Monday, November 7, 2011

Home-a-gain, home-a-gain, jiggity, jig...

Post #478 - 21 days until my blog-o-versary
(yikes, I need to post everyday and double up to keep with my end of the deal)
 - over 100 followers :)

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Up and going on this Monday morning. Plane landed back in California around 10:15pm and we were home by 11:15pm. As always, it is good to be home and back in ones own bed.

It was a great weekend and very busy between the hockey games and visiting with my that is why I didn't have a chance to post any update throughout the weekend - so here is a brief summary.

Thursday 11/3 (my bday) -
Up early to get in my workout, finish packing, get an early breakfast around for the boys to eat while I shower and get ready to go. Adorned with the traditional birthday hat (see photo below), we snapped a few bday photos of me with my boys and then headed off to the airport.

Just incase the hat doesn't give it away...I am the short one in the middle :)
 Robert is my older son on the left and Matthew, my younger on, is on the right.
I wore the hat to the airport, in the airport and on the airplane (but finally took it off for the 4.75 hour flight). Upon touchdown, after the flight attendant announced all the arrival information she then proceeded to announce that it was my birthday...when Robert kindly informed her of...and all 180+ passengers sang "Happy Birthday" to of course I had to put the bday hat on., which I kept on as we departed the flight in the Midway airport and wore it all the way down to the baggage claim where we met up with my parents and sister.

They were very excited to see me, Matthew and Robert, who made it down to the baggage claim a few minutes later as his whole hockey team was travelling together on our flight. Once luggage was collect, my parents/sister said good bye to Robert, who was staying with his team at another hotel as did I...then we all left for our respective hotels. My parents/sister stayed in the same hotel as Matthew & I while Robert & his hockey team stayed an hour north of us.

Once at our hotel, we all settled in. I enjoyed a nice bday dinner with my parents, sister and Matthew in the hotel. It was the first time in a long time since Dad & I celebrated our birthdays together.

Friday 11/4 - Let the hockey begin
Matthew had 2 games on Friday - 10:30 and 4:30...perfect times. His team lost the first and tied the second. Both were good games...and Matthew played very well. His grandparents and aunt had a good time watching him play. In between games, it was lunch at Noodles & Co - a favorite place with the other hockey moms I travel with (my parents/sister joined all of us) and dinner was at Sweet Tomatoes with just parent/sister and a cousin of mine who lives in Chicago. He took the train in from downtown Chi-town to watch Matthew's evening game and have dinner with us. It was nice to catch up with him.

While watching both of Matthew's games, I was missing 2 of Robert's; however I was getting texted highlights throughout. Robert's team won both of their games on Saturday - Robert scoring in both games. The first game he had the game winning goal and the second game he scored the first to get his team going.

Saturday 11/5
Early morning alarm for this day - a 4:45am breakfast call for Matthew followed by a 5:45 departure for the rink in order to be ready to play the 7am game. The games for this day were in a different rink. That is one thing to be aware of when going to the Bauer International hockey tournament in Chicago, one certainally gets a good opportunity to visit a lot of different hockey rinks. There are over 1000 hockey players from over 400 teams that decend upon the city over the weekend for this tournament.

Matthew's morning game ended up in a loss and put them in 4th in their division, thus making their last game a consolation game with a 1:30pm start time - which they won 8 to 6. Nice to end on a win...and nice that Matthew finally got a goal which was the last one of the tournament for his team and an empty netter :) He worked so hard over the weekend, he was due for a goal.

With Matthew's team done by 3pm on Saturday - done with the whole tournament as well - Matthew and I jumped in the car with my parents/sister and headed an hour north to watch Robert's 5:15pm game. While I would have rather seen Matthew's team do well and advance to the sweet 16 instead of the consolation game, it was nice to be able to take my parents up to watch one of Robert's games. His games are fast, physical...and they are just big boys (15/16 year olds vers 12/13 year olds). 

Robert's team needed a win or a tie to advance to their quarterfinals - which they did advance with a tie. While Robert and his coaches commented that this was not their best game, my parents/sister were very impressed with how Robert and his team played. We waited for Robert to come out of the locker room to tell him "good game" and for my parents to get a photo with him...then it was time to head on back to our hotel.

Sunday 11/6 - time to start packing up
Because we never are sure how these hockey tournament weekends are going to end up, we always plan for the best outcome - making it to the championship. Which means, we find out what time the championship game ends and plan our flight out around that time. In short, we had all day to kill as our plane didn't depart until 7:30pm. But that is ok, we have found ways to "waste" time until we have to be at the airport.

Yes, I know that Chi-town has a lot of great museams and great places to visit...but by Sunday we are typically fried and, if we have no games planned, then the focus becomes homework and completing everything before getting on the plane. So that is what we did Sunday. Matthew slept in, had a late breakfast and finished up his last few assignments so he could turn them in when he got back to school. I got up and hit the workout room while receiving texted from a fellow hockeymom from Robert's team, so I could keep up with the 8am quarterfinal game. Sounded like a good one that went into OT...unfortunately they lost 3-2 with 1:32 left in OT. Bummer, but they had a great tournament.

After saying goodbye to my parents & sister around 12:30pm - they headed to visit a friend before heading to the airport - we left the hotel [too] to have lunch and walk around a few shopping malls before we headed to the airport. We met up with Robert's team in the airport food court a little after 4pm.

Matthew got one more Chicago hot dog and a Ben & Jerry's ice cream for dinner...and, with a Ben & Jerry's "addicted to chocolate" milk shake in hand, Robert spotted us and came over. It was like a little reunion - after not being together for 3 days. Although I think the brothers missed eachother - for they packed up their stuff and headed down to the gate together leaving me behind with some of the other parents and Robert's team. Oh, well, it does a mother's heart proud to see her children get a long (even though in her heart she know that it is temporary, for as soon as they get home that loving, brotherly fighting will start all over again :) ).

...and now back to reality
It was a great weekend. Always nice when you can combine a hockey weekend with a family visit - even if it is short. It was good to catch up with my parents and my sister and they all enjoyed spending time with Matthew and seeing Robert, even brief as it was. They loved watching the boys play hockey, too.

Today it will be back to work and back to school. However, I will need to get the hockey bags and suitcase unpacked and the laundry started before I leave for anywhere.

Gotta go, thank you for all the birthday wishes over the weekend - it means a lot. Until next time, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!


jayne@~an eye for threads~ said...

Sure sounds like you had a great birthday and even though it was busy a nice visit with family. Happy belated Birthday with Many Happy Returns.
Be always in stitches.

Stitchinowl said...

It sounds like you have a jam-packed visit. I agree with you that, after a trip, it's nice to be back in your own bed. Glad to hear you had a wonderful time.

cucki said...

sound like you had a wonderful time..and great birthday.. is so nice to come back home after the holiday time..
keep for you xxx