Another Day In Paradise

Another day in paradise, here in the Bahamas. I started my day with a grueling run along the beach. To be clear, it was grueling since it was my first run since November. The scenery, however, more than made up for the difficulty of the run. Truly, it felt great to be able to run against. Although I have serious work to do before running in the Corporate Run.

After an awesome breakfast, we headed over to the cabana to setup shop. It’s a lot easier navigating this place when you have a singular meeting point for the entire day. Not too mention ample seating and areas out of the sun.

After getting setup at the cabana, A, the Mayor and myself headed to the lagoon to snorkel. I don’t know what the current water temperature is only that it is far too cold to be swimming it. It took me a long time to get acclimated to the water. Once I did, however, the snorkeling was fun and we saw a lot of fish.

After awhile we tired of the lagoon and headed for the beach. The beach is absolutely stunning, but there are street vendors on the beach that are a bit obnoxious. I have no patience for them. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a ton of fish in close to the beach and the jet skis were already all over the place. While there is reef off of the beach it’s a little too far from shore and too close to where the novice jet skiers are riding.

The rest of our day was filled with sun, sand and water. I enjoyed the rapids ride with H. We had a blast in our double tube. Meanwhile, the boys were all over the the place having a great time. We finally headed back to the room around 5:00, so I could get ready for an adults only dinner. Don’t worry the kids got fed! Moreover, I’m pretty sure they enjoyed their Dominoes as much as we enjoyed Nobu.

Nobu was fantastic albeit the last fish was slow to come out. I had left early since Goalielocks was needing to go lay down in our room due to a headache. J ordered the food for all of us and I’m so glad she did. I tried dishes tonight that I never would have tried if she hadn’t ordered them. All of the dishes were absolutely fantastic. I left full and satisfied, but not stuffed.

After a brief and very unsuccessful run in the casino tonight, I’m ready for bed. We have another action packed day on tap, so I’ll definitely need my beauty sleep! Good night all!

Purple Haiku

Calmer Evening

It’s been a calmer evening in the household after all the noise and frustration of last night. I spoke with the Assistant Principal of the boys school and feel comfortable with our plan for Goalielocks as he recovers. Also spoke to one of the Mayor’s teachers after discovering the Mayor had spelled the teacher’s email address wrong all semester. No wonder he had 0 points for his article assignments! He’s busy fixing them tonight.

Today was also tough because it’s our dear Debbie’s birthday. It’s a tough milestone for many of us.  I still found myself getting choked up periodically throughout the day despite my hectic schedule. It’s been nearly a year since we lost her. Ironically, it feels like it was both seconds ago and decades ago. Time is on a weird continuum when you’re dealing with grief and loss.

We also lost a giant today with the death of Stephen Hawking. I could write for days about this brilliant mind, but that’s not his most impressive feature. Both Hawking and Debbie were given devastating, terminal diagnosis when they were far too young. While a lot of people would buckle under the diagnosis, neither of them did. Amazingly, they both choose to live to the fullest as they faced their own mortality.

When I write or say Live Like Debbie. I really mean it and I try to live it. What I mean by that is I’m trying to live my life differently by living to the fullest and treating people differently. (Not that I was some kind of asshole before or something.) Specially, my goal is to brighten people’s dY, to be helpful, to inspire and to leave people better off than when I met them. It doesn’t have to be something big, it could be a smile or a good morning while you’re waiting in line for coffee.

I miss my friend very much. It’s tough to lose a friend who is in the prime of their life. It’s tough to lose someone you love. Moreover, it’s tough to see people you love experience such a profound loss. It’s tough to explain and square how something like this happens to someone so young and vibrant. The thing is there’s really no explanation, which leads to one simple fact. Life is too short to get caught up in the small stuff, so my friends Live Like Debbie.

In honor of Debbie’s birthday, please consider donating to the Pancreatic Action Network in her honor. Pancreatic Action Network

Tonight’s song performed by the Offspring is “Gone Away.”  The lyrics of this song are absolutely on point.

Sunday Funday

After months of endless hockey weekends, it was a Sunday funday for us down in Fort Lauderdale. We started our day off with a mimosa filled breakfast at the Pelican Grand. It was absolutely delicious and you couldn’t find a better view if you tried. We had several mimosas and killed a bottle of prosecco.

Post breakfast the kids headed to the beach and we polished off the wine and paid the bill. The Pelican Grand has an awesome veranda with super nice chairs where you can face the ocean and continue to drink. After breakfast, I switched to water since my stomach is still not super fantastic. The view is absolutely incredible.

One of my friends lives near the Pelican Grand, so she decides to walk over with her puppy. In anticipation of meeting WL, I headed down to the beach to see what he kids were doing. Fortunately, there were no rip currents at our beach and good waves for the kids to play in. Frankly, the water is too cold to swim in, but I might be spoiled.

Goalielocks and I started to meander down the beach in anticipation of meeting up with WL & E. I should say that the weather was absolutely amazing today. We met up with WL & E, which was fun. My boys loved meeting both of them, but especially that precious puppy E.

Afterwards we headed back to the resort, I went back to my seat while the kids headed to the lazy river. The resort has a great pool and lazy river. All of our kids, had a blast in the lazy river while we hung out on the veranda. Honestly, it was the perfect way to spend first Sunday after hockey season.

We finished out our day in Lauderdale by heading back to the marina, so the kids could fish. Unfortunately, there was no bait. This didn’t, however, stop the boys. They started catching their own bait, cutting it up and rigging their poles. We watched from the comfort of RL’s awesome sailboat. Now we’re back home, a bit burnt, and tired, but feeling relaxed and happy after a wonderful day.

Made It Home

We made it home from Boston and I couldn’t be more grateful. Yesterday it looked like we were going to be in Bean Town thru Thursday! If I’m being honest, even though I was stoked he was cleared to fly, I was still very nervous.

This anxiety of course carried into both flights, but the first one especially. I could see him wincing in pain as we took off from Boston. At that point, he finally acquiesced and took a Tylenol. Meanwhile, I was a mess the whole flight.

I’m incredibly grateful to the great Delta flight attendants that brokered a seat swap, so I could sit next to him. In addition, to the seat swap, they gave him free earbuds and some nice treats from first class. They also checked on him quite regularly. I’m so thankful for them!

We made it home and he’s fast asleep. As expected, the flight made his headache somewhat worse. Fortunately, it seems the nausea has improved. He’s hoping to get back to school tomorrow, but it will really depend on how he’s feeling in the morning.

Expectedly, we’re both completely exhausted physically, emotionally and mentally. I haven’t quite processed the last 48 hours fully, but I’m sure in the coming days I’ll work through it. Plus, now I’m back home so I can go in my yoga silk and unwind. Thanks for all the support and your continued prayers and well wishes.

Night To Shine

Last night I attended my first Night To Shine event.  This wonderful event is put on by the Tim Tebow foundation.  This event gives special needs teenagers and adults the opportunity to have a prom night experience that’s all about them.  Fortunately, I was able to register as a buddy before they closed registration.  I could not have signed up for a more amazing night.

As a buddy, it is our job to escort the attendee through their magical night.  From check-in until check out, our job is to make sure they have the time of their lives.  As this was my first time, I was a little nervous for the evening.   My nervousness dissipated quickly when I got to the church.  I quickly found my co-workers and took a seat in the sanctuary to wait for our guests to start arriving.

For the first time in three years, they had more than enough buddies, so I was able to pair up with my friend WL for the evening.  Our buddy arrived and it was clear from the beginning that we were a perfect match.  J, our buddy, was the life of the party and the Mayor of the event.  She knew absolutely everyone! Moreover, she had an infectious energy and happiness about her that was immediately apparent.


We made our way into check-in, where they struggled to find her registration.  The Church’s, St. Paul Lutheran Church, event team and volunteer staff hopped into action immediately.  Within minutes, the snafu was fixed and J and I were ready to head to hair and makeup.  Her dress was resplendent and ethereal. She looked like a Disney princess.  It is no wonder she was the star of the prom.

One of my favorite moments of the evening was triumphantly walking the red carpet with her.  She freaking owned the carpet and the moment.  J is a star!  When we got into the prom, we headed to get her prom photo taken.  She was an absolute natural in front of the camera.  We left the photo area and entered the prom. Since we were both hungry, we made a beeline over to the food table.  Chic Fil-A donated all of the food for the event.  Chicken nuggets and mac and cheese never tasted so good.

We had barely sat down when J tired of eating and seemed overwhelmed.  Fortunately, I was able to keep her calm.  I quickly suggested hitting the dance floor, which put a huge smile on her face.  Not only could J work the camera, she could out dance most people I know.  We quickly figured out that we both loved Romeo Santos and Daddy Yankee.  As we danced, she was greeting everyone on the floor. She knew everyone!!!

WL was finally able to join us when it was determined they had enough buddies, so we had to double up.  Once WL joined us, the energy was out of this world and J was slaying it on the dance floor.  As we danced, she would hold our hand and thank us for being her friend.  We absolutely adored our buddy!  I could write all night about how we danced the night away, but there wouldn’t be enough words to describe how amazing it was for us.

One of the cool parts of the evening, was getting to know her parents during hair and makeup and the latter part of the dance.  They were incredible people.  Their daughter was one of the sweetest, kindest, most fun and generous people WL and I had ever met.   Her parents, much like her, were sweet, kind and fun.  We spent quite a bit of time talking after the event, which was nice.  While they thanked us for showing her a great time, we both felt that we should thank them for allowing us to be her buddy.

It was such an incredible experience to share the evening with J and her family.  When Tim Tebow came on the screen, the crowd when absolutely berserk.  To say they loved him, would be a gross understatement.  His message of love, faith, inclusion and celebration of special needs individuals was incredible.  As he closed out the message, we went into the countdown after which all of the guests were crowned either King or Queen of the prom.  The look on J’s face as we put the tiara on her head is one I will never forget.

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At the end of the night, I couldn’t help but feel that the night was just as much about us as it was the guests.  As I left the church, my heart was full, not just because I volunteered, but because of all the love, fun and memories we created with J.  Undoubtedly, it felt good to serve others, but she gave us and taught so much that I left with so much gratitude in my heart.  In fact, we’ve made plans to be therenext year to be her buddy again.  We’ve made plans to go shopping and get pedicures.  Meanwhile, her mom and I are planning on going to see Romeo Santos when he comes to town.

Its amazing how in volunteer to help others, those that you are helping teach you more about life and yourself than you could ever imagine.  Being a buddy or volunteer at Night to Shine was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.  It was an incredible event, which I will insist upon attending next year.  I am forever grateful to CS for the invitation.  Lastly, I’m forever grateful to J and WL for being my partners in crime last night.  Couldn’t have asked for a better buddy or partner than these two! #squadgoals

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If you’d like to know more about Tim Tebow’s Night To Shine, click here.

Tonight’s song, one of the last one played last night, performed by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes is “Time of My Life.”   Last night, we killed it on the dance floor dancing to this song.  P.S.  WL I totally would have caught you.

Amazing Art

Last night, I had the opportunity to view some amazing art at an art gallery opening in Wilton Manors.  The gallery, Negril Art Gallery, was holding its grand opening complete with wine, hor d’oeuvres, music and great company.  This event was made even more special as my employee was one of the night’s featured artists.  It was an awesome opportunity to enjoy some art while supporting a colleague.

Honestly, I had an inkling that his work would be great, but I had no idea just how amazing they would be.   Consequently, I was completely awestruck by his work.  His portraits were sublime.  If you asked me which one was my favorite, I wouldn’t be able to pick just one.  They were that good!

I really enjoyed the gallery opening.  First of all, it was the first time in a long time that the Hubby and I were attending something that wasn’t hockey related.  Secondly, the art was utterly sublime.  Lastly, it was amazing to see our team there to support their colleague.  Truly, it was incredible seeing all the people form work that went to support Kwame.   It was a great event!

Afterwards, several us went to Padrino’s for some Cuban food and more drinks.  Oh yes, the vodka and long islands were free flowing as we waited for the others.  I enjoyed Arroz Con Pollo, while the hubby had lechon asada.  Fortunately, both of our decisions were pure perfection.  Both the chicken and the pork were cooked perfectly and were full of flavor.  We will definitely be back!  Moreover, our bill was only $200, which for 8 adults that are all drinking is pretty darn cheap.

After Padrino’s, we headed over to Cafe Vico for some more drinks and live music.  Unfortunately, the band had finished playing by the time we got there.  They had music playing, but the song choices were not fantastic.  Fortunately, the DJ/Chef/Owner let us start playing the music from his iPad. We had a fabulous time and shut the place down.  We ended our night by committing to go to Reykavik or Zurich for a girls weekend.   All in all , we had an amazing night out on the town.

Tonight’s song performed by Prince is “When Doves Cry.”


Well, it was a day full of choking.  When I say choking, I don’t mean the kinky 50 Shades stuff, I mean sports teams utterly out performing.  Once could say shitty decision leads to shitty outcomes, but that seems a bit obvious.  As a hardened Vikings fan, I knew tonight would be disappointing.  Consequently, I spent the first half of the game working out.  Fortunately, while they gave up touchdown after touchdown, I burned 632 calories.  (At least there was some winning today!)


My kids, however, have not yet accepted what it truly means to be a Minnesota fan.  You know, the team will build up your hope only to choke in dramatic and devastating fashion.  Come to think about it, I probably should have used disappointment or today’s title, however, that would be redundant.  Nevertheless as a consequence of the Vikes’ epic collapse, I have one kid in a full on melt down.  Truly, I think he thought the world was truly ending.  Like many fans, I would have loved for my team to win, but hey reality is reality.  I simply don’t get my hopes up anymore.

Despite their epic loss, I love my Vikings and fellow fans.  How many organizations have a fan base that would raise well over $200,000 for an opponents charity? Not many.  At least the Vikes are honorable, which is more than I can say about many people.  I actually had some tell me today that they have a sliding scale of accountability and were proud of it.  Things to keep to yourself..  If you are in charge of anyone and have a sliding scale of accountability, you should probably quit your job.


Unfortunately, the highlight of my day was the awesome chili I enjoyed at Culver’s between games.  When the chili was the highlight of the day, you know it was a bad sports day.  Additionally, I started reading Sun Tzu’s TheArt of War, which was quite enjoyable.   If you lead people, in any capacity or environment, you need to read this book on military strategy.  While this book was written with a military audience in mind, its principals are applicable across all industries and all leaders. In fact, I’m pretty sure its the first time in recorded history that a leader referred to a style akin to servant leadership.


Ultimately, win, lose or draw, I love spending time with my family.  In that regard, today was a total win.  The Vikings’ season may be over, but I still have my Wild and soon the Twinkies will start spring training.  In short, soon the other sports teams from Minnesota can break my heart.   Lastly, if you’re looking for a good book to read on strategy, pick up a copy of Sun Tzu’s Art of War.

Tonight’s song performed by Minnesota’s own Soul Asylum is “Runaway Train.  I know, I know it is a bit melancholy, but after the drubbing my Vikes endured it seems apropos.  Of course, it also happens to be a great song and a great video.

Rest Day

After a 5:00 am wake up call and an early morning arrival this morning, today was a rest day for my boys and I. All three of us slept in late and were slow to get out of bed. I ran and got breakfast around 11:00 also making hair appointments for Goalielocks and I for later in the day.

Apart from a couple of errands after our hair appointments, the only other item on my calendar was yoga tonight. In my mind, I gave myself a loophole to the only “sneakers” rule. Honestly, I just needed to wear some flip flops after wearing boots for the last several days. Moreover, yoga is miserable in sneakers. As you know, yoga isn’t about being miserable.

As for yesterday, We had a good, but odd travel day. First of all, I have to commend both Delta and Hertz for amazing customer service. For example, when the rental return crew saw our luggage in the car, they arranged for someone to drop us off at the terminal. This was a total godsend.

Surprisingly, both check-in and the security check points were pretty quick. We hit a snag, however, when we got to the gate. Unfortunately, security and the check-in desk, had let a passenger group through without noticing their baby didn’t have a reservation. How this traveler didn’t know he needed to have a reservation, so everyone on the plane would accounted for, is beyond me.

Since the baby didn’t have a reservation, they couldn’t let the child on the plane. The gate agents worked feverishly to fix the issue, however it isn’t so simple to add a last minute reservation as the plane is about to push back.

Throughout the entire ordeal the dad stayed stoic as his two older children were by his side. His mother, who was arguing with the gate agents, was sent down to board the plan to prevent further delays and aggravation.

As a result of this issue, the plane leaving to New York wasn’t able to leave the gate until after our flight was supposed to board. Consequently, our flight ended up leaving an hour late. While the New York flight left almost two hours late. Throughout the entirety of the ordeal, Delta’s gate agents remained calm and professional. As for us passengers heading to the ATL, we were just happy we weren’t on the New York flight.

When we boarded our flight in ATL, they invited the Mayor into the cockpit. He got to sit in the captain’s chair, play with the yoke and wear the hat. As he sat in the cockpit, he and the pilots discussed the controls and flying. The captain told him the first officer would be flying and to let him know how he did after we landed. They had offered the Mayor the opportunity to switch spots with the captain, but it’s probably better they didn’t since the Mayor fell asleep before takeoff.

Our flights were fast, smooth with great Wi-Fi throughout. The weirdness for me continued once we landed in FLL. After we grabbed or bags, I headed to the restroom before we drove home. While most people shut the stall doors when they use them, the janitor at FLL found this to be unnecessary. I have seen things I can now I see. I get that the airport was empty, so maybe she thought she could leave it open. However, she didn’t even close it after myself and another travelled walked into the restroom. People are crazy in Florida! But hey no icy or snowy roads here, so I’m good!

Yoga was fabulous at Burn tonight! I’m super excited that the Hubby setup my yoga silk while I was in Chicago. The boys have all tried it out and think it’s amazing. It’s a great place just to “hangout and chill.” Well, I’m off to finish unpacking and get more laundry put away.

Homeward Bound

After a wonderful weekend in Chicago, we’re homeward bound. We got a very early start to our day with a 5:00 wake up call. The Mayor’s game was out in West Dundee and after several inches of snow, we needed to leave even earlier. Consequently, we hit the road at 5:30 hoping that would provide adequate time to get there by 6:10.

Unfortunately, it did’t. Admittedly, I got spoiled when living in Minny as they truly do a great job clearing the roads quickly. Illinois could use a lesson or two from Minny on clearing the roads. While the storm had started in the early evening hours on Sunday nights, the interstate was still a mess when we hit the road this morning.

Not for nothing, winter driving is one of the biggest reasons I wanted to move out of Minny. I absolutely abhor driving in the snowy and icy conditions. Clearly, I don’t have the nerves nor the stomach for it. Nonetheless, I survived driving through the snow and ice.

Back to hockey, both boys were playing in the semis this morning. The Mayor’s team lost a heart breaker of a game, but they played with so much heart. Unfortunately, due to the timing of their games and the road conditions, I missed Goalielocks’ game.

I didn’t think in a million years I could have made it there for more than a period. However, the game was a complete train wreck with numerous stoppages. In fact, even though I would have made it to the rink an hour after it started, I still would have caught half a game. The crazy part is these games are only supposed to take an hour…. This one took considerably longer.

As much as I hate driving in the snow, it was absolutely beautiful this morning. After their games, the kids headed outside to play in the snow with their teammates. They had an absolute blast. Fortunately, the weather was absolutely perfect for playing outside with temperatures in the low to mid 20s.

Once they finished playing outside, we packed up the room so we could grab lunch with our friends. It was no surprise that Goalielocks wanted to head back to Giordano’s. In fact, I was totally on board too since eating the deep dish pizza would likely keep us full for the rest of the day.

While our teams didn’t make the finals and the hockey didn’t go as we hoped, I’m leaving Chicago with a heart full of love and gratitude. I’m extremely thankful to be able to share these experiences with the kids and with my dear friend Jen. Seeing Jen and her family absolutely made my weekend. There’s nothing better than a dear friend, who loves you no matter where you are in life. A friend that sticks by your side through thick and thin. Moreover, even though you may not talk everyday you know they’re in your corner. Love you to the moon and back my sister from another mister!!!!

We’re presently cruising around 36,000 feet heading south to Atlanta before heading to Florida. The Mayor is enjoying a movie, while Goalielocks has been watching highlights from yesterday’s Vikings game. There’s no studying happening, so hopefully that means they did their work already. Meanwhile, I’m here blogging away on my iPhone.

I’ll close out tonight’s blog with how much we enjoyed our time in Chicago. The people, the service, the food was all incredible. From the moment we got to the rental car counter at Hertz until we pushed back tonight, we were met with nothing but kindness from the people of Chicago. The only nasty people we came across were crazy hockey mom and grandmas from other states. We, of course, were on our best behavior. Seriously, Chicago and its people were amazing to us this weekend!

Skol Vikings!!!

Skol Vikings!!! Holy cannoli Batman that was a nail biter of a game between my Vikes and the Saints today. Jen and I were biting our nails as we followed the live updates on the Score. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a time delay on the app. So we were a bit behind.

Fortunately, text messages from my hubby, the family group text and Chuckles and Roman kept us updated timely. Honestly, when C&R texted holy cow, what a catch, touchdown, I thought they were messing with me. (It’s not hard to do.) I was in disbelief until my hubby and the family group text confirmed the good news.

Truly it was a game that entertained the masses while giving Minnesota fans a heart attack. I was commiserating the Vikings impending doom with my hubby via text and Jen as watched Goalielocks’ game. When she said, “maybe there’ll be a miracle.” I replied as any hardened Vikings fan would, “miracles don’t happen to us.” Only this time it did thanks to our Keenum led offense and Diggs’ amazing catch.

Aside from the Vike’s amazing win tonight, my boys had four games at two rinks across town. Consequently, I’m utterly exhausted and not looking forward to a 5:00 am wake up and an early morning drive through the snow. Goalielocks’ Team was 2-0 on the day, but I’ll write more about that in a forthcoming post on instant karma.

Meanwhile, the Mayor’s team went 1-1 on the day. The Mayor notched two goals today scoring one in each of the games. In fact, he scored the only goal for his team in the morning game. Both boys’ teams have moved onto the semis bright and early tomorrow. I’ll likely miss the start of Goalielocks’ game.

Lastly, the boys are really loving the Chicago area. Unfortunately, it looks like we won’t be able to make it downtown tomorrow due to games. However, today I introduced Goalielocks to deep dish pizza. After their morning game, we went with friends to Giordano’s. Goalielocks and I shared a pepperoni deep dish pizza that was to die for. In his words, “it was the best pizza he had ever eaten!” Moreover, he wants to go back for more tomorrow.

Of course, the plus side is the pizza really fills you up. You really don’t need to eat too much the rest of the day after having that. Even after we got back to the hotel after Goalielocks’s game, I was still full.

I should also mention that it has started to snow here in Chicago, which makes awesome driving – said nobody ever!!! My boys though are loving the weather. In contrast, I’m praying for an early end to the snow and for the roads to be clear tomorrow morning when we leave. I’m off to bed as we have a very early wake up call tomorrow morning.