Priorities

Priorities can be expressed in many ways. People are quick to list of their priorities in life. However, actions show a person’s true priorities.

Tournament Time

One more day and it’s tournament time for this hockey family. The Mayor will be playing this weekend, while Goalielocks will be officiating all weekend. It’s been a minute since I’ve seen the Mayor’s team play. Unfortunately, we missed the last league games while we were in Utah. Fortunately, we still manage to get the Mayor plenty off ice time in Utah.

Today my Grandma underwent surgery in Minnesota, which was a little nerve wracking as she’s 91. Unsurprisingly, she came through the procedure like a champ. Currently, she’s relaxing in her private room feeling pretty good. I’m going to give her a call in a few just to check in.

Unfortunately, this year has brought a cancer diagnosis for Raquel and her husband. I can’t imagine the stress they must be feeling as they fight cancer on two fronts. While her parents fight cancer, Taylor has been diligently taking care of them both. Not only has this been an emotionally difficult time for them, but it’s been financially trying. Neither Raquel or her husband are currently able to work. Meanwhile, Taylor has missed a lot of work while taking care of her parents. If you can, please consider helping this wonderful family out. Here is their Gofundme.

Here in Florida, one of my favorite Zumba students had surgery today as well. Raquel and her daughter Taylor attended my Zumba classes for years. They’re amazing women and I’ve kept in touch with them even after I had to stop teaching Zumba. When Taylor first started coming to my class she was still in high school. Now she’s graduated college and in the work force.

Celebrate

Celebrate good times my friends. It is the weekend. We have waited all week, since Monday Eve, for this moment. This week has brought a mixed bag of success and weird ass people without bank accounts. I mean it’s 2021, who the freak doesn’t have a bank account or at least a prepaid debit or credit card?

Anyway, it’s the weekend and I couldn’t be happier. Tomorrow we’re having dinner with some great friends in Delray. I’m not sure if I’m more excited about the drink menu, the prix fixe menu for Dine Out Delray, or the company we’ll be keeping. Honestly, I’m most excited about the company. We’ll be having dinner with our BFFs and the Parkers, who we haven’t seen in ages.

The last decade of our life has been dominated by travel hockey and thank god. Thankfully, we’ve met so many wonderful people and formed so many awesome relationships. Over the years, the friends have become family. As much time and money as we’ve spent, it’s been well worth the investment for that reason alone. Of course, the kids have also benefited from the experience.

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

*I’m reading Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy.

*I’m still recovering from the cold. Consequently, I think took another rest day.

*We’re tracking the Tropics here in Florida. Fortunately, all the tropical weather is moving away from us! Unfortunately, the heat has really cranked up with heat indexes in the triple digits.

*Uber Eats delivered my Dunkin’ this morning, which was awesome sauce.

*Today I watched the live Safari Cam, which is always amazing. I love seeing all the animals of the African bush in real time.

*For dinner, the Hubby made steak fajitas for dinner. Honestly, they were amazing. Furthermore, the flank steak from Butcher Box was a big win.

*Today’s word of the day is resignation. Unfortunately, this afternoon I was resigned to the fact that all my leads sucked until I spoke with a very gracious gentleman from gracious. I definitely wanted to celebrate that sale!

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Furthermore, he didn’t pull my arm off or anything like that. I put on his harness


Boat Day

Monday was our boat day in the Keys. This was the first time we rented a boat and it will not be the last. Initially, our boat day got off to a bit of a rocky start since someone blew up the engine on our boat the previous day. Fortunately, the staff at A1A Watersports was first class and upgraded our boat, threw in some fishing rods and even knocked 14 gallons off our gas charge. We ended up with a Grady dual console boat, which was super nice.


After grabbing the boat, we cruised back to the house to pick up the rest of our group. As we left the canal to head towards the Gulf, there were dolphins swimming in the canal. I was a little nervous as there were dark clouds off on the horizon and some heavy rain in the Gulf. Fortunately, we ended up having perfect weather all day. I love being on the water!


Our first trip was out to the light house and Alligator Reef for some snorkeling. It was incredibly beautiful! As we headed to the location, the seas were pretty calm. Unfortunately, the seas picked up when we dropped anchor near the reef. They started rolling in at 3-4 feet, which wasn’t great for several of our passengers. All of us, except for Captain Hubby hit the water to swim and snorkel. The water was absolutely perfect, however, we had to head back to the house due to sea sickness.


Our second trip of the day had us exploring the islands on the bay side. It was pretty hot out there with little wind, so we ended up pulling up our rods almost as soon we we had put them in. Unfortunately, there was no good way to keep our sweet Ava cool. Thankfully, we hadn’t ventured too far from the house.

Our third trip was a mix of snorkeling and fishing. We had folks fishing on one side of the boat while others swam on the other. The fish, however, were apparently avoiding both sides of our boat as we got only a few bites. Consequently, we moved under the bridge into the Atlantic to see if we could get on some fish. Sadly, not everyone was happy with this move. T was mad at the Captain for not dropping him off at the bridge pylon. Naturally, the Captain had no idea that T was wanting to be dropped off.

Since we forgot to drop him off at the pylon, he decided he would walk to it and climb up it. Of course this was a bad idea given the strength of the current where the Atlantic and Gulf water meet. Not too mention that the barnacles would cut him up as he tried to climb up into the platform. You gotta love teenagers and their ingenuity.

Afterwards, we headed into the Gulf to find the fish. After a couple false starts, the Hubby guided us to the Gopher Cut. Finally, we were on the fish! They were biting as soon as the lines hit the water. In fact, the kids started reeling in some respectable snappers. Unfortunately, the sea sickness started to kick in again as we were anchored. We pulled up anchor and headed back to the house. Thankfully, the sea sickness abated as we started moving again.

Our last trip of the day had us heading back into the open water of the Atlantic. In the afternoon, the seas were significantly calmer. We initially started fishing off the waters of Indian Key, but had no luck. Goalielocks and Captain Hubby decided to head out to a wreck 3.5 miles to the southeast. Truly, we should have started there because the fish were biting like mad. Goalielocks girlfriend put her line in the water and pulled up three snappers almost immediately, I had a similar experience. On her next cast, she pulled up another three snappers. It was awesome! Not to mention it was an absolutely gorgeous location. Next time we’ll start our day at this location.

The boat cost less than $600 for the day and it was well worth every penny. We all carried away some wonderful and funny memories from our adventures on the water. Obviously, the sea sickness sucked and we weren’t properly prepared. Next time I’ll be sure to have Dramamine on hand to help mitigate the sea sickness. Lastly, after the sun and salt water exsiccate my skin, I’m going to be covered head to toe in sunscreen and spf clothing. Long story short if you are in the Keys and considering renting a boat, do it and use A1A Watersports in Islamorada.


As an aside, I think they were so generous to us because we were kind and patient when they told us our boat had broken. In contrast, an asshole form New York pulled an attitude with the entire staff (all of whom were super nice and professional) as soon as he got there. Keep in mind, his boat was there and ready to go immediately. The staff, in my opinion, was way more patient and professional with him than I would have been.

He was still complaining when we brought the boat back. The man was charged for 28 gallons, which was the amount of gas he used. Thankfully, we came off akin to angels due to his poor behavior. In fact, we used 44 gallons of gas, but were only charged for 30. I guess it pays to be nice.

We finished our night with an adults only dinner at Morada Bay’s Pierre. It was quite the contrast to their Beach Cafe, but the food was awesome. The service at Pierre’s is was impeccable. We enjoyed an appetizer of shrimp cocktail and escargot. Both are amazing. For dinner, I had the fish du jour, which was a snapper in browned butter sauce. Lastly, we capped off the dinner with a key lime tart and creme brûlée. I love it!

If you go, check out:

  • A1A Water Sports and Boat Rental in Islamorada had several types of boats, jet skis, fishing equipment and snorkel gear for rent at a great price point.  There service is also fantastic. It’s the perfect place to supply your boat day!
  • Pierre at Morada Bay.  Their price point is high, but so is the quality.  You will love it!  I recommend the escargot, shrimp cocktail, fish du jour and creme brûlée. The views of the sunset are first rate.  

Island Adventure

Our island adventure in Islamorada sadly came to an end yesterday after an incredible weekend in the Keys. I unplugged completely from the blog and all social media. Honestly, it was fantastic. The truth of the matter is I was far too busy having fun and enjoying the company to be bothered with technology. That is the hallmark of a good vacation.

This year we stayed at Su Casa, in Islamorada, which is a private rental I booked on AirBnB. It was absolutely perfect for our large group. We had the main house and the one bedroom apartment. The two bedroom apartment was rented out to a fantastic couple from Sarasota. Additionally, it was on a canal and had a beautiful dock. Allegedly their are crocodiles in the canal, but I wasn’t lucky enough to see one. Honestly, I can’t recommend the property highly enough. It was absolutely the perfect spot for our island adventure!

Speaking of perfect, it’s location was superb. We had quick access to the gulf and ocean from the canal, which was nice when we rented the boat. Also, it was a short walk to Robbie’s where you can feed the tarpon, engage in a number of fun water sports, shop or get a nice drink at the bar. Robbie’s parking lot is always overflowing, so it was nice that we could simply walk there.



Saturday night we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Morada Bay’s Beach Side cafe. The food was wonderful and relatively cheap given the size of our group. We were initially sitting outside, but it quickly became too hot. Fortunately, they were able to accommodate us inside near the bar. I ordered the Key West pink shrimp scampi pasta, which was awesome. For my drink, I had a nice vodka cocktail with watermelons purée and an herbal note. I highly recommend trying it if you ever find yourself there.

Post dinner, we headed next door to the sports store for fishing supplies. While there, Goalielocks, his girlfriend and I checked out the docks. Unbelievably, we saw a manatee eating the remnants of fish thrown into the water after having been cleaned and filleted. As the manatee munched away the fish, three sharks (two black-tips and a Bullsharks) circled the area hoping to get some fish. Needless to say that’s the closest I ever want to be to a Bullsharks.

Sunday morning we grabbed some awesome cafe con leche from Cuban cafe on Plantation Key. We also grabbed some empanadas, pastelitos, and cachitos. After breakfast we headed south to go fishing off a bridge. Last year, we had little success fishing from the bridge, so we were all skeptical. Fortunately, this year the bridge fishing delivered. All of us were on the fish almost immediately. We caught several pork fish, wrasses, and some snappers. After an hour or two, we headed back to the house to get ready for lunch.

Sunday afternoon Hanh and I took the kids on a kayak trip through the mangroves. The Mayor and I shared a double kayak, which worked well. Truly, the scenery was absolutely gorgeous, but of course the kids thought it was boring since we saw no wildlife. I had hoped to see a manatee or a crocodile, but I still enjoyed the beauty of the mangroves even though I didn’t see many animals.

Sunday nights we had an early dinner/late lunch at the house instead of eating out. While we were on the kayak trip, the Hubby and John cooked us dinner. After all, we had worked up an appetite on our kayak trip, so it was perfect timing on their part. The rest of the evening we spent chilling under the tiki hut watching the sunset and hoping to spy a croc. Meanwhile, the kids continued to fish from the dock. Incredibly, Goalielocks caught a nurse shark that evening.

If you go on your own island adventure in Islamorada, be sure to check out:

  • Robbie’s of Islamorada: it’s well worth the hassle of the parking lot, but being able to walk there was priceless. There is so much to do here and yes you should feed the tarpon.
  • Su Casa vacation rentals offered a superior vacation experience in Islamorada. Last year, we stayed at Hawk’s Cay, which wasn’t a great stay.
  • Mrs. G’s, located on Plantation Key, was our go to spot in the Keys for our morning coffee. It’s also an ice cream place, but we only went for the coffee and breakfast pastries.
  • Morado Bay has a casual option in the Beach Cafe and a formal option with Pierre’s on the same beautiful property.

Thanksgiving 2020 Style

Thanksgiving 2020 style is wildly different for most of us thanks to COVID. It also makes our first Thanksgiving with Jake away from home. Last Thanksgiving was wonderful with my whole family in town, so he could have a great send off to BMT. Speaking of which, we are coming up on his one year anniversary. I can’t believe how fast time has gone.

This year has been tough, but there is still so much to be thankful for. First, 2020 was a year of awesome accomplishments for Jake. From graduating BMT and tech school, to earning his SEC+ certification and shipping off to his first duty station. To say he had a banner year would be an understatement. We couldn’t be more proud of the man and airmen he has become.

While our boys continue virtual school, they’re doing while and have managed to stay healthy. Hockey, thankfully, is in full swing. Too often we underestimate the importance that our kids sports and other extracurricular activities are for their development. Now with Covid, these activities are there only lifeline to the outside world. Kids need socialize.

As for Luke and I, we keep trucking on. After a rough fall that saw us replace two failing vehicles, we’re ready for the winter. I should also say we know have an additional driver, Goalielocks, which has helped a lot. I started a new role back in insurance, which I’m loving. Albeit, it keeps me extremely busy. Especially during the long hours of AEP.

To all our friends and family and to all our military families near and wide, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. To military families like ours, who have an empty chair this Thanksgiving, we send our love and gratitude. May God keep our family members that serve safe and sound. To our military folks servicing near and far, thank you for your service!! Today we hold you up in prayer and gratitude.

Oh Man

Oh man, I did it again. I totally missed posting yesterday, but I have a great excuse that does involve a margarita. Last night I headed down to see my friend before she goes on a trip for a couple of weeks. On my way down to her house, Jake called. He had a major test yesterday and he killed it! Moreover, he was able to speak with his new boss and sponsor. Fortunately, he is super excited about his future. As a mom, I couldn’t be happier to hear the happiness and excitement in his voice. Honestly, the best part of any day or week is when Jake calls. Especially if that call doesn’t come on the usual time or day. In fact, I may have paced outside my friend’s house for ten minutes in the blistering South Florida heat just to talk to him.

Naturally, Jake was super happy to hear that I was heading to Mel’s house to hang out with her parents. Jake and Mel are just the best and so are Mel’s parents. We all get along famously. A special surprise was that I got to talk to Jake when Mel got home from work. Of course, I love talking to him as much as I can. However, what I love more is how happy he looks when he’s talking to Mel. Honestly, they’re just the cutest couple ever. I could, however, be biased, but I don’t really think so. We had a great time hanging out last night. Consequently, I got ended up getting home pretty late and was really tired.

Yesterday was pretty much like every other Thursday. I went for my morning run and then headed to yoga. On Thursdays, I usually go into the studio for class. It was such a great flow! Altogether the pairing of running with a gentle flow class immediately afterward is a great pairing. I woke up today with absolutely no pain or tightness in my hips or legs. Since the studio re-opened, the Thursday class changed to a 75-minute gentle flow class. Previously, it was a 60-minute yoga for a healthy back. I love the class before, but the gentle flow class is perfect for me. It’s a little more challenging and the added time allows for more poses. However, the best part of this tandem is how I feel at the end of the yoga class. I feel confident, accomplished, relaxed, and ready to eat.

Today was another busy day full of BBG, yoga class, and yoga teacher training. Since I was going to be busy all day long, I told the boys I would get them DoorDash if they did their chores and work right away. Thankfully, this strategy worked like a charm. All the chores and work were done timely without a complaint. As a result, they got some Chic Fil-A delivered for lunch. Fortunately, they were willing to share a fry and a chicken nugget with their mom. While they enjoyed their freshly delivered lunch, I was hard at work in teacher training learning anatomy. Truly, I love the anatomy piece of teacher training. Everything is connected in a chain, so understanding the chain is super important. In fact, I am now well acquainted with all my problem children muscles.

Tonight we’re just chilling at home with the puppies watching The Office. While I finished the training, my hubby cooked dinner. We had a wonderful meal courtesy of HelloFresh. Tonight it was sweet chili pork bowls. The pork and vegetables were cooked in a Thai style sauce, which was amazing. I will definitely be ordering it again. Sadly, the hubby left the Mayor with the impression that it was a taco bowl. Consequently, the Mayor put enough Frank’s Red hot sauce to bake a dozen wings. Finally, a dish the Mayor would have loved from HelloFresh, despite his history of hating it, was destroyed with some mismatched hot sauce. Alas, I hope he is able to enjoy it the next time we make it.

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

*I read the The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskells. It is an absolutely amazing book.

*Gentle Flow with Jennifer from Open Heart Yoga Studio

*Oh man, I may have melted in the Florida heat today.

*Yoga teacher training with Monica from Yoga Mundo

*Binge watched The Office (again) with the Mayor and our puppies. I love Michael Scott!

*I was all business today from morning to evening

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*Took obligatory picture of Anakin!

*Obedience training Anakin

*Week 6 BBG 2.0 day 5 abs and yoga

*I took Anakin, Maya and Athena out for a walk

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Da Weekend

Da weekend is here and absolutely nothing has changed in our day to day lives from yesterday. I’m just kidding we had a couple of outings today that were essential. We had to pick up a few things for the garden and groceries. Fortunately, we were able to stop by a local farm and get box of vegetables and fruit. The fruit and vegetables look amazing! Plus, the price of $20 total can’t be beat by any super market.

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I have been trying to get a Shipt delivery slot since my last delivery on Sunday. Sadly, there were no slots available, which meant for the first time in years I had to fo a full grocery trip myself. Ugh! To say I’ve been spoiled by Shipt would be a compete and utter understatement! Nevertheless, I strapped on my mask and headed to Target.

Target wasn’t too bad, but it’s a pain in the arse wading through the crowds in the aisles. Fortunately or rather unfortunately, I didn’t waste my time with all of the aisles since their selves were empty. Thankfully, I was able to get most of what we needed including Easter candy for the boys. When I got home the boys ripped into me for buying milk that expires in the next two days… Spoiler alert – they’ve already drank one of the gallons I bought. They totally made the milk disappear – problem averted! Sadly, since I couldn’t find enough milk to keep on standby, I’ll have to make another grocery run.

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This morning I met my Momcation friends on Zoom for a virtual brunch. It was fantastic. For this glorious occasion, I brought out the Corona Refresca for the first time. It was a bit sweet, but pretty tasty. Of course, the best part was the company. I’m so bummed we won’t be traveling to Turks & Caicos later this month for our annual Momcation. Nonetheless, Zoom brunches and happy hours will help film the void and provide some much needed socialization.

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Unfortunately, I also received word today that my dear friend and former employee Michele passed away. The news really took a bite out of my soul. Michele was a one in a million woman. She was simply extraordinary. Every thing this woman faced over the last eleven years, she faced with an uncommon strength and grace. At work, she was the glue that help make our ORS team a family. To say we loved her dearly, would be an understatement. For me she was not only an employee or colleague, she was a friend that became family. Please keep her family and friends in your prayers as they grieved during this difficult time.

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

*Reading To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

*Studied and practiced Norwegian

*Watched Family Guy and the Crocodile Hunter

*Watched American Pie

*Week 7 BBG rest day

*Brunch with my girls via Zoom

*Grocery shopping at Target

*Took Anakin, Maya and Athena on multiple walks

*Worked on Obedience Training with Anakin inside.

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Pandemic Pandemonium

Day three of pandemic pandemonium and I’m over it.  Admittedly, it’s not the virus that scares me.  Nope, it’s the thought of dealing with two teenagers in close proximity for eight weeks that has me wrecked.  I have no doubt that I’ll continue to display sangfroid as it pertains the virus.  I’m less certain that I’ll survive homeschooling my kids.
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I’ve taken a few steps to preserve my sanity or at least what’s left of it.  So here’s my advice, start day drinking.  I’m only kidding, so don’t be mad mom!  In crazy times like these, it’s important to keep a semblance of a routine.  I still get my coffee and eat my breakfast at the same time.
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Working out is a huge part of staying both mentally and physically healthy.  Fortunately, I’m back to my workout routine with a few changes.  Sadly, the yoga studio is closed, so until this is over I’m practicing at home.  Thankfully, there  are some awesome YouTube yoga channels.  I love Fightmaster Yoga and Yoga With Adrienne.
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In addition to my normal workouts (including my runs,) I’ve added an afternoon walk with the dogs and the boys.  Today we took them for a 1.5 mile walk/jog.  It was a beautiful day and all three pups enjoyed being outside.  As a bonus, I got the boys off their phones and TVs for almost 45 minutes.

These are trying times.  It’s something most of us have never experienced and that can make it scary.  Please be sure you’re checking in on your friends and family to make sure they’re okay.  As I have no doubt that loneliness will soon become a byproduct of this pandemic.

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In the meantime, social distancing remains the most altruistic and effective way to help our communities weather this storm.  Speaking of storms,  it feels like we’re waiting on a massive storm to come ashore only there’s no Jim Cantore or cone of uncertainty.  My only hope now is that the toilet paper is back in stock by the time hurricane season starts.  In the meantime, we’ll be doing our best to survive the pandemic pandemonium.

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

*reading Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery

*Watched Schitt’s Creek – a couple of episodes from season 3

* BBG upper body and ab week 5 workout

*1.5 mile walk with my boys and puppies

*Yin practice – Fightmaster Yoga

*Watched Frozen 2 and now I want to go to Norway!

 

Long Day

Today was a long day! Goalielocks and I left the house at 6:30 am, so we’d get to Kendall for practice before 8:45. As it happened, traffic was great and we got there forty five minutes early. Of course if we had left any later, we would have been incredibly late.

This morning’s practice was two hours on ice. Goalielocks got worked hard! He played well and was engaged all practice long. If you’re a goalie parent, I know how much you’d appreciate your goalie being engaged the entire practice. We’ve had past seasons where the goalies were left to their own devices at the opposite end of the rink.

Practice was great. Afterwards Goalielocks headed to lunch to celebrate’s a friends birthday. Fortunately, he was able to shower and borrow some clothes from a friend. He and his boys then headed to Texas De Brazil for a nice lunch. The moms, meanwhile, headed to Cheesecake factory for our lunch.

One of the best parts of hockey is the relationships that are formed and grown season after season. People often think we’re crazy for the amount of time we put in to travel hockey. While we may he crazy for other reasons, this isn’t one of them. I’ve been able to share so many experiences with my kids and my hockey family that are priceless. I have an incredible built in support system, which with recent life changes means everything.

The day will soon come when will hang up the travel hockey parent moniker. Incredibly that day is now nearer than farther. We’ve been in the game for nearly a decade and are grateful for the people and the lessons the sport has taught us. Hopefully, in the far term future we’ll return to travel hockey with the travel hockey grandparent moniker.

Speaking of hockey family, my youngest is back home after a nice sojourn with the K’s. The Outback Bowl was Goalielocks’ Christmas present, but we did give the Mayor and option to stay with his friend. After some deliberation, he decided to stay local. They kindly picked him up Monday night, so we didn’t have to drive South before heading North.

I’m glad to have him home. Truly, I’m incredibly grateful for our hockey family for their generous hospitality and loving our kid. We’re lucky people! Now after a long day on the road, I’m home and able to breathe and relax.

Please keep the airmen, sailors, soldiers and their families as they face deployment.

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