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.

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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

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Summer Vacation Has Started

Summer vacation has started and thus far it is taking a serious toll on my wallet and my patience. Don’t get me wrong, I do revel in foregoing the school routine in the morning. Last week was the boys’ first full week out of school. Admittedly, I felt their hot lunch bill was taking a huge toll with the multiple sandwiches/entrees and drinks everyday, but boy was I wrong. Let’s take a look at their first week home by the numbers:

  • 8 frozen pizzas slayed
  • 120 pizza rolls devoured
  • 60 juice boxes demolished
  • 14 Jimmy Dean croissant sandwiches gone
  • 12 Powerades depleted
  • 10 hotdogs enjoyed
  • 4 gallons of milk
  • A jar of peanut butter gone
  • A loaf of bread
  • 1 lb of spaghetti
  • A jar of marinara sauce
  • 1 lb of chicken
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1/2 bag of brown rice

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I say slayed for the pizzas because one met a different fate having been dropped half in the bottom of my oven, while the other half fell to the floor. I should also mention that over the course of the week, the Mayor did cook them spaghetti with onions and jerk chicken with black beans and rice for lunch on separate days. With the younger two boys now 13 and 15, my grocery bill is sky rocketing. Both boys are growing like weeds and eating like they’ve never been fed. I might send them to summer school to bring down my food bill! This week I added some more milk and more fruit.

Back to the pizza for a second because I fully thought they had eaten 8 frozen pizzas. After all I bought 6 Digiorno pizzas on Wednesday and by Thursday night there was only one left. Apparently, the Mayor had a slight pizza mishap with a major portion of it landing on the bottom of my oven. Importantly, the Mayor forgot to mention to anybody that this had happened. You can imagine my surprise when the room became very smoky as I pre-heated the oven for brownies. We’re still working on getting the smoke out of the house! Fortunately, it was only a lot of smoke and no fire, but the Mayor learned an important lesson: make sure you tell your parents if you drop a significant amount of food in the oven.

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While they’ve been busy eating us out of house and home, they’ve also logged some nice hours outdoors fishing. The weather has only been cooperative for them in the morning and evenings these past few days. Fortunately, the Mayor and Goalielocks have been able to take advantage of the few morning hours and fish before the daily afternoon storms fire up. Our lake in back has some nice sized large mouth and peacock bass, which my boys love to fish.

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Of course, they’ve had their share of chores over this past week. Unfortunately, they’re not as proficient in competing their chores as they are in eating their weight daily. Nonetheless, we saw some some serious progress on that front at the end of the week. Thankfully, I’m able to control our house’s wifi from my phone, so there was no wifi until all of the chores were completed.  Summer vacation has started and hopefully as the weeks go by they get better at completing their chores.  One could only hope!

 

 

Memorial Day 5k

Better late than never, last Monday Jake, the Mayor and I ran the Memorial Day 5k.   This was my third race since being cleared to work out again.  Although I’m not sure my doctor will be thrilled when I tell her about it Tuesday, but we shall see. She did after all give me the clearance to exercise…

Race morning, I was filled with the usual pangs of regret as my alarm went off last Monday for the Memorial Day 5k.  After all it was 5:05 am and usually I’d get up, take my Synthroid and go back to bed for another hour or two before finally crawling out of bed. Meanwhile the bookends and I headed to Boca by 5:45 am to get our run on.  Fortunately, or unfortunately, this run started at 7:00 am, which sounds early, but is the only way to beat the South Florida heat.

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The run itself went really well.  Fortunately, there were no bridges to contend with like in the Mamacita Mimoas 5k two weeks ago.  The Mayor went out guns blazing, which is never a recipe for success when running distance.   We ended up running together for the first two miles before I ended up pulling away.  I was thrilled that I was able to complete mile 1 in less than 10 minutes.   It felt like a huge accomplishment.

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Mile two was slower, but not by too much.  It was difficult and the water stations kind of through of my mojo a bit.  They had stations every half a mile, which is nice, but it slows you down a bit.  By mile three, however, I was struggling.  In fact, an old guy with a limp, who was power walking the race passed me as we approached mile 3.  I cannot tell a lie: that was quite the hit to the pride.  I was resolute, however, that I would finish before him come hell or high water.  In the end, I had enough in the tank to finish before him and 2 two minutes faster than the previous weekend’s 5k.  Yay!

I quickly found Jake post race as he waited for me at the finish line.  The Mayor, however, took another four minutes to cross the finish line.  Apparently, he had made a friend along the course and took to socializing instead of running.  Nonetheless, he still covered the 3.1 miles and logged some decent cardio.  Afterwards, we waited for the mile run to finish, so we could watch Jake get his award for taking second place in his age group.  As for the Mayor and me, we were just happy to get our finisher pie.  We then headed home with our three finisher apple pies because that’s exactly what you need after a hard fought race.

Here’s our gear:
Shoes brought to you by Asics – my go to running shoe.  I love my Gel Kayanos and am on my fourth pair.  They’re the perfect shoe for serious runners.  My little man loves his Asics GT1000.  

My running pants and shirt: Call by Carrie Underwood Shop at Dicks Sporting Goods

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Lazy Sunday

After an insane week, lazy Sunday was the perfect follow up to lazy Saturday.  Yep, there was a 90% chance that today was gonna be a Netflix and chill type of day and indeed it was.  That’s not to say I wasn’t productive.  I caught up on all the laundry after Goalielocks finished scorekeeping at the rink this morning.  I even meal prepped for the week.  Meanwhile Goalielocks fished and the Mayor watched Netflix from the comfort of my yoga silk.

As I continue to on the Graves/thyroid rollercoaster, meal prepping has become increasingly important in my attempts to stay healthy.  I say healthy because while I see no change on the outside, I’d like to think under the layers I’m getting both stronger and healthier.  We’ll see what Dr. G has to say when I see her on Tuesday.  I’m sure she’ll be none to thrilled that I didn’t just complete the corporate run, but two other 5ks as well, but more on that later.

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For my meal prep, I look for something easy, high protein and relatively quick to put together.  This week I made five containers of chicken stir fry and brown rice.  For my fasting days, I’m currently doing the 5:2 intermittent fasting plan, I did not include brown rice.  For simplicity and time’s sake, I used Target’s Simply Balanced organic steamed in the bag stir fry vegetables.   Tyson’s thin sliced chicken strips, non-gmo and antibiotic free, were the perfect protein for the stir fry.

I started my meal prep, by firing up my Instantpot to make brown rice.  Fortunately, the Instantpot has proven to be a real time saver for cooking rice.   If you’re not a fan of brown rice, you could definitely substitute white rice.  Each weekend, I’ll cook up an entire bag of brown rice, which I’ll use for my weekly meals.  In addition, I have enough rice to package up three portions of rice that can be used for family meals.  This is where my Foodsaver plus is truly clutch.  I cook the rice in a 1:1 ratio rice to water for 22 minutes on high pressure followed by 10 minutes natural venting.  Lastly, I turn the knob and release all of the pressure.

Meanwhile on the stove, I’ve already browned my chicken.   The vegetables, which were steamed in the microwave were then stirred into the pan with the left over oil from the chicken.  Once I’ve cut up the chicken, I add it back to the pan with the veggies and teriyaki sauce.  In the span  of less than an hour, I’ve made my lunches for the entire week.  Additionally, thanks to my beautiful egg cooker, my breakfast for the week was done even before the rice had finished cooking.

The key to maintaining healthy habits is ensuring it’s simple, easy and can fit into your lifestyle.  If it takes too much time or is too cumbersome, it won’t stick.   My Instantpot, Foodsaver and egg cooker have been complete life savers.  These three handy appliances have been life altering.    I can now plan ahead and meal prep my lunches as well as family dinners.  We don’t time during hockey season to make family dinners.   Fortunately, being able to prep on a rare free weekend gives us the help we need to eat healthy during the crazy hockey season.

This evening I was able to sneak in a 30 minute run on the elliptical as the roast cooked in the oven.  My ankles have been a bit sore since the last 5k, so I’ve taken it easy on them this week by sticking to the elliptical instead of the road or treadmill.  Tomorrow will be leg day – oh joy!

P.S.  Tonight’s drama was our duck’s escape from its cage.  Yeah, there’s a whole series of posts coming your way on our duck drama.  I assure you it will be worth the wait.

Products used for today’s Meal prep:

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Consistently Inconsistent

I’ve got to admit I’ve been consistently inconsistent in maintaining the blog over the past twelve months. It’s not for a lack of trying, I assure you.  Rather it’s a function of pure exhaustion and competing priorities.  As May winds down and we approach the end of school, I’m looking forward to the relief that the start of summer begins.  Our schedules slow down and life becomes somewhat calm and balanced.  Of course, calm and balanced in a house of three boys probably doesn’t fit most people’s definition of calm and balanced.if-you-could-ywky2o

Since the corporate run, I’ve continued to train using the Couch to 5K app to gradually increase my mileage and running time.  Due to the May heat, most of my training has been inside on the treadmill.  Fortunately, my AirPods and closed captioned episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm have carried me through the nine weeks of training.  Last week, Jake and I ran a 5k in Delray.  I’m still slow, but was still managed to take two minutes of my time from the corporate run.

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For the past week, the weather here has dried out considerably, so the Mayor and I have been running in the evenings.  It’s significantly more difficult to run outside versus the treadmill, but it feels great.  There’s nothing better then running with my boys and our little Piggie.  Athena has transitioned back to running quite well.  Although much like mom, she’s also out of shape.  Since Maya’s cancer scare, we’ve been reticent to take her out running in the heat.  After a course of antibiotics and some CBD oil and CBD treats from Honest Paws, Maya is doing amazing.

Tomorrow Jake, the Mayor and myself will run another 5k.  Since the summer heat is here, the run will kick off at 7:00 am.  Undoubtedly, I’ll be lamenting my decision to run when I have to wake up tomorrow at 5:15 am.   Of course afterwards I’ll feel much better and be happy with my decision, but getting out of bed is going to suck.

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Today we’re laying low in anticipation of running tomorrow morning.  Fortunately, I was able to meet up with my dear friend Jessica last night in Palm Beach.   I met her this year on Momcation 2.0 (Cayman Island edition) and we hit it off right away.  We had some fabulous drinks, food, conversation and laughs.  It was an awesome night.  I’ll write more on the beauty that is Momcation in a different post later.

We are, of course, like most hockey families counting down to the start of tomorrow night’s Stanley Cup Finals.  It’s lamentable that we’ve had to go so long without hockey at nights.   I’ve tried to catch as much as the World games (Go Finland!,) but it’s tough when you don’t have the channels playing the games.  Nonetheless, tomorrow hockey returns and we cannot wait. It’s going to be interesting to see how the Bruins come out tomorrow after  quite a bit of downtime.  On the other hand, I’m curious to see how the Blues’ rooking goaltender Bennington is going to handle the pressure.  Should be awesome!  Who are you cheering for?
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Continue reading “Consistently Inconsistent”

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!

It’s Time For States!

It’s time for states!!! The vaunted state hockey tournament. The culmination of countless hours of practices, driving, off ice sessions and games is finally here. Fortunately, both of our boys are playing locally this year for states! Yay!! Unfortunately, we’ll be at the rink all weekend with nary a break.

Our tournament started with our U12 Panthers Gold taking on the undefeated Blackhawks Red. It was an exciting game. I had expected a lopsided affair, but it was 0-0 through much of the game. The Hawks put one in while on a 5-3 power play. Our squad didn’t stop their effort and kept it a tight game, but we couldn’t bury the puck. All in all it was a good game.

Well after my bedtime, Goalielocks’ U16 game was scheduled. Okay, maybe 9:50 isn’t my bed time, but by Friday night I’m exhausted. Fortunately, I packed my beta blockers so I could take the edge of my nerves and my heart rate. The game opened with a breakaway against Goalielocks and he came up with a huge save.

The rest of the game was back and forth. Goalielocks saw a lot of shots, but was on point. TK buried the puck early in the first to put us up by one. We netted another goal in the second putting us up 2-0.

The second period had me worried, but our squad stood strong. They ended up banging one in, but I couldn’t see what happened from my angle. When the period ended it was 2-1. Thank God for beta blockers.

As the third period got underway I was hoping for a quick goal to allay my nerves. I got it! #relieved. The team had some great offensive moments in the third period. Consequently, we went up 4-1. It was then that the wheels started to fall off for the other team. They took a 2-10 penalty followed by another minor penalty late in the third. Happily, the game ended a 4-1 decisive win for our Panthers Gold and my Goalie.

Now it’s midnight, we’ve been at work and school all day. Tomorrow starts early with a call time at the rink of 9:30. We have game all day and another late night at the rink. I’m off to bed to get some much needed sleep. Let’s Go Panthers!

They’re Back From Quebec!

They’re back from Quebec!!! Thankfully, their early departure from Quebec City got them out before the snowfall started. I figured the big storm that hit the Midwest earlier this weekend would hit the Quebec area today. Luckily, we booked super early flights. Even so they were delayed an hour getting out of Montreal.

The later arrival gave me more time at the gym this morning. I feel like I’m fighting a sinus infection. Since I had no fever and no symptoms below the chest, I opted to hit the gym. I put in thirty minutes on the elliptical and was able to do 4.5 miles in that time. Happily, I can report my knees have improved dramatically week over week. Yay!!!!

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After finishing my run on the elliptical, I made it leg day at the gym. My knees feel much better, but I was careful to pick exercises that did not hurt my knee. I would usually do single leg cable kicks on leg day, but that brought too much discomfort to the knees. Consequently, I skipped the exercise.

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After my workout, I headed to the airport to pick up my boys. It was exciting to watch them land and taxi as I was driving down Southern towards the airport. I quickly parked, as quickly as one can when snow birds are involved, in the short term parking and headed into the terminal.  Fortunately, they were quickly off the plane and so were their bags. Yay! The Mayor wanted Wendy’s, but that was a hard no from both of us. Everyone was exited to see them back home especially the puppies.

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Unfortunately, my hubby had the distinct pleasure of getting to work on the broken items list right away. He immediately tackled the garbage disposal and was able to fix it quickly. Thank goodness! Next up was the air condition. I was pretty sure it was the capacitor that crapped out. Turns out I was right!! Thank you YouTube. He’ll pick up the part tomorrow, so by tomorrow night we should be in the business. Woohoo! It’s great to have him home!

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The rest of the afternoon we spent relaxing and baking. I made my first attempt at an “easy Kouign-Amann” recipe. I’ll be devoting a whole post to it tomorrow. I absolutely loved Quebec City. Moreover, I loved Brittany and Saint Malo. In 2011, we spent some time in Brittany and saw where Cartier sailed from when he discovered Quebec and the Saint Lawrence Seaway. The Breton influence on Quebec is unmistakable.

Speaking of French, I just finished volume one of Proust’s In Search Of Lost Time. While I wait for Amazon to deliver volume two, I’ve started Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. At this point, I’m only ten chapters into the book, but I’m finding it quite enjoyable. I’m off the read, good night my friends!

Last Day in Quebec

It’s the last day in Quebec for our Florida Bulldogs. They spent the morning at the Ice Hotel right outside the city. When we went in 2016, we were lucky enough to get some snow and see a wedding. From the looks of the pictures, it seems they got some snow this year.

If you’ve never been to an ice hotel or ice bar, it’s definitely worth experiencing once. The beauty of drinks at the ice bar/hotel is they’re always perfectly chilled in their glasses made of ice. As for the kids, they love the hotel’s ice slide. Unlike the Ice Bar in Sweden, the Ice Hotel doesn’t require special gear. Rather you simply enjoy the venue in your regular winter wear.

After the Ice Hotel, they headed to the Patro for lunch before heading back to the hotel. They spent their afternoon at a beautiful park up the hill from the hotel Old Quebec. The rink and surrounding area are absolutely beautiful and the ice is pretty nice. Based on the pictures, it looks like they had a great time.

Afterwards they headed to the rink for the other team’s semi-final game. My Mayor did play by play for the first period, but spent the rest of the game hanging with friends. I couldn’t watch the rest of the broadcast since I was driving to pick up Goalielocks from volunteering.

Unfortunately, the Bulldogs lost the game.  It was a tough one.  Consequently, they were knocked out of the tournament. Post game they went out for pizza. I have so many question about pizza in Quebec based on the restaurant’s sign. I guess it’s not surprise my hubby opted for a calzone instead of pizza.

Meanwhile, we’re still down an A/C unit, freezer and no garbage disposal. I’m sure my hubby can’t wait to get home tomorrow to fix it all. Needless to say, I can’t wait to have my guys back home!

Peewee Quebec Day 4

Peewee Quebec Day 4 was full of hockey and Canadian whiskey. Officially, our boys went 1-1 today in their exhibition games. In their first game versus LSA France, they lost a tough one. It wasn’t even close.

The second game, they played a French team and won handily. It really was the first time this trip, they were able to get their offense going. Of course, my updates ceased in the second period, but that’s a whole different story my Hubby probably doesn’t remember. I love the team picture from the second game. My Mayor has his arm around one of the French players like they’ve been friends for years. This is why Peewee Quebec is the best experience for these kids.

Now back to my Hubby and the lack of updates in game two. One of the beauties of Peewee Quebec is that the kids are with the coach from morning tonight, so the parents are free to do as they please. This is even true if it includes drinking copious amounts of Canadian whiskey early in the morning.

Today has been bizarre. The moon is full and the weirdos have come out of the woodwork. I should have know how the day would track when leaving Dunkin’ this morning there was a man out of his gourd high. I mean, high! He was talking to himself like he was in the midst of a video game and acting it out. It was surreal. It reminded me of my childhood neighbor, who when he was five would pretend to be Yoshi from Mario Kart. Only difference is about 30 years and total lack of sobriety. This man was so out of it, he didn’t even notice me or the other customers leaving the store.

The day’s trajectory continued upon this bizarro path. When I didn’t think anything else could go sideways, I got a call from my friend in Quebec. My first reaction was panicked as I thought maybe one of my boys got hurt. Alas, my Mayor was fine and my Hubby has passed out after a tangle with Canadian whiskey. Oh boy….. In case you’re wondering the final score on that fight: Canadian Whiskey 1 Hockey Dads 0

To be clear, the caller was also far from sober. My friend was insistent that I give him the hubby’s phone code, so he could update his lock screen to gay porn. At 5:30 in the afternoon, this was just the call I needed. I asked if Hubby was okay and positioned, so he wouldn’t aspirate his vomit. To which my friend responded, I put him face down, you’re missing the point I need to update his lock screen. When I suggested he used My Hubby’s finger to open up the phone, I could literally hear the lightbulb going off in his head.

Shortly thereafter, I ended up speaking with his wife and my dear friend. She’s clearly a saint for a number of reasons (including last night’s recreation photo,) it today for checking in on my hubby while babysitting her’s. I’m pretty sure that’s not how she envisioned her Peewee Quebec trip. Nonetheless, she kept a watchful eye on my hubby and got some golden pictures. As for me, I was laughing so hard I was crying and that was exactly what I needed today.

Tonight My Mayor is taking in the QMJHL Ramparts game with his team at the Videotron Center. Meanwhile, back at the hotel my Hubby is “undrinking” the whiskey. Once my Mayor is back to the hotel, he’ll call home. He’ll tell me he had a fun day, but wants to go to bed and I’m preventing him from doing that. Tomorrow brings the second game of the tournament and a must win game. Perhaps I’ll even get updates through all three periods tomorrow.