Post Grad Let Down

Since we’ve been back from San Antonio, I’ve been experiencing somewhat of a post grad let down.  After eight weeks of hyper focus on Jake’s progress through BMT and regular updates from my Facebook support groups those days are over.  There isn’t a daily support group for Tech School like there is for BMT.  Fortunately, there is a base group, which I found to be quite helpful.  Tech school is a much different journey than BMT and is more individualized.

As for graduation weekend, it was the most incredible weekend of my life.  The first day began super early with the Airmen’s run.  I know I wrote it about it before, but it was just so cool that I had to mention it again.  I loved seeing Jake running with his flight and singing the Jodies as he jogged. Being on base was just as cool.  Lackland is ginourmous! (Is that even a word?). Afterwards, we watched him become an airman during the coin ceremony.  Before the beginning, there were fight jets and cargo planes taking off and flying over the base, which was wicked cool.

On Friday, we watched the Airman’s Parade, which is when the training squadrons pass by command in formation to be reviewed.  It was such a neat event.  Unfortunately, it was super cold and windy, so we were a bit uncomfortable as the wind whipped against our backs.  Fortunately, for Jake the wind was not as bad on the actual field.  I absolutely loved the parade, in spite of the cold, and was so proud watching my new airman and his wingman on the parade field.

The whole weekend everyone was nice.  Everywhere we went people were nice and happy.  It’s crazy when you think about how much time you spend in line, traffic, how crowded the base was and the tight timelines you’re dealing with.   Amazingly, the happiness and pride that comes with seeing your Airman again and watching them graduate BMT, seems to put everyone in a permanently positive mood.  Even when my hubby purposely took up two parking spots in order to ensure my brother would get a spot, nobody batted an eye.  The only comment was on how smart he was for parking that way.  It is such a unique and uplifting experience!

The first time I saw my Airman’s graduation picture, I cried with pride and joy.  He looks so grown up and confident.  Seeing him in uniform all weekend was incredible.   The transformation he underwent in the 8.5 weeks at Lackland was absolutely amazing.  He left us nervous and anxious.  When we got him back for the weekend, he was happy, confident, self assured, decisive and disciplined.  Thankfully, he made a lot of friends on his BMT journey that will be his friends for life.  I loved seeing him interact with his wingmen.   Knowing and personally witnessing that he is where he belongs was beyond comforting to my hubby and I.

Of course the best part of the weekend was spending time with my Airman and our family.  His girlfriend M travelled with us for the weekend.  Can I tell you how much we enjoyed our time together?  Can I tell you how much I loved seeing my son and his girlfriend together?  Seeing their love and support for each other through the weekend was the stuff mother’s dream about.  I love them together!

Our time off base was well spent hanging out with the grandparents, Uncle Jon and Aunt Brandi and of course J&M2 (my nickname for Jake and his girlfriend- they’re J&M2 because my bro and sister in law are the original J&M.). We played Phase10, Uno, took a trip to the Alamo.  It is small, but the grounds are beautiful.  Friday night we had a wonderful lunch/dinner on Riverwalk.  Everyone was so nice!  They treated Jake like a king!  People were constantly thanking and recognizing Jake for his service and commitment to our country.  Saturday’s food was the ultimate in “everything is bigger in Texas” maxim.  We had a 3 pound cinnamon roll and an 37 inch diameter pizza.  Both were as tasty as they were large.  I’ll write more about that in a future post dedicated to why you should visit San Antonio.  I loved San Antonio!

Nonetheless,  grad week is over and the adrenaline is gone.  I loved my weekend so much and the tap out of my airman was priceless.  There is a lot of worry when your child is in BMT because there’s minimal contact.  That first time you see and speak to them after BMT is magical.  Now he’s in Tech School and there’s still a lot of worry, but also relief in being able to speak with him regularly.  So well I may be suffering from the post grad let down, I am beyond proud of my son and happy that he has found his place in the greatest Air Force this world has ever known.   We are so proud to be Air Force parents!

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WOT 8

I can hardly believe it, but WOT 8 is finally here!!! It feels like we dropped Jake off at the recruiter’s office a lifetime ago. At the same time, it feels like it was yesterday. Now our count down is in days!! I will see my boy in three days!!! Yahoo!!!!!!  Yay WOT 8!

For our airman trainees, this week is all about wrapping up loose ends and out processing. After all, he’ll be on a bus to tech school early next Monday morning. From a training perspective, they’ll learn about educational benefits, be briefed on town pass and continue to practice for graduation.

As Jake wraps up his BMT journey, we’re busy making preparations for grad weekend. Sadly, it appears that gluten is the devil for my stomach. I say sadly because there’s a cafe in San Antonio that serves a 3 lb cinnamon roll. Can you imagine how aromatic that roll must be? Yummy!!! There’s also a restaurant that serves a 42 inch pizza. Finally a pizza that will serve my entire family!

Lastly, we’re so appreciative of all the support we’ve received since Jake’s departure for BMT. Your support has meant everything. In this vein, I’d ask you to hold Goalielocks’ teammate in your prayers as he begins his battle against Osteosarcoma. Cole is a wonderful kid and his family is fantastic. As he and his family fight this battle it is imperative that they know they are not alone.

Broke A Record

This weekend I broke a record. For the first time since I’ve had my Prius, I went through a tank of gas in one day! Needless to say to it was quite the busy weekend. Our weekend started with a trip to Miami for Goalielocks’ hockey practice Saturday morning. It’s always awesome leaving the house before 6:30 am on a Saturday.

Practice was good and ended quickly. Since his game wasn’t until 4:00 pm, we headed back home to relax. I wasn’t feeling fabulous , so I chilled on the couch until it was time to go. To be fair, I also booked a hotel and packed a bag for the evening since Goalielocks and I would be staying in Miami that night.

The game Saturday afternoon was not fabulous. Apparently, the other team added some players from their junior team to the U16AA team we played Saturday. Yeah, it totally made a difference. Goalielocks was mighty busy all game long. The end result was ugly, but I was proud that he never gave up. I did, however, have a proud mom moment as we drove to the rink and the Mayor played some great music!

Post-game Goalielocks took a shower at the rink (a first) and got ready for the hoe-down. He was volunteering with some teammates at the Soroptimist International of Homestead’s annual fundraiser the Blue Jean Ball. This event coincides with the Homestead Rodeo. Naturally, my country boy was loving the theme as the music.

While the boys worked, I hung out with my fellow hockey moms. It was fun to watch the boys work the popcorn and hot dog stand. Every time a patron would ask if the hotdogs were done, one would respond “I don’t know.” Needless to say, they kept us entertained throughout the night. Of course the live music didn’t hurt either. By the time we left the event, hit up the local MacDonald’s and made it back to the hotel, it was already 1:00 am.

My plan was to wake up and make the Mayor’s 8:40 am game in Pompano. However, since we had such a long date and got to bed so late, I decided to let Goalielocks sleep in. Unfortunately, it meant I had to miss all the drama in the Mayor’s first game. Apparently, a mom lost it and had to be kicked out. I can’t wait to see the video of this glorious blunder.

I let Goalielocks sleep until 10:30 that way we could pack up, pick up coffee and head to the next game with time to spare. We made it to the rink with plenty of time to spew. Unfortunately, this means nothing when it comes to picking out the optimal viewing location. Simply put this rink has no good places to watch the game.

It wasn’t the best hockey game I’ve ever watched, but I simply love watching my boys play. Truly, it’s is awesome to watch them working hard with their team and playing the game they love. Of course, I loved watching him score a beautiful goal.

When I see my Mayor play, I have no doubt that he loves the game and his teammates. In fact, we’ve been really lucky this year. Both boys have a great group of parents and kids. It makes for an awesome season.

Our weekend ended with yummy Korean pork sandwiches at our dear friends house. I was especially happy since my girlfriend Hanh and her beautiful baby are back from Tampa! Sweet Ava has grown so much and is still so cute. It was a wonderful evening with our extended family! In the end, I broke a record by driving more than 350 miles in a day.

Meanwhile in San Antonio, Jake has headed to the field for Beast week. This is one of the airman’s favorite parts of basic training. I look forward of hearing his impressions of the week. We may even get a phone call from him on Friday after they return from the field! Only 10 days left until we will see our airman again!

Lastly, I’d ask that you keep my family in your prayers tonight. My uncle Craig lost his battle with lung cancer this morning. We are devastated. I’d also ask for prayers for our family friends that are potentially facing some major health issues. Thanks!

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Detroit Weekend

Our Detroit weekend has absolutely epic. We ran into a bit of a snafu getting the rental car, but they were able to upgrade us into a vehicle that could actually fit our luggage and handle the snow. Victory! Our hotel was about twenty minutes west of the airport of of I-94. Fortunately, our hotel was on a golf course overlooking Ford Lake, which made for beautiful vistas.

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The weather when we landed was chilly, but not terrible. Our first game was at Yost Arena one the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor. I found the arena to be beautiful, but quite a bit smaller than Mariucci Arena at the University of Minnesota. Unfortunately, the boys didn’t play their best hockey and we fell to the Gulf Coast Flames. The irony here, of course, was that we flew all the way to Michigan to play another Florida team.

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As we left the arena, the flurries had begun. In the overnight hours, the storm that had battered Minnesota, dropped eight inches of snow in Michigan. The golf course was absolutely beautiful. Growing up there was nothing better than looking out my backdoor and seeing the pristine, newly fallen snow. Saturday morning those memories came back as I gazed out over the freshly fallen snow covering the hotel grounds.

Thankfully, the roads had been cleared by the time we left for the Mayor’s game. Again it didn’t go great, but was a better effort than Friday night. The weather was perfect with temperatures in the 30s all day long. We enjoyed a quick late lunch at the hotel. That evening we were headed into downtown Detroit to see the Florida Panthers take on ten Detroit Redwings.

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So I had a great rental car, but I didn’t want to drive into downtown Detroit. Clearly, it’s on the list of cities I never want to get lost in. Consequently, I opted to ride with the assistant coaches in their large van (aka Frenchy’s bus.). They had window decals made with the Panthers logo and Frenchy’s and they were on fully display. I had to make fun of them both for being dorks except for….

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When we got to downtown and came to a barricade, our driver rolled down the window to ask security where we should go to find parking. The security guard, seeing the logos, waived us through the barricade. Consequently, we parked right in front of the stadium next to the police van. We all swore on all things holy that the can would be towed while we watched the game.

As for the game, there were some shenanigans with a guy from Windsor. That story from our Detroit weekend, however, will take up a full blog post. The boys had a fabulous time and the Cats brought home the W. Now it was crunch time, would the van still be there? Would there be a ticket on the windshield? How much would an Uber be from downtown to our suburban golf course?

We made our way out of the stadium anxiously awaiting our collective fate. The boys raced to where we parked. Alas, victory was ours and the van was still there. A new problem presented itself, however, in that all the pedestrian traffic leaving the stadium was in the alley where we parked.

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I envisioned us sitting there for hours waiting for the pedestrian traffic to clear. We finally caught a quick break in the traffic and we were able to pull out of the parking spot. No sooner had we pulled out of the spot, when the police cruiser parked near us turned on it’s lights. We were accepting in our fate. Obviously, we were about to get a ticket. Or not… Shortly after the cop put his lights on, he escorted us out of the alley and through the roads of Detroit. That’s right folks we had a police escort leaving the stadium!

The boys were over the moon excited as we ere escorted back to I-94 by the police car. Truly, us parents were also over the moon. What an experience to share with our boys and each other! It was so incredible how it all unfolded. Hockey trips can be expensive, but these moments that create incredible shared memories are what it is all about. I’m incredibly lucky to share this experience with my son.

Of course, Sunday brought more hockey and some hockey drama. The Mayor forgetting one skate at the hotel is going to be it’s on post. In the end, our weekend in Michigan was pure magic. As a hockey mom, I can’t think of any other place I’d rather be than with my kids at a hockey tournament. After all, it only last last for a short time.

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It’s Test Day

It’s test day here in sunny, but chilly for us South Florida. When I woke up this morning, exhausted from the weekend on the road, I was trying to think of every valid reason why I shouldn’t run or workout today. Truly, I was exhausted and couldn’t imagine the thought of pounding the pavement for two miles.

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Fortunately, coffee solved my motivation problem and I quickly changed my mind. After all, the weather was undeniably perfect for a run. While the weather conditions were perfect, my run was not. My time was improved over last week and the first mile felt pretty good. I ended up chopping a minute off of last week’s time. It may have something to do with the great Metallica riffs I was enjoying.

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Unfortunately, I still have 2.5 minutes to chop off my time.The one drawback of the run was me. Sadly, I have some soreness in my knees after yesterday’s dash through DTW (Detroit airport.) Apparently, when you return a rental car, you are also supposed to return the keys. Of course, I didn’t discover the keys in my purse until I got to my gate A12.

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I called Hertz, who instructed me to give the keys to the shuttle driver. That was all I needed. I left my stuff with my Mayor and booked it back to the ground transportation area. I only had about 20 minutes before they started boarding. Honestly, it felt great to run after a couple of rest days.

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In the end, I made it to the shuttle, back through security and back to my gate in less than 20 minutes. The only snafu was having to get patted down by security since my back was now so sweaty. Clearly, I apologized to the TSA officer for having to deal with me and my sweatiness. She replied that it was okay and that she’s seen much worse. So much for picking up a pre-flight Starbucks. It kind of felt like I was in a movie.

In the end, I knew I was taking a calculated risk in running today. After all, we ended out trip in Michigan with some White Castle sliders on Eight Mile Road. I know what you’re thinking and you’re right. It’s absolute insanity to eat White Castle before hopping on a flight.

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Thankfully, the Mayor and I are accustomed to the burgers, so I felt the risk was minimal. However, running a significant distance the morning after could be categorized as either brave or stupid. Spoiler alert, I survived the run with no intestinal issues.

Needless to say there’s no place like home. My skin is thrilled to be back in a place with humidity. Meanwhile, I’m ready to continue with the solid workout routine I’ve created. I’ll devote probably a couple posts to our weekend in Detroit because it was that awesome. I had aspirations of posting everyday, but the schedule and my energy level suggested differently.

So final test results for week 3: 16:51 for 1.5 mile run, 15 pushups and 28 sit-ups! Clearly, I have room for improvement. Next week, I should hit the sit-up number. The run, however, is going to take a few more weeks. Lastly, please keep our airman in your prayers!! It’s test day for him as well and this week is critical!

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On The Road Again

We’re on the road again! The Mayor and I are on a bird headed to Michigan for a weekend of hockey. This will be my first hockey tournament experience in Michigan, so I’m excited to see something new. As we speak, we’re currently cruising at 36,000 feet and I just finished the Downtown Abbey. I know I’m totally late to that party, but the movie was wonderful.

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Meanwhile my Mayor is excited that the landscape will be transformed into a winter wonderland with a big snowstorm tomorrow. I, on the other hand, am not excited to have to drive in a snowstorm. Part of the reason I moved to Florida in the first place was snowstorm avoidance, yet here I am! Hurray!!!

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The weekend is coming and that means another WOT is winding down for Jake. I can’t believe he’ll be starting WOT 6 on Sunday. Next week he’ll take both the written and physical tests that determine if he’ll pass BMT. Please keep him in your prayers as he and his squadron move into this challenging week. I’ll be posting updates of our trip throughout the weekend. To all those traveling this holiday weekend, please stay safe!

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Slacking

Gotta be honest, I’ve been slacking on the blog these past few days. It’s just I’ve been exhausted these past couple of days with little to share. Friday was productive for me, but left me exhausted. I completed a BBG AB workout, went to yoga and enjoyed a restorative sauna session. Needless to say, it left me exhausted. And I was in bed with my Virginia Woolf novel by 9:30.

Goalielocks has practice scheduled for most of Saturday, but it was a bit touch and go if we’d take him since he hurt his foot/ankle playing football. In the end, we decided to take him, so his trainer could evaluate the injury. The injury location is weird. He’s actually more comfortable in skates playing hockey than walking.

After his practice, the trainer was able to take a look at it. Fortunately, his Trainer felt it was likely a sprain, but wanted us to rule out a fracture to the navicular bone in his foot. Since the Vikings were playing at 4:35 pm, my scheme was to take him post game right before the urgent care closes.

Unfortunately, the Vikings effort was anemic and Goalielocks was soon despondent. Consequently, we headed to urgent care during the beginning of the third quarter. By some miracle of god, there was no wait at the clinic. We were in and out with the x-rays and hands. Happily, the x-rays were negative for fracture. His diagnosis was sprain. Goalielocks was not happy when he was told to be non-weight bearing for 3 days.

That’s right folks the scooter is back- at least, temporarily. He isn’t quite the seasoned scooter driver that I was, but he’s learning. Additionally, he insists that he will not use the scooter or crutches at school. Tomorrow morning should be fun!

After a busy day yesterday, we’ve been slacking at home enjoying the pictures of my family’s vacation on the south seas. We did get most the laundry done and I did go to yoga, so the day wasn’t a complete wash. Tonight we had chilli and I was really regretting my decision to go gluten free. I’m not sure it’s possible, but I may have been lusting for a baguette. Thankfully, neither of us had the energy to drive and buy one. In the end, the bison chili was perfectly satisfying without the baguette. Someone who hasn’t been slacking is Jake. Today he starts WOT5 for Jake. Three more weeks til graduation!

Previous training weeks:

Week 0
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3

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Road Warrior Weekend

I’m still recovering from my road warrior weekend.  In the course of two days, I put almost 400 miles on my car and visited three different rinks.  I even got to enjoy a weekday morning commute from Palm Beach to Kendall.  Thankfully, it was a holiday week, so traffic was significantly lighter than normal.  Needless to say, I left the house at 6:30 am to get there by 8:45, but since there was no traffic we got there at 8:00 am.  Of course, with Miami traffic, if I had left ten minutes later I would have been twenty minutes late.  Saturday brought four games at two different rinks in central and southern Broward.

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Saturday morning kicked off a crazy day of four hockey games at two separate rinks.  Fortunately, due to the schedule, I was able to see a at least a period of all four games.  It is always hard to divide and conquer with these games.  Honestly, I’d rather get to watch all of both of their games than having a weekend off.   My Mayor plays with such heart and grit.  It is an absolute joy to watch him play with his team.  They’re fantastic together… Saturday morning just wasn’t their time.

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Just hanging around waiting for my airman to call

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The best part of the game was when Jake called from BMT.  We had to fight to get the Hubby’s attention since he was actively coaching a hockey game when he called.  Fortunately, he was able to run over, speak briefly to him before heading back to lead the bench.  Unfortunately, he’s still dealing with a cold.  I asked him if he’d gone to the infirmary, but he hasn’t gone since he didn’t want to miss a moment.  He did get a little choked up telling me that he was homesick and missed the family, but he freaking loves the Air Force.   I shared some mom wisdom. We discussed how normal homesickness was and how important it is to learning how to manage his Air Force experience.  While he has experienced some homesickness, I want to be clear that he is absolutely loving it!

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As I was speaking, I was doing the most hockey mom thing ever.  Grabbing my other hockey player, Goalielocks and running to the car so we could get to his game in time.  Thankfully, Jake understands the madness of his life.  He continues to kick ass on his PT assessments in spite of his cold.  I’m so proud of how hard he worked before going to BMT.  This preparation set him up to be a successful trainee. 

I asked him how he likes his MTIs (drill instructors), his response may surprise you.  In a nutshell, he loves them and says that they are awesome.  Of course, it helps that his flight is the top PT flight in WOT4.  He said that they are helpful, hold them accountable and are invested in their success.   On Christmas, the Air Force took great care of them with a Prime Rib dinner with dessert for everyone.

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He spent a lot of time speaking about the guys in his FLT and how important they are to him.  I’m so glad that his wingman J will most likely be his roomie at tech school.  One of his dorm mates also played hockey growing up.  Jake was a forward and this AB is a goalie, so they’re trying to orchestrate some type of hockey game in the dorm.  At the end of the call, I was so emotional.  We miss him so much, but he continues to thrive and is clearly in the right place. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While he is loving his BMT experience, he will continue to face bouts of homesickness.  This is where you can help.  Every letter counts.  On my call, he mentioned receiving a card from a Senior Airman and was a bit star struck that someone of that rank would write him.  He asked me if there was a program out there for SrA to support the BMTs.  I answered no that card came from a friend of your mom’s.  He responded, “wow, that’s awesome.  Please tell him thank you.”  BG thank you, your card meant everything to him.
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By the time I made it to the rink, this road warrior was emotionally drained.  I miss him so much and worry about him but had to flip back into hockey mom mode.  Plus, Goalielocks and I may or may not have forgotten his stick, which absolutely added to my emotional stress.  I’m pretty sure I walked into the rink looking like a zombie.    Thank god for my hubby because he came to the rescue with a new stick.  And thank god there was a Dunkin’ close by and coffee does cure a lot.  When Goalielocks is in net, I am such a wreck.  The first game we were going to play was going to be a tough one.  I had myself convinced that it would be a blowout, so when it wasn’t I was relieved and happy.  Truly, my goalie played great and the game was entertaining and close.

For some reason, the scheduling gods of Florida hockey think it’s a great idea for U16 teams to play games almost back to back.  There’s no consideration of the physical stress and the physiology of an adult body playing a tough physical game back to back.  Think about it, when is the last time you saw a NHL team play a double header let alone a game back to back.  I bet you can’t remember because I can’t either.  Needless, we had little chance in the matter.  In the fifteen minutes I had between Goalielocks getting undressed and his second game’s call time, I took him and his bestie Leo to Publix.  The only thing they could really eat was fruit or protein bar because they didn’t have enough time to eat anything substantive.   Ridiculous.

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By the time game three of the day started, my emotions have recovered from the fraying of the early afternoon.  I was now annoyed with the nonsense that is Florida hockey.  Our third game of the day, a midget game, was an absolute shit show through the first two periods.  Goalielocks’ team was missing a player due to a skate issue and penalties kept us short handed. Honestly, it was horrible. The great thing about hockey, however, is that there are three periods of play.  After a wacky call on my goalie, a tripping call, from moving across his crease to follow the puck and the opponent falling, our team sprang into action.  Number 18 was back on the ice with working blades and went to work quickly.  In the span of a period, we went from losing a game 2-0 to winning the game 3-2.   Never give up!

Of course, I didn’t leave that rink to almost the next day because my Goalie decided to be the turtle in the race to undress post game as opposed to the hare.  While I waited for what felt like a century, my husband sent good news from the Ice Den: the Mayor’s game had been delayed.  Alas, I may still be able to catch some of his game.  Goalielocks did his best to foil these efforts by lallygagging in the locker room.  Thankfully, this road warrior may or may not have channeled Michael Schumacher as I drove up I-75 to Ice Den.  Victory was mine and I made it to the Mayor’s game by the end of the second period.

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The Mayor’s second game of the day, and our family’s fourth of the day, was a much better effort than his team’s effort that morning.  What I love about his team and especially his line is how they work together to make things happen.  It is clear when watching these boys that they’re playing for each other and not themselves.  What could be bad about that?  In the end, the Mayor’s team came away with a 7-2 victory and a healthy appetite.  Fortunately, there’s a great pizza place down the road where we ended up with some folks from his team.  Great food, great people and the greatest sport in the world, what could be bad?  In the end, we got home close to 11:00 pm another twelve hour plus day as a road warrior.

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Long Day

Today was a long day! Goalielocks and I left the house at 6:30 am, so we’d get to Kendall for practice before 8:45. As it happened, traffic was great and we got there forty five minutes early. Of course if we had left any later, we would have been incredibly late.

This morning’s practice was two hours on ice. Goalielocks got worked hard! He played well and was engaged all practice long. If you’re a goalie parent, I know how much you’d appreciate your goalie being engaged the entire practice. We’ve had past seasons where the goalies were left to their own devices at the opposite end of the rink.

Practice was great. Afterwards Goalielocks headed to lunch to celebrate’s a friends birthday. Fortunately, he was able to shower and borrow some clothes from a friend. He and his boys then headed to Texas De Brazil for a nice lunch. The moms, meanwhile, headed to Cheesecake factory for our lunch.

One of the best parts of hockey is the relationships that are formed and grown season after season. People often think we’re crazy for the amount of time we put in to travel hockey. While we may he crazy for other reasons, this isn’t one of them. I’ve been able to share so many experiences with my kids and my hockey family that are priceless. I have an incredible built in support system, which with recent life changes means everything.

The day will soon come when will hang up the travel hockey parent moniker. Incredibly that day is now nearer than farther. We’ve been in the game for nearly a decade and are grateful for the people and the lessons the sport has taught us. Hopefully, in the far term future we’ll return to travel hockey with the travel hockey grandparent moniker.

Speaking of hockey family, my youngest is back home after a nice sojourn with the K’s. The Outback Bowl was Goalielocks’ Christmas present, but we did give the Mayor and option to stay with his friend. After some deliberation, he decided to stay local. They kindly picked him up Monday night, so we didn’t have to drive South before heading North.

I’m glad to have him home. Truly, I’m incredibly grateful for our hockey family for their generous hospitality and loving our kid. We’re lucky people! Now after a long day on the road, I’m home and able to breathe and relax.

Please keep the airmen, sailors, soldiers and their families as they face deployment.

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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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