Adulting 2, Me 0

Adulting 2, me 0. At least that was the score of yesterday’s game of life. As you know, our fridge decided to die unceremoniously during the holiday season. Unceremoniously might not be the right word. After all, the dogs rejoiced as they licked up the spillage from the freezer. Ultimately, I pulled the trigger on a new Samsung fridge courtesy of Best Buy, which will be installed on Friday morning. In the interim, our two garage fridges are packed to the gills!

The day took another left turn for me as I cooked dinner. Apparently, I am no allergic to carrots, scallions or mushrooms. This, my friends, is quite problematic as I really enjoy all three. As I begun to heat the oil to sautee the chicken, I noticed I too was heating up. Shortly thereafter, I felt that my face was burning. A quick peek in the mirror confirmed my suspicions, I was having an allergic reaction to something I had just touched or eaten.

You may already know that I have an anaphylactic allergy to mangos, which started out as an allergic reaction on my skin. Naturally, the progression of my mango allergy from rash to anaphylaxis gives me pause when it comes to cooking with the three suspected items. It’s also a reminder of how allergies can pop up randomly throughout our lives with varying severity. Consequently, I ended my night early courtesy of some Benadryl and a quick shower. Surprisingly, I was able to read two chapters in my book before I felt like passing out.

So far today has been better, although the allergic reaction has left me feeling a bit fatigued. I also had to scrounge up something for lunch as my planned meal contained mushrooms. Obviously, I’ll be employing an avoidance strategy until I can get tested at my allergist’s office. I seriously hope that I had an allergic reaction to something that was on the food and not the food itself. Honestly, I hated giving up mangos and gluten. I’m not looking forward to giving up something else. To be honest, however, I’m not super good at giving up gluten. That is a work in progress.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 2 of BBG 3.0 week 6, which means it arms/chest and back day! I am not looking forward to the broad jump burpees!

*I’m so excited!!!! I’m counting down the days until my oldest boy comes home for Christmas! His arrival is getting closer!!!!!

*Today I ran a mile and walked a mile. It kicked my butt!

*Today’s word of the day is festive. I may have used by charge card a little too liberally on Christmas decorations, but I really wanted to give the house a festive look.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. Today’s footprints may have included some ashes since they knocked over the grill. There are, however, no kitties in this house.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is Creep covered by Weezer in fantastic fashion: https://www.facebook.com/weezer/videos/209217593716628

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I’m So Excited

I’m so excited! In just a few days, my boy will be home for the holidays! It’s been over a year since he’s been home. Can you believe it? Truly, we can’t wait to see how the dogs respond to seeing him again after all this time. I think they’re going to lose their minds! Anakin, of course, will be meeting him for the first time. Before he meets him, we’ll give Athena and Maya time to hang out with Jake without the interference of their little brother.

Speaking of I’m so excited. Is it just me or does that phrase immediately conjure pictures of the Saved By the Bell episode where Jesse Spano overdoes it on caffeine pills? I’m pretty sure if you were born in the 80s like I was, you know exactly what I’m talking about. What I need to see and have not yet watched is the Saved By the Bell reboot. My brothers and I used to watch Saved by the Bell every Saturday morning usually at my Grandma’s house. Has anyone in the blogosphere watched it? Is it any good?

Anyway, I digress. Here at the homestead, preparations are underway for Jake’s return. We’ve got to set up his old-old room for him since Goalielocks took over his room. This has been a bit of an undertaking since Goalielocks’ cleaning style involves throwing everything in that presently unused room. Yeah, he cleaned the upstairs a couple of weeks ago and it looked pretty good. At least, it looked pretty good until I went looking for my medicine ball in his old bedroom.

Yesterday, the Mayor had one game up at Skatezone. They won 4-0 and he had a great game. Unfortunately, he took an elbow to the head that sent his head into the boards at the end of the game. Since I was working the box, I was able to clearly see it from my vantage point. Consequently, once we got home from the game he began to complain about a headache. Thankfully, he passed the concussion protocol and had no other symptoms apart from the headache. Out of an abundance of caution, we’re going to keep him home from practice tonight. He, however, is not supportive of our cautious approach. Too bad!

Also, I finally made it to the eye doctor after putting it off for years. I know, I know, it’s horrible. Thankfully, the appointment was quick and painless. Fortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any signs of thyroid eye disease in my eyes. Thyroid eye disease, TED, is often a hallmark symptom of Graves diseases. I’m fortunate, however, that my eyes have not been impacted either before RAI or after RAI. Lastly, I treated myself to my first new pair of glasses in like a decade. I’ll post a picture as soon as they come in.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 1 of BBG 3.0 week 5, which means it leg day!

*I’m so excited!!!! I’m counting down the days until my oldest boy comes home for Christmas!

*Today I ran a mile and walked a mile. It went far better than my run on Friday. Thank god!

*Today’s word of the day is astound. My children’s ability to “clean” astounds me. Perhaps it’s my fault for trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. Today’s footprints may have included some ashes since they knocked over the grill. There are, however, no kitties in this house.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them!

Today’s song is Whiskey in the Jar, by Metallica.

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Save Big With Blue Apron

Folks you can save big with Blue Apron this weekend by clicking here:

Labor Day Flash Sale: Save $80 Over Your First 4 Boxes!

This weekend only you can save $80 over your first four boxes. We’ve been using both HelloFresh and Blue Apron. What I like about Blue Apron is the myriad of healthy options they provide. It’s very easy to find dishes that are calories smart, carb-conscious, or Whole30 compliant. I’ve found their recipes easy to follow and very tasty. The best part is that you can choose your meals from week to week. If you’re traveling or your refrigerator is full, you can opt to skip a week.

So try it out and save big with Blue Apron this weekend!

Day Four

Day four of virtual school was one for the history books. Particularly, if your history books focus on dumpster fires or shit shows. If so, this day was legendary. We all knew it was coming, didn’t we? I mean, I think we’ve been waiting for the shoe to drop. And today that mo-fo of a shoe dropped. This means the low expectations I wrote about yesterday came to fruition today.

First of all, my thyroid is raging. I’ve been so hot at night I can only manage with one light blanket and the thermostat at 72 degrees. My doctor will be adjusting my dosage down a bit come next Tuesday morning. It also means that falling asleep and staying asleep has been a real challenge. For some reason, I don’t fall into a good deep sleep until early in the morning. Anyway, I remembered to get up to take my thyroid meds, but I slept through my alarm to wake up the boys. Fortunately, this wasn’t an issue for my Mayor, who was ready to go to school by 7:00 am.

On the other hand, this was a problem for Goalielocks. As soon as I woke up, which was still before school started, I ran upstairs to make sure he was awake and ready to attend class. He sat up in his bed, grumbled, and laid back down. I proceeded to repeat my message; i.e. get out of bed and get ready for class. This time he sat up. He told me he knew he had to be up and asked me to close the door so he could get dressed. I shut the door, albeit it not tightly. He then yelled at me for not being able to close the door right. Teenagers are so pleasant in the morning. Aren’t they?

Thinking he was up, I headed out to grab my coffee. As you may know, Dunkin’ coffee is essential to my ability to function as a human being. Afterward, I took the dogs out and went to work. It was a long commute to work from my couch to my room, but I made it safely and without incident. I got some work done before going to yoga via Zoom. It was at that point I realized I hadn’t heard my middle child moving around upstairs. Before relaxing into child’s pose, I texted him and added a find my iPhone alert. He responded pretty quickly asking why nobody had woken him up for school. Seriously?

Obviously, he made me mad. Since he was now up and attending class, I continued with my yoga class. I was hoping that the beautiful yin class taught by Jennifer would help calm me. Fortunately, I finished the class feeling like a new person and completely calm. At least for a few minutes. Naturally, the calm left me after interacting with my two star pupils, who were in stellar moods today. How lucky am I that both were in a piss poor mood? At dinner, Goalielocks was still insisting nobody walked him up. This despite the fact I had a full conversation with him this morning at 7:15. Anyway, today was the type of day I have dreaded. Thankfully, we only have one day left in the week.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read Mary Barton, by Elisabeth Gaskell. It’s really getting good now! We have a murder mystery on our hands.

*Yin with Jennifer at Open Heart Yoga Studio

*It’s only day four, but I was feeling inspired. Consequently, I wrote a poem about the first week of virtual school. While it’s no The Raven, it gets my creative point across.

*I ran two miles and walked a mile today. Naturally, I listened to Metallica and watched Curb throughout my run. I am basking in the joy of accomplishment.

*I survived day 3 of virtual school. I am keeping my eye on the prize aka the weekend.

*We had no hockey practice tonight. It was family dinner night. I cooked pork carnitas tacos, which were awesome.

*BBG 2.0. week 12 day 4: cardio and yoga

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk.

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Expectations

They say the path to happiness is low expectations, but I’m not quite sure that’s true. See I have nothing, but the lowest expectations for the new virtual school year. As the saying goes, I should be happy due to my lack of expectations. However, here I am lamenting the fact that my low expectations may start coming to fruition. Day one and two went pretty well in our house. Today I’m not overly confident that my middle child was awake for his first two periods. Yes, he was logged in to the classroom at the appropriate time, but he was on his phone laying in bed with the camera off. Oh yes, I saw a glimmer of my low expectations (aka worst nightmare) for the new year this morning.

Fortunately, I received no calls or emails from the school indicating he was absent, tardy, or otherwise disengaged. This evening, however, I did get two calls and emails from the school regarding code of conduct violations and using the google classroom app when using a cellphone to attend class. The phone calls I received were sent out to everyone. Consequently, I’m hoping this means that he was participating despite laying in bed. By the time the second period was over, he was at his computer desk doing his work. Thankfully, he did this on his own volition.

While the boys did their school work, I kicked ass adulting. I went to work, completed my workouts, and logged volunteer hours. This afternoon, I sent out my first Loom video (you can check it out below) to my Purple Stride team captains. Loom is an awesome tool for connecting with people during this time. As for my workout, Kayla Itsines kicked my butt in today’s workout with far too many burpees. I have said it before and I say it again, lay down burpees should be illegal. Unbelievably, I will be finishing my second round of BBG. That’s twenty-four weeks of incredible workouts. I’ve never been stronger.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read Mary Barton, by Elisabeth Gaskell. It’s really getting good now! We have a murder mystery on our hands.

*Yin with Kaye at Open Heart Yoga Studio

*I’m trying to level set my expectations for the new school year somewhere between a total gong show and perfection.

*I ran one mile and walked a mile today. Naturally, I listened to Metallica and watched Curb throughout my run. I have to say, emphatically in fact, that I love Metallica’s S&M 2 album.

*I survived day 3 of virtual school. I am keeping my eye on the prize aka the weekend.

*Goalielocks and the Mayor had hockey practice tonight.

*BBG 2.0. week 12 day 3: arms, cardio and yoga

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk.

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First Day of School 2020

I’m ecstatic to report that the first day of school 2020 went fantabulously well! That’s right; today exceeded my expectations in every way. The beginning of the day got off to a great start. The Mayor was at his desk ready to work when I woke up. My biggest fear for today was trying to wake up Goalielocks, but he was out of bed and ready to go very quickly. I almost fell over due to this pleasant surprise. Naturally, I was completely relieved.

Of course, getting up early sucks for me too. I’ve been keeping summer hours since March. So up until this week, I’ve been sleeping in until 7:30-7:45. Now I’m up before 7:00 am to make sure my two star pupils are ready for the first bell at 7:30 am. Thankfully, I went to bed early last night to help me adjust to an earlier wake-up. One of my goals is to ensure I get over seven hours of sleep every night. Fortunately, the earlier start to my morning meant less of a wait at my Dunkin’.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the day was that both boys were in a good mood. I think being back in school brings back structure and socialization that they’ve missed. While they’re attending school virtually, there is still ample opportunity for socialization in their classes. Meanwhile, I was able to go about my day without interruption. I won today!

Lastly, I bring you an urgent prayer request. These past six months have been difficult for everyone, but life has a way of reminding you that you’re fortunate. Deb was one of the first people we met when we first started hockey over a decade ago. She was a mainstay at the rink. I’m not sure she ever left. Her daughter Lia was actually on Goalielocks’ first rec hockey team. They were the Lightning and they won the championship. Lia is a figure skater but wanted to try playing hockey like her brothers.

A few years later, Deb’s son sustained a head injury during a junior game. Unfortunately, the doctors discovered that he had a malignant tumor. We were all devastated by the news. The hockey community was devastated. Thankfully, he underwent treatment that eradicated the disease. Sadly, the disease came back within the last year. After consultation with several doctors earlier this month, the doctors determined they had done everything they could. Consequently, doctors have placed her son Austin into hospice care. Please pray for Austin’s healing and peace, for Deb, their family, and friends as they navigate this difficult time.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read Mary Barton, by Elisabeth Gaskell. It is starting to get good!

*Gentle Flow with Jennifer at Open Heart Yoga Studio

*I ran one mile and walked a mile today. Naturally, I listened to Metallica and watched Curb throughout my run.

*I had another pile of Amazon boxes waiting for me today.

*The Mayor has hockey a two hour hockey practice tonight.

*BBG 2.0. week 12 day 1: legs, cardio and yoga

*Today is the first day of school 2020. Since it’s virtual, I didn’t need to go out an buy the 2020 version of the Members Only jacket.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk.

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Connection

Maintaining a connection with the outside world during this time of quarantine isn’t always easy, but it’s super necessary. To be honest, I haven’t talked on the phone this much since I was a teenager. Okay, maybe I haven’t talked on the phone this much since the advent of the text message. In fact, if you know me well, you know I don’t typically answer my phone. Your best option to read me is to text me. Since I have a house of boys and three dogs, communicating via text is much easier since I often can’t hear myself think here.

Meanwhile, there will be plenty of connection starting next week as Palm Beach County Schools start the school year virtually. I fully expect my phone to be ringing off the hook with phone calls from our new victims. By victims, I mean my kids’ new teachers. Unlike last spring, this year the boys will be held to the bell schedule as if they were in the building. For me, this is a huge win. This brings structure to their day that was frankly missing in the spring. Naturally, Goalielocks will have to transition off of his third shift schedule back to a normal school schedule.

There is one major upshot to starting the school year virtually. I am saving so much money by not breaking the bank with back to school shopping. This is fabulous because for the first time both boys want fashionable (aka expensive) clothes. Truly, I’ve had it pretty easy these last several years. Since middle school, they have worn athletic shorts and t-shirts every day. At any rate, I do not miss the back to school shopping push. There’s nothing worse than hunting for a hyper-specific school supply in the bin after bin of school supplies. Naturally, I will have to take them school shopping, but for the moment I will relish skipping this ritual.

Me anticipating how I’ll feel next week

Today I spent most of my day nursing our sweet Maya. Fortunately, she seems to be doing a little bit better today. We were pretty worried last night as she wasn’t able to walk for a portion of the evening. Honestly, I was starting to think she’d be traveling over the rainbow bridge in the near future. Thankfully, she’s fully mobile today. Moreover, she’s been drinking a lot of water and has even eaten some food. This is the first time she’s eaten since Tuesday. Honestly, I’m relieved to see her having a much better day. Please pray that she continues to heal.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read Mary Barton, by Elisabeth Gaskell. This book is more my speed.

*Yin Yoga with Jennifer at Open Heart Yoga Studio

*I ran two miles and walked a mile today.

*I cleaned up a lot of messes due caused by my sick puppy.

*BBG 2.0. week 11 day 4: cardio and yoga

*We have one more weekday until we start virtual school.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk.

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National Dog Day

It’s national dog day and we’re celebrating with our three beautiful dogs: Maya, Athena, and Anakin. Unfortunately, this year it seems to coincide with illness for Maya. Hopefully, she will rebound in the next day or two, but I fear we have a tough decision coming our way. After all, Maya is eleven years old and has cancer. Until yesterday, she has been acting completely normal. Now she’s not moving a whole lot and looks sad. We are not ready to say goodbye, but we are not willing to let her suffer either. Please keep us and our sweet girl in your thoughts and prayers over the next few days.

The other two, Athena and Anakin continue to be their playful selves but are concerned about their sister. Not so concerned, however, that they’ll stop trying to steal her food. Nonetheless, both puppies plopped themselves near Maya this morning and kept watch over her. Instinctually, I think they know she’s coming to the end of her life. Eventually, I was able to get her to take some meds with peanut butter and drink plenty of water. She hasn’t been eating too much, but we’re trying to entice her with some yummy wet dog food.

I wrote about The Bell Jar yesterday and ways to lift it. One of the ways, I’m trying to improve myself is by increasing my cardio fitness. Since my diagnosis of Graves, I have struggled to even come near to my previous running pace. I’m still a good two minutes off per mile from my personal best. In order to improve my results, I’m taking part in a running challenge. It’s quite simple: run at least a mile every day. On days where I have strength workouts, I’m only running a mile. On all other days, I’m running two miles. After each run, I’m cooling down with a mile walk. The challenge is effective because it’s not a great distance, which means less impact on my body and my time.

Thus far, I’m ten days into the challenge and I’ve run fourteen miles and walked ten. After each run, I do my yoga stretching routine to ensure my muscles stay happy and healthy. Since the weather has been ridiculously hot, I’ve been running on my treadmill. This is good because its steady state and I can easily gauge my performance. Of course, I also watch Curb during every run, which makes it good super fast. I freaking love Larry David. One of these days, I’ll share my “Larry” moment.

Tonight we have hockey practice for both of the boys. I’ll be making dinner practice, while the hubby will handle Goalielocks’ practice. Then, after dinner, I’ll take the Mayor to his practice. This way my Hubby can rest and enjoy some playoff hockey from the comfort of our couch. He’s been working in Miami and then driving to the rink to help with practice. Unfortunately, this job lacks a/c, which really wears you out in the August heat.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read Mary Barton, by Elisabeth Gaskell. This book is more my speed.

*Slow Flow and Yin Yoga with Kaye at Open Heart Yoga Studio

*I ran one mile and walked a mile today.

*In honor of National Dog Day, I’m excited to share some pictures of our puppies with you!

*I cleaned up a lot of messes due caused by my sick puppy.

*BBG 2.0. week 11 day 3: upper body, cardio and yoga

*It’s tough to be a parent, especially in this environment. I think I want to protest the return to school virtually.

*We have one more week until we start virtual school.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk.

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Left on the Mountain

Yep, you read that right I was left on the mountain. It all happened at the Farmington Creek Trail just south of Layton. I picked this trail for our Thursday hike because it features: a car cemetery, two waterfalls (including the one you could rappel down to), and a moderate degree of difficulty. Admittedly, I am not fast on my ascent up the trails. Due to the Graves disease, I’m mindful of my maintaining my heart rate and regulating my body temperature. This, of course, is not always easy when hiking. Consequently, my ascent was slow, measured, and littered with water breaks.

On the flip side, the hike for my boys was quite easy. Goalielocks soon pulled away from both the Mayor and me as he ran up the trail. I was jealous at the ease with which he tackled the mountain. In protest, the Mayor sped ahead on his own. Fortunately, when the Mayor got to the first waterfall, he waited for me. On the other hand, I couldn’t find Goalielocks. The challenge became the fork in the trail. Unfortunately, the park service hadn’t clearly marked the trail. Fortuantely, we were able to ask local hikes which way to go. Meanwhile, we had no idea which way Goalielocks had gone at the fork.

I decided to follow the trail to the second waterfall hoping we’d find Goalielocks on the trail. Undeniably, I was nervous that nobody had seen him. At this point, we were so deep into the canyon that we didn’t have cell service. As we continued the trail, the Mayor again took off down the path. Meanwhile, I vacillated between anger, frustration, and awe. As I rounded the bend, I saw a vintage car overtaken by the forest with bullet holes all over. It was quite picturesque. At this point, the Mayor came back to me expressed his discontent with the hike, and headed back to the car.

Now they really annoyed me. Yet, I was determined to see the waterfall. I continued down the path looking for the ropes that would take me down to the base of the waterfall. As I searched the area, I finally got a call from Goalielocks who was at the car waiting. Eventually, I found the ropes that could take me down to the waterfall. However, with unreliable cellphone service and nobody near me, I wasn’t willing to risk a fall or injury by rappelling down to the waterfall. Consequently, I started making my way back to the car where both boys were impatiently waiting for me.

Since I knew they were safe at the car, I was in no hurry to finish my hike. The canyon and trail provided beautiful vista after beautiful vista that I wanted to take it all in. Also, the ascent wore me out as it was a vigorous hike. When I made it back to the first waterfall, I took a seat on a large boulder near the side of the stream and relaxed for a bit. In this spot, the mountain stream and shade cooled the air. It was a magical spot to rest and recover before tackling the sunny part of the descent to the car.

While I was sitting at the waterfall, the Mayor made his way back up the trail in search of water. I had brought my backpack, filled with water bottles and oranges to keep us nourished throughout and after the hike. However, since I was the only one willing to carry it, all of the supplies were with me. Consequently, when he got thirsty he had no choice, but to seek me out. Naturally, he received quite a tongue lashing from me once we met again on the mountain. Soon after we met up with Goalielocks, who had come up the trail looking for me out of concern it was taking too long. Of course, I had been almost four miles deep into the trail, so it wasn’t going to be a quick return.

Goalielocks took a left at the first waterfall, which took him on a significantly shorter trail. Eventually, both of the trails meet up near the second waterfall. However, his trail was overgrown as it approached the waterfall trail. Goalielocks headed back the way he came since he wasn’t sure where the trail led. The hillside where he hiked was filled with vintage cars, known as the car cemetery. On our descent, I learned that he had told his brother where he was going. Unfortunately, the Mayor neglected to tell me this. I was super annoyed with the Mayor at this point. I want to rappel down to the waterfall and I couldn’t because I was alone. Naturally, we spoke at length, on our way back to the Airbnb, about the importance of staying together during hikes.

Despite all the drama on the mountain, this was definitely one of my favorite hikes. The trail affords incredible views of the Great Salt Lake, the valley, the mountains and the canyon. Everywhere you looked, it was absolutely beautiful. Moreover, it was an incredibly peaceful hike as the trail was not crowded. I look forward to hiking this trail again with Jake and my hubby. Hopefully, we’ll get to see some fall colors on the hike and even have the chance to rappel down to the waterfall.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath. This is an interesting book.

*Gentle Flow with Jennifer at Open Heart Yoga Studio

*I went for a mile run. Yesterday, I ran two miles.

*BBG 2.0. week 10 day 5: Abs, cardio and yoga

*It’s tough to be a parent, especially in this environment. I am lamenting the start of a new virtual school year.

*We have two more weeks until we start virtual school.

*This morning we were in cone of uncertainty for TS Laura.

*Goalielocks has his first official practice this evening. The new season has started. Party on!

*This week I have run seven miles so far!

*Today I ordered my first Butcher Box.

*For dinner, we are cooking a HelloFresh meal. I can’t wait to taste it! We are loving HelloFresh.

*I was left on the mountain. I had no trouble surviving the ordeal!

*Recently, I’ve been collecting checks for our team fund.

*I learned a new word today soupcon. This word means a small amount.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk.

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Replenished

After a wonderful two wonderful trips and a week to recover, I’m finally feeling replenished. Both of our July/August trips were soul-soothing and nurturing. Admittedly, I had a much harder time leaving Utah than I did leave the Keys. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to leaving my oldest son behind. Thus, in leaving Utah, I left a big piece of my heart there. My goal was to write every day, but I found myself, selfishly, wanting to savor every last minute with my airmen. And even once on the plane home, I found myself cherishing the visit and not wanting to share my feelings. Lest that feeling of deep internal happiness and peace be lost upon sharing my feelings.

My mom warned me halfway through the trip that I should probably take it easy because it was going to hit me like a truck when I got back to Florida. Naturally, she was right. However, there were so many trails to hike so many new vistas and waterfalls to explore, I couldn’t hold it back. After all, the Rockies weren’t going to climb themselves. Of course, this is probably why it took me over a week to feel replenished.

I planned our last two days out west to be action-packed. On Friday, we took it pretty easy comparatively and went back to the Hill Aerospace Museum. We had gone the day before, but Jake wanted to explore it with us. This quickly became one of our favorite spots. Unfortunately, they were assembling an F-117 stealth fighter, so the fighter wing was still closed. All the more reason to go back for another visit when we head back that way later this year. It was fun to take in the history of the Air Force with my man in uniform. It was even more fun to see kids react to him in uniform.

Afterward, we headed back on base to grab lunch at the BX and hang out at his dorm. The BX was nice because it offered variety at the perfect price point. Once we had our lunch, we enjoyed some vintage Simpsons episodes as we ate. The boys were itching to play COD against each other, so they spent the next hour or so playing Xbox. As a mom, I’ve never been so gratified to watch my boys play Xbox. Perhaps because they’ve been apart for so long or perhaps it was the big smiles on their faces. Either way, I was one happy mama. For dinner, we went back to our favorite Rovalis before heading back to the Airbnb. Sadly, I had to pack us up, so we were ready to leave the next day. The highlight of our Friday night was a dip in the hot tub.

I woke up Saturday morning to my alarm followed by a text that Jake had made it to our AirBnB. Fortunately, for me big brother was willing to risk life and limb to wake up Goalielocks. Truly, it was nice not to have to face that epic task. Once everybody was up and ready to go, we packed our cars and headed south to Big Cottonwood Canyon. Jake wasn’t able to hike with us to Donut Falls, so I wanted to be sure he saw the Canyon before we left. This time we chose a hike up the Willow Lake Trail, which was just a few miles west of Donut Falls. As expected, Jake was blown away by the natural beauty of the canyon.

Jake and I stayed together for much of the hike. Goalielocks quickly sprinted ahead, while the Mayor not so quietly complained ahead of us. On this hike, we gained about 1,600 feet. The hike started at nearly 7,000 feet above sea level. My calves hated the beginning of this hike. Jake and I stopped multiple times to stretch our calves. Admittedly, I also needed to take a moment to let my heart rate drop a bit. This hike was through a beautiful birch and conifer forest with views of the surrounding peaks everywhere you looked. When we got near the top, it opened up into a meadow of wildflowers with a backdrop of the forest and mountains. As I told Jake, the view did not suck.

We finally made it up to the lake where Goalielocks had made friends with a mama duck and her ducklings. It was incredibly peaceful at the lake. The trail was never crowded. Since we were now up over 8,500 feet, the temperature was cool and the gentle breeze felt wonderful. After making the effort to climb to the lake, we hung out for awhile taking in the scenery. Next time I’ll bring a blanket and some snacks as there are plenty of spots near the lake to enjoy a picnic lunch. Naturally, the hike back down the mountain was much easier and enjoyed it together. Hiking Utah and enjoying nature with my boys and Melody was my favorite part of the trip.

I booked a red-eye flight, so we could spend all Saturday exploring the area with Jake. As a hockey family, we made the obligatory pilgrimage to Pure Hockey and the local rink in Murray. I found an awesome brewery just south of Pure Hockey for us to try for lunch. We had an amazing meal! I can’t tell you how much we enjoyed supporting the locally-owned restaurants and stores. Anyway back to lunch, I ate the best BBQ wings I’ve ever had. We finished off our day, with a tour of downtown Salt Lake City including Temple Square, the Capitol building, and the mall. By the time, we headed to the airport, we had seen and done a lot for one day.

As the time of our departure drew nearer, my heart grew heavier. I couldn’t help lamenting that this incredible trip was about to be over. Honestly, I drew it out as long as I could by hanging out at the cell phone lot for as long as we could. When it was time to say goodbye, my heart was full of joy and pride, but also a little broken. I don’t suppose it will ever get easier to leave one behind, but I am blessed that he is in a great place. He’s got a wonderful job, boss, and community of support surrounding him every day. Reluctantly, I boarded that plane back to Florida and then spent all of last week recovering. Thankfully, I’m back to my regular routine.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath

*Vinyasa yoga with Jennifer at Open Heart Yoga Studio

*I went for a two mile run. Yesterday, I ran a mile.

*BBG 2.0. week 10 day 2: Cardio and yoga

*It’s tough to be a parent, especially in this environment. I am lamenting the start of a new virtual school year.

*Goalielocks has his first official practice this evening. The new season has started. Party on!

*Have you ever seen a proboscis?

*Today my hubby sent me the best picture of my sweet Anakin.

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