Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy 3rd Blogiversary...and the winners are

3 years today, I took the plundge and started my blog - writing about my love of cross stitching and everything that goes on in my daily life. It is a busy life, but I don't think that I would change anything.

On October 28th, one month ago I announced my 3-100-500 giveaway - to celebrate - my 3rd blogiversary, 100 followers and 500 posts.

Since that day my followership increased from 84 to the current 161 - wow! That has overwhelmed me. I have had the privilege of visiting some of my new followers and there are so many amazing people out there! What a neat medium we have here - to meet new people and learn about other's lives, different countries, etc.

And while I didn't officially get to my 500th post, I did get darn close! Life has a way of getting in the way of the best made plans, so I hope you all will forgive me that I didn't quite meet my challenge.

HOWEVER, because you all over achieved your end of the bargain, there will be 2 winners! So using the random number generator to pick a number between 1 and 118...

Winner #1 is.....

Comment #32 was written by Kathy H
Winner #2.....

Comment #85 was written by Danielle 

Kathy H and Danielle...I will be contacting you both soon to get your information. Congratulations.
And to everyone...thank you so much for joining in the fun! I feel like the winner today!
Take care...until next time, remember
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Friday, November 25, 2011

3 days until blogoversary...

so, once again I better do a little catching up! However, if you haven't entered my 3-100-500 giveaway, you can find out all about it on the left hand side - the link to the post where you need to enter can also be located on the left.

Post #495 - Making sacrifices when owning your own business
I guess the first thing I should do is wish all my blog friends in the states a Belated Happy Thanksgiving. I hope that everyone had an enjoyable day.

My day? Well it started out very early, but that wasn't to cook the Thanksgiving turkey. No, I had to go into Store #1 at 4am to create 2 different arrangements and put together a box of chocolate covered apples. These arrangements are ones that contain a lot of choclate dipped fruit and one had kiwi slices...none of which would look very good if made the night before; so I opted to come in early and create them. We want to make sure that all of our customers get the best product possible!!! I finished up the arrangements around 6:15 and finished cleaning up my mess & mopping the floor around 7am. I wanted to make sure that everything looked good at Store #1 before I left because my DH and son Matthew were going to work there...I, on the other hand needed to leave this store and drive 32 miles up to Store #2.

On Thanksgiving, as well as some of the other holidays which are coming up, we give all of our staff the day off and each of us "man" the store. The stores are open for a short amount of time (8am-12pm) for customers to come and pick up their orders...we opt not to do any deliveries on these days. And typically we don't take any new orders on these holidays, but do have some extras available for walk in purchases...however, because I know how to produce the arrangements, while at Store #2 I did take some orders. So between trying to dip fruit and arrange them in the container, I was also running to greet the customers coming in the door to pick up their pre-ordered Thanksgiving arrangment. A couple of times I felt like I was running a 3-ring circus...but I was the only clown. It was fun, though...I love helping customers and making their day special.

Never the less, I was glad when the last customer showed up to pick up their order - and once the kitchen was cleaned I was headed home. My DH and son Matthew beat me home and were having a bit of we decided that naps would be next before our thanksgiving meal.

Post #496 - This years Thanksgiving Meal
A glimpse of what is down the road
Those are the thoughts I had as I sat down at the table last night. There were only 3 of us around our little, my husband and my younger son Matthew. Robert, our older son, left on Thanksgiving morning with his hockey team for a tournament in Denver, Colorado. So, without Robert's stomach present, I downsized the Thanksgiving meal. I know that sounds pretty sad in itself, but many of the traditional dishes - the candied yams, green bean casserol, stuffing - only Robert and DH eat. So we kept it simple and delicious.

Before leaving for the airport, Robert was kind enough (anytime you get a teenage boy to do any favors for you, I would assume it was done out of kindness, right?) to put in the turkey breast in the oven; I had prepared it the night before. The rest of the meal consisted of steamed green beans, tossed salad, mashed potato w/gravy, sour dough bread and the turkey. I also roasted an acorn squash, which only I one else wanted to try.

It was a nice meal, simple, relaxing...after we finished and the kitchen was cleaned up (this was the 3rd kitchen I had cleaned up: Store #1's kitchen at 6am, Store #2's kitchen at 12:30pm and now my own at 6pm), we retired upstairs and just vegged out. I was too tired to pick up a needle I just laid around and watched TV.

Post #497- Post Thanksgiving and the upcoming giveaway
With Thanksgiving now "in the books" as the saying goes, we all really start looking toward Christmas and the holiday season. Did any of you participate in the Black Friday early bird activities? I have a few friends who actually go out at midnight to get the deals or camp out for the stores that open at 4am. I have never done that. Actually, after the last few days I have had, I value my sleep too much :)

Well, finally the giveaway drawing is coming...only 3 more days. On November 28, I will choose 2 names from those who entered a comment on this post that started it all and will post them sometime on Monday 11/28. I have been gathering things up for their mystery packages and will purchase the gift certificates to as soon as I have the winners' names. Getting exciting, hun?

Well, take care my friends. Until next time, remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Catching up, baking and a little stitching

Post # 491-494 and 6 more days until the giveaway drawing.
If you haven't entered yet, I posted the information on the left hand side and "click" on the link, which will take you to the right post to enter your comment for the upcoming drawing.

Post #491 -  Weekend RecapThe weekend went well for me, at home with Robert (older son), and DH & Matthew (younger son) down in LA. I worked in the store on Saturday and got Robert around for his hockey activities on Sunday.

Down in LA, DH & Matthew had a great time. Matthew played well in all three of his hockey games - scored a goal in all three games...but unfortunately, the team lost 2 games and tied 1. But the scores were all very close. Aside from hockey, they just had a great time being together, which as I said in the last post it has been a long time since DH has stepped away from the store and travelled for a hockey weekend with either of the boys. It was funny, though, when Matthew listed the few times that he "missed his mommy".

The first time was just during the games for there was no one cheering from the stands. In fact, he said, the stands were silent (that is sad). The second time he missed me was when they went to the Olive Garden for dinner...mommy wasn't there to cut his speghitti noodles. This issue, I have to say is very sad, for he is 12.5 years old and it is time for him to cut his own noodles...don't you think? :)

Post #492 - The Business
In the wonderful comments on my last "catch up" post, Kaye asked "What sort of store do you own?" My husband and I own 2 Edible Arrangement franchise stores - the business that creates fruit arrangements that look like flower arrangements and boxes of chocolate dipped fruit (like strawberries, bananas, oranges, pineapple, and apples). Below is one of the popular arrangements this week as we gear up for Thanksgiving.

It looks like we will be cutting out a lot of pineapple leaves and dipping them in chocolate over the next few days. As well as, making a lot of cinamon chocolate apple wedges.

Today, tomorrow and Thanksgiving I will be working up at our 2nd store location while DH holds down the 1st location. Before anyone asks..."yes" DH and I are working Thanksgiving Day. We give all our employees the day off and we work the store from 8-12 for pick ups only (normally we deliver, but on holidays such as this when we give all our employees the day off we just do "pick up" only). When the last pick up is gone, we each will lock up the doors and meet at home...where we will enjoy our Thanksgiving meal!

Post #493 - Thanksgiving Baking
Yesterday, as I was driving around doing errands (for I had the day off from both Part Time job and working in a store) I realized that if I don't get my Thanksgiving shopping done or get the pumpkin pies made I won't have any other chance this week. So after running the car to get it's overdue oil change, I hit the grocery store and gathered up all the Thanksgiving necessities - Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green beans, etc. It is going to be a small T-giving this year as Robert (my older son) will be away for a hockey tournament.

Anyway...once home and the groceries unpacked I started immediately on my pie you make your own pie crust or do you purchase "already" made? I have always made my own. It has been a tradition in my household to use homemade pie dough. Back when I was a little girl, it was tradition for my great-grandmother to make the dough and the pumpkin pies. I still remember walking downstairs to the kitchen mid-morning and hearing her curse the dough - "Damn dough, it is too sticky!" or "Damn dough, it keeps breaking a part and the pies are going to look ugly!" After a few "damns" you would soon hear my uncle or my mother in the next room saying - "LaLa's making her pies now, best to stay out of the kitchen." My dough recipe comes from the Bylery's cook book (Bylery's is a grocery store in Minnesota) and is simply Crisco, flour, egg, vinegar and a little water.

Once the dough is made, rolled out and fitted to the is the pumpkin pie filling. I have my great-grandmother LaLa's recipe; however, since I don't eat the pie I follow my husband's mother's recipe. LaLa's had a lot of eggs in hers, plus spices & the pumpkin pie filling - which comes out almost like a custard. DH's family's recipe calls for Kyro syrup, only 3 eggs, evaporated milk, pumpkin pie filling and spices.  So, here is the pie...
Behind the pie are loaves of Strawberry bread, which I also baked yesterday. In our stores, when we prep the strawberries, we toss aside the smaller "unacceptable" ones which usually end up coming home with me. Some of the strawberries I grind up and make into smoothies...however, because we are coming up to long hours at the store, I decided to whip up some strawberry bread to take in and share with our wonderful employees. I made 2 batches of the bread - one that has only strawberries and one that has strawberries and a little bit of crushed Almonds. If interested in trying something new, here is the recipe for Strawberry Bread:

STRAWBERRY BREAD - from Food to Go Cookbook
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, well beaten
1-1/4 cup oil
2 (10oz) pkgs frozen strawberries, thawed...I used fresh & chopped them up
1-1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)...I used some almonds in one batch
1/4 cup strawberry jam

Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sugar (I also added a little vanilla and ginger to my recipe, just to give it a little extra lovin'). Add eggs, oil, stawberries, pecans and jam. Blend. Pour batter into 2 well greased 5x9-inch loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.


Post #494 - a little stitching
So over the weekend, while in the rinks on Sunday I did get in a few stitches on my Family Sampler. Since it has been a long time since I posted a photo, I decided to show you my status...but I must apologize for the photo - I grabbed the camera, but it appears that the batteries were stolen out of it by some teenage boys for their computer mouses; so I was left with my phone camera. Here is a status phone photo:
It is dark, but I hope that you can see that I am almost finished with the Clay Pot flower buds that go around the border...there are 2-1/2 more to stitch on the left hand side and then there are 3 more corners to fill in. I did one of the corners the other day to see what it looked like, but decided that I wanted to finish the flower buds first before filling in the corners. I don't know why I decided that - guess it was just a factor of trying to keep the focus on using the color Clay Pot.

Well that should bring us all up to date on things here. I hope that your week is going well. Until next time, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often

Friday, November 18, 2011

Crazy busy...sooooo....10 more days until giveaway drawing

Post # 486...487...488...489...490 and 10 more days until the giveaway drawing.
If you haven't entered yet, read the information on the left hand side and "click" on the link, which will take you to the right post to enter your comment on for the drawing.

Well, I know that technically this is not the 490 post, but since I am the one hosting the giveaway and you all have overwhelmed me with the number of followers and entries, I will jump ahead and make this the 490 post. Only 10 more posts to go until my 500th and only 10 more days until the drawing.

I have been very busy working on our Store #1 - trying to transition in to a new routine that has made it difficult for me to sit and blog. While I am hoping to have some time at home this evening to rest and relax, I might just end up on the sofa and fall asleep. Standing on these hard floors several hours a day and cut fruit, well it is not good for ones lower back.

This weekend DH is going with Matthew (younger son) to his hockey tournament in Los Angeles. They left a few hours ago, driving down there. Matthew was so excited that dad got to go with him. It has been a long time since DH has taken a long weekend off from our business and even longer since he has travelled with either of the boys. I know that he, too, was looking forward to getting away. I will have to work in one of the stores tomorrow, but since we close earlier on the weekends I will have some time to spend at home with Robert (my older son). will be nice not to be the one who had to pack and travel. It is fun traveling with the boys, but I do look forward to spending some time at home every once in awhile. Maybe, just maybe, I will find sometime to sit and stitch. One can only hope.

Well, my blog friends. It is already time for me to sign off. I hope that you all have had a good week. What plans do you have for the weekend?

Take care and remember....

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Caught in between...but gotta catch up

Post #485 - 14/13 days until my blogoversary - 100+ followers

You still have time to enter my 3-100-500 give-a-way if you haven't yet, details and the link to the information can be located on the left.

'Tis too early to be morning, but too late to call it night...
'Tis not really Monday any more, but Tuesday isn't right.
Late to bed and early to rise
So this post will be disguised
As an entry for yesterday, even though today is dawning
I add post one for now, and two a little later
But right now, as I am yawning,
See you later alligator!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Post #484 - 15 days until my blogoversary - 100+ followers
You still have time to enter my 3-100-500 give-a-way if you haven't yet, details and the link to the information can be located on the left.

Sitting on the coach, with my needle in hand
Thus only have a moment to check in, say "hi" and make sure to post today.
Getting closer to post number 500 and closer to my give away...
But got to stitch, for I have the itch!

Have a good Sunday!


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Happy Saturday

Post #483 - 16 days until my blogoversary - 100+ followers
You still have time to enter my 3-100-500 give-a-way if you haven't yet, details can be found on the left - or you can go to this link to read about and enter. 

A day off of work, which I had yesterday, which included the boys having a day off of school due to Veteran's Day - doesn't allow for much opportunity to do things for one's self. However I did manage to get one bathroom cleaned and the kitchen floor mopped which were the two areas that bothered me the most in this house.

In the afternoon, both boys had an ortho appointment which was followed by a trip to the LHS...the Local Hockey Store :) Both boys needed some new sticks - Robert needed a helmet and Matthew a pair of breezer/pants.

In the evening, we fired up the grill and slapped on some burgers...followed by a sit on the sofa and an opportunity for me to pull out Family Sampler and create 45 X's. While always grateful to sit and stitch, it isn't enough to really show at this time. 

Have a good Saturday...until tomorrow, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often! Lisa 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Brothers...Buddies...and so they grow

Post #482...17 days until my blogoversary....100+ followers
You still have time to enter my 3-100-500 give-a-way if you haven't yet, details can be found on the left - or you can go to this link to read about and enter.

Happy Friday...Happy Veteran's Day...Happy 11-11-11...

The great affair, the love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible, to groom one's curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred, climb aboard and gallop over the thick, sunstruck hills every day. It began as mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beutiful country lies in between.
~Diane Ackerman

Everything starts as somebody's daydream ~ Larry Niven

Once upon a time, in the State of Hockey - Minnesota - two little boys were born 3-1/2 years apart: Robert was the oldest and Matthew, the youngest. With both parents working full-time, they attended the local day care/early childhood development facility where skating lessons were offered at the age of 3...yes, they had a little indoor ice rink at the day cool is that? Once those tiny "blade"s (aka hockey skates) were attached to their feet...those buckets (aka helmets) positioned on their heads...and "twigs" (aka hockey sticks) placed in their hands...dreams of being great NHL stars were born.

Robert (5 years old) on the right and Matthew (2 years old) on the left..playing floor hockey on the wooden floor in
our house in Minnesota.

It was thought that moving to California, NHL dreams would be dissolved, but on the was alive and scoring here on the West coast. As priorities for a hockey team and a good school district were high on the list of requirements for finding a new residence, the brothers landed ended up playing for the Blue Devils.
Robert (9 years - squirt) on the right and Matthew (6 years - mite) on the left.

Since then, the boys have jumped from hockey club to hockey club, playing for some great coaches over the years - whether they were an Oakland Bear, a Santa Clara Blackhawk or a Tri Valley Blue Devil...the dream continues as they both are playing for the San Jose Jr. Sharks

Robert (15.5 years - 15UAAA Midget Minor) and Matthew (12.5 years - 12UAAA PeeWee)...their current photo. It's been a long time since I have been able to get a Buddy Photo of them.

I look at the three photos and amazed at the growth and the changes of my little boys...who aren't so little any fact they tower over me - is that really fair?

Hope you have a great day today...and a special thanks goes out to all those people who protect our freedoms! Until next time, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

No Stitching...but a new addition

Post #481 - 18 days until my blogoversary - 100 + followers
18 days until the drawing of 2 names for my giveaway...if you haven't entered yet, click on this link and leave a comment (details on the left)


Well, I am going to disappoint you...I was not successful in sitting my self down on the couch to stitch. I allowed too many things to get in my way; time sucker was not My Town 2 (I liked Nancy's suggestion of finding my LNS and creating that business in my little fantasy town)
However, I was busy using my hands to put something together, though
to create something that is my "drug of choice"...

Yesterday I mentioned that my stationary bike had died.
A good morning spin...a first thing in the morning my "drug of choice"
and a non-working stationary bike wasn't giving me that high any more
After 20 years the electronics shorted out
One of the first pieces of "furniture" DH & I purchased with our wedding money,
20 years ago, is now RIP
(the other purchase we made was our King Size bed, which we still have and really
need to replace as well)
That old stationary bike helped me sweat out stress, get rid of pregnancy weight and keep away
the "spread" one can get after the age of 40
Numberous times we replaced the chain
Several occasions we cleaned up the inside and put in a new part
But the short in the dash board, the brain of the old machine
was unfixable and we had to put ol'bike out of its misery.

So, yesterday afternoon, DH drove around to some of the local exercise equiptment
business and browsed to see what they had in stock
I surfed around the computer to see what I could find as well
After several phone calls, research on the computer and visits to stores
I settled on this:
Diamondback 510UB
So, instead of sitting and stitching, I was helping DH assemble the bike so that I could get up this morning and get in my sweaty, start to the day...which I am doing as I type out this post.
But I hear the needle and thread call my name...I feel the itch in my fingers to make those X's...
hopefully tonight is the night!

Take care my friends - thank you for all your comments and the stitching mojo you are sending...I do feel it!
Until tomorrow, remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Package in the mail

Post #480 - 19 days until my blogoversary - over 100 followers
19 days until I pull 2 names for my 3-100-500 giveaway - if you haven't entered, please click on this link to go to the post where you need to leave a comment.


Do you remember me telling you that I won a doorprize from the Online Needlework Show in October? I received my package from Whispered by the Wind yesterday and not only was the pattern I chose in the envelope but Mari added in a couple of other things. Here is what I received in the mail...
I opened up the envelope and found three patterns - the first was the one I had chosen called:
Recipe for a Snowman
Mari McDonald - Whispered by the Wind

Recipe for a Snowman is the one I entered into the doorprize with - for you had email the pattern you would love to have if you would win the door prize. In addition to my choice, I also received a pattern for a bookmark as well as this pattern -

Christmas Flower
Mari McDonald - Whispered by the Wind
Isn't it beautiful - Christmas Flower. Rich red, green and gold. Isn't that a perfect Christmas color combination? Well, of course I am antsy to start one of these...however there are a few things that I need to finish...

In fact, I just need to pick up a needle and thread again. Ever since I got the iPad for my birthday and got the app for a game called "My Town 2", my hands have been void of a needle. "My Town 2" is basically like the Farmville game on facebook that many people were hooked on a few years ago, but you build residental neighborhoods and businesses trying to grow your town. First I got it, then as soon as both my boys saw what I was playing they got we just have a little competition of who can build faster...sick, isn't it. The way one can get hooked on some fantasy game - addicted to having some sort of electronic device in your face constantly for entertainment. Yikes!

Hopefully tonight I will find away to put it down and pick up the needle - maybe I need some stitcher vibes from everyone out there sent to me :)

Well, that is about all I know today. I hope you have a good day today - oh, it is mid-week...I can see the weekend there on the horizon! I leave you with a few things (from to think about until next time, but remember:
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often - Lisa

Many people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.  ~Helen Keller

How beautiful it is to do nothing,
and then rest afterward
 ~Spanish Proverb

There is one thing we can do and the happiest people are those who do it to the limit of their ability. We can be completely present. We can be all here. We can give all our attention to the opportunity before us. ~Mark van Doren

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Grateful for time

Post #479 - 20 days until my blogoversary - 100+ followers
There are still 20 days left until my giveaway to celebrate 3-100-500 - if you haven't entered, please go to this link and leave a comment.

We couldn't have lucked out any more yesterday - the first day back after a travel weekend:
  1. The boys had a "collaboration" day - which means they get out of school an hour early so the teachers could have an extra hour for prepwork or to meet with other teachers to "collaborate".
  2. The boys didn't have much homework last night - guess all the work Matthew did before he left for Chicago put him ahead especially since some of the teachers has some personal thing to deal with last week...and I think that Robert did a few things to put him ahead as well
  3. There was NO hockey practice in the evening - Robert was suppose to have had practice, but his coaches decided that the boys could use a day or two of rest...and time to catch up on homework if they needed it.
This allowed us to get a few things done - like take the boys over to the passport office at the local post office and renew their passports. This is something that has been bugging me a little bit, but the anxiety was increased when Robert's team was accepted into a hockey tournament over the Chirstmas/New Year's holidays in Richmond British Columbia (Canada). I knew their passports expired over the summer, but just didn't make time to get them renewed. So we - DH included, because their are under 16 and both of us had to be present - went to the post office and got it completed. I did go ahead and have Robert's expidited even though the lady tried to assure me that it was the slow time of the year for passports and it would probably be here on the quick side of 3-6 weeks...but I just didn't want to take the chance that we wouldn't get it in time for the Dec. 26 departure. Matthew needs his in February, when his hockey team goes to Quebec for the International PeeWee Tournament. this task completed.

The above mentioned situations - aka more time at home - allowed me to get caught up on all the laundry and get the house restocked with a few essentials from the grocery store.

Given no hockey practice - I got the grill going and cooked up some burgers for the boys and some grilled asparagus for myself. Gotta love grilling in November, where there is a crisp coolness in the air and the warmth of the grill nearby.

No hockey...No homework...full bellies...early to bed. Lights were out in our house about 9pm last night. And today I am up, early...getting in a little spin on my stationary bike that is dead (I am spinning, but without any resistance...I think that this 20 year old thing has finally bit the dust).

Tonight Matthew has hockey practice but is being taken down there by the I am hoping to take advantage of this and sit & stitch.

Anyway...take care my friend and until next time, remember...

Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

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 :)

There are 21 days left to end my 3-100-500 give-a-way - if you haven't entered click on this link to be directed to the correct post to leave a comment.


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!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Bags are packed...again...celebrating my birthday 35,000 ft up

Post#477 ...I am trying to type today's post on my iPad this morning, it isn't as easy as it is on a standard computer. But I wanted to make sure that I get a post posted. With only 25 more days until my blogoversary I want to make sure I hold p my part of the giveaway requirements...making it to the 500th post by November 28. So you will have to forgive me it this is a short posting.

I leave for Chicago in a little over 3 hours. All the bags are packed and I am getting in a little spin on the stationary bike before I sit on the plane for 4 hours. I have down loaded some movies to watch and have some games ready to play...but folks this iPad is doggone addicting, especially all of those timed My Town, which is like the Farmville game that everyone was playing on Facebook a year ago. I need to muster up a little restraint and pull out the stitching!!! Well, if there isn't any wireless access on the flight that will limit what I can do and the stitching should come out!

I am looking forward to getting to Chicago, where I will meet up with my parents and one of my sisters. My father, whose birthday is today, and I, whose birthday is also today, haven't been together on our birthday in many years. I think the last time was 8 years ago, for we celebrated together before The boys, DH & I moved to California. It will be nice to be together.

Well, I won't keep you. Until next time,remember...

Live, Love, Laughand stitch often,