Post Grad Let Down

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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Broke A Record

This weekend I broke a record. For the first time since I’ve had my Prius, I went through a tank of gas in one day! Needless to say to it was quite the busy weekend. Our weekend started with a trip to Miami for Goalielocks’ hockey practice Saturday morning. It’s always awesome leaving the house before 6:30 am on a Saturday.

Practice was good and ended quickly. Since his game wasn’t until 4:00 pm, we headed back home to relax. I wasn’t feeling fabulous , so I chilled on the couch until it was time to go. To be fair, I also booked a hotel and packed a bag for the evening since Goalielocks and I would be staying in Miami that night.

The game Saturday afternoon was not fabulous. Apparently, the other team added some players from their junior team to the U16AA team we played Saturday. Yeah, it totally made a difference. Goalielocks was mighty busy all game long. The end result was ugly, but I was proud that he never gave up. I did, however, have a proud mom moment as we drove to the rink and the Mayor played some great music!

Post-game Goalielocks took a shower at the rink (a first) and got ready for the hoe-down. He was volunteering with some teammates at the Soroptimist International of Homestead’s annual fundraiser the Blue Jean Ball. This event coincides with the Homestead Rodeo. Naturally, my country boy was loving the theme as the music.

While the boys worked, I hung out with my fellow hockey moms. It was fun to watch the boys work the popcorn and hot dog stand. Every time a patron would ask if the hotdogs were done, one would respond “I don’t know.” Needless to say, they kept us entertained throughout the night. Of course the live music didn’t hurt either. By the time we left the event, hit up the local MacDonald’s and made it back to the hotel, it was already 1:00 am.

My plan was to wake up and make the Mayor’s 8:40 am game in Pompano. However, since we had such a long date and got to bed so late, I decided to let Goalielocks sleep in. Unfortunately, it meant I had to miss all the drama in the Mayor’s first game. Apparently, a mom lost it and had to be kicked out. I can’t wait to see the video of this glorious blunder.

I let Goalielocks sleep until 10:30 that way we could pack up, pick up coffee and head to the next game with time to spare. We made it to the rink with plenty of time to spew. Unfortunately, this means nothing when it comes to picking out the optimal viewing location. Simply put this rink has no good places to watch the game.

It wasn’t the best hockey game I’ve ever watched, but I simply love watching my boys play. Truly, it’s is awesome to watch them working hard with their team and playing the game they love. Of course, I loved watching him score a beautiful goal.

When I see my Mayor play, I have no doubt that he loves the game and his teammates. In fact, we’ve been really lucky this year. Both boys have a great group of parents and kids. It makes for an awesome season.

Our weekend ended with yummy Korean pork sandwiches at our dear friends house. I was especially happy since my girlfriend Hanh and her beautiful baby are back from Tampa! Sweet Ava has grown so much and is still so cute. It was a wonderful evening with our extended family! In the end, I broke a record by driving more than 350 miles in a day.

Meanwhile in San Antonio, Jake has headed to the field for Beast week. This is one of the airman’s favorite parts of basic training. I look forward of hearing his impressions of the week. We may even get a phone call from him on Friday after they return from the field! Only 10 days left until we will see our airman again!

Lastly, I’d ask that you keep my family in your prayers tonight. My uncle Craig lost his battle with lung cancer this morning. We are devastated. I’d also ask for prayers for our family friends that are potentially facing some major health issues. Thanks!

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Detroit Weekend

Our Detroit weekend has absolutely epic. We ran into a bit of a snafu getting the rental car, but they were able to upgrade us into a vehicle that could actually fit our luggage and handle the snow. Victory! Our hotel was about twenty minutes west of the airport of of I-94. Fortunately, our hotel was on a golf course overlooking Ford Lake, which made for beautiful vistas.

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The weather when we landed was chilly, but not terrible. Our first game was at Yost Arena one the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor. I found the arena to be beautiful, but quite a bit smaller than Mariucci Arena at the University of Minnesota. Unfortunately, the boys didn’t play their best hockey and we fell to the Gulf Coast Flames. The irony here, of course, was that we flew all the way to Michigan to play another Florida team.

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As we left the arena, the flurries had begun. In the overnight hours, the storm that had battered Minnesota, dropped eight inches of snow in Michigan. The golf course was absolutely beautiful. Growing up there was nothing better than looking out my backdoor and seeing the pristine, newly fallen snow. Saturday morning those memories came back as I gazed out over the freshly fallen snow covering the hotel grounds.

Thankfully, the roads had been cleared by the time we left for the Mayor’s game. Again it didn’t go great, but was a better effort than Friday night. The weather was perfect with temperatures in the 30s all day long. We enjoyed a quick late lunch at the hotel. That evening we were headed into downtown Detroit to see the Florida Panthers take on ten Detroit Redwings.

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So I had a great rental car, but I didn’t want to drive into downtown Detroit. Clearly, it’s on the list of cities I never want to get lost in. Consequently, I opted to ride with the assistant coaches in their large van (aka Frenchy’s bus.). They had window decals made with the Panthers logo and Frenchy’s and they were on fully display. I had to make fun of them both for being dorks except for….

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When we got to downtown and came to a barricade, our driver rolled down the window to ask security where we should go to find parking. The security guard, seeing the logos, waived us through the barricade. Consequently, we parked right in front of the stadium next to the police van. We all swore on all things holy that the can would be towed while we watched the game.

As for the game, there were some shenanigans with a guy from Windsor. That story from our Detroit weekend, however, will take up a full blog post. The boys had a fabulous time and the Cats brought home the W. Now it was crunch time, would the van still be there? Would there be a ticket on the windshield? How much would an Uber be from downtown to our suburban golf course?

We made our way out of the stadium anxiously awaiting our collective fate. The boys raced to where we parked. Alas, victory was ours and the van was still there. A new problem presented itself, however, in that all the pedestrian traffic leaving the stadium was in the alley where we parked.

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I envisioned us sitting there for hours waiting for the pedestrian traffic to clear. We finally caught a quick break in the traffic and we were able to pull out of the parking spot. No sooner had we pulled out of the spot, when the police cruiser parked near us turned on it’s lights. We were accepting in our fate. Obviously, we were about to get a ticket. Or not… Shortly after the cop put his lights on, he escorted us out of the alley and through the roads of Detroit. That’s right folks we had a police escort leaving the stadium!

The boys were over the moon excited as we ere escorted back to I-94 by the police car. Truly, us parents were also over the moon. What an experience to share with our boys and each other! It was so incredible how it all unfolded. Hockey trips can be expensive, but these moments that create incredible shared memories are what it is all about. I’m incredibly lucky to share this experience with my son.

Of course, Sunday brought more hockey and some hockey drama. The Mayor forgetting one skate at the hotel is going to be it’s on post. In the end, our weekend in Michigan was pure magic. As a hockey mom, I can’t think of any other place I’d rather be than with my kids at a hockey tournament. After all, it only last last for a short time.

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It’s Test Day

It’s test day here in sunny, but chilly for us South Florida. When I woke up this morning, exhausted from the weekend on the road, I was trying to think of every valid reason why I shouldn’t run or workout today. Truly, I was exhausted and couldn’t imagine the thought of pounding the pavement for two miles.

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Fortunately, coffee solved my motivation problem and I quickly changed my mind. After all, the weather was undeniably perfect for a run. While the weather conditions were perfect, my run was not. My time was improved over last week and the first mile felt pretty good. I ended up chopping a minute off of last week’s time. It may have something to do with the great Metallica riffs I was enjoying.

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Unfortunately, I still have 2.5 minutes to chop off my time.The one drawback of the run was me. Sadly, I have some soreness in my knees after yesterday’s dash through DTW (Detroit airport.) Apparently, when you return a rental car, you are also supposed to return the keys. Of course, I didn’t discover the keys in my purse until I got to my gate A12.

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I called Hertz, who instructed me to give the keys to the shuttle driver. That was all I needed. I left my stuff with my Mayor and booked it back to the ground transportation area. I only had about 20 minutes before they started boarding. Honestly, it felt great to run after a couple of rest days.

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In the end, I made it to the shuttle, back through security and back to my gate in less than 20 minutes. The only snafu was having to get patted down by security since my back was now so sweaty. Clearly, I apologized to the TSA officer for having to deal with me and my sweatiness. She replied that it was okay and that she’s seen much worse. So much for picking up a pre-flight Starbucks. It kind of felt like I was in a movie.

In the end, I knew I was taking a calculated risk in running today. After all, we ended out trip in Michigan with some White Castle sliders on Eight Mile Road. I know what you’re thinking and you’re right. It’s absolute insanity to eat White Castle before hopping on a flight.

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Thankfully, the Mayor and I are accustomed to the burgers, so I felt the risk was minimal. However, running a significant distance the morning after could be categorized as either brave or stupid. Spoiler alert, I survived the run with no intestinal issues.

Needless to say there’s no place like home. My skin is thrilled to be back in a place with humidity. Meanwhile, I’m ready to continue with the solid workout routine I’ve created. I’ll devote probably a couple posts to our weekend in Detroit because it was that awesome. I had aspirations of posting everyday, but the schedule and my energy level suggested differently.

So final test results for week 3: 16:51 for 1.5 mile run, 15 pushups and 28 sit-ups! Clearly, I have room for improvement. Next week, I should hit the sit-up number. The run, however, is going to take a few more weeks. Lastly, please keep our airman in your prayers!! It’s test day for him as well and this week is critical!

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On The Road Again

We’re on the road again! The Mayor and I are on a bird headed to Michigan for a weekend of hockey. This will be my first hockey tournament experience in Michigan, so I’m excited to see something new. As we speak, we’re currently cruising at 36,000 feet and I just finished the Downtown Abbey. I know I’m totally late to that party, but the movie was wonderful.

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Meanwhile my Mayor is excited that the landscape will be transformed into a winter wonderland with a big snowstorm tomorrow. I, on the other hand, am not excited to have to drive in a snowstorm. Part of the reason I moved to Florida in the first place was snowstorm avoidance, yet here I am! Hurray!!!

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The weekend is coming and that means another WOT is winding down for Jake. I can’t believe he’ll be starting WOT 6 on Sunday. Next week he’ll take both the written and physical tests that determine if he’ll pass BMT. Please keep him in your prayers as he and his squadron move into this challenging week. I’ll be posting updates of our trip throughout the weekend. To all those traveling this holiday weekend, please stay safe!

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Hurricane, hockey and airports

Hurricane, hockey and airports oh my! Goalielocks and I are Boston bound for his first tournament of the year. Providence clearly had a hand in the planning as we’re escaping Palm Beach right as Hurricane Dorian is knocking on our door. It’s slated to hit somewhere on the East coast of Florida as a cat 4 storm. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of uncertainty in both the path and forecasted strength. At this points, it’s a plan for the worst and hope for the best scenario.

As crazy as it sounds, it’s a bit tough to leave the state right now. While my goalie and I are heading north, we’re leaving behind the hubby, the mayor, Jake and our puppies. I think I’ll be equally nervous for them as I am watching my goalie play. I’ll try to update on both the hockey and hurricane preparations as much as I can. If you’re in Florida, stay safe. If you’re not in Florida, please pray for my family and neighbors’s safety.

Signing off from 36,000 feet!

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It’s Time For States!

It’s time for states!!! The vaunted state hockey tournament. The culmination of countless hours of practices, driving, off ice sessions and games is finally here. Fortunately, both of our boys are playing locally this year for states! Yay!! Unfortunately, we’ll be at the rink all weekend with nary a break.

Our tournament started with our U12 Panthers Gold taking on the undefeated Blackhawks Red. It was an exciting game. I had expected a lopsided affair, but it was 0-0 through much of the game. The Hawks put one in while on a 5-3 power play. Our squad didn’t stop their effort and kept it a tight game, but we couldn’t bury the puck. All in all it was a good game.

Well after my bedtime, Goalielocks’ U16 game was scheduled. Okay, maybe 9:50 isn’t my bed time, but by Friday night I’m exhausted. Fortunately, I packed my beta blockers so I could take the edge of my nerves and my heart rate. The game opened with a breakaway against Goalielocks and he came up with a huge save.

The rest of the game was back and forth. Goalielocks saw a lot of shots, but was on point. TK buried the puck early in the first to put us up by one. We netted another goal in the second putting us up 2-0.

The second period had me worried, but our squad stood strong. They ended up banging one in, but I couldn’t see what happened from my angle. When the period ended it was 2-1. Thank God for beta blockers.

As the third period got underway I was hoping for a quick goal to allay my nerves. I got it! #relieved. The team had some great offensive moments in the third period. Consequently, we went up 4-1. It was then that the wheels started to fall off for the other team. They took a 2-10 penalty followed by another minor penalty late in the third. Happily, the game ended a 4-1 decisive win for our Panthers Gold and my Goalie.

Now it’s midnight, we’ve been at work and school all day. Tomorrow starts early with a call time at the rink of 9:30. We have game all day and another late night at the rink. I’m off to bed to get some much needed sleep. Let’s Go Panthers!

They’re Back From Quebec!

They’re back from Quebec!!! Thankfully, their early departure from Quebec City got them out before the snowfall started. I figured the big storm that hit the Midwest earlier this weekend would hit the Quebec area today. Luckily, we booked super early flights. Even so they were delayed an hour getting out of Montreal.

The later arrival gave me more time at the gym this morning. I feel like I’m fighting a sinus infection. Since I had no fever and no symptoms below the chest, I opted to hit the gym. I put in thirty minutes on the elliptical and was able to do 4.5 miles in that time. Happily, I can report my knees have improved dramatically week over week. Yay!!!!

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After finishing my run on the elliptical, I made it leg day at the gym. My knees feel much better, but I was careful to pick exercises that did not hurt my knee. I would usually do single leg cable kicks on leg day, but that brought too much discomfort to the knees. Consequently, I skipped the exercise.

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After my workout, I headed to the airport to pick up my boys. It was exciting to watch them land and taxi as I was driving down Southern towards the airport. I quickly parked, as quickly as one can when snow birds are involved, in the short term parking and headed into the terminal.  Fortunately, they were quickly off the plane and so were their bags. Yay! The Mayor wanted Wendy’s, but that was a hard no from both of us. Everyone was exited to see them back home especially the puppies.

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Unfortunately, my hubby had the distinct pleasure of getting to work on the broken items list right away. He immediately tackled the garbage disposal and was able to fix it quickly. Thank goodness! Next up was the air condition. I was pretty sure it was the capacitor that crapped out. Turns out I was right!! Thank you YouTube. He’ll pick up the part tomorrow, so by tomorrow night we should be in the business. Woohoo! It’s great to have him home!

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The rest of the afternoon we spent relaxing and baking. I made my first attempt at an “easy Kouign-Amann” recipe. I’ll be devoting a whole post to it tomorrow. I absolutely loved Quebec City. Moreover, I loved Brittany and Saint Malo. In 2011, we spent some time in Brittany and saw where Cartier sailed from when he discovered Quebec and the Saint Lawrence Seaway. The Breton influence on Quebec is unmistakable.

Speaking of French, I just finished volume one of Proust’s In Search Of Lost Time. While I wait for Amazon to deliver volume two, I’ve started Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. At this point, I’m only ten chapters into the book, but I’m finding it quite enjoyable. I’m off the read, good night my friends!

Thursday in Quebec

It’s Thursday in Quebec and that meant game two of the tournament. Unfortunately, the squad didn’t have a good morning and was knocked out of the tournament. Fortunately that doesn’t mean the hockey is done for them as they’ll likely have more exhibition games tomorrow and maybe Saturday.

It’s incredibly hard not to be there because it’s such an amazing experience for the kids. Tonight they went out to the skate park in Shannon, Quebec. This place is magnificent. It has hockey rinks, a skating trail and a ice slide. The trail through the woods is beautiful. It could hardly get more picturesque.

As for the hockey, there’s nothing better than watching these Florida kids enjoy hockey as it’s supposed to be. Outside and without all the equipment just like The Hubby and I grew up playing in Minnesota. Incidentally, neither of us had played hockey inside or in full gear until we moved to Florida.

When Goalielocks and I went in 2016, we got some snow. They, however, have mountains of snow. I’m watching the winter storms carefully in case they’re delayed in getting out Sunday. Although I’m sure none of the kids would mind spending more time in Quebec. Lastly, I’m happy to report that the hockey dads have survived the Canadian whiskey and the bromance continues!

Meanwhile in Florida, our AC unit died!

On The Fifth Day

On the fifth day, there was more hockey at Peewee Quebec.  I had a much better opening, but had to change the title around, so there went that idea.  It was a play on the guess what day it is joke, but I digress.  I’m happy to report that Canadian Whiskey did not win today. Rather, hockey and lot’s of it won the day. The boys got an early start today with an exhibition game against another French team.

 

This game had a lot of offense with twelve goals between the two teams. Unfortunately, we were on the wrong side of the equation. My Mayor did score on a penalty shot and had a nice check in the defensive zone. Not sure if he got called for this check or something else, but he definitely spent some time in the box.

In their second exhibition game of the day, they played another team from Switzerland. They’ve now played five teams from Europe and some Canadian teams. What an incredible opportunity. Game two didn’t go there way either, but thankfully it was only an exhibition game.

The Mayor clearly didn’t have enough hockey today as he spent his night doing play by play on Facebook Live during the other team’s game. It was absolutely priceless and I loved hearing him and his buddies talk about the game. There’s truly no better tournament and no better game. I love these kids passion for it.

Meanwhile in Florida, we got to work and school. #boring I’m still in an adjustment period with my thyroid. My body is a bit beat up, so instead of running today I chose to rest. Fortunately, Goalielocks stepped up and made dinner for us both. We had yummy breaded chicken and broccoli.

I had a bit of a fever when I got home, so I didn’t want to press my luck. When you’re living with thyroid issues, fevers are one of those things that you’re unsure if the cause is illness or too much thyroid fun. Nonetheless, it pretty much ruled out a trip to the gym. I’m keeping and eye on it and if it continues, I’ll follow-up with my endo.

My boys are on their fifth day of Peewee Quebec, which means the Mayor’s probably at the stage where he walks into the room and falls asleep. I remember vividly how tired Goalielocks was by this time in the tournament. The trip is so well-organized. There’s a lot of hockey and a lot of activity, so these kids are exhausted. All worth it to enjoy the trip of a lifetime with your hockey buddies. These are the trips and the memories that truly make paying for travel hockey worth it.