Changes

Over the past several months there’s been some changes in our lives. The major change has been a new position for me at work. While the move was lateral, it came with a significant uptick in duty tempo and responsibilities. My role changed in mid-February, which coincides with the stoppage of my daily blogging. I love writing at night, but frankly I’m completely exhausted by the time I sit down to write.

The good news is I love my new role and my new team. Last week some of us participated in the 2018 Mercedes Benz Corporate Run in Fort Lauderdale. I had high hopes for a stellar finish, but the two enormous bridges, my tendons and my endurance had a different idea. Perhaps I’m being too tough one myself after all it’s my first race post injury and with orthotics, but I don’t think so. Of course, the upshot is I know have a new baseline to work from.

This past weekend the Hubby and Goalielocks headed to the west coast for hockey, while I stayed behind. The Mayor headed to Epcot Saturday after an exceptionally early non-hockey wake up call. This was his first time to Disney and he had an absolute blast! He would love to go back some day, but if given the choice he’d rather go to the Keys or back to Atlantis. (He’s a smart boy!)

Saturday I didn’t do entirely too much other than get my hair cut, run to BJ’s to pick up groceries and relax. I spent much of the day following the Humboldt Bronco story, which continues to devastate our hockey community. Life is far too short and far to precious. In honor of the Broncos, I wore green today. Moreover, we’ve put our sticks out in tribute as “the boys may need them.” Please continue to hold these families and their community in your thoughts and prayers.

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Tragic Day For Hockey

It was a tragic day for hockey.  Today our our hockey community mourned the loss of fifteen lives in a horrific crash involving the Humboldt Broncos team bus and a semi.  For many of us hockey parents, we’ve been on the proverbial bus trip with our youth hockey player or sent our kids/billet kids off on the junior bus.  In fact, this morning I sent my youngest on a bus up to Epcot.   I was a nervous wreck the whole time he was on the road.

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For the uninitiated, junior hockey is available to players 16-20 years old and a great stepping stone into NCAA hockey or professional hockey.  My boys have played in a program that went from mites (U8) to juniors for several seasons.  Unequivocally, the youth players revered their junior counterparts and were devoted fans of our junior teams.  Similarly, the junior players gave back a lot to our youth players.  They spent time at practices, watching their games and cheering them on.   It is an amazing relationship that exists between these players.

During Jake’s first U16 year (Goalielocks Squirt AA, The Mayor Mites), we had a billet.  Biebs had been with the Hawks the previous season and really bonded with our boys.  If he was going to come back to Palm Beach, he wanted to stay with us.  Fortunately, Biebs is an awesome kid and we enjoyed having him here.  It really allowed us to see the level of commitment and effort it takes to play junior hockey.

Throughout his season with us, Biebs would jump on the Hawks bus almost every weekend for games.  Every time he was on that bus, I would worry.   I worried that something would happen on those Florida back roads that span our state east to west.  Or I worried that they’d get hit if the bus broke down.   When you billet a player, they become a part of your family.  This morning my heart sank for the Broncos community particularly for the families and billet families. I can’t imagine their despair as their worsts fears came to fruition.

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The thing about tragedy is that it tells you a lot about the character and gumption of a community.  Our hockey community is tight knit, strong, generous and supportive.   Regardless of where we are from or what level of hockey we played or our kids play, we stand with Humboldt.  They say there is no crying in hockey and for the most part it’s true.  A hockey player could lose teeth, take a clapper to the face or have their bone broken by a shot.  Not only would they not cry, they’d try to keep playing.  Today, as we mourn the loss in our community, there’s crying in hockey.

I love our hockey community.  The Gofundme campaign is already over $2 million.  Moreover, tonight as I scan Facebook, the pictures of the Jets (Winnipeg) and Blackhawks (Chicago) game popped into my feed.  In a show of solidarity with Humboldt, both NHL teams wore jerseys with Broncos on the back instead of their own names.  Before the puck dropped, they met at center ice in an incredible show up support to Humboldt.   Many of the players that have made the show, cut their teeth in junior hockey.  For these players, they’ve been on hundreds of bus trips.

Lastly, hockey is an incredibly expensive sport.   This is especially true at the junior level where many players are playing away from home.  After the tragedy of yesterday’s crash, many of these families are faced with unexpected bills and loss of income.  A  Gofundme has been setup to help these families offset these unexpected costs, please consider donating.   Tonight I’ll hold my boys a little closer tonight as life is precious and not promised.  #prayersforhumboldt

Here’s the link to the fundraiser: Funds For Humboldt Broncos

Happy Easter!!

Happy Easter to the blogosphere. I don’t know about you guys, but I started my day with a sensible breakfast of eggs. While the breakfast of eggs part was true, the sensible not so much. Unless, of course, your breakfast of eggs was made up of Cadbury eggs.

Our egg/basket hunt was a bit disjointed as Jake had to leave for work before Goalielocks woke up. While we could have woken him up to hunt the hunt, it’s better to let sleeping beasts lie. Though shall not wake up a teenager unnecessarily. We’ve learned that lesson the hard way.

The boys enjoyed their baskets. Admittedly, they were quite simple, but we’re trying to move towards a less is more kind of lifestyle. Fortunately, I planned the candy but well so as to leave enough extra Cadbury Eggs for the hubby and I to enjoy.

For the majority of the day, we chilled at home binge watching the Trailer Park Boys. If you’ve never watched this show, you’re missing out. The show follows the unbelievable antics of three friends in a trailer park. Unfortunately, for these guys the park provides a pretty toxic environment.

We also made so progress on the remodel project we’re starting in our family room and kitchen. After some debate over paint colors, we narrowed it down to three choices. Consequently, we headed to Home Depot to get some samples. Afterwards, the Hubby painted the sample on to the wall in two areas, so we could make an intelligent case. Here are the colors? What are your thoughts?

Lastly, the Piggie and I got in a good four mile run this afternoon. Admittedly, neither my speed nor my endurance is where I’d like it to be heading into Thursday’s race. While I’d love to finish the corporate run (5K) below thirty minutes, I don’t think I’m there yet. Anyway, I’ll let you know how it goes on Friday.

The Pain

Oh the pain of a great vacation ending. Naturally, I felt this pain wholeheartedly when I returned from the Bahamas last week. It was hardest to leave the world paradise that is Atlantis. I’ve always thought the first day back at work post vacation was the hardest. After all, there’s nobody to deliver delicious strawberry daiquiris to your desk.

Today left me questioning my preconceived notion. See this vacation was a little bit different than most of our vacation. Usually we all go back to work or school at the same time or there is a protracted period before the boys return to school. This time Hubby and I went back to work last Thursday while the boys chilled at home until today.

Based on the mood of my youngest children today, I’m thinking that the first day back to school may be the hardest. They’re clearly overtired or overstimulated. I’m sure they’re equally upset that nobody’s delivering virgin daiquiris to their desks. All in all, it’s made for an interesting night and an early bed time for both of them.

Lesson learned my friends. Next time to our collective return to reality aligns like this, I’m planning a happy hour. That’s right I’ll be commiserating with my girls over work as the boys drive themselves crazy over their return to normalcy. Seems like a solid plan and I bet most happy hour places even serve delicious daiquiris.

Difficult Day

It was a difficult day.  Sadly, today marks the year anniversary of Debbie’s passing.  I’ve written before about how grief alters how we experience time.  Truly, time is on a weird continuum when you’re dealing with grief and loss.  It feels like both a day ago and a decade ago since Debbie left us.  I remember waking up the morning after she had passed and thinking how cruel it was that the world kept going as if nothing had happened.  Meanwhile, for all of us that loved Debbie and held her dear, our world was completely devastated.  I sat in my car lamenting this fact when a beautiful cardinal flew next to my car window, stayed there for a bit and then quickly flew off.  It was an amazing moment.

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Grief is an interesting animal itself.  Its sneaks up on you and catches you unexpectedly.   Today brought back a flood of memories both good and bad.  I was at work when I first heard she was going into hospice.  My amazing friends and co-workers comforted and supported me.  Moreover, I was reminded of how much we all miss her.  Needless to say, it wasn’t an easy day.

As I ruminated over my day (typical Monday) and our dear friend Debbie, I quickly realized how lucky I am to be aggravated by inane emails or missed meetings.  At the end of the day, life is a gift that some times includes more than your average dose of aggravation.  The truth is without life’s lows or aggravations we wouldn’t fully appreciate life’s highs and truly happy moments.  So today, in the face of aggravation and insipidness, I chose to live like Debbie.  In fact, I even got in a nice run tonight.  She’d definitely be quite proud of me for continuing to run and not giving it up after the ankle injury.   Life may give us lemons, but that’s nothing some ice cubes, Grey Goose and sugar can’t solve.  #carpediem

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Debbie was diagnosed in 2015 with Stage IV pancreatic cancer after ending up in an ER with severe back pain.  The 5 year survival rate for this diagnosis is 1%, which is unacceptable.  Even in the midst of her battle against this disease, Debbie stood as a beacon of hope.  In fact, she served as the key note speaker at the 2016 Purple Stride Event in Boca Raton.  In her honor, please consider donating to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.  No family should have to endure the pain of losing their loved one to this insidious disease.  You can donate here: Pancreatic Action Network

Tough To Swallow

It’s a bit tough to swallow that our vacation ended days ago and I’m still exhausted. Fortunately, the dinner I made in the Instant Pot was not! I love the convenience and quick turnaround of this magical device.

Tonight’s dish was Ropa Vieja and it did not disappoint. The meat (a roast) took only 90 minutes to cook. Once the 90 minutes had elapsed, I was able to easily shred the beef with my fork. I then added in the peppers, so they could cook without contaminating the entire meat (everyone, but me hates peppers) and added the olives.

What’s even better is that while the roast cooked, the Piggie and I were able to run an arduous 3.5 miles. It was not my best run and the first time in awhile I’ve logged over 3 miles. Fortunately, the weather was entirely perfect. There was not a cloud in the sky. It was a perfect (at least weather wise) run with temperatures in the upper 70s to low 80

During the 3rd mile we alternated walking fast with sprinting. We started with intervals of 1:1 and then moved 1:2 ratio of walking to running. Unfortunately, I still sucked at running. Yesterday’s run was pretty fast and relatively pain free. On the other hand, today’s run was arduous as it’s worst and painstakingly hard at it’s best.

So yesterday’s run was great. Well, except for the squirrelly incident. It was just after mile marker 1, when a grey squirrel popped out from behind the bushes. The Piggie couldn’t control herself, she had to chase. Meanwhile in my head, I’m saying “squirrel” and cracking up. Fortunately, the squirrel quickly made its way up a tree and out of sight. I was dying laughing literally and figuratively, when I had to stop and catch my breath. #squirrel

Despite the difficulty of today’s run, the Piggie and I were able to go the distance. We didn’t quit when it seemed impossible. Rather we kept fighting to breakthrough the wall. Luckily, or perhaps unluckily, we’ll be back at it tomorrow. With only 11 days until the corporate run, I’ve got plenty of work to do! I can’t wait to run tomorrow!

Take Me Back

Yep, take me back to the Bahamas. I don’t think I got enough r&r, strawberry daiquiris or sun while I was there, so I should probably go back. Returning to work after vacation is tough especially after such a sublime and peaceful trip. I really should have bought a talisman while on the island to bring me luck and get me through the day.

Nevertheless, with no talisman in hand and only sun kissed complexion to show for the trip, I returned to work and nearly 700 emails. (Hence the take me back!) I finally got through all of the emails, but didn’t feel super productive today. Thankfully, there’s always tomorrow.

We did get fabulous news today at work, which is so very exciting. As of this afternoon, we know service Purdue University Global. I couldn’t be more excited about our collective future!

I’m Back

I’m back after taking a much needed and unintentional break. Frankly, vacation got in the way of blogging. I had every intention of blogging the entire trip, however, we had so much fun I was far too tired to write coherently. Admittedly, the vodka sodas from the casino probably didn’t help either.

As I lay in my yoga silk, I’m reflecting fondly on our trip while lamenting the fact we never took a family pic. Whoops! Nevertheless, the trip was absolutely perfect! We had way too much fun in the sun while playing in Atlantis’ Aquaventure Park.

My Mayor had so much fun and stretched himself by trying things he was afraid of. He, Goalielocks, A and J has a great time swimming in the lagoon and seeing the wildlife up close. The lagoon was quite deep when the tide was in and had several barracudas swimming around, but none of that deterred him. He also worked up the courage to ride the slide through the shark tank. I, however, did not.

I did, however, work up the courage to go down what Goalielocks described as a “trash slide.” Atlantis refers to this slide as the Jungle Slide, while I refer to it an instrument of mental and physical trauma. In describing it as trash, he neglected to tell me it would go completely dark (I’m claustrophobia) or that it would fling me awkwardly into a pool where I’d nearly drowned. Yes, it was only 3 feet deep and I’m totally be dramatic.

Yesterday, the boys and TK had the opportunity to swim with the dolphins at Dolphin Cay. Thank you Auntie J! The Mayor, who is a nervous nelly like me, did amazing. I was so proud of him! The boys had a rookie dolphin that disappeared at times, but they still loved it. It was an awesome opportunity for them to get up close and personal with an animal indigenous to the Bahamas and Florida.

Last night we got in some shopping and more time in the casino. While we shopped and hit the casino the older boys watched all the boys. As we walked back to the Reef, we were taking bets as to which kids would still be awake. We entered the room and seeing only the younger boys and the Mayor awake, we lost it laughing. Both Goalielocks and TK had passed out. Fortunately, the Mayor’s a good babysitter and had the scene under control.

We had so much fun and so many amazing moments this trip, I could write forever. It was just the thing we needed after the last month. Moreover, after the last year we’ve had collectively, it was the pitch perfect trip. We came home sun burnt, but with full hearts (and stomachs) and many wonderful memories.

Like the Lilly Pulitzer dresses featured in the blog and love shopping small, please check out https://www.corrico.com.

T-Minus One Day

It’s t-minus one day until spring break starts and we head to the Bahamas. I haven’t been to Nassau in over 20 years, so it will be fun to be back. I’m sure the scenery will evoke many great memories from my first Bahamas trip. Moreover, it will be a great time for us all to decompress after all the stress of the last month.

It will be curious to see how badly the boys can provoke each other during our short flight and drive to the Atlantis resort. Goalielocks has been to Atlantis before and had a wonderful time. This will be the first time there for both the hubby and the Mayor.

Unfortunately, the hubby isn’t gonna be able to stay for our entire trip, but he’ll at least get some time away from home. Sadly, Jake won’t be able to make it all due to his schedule. Meanwhile, tomorrow I’m headed to my dear friend CO’s for a night of Lilly Pulitzer dress and birthday celebration. One simply can’t go to the Bahamas without a few amazing Lilly dresses. (I know what you’re thinking and you’re right, my logic here is airtight!)

Tonight we’re relaxing at home catching up on season 2 of Victoria. Our younger boys are spending their evening with Uncle Jon at the Panthers game. Last I checked the Panthers were winning and I’m sure the bots as enjoying the all you eat option in the Corona Club. I’m off to pack for our trip, wishing everyone an amazeballs Friday!

Purple Haiku

Calmer Evening

It’s been a calmer evening in the household after all the noise and frustration of last night. I spoke with the Assistant Principal of the boys school and feel comfortable with our plan for Goalielocks as he recovers. Also spoke to one of the Mayor’s teachers after discovering the Mayor had spelled the teacher’s email address wrong all semester. No wonder he had 0 points for his article assignments! He’s busy fixing them tonight.

Today was also tough because it’s our dear Debbie’s birthday. It’s a tough milestone for many of us.  I still found myself getting choked up periodically throughout the day despite my hectic schedule. It’s been nearly a year since we lost her. Ironically, it feels like it was both seconds ago and decades ago. Time is on a weird continuum when you’re dealing with grief and loss.

We also lost a giant today with the death of Stephen Hawking. I could write for days about this brilliant mind, but that’s not his most impressive feature. Both Hawking and Debbie were given devastating, terminal diagnosis when they were far too young. While a lot of people would buckle under the diagnosis, neither of them did. Amazingly, they both choose to live to the fullest as they faced their own mortality.

When I write or say Live Like Debbie. I really mean it and I try to live it. What I mean by that is I’m trying to live my life differently by living to the fullest and treating people differently. (Not that I was some kind of asshole before or something.) Specially, my goal is to brighten people’s dY, to be helpful, to inspire and to leave people better off than when I met them. It doesn’t have to be something big, it could be a smile or a good morning while you’re waiting in line for coffee.

I miss my friend very much. It’s tough to lose a friend who is in the prime of their life. It’s tough to lose someone you love. Moreover, it’s tough to see people you love experience such a profound loss. It’s tough to explain and square how something like this happens to someone so young and vibrant. The thing is there’s really no explanation, which leads to one simple fact. Life is too short to get caught up in the small stuff, so my friends Live Like Debbie.

In honor of Debbie’s birthday, please consider donating to the Pancreatic Action Network in her honor. Pancreatic Action Network

Tonight’s song performed by the Offspring is “Gone Away.”  The lyrics of this song are absolutely on point.