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Insomnia

Insomnia has been the bane of my existence these last few weeks. Speaking of treasures that have been lost. Mine has been sleeping. Ordinarily, I have no problem falling and staying asleep. Well, that’s not true. Thanks to childbirth, I have to get up to pee several times a night. Nevertheless, the bio breaks, as one of my former VPs called them, don’t normally disrupt my sleep either. At any rate, the inability to fall asleep immediately is beyond annoying. I’ve tried using melatonin as a stop-gap measure to help me fall asleep, but it has been ineffective. My sleep hygiene is good, so this irks me to no end, but I think I found a solution.

Instead of blogging in the evening, I’m blogging in the afternoon. I’m sure you’re thinking the connection between blogging and insomnia is a bit of a reach. I, however, think it may be the reason I can’t sleep. When I blog later in the evening, it gets my mind and creative juices flowing. Unfortunately, I can’t sleep because I can’t turn off my mind. Fortunately, or rather, unfortunately, work is slow enough that I can write the blog between phone calls and continuing education. Stay tuned to see if that solves my insomnia problem.

Speaking of sleep, we had some great sleeping weather over the holidays. I love going to sleep in cool weather. Honestly, it’s so much more comfortable than trying to sleep in the sticky south Florida heat. Unfortunately, the cooler nighttime temperatures were short-lived. We’re back to our normal sunny and warm weather. Our daytime weather is absolutely perfect. To be fair, I can’t really complain about the evenings either only that I like it a bit cooler at night. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of our beautiful sunny skies.

On the other hand, my folks returned to a winter wonderland of misery. Granted it is much warmer in Minny now than it was over the holidays, but the weather has been grotesque. It has snowed quite a bit since they returned to Minny on Saturday. While the snow is a pain in the ass to drive in, it’s incredibly beautiful. Thankfully, my parents are able to enjoy the snow without having to needlessly drive through it. The roads were so bad that even our old school closed down for the day. When we were in school, our school system was rarely closed due to the weather.

Good news, I found the cure for my insomnia in my work inbox. Our training department sent me my continuing education information today. I’ve started the first course. The content is quite dry. To make matters worse, the voiceover guy’s voice is a less interesting version of Ben Stein’s. There is plenty of repetition in the material to make it boring even without the terrible voiceover. This will definitely put me to sleep! I have twenty hours of continuing education to complete, so that will cover plenty of formerly sleepless nights.

Today’s accountability tracker:

  • Workout: Week four Sweat Beginner HIIT full body workout. Ran one mile, and walked one. Day Four of the Everyday Yoga Shop/Practyce 21-day yoga challenge.
  • Book: Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir
  • Blog: done
  • Today’s song: Paint it Black by The Rolling Stones

Back at it

Well, I’m back at it and not happy about it. This back-to-reality bullshit is for the birds. I’d like to go back on the holiday vacation with the family. Naturally, the first day back at the office after a long absence is always difficult. Today was no exception. Unfortunately, technology did not want to cooperate with any of us today. This made for a frustrating day all around.

It could be worse I guess. I could still be at my old job, which was pure misery. I remember when I left Progressive how happy my hubby was that I’d stop talking in acronyms. And then I started at Kaplan University and it was back to the alphabet soup he so hated. Fortunately, my current company doesn’t speak in acronyms, so he no longer has to worry about that frustration. Nonetheless, I’d love to see the measly lead flow improve back to 2022 levels.

Despite my frustration, I chose to move forward full of optimism today. While I may not have had the best day, it wasn’t the worst. Moreover, I’ll continue focusing on improving daily and hitting my goals. I used to meditate in the morning to a quick sales meditation I found on YouTube that was really effective for me. Unfortunately, the video has been removed. Consequently, I decided to write out my own sales mantra meditation. I’m toying with the idea of filming it, so I can listen to it while I sit in legs up the wall pose (Viparita Karani.)

Today I hit all of my goals less my personal sales goal. My two-mile run went okay. My lungs are still a bit tight from the lingering head cold/sinus/allergy bullshit, so that’s fun. After work, I completed day three of the yoga challenge. Today’s practice was a sixty-minute Hatha class, which I really enjoyed. It was not overly strenuous, but it wasn’t overly chill either. Truly, the instructor struck a really good balance between building strength and relaxation.

Lastly, today’s bloganuary prompt is what is the earliest memory you have. My earliest memory is of saying goodbye to my grandma and grandpa on my mom’s side. I think it was late summer or fall as we didn’t have jackets on. I wasn’t quite two yet, which I know because my clearest early memory is of my grandfather passing away from a heart attack. He passed away eight days after my birthday on my grandma’s birthday. Forty years later I stand in awe of my grandma’s grace, resilience, and faith. When times are tough, I remind myself I’m cut from the same cloth. Anyways I’m back at it.

Today’s accountability tracker:

Following the Path

It’s day two of following the path I’m carving out for 2023. My sinuses are still bothering me, so I called my run to a mile. Obviously, it wasn’t the best run I’ve ever done, but I still got it done. Afterward, I killed Sweat’s HIIT beginner week four leg week. Tonight, I’ll round out the workouts with day two of the Everyday Yoga 21-day yoga challenge. So far, my I’m off to a stellar start in maintaining my salubrious habits.

In keeping with my 2023 path, I finally got my closet cleaned. I still have two tubs to go through, but that can be done during the work week at my desk. While going through a couple of other tubs, I found all our relocation stuff with Progressive. Additionally, I found a bunch of Progressive paperwork, which I clearly don’t need. After all, I haven’t worked at Progressive since 2009. There were also some great books in there including mad libs and a would you rather book.

When we were at IKEA last week, I bought myself two shoe cabinets for the closet. It gives the closet a much cleaner look. Moreover, it was the perfect opportunity to go through my shoes and practice the art of letting go. Incredibly, I found a boot and a sneaker without a mate. My best guess is that I had already donated their mates. Fortunately, the hubby built both shoe cabinets yesterday. Consequently, once the closet was ready, I moved both cabinets into their respective places.

Don’t mind the excessive number of leggings in the background….

The question asked on the bloganuary challenge today was how are you brave. So how am I brave? I willingly ride in a car with stinky teenage hockey players that just finished playing their game after a Chipotle burrito lunch. Seriously though over the past year, I haven’t shrunk from the responsibility of protecting my children. I’ve faced tremendous adversity quietly while maintaining appearances for the betterment of my family. I don’t know what 2023 will bring, but no matter what it throws at me I’m ready.

Today’s accountability tracker:

  • Workout: Week four Sweat Beginner HIIT leg day. Ran one mile, and walked one. Day Two of the Everyday Yoga Shop/Practyce 21-day yoga challenge.
  • Book: Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir
  • Blog: done
  • Today’s song: Let It Go from Disney’s Frozen

The Engagement Photos Are In

The engagement photos are in and they’re absolutely perfect!!!!! Jake and Melly had their engagement photos taken yesterday by Julianna of Murano Media. (If you are local to South Florida and need photos, I’d highly recommend using Julianna’s services.). I had planned to get them photographs as an engagement plan for quite some time. Unfortunately, there were a lot of unknowns about timing that made it difficult to plan. Fortunately, Julianna came through in a pinch.

The kids met Julianna up at a nature preserve in Royal Palm. South Florida has some incredible setting for photography. This venue was no exception. For the uninitiated, the Everglades and surrounding area are exceptionally beautiful especially at sunset. Julianna blew us all away with her professionalism and efficiency. It was an awesome experience!

As of this afternoon, the engagement photos are in. They’re just incredible. I don’t think I’ll be able to pick a favorite anytime soon! Of course the photos came in while I drove back from our trip to IKEA. We spent the morning frolicking in the Swedish behemoth of a retailer getting Goalielocks ready for his move. I saw the text come in on my watch and was super anxious to get home and check them out.

Today’s accountability tracker:

  • Workout: Sweat HIIT beginner week 4 full body workout. I was a bit wheezy this afternoon, so I skipped the run to give my lungs a break.
  • Book: The Marriage Game by Alison Weir
  • Blog: almost done
  • Today’s song: Oh Darling by The Beatles

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

Utah Trip – Hiking

Our Utah trip this past summer was awesome. Of course, the highlight was being reunited with Jake, but we also had some great adventures together. One of my favorite things to do in Utah is hiking in the mountains. Unfortunately, I was not in great shape this time because I had just started running again. Consequently, the first hike in Utah’s heat and at a much higher elevation didn’t end well for me. I definitely lost my cookies going up the mountain. Fortunately, Jake and the Mayor took great care of me and we got down the mountain safely and intact.

The medicine I’m on with Calibrate is great, but nausea can be pretty bad, especially with exertion. Hence, I lost the cookies on the first hike. Our second hike was an easier trail with more shade, but the elevation and heat still kicked my arse. This time I was careful it take more breaks and keep my heart rate lower. I didn’t lose my lunch that time, but the hike kicked my butt. We did see a beautiful snake slither across the trail. Thankfully, it was not poisonous. Unfortunately, it was too quick for us, so nobody for a picture.

One of the most unique hikes we did was at the Golden Spike National Historical Park. This park is about an hour northwest of Ogaden on the northern shore of the Great Salt Lake. Rather than a hike up a mountainside, we hiked down to the shores of Salt Lake. Due to the drought, the American West has experienced, the lake is at its lowest level. Consequently, we hiked across the dried-up lake bed for more than a mile to reach the shore of the lake.

It was striking how dead birds or insects would lay preserved from the salt on the lake’s bed. As we approached the shore where the waves were breaking, there was a wide crust of salt running parallel to the waterline. As you looked out over the lake, it was a beautiful blue with haze coming off the water. It was gorgeous! Meanwhile, the waves of the lake had a bright reddish hue that made the lake look otherworldly. I was not tempted to go in the red water, but Jake and the Mayor did. They both said it felt like an Epsom salt bath. When they walked out of the lake, a layer of salt was left behind on their legs. Naturally, they collected some salt to use at home.

Beyond the beautiful hike on the bed of the Great Salt Lake, Golden Spike National Historical Park is a pretty neat place. They still have Victorian-era locomotives that travel the tracks, so visitors can see what they looked like. There is now a plaque where the golden spike used to be commemorating the coming together on the intercontinental railroad. As for the actual spike, it’s now on display at Stanford University.

There are several other hikes you can do at the park. We opted, however, to drive up to the Chinese Arch. It was a terrifying drive with a drop off of thousands feet to the right side. Meanwhile, the gravel road up to the arch was super narrow. While the arch was worth the drive, I’d probably go for the hike the next time around. I wouldn’t want to do that drive again.

My favorite hike this trip, however, was to Gloria Falls in Little Cottonwood Canyon. I love hiking the Cottonwood Canyons because it’s significantly cooler than hiking in and around Ogden. Our elevation at the start of the hike was over 7800 feet. By the time we hit the waterfall, our altitude was almost 9,000 feet. Thankfully, this particular hike is not arduous because if it was I really would have struggled. Once we got to the falls, the air temperature was in the low 60s. The rushing water coming off the mountains certainly had a chilling effect.

Gloria Falls, it’s absolutely stunning and worth the hike. There is plenty of space to take a good rest or eat a picnic lunch, which is awesome. If I had planned better, I would have brought lunch. The hike itself provides stunning vistas out over the forests of the canyon, the mountains, and the distant valley. It’s a popular hike, so you’ll want to head out early to find parking. Also, the last part of the trail is unmarked. Consequently, be sure to download the map from the AllTrails app, so you don’t get lost. Albeit, you’ll likely run into plenty of people on your way up to the falls. Nonetheless, this is a trail I’d hike again anytime I found myself in Utah.

One of the solo hikes I did on our last Utah trip was right next to the Weber Ice Sheet. It is a simple half-mile paved loop around a pond. While the boys enjoyed open skating, I enjoyed walking around the pond and picking blackberries. I was shocked when a beautiful doe crossed in front of me as she went near the pond to eat. When I looped around again, she was standing in the middle of the path just taking it all in. After seeing all the videos of bison goring stupid tourists at Yellowstone, I decided to give her a wide berth. Unfortunately, she was not there when I came back to run the next day.

All in all, we had some great hikes during this last Utah trip. Ones that I’ll certainly explore again. I’d love to spend more time hiking and exploring both Little Cottonwood and Big Cottonwood Canyons. Also, if my parents travel with us again, I think they’d really enjoy Golden Spike National Historical Park. Now back in Florida, I can tell you that I miss waking up in the mountains every morning. I love being up on the mountain exploring everything and every view it has to offer. There’s something almost spiritual about it! Anyway, I love Utah and I love hiking in Utah!

Deployment Diary – Saying Goodbye

I decided to keep an electronic diary of my thoughts during deployment. By the time this is published, he will be back home.

Saying goodbye to our eldest is never easy, but this last time it was particularly hard. This time it would be the last time I got to hug him before he left on his first deployment. To say that hug contained a lot of emotion and love would be a gross understatement. While he was excited for this new adventure, the mom in me couldn’t help but be anxious and worried sick. Naturally, I tried my best to hide this from him. After all, I didn’t want him feeding off my anxiety. Nor did I want him worrying about his mom.

Perhaps the hardest part of all of this is not knowing the details. He’s limited in what he can share with for obvious reasons, but it makes it hard when you don’t know the when and where. At the moment, we’re just waiting for the shoe to drop. Obviously, it’s been a bit nerve wracking.

Twilight Zone

Last weekend’s hockey tournament was like stepping into the twilight zone. To be fair, it’s our fault for going. The memorial day tournament, as long as we’ve been involved in Florida hockey, has been an unmitigated disaster/twilight zone. This year’s tournament was no exception. Our weekend also had a 70s/80s flair courtesy of the Saddlebrook Resort. The furniture in our room was probably older than all of us.

Sunday was by far the worst day. Our first game of the day was an absolute disaster. In fact, it’s probably the worst hockey experience I’ve had to date. That my friends is saying a lot. One of the refs was not sober and did the job at a level commensurate to his lack of sobriety. There were only two refs as well because folks don’t want to pay for four. We should demand that there are four at the higher levels.

Consequently, the other team ended up with two goals that should never have happened. One the opposing goalie caught the puck and held it. There should have been a whistle or a play the puck here, but there wasn’t. As our boys came off to change, the goalie release the puck to his teammate, who naturally got a breakaway and scored. The second goal happened after the puck hit the netting in the neutral zone and wasn’t whistled dead. Apparently, the puck never crossed the line either, but that wasn’t something I could see from my vantage point.

By the third period, we had tied it up and the game started to devolve. There were several skirmishes that resulted in players being tossed from the game. Strangely, the refs never reported any player numbers or corresponding infractions. It was an absolutely odd situation. However, it would only get weirder after the game when the opposing coach added a goal for his son to the scoresheet. Thankfully, there was someone in the tournament office that watched the game and knew it had ended in a tie. Who does that shit?

The assistant coach added a goal for his son after the game.

The oddness of the day was punctuated in our second game by an opposing parent that walked back and forth behind the bench flicking off the kids. Seriously? I should also say the opposing coach was an asshole trying to get us to forfeit stating we had suspended players that were playing. Obviously, that was complete bullshit. I firmly told the coach to take note of the suspensions already noted as served on the scoresheet. He took a picture and huffed back to his bench. What a loser. At any rate, I will happily skip next year’s twilight zone tournament.

Monday we headed home, which is always a fun drive. There’s no worse road to drive than State Road 60. It’s awful anytime of the day and in any kind of weather. Once we got home, we quickly left again to go see my brother and sister in law that can to town Thursday. We all had a blast at the BBQ and the kids got to hang with their cousins, which was great.

Prom Season

It’s prom season here in the Hockey Mom Fig household. This weekend our younger two will be heading to prom. Goalielocks is going to his senior prom tonight, while the Mayor will be going to prom tomorrow. Getting these two ready for prom has been quite the adventure. Last weekend, I had them both fit at Men’s Warehouse for tuxes. They were both in rare form and had the gentlemen fitting them in stitches. I, however, was in less than a great mood as the tuxes set me back nearly $600. Now prom is expensive for girls, but at least they get to keep their outfit.

Last night, I took the Mayor for a sorely needed hair cut. He looks great! Goalielocks needed one as well, but had volleyball practice, so it didn’t happen. Oh well, his hair looks fine as it is. Once Goalielocks got home from practice, we headed to Men’s Warehouse to pick up the tuxes. It was a zoo albeit better than it had been Saturday. We were quickly served.

What took a minute was having each of the boys try on their outfits. Goalielocks chose a grey suit with a darker gray vest and a red bow tie and pocket square. His pants were a little shorter in style, but I’m told that how the kids wear them these days. Meanwhile, the Mayor also picked out a gray suit (albeit a different one) with rose gold accents. His pants were quite a bit longer, but fit really well. It was interesting to see their individual styles come through in each of their tuxes.

After the fitting we went back home to watch the end of the Panthers’ game. Unfortunately, Hulu was down, so that couldn’t happen. Consequently, we ended up watching Gordon Ramsey adventure through Finnish Lapland. It was fun to see him foraging through the swamp for my favorite cloud berries and blueberries. The scenery was amazing. I look forward to returning to Finland and exploring the country beyond Helsinki. And for tonight, it is night one of prom season! I love it!

Beautiful Evening

The hubby and I spent a beautiful evening near the water for my birthday. For dinner, we went to Two George’s, which has a great location. The food it okay, but I wouldn’t wait more than 15 minutes for a table. It was a pleasant, breezy and not too arid of a night. We sat at one of their covered rocking picnic tables outside. Our food came out promptly and was good. My favorite part was the conch fritters.

After dinner, we headed south to hit the beach. Since the beaches near us close at sundown, the hubby drove down to Delray Beach. It was an absolutely gorgeous evening, but the wind near the water was ridiculous. At times, it felt like my legs were being sandblasted. Nevertheless, it absolutely gorgeous looking out over the waves. Their were storms to the north with some beautiful lightning accentuating the sky. Next time I’d love to sneak the puppies onto the beach. The beach was the perfect way to end our beautiful evening.


William Wordsworth, ‘It is a beauteous evening, calm and free’. 

It is a beauteous evening, calm and free,
The holy time is quiet as a Nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquility;
The gentleness of heaven broods o’er the Sea …