“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.” -William Shakespeare
“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Day three of pandemic pandemonium and I’m over it. Admittedly, it’s not the virus that scares me. Nope, it’s the thought of dealing with two teenagers in close proximity for eight weeks that has me wrecked. I have no doubt that I’ll continue to display sangfroid as it pertains the virus. I’m less certain that I’ll survive homeschooling my kids.
I’ve taken a few steps to preserve my sanity or at least what’s left of it. So here’s my advice, start day drinking. I’m only kidding, so don’t be mad mom! In crazy times like these, it’s important to keep a semblance of a routine. I still get my coffee and eat my breakfast at the same time.
Working out is a huge part of staying both mentally and physically healthy. Fortunately, I’m back to my workout routine with a few changes. Sadly, the yoga studio is closed, so until this is over I’m practicing at home. Thankfully, there are some awesome YouTube yoga channels. I love Fightmaster Yoga and Yoga With Adrienne.
In addition to my normal workouts (including my runs,) I’ve added an afternoon walk with the dogs and the boys. Today we took them for a 1.5 mile walk/jog. It was a beautiful day and all three pups enjoyed being outside. As a bonus, I got the boys off their phones and TVs for almost 45 minutes.
These are trying times. It’s something most of us have never experienced and that can make it scary. Please be sure you’re checking in on your friends and family to make sure they’re okay. As I have no doubt that loneliness will soon become a byproduct of this pandemic.
In the meantime, social distancing remains the most altruistic and effective way to help our communities weather this storm. Speaking of storms, it feels like we’re waiting on a massive storm to come ashore only there’s no Jim Cantore or cone of uncertainty. My only hope now is that the toilet paper is back in stock by the time hurricane season starts. In the meantime, we’ll be doing our best to survive the pandemic pandemonium.
Here’s a list of our day’s activities:
*reading Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery
*Watched Schitt’s Creek – a couple of episodes from season 3
* BBG upper body and ab week 5 workout
*1.5 mile walk with my boys and puppies
*Yin practice – Fightmaster Yoga
*Watched Frozen 2 and now I want to go to Norway!
Since we’ve been back from San Antonio, I’ve been experiencing somewhat of a post grad let down. After eight weeks of hyper focus on Jake’s progress through BMT and regular updates from my Facebook support groups those days are over. There isn’t a daily support group for Tech School like there is for BMT. Fortunately, there is a base group, which I found to be quite helpful. Tech school is a much different journey than BMT and is more individualized.
As for graduation weekend, it was the most incredible weekend of my life. The first day began super early with the Airmen’s run. I know I wrote it about it before, but it was just so cool that I had to mention it again. I loved seeing Jake running with his flight and singing the Jodies as he jogged. Being on base was just as cool. Lackland is ginourmous! (Is that even a word?). Afterwards, we watched him become an airman during the coin ceremony. Before the beginning, there were fight jets and cargo planes taking off and flying over the base, which was wicked cool.
On Friday, we watched the Airman’s Parade, which is when the training squadrons pass by command in formation to be reviewed. It was such a neat event. Unfortunately, it was super cold and windy, so we were a bit uncomfortable as the wind whipped against our backs. Fortunately, for Jake the wind was not as bad on the actual field. I absolutely loved the parade, in spite of the cold, and was so proud watching my new airman and his wingman on the parade field.
The whole weekend everyone was nice. Everywhere we went people were nice and happy. It’s crazy when you think about how much time you spend in line, traffic, how crowded the base was and the tight timelines you’re dealing with. Amazingly, the happiness and pride that comes with seeing your Airman again and watching them graduate BMT, seems to put everyone in a permanently positive mood. Even when my hubby purposely took up two parking spots in order to ensure my brother would get a spot, nobody batted an eye. The only comment was on how smart he was for parking that way. It is such a unique and uplifting experience!
The first time I saw my Airman’s graduation picture, I cried with pride and joy. He looks so grown up and confident. Seeing him in uniform all weekend was incredible. The transformation he underwent in the 8.5 weeks at Lackland was absolutely amazing. He left us nervous and anxious. When we got him back for the weekend, he was happy, confident, self assured, decisive and disciplined. Thankfully, he made a lot of friends on his BMT journey that will be his friends for life. I loved seeing him interact with his wingmen. Knowing and personally witnessing that he is where he belongs was beyond comforting to my hubby and I.
Of course the best part of the weekend was spending time with my Airman and our family. His girlfriend M travelled with us for the weekend. Can I tell you how much we enjoyed our time together? Can I tell you how much I loved seeing my son and his girlfriend together? Seeing their love and support for each other through the weekend was the stuff mother’s dream about. I love them together!
Our time off base was well spent hanging out with the grandparents, Uncle Jon and Aunt Brandi and of course J&M2 (my nickname for Jake and his girlfriend- they’re J&M2 because my bro and sister in law are the original J&M.). We played Phase10, Uno, took a trip to the Alamo. It is small, but the grounds are beautiful. Friday night we had a wonderful lunch/dinner on Riverwalk. Everyone was so nice! They treated Jake like a king! People were constantly thanking and recognizing Jake for his service and commitment to our country. Saturday’s food was the ultimate in “everything is bigger in Texas” maxim. We had a 3 pound cinnamon roll and an 37 inch diameter pizza. Both were as tasty as they were large. I’ll write more about that in a future post dedicated to why you should visit San Antonio. I loved San Antonio!
Nonetheless, grad week is over and the adrenaline is gone. I loved my weekend so much and the tap out of my airman was priceless. There is a lot of worry when your child is in BMT because there’s minimal contact. That first time you see and speak to them after BMT is magical. Now he’s in Tech School and there’s still a lot of worry, but also relief in being able to speak with him regularly. So well I may be suffering from the post grad let down, I am beyond proud of my son and happy that he has found his place in the greatest Air Force this world has ever known. We are so proud to be Air Force parents!
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“I lost a tooth, but I lost it,” Goalielocks wrote in a short note to the tooth fair. He was six years old at the time and had just lost his second tooth. We brought him up to bed and my hubby dug in his pocket to pull out the tooth, but it was missing. Unfortunately my husband, who was holding on to the tooth until bedtime, misplaced the tooth. Goalielocks was beyond distraught as was my hubby, who felt terrible.
Since there was no hope of finding the tooth in time for bed time, we suggested that Goalielocks write the Tooth Fairy a note explaining what had happened. My idea of a note includes a greeting and a signature, but his was much simpler. He drafted his note, showed it to us and placed it under his pillow.
That night the Tooth Fairy arrived and left him a $20 bill. Clearly, there was a level of dad guilt built into the payout here. When Goalielocks awoke and found the $20 bill he was ecstatic! Even though he had gotten up early to get to school, he was dancing around happily. Since he’s not a morning person, much like his mom, this was quite the sight to be seen. He simply couldn’t believe that he got $20 for the tooth we lost.
As we laid Goalielocks down to bed the next night, it dawned on him that perhaps he should write the Tooth Fairy another note. He did and again she was quite generous with her payout. He continued his new nightly tradition of writing a note, “I lost a tooth, but I lost it,” and kept getting paid. Yep folks the dad guilt here for losing the tooth was serious. Finally, after I shared the story with my colleagues, one of my co-workers volunteered to write a note from the Tooth Fairy to Colin. Thankfully, that well written note from the Tooth Fairy put an end to the nightly notes to the Tooth Fairy. Lesson learned that our kids are quite industrious and parent guild definitely exists.
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Today was one of those days that was akin to a gut punch. The kind of day that brings you sorrow, angst, sadness, and grief. As if we haven’t already been here enough in 2017… Ugh. This year has been tough and the last 24 hours indicative of its toughness. Unfortunately, my SIL lost her mother last night. This is one of those times its tough to be here because we’re not able, as a family, to be there for her, my bro and their kids. Right now all of us wish we were there with them.
Meanwhile, in another corner, a mother’s worst nightmare is playing out in a horrific way and we’re all powerless to help. If anything today has reinforced, the delicate nature of life and its unpredictability. Life, our days on this earth, are not promised. We can choose to exist, which most do, or we can choose to live. We can choose to make a positive difference in the lives of those around us regardless of our circumstances.
Nonetheless, today left me wanting to do nothing, but gorge on Neuhaus chocolate tonight. I’m proud to say that instead I went to aerial yoga. This was definitely the healthier way to work through today’s sadness and grief. Tonight’s class was a bit difficult as I hurt my hip some how, so I had to be careful with my left side. Incidentally, the inversions are getting much easier with each class. Additionally, my alignment in handstand/headstand is much better in my mat classes now. Aerial yoga is definitely improving my practice.
Tonight’s song is “How Great Thou Art” performed by The Pentatonix.
This year we will celebrate our 13th Christmas in Florida after relocating to the area in 2005. It seems like just yesterday that we moved South with Jake going into 1st grade and Goalielocks as a toe-headed toddler. The Mayor was but a twinkle in our eye when we moved South.
Our first couple of Christmas’ we headed back North to Minny to celebrate with the family. This only lasted a couple of years because the holiday dinner circuit was exhausting. It was tough only being in Minny for a couple of weeks because it never felt like we got enough time with everyone. Inevitable, someone always ended up mad because we hadn’t spent enough time at their house or with their family. It got old quick.
While we were stressed, the boys loved the snow and being home with family for Christmas. At least until Christmas of 2007. We headed northwards for 2.5 weeks. The weather when we landed was perfect, but that quickly changed. In a mere 72 hours, the balmy mid-20 degree weather was gone and the temperature was well below zero. Damn Alberta clipper! For the remainder of our time in Minny, we were homeward bound. It was far too cold to take our boys out in the subzero weather. Consequently, as we prepared to head back to Florida, I informed my parents that we wouldn’t be heading north for Christmas anymore.
Since 2007, we’ve spent Christmas here in Florida. It’s significantly less stressful for us and more enjoyable. In 2009, we started sending the boys to Minny for the summer, so they got ample time to spend with our entire family. We miss seeing our family and the beautiful snow, but the novelty wears off far too quick now. Plus, we’ve headed Northward for the last 5 years for out of state hockey tournaments. We’ve had no shortage of winter weather.
Several years ago, we started a tradition of a Christmas brunch with my bro, his wife and friends. I bake my caramel rolls, while the Hubby makes an amazing cholesterol bake. Mimosas and presents about and everyone is happy. In addition, we grew our tradition to include paintball. Its amazing how much better you feel about all the caramels roll you eat after playing paintball for hours in the heat. We conclude our Christmas with Chinese food. Its not the most traditional Christmas, but it’s our Christmas.
There are a couple of places I would love to celebrate Christmas.. My list of places includes: Norway, Germany (Christmas markets), France with my French family, Hawaii, Iceland and maybe even another Christmas in Minny. If you could celebrate Christmas anywhere, where would it be?
Tonight’s song is “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlmen” as performed by The Pentatonix.
They say time heals all wounds, but I’m not quite sure I agree with that. Tonight marks the 6th anniversary of losing my mother-in-law Sandy to Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Her illness was quick, horrible, painful and for those that love her excruciatingly short. In the turn of mere months, my mother in law went from living a normal life to hospice.
Cancer is such an insidious, deceptive, merciless disease. By the time, doctors discovered my mother in laws cancer, it had already metastasized to her lymph notes, arms, and spine. In reality, her entire abdomen was riddled with cancer. It wasn’t until she suffered from debilitating back pain that her cancer was discovered. Unfortunately, as is the case with many people, her cancer was discovered in an advanced stage.
Cruelly, until the onset of the back pain, there was nothing that suggest that something was severely awry. Coincidentally, this is where I plug genetic counseling, mammograms, MRIs and pro-active preventative medicine. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to tell you that these tests – mammograms, colonoscopy, PSA tests, breast and testicular self-exams are essential for your health. Do not skip them!
Late into Grandma Sandy’s illness, my hubby spent most of his time in Minny with her while I stayed back in Florida with the kids. During that time though, the kids were in school, so going to Minny for long periods of time wasn’t in our wheelhouse. Honestly, it was one of the few moments, since moving to Florida, that I really wanted to be back home in Minny. Truly, it killed us not to be there with her or with my hubby.
Since the moment I started dating my hubby, Grandma Sandy was always in my corner. Admittedly, she spoiled me and wholeheartedly welcomed me into their family. The feeling was mutual. She never doubted us or our relationship even when we got pregnant with Jake. She supported us through the hardest moments from beginning to the end. I remember going over to my Hubby’s house and she had gone shopping. She probably bought Jake the entire store that day. I loved everything she bought and in fact still have a lot of it.
Grandma Sandy was fiercely proud of her family and her Finnish heritage. Both of her parents were of Finnish descent with both sides of her family immigrating to the US in the around the turn of the 20th Century. If you ask me, Goalielocks definitely looks like the Ketola side. Of course, my family is mostly Norwegian. I guess it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that everyone in Norway and on the SAS flight thought we were Norwegian. My Mother-in-Law had a big, loving Finnish family that was and is an incredible support to her and to us. We’re forever grateful for the great care they took of Grandma Sandy when we couldn’t be in Minny with her.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I miss her love of Bingo, Barbies, all things Finnish, the Twins, the Wild, the Vikings and of course Dan Marino. I’ll never forget watching the Vikings lose to Atlanta in 1998. As the game clock winded down, her, the hubby and I found ourselves pacing nervously in the garage. Of course, Gary Anderson would pick the most inopportune time to miss a field goal in a perfect season, but at the time our nerves were shot and full of hope. (As an aside, it seems the Vikes can’t escape their kicker issues.)
Even though it has been six years, in some ways it feels like yesterday. I think she’d bit surprised that I’ve allowed a veritable zoo in my house, but she probably saw it coming. I certainly didn’t. Additionally, I think she’d be super nervous about Jake driving, but also so proud of him. She’d be proud of all the boys. Certainly as we start to hit more milestones like Jake’s graduation, her absence is punctuated. The truth of the matter is that she’ll never truly leave us. She’ll always be with us in spirit, in the mannerisms my hubby and kids have inherited from her and in our hearts.
Sometimes, she even shows up in my yoga class. One Saturday morning, my favorite sub Kaye was teaching the vinyasa class, when her iPod randomly switched to Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” which was my mother-in-law’s favorite song. My teacher couldn’t for the life of her figured out how it happened. When we spoke after class, we figured it out. So tonight in honor of Grandma Sandy, hold your loved ones extra tight, forgive and forget because at the end of the day life is far too short.
Tonight’s song, in honor of Grandma Sandy, is Patsy Cline’s “Crazy.” I love this song as it reminds me of her.
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.
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.
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”
Today was a Monday for the history books, a day that calls for courage. As we woke up in America, we woke up to the horrid news that 50 innocent souls had been slaughtered in Vegas. Like many Americans, I struggled to make sense of the carnage. Indeed I left my house with a sick feeling in my stomach and an ache in my heart.
Fortunately, my day was busy and my mind was occupied for a large part of it. I did my best to avoid Facebook like the plague. Sadly, what was once a nice escape to check in on friends, has become a bastion of hate masquerading as advocacy and opinion. Somehow we’ve lost our perspective and our ability to respect others’ whose opinions may be different. How is it that a VP for a major news network felt it was okay to say that she had no sympathy for the victims because country music fans are often Republicans? How is okay that we, as a society, would even think someone’s life is less valuable because they disagree with us politically? Whiskey tango foxtrot….
The only acceptable response to any of this bullsh#t is the quote from Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen Silveria as he addressed the racist messages that had been written on the doors of African American cadets. He said, “if you can’t treat someone from another gender, whether that’s a man or a woman, with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. If you demean someone in any way, then you need to get out. And if you can’t treat someone from another race or different color skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out.” Importantly, it is possible to have differing opinions, but if you can’t treat everyone with dignity and respect, than I have no time for you.
Monday was bad enough and then the news updates starting popping in that Tom Petty had taken ill with a massive heart attack. Once again, the pit returned to my stomach. Tom Petty has been a major player in the soundtrack of my life. I love Tom Petty and his music.
Long ago, as a child, so not really that long ago, my dad introduced me and my brother’s to Tom Petty. One of my fondest memories from childhood was when my parents had taken us to an airshow to see the Air Force’s Thunderbirds. Before the Thunderbirds took to the air, there were a number acts including the Army’s Golden Knights. As the paratroopers took to the sky for their performance, Tom Petty’s Free Falling blared over the live speakers. It was an amazing moment that has stuck with me for nearly 20 years. Over the past couple of years, my boys have come to love Petty’s music as much (if not more) as me.
The news of his apparent demise and then the retraction just exacerbated the pain of the day. Concerts are supposed to be an escape where the artist and the fan are able to interact. They’re supposed to be a place where the music transports you and the experience leaves you feeling more connected to the musician and the music. Unbelievably, the sicko in Vegas made the concert his opportunity to destroy many peoples’ worlds in one fell swoop. There is no other word to describe him than evil.
Tonight we mourn the loss of innocent lives and a rock icon. Its been a heavy day; a that calls for courage. These kind of days can be destructive to our mental, emotional and physical health. Consequently, it is important to find ways to cope with the stress. For me and my family, it was continuing our athletic pursuits. While the bookends both had hockey tonight, I taught Zumba and ended class with a tribute to Tom Petty. I never thought I use a Travelling Wilbury’s song in Zumba, but I used Handle With Care for a cool down and it felt incredible. Finally, tonight I’ve peppered my blog with songs for inspiration. Enjoy and namaste.
In honor of our 16th wedding anniversary yesterday, this song is for you Luke. I’m amazed by you each and every day.