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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He’s Off

He’s off!! After a morning at MEPS (military entrants processing station) my boy is on his way to San Antonio. It is seems so surreal. I still expect him to come home from Mel’s and watch The Office with me. Yep, the river denial is where I’m currently at.

Let me tell you about our experience at MEPS. Think a combination of the DMV and ER waiting rooms. Now imagine driving over and hour to get there and having to wait in a small, hot crowded lobby with no A/C and I bathrooms. Fortunately, they opened the doors to us just after 8:30.

Once into MEPs we went to the holding room with the rest of the shippers’ families. It was an interesting to observe the future servicemen and women work their way through the process. The holding room where we were at was also used to house the shippers and soldiers waiting to test.

There were three vending machines, a big flatscreen tv with two bins of snacks underneath and a sign for applicants only. It is no wonder we can’t have nice things here since nobody could either read the sign or just didn’t care. Perhaps our favorite part was the screaming baby whose parents didn’t realize you can get up and move with the baby or even take the baby outside. No, they just let her wail. Thankfully, we were called back for the oath ceremony before we completely lost our marbles.

One of the best parts of being at MEPS was seeing my confident and ready to go. His confidence was my reassurance. The ceremony room was small, but I was still able to get some good photos and videos of the event.

While he was taking the oath, I did my best not to cry since I was standing in front of him. Needless to say it was near impossible. The moment they took the oath was beautiful and exciting. Watching it live I was caught up in the emotions of him leaving. In contrast, I think future viewings will bring tears of pride and joy. At this point, I can’t rewatch it. It’s too raw even though I’m rowing my boat on the river denial. Watching it again will only make it more real.

After the ceremony, we were given five minutes to spend with our airmen. I never imagined five minutes could pass so quickly. We took some great photos in the ceremony room and chatted. Jake was excited to start the air hockey tournament he had organized in the shippers lounge. My boy was ready to go!

As the five minutes came to an end, I didn’t want to let him out of my embrace. Ultimately, I had to let him go since the military frowns on tardiness. With that we walked to the door and we went out the door and he went into a doorway to the right. This was a holding room where they would stay until being moved to the shippers lounge.  I still can’t believe he’s off.

We left MEPS proud military parents with temporarily broken hearts. We are beyond proud of our boy and the future he is building for himself. I haven’t ventured upstairs to his now vacant room, but I’m sure by the time I do Goalielocks will have already moved in. As we speak, he should be nearing his final approach into San Antonio. Now the real fun can begin! Lastly, we are so thankful for all the texts, calls and social media love. Your support means everything! We love you Jake!  Aim High!

countdown clock: he’s off!

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!

Down to the Wire

We’re down to the wire in our countdown to Jake’s departure for the Air Force. Honestly, it still feels completely surreal. I had a hard time sleeping last night after a crazy day of amped up hockey and emotions. Reading Crime and Punishment before bed isn’t helping my sleep either. Last night, however, I was in an anxious space between sleep and being awake. It’s just a lot to process.

My alarm for synthroid is set for 5:00 am, so I didn’t need to set a separate alarm for the Mayor’s games today. Unfortunately, when I got out of bed it was clear that another early start to a really long day wouldn’t work for my body. I went back to sleep, but still couldn’t find a peaceful sleep.

I got my Dunkin’ and headed to Kohl’s this morning to do some Christmas shopping. Fortunately, I essentially had the store to myself and was in and out in minutes. The store was also fully stocked, so I was able to pick up some great gifts. After Kohl’s I took drove Jake to Mel’s, so they could celebrate Christmas together.

We met Mel, Jake and the Florida aunts and uncles for lunch at ZinBurger at the Boca mall. By some miracle of god, I was able to find parking in short order. This was a win since the snow birds driving 30 mph doubled our drive time. The burgers (gluten free bun), fries and coffee were absolutely fabulous.   My favorite part was definitely the french fries, which came as a charitable sized side order.   Next time, however,  I’ll opt to forego the bun instead of getting the gluten free one.  The restaurant was nice and not too pricy. It as the perfect venue for lunch. In hindsight, it might have been a good idea to separate Uncle Jon and Goalielocks as there were lots of shenanigans coming from them.

Meanwhile on the west coast, my Mayor played two great games. His squad came through with two critical win. They’re now in first place in their division. Happily, my fellow goalie mom Erica broadcasted the entirety of the Mayor’s second game. It was awesome that I was able to watch it live. I love watching that kid and his squad play!

Goalielocks has spent the day cleaning his room in anticipation of moving into his new digs later this week. With Jake leaving for basic, Goalielocks is super anxious to move into the bigger room. Unfortunately for him, I won’t let him move into his new room until his old one is clean.

As I enjoy my hibachi leftovers from lady night, Jake and Mel went back for more this evening.  It’s hard to believe that tonight will mark the last night Jake sleeps at home until after trade school. He’ll be spending the tomorrow night in a hotel near MEPs.  We’ll be driving down as a family to have a dinner with him after he finishes processing. Tuesday morning the hubby and I will head back to Miami to watch him take the oath of enlistment. From there , he’ll depart for basic training and this hockey mom will become a military mom.

Countdown clock: two days (can’t believe we’re down to the wire!)

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Three

Three events today. Two at the rink and a dinner afterwards. It was a busy day to say the least. It also happens to be the number of days until Jake leaves for basic, which is crazy talk. Three was also the number of jackets I thought I’d need for the normally frosty rink. However, my Graves was raging today, so I was quite comfortable in just a hoodie.

We left our house bright and early for Goalielocks’ game in Kendall this morning. Since we had to be there by 7:45, we left the house at 6:30 am with a car full of crankiness. It’s been a minute since we’ve had all the kids in one car, but old habits die hard. We hadn’t even left the driveway yet and they were already arguing about space.

Goalielocks first game was quite exciting. Sadly, due to timing and a suspension we were down a couple of players., which put pressure on a shorter bench. Thankfully, Goalielocks played really well. He saw a lot of shots, which is good for him, but bad for goalie mom. Fortunately, his offense was able to find the back of the net and put my nerves at ease. His team went up 2-1 in the third, which helped me relax a bit.

Unfortunately, one of his teammates was knocked out on a play late in the third. I was working the penalty box when the play unfolded in front of me. He grabbed his head suddenly and then lost consciousness as he fell to the ice. In the end, he was out for a couple of minutes. It was absolutely scary; we were all relieved when he regained consciousness. Thankfully, they didn’t need to transport him via ambulance.  He left the ice and play continued.  Our boys put in a quick goal after his injury making the final score 3-1. Fortunately, he was able to come back through the handshake line after the game was over.

The second game was closer and Goalielocks was busy! In the second game., we had our two players that missed the morning back , but lost one to a concussion in the earlier game. Thankfully, he was released from the ER in time to support the team. The game’s pace kept my heart elevated throughout. It wasn’t a good game for my goalie mom nerves. They out shot is 2:1, but the game ended in a tie. Our boys worked hard to find the back of the net. All in all, Goalielocks had a great day at the rink.

After hockey, we headed to a farewell dinner for Jake at a hibachi restaurant with his Florida aunts and uncles. As always, the food didn’t disappoint. Goalielocks killed his plate after not eating enough throughout the day. I’m proud to say that I was not a member of the clean plate club. I left three pieces of filet and fried rice for the hubby to eat tomorrow.

We had a great night and an exhausting day. It was great to have the whole family together at the rink for one last weekend. It certainly felt like the beginning days of our hockey lives as we always travelled as a pack of five in those days. Jake got to see a lot of hockey families we’ve known for awhile and meet some new ones. It was great to see everyone excited for his future. Moreover, it was great having all the support for our family. Tomorrow brings another early day with lots of hockey, so this hockey mom is off to bed.

Countdown clock: three days

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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.