Homeward Bound

After a wonderful weekend in Chicago, we’re homeward bound. We got a very early start to our day with a 5:00 wake up call. The Mayor’s game was out in West Dundee and after several inches of snow, we needed to leave even earlier. Consequently, we hit the road at 5:30 hoping that would provide adequate time to get there by 6:10.

Unfortunately, it did’t. Admittedly, I got spoiled when living in Minny as they truly do a great job clearing the roads quickly. Illinois could use a lesson or two from Minny on clearing the roads. While the storm had started in the early evening hours on Sunday nights, the interstate was still a mess when we hit the road this morning.

Not for nothing, winter driving is one of the biggest reasons I wanted to move out of Minny. I absolutely abhor driving in the snowy and icy conditions. Clearly, I don’t have the nerves nor the stomach for it. Nonetheless, I survived driving through the snow and ice.

Back to hockey, both boys were playing in the semis this morning. The Mayor’s team lost a heart breaker of a game, but they played with so much heart. Unfortunately, due to the timing of their games and the road conditions, I missed Goalielocks’ game.

I didn’t think in a million years I could have made it there for more than a period. However, the game was a complete train wreck with numerous stoppages. In fact, even though I would have made it to the rink an hour after it started, I still would have caught half a game. The crazy part is these games are only supposed to take an hour…. This one took considerably longer.

As much as I hate driving in the snow, it was absolutely beautiful this morning. After their games, the kids headed outside to play in the snow with their teammates. They had an absolute blast. Fortunately, the weather was absolutely perfect for playing outside with temperatures in the low to mid 20s.

Once they finished playing outside, we packed up the room so we could grab lunch with our friends. It was no surprise that Goalielocks wanted to head back to Giordano’s. In fact, I was totally on board too since eating the deep dish pizza would likely keep us full for the rest of the day.

While our teams didn’t make the finals and the hockey didn’t go as we hoped, I’m leaving Chicago with a heart full of love and gratitude. I’m extremely thankful to be able to share these experiences with the kids and with my dear friend Jen. Seeing Jen and her family absolutely made my weekend. There’s nothing better than a dear friend, who loves you no matter where you are in life. A friend that sticks by your side through thick and thin. Moreover, even though you may not talk everyday you know they’re in your corner. Love you to the moon and back my sister from another mister!!!!

We’re presently cruising around 36,000 feet heading south to Atlanta before heading to Florida. The Mayor is enjoying a movie, while Goalielocks has been watching highlights from yesterday’s Vikings game. There’s no studying happening, so hopefully that means they did their work already. Meanwhile, I’m here blogging away on my iPhone.

I’ll close out tonight’s blog with how much we enjoyed our time in Chicago. The people, the service, the food was all incredible. From the moment we got to the rental car counter at Hertz until we pushed back tonight, we were met with nothing but kindness from the people of Chicago. The only nasty people we came across were crazy hockey mom and grandmas from other states. We, of course, were on our best behavior. Seriously, Chicago and its people were amazing to us this weekend!

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Skol Vikings!!!

Skol Vikings!!! Holy cannoli Batman that was a nail biter of a game between my Vikes and the Saints today. Jen and I were biting our nails as we followed the live updates on the Score. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a time delay on the app. So we were a bit behind.

Fortunately, text messages from my hubby, the family group text and Chuckles and Roman kept us updated timely. Honestly, when C&R texted holy cow, what a catch, touchdown, I thought they were messing with me. (It’s not hard to do.) I was in disbelief until my hubby and the family group text confirmed the good news.

Truly it was a game that entertained the masses while giving Minnesota fans a heart attack. I was commiserating the Vikings impending doom with my hubby via text and Jen as watched Goalielocks’ game. When she said, “maybe there’ll be a miracle.” I replied as any hardened Vikings fan would, “miracles don’t happen to us.” Only this time it did thanks to our Keenum led offense and Diggs’ amazing catch.

Aside from the Vike’s amazing win tonight, my boys had four games at two rinks across town. Consequently, I’m utterly exhausted and not looking forward to a 5:00 am wake up and an early morning drive through the snow. Goalielocks’ Team was 2-0 on the day, but I’ll write more about that in a forthcoming post on instant karma.

Meanwhile, the Mayor’s team went 1-1 on the day. The Mayor notched two goals today scoring one in each of the games. In fact, he scored the only goal for his team in the morning game. Both boys’ teams have moved onto the semis bright and early tomorrow. I’ll likely miss the start of Goalielocks’ game.

Lastly, the boys are really loving the Chicago area. Unfortunately, it looks like we won’t be able to make it downtown tomorrow due to games. However, today I introduced Goalielocks to deep dish pizza. After their morning game, we went with friends to Giordano’s. Goalielocks and I shared a pepperoni deep dish pizza that was to die for. In his words, “it was the best pizza he had ever eaten!” Moreover, he wants to go back for more tomorrow.

Of course, the plus side is the pizza really fills you up. You really don’t need to eat too much the rest of the day after having that. Even after we got back to the hotel after Goalielocks’s game, I was still full.

I should also mention that it has started to snow here in Chicago, which makes awesome driving – said nobody ever!!! My boys though are loving the weather. In contrast, I’m praying for an early end to the snow and for the roads to be clear tomorrow morning when we leave. I’m off to bed as we have a very early wake up call tomorrow morning.

Game Day in Chicago

It was game day in Chicago for the Mayor and Goalielocks. Moreover, it was a cold game day in Chicago. It was so cold, in fact, that I got to break out my Dale of Norway sweater. Thank god for that sweater as it kept me completely comfortable all day long. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a great photo (my eyes are closed per usual), but you can clearly see the sweater. Also, I totally forgot how I hate static cling. It simply isn’t something we have to contend with in Florida.

The day started out with a nice win for Goalielocks and his squad. Additionally, it was a great start to the day for me as I quickly found a Dunkin’ Donuts in close vicinity to the rink. #winning

Fortunately, all of our games today were at the same rink. In fact, I lucked out as The Mayor’s game was right after Goalielocks’ game. Best of all, I was able to watch the first two games with my bestie from highschool and her kids. We had such a great time, I forgot to take a pic of us! Ugh!

At the beginning of the Mayor’s game, we had some yummy pizza up in the rink’s restaurant/bar. It was super good. Fortunately, the puck luck bounced our way as the opponents inadvertently buried a pass in their net. 1-0 good guys!

Ultimately, the Mayor’s team won in a much more physical than expected game. In fact, it was so chippy that the refs didn’t allow the teams to shake hands for fear an altercation would break out.

Tonight’s game was a complete s@&t show. The first period was pretty good until the train derailed with a bad goal. Let me clear by bad goal, I mean a goal that didn’t actually cross the goal line. It hit the front crossbar went up before landing next to Goalielock’s butt.

Unfortunately, that errant goal derailed the game for our boys. After that moment, the refs grew increasingly belligerent and intolerable. It was clear they had a chip on their shoulders after being questioned on the goal. Honestly, it was the worst officiated game I have ever seen.

Our boys literally spent have their game in the box. While some of the calls were legit, most were outright ridiculous. For example, one of our guys would get boarded and we’d get the penalty. Meanwhile, the other team spent 90% of their time on the power play. In fact, outside of the errant goals all of their goals were scored while on the power play. Take the errant goal and power plays out of the picture and you have a much different game.

Post-game the boys, the parents and coaches were extremely upset. To give to an idea of how bad it truly was, consider that parents/coaches of our rivals from Florida felt compelled to speak with the tournament organizers about how bad it was. Another parent that witnessed the game, from another team, was also compelled to speak to the tournament staff about the officiating.

Life isn’t fair, I get that, but it is a long freaking way to travel to get bent over by the refs! Now it’s time for bed, we have a mere 4 games at two different rinks tomorrow. We will be exhausted by the time Monday rolls around. P.S. nobody needs to tell my podiatrist about kicking the boards…..

We Made It

After two flights and a pit stop at MacDonald’s in Detroit, we finally made it to Chicago! This was my first time back in O’Hare since middle school. I remember the terminal walkways looked much bigger and much newer back then. Now it’s not so big and fancy compared to some of the newly remodeled airports.

Admittedly, I don’t eat MacDonald’s often. If I’m eating MacDonald’s, it’s either a desperation play or vodka made me do it. Today it was a desperation play as we didn’t have too much time between flights.

What a freaking mistake that was! I’m still feeling it! I ordered the artisan grilled chicken sandwich because calorie wise it was semi reasonable and it looked more gratifying than a single cheese burger. Wrong!

I was so hungry having totally forgotten to eat breakfast as we rushed to the airport. Despite this crazy level of hungry bordering on hangry, I couldn’t finish the sandwich. It was truly the one of the most vile things I have ever eaten.

Honestly, I would have been better off eating the soles of my shoes because they would have been less rubbery. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure they stole the rubber chicken from Carrot Top’s prop box and made into my sandwich. If I were him, I’d be mad that his prop was sacrificed for a subpar imitation chicken sandwich.

Now here we are in the Marriott seven hours later and my stomach is still angry with that sandwich. This is why I’m not going to be eating at Macdonald’s again sober. My sandwich today evoked memories of the horrific school lunches they served in elementary.

Meanwhile, my boys feel that the current Chicago weather is nice and comfortable. It’s been a battle since we landed to get them to put on jackets, pants, gloves, etc. “It’s not cold mom.” Yeah, my arse it isn’t cold. I’m looking forward to rehashing this argument tomorrow as we leave for the rink bright and early.

Tomorrow will be a busy day with three games and two team functions. Fortunately, the games are all at the same arena tomorrow. Sunday on the other hand will be a complete disaster. It should be an interesting day as I attempt to make all games in different arenas across town! I’m heading to bed hoping that the nausea caused by that blasted rubber chicken sandwich will be gone tomorrow. Over and out from Chicago!

Chicago Bound

We are Chicago bound, via DTW, for a weekend of hockey. For the first time, the Mayor and Goalielocks are playing at the same out of state tournament. Well, at least this month….

Our flight left out of Chicago on an older formerly Northwest 757-200. Consequently, the bird evokes memories of flying on Northwest out of Minneapolis. For several years, Northwest was really the only game in town for us Minnesotans. While Delta now has most of the airport, there are several other options for flying in and out of MSP. Fortunately, they have a number of low costs carriers flying into MSP, which has somewhat helped lower the cost of flying into Minneapolis.

We just flew over the Appalachian mountains minutes ago and are rapidly approaching Ohio. In less than an hour, we should be wheels down in DTW where will catch our connecting flight to Chicago! Unfortunately, we’ll be pulling into gate 66 and will have to head to gate 6. Should be a fun dash!

I packed several snacks for the flight including almonds, gourmet marshmallows, little bites and Twizzlers. At this point, I’m fairly certain the only items left will be the almonds! This is in spite of the fact we all just enjoyed some yummy Biscoff cookies. As an aside, the cinnamon churro marshmallows are ridiculously delicious!

I’ll post a song of the day in a later post as this bird’s WiFi is not super strong!

Priorities

Priorities – everybody has them, but we’re not always effective in prioritizing our lives or sticking to those priorities.  At the beginning of every new year, people around the world set resolutions and intentions for the forthcoming year.  Consequently, in January that gym is absolutely full.  Not to worry fellow gym rats, in the coming months the crowd will thin out.

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The beautiful thing about priorities, when executed right, is that they help keep us on track while living a fulfilling life.  For example, when you make fitness a priority, your more likely to carve at time (even if it is at 5:30 am) for our workout.  This year I’ve  committed to getting stronger.  In order to make that happen, I have to accept that the 5:30 am workouts are here to stay.  With my work schedule and the boys hockey schedule, the early morning workouts are key to meeting my goals.

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I went to spin this morning, which was fabulous.  Of course, it was miserable getting out of bed at 5:00 am, but it was well worth the short term misery.  Since I’ve worked out early morning the last two days, I’ve noticed my mornings at work are much smoother and I’m much happier.  Moreover, I’m more mentally alert.   The only drawback is by early afternoon I desperately need coffee or I’ll fall asleep.

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Post work, I headed over to Burn for aerial yoga with Monica.  Honestly, its a bit more complicated since I have to wear sneakers all the time.  I have to confess that I did take them off for the inversion part of the practice.  Aside from that I had to worry about my sneakers getting caught up on the mat or the hammock.  Like the other classes I’ve taken this week, I had to modify to accommodate my legs.  Confession time: it is super hard to take a decent selfie upside down, but I sure had fun trying!

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Despite the sneaker and tendon issues, aerial yoga was a complete blast.  We had a great crew tonight and shared lots of laughs.  Truly, I love the way the inversions feel in aerial yoga.  Its truly like a weight has been lifted off your back and shoulders.  Each week in class, I can feel myself getting stronger and stronger, which is awesome.  When I first started aerial yoga, I struggled to do a pike.  Now I can do ten pikes without struggling.  There’s nothing better than seeing yourself progress in your practice from week to week.  Its a great feeling!

Tonight’s song performed by Linkin Park is “Castle of Glass.”

I Did It!

I Did It!

I did it!  I actually made it to a 5:30 am class this morning at Burn.  This morning’s class was circuit burn led by Duane as Amanda was off today.  Once the class started, I felt pretty good, but it was a hard start for me.  Unfortunately, I still need to modify things for the tendonitis, so I lost some of the workout’s voracity today.  I have to say that’s the most frustrating thing in all of this.  Not only can I not run, but I can’t give my other classes 100%.  Now I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right, it’s a short-term struggle to preserve the long-term.

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Afterwards I felt alive, accomplished and away, which is highly unusual for me at the 6:00 hour.  It was less of a struggle to get the kids out the door and I didn’t need my coffee to feel awake. Well, at least in the morning.  The need for my afternoon coffee came a little bit earlier than usual, but that’s to be expected.  I’m sure I’ll pass out early tonight with such an early wake up call this morning.  Nevertheless, this is definitely a habit I am going to keep.

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Consequently, I did notice that Barre was a bit harder or me tonight after having done a circuit class this morning.  I’m not sure if that’s because I’m mentally tired or because my body had enough at that point.  Clearly, it’s a tbd.  Once I figure it out, you can bet I’ll let you know.  Additionally, much like in the morning class,  I was getting frustrated with my limitations.  I need to get over it quickly as getting my tendons healthy and fully functional is my absolute priority.

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I’m going to try and make to spin tomorrow morning at 5:30 as it would be the perfect way to start my day.   I am logging as many workouts as I can before we leave for the hockey tournament. Unfortunately,  I don’t think it will be feasible to workout given the boys’ schedules although I would love to do so.  I guess I can make my doctor happy by finally giving it a rest. After all, in a couple of weeks I will get back to undulating in my Zumba class four times a week!

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Nonetheless, today was a victory for my 2018 intentions and resolutions.  2018 is all about discipline and living in gratitude.  Speaking of which, I’m super excited about being a buddy at the Night To Shine even sponsored by the Tim Tebow foundation.  This event is all about giving special needs teens and young adults a chance to enjoy their prom.  Additionally, as a buddy we get to serve as a chaperone for the night ensuring they have the time of their life.  What could be better than that?  As an added bonus, we get to dress up for prom.  It’s only been a couple of years (or decades) since I graduated, so it will be fun.

Tonight’s song, in honor of my forthcoming return to Zumba, performed by Celia Cruz is “La Vida Es Un Carnaval.”  Celia Cruz is one of my favorite salsa singers.   She is an absolute music legend.   I hope you enjoy her music as much I as do.

 

Brilliant Combinations

When it comes to brilliant combinations, you may not think about designer dressed with sneakers.  Since I’m unable to wear heels or any other shoes except for tennis shoes, I’ve had to pair my BCBG dresses and nice jackets with my kicks.  Now I love my Asics, they’re the best running shoes around.  I just don’t love the dress and kicks look.

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It is reminiscent of when I worked in the insurance industry in Minnesota.  In the winter, I would wear boots or somewhat sensible shoes into the office.  Consequently, when I got to the office, I’d put on my stilettos.  Stilettos on the ice are a sure-fire way to break your back, hip or head.  Fortunately, there’s no ice or snow to contend with here.  Unfortunately, that just makes my shoes look like a grand fashion faux pas.  I have to keep reminding myself it is only temporary.

Last night, I went to spin class, which my tendons tolerated pretty well.  Admittedly, I had to modify my ride to accommodate the injury.  For example, instead of going into 2nd or 3rd, I would stay in the saddle.  I was able to ride in 2nd position for a while, but I had to be judicious about it because too much time or resistance in that position resulted in discomfort.

Tonight I went to yoga.  Let me tell you, yoga in running shoes is pretty darn clunky.  It would have been hard to do a flow class in my kicks.   I found that I couldn’t get into my arm balances as my shoes kept getting caught up in the mat.  Oh well, it is a small price to pay for fully recovered tendons (hopefully soon!)  Fortunately, my instructors at Burn have been amazing in helping me modify moves in the classes to protect my legs.  Rather than do a flow class, Monica led an amazing stretch class.  It was exactly what I needed.

Since I’m headed to Chi-Town on Friday, I’m trying to get some great workouts in before I go.   My new year’s resolution was to start attending the 5:30 am classes at Burn.  Thus far, I’m 0-3.  After tomorrow morning, I intend to be 1-3.  Tomorrow morning is a circuit burn class, which is the same class I attend on Saturdays.  My teacher, Amanda, is freaking phenomenal.  Not only does she make sure we’re all maintaining our forms, she’s quick to provide modifications for those of us nursing injuries.  It makes a huge difference!  I’ll let you know tomorrow night if I was able to get up at 5:00!

Lastly, we’re almost ready for Chicago.  The last of our winter wear should arrive yesterday.  I’m so looking forward to spending some quality time with Goalielocks and the Mayor.   Moreover, I looking forward to seeing my bestie Jenny and hanging out with my fabulous hockey parents.  As we held our poses tonight, I was reflecting on how lucky we are to have so many amazing people in our lives.  We’re truly blessed.   The photos I’ve included on the blog are from three of my favorite hockey trips: Ottawa, Peewee Quebec and Minneapolis.

Tonight’s song performed by Shakira at her Paris concert is a “Nothing Else Matters/Despedida” medley.  As an aside, “Nothing Else Matters” is one of my absolute favorite songs.  I loved watching this clip from her concert and witness the universal nature of a great song.  It is awesome hearing the audience sing along to it.

Monday, Monday

Monday, Monday

Monday, Monday it wasn’t all I hoped it would be.. Okay I’m totally exaggerating, but it totally sucked getting up earlier than the past two weeks.  Moreover, not only did it suck for me, but it really sucked waking up the boys.  After all, outside of Sunday morning for the Mayor, they haven’t seen a 6:00 hour wake up call for weeks.  It was everything I expected to be and more – i.e. it was brutal for everyone.

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I’m not a morning person, which is why my 5:30 am fitness class aspirations are such a big commitment.  This morning I hit the snooze at least three times before finally rolling out of my nice, warm bed to wake up the kids.  They fought the wake up, but acquiesced only to fall asleep again the couch.  Consequently, you can imagine the forlorn looks on their faces when I woke them up again.

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Fortunately, both the boys and myself made it to the bus top/work despite the general awfulness that can accompany an early morning especially a Monday morning.  Unfortunately, with the return to normalcy and kids in school, we also enjoyed (not so  much) a return to normal South Florida winter traffic.  I would just like to say F you to the snow bird driving 50 in the left lane.  You’re a dick.

Now that I got that out, boy oh boy do I feel better, work was great.  The team and I had a productive day and no tears were shed.  Put one in the win column for me!  I’m not letting Monday (or an annoying snow bird) get in my way!  After work I headed to spin class.  I promised my podiatrist I’d stay in the saddle.  Nevertheless, I think some promises are meant to be broken.  I didn’t go into 3rd and I had to lower my resistance in 2nd, but I pushed it to my limit. If I felt any pain at all, I went back into the saddle.  I left the studio with wet hair, super sweaty and having burnt 387 calories.  Another notch in the win column for me!

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After spin, I was able to wrap up yet another productive shopping spree on Amazon.  Thanks to Amazon Prime all my goodies, hand warmers included, should arrive before we are northward bound.  #Winning.  As you can see, my Monday wasn’t too bad. In fact, it was pretty fantastic.   Honestly, if that alarm had gone off just a little later, it would have been darn near perfect!

Tonight’s song is in honor of everyone’s least favorite day of the week.  As you reminisce about the Monday that was enjoy The Mama & the Papas “Monday, Monday.”

Back To School

Last week it was back to reality for us adults, but this week it is back to school for the kids in Palm Beach County.  It feels like they’ve been off from school forever even though its only been a couple of weeks.  With the kids heading back to school, life will truly feel like its back to normal.  Well, back to normal or a couple of days until we head to Chicago for a tournament.

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As a kid, the harbinger that school was near was always the Minnesota State Fair.  If you’re looking for great fried food on a stick of all varieties, this is the place for you.  One of our last trips to the fair, we enjoyed a fried candy bar on a stick.  Albeit it may have had at least a million calories, it was worth every one of them.  Other great eats include the Sweet Martha’s Cookies, cheese curds, funnel cake and Fresh French Fries.  They too are worth every calories.

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In contrast, for our kids, a return to the rink is the forerunner to school’s imminent return.  In fact, it serves as the signal both in August and in January.  Nonetheless, it doesn’t make it easier for the kids to get back into their school routines.  Who wants to get up early and go to bed earlier? None of the children in my house that’s who.

Speaking of hockey, the Mayor and Hubby headed over to Estero (west coast) for two games today.  Since we all went yesterday, I stayed home to finish the grocery shopping and wrap up preparations for our forthcoming Chicago trip.  Over the years, we’ve amassed quite of bit of winter wear, however, these pesky kids keep growing.  Now I’m trying to figure out what I need to buy for each.  Thankfully, Amazon Prime will have them here by Wednesday!

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I cannot wait to go to Chicago!  We used to go there several times a year when we were still living in Minneapolis.  The Hubby’s grandfather used to live in Oaklawn while my Aunt and Uncle lived in Northbrook.  Moreover, my bestie from high school now lives in suburban Chicago, which means I get to see her and her family this weekend.  Did I mention I can’t wait?

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As for the Mayor’s games today…  Unfortunately, the highlight of their day was lunch at Twin Peaks which says it all.   There’s no doubt my Mayor had to be tired as he had a pretty quick turn around from our Orlando trip.  While we got home at 10:45 pm last night, he had to leave again for the west coast at 6:45 am.  You’ll be shocked to know he fell asleep on the couch a good fifty minutes ago.

Tonight’s song performed by Dropkick Murphy’s is one of the Mayor’s favorite hockey songs.  The song of the evening is “I’m Shipping Up To Boston.”