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.

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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.

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!

Transitions

Life is full of transitions, but when you’re a parent of teens they seem to come non-stop.  The youngest two seemingly look, sound and appear older each and everyday.  I can’t wait to see how much they’ve grown since heading to Minnesota earlier this month.  They won’t be back in town until right before school starts in early August.  Yeah, early August.  I know what you’re thinking (and you’re right) Palm Beach County Schools start schools entirely too early.  Each day I call to speak to the boys, their voices seem to have shifted another octave lower.  I’ve resorted to asking discrete identifying questions to ensure I know which one I’m talking to on the phone.

The Boys
Now and Then: 2012 and 2019

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Meanwhile, Jake is deep in preparations to join the Air Force.  We met with the recruiter as a family late June to discuss the Air Force as a possibility.  Consequently, we’re pretty excited for Jake and the future the Air Force will bring him.  As a mom, it’s brought many mixed emotions as I’m excited that he’s got a solid road map for his future.  On the other hand, my boy is leaving the nest for good and joining the military (a bit scary.)   All in all, this fall promises to bring a major transition.

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Today marks the start of new beginnings as I close out my ten year career at KHE.  It is with mixed emotions that I move forward.  I will miss the work family that I have cultivated over the last ten years, but am very excited for what the future holds.  To all of my colleagues both current and former, thank you!  To keep in touch, hit the follow button on the blog. After all, everything maybe changing, but relationships don’t have to change.

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Given this week’s transitions, I’ll be fundraising much more aggressively for the Mayor’s trip to Europe next summer.   You can find the link to donate here: fundraising link

Memorial Day 5k

Better late than never, last Monday Jake, the Mayor and I ran the Memorial Day 5k.   This was my third race since being cleared to work out again.  Although I’m not sure my doctor will be thrilled when I tell her about it Tuesday, but we shall see. She did after all give me the clearance to exercise…

Race morning, I was filled with the usual pangs of regret as my alarm went off last Monday for the Memorial Day 5k.  After all it was 5:05 am and usually I’d get up, take my Synthroid and go back to bed for another hour or two before finally crawling out of bed. Meanwhile the bookends and I headed to Boca by 5:45 am to get our run on.  Fortunately, or unfortunately, this run started at 7:00 am, which sounds early, but is the only way to beat the South Florida heat.

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The run itself went really well.  Fortunately, there were no bridges to contend with like in the Mamacita Mimoas 5k two weeks ago.  The Mayor went out guns blazing, which is never a recipe for success when running distance.   We ended up running together for the first two miles before I ended up pulling away.  I was thrilled that I was able to complete mile 1 in less than 10 minutes.   It felt like a huge accomplishment.

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Mile two was slower, but not by too much.  It was difficult and the water stations kind of through of my mojo a bit.  They had stations every half a mile, which is nice, but it slows you down a bit.  By mile three, however, I was struggling.  In fact, an old guy with a limp, who was power walking the race passed me as we approached mile 3.  I cannot tell a lie: that was quite the hit to the pride.  I was resolute, however, that I would finish before him come hell or high water.  In the end, I had enough in the tank to finish before him and 2 two minutes faster than the previous weekend’s 5k.  Yay!

I quickly found Jake post race as he waited for me at the finish line.  The Mayor, however, took another four minutes to cross the finish line.  Apparently, he had made a friend along the course and took to socializing instead of running.  Nonetheless, he still covered the 3.1 miles and logged some decent cardio.  Afterwards, we waited for the mile run to finish, so we could watch Jake get his award for taking second place in his age group.  As for the Mayor and me, we were just happy to get our finisher pie.  We then headed home with our three finisher apple pies because that’s exactly what you need after a hard fought race.

Here’s our gear:
Shoes brought to you by Asics – my go to running shoe.  I love my Gel Kayanos and am on my fourth pair.  They’re the perfect shoe for serious runners.  My little man loves his Asics GT1000.  

My running pants and shirt: Call by Carrie Underwood Shop at Dicks Sporting Goods

20% OFF ENTIRE ORDER with code: WELLNESS20. Plus Free Shipping over $45! Pharmaca.com. Coupon Code: WELLNESS20

 

Consistently Inconsistent

I’ve got to admit I’ve been consistently inconsistent in maintaining the blog over the past twelve months. It’s not for a lack of trying, I assure you.  Rather it’s a function of pure exhaustion and competing priorities.  As May winds down and we approach the end of school, I’m looking forward to the relief that the start of summer begins.  Our schedules slow down and life becomes somewhat calm and balanced.  Of course, calm and balanced in a house of three boys probably doesn’t fit most people’s definition of calm and balanced.if-you-could-ywky2o

Since the corporate run, I’ve continued to train using the Couch to 5K app to gradually increase my mileage and running time.  Due to the May heat, most of my training has been inside on the treadmill.  Fortunately, my AirPods and closed captioned episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm have carried me through the nine weeks of training.  Last week, Jake and I ran a 5k in Delray.  I’m still slow, but was still managed to take two minutes of my time from the corporate run.

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For the past week, the weather here has dried out considerably, so the Mayor and I have been running in the evenings.  It’s significantly more difficult to run outside versus the treadmill, but it feels great.  There’s nothing better then running with my boys and our little Piggie.  Athena has transitioned back to running quite well.  Although much like mom, she’s also out of shape.  Since Maya’s cancer scare, we’ve been reticent to take her out running in the heat.  After a course of antibiotics and some CBD oil and CBD treats from Honest Paws, Maya is doing amazing.

Tomorrow Jake, the Mayor and myself will run another 5k.  Since the summer heat is here, the run will kick off at 7:00 am.  Undoubtedly, I’ll be lamenting my decision to run when I have to wake up tomorrow at 5:15 am.   Of course afterwards I’ll feel much better and be happy with my decision, but getting out of bed is going to suck.

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Today we’re laying low in anticipation of running tomorrow morning.  Fortunately, I was able to meet up with my dear friend Jessica last night in Palm Beach.   I met her this year on Momcation 2.0 (Cayman Island edition) and we hit it off right away.  We had some fabulous drinks, food, conversation and laughs.  It was an awesome night.  I’ll write more on the beauty that is Momcation in a different post later.

We are, of course, like most hockey families counting down to the start of tomorrow night’s Stanley Cup Finals.  It’s lamentable that we’ve had to go so long without hockey at nights.   I’ve tried to catch as much as the World games (Go Finland!,) but it’s tough when you don’t have the channels playing the games.  Nonetheless, tomorrow hockey returns and we cannot wait. It’s going to be interesting to see how the Bruins come out tomorrow after  quite a bit of downtime.  On the other hand, I’m curious to see how the Blues’ rooking goaltender Bennington is going to handle the pressure.  Should be awesome!  Who are you cheering for?
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