Utah Bound

We’re wheels up on our way to Utah and I couldn’t be more excited. For the ten months, our oldest was deployed overseas and is finally home!!!!! I can’t tell you how hard it was as a mother to have a kid down range. I can only think of the Military moms and wife’s that came before me when the technology took keep us connected didn’t exist. My heart would have been in my throat daily if I had to wait for a letter via post. Technology, as sucky as it can be, was an absolute god send during his deployment. Anyway, I’m super excited to be spending the next week plus out West with my boys.

Grad Party

We celebrated Goalielocks’ and his friend TK’s graduation with their grad party over the weekend. While TK is his friend, he and his family are considered family to us. It’s been amazing to watch the two grow up and go through the trials of elementary, middle school, high school and hockey together. So much has changed since they first became friends almost a decade ago.

Our friend Garlic Bob catered the event with an epic taco bar that was capped off with a nacho cheese fountain. Boy, can he cook! His food is always delicious and on point. We sampled his taco bar at a friend’s grad party last year and I instantly knew we wanted him for Goalielocks’ party. It was absolutely a no brainer.

I was a bit worried the tropical weather that dumped nearly a foot of rain in our area would keep a lot of people away, but we only had a few cancellations. Goalielocks played hockey in Dade County, which was underwater for most of the weekend. Unfortunately, that made it unsafe for his Miami based teammates to make the drive, which was a bummer.

I tried Pink Whitney for the first time at his grad party. Pink Whitney, of course, is the ubiquitous hockey mom drink of choice. I’m surprised it took so long for me to try it. I love it. It was so good! A couple of observations about the drink, it’s good, but it’s a bit sweet. Also, a group can drink a small bottle in minutes. To cut the sweetness, I recommend pairing it with sparkling water on ice. This would make it much less sweet and more refreshing.

The grad party was a rousing success. We finally headed home with two cars full of kids just after 12:30 am. Everyone had a great time celebrating the two boys graduation. I think, the highlight for me was the two boys cutting the cake and feeding each other. It was super funny. The cake, of course, was super yummy and beautiful. Hanh makes the best cakes! They’re always beautiful and super tasty without being too heavy in your tummy. It was a great night!

Twilight Zone

Last weekend’s hockey tournament was like stepping into the twilight zone. To be fair, it’s our fault for going. The memorial day tournament, as long as we’ve been involved in Florida hockey, has been an unmitigated disaster/twilight zone. This year’s tournament was no exception. Our weekend also had a 70s/80s flair courtesy of the Saddlebrook Resort. The furniture in our room was probably older than all of us.

Sunday was by far the worst day. Our first game of the day was an absolute disaster. In fact, it’s probably the worst hockey experience I’ve had to date. That my friends is saying a lot. One of the refs was not sober and did the job at a level commensurate to his lack of sobriety. There were only two refs as well because folks don’t want to pay for four. We should demand that there are four at the higher levels.

Consequently, the other team ended up with two goals that should never have happened. One the opposing goalie caught the puck and held it. There should have been a whistle or a play the puck here, but there wasn’t. As our boys came off to change, the goalie release the puck to his teammate, who naturally got a breakaway and scored. The second goal happened after the puck hit the netting in the neutral zone and wasn’t whistled dead. Apparently, the puck never crossed the line either, but that wasn’t something I could see from my vantage point.

By the third period, we had tied it up and the game started to devolve. There were several skirmishes that resulted in players being tossed from the game. Strangely, the refs never reported any player numbers or corresponding infractions. It was an absolutely odd situation. However, it would only get weirder after the game when the opposing coach added a goal for his son to the scoresheet. Thankfully, there was someone in the tournament office that watched the game and knew it had ended in a tie. Who does that shit?

The assistant coach added a goal for his son after the game.

The oddness of the day was punctuated in our second game by an opposing parent that walked back and forth behind the bench flicking off the kids. Seriously? I should also say the opposing coach was an asshole trying to get us to forfeit stating we had suspended players that were playing. Obviously, that was complete bullshit. I firmly told the coach to take note of the suspensions already noted as served on the scoresheet. He took a picture and huffed back to his bench. What a loser. At any rate, I will happily skip next year’s twilight zone tournament.

Monday we headed home, which is always a fun drive. There’s no worse road to drive than State Road 60. It’s awful anytime of the day and in any kind of weather. Once we got home, we quickly left again to go see my brother and sister in law that can to town Thursday. We all had a blast at the BBQ and the kids got to hang with their cousins, which was great.

Volleyball Banquet

Last night we had Goalielocks’ volleyball banquet at the high school. It was a nice dinner with both the boys and girls volleyball teams. He’s played volleyball the last two years, but there was no banquet last year due to Covid. Dinner was courtesy of Olive Garden, which was good. Fortunately, it settled in my stomach. I was a bit worried as my stomach had been quite sensitive lately.

While we ate, the coach, the senior captains and the underclass men gave their speeches. They were nice, brief and to the point. After the speeches came the awards. Goalielocks was awarded a letter in in varsity Volleyball. After the awards, the kids switched into active wear and the girls took on the boys. The girls beat the boys, which wasn’t super surprising given the talent on the girls team. A lot of Goalielocks’ team was relatively new to the sport. It was a fun way to end the volleyball banquet.

We’re currently driving to the west coast for hockey. There’s nothing I hate more than driving on state road 60. It’s honestly the worst road in the history of roads. In fact, the entire of state road 60 should be at least four lanes instead of one lane each way. There’s nothing more disconcerting than your car shaking as a semi speeds by heading the other direction.

My outfit for the volleyball banquet

We’re still a good two hours out from our resort. While we’re heading west for hockey, we thought we’d make it worth the parents’ while by booking an nice resort. Consequently, we’ll be staying at the Saddlebrook Resort and Spa. The resort has a couple of incredible pools, which is where I plan on spending my day tomorrow. Since we only have to be playing this year, our game schedule is nice and light.

Turks and Caicos

Last month I spent six days in the beautiful Turks and Caicos with my beautiful Momcation friends. This trip has been three years in the making and delayed twice due to COVID. We stayed in the most incredible villa, Tip of the Tail Villa, which was absolutely beautiful inside and out. Moreover, the villa comes with a staff including a butler, maids and a professional chef. Needless to say, Chef and Sheldon spoiled us rotten. We ate like queens day in and day out. Every meal was better than the last one. I don’t think I could even pick a favorite if I tried because they were all that good.

Usually on Momcation, we hang out almost exclusively at the house maybe going on one excursion. This time we took several excursions and all were well worth it. Wednesday night we hit up the world famous Da Conch Shack, which has a live junkanoo band that night. Honestly, it lived up to expectations. Our food was super tasty and the atmosphere was phenomenal. Thursday night we went to the world Famous Fish Fry. It was okay, but Da Conch shack was better. Friday night we did a sunset champagne cruise, which was absolutely sublime. We even saw some dolphins. Lastly, saturday morning we went Kayaking in the mangroves, which was incredible. We saw a large amount of baby sea turtles and baby sharks, which were super cute. Our adventures this trip were awesome.

If you’ve never been there before you should definitely consider it as a must-see destination. The beaches and waters of Turks and Caicos are second to none. In fact, the water in Turks and Caicos is on a whole other level. The different shades of blue are breathtakingly beautiful. More than that, the people of Turks and Caicos are super hospitable and welcoming. We didn’t run into one rude person, which after living in South Florida is a nice change.

Things to do when in Turks:

  • Go to Grace Bay and enjoy the beautiful white sand beaches. It’s a beautiful spot. You won’t regret spending time here.
  • Visit Da Conch Shack (Wednesday if you want to see the Junkanoo band.) This restaurant is extremely popular, so make you make a reservation a couple of weeks before you trip.
  • Champagne Sunset Sail through Ocean Vibes was absolutely amazing. They have an open bar and plenty of food form local restaurants to keep you well fed as you drink.
  • Kayak tour with Rising Tide Charters. There are several kayak tour operators in the area, but what I loved about Paddle King Jennings and Rising Tide Charters was that our excursion was only us. We had a small intimate group whereas the other tours were quite large. Our guide brought a cooler full of water for us and was eager to share all he knew about the Islands, the mangroves and the animals that inhabit the mangroves.
  • Visit Mudjin Harbor on Middle Caicos. It’s not the easiest place to get to, but if you have the time I highly recommend it. We didn’t visit Middle Caicos this trip, but did visit Mudjin Harbor on our first Momcation in 2018.

Took a Break

I took a break from the blog over the past month to focus on really living and feeling the emotions of the last four weeks. Since I’ve been gone, I had a fantastic vacation in the Turks and Caicos with my favorite moms and my middle son graduated high school. Many emotions come with high school graduation, ranging from relief they made it, sadness because a chapter is closing, happiness because a new chapter is beginning, and pride for all they accomplished.

This time around, we were missing Jake, which made the moment bittersweet. We were all so excited to see him walk at graduation, but definitely were missing Jake’s presence. And I think Jake was bummed he missed the moment as well. Nonetheless, Jake was with us in spirit through Flat Airman Jake. He skipped out on the graduation ceremony as he doesn’t like speeches. He didn’t however skip out on dinner as. Flat Airman Jake loves hibachi just as much as Jake and the rest of our family love it.

For graduation, we had my folks and Luke’s dad in town for several days. It was nice to see my folks and Grandpa Steve after not seeing them for a long time. In fact, this was my parent’s first trip to visit us since the pandemic. They had come down in 2019 for Thanksgiving to see Jake off to BMT, but haven’t been able to return until Goalielocks’ graduation. Fortunately, for our guests, the weather was absolutely beautiful for most of their stay. In fact, it was quintessential Florida winter weather. Beautiful temperatures and low humidity. Unfortunately, we knew the shoe had to drop some time and the heat and humidity would come roaring back. The weather changed while they were here, but thankfully only during the last few days of their trip.

On graduation day, the weather was actually perfect. It was overcast, which kept us a bit cooler as we waited to get into the expo center. The Mayor and I timed it perfectly and were able to get awesome seats right on the main aisle with an unobstructed view of the graduates walking. Hubby and the grandparents came a bit later because they had stopped to get gas. Nevertheless, they didn’t wait too long to get in. It would be helpful if the district had a line for the seniors and those with disabilities. My father-in-law uses a cane and I think those with cane/walkers/wheelchairs should have an expedited entrance and not have to fight through the larger lines.

The ceremony itself was absolutely divine. For once the speakers gave practical advice like saving money and investing in your future. The valedictorian’s speech, Goalielock’s (aka Colin) friend, was poignant. After losing his father unexpectedly last fall, his friend continued to persevere and kill it at school and on the volleyball court. Furthermore, it was cool to see how the graduating class supported him throughout his speech. They had a unique high school experience, to say the least with a pandemic upending a lot of it. Yet the class of 2022 persevered and made it to the finish line. Post-graduation we enjoyed a nice hibachi dinner with family. I’m glad took a break to enjoy and live in the minute of my son’s graduation.

En Route

I’m officially en route to Turks and Caicos for Momcation 3.0. This trip has been three years in the making and couldn’t have come a moment too soon. To say I need some rest and relaxation would be an absolute understatement. For the next five days, there will be no fucks given about anything as I soak up the sun in paradise with some of my favorite people!

The Mayor’s Prom

Last night was the Mayor’s prom. He and his teammate Danny went with Danny’s sister and best friend. The Mayor was defitjeily anxious to get dressed and get to his buddy’s house to get the festivities going. He and Goalielocks both opted for the gray suit, which looked super good on both of them. He added light gold accents to match his date’s beautiful dress.

The girls weren’t ready when we first got to their house, so we had a blast taking photos of our two hockey players. They’re absolute characters. I have to say I was impressed as my boy dropped his voice and introduced himself to all of his date’s family. Albeit, it was quite amusing that he dropped his voice and octave or two. The resulting photos of the boys were absolutely incredible. There are so many great photos, I don’t know where to even start.

When the girls came down, they were absolutely stunning. Their dresses were gorgeous. Aubrey opted for a white dress with pink and rose gold accents. Her friend opted for a blue dress. After seeing all the prom pictures from this weekend, I think most girls wore blue this year. Before heading out for pictures, the boys gave the girls their corsages. Afterwards, the girls pinned on the boys boutonnières.

The Mayor was in rare form as we took pictures outside and in the limo. He may or may not have given his buddy’s grandma a shock as he did a cup check during family pictures. Perhaps the picture was the one that captured his reaction when they told him the limo had chocolate milk. As they made there way to the limo, he did the “no pictures” pose. And then they were off!

Meanwhile, we watched the Panthers game until the limo came back to take us parents to dinner. Originally, we were thinking Restoration Hardware for dinner, but they had no more sittings available. This in spite of the fact their restaurant was half empty. Consequently, we ended up eating at True Food Kitchen in Rosemary Square (formerly known as City Place.). After dinner, we we’re all fried and ready for bed. Meanwhile, the Mayor’s prom was a huge success.

Prom Season

It’s prom season here in the Hockey Mom Fig household. This weekend our younger two will be heading to prom. Goalielocks is going to his senior prom tonight, while the Mayor will be going to prom tomorrow. Getting these two ready for prom has been quite the adventure. Last weekend, I had them both fit at Men’s Warehouse for tuxes. They were both in rare form and had the gentlemen fitting them in stitches. I, however, was in less than a great mood as the tuxes set me back nearly $600. Now prom is expensive for girls, but at least they get to keep their outfit.

Last night, I took the Mayor for a sorely needed hair cut. He looks great! Goalielocks needed one as well, but had volleyball practice, so it didn’t happen. Oh well, his hair looks fine as it is. Once Goalielocks got home from practice, we headed to Men’s Warehouse to pick up the tuxes. It was a zoo albeit better than it had been Saturday. We were quickly served.

What took a minute was having each of the boys try on their outfits. Goalielocks chose a grey suit with a darker gray vest and a red bow tie and pocket square. His pants were a little shorter in style, but I’m told that how the kids wear them these days. Meanwhile, the Mayor also picked out a gray suit (albeit a different one) with rose gold accents. His pants were quite a bit longer, but fit really well. It was interesting to see their individual styles come through in each of their tuxes.

After the fitting we went back home to watch the end of the Panthers’ game. Unfortunately, Hulu was down, so that couldn’t happen. Consequently, we ended up watching Gordon Ramsey adventure through Finnish Lapland. It was fun to see him foraging through the swamp for my favorite cloud berries and blueberries. The scenery was amazing. I look forward to returning to Finland and exploring the country beyond Helsinki. And for tonight, it is night one of prom season! I love it!

Senior Night

It was senior night for Goalielocks’ volleyball team last Thursday. Honestly, it’s hard to believe that he’s graduating high school. Time definitely flies by when you’re raising kids. We’ve all heard that old axiom and probably we’re super annoyed by it when our kids were toddlers, but it’s painfully true. Even if those toddler years seem to crawl buy with endless daycare and diaper bills.

All of the seniors played the first set, which was nice. Unfortunately, they didn’t play well. They were off and every bounce when the other’s team way. Also, let’s talk about officiating for a second. I’ve worked the penalty box for years and our ice hockey refs are super thick skinned. I’ve never seen an official hand out so many cards for hurt feelings before. At this point, I’m certain the ref would give the coach a ref card if she told them their shoe was untied.

We still can’t follow the rules for volleyball, but I’m not sure if that’s because we’re slow or the officials are uneven in their application of said rules. It’s a much different game from hockey, but fun to watch. The parents in the stands, bat shit crazy like hockey. People think I’m crazy for working the ice box that is the penalty box, but here’s the deal. I’d rather freeze my ass off in the box, then listen to some idiot parent wax philosophical about the play of every kid on the ice.

Senior night, as it always is, was emotional for all involved. The end of an important chapter of Goalielocks’ life and ours is quickly coming to a close. Its been fun to watch him grow and thrive even if some days, I’ve wanted to tear out my hair. His last day of school is coming quickly. I’m not ready for it, so buckle up folks because you’re in for weeks of sentimental blog posts.