Super Bowl Sunday

It’s super bowl Sunday!  I sure do wish my Vikes were playing, but oh well.  Unfortunately, according to Mick Jagger we can’t always get what we want.  So here I am cheering for the Patriots on account of the Philly fans poor behavior.  Thus far the game has been okay, but I am enjoying the commercials.  I love the tourism ad for Australia.  I’d probably follow Chris Hemsworth or his brother for that matter anywhere, but the ad was pitch perfect.  Moreover, I’d be curious to know the increase in flights to Australia after that ad.

JT’s half time performance just finished.  I love the tribute to Prince!  The city and stadium looked amazing lit up in purple.  Prince was an icon in that city and our state. Additionally, as a Gopher it was great seeing the University of Minnesota Marching Band out on the field backing up JT.  What an experience fr those kids!  His set was pretty good, but his outfit looked like he bought it at the local Mills Fleetfarm.  In fact, he may be leaving the Super Bowl to go hunting or something.

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We’re creatures of habit, so we have our usual chili cheese dip in the crock-pot for the evening.  Our sweet Athena is cuddling with us on the couch as we watch the big game.  Meanwhile, the BBQ rib thief Maya, is paying her penance in her crate.  Goalielocks was none to thrilled when she stole some of his ribs off the table.   In addition to our big game treats, I bought ribs for the boys tonight.  Goalielocks was thrilled.  Thank god for Target and cartwheel as I was able to save 20% on all three racks.

In honor of the big game tonight, I’d thought I’d share some of my favorite Super Bowl memes.

Tonight’s song performed by JT is “Suit & Tie.”  He performed this song tonight at the Super Bowl backed my by alma mater’s – the University of Minnesota – marching band.

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Winter's Arrival

Winter’s Arrival

As I left the gym this morning, it became clear that the morning’s storms were our prelude to winter’s arrival.  When I left my house this morning, the temperature was 78 and it was humid.  No sooner had I parked my car when the cold rain started.  I made my quickly from the parking lot to the gym trying to avoid the rain.  I was moderately successful in this endeavor.

Fortunately, thanks to a heart pounding circuit burn class, I wouldn’t be cold for long.  My heart was soon pumping and the cold rain had given way to sweat.  Amanda’s Circuit Burn class kicked my butt this morning.  Post-class I started getting cold as you could feel the temperature had dropped and I was wet with sweat.  My yoga teacher turned up the heat in the yoga room, which helped immensely.

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Afterwards, I headed to my car in the light, cold rain.  The temperature had fallen immensely, which is not something that happens often in Florida.  When I was growing up in Minnesota, it wasn’t unusual to have a wild swing in the temperature (think 15-60 degrees) in short order.  However, in South Florida, it is quite unusual.  I plopped into my car, exhausted from class, turned on the heat noticing the temperature had dropped from 78 to 63.  Full disclosure, a South Floridians definition of cold is much different than most other people’s.  I would also say that being wet from two hours of hard workouts didn’t help keep me warm either.

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Nevertheless, I headed to get coffee and get on with the rest of my day.  Both the Hubby and Jake are working today, so its just me, Goalielocks’ and the Mayor at home.  Consequently, we decided to take our girls (Maya and Athena) to go and see Santa Claus.  Maya, our older dog, is a bit socially awkward when it comes dealing with new dogs, which makes me nervous taking her out.   Athena loves everyone and everything and is very social with people and dogs alike.

Maya, our socially awkward beauty, definitely gave Santa a run for him money.  She didn’t want to sit and face the camera.  Athena would sit nicely for a bit and then a new dog would come in distracting her from the mission at hand.  Thankfully, both dogs and both children behaved beautifully at the store.  There were no meltdowns or accidents on our excursion to PetCo.

On the way back home, I stopped at the Starbucks for a latte, hot chocolate and a couple of puppacinos for the dogs.  This was our dogs first time enjoying a puppacino and enjoy they did.  They made short work of the cups of cream.  We’ll definitely be treating them to those again.  Now its time to get ready for Goalielocks’ team party!

Finally, I wanted to again share the link for a family that is in dire need of our support during an imaginably difficult time.  If you are able to, please consider helping this family.  Here is the link: Youcaring

Tonight’s song is “Me and Bobby McGee” by Janis Joplin.  Thanks TW for the inspiration!

My New Toy

After leaving the nice camera on the shelf for the last year or so I brushed it off, charged its battery and got the lenses ready for graduation.  I bought the T2i for our trip to France back in 2011.   If you’re travelling to Europe or planning any major trip, it is worthwhile to invest in a good camera.    Many museums, cathedrals, castles, palaces and other landmarks prohibit flash photography, so you’ll need a camera that takes good pics in low light.

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Since 2011 my Canon EOS Rebel T2i has served us well, but after 6 years, countless trips to Minnesota, countless hockey tournaments and countless school events culminating with Jake’s graduation it is time to move on.  Truthfully, some of the photos from graduation were a bit cringe worthy.  The T6i comes with an improved lens compared to the T2i.  In addition, the camera is a bit heavy by current standards and lacks the connectivity to smartphones and computers built into the T6i and T7i.

The Canon EOS Rebel T6i can be controlled from my iphone.  No more running and tripping to try and beat the timer when taking a group picture off a tripod.  You can also review and manage images easily on your iphone, which is a huge plus.

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In preparation for my trip overseas, I’ve been playing around with the camera to try and learn the different settings and familiarize myself with it.  Fortunately, my puppies, my guinea pigs  and my kids have been happy to oblige.  My initial review of the Canon Rebel EOS T6i is that it is a huge upgrade compared to the T2i.  It is light, easy to use and easy to navigate the menus.  After my trip I will write a more comprehensive review.   Here are some of the practice pictures.

The Notorious P.I.G.

We  adopted our second dog two years ago after our boys somehow convinced us that Maya would be lonely once hockey season ended and our billet Zach left.  We already had our hands full with the three boys on three different hockey teams, a relatively new company we were building and our Maya.  We told them they were crazy….  Unfortunately, neither Luke nor I had expected that the most powerful argument in favor of a new Lorbach dog would be the sweet face of a puppy.  How does one counter that very powerful argument?

Much like her sister Maya, Athena has a heart of gold and nothing but love for her family.  Both our dogs are rescues that we adopted as young puppies from Broward County Humane Society and Rescue Adoption.  Maya ruled the roost for almost six years by herself, when Athena was brought home.  Athena especially loved her big sister when we brought her home, while big sis Maya was really hoping the new obnoxious puppy would leave.  Thanks to twelve weeks of puppy kindergarten together, the girls bonded and have gotten along very well ever since.

Athena prefers her meals as an endless buffet.  We gave her the nickname the Notorious P.I.G because she’s oinks like a pig after she eats and drinks and walks around like a boss.  Her personality is as large as her appetite and her heart.  She loves to run with Jake and I, even in the Florida heat, as often as possible.  I always look and feel miserable when I run.  I don’t run gracefully and it is truly a struggle.  When the Piggy runs with though, she runs with a smile.  She’s always happy.  How she could possibly be happy while running 5 miles in the South Florida heat?  I don’t know…

She’s the Notorious P.I.G. because she eats like pig, smiles non-stop and loves unconditionally and all with a larger than life personality.  What are you notorious for?

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Our race

As tryout week winds down and my hockey mom nerves unravel, I can feel the tension leaving my shoulders and my stomach.  Friday night we had our last tryouts for the fall season.  Regardless of the outcome of tryouts, the ultimate decision is equally stressful.  I skipped the Monkey to get home earlier with the Mayor, so I could attempt to get to bed early in preparation for the Firefighter Eric Patrie 5k on Saturday morning.

I’m not a morning person, so when I have a race or early hockey game, I usually set several different alarms to ensure I’m out of the house in time to get to the event.  I prefer to get to the race about an hour early, so I can warm up, eat a little something, hit the bathroom and get acclimated for the race.   Saturday morning was not that morning.

I had set my Fitbit alarm, which usually works all of the time.  It doesn’t, however, work when you forget to put it back on after you shower.  I also set the alarm on my phone, but apparently it was for pm and not am.  Instead I awoke to my hubby saying aren’t you supposed to be somewhere by now?  It was 6:05 am and the answer of course was yes!

I ran out of bed, woke up Jake and gave him a ten minute warning.   We rushed to get ready and head towards Delray, so we wouldn’t miss the start.  I grabbed almonds in a rush and popped few on the way along with a GU gel.  We made it in time to park and head to the starting line before the scheduled start, but it felt rushed and our muscles (much like the weather by Florida standards) were cold.

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I had hoped to log a PR, but I was tired, cold and under the weather.  Honestly, I didn’t feel like running at all and was really craving the comfort of my bed and down comforter.  Nevertheless, Jake and I along with our KU running crew, including Evie the sweetest dog,  made our way to the starting line.  It was a gun to chip race, so Jake and I stayed near the front of the start corral to avoid the inevitable starting line traffic jam.

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As I ran the first mile, which felt like five, I fought through the desire to quit, the desire to walk, the desire to go back to bed and tried to maintain a decent pace.  It was a tough mile and slower than I wanted, but not horrible over all.  I grabbed some water continuing on to mile two.  Maybe it was me, maybe it was the weather or maybe it was the route, but mile two seemed to last forever.  I tried to maintain my pace as best I could and saw only a little degradation in pace between mile one and two.

Mile three beat me up.  The unusually cool and dry air dried out my throat and tightened up my lungs.  I had to stop to use my inhaler and was feeling the pain.  At this point, I had a choice to continue to walk and get comfortable or to run the remainder and try to hit my goal.  I chose to run. It hurt, it wasn’t pretty and in the end I missed a PR by tenths of seconds, but I did it.  I fought through the fatigue and pain to do my best.

Initially I was disappointed by my time (28.33) , but I think I was being too harsh on myself.  Two and half years ago, I ran my first 5k at a time of 34 minutes.  I started training in earnest last fall and whittled my time down to a PR of 28:32.  It’s not earth shattering fast, but it represents a lot of hard work and a lot of forward progress.  I didn’t feel 100% physically Saturday morning, but I didn’t let it stop me from giving 100% in the race and that was Saturday morning’s victory.

Meanwhile, Jake finished 6 minutes ahead of me, but was also disappointed by his time.  It was slower than his PR of 21 minutes, but he still  placed in the top 3 of his age group.  This was a very fast and competitive race, so I was happy to see how well he fared against the competition.  Even with the trophy, he was still disappointed with his result.

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Even though my time wasn’t where I wanted to be, I love the feeling of finishing a race.  I love the excitement of the start and the excitement of the finish.  I love seeing a first time 5k runner come through the finish line.  There is no better feeling finishing something you didn’t think you were capable of finishing and theirs is nothing better than seeing that sense of pride on a runner’s face as they finish their first 5k.  Joe – your KU crew was proud to see you cross the finish line and do great your first time out.  Can’t wait to see what you do in your second 5k!

Neither of Jake nor I, hit a time we were thrilled with Saturday, but we had a great time with good friends supporting a great cause.  For Jake and I, its back to training and working towards better results and greater distances.

If you’d like to know more about this event, here’s the website.

I won the weekend!

I don’t mean to brag, but I totally won the weekend.    Truly, I freaking killed the weekend.  What does winning the weekend even mean?  Let me explain….  At work we talk a lot about what winning looks like.  In order to win, we need to hit certain metrics or certain objectives.  For me to win the weekend, as a hockey mom, it is not dissimilar.  I need to hit certain objectives.   These objectives include incredibly sexy tasks like laundry, cooking meals, vacuuming, grocery shopping, cleaning the house (still in a post hockey season disarray) and logging my miles.  I can count the number of times I have hit all of these objectives on a weekend during hockey season on one hand.   To be fair, it probably happened just once before.  My fellow hockey moms and dads, I know you feel my pain and can appreciate how amazing it is that I could win my weekend during the spring hockey season.

 

Again, this post isn’t about bragging, but relishing in the small joyous victories life sometimes brings.  Friday night was a complete miracle.  I came home to a deceased hamster.  Chuka, Zach’s (aka the Mayor) newly acquired hamster went to the great beyond after a mere 5 days at the homestead.  He was devastated at the loss, so naturally we put the dead hamster in a bag and took it back to Pet Smart for an exchange.  While the Mayor and dad exchanged the hamster, I ran my four miles and it was awful, but I did it.  Before we took the boys to hockey, the Mayor’s new hamster (Oompah Lupa) was in its cage and playing about.   Both boys made it to their hockey practice without being a minute late.  Victory!  By the time the Mayor and dad got home from peewee practice, I had already grilled the chicken (without blowing up the grill), cooked the pasta and made a Caesar salad.  Remarkably, the chicken did not taste like lighter fluid and there were no fires.  Dinner and the Mayor’s sleepover were a complete success.

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Saturday could have been better had my Wild beaten St. Louis, but they choked and broke my family’s collective heart by being eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  To be fair, the officiating didn’t help their cause at all.  Nonetheless, I was extremely productive completing the grocery shopping, vacuuming the floor, and completing almost all of the laundry! I even logged my four miles with my Athena.  Best of all, the Mayor’s team won both of their peewee spring games.  Post run as a consequence of some foot pain, we headed to Dick’s Sporting Goods so I could replace my worn sneakers.   New sneakers and a couple workout tanks I didn’t need later, we headed over to PetSmart to buy Goalielocks some new fish.  If he has his druthers, he’ll have a fish breeding facility in his room in no time.

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Sunday was the perfect day to stay home and do nothing as it rained almost all day.  These days rarely happen in South Florida and I took full advantage to finish the laundry and get most of the house organized.   Even had the opportunity to take the boys to Petco to get our saltwater aquarium water’s tested.   Fortunately for my wallet the tank isn’t done cycling.   For now our tank, will keep cycling with the hermit crabs and Bubbles the conch.  Post Petco the sun finally came out, so Jake and I went for a quick 3.5 mile run.  The run was miserable as the pre-run diet of brownies and coffee was less than optimal, but we did it.  We stuck to our goal and made it happen.   Note to self (and cautionary tale to the audience) stop eating brownies and going for a run immediately thereafter.  It makes you want to vomit and slows you down.  Sometimes it all about life’s lessons and small victories.

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To be perfectly honest, I finished all the loads of laundry and maybe by this Friday we’ll get all of the clothes put away.  Small victories will turn into big victories that’s what I keep telling myself.   Either that or we’ll hire a housekeeper during hockey season.   In the meantime, I’ll relish small victories and winning my weekend.