Day One Chicago

Day one in Chicago has been fun. We beat the storm in, which was fabulous. In fact, it really didn’t start to snow until nighttime. After leaving the airport in my sexy Buick rental car, we hit Target to pick up some snacks and drinks for the room.

For Goalielocks, Target was just one more delay in eating a nice, hot slice of Giordano’s pizza. We checked out and quickly headed to Giordano’s thinking the storm would stay at anytime. Fortunately, we could leave our groceries in the car as we ate. I definitely miss that ability in Florida where we have to race home so our freezer items don’t melt!

Giordano’s was the perfect anecdote to a long day of travel. Our short layover in Detroit afforded us no time to eat. Consequently, we were quite hungry. The beauty of deep dish pizza, at least for me, is that one piece will leave you satiated for the rest of the day. In fact, neither Colin nor myself ate the rest of the day. Our late lunch at Giordano’s was enough to tide us over for the rest of the day.

The snow was absolutely beautiful this morning. We got about five inches at the hotel. The major roads appear to be relatively clean with some of the side roads still quite slippery and snow covered. I’m truly not looking forward to driving forty minutes southwest for tonight’s game. As for the temperature, it’s still pretty comfortable. The wind, however has picked up quite a bit, which is blowing snow everywhere. Meanwhile in Minnesota, my Mayor and hubby were enjoying sub zero weather.

Our hotel is nice enough and centrally located to the mall and Dunkin’. I dropped Goalielocks and his friends at the mall this morning, so they could do something other than look for ponds near the hotel. While they canvassed the mall, I headed to Ikea. I love that the store reminds me of my Scandinavian travels and the AirBnB’s we stayed in that were filled with IKEA items.

After the mall, Goalielocks and his boys headed back outside to cause trouble. They found some nice snowballs. The majority of which seemed to end up on Goalielocks’ pants and hoodie. He’s now down to one pair of pants that isn’t soaked or muddy. His nice Adidas joggers got a bit muddy after he broke the ice at the edge of the pond. You can only imagine how happy I was upon hearing that story.

While Goalielocks wrecked yet another pair of pants, I decided to do some yoga. I took a risk and did a vinyasa video from Fightmaster Yoga. It felt incredible, but it definitely got my heart rate pumping. I did modify some of the exercises to bring my heart rate back down. I’m not sure if it was the fact I’d only drank coffee today or Graves’ disease, but it was annoying either way.

Meanwhile in Minny, my Mayor is having a blast with his team and has already hit White Castle twice. Like I’ve shared before, he’s got an iron gut. At present, he and his team are playing at outdoor game not far from my Aunt and Uncle’s house. Tonight they’ll head down to the Excel Energy Center to see the Wild attempt to play. Last night, the Mayor got to see one of our favorite coaches and his mite coach, Coach Ryan. It’s awesome how hockey introduces you to great paths and how your paths keep crossing through the game we all love.

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Chicago Bound… Hopefully

We’re Chicago bound hopefully… I say hopefully because we’ve made it as far as the runway in Detroit and now are parked on the tarmac. My hopes of getting into the city and situated before snowmageddon and Chicago rush hour are starting to dwindle. Ugh! I hate driving in the snow and I hate driving in rush hour traffic.

We had a nice flight from FLL to Detroit. Including some vintage Saved By the Bell episodes. They did make me feel a bit old, but also had me reminiscing about Saturday mornings. Afterwards we had a nice run down (don’t worry mom I walked) the terminal from gate A60 to A9. And now we wait!

While we wait here’s some things I’m looking forward to in Chicago:

  • Getting to hang out with my BFF Jenny
  • Hanging out with our hockey family
  • Watching the beautiful snow fall from the comfort of my hotel bed
  • Catching up on sleep after only getting 4 hours of it last night
  • Giordano’s pizza
  • Lou Malnati’s pizza
  • Thankful that I’m not on keto- see above!
  • Finally exploring the Schaumburg IKEA after driving by it for year. It works out since I need more lingonberry and cloudberry jam
  • And especially hanging out with Goalielocks

Good news is we’re ready for takeoff!!!! Chicago here we come!

And They’re Off

And they’re off to the frozen tundra for a weekend of fun, family and of course hockey. Luckily the Mayor will be playing at our old home rink, so they’ll be plenty of family to support him. It’s also pretty nice that they get to stay at Hotel Grandma and Grandpa instead of a Holiday Inn!

Goalielocks and I will be heading north to Chicago Friday for his tournament. I’m keeping a watchful and anxious eye on the weather. I absolutely hate the idea of having to drive in a snow storm, but at this point it seems inevitable. I look forward to sharing our adventures this weekend on the blog. You can be sure it will include a lot of good Chicago pizza!

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.

 

 

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.

Terrific Tuesday

I don’t know about you, but I for one am glad that this terrific Tuesday is coming to a close.  Today was just one of those days.  There were several times I wish I could have disappeared out of a room today.  In all honesty, it could be the lack of sunshine and blue sky that has me over today.  Admittedly, we’re quite spoiled with sunshine in South Florida.  The past week, however, has been absolutely dreary.  It is driving me and everyone else here bonkers.

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Of course, a lack of sleep could also be to blame.  After all the excitement of last night, I got to bed much later than I would have liked.  #damnbird. Meanwhile, our rescued baby bird is living the high life in her protected and cushy enclosure.  As the hubby and I look for places to bring her, Goalielocks and the Mayor have been plotting to make our house her forever home. #notgoingtohappen.  Thankfully, the little birdie is doing well and is safe and sound.

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There was no playoff hockey tonight, so it has been a quiet evening for me.  I get these athletes need to rest, but selfishly I don’t want to wait for game 7.  Tonight’s game should be epic.  There’s nothing better than game 7 playoff hockey!  Since I’ll be up late tomorrow evening, I’m heading to bed a little early tonight.

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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