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Strength in Solidarity

When life give us lemons, not only should we make lemon drop martinis, but we should find strength in solidarity.  Alan had his Wolf Pack in the Hangover.  These boys were his ride and die crew.   Subsequently, we too should have our own wolf pack at work and at home.  Unfortunately, my work life isn’t quite as exciting as the Wolf Pack’s night in Vegas or their escapade in Thailand.  Nevertheless, I quite enjoy what I do and work with some truly amazing people.


At the end of the day, people support those who are professional, who treat them well and are genuine.  People memorize how you treat them.  While they may not remember anything else about you, but they will remember how you treated them.  Specifically,  no matter what you say or what you do, if you treat people poorly that is what they will remember.


Unfortunately, things don’t go always go in the linear fashion that you want.   The goal post seemingly keeps moving.  Where it seemed it was 4th and inches one day.  The next day you find yourself in a 4th and 26 situation seemingly all alone.  Sadly, it starts to feel that crossing the goal line is not achievable. Unequivocally, it is a very lonely place to be. All of the sudden, you’re not alone.  As a consequence of a great team, your wolf pack, standing behind you 4th and 26 situation is no longer impossible.  It is a game changer. 


In actuality, these are times you see people’s true colors.  Unequivocally, these are the times that you are amazed by the overwhelming support, leadership, fellowship and friendship that surrounds you.  These beautiful people become the rainbow to your cloud.  Undoubtedly, they become the reminder of why you love your job.  To all my rainbows, and there are many, I cannot thank you enough.  In the words of esteemed poet Maya Angelou, “nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”  2847-Maya-Angelou-Quote-Nothing-can-dim-the-light-which-shines-from


Celebrating Hubby

Tonight we should be celebrating hubby and his 35th birthday. Alas, he’s finally oldest enough to be President!  Unfortunately, we both spent our days toiling away at work.  I don’t know whose boss is worse his or mine…..  The problem of course is that after a day of work we had hockey practice.  Consequently,  we’re exhausted.

While he’s at hockey practice, the Mayor and I are making a nice hearty dish of Vodka sauce pasta for him to enjoy.  Jake had previously picked up a Menchi’s cake for us to share after dinner.  Afterwards we’ll give him his well deserved present and cards.

One of the things I love most about my hubby is that he’s a good man.  He’s undeniably honorable, smart,  honest, patient, loving, an amazing father, coach, craftsmen, etc.  Honestly, I could go on for days.  He’s truly a fantastic husband, partner and father. I couldn’t ask for more.  Happy Birthday Hubby!

A birthday rhyme:




Time to Sync the Calendars

This time of year is the craziest!  We are, at once, back to the crazy break neck pace of school and hockey season. It is time to sync the calendars.  If we kept all of our calendars separate, there is no way we’d ever show up to the right place at the right time.


Thank god for Team Snap and the ease with which you can synchronize the team’s schedule to your iCalendar.  The downfall, of course, is the constant reminder that we have absolutely no free time until next March.  Without the easily synced calendars for the boys activities, we’d be lost.


There is a limit to all of this calendar mayhem. I refuse to integrate my work calendar into my iCalendar.   If I did sync it to my phone, I  think I would lose my mind!  It is all about finding balance in life and that’s where I draw the line.  My work calendar has no hockey on it and my personal calendar has no work.  I have to keep them separate in order to maintain a healthy work life balance.


Let it Go, Let it go

Inevitably when anyone says the phrase, “let it go,” I immediately start singing the song Let it Go in my head.  I can’t help myself.  Today I had to remind myself that there comes a time to let our kids go and spread their wings.   My eldest Jake started college today.  A start reminder of how quickly the time comes to let them fly.

Let It GO

As our kids get older, it isn’t easy to give them the independence they need to be successful.  We have a visceral reaction as parents to hold them tight and make sure they don’t stumble.  If we always catch them when they fall, how will they learn to pick themselves up?


There was a great article circulating on facebook this week.  The article titled “Stop doing these 8 things for your teenager this school year” by Amy Carney is genius and spot on.  I won’t regurgitate the whole article here, but will share some real life examples and why they’re important.


One of the eight items she lists is making their failure to plan your emergency.  Another is to not bring them their forgotten items.  This morning, we experienced a mix of both of these.   Goalielocks needed to print something for his science class and bring it to school.  Unfortunately, Goalielocks forgot about it until right before he had to catch the bus.  The boys’ bus has been coming between 7:15-7:30, so they have to be their early in case the bus is early.  Hubby didn’t think there was enough time to print it out and make the bus.


Oh the fireworks, the world was ending in Boynton this morning.  Although Goalielocks is in 8th grade, the majority of his classes are for high school credit this year.   He simply cannot afford to throw away the easy points.  Nevertheless, my Hubby didn’t give in and he was right.  If they missed the bus, my hubby would have to drive them to school.  This would be at least a 30 minute drive each way.  Goalielocks left the house in a huff angry that he would miss these points.   It was easy to remind him, however, that he had plenty of time the previous evening to print it up.


Since we didn’t relent and he went to school without the form, he had to accept responsibility for his failure to plan.   He’s an industrious kid and had to solve his conundrum on his own.  Guess what?  He did!  Goalielocks texted his friend, who was able to print up a form and bring it to school for him.  We didn’t rescue him this morning, so he had to figure out how to solve his issue.


If we solve every problem for our kids, they will never learn how to solve their own problems.  We won’t always be there to help them or guide them, so it is key that they learn to problem solve independent of us.  Our boys also do chores, they can cook themselves a meal and the older two do their own laundry.  The Mayor, who just started middle school this year, will learn how to do his own laundry.   When they leave our house as an adult, they’ll leave as independent men that can run a household and make their own decisions.

Jake’s New Wheels

Today we picked up his Jake’s new wheels.  For the past two years, Jake’s been driving an older model Ford Focus.  It wasn’t beautiful, but it was functional and has served our family well.  The AC on the Focus went last spring, which makes driving it untenable.  When you combine the AC issues  with the electrical system issues, it was time for Jake to get a new car.


Thankfully for Jake, his Uncle Jon has been keeping an eye out for deals at his work.  This was a complete godsend for Jake and us.  Once we got back from Norway, he was able to locate a couple of Mini Coopers that would be perfect or Jake.  My brother is a car expert.  Much like my dad, he loves cars and knows everything about them. There is nobody better than Jon to find the perfect car for Jake.


Today was the day, Jake got to pick up his wheels.  It was hard for us to tell who was more excited about the car Jake or Jon.  It was a toss up.  Uncle Jon took him through the controls on the car, so he’d know  how everything worked.   Hubby was sending me pics throughout, so I could see the joyous moment.


Jake was ready to give me a ride in his new car as soon as I got home from work.  The car is gorgeous black on black with all the bells and whistles.  The car oozes performance and style.  Needless to say,  it is a pretty big upgrade from the Focus.  Sadly,  my Prius now looks a little less sexy in the driveway next to his new mini.

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Jake’s been close with Uncle Jon since he was born and it shows in the pictures.  Jake and Jon have a great relationship. Their relationship has evolved over the years from exploring airplanes and sharing ice cream cones to playing adult league hockey and exploring Europe together.  While Jake is exceptionally lucky to get this great vehicle, he is even luckier to have aunts and uncles that have always championed him and always been there for him.

Solar Let Down

Like most things in modern history, the great solar eclipse of 2017 was hailed with much fanfare leading to a major solar let down.  I’m not quite sure why our news media feels compelled to fixate on things for months.  They talk ad nauseam about the amazingness of this eclipse for months.  It was to be both amazeballs, life altering and crisis inducing.

solar eclipse
solar eclipse

Fortunately or all of us, the sky did not fall today.   Nope, it was another normal day.  Well…  Except for when the moon covered 79% of the sun for a brief window in time.  It did not get measurably darker, nor did it cooler.  In fact, I felt a little left in the lurch by the eclipse.  It would have been wonderful for a little relief from heat indexes in the 100s even if for a minute or two.


My work did a great job today providing everyone with eclipse glasses and moon pies.  The glasses worked fantastically and we were able to see the eclipse.  I was quickly regretting my decision to wear a black dress today as the sun’s rays were still exceptionally hot.  Nevertheless, I did get to enjoy the eclipse with some of my favorite people.  Finally, even if we weren’t in the path of totality, we did get to listen to some great tunes courtesy of eclipse themed playlists.


Wonderful Weekend

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


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

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

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

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


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


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


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

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


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


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



Solitary Places

“Orlando naturally loved solitary places, vast views and to feel himself for ever and ever and ever alone.” – Virgina Woolf.

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We’re not always comfortable enough in our own skin to be by ourselves.  There is real value, however, in learning to be comfortable in our solitude.  I have found as I get older solitude has become more comfortable and more natural.   When I was younger, I hated being alone.


Albert Einstein, one of the world’s most brilliant minds, left us some nuggets of genius on the topic. He recognize the challenge of solitude when we are young.  Especially in our school years, solitude can be quite painful.  As we get older, we realize how important it is for us.  Consequently, he also commented on how man in general is at one and the same time both a solitary being and a social being.  Every day depending on how much coffee I’ve had, I vacillate between the two.  The more coffee I’ve had, the more social I am.  Some would say, when I have coffee in hand, I glow.



As a mother of three kids, finding solitude has become akin to finding the holy grail. Silent contemplation is a gift of my daily commute into Broward.  Set against the backdrop of an eclectic mix of music, I look forward to my 35 minutes of solitude.   Of course a happy and productive life needs a mix of solitude and togetherness.  One can’t find happiness in either extreme.



Vacation Planning

Vacation planning for families is no joke.  With a trip like that you can’t just plan things willy-nilly.  When planning a big family trip, especially overseas, a lot of careful planning and consideration must go into it.     We took over two years to plan the Norway trip given the cost, length of travel and number of people going.  My brother took point on the itinerary booking the Norway in a Nutshell tour.  Meanwhile, we booked a car and mirrored their stops.

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Renting a car in Norway was fairly easy and was reasonably priced through Hertz when booked with our AAA discount.  Driving in Norway was fairly easy and straight forward.  The roads were significantly narrower and full of roundabouts.  In stark contrast to South Florida, Norwegian drivers were adept at the roundabouts and very congenial drivers.  I didn’t hear a horn once.  Norwegians are serious about their speed limits with speed cameras littering their road ways.  Thank God for Waze and its speed trap warnings.  Waze and Apple Maps worked perfectly in Norway.

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Food is ridiculously expensive in Norway no matter which route you take. MacDonald’s set us back $60 in Bergen and that was fast food.   The lodging, however, was reasonably priced.  Hotels were nice as they often came with a complimentary breakfast that was quite impressive.  Our hotel in Trondheim, the Radisson Blu, had one of the most incredible hotel breakfasts I had ever seen.  The Air BnB’s worked perfectly for our family in Oslo and Bergen.  It was great to stay in the neighborhoods of these cities and away from the tourists.   Near our Air BnB in Bergen there was a great local coffee shop that had the most incredible coffee and treats.

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As I look to our next big trip, a couple of things I will keep in mind.  First, under no circumstance will I accept a compact car at the rental counter- no way, no how.  Secondly, the car was nice as it gave us a great opportunity to see the Norwegian countryside and cities, but it was slow going.  Next time, I think we will look to combine car, train and boat to see more of the country.  Thirdly, I will take out a second mortgage to cover the cost of food.  Lastly, when abroad it is not necessary to eat enough pastries to make up for the last two carb free years.  #lessonlearned

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Flam A Picturesque Hamlet

Flam is a picturesque hamlet at the end of the Aurlandsfjord.  Surrounded by mountains and the beautiful fjord, you couldn’t imagine a more beautiful, serene or more Norwegian place.  On the surroundings hills and mountains, the farmers let their sheep and goats roam freely to find the best grass.  It was even more beautiful that I had imagined.


Our first night in Flam, we met our family at Flamstova for dinner.   Our dinner was incredible, but the kids had grown weary from sitting at the table.  My cousin Jessica and her husband Jeff volunteered to take them out to see the sheep in the pasture.  With the kids gone, we could enjoy the remainder of our dinner in relative silence.


Meanwhile the kids were in seventh heaven as they fed the sheep that ventured near the fence.  Colin had his first run in with the prickle of a stinging nettle he had picked to feed the sheep.  He learned his lesson and was more careful when he picked the grass.  The kids loved the animals we would see grazing freely throughout our Norwegian travels, but the opportunity to be up close and feed them was even better.

We made several more visits to the sheep before leaving Flam including a walk behind the fence to find some good fishing spots.  The boys, particularly the younger two, had to visit their sheep named Jeffry.  All of the kids enjoyed feeding and interacting with the sheep.   They loved to watch their silly antics as they ran down the mountain or assaulted their mother for milk.  It certainly isn’t something our kids are accustom to seeing.


It was awesome to see the how freely the sheep and goats were to gallivant about the mountains finding the best grass.  Each morning the farmers would let their herds out and then each night the farmers would bring them back home.   How they got them to come down the mountain, I don’t know, but each and every night they’d return home from their pastures.

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