Let The Countdown Begin

Let the countdown begin! In sixteen days, Jake will be leaving for the Air Force. While it has been a work in progress for months, the reality is starting to set in. I can’t believe he’ll be leaving the proverbial nest in a little over two weeks time.

We started the countdown in the summer thinking he’d be leaving in early to mid fall. However, he waited until his he secured the job he wanted. Unfortunately, this moved his departure date back to December. Consequently, he’ll be away for the holidays. Since he’ll be missing Christmas and New Years with the family, we held our celebrated Christmas brunch this morning. Fortunately, my whole family is here from Minnesota to celebrate Thanksgiving. Thankfully, the delayed timing of his basic training is allowing him to spend more time with all of our family.

Before diving into the caramel rolls, cheesy potatoes and cholesterol bake, we took updated family pictures. Where we live, there are plenty of great spots to take family pictures without any inconvenience. We opted to take them at the entrance of a nearby neighborhood that has a great waterfall feature. For the camera, we used an iPhone 11max and the canon t6i.

You can imagine our surprise when all of the kids decided to cooperate with the photos. The weather held out with rain starting just as we finished. It was a bit overcast, which was nice because nobody was squinting in the pictures. It’s crazy to think that these will be the last family pics with all the kids still home. In our next group picture, Jake will be an airmen and living at a base far away. These are the moments that matter.

Post pictures, we headed back to the house for brunch. The mimosas started pouring early as we waited for the food to finish cooking. There definitely was a countdown for the caramel rolls to finish. Our Christmas brunch is super heavy on the carbs, which is why we only do it once a year, and is sure to trigger a food coma if you don’t get up and moving.

Consequently, I was ready for bed by noon today. Meanwhile, Luke and the boys headed outside with their cousins and uncles to play football. As the played, the clouds began to clear and the sun came out. Suddenly, it was a bit warm. After a rousing game, the younger cousins decided they wanted to swim.

We took a quick walk to the pool and found it to be mostly deserted. The cousins had a great time playing random games on the splash pad and in the pool. While they played, we sat with your feet in the water. When the kids grew tired of the games, they decided to see if they could stack P on X’s shoulders while X sat on the Mayor’s shoulders. Their efforts here were quite a site to be seen. They ended their pool visit with a cannon ball contest.

Post pool, I enjoyed my afternoon coffee and still managed to fall asleep on the couch. As I slept, Goalielocks went to work at the rink and the Mayor prepared for a sleepover with his cousins. After he left, we worked on the packet Jake will need to bring to his recruiter’s office tomorrow. It really is starting to feel real. All in all, it was a beautiful day spent with family. Meanwhile the countdown continues….

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One Week

It’s been one week since I left the office for the last time.  So many emotions and so much fun has been had over the past seven days.  It’s not that I’m not sad to move on or anything like that, but I choose to embrace the madness and the excitement of moving forward. That isn’t to say I don’t have tough moments, but by and large I’m feeling good!  I started my first week off with a brilliant session at the salon with my girl Daniela and Jenja.  Nothing makes a girl feel better than a fresh hair cut and a nice brow wax.

During the intervening days, I had the occasion to meet several former colleagues and friends for lunch and drinks.   A fantastic time was had by all.  As an aside, I went to Farmer’s Table for the first time for lunch.  The food and service were absolutely brilliant.  Fortunately, Farmer’s Table’s menu had several amazing gluten free options.   I quite enjoyed the spasta with meatballs – spaghetti squash with marinara and chicken meatballs.  It was absolutely amazing.  I can’t wait to go back.  The next day, I had an amazing meal at Taverna Trela in Delray.  This meal was equally amazing.  I thoroughly enjoyed my steak, mushroom and onion rice bowl.   Another menu with some great gluten free options.  I look forward to going back there as well.

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Friday also brought a doctor’s appointment, where my doctor noted how much happier and relaxed I looked.  My blood pressure was pretty freaking phenomenal too.  They see me all the time there on account of the regular bloodwork I need to get down for the thyroid, so it was encouraging they noted the change.  It was also encouraging that my thyroid is starting to approach the normal range!  Yes – victory is in site my friends.

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The weekend brought happy hours, another massage and some mini golf.  I thoroughly enjoyed my blueberry martinis at Burt & Max’s.  The lettuce wraps were pretty freaking good too.   Of course, the Chipotle at the end of the night was pretty good.  Admittedly, it was the first time I’ve had Chipotle in years.  I enjoyed the steak tacos on a hard shell.  It brought back memories of driving across the University of Minnesota on game nights to get to the only Chipotle close to our house because it was the best thing since sliced bread. Now that Chipotle is on every corner and they’ve had a couple e-coli scares, the novelty has worn off a bit.

Sunday night we hit the mini golf course with J&M2 also known as Jake and Mel.  .  Even though we went in the evening, it was still hot as hades on the course.  By the time we finished, I felt like I had been sitting in the sauna for an hour in my jeans.  Fortunately, the club house had the same temperature as the Baltic Sea.  In 5 seconds flat, I went from near heat stroke to hyperthermia.   If I’m being honest, mini golf isn’t my sport, but we had a blast.  I’m also declaring victory having ended a mere 13 above par.  Over previous efforts, this represented a serious improvement in performance

Meanwhile in Minnesota, the boys are living their best lives with their cousins.  They’re having a blast hanging out with their cousins and chilling on the boat with their Uncle J.  The Mayor loves tubing with his cousins, while Goalielocks is enjoying fishing the Minnesota lakes.  He caught a nice sized large mouth bass on Lake Minnetonka Sunday.  Last week, their cousin X and his soccer team were playing in the USA Cup in Blaine.  Needless to say, given the heat indices in Minny last week, I’m thrilled my boys play hockey.  I’ll never be sitting by a sideline in an 115 head index.  Suffice to say, if you asked the boys, they would tell you there’s no better passage of summer than one spent in Minnesota.

Goalielocks is also enjoying lessons with his former goalie coach from the Hawks, Coach Ryan, who is now coaching with MEGA Goaltending in Minnesota.  It’s fun for the boys to reconnect with Coach Ryan and to get back on the ice.  Since Goalielocks went on a growth spurt, we’ll need to buy him a full set of gear upon his return to Florida.  Oh the expensive joys of the hockey mom life.

Today is my father’s 66th birthday please join me in wishing him the happiest of birthdays!

Transitions

Life is full of transitions, but when you’re a parent of teens they seem to come non-stop.  The youngest two seemingly look, sound and appear older each and everyday.  I can’t wait to see how much they’ve grown since heading to Minnesota earlier this month.  They won’t be back in town until right before school starts in early August.  Yeah, early August.  I know what you’re thinking (and you’re right) Palm Beach County Schools start schools entirely too early.  Each day I call to speak to the boys, their voices seem to have shifted another octave lower.  I’ve resorted to asking discrete identifying questions to ensure I know which one I’m talking to on the phone.

The Boys
Now and Then: 2012 and 2019

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Meanwhile, Jake is deep in preparations to join the Air Force.  We met with the recruiter as a family late June to discuss the Air Force as a possibility.  Consequently, we’re pretty excited for Jake and the future the Air Force will bring him.  As a mom, it’s brought many mixed emotions as I’m excited that he’s got a solid road map for his future.  On the other hand, my boy is leaving the nest for good and joining the military (a bit scary.)   All in all, this fall promises to bring a major transition.

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Today marks the start of new beginnings as I close out my ten year career at KHE.  It is with mixed emotions that I move forward.  I will miss the work family that I have cultivated over the last ten years, but am very excited for what the future holds.  To all of my colleagues both current and former, thank you!  To keep in touch, hit the follow button on the blog. After all, everything maybe changing, but relationships don’t have to change.

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Given this week’s transitions, I’ll be fundraising much more aggressively for the Mayor’s trip to Europe next summer.   You can find the link to donate here: fundraising link

Moving On

Today was Goalielocks’ moving on ceremony marking the end of a fantastic three years at Logger’s Run Middle School.  Since day one he has flourished in Middle School enjoying the academic offerings and his many friends.  It was apparent tonight how much he enjoyed his school and how well he got along with his classmates.  Of course, for me, it was bittersweet as it marks the end of one stage and the beginning of another stage.  It seems like just yesterday he was graduated from preschool and now he’s off to high school.

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The ceremony itself was at his future high school in West Boca.  We found out yesterday that he has been offered a spot in the medical academy at West Boca with all of his friends.  He was absolutely ecstatic to learn that he’ll be continuing his school journey with the vast majority of his school friends.  We waited until tonight at dinner to give him the good news.

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We waited patiently in the hot, sauna of a gym for ceremony to start.  They started “Pomp and Circumstance” as the graduates filed into the gym.  Maybe it was the contacts or both our bad vision, but we didn’t see Goalielocks walk into the gym at all.  Once they had sat down, we didn’t seem him either.  Naturally, we started to panic a bit.  After a few minutes of concern, my hubby decided to go down and see if we could find him.

He headed down towards the entrance and start chatting with the principal and the police officers working the event, who assured him he was there.  The hubby headed up the other bleachers to try and find him to no avail.  Finally, the principal let him walk down the side and he found him.   Now we could relax and enjoy the show.

As I watched the video with Goalielocks tonight, he quickly pointed out that we actually got him on video.  How we missed him in the first place is beyond me.  Like I said it could be the contacts or the blonde hair.  Nonetheless, it was a fabulous night to celebrate the accomplishments of middle school while looking forward to the challenges and opportunities of high school.  

 

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Surreal

We’re living the surreal life as we transition from life with little kids to life with teens and gulp and adult.  It’s almost surreal that Jake’s in college, Goalielocks is looking at high schools and the Mayor just completed his first quarter of middle school.  In many way, Jake’s graduation from high school still feels quite surreal.  Obviously, I’m not old enough to have a college freshmen and no kids left in elementary.   While my boys are getting older, the hubby and I haven’t aged a bit.  Its truly a thing of wonder.

As I drive to work each morning, passing by the elementary school my kids attended for nine years without having to drop off a kid feels both odd and strangely liberating.  Life’s transitions, are tough, rewarding and ever evolving.  Last spring in my Zumba class I was commiserating over my son’s forthcoming graduation and adulthood with my class. When one of my Zumba girls so poignantly reminded me that graduation is one of life’s many transitions into new and exciting stages.  Wow, I hadn’t thought about it like that before.  It was eye opening and a bit liberating.   Although admittedly adult or not, Jake will always be my sweet,  little, blue-eyed boy.

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We’ve settled into a new routing of sorts, with Jake at class 4 out of 5 days per week.  He already registered himself for the next semester.  Jake also paid for his first semester himself (proud mama moment.)  While Jake finds his way at college, the Mayor is hitting his stride in Middle School.  I was so worried about him starting middle school, but those worries were for naught.  He’s absolutely loving his culinary academy and so are we.  Particularly, I love when I come home from Zumba to dinner courtesy of the Mayor.  Honestly, he’s a phenomenal cook.  The Mayor always saves me sauteed onions and sets protein aside (if I’m watching my carbs) me.

Goalielocks, meanwhile, is raising a veritable zoo in our house, but hey it’s better than video games.  He continues to confound his teachers by neglecting homework and acing all his tests.  Subsequently, I’m sure you can guess the source of my high blood pressure and angst.  With high school coming next year, we’re really working hard to get his home work and study habits in line.  For all you parents with strong willed children, I know you understand what were up against.

One thing I do miss from last year, is the opportunity to run with Jake.  His work and school schedule have made it almost impossible for us to train together.  I can’t tell you how much running with him improved my time and cardio capacity!  I’m hoping as his semester and my Zumba class wind down for winter break that we’ll be able to get back into the habit of running together.  Otherwise,  it will be an ugly run for me at the Purple Stride event on November 19th!

Tonight’s song of choice: Keane “Everybody’s Changing”

The First of Many Lasts….

I fondly remember tracking the milestones when my kids were little.  The first time they slept through the night, their first bottle, their first words, the first time they crawled and the first time they walked.  I particularly remember being so anxious for all of Jacob’s first and not being able to wait until he could walk.  Of course by the time Goalielocks and the Mayor were born, I knew we’d be better off the longer they were immobile.

With every new milestone hit, we’d always be looking forward to the next one like wondering after the first bottle when he would enjoy his first taste of carrots or squash.  I never understood how quickly these milestones would pass us by and wish I had enjoyed them as they came and not been in such a hurry to hit the next milestone. As Jacob grew, I began to understand that our children are much like a gift that keeps on giving as we unwrap a new layer with each stage of their childhood.  Like an onion with many layers, each year a bit of the onion is peeled back revealing its gift.  As an aside, I’m not sure I would characterize the puberty stage as a gift, but that’s a whole different post.

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I remember once they started daycare, my hubby and I were anxious to get them into school and out of daycare.  Not realizing that the costs from daycare would be reallocated to things like travel hockey, tennis or tutoring.   It is easy to look forward from elementary to middle school, who wants to pay for aftercare in perpetuity – not me.  Of course you have to accept all the nonsense that comes with middle school and puberty, but at least the aftercare bill will be done and it seemed like a reasonable trade off.  I’m currently rethinking that logic.

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Tonight started what will be the first of many lasts.  His last high school choir concert.  He was never a singer and not really into music and then he mistakenly got choir as an elective his freshmen year at OHS.  What started off as a clerical error ended up being a transformative moment in his life.  A love of all things music quickly followed leading him to the discovery of new music, like Nirvana, Green Day, the Beatles, Jonny Cash, Tom Petty, Led Zeppelin and the Travelling Wilburys.   This new and incredible passion for all things music was born and accordingly he acquired guitars, a keyboard, a ukulele, and a harmonica.

I relished the boys’ firsts undoubtedly, but I don’t think I understood that they would eventually come to an end.  I mean I knew they’d grow up, but whiskey tango foxtrot, it wasn’t supposed to come this soon.  I wasn’t supposed to blink and have a high school senior.   I’m struggling to grasp that we’ve progressed from a world of firsts to a world of lasts this month.  The last choir concert, the last report card, the last day of school, the last choir banquet, the last awards ceremony and the last day of elementary for the Lorbach boys.  WTF – seriously – WTF I’m not ready for this at all…  Meanwhile, my boys are totally ready and I couldn’t be prouder.

This song’s for you Jake In My Life