Just your average Hockey Mom

You’ll see them pulling up to the rink in their black or silver SUV’s or navy blue, silver or red Minivan – Bass pumping – 99.9% chance it’s AC/DC’s Thunderstruck you hear that’s making the sliding doors on the van vibrate. The back hatch opens up and all you see is doors flying open, kids climbing out and a whirlwind of hockey bags, sticks and water bottles making a beeline to the door of the rink. The team bus van pulls into the closest parking spot, the two front doors open (because Hockey Mom’s LOVE to carpool) and there is your first look at the classic Canadian Hockey Mom. Chances are she’s still singing/humming Thunderstruck (or my personal favourite Down With Webster’s – Time to Win), travel mug filled with Coffee and Baileys creamer in one hand, fleece blanket draped over one arm, the “Mom Bag” slung over one shoulder, and her kids forgotten water bottle in the other hand.

If for some reason you don’t see her pull into the parking lot – walk into any small town Manitoba rink (and I would speculate it is very similar in any province) and you will be able to pick her out. She will be wearing the official hockey mom attire – skinny dark jeans or black leggings, paired with either knee high brown leather boots, Blundstones, or runners, hoodie, puffy vest (Columbia winter jacket if it gets really cold), and the ever present black leather mittens. Accessories vary – she could be wearing an infinity scarf, touque, and if you are lucky you will find one who is wearing a pin-on button with a picture of her little hockey cherub on it. They will almost, always be standing in a circle talking about the weather, how cold/hot the rink is that they are in, any new ideas on how to get rid of the “hockey stink”, and if they should get a mocha to drink before or after the 1st period, and the quality of the rink coffee.

Black leather mitts ✔️ fleece blankets ✔️

If you want to know anything – ANYTHING – about hockey in rural Manitoba just ask a Hockey Mom. Best food, worst food, coldest rink, rinks that are licensed, cleanest dressing rooms or just rink cleanliness is general, best tournaments to attend, where not to stay on overnight trips, where to stay on overnight trips, driving times to any rural rink and/or Winnipeg sports complexes – ask a hockey mom. She will tell you about her experiences and will bring into the conversation reliable witnesses (other hockey moms, and occasionally a hockey dad).

Each team also has specific Hockey Moms
The Medical Hockey Mom who is basically a walking pharmacy and is probably a nurse in real life. Tylenol? check – Advil? check –  Bandaids/Polysporin/gauze/splint/eyedrops? check, check, check, check, check (and that’s just in her purse – crutches are in the vehicle)
The Backup Hockey Mom who has thrown in extra socks, jock, under armour, elbow pads, water bottle, skates in 4 different sizes, a couple of siblings that could fill in on short notice,  and just about any other piece of equipment that can be used as backup for any kid who might have forgotten to pack something.
The Snack Hockey Mom – your kid will never go hungry – she will have fruit, veggies, Gatorade, muffins (options of full gluten, no gluten, paleo, vegan and keto) – and coupons to any fast food restaurants in the vicinity of the rink. She is the queen of negotiating group meals at sit down restaurants and will make sure the players get their meals first. No one goes hungry on this hockey mom’s watch.
The Lucky Hockey Mom – probably the most humble and quiet person you know, and you can’t help but like her – but there is an invisible horseshoe tucked in somewhere on her. This mom will win the 50/50 draws every other game, a looney stick, at least 2 or 3 prize draws at tournaments, the lottery, a brand new car, trip to Cabo and free canteen shifts.
The Updating the Missing Hockey Moms Hockey Mom. If for some reason you can’t be at a game or tournament this mom will update you on the score, the quality of the ice, the intelligence of the refs, how dirty the other team is and a complete stats analysis of your child’s play on the ice. These updates will be sent via Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Text – or any combination of said social media. There is no sugar coating – it will be like you are right there watching the game! (And you very well could be if she’s streaming it live on Facebook!)

These women will literally wake up at the crack of dawn, feed their children cliff bars breakfast, load them up and drive them to where they need to be to play a sport they love. They will travel any distance, and in any type of weather to watch their kid. They will cheer and clap every single game. They will also be ready to give a death glare, and a few choice words (with back up from her fellow hockey moms) to any other hockey mom/dad from the opposing team if they’re being idiots unruly and to the officials wearing stripes if they have misplaced their glasses for the game. Don’t mess with hockey moms they are always fully caffeinated and can go from Suzy homemaker mode to full on Mama Bear mode in .02 seconds.

Now, I write this because I am a Hockey Mom. Some of my best friends are hockey moms. We have travelled together, have spent weekends together, have celebrated wins together and have driven home together in very quiet vehicles after tough losses. There are days when we have to be a hockey mom to more than one kid and to each others kids. But we wouldn’t want it any other way. To you Hockey Moms who are just starting this journey – buckle up – it’s quite the adventure! To you Hockey Moms who are in the thick of it – games/tournaments/skills – enjoy every minute – even the exhausting ones. To you Hockey Moms whose babies are all grown up and might not be playing anymore, you are always welcome to come to the rink and watch ours, it might not be the same – but hey – there’s always enough fleece blanket for one more to sit down and cheer for our kids.

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Good Friday

I witnessed something really cool today. It was the community Good Friday service that took place at our church.  It was a combination of all the churches in our small town.  Each church was represented and for an hour today there was no difference.  It didn’t matter (and really it shouldn’t matter) which church you were from.  We put aside the little, and some big,  differences in our denominations and we worshiped – together – as one congregation – as the body of Christ.  I really wish I had taken a picture of it  – because this – this is how it should be.

Because when it comes down to it I don’t think that faith is a complicated thing. Do you Believe? Life changes, the world changes and stuff happens but my faith, my Jesus, my God has been there for me even when I didn’t recognize it.

I was reminded today of something I used to listen to.  It’s the Apostles Creed put to music and when I was a part of a vocal group in college, Veritas, we sang an arrangement by James Fast called Credo.  This was before our cellphones recorded anything so I don’t have a physical copy of this musical masterpiece but I remember it well.  I do, however, have a version by the band Third Day and if you want to listen to it head over to Spotify and give a listen to Creed.

If you want to know what I believe – the following is what I believe.  And I think that if you were to ask the community of believers who were at the service today – regardless of denomination – they would also claim that this is what they believe. Because when it all comes to an end here on Earth and when we get to the gates of Heaven I don’t think we’re going to be asked what church we went to or what denomination we are a part of – but we will be asked “Do you Believe”.

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate was crucified, dead, and was buried; he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.
Amen

Image via Pinterest

Road Trip

This past weekend my husband and I went on a road trip. I haven’t been able to convince him to go on a warm vacation but I did convince him to go south….. to……. Minneapolis!!

I know what you’re thinking – “wow, Minneapolis, woo hoo, totally on my top ten places to go on a winter vay-cay 🙄”

But it was great! And here’s why.

1) there’s a lot of things happening and going on in Minneapolis. We took in a concert (Demi Lovato) and an NBA game (Timberwolves vs. Golden State Warriors). And the evening we arrived we found out that we also could’ve taken in WrestleMania – we chose to go to an Irish Pub with live music instead (#goodlifechoices)

 

“Don’t let the Bastards Grind you Down”

 

 

Demi – slaying on stage

 

 

Cover Band who opened with AC/DC TNT #legends

 

2) The Food. We didn’t have one bad meal. The food was a amazing. From the greasy pizza joint, to the fancy schmancy hotel restaurant and everything in between – we ate well.

 

Pizza La Vista 

 

3) Location, location, location. We stayed at a hotel  (The Loews) that was right across from the venue we were going to be attending. Literally a 30 second walk from the hotel to the venue. Did we pay a lot to stay there – YES. Did the visiting Golden State Warriors stay at the same hotel – YES Was my husband scared to drive/park downtown so we picked a hotel with valet parking- also YES. We were two blocks from the metro station – so we could catch the metro to anywhere in the city. We opted for the hotel driving service due to me wanting to shop at Mall of America 😁 it was a 15 minute drive and our driver was great and knowledgeable. And there was a lot going on around us that we could walk to. Restaurants, Pubs, clubs, shopping, theatres, etc.

 

Watching GSW leave the hotel 

Draymond Green – opted to walk across the street instead of taking the 30 second bus ride. 

 

We would totally go back to Minneapolis!

BUT the best thing was it was the first time in 11 years that my husband and I got to go away somewhere – just the two of us – for more than one night. Don’t get me wrong – love my kids – but it is nice to have some time with your spouse. Now you might be thinking – “what? 11 years? Seriously?” Yup – no joke. Our farming lifestyle (up until this past year) consisted of a cow/calf operation in which my husband would be feeding cows daily and during calving season was basically a walking zombie who lives off of coffee and minimal sleep. We’ve switched our operation slightly and now we don’t have the cow/calf side of the farm anymore. And this means a quieter winter – farm wise. The kids,on the other hand, had us on the go 99% of the time with hockey and karate. But there it was ONE WEEKEND, no kids, no cows – and the GSWarriors were in Minneapolis. Nothing was going to stop us!

Mall of America #restingbuckface

Ready for Demi!!

Room with a View #theloewshotel

Finally a smile! 

 

I highly recommend planning a trip, or if that’s not an option a date night, with just you and your significant other. It was great to just talk, or be silent, singing to the radio, argue about directions or whatever. We were just us. We were able to talk and communicate without the interruption of our children or our every day responsibilities. It is so important to carve out time to work on your relationship with your spouse, because marriage is a work in progress. Is it always easy – no. Does it take work – yes. Does it take respect – yes. Does it take forgiveness and mercy – absolutely. Nobody is perfect and no marriage/relationship is perfect – BUT if you work at it and put time into it – it does get easier.

Did our kids Snapchat us? Yes. Did we miss them? I guess so….. I mean yes. But, you know what – it’s ok to miss your kids. It’s ok to spend some time away from them. I appreciated them much more after being away for even a few days. And I appreciate the guy I chose to spend the rest of my life with even more as well. Even if he doesn’t smile for selfies 🙄#restingbuckface

 

Classic – #restingbuckface

 

Running

So I’m a part of a Facebook group/online community called Healthy Habits Happy Moms (aka HHHM for short), and right now they are promoting a #walkthisway challenge.  It’s a month long challenge that encourages you to walk/run for 30 minutes a day.  So I thought – ” Hey! I can do that!” And so started my adventure…..


A little bit of back story is necessary …. I hate loathe long-ish distant running.  Long being defined as farther than 100 meters.  Unless I am playing a sport that involves running (soccer, basketball, softball) or see a spider 🕷 –  I feel that running is totally useless and unnecessary. I totally understand, from a health perspective,  why people run long distances – I don’t understand why they WANT to run long distances.  This is something that I’ve never enjoyed doing – ever! Even in elementary school – in Grades 5 and 6 – we would run around the block to get ready for the Arden cross-country run, you could do a 2 kilometer or a 5 kilometer run (I think – I’ve tried to block it from my memory). I was an athletic kid and all I could do was 2 laps around the block.  Long distance just was not my thing! Give me a baton and three other girls to run with and I could give you 110% for 100 meters in a relay race – but 2 kilometers – ya not happening.

So today I’m out for my walk – and I’ve been walking around a section of land – roughly 4 miles or 7 kilometers.  I have my hand picked playlist of upbeat and/or motivational songs (Running/walking/dancing playlist on Spotify ) – I also might break out into dance mode on my walk – so I can keep a decent pace.  GDFR by Flo Rida came on and I just couldn’t walk – I had to *gasp* run.  I ran while the entire song was playing – this was GOING DOWN FOR REAL.  But maybe that is what was missing in my youth – a hand picked playlist. Sure I had a Walkman and even a Disc-man but there is something about the music not skipping when you take a step.  And Beyonce – she was missing too – you know her forceful vocals that sound borderline angry and you shouldn’t mess with her unless you want to get messed up. #queenbey #lemonade #freedom

So there I was channelling my inner Rocky Balboa , while Eye of the Tiger was playing and running. It was weird and yet very satisfying at the same time. Dare I say – I was enjoying running? Now don’t get me wrong – it’s not like I ran the entire 7 km – 🤣 #nothappening – but I did challenge myself to run the distance between hydro poles or for an entire inspirational song. Baby steps people – baby steps. Kudos to those who “do running” you are crazy but intriguing and I admire you. Who knows this whole running thing might grow on me and one day I could be running the entire 7km. #onlytimewilltell

When did that happen?

I don’t know if you’ve seen that meme going around Facebook and Instagram, the one that says “One day you’re 18, eating pizza for every meal, wearing a size 4 and the next you’re 30, drinking kale and debating wearing a t-shirt in the pool”.  Funny right? Ya, until you realize you are closer to 40 than you are to 18.  WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN? In my mind – college and high school are only like 5 years ago.  Right? Who’s with me here?

Today I’m driving home from taking my kids to their piano lessons, and I’m listening to the radio and we have satellite radio, so it pops up on the screen as #oldschoolmix.  Um, the “old school” they were playing was the “new school” when I was in school. (p.s Destiny’s Child is not old school they are what we call TIMELESS) Also – Green Day is not classic rock.  So what if my go-to stations are 90’s on 9 and Pop2K – my kids need to learn about the good music that happened… back in the day… roughly 20ish years ago.

It’s happening, actually happening – I’M GETTING OLD! Sure, there have been signs this aging thing has been happening.  I drive a mini-van, take vitamins and my cat-like reflexes are not what they used to be. I don’t feel old – well only when my knees ache when a low-pressure weather system is moving into the area – then I feel old and want a hot-water bottle and arthritis medication. But generally I feel young-ish most of  the time! I’m still active  – I play curling in winter and ladies beer league softball in the summer.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s not like I’m mad or even disappointed that this aging thing is occurring (I have great genes and awesome skincare so I look younger than what I am #winning).  I just feel like it has sneaked up on me.  One minute I’m in my mid twenties, getting married, having babies and then BAM mini-van, kids all in school and all the activities, and I’ve become their personal chauffeur, snack packer expert and multi-tasking super hero.

So pass me my kale smoothie, yoga mat and essential oil diffuser, with my 90’s rap playing in the background (#gangstayoga – it’s my thing) – I might be closer to 40 than 18 but I know how to rock this life as is.