State Tournament Time

It’s state tournament time for the Mayor and his Hawks’ squad. We journeyed to the west coast yesterday for an early evening game in Estero. Unfortunately, our first game was against our fellow Hawks teams. I never enjoy these inter organization games especially when there’s hitting involved.

Fortunately, yesterday’s game was a clean game and pretty good. Unfortunately, a Hawks team had to lose. The Mayor and his team came away from the game with a 2-0 win, but it was a hard fought game. The 07 squad came to win and their effort showed it.

Today, they’ll face a tough Flames team and Clearwater team. Hopefully, the boys will bring their A game today and perform better than my NCAA tournament bracket. More to come later!

Game 1 is in the Books

Game 1 is in the books here in Charlotte. The Mayor scored two goals and had two assists. His line continues to gel incredible well together. The final score was 6-2 Hawks with all three offensive lines making the scoresheet. Overall, it was a solid team effort this morning.

Game 1 is in the books!

It was a fun game to watch. In fact, you can find it the videos on my Facebook. My commentary is colorful, so if you’re easily offended, you may want to skip the feed. If on the other hand, you like a good gong show, then my feed is perfect for you. I’ll be live from Pineville ice arena at 3:15 and live from Extreme Ice at 8:40.

A Life Well-Lived

“A life well-lived is the most exquisite form of art,” wrote Erwin McManus. This weekend my family lost our matriarch, my great Grandmother. As I contemplated her passing, I kept coming back to a life well-lived. Her life, while never easy, exemplified this axiom. My great grandmother Nellie Brown (nee Reynolds) and her twin sister Zella (Caroyln) were born on May 16, 1916, in Long Prairie to Florence and Andrew Reynolds. At this point, there were only 3.3 million cars registered in the entire US while only 11% of the population had a telephone. When she was just a toddler, the Great War was winding down, but the Spanish Flu epidemic was in full swing. She began her life as the Spanish flu pandemic took hold and her life ended as we continue to contend with COVID. Can you imagine how different the world is now compared to 1916?

Great Grandma Brown, her sister Zella and her mom circa 1920

Shortly after my grandmother’s birth, her father headed to Europe to fight in the Great War. After the war, her father left and her mother remarried. She grew up in Long Prairie, where she met her husband. In fact, she was telling Jake and me tales of watching Lindy practice while tending to the fields. In fact, they would wave as he flew over and he would tip his wings to them. Of course, Lindy was Charles Lindbergh and this was long before his famous flight across the Atlantic in the Spirit of St. Louis. As we drove back to my folks that day, Jake and I were trying to wrap our heads around the massive changes she witnessed in her 104 years. I would give anything to be able to sit with her again and listen to her stories.

One thing that was clear about my Grandmother is that change didn’t challenge her. Her generation was no stranger to loss having experienced both World Wars, the Spanish flu, the great depression, polio, the Korean and Vietnam wars. Perhaps that is why she was so adaptable and resilient. In fact, as the age of the internet broke, she didn’t run from it. She had an old computer that she used until she lost her eyesight. How many people can say they got emails and forwards from their Great Grandma? Not many, but I can. Undoubtedly, her adaptability and great genes played a role in her longevity, but it was more than that.

My Great Grandma lived her life according to three pillars: love, family, and God. As she held Jake’s hand that blustery October day, she shared the importance of rooting himself in love, family and God. I was struck at the moment by the power of her words, influence, and the moment. I was blessed to witness that moment. On that trip, she and Jake formed a deep bond that he’ll carry with him forever. We spent many weekends at my Great Grandmother’s house with our extended family. Our extended family is huge! Yet, she delighted in hosting all of us. Family really was everything to her. After my grandfather lost his mother to cancer in the mid 50’s, my great-grandma treated him as if he was her own child. She loved my Grandpa dearly.

She lived independently in her own house until the very end. After she suffered a stroke two weeks ago, my grandma and aunt stayed by her side. My heart aches for my Grandma, who just lost her mom. I took a picture of them together during our last visit. When I look at that picture, I realize no matter how old we get, we always want and need our mother. My Great Grandma was a woman, who lived according to her own terms. It is no wonder that she left this world exactly as she lived in it surrounded by love and family. Until we meet again Great Great Grandma, godspeed.

Nellie Brown 5/16/1916-1/30/2021

The Day is Finally Here

The day is finally here that special day we have all longed for. The end of 2020. To be certain, 2020 was a dumpster fire of a year, but that’s not to say there weren’t some bright spots. It’s become too easy to focus on all the negative 2020 has brought, mostly because it’s omnipresent, but 2020 has also brought us some blessings. First of all, we got a chance to slow down the pace of life. The pandemic brought a hard stop to the incredible business of our lives. Since our kids started travel hockey a decade ago, every weekday and weekend has been incredibly busy. It was nice, for once, to not have anywhere to go. Obviously, the novelty of nothing to do wore off really quickly.

Unquestionably, 2020’s greatest blessing was watching our son graduate from BMT. Having a kid far from home with no way to contact them was a test of strength for us. His graduation couldn’t come fast enough for the hubby and me. When we caught our first glimpse of him during the Airmen’s Run, we could tell he had changed. The way he carried himself was completely different. In fact, I would say we dropped off a boy at the recruiter’s office in December to be reunited with a man at BMT graduation. Truly, the change was that dramatic. More importantly, it was obvious that he was where he belonged.

His class was one of the last classes to have public graduation ceremonies before the pandemic shut them down. In fact, our first clue at how severe this pandemic would become while on base for his graduation. We just happened to be on base when the Americans evacuated from Wuhan arrived on JBSA Lackland and the base hotel. It was surreal seeing the CDC folks there in their contagion suits. I shudder to think of how I would have felt if we had been denied the opportunity to see him graduate from Bootcamp. Undoubtedly, his BMT graduation will forever be one of my best and proudest memories.

Of course, he left BMT for tech school and his transition continued. Now he’s at this FDS and in his first “real” job. I have no idea what he does, but I’m sure it’s pretty spectacular. Nevertheless, 2020 gave us the gift of watching our child launch from unsure teenager to mature and gainfully employed adult. That’s pretty awesome! There will be no “Failure to Launch” parodies inspired by this kid. Now our oldest has started his career in a growing field, which will always be in demand, and continues to develop in his role in the service. Moreover, he’s taking advantage of the resources provided to continue his education and broaden his skill set. I’d say we’re pretty proud of him, but that would be a gross understatement of how we feel about his accomplishments.

2020 also brought us our newest addition to the family, Anakin. It’s been almost a year since we’ve added him to the family. Athena and Maya love him dearly and he loves them. Amazingly, all three dogs get along very well. He and Athena have the best time playing together, while Maya basks in the joys of being left alone. Albeit, Maya does like to join in on the play from time to time. She does, however, enjoy the fact that Athena no longer harasses her to play all day every day. All three dogs are happy to have Jake home for the holidays. They also enjoy our new normal of work from home and virtual school.

Anyway, the day is finally here. We’ve waited since March for this dreaded dumpster fire of a year to be over. While I sift out the negativity that 2020 brought, over and over and over again, I count the blessings that the year brought. I reflect in gratitude at how much good came out of a year that was so very bad. Here’s to 2021 a year full of love, gratitude, health, and opportunity!

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

*I read The Red and The Black, Stendhal by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 4 of BBG 3.0 week 8, which means it is cardio day. However, I still have to complete the arm workout.

*I’m so excited!!!! He’s here!

*Our NYE’s plans have completely blown up as our youngest was exposed to the virus. He won’t be playing in that 3v3 tournament after all. Bummer!

*I will, hopefully, finish my baking again. We’re doing a brunch 2.0 for Jake.

*Today I ran two miles and walked a quarter of a mile. I’ve started running with Anakin outside since the weather has been nice. He’s much faster than me, so it’s been quite the adventure.

*Today’s word of the day is turn. I cannot wait for the year to turn as I watch the countdown in understated elegance (aka my pajamas.)

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. I’m a bit sick of them tracking in the mud on the freshly vacuumed white tiles. It has been so humid here in the mornings that they’re getting a bit muddy in the backyard.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is How Great Thou Art performed by Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill:

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours. As I write this, we’re still celebrating with family at my brother’s house. I thought I’d write while we wait for the the steaks to be finished. Lord knows I could use some protein after carb loading this morning. Speaking of morning, I started my day early since I decided to make a double batch of caramel rolls.

Before we opened presents, I started the second batch of caramel rolls. Meanwhile, I set out the first batch to bring the dough back to room temperature. Fortunately, the boys sleep in later on Christmas morning now that they’re older. I even managed to make a quick trip to Dunkin to grab a coffee before we opened presents.

It was awesome having Jake back home to open presents. We definitely missed him last year. Although he was the highlight of last year’s brunch when he called us from BMT to wish us a merry Christmas. I know having him home for the holidays is the equivalent of winning the military lottery, so I’m cherishing our holiday all together. I was definitely filled with jubilation when I heard his leave had been approved.

We had a wonderful brunch with family and friends, who have become friends. In addition to our traditional mimosas, I added a peach Bellini to the drink menu. Additionally, my sister-in-law added some coquito to the mix. Unbelievably, we went through more than 40 rolls, a pan and a half of cholesterol bake, hash browns and countless cookies. Needless to say, we were all in a carb coma after the meal.

Afterwards, we cleaned up the leftovers, while the Roomba vacuumed up for us. The hubby took a quick nap and then we headed over to Mel’s house for games. At Mel’s we played dachshund themed Monopoly game followed by poker. I lost badly at both games.


Now we’re finishing the day at my brother’s house with another awesome meal. Fortunately, this one is heavy on the protein. Albeit, I couldn’t pass up Brandi’s incredible hash browns. Consequently, I have now eaten enough in one day to meet my calorie requirement for the rest of December. For the love of humanity and my clothes, I should probably fast all day tomorrow. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

All I Ever Wanted

“All I ever wanted, all I needed was you…” Yep, my happiness can easily be summed up with the lyrics from a Depeche Mode song. Now all I want for Christmas is all three of my kids under the same roof. Our airman made it home safe and sound for Christmas earlier in the week. Hence the lack of communication here. Obviously, I’ve been spending my time with him these past few days. However, I’m working today and he’s out on a lunch date with his beautiful girlfriend, so here I am.

The reunion between Jake and our puppies was absolutely priceless. After all this time, they remembered him like he left yesterday. There was a lot of excitement on their part. In fact, Athena, who is not a cuddler at all, spent Sunday morning cuddling with him on the couch. A dog’s love is wholesome, complete, and unconditional. It was a beautiful thing to witness. Initially, we let out just Maya and Athena, so they could reunite with Jake without interference from Anakin. Eventually, Anakin joined the party and welcomed Jake home with lots of kisses to his ears.

We headed to church with Jake to surprise Mel, who was signing that morning. It was a fabulous service. Afterwards we headed to brunch with Mel and her family. Goaleilocks had to work, so he and Papa Nerd stayed home. As for the rest of the time, I’ve really made no plans. Whatever my boy wants to do that’s what we’ll do. Lord knows he has plenty of structure in the service. In the mornings, he’s been hitting the clubhouse gym, which pales in comparison to his gym on base, with the Mayor. I went with them Tuesday, so I could complete my leg day workout. My workout schedule is all sorts of off this week. Nevertheless, the clubhouse gym provided a much needed opportunity to amp up my workout.

I’ve been baking for our Christmas brunch all week. Initially, I had some pretty ambitious plans, but I have decided to keep it simple this year. Mostly because it took three attempts to get the mint cookies completed since the dough goes quite fast. Yesterday, I baked another batch of mint cookies, the joulutorts (Finnish star cookies,) and mint bars. I’m going to start my caramel rolls this morning, so everything is ready to rock and roll tomorrow morning. I’ll also get the pulla baked today. Both take significant time to make, but most of it is not active time. There’s a lot of waiting involved for both breads. Late this evening, I’ll knock out the Krumakes if I’m up to it. Those could be easily made tomorrow morning before guests arrive. We will be filling them with whipped cream, cloudberry jam, lingonberry jam and blueberry jam.

Speaking of cookies, my dear friend Brian dropped off his famous Christmas cookies Tuesday afternoon. It was such a gift to see him. Naturally, we really enjoyed the cookies. In fact, they didn’t see Tuesday night. Moreover, my airman and him were able to speak about their experiences in the Air Force. It was nice to be a party to the conversation. As we celebrate Christmas Eve tonight and Christmas tomorrow, my heart will be full. Rest assured we will savor every moment we have with all three of our boys during the holiday season. While our hearts our full of gratitude, we hold in our heart the servicemen and women that aren’t able to be with their families this holiday season. Lastly, we send them and their families our love, gratitude and prayers.

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

*I read The Red and The Black, Stendhal by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 4 of BBG 3.0 week 7, which means it is cardio day. However, I still have to complete the arm workout.

*I’m so excited!!!! He’s here!

*We’re headed to church with Mel and her family for Christmas Eve. Afterwards, we’re heading to my brother’s for some appetizers and games.

*I will, hopefully, finish my baking.

*I am enjoying the MN Christmas blizzard from afar. Our temps are a bit warm today as we head back into the 80s.

*I actually know that today is Friday and I’m pretty excited about it. It’s here and I’m pretty damn excited about it!

*Today I ran two miles and walked a quarter of a mile. I’ve started running with Anakin outside since the weather has been nice. He’s much faster than me, so it’s been quite the adventure. Fortunately, he hasn’t killed me trying to pursue a lizard or mouse.

*Today’s word of the day is rejoice, which is pretty fitting for my current emotional state.  

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. I’m a bit sick of them tracking in the mud on the freshly vacuumed white tiles. It has been so humid here in the mornings that they’re getting a bit muddy in the backyard.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is Carol of the Bells performed by Lindsey Sterling;

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It’s here!

It’s here! We have a new fridge. I gotta admit I’m pretty excited about the newest appliance in our life. In fact, dare I say I was a bit verklempt as the installers finished their work? Truly this would be no exaggeration of how I felt as I looked at my new fridge. First of all, it’s shiny and new and looks great. You should have seen the scratched up exterior of the old one. It looked horrible. Secondly, I no longer have to traipse between the garage and the kitchen when cooking. Lastly, did I mention that it looks awesome? I mean, it really looks much better than the old fridge.

The Before Pic

I was pleasantly surprised that the installers came early in the delivery window. They were pleasant, professional, and quick. Honestly, they had a new fridge in, hooked up, ready to go, and the old fridge out of the house in less than 20 minutes. They were awesome! Moreover, the timing couldn’t have been better. Since it takes a fridge for about three hours to get to the proper temperature, the fridge would be ready to go when my groceries were delivered after 12:00 pm. The boys love the new fridge since it easily accommodates five gallons of milk and their lemonades Fortunately, the new fridge provides much better usage of the space and will hold a lot more. In fact, it has enough freezer space, so we can finally defrost and clean our deep freezer.

Anyway, I had hoped to spend the Christmas season in Norway. It’s really how I envisioned celebrating my 40th birthday. While my birthday was in March, I’d really like to experience the winter holidays and Aurora Borealis in Scandinavia. Unfortunately, the pandemic has been the great destroyer of plans and travels dreams. Ultimately, it will work out better since this Christmas will be able to spend it with Jake. Nonetheless, my dream of a Scandinavian Christmas will live on and planning will commence once the world reopens.

Since I couldn’t get to Scandinavia this Christmas, I’ve decorated the house in Scandinavian fashion. Albeit, the decorating has not yet been completed. I’m waiting on Amazon to deliver some additional decorations to complete the look. Hopefully, they’ll arrive before Christmas. Needless to say, Christmas nisse will look a bit out of place come January. I found some great items on Amazon to compliment the ornaments and decorations I bought on my travels, so I’m pretty excited.

Truthfully, there is nothing I am more excited about than having Jake home for Christmas. It’s really the only present I wished for this year. The countdown clock is winding down and the anticipation is killing me. These last few days are going to take a century. I can feel it! It’s amazing how fast time has flown. It’s already been more than a year since he left for Basic. As they say, time flies when you’re having fun.

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

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 5 of BBG 3.0 week 6, which means it is ab day

*I’m so excited!!!! I’m counting down the days until my oldest boy comes home for Christmas! His arrival is getting closer!!!!!

*I actually know that today is Friday and I’m pretty excited about it. It’s here and I’m pretty damn excited about it!

*It’s here! I took delivery of my new shiny fridge! I’m so happy it’s here!

*Today I ran a mile and walked a mile. It went well today.

*Today’s word of the day is procrastinate. I continue to procrastinate in completing my life insurance exam.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. I’m a bit sick of them tracking in the mud on the freshly vacuumed white tiles. It has been so humid here in the mornings that they’re getting a bit muddy in the backyard.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is Cleopatra, by The Lumineers

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Still Don’t Know What Day It Is

I still don’t know what day it is. Early into the pandemic, I wrote a post about having no idea what day of the week it was now that everything is on a from home basis. Flash forward to now and I still don’t know what day it is. You would think it would have gotten marginally easier as time elapsed and some normal activities have started again. But alas, I’m still lost. In fact, I spent much of today thinking it was Friday. However, as my calendar so painfully reminded me, it is only Thursday or Friday eve.

It would be magnificent if it was Friday as it would mean my new fridge would be here and the workweek would be almost over. As it happens, I’ll have to cook one more dinner traipsing between the garage fridges and the kitchen. Our fridge is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow between 7:00 am and 1:00 pm. If there anything like AT&T, they’ll arrive in January. Obviously, I’m hoping that there on time and nice, professional people. Honestly, I’m a little fearful of having them deliver a fridge without the hubby home. After all, a delivery man employed by Best Buy’s delivery contractor murdered a woman last year when delivering an appliance. If you haven’t read the story, it’s horrific.

Also, if it was Friday, I’d be one day closer to Jake being home. I mean, the countdown is on! I cannot wait to have all three of my boys back under the same roof even if it is only for a short time. As for the younger two, they’re pumped that Jake will be home for Christmas. We are all looking forward to seeing how Maya and Athena react to having him home. Athena is quite perceptive. Every-time he would come home from the recruiter’s office, she would be depressed. It was like she knew that recruiter was going to her Jake away from home. Needless to say, I think she’ll be beside herself when he gets home.

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

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 4 of BBG 3.0 week 6, which means it cardio day. However, I was feeling a bit under the weather yesterday, so I’ll be completing the upper body workout today.

*I’m so excited!!!! I’m counting down the days until my oldest boy comes home for Christmas! His arrival is getting closer!!!!!

*I still don’t know what day it is…..

*Today I ran a mile and walked a mile. It went well today.

*Today’s word of the day is bomb. I hope I don’t bomb my life insurance licensing exam tomorrow. Instead of decorating with rustic simplicity, I’ve been studying the nuances of life insurance.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. I’m a bit sick of them tracking in the mud on the freshly vacuumed white tiles. It has been so humid here in the mornings that they’re getting a bit muddy in the backyard.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is Forever (Garage Version) by Mumford & Sons:

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O Tannebaum

O Tannebaum that wonderful Christmas song celebrating the arboreal symbol of our greatest holiday Christmas has been playing in my head since yesterday. Last night, we put up our new tree. I had ordered it after Thanksgiving and they finally delivered it yesterday. To be fair, when I say we, I really mean the hubby put up our new tree. While it needs some plumping and some time to decompress from its packaging, it still looks pretty good. Immediately, it’s presence transformed the house into a place of holiday warmth and good tidings. It’s no wonder we left it up so long last year. It’s hard to be upset or disappointed when looking at a beautiful tree.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to start decorating the tree tonight and this weekend, which will only add to the cheer it brings. This year I’ve added a few Air Force ornaments to celebrate Jake’s service. Over the years, I’ve also picked up Christmas ornaments throughout our travels. Scandinavians know how to do Christmas, so I bought plenty of Christmas decorations while in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Not only do they represent our heritage, but each decoration carries with it memories from our travels. Consequently, since we haven’t been able to travel much this year, our memories of journeys past will have to sustain us during this time of pandemic.

As we get ready to decorate the house, I’m reminded of how much I need to bake. This year I’m planning to make Pulla (Finnish cardamon bread,) Joulutortu (Finnish Christmas star cookies,) mint cookies, Krumkakes (Norwegian cookies,) Kringla (Norwegian cookies,) and lefse. Ordinarily, my mom and grandmother make molasses cookies, which I love. I have found, however, that with the humidity in Florida it is hard to make good molasses cookies. They usually come out to wet or way too dense. Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to baking this holiday season. For the star cookies and krumkakes, I’m planning to use cloudberry, lingonberry and blueberry. My personal favorite is the cloudberry.

Unrelated to Christmas, Anakin starts puppy kindergarten today. He really needs training as it has been delayed due to COVID. Due to the pandemic, we’re bringing someone into the house to work with him one on one. He’s a fabulous puppy, but he needs to be better trained. I’m excited to see how he does with the trainer.

And now for some entertainment, here’s the Mayor singing his version of O Tannebaum on a random drive to the rink nine years ago.

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

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 5 of BBG 3.0 week 4 and I’m doing the ab workout today. If it’s anything like the other two workouts, it’s going to kick my butt.

*Today I ran one mile and walked a mile today.

*Today’s word of the day is propine, which means a gift.

*I’m looking forward to crashing on the couch after work with my beloved puppies!

*Before I crash with the puppies, I will be cooking up a delicious meal courtesy of HelloFresh.

*After today, my running streak stands at 4 days.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. Today’s footprints may have included some ashes since they knocked over the grill. There are, however, no kitties in this house.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them!

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One Year

One year ago, we said our goodbyes to Jake at MEPS Miami. We headed home, while he awaited his departure to basic training. It’s amazing how quickly the year has gone, but also amazing how the memory of all those emotions comes flooding back. Last year, I felt I had left a piece of my heart at MEPS as my boy went off into the unknown. We didn’t really know what to expect as he began his journey in the service, which left us with a bit of anxiety and fear. Of course, all of those emotions were mixed in with the immense pride we felt in seeing him take the oath.

Now here we are a year later, we’ve fallen into the rhythm of what it means to be a military family. It took adjustments. Particularly, it took a lot of adjusting in the beginning. His time in Basic was definitely the worst since we rarely heard from him. Once he graduated Basic and headed to Tech School, it got a bit easier. I say a bit because it’s never easy to be away from your kids. Also, his tech school was really rigorous and a lot of people don’t make the cut. Not surprisingly, he soared through tech school as he soared through Basic. I had worried that he’d sound sad or upset when calling from Basic. You can imagine my surprise and relief at hearing him sound happy, confident, and knowing that he was now where he belonged.

When we left him at MEPS, he was our boy. When we saw him again at BMT Graduation, he had transformed into a man and world-class airmen. Without a doubt, the young men and women that serve are given an incredible gift. They’re given the gift of understanding an objective that is bigger than themselves. Their Instructors teach them that under no circumstance is a wingman left behind. Moreover, the military teaches them responsibility and discipline. Imagine if more people lived by that credo. Maybe we wouldn’t have people fighting over wearing a mask to protect others. Perhaps people would learn to see the world through a wider lens instead of being so self-absorbed.

As for the present day, I’m now on a whole new countdown. Now, I’m counting down the days until he comes home for leave. That’s right my friends, my boy is coming home for Christmas!! Best present ever! Before he arrives, we have some decorating to do. I finally have all my photos framed and ready to hang for my Air Force wall. We also got a new Christmas tree today, which we’ll be putting up shortly. I’m curious to see if Anakin likes to hide under this one as much as our old tree. Our old tree finally gave out after fourteen years of service. It was starting to look like an extremely tall version of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

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

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*I can’t believe it’s been one year! I’ve been looking back at photos and blog posts from last December. It’s fun to look back at the pictures and see how shy he looked. The transformation from December to February was amazing!

*Today I ran one mile and walked a mile today.

*I spoke too soon the universe continues to correct me.

*I’m looking forward to crashing on the couch after work with my beloved puppies!

*Before I crash with the puppies, I will be cooking up a delicious meal courtesy of HelloFresh.

*After today, my running streak stands at 3 days. Today’s run really challenged and frustrated me.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. The only challenge is when the muddy footprints continue onto the white tile.

*BBG 3.0 week 4 day 4: running! After taking a six week hiatus from BBG, it’s really kicking my butt.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them!

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