Big Weekend

It was a big weekend for us with Goalielocks turning 18 yesterday. I can’t believe how fast time has flown by. Honestly, it feels like I was just 18. Now my second child is an adult and I’m at a loss for where time has gone. Does one blink and their kids suddenly become adults? I’m barely an adult myself.

Before we celebrated his birthday, the Hubby and I spent night down at the Hard Rock having fun and watching Metallica. We had an amazing evening with our besties John and Hanh. We love them so much. They’re not just our friends, but our family. Anyway, Metallica has long been a bucket list concert for me, so this was a special evening. Unsurprisingly, they lived up the the hype. They are absolutely incredible live. The setlist was great. I loved that they played Sad But True, Nothing Else Matters and Enter Sandman. I will be seeing them live again.


We also got to spend the night in the Guitar Hotel, which was also awesome. The bed was incredibly comfortable. Obviously, we didn’t spend too much time there, but it was a nice space. Before heading down to the concert, we definitely took a picture of the room number. This way we wouldn’t forget it in event we over did the free drinks in the casino. For a concert, Hard Rock Live is a great venue. There are several restaurants and bars in close proximity, which makes celebrating before and after concerts quite easy.

We celebrated Goalielocks birthday today. The Hubby grilled some ribs and potatoes and onions. We got him a cookie cake. Meanwhile, I made a rustic French tart because it’s yummy. We couldn’t celebrate yesterday because the Mayor’s hockey games and Homecoming. Last night was the first and last Homecoming for Goalielocks. Hard to believe he’s 18 and a senior in high school. I’m still waiting on pictures from the event, but hopefully I’ll have some to share with you all soon. It’s been a great big weekend. Hopefully, our week is just a great. Oh wait a second, Goalielocks just sent me some pictures!

Celebrating Melly

Yesterday was all about acclimating to the altitude and celebrating Melly and her 20th birthday. It was fun to have everyone together here in Utah to celebrate with her. We started our day with a nice pancake breakfast in her honor. In fact, we even got to test the AirBnB’s smoke alarms courtesy of the pound of bacon the Hubby cooked.

After breakfast, we headed to Kohl’s to pick up some hiking boots for the boys and a new suitcase for Melly. Goalielocks had forgotten to pack his boots, while the Mayor had outgrown his old pair. While at Kohl’s I found the perfect opal bracelet for Melly. My parents, my hubby and I, Jake and Melly, and Goalielocks and Isa all started dating in October, so I bought both girls a piece of opal jewelry for their birthday. Jake treated us to Chick-Fil-a before we headed to the mall.

We spent the afternoon chilling at the AirBnb. Before we headed to dinner, we played a rousing and endless game of Uno. Apparently, they added a shuffle hand card with the new edition. Consequently, it turned Uno into a never ending game. Nonetheless, it was super fun.

For dinner, we headed to Tokyo Station in downtown Ogden. It’s a hibachi restaurant that happens to be the only one locally that has yum yum sauce. I’m not sure how a hibachi restaurant could function without yum yum sauce. The wait was long since they don’t take reservations, but the food was worth the wait. Most of us has the filet mignon, while Goalielocks and the Mayor had the chicken and shrimp pairing.

After dinner we headed back to the AirBnB to have birthday cake and play games. I had bought a cheesecake for Melly while we were out and about. Additionally, I had some super cute candles delivered with the cake. The card game was a ton of fun although the name escapes me at the moment. This morning we’re headed over to Snow Basin on the east side of the mountains.

Happy Birthday Hubby!

Join me in wishing my hubby a very happy birthday! Today we chilled at home, which was nice. I’ve been a bit under the weather, in addition to the broken toe. Also, the Mayor was exposed to Covid last week, so today wasn’t a day to paint the town the red. (“Paint the town red,” what a brilliant bromide.) It really was a nice, low key day at home.

The hubby smoked a nice pork butt and grilled some yummy ribs. We used the ribs from Butcher Box for the first time today. While the ribs were tasty, they were pretty fatty. Moreover, some pieces had a lot of cartilage on them. Nevertheless, they tasted amazing. We also had some of the Hubby’s amazing grilled potatoes. Additionally, I air fried up some home made french fires. The food was awesome!! As was the company, since my brother was able to join us for lunch.

The Mayor tested negative on the rapid home test, but I still took him to Urgent Care tonight for a PCR test. Obviously, it’s never a fun time waiting at the Urgent Care, but the waiting room was mildly entertaining. First of all, the guy that came in immediately after us was looking to be seen because he got Palmolive (yes, the dish soap) in his eye. Given his conversation with the front desk, he’s definitely a frequent flyer. He was quite the character.

Secondly, a mom and her teen daughter came j for a Covid test. The daughter had two positive home tests and was coming in for the PCR. Wh they were in the waiting room, the mom called her daughter’s boss to tell him she wouldn’t been into work tomorrow. Moms, dads, guardians of the universe don’t do your kids dirty work. If they’re old enough to hold a job, they’re old enough to tell their boss they have Covid and can’t come in. #helicoptermom

I was also finally able to get my toe checked out by a doctor. Unfortunately, the urgent care (like many others) is short staffed and did not have an X-ray tech on staff today. Nevertheless, I was able to have a doctor evaluate it and re-wrap it. It’s broken, but I’ll go back tomorrow to have X-rays taken of my toe and foot. For the interim, the boot is back to ensure I don’t flex or bend the toe injuring it further.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I’m reading Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel.

*I still can’t run because my toe. It feels like deja vu.

*This morning I made homemade cookies and cream and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. For the Hubby’s birthday, we had ice cream sandwiches.

*We’re tracking the Tropics here in Florida. The tropics are heating up again. Hurricane Ida slammed into Louisiana today at a Cat 4 storm. That is a scary!

*The Hubby picked up coffee for me today since I was not feeling great this morning.

* I watched the live Safaris on YouTube today. The safaris absolutely inspire me. The vistas are extraordinary and the animals wondrous. I simply have to see it in person!

*For dinner, we had bbq ribs, potatoes, baked beans and brags. It was awesome!

*The word of the day and it is excellence. I had an interesting conversation on the topic over the weekend. The thing about excellence is that it should come intrinsically. One shouldn’t be reliant on outside influences to find excellence.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a. I put on his harness every morning. Otherwise, I have difficulty controlling him on the leash. He’s incredible strong and can pull me off balance.

Happy Birthday Mom!!!

Let me start off this blog by wishing my mom a very happy birthday! Honestly, I wish we could be there to celebrate and with her a happy birthday in person. Hopefully, we’ll get to Minny sometime soon. Fortunately, they’ll be joining us on our trip west this fall to visit Jake.

As I celebrate mom’s birthday today , I’m reminded of precious years’ celebrations. Perhaps my favorite is when we celebrated her birthday as an entire family in Flam. It was wonderful seeing her sit between her mom and wonderful sister. Their smiles were boundless. Truly, it was a trip of a lifetime. I’ll never forget sharing this trip with my kids, my parents and my grandma. I’m also looking forward to returning to Norway.



Today was a great day for many reasons. First, we get to celebrate my mom – she’s awesome. Secondly, my friend and former employee (who I consider family) got great news today. His CT showed that the chemo is working! Hallelujah! I would, however, ask that you keep my friend B in your prayers. Lastly, I carried this positive energy with me all day at work. I freaking killed it today!

During lunch, I hung with the dogs and watch the ducks (Bitey 1 and 2) enjoy the mangos our tree dropped. Fortunately, the ducks didn’t find the mangos until after I took the dogs out. Before heading back to work, I spent some time meditating in legs up the wall pose to refocus for the rest of the day. This helps me expel the stress and energy of the morning. Consequently, Anakin tried to join me, which always makes me giggle.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read Demons, by Dostoevsky. I am really enjoying this book so far.

*I absolutely slayed my day at work! That’s three days in a row!

*I ran 1.5 miles and walked a mile. Instead of working out in the morning, I decided to run after work. 

*The family and I are back to watching Thirty Rock. We’ve now moved on to season six.

*I made a new beef tips recipe in the Instant Pot tonight. It was super yummy!

*My favorite surprise on the underwater cams, I watch during work, is seeing an octopus. Today I watched the safari cam, which never disappoints.

*There were big thunderstorms today all afternoon. I really need to look into a surge protector for my work equipment.

*Today’s word of the day is self. I love to recenter myself before heading into the second half of my day.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Did I mention I hate gnats, flies, and mosquitos? Thankfully, the fly traps arrived today. Emphatically, I’m absolutely sick of those little buggers.

Twenty-One and Father’s Day

Twenty-one and Father’s Day are the two big milestones we’re celebrating today. Of course, I’m also celebrating the fact that 21 years ago I was blessed to become a mother. Motherhood is an extraordinary gift, but being a mom to Jake goes beyond any earthly blessing I’ve ever received. When he was born, we were kids ourselves. He’s been our ride and die from day one. How lucky are we? Now he’s grown up and carving out an amazing future for himself in the military. Sadly, we’re not able to be with him today due to COVID19, but we’re together in spirit. Jake had wanted to share his first legal beer in the US with his dad, but the timing was a bit off. Fortunately, Jake was able to drink a beer with his dad while we were in Norway.

For twenty-one years Jake has been the center of our universe. I remember the day he arrived as if it was yesterday. My doctor was on vacation during the 38th week of my pregnancy. She made me promise that I would not go into labor until after 5:00 pm on June 20th. Fortunately, Jake and I were very compliant patients and my water broke at 1:10 am on the 21st. I figured that I’d end up needed a c-section like my mom, so you can imagine my surprise when he was born later that morning. From the minute he arrived, he was so sweet and loving. I was lucky that he was my first baby because he was so easy. Actually, his brothers are lucky that he was such an easy baby. If he had been like them as a baby, Jake may have ended up being an only child.

Jake’s First Day of Kindergarten
Last hug before Jake left for BMT

Jake changed our whole family’s world in ways that we never could have anticipated. You always have a certain perspective of your parents and then you become a parent and that perspective changes. Then you get to see them as grandparents, which is an awesome role. Jake was blessed with six grandparents, five great grandparents, and a great great grandmother when he was born. He was also blessed with aunts and uncles that have played a pivotal role in his life. In fact, they still play a pivotal role in his life. He was also blessed to spend a lot of time with his Great Grandma T as she babysat him while I was in school. To this day, they remain thick as thieves. Their relationship is a special gift.

My Parents’ Birthday greeting for Jake

Naturally, we were sad we couldn’t be there to celebrate his golden birthday with him. I assure you, however, that we’ll celebrate his birthday and his accomplishments when we see him again. When will that be you ask, I don’t know. He’s still in tech school and from there will move on to his base. Due to COVID, there are some regulations on the troops’ movements, so we’re playing it by ear. It’s a bit insane. Fortunately, my time as a hockey mom has prepared me well for my role as a military mom. I’m sure once he’s operational and traveling, my iteration of military mom will be quite similar to me as a goalie mom. If I had to guess, there will be some high anxiety and stressful moments. Nonetheless, I can’t wait to see him. It’s been great to see his awakening and call to a higher purpose.

While he was busy being awesome in the Air Force, my hubby was spending his Father’s Day working. Since he was working, the boys and I hung out around home with the puppies. I changed my routine a bit, so I went to yoga yesterday instead of today. Consequently, I ran today instead of running yesterday, which gave me an additional day of rest. Naturally, I watched Curb throughout the workout. Fortunately, it was my favorite Curb episode where he accidentally puts the condom on backwards. It is absolutely ridiculously funny. Thankfully, the extra day of rest minimized pain in the foot and maximized my performance. The fun when really well. Originally, I had hoped to run outside this weekend, but with a dew point at 80 that wasn’t going to happen.

After the run, we cleaned up a bit and made sure we had beer and steaks ready for dinner. I made roasted purple onions and potato wedges to go along with homemade cheeseburgers. This was another Blue Apron meal kit dinner and it was awesome. The recipe was easy to follow and mighty tasty. While I worked on the burgers, the hubby fired up the grill for the steaks I had bought. This was the easiest way to ensure that the hubby and Goalielocks would have enough red meat to leave them satiated. Meanwhile, the Mayor continues to be picking and unwilling to try new foods. Goalielocks and the Mayor have undergone a complete role reversal on this issue. Just when my picky eater starts to be an adventurous eater, my adventurous eater decides to be a picky eater. I can’t win to lose.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskells

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*Gentle Flow with Jenn at Open Heart Yoga

*Thought of ways to incorporate the word cove into my blog.

*Took obligatory picture of Anakin!

*Watched a ripple in a puddle

*Obedience training Anakin

*Week 5 BBG 2.0 day 7 run!!!

*Took Anakin, Maya and Athena out for a walk

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My Baby Boy Is 14

Oh man, my baby boy is 14! Where oh where has time gone. Clearly, he’s no longer a baby. However, since he’s my youngest, he’ll always be my baby boy. Today was all about him and of course virtual school. His birthday brought a nice celebratory feel to the day, which was a nice change of pace. He rode with me to get coffee and they were happy to treat him with extra goodies at Dunkin’.

Meanwhile day two of weaning Goalielocks off the third shift was again successful. I can feel the difference in my blood pressure, my outlook and genera well being. Likewise it’s going better for Goalielocks too. He’s getting his work done, but he’s also getting more sleep. Truly, he may not be on the most conventional of schedules now, but it’s working for everyone and that’s all that matters. After all, I haven’t even lost my composure since Monday!

As for my birthday boy, he’s made great strides over the last week. He’s now almost completely caught up in of his classes. Thankfully, he’s also making sure he’s not falling any further behind. Additionally, I think it’s easier for him since we’re no longer sharing a computer. He now has my old MacBook Air, which he loves. Both boys are doing their work at the kitchen table now unless they have a concurrent Zoom meeting.

While Goalielocks caught some Z’s and the Mayor worked diligently, I logged my BBG week 11 arm workout. It was another tough workout. Obviously, Kayla Itsines felt the need to ramp up the difficulty significantly during these last three weeks. Truth be told, I am loving this program. I have never been stronger or in better shape. After week twelve, I will be repeating the program, but will add more weight to the exercises. BBG fits my lifestyle and fits into the quarantine lifestyle seamlessly.

This afternoon, I picked up the cookie cake I ordered the Mayor from Publix. It was the first opportunity I’ve had to go to Publix in weeks. In the morning, I also ordered them Pub Subs for lunch, so they’d be ready at the same time as the cake. After picking up the subs, I went to the bakery to pick up the cake. I’ve never seen a bigger cake box for a smaller cake. Honestly, the box is large enough for a full sheet cake. Meanwhile his cookie cake is 12 inches in diameter. We also picked up some chocolate ice cream for him and chocolate chip cookie dough for Goalielocks. I love how considerate my Mayor is!

This evening we enjoyed the Mayor’s favorite meal: vodka sauce pasta with breaded chicken. My Hubby was the chef and the dinner was sublime. Of course, we had some drama when the tag team of Anakin and Athena struck the kitchen. Somehow they managed to get into the raw chicken. Fortunately, Anakin promptly through up the entire thing. Naturally, they spent the rest of the dinner hour in their crates.

Afterwards, the Mayor put on Impractical Jokers while we digested our meal. We closed off the night with some yummy cookie cake and ice cream. His present has been on back order and should be here hopefully by Friday. I should also give a shoutout to my oldest brother J, whose shares a birthday with my mayor. After all the good food today, I may need to run an extra mile tomorrow!

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*Reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

*Watched Futurama 

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*Week 11 BBG day 3 arms and chest

*Obedience training Anakin courtesy of myself and the Mayor.  I’ve included some pictures in the above. 

*Took Anakin, Maya and Athena on a walk. 

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Happy Birthday Goalielocks

Happy Birthday Goalielocks!  Today you’re 14 years old and I cannot believe how quickly time has flown by.   You’re a good egg and the perfect panacea to my bad days.  As you grow older, may your heart stay big and loving and may your mind stay open and curious.  Never stop challenging old assumptions or challenging yourself to be better, smarter and stronger than you are today.

“I never want this to go unsaid,
So here in this poem is for it to be said.
There are no words to express how much you mean to me,
A son like you, I thought could never be.
Because the day you were born, I just knew,
God sent me a blessing- and that was you.
For this I thank Him every day.

You are the true definition of a son, in every way.
It is because of you that my life has meaning.
Becoming a mom has shown me a new sense of being.
I want you to know that you were the purpose of my life,
Out of everything I did- it was you that I did right.
Always remember that I know how much you care,
I can tell by the relationship that we share.
For a son like you there could be no other,
And whether we are together or apart,
Please do not ever forget-
You will always have a piece of my heart.”

by Valerie Capasso

Celebrating 18 Years of Jake

Today my oldest turned 18!!!  As I sit here and try to figure out where time has gone, I can’t help but think of how proud I am of the man he has become.   I am also amazed that well he is now 18 years old, I don’t look a day older than the day I delivered him.  Amazing, I know!

JacobinFlorence

The fact that he’s now an adult has thrown me for quite a loop.  Although the benefits are many, I no longer have to pay the unaccompanied minor fee when the boys travel to Minnesota without us.  There’s $150 saved!  He can finally buy a lottery ticket, however, he informed me today he felt his money would be better spent on stocks.  I’ll be referring him to Garth’s new book for some great pointers as he starts his investment journey.

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This evening he brought Alexis to figure skating and she had some great gems for him including this nugget of gold.  He needs to get a better job, so he can drive her in the limo she deserves.  She definitely takes after her dad John.  She also shared her plan to go to college and then get a good job, so she can buy a limo to be driven around in.  I have to say I love her style!

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Jake and his brothers enjoyed a nice dinner Sushi Yama and some Arrested Development.  We had an awesome cake from Menchies with a hodgepodge of number candles after the Mayor failed to deliver his ear wax candle he had promised Jacob earlier.  I’m sure Jacob more than a bit relieved that the Mayor failed to deliver the candle he promised would smell both like a fart and his ear.

 

In a little over two weeks, Jacob and I will head down to Miami to see Paul McCartney.  I’m thrilled that my son’s dream gift was tickets to see one of my idols.  As a Beatles fan since childhood, this concert is a dream for both Jake and I.     Happy birthday Jake!!!!

 

A Simple Gesture Equates to a Magical Birthday for the Mayor

Celebrating the Mayor’s 11th birthday was an all-day affair that was uniquely his own. After our 5k, I called home to see if he wanted his favorite Dunkin Donuts sandwich for breakfast being that it was still only 8:30 and I had to stop to get my coffee. The Mayor, however, had other breakfast plans consisting of a pepperoni pizza Lunchable, which has long been one of his favorite things to eat. Admittedly, I didn’t quite believe my hubby when he told me he was picking the Mayor up a Lunchable for breakfast, so I had Jake call the Mayor who confirmed his breakfast wishes. While my stomach churns at the notion of eating a Lunchable at any hour, I can’t even begin to fathom eating one that early in the morning. The Mayor, as you may recall, still has his iron gut courtesy of the rink floor skittles he enjoyed years before, so the Lunchable for him that early was no big deal.

As soon as I finished showering and eating post-race, the Mayor was ready to get his gift. His mind had been set on a new GoPro, so he could be mic’d up during his games and get some good video. The Mayor is a legendary chirper, so Luke and I were happy to oblige. I cannot wait to see what comes out him wearing this camera during games. Prepare to be entertained. He spent the remainder of his afternoon playing around with the camera outside with Goalielocks.

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The hallmark of his birthday came at hockey later that evening. It is always a good day for the Mayor when he is playing his game. There is nowhere else he would want to be than at the rink playing hockey. The squad had two games back to back in Lake Worth versus the Bulldogs (Estero) and Goldenwolves peewee squads. We had the first game in hand, but gave it back in the 3rd and the game ended in a tie.
The window between game one and two was quite short, but after a hard fought game us parents were worried the kids would be gassed. The coaches, smartly, had a plan up their sleeves. Perhaps the perfect pep talk pregame would be enough to light a fire under the kids and energize them for three more periods of hockey. So who better than Macklemore to give the kids an awesome pregame pep talk to help them get their mindsets ready for the game. As they left the locker room to hit the ice, Macklemore fist bumped each player offering encouraging words.


Would it work? Would the coaches’ plan workout as they had hoped. After 3 periods, 7 goals for and 0 goals allowed, I would say it more than worked. So I had to wonder, can we clone him? Can I bring him to all of Goalielocks’ and the Mayor’s games next year? I don’t think it is particularly unreasonable.

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As the game came to an end and the opposing team made its way back to the locker room, people started to recognize him asking for pictures and he obliged. As the kids took off their gear, the coaches invited him back into the locker room and he gave them another rousing pep talk. The kids, being kids of course, started asking him to sing. In the end the entire locker room, Macklemore included sang happy birthday to the Mayor. Afterwards, Macklemore was kind of enough to pose for a picture with the Mayor. Thereafter, my birthday boy was on cloud nine. The subsequent sleepover replete with a mini-hockey tournament, Sushi Yama (only 3 bags of takeout needed to feed these kids), street hockey and shenanigans were the cherry on top of a wonderful birthday.


It is amazing how the seemingly smallest gesture can have the biggest impact. It doesn’t always take grandiose acts of kindness or love to make people feel special. Sometimes it’s a pep-talk, a picture, a song or a simple compliment that can make a person’s day. The Mayor’s birthday could not have been more special not because of the material gifts he received, but the acts of kindness he received that night from Macklemore. He will always remember that moment as long as he lives and so will I. So when you go to work tomorrow or to the gym, compliment someone. Say or do something nice and see the positive impact you can have on someone else’s day.

11 years – Happy Birthday to the Mayor

11 years…

Boy oh boy, my baby, my Zak-Zak, the Mayor is 11 today.  While it’s completely cliché to say that time has flown by, it would also be completely true.  As a baby, the Mayor channeled his inner 80 year old man.  He was a complete curmudgeon in every sense of the word. And then he hit the dreaded toddler stage and a miracle happened.  He became the happiest, sweetest boy you could ever imagine. He’s still an incredibly happy, sweet boy unless he’s hungry.  If he’s hungry or tired, you should run away and hide….

As the youngest of 3 boys, the Mayor is a tough as they come be it on the ice or in a game of mini hockey.  He was the perfect addition to the family.   From day one, he’s loved his brothers even if Colin wanted to put him back after holding him once.  Colin spent a lot of time in the corner when he was younger, but he was never alone.  The Mayor always had to join him and keep him company.  It was the sweetest thing.

He’s got a zest for life and food that’s unsurpassed.  Since we was young, he could eat pretty much everyone I know under the table while weighing almost nothing.  Yes, I’m completely jealous and I’m still trying to figure out where he puts all the food.  He loves food so much that when the boys first started skating at Skate Zone 7 years ago, he ate skittles off the very dirty floor.  The hubby and I were convinced he’d end up in the ER that night with a serious stomach bug.  Much to our delight, he didn’t get sick and in fact hasn’t had a stomach bug since that day.  I’m pretty sure he’s got an iron gut and probiotics for life off those dirty skittles.

Hockey is his life and it has been since 2006.  For his 3rd birthday, he proudly rocked his Minnesota Wild jersey as he enjoyed his hockey themed cake.  He played his first hockey game when he was 4 years old as a defensemen in front of his big brother Goalielocks.  Nobody was allowed to touch his brother.  In the years since, he’s enjoyed the travel hockey life and the friendships that come with it.  He is a rink rat through and through.

His heart is as big as his appetite and I’m so proud to call him mine.  Today we celebrate him.   Please help me wish the Mayor a very happy 11th birthday and his birthday buddy (my brother Justin) a very happy birthday.