Merry Christmas Eve Eve

Merry Christmas Eve Eve or as they say in Norway merry little Christmas Eve. With only one day left between us and the Christmas holiday, I find myself woefully unprepared. Nor do I find myself with any desire to brave the South Florida retail scene or roads. Of course, after getting a flat tire on my way to yoga, it’s not like I’m super mobile.

I have finally started my holiday baking. Although I’ll be baking significantly less than last year. This year I’ll be baking two or three different cookies versus last years’ smorgasbord of baking. Fortunately, I may even be making a double batch of my famous caramel rolls. We’ll see!! I’m waiting on the final headcount from the hubby.

Today I spent a peaceful, serene day with Ava. There’s something about holding and rocking a newborn that is soothing for your soul. We hung for a bit while mama headed to her doctor’s appointment and vet appointment. Newborns develop so quickly. It’s awesome to see how she’s grown and developed from Friday to today.

I was going to cap my day with a peaceful and zen yoga practice with Debbie at Open Heart Yoga, but my back tire did not cooperate. Instead my knight in shiny armor came and put on my spare, so I could get home safely. Fortunately, I have a yoga silk, so I was able to do some stretching and inversion work.

Meanwhile in San Antonio, Jake started WOT 2 or week 2 of basic training. We’re hoping to hear from him via letter, carrier pigeon, marching band or a phone call. There’s some speculation on the Air Force Mom BMT group that’s the MTI’s will let them call home, but it’s not guaranteed. My fingers, however, will stay crossed in hopes of receiving a phone call. Anything that would help me gauge how he is doing at BMT.  I miss my boy!

 

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Weekend One

Weekend one without Jake was, thankfully, super busy. I can’t get over the fact that I can’t speak to him or that he doesn’t come home at night. Both the hubby and I keep expecting him to come home. Needless to say, I’m glad that our schedules were full from morning til night. This way my mind was distracted from missing Jake. Also, I posting his updated address as I discovered a few errors in it – thank you Air Force Moms BMT group.

Friday night Colin went out with his friends from school, so we ordered pizza from Nicoletta’s. Nicoletta’s is a neighborhood owned restaurant in the shopping plaza, so we’re anxious to support it. Our neighborhood group is full of restaurant killers. These jerks feel the need to complain and urge folks not to patronize a restaurant after they’ve had a poor experience. Perhaps they haven’t realized that they can keep their opinions to themselves. Seriously, given the level of complaining from these individuals, it wouldn’t be a leap of logic to conclude that they may be the problem. Nevertheless, the gluten free pizza form Nicoletta’s was divine. The only other local gluten free option is Domino’s, which is a hard no.

Saturday morning Goalielocks and I headed south to Kendall for practice. The practice days are long, but they’re also a lot of fun. I love the parents on his team and he truly adores his team. In between sessions, J and I grabbed a Publix salad and ate at the rink. We then indulged in my addiction (Dunkin) before watching the second practice. Meanwhile the Mayor and his team were volunteering at Feeding South Florida.

Post practice we made the trek home, so I could get ready for the Mayor’s holiday party. We’re so fortunate that both boys are on teams with great kids and family. It makes the season so much better and more meaningful. We had a blast and I ate way too many cookies, which I shouldn’t be eating. Santa even made an appearance. I spent the majority of night chilling with the moms, which was fabulous. Being surrounded by good friends from morning to night was exactly what I needed.

Sunday we were back at the rink for Goalielocks’ games. It was another early start to the day, which sucked. The boys didn’t have their best effort, but Goalielocks had a blast. We also got to see some of our favorite hockey families, which is always a great time.

We did another scary moment after one of our players was checked from behind headfirst into the boards. The check was finished with the defenders stick on our center’s next that never ends well. It’s that kind of bullshit plays that cause serious injuries and make the game look bad. I understand people get hit on clean checks, but this wasn’t that scenario. I was worried that he had been knocked out in addition to the neck injuries.  Anyway, I digress.

Afterwards, Goalielocks went to lunch with friends and we headed home to check on our friends’ kids. As we had driven to the rink that morning, we got the call that our friend was in labor and en route to the hospital!! So exciting!?! Can you think of a better distraction for a sad mom? I don’t think so!

The hubby ran over to check on the kids, while I did laundry, ordered groceries and did the dishes. He ran down some items to the hospital for our friends. By the time he got home, Goalielocks and his friends were back from lunch. We had a bonus of three hockey players in the house. They’re a bit loud, so they made Athena nervous. Consequently, she may have pooped on one of their shoes and right in front of the front door! Sweet Piggie was stressed.

We spent most of the evening anxiously awaiting the arrival of our newest niece. I was a bit worried when our friend had been pushing for over two hours. Thankfully, she was able to deliver the baby without needing a c-section. When I got the text that she was here, my eyes were musty with tears a joy and gratitude.

Upon receiving the text, I was ready to rock and roll. My hubby, who was a bit calmer, told me to simmer down and check with John. So I did and we were out the door in minutes. We picked up his daughters and took them down to see their beautiful baby sister.

It was the first time, I was back at the West Boca Birth pavilion since the Mayor had been born. Needless to say, it brought back many great memories. We checked in at security and quickly headed back to see the new arrival.

Man let me tell you, the new addition, Ava Deborah, to the family is beautiful. She’s petite with the cutest cheeks and that sweet newborn cry. I can say sweet since it’s not my newborn. I think we all know the sweetness of that newborn cry is short lived as the fatigue set in.

The most beautiful part of the evening being present for one of the happiest moments of their lives. If ever there were people deserved to be happy, it is them. At any rate, sweet little Ava stole my heart. I can’t wait to hold that sweet angel again!

As we hung out in the hospital room, I was filled with gratitude for all the changes the last week had brought: Jake embarked on the path to his future and our dear friends brought a beautiful life into this world. So many tears this past week have been sad and mournful, to cry tears of joy and gratitude last night for the gifts this year has brought was everything. All in all, we survived weekend one, but I wish Jake was here to share it with us. Meanwhile Jake started WOT1 yesterday – more on that tomorrow!  Weekend one is in the books!

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Adjusting

It’s day one without Jake and we’re all adjusting. Some of us, aka me and the hubby, are having a harder time adjusting to our new normal. I still expect Jake to come in and give me a good night kiss every night. This morning I had to stop myself from ordering his bagel from Dunkin’.

So how are we coping? Well, if you consider steam mops, dog accessories, yoga and brownies as coping, then I’d say I’m coping pretty well. Except I’m not at least not yet. By the time he finishes BMT, I’ll have accepted our lives as they now exist. Hopefully, it won’t take daily brownies to get there since I’m gluten intolerant.

For the puppies’ sake, they’ll be quite happy when I’ve complete the adjustment process. This will mean I’m no longer putting them in multiple cute holiday collars in a day or shopping for their Christmas outfits.

As I prepared to go to sleep last night, Jake called to let us know he had made it safely to San Antonio. For this phone call, he was allotted a generous forty seconds! Nevertheless, it was forty of the best seconds of my life. The kid sounded great! Hopefully, he’s able to carry that attitude through the rest of BMT.

This week, he’ll be getting a haircut, his uniform and a bunch of paperwork completed. We’re anxiously awaiting his call home with his address. As soon as I have it, I will share it. Mail is what gets airmen through BMT!! Finally, thanks again for all the love and support as we continue adjusting to this major change in our lives.

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One Day More

One day more until Jake ships out to basic. I can’t believe the day has finally arrived. Today itself has been quite unreal as he said goodbye to the house, our beloved puppies, his brothers and his beloved Mel.

We dropped him off at the recruiter’s office where we waited an hour and half for the shuttle to take off. From there he went to MEPS to complete paperwork and get ready to ship out. Tomorrow he’ll have another physical before taking the oath of enlistment.

I did pretty good for most of the day. Until I took my dog for walk this afternoon. I have a gratitude/relaxation playlist that I like to listen to when I walk. When Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole I lost my ish. There I was walking my dog, enjoying the scent of th Hong Kong orchids and ugly crying. I don’t know why it hit me at that exact moment, but it lasted for a good mile and a half.

I was a complete mess. I finally started to get my shit together and then John Lennon’s Imagine triggered me again. As I walked and cried, I thought about how all the moments of his life prepared us all for this moment. From his first day of preschool to his last day of high school everything was getting us ready for him to fly the coop. Here were are on that day and he is ready to soar and I’m struggling to let go.

Tonight the boys, Mel and I headed to Miami to join Jake for dinner. He was finished at MEPS around 6, so we got there around 6:30 after missing the exit the first time around. Dinner at the hotel was quick and convenient. My salad was great, but everyone else’s burgers looked like hockey pucks. We did indulge in some dessert since it seemed like the perfect occasion to eat our feelings.

Jake, the hubby and I were the original trio. It was us three for almost five years before Colin came along. As Jake grew up, so did we. Tonight as we drive back from seeing him in Miami, I am in awe of the many he has become. Love you Jake!

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Time is Ticking

Time is ticking away. We’re less than four days away from Jake leaving for Basic training. We’re so excited for Jake and all that he will achieve in the Air Force. After all this is the natural order of things. You raise kids, hope they turn out ok and send them out into the world. Only it hurts. It’s hurts to let go and acknowledge that this phase of his life and ours will soon be over.

Inside a myriad of emotions swirl about at a million miles an hour (thank you Graves) that it’s hard to make sense of it all sometimes. At its core is the immense pride and joy in seeing our eldest son leave the nest with a great plan for success. In that core is also sadness and regret that it’s time for us to let go and let him fly.

Needless to say, if you see me and Luke in a rink this weekend (because that’s where we’ll be,) we’ll definitely be in need of all the love, hugs, encouragement, prayers and coffee one can find because time keeps ticking away.

 

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Happy Birthday Big Papa

Today we wish a very happy birthday to Big Papa, who turns 96 today. Luke’s grandfather has been one of my favorite people since the moment I met him. His heart is as a big as his tall frame. Throughout our marriage, Big Papa has always been one of our strongest supporters. We are forever grateful for all the time we have spent with him and for his love and support.

Jake and I were blessed to spend sometime with him in October on Jake’s farewell tour. He looks absolutely amazing for a 97 year old man. Unfortunately, he’s in a memory care facility with little of his memory left. Words cannot describe how beautiful it was to see his eye light up with Grandpa Steve told him Jake was joining the Air Force. It was magic.

He didn’t remember me, but he responded to Steve’s news by saying Jacob with the German pronunciation. He had an uncle Jakob and has always associated our Jake with his uncle. Throughout most the visit he spoke mostly German with some English sprinkled in. It was a special time. While he did not remember me, he thought I was way too young and pretty to be Jake’s mom. Score one for Grandpa Ed – still my favorite Lorbach!

We love you!  Happy Birthday Big Papa!

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Progress

Progress isn’t always the number on the scale or the time on the race clock. Sometimes progress is being strong enough to carry the weight of life’s burdens. Sometimes progress is mastering a yoga pose that has eluded you for years. Today I slayed my white whale of yoga poses: the headstand.

This seemingly simple pose has eluded me since I started practicing over a decades ago. Honestly, it’s been quite vexing to be so challenged by a pose so easily attained throughout my entire childhood. Yet, here I was an adult yogi that couldn’t do a headstand on her own.

So how did this victory come about? After all, I’ve just returned to my yoga practice last month. While, here’s the deal. My fellow blogger posted on the movies Brittany Runs a Marathon. I had heard great things about it, but still hadn’t watched it. Her post was the final push I needed.

Wednesday afternoon as I folded an infinite supply of laundry, I watched Brittany Runs a Marathon. The movie was fantastic and I totally recommend you watch it. Obviously, the ending (much like the Titanic) is a give away, but that’s not the most important part of the story. Brittany’s transition to a runner and her finishing the NYC marathon is the key here. Throughout it all, including an injury, she perseveres. It was enough for me; I was totally inspired.

Last night I was working on my inversions in my yoga silk. It dawned on me that it was absolutely ridiculous that I the headstand remained elusive. After all, I have the strength and the balance. Finally, I resolved that I would slay the beast and move my practice forward.

Today’s yoga class brought the perfect opportunity! We were using blocks to help get into the proper position. My teacher was helping another student into the headstand when I decided to try it on my own. You can imagine my surprise and delight when I was able to go up into a headstand on my own. Yep, I was jubilant!

Meanwhile, Jake’s been busy getting ready for basic as we’re now only five days from him leaving. As Athena and I took our walk today, I couldn’t help but lament our lack remaining time together. Tomorrow will end the work week give way to a whirlwind weekend of hockey and goodbyes.

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Six Days

Six days until my boy is wheels up and on his way to basic. Our impending new reality is drawing closer and closer and I’m full on Charlie Kelly freaking out. If you don’t watch It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, you probably should.  The lump in my throat that arose when he gave me his BMT has come and gone over the past couple of months. Not anymore that anxiety laden lump in the throat tears in the eyes are here to stay.

We couldn’t be happier for Jake and his future. It’s just that he’s our little boy in the Buzz Lightyear costume leaving voicemails for his grandpa. Now he’s joining the greatest military in the world. If he had been assigned a different job he had applied for he, like Buzz Lightyear, would have been assigned to the space force. It’s just tough to admit that this chapter of our life is over and a new one is beginning in a mere six days. Damn those six days!

I’ve been blessed to spend these last several months with Jake after leaving corporate America. Thankfully, the timing has been amazing. I’ll always be grateful for the time Jake and I have gotten to spend together this fall. Nevertheless, the anxiety and nerves are in full freak out mode. I’m trying my best to avoid gluten, which increases my Graves’ symptoms, but it’s hard when you’re eating everything you see.

In other news, I started Kayla Itsines BBG on the Sweat app. At first, it’s the beginner course which covers eight weeks. Ordinarily, I would have skipped the beginner part and jumped to the regular workout. However, I’ve been out of commission for awhile and need to start out slow. Stayed tuned for reviews and updates.

Sadly, I missed my yoga class today but it was for good reason. Since Jake turned in his lease, we’re down to two cars. He really wanted to spend time with M today, so I let him take my care tonight. Consequently, the Piggie and I found serenity and gratitude on our walk instead of our mats. I did, however, help Jake with inversions on the yoga swing. These will be a great way for him to build strength and decompress the spine before he leaves.

Tonight has been spent trying to manage our schedule through Tuesday. It’s the middle of hockey and holiday season, so our schedule couldn’t possibly get crazier. Naturally, It’s Always Sunny will he playing the background.

The Last of the Travelers

The last of the travelers, my parents, headed back to Minnesota after almost two week in paradise. It was paradise for them on account of perfect weather and having their whole family present. Likewise it was paradise, completely uplifting, for us having them here. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.

We started their last day in paradise with a nice hot cup of Dunkin. This morning our temperatures dipped into the refreshing 40s, so most were hundred up. It is mornings like this that my heat intolerance comes in handy.

With our Dunkin’ in hand, we headed upstairs to work in Jake’s room. He’s started to pack up his room, so it will be ready when he’s off to his first duty station. Meanwhile, Goalielocks is delighted and counting down the days until he can move into the much larger room. On the other hand, it was emotional for me. It’s hard to believe this time next week, he’ll be on a flight to Basic Training.  In between the organizing and coffee, my mom and I took Athena for a nice 1.5 mile walk. Today’s highs were in the 60s and there were few clouds in the skies. Our Florida weather was sublime. I love those days when we can open up our windows.

My parents were a bit anxious, rightfully so, about the check in and security lines. Consequently, we headed to the airport early. Traffic was light and uneventful other than the snowbird driving 45 mph on the turnpike. It’s one December 2nd and I’m already over them.

We got home and my mom texted that they had made it to their gate and that there were cookies stashed in the freezer. I guess the gluten free diet will start once those are gone! Fortunately, they got to their gate pretty quickly, but the travelers were delayed by mechanical issues. Thankfully, they were able to get out this evening. Nonetheless, the house feels empty now that they’re gone and it’s about to get worse.

For the next week, I’m pretty sure I’ll be vacillating between abject sadness, complete pride, excitement, denial and a whole myriad of emotions I haven’t even thought of yet. You might want to say a prayer for the hubby as he deals with me coping with all of that plus his own emotions.

 

Hockey and Holiday Madness

The last several days have been nothing but hockey and holiday madness. I mean complete and utter mayhem. Our Thanksgiving started off with rushed morning we had to drop off the food at my bro’s before heading to the Mayor’s gams. We had also orchestrated a plan to surprise him with the whole family coming to his game. Thus delaying our Thanksgiving meal just a bit.

The slight delay was well worth it and the Mayor was pumped to see everyone at his game. Note to readers if you have nieces and nephews involved in activities, make an effort to see as many games, recitals and concerts as you can. It means everything to them.

Unfortunately, the game didn’t go the way we wanted with the KB Stars, from the Czech Republic, handily beating us. The Mayor played a very physical game and wasn’t afraid to check the kids that were over six feet tall. Honestly, whenever the Mayor’s on the ice, he’s working as hard as he can and isn’t one to avoid the mayhem. He was even able to draw a penalty against them after pinning one to the boards.

Fortunately, he was able to shower post game at my brother’s house. There are probably few things in this world that smell worse than a fourteen year old hockey player after a game, but I can’t think of one. My sister in laws left the game a bit early, so by the time we got there the cooking was well underway.

As with every Thanksgiving, I started the day with the best intentions. I was going to abstain from gluten and dessert. Truthfully, my doctor thought I should be a bit flexible with my diet around the holidays, so naturally I exploited that flexibility to the fullest. There wasn’t a carb being served that I didn’t it. Fortunately, I was wearing sweatpants on account of the Mayor’s game at a cold rink.

The annual football game had the added delight of the boys’ cousins X and P and their uncle J being in town from Minny. It was a lot of fun watching them play against their uncles and burn off the turkey calories. As for me, I watched the game and made friends with a woman from the UP, who happened to be walking her beautiful Golden through the park. We ended the night at Mel’s house playing Jack Box games with the family.

Your welcome

Unfortunately, the hockey gods were unkind with the Mayor’s schedule, so we had to be in Pines by 7:00 am Friday morning. Since Pines is so far away, we were out of bed at 5:00 and out the door before 5:45 am. To say I was Graves raging all morning would be an understatement. It didn’t help that the rink was 15-20 degrees colder than normal. As some one with a heat intolerance issue I didn’t anticipate suffering from hypothermia at the rink. Fortunately, the boys picked up the W and my mayor played well. For my post game celebration, I grabbed another cup of Dunkin and sent the Mayor home with his friend.

Fortunately, I was able to relax on the couch before the Mayor’s second game of the day. Naturally, on my way to the rink, I stopped for my third cup of Dunkin. Even with the three coffees, my exhaustion level was defcon 10. Nevertheless, I’ll move mountains to watch my boys play. I thought my boy worked hard, but the team came up short. Good news is you need to learn how to lose before you can win.

After a quick post game shower for him and cat nap on the couch for me, we headed with the rest of our family to my brother’s for taco Friday. My oldest bro and his family were flew out Saturday’s so this was our last chance to hangout and do the white elephant game.

Dinner was terrific, but the white elephant game was magnificent! Some of my favorite moments were: Jake winning the Justin Bieber memorabilia, including a singing toothbrush and M’s dad winning a cache of Korean beauty products. Goalielocks won a one minute mystery game that we played immediately. The game was quite fun, however, the big mystery didn’t come from the game. Rather the true whodunit arose when there were farts coming from the bench where the Mayor and X were sitting. Neither would claim the odorous magnificence, but both were laughing hysterically and soon so was everyone else. Sadly, another early alarm cut our night shut.

Saturday I was ready to leave the house with Goalielocks by 8:00 am, so we could make his practice in Miami on time. While the Goalie was dawdling, the Mayor was fully dressed for his 8:00 pm game… Truly, it was a tale of two kids. As always, Goalielocks’ practice didn’t disappoint. Good food, good hockey, good friend and great coffee, what could be better?!?!

By the time I made it to the Mayor’s game, I had already put on 290 miles on my car and had drank 3 large cups of coffee. However, I changed up my afternoon coffee enjoying a wonderful cafe con leche. Saturday night’s game was full of mayhem. It was fast, it was physical and my Mayor was on fire. He had an awesome assist followed by a great goal. The whole game he and his teammates worked hard. In the end, they were able to hold on and secure the hard fought win.

We ended the night by celebrating at Coldstone with some ice cream. I finally made it home after midnight with more than 200 miles logged on the car. Needless to say, I took several naps and drank lots of coffee yesterday. Our weekend may have been complete hockey and holiday madness, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!

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