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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Black Friday Mayhem

A 5:00 am wake up call the day after Thanksgiving, usually means one thing: Black Friday mayhem, I mean shopping. In our family, however, it means an early hockey game at rink 50 minutes away. I always love getting up and getting to my destination before the sun rises. It saves me the trouble of putting on my sunglasses. But seriously, who the freak schedules bantams, I mean U14, for early morning games? Pretty sure we paid our dues here, but I digress.

For those of you out shopping in the mayhem, save us some coffee because this mama is gonna need an extra cup! We’ll be enjoying our Black Friday mayhem at the rink. Shoppers may the odds be in your favor!

Thanksgiving Is Almost Here

Can you believe Thanksgiving is almost here? It seems like just yesterday we were ringing in 2019. Yet here we are ready to end the year with the fabulous holiday season. I’m especially blessed to spend it with my entire immediate family. This holiday will be poignant for us all as it marks the last holiday for which Jake will be a civilian. Who knows where he’ll be stationed this time next year. We will certainly enjoy the moment.

I started my day by sleeping through my alarm, which left me feel like I was behind all day. Graves’ disease sucks it often leaves me tried and jacks with my sleep for no good reason. Not to mention it makes me cranky, which my family can certainly attest to today.

Fortunately, my day started looking up the moment I got my coffee. We left Dunkin’ to get our groceries for baking, so we could get an early start. At which point, we got a text inviting us to the beach. How could we say no to that? Spoiler alert: we procrastinated on the baking and headed to the beach.

This, of course, did nothing for my constant feeling of being behind all day. However, the beach was again marvelous with beautiful skies and calm seas. You simply can’t ask for a better way to spend the day before Thanksgiving. It was a bit hot, so we didn’t stay too long.
Fortunately, Goalielocks’ BFF was there and he was having a blast. Unfortunately, that made the extraction from the beach quite difficult. We ended our beach day by me starting to back out of my spot before noticing the boys neglected to close the tailgate. Consequently, I needed to make a Dunkin pit stop on the way home to try and collect my sanity.

Before heading home, we headed to Publix in search of the perfect pickles for pickle. If there’s anywhere you so don’t want to be on Thanksgiving Eve in Florida, it’s Publix. I avoided this dumpster fire by dropping my mom off at the door and parking. To be honest, I was more concerned with getting home so I could eat before heading to yoga.

Wednesday’s are my tight muscle mobility class at Open Heart Yoga studio. My teach is amazing. The class has been incredibly effective in opening up my body post Graves’ disease. In today’s class, I’m pretty sure I fell asleep 3-4 times while massaging my back with therapy balls. These balls are miracle works for tight muscles and soft tissue. You must try them.

I left my mat completely serene and ready to tackle my evening. Tonight’s beautiful sunset added to my serenity.  During class my mom has text me to let me know the Publix pickles were sub par and couldn’t be used to pickle roll ups. I got home and we headed to Earth Fare to see if they had any quality pickles, but that trip was unsuccessful. Thus, we headed back to Target where we found the perfect pickles. Plus if you haven’t gone to Target twice in a day, are you even living?

We made our way home to start are baking. I started working on my cheesecake while my mom began to prepare the pickle roll ups. My mom made quick work of the pickle roll ups while I plodded my way through baking the cheesecake. Fortunately, my mom helped me start the vegan pumpkin coconut soup that I made for my brother and I. I’m not currently vegan, but I know my body won’t tolerate too much of the traditional Thanksgiving food.

Our evening of baking, will finally be over in about an hour when the cheesecake can go in the oven. I’ll start my Thanksgiving where I start everyday: Dunkin’. We’ll then head to my brothers’ house to drop off the goodies before heading to the Mayor’s 11:00 am game.

It was just over a year ago I went through radiation to kill my thyroid. A year later, my thyroid levels are stable. I’m hopeful that the symptoms of Graves will abate in the next year (although it could be 1-3 years.) Unfortunately, my health is not where it was before I got sick, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. As I end my evening enjoying Agatha Christie’s Poirot, I am filled with gratitude for my family, my friends, healing and my life’s transitions.

Paradise Found

Paradise found indeed. Living in sunny South Florida you’d think we would live at the beach. Unfortunately, our busy work and hockey schedule has rendered the beach a foreign place. Today the kids and I joined my bro and his family along with my folks for a fun day at the beach.

To be clear, the beach is always beautiful. However, the conditions don’t always cooperate with your plans. Today was an absolute exception. First of all, it was cool with temps in the low to mid 70s with clear skies. Secondly, the water was calm, relatively warm for our out of town guests and the tide was low. It was paradise.

Unfortunately, I stayed out of the water since tendon is bothering me. Fortunately, the temperature was so pleasant I didn’t need to go into the water to cool off. I spent most of my time at the beach chatting with my dad, sister in law and her father. It was fabulous.

Meanwhile my older brother, niece, nephew and mom spent hours in the water enjoying the warm water. My Floridian boys and Jake’s girlfriend (who we adore) thought the water was a bit cool, but still managed to have fun with the family in the water. There was also plenty of beach soccer, football and volleyball. It was a great day.

I capped my day off with an incredible yoga class and Open Heart Yoga studio with Debbie. Her class is beyond divine. Tonight it was an hour and a half of per perfection. My body and soul relax and unite in paradise on my mat. The yin and restorative yoga classes are truly helping me rebuild my body, mind and soul after surviving a devastating year. Autoimmune diseases are no joke, but self care will be key in finding my path forward.

Let The Countdown Begin

Let the countdown begin! In sixteen days, Jake will be leaving for the Air Force. While it has been a work in progress for months, the reality is starting to set in. I can’t believe he’ll be leaving the proverbial nest in a little over two weeks time.

We started the countdown in the summer thinking he’d be leaving in early to mid fall. However, he waited until his he secured the job he wanted. Unfortunately, this moved his departure date back to December. Consequently, he’ll be away for the holidays. Since he’ll be missing Christmas and New Years with the family, we held our celebrated Christmas brunch this morning. Fortunately, my whole family is here from Minnesota to celebrate Thanksgiving. Thankfully, the delayed timing of his basic training is allowing him to spend more time with all of our family.

Before diving into the caramel rolls, cheesy potatoes and cholesterol bake, we took updated family pictures. Where we live, there are plenty of great spots to take family pictures without any inconvenience. We opted to take them at the entrance of a nearby neighborhood that has a great waterfall feature. For the camera, we used an iPhone 11max and the canon t6i.

You can imagine our surprise when all of the kids decided to cooperate with the photos. The weather held out with rain starting just as we finished. It was a bit overcast, which was nice because nobody was squinting in the pictures. It’s crazy to think that these will be the last family pics with all the kids still home. In our next group picture, Jake will be an airmen and living at a base far away. These are the moments that matter.

Post pictures, we headed back to the house for brunch. The mimosas started pouring early as we waited for the food to finish cooking. There definitely was a countdown for the caramel rolls to finish. Our Christmas brunch is super heavy on the carbs, which is why we only do it once a year, and is sure to trigger a food coma if you don’t get up and moving.

Consequently, I was ready for bed by noon today. Meanwhile, Luke and the boys headed outside with their cousins and uncles to play football. As the played, the clouds began to clear and the sun came out. Suddenly, it was a bit warm. After a rousing game, the younger cousins decided they wanted to swim.

We took a quick walk to the pool and found it to be mostly deserted. The cousins had a great time playing random games on the splash pad and in the pool. While they played, we sat with your feet in the water. When the kids grew tired of the games, they decided to see if they could stack P on X’s shoulders while X sat on the Mayor’s shoulders. Their efforts here were quite a site to be seen. They ended their pool visit with a cannon ball contest.

Post pool, I enjoyed my afternoon coffee and still managed to fall asleep on the couch. As I slept, Goalielocks went to work at the rink and the Mayor prepared for a sleepover with his cousins. After he left, we worked on the packet Jake will need to bring to his recruiter’s office tomorrow. It really is starting to feel real. All in all, it was a beautiful day spent with family. Meanwhile the countdown continues….

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.

Today Was A Dream

Today was a dream of a day. Since I’ve left the corporate life behind me, I’ve been enjoying my time with the kiddos and family. It’s been amazing to be able to spend time with my family without worrying about professional repercussions.

Today was a dream day that started like most others: my yummy Dunkin in my hand and some quality time with Jake and the puppies. Ordinarily, I’d go for a run or rollerblading in the morning, but there was not time for that today. Plus my legs were sore from running two miles yesterday for the first time in months.

The weather was absolutely dreamy. Chilly in the morning and absolutely perfect, with almost no clouds in the sky, the rest of the day. It was the perfect day for lunch along the intracoastal waterway in Fort Lauderdale. One of my favorite hockey moms lives in Miami, so this was the perfect meeting place.

I hadn’t been to Blue Moon Seafood Co in ages, but it was just a good as I remembered. We started with some wine, baked brie and calamari. The baked brie was served like a cream puff on a pool of coconut cream and apple chutney. It was simply amazing! The calamari was just as good.

Our main courses, were just as scrumptious as the appetizers, but I forgot to take a picture before I started eating. Since I’m trying to minimize my gluten intake, I opted for the spinach and blackened shrimp salad. I’m not quite sure what happens in their kitchen, but it might be wizardry as that was the best salad I’ve ever had. Meanwhile, Jodi was enjoying their mahi mahi entree. Honestly, it almost felt like a crime for food this good to be but one get one free. Thankfully, it is two for one special, so I can afford to go back more often.

After lunch, we stopped at Dunkin to grab some coffee and talk shop. My girl has been using Melaleuca products for awhile and invited me to join. As many of you know, the past year has been a struggle as I’ve dealt with autoimmune thyroid disease. I’ve found that my body has grown increasingly sensitive to certain food and chemicals. I’ve been looking for a good option to replace some the products in my house and this was the perfect opportunity.

I actually placed my first order this evening and can’t wait for it to arrive. I’m hopeful that these beauty and household products won’t send my body into autoimmune hell. Standby for the product reviews.

Unfortunately, we had to cut coffee short as my parents plane was landing early – like way early. The jet stream was clearly in their favor today. Picking them up was quick albeit it took me awhile to find them. Usually they wait inside for us, but they decided to wait outside. My mom definitely made up for the airport snafu with the tumblers she picked up for as a Caribou. As you can imagine, anyway my parents come to town is a dream day.

Thankfully since their plane was early, I was able to make it home in time to make my 4:00 yoga class. I just joined Open Heart Yoga Studio in Boynton and it’s absolutely amazing. Wednesday’s class is all about loosening muscles and improving strength and mobility. If ever there was a class designed for me, it is this one. I simply love it. Fortunately, I was able to share the experience with my mom today. I knew it would be the perfect anecdote to the stiffness that comes with flying.

Our night ended with Sal’s pizza and family time. That’s right not only do I have my parents in town, I also had all three of my boys home tonight. It’s like a lunar eclipse of a blood moon it happens every 3,543 years. I’m just happy to have the family home especially since Jake leaves on 20 days for the Air Force. We even hit a landmark as the Mayor is finally taller than his Grandma. All in all, in the immortal words of Sponge Bob, “It was the best day ever!”

I Lost A Tooth

“I lost a tooth, but I lost it,” Goalielocks wrote in a short note to the tooth fair.  He was six years old at the time and had just lost his second tooth.   We brought him up to bed and my hubby dug in his pocket to pull out the tooth, but it was missing.  Unfortunately my husband, who was holding on to the tooth until bedtime, misplaced the tooth.  Goalielocks was beyond distraught as was my hubby, who felt terrible.

Since there was no hope of finding the tooth in time for bed time, we suggested that Goalielocks write the Tooth Fairy a note explaining what had happened. My idea of a note includes a greeting and a signature, but his was much simpler.  He drafted his note, showed it to us and placed it under his pillow.

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That night the Tooth Fairy arrived and left him a $20 bill.  Clearly, there was a level of dad guilt built into the payout here.  When Goalielocks awoke and found the $20 bill he was ecstatic!  Even though he had gotten up early to get to school, he was dancing around happily.  Since he’s not a morning person, much like his mom, this was quite the sight to be seen.  He simply couldn’t believe that he got $20 for the tooth we lost.

As we laid Goalielocks down to bed the next night, it dawned on him that perhaps he should write the Tooth Fairy another note.  He did and again she was quite generous with her payout.  He continued his new nightly tradition of writing a note,  “I lost a tooth, but I lost it,” and kept getting paid.  Yep folks the dad guilt here for losing the tooth was serious.  Finally, after I shared the story with my colleagues,  one of my co-workers volunteered to write a note from the Tooth Fairy to Colin.  Thankfully, that well written note from the Tooth Fairy put an end to the nightly notes to the Tooth Fairy.  Lesson learned that our kids are quite industrious and parent guild definitely exists.

Adventure Home

Our adventure home was one for the books.  We were quite fortunate that DorianHurricane, hockey and airports stayed offshore, but it gave us quite the scare with the cone of death showing a direct hit into Palm Beach county.  Unfortunately, the Northwestern Bahamas took a direct hit from the devastating category five storm.

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While the media was whipping up mass hysteria about a possible Florida landfall, Goalielocks and I were safe in Worchester, MA.  Our only complication came once the airports in South Florida started to close.   Fortunately, I was able to rebook our tickets with a brief pit stop in Minny.  Of course, leaving Worchester was complicated by weather in the area causing an almost two-hour departure delay.  This was compounded by a ground stop that was lifted shortly after we landed in Detroit.  Sadly, we missed out flight after sprinting through DTW.  We sat at the gate as the agent refused to open the door even as I received notifications that our bags had been loaded onto the MSP bound bird.

To say I was upset may have been a bit of an understatement.  It makes sense to not hold planes for passengers, I understand how that impacts operations downstream and flight connects for fellow passengers.  However, when it’s the last flight of the night some consideration should be given to connective passengers whose landings had been delayed.  Alas that’s not Delta’s policy or practice.  After waiting in line for thirty minutes to get our new boarding passes and hotel room, the not so patient or kind agent told us to go stand in line at the customer service desk at A43.  Cheese and rice, I was about to blow a gasket.

We paraded down to A43 only to overhear a woman requesting a new flight and a hotel room after falling ill with an asthma attack well running to her gate.  The supervisor was quite kind and set her up with a room at the nearby Embassy Suites. It was our turn next and I explained our adventure and the commitment to providing a hotel room I had already obtained from corporate.  She balked at first but softened throughout the conversation and ultimately gave us a complimentary room at the Embassy Suites.

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Before heading to catch the shuttle, we picked up some Chic-Fil-A.   There was nothing more satisfying than some fresh and hot fries.   We made our way down to the shuttle area and secure our seats on the Embassy Inn shuttle.  As we checked into the hotel, the asthmatic women was checking in at the next counter.  No sooner had she finished the check-In process, when she asked the hotel staff where the smoking area was.  Goalielocks and I looked at each other and I motioned for him to stay quiet.  As soon as she walked away, he noted that it was no surprise that she, as a smoker, would have had some difficulty when running.

 

The accommodations were perfect for their purpose.  We quickly ate our dinner, called home and went to bed.  Sadly, we had a 5:00 am wake up call for our flight into Minny.  The hotel had a wonderful allotment of sundries, which was quite helpful since all of our luggage was on its way to Minnesota.  

I was a bit worried about security in Detroit, but those fears proved unfounded when we found ourselves in line with 3 other people at 5:45 am.  Fortunately, it allowed us time to grab both Starbuck and Chic-Fil-A.  Our flight was uneventful.   I watched Rocket Man and quite thoroughly enjoyed it.  Despite little issues that morning I was still worried that our luggage didn’t make it, or it would be long wait.  Fortunately, my fears were proved unfounded as the baggage clerk had pulled our bags and set them out for us as soon as we landed.  We were both relieved that our luggage arrived without issue.

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It was great to be home if only for twenty-four hours.  We got to my folks’ house relatively quickly and. I was able to wash our clothes and check out the gardens.  After starting the laundry, we went to pick up my Grandma T for a quick lunch at Culver’s.  It was great to see her again.  Afterwards, we took her home and made our way to my Grandma H’s house.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see her when I was home in July, so this was a great opportunity to see her.   We visited with her for about a half hour before heading home.  Unfortunately, Goalielocks and I were quite tired and not feeling the best.IMG_2007

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Goalielocks was asleep before we made it home.  It’s a mere fifteen-minute drive from my Grandma’s house to my parents’ home.  Once we got home, he went to take a nap.  I completed the laundry and then went to read my book.  I was able to read a chapter before I too fell asleep.   When Goalielocks woke up he still wasn’t feeling great . Consequently,  my Mom and I went to Target to get gatorade, medicine and some dinner.   She even got me some potato wedges that she owed me from last month.

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The next morning, we left early for the airport due to road construction.  MSP airport is also experiencing long waits at security due to construction at the airport.   The waits at TSA had been several hours over the course of the summer.   Goalielocks and I lucked out! We made it through in fifteen minutes, which gave us too much time to shop at MSP.  Our adventure home was finally complete when we landed in Florida Wednesday afternoon. All in all, it was quite the adventure home.

Hurricane, hockey and airports

Hurricane, hockey and airports oh my! Goalielocks and I are Boston bound for his first tournament of the year. Providence clearly had a hand in the planning as we’re escaping Palm Beach right as Hurricane Dorian is knocking on our door. It’s slated to hit somewhere on the East coast of Florida as a cat 4 storm. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of uncertainty in both the path and forecasted strength. At this points, it’s a plan for the worst and hope for the best scenario.

As crazy as it sounds, it’s a bit tough to leave the state right now. While my goalie and I are heading north, we’re leaving behind the hubby, the mayor, Jake and our puppies. I think I’ll be equally nervous for them as I am watching my goalie play. I’ll try to update on both the hockey and hurricane preparations as much as I can. If you’re in Florida, stay safe. If you’re not in Florida, please pray for my family and neighbors’s safety.

Signing off from 36,000 feet!