Champions in Chicago

Our Panthers’ left Chicago late yesterday as champions.  I guess the winter storm, which was initially cumbersome was a harbinger of our team’s success. By Sunday the roads were nice and dry for our two games out in Geneva.   The rink was a beautiful facility with a great bar (thank you Chelios Pub and Grill,) but was quite far from civilization.  It took an arduous forty-five minutes to get there the first night on questionable roads.  The commutes Sunday and Monday were better, but still long.  Thankfully, our games took place after the storm had stop and the roads were largely cleared.

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Goalielocks played both games Saturday against local teams.  I was happy to have remembered my beta blockers for the game.  He played awesome game 1 and so did his team.  They came away with a 6-1 victory.  Fortunately, the victory was even sweeter for me.  I was blessed to be able to watch the game with my dearest friend Jenny and her kids, who are Chicagoland residents.  They’re awesome people and clearly good luck.  It was quickly agreed upon that they would need to be present at the rest of the games as our good luck charm.

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In between games some of the kids opted for White Castle. We, however, opted for something with less of a laxative effect.  Surprisingly, our hotel had a fabulous restaurant downstairs.  Goalielocks scarfed down a burger, while I enjoyed their yummy chili.  This was also the day I discovered the awesomeness of Adidas joggers and their zipper pockets.  Immediately, after dinner and the conclusion of the Rams/Saints game, Goalielocks and I headed to Dick’s in hope of finding another pair of joggers.  I had given up hope, when Goalielocks discovered a pocket of fancier Adidas at the back of the store. They had more joggers!   I quickly bought a nice pair in black and we headed back to the hotel to prepare for game two.

John, TK, Goalielocks headed back to the rink for game two.  John and I immediately headed to the bar, so we could grab a quick drink before the game and watch the Chiefs/Patriots game.  Sunday night it was Stella Cidre instead of beta blockers.   The cider was quite yummy.

Unlike the morning game, game two on Sunday got off to a much slower and arduous start.  We simply didn’t look good. There weren’t many shots against either goalie in that game with my goalie seeing around 12-15 shots.  Our opponents scored late in the first on a deflection to make it a 1-0 game.  Throughout the second and third period, Goalielocks made some huge saves to keep the team in it.   Unfortunately, it was looking like we were going to end up in the consolation game.  Then we got to less than 5:00 minutes left in the third.  After the referee gave their player a major penalty, we ended up on the power play.  In short order, our squad put in three goals.  Where was this the rest of the game?  It was an awesome end to a solid day of hockey for the team.   The best part of course was the post game celebration as they realized they were championship bound.

We ended our evening and started our Monday morning at the Ale House where it took twice as long to get our bill as it did to get our food.  I don’t for the life of me understand restaurants that won’t let teams order by jersey number.  They always insist it’s easier to do it their way.  Ultimately, they find that their way wasn’t the best way.  At 1:00 am in the morning it’s a bit aggravating to watch them enter and re-enter food trying to figure out what check the meal should be on.  We didn’t get back to the hotel until after 1:00 and were absolutely fried.

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I got up for breakfast, but Goalielocks was fried so he stayed in bed.  They had amazing pancakes with  white chocolate cream sauce and berries that had become his favorite.  Fortunately, the restaurant was able to make and pack up his meal as I finished mine.  By the time I returned from breakfast, Goalielocks was up and ready to eat.  We didn’t have a ton of time, so I finished packing while he ate. 

By 12:00 pm we were back at the rink for the 1:20 pm championship game.  We booked our flight out of O’Hare for 5:00 pm, so I knew it was going to be tight getting out there.  We were also meeting the hubby and my Mayor in Atlanta, so rescheduling was really out of the question.  Especially since I had my hubby’s truck keys.  The game itself was a complete gong show.  The other team started head hunting early and we fed into it.  By the end of the second period, more than an hour had elapsed.  Our games Sunday were relatively clean and quick.  This one was not.  In the end, we had to leave early in order to get to O’Hare on time.  Fortunately, we were able to beat the team we lost to on Saturday night, so our squad left Chicago as champions!

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We raced to the airport literally and figuratively.   Fortunately, the lines at security were not too bad.  We ended up having to wait longer for the shuttle from the rental car center than for TSA.  By the time we got to our gate, our flight was starting to board.  It was complete relief once we made it on board.  I texted the hubby our food order from the plane, since he’d be landing in Atlanta about an hour before us.

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We finally started to push back and then we sat.  Apparently, the tarmac was a bit icy, so our bird slid a bit out of position.  Consequently, we had to wait for the ground crew to come back and push us out further.  This was a first for us as travelers.  As a result, we ended up with a ten minute delay, which wasn’t bad.  Our flight was quick and fun.  Goalielocks and I enjoyed dipping our Biscoff cookies in our drinks (coffee with Bailey’s and coke respectively) and playing a word puzzle game on my phone.  The landing into Atlanta was hard and we took a bounce, but the flight was otherwise uneventful.

Thankfully, I had upgraded to comfort seats, so we were just behind first class.  If we had been at the back of the plane, we may have had issues making our connecting flight.  Our plane from Chicago arrived at gate C26 and our flight to Fort Lauderdale was departing from A2.  We booked (don’t worry I didn’t run) as fast as we could through the C terminal and to the tram.   After the tram, we were dodging obliviots that kept stopping in the walk-way to get to our gate quickly.  It was well worth the effort as we were rewarded with familiar faces and some grub.

The flight from ATL to Fort Lauderdale is pretty quick and was uneventful.  We were relieved that all of our luggage arrived in one piece quickly after we had gotten off the plane.  After a forty minute drive, we were home.  It felt amazing to sleep in my own bed.    Meanwhile, Chicago got hit by freezing rain today with over 800 flights cancelled.  We’re glad to be home and in the warmth.    Overall, our weekend was amazing and one that we’ll always look back on fondly!

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New Years Day and Back to Work

No sooner had I left the office Monday night, then it was New Years day and back to work.  Like right back to work.  It felt more like an abbreviated weekend than a holiday, but we made the best of it.  New Years Eve we headed to my brothers for snacks, games and of course champagne.  We even snuck in some shots of Salmiakki.  My mom made some pickle rolls ups, aka Minnesota Sushi, which brought back some great memories of the holidays of my youth.  I haven’t had them since we moved south of the Mason Dixon thirteen years ago! We rushed home after midnight, so as to try to beat the traffic.

The next morning we were going to head down to Fort Lauderdale for brunch, but that ended up being moved to Boca.  This made is a lot easier for us although I love Fort Lauderdale.   My sister-in-law Brandi and her cooking partner Phil made yet again an amazing meal.  They always partner up on Thanksgiving to make a fantastic dinner, so getting to enjoy twice this year was quite nice.  Fortunately, I didn’t include anything about food in my New Year’s resolutions or I would have broken all of them at brunch!

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After brunch, we headed out to South County Park in Boca to go jet skiing.  There is a nice lake behind the amphitheater that is deceivingly large.   There’s not a ton of room by the docks, which keeps it from getting too crowded.  Fortunately, the weather was absolutely sublime lows 80s and some cloud cover to keep it cool.

Our younger two, Goalielocks and the Mayor, were hooked after their first rides.  Once they got on, they didn’t want to get off the jet skis.  Eventually, they had to get off so other people could ride, but they were keen to get back on the water.   Fortunately, both Grandma and Grandpa got a chance to ride the jet skis.   Both of the boys got to drive the jet skis, which they absolutely loved.  Goalielocks is a little more sensible, while the Mayor’s driving style can only be described as “balls to the wall.” I can already sense how much fun we’re going to have teaching him to drive.

After several hours of jet skis and Cornhole, we headed home to get ready for our inevitable return to work on Wednesday.   Shortly thereafter, the Mayor convinced my husband to make Caribbean jerk chicken with black beans and rice.   The kid ate two full plates.  Unquestionably, he has a hollow leg – or so we thought.

He left dinner to take a shower having been on the lake all day.  After about fifteen minutes, he came back out to the family room and announced “I threw up all over the bathroom and I missed both the sink and the toilet.”  Now that my friends takes talent.   Immediately, the hubby and I got up to check him out.  He insisted he was fine having thrown up only because he ate too much too fast with too much milk.

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After making sure he was fine, we headed to the bathroom.  His assessment was spot on. He had in fact thrown up all over our bathroom effectively missing both the toilet and the sink.   I’m not quite sure what happened, but I was relieved he missed the rugs and the dirty clothes he left strewn about the floor.   Thankfully, he was okay and not harboring some insidious stomach bug.   Since I wasn’t feeling well, he cleaned up the projectile mess.  He’s the real hero!

And just like that in the blink of an eye,  we went to bed and got up for work like nothing had changed……. Our Tuesday holiday was quickly over and it was back to reality.

 

 

You Know You’re A Hockey Mom When….

You know you’re a hockey mom when Monday brings a respite from the hectic weekend.  Yeah, that’s right.  Today’s case of the MondayA brought a restful peace absent from my insane weekend.  It’s a diametric shift in the way you think for sure.  Who knew perusing emails and reviewing data could be so peaceful. 43951525_995802547265872_7100467683530899456_o

Our weekend was insane from the start.  I began my weekend with Goalielocks and the Mayor finding the perfect outfit for a quince and bar mitzvah respectively.    Shopping with boys is not for the faint at heart or the impatient.  We had the dressing rooms on lock for over an hour much to the chagrin of our fellow shoppers.  Nonetheless, we were successful.  Of course, Colin asked to check out to shoe store in the mall for some new Adidas before my wallet was even back in my purse – about that…

Saturday morning started early with the Mayor having to be at the rink by 9:00 am.  Goalielocks and I drove separately as we had to leave midway through the game for the Purple Stride meeting.  The Mayor’s first game, at least what we were able to see, was fantastic.  He scored an awesome goal, which thanks to poor vision and marked up glass I didn’t get a clear view on it.  Fortunately, the rink has video and I was able to pull down the video later.  Admittedly, I had to film it in slo-mo on my iPhone, so I could see it.

We left half way through the second to head to the Purple Stride meeting at Lucky’s Italian Market in Coral Springs. Once the Purple Stride meeting ended, we headed to Kohl’s to get him dress shoes to accompany his quince outfit.   We definitely had differing opinions over shoes, but he quickly realized comfort over form would win the day.  Goalielocks was a bit disappointed we didn’t have time to get to the mall, but the promise of a Pub sub won him over.

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The Mayor’s second game was a hard-fought contest, but in the end they came up a goal short.  We headed home so Goalielocks could shower.  While we drove the Mayor came into some Panthers’ tickets.  While I dropped Goalielocks off at the quince, the hubby and my Mayor headed to the Panthers’ game.  When all was said and done, we picked up Goalielocks just after 1:00 am and got to bed around 2:00 am.  This weekend left us exhausted.

Here’s some key hockey mom identifiers:

You know you’re a hockey mom when….

Monday is a restful day

Your dog’s crate smells better than your car or garage

$700 is a lot for a pair of shoes, but too little for a goalie helmet

Someone asks you your age and you give them your birth year

You yell at the zebra, but you’re not at the zoo

You’re on a first name basis with local urgent cares and ERs

You online shop at Pure Hockey, Hockey Monkey and Hockey Giant

You bring a megaphone to the rink.. oh wait, that’s just that one psycho hockey mom…..

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween to all the ghosts and goblins in the blogosphere!  I hope you had a delightfully ghoulish day and an equally fantastic night.  I love the fun of Halloween.  At work, there are several people that go all out with amazing costumes and creations.  Unquestionably, I admire their creativity and bravery.  Not only do they dress up, but these guys go into character.  I mean, I can wear a costume, but it is tough to get into character.

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One of my co-workers, our marketing guru, goes hog wild for Halloween. Every year he pulls off a wildly different and authentic costume.  Last year, he was John Lennon.  This year, he was the Godfather.  As is the case every year, he absolutely nailed it!  His officer was awesomely decorate with all the accouterments one would expect from the Don on the day of his daughter’s wedding.  Twinkies, poker chips, beverages, music, playing cards and framed music.  Everything about the execution, pun intended, of his character and his office was absolutely pitch perfect.  Undoubtedly, he has inspired me and my leadership team to up our game next Halloween.

At Zumba, Halloween is always a fun week as I breakout Michael Jackon’s Thriller.  The girls and I love dancing to a little MJ.  It’s a nice change of pace from the usual Zumba music.  Not to mention, its a bit nostalgic.  I think we all remember when the Thriller video debuted.  It was incredible.  There’s nothing like it on MTV today, which is a shame.

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Meanwhile on the home front, Jake’s spending his Halloween at work.  Goalielocks went to a friend’s house for a party and trick or treating.  Lastly, the Mayor reluctantly went trick or treating.  I couldn’t believe he didn’t want to go!  I remember growing up we’d go as far as we could to get as much candy as possible.  It wasn’t always easy because the weather in Minnesota was bitterly cold and snowy.  Nevertheless, we’d make my mom take us miles and miles.  Halloween was all about getting the biggest candy hull possible.  Apparently, that isn’t the case with today’s kids.  If I were a kid now, I’d go to every house in my neighborhood not just our loop.

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Lastly, as the trick or treaters wind down, we’ll start binge watching the second season of Stranger Things.  Can I tell you how excited I am to be current on the “hot show?”  I mean, we just finished “Big Love” like a year ago and that’s been off the air for over six years.  Amazingly, the entire family is into this show.  The hubby and I love it because it reminds us of the movies of our youth.  It’s like the awesomeness of ET, Goonies, Stand By Me all in one.  Not to mention the soundtrack is amazing.  Moreover, the girl that plays Eleven is simply incredible.  It is some of the best acting you’ll see bar none.  She’s amazing!  I won’t post spoilers here because that will ruin the fun for others.  Meanwhile, I’m happy to be starting season 2 tonight.

Was there ever as doubt as to tonight’s music video?  I thought not… Enjoy MJ’s epic Thriller

Be the Reason

Be The Reason

Be the reason someone smiles today! Regardless of how you feel, choose to rise above the fray.  Indeed, choose to be kind, choose to be sincere, and choose to champion the beautiful people in your life.  Lastly, wishing the blogosphere a very Happy (and sinus infection free) Tuesday!

When Life Happens

As we get older, leave college, get a job, get married, etc, we quickly settle into our routine.  When life happens it is easy to lose our creativity.   We become so busy that the creative outlets of our your get pushed aside.   Here’s the problem with all of that.  Our creative outlets be it writing, photography, painting or singing not only relieve stress, but they stoke the creative fire of our minds.  Even creative outlets, like painting for me, that are sources of painful reminders of art class failures can stoke that creative fire while healing the soul.

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When we let our creative self go dormant, our thinking becomes constrained.  We get stuck in the rut of life and the rat race.  The issues is you don’t know what has been lost until it has been rediscovered.  As a matter of dealing with grief, I started this blog and began writing again.  The consequence is the way I think and approach the world is changing.  It is broadening with my creative outlets and I’m finding myself thinking more creatively and productively about the challenges I face at work or home.

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Note about the pictures:  I picked the pictures of Jake for this post because of the creative composition of both poses.  I took the the featured image was on Mt. Ulricken in Bergen during this trip.  Jake’s best friend took the photo on the stairs in Venice.  The painting was my second attempt at paint and sip with Debbie and family.  I redid the Eifle Tower about 80 times, but it still looks like a rocket ship.  I took the last photo while on the boat in Flam.

Live and Let Die

Paul McCartney sang 39 songs on Friday night as he opened the second leg of his One on One 2017 tour here in Miami.  He was amazing. I’m already scheming to try and see him again in September, hey a girl can hope….

One of the most amazing performances of the evening was Live and Let Die.  The second to last song before the encore, Live and Let Die was a thrilling, adrenaline filled experience including the pyrotechnics.  The band’s performance was absolutely savage.  I had to keep reminding myself that he’s in his 70s….  I pray that when I am in my mid-70s, I am that youthful, agile and energetic.  Paul is an absolute beast.

Our Night With Sir Paul McCartney

Last night’s Paul McCartney concert was one of the most incredible, amazing, wonderful experiences I have had to date and honestly those superlatives don’t describe the night adequately.  A living legend, whose talents are as timeless as he is, put on a show many half his age couldn’t muster.  I grew up listening to the Beatles, their subsequent solo projects and the music they inspired (like jangle rock), so his music has been a significant part of the soundtrack of my life.  When I danced with my father at my wedding, it was to the Beatles’ In My Life.  (Yes, I realize it is a John song.)

He recounted many amazing moments he witnessed throughout his career.  Including how Jimi Hendrix played Sgt. Pepper’s at his concerts a mere two days after it was released. While that in itself is impressive, the best part of the story was how after using the banger bar Jimi’s guitar was out of tune and he started calling out for Eric.  That Eric was Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix was trying to call him up on stage to tune his guitar.

For my son, this was the chance to see an icon and one of his musical heroes.  He could guess the song based on the guitar they handed Paul.  He was thrilled when Paul opened the show with a Hard Day’s Night and even noticed when he ended You Won’t See Me with the song’s opening chord. Paul played songs from across his career including the earliest song recorded by the Beatles, which Jacob knew right away as In Spite of Danger a Quarryman song.

More videos and stories to follow tomorrow.