Slay All Day

It was a slay all day kind of day here at the Hockey Mom Fit Life. Naturally, it started with my cup of Joe from Dunkin’ and some quality time with the dogs. Before breakfast, I knocked out the BBG arm workout. I continue to despise lie down pushups and burpees. They’re simply horrible! As for the jumping rope, I’m getting much better at this. Obviously, I planned my morning, so I’d have about ten minutes between BBG and my yoga class. After I finished BBG, I broke my fast with some almonds and a banana.

Anakin and I thread the needle

Today was the second time I’ve taken Ava’s slow flow class. It is incredible! Additionally, since I knew what to expect today, it was easier than last week. Ava does a great job creating an innovative flow that covers all the major bases. I’m excited to see how my body responds to her classes. Unfortunately, my Mayor loves to interrupt my yoga classes by letting Anakin into the room. It is sometimes annoying behavior. Fortunately, Anakin loves to join me on the mat for yoga. Moreover, timing is everything here, and thankfully the Mayor didn’t interrupt my savasana. I can only imagine what goes through my sweet puppy’s mind when runs onto my yoga mat.

After yoga concluded, I had fifteen minutes to clean myself up and make some coffee before my Zoom call with my new boss. That’s right folks, I’ve started a new job as a sales executive with a start-up firm that specializes in promotional gear for companies. I’m particularly excited that the new role has maximum flexibility to fit into the life I want. Clearly, I’ve had a very firm list of requirements for any role I would take in my post-Kaplan life. Fortunately, this opportunity checks all of those boxes. Consequently, if you or someone you know owns a business and needs some SWAG, I’d be happy to help.

Since it’s Wednesday, it’s also my HIIT run day. I like to do this run in the late afternoon after my second cup of coffee wears off. Today’s run was 20 minutes of 30-second intervals alternating between 7.5, 7.0, and 3.0 mph. Amazingly, I had no concept of how long a 30-second interval can be until I was running one at 7.5 mph. Alternatively, I had no idea that a 30-second interval could be so short when catching my breath at 3.0 mph. Fortunately, my run play-list and Curb help get me through the most arduous parts of the run. Today’s run went well albeit the 7.5 mph tempo is a stretch for me. Afterward, I did my normal post-run stretch routine. Yesterday I changed it up a bit by extending the sleeping pigeon pose stretch from one minute to two minutes. This helps keep my glutes and hips healthy.

My hubby worked all day but still made dinner for me as I had some conference calls to jump on to. Tonight he grilled some chuck eye steaks and cooked Margherita Chicken Pasta courtesy of HelloFresh. I gotta be honest here, the HelloFresh pasta was absolutely amazing. Certainly, I don’t need to eat that many carbs or calories, but I totally earned it today. Even my Mayor, who has become annoyingly picky, tried and enjoyed the pasta. Since Goalielocks has never liked spaghetti, he enjoyed a nice, juicy grilled steak. As for the rest of the evening, I have a Purple Stride call and a good book in my future.

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

*I read Shirley, by Charlotte Bronte.

*Slow Flow with Ava from Open Heart Yoga Studio

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*Took obligatory picture of Anakin! It turned out super cute!

*I took a nice cold, gelid as an icy pond, shower post run. Clearly, it was amazeballs.

*Obedience training Anakin

*Week 7 BBG 2.0 day 2 cardio and yoga

*And now I feel better today!

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Save $100 A Month

If you use shopping cart or affiliate software for your business, you’ll want to pay close attention to this article. It can save you hundreds of dollars in overhead expenses for your business.   Especially if you’re using software or services just a ThriveCart, SamCart, PayKickStart, Clickbank or JV Zoo. You’ll want to pay attention…because what I’m sharing with you today is making marketing history.

GrooveDigital software development company, owned by marketing legend Mike Filsaime, is focused on creating the most powerful, affordable and simple to use all-in-one software service that you can use to build, grow and manage an online business.  Well, they just seriously disrupted the business software market by carving off a major portion of their flagship product, GrooveFunnels, and making it completely free (at least for now).  Introducing GrooveSell.. a powerful sales and affiliate platform for digital marketers and infopreneurs to sell their products.  The software at it’s core helps you take payments and manage customers for physical products, digital product and services. It comes with a full-featured affiliate system too (GrooveAffiliate) which lets you amass an army of commission-only salespeople to help you promote and get paid for your products!

 

This easy-to-use software creates checkout pages that are designed to convert more visitors into buyers, more clicks into sales, and manage the process from beginning to end.  This is no “basic” software version either. It allows you to do some pretty ninja tactics to increase your dollar per sale. Not only can you do the usual up-sells and down-sells in your product funnel, but the software adds order bumps before purchase, and true 1-click up-sells (with and without confirmation) to your funnels. This allows you to make point of purchase impulse sales of related items, increasing your dollar per transaction of just pure profit.

 

GrooveSell also features a powerful set of tools that lets you set flexible pricing structures that are unheard of on other platforms. Need a free trial product? No problem! You can set any trial length or price you’d like. If you have an one time onboarding charge followed by a monthly maintenance fee.. GrooveSell can do that too. Want to offer two annual payments that recur every year at the same time? It can do that too.

 

You even have eight different options for recurring billing. The system will automatically charge your customers at their regular billing interval (weekly, every 2 weeks, monthly, every two months, quarterly, bi-annually, annually and every two years).  It integrates with all of the major payment processors, like Stripe, PayPal, and Authorize.net and if you don’t have a merchant account, they are releasing GroovePayments very shortly, where they will process payments for you for a very competitive percentage.  Plus, it grows with you. For bigger businesses doing high volume there’s merchant account warming and load balancing built into the system, so you can avoid getting your credit card or PayPal account shut down during major promotions.

 

With your free account you get:

 

-Unlimited products

-Unlimited product funnels

-Unlimited checkout loads (bandwidth)

-Unlimited affiliates

-Unlimited customers

-Unlimited support

-Unlimited payment gateways

 

And all of this is free. That’s right, free for life.

-no credit card required- ever

-no monthly fees

-no surprise bills

-full feature set

-every upgrade they ever do

 

Plus, there’s an incredible bonus of GroovePages Basic, which lets you build pages for up to three product funnels. So you can create a sales page, checkout page, and thank you page to deliver your product to your buyer.  The bottom line is: You can do anything with GrooveSell that you can do with any digital marketing shopping cart out there.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

 

How much does grabbing your free GrooveSell account save you?

 

Well let’s compare GrooveSell to the other major players in this space

ThriveCart (one time $495.00 payment)

SamCart ($49.00 per/month)

PayKickStart ($99.00 per/month)

JV Zoo (5% commission on all sales, +2.5% additional for some sales)

Clickbank ($49.95 activation fee, $1+7.5% transaction fee for each sale, and a whopping $2.50 fee each time you want to withdraw your money!)

 

Which brings us to these questions… What’s the catch? Why is it free?

 

There’s zero catch. In fact, when you get your free account, you won’t even get an immediate promotion to try and upsell you.  The software is in beta at the time of this writing, so there are some features (like support for worldwide currency) that is not yet available. Moreover, the company has assured me that all features will be ready by their launch in July 2020. Until then, the platform is still fully functional and useable.

 

GrooveDigital stated that the company wanted to give back to the community, and provide real value to people… not just a flimsy ebook or lame set of templates to entice you to join their list… but REAL value in the form of a useable product that never requires a purchase.

 

And they’ve done just that. You could build a pretty decent business using nothing but the free product you get with GrooveSell, plus your social media pages.

 

While the folks at GrooveDigital hope that one day you’ll decide to upgrade to the full suite of tools that comes with GrooveFunnels (which includes an email service, membership sites, video marketing, a helpdesk, calendar, and all the tools you need to manage and grow a robust business), GrooveSell and GrooveAffiliate are yours to keep for free, forever.

 

All you need is your name and best email address.

 

Oh, there’s also an active Facebook group. The company keeps out the spam and off topic posts, and instead ensures a community of users that share ideas and information. We are all learning and growing there together.

 

Whether you already have a shopping cart service and looking to reduce your monthly bills, or your just getting started with your online business and your budget it tight… you’ll want to check out GrooveSell. Do it today while it’s still free.

 

World Pancreatic Cancer Day

Today is World Pancreatic Cancer Day and across the globe we’re uniting to improve patient outcomes for this deadly disease. Pancreatic cancer is the only major cancer without significant improvement in survival rates of the past decades. Our patients, our friends and our families deserve better.

Thankfully, I have plenty of purple to wear. I started the day rocking my Minnesota Vikings shirt (Skol Vikings!) It is awesome when you can support your team and an amazing cause at the same time. I went to my 12:00 yoga in an nice purple Gaiam top and my favorite Gaiam yoga mat (also purple.)

I’m hopeful as the general public becomes mor aware of the disease that our collective voice for more research will get louder. We need more dollars out against the disease if we are to unravel it’s secrets i.e. early detection methods and a cure. PanCAN has been hard at work the last twenty years increasing awareness and research. I’m excited with that the next decade will bring us in terms of research. Nevertheless, our voices cannot be quieted until we have found a cure.

You can support PanCAN’s mission in honor of World Pancreatic Cancer day and in my friend Debbie’s honor by donating here.

One Week

It’s been one week since I left the office for the last time.  So many emotions and so much fun has been had over the past seven days.  It’s not that I’m not sad to move on or anything like that, but I choose to embrace the madness and the excitement of moving forward. That isn’t to say I don’t have tough moments, but by and large I’m feeling good!  I started my first week off with a brilliant session at the salon with my girl Daniela and Jenja.  Nothing makes a girl feel better than a fresh hair cut and a nice brow wax.

During the intervening days, I had the occasion to meet several former colleagues and friends for lunch and drinks.   A fantastic time was had by all.  As an aside, I went to Farmer’s Table for the first time for lunch.  The food and service were absolutely brilliant.  Fortunately, Farmer’s Table’s menu had several amazing gluten free options.   I quite enjoyed the spasta with meatballs – spaghetti squash with marinara and chicken meatballs.  It was absolutely amazing.  I can’t wait to go back.  The next day, I had an amazing meal at Taverna Trela in Delray.  This meal was equally amazing.  I thoroughly enjoyed my steak, mushroom and onion rice bowl.   Another menu with some great gluten free options.  I look forward to going back there as well.

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Friday also brought a doctor’s appointment, where my doctor noted how much happier and relaxed I looked.  My blood pressure was pretty freaking phenomenal too.  They see me all the time there on account of the regular bloodwork I need to get down for the thyroid, so it was encouraging they noted the change.  It was also encouraging that my thyroid is starting to approach the normal range!  Yes – victory is in site my friends.

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The weekend brought happy hours, another massage and some mini golf.  I thoroughly enjoyed my blueberry martinis at Burt & Max’s.  The lettuce wraps were pretty freaking good too.   Of course, the Chipotle at the end of the night was pretty good.  Admittedly, it was the first time I’ve had Chipotle in years.  I enjoyed the steak tacos on a hard shell.  It brought back memories of driving across the University of Minnesota on game nights to get to the only Chipotle close to our house because it was the best thing since sliced bread. Now that Chipotle is on every corner and they’ve had a couple e-coli scares, the novelty has worn off a bit.

Sunday night we hit the mini golf course with J&M2 also known as Jake and Mel.  .  Even though we went in the evening, it was still hot as hades on the course.  By the time we finished, I felt like I had been sitting in the sauna for an hour in my jeans.  Fortunately, the club house had the same temperature as the Baltic Sea.  In 5 seconds flat, I went from near heat stroke to hyperthermia.   If I’m being honest, mini golf isn’t my sport, but we had a blast.  I’m also declaring victory having ended a mere 13 above par.  Over previous efforts, this represented a serious improvement in performance

Meanwhile in Minnesota, the boys are living their best lives with their cousins.  They’re having a blast hanging out with their cousins and chilling on the boat with their Uncle J.  The Mayor loves tubing with his cousins, while Goalielocks is enjoying fishing the Minnesota lakes.  He caught a nice sized large mouth bass on Lake Minnetonka Sunday.  Last week, their cousin X and his soccer team were playing in the USA Cup in Blaine.  Needless to say, given the heat indices in Minny last week, I’m thrilled my boys play hockey.  I’ll never be sitting by a sideline in an 115 head index.  Suffice to say, if you asked the boys, they would tell you there’s no better passage of summer than one spent in Minnesota.

Goalielocks is also enjoying lessons with his former goalie coach from the Hawks, Coach Ryan, who is now coaching with MEGA Goaltending in Minnesota.  It’s fun for the boys to reconnect with Coach Ryan and to get back on the ice.  Since Goalielocks went on a growth spurt, we’ll need to buy him a full set of gear upon his return to Florida.  Oh the expensive joys of the hockey mom life.

Today is my father’s 66th birthday please join me in wishing him the happiest of birthdays!

Calling All Beer League Heroes

Calling all beer league heroes!  Pure Hockey just launched an exciting contest that will afford one lucky monthly winner (through June 2020) a comprehensive gear upgrade.    Each winner will receive a $500 Pure Hockey gift card, and a prize package for themselves and the rest of their team.  This prize package includes customized jerseys, matching Bauer gloves and helmets and a $50 gift card for every team member. Now is your chance to shine on the ice with some great gear, but also have the beer league jersey of their dreams.  The contest runs through June 2020, so sign up now for your chance for the gear upgrade of your dreams!

Why I Stride

Since today is World Pancreatic Cancer Awareness day, I thought I’d write about why I stride.  Stride of course refers to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s annual 5k called Purple Stride.  This Sunday, as we’ve done since 2015, Team Deb Force Five will be off to the races at the Broward-Palm Beach Purple Stride.  While it will be my first as part of the event team, it will also be our second Purple Stride without Debbie, which brings me to why I stride.

I remember the day clearly.  I had travelled with work to Orlando to present for the first time as part of our Military Roadshow. It was a pretty big deal and I was super excited.  We were driving up as a group and heading back that evening.  The presentation went swimmingly, so I spent my afternoon getting caught up on work.   And then my husband called, hysterical..   I was convinced something had happened to one of our kiddos.  When he finally calmed down, he told me the devastating news that Debbie had been diagnosed with stage iv cancer.  Instantly, my knees went week and I started to slide down the wall as I too started to cry.   At that point, the origin of the cancer was unknown, but the prognosis was dire.

At the time of her diagnosis Debbie was 40 years old.  She wasn’t a smoker, she ate exceedingly healthy and was an avid runner.  She didn’t fit the profile for a pancreatic cancer patient, but I think that’s the message.   According to a a recent study, pancreatic cancer will be the 2nd deadliest cancer by 2020.  Lung cancer is projected to remain the deadliest cancer.  While other cancers have seen a decrease in mortality rates, pancreatic cancer has not.  Researchers pointed to a combination of factors as to why mortality rates for pancreatic cancer have not declined.   Risk factors including an aging population, the relative growth of high-risk minority populations (African Americans and Ashkenazi Jews) and the underfunding of pancreatic cancer research.

Debbie was committed to finding a cure and research for better patient outcomes.  She was an avid supporter of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the work they do to drive pancreatic cancer research.  Unfortunately, this can’t be done without money.   Pancreatic cancer patients and their families, like Debbie and her family, deserve better outcomes.  They deserve a survival rate well over 9%.

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We lost Debbie almost two years ago, but some days it feels like it was yesterday while others it feels like it’s been years.   Even still Goalielocks asks why they couldn’t do more for her.  I stride because I’m committed to ensuring that pancreatic cancer patients and their families have better outcomes.  I’m committed to helping drive research forward.  This disease has stolen so much from so many.  It certainly has from me.

You can support PanCan and Team Deb Force Five in Debbie’s honor: http://support.pancan.org/site/TR/PurpleStride/PurpleStride?team_id=14831&pg=team&fr_id=1573

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.”

Choking

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.

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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.

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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.

Realities of Mom Life

The realities of mom life aren’t nearly as glamorous as Gloria from Modern Family would have you believe.  In fact, they can be quite the opposite of glamorous unless you include cleaning up vomit in your definition of glamorous.  I know I don’t!  In the 18.5 years of motherhood, I’ve learned the key to motherhood is the learning to be agile in your planning and expectations.

While I would love to have nice things and perfectly clean house, I’ve found with three boys in the house it is darn near impossible.  When the boys were younger, we removed all of the toys and furniture from our upstairs loft.  At the time, and still to this day, my boys use the space as their mini hockey rink.  Yeah, it’s crazy.  Yeah, there’s damage to the walls and floor.  I mean, who doesn’t love when the kids take permanent markers to their new wood floors?  But you know what, my boys have had a blast spending their days/nights playing mini-hockey.  Moreover, it is much better than video games.  As a mother, you quickly learn which battles to fight and which ones to let go.

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I always have high ambitions for my weekends. I’m going to go to the gym, run all my errands, hang our with friends, organize my closet, etc.  The reality is again I have to be agile in my expectations and planning.  My plan may be a bit grandiose given my hockey mom schedule.  While the reality of what I’m able to accomplish, in my own mind, is quite paltry compared to my ambitions.  I guess when my kids reach 18, I’ll have time for all of those grandiose plans.

Moreover, this weekend in Chicago I had hoped to see downtown and eat relatively well.  I can’t say that ate completely poorly, but Giordano’s -while amazing- is not anti-fat ass compliant.  Fortunately, we only ate there two out of the four days.  As for the sight seeing, our hockey schedule simply didn’t allow for it.  I had planned to do this Monday before heading to the airport, but this plan was derailed by both boys’ teams making the semi-finals. It wouldn’t have been nice to see downtown, but truth be told I’d rather be watching my boys at the hockey rink.

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While we were in Chi-town, the hubby installed the yoga silk.  Initially, I had envisioned that I’d be the only one using it while the rest of my family made fun of me for it.  Oh how I was wrong.  Surprisingly, my younger two boys (in particular) love doing inversions in the silk, swinging on the silk and laying back in the silk relaxing.   I’m not mad that they love it, but I’m definitely going to need to buy another silk for the house.  I had hoped that the boys would use it post-hockey practice to help decompress their backs while opening their chest and shoulders.  Thankfully, they’re doing this, but I think they want to live in it.

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Meanwhile it was back to work for me with a sinus headaches courtesy of the cold weather and flights.  Fortunately, I only came back to 1,000 emails.  That made for a fun morning. Truly, it was nice to be back at work and back into our regular routines.  My body was clearly still on CST as I woke up way later than I had hoped.

We’re back to a daily song and tonight’s song performed by The Cranberries is “Dream.”  I was devastated to read that we had lost yet another amazing musician, Dolores O’Riordan, from my formative years.  One of the first albums I bought was The Cranberries album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?.  It was also an album that both my dad and I were really into.  For me, it was one of the first times my dad’s and my musical tastes aligned on music.  Of course, now it is a much different story with a lot of my musical preferences heavily influenced by my dad.

What a Week

What a week!  Our Angel Tree events were an absolutely success!  I cannot get over how amazing it is to witness these precious children receiving their gifts.  Moreover, I beyond excited to grow our partnership with ARC through various volunteer opportunities.  Admittedly, I was proud of the team’s efforts and how they pulled together the drive, but I think we’re all exhausted.

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In the holiday season being able to help others even if it is in meager amounts is a gift.  It’s funny how as we get older Christmas morphs from a holiday about receiving gifts to a holiday about giving gifts.  They’re is truly more joy in giving than receiving. However, I do think its important to give ourselves gifts from time to time.

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For example, the last time I received a raise, I wanted to buy a nice pair of red bottomed shoes.  I think you know the shoes I’m talking about, but instead I bought a membership to the local fitness studio.  First, it was significantly cheaper than the red-bottomed shoes.  Secondly, there’s nothing better than little yoga or barre to get oneself re-centered.  I don’t do many things for myself – I drink my DD and I go to the gym, the rest is for my boys (all four of them.)  Seriously, I haven’t had pedicure since SAHOF (state hockey tournament), which happened in March.

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Of course, the hockey mom life entails acceptance of the fact all of your money, and I do mean all, goes to hockey  My boys, again all four, would have it no other way and truthfully nor would I.  Tonight my boys headed to practice as the Piggie and I headed out for a run. As I embarked on my run, one phrase kept running through my head “I’ll remember this.” There’s no need for a backstory here only the reminder that words can cut like a knife.

Tonight’s song performed by Michael Buble is “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.”