Hurry Up And Wait

As I write this, I’m sitting at the DMV playing the hurry up and wait game. To be fair, I only got here thirty minutes early, which wasn’t nearly early enough. Apparently, my early arrival was not sufficient to spare me from a 2.5 hour wait in the beautiful DMV office of Delray Beach.

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I had high hopes that the rain and fears of Coronavirus would be sufficient to dampen the crowds, but alas I was wrong. Thankfully, my phone will help me pass my time in purgatory. Thankfully, once this renewal is complete, I should be able to do the next couple online. Can I get an amen?!?

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So while I wait, I’m going to book some travel, play some games and satisfy my social media addiction. Hopefully, they’ll be some entertaining people watching as the DMV usually provides great material. Here’s hoping your Friday is off to a great start.

 

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Detroit Weekend

Our Detroit weekend has absolutely epic. We ran into a bit of a snafu getting the rental car, but they were able to upgrade us into a vehicle that could actually fit our luggage and handle the snow. Victory! Our hotel was about twenty minutes west of the airport of of I-94. Fortunately, our hotel was on a golf course overlooking Ford Lake, which made for beautiful vistas.

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The weather when we landed was chilly, but not terrible. Our first game was at Yost Arena one the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor. I found the arena to be beautiful, but quite a bit smaller than Mariucci Arena at the University of Minnesota. Unfortunately, the boys didn’t play their best hockey and we fell to the Gulf Coast Flames. The irony here, of course, was that we flew all the way to Michigan to play another Florida team.

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As we left the arena, the flurries had begun. In the overnight hours, the storm that had battered Minnesota, dropped eight inches of snow in Michigan. The golf course was absolutely beautiful. Growing up there was nothing better than looking out my backdoor and seeing the pristine, newly fallen snow. Saturday morning those memories came back as I gazed out over the freshly fallen snow covering the hotel grounds.

Thankfully, the roads had been cleared by the time we left for the Mayor’s game. Again it didn’t go great, but was a better effort than Friday night. The weather was perfect with temperatures in the 30s all day long. We enjoyed a quick late lunch at the hotel. That evening we were headed into downtown Detroit to see the Florida Panthers take on ten Detroit Redwings.

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So I had a great rental car, but I didn’t want to drive into downtown Detroit. Clearly, it’s on the list of cities I never want to get lost in. Consequently, I opted to ride with the assistant coaches in their large van (aka Frenchy’s bus.). They had window decals made with the Panthers logo and Frenchy’s and they were on fully display. I had to make fun of them both for being dorks except for….

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When we got to downtown and came to a barricade, our driver rolled down the window to ask security where we should go to find parking. The security guard, seeing the logos, waived us through the barricade. Consequently, we parked right in front of the stadium next to the police van. We all swore on all things holy that the can would be towed while we watched the game.

As for the game, there were some shenanigans with a guy from Windsor. That story from our Detroit weekend, however, will take up a full blog post. The boys had a fabulous time and the Cats brought home the W. Now it was crunch time, would the van still be there? Would there be a ticket on the windshield? How much would an Uber be from downtown to our suburban golf course?

We made our way out of the stadium anxiously awaiting our collective fate. The boys raced to where we parked. Alas, victory was ours and the van was still there. A new problem presented itself, however, in that all the pedestrian traffic leaving the stadium was in the alley where we parked.

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I envisioned us sitting there for hours waiting for the pedestrian traffic to clear. We finally caught a quick break in the traffic and we were able to pull out of the parking spot. No sooner had we pulled out of the spot, when the police cruiser parked near us turned on it’s lights. We were accepting in our fate. Obviously, we were about to get a ticket. Or not… Shortly after the cop put his lights on, he escorted us out of the alley and through the roads of Detroit. That’s right folks we had a police escort leaving the stadium!

The boys were over the moon excited as we ere escorted back to I-94 by the police car. Truly, us parents were also over the moon. What an experience to share with our boys and each other! It was so incredible how it all unfolded. Hockey trips can be expensive, but these moments that create incredible shared memories are what it is all about. I’m incredibly lucky to share this experience with my son.

Of course, Sunday brought more hockey and some hockey drama. The Mayor forgetting one skate at the hotel is going to be it’s on post. In the end, our weekend in Michigan was pure magic. As a hockey mom, I can’t think of any other place I’d rather be than with my kids at a hockey tournament. After all, it only last last for a short time.

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Handling Thyroid Disease

Handling thyroid disease is the title I settled on after ruminating on coping and dealing. Both coping and dealing felt too passive to me, so I opted for handling. What does handling thyroid disease even mean? It means learning to thrive in spite of the misfiring or non-existence of that bitch is a gland.

When I was first diagnosed with Graves, I did what most people do and consulted Dr. Google. The medical part didn’t bother me too much. No, what bothered me is how those coping with the disease were failing to thrive or continue a productive existence. I was resolute that I would not follow that path.

Of course, in the beginning it was easy to think that way. It became hard as my heart rate soared and the RAI (radioactive iodine) was slow to work. Nevertheless, the fun and my weight were doubled when my thyroid failed. It literally happened over night. For the next several months and even still, I would migrate between hyper and hypo from day to day. It was beyond frustrating.

Thankfully, I have a wonderful Endo and have high confidence in her. Slowly, she has returned me to my normal life. I’ve run three 5ks since diagnosis, restarted my yoga practice and started the BBG workout. Nevertheless, it has taken a lot of work to get back to this place. I’ve read a lot about auto immune disease, worked with my endo and her in house R.D. and changed my workouts. I even feel back to my old gregarious self.

Now that my thyroid levels have stabilized, it will take 1-3 years for the symptoms of Graves to abate. My antibodies still show positive for both Graves disease and Hashimotos. My next task is get rid of those. In the meantime, I continue to research ways to reduce inflammation and improve my health. Each Thursday, I’ll be sharing my autoimmune experience with you. Next week, I’ll be sharing a list of the top 10 items that have helped me through my personal journey.

P.S. the title photo is from my first post diagnosis/treatment 5k.

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Long Day

Today was a long day! Goalielocks and I left the house at 6:30 am, so we’d get to Kendall for practice before 8:45. As it happened, traffic was great and we got there forty five minutes early. Of course if we had left any later, we would have been incredibly late.

This morning’s practice was two hours on ice. Goalielocks got worked hard! He played well and was engaged all practice long. If you’re a goalie parent, I know how much you’d appreciate your goalie being engaged the entire practice. We’ve had past seasons where the goalies were left to their own devices at the opposite end of the rink.

Practice was great. Afterwards Goalielocks headed to lunch to celebrate’s a friends birthday. Fortunately, he was able to shower and borrow some clothes from a friend. He and his boys then headed to Texas De Brazil for a nice lunch. The moms, meanwhile, headed to Cheesecake factory for our lunch.

One of the best parts of hockey is the relationships that are formed and grown season after season. People often think we’re crazy for the amount of time we put in to travel hockey. While we may he crazy for other reasons, this isn’t one of them. I’ve been able to share so many experiences with my kids and my hockey family that are priceless. I have an incredible built in support system, which with recent life changes means everything.

The day will soon come when will hang up the travel hockey parent moniker. Incredibly that day is now nearer than farther. We’ve been in the game for nearly a decade and are grateful for the people and the lessons the sport has taught us. Hopefully, in the far term future we’ll return to travel hockey with the travel hockey grandparent moniker.

Speaking of hockey family, my youngest is back home after a nice sojourn with the K’s. The Outback Bowl was Goalielocks’ Christmas present, but we did give the Mayor and option to stay with his friend. After some deliberation, he decided to stay local. They kindly picked him up Monday night, so we didn’t have to drive South before heading North.

I’m glad to have him home. Truly, I’m incredibly grateful for our hockey family for their generous hospitality and loving our kid. We’re lucky people! Now after a long day on the road, I’m home and able to breathe and relax.

Please keep the airmen, sailors, soldiers and their families as they face deployment.

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Three

Three events today. Two at the rink and a dinner afterwards. It was a busy day to say the least. It also happens to be the number of days until Jake leaves for basic, which is crazy talk. Three was also the number of jackets I thought I’d need for the normally frosty rink. However, my Graves was raging today, so I was quite comfortable in just a hoodie.

We left our house bright and early for Goalielocks’ game in Kendall this morning. Since we had to be there by 7:45, we left the house at 6:30 am with a car full of crankiness. It’s been a minute since we’ve had all the kids in one car, but old habits die hard. We hadn’t even left the driveway yet and they were already arguing about space.

Goalielocks first game was quite exciting. Sadly, due to timing and a suspension we were down a couple of players., which put pressure on a shorter bench. Thankfully, Goalielocks played really well. He saw a lot of shots, which is good for him, but bad for goalie mom. Fortunately, his offense was able to find the back of the net and put my nerves at ease. His team went up 2-1 in the third, which helped me relax a bit.

Unfortunately, one of his teammates was knocked out on a play late in the third. I was working the penalty box when the play unfolded in front of me. He grabbed his head suddenly and then lost consciousness as he fell to the ice. In the end, he was out for a couple of minutes. It was absolutely scary; we were all relieved when he regained consciousness. Thankfully, they didn’t need to transport him via ambulance.  He left the ice and play continued.  Our boys put in a quick goal after his injury making the final score 3-1. Fortunately, he was able to come back through the handshake line after the game was over.

The second game was closer and Goalielocks was busy! In the second game., we had our two players that missed the morning back , but lost one to a concussion in the earlier game. Thankfully, he was released from the ER in time to support the team. The game’s pace kept my heart elevated throughout. It wasn’t a good game for my goalie mom nerves. They out shot is 2:1, but the game ended in a tie. Our boys worked hard to find the back of the net. All in all, Goalielocks had a great day at the rink.

After hockey, we headed to a farewell dinner for Jake at a hibachi restaurant with his Florida aunts and uncles. As always, the food didn’t disappoint. Goalielocks killed his plate after not eating enough throughout the day. I’m proud to say that I was not a member of the clean plate club. I left three pieces of filet and fried rice for the hubby to eat tomorrow.

We had a great night and an exhausting day. It was great to have the whole family together at the rink for one last weekend. It certainly felt like the beginning days of our hockey lives as we always travelled as a pack of five in those days. Jake got to see a lot of hockey families we’ve known for awhile and meet some new ones. It was great to see everyone excited for his future. Moreover, it was great having all the support for our family. Tomorrow brings another early day with lots of hockey, so this hockey mom is off to bed.

Countdown clock: three days

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Happy Birthday Big Papa

Today we wish a very happy birthday to Big Papa, who turns 96 today. Luke’s grandfather has been one of my favorite people since the moment I met him. His heart is as a big as his tall frame. Throughout our marriage, Big Papa has always been one of our strongest supporters. We are forever grateful for all the time we have spent with him and for his love and support.

Jake and I were blessed to spend sometime with him in October on Jake’s farewell tour. He looks absolutely amazing for a 97 year old man. Unfortunately, he’s in a memory care facility with little of his memory left. Words cannot describe how beautiful it was to see his eye light up with Grandpa Steve told him Jake was joining the Air Force. It was magic.

He didn’t remember me, but he responded to Steve’s news by saying Jacob with the German pronunciation. He had an uncle Jakob and has always associated our Jake with his uncle. Throughout most the visit he spoke mostly German with some English sprinkled in. It was a special time. While he did not remember me, he thought I was way too young and pretty to be Jake’s mom. Score one for Grandpa Ed – still my favorite Lorbach!

We love you!  Happy Birthday Big Papa!

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The Last of the Travelers

The last of the travelers, my parents, headed back to Minnesota after almost two week in paradise. It was paradise for them on account of perfect weather and having their whole family present. Likewise it was paradise, completely uplifting, for us having them here. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.

We started their last day in paradise with a nice hot cup of Dunkin. This morning our temperatures dipped into the refreshing 40s, so most were hundred up. It is mornings like this that my heat intolerance comes in handy.

With our Dunkin’ in hand, we headed upstairs to work in Jake’s room. He’s started to pack up his room, so it will be ready when he’s off to his first duty station. Meanwhile, Goalielocks is delighted and counting down the days until he can move into the much larger room. On the other hand, it was emotional for me. It’s hard to believe this time next week, he’ll be on a flight to Basic Training.  In between the organizing and coffee, my mom and I took Athena for a nice 1.5 mile walk. Today’s highs were in the 60s and there were few clouds in the skies. Our Florida weather was sublime. I love those days when we can open up our windows.

My parents were a bit anxious, rightfully so, about the check in and security lines. Consequently, we headed to the airport early. Traffic was light and uneventful other than the snowbird driving 45 mph on the turnpike. It’s one December 2nd and I’m already over them.

We got home and my mom texted that they had made it to their gate and that there were cookies stashed in the freezer. I guess the gluten free diet will start once those are gone! Fortunately, they got to their gate pretty quickly, but the travelers were delayed by mechanical issues. Thankfully, they were able to get out this evening. Nonetheless, the house feels empty now that they’re gone and it’s about to get worse.

For the next week, I’m pretty sure I’ll be vacillating between abject sadness, complete pride, excitement, denial and a whole myriad of emotions I haven’t even thought of yet. You might want to say a prayer for the hubby as he deals with me coping with all of that plus his own emotions.

 

Black Friday Mayhem

A 5:00 am wake up call the day after Thanksgiving, usually means one thing: Black Friday mayhem, I mean shopping. In our family, however, it means an early hockey game at rink 50 minutes away. I always love getting up and getting to my destination before the sun rises. It saves me the trouble of putting on my sunglasses. But seriously, who the freak schedules bantams, I mean U14, for early morning games? Pretty sure we paid our dues here, but I digress.

For those of you out shopping in the mayhem, save us some coffee because this mama is gonna need an extra cup! We’ll be enjoying our Black Friday mayhem at the rink. Shoppers may the odds be in your favor!

Thanksgiving Is Almost Here

Can you believe Thanksgiving is almost here? It seems like just yesterday we were ringing in 2019. Yet here we are ready to end the year with the fabulous holiday season. I’m especially blessed to spend it with my entire immediate family. This holiday will be poignant for us all as it marks the last holiday for which Jake will be a civilian. Who knows where he’ll be stationed this time next year. We will certainly enjoy the moment.

I started my day by sleeping through my alarm, which left me feel like I was behind all day. Graves’ disease sucks it often leaves me tried and jacks with my sleep for no good reason. Not to mention it makes me cranky, which my family can certainly attest to today.

Fortunately, my day started looking up the moment I got my coffee. We left Dunkin’ to get our groceries for baking, so we could get an early start. At which point, we got a text inviting us to the beach. How could we say no to that? Spoiler alert: we procrastinated on the baking and headed to the beach.

This, of course, did nothing for my constant feeling of being behind all day. However, the beach was again marvelous with beautiful skies and calm seas. You simply can’t ask for a better way to spend the day before Thanksgiving. It was a bit hot, so we didn’t stay too long.
Fortunately, Goalielocks’ BFF was there and he was having a blast. Unfortunately, that made the extraction from the beach quite difficult. We ended our beach day by me starting to back out of my spot before noticing the boys neglected to close the tailgate. Consequently, I needed to make a Dunkin pit stop on the way home to try and collect my sanity.

Before heading home, we headed to Publix in search of the perfect pickles for pickle. If there’s anywhere you so don’t want to be on Thanksgiving Eve in Florida, it’s Publix. I avoided this dumpster fire by dropping my mom off at the door and parking. To be honest, I was more concerned with getting home so I could eat before heading to yoga.

Wednesday’s are my tight muscle mobility class at Open Heart Yoga studio. My teach is amazing. The class has been incredibly effective in opening up my body post Graves’ disease. In today’s class, I’m pretty sure I fell asleep 3-4 times while massaging my back with therapy balls. These balls are miracle works for tight muscles and soft tissue. You must try them.

I left my mat completely serene and ready to tackle my evening. Tonight’s beautiful sunset added to my serenity.  During class my mom has text me to let me know the Publix pickles were sub par and couldn’t be used to pickle roll ups. I got home and we headed to Earth Fare to see if they had any quality pickles, but that trip was unsuccessful. Thus, we headed back to Target where we found the perfect pickles. Plus if you haven’t gone to Target twice in a day, are you even living?

We made our way home to start are baking. I started working on my cheesecake while my mom began to prepare the pickle roll ups. My mom made quick work of the pickle roll ups while I plodded my way through baking the cheesecake. Fortunately, my mom helped me start the vegan pumpkin coconut soup that I made for my brother and I. I’m not currently vegan, but I know my body won’t tolerate too much of the traditional Thanksgiving food.

Our evening of baking, will finally be over in about an hour when the cheesecake can go in the oven. I’ll start my Thanksgiving where I start everyday: Dunkin’. We’ll then head to my brothers’ house to drop off the goodies before heading to the Mayor’s 11:00 am game.

It was just over a year ago I went through radiation to kill my thyroid. A year later, my thyroid levels are stable. I’m hopeful that the symptoms of Graves will abate in the next year (although it could be 1-3 years.) Unfortunately, my health is not where it was before I got sick, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. As I end my evening enjoying Agatha Christie’s Poirot, I am filled with gratitude for my family, my friends, healing and my life’s transitions.

Paradise Found

Paradise found indeed. Living in sunny South Florida you’d think we would live at the beach. Unfortunately, our busy work and hockey schedule has rendered the beach a foreign place. Today the kids and I joined my bro and his family along with my folks for a fun day at the beach.

To be clear, the beach is always beautiful. However, the conditions don’t always cooperate with your plans. Today was an absolute exception. First of all, it was cool with temps in the low to mid 70s with clear skies. Secondly, the water was calm, relatively warm for our out of town guests and the tide was low. It was paradise.

Unfortunately, I stayed out of the water since tendon is bothering me. Fortunately, the temperature was so pleasant I didn’t need to go into the water to cool off. I spent most of my time at the beach chatting with my dad, sister in law and her father. It was fabulous.

Meanwhile my older brother, niece, nephew and mom spent hours in the water enjoying the warm water. My Floridian boys and Jake’s girlfriend (who we adore) thought the water was a bit cool, but still managed to have fun with the family in the water. There was also plenty of beach soccer, football and volleyball. It was a great day.

I capped my day off with an incredible yoga class and Open Heart Yoga studio with Debbie. Her class is beyond divine. Tonight it was an hour and a half of per perfection. My body and soul relax and unite in paradise on my mat. The yin and restorative yoga classes are truly helping me rebuild my body, mind and soul after surviving a devastating year. Autoimmune diseases are no joke, but self care will be key in finding my path forward.