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Namaste

Namaste my dear friends in the blogosphere.  Tuesday morning started off with the realization and confirmation that another icon of my youth was indeed taken too early.  Today Tom Petty is playing his guitar with George in the great beyond.  Consequently, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and The Travelling Wilburys provided the soundtrack for my morning commute.

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The soundtrack brought some solace and lots of nostalgia.  Petty’s songs played with heavy rotation in my house.  Inevitably, these songs remind me of my parents and all the great times we had as a family growing up.  Not surprisingly, as my kids have spent many their summers with Minnesota, these same songs conjure up sweet memories of their time in Minny with my folks.  Music unites us, our collective experiences and the generations.  One simply cannot ignore or question the power that music has to shape our lives.

Tonight, after too long of an absence, I finally made it back to Burn Fitness for yoga with my beloved yoga teacher Monica.  Oh boy, am I going to hurt tomorrow.   Undeniably, my return to yoga was long overdue for both my physical and mental well being.   After a year of pain and grief, tonight’s class felt like a welcome release.   As I work to get rid of the Irma weight, I’ve made the commitment to myself to take time and devote it to my yoga practice . This is long overdue as all of the running and Zumba are quite taxing on my body.  Meanwhile, yoga is the perfect anecdote to keeping my body in peak physical shape.

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Post yoga, its all about the MLB wildcard game between my Minnesota Twins and the New York Yankees.  There’s something alluring and thrilling about baseball in October.  It definitely peaks my interest significantly more than the regular season.  We just turned the game on and its tied 4-4 at the bottom of the 4th.  We’re already into our bullpen.  Consequently, this isn’t the best harbinger for a favorable outcome for my Twins.  If the Twins lose, work will surely be miserable tomorrow with all the Yankees fans in the office.   Let’s go Twins!

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The Struggle is Real

The struggle is real.  By the time we get to Thursday.  I’m fresh out energy, both mentally and physically.  Life as a hockey parent can be freaking exhausting.  Through the week, we run from the morning drop off at the bus stop, to work (pit stop at Dunkin), get the kids, head to the rink, teach Zumba, conquer homework, try to get in a workout and coerce the kids to shower before bed.  Rinse repeat day in and day out.

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By the time we get to Friday, sleep deprivation is hitting its peak and our energy is hitting its low.  The exhaustion is all encompassing, yet we press on.  We derive our inspiration from our kids, while our energy comes courtesy of perpetual coffee.  We should likely have stock in Dunkin’ and Starbucks.  Any hockey mom that’s been around for more than a season knows exactly where to find her favorite coffee near every rink.

Notice how I say we because I’m fairly certain that I’m not alone in my craziness.  It’s not just me… Seriously….  Ask any hockey mom or day and they’ll tell you. As I left work today, I let out a smile as I realized this weekend’s games were home!  Winner, winner chicken dinner!  The realization that  I don’t have to drive to Tampa this weekend was almost transcendent.  Of course at this time of day on a  Thursday, I’m looking for any win.

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I headed home feeling a bit uneasy about life and my path.  Its easy to feel that way when exhaustion fits in.  Thank god for my beautiful, energetic and incredible Zumba girls.  These ladies rock my world (not that way you pervert) and always bring a smile to my face.  There’s nothing like a great workout to clear your head and remind you how great life truly is.  Thank you endorphins!

 

Closing out my Thursday with a rocking Zumba class is the best way to launch myself into productive and happy Friday.  Not every moment in our life is picture perfect.   Moreover, there will be times in our lives where our progress doesn’t align with where we envisioned ourselves.  That’s okay.  So maybe you’re not where you want to be professionally or personally, who cares.  Ultimately the control over where you land is with you and only you.

Mighty Musings

Who’s mightier than mighty mouse?  This hockey mom with many mighty musings tonight.     Oh where or where should I begin?  I guess I’ll just tear off the band-aid and get right to my confession.  I have to admit it’s a bit embarrassing and well don’t judge me.

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My twitter bot is addicted to porn. Sorry Mom!  Oh the horror!  There’s definitely a flaw in the bot.  My coding skills are not in any way shape or form mighty.  How did this happen?  I setup my bot to look for tweets and re-tweet them based on several key words.  Apparently, twitter porn spammers are wise to the twitter bot game.   Moreover, hockey mom  is quite popular in the random words these spammers include in their tweets.  Fortunately or should I say unfortunately, I discovered this when a follower of mine re-tweeted some spam porn.  Consequently, I have to check my feed a couple times a day to make sure there’s no porn re-tweets sitting out there.  I have to admit that I never through I’d have to sort through my twitter feed to block any porn I accidentally retweeted.

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On to bigger and better things, no pun intended, the grocery situation in our household is reaching a Defcon 5 situation.  We’ve been to the Publix and Target several times since Irmageddon left.  Unfortunately, the shelves of perishables, the refrigerator cases, and the freezer cases have remained barren.  At this point, I’m getting a bit desperate.  Hopefully, BJ’s is fully stocked tomorrow.  I need to get some groceries for the house before Goalielocks and I head to Tampa.  Otherwise, the hubby, the mayor and Jake will be up a creek and hungry.

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Tonight before I left for my run, we added a new pet to the family.  Goalielocks caught a baby brown basilisk (a.k.a. the Jesus lizard.)  When I first started running in late 2015, I never saw a basilisk.  I would see our regular South Florida convocation of anoles, rock lizards and Geicos, I mean geckos.   As it stands, now when I run I see several basilisks each run of varying sizes.  Irresponsible pet owners who let their pets go in the wild are responsible for yet another invasive species let loose in the S. Florida.  How fortunate am I that I am the benefactor of this irresponsibility with yet another pet in the house?  I am so super fortunate.   Once the boys name said lizard, I’ll share the name with the blogosphere.

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In other news,  tolls have resumed on the Florida Turnpike.  I can’t believe I’m typing this, but thank God they’re back. Traffic on the turnpike has been unbearable since the suspension of tolls.   All the people who cannot drive, don’t take care of their cars, and are blissfully unaware of the minimum speed limit had found their way from I-95  and onto the turnpike.  My commute had been protracted by 15-20 minutes each way as a consequence of the increased traffic.  Alas, the state has turned the tolls back on.   In some small way,  it seems like my world has returned to normalcy.   Traffic still sucks, but at least it sucks less.

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I’m in my first full week of detoxing from my Irmageddon see food eat food diet.  It is patently unpleasant going from eating everything to eating nothing with carbs.  I’m exaggerating of course, but not eating processed food is tough.  The problem with hurricane food is that none of it is healthy.  Nevertheless, I could have rationed my food better.   Clearly, I should have anticipated the supply chain issues with the grocers and stockpiled some of the food I ate.   Instead I ate like a bear preparing for the longest hibernation of its life.  Thank God I live in Florida, there’s no hibernation and it’s always swimsuit season here.    Sweet baby Jesus!

Oh I did some serious damage during Irma.  On a positive note, I’m back to running on the regular.  My girls and I ran another 3.7 miles tonight.  Its still pretty hot here at night.   I wanted to puke like 3 times courtesy of the heat and the fact I’m out of shape.   Last week,  I wanted to puke during the entirety of every run, so I’d say this is an improvement.  Unlike the mad pooper of Colorado, neither my dogs nor I left any surprise packages in any yards, paths or swales.  Your welcome.

Thankfully with laser focus on a healthy diet and back to normal exercise habits, results are following.  Importantly, I need to make sure I stay on task with my diet and my exercise habits lest I  have another Irmageddon type diet emergency on my hands.

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We’re fortunate to have come through Irma unscathed, but others have not been as lucky.  Both Irma and Maria  battered the Caribbean islands severely.  There are several organizations that are providing hurricane relief.   I am including two links where you can provide assistance directly to Puerto Rico and another that will provide relief to all of the islands.  To assist in Puerto Rico’s recovery: United for Puerto Rico  The Miami Foundation is accepting donations to assist in the recovery in the islands including Antigua, Barbuda, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.  Miami Foundation  There are a number of other charities involved in providing hurricane relief.  Before you donate to any charity, please check them out on Charity Navigator.

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Sunday Funday

Sunday funday my ass….  Unless your idea of fun is household chores and laundry.  If it is, my Sunday was the epitome of Sunday funday.  Nevertheless, I got a lot accomplished and we’re well set up for the week.   The floors have been mopped and all of our laundry is done and put away.  Thanks to Irma and a delayed start to hockey season this is quite the accomplishment for mid-September in our house.

While yesterday was a rest day, today Athena and I were back on the trail running again.  Thankfully, the brush and fallen trees  have been removed from our running trials.  For the first time in months, we were able to run our favorite route.  We ran just over 3.5 miles.  I wish my time was as hot as the heat, but my time sucked and clearly I’m off my game.  The Piggie and I had a great time running the trail despite the heat and my poor time.  There’s nothing better than running outside while listening to great music with my Athena.  It soothes the soul and clears the head.

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Today’s writing prompt is the word sting, so here’s what  I came up with on my run:

  1. Jellyfish – they’re no bueno.  Who wants someone peeing on them to make the stinging sensation to go away?  Not this girl!
  2. Stinging nettle – Goalielocks learned this lesson while feeding the sheep in Flam.  Just say no to stinging nettle.
  3. Sweat in your eyes – Yes, it equates to hard work, but sweat getting in your eyes as your run definitely stings.
  4. Bees and wasps:  I am fortunate that none of us are allergic, but this can be a major problem for those with allergies to bee stings.  In South Florida, Africanized honey bees can present a real danger.
  5. Fire Ants:  These insidious little beasts sting and it feels like their sting is the size of an elephant.  The sting of the red ant is horribly painful.  Unfortunately, I’m speaking from personal experience on this one.
  6. Hurricane Jose, Tropical Storm Lee and now Hurricane Maria: from all of us in the Atlantic Basin – F#$K You!
  7. Betrayal: Stings worse than fire ants, bees, and jellyfish together.
  8. Misogyny, racism or any other kind of discrimination:  A sting worse than a bullet ant and a tarantula hawk wasp sting combined.  Yeah, it’s that bad.

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There is good news about things that sting.  You can squash them, exterminate them or wipe them away or leave them  on the beach to dry out.  They’re not big bad monsters that you cannot defeat.  Lastly,  you can treat your sting, should you experience one, with benadryl cream,  hydro-cortisone cream, ibuprofen, benadryl, an epi-pen for severe allergies and vodka and/or tequila for number 6 and 7 respectively.

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Fabulous Friday

TGIF!  Today is fabulous Friday!  This week has felt incredibly long despite being a short week due to the hurricane.  Irmageddon put a lot of strain on all of us with the planning and preparing we had to do for our families and for work.  Perhaps this is why we all felt so utterly exhausted today.

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I’ve been quite productive this week even though it  has been a short an painful week.  Each and every day we have a choice how we respond to our circumstances..  I choose to say F*#C you to those who seek to marginalize others.  As beaten up as I felt physically, the choice has become clear.  Leaders have an obligation, through good and especially through bad, to find the light at the end of the tunnel.  Leaders have the obligation to be both the beacon of hope and the agent of change.  Bound together by a common passion and drive to be the best we can, the group of leaders I have surrounded myself with is amazing.  We will change the world for the better, so you best be ready.

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The downside in all of this productivity is that I completely missed lunch.  A complete and total travesty since I had actually remembered to pack my yummy, vegan protein shake.  No, its not an oxymoron. Its actually quite flavorful, low calorie and does not contain soy or other allergens.  I love my Zumba Shake Shake Shake (Lorbach10 is my affiliate code if you’re interested.)  By the time I realized I had missed lunch, it was 5:00 pm.  I headed home and grabbed some provolone cheese to fuel my run.

 

FullSizeR (11)Piggie and I ran 3 miles, which felt fantastic.  Nothing clears your head better than a nice run with your bestie.  The sky was amazing tonight with nary a cloud in the sky and a big, full setting sun.  Florida’s skies are thing of beauty.   Its been a rough week getting back into running outdoors.  The heat makes it tough to run, but it feels remarkable to be back on the trail outside.  There’s nothing better than running with my puppys’, to remove the stress of the work day.  Since I had such an amazing lunch, I’m treating myself to some Sushi Yama tonight.  Talk about flavorful!

Wonderful Weekend

It’s been a wonderful weekend, but like most it is coming to an end all to quickly.   Friday night we had our favorite take out and relaxed to some of our favorite shows on Netflix.  Our Saturday and Sunday were a stark contrast to the relaxation of Friday night.

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I can’t hardly complain about Saturday.  It is hard to complain about enjoying Peanut Island with good friends (aka hockey family) and on a boat.  We had a blast with the Kennedys and Whips  in the beautiful, calm waters near Peanut Island.  The boys had a blast.  Their favorite part of the day, the visit from the pizza delivery boat.  Amazing!  Unfortuntely, despite the copious amounts of sunscreen applied over and over, I am now the shade of a lobster.  Its not a good look.

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Unfortunately for my sun burnt back, we had a fundraiser for the hockey team last night.  It was a casino night, which meant I had to dress up and a sports bra wouldn’t be acceptable. Boo!   There is nothing more uncomfortable than bra straps on a sunburned back and shoulders.

We had a great evening filled with drinks, food, friends and gambling.  I was a little worried about how I was gonna feel this morning.  Especially after enjoying 3 or 4 vodka sodas,.  Fortunately, the bartender was light on the pour.  Thank god because I had a lot to do today.

After our second drink, we felt it was time to lose our chips at the blackjack.  No sooner had I played my first hand when I received a call from Goalielocks.  He, TK and the Mayor were at our house hanging out as John, the hubby and I were at the fundraiser.  Apparently, the dogs were were going insane barking, which worried the kids.  I’m not sure what they thought we could do from there, but I told them to keep the dogs out.

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Our dogs are large and have a bark to match, so they’d likely scare anyone off.  I instructed Goalielocks to call the police if they saw anything unusual and then call me.  I didn’t hear back from them after that call, so I texted him and he informed me everything was now okay.

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Meanwhile Jake started texting me from John’s house where he was babysitting TK’s sisters.  They have a kitten, Destiny, who usually stays upstairs.  Last night she decided to take a trip downstairs.  Last night, we rediscovered Jake’s severe allergy to cats. Quickly his friend Arielle, who lives in the neighborhood,  was able to bring him some benadryl.

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I checked back in on him ten minutes later and he was feeling woozy.  At that point, he informed me that he had taken 3 benadryl. Now I’m freaking out since the proper dose is two.  I was certain he had misread the box since he was feeling pretty rough.  He sent me a photo of the label, which indicated a dose of 1-4 tablets.  I was confused as I had never seen a benadryl box that advocated taking more than two pills at once.

We hurried back to John’s house since I was a bit worried about Jake.  Throughout all our text messages, he neglected to mention that he had taken children’s benadryl. It was kind of a key piece of information to leave out.  Nevertheless, we got him home and into bed quite quickly.

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My sunburn kept me warm all night, so sleeping was not working so well.  I woke up to huge cracks of thunder and copious amounts of lightning.  I’m pretty sure lightning struck our yard or our neighbor’s yard given the amazing thunder we were experiencing.  We spent the rest of our Sunday running all the errands I neglected on Saturday and working out with the boys.  The younger two did awesome job on the TRX.  They’re starting to understand that in order to achieve their own ice goals, they have to work hard on and off the ice.

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Lastly, the big topic of conversation in our house this weekend is the solar eclipse tomorrow.  At this point in the weekend, my boys have been given the “don’t look directly into the sun” speech so many times they can recite perfectly.  Moreover, it seems to put them into a trance like state until I remind them they’ll be going to school tomorrow.  I’m sure they’re no different than 100% of the kids already back in school that are hoping for a random Monday off.

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The Grind

It is easy to get lost in the grind of our day to day to professional and personal lives.  As we grind it out, it easy to lose site of how much progress we’ve made. This week we spent three days as a leadership team working on our budget initiatives for 2018.  It was an invigorating, discussing spurring event that was really productive.

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This was my fourth year attending and my third year presenting.  The first year I presented, it wasn’t pretty. They beat me up pretty good.  Thankfully, each year has gone progressively better than the last year.  This year I presented on two days to a much larger audience than I’d been accustomed to, but it went very well.  As I look back on my previous budget experiences and compare to this year’s presentation, I can see how far I have come.  3b8ffd69e15dcd50329cbd68b15ef30f--teen-quotes-work-quotes

While I’ve made some great progress towards my professional goals, my fitlife goals too a backseat to Twizzlers, Snickers, and catered meals.  When I got home tonight and my treadmill and TRX were glaring at me.  I went for a quick run on the treadmill before dinner.

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My treadmill and I got reacquainted before a great dinner with friends.  My TRX, however, is looking a little neglected.  Tomorrow I will be getting back on the wagon eating right.  There are times that we deviate from our health goals and that’s gonna happen.  We can’t let it derail us completely.  There is no quick way to success be it professional or personal.  There is no elevator to take us to the top floor only hard work and persistence.

My Running Partners

When I started running over two years ago, I didn’t know that I would love it so much.  Nor did I know that my running partners would be so important in maintaining my training or that they’d bring me so much happiness.

Most days my running partners are Jake and our dogs Maya and Athena.  The beautiful thing about running with these three is they keep a brisk pace.  Jake is particularly fast ,so running with him means I have to push myself.  The puppies like to be first, so which ever dog is in back is racing to catch up to their sister.

This can be a bit problematic when Jake and his puppy pull away from us.  Usually it’s Maya and I holding up the rear.  Jake’s got his mile below 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, I almost threw myself a party for breaking the 8 minute mile barrier.

Maya trying to keep pace with Jake means we’re pushing race pace almost every run.  Since Jake is so fast, Athena is usually super tired after two miles.  We’ll switch the puppies and walk them for awhile, so they can catch their breath and cool down a  little bit.

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By the time we start running again, the puppies’ energy is back and they’re ready to roll.  Some runs, Goalielocks or the Mayor will come with us.  For those runs, we usually cap our distance at three miles.  The best part of running with the puppies is how happy they are when we run.

While in Norway, Jake and I mixed it up a bit by hiking on the mountain trails.  It wasn’t a rigorous as our runs, but some parts of the trail were quite steep and took a lot of concentration to master.  The views were incredible and so was the weather.  No horrible heat indexes to contend with.

The unfortunate part of summer in Florida, is heat indexes in the triple digits.  As much as I love to run with my kids and my dogs, the summer heat makes it dangerous for the dogs.  Until the heat abates, I’ll be hitting the treadmill and missing my running partners.  When I run on the treadmill, there’s no sweet puppy looking back at me smiling as she enjoy the run.  Nor is there Jake, who motivates me to run faster and further every time we run.

Last Night in Bergen

We had a brilliant lunch post Bergen aquarium near Bryggen with our family before J&B headed to catch the bus for Stavanger.  Tomorrow they’ll be on the hike of their life making their way up to Pulpit Rock.   Our waiter was incredible and bought us a round when the fryer broke and our food took longer than normal.  This was a great gift as beer and cider are extremely expensive in Norway even by South Florida standards.  The food was worth the wait and I enjoyed my fish an chips along with my cider.

 

Post lunch we hit the shops to find some useful souvenirs.  The Mayor found a nice knife he can use for fishing while Goalielocks selected a viking horn that sounds a bit like a kazoo.  The kazoo piece wasn’t intentional, so we’ll be looking for another viking horn for the house.   Jake got a nice Norwegian flag he can hang in his room.

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After two ciders at lunch, my favorite local coffee shop Dromedor was calling my name.   Not too far geographically from the tourist hub, but miles away in terms of its customer base.  This is a great local spot with quality coffee and pastries.   I have quite enjoyed their lattes these past couple of days in Bergen.

For dinner our kids wanted frozen pizzas, which was a complete godsend.  Food is extremely expensive in Norway and this was a perfectly economical way to feed the kids.        Post Pizza we headed to the wold famous fish market to meet J&M (my older bro and family), my grandma and my parents.

They were finishing up their dinner and afterwards we headed for dessert and shuffleboard.  We ended up at the same restaurant where we ate and drank yesterday as it had several shuffleboard tables where the kids could play and not interrupt all of the diners’ dinners.

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After two rousing shuffleboard tournaments, Priya and Zak and I emerged as champions.   Somehow I managed to figure out how to score a couple of points, which was enough for me to be successful.  The kids had a blast and enjoyed their desserts throughout the tournament.

After shuffleboard, we said adieu to our favorite spot, Bergenhus Bryggeri, and headed out to walk the city.   For the first time, we headed up Kong Oscars Gate where X&P found an awesome and cheap hot dog stand.  The group continued to make friends with dog owners and their dogs.   Norwegians love their dogs and take them everywhere.  Their dogs are meticulously groomed and extremely well behaved.

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As the sun started to descend in the sky, we headed back to our AirBnB to pack for our trip to Stavanger.  We have absolutely loved our time in Bergen and will be returning to this wonderful city hopefully soon.

Fun at the Bergen Aquarium

This morning the weather was a bit rainy, so hiking the mountain as we had planned was a no go. The old cobblestone roads were slippery enough, I couldn’t imagine how slippery the trail would have been. In lieu of hiking, we took the kids and went to the Bergen Aquarium with my brother and his family. The aquarium was a quick ten minute walk from our place and reasonably priced.

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The aquarium wasn’t huge, but it was perfectly sized.  It had a nice array of animals all of our attention including some familiar species from back home.  My personal favorite was the flamboyant sea lion that kept making eyes at us as it swam by the group. It was a fun morning.