Today Was A Dream

Today was a dream of a day. Since I’ve left the corporate life behind me, I’ve been enjoying my time with the kiddos and family. It’s been amazing to be able to spend time with my family without worrying about professional repercussions.

Today was a dream day that started like most others: my yummy Dunkin in my hand and some quality time with Jake and the puppies. Ordinarily, I’d go for a run or rollerblading in the morning, but there was not time for that today. Plus my legs were sore from running two miles yesterday for the first time in months.

The weather was absolutely dreamy. Chilly in the morning and absolutely perfect, with almost no clouds in the sky, the rest of the day. It was the perfect day for lunch along the intracoastal waterway in Fort Lauderdale. One of my favorite hockey moms lives in Miami, so this was the perfect meeting place.

I hadn’t been to Blue Moon Seafood Co in ages, but it was just a good as I remembered. We started with some wine, baked brie and calamari. The baked brie was served like a cream puff on a pool of coconut cream and apple chutney. It was simply amazing! The calamari was just as good.

Our main courses, were just as scrumptious as the appetizers, but I forgot to take a picture before I started eating. Since I’m trying to minimize my gluten intake, I opted for the spinach and blackened shrimp salad. I’m not quite sure what happens in their kitchen, but it might be wizardry as that was the best salad I’ve ever had. Meanwhile, Jodi was enjoying their mahi mahi entree. Honestly, it almost felt like a crime for food this good to be but one get one free. Thankfully, it is two for one special, so I can afford to go back more often.

After lunch, we stopped at Dunkin to grab some coffee and talk shop. My girl has been using Melaleuca products for awhile and invited me to join. As many of you know, the past year has been a struggle as I’ve dealt with autoimmune thyroid disease. I’ve found that my body has grown increasingly sensitive to certain food and chemicals. I’ve been looking for a good option to replace some the products in my house and this was the perfect opportunity.

I actually placed my first order this evening and can’t wait for it to arrive. I’m hopeful that these beauty and household products won’t send my body into autoimmune hell. Standby for the product reviews.

Unfortunately, we had to cut coffee short as my parents plane was landing early – like way early. The jet stream was clearly in their favor today. Picking them up was quick albeit it took me awhile to find them. Usually they wait inside for us, but they decided to wait outside. My mom definitely made up for the airport snafu with the tumblers she picked up for as a Caribou. As you can imagine, anyway my parents come to town is a dream day.

Thankfully since their plane was early, I was able to make it home in time to make my 4:00 yoga class. I just joined Open Heart Yoga Studio in Boynton and it’s absolutely amazing. Wednesday’s class is all about loosening muscles and improving strength and mobility. If ever there was a class designed for me, it is this one. I simply love it. Fortunately, I was able to share the experience with my mom today. I knew it would be the perfect anecdote to the stiffness that comes with flying.

Our night ended with Sal’s pizza and family time. That’s right not only do I have my parents in town, I also had all three of my boys home tonight. It’s like a lunar eclipse of a blood moon it happens every 3,543 years. I’m just happy to have the family home especially since Jake leaves on 20 days for the Air Force. We even hit a landmark as the Mayor is finally taller than his Grandma. All in all, in the immortal words of Sponge Bob, “It was the best day ever!”

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Made It Home

We made it home from Boston and I couldn’t be more grateful. Yesterday it looked like we were going to be in Bean Town thru Thursday! If I’m being honest, even though I was stoked he was cleared to fly, I was still very nervous.

This anxiety of course carried into both flights, but the first one especially. I could see him wincing in pain as we took off from Boston. At that point, he finally acquiesced and took a Tylenol. Meanwhile, I was a mess the whole flight.

I’m incredibly grateful to the great Delta flight attendants that brokered a seat swap, so I could sit next to him. In addition, to the seat swap, they gave him free earbuds and some nice treats from first class. They also checked on him quite regularly. I’m so thankful for them!

We made it home and he’s fast asleep. As expected, the flight made his headache somewhat worse. Fortunately, it seems the nausea has improved. He’s hoping to get back to school tomorrow, but it will really depend on how he’s feeling in the morning.

Expectedly, we’re both completely exhausted physically, emotionally and mentally. I haven’t quite processed the last 48 hours fully, but I’m sure in the coming days I’ll work through it. Plus, now I’m back home so I can go in my yoga silk and unwind. Thanks for all the support and your continued prayers and well wishes.

Quick Update

Quick update!  We’re in the ER here in New Hampshire after Goalielocks started experiencing nosebleeds last evening and this morning. While it is more likely related to the dry weather, it isn’t worth taking the risk. It certainly isn’t how we had hoped to spend the afternoon.

Back To School

Last week it was back to reality for us adults, but this week it is back to school for the kids in Palm Beach County.  It feels like they’ve been off from school forever even though its only been a couple of weeks.  With the kids heading back to school, life will truly feel like its back to normal.  Well, back to normal or a couple of days until we head to Chicago for a tournament.

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As a kid, the harbinger that school was near was always the Minnesota State Fair.  If you’re looking for great fried food on a stick of all varieties, this is the place for you.  One of our last trips to the fair, we enjoyed a fried candy bar on a stick.  Albeit it may have had at least a million calories, it was worth every one of them.  Other great eats include the Sweet Martha’s Cookies, cheese curds, funnel cake and Fresh French Fries.  They too are worth every calories.

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In contrast, for our kids, a return to the rink is the forerunner to school’s imminent return.  In fact, it serves as the signal both in August and in January.  Nonetheless, it doesn’t make it easier for the kids to get back into their school routines.  Who wants to get up early and go to bed earlier? None of the children in my house that’s who.

Speaking of hockey, the Mayor and Hubby headed over to Estero (west coast) for two games today.  Since we all went yesterday, I stayed home to finish the grocery shopping and wrap up preparations for our forthcoming Chicago trip.  Over the years, we’ve amassed quite of bit of winter wear, however, these pesky kids keep growing.  Now I’m trying to figure out what I need to buy for each.  Thankfully, Amazon Prime will have them here by Wednesday!

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I cannot wait to go to Chicago!  We used to go there several times a year when we were still living in Minneapolis.  The Hubby’s grandfather used to live in Oaklawn while my Aunt and Uncle lived in Northbrook.  Moreover, my bestie from high school now lives in suburban Chicago, which means I get to see her and her family this weekend.  Did I mention I can’t wait?

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As for the Mayor’s games today…  Unfortunately, the highlight of their day was lunch at Twin Peaks which says it all.   There’s no doubt my Mayor had to be tired as he had a pretty quick turn around from our Orlando trip.  While we got home at 10:45 pm last night, he had to leave again for the west coast at 6:45 am.  You’ll be shocked to know he fell asleep on the couch a good fifty minutes ago.

Tonight’s song performed by Dropkick Murphy’s is one of the Mayor’s favorite hockey songs.  The song of the evening is “I’m Shipping Up To Boston.”

Super Saturday

Super Saturday

Today was definitely a super Saturday as I spent it at the rink with the Mayor and his team.  Fortunately, we were local playing two games down in Coral Springs.  Moreover, the scheduler did a great job as his games were perfectly scheduled.   Consequently, I was able to pick up the race packets for the Purple Stride event after the team lunch.

The Mayor came out on fire this morning in game 1 against the Panthers scoring a beautiful goal on his first shift.   He ended the first period with a goal and an assist.  His team has come together nicely and really plays for each other.  In the second period, his line-mate BK came to visit me in the Sin Bin.  The ref sent him to the box for for interference after he took down the kid that had just leveled the Mayor.  He came into the box and said “there’s no way I was gonna let him get away with hitting the Mayor.”   Honestly, when a kid comes to the box for defending their teammate, I’m never mad.  Sticking up for your teammate is what good teammates do.

That penalty was in the second period, but BK would be back to visit me in the 3rd.  The Mayor took the puck on our blue line and started heading towards the offensive zone when a linebacker of a player boarded him in the neutral zone.  The player really should have been called for a 2 and 10, but whatever….

Fortunately, the Mayor wasn’t hurt.  He skated hard down to the offensive zone, where the same kid had just checked his line-mate BK into the boards.  The Mayor laid this kid out.  I gotta be honest, I was proud of him for sticking up for himself and his teammate.  The hit was a real beauty and would have been perfectly legal if they were bantams.  While the Mayor may be small in stature, he is large in personality, strength and presence on the ice.  Undoubtedly, the player he laid out will remember him.

Afterwards, we headed to Lefty’s for lunch with the team.  My brother met us for lunch, so the Mayor was totally stoked.  Originally, I hadn’t planned on staying at lunch because I had to pick up the packets.  My bro was able to take the Mayor back to the rink, so I could go to Boca to get the packets.  Meanwhile, the Mayor was super excited to spend some time with his uncle.

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Both J&B and then Rich were able to join us for the second game, which was a much tighter contest.  It was a fun game to watch and the kids worked hard together.  They enjoyed watching him play.  The Mayor use his new stick even if it was a little tall for him.  He was just a little excited about it.   At the end of the day, I love watching the Mayor’s squad play.  They create an atmospheric experience at their games.  Undeniably, there is nothing better than watching these kids come together and start playing for each other.

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Now it’s off to sort shirts and put together the packets for tomorrow’s race.  Undoubtedly,  I’m nervous for the race since my training has been non-existent and I hate sucking.  If you haven’t donated to the team or still want to join (it’s not too late), you can donate at this link or register at tomorrow’s event.

Tonight’s song is “Machinehead” by Bush.

Saturday With the Mayor

Saturday with the Mayor

While hubby and Goalielocks headed to Orlando for hockey, I️ spent my Saturday with the Mayor. After a long week of activities at work, I️ needed a low key day. What better way to spend it than with my Mayor.

I️ started my day at Burn with the Circuit Burn class with Amanda and a traditional yoga class with Kelly. I️ was bummed aerial was cancelled today, but it’s always good to hit my mat. Not surprisingly, the combination of circuit training and yoga is a great pairing that works your entire body in a variety of ways.

I had to run to Dick’s today to exchange my shoes.  I had purchased a new pair of running shoes a couple of weeks ago.  Since I had been experiencing some shin pain followed by a cold, I didn’t open the box until this week.  Apparently, a size 7 in the UK is not equitable to a size 7 in the US.  Whoops! You can imagine my surprise as I went to lace up my new kicks and they were way too big.  Lesson learned! 

Thankfully, Dick’s had the Kayano 24’s in stock in my actual size.  I should also say they make exchanging or returning items very easy.  I really enjoy shopping there.  Admittedly, I’m completely addicted to Carrie Underwood’s line of active wear, but I digress.   Finally, after finishing my errands with the Mayor, I️ logged a 2.5 mile run. Undoubtedly the Purple Stride event is going to kick my butt next week. I️ am so not ready for it! Nonetheless, I️’ll be logging miles all week in preparation for next Sunday.

Presently, I’m relaxing at Sports Clips while the Mayor enjoys a shampoo, cut and massage. It’s good to be the Mayor! Thankfully, mom isn’t a neophyte when it comes to boys’ haircuts, so he didn’t get too closely shaven. A nice number 3 in back and a cut on top has him looking quite dapper!

Tonight’s song comes courtesy of REM.  Lil’ D and Chuckles inspired tonight’s song “Shiny Happy People.”

happy birthday Goalielocks

Happy Birthday Goalielocks

Happy Birthday Goalielocks!  Today you’re 14 years old and I cannot believe how quickly time has flown by.   You’re a good egg and the perfect panacea to my bad days.  As you grow older, may your heart stay big and loving and may your mind stay open and curious.  Never stop challenging old assumptions or challenging yourself to be better, smarter and stronger than you are today.

“I never want this to go unsaid,
So here in this poem is for it to be said.
There are no words to express how much you mean to me,
A son like you, I thought could never be.
Because the day you were born, I just knew,
God sent me a blessing- and that was you.
For this I thank Him every day.

You are the true definition of a son, in every way.
It is because of you that my life has meaning.
Becoming a mom has shown me a new sense of being.
I want you to know that you were the purpose of my life,
Out of everything I did- it was you that I did right.
Always remember that I know how much you care,
I can tell by the relationship that we share.
For a son like you there could be no other,
And whether we are together or apart,
Please do not ever forget-
You will always have a piece of my heart.”

by Valerie Capasso

On Top of the World

On Top of the World

On top of the world in Bergen, high upon the city’s highest peak of Mt. Ulriken, the boys and I hiked with their aunts and uncles as the Mayor, the grandparents and my hubby waited at the overlook.  The Mayor, who had injured himself on Mt. Floyen, reluctantly sat out the challenging and rigorous hike to the peak.

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The hike was challenging, but rewarding.  As we neared the peak, a Norwegian Air flight soared closely over our heads as it approached Bergen’s main airport.   On top of the world in Bergen, there were running trails, multiple hikes and even a farm with sheep.  It would be wrong to be atop a mountain in Norway and not see sheep or goats.  Truly, it would be unnatural.

From our vantage point, we could see all of the beautiful city of Bergen. Far in the distance, you can see where the Norwegian land meets the north sea.   The city of Bergen is nestled between seven mountains on the Byfjorden (also known as the city fjord.)  Between the beautiful city and the North sea, there are several islands that protect Bergen from the harsh North Sea.  Undeniably, I cannot wait to explore those when we return to Hordaland.

There’s something soul cleansing about being on top of a mountain.  2017 has been a devastating year of unfathomable loss, but here atop the mountain we found peace  Moreover, in the peace and solitude of the moment, the beauty of our surroundings became a profound reminder of the beauty of life.  Unfortunately life, as much as we would like it to be pain free, is not without its rocky patches.   However, it is these rocky patches that made our time in Norway together so richly rewarding.

Albert Einstein, thanks to the internet and memes, has been credited with some great quotes.  In this instance, one of his quotes (and it is actually his) comes to mind.  “Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”  From atop the world in Western Norway, I sat amazed at the symbiotic relationship between the Norwegians and their land.

It is experiences like this that I love sharing with my kids.  These are the types of experience that broaden their world by exposing them to new worlds.  While they enjoyed the hike and the time with their family, they unknowingly broadened their circle.  Moreover as a mom, there’s nothing I enjoy more than sharing the beauty of our world with my boys.  I cannot wait to explore new places with them.

Vacation Planning

Vacation planning for families is no joke.  With a trip like that you can’t just plan things willy-nilly.  When planning a big family trip, especially overseas, a lot of careful planning and consideration must go into it.     We took over two years to plan the Norway trip given the cost, length of travel and number of people going.  My brother took point on the itinerary booking the Norway in a Nutshell tour.  Meanwhile, we booked a car and mirrored their stops.

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Renting a car in Norway was fairly easy and was reasonably priced through Hertz when booked with our AAA discount.  Driving in Norway was fairly easy and straight forward.  The roads were significantly narrower and full of roundabouts.  In stark contrast to South Florida, Norwegian drivers were adept at the roundabouts and very congenial drivers.  I didn’t hear a horn once.  Norwegians are serious about their speed limits with speed cameras littering their road ways.  Thank God for Waze and its speed trap warnings.  Waze and Apple Maps worked perfectly in Norway.

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Food is ridiculously expensive in Norway no matter which route you take. MacDonald’s set us back $60 in Bergen and that was fast food.   The lodging, however, was reasonably priced.  Hotels were nice as they often came with a complimentary breakfast that was quite impressive.  Our hotel in Trondheim, the Radisson Blu, had one of the most incredible hotel breakfasts I had ever seen.  The Air BnB’s worked perfectly for our family in Oslo and Bergen.  It was great to stay in the neighborhoods of these cities and away from the tourists.   Near our Air BnB in Bergen there was a great local coffee shop that had the most incredible coffee and treats.

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As I look to our next big trip, a couple of things I will keep in mind.  First, under no circumstance will I accept a compact car at the rental counter- no way, no how.  Secondly, the car was nice as it gave us a great opportunity to see the Norwegian countryside and cities, but it was slow going.  Next time, I think we will look to combine car, train and boat to see more of the country.  Thirdly, I will take out a second mortgage to cover the cost of food.  Lastly, when abroad it is not necessary to eat enough pastries to make up for the last two carb free years.  #lessonlearned

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My Running Partners

When I started running over two years ago, I didn’t know that I would love it so much.  Nor did I know that my running partners would be so important in maintaining my training or that they’d bring me so much happiness.

Most days my running partners are Jake and our dogs Maya and Athena.  The beautiful thing about running with these three is they keep a brisk pace.  Jake is particularly fast ,so running with him means I have to push myself.  The puppies like to be first, so which ever dog is in back is racing to catch up to their sister.

This can be a bit problematic when Jake and his puppy pull away from us.  Usually it’s Maya and I holding up the rear.  Jake’s got his mile below 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, I almost threw myself a party for breaking the 8 minute mile barrier.

Maya trying to keep pace with Jake means we’re pushing race pace almost every run.  Since Jake is so fast, Athena is usually super tired after two miles.  We’ll switch the puppies and walk them for awhile, so they can catch their breath and cool down a  little bit.

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By the time we start running again, the puppies’ energy is back and they’re ready to roll.  Some runs, Goalielocks or the Mayor will come with us.  For those runs, we usually cap our distance at three miles.  The best part of running with the puppies is how happy they are when we run.

While in Norway, Jake and I mixed it up a bit by hiking on the mountain trails.  It wasn’t a rigorous as our runs, but some parts of the trail were quite steep and took a lot of concentration to master.  The views were incredible and so was the weather.  No horrible heat indexes to contend with.

The unfortunate part of summer in Florida, is heat indexes in the triple digits.  As much as I love to run with my kids and my dogs, the summer heat makes it dangerous for the dogs.  Until the heat abates, I’ll be hitting the treadmill and missing my running partners.  When I run on the treadmill, there’s no sweet puppy looking back at me smiling as she enjoy the run.  Nor is there Jake, who motivates me to run faster and further every time we run.