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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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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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.

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!”

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Congratulations Jake!

Congratulations Jake!   He killed his ASVAB today!  His recruiter was absolutely thrilled with his performance on the ASVAB. He scored above where he needed to for the jobs he’s interested and high enough on the general score to have several great options for him.

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As you may recall from my Transitions post, Jake is slated to go into the Air Force later this fall. Today was the day he took the ASVAB to see what job he’d qualify for in the Air Force.  He’s been studying the ASVAB for the last several months  as the jobs that he’s interested in required a very high electrical and general score.  Fortunately, I was insistent that he take the ASVAB before going to MEPs, so he know what he qualifies for and have less to worry about at MEPs.

So now the countdown to MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) and BMT (basic military training) has now begun.  On Monday he’ll go back to his recruiter to start putting together a list of the jobs and duty stations he’d like.  While it’s a wish list, hopefully with his score he’ll get one of his top choices.  As a side note, he used Kaplan Test Prep’s ASVAB test preparation and it helped tremendously.  If you or your child are planning to take the ASVAB, make sure you pick up the test prep.

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Meanwhile, the younger two are still living their best lives up in Minny nary missing us for a moment.  The hubby is busy working away on a nice manse on the water up in Jupiter. While he works his tail off, I’ve been spending my days at the dentist/doctor.   I am trying to get everything done this week my FSA ends on 7/31.  Consequently, my face feels like it’s going to be numb for days.  Anyway back to what this post is all about:  congratulations Jake!

 

One Week

It’s been one week since I left the office for the last time.  So many emotions and so much fun has been had over the past seven days.  It’s not that I’m not sad to move on or anything like that, but I choose to embrace the madness and the excitement of moving forward. That isn’t to say I don’t have tough moments, but by and large I’m feeling good!  I started my first week off with a brilliant session at the salon with my girl Daniela and Jenja.  Nothing makes a girl feel better than a fresh hair cut and a nice brow wax.

During the intervening days, I had the occasion to meet several former colleagues and friends for lunch and drinks.   A fantastic time was had by all.  As an aside, I went to Farmer’s Table for the first time for lunch.  The food and service were absolutely brilliant.  Fortunately, Farmer’s Table’s menu had several amazing gluten free options.   I quite enjoyed the spasta with meatballs – spaghetti squash with marinara and chicken meatballs.  It was absolutely amazing.  I can’t wait to go back.  The next day, I had an amazing meal at Taverna Trela in Delray.  This meal was equally amazing.  I thoroughly enjoyed my steak, mushroom and onion rice bowl.   Another menu with some great gluten free options.  I look forward to going back there as well.

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Friday also brought a doctor’s appointment, where my doctor noted how much happier and relaxed I looked.  My blood pressure was pretty freaking phenomenal too.  They see me all the time there on account of the regular bloodwork I need to get down for the thyroid, so it was encouraging they noted the change.  It was also encouraging that my thyroid is starting to approach the normal range!  Yes – victory is in site my friends.

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The weekend brought happy hours, another massage and some mini golf.  I thoroughly enjoyed my blueberry martinis at Burt & Max’s.  The lettuce wraps were pretty freaking good too.   Of course, the Chipotle at the end of the night was pretty good.  Admittedly, it was the first time I’ve had Chipotle in years.  I enjoyed the steak tacos on a hard shell.  It brought back memories of driving across the University of Minnesota on game nights to get to the only Chipotle close to our house because it was the best thing since sliced bread. Now that Chipotle is on every corner and they’ve had a couple e-coli scares, the novelty has worn off a bit.

Sunday night we hit the mini golf course with J&M2 also known as Jake and Mel.  .  Even though we went in the evening, it was still hot as hades on the course.  By the time we finished, I felt like I had been sitting in the sauna for an hour in my jeans.  Fortunately, the club house had the same temperature as the Baltic Sea.  In 5 seconds flat, I went from near heat stroke to hyperthermia.   If I’m being honest, mini golf isn’t my sport, but we had a blast.  I’m also declaring victory having ended a mere 13 above par.  Over previous efforts, this represented a serious improvement in performance

Meanwhile in Minnesota, the boys are living their best lives with their cousins.  They’re having a blast hanging out with their cousins and chilling on the boat with their Uncle J.  The Mayor loves tubing with his cousins, while Goalielocks is enjoying fishing the Minnesota lakes.  He caught a nice sized large mouth bass on Lake Minnetonka Sunday.  Last week, their cousin X and his soccer team were playing in the USA Cup in Blaine.  Needless to say, given the heat indices in Minny last week, I’m thrilled my boys play hockey.  I’ll never be sitting by a sideline in an 115 head index.  Suffice to say, if you asked the boys, they would tell you there’s no better passage of summer than one spent in Minnesota.

Goalielocks is also enjoying lessons with his former goalie coach from the Hawks, Coach Ryan, who is now coaching with MEGA Goaltending in Minnesota.  It’s fun for the boys to reconnect with Coach Ryan and to get back on the ice.  Since Goalielocks went on a growth spurt, we’ll need to buy him a full set of gear upon his return to Florida.  Oh the expensive joys of the hockey mom life.

Today is my father’s 66th birthday please join me in wishing him the happiest of birthdays!