Hockey and Holiday Madness

The last several days have been nothing but hockey and holiday madness. I mean complete and utter mayhem. Our Thanksgiving started off with rushed morning we had to drop off the food at my bro’s before heading to the Mayor’s gams. We had also orchestrated a plan to surprise him with the whole family coming to his game. Thus delaying our Thanksgiving meal just a bit.

The slight delay was well worth it and the Mayor was pumped to see everyone at his game. Note to readers if you have nieces and nephews involved in activities, make an effort to see as many games, recitals and concerts as you can. It means everything to them.

Unfortunately, the game didn’t go the way we wanted with the KB Stars, from the Czech Republic, handily beating us. The Mayor played a very physical game and wasn’t afraid to check the kids that were over six feet tall. Honestly, whenever the Mayor’s on the ice, he’s working as hard as he can and isn’t one to avoid the mayhem. He was even able to draw a penalty against them after pinning one to the boards.

Fortunately, he was able to shower post game at my brother’s house. There are probably few things in this world that smell worse than a fourteen year old hockey player after a game, but I can’t think of one. My sister in laws left the game a bit early, so by the time we got there the cooking was well underway.

As with every Thanksgiving, I started the day with the best intentions. I was going to abstain from gluten and dessert. Truthfully, my doctor thought I should be a bit flexible with my diet around the holidays, so naturally I exploited that flexibility to the fullest. There wasn’t a carb being served that I didn’t it. Fortunately, I was wearing sweatpants on account of the Mayor’s game at a cold rink.

The annual football game had the added delight of the boys’ cousins X and P and their uncle J being in town from Minny. It was a lot of fun watching them play against their uncles and burn off the turkey calories. As for me, I watched the game and made friends with a woman from the UP, who happened to be walking her beautiful Golden through the park. We ended the night at Mel’s house playing Jack Box games with the family.

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Unfortunately, the hockey gods were unkind with the Mayor’s schedule, so we had to be in Pines by 7:00 am Friday morning. Since Pines is so far away, we were out of bed at 5:00 and out the door before 5:45 am. To say I was Graves raging all morning would be an understatement. It didn’t help that the rink was 15-20 degrees colder than normal. As some one with a heat intolerance issue I didn’t anticipate suffering from hypothermia at the rink. Fortunately, the boys picked up the W and my mayor played well. For my post game celebration, I grabbed another cup of Dunkin and sent the Mayor home with his friend.

Fortunately, I was able to relax on the couch before the Mayor’s second game of the day. Naturally, on my way to the rink, I stopped for my third cup of Dunkin. Even with the three coffees, my exhaustion level was defcon 10. Nevertheless, I’ll move mountains to watch my boys play. I thought my boy worked hard, but the team came up short. Good news is you need to learn how to lose before you can win.

After a quick post game shower for him and cat nap on the couch for me, we headed with the rest of our family to my brother’s for taco Friday. My oldest bro and his family were flew out Saturday’s so this was our last chance to hangout and do the white elephant game.

Dinner was terrific, but the white elephant game was magnificent! Some of my favorite moments were: Jake winning the Justin Bieber memorabilia, including a singing toothbrush and M’s dad winning a cache of Korean beauty products. Goalielocks won a one minute mystery game that we played immediately. The game was quite fun, however, the big mystery didn’t come from the game. Rather the true whodunit arose when there were farts coming from the bench where the Mayor and X were sitting. Neither would claim the odorous magnificence, but both were laughing hysterically and soon so was everyone else. Sadly, another early alarm cut our night shut.

Saturday I was ready to leave the house with Goalielocks by 8:00 am, so we could make his practice in Miami on time. While the Goalie was dawdling, the Mayor was fully dressed for his 8:00 pm game… Truly, it was a tale of two kids. As always, Goalielocks’ practice didn’t disappoint. Good food, good hockey, good friend and great coffee, what could be better?!?!

By the time I made it to the Mayor’s game, I had already put on 290 miles on my car and had drank 3 large cups of coffee. However, I changed up my afternoon coffee enjoying a wonderful cafe con leche. Saturday night’s game was full of mayhem. It was fast, it was physical and my Mayor was on fire. He had an awesome assist followed by a great goal. The whole game he and his teammates worked hard. In the end, they were able to hold on and secure the hard fought win.

We ended the night by celebrating at Coldstone with some ice cream. I finally made it home after midnight with more than 200 miles logged on the car. Needless to say, I took several naps and drank lots of coffee yesterday. Our weekend may have been complete hockey and holiday madness, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!

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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.

Cue the Exhaustion

Cue the Exhaustion

Cue the exhaustion folks, it’s Sunday night after a major holiday and hockey tournament.  Undoubtedly, I am exhausted beyond belief along with all of my fellow hockey parents.  I’m positive I’m not the only one regretting not taking tomorrow off to recover.  It’s month end, which means I cannot afford to miss a minute let a lone a day.  So I’ll be back to work tomorrow at 8:00 am with bells on.

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Our Thanksgiving holiday was marvelous.  We had a great Thanksgiving dinner at Jon and Brandi with family and friends that have become family.   After a great dinner, we played some Right Left Center and another game with a box.   Jake had a great night and walked away with some moula after winning two rounds of the game.  After playing games, we watched Star Wars “The Force Awakens.”  I know I’m late to the party here, but I enjoyed the movie.  Although, it is sad to watch knowing we lost Carrie Fisher way too soon.

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I wrote about our early hockey games on the blog earlier and today was no exception.  We were back to the rink by 9:00 am and didn’t leave until after 4:00 pm.  It was a fun weekend at the rink with our hockey family.  These tournaments are exhausting, but are much like a family reunion.   Its a great opportunity to catch up with former teammates, their families and other friends we’ve made throughout the years.

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Yesterdays games were awesome, but I still had quite a few visitors yesterday in the Sin Bin with a lot less (thank goodness) today.   At U-14  body checking is legal and these hits are incredibly loud and percussive.  I’m pretty sure they build the boards to amplify the noise of the hits and increase the hockey moms collective anxiety.

Our boys finally clicked this weekend, after a couple of painful months, which was awesome to see.  These kids have so much potential there aren’t enough superlatives in the English word to adequately describe it.  Nevertheless, I am beyond proud of each of them for their efforts.  As the team went into the championship game, they were definitely the underdog. In the end, we lost a nail biter to a strong Russian team in sudden death OT.

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Of course the bitter reality of leaving the rink at 4:00 pm on a Sunday, is that I still had to grocery shop, finish the laundry and finish all my other errands upon leaving the rink.   I’m pretty sure I heard a collective ugh as us parents left the rink to head home and on to our errands and chores.

Tonight’s song is for my Goalielocks.  Enjoy “May We All” by Florida Georgia Line.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Today is a day to reflect upon our blessings, eat 5 million calories, watch football and live with gratitude.  I started my morning at the gym with a little Xtend Barre followed by weights.  Of course, I strategically timed my work out  before Thanksgiving dinner, so I won’t feel to awful about all of the things I’m about to eat.

As I baked the cheesecake last night, I started watching a new show that is wonderful.  My colleague recommended The Durrells of Corfu as it  reminded her of my kids..   This ITV produced show takes place in the mid 1930s in Britain and Corfu, Greece.   It follows the story of a widow and her four children (3 boys and 1 girl), who move to Greece after getting fed up with life in England. As an aside, the show runs on PBS’s Masterpiece Theater in the States.

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I quickly realized why this show reminded my co-worker of my kids. The show’s writers based it on the books written by the youngest Durrell.  The youngest son Jerry, much like my kids, caught and brought home every animal he caught.  Of course, the mom losing her cool on her kids that weren’t listening to her or helping around the house resonated with me as well.  The scenery, the characters and the plot are quite interesting.  My kids and I will definitely continue to watch this show.

Today we’ll be heading to my brother’s for a relaxing Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family.  It’s a far cry from the large gatherings we were accustomed to as kids, but its a nice change of pace.  I remember watching movies at my grandma’s with the family on the holidays.  One year we watched Star Wars Emperor Strikes Back and another year we watched Gremlins.  Speaking of gremlins, I’m pretty sure if I don’t get enough sleep tonight, I may turn into one tomorrow morning.

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To all my friends and family, I am forever grateful that you are in my life.  If there’s anything I’ve learned in 2017, its that life is precious and not promised.  Let’s be thankful today for the beautiful people that have helped shape our lives.  Let’s be grateful for the opportunity to rise and grind another day.  Lastly, today we remember those that are no longer with us.  While they may no longer be with us physically, they’ll always be with us in our hearts.

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Today’s song is the Beatle’s masterpiece “A Day In The Life.”  This song penned by Lennon and McCartney is one of my favorites and is both haunting and beautiful.  Moreover, this song features one of the most famous ending chords.  Interestingly, when Paul McCartney played A Hard Days Night in Miami he and his band ended on this chord.  (I hadn’t picked up on it, but my music expert Jake certainly did.)