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It’s State Tournament Time

It’s state tournament time here in Florida! Goalielocks and I made the trek across Alligator Alley early this evening. Surprisingly, the Friday night traffic wasn’t too bad. When we drove over last year for the Mayor’s tournament, traffic was absolutely horrendous!

Meanwhile back in Palm Beach, the Mayor and his team took the ice against the Florida Panthers Gold. That team had been undefeated in league play until today. That’s right our squad took it to them winning 4-3 in regulation!!!! Awesome sauce! I wish I had more pictures to share, but the hubby is manning the bench with Coach P.

When I spoke with the Mayor after Goalielocks’ game, he was so excited for his team. They worked so hard and they play for each other. Their squad is absolutely special!

In Ft. Myers it was a tight contest between our boys and the league leading Gulf Coast Flames. Honestly, probably one of the better games that I’ve seen them play. They were in it to win it and nearly did.

Our boys carried a 2-0 lead with 10 minutes left in the third. We had a couple of mistakes and some penalties that cost us dearly. Goalielocks’ partner in crime played one hell of a game and gave his team a shot to win it.

To say it was excruciatingly painful when they tried the game up, would be a major understatement. The boys didn’t give up though or lose steam. They kept pushing and working hard. In the end, it ended up going to a shootout. Sadly, we didn’t come away with the W, but we did get a point.

Now we’re at the hotel. Honestly, it’s been a bit of disaster. Our first room smelled like a testing room for Phillip Morris or a room above a cigarette lounge. Now we’re on our second room and the toilet doesn’t work. Consequently, the security guard is now in the bathroom trying to fix the toilet. It was temporarily fixed and then stopped working again. If it weren’t 12:30 am I’d be more adamant about the issue, but I need to sleep. Oh the humanity, Hilton’s corporate is definitely going to hear about this one.

Unimaginable Horror

This afternoon an unimaginable horror began to unfold.  As I walked past the break room, I saw the devastating news that there was an active shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland.  This high school is less than 30 minutes from our house and closer to my work.  Moreover, many of the kids we know through hockey attend this school.

Immediately, my stomach sank as I thought of the parents whose children attend this school.  While I was at work watching the events unfold, their worst nightmare was unfolding.  It seems that the accused shooter made many suspicious statements and his Instagram was clearly unhinged.  In fact, the PBSO bomb squad is at a home in Lantana as a consequence of today’s events.  He deserves to meet a slow and torturous fate.

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By 4:30 videos had started to emerge via social media of the day’s events.  When I tell you that they are beyond horrific, I would be lying because they’re much worse than that.  Unfortunately, these are videos we can’t un-see.  Experiences for these students they can’t ever forget.

I don’t have the answers that’s for damn sure, but tonight isn’t about answers.  Tonight’s blog is about the families whose world was shattered today.  The parents who spent their afternoon painfully awaiting the word their child was safe.  Their anguish, their anxiety had to be unimaginable.  Tonight we pray for these families.  We pray for our  extended hockey family as many of hockey players attend school there.  We hold close in prayer the hockey player that was shot during today’s events.  Moreover, we pray for those presently in the hospital and for their doctors.  Finally, our prayers go out to the families who are still looking for their loved one and to those that lost a child today.

Today’s events hit far too close for many of us in South Florida.  Undoubtedly, I’ll be holding my kids doubling tight tonight.  If you live in South Florida and have O negative blood, please consider donating blood as it is in short supply.  If you’re older than 16 and more than 110 lbs, you can set up a donation appointment here.

Tonight’s song performed by Disturbed is “Sound of Silence.”  It’s is a haunting and beautiful song.  This song is the perfect to listen to as you stop and reflect on life.

Hockey Weekend in Georgia

My Mayor and the Hubby got back today from their magical hockey weekend in Georgia. While I usually go on the out of state tournaments, since I’m going to Boston this week, I had to pass up on the trip.  Fortunately, it was a great opportunity for the Hubby and My Mayor to spend some quality time together.  And by quality time I do mean a 9.5 hour commute each way.  At least, they had Coach P and the Mayor’s teammate Nino to keep them company on the drive.

The actual tournament was outdoors on the University of Georgia campus in Athen, Georgia.  Yes you read that right it was an outdoor tournament in Athens, GA.  The rink itself is covered with a roof, but is otherwise in the elements.  I watched some of the games via Facebook live when it didn’t conflict with Goalielocks’ game.

Fortunately, I was able to catch the entirety of their Saturday night game via Facebook live.  Well sort of….  Unfortunately, the fog was unbelievably thick.  You couldn’t see anything outside of the neutral zone.  In fact, I’m not even sure that there were goalies out there.   As I watched the game unfold my imagination was running wild with the silliest ideas one could conjure.   The fog was so thick aliens or swamp monster could have kidnapped either goalie and nobody would have been the wiser.

Truly, it was an incredible sight.  Since they don’t check at peewee, the risk for injury was small.  If it was Goalielocks’ team in a hitting league, the game would not have gone forward.  It simply would have been too dangerous.   Amazingly, the fog made for some incredibly cool photos, which I’ll share here.

I just asked the Mayor was his favorite part of the trip was, aside from their visit to a strip club, and his response was priceless.  He responded “I don’t remember yet what my favorite part was.”  As soon as he remember his favorite parts of the trip, I’ll certainly share them with you. Meanwhile, the Hubby’s favorite part was seeing the state of Georgia, exploring Athens and the UGA campus.

Tonight’s song performed by one of Athens, Georgia’s own R.E.M is “Man On The Moon.”

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We Made It

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winter Solstice

It’s the winter solstice today, well at least it was at 11:28 am this morning.  The shortest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere is also the harbinger of longer days to come.  Unequivocally, I hated the short days of a Minnesota winter.  There’s nothing more depressing than a sunset at 4:30 pm.

Here in Florida, the sunset was around 5:30 pm tonight and was gorgeous.   If it weren’t for the horribly short days, you would hardly know it is winter here. Piggie and I were out on our run enjoying the beautiful weather.  As we pushed to mile 3, Piggie recoiled with fright into my left knee.   My left leg is a veritable disaster with hip flexors and a IT band so tight if it snapped, it would poke your eye out.  What was the monster that frightened her so?  Perhaps another animal or a loud car?  Oh no, my Piggie was afraid of the orange cone.  If I wasn’t so out of breath, I would have ended up on the ground in a laughing fit.

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As you’ve probably gathered from reading my recent blog posts, things have been a bit stressful in our household.  It’s not always amazing to own your own business, but that’s the price you pay for autonomy.  In addition, we had a health scare with one of our boys, so we ended up at a specialists office this afternoon. Fortunately, his bladder and kidney looked good on the ultrasounds.  This gave him quick relief as he was worried they’d find something in his organs.

Nevertheless, he will have to undergo an outpatient surgery in early 2018.  This should be quite simple and result in minimal downtime.  However, if anything is discovered during the procedure it could result in a more protracted and complicated recovery.  Here’s hoping for an uneventful procedure and a miraculous (quick and uncomplicated) recovery.

Speaking of miracles, I’ll need to start and finish my Christmas shopping (food included) in the span of 72 hours.  Unfortunately, this means online shopping isn’t going to work.  Well, unless I want to spend $250 for Saturday shipping, which I don’t as that’s ridiculous.  Wish me luck as I hit the stores with the snow birds and all the glorious people South Florida has to offer.

Tonight’s song, performed by one of our hockey sister’s Julia and her classmate, is “The Prayer.”

 

 

Hustle Like an Underdog

 “Attitude of a champion, hustle like an underdog.”  I saw the Daily Prompt and couldn’t believe my luck with today’s word.   This pretty much sums up this morning’s game  the Clarington Toros.  Goalielocks team came out with hustle like an underdog, but the heart of a champion.  The team’s first period was absolutely brilliant as they worked together scoring five goals.

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The squad was beset by a number of penalties in the 2nd and 3rd, which kept me quite busy.  We didn’t net nearly the number of shots as we had in the 1st period, but the boys still played well.  B2 was solid between the pipes while his defense did a great job protecting him.

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We didn’t expect to win this game against the hearty Canadian squad.  Today the team played with heart, hustle and for each other and the results speak for themselves.  Post game we headed home for lunch – more leftovers – and I got in another 3 mile run.  Today’s run was markedly better than yesterday’s, but I’m still slower than molasses in January in Minnesota.

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In a few minutes, we’ll drive back to the rink in a few for the second game of the day.  If the boys play like they did this morning, particularly in the first period, the sky is the limit for this crew.  Lastly, I’m hopeful that I have significantly less visitors tonight than I did this morning.

Today’s song “Feel Invincible” by Skillet.

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Honk If You’re Thankful

Honk if you’re thankful!  Judging from the sounds of my morning and evening commutes, S. Florida drivers are super thankful.  Who knew that it was gratitude driving this behavior not anger issues or self importance as I had thought.  I wanted to share with you one of my favorite Debbie stories tonight.

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Let me take you back to last winter.   Our boys had home games early.  The hubby picked up John and TK and bring them to the rink  for warm-ups.  Debbie and I didn’t need to be there an hour early. Consequently,  she picked me up an hour later.  She was even kind enough to stop at Dunkin’, so I could get my coffee fix.  On our drive to the rink, we talked about things she wanted to do in the near future.  She was headed North to New York to visit family and ski, but she wanted to go to Iceland to see the Northern lights.

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It was then that she dropped it on me.  Debbie had decided that she wanted me to take her to a rave in Miami.  Keep in mind, this was probably a week or two after the devastating fire at a rave in San Francisco that had killed 36 people.  Not to mention, raves in Miami aren’t known to be held in the safest locations or be the safest events.

I looked her and asked if she was serious and/or crazy, she was in fact quite serious.  As I’m digesting this request, it dawns on me that Debbie determined that I might just be the hockey mom crazy enough to take her to a rave.  Sadly, and I hate to disappoint people here, even I am not that crazy.   We started talking it through and I told her that likely we’d both end up dead if we went to a rave in Miami.  Can you imagine two hockey moms at a rave with glow in the dark pacifiers?  I mean, can you?

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Rather than head to a rave, I suggested we try going to Ultra or WMC in Miami.  The atmosphere would be similar, but more controlled than a warehouse rave.  Debbie started looking to possible DJ shows we could hit too, but that pesky hockey schedule kept getting in the way.  As it turns out, WMC and Ultra were scheduled on spring break when Debbie and the family were going to be out of town.

One of the things that struck me most in our conversation was the fact that Debbie and her family had been planning things in three month windows.  Debbie and John, throughout Deb’s illness, were both so inspiring in their attitudes and approach to life.  In that  moment, it struck me like a ton of bricks.  While we all plan our lives in days, months and years, they had been planning their life around an illness for almost two years.  Just when you think you’re inspired by people, they blow you away with their amazingness in a whole new way.

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On the heels of the boys’ state tournament, we received the devastating news.  Debbie’s doctors were admitting her to hospice.  Incomprehensibly, Debbie’s doctors determined that she had exhausted all treatment options.  It bothers me that Debbie and I never got to SoBe to enjoy a dance party, but I know she’s dancing in heaven.  The lesson here is don’t wait to pursue your passions or your bucket list trips – go for it now.  And of course, honk if you’re thankful.

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Lastly, tonight is the deadline for online registration for the Purple Stride event.  If you’re thinking about participating, it’s go time.  There is no deadline for online donations to the team.  However, donations received after Friday will not be applied to the team total.  You can join the team or donate here Support Team Deb Force Five!  You can also cheer us on Sunday at FAU.  The race starts at 8:30 am.

Tonight’s song is one of my favorites from Swedish House Mafia “Don’t You Worry Child.” At their peek, the group spent most of their time providing the soundtrack in SoBe.  I hope you enjoy the song!

 

Daily Prompt: honk

Goalielocks & Debbie

Goalielocks & Debbie actually sounds like the name of a television show, but its actually two of my favorite people for whom I’m eternally grateful.  Goalielocks always had an affinity for Debbie.  He loved her like a second mom.  Moreover, he had a profound respect for her.  He was devastated when she was diagnosed.  He actually knew before us as he had figured it out from comments TK had made at school.  However, he didn’t mention anything to us until after we had told him.   It was hard for him to wrap his head around the fact that she had done “everything right,” but was diagnosed with stage iv cancer.

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He didn’t understand how someone who didn’t smoke, drink, eat poorly and exercised regularly could get cancer.   My mother-in-law was diagnosed with Stage IV triple negative breast cancer in 2011.  At the time, Goalielocks was in fist grade. Undoubtedly, it was hard for us to tell the kids that their Grandma was so ill.  Nevertheless,  it made sense to him.  I’m sure that was weird to read that, but stick with me here.  Once we finished talking, Goalielocks said “it makes sense given she smokes, drinks, doesn’t eat right and doesn’t exercise.”  Strangely, as a six year old child, he had a pretty good handle on major diseases and their causes.   He was sad, but since the diagnosis made sense to him it wasn’t as scary.

Flash forward four years and the tough questions were coming our way.  While he could make sense of his Grandma’s diagnosis, he couldn’t wrap his head around Debbie’s.  Truth be told, I think many of us felt similarly.  It didn’t seem fair that someone who had followed all the rules ended up with this diagnosis.  Since the diagnosis didn’t makes sense based on behavioral patterns, the diagnosis was very scary.

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Cancer is a scary disease.  Debbie, however, showed Goalielocks and all of us what true strength was.  Moreover, she showed us what it means to be brave, to persevere, to love, and to live fully.  We were honored to be able to help their family while Debbie was on hospice.  Consequently, my boys spent a lot of time with her those last weeks.  In what was the most difficult season of her life, she continued to show us all what it means to love selflessly, to live fully and be brave.  I am forever grateful for the time my kids, the hubby and I were able to spend with her.  While her neither her diagnosis nor her passing make sense to us, she will forever serve as our inspiration to love selflessly, live fully and persevere.

There’s only thirteen days left to the Purple Stride Event in Broward-Palm Beach.  While we’re still $4,000 away from our goal, I am hopeful we can close the gap in the coming week.  To join our team or donate in Deb’s honor, please click here.  Currently, there’s no panacea for Pancreatic Cancer as survival rates remain around 7-8%.

Tonight’s song  “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”

Love is Stronger

Love is stronger than cancer undoubtedly.   It doesn’t always feel like that.  Sometimes the pain that cancer has caused brings us to our knees, but that’s why awareness and advocacy are hugely important.  Like most people, I wish I knew nothing about this insidious disease.  Why?  The only way you really learn about its devastating impact is when a friend or family member is diagnosed.   Otherwise, the disease is a complete mystery.  The battle, the fight for a cure for many of us is personal.

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Today begins Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month here in the states.  For us it will culminate at the Purple Stride event on November 19th.  I’m a huge supporter of Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and their goal to double survival by 2020.  Importantly, PANCAN is not only working towards a cure, they are a priceless resource to patients and families contending with the diagnosis.  My friend Debbie was a huge proponent of the organization and spoke at last years Purple Stride about how their services helped her and her family.

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For the last two year Debbie a fearless, courageous and incredibly strong women completed the Purple Stride 5K.   She was in the middle of chemo for stage iv pancreatic cancer and she completed a 5K.  Up until my first Purple Stride event, I didn’t think I could even run a mile let alone 3.1.   Her strength was so inspiring to me that I took up running.  I went on to complete 12 5Ks in 2016.  She made me better in so may ways.

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It breaks my heart to even think that she won’t be with us at this year’s Purple Stride.   Her absence makes our mission that much more important.  While Debbie is no longer her to champion the cause, we are and we will.  Until there’s a cure, until another family doesn’t have to suffer through this horrible disease, we will keep on fighting.  In her honor, I’ll be posting daily this month to help raise awareness and raise funds.  Finally, one thing I learned from Debbie, and there were so many, was living in gratitude.   Additionally, I’ll be including something that I’m thankful for in each of these posts.

You can help support the cause by joining or donating to our team here.

A Rare Free Saturday

Today was a rare free Saturday for this hockey mom and I took full advantage of it.  I started my morning up at Burn Fitness for their Circuit Burn class with Danielle.  It was my first time taking this particular class, which balances 5 circuits of strength training with running laps.  Undoubtedly, I expect to be quite sore tomorrow.   Nevertheless the class was a great compliment to my existing regimen.   Additional strength training is exactly what I need.

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Afterwards, I moved right into my aerial yoga class.  This was the second time  have taken an aerial yoga class.  Since Monica was away, we had a substitute today.   Our class was small and our substitute teacher was fantastic.  Comparatively speaking, I felt a lot more comfortable on the swing today than I did the first time.  I even managed to do a flip today.  #progress

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The nice thing about these classes is that by 11:15 I had already gotten in a two hour workout (including a run.)  While I would have enjoyed sleeping in a bit more, getting my workout out of the way early made for a productive day.  Further, since I had two great workouts, I was on the post workout high most of the day.  Can I tell you how productive I was today?  I actually got all of my errands done!  Unbelievably, this only leaves me with household chores and laundry to complete tomorrow.

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While I ran errands, Goalielocks had arranged with his teammates to go to stick and  puck at 3:00 pm.  This would have been nice to know before I got home from errands around 2:30 pm, but that’s okay.  The Mayor wanted to go too, but he’s battling a cold so he stayed home.   Notice how I still ended up at the rink on my rare free Saturday?

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I’ve never seen stick and puck so crowded.  The rink was full of hockey players.  Goalielocks and his teammates were able to carve off one half of the ice with some other players.  There was one that had forgotten his socks and had his shin guards on the outside of his pants.  At first glance, he looked a bit ridiculous and like someone that didn’t know what they were doing.  That was until he took a shot on Goalielocks.

Straight away it became apparent that this guy was no joke and was a serious player.  His shot was a laser.  He spent most of the hour shooting on Goalielocks and talking to him.   It turns out this guy played in the AHL for the Coyotes and saw some NHL preseason action previously.  His last professional stint was in Finland.  Due to a burst appendix, he’s currently without a team and is undergoing rehabilitation and retraining in Florida.

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You know why hockey’s the best sport in the world?  Here’s a pro rehabilitating from a major health condition that took the ice with my goalie and his buddies today.  Rather than put on airs of superiority, he worked with and shot on Goalielocks for the majority of the hour.  I could see them working together throughout the session.  He would shoot 5-6 pucks on Goalielocks in quick succession.  Afterwards, he’d give Goalielocks feedback and encouragement.  Goalielocks left the rink on cloud 9 today because of his experience with this pro.  Admittedly, Colin was proud since he was able to stop some of his shots.  At one point the guy’s shot was so hard that when Goalielocks caught the puck in his glove, his glove went flying off backwards.

Lastly, it’s always a good day when both mom and Goalielocks are feeding off our high’s from a workout.   The afternoon and Goalielocks’ great mood were quite disparate from his mood this morning.   Goalielocks found the anemone dead and that it broke the filter in the process.  Apparently our anemone decided to climb onto the filter ending both it’s existence and our filter.  Goalielocks was devastated.  Fortunately, I was able to get to Petco quick like to replace the filter and keep our clown fish George, star fish Bob and our crab Eugene alive.   After a busy day, I’m ready to chill on the couch while watching some Panther’s hockey.

Tonight’s musical interlude is The Cranberries – Dreams.  Growing up the Cranberries’ CD was one of the very first that I bought. It remains one of my favorite CDs.