was Goalielocks’ graduation from high school. It was fun to take part in all the end-of-year/end-of-high school rituals that go with graduation. My folks and Luke’s dad stayed with us for the week. Unfortunately, my older brother and his family couldn’t make it due to the late scheduling by our school district. Nonetheless, it was a great time to celebrate Goalielocks and an important right of passage.

Second, we went to the Bahamas to celebrate our friend’s 50th birthday. We had one rainy day, which was okay. It gave us a much-needed chance to chill. Goalielocks and TK enjoyed their newfound ability to legally drink and gamble in the Bahamas. Both boys came away with some great memories (albeit some may be fuzzy) and some extra cash courtesy of the casino. They also enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Nobu to celebrate the birthday boy. It was a wonderful trip.

No sooner had we gotten home from the Bahamas when we turned around and headed west. Jake was home!!!!! I can’t even tell you how excited I was to see my boy. It was like the anticipation of first seeing your BMT graduate tuned up to the nth degree. I had hoped he would be home in time for Goalielocks’ graduation, but current events and world leaders had other ideas. Nevertheless, that first post-deployment hug hits differently. I think Jake worried I’d never let him go. But honestly, would you blame me if I didn’t let go?

The boys and I spent ten days out west hiking and getting Jake re-acclimated to live in the US. There were a couple, okay, maybe a few unpleasant surprises awaiting him stateside. The cost of living had soared tremendously while he was overseas. Particularly, gas prices, rent, and food prices were problematic. His post-deployment rent was almost double his pre-deployment rent. It was absolute insanity. As always, we had a blast exploring and hiking Utah.

In August, we took on Arrow as a foster through Justin Bartlett Animal Rescue. As was the case with Anakin, Arrow is another foster failure. We simply fell in love with the adorable puppy and couldn’t bare to see him go. We loved his name, so we left it as Arrow. Athena took to him immediately. Unsurprisingly, Anakin was slow to warm up to the idea of a little brother. I have the feeling that somewhere Maya is getting the last laugh as she watches Arrow harass Athena and Anakin as they harassed her.

Perhaps one of the most exciting wins of 2022 was that I finally lost my thyroid weight. It was quite the battle and took over four years, but I did it. I’m so grateful for my wonderful endocrinologist and primary care doctor, who have both guided me through this Graves’ nightmare compassionately and effectively. Honestly, I’m keeping it a bit broad here as I’ll give into it more in my post tomorrow.

Finally, the holiday season has been fantastic. It was a complete blessing having Jake home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Moreover, I love having my parents here. Anakin, who doesn’t like people coming to the house, finally took to my parents on this trip. In fact, he started to greet them and open the gate for them in the mornings. Of course, the piece de resistance of this holiday season is Jake and Melly’s engagement. I love them dearly as a couple and am so glad she’ll officially be part of the family. Tonight we’ll celebrate the out with the old and in with the new (aka the new year.)

Today’s accountability tracker:

  • Workout: Rest day!
  • Book: The Marriage Game by Alison Weir
  • Blog: almost done
  • Today’s song: Whiskey in the Jar by Metallica Live at Slaine Castle

Holiday Break is Over

My holiday break is over, so I’m back. Well, at least I’m back to blogging. Fortunately, I don’t have to return to my day job until the third of January. While I’ve been off, I’ve been nursing a Christmas cold/allergy misery. Unfortunately, this mean I also had to take a break from running and working out. Thankfully, I was able to go back to working out yesterday. Truth be told, my lungs were not super thrilled with the run. Today’s run went much better.

It’s been so nice having Jake and my folks here. I’ll be so sad when they leave. I’m sure they’ll be sad to leave, the now nice, Florida weather behind to return to the reality of a northern winter. Nonetheless, we experienced a shortened Florida winter from Christmas Eve until yesterday. In fact, Goalielocks even turned on the heat upstairs for one night. To be fair, it was in the 40s, which makes for a mighty cold shower.

Most of Christmas Eve and the days before were filled with baking esculent treats. My mom and the boys baked a couple rounds of mint cookies after I mixed up the dough. While they baked the cookies, I mixed up some joulutorts (Finnish stars cookies) to bake later. I also baked some peppermint patty cookies and rosettes. The rosettes were a pain in the ass to make, so I’m not sure I’ll make them again. We did attempt to make lefse, but there was a mishap in the fridge. I made Prosecco parfaits for Christmas Eve dinner. Lastly, I made my infamous caramel rolls.

I usually make the caramel rolls one time each year. They take a long time and they’re definitely not compliant with any diet. The kids have protested that I should make them more. In fact, it’s been mandated by the family that I make the rolls one more time this holiday season. Consequently, I’ll be baking more yummy caramel rolls on Saturday morning before the holiday break is over.

Today’s accountability tracker:

  • Workout: Ran two miles, walked one. Hamstring Opener Restorative practice via Practyce App.
  • Book: The Marriage Game by Alison Weir
  • Blog: almost done
  • Today’s song: Rock Show by Blink 182

Early Rise

It was not an early rise for me this morning. I’ve gotten into a good rhythm of going to bed and waking up at the same time everyday since last spring. It’s actually an important part of the Calibrate program. Sleep hygiene is an integral part of living a healthy and balanced life. I’m hopeful that I can return into my normal program tomorrow. Truthfully, the late nights that started last Friday have got me off my routine.

One part of my routine that I’ve managed to maintain, despite the late nights and burgeoning cold, is my workout routine. I had such a long hiatus from working out due to my thyroid running hot. Now that I’m able to workout again and gotten back into the routine, I don’t want anything to knock me off my game. Originally I had planned to run a mile, but I was feeling good so I ended up running 1.5 miles and walking a mile. While I was working out, the boys and grandma made cookies.

Before I got to my workout, my mom, Jake and the Mayor and I ran to Target to pick up some goodies. We got lots of supplies for making cookies and pickle roll-ups. Clearly, there will be no shortage of goodies in our house over the next few weeks. I wanted to buy Arrow a cute wooly sweater, but they didn’t have his size. Consequently, I ended up getting him a cute pair of thermal pajamas. Tonight we took the grandparents down to Melly’s house to. meet the great grand birds. And now I’m headed to bed, so I can be ready for an early rise.

Today’s accountability tracker:

  • Workout: Sweat HIIT beginner week 2 full body workout and a 1.5 mile run
  • Book: The Marriage Game by Alison Weir
  • Blog: almost done
  • Today’s song: O Holy Night performed by Celine Dion

They’re Here!

They’re here!!! That’s right Jake and my folks arrived just in time for the winter solstice tomorrow. More to the point, they’re here for the holidays! I’m so excited to have all three boys gone for a Christmas. Moreover, my parents visiting is the cherry on top! My parents flew in this afternoon, while Jake and Melly drove home from FSU. He had flown to Tally first, so she wouldn’t have to drive down by herself.

The anticipation was getting to me earlier today, so I passed the time taking portraits of the dog with my phone. Truly, portrait mode in the iPhone takes some incredible pictures. Today I was playing around with the stage lighting. It produced some super cute photos. Although to be fair, the subjects themselves were super cute. Incredibly, all three of the puppies were cooperative with the photo shoot. This rarely happens!

We ended the evening with a nice family dinner at Villa Rosana in Boca. Melody and her parents were able to join us, which was fantastic. The Mayor was quick to reserve the spot next to himself for Jake. He definitely misses having his big brother home. During dinner, the boys and Melly enjoyed each other’s company with healthy dose of laughter and riposte amongst the banter. I’m looking forward to another fun day with them tomorrow!

Today’s accountability tracker:

  • Workout: Ran two miles, walked one. Restore and Refresh Restorative gifs practice via Practyce App.
  • Book: The Marriage Game by Alison Weir
  • Blog: almost done
  • Today’s song: Dance With the Devil by Breaking Benjamin

Another Late Night

It was another late night as the Mayor had his last regular season high school hockey game tonight. I kind of thought his team was done last Friday, but clearly, that was wishful thinking. Obviously, I love the morass that is high school hockey in south Florida. If you’ve read any of my recent blogs, you know I hold it near and dear to my heart. Fortunately for me, it’s not over. Apparently, the Mayor’s team qualified for the playoffs. At least, the kids are having fun and enjoying the league.

Before we went to hockey, the Mayor and I took Arrow to his last puppy kindergarten session. He’s officially a puppy kindergarten graduate. Nonetheless, he still has a lot of work to do and so do I. I’ll be signing him up for the beginner classes that start in February. I crinkled up the schedule sheet, so hopefully, it doesn’t get thrown away. He does really well with the trainer in class, but not so well with us. Interestingly, Arrow does awesome when we work at home. We’ll keep working with him as he’s eager to learn.

Today was my first day of vacation. I had planned to take the Mayor Christmas shopping this morning, however, there was a wrench in our plan. Apparently, the hubby scheduled Goalielocks to work. Unfortunately, nobody told me, so it was quite a surprise. It was probably for the better, however, as my sinuses were still bugging me this morning. By this afternoon, my sinus headache had abated nicely. Thank god for prednisone. Hopefully, the sinus headache will be completely gone tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, it’s a big day! Jake comes home for the holidays and my parents get here!!! Can’t wait!! And now another late night is over.

Today’s accountability tracker:

  • Workout: Sweat HIIT beginner week 2 leg day and mile run
  • Book: The Marriage Game by Alison Weir
  • Blog: almost done
  • Today’s song: Story of My Life by One Direction

Winding Down the Weekend

We’re winding down the weekend with a nice quiet Sunday evening. Fortunately, Comedy Central is running a marathon of The Office tonight, which is the perfect way to relax. I mean, who doesn’t love the antics of Michael Scott and his epic movie Threat Level Midnight. While we watched The Office, Arrow went to the groomer for a bath and haircut. The groomer loves Arrow. Tonight he even picked out his own bow tie.

While the Mayor and I picked up Arrow from the groomer, the hubby started dinner. Tonight’s dinner was steakhouse pork chops with roasted potatoes and broccoli courtesy of HelloFresh. Truly, I enjoy trying new recipes and foods through HelloFresh and Blue Apron. It’s a great way to try new foods without much risk. Moreover, the cost of food through HelloFresh has been cheaper than the prices at the grocery store.

Friday night we had a late high school hockey game. Yesterday we went to Luke’s goddaughter’s birthday party. It was a bit of a last-minute deal, but it was a great time. They catered the party with Park BBQ, which was really good. My friend Hanh makes the most incredible cakes. To be honest, I’m not sure why she doesn’t make cakes full-time. Her cakes are better than any cake you’d find in a bakery. She’s so talented!

I had a blast playing with Ava and her mermaid. We ran around the house for a good hour or two, while everyone else watch the Panthers game or played cards. Fortunately, I was able to distract her long enough that mom could grab a shower. Three is such a fun age, but when you’re the parent of a three-year-old it can be exhausting. Being an aunt, however, is so much fun.

We ended up staying out much later than anticipated. I mean two late days in a row knocks me off my ass. To be fair, I define late at this stage of my life as 10:30. Nonetheless, I’m not great when I deviate from my routine. I think the late nights combined with the weather resulted in the massive sinus headache I’ve had since yesterday. I took some prednisone this afternoon, so hopefully, my sinuses will open up. Originally, I had planned to run two miles today, but the headache sidelined those plans. Consequently, I’m taking an extended break from my running.

Despite the sinus headache, I still managed to have a petty productive morning. I got the pantry and countertops cleaned off this afternoon. The kitchen, less the top of the island, is looking pretty good. My Christmas decorations have been put out. I love my Juleniss, or as we call them here Christmas gnomes. They’re super cute. I still have to decorate the tree and hang the God Jul sign, but I have plenty of time to finish those tasks. And now I’m going to finish winding down the weekend with a nice, steamy shower and a soothing restorative yoga practice. Happy Hanukkah to all our Jewish friends!

It’s Not Friday

It’s not Friday and that’s a double bummer. I still have one more day to work this week. And two, I have one more work day between me and two weeks of vacation. By vacation, of course, I mean staycation. The weather here in South Florida has been and will continue to be glorious through the holidays. Undoubtedly, my parents will enjoy the reprieve from the winter wonderland that is Minnesota. Jake will also enjoy the weather since his base has faced a number of large winter storms already this winter season.

Speaking of Jake, he made it to Tallahassee last night. He’ll be staying there with Melody until she’s completed her finals. Once the finals and work are done, they’ll drive home together for the Christmas holiday. I’m so glad they’re making the drive together. It’s a long drive for Tallahassee to South Florida, which can get awfully lonely. Moreover, I like that Melly won’t be traveling by herself. It’s not that it’s unsafe to travel here; it’s just better to travel with company.

Took a quick break while I had a call only to come back to my blog and realize it’s not Friday. Can you believe it?! It’s still freaking Friday eve. Since AEP is over, the business has moved at a tortoise’s pace. And by tortoise, I mean a baby tortoise because the amount of business I’m seeing is quite small. Nevertheless, I’ve been quite productive at home. I’ve been going through my closets to get rid of stuff. I even shampooed my carpets the other day.

Since it is slow post-AEP, my company gave us the last week of December off paid. We also can take as many days off in December as we would like. I have to say, I love working here during the holidays. My old job would suck the life out of you and send you on your merry way at like 3:00 pm on Christmas Eve. Honestly, I will never go back to working for a company that places no importance on work life

The word of the day is terete, which means cylindrical or slightly tapering without furrows or ridges.

Today’s song comes courtesy of Beyoncé’s Lemonade album.

I’m Back

I’m back after a well-deserved and much-needed hiatus from the blogosphere. Life has been quite busy especially with AEP over the past seven weeks. Since I last blogged, hockey season has been in full swing. Unfortunately, I missed a showcase and Thanksgiving tournament due to AEP. I did miss a couple of league games too. This year the Mayor is playing travel hockey and high school hockey as well. If you know me, you know I think high school hockey here is a complete abomination. The high school league is notorious for its huge disparity in both skill level and application of the rules. Teams have players that should be in learn to play on the bench with AAA and junior hockey players. Due to AEP, I missed most of the games. While I’m not in love with it, my player is having a great time playing with his friends.

It’s not just hockey that has kept me busy these past few months. In August, we started fostering the sweetest little puppy named Arrow. They believed him to be a husky mix. We, however, think he’s a border collie, Australian shepherd, and husky mix. I bought a DNA test, so we’ll see what breed that comes back with. Arrow is an absolute sweetheart, but also full of mischief. He’s quite the character. At eight months, he’s an avid chewer and loves to play with his siblings. Athena and Anakin have adjusted well, but they do tire of getting harassed by a puppy. Surprisingly, Arrow shares many characteristics with our sweet Maya girl, who passed in September of 2021. This, on top of his looks, is also why we think he may have some Australian shepherd in him.

In October, right before AEP, the Mayor and I traveled back to Charlotte for a showcase. He had a great weekend at the rink. This time the weather was absolutely beautiful. When we traveled to Charlotte two years ago, the weather was awful. It was freezing cold and it rained every day. There’s nothing worse than a cold winter rain especially if you’re from South Florida. This trip was great too because our team manager made arrangements for the players to eat at the hotel daily. While the players ate and watched videos, the parents could go enjoy a quiet lunch on their own. It was a really nice trip. Our next hockey trip takes us to Chicago in January.

One of the main reasons for the blogging hiatus was my health. Since joining Calibrate, I’ve lost all the post-RAI thyroid weight. Yay!! It’s been a huge year for reclaiming my health, but it hasn’t come without some hurdles. Since I don’t have a functioning thyroid anymore, I take both Synthroid (T4) and Cytomel (T3) as thyroid hormone replacements. My dose had been quite stable, however, when you lose 40lbs your dose has to change. In May, I found myself hyperthyroid again. Fortunately, my Apple watch allows me to easily track my heart rate. By the end of the month, I was getting high heart rate notifications when I was waking up. Since my heart rate wasn’t behaving, I had to stop working out. My Endo lowered my dose again and within two weeks I was feeling much better. I’m finally back to running and working out, which feels amazing.

As I type this, my oldest is on his way back to Florida for the holidays. I can’t wait to have all three of my boys home for Christmas. Last year Christmas was tough with Jake being down range. To add to the excitement, my parents will be joining us for the holiday as well. My folks haven’t been down for Christmas since 2018, so I’m super excited to have them here. My mom and I will be trying our hand at lefse again along with the smorgasbord of Christmas cookies we love to bake. In all actuality, there will be way more baked goods than necessary in my house over the next three weeks. We will be hosting our annual Christmas brunch, which is always a big hit. We’ve got it down to a science, no need to reinvent the wheel. And just like that, I’m back.