Made it

After a sixteen hour shift yesterday, I can say I made it. AEP is over and normal life can resume. It’s been a crazy, productive and draining seven weeks, but I’m proud of how it went. However, I’m relieved the grind is over for a bit. Today was so dead, they let us leave early which was a total gift. It was slow, I was starting to fall asleep at my desk.

Since I got off earlier than expected, I was able to get some stuff down around the house. I took care of the laundry that’s been waiting to be fold since AEP started. I’m only kidding, the laundry hasn’t been sitting around that long. While I folded laundry and took care of the dishes, I finished the current season of the Great British Bake-off. I love that show and will be baking a ton over the next four days.

The best part of yesterday was receiving videos and photos of my oldest’s promotion ceremony. It was so much fun to see him being promoted. Moreover, I loved seeing the camaraderie that exists within his squadron. Honestly, love seeing how well he is loved and treated. It definitely puts my mom heart and mind at ease. The Hubby and I are so proud!

Wonderful Wednesday

It’s been a wonderful Wednesday for our family. This week has been quite stressful after a routine physical uncovered a potential cardiac issue for Goalielocks. As you can imagine, this took us by surprise and created a lot of anxiety in our house. The doctor told us no hockey until the cardiologist cleared him.

After several anxious days, the Hubby took Goalielocks to the cardiologist at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. Originally, I had intended to go, but I was concerned that my anxiety would make him more anxious. Anxiety isn’t known to be helpful with cardiac issues. I did, however, make a list of questions to ask the doctor. His cardiologist had me call in, so he could address my concerns. Obviously, he is used to nervous mothers.

Thankfully, after another EKG, an echocardiogram, and physical exam, the doctor cleared Goalielocks for all activities. Goalielocks will wear be wearing a holter monitor for the next week, which will give the doctor an idea of how often the irregular heart beats are happening. We will be taking it on vacation with us and he’ll wear it on our hike. I’ll also be taking him in for bloodwork to check his electrolytes and thyroid. We are so happy its nothing lethal and he’s going to be okay. More importantly, he can resume his normal activities.

Our wonderful Wednesday got even better this evening. This evening Jake called to give us some good news. The Board selected him for BTZ, which is an incredible honor. We are so incredibly proud of all he has accomplished over these past two years. I cant wait to see him Friday!

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I’m reading Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel.

*I ran 1.5 miles and walked a mile on the treadmill while watching Curb.

*Three days until I’ll have all my boys in one place!

*We’re tracking the Tropics here in Florida. Fortunately, it still looks like none of these waves will be impacting Florida. Although we still have two systems in the Atlantic Peter followed by Rose.

*Tonight I made myself a Lean Cuisine since everybody else was out of the house. I enjoyed it with a nice bottle of sparkling water.

*The word of the day is lithography. One of my favorite examples of lithography is Moulin Rouge by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. 

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a. I put on his harness every morning. Fortunately, we had no run-ins with the toads, lizards or grasshoppers today.

Parenting

Parenting an adult is a completely different beast from parenting a child. It brings a whole host of issues and questions that are sometimes difficult to balance. The emotional tie, the worry doesn’t diminish when your child becomes an adult, but our role in their life does. It’s not that we disappear from their life, but we’re no longer making decisions for them. It’s a balancing act between enabling and empowering.

So why all this parenting talk? Last night as we started getting ready for bed, Jake texted that he was no stranded at DFW. They diverted his flight to Tulsa due to the weather. In the interim, American canceled his connection to Tallahassee. Unfortunately, American Airlines didn’t notify him until he landed in Dallas. This was, of course, hours after the flight had been canceled.

When I spoke with him on the phone he sounded fried. It was awful. Honestly, it sucks to be so far away when your kid is in trouble. The FAA closed the Dallas airports due to weather, so there was no possibility of him getting on a flight last night. I quickly started trying to book him a hotel at or near the airport. It took six tries as each hotel would show sold out by the time I put my information in. This mama was not about to let him sleep at the airport.

American wasn’t helpful and wasn’t forthcoming with information. After waiting for an hour, he finally got rebooked on a flight today. Moreover, they didn’t mention to him or any of his fellow passengers that the airline had already. placed their baggage on their rebooked flight. This would have been helpful to know before folks sat at baggage claim waiting for their bags. Honestly, after his experience yesterday and today, I would never fly American.

Once he got to the hotel, I could finally go to bed. Until this point, I felt helpless. It was horrible to be 1,000 miles away and he battled through an impossible evening at DFW. I know these travel hiccups are almost of the right of passage, but it doesn’t make the situation easier. At least I could sleep in peace.

Unfortunately, Jake’s travel troubles continued into today. As his flight was about to board, they delayed his flight due to maintenance issues. My poor kid was sitting waiting for his flight to board for over two hours. As was the situation last night, the communication from the airline continued to be poor. When he finally took off, we all breathed a collective sigh of relief. Now he’s in Tallahassee and happy to be through his travel ordeal.

Tonight I’m relaxing on the couch happy in the knowledge he’s finally safely in Tallahassee. Parenting never gets easier even as our children become adults. The rules of engagement do change as they become adults, but the emotional investment never diminishes.

Here are some great resources for parenting an adult child:

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I’m reading Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy last night. This is quite the departure from the world of Queen Asa.

*I’m still under the weather. Consequently, I took another rest day today.  Unfortunately, there will be no rollicking or running until I’m better.

*We’re tracking the Tropics here in Florida. Fortunately, all the tropical weather is moving away from us! Unfortunately, the heat has really cranked up with heat indexes in the triple digits.

*Uber Eats delivered my Dunkin’ this morning, which was awesome sauce.

*For dinner, I made myself some soup.

*My favorite surprise on the underwater cams, I watch during work, is seeing an octopus. Today I watched the safari cam, which never disappoints.

*Today’s word of the day is figure. I figured it was going to be faster to take a train to Tallahassee than by flying on American.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today he didn’t pull my arm off or anything like that. I put on his harness

Homemade Ice Cream Take Two

So tonight it was homemade ice cream take two. I started the first attempt last night, but the bowl wasn’t cold enough. Consequently, the ice cream never formed up. To be fair, the directions said to chill the bowl for 6-24 hours before making homemade ice cream. Clearly, in a hot and humid climate like Florida, I should have chilled the bowl longer.

Initially, I had planned to use the same mix that I made last night. However, I forgot to make sure the fridge door closed after putting it in one of our garage fridges. Naturally, I didn’t figure it out until I left to get my coffee this morning. The door to the fridge had been opened all night, so not only was my ice cream mix spoiled, my waters were all luke warm.

The trip to Dunkin’ took significantly longer than usual due to an accident on BB Blvd. I knew it was bad when the I saw that the police had taped off the area with crime scene tape and were directing traffic. All lanes of westbound BB Blvd were closed, which snarled traffic as the turnpike was also closed down due to a fatality. Consequently, I had to take a very round about way home.

As the hubby started dinner, I mixed up the ice cream mix and put it in the fridge to chill. Fortunately, I had enough heavy cream at my disposal for another batch. I also crushed the Oreos, thus ensuring I’d have enough cookies for my cookies and cream ice cream. After an absolutely abysmal pasta dinner, I turned my focus back the ice cream. Huzzah!! This time my homemade ice cream was a success. Right now it’s firming up in the freezer, so I have to wait a little longer until we can eat it.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read the Norse Queen by Johanna Wittenberg.  I love it. In fact, I have started researching Queen Asa. 

*Goalielocks made it home safely from Orlando around 1:30 this morning.

*I ran 2 miles and walked a mile. It went really well, which was fantastic.

*The family and I are watching The Simpsons now that we’ve finished our movie and dinner.

*The Hubby cooked a Blue Apron meal kit for dinner. Tonight we had some type of pasta.

*After dinner, I successfully made ice cream!

*My favorite surprise on the underwater cams, I watch during work, is seeing an octopus. Today I watched the safari cam, which never disappoints.

*Today’s word of the day is whirlwind. It’s been a whirlwind of success and joy since I started my new job.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today he didn’t pull my arm off or anything like that. I put on his harness, so I’d have more control over him outside. Also, the flies are still here. Did I mention I hate gnats, flies, and mosquitos? I was finally able to hang the fly traps. Nobody loves flies.

Reality Check

After yesterday’s disappointment, I was handed a reality check. For the last several years, I have volunteered for PanCan as the Teams Chair for the Broward/Palm Beach affiliate. The journey of a patient and their family is arduous and fraught with fear. Fortunately, most of the patients I’ve know didn’t lose their job or benefits during treatment. This gave them one less thing to worry about. Can you imagine the horror losing your benefits in the middle of treatment? Unfortunately, I know this isn’t always the case. Hence, the reality check and utter disappointment.

Consequently, this is also how I know I’m on the right place career wise. When my colleague, who was a seasonal hire, got seriously ill with COVID, the leadership team worked with HR to protect his job. They didn’t have to do this, but their willingness to do it for a seasonal employees spoke volumes. Coincidentally, I also think it speaks volumes for the employee in question. Perhaps this is also why my employer has repeatedly been named as one of the best employers in the country.

Anyway, my day at work was slower than yesterday, but still extremely productive. I’m happy with the pace of my production. Meanwhile, I’m waiting for the Hubby to return from Orlando. They headed out several hours ago, but I noticed on the Life360 app that they were headed north on the turnpike instead of south. Whoops! Needless to say, he’ll be home a little later than anticipated.

Last night we decided to see how Anakin would do sleeping out oh his crate. I left the door opened a crack. When he realized his crate was open, he ran into our bedroom and jumped on the bed. He spent two minutes on the bed and then went back to the living room. Ironically, he was laying in his crate when I went to check on him.

Goalielocks brought him upstairs to see if he’d sleep up there. Again after a few minutes, Anakin wasn’t having it. He whined until Goalielocks took him back downstairs. Afterwards, he did come into the room for a bit, but then headed back to the living room. I don’t think he likes to be separated from his sisters.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read Demons, by Dostoevsky. I am really enjoying this book so far.

*I thought about running, but decided to rest my knee.

* I bought more cherries, so I could attempt the cherry custard again. Last time I overcooked it.

*The family and I are watching the Stanley Cup Finals in lieu of continuing our Thirty Rock binge. Thankfully, our power is flickering now that the storm has passed. Consequently, it knocked out the wifi too. Apparently, technology is my nemesis tonight.

*I spent my day with the puppies. This evening I worked with Anakin on some training skills. He did a great job. Of course, I rewarded him with kielbasa, which is his favorite.  We’ve now gone through two kielbasa’s this week.

*My favorite surprise on the underwater cams, I watch during work, is seeing an octopus. Today I watched the safari cam, which never disappoints.

*There were no big thunderstorms today, which was nice. The lightning tends to interfere with my work phone. Thankfully, the tropics remain quiet.  I’m sure we’ll have another reality check soon.

*Today’s word of the day is free. I got my free coffee today at Dunkin’. Free coffee day is always the best!

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Did I mention I hate gnats, flies, and mosquitos? I’m bought some fly traps. I’m absolutely sick of those little buggers. Pretty soon they’ll get a reality check of their own!

Twenty Years

Today marks twenty years that my Hubby and I have been married. I can’t believe how fast the years have flown by and how much has changed. Twenty years ago we were a young family of three. Now we’re a family of five plus three puppies. Interesting fact, when we first got married I was terrified of dogs. Our oldest has flown the coop and is doing great in the service.

Twenty years ago we were still living in Minnesota. Four years after we married, we decided to move to South Florida. Our original intent was to stay for two years, but South Florida quickly became our home. Despite moving out of Minnesota, our kids still fell in love with hockey and ended up playing the sport. We’ve already have a decade of hockey parent life under our belt.

Over the past twenty years, so much has changed and some of the people we have held nearest and dearest to our heart have left us. Luke’s grandfather left us in October, 2020. He was always our champion and helped us get established. Grandpa Ed will always hold a place near and dear in our hearts.

In 2011, we lost Luke’s mother, which was a devastating blow. She was one of our biggest cheerleaders and supporters when we first started dating and when Jake was born. In fact, she spoiled me and we started dating. My hubby got me the best presents for Christmas, Valentine’s, our anniversaries, and my birthday. Of course, I know realize that she was the genius behind the presents. Now as my boys get older and have serious girlfriends, I relish the opportunity to do the same.


Through all the up and downs, one thing has remained consistent. We were nerds than and are nerds now. That and the fact that my Hubby will forever be my person. I’m lucky to have found my person so early in life and look forward to many more years of nerdom and adventure.

Naturally, we’re celebrating our anniversary by watching the Stanley Cup finals. Well, at least we’re trying. Hulu’s inability to maintain NBC consistently has been beyond infuriating this evening. Athena always hates when we watch hockey because we all scream, yell and jump. It’s a bit disconcerting for her.


For dinner, the Hubby grilled brats, tator tots and sweet corn. Since it’s the middle of the week and the Hubby is headed to a trade show tomorrow, we’ll celebrate with a nice dinner out over the weekend. Thankfully, the Hubby will have a good travel day as Elsa has moved off to the north and east. We’ll miss him while he’s gone, but I’m sure he’ll enjoy some peace and quiet. Two things that don’t exist is this energetic household.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read Demons, by Dostoevsky. I am really enjoying this book so far.

*I thought about running, but decided to rest my knee again. Instead I looked for great photos of us.

* I ate the rest of the peach crisp today. This time I mixed in one white peach for a little of variety. Honestly, I didn’t notice a difference.

*The family and I are watching the Stanley Cup Finals in lieu of continuing our Thirty Rock binge. Thankfully, our power is flickering now that the storm has passed. Consequently, it knocked out the wifi too. Apparently, technology is my nemesis tonight.

*I spent my day with the puppies. This evening I worked with Anakin on some training skills. He did a great job. Of course, I rewarded him with kielbasa, which is his favorite.

*My favorite surprise on the underwater cams, I watch during work, is seeing an octopus. Today I watched the safari cam, which never disappoints.

*I’m back to work and Elsa is gone to Georgia. Thankfully, the tropics are quiet.

*Today’s word of the day is silvery. The water had a silvery look.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Did I mention I hate gnats, flies, and mosquitos? It’s definitely much worse in the morning and am. Fortunately, it’s not too bad at lunch.

Long Holiday Weekend

The long holiday weekend has been low key and fabulous. After my short work day Saturday, we spent the day chilling at home. Sunday morning we headed out to the Arthur R Marshall National Wildlife Refuge with the younger two puppies. Unfortunately, the weather was too hot for it to be safe for Maya, so she had to stay home.

Dogs are only allowed on the boat ramp and levee, so we walked a mile south on the levee. The weather was beautiful with some clouds overhead. Thankfully, the clouds provided a brief respite from the strong, South Florida sun. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any alligators in our Saturday hike. We did, however, see a bunch of beautiful butterflies, birds, one scared turtle and gigantic grasshoppers. Anakin was obsessed with catching the grasshoppers.

We brought plenty of water for us and the dogs, but it got too hot for all of us. Despite all of the water we brought, I think the dogs were overheated at the end. Consequently, when we got home they got hosed off to help the cool down. They recovered well and spent the rest of the day chilling. It was amazing. I’ve never seen Anakin so calm.

Sunday night we headed to our neighbors Kirk and Angie’s for a 4th of July barbecue. We had a blast hanging out with out neighbors and their basketball families. Even though our kids play hockey, we all encounter the same peaks and valleys of youth sports. The peaks, especially the fabulous relationships, outweigh any of the negatives. At the end of the night, Kirk put on a spectacular fireworks display. It was incredible!

We spent our morning of the long holiday weekend back at the wildlife refuge with the puppies. This time we brought some cold packs to help cool down the dogs if needed. Since the puppies, seemed to struggle yesterday, we went earlier in the morning and cut down our distance. Today we saw three gators, which was cool. Gators pack that place, so it’s almost unnerving when you don’t see one. We had a beautiful walk thanks to some nice cloud cover and a nice breeze.

As for tonight, we’re chilling at home relaxing with the dogs. We’re baking homemade pizzas for which the boys are pumped about. Currently, I have another peach crisp in the oven. This time we’ll eat it right as I have ice cream and whipped cream on hand. The weather is starting to deteriorate a bit. Elsa is going to miss us by Miles’s, but we’ll see rain and storms out of the system. Queue the winds and heavy rain. Literally, as I type this the winds have picked up and it’s about to rain. Cue the deluge. Thankfully, we don’t have to go anywhere tonight.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read Demons, by Dostoevsky. I am really enjoying this book so far.

*I walked 2 miles with the puppies and it was great!

* I made another peach crisp. This time mixed in one white peach for a little of variety. I’ll let you know how it tastes.

*The family and I have been binge-watching Thirty Rock. It is such a good show. We’re two days in to our binge and man is this show good.

*I spent my day with the puppies. Maya is feeling great and is super playful with her siblings. We are all relieved and grateful that she rebounded from her illness.

*I’m enjoying the long weekend and tracking Elsa.

*Today’s word of the day is frenetic. Our neighbor Kirk was setting off fireworks at a frenetic pace.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Did I mention I hate gnats, flies, and mosquitos?

Tracking Elsa

All of Florida is tracking Elsa as she makes her way into the Caribbean. Right now we’re out of the cone of uncertainty, but that only means the center of the storm isn’t going to track over our area. Regardless of where Elsa ends up, our weather will suck Monday and Tuesday. Naturally, the poor weather falls on a Monday we all have off. Obviously, Elsa’s timing sucks.

In between Tracking Elsa updates, I worked for a bit this morning. Unsurprisingly, work was dead. Fortunately, we got to quit early due to the lack of volume. After work, I managed to go for a two-mile run. I didn’t feel like running in the morning, so opted for a post-lunch run. It went well, but my knee/it band was quite stiff at the end.

While I was running and couch surfing, Hubby took the Mayor to practice driving. The Mayor loves to drive and asks several times a day to practice. This is a huge contrast to his older brothers, who never wanted to drive. He’s a good driver and will be more than ready for his license when he turns sixteen. Meanwhile, Goalielocks recuperated from his early morning hockey practice with a nice nap.

After the Hubby finished washing the cars, took a shower, and came out wearing a shirt Jake and I bought him in Helsinki. It’s the first time he’s worn the shirt since we bought it. Undeniably, it brought back great memories of our travels in Finland. One night Jake and I found ourselves, perusing through Stockmann’s Department store off the Esplanade. It’s an incredible store! Jake and I try to buy a shirt every place we go as a unique, but practical souvenir. He bought something at Stockmann’s and I bought a shirt from Marimekko. I can’t wait until we can travel again!!!

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read Demons, by Dostoevsky. I am really enjoying this book so far.

*I ran 2 miles and walked a mile and it felt great!

* I made a new roast recipe in the Instant Pot tonight. I didn’t super love the recipe, but the roast was extremely tender and tasty. Truly, I was pleasantly surprised as the roast wasn’t completely defrosted when I put it in the pot. Now that I know the Instapot does a great job on frozen meat, I won’t be so frantic if I forget to defrost something.

*The family and I have been binge-watching Thirty Rock. It is such a good show.

*I spent my day with the puppies. Maya is feeling great and is super playful with her siblings. We are all relieved and grateful that she rebounded from her illness.

*I’m off to the long weekend and tracking Elsa as she looks to disrupt my long weekend.

*Today’s word of the day is venation. It has to do with insect veins, which is really more than I ever wanted to know about that. 

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Did I mention I hate gnats, flies, and mosquitos?

Off to the Long Weekend

Well, we’re off to the long weekend now. Or are we?!? I was scheduled to be off to the long weekend this evening, but I (being glutton for punishment and boredom) opted to work tomorrow. To be fair, there was plenty of incentives thrown my way. I mean, who doesn’t like a free lunch and free cash? I know I like those things. At any rate, our business hours are short tomorrow, so it won’t be a long day in the office for me.

While I’m working, I’ll also be tracking Hurricane Elsa. Naturally, Elsa continues to be a trouble maker as it comes to weather. In fact, she really is messing up my plans for early next week and mid-week. All kidding aside, she’s supposed to be in the vicinity sometime Monday/Tuesday. Until that time, we’ll play the game of watching the spaghetti models shift as we wait to see which beach Jim Cantore shows up at. Fortunately, I intend to refresh our hurricane supplies this weekend, which will assure us that Elsa will dissipate or take a hard left turn somewhere else. My fellow Floridians you can thank me later.

Mel is out visiting Jake and I’m super jealous. I wish I could be in Utah helping them set up Jake’s new apartment. Last I spoke with them, they were headed to Wal-Mart to pick up a new couch before hitting their favorite Hibachi place. Hibachi is their favorite. To be fair, I think it’s the Yum Yum sauce that’s their favorite, but who can blame them? Jake has done a great job of furnishing his apartment quickly and economically. I know they’ll have a great time enjoying the holiday weekend together. I’m looking forward to our next trip to Utah. I really enjoyed hiking the area around Salt Lake and Ogden. There are so many different hikes to choose from and they’re all different.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read Demons, by Dostoevsky. I am really enjoying this book so far.

*I ran 1.5 miles and walked a mile and it felt great!

* Hubby made home made chicken tacos with a taco seasoning recipe we found online. They were amazing. Needless to say, we will not be buying store bought taco seasoning anymore.

*I watched the live safaris from on Wild Earth. They’re absolutely incredible.

*I played with the puppies before, during, and after work.

*I’m counting down the hours until I’m off to the long weekend.

*Today’s word of the day is boisterous. The dogs give me a boisterous greeting every time I leave my office during the workday. I love it.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Did I mention I hate gnats, flies and mosquitos?

Adulting

Adulting what all of us as children wanted to do as we grew up. And then we grew up and realized adulting sucks. Okay, perhaps sucks is a bit harsh, but paying bills and being responsible isn’t the dream we all thought it would be. This week my oldest moved into his first apartment off base. Until this point, he had been living in the dorms. Now that he has his own place, he’s really starting to get a taste of adulting.

Being a parent to an adult child is a bit of a weird transition. You’re there to support them, but your guidance is no longer the golden rule. Now they’re making decisions on their own (or at least they should be.) It’s a weird feeling because you want to tell them what to do, but they need to learn to make their own decisions. Nevertheless, it’s nice to feel needed. Jake and I had a blast grocery shopping together last night via Facetime. I’m grateful that technology can keep us close even when we’re thousands of miles apart.

Today he officially turned back his dorm to the base and all went well there. He called me on his way to finance. I had hoped he would have slept well given there were no longer fighter jets flying directly overhead all the time. Unfortunately, he ended up having a pretty eventful night. Apparently, a car hit a power pole near his building causing a gigantic fire on the block, a huge gathering of first responders out front, and a power outage. So much for a good night’s sleep. Hopefully, he will have a less eventful and more restful night tonight.

Back at the homestead, life continues as usual. Maya has made tremendous improvements and continues to gain weight. She, as well as the other dogs, is obsessed with the homemade chicken broth. Needless to say, we’re encouraged by her improved health and hope that we’ll get more time with her. I really want to get a family picture with all the kids and the dogs next time Jake is home since we haven’t had one taken with them. The boys are in summer mode, which is nice. I’m no longer having to harass anyone about the virtual school, which is a welcome relief. As for work, it continued to go well for me today and I’m hoping the streak continues through the end of the week.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read Demons, by Dostoevsky. I am really enjoying this book so far.

*I thought about running, but my knee said no. Instead, I ran to get my morning coffee. After tearing my tendon, I’ve learned my lesson and will wait until my knee is fully ready before I resume running.

* I made a delicious chicken with dijon sauce courtesy of HelloFresh this evening. The meal was easy to prepare and super tasty! Since my boys have refused to eat a lot of these meals (out of sheer stubbornness I might add), I’ve stopped ordering from the meal prep conglomerates for now.

*I played with the puppies before work after finishing my errands.

* The dogs started a new dental treat this week. They seem to like the treats, but it makes all of their poops green and extremely smelly.

*Today’s word of the day is concinnityAnakin has a nuance to his bark when he’s afraid something of his is going to be taken.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Did I mention I hate gnats, flies and mosquitos?