State Tournament Time

It’s state tournament time for the Mayor and his Hawks’ squad. We journeyed to the west coast yesterday for an early evening game in Estero. Unfortunately, our first game was against our fellow Hawks teams. I never enjoy these inter organization games especially when there’s hitting involved.

Fortunately, yesterday’s game was a clean game and pretty good. Unfortunately, a Hawks team had to lose. The Mayor and his team came away from the game with a 2-0 win, but it was a hard fought game. The 07 squad came to win and their effort showed it.

Today, they’ll face a tough Flames team and Clearwater team. Hopefully, the boys will bring their A game today and perform better than my NCAA tournament bracket. More to come later!

Presidents’ Day Weekend

Presidents’ Day weekend has been synonymous with hockey tournaments for the past decade. Often, we’ve been separated by garages, cities and even country as we divided and conquered our hockey schedule. This Presidents’ Day weekend was the first time we’ve been together since our travel hockey days started.

This weekend we’ve been in Charlotte for Myhockey’s Carolina Cup. A couple quick observations. The weather completely sucks here. It’s been in the high 30s with rain every day. Its’s also strikingly brown and gloomy. Perhaps.l, we’re a bit spoiled by the perpetual sunshine and greenery in Florida. Also, the traffic is horrendous. We’re from South Florida, so we’re used to traffic nightmares. However, we didn’t anticipate that the traffic would be insane here in a Charlotte.

As I write this, we’re stuck on a tarmac weighting for clearance to take off. This is obviously one of the less glamours parts of travel hockey. We have a connecting flight in Atlanta, so here’s hoping we get to ATL with plenty of time to spare. Oh snap, we’re finally pushing back. I was beginning to think I’d have enough time to write the Grapes of Wrath as we waited for takeoff.

Goalielocks and I got upgraded to First class, which would be even more cool if the flight have beverage service. Unfortunately, it’s too short for any of that action. Thankfully, it has afforded a lot more room to relax in as we waited out the delay on the tarmac. Sadly, I think our nice layover in Atlanta just changed into a short one with this delay. We had hoped to grab a drink and dessert before the second flight. Oh well…..

Well, we’re about to take off, so this will be a two part post. More to come on our trip to Charlotte!

Game 1 is in the Books

Game 1 is in the books here in Charlotte. The Mayor scored two goals and had two assists. His line continues to gel incredible well together. The final score was 6-2 Hawks with all three offensive lines making the scoresheet. Overall, it was a solid team effort this morning.

Game 1 is in the books!

It was a fun game to watch. In fact, you can find it the videos on my Facebook. My commentary is colorful, so if you’re easily offended, you may want to skip the feed. If on the other hand, you like a good gong show, then my feed is perfect for you. I’ll be live from Pineville ice arena at 3:15 and live from Extreme Ice at 8:40.

What Goes Up

What goes up, must come down. Or so goes the saying. In this case, it’s mighty true. While the arrival of my airman caused elation, his departure caused sadness. I guess I had hoped that the goodbyes would get easier as time goes by, but this has turned out to be false. True, I have more peace of mind now that he’s comfortably in his role, yet it doesn’t change the fact that I miss having him home. The myriad of emotions that the military parent goes through is like the tallest roller coaster at Universal. It’s one hell of an exhilarating ride. The goodbye is so tough, but we couldn’t be more proud of what he’s accomplished.

His visit, unlike most Mondays, went by in the flash of an eye. Like seriously, I’m pretty sure he just landed yesterday. At any rate, it was so good to have the house full again. Our sweet Anakin, albeit shy at first, took quite a liking to Jake. Athena and Maya were stoked to have him back home again. Unbelievably, Athena seems to know when he was leaving. As we prepared to go and took the last few pictures in front of the tree, she sat on the couch looking downcast and depressed. She’s quite the perceptive puppy. When saying goodbye, I try my best to be stoic. He’s the kind of kid that would feel guilty and that’s the last thing I’d want. Admittedly, this time I failed in my attempt to be stoic.

Truly, the best gift was seeing my three boys together. Since Jake’s left for the service, his relationships with his brothers have shifted dramatically. After he left, the first question I asked Jake was if he missed his Siamese twin. Throughout his visit home, the Mayor had attached himself to Jake’s hip. If we went anywhere or did anything, he had to sit next to Jake or ride home with Jake. Previously, he would have balked at the suggestion. Meanwhile, Goalielocks and Jake also spent quality time together. Perhaps my favorite memory from his visit home was his brothers fighting over who got to ride home with him from Uncle Jon’s.

And now, here we are the first Monday in 2021. The boys are back in school and I’m working late. There’s been no grandiose shift since the new year has started. I’m still working my way through BBG, which is amazing. In the midst of Jake’s visit, I didn’t get all the workouts down last week, so I’m repeating week 33. Fortunately, I really enjoyed the leg workout from work 33, so I’m looking forward to the repeat. I had hoped to run this morning before work, but the weather and my stomach were not so accommodating. Oh well, I shall try again tomorrow.

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

*I read The Red and The Black, by Stendhal

*It’s day 1 of BBG 3.0 week 9, which means it is leg day.

*Still trying to get the Mayor a rapid COVID test. This whole thing sucks.

*Today I thought about running two miles and that’s as far as it got. Somes days it’s just not meant to be.

*What goes up, must come down. Unless of course, you’re talking about my, post thyroid disease, weight, which only stays up.

*Today’s word of the day is galavant. I cannot wait to go galavanting through Europe once this pandemic is over.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. I’m a bit sick of them tracking in the mud on the freshly vacuumed white tiles. It has been so humid here in the mornings that they’re getting a bit muddy in the backyard.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is Here Comes the Sun, by the Beatles.

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It Gave Up

It gave up. After serving us dutifully for over 14 years, our refrigerator has decided 2020 was the year to stop working. Yay! Fortunately, for us, it decided to give out during the holidays. A time in which there are no added expenses or stresses. We first noticed this wonderful gift when the dogs began licking the floor around the fridge. I mean, dogs like to lick stuff, but licking the floor constantly is a bit weird. That is when I noticed some meat had defrosted and was leaking through the seal, which clearly doesn’t work well, and on to the floor.

Last night, it was only the freezer that wasn’t freezing. Well, this morning I noticed the fridge side has also thrown in the towel. In case you were wondering, it is loads of fun to move things from one fridge to the next. Fortunately, we have two fridges in the garage and a freezer. Thank god for the garage fridges that are a true hallmark of raising teenage boys. In fact, we could probably add another garage fridge and be just fine. Who knew humans could eat so much and gain so little. This human is a bit jealous. I watch them eat and gain weight.

Nonetheless, some good will come out of this. All of our kitchen appliances will finally match. Until now, all of our appliances except for the fridge are stainless steel. For some inexplicable reason, the original homeowners selected a black fridge for the kitchen. Truly, it was the one bad choice they made when it came to building this house. Needless to say, it will be nice to have all the appliances matching for the first time in fourteen years. It does, however, suck to have to spend some serious coin on a boring refrigerator this holiday season.

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

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 2 of BBG 3.0 week 5, which means it cardio day!

*I’m so excited!!!! I’m counting down the days until my oldest boy comes home for Christmas! His arrival is getting closer!!!!!

*Today I ran two miles and walked a mile. It was not easy, but I did it!

*Today’s word of the day is laud. I laud folks that continue to wear masks out of respect for others.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. Today’s footprints may have included some ashes since they knocked over the grill. There are, however, no kitties in this house.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them.

Today’s song of the day is Seasons of Love from RENT.

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I’m So Excited

I’m so excited! In just a few days, my boy will be home for the holidays! It’s been over a year since he’s been home. Can you believe it? Truly, we can’t wait to see how the dogs respond to seeing him again after all this time. I think they’re going to lose their minds! Anakin, of course, will be meeting him for the first time. Before he meets him, we’ll give Athena and Maya time to hang out with Jake without the interference of their little brother.

Speaking of I’m so excited. Is it just me or does that phrase immediately conjure pictures of the Saved By the Bell episode where Jesse Spano overdoes it on caffeine pills? I’m pretty sure if you were born in the 80s like I was, you know exactly what I’m talking about. What I need to see and have not yet watched is the Saved By the Bell reboot. My brothers and I used to watch Saved by the Bell every Saturday morning usually at my Grandma’s house. Has anyone in the blogosphere watched it? Is it any good?

Anyway, I digress. Here at the homestead, preparations are underway for Jake’s return. We’ve got to set up his old-old room for him since Goalielocks took over his room. This has been a bit of an undertaking since Goalielocks’ cleaning style involves throwing everything in that presently unused room. Yeah, he cleaned the upstairs a couple of weeks ago and it looked pretty good. At least, it looked pretty good until I went looking for my medicine ball in his old bedroom.

Yesterday, the Mayor had one game up at Skatezone. They won 4-0 and he had a great game. Unfortunately, he took an elbow to the head that sent his head into the boards at the end of the game. Since I was working the box, I was able to clearly see it from my vantage point. Consequently, once we got home from the game he began to complain about a headache. Thankfully, he passed the concussion protocol and had no other symptoms apart from the headache. Out of an abundance of caution, we’re going to keep him home from practice tonight. He, however, is not supportive of our cautious approach. Too bad!

Also, I finally made it to the eye doctor after putting it off for years. I know, I know, it’s horrible. Thankfully, the appointment was quick and painless. Fortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any signs of thyroid eye disease in my eyes. Thyroid eye disease, TED, is often a hallmark symptom of Graves diseases. I’m fortunate, however, that my eyes have not been impacted either before RAI or after RAI. Lastly, I treated myself to my first new pair of glasses in like a decade. I’ll post a picture as soon as they come in.

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

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 1 of BBG 3.0 week 5, which means it leg day!

*I’m so excited!!!! I’m counting down the days until my oldest boy comes home for Christmas!

*Today I ran a mile and walked a mile. It went far better than my run on Friday. Thank god!

*Today’s word of the day is astound. My children’s ability to “clean” astounds me. Perhaps it’s my fault for trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. Today’s footprints may have included some ashes since they knocked over the grill. There are, however, no kitties in this house.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them!

Today’s song is Whiskey in the Jar, by Metallica.

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Normal Saturday

For the first time since early October, it’s been a normal Saturday for me. It’s nice not having to work and being able to relax and get stuff done. The Mayor and I started the day off at BJ’s picking up some groceries. Surprisingly, the store was pretty empty, which made the shopping experience quite easy. Normally, I find BJ’s to be utterly unbearable. This, of course, is why I only go there once a month. Also, I don’t think my freezers could hold all the food if I went there more often. Needless to say, I’m happy that I checked that trip off my December to-do list.

Yesterday we started working with a trainer for Anakin. It’s been hard to get him socialized and trained properly due to the pandemic, but Gari will be great for him. He did really well with her once he got comfortable. Unfortunately, he’s a bit of a nervous dog around new people, so it took a while for him to warm up. We quickly figured out, however, that as long as Maya was out of the crate with him, he was more comfortable. Our session yesterday was a consultation and to see how he would respond. I liked Gari’s style and felt that I learned a lot from her. We didn’t cover a lot of ground yesterday, but we’ve been practicing his new skills a lot today.

I had planned to run today, but my body is just not feeling it. After all, it’s my second week back to working out after a six or seven week hiatus. My goal is to get back to running every day for at least a mile. Additionally, I’m back to practicing yoga daily, which is helping a lot. BBG continues to deliver week after week of great workout. Since I took a break, I’ve definitely regressed a bit. Consequently, I’ll be repeating BBG 3.0 before moving on to 4.0. BBG 3.0 is significantly more difficult than 2.0, so I don’t feel bad at all about having to repeat it.

This afternoon, I mixed up some cookie dough for Christmas cookies and ordered more decorations. Like many Americans, I find myself decorating the house more this year. After all, 2020 has been such a gloomy year, why not brighten it up with some Christmas cheer. I’ve also been working on my memory book for Jake’s Air Force journey. It’s so fun to look back on the pictures from the past year. Hopefully, I’ll finish the book later today or tomorrow. This evening we’re headed to my brother’s for dinner. Again, since I’ve gone nowhere in like seven weeks, it will be nice to leave the house.

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

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 6 of BBG 3.0 week 4 and I’m doing nothing. I decided to rest on the 6th day because I’m a rebel like that.

*Today I thought about running a mile and decided to take the day off. It was good thought.

*Today’s word of the day is share, which is why I write this blog. To share my thoughts great and small with all of you.

*I’m enjoying my normal Saturday with absolutely nothing on my to do list.

*I’m headed to my brother’s tonight for dinner and board games.

*After today, my running streak stands at 0 days and I’m not mad about it.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. Today’s footprints may have included some ashes since they knocked over the grill. There are, however, no kitties in this house.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them!

Today’s song is Superheroes by The Script, enjoy!

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One Year

One year ago, we said our goodbyes to Jake at MEPS Miami. We headed home, while he awaited his departure to basic training. It’s amazing how quickly the year has gone, but also amazing how the memory of all those emotions comes flooding back. Last year, I felt I had left a piece of my heart at MEPS as my boy went off into the unknown. We didn’t really know what to expect as he began his journey in the service, which left us with a bit of anxiety and fear. Of course, all of those emotions were mixed in with the immense pride we felt in seeing him take the oath.

Now here we are a year later, we’ve fallen into the rhythm of what it means to be a military family. It took adjustments. Particularly, it took a lot of adjusting in the beginning. His time in Basic was definitely the worst since we rarely heard from him. Once he graduated Basic and headed to Tech School, it got a bit easier. I say a bit because it’s never easy to be away from your kids. Also, his tech school was really rigorous and a lot of people don’t make the cut. Not surprisingly, he soared through tech school as he soared through Basic. I had worried that he’d sound sad or upset when calling from Basic. You can imagine my surprise and relief at hearing him sound happy, confident, and knowing that he was now where he belonged.

When we left him at MEPS, he was our boy. When we saw him again at BMT Graduation, he had transformed into a man and world-class airmen. Without a doubt, the young men and women that serve are given an incredible gift. They’re given the gift of understanding an objective that is bigger than themselves. Their Instructors teach them that under no circumstance is a wingman left behind. Moreover, the military teaches them responsibility and discipline. Imagine if more people lived by that credo. Maybe we wouldn’t have people fighting over wearing a mask to protect others. Perhaps people would learn to see the world through a wider lens instead of being so self-absorbed.

As for the present day, I’m now on a whole new countdown. Now, I’m counting down the days until he comes home for leave. That’s right my friends, my boy is coming home for Christmas!! Best present ever! Before he arrives, we have some decorating to do. I finally have all my photos framed and ready to hang for my Air Force wall. We also got a new Christmas tree today, which we’ll be putting up shortly. I’m curious to see if Anakin likes to hide under this one as much as our old tree. Our old tree finally gave out after fourteen years of service. It was starting to look like an extremely tall version of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

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

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*I can’t believe it’s been one year! I’ve been looking back at photos and blog posts from last December. It’s fun to look back at the pictures and see how shy he looked. The transformation from December to February was amazing!

*Today I ran one mile and walked a mile today.

*I spoke too soon the universe continues to correct me.

*I’m looking forward to crashing on the couch after work with my beloved puppies!

*Before I crash with the puppies, I will be cooking up a delicious meal courtesy of HelloFresh.

*After today, my running streak stands at 3 days. Today’s run really challenged and frustrated me.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. The only challenge is when the muddy footprints continue onto the white tile.

*BBG 3.0 week 4 day 4: running! After taking a six week hiatus from BBG, it’s really kicking my butt.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them!

Affiliate advertising supports this blog. By clicking on the link and making a purchase, you are helping to support the blog with no added cost to you. I appreciate your support!

A Different Holiday

It was a different holiday this Thanksgiving thanks to the second wave of COVID, but the virus didn’t stop us from spending quality time with the family. Thankfully, technology allows us to be together even when we’re miles apart. It was awesome to see Jake, my folks and my brother’s family on Thanksgiving.

Naturally, I would have preferred to see them all (especially Jake) in person, but this was a great substitute. Jake, by the way, looked great, which warms my heart and lessens my anxiety. Unfortunately, the younger kids don’t like to be on the Zoom. It was like pulling teeth to get the Mayor and his cousin on the call. Goalielocks was a little better, but he was still fighting it.

Obviously, we ate entirely too much and continue to do so thanks to leftovers. Fortunately, my daily uniform continues to be yoga pants, which are mighty forgiving. I was, however, able to re-start my BBG workouts after changing the my schedule and getting the blood pressure under control. It has felt good to log some serious work outs this past week.


Tomorrow I’ll be back to work while the Mayor plays in the championship game. He’s had an awesome tournament this far leading his division in points and points per game. I’m proud of how hard he works for his team on and off the ice. Unsurprisingly, his hard work is paying off. It’s a lot of fun to watch him and his team play.

Lastly, help me wish Our Sweet Anakin a very happy first birthday! For his birthday, he got a new chewy bone, some raw hides, a Christmas collar and some Christmas outfits. Naturally, I also got his sisters some goodies too. I’d hate for them to feel left out. So even though it was a different holiday, we have a lot to be thankful for including our sweet birthday boy!

Thanksgiving 2020 Style

Thanksgiving 2020 style is wildly different for most of us thanks to COVID. It also makes our first Thanksgiving with Jake away from home. Last Thanksgiving was wonderful with my whole family in town, so he could have a great send off to BMT. Speaking of which, we are coming up on his one year anniversary. I can’t believe how fast time has gone.

This year has been tough, but there is still so much to be thankful for. First, 2020 was a year of awesome accomplishments for Jake. From graduating BMT and tech school, to earning his SEC+ certification and shipping off to his first duty station. To say he had a banner year would be an understatement. We couldn’t be more proud of the man and airmen he has become.

While our boys continue virtual school, they’re doing while and have managed to stay healthy. Hockey, thankfully, is in full swing. Too often we underestimate the importance that our kids sports and other extracurricular activities are for their development. Now with Covid, these activities are there only lifeline to the outside world. Kids need socialize.

As for Luke and I, we keep trucking on. After a rough fall that saw us replace two failing vehicles, we’re ready for the winter. I should also say we know have an additional driver, Goalielocks, which has helped a lot. I started a new role back in insurance, which I’m loving. Albeit, it keeps me extremely busy. Especially during the long hours of AEP.

To all our friends and family and to all our military families near and wide, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. To military families like ours, who have an empty chair this Thanksgiving, we send our love and gratitude. May God keep our family members that serve safe and sound. To our military folks servicing near and far, thank you for your service!! Today we hold you up in prayer and gratitude.