Wanderlust

Wanderlust is defined as a strong desire to travel explore the world. Growing up I have always wanted to travel the world, but travel is expensive and so are kids. When I was young, we weren’t rich (weren’t poor either) and didn’t travel often.  If we did travel, it was normally within the state.   We took an amazing trip to California when I was thirteen.  This trip remains one of my favorite memories from childhood.  In addition, I was fortunate that my parents sent me on a couple of amazing class trips.  My goal growing up was to travel the world and see the sites.  Our last trip, Norway, fed my soul and reawakened my wanderlust. Moreover, it awakened the wanderlust in my kids.

There’s nothing better than exploring our globe and our heritage with the ones you love. Now that I’m getting older and have more money, I’m starting to see the future I’ve always wanted. A future that included exploring the world with my family and seeing all that this life has to offer. I’ve been so excited that this “future” is starting to become a reality.  Moreover, I relish the opportunity to share these experiences with my family.

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After traveling to Europe in high school, I fell in love with European history, architecture and art. The opportunity to traipse around the continent is a complete dream.   Norway was a complete dream as it combined my love of European history with my own heritage.  Moreover, it was made even better by the presence of my entire family and grandma.  For as long as I live, I will never forget the look of wonderment on my Grandma’s face as she looked up at the mountains and hills on the Kongevegen in Borgund.  You can’t script a moment better than this.

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I cannot wait for my next trip!  The future I have always wanted and worked so hard to get is close at hand.  Words are not adequate to describe how hard I have worked to get from the ground floor to where I am now.  Countless hours and years of dedication to achieve the results I have achieved and make my future possible.   All of my adult life, I have been working towards this future.

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As much as I love travel, I enjoy sharing these experiences with friends and family more.    A belief that travel and exploration is inconsequential and a needless expense has stalled my vision for the future. As the wind was knocked from my sails, a crushing pain has taken hold in my chest. The realization that what is important to me does not matter to the one I love most has been a crushing blow.  Nonetheless, I’ll pick up the pieces and move forward my plans for the future somewhat altered, but still intact.

 

 

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Moving On

Today was Goalielocks’ moving on ceremony marking the end of a fantastic three years at Logger’s Run Middle School.  Since day one he has flourished in Middle School enjoying the academic offerings and his many friends.  It was apparent tonight how much he enjoyed his school and how well he got along with his classmates.  Of course, for me, it was bittersweet as it marks the end of one stage and the beginning of another stage.  It seems like just yesterday he was graduated from preschool and now he’s off to high school.

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The ceremony itself was at his future high school in West Boca.  We found out yesterday that he has been offered a spot in the medical academy at West Boca with all of his friends.  He was absolutely ecstatic to learn that he’ll be continuing his school journey with the vast majority of his school friends.  We waited until tonight at dinner to give him the good news.

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We waited patiently in the hot, sauna of a gym for ceremony to start.  They started “Pomp and Circumstance” as the graduates filed into the gym.  Maybe it was the contacts or both our bad vision, but we didn’t see Goalielocks walk into the gym at all.  Once they had sat down, we didn’t seem him either.  Naturally, we started to panic a bit.  After a few minutes of concern, my hubby decided to go down and see if we could find him.

He headed down towards the entrance and start chatting with the principal and the police officers working the event, who assured him he was there.  The hubby headed up the other bleachers to try and find him to no avail.  Finally, the principal let him walk down the side and he found him.   Now we could relax and enjoy the show.

As I watched the video with Goalielocks tonight, he quickly pointed out that we actually got him on video.  How we missed him in the first place is beyond me.  Like I said it could be the contacts or the blonde hair.  Nonetheless, it was a fabulous night to celebrate the accomplishments of middle school while looking forward to the challenges and opportunities of high school.  

 

Long Weekend

It was a glorious long weekend of no plans and no obligations.  We sent the Mayor to Key West on Friday for the weekend and he had an epic time.  As for the rest of us, we took advantage of the stormy weather and stayed in and relaxed.  It is hard to believe we only have four days left of the school year.  This year has seemed like a sprint.  Especially the last six months!

This year has been an absolute sprint with trips every month through April (could have used a May vaycay.).   In between the trips, we had a health scare with Goalielocks and possible surgery.   His procedure ended up being delayed because he had a bad cough, which made it too risky for him to go under.  Not even a month later, we were in an ER in New Hampshire with a suspected brain bleed.  Fortunately, the good folks at Mass General were able to quickly rule out the brain bleed, but his recovery would still be lengthy.

We ended up back in the ER in the beginning of March when his headaches changed in severity and type.  Unfortunately, he’ll experience headaches and other post concussion symptoms for the next six to twelve months.  We made it nearly two months before brining him back to the ER for suspected appendicitis.  Fortunately, it wasn’t appendicitis.  Unfortunately, it took a costly visit to the ER to confirm he had a virus with symptoms that mimic appendicitis.  Needless to say, it’s been exhausting and expensive.

I’m ready for some downtime and calm.  (What is that even?)  This Wednesday, we’re headed to West Boca to watch Goalielocks’ Moving on Ceremony.  We’ll officially have one in college, one in high school and one in middle school.  Despite my reticence to let them grow, time continues to march.  It’s a bit bittersweet as he’s absolutely loved his time at Logger’s Run.

Excitedly, we’re back to our normal summer pattern since we have no grand plans this summer.  Goalielocks and the Mayor will be headed North to spend the summer at Camp Grandma and Grandpa.  We couldn’t be more excited, nor could they.  Goalielocks cannot wait to be reunited with his former goalie coach, who is now at MEGA.  While they’re in Minny, they’ll be able to spend time with all of our family. Also, this will give me a break from the endless begging for a sailboat.

The Mayor, as you can probably see in the pictures, had an epic weekend in Key West with Capt. Rob and E.  He loved every single minute of it from being on the water in the driving rain to trying his first oyster!  Yeah, an oyster! I haven’t even had an oyster.  (Don’t judge me I grew up in the Midwest.) They spent their nights on a docked sail boat and spent their days exploring Key West.  Due to the inclement weather, they were some of the only people around.

Boy oh boy, this first period of hockey is amazing.  We still have four minutes left in the period and it’s already 2-1.   This series should be incredible and hopefully for hockey fans everywhere it goes to seven games!  Just a quick update here, I uploaded my pictures and the period has ended in a 2-2 tie!  I cannot wait to see what the second period will bring.

Awkward

Awkward… What a word and a what a stage in life.  When I think of an awkward stage, I think back to junior high.   Junior high, a.k.a middle school, seemed to be the epitome of awkwardness for me.  On the other hand, it seems to be much less awkward for my boys, but that could be because their boys.  Junior high/middle school can be hellacious for a girl.  If there was one period in life I wouldn’t want to revisit, that’s probably it.

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In other news, tonight as I finished my workout on my TRX I was confronted with quite the incredible site.  I only wish a camera had been filming me as Goalielocks ran into my room, net in hand shouting how he found a baby bird while searching for his kayak paddle.  Yes, that’s right.  My boy ran into my room with the poor baby bird he found in a fishing net.  Apparently, the baby became separated from its mother and siblings and was laying by itself in the middle of the grass.  Honestly, my expression had to be priceless.  How else could one reasonably react while mid chest press on the TRX?  If I had to imagine what it looked like, I think it looked something like this…

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Needless to say, I’ll be calling Busch Wildlife center or another wildlife rescue organization in the morning to make sure this sweet bird gets a proper upbringing.  We did identify it as a common moorhen. It’s cute enough.   However, it belongs with an animal rescue organization that can raise it/rehabilitate it, so it can return to the wild.

Before this happened, Goalielocks came into my room urgently asking where his kayak was and that someone had stolen it.  Or at least that’s what I heard as  was running desperately out of breath on the treadmill.  Turns out he had only misplaced the kayak paddle not the entire kayak.  Boy, what a relief that was…  And then of course on the way to kayaking he rescued the baby bird.

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There was a couple funny awkward incidents this weekend too.  First, while we waited for our Shift shopper to arrive, he sat on my empty wall ball box falling into him getting stuck.  He was captive, so I was able to get a pic of him pretty easily.  Then there was Sunday.  We had dry rock and marine life shipped to us last week, so we had 3 huge boxes with biodegradable packing peanuts in them. I wanted to reuse the boxes for our charitable donations, so I asked him to dump the peanuts into the trash.  Unfortunately, he only heard three words of the sentence “dump the peanuts.”  Consequently, the packing peanuts littered the upper portion of our driveway around the garbage can.

When he came back inside so quickly, I was pretty confident that he had missed a key phrase in my request “in the garbage.”  So I asked him to go back out and clean it up.  Undoubtedly, he waited it out as long as he could until we forced him back out.  Unfortunately for him, the peanuts had already started to breakdown making it infinitely more difficult to clean them up.

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No more than five minutes passed by than he came to the door freaking out because the peanuts had encased and were sticking to his feet.  It was truly one of the funniest things I had ever seen.  I told him to hold on because I had to grab my phone.  I quickly grabbed my phone and headed out to check out both his feet and the mess he had created.  He had put a dent in his mess, but his packing peanuts shoes had me in hysterics.  I had to grab a pic! Now I can remind him if he had done it right the first time, his feet wouldn’t be encased in packing peanuts.  Talk about instant karma and a cautionary tale all wrapped in one or wrapped in packing peanuts.

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As I’ve been writing this, Goalielocks has already set the bird up with a nice temporary home.  The bird has everything it needs including a heat bulb.  This will ensure it doesn’t get too cold while in our care.  He clearly was, again, channeling his inner Gerry Durrell bringing home yet another creature for our menagerie.  I can only imagine how happy the hubby will be when he finds out.

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Already?

Already?  Really weekend just like that you’re over.  It seems like just five minutes ago it was 6:00 pm on a Friday night and the work week was behind us.. Yet here we are, nary a blink the eye has gone by, back to Sunday night and the beginning of another work week.  Although we accomplished as lot this weekend, it feels like we made no progress. I could definitely use a third weekend day to make me more productive around the house.

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In exciting news, we continue to add-on to our new tank.  In case you missed it, we’ve installed a 120 gallon saltwater aquarium in our living room and our remodeling the room accordingly.   Saturday we added a kole tang, macro algae for the refugium and a couple of coral frags.   Thankfully, the new creatures are acclimating to the tank very well.  Both the frog spawn and green star polyp corals have opened up, which is exciting.  They’re small frags, so we’re anxious for them to grow and cover more of the rocks.

Goalielocks is leading the project for the aquarium as he is the marine expert in the household.  We’ve had several freshwater aquariums and a nano saltwater tank before, but this is still a major undertaking.  Maintaining a saltwater tank is a lot more complex than maintaining a freshwater system.  Nonetheless, Goalielocks is well prepared.  Moreover, the tank is really starting to take shape and look great.  We’re anxiously waiting for our paired clownfish to host in the anemone, but they’re taking their sweet time.

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In other news, playoff hockey continues to be great.  The games have been high-octane and thoroughly entertaining.  Tonight the Vegas Knights, the first expansion team to reach the finals, won the Western Conference title and are advancing to the Stanley Cup. Not for nothing, but the Florida Panthers’ missteps clearly had a positive impact not he Knights.  After all, it was not too long ago that the Cats fired Gerard Gallant (huge mistake) and sent him packing in a taxi.  Then they dealt both Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault away as part of the expansion draft.  Along with Lars William Karlsson, these two gents make up the Knight’s lethal top line.  Needless to say, they’ve had a pretty good season.

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Tomorrow night the action will be back in D.C. as the Caps take on the Lightning in a must win game.  The puck drops at 8:00 pm, so I am assured another late night.  With the adrenaline of playoff hockey, who can sleep right after a game ends? I know I can’t.  It would be nice to have a Florida team in the Stanley Cup Finals, but I’ wouldn’t be disappointed if the series went to seven games.  I know, I know I’m a little greedy, but the hockey has been outstanding and I don’t want it to end.

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In non-hockey news, I have to wish my Great Grandma Brown a very happy 102nd birthday.  You read that right, she’s 102 years old. For context, when she was born we were two years into World War 1.   When I think of all the changes she has witnessed in her lifetime I’m astounded.  I can’t fathom how much our world has changed in the 102 years she’s been on this earth.  It’s an incredible thought.   Moreover, she still lives independently with her little dog.  I hope I got her genes.  Please join me in wishing her a very happy 102nd birthday.

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I had thought about going back to the daily prompt and writing about narcissism tonight, but I just didn’t have it in me tonight.  I thought hockey, saltwater aquariums and my great grandma would be infinitely more interesting. I’ve written about narcissists before anyway and really don’t wish to give them anymore airplay.

Wow, almost forgot there was this huge wedding this weekend. I didn’t get up to watch it.   Don’t get me wrong, I like the pomp and circumstance, but I am not a morning person.  Later that day I watched the highlights on Hulu.  It looked like a beautiful event.  Of course, the single best picture of the day was of David Beckham.    Who else watched the wedding?  What did you guys think?

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Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers in my life and the blogosphere!  I spent my Mother’s Day relaxing at home with our boys and puppies.  Hubby made me a wonderful breakfast of crepes, an omelette and some bacon.  It was sinfully delicious!  The crepes were spectacular with cloud berry jam, whipped cream and fresh berries.  On the second crepe, I had blueberry jam that we bought in Norway on it and it was delicious.  I’m not quite sure what we’re going to do when we’re finally out of Norwegian cloudberry and blueberry jelly.  I guess we’ll just have to go back and buy more!

We spent Saturday night at the amphitheater in West Palm for the Alan Jackson show.  To be clear, I’ve never been a country music fan.  In fact, I wasn’t originally planning to go with Goalielocks and the Hubby to the concert.  At least, not until I got the guilt trip from Goalielocks, who reminded me that I had no problem going to the Foo Fighters with Jake. I, of course, reminded him that I love the Foo Fighters….  Nonetheless, I accompanied them to the concert last night.

Fortunately, the weather held out.  I purchased seats under the roof of the amphitheater just in case the meteorologists happened to be right.  They weren’t, but the assigned seats were nice.  We had a great view of the show and weren’t fighting the crowds on the lawns.  As for the show itself, both LeeAnn Womack and Alan Jackson didn’t disappoint.  I’ve heard many of the Alan Jackson songs enough to know the words.  Moreover, they bring back fond memories of my mother-in-law, who enjoyed his music.

While I don’t enjoy their music, I would have had to be deaf to not hear how talented they are.   LeeAnn Womack has some lungs!  Surprisingly, that’s not even the Tito’s lemonade talking.  They were legit.  I’m not converting to country, but enjoyed spending the evening with two of my guys.

We faced time my mom and grandma today to wish them a very, happy Mother’s Day.  It would have been nice to be up in Minnesota with all of them.  After a late night last night, we decided not to do to brunch on the water.  This decision was reinforced by the weather outside, which brought us heavy rains all day.  Apparently, there’s a low pressure system of the southwest coast of Florida that may develop into a tropical system.  Oh joy!

It’s time to head off to bed and recharge the batteries before starting another crazy week.  To all the mother’s out there, I hope you had a wonderful day.  To the beautiful mother’s in our lives, who have felt the excruciating pain of losing a child, today we send you our love and strength.  Lastly, for those whose mother’s have passed, today we send love your way.

My Mayor Turned 12!

Yesterday, my mayor turned 12!  I can’t believe our youngest has only one year left before becoming a full fledged teenager.  While he’s not in the teens by number, he’s certainly in a teen when it comes to his appetite and his demeanor.  Of course, the Mayor’s been feisty since he was born, so none of this is a surprise.   Fortunately, my Mayor is a sweet as he is feisty.

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His birthday weekend was pretty low key.  While the hubby helped my brother with the floors, Jake worked and Goalielocks was at a friend’s, my Mayor and I spent the weekend hanging out.  Saturday we upgraded his phone to the iPhone 8 as his iPhone 6 was starting to fail in everyday.  Undoubtedly the phone served us well, it simply wasn’t going to last one more day.  Thankfully, the demise of his phone was timed well with his birthday weekend. He was overjoyed today when he got home from school since his phone held it’s battery all day.

We also picked up a Fitbit for both he and Goalielocks since they’re going to start running with me.  In addition, we got some new workout clothes, a new wall ball, a curved agility ladder and an acceleration trainer.  All the things they’ll need to be in good shape going into next year’s hockey season.  If it weren’t for the slight fever and cold The Mayor had this weekend, we would have started our workouts this weekend.  Nonetheless, I had blast this weekend with the birthday boy and cannot wait to see what the next year will bring him.

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Tonight we had planned to start running together, but of course, life had a different plan.  This morning Goalielocks was beset by severe, localized abdominal pain.  When I left for work this morning, I assumed he had picked up his brother’s cold.  Apparently, I was wrong. #winning While at work, I checked on him periodically.  His symptoms were a bit worrisome as doctor google suggested, he likely had appendicitis.   I was both slightly worried and slightly encouraged that doctors google didn’t say he was dying.  For once, I thought doctor google might actually be on point.

I headed home early to take him into urgent care, so we could rule out appendicitis.   His symptoms were pretty well aligned to the condition.  After the year we had, I didn’t want to press our luck by waiting it out. I had visions of his appendix bursting as he binged watched Family Guy on Hulu.  It was not a good vision…..  Urgent care wasn’t able to rule out appendicitis as they couldn’t run a CBC and get timely results.

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Back to the ER we went….. You know it’s bad when they don’t ask for an insurance card anymore because they recognize you.  Or when the doctor comes in, he remembers treating your family before. #notwinning.   As with any trip to ER, we spent several hours of our lives waiting for lab tests, ultrasounds and consultations.  Fortunately, Family Guy was on and helped us pass the time.  Ironically, it was on the very episode I started watching last night, but missed when I went to take a shower.   I know feel like I have closure having watched the episode and several others in their entirety.

Thankfully, after a long wait, we were given the all clear by the doctor.  Both his blood work and ultrasound were negative for any abnormalities.  We left the ER with a diagnosis of gastritis and Zantac/Pepcid AC as a means to treat the discomfort.  We’ll continue to monitor him as he still has localized pain and will be following up with is pediatrician.  Thanks to everyone from the love, prayers and support today it is very much appreciated.  As a side note, the ER rejected my suggestion of a frequent flier program (i.e. every visit you get a stamp and your fourth visit is free.). Special thanks to my girl Jutta for the brilliant suggestion!  As for us, it’s time to reset the days without an ER visit to 0.

 
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Two Months and One Day

Two months and one day since our last ER visit. I told Goalielocks after his string of ER visits in late February and early March that he had met his annual quota for ER visits. Unfortunately, he didn’t seem to read that memo. Alas, we’re back in the ER.

This time we’re back in to rule out appendicitis after he started experiencing acute abdominal pain this morning. Unfortunately, neither our pediatrician nor the urgent care center could turn around a CBC test very quickly. Consequently, they referred us to the ER to ensure appendicitis was ruled out.

As I sit in the ER again, I’m starting to think they should offer loyalty programs like Dunkin’ or Starbucks. Perhaps after every 3rd visit, your 4th visit could be complimentary. This would at least save me significant money on my deductible and co-instance. It’s just a thought and likely one corporate healthcare wouldn’t support. For us parents, ER frequent flyers programs would be amazing.

I’m only somewhat kidding with that last suggestion. We’ve found ourselves in the ER entirely too often this year. As I type this, I’m sitting in the ultrasound room watching a fishing expedition. At least when I was pregnant, I kind of knew what I was looking at. On these ultrasounds, I have no idea.

They just finished the ultrasound, so now we’ll wait for those results along with the labs. Keep your fingers cross that it’s us a stomach bug and not appendicitis.

Changes

Over the past several months there’s been some changes in our lives. The major change has been a new position for me at work. While the move was lateral, it came with a significant uptick in duty tempo and responsibilities. My role changed in mid-February, which coincides with the stoppage of my daily blogging. I love writing at night, but frankly I’m completely exhausted by the time I sit down to write.

The good news is I love my new role and my new team. Last week some of us participated in the 2018 Mercedes Benz Corporate Run in Fort Lauderdale. I had high hopes for a stellar finish, but the two enormous bridges, my tendons and my endurance had a different idea. Perhaps I’m being too tough one myself after all it’s my first race post injury and with orthotics, but I don’t think so. Of course, the upshot is I know have a new baseline to work from.

This past weekend the Hubby and Goalielocks headed to the west coast for hockey, while I stayed behind. The Mayor headed to Epcot Saturday after an exceptionally early non-hockey wake up call. This was his first time to Disney and he had an absolute blast! He would love to go back some day, but if given the choice he’d rather go to the Keys or back to Atlantis. (He’s a smart boy!)

Saturday I didn’t do entirely too much other than get my hair cut, run to BJ’s to pick up groceries and relax. I spent much of the day following the Humboldt Bronco story, which continues to devastate our hockey community. Life is far too short and far to precious. In honor of the Broncos, I wore green today. Moreover, we’ve put our sticks out in tribute as “the boys may need them.” Please continue to hold these families and their community in your thoughts and prayers.

Tragic Day For Hockey

It was a tragic day for hockey.  Today our our hockey community mourned the loss of fifteen lives in a horrific crash involving the Humboldt Broncos team bus and a semi.  For many of us hockey parents, we’ve been on the proverbial bus trip with our youth hockey player or sent our kids/billet kids off on the junior bus.  In fact, this morning I sent my youngest on a bus up to Epcot.   I was a nervous wreck the whole time he was on the road.

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For the uninitiated, junior hockey is available to players 16-20 years old and a great stepping stone into NCAA hockey or professional hockey.  My boys have played in a program that went from mites (U8) to juniors for several seasons.  Unequivocally, the youth players revered their junior counterparts and were devoted fans of our junior teams.  Similarly, the junior players gave back a lot to our youth players.  They spent time at practices, watching their games and cheering them on.   It is an amazing relationship that exists between these players.

During Jake’s first U16 year (Goalielocks Squirt AA, The Mayor Mites), we had a billet.  Biebs had been with the Hawks the previous season and really bonded with our boys.  If he was going to come back to Palm Beach, he wanted to stay with us.  Fortunately, Biebs is an awesome kid and we enjoyed having him here.  It really allowed us to see the level of commitment and effort it takes to play junior hockey.

Throughout his season with us, Biebs would jump on the Hawks bus almost every weekend for games.  Every time he was on that bus, I would worry.   I worried that something would happen on those Florida back roads that span our state east to west.  Or I worried that they’d get hit if the bus broke down.   When you billet a player, they become a part of your family.  This morning my heart sank for the Broncos community particularly for the families and billet families. I can’t imagine their despair as their worsts fears came to fruition.

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The thing about tragedy is that it tells you a lot about the character and gumption of a community.  Our hockey community is tight knit, strong, generous and supportive.   Regardless of where we are from or what level of hockey we played or our kids play, we stand with Humboldt.  They say there is no crying in hockey and for the most part it’s true.  A hockey player could lose teeth, take a clapper to the face or have their bone broken by a shot.  Not only would they not cry, they’d try to keep playing.  Today, as we mourn the loss in our community, there’s crying in hockey.

I love our hockey community.  The Gofundme campaign is already over $2 million.  Moreover, tonight as I scan Facebook, the pictures of the Jets (Winnipeg) and Blackhawks (Chicago) game popped into my feed.  In a show of solidarity with Humboldt, both NHL teams wore jerseys with Broncos on the back instead of their own names.  Before the puck dropped, they met at center ice in an incredible show up support to Humboldt.   Many of the players that have made the show, cut their teeth in junior hockey.  For these players, they’ve been on hundreds of bus trips.

Lastly, hockey is an incredibly expensive sport.   This is especially true at the junior level where many players are playing away from home.  After the tragedy of yesterday’s crash, many of these families are faced with unexpected bills and loss of income.  A  Gofundme has been setup to help these families offset these unexpected costs, please consider donating.   Tonight I’ll hold my boys a little closer tonight as life is precious and not promised.  #prayersforhumboldt

Here’s the link to the fundraiser: Funds For Humboldt Broncos