We're already excited about the holiday in our home! The kids have a football game with Dad planned, and I'll be in the kitchen all day, like every year. Going out to eat would be easier, but wouldn't taste nearly the same. Two days of cooking for one meal does sound insane!
This week has been a much needed vacation. I've been kind of lazy about blogging - really lazy. We've hit the book store 3 times already. It's nice to have NOTHING to do. The kids have been sleeping until around 10am. This messes up Sopes plan of taking them to the rink, but I'm not letting him wake them. Each day my naps would surely rival any cat!
We went to Sopes hockey game on Friday against Washington. It was great to see the kids so excited, they even made a sign. Jayla yelling, "Daddy" across the rink thinking he could hear her, reminded me of Jake being 6 again and doing the same thing. I did tear up a bit. Lyla was so excited cheering at one point, she forgot the seats flip up and fell right on her ass! She was fine.
The fans were some of the nicest people we've met! I've never had someone ask if there was anything we needed - so amazingly kind. I guess it is the "Southern Hospitality". Our son Jake, was amazed that so many people recognized us from my blog. It was great to have my son so proud of me - and tell me.
We're looking forward to an impromptu stop at the local Ronald McDonald House to have a visit this week. Especially at this time of the year, it's important to be thankful for our children's health, and share with those who need a little lift in their spirits.
Have a great Thanksgiving Day, and remember that Sopes will do his video blog tomorrow instead of Friday. Not sure if I even want to know what he has up his sleeve!
I truly am sorry this has taken an obscene amount of time. Sometimes life really does get in the way!! I’m finding myself saying more four letter words in the last week than in my entire life. Yes, I know, those who know me won’t believe that for a minute!
On to your questions – I’ll answer them in no particular order.
Now that we have lived in the states for a while would you guys consider yourselves as Canadian or American?
We are both. I’m still American and Sopes is still Canadian. The kids like to say we’re “Camerican”.
What is your favorite wine?
Brent’s favorite wine is called Poetry. It’s from a winery called Cliff Lede out of California. Mine, at the moment, is Groth. I’m really into Savigion Blancs right now. Maybe a bit too much!
I want to know what it is like to be a significant other/wife/mom/girlfriend/partner to a professional hockey player? How hard is it to watch a game when they get hit, block shots, etc. Do you worry? Do they come home black and blue from blocked shots, elbows, and high sticks? Do you kiss wounds to make them better?
It’s not as exciting being the wife of a hockey player. Yes, there are perks – I will not deny that. When we were younger it was a TON of fun. Now that we have a family, everything changes.
I don’t tune in to many games anymore. Finding the time consistently has proven quite the task. Generally, the worrying is left to Sopes. He is always covered in black and blue marks; the kids love to see all of his wounds. No, I’m not one to kiss his boo-boos or feel bad. It’s all part of the job. I’m grateful that he gets to live out his dream.
My husband is a firefighter, so he spends a lot of time away from our family (probably not as much as Brent, though!) I’m curious to know if you have any traditions or special things you do when Sopes has to be away on holidays, birthdays or other special occasions?
Consistency is the key to the kids’ life; I guess mine too for that matter. If he’s gone, we go about our normal day – even if it’s a holiday. Sopes hasn’t been home for Thanksgiving in years; it’s a treat this year. Our family celebrates the American and Canadian Thanksgiving.
I have many Christmas traditions that are carried out with the kids. We go to Drury Theatre and see A Christmas Carol, The Radio City Rockettes, tea at the Peninsula Hotel etc.
For Sopes birthday, we always do a birthday breakfast. Actually, we do that with all birthdays. This way, everyone is home and who doesn’t love cake with breakfast!
Just curious is Brent really misses his friends who are still on the Blackhawks? Is it hard for them to keep in touch being on separate teams and all?
Yes, he does miss everyone. He says that the chemistry was PERFECT. Texting is a great way to keep in touch – he asks the other guys he plays with now for updates too.
Is it true that your sister is awesome and would like to see you soon? I hear she would be willing to bring a lot of pie.
YES, my sister is awesome. Not sure if I’d like to have her whole zoo, I mean family at my house. The pie would be nice – I do LOVE pie. Why she’s writing on my blog – who the hell knows!!
Brent – What was your favorite sign made for you by a fan?
Hands down – my Sergeant Sopel fan signs.
Yes, we would love suggestions on what to do in Atlanta!!
What is the real Jonathan Toews like? Did your family have much to do with him while Sopes was still playing with him?
Just what they say – He really is Mr. Serious. My family really didn’t have much to do with him. He’s a single guy living in the city and we’re old and living in the suburbs. (Thanks for that answer Sopes.)
How many nannies have you had?
The short answer is many. We are always moving; and they eventually have to move on. It’s great to keep in contact and see how their life is going now. Some have gotten married, had kids – and some we’re waiting on the kids…..JESSICA. Truly, anyone who is involved with our children is an extension of our family.
We were without one for a while, but with Sopes in another city I need to trust someone with the kids so I can visit.
Kristen, you were Jakes first really nanny – of course you made the top 3!
Nicole, you’re like the girls big sister – you’re at the top also!
(Nice to know they’re all looking for approval – they are truly great ladies!)
I’m curious about what your family’s favorite holiday tradition is? Also, what was your profession before having kids?
Our favorite holiday tradition is
I truly didn’t have a “profession” before having children. I did attend college, but didn’t’ graduate. If you do the math – I had Jake at 20. Yes, pregnant at 19. I’ve always been a mom! Pretty crazy for someone who never thought they wanted children. Now I can’t imagine my life any other way – well I can daydream at times – don’t we all!
How/when/where did Brent propose and how/when/where did you get married?
O.K., we were only dating for about 3 weeks before we decided that we were going to get married. Officially, with the ring, it was in March of 2000. He took me for dinner at the top of Grouse Mountain in Vancouver. After dinner, we took a walk and he asked me on the ice skating rink. I forgot to answer. When we got back down the mountain – he nervously brought it up. The excitement took over!
We were married in our first living room of our home in North Vancouver. I was at a nail appointment, and he asked me to bring cake home. When I walked in, he had a judge there to marry us along with his teammate, Harrold Druken. Very romantic. Being that Sopes had a game the next night, we went to dinner and were in bed by 8pm. I guess that’s the way it goes.
We’ve been re-married in Napa Valley, California, Las Vegas, Vancouver, along with this past summer.
Would love to know if you or your kids have had friend issues (ie. Finding out people were only interested because of Sopes).
I have, but it’s pretty easier for an adult to realize. I keep my circle VERY small. Paul said that he likes to keep it quiet. Very few people he associates with at school actually know. Jake said that kids are pretty obvious. Some of the 8th graders will ask him if he’s Sopes kid – then ask if he wants to hang out. He laughs about it. The girls are just too young to get it. The kids in school are now asking the girls if they’re rich. We just tell them yes, we’re happy in our hearts.
I don’t know if I can ask two but do your kids play hockey and can you see any of them going farther in the sport?
Sopes and I made a conscious decision to not let the kids play hockey. That’s what Daddy has chosen to do, not what they must choose. We would like them to make their own mark in whatever they decide is right for them. Paul and Jake are lacrosse players, Lyla and Jayla are active in gymnastics. They both play seasonal lacrosse. It’s up to them!
What’s it going to take to get your family to relocate to Atlanta?
Sorry guys, the kids are too busy. There comes a point when they can’t be moved around anymore and us as parents must suck it up! As much as I’d love to be wherever Brent it, the truth is, kids have to come first sometimes.
What’s your favorite thing to do as a family in Chicago?
Well, we all talked this one over when Sopes was in town this week. We’ve discovered that we’re very boring people. Our favorite thing to do is have a picnic in the park and bbq. Just to have quiet time is great. We make a whole day out of it and set up chairs and play games. I always have a good book, and Sopes is forever running around with the kids.
We’ve only been downtown for a handful of things. We’re not big, “City people”.
When/How did you and Sopes meet? Was your vow renewal/wedding over the summer a surprise?
My sister, Kim, introduced us. She had been friends with Brent for a couple years prior, and we ran into him out one night. He followed me home and the rest is history.
Our vow renewal over the summer was a surprise to our family and guests. Sopes and I used to joke around saying, “If we’re paying for a big wedding, we might as well have our kids there to enjoy it too”. We both knew that with the Stanley Cup Party, all of our family would be in town at once. They had never met all of each other, so it was a big deal. It all fell into place perfectly!
The kids helped pick EVERYTHING. You can actually learn a bunch about your children that way. I had always thought that Lyla would be a big wedding type girl. She couldn’t have cared less. Jayla, on the other hand wanted a say in it all! Jake and Paul, just wanted to know what the food would be like and what they had to wear – typical.
Will you and Brent by hosting “Operation Homefront” again this year, and if so, will you be doing it in Chicago, Atlanta, or both?
Unfortunately, we will not. For me alone it’s just too much work. We’re donating 250 turkeys to families in need and will be delivering them in the month of December with the kids. We’re always open to suggestions to charity work that we can share with the kids.
Your question will have to wait until tomorrow. HUGE migraine and seeing in spots. Back to bed for me - not sure how to get rid of this!
Hope everyone is already in the holiday spirit. We're in full decorating mode over here - I'll post photos soon.
Many of you have asked different questions, and they will all be answered tomorrow! Today is the day to ask anything (within reason guys) and we'll be posting answers.
Sopes is in town, so forgive me for the short post - need to enjoy every moment. (Really, I just need his muscles to get some heavy chores done around the house before winter!)
Sorry guys, hopefully soon he'll get on the time-fram page!!
Like most mornings, I was driving Jake to school and Paul to the train station when my cell phone rang. Paul answered it to hear Lyla on the other end. Right away, I thought she meant to call Sopes. Each morning she calls him from her cell to say good morning. Nope, she wanted me. I can hear her voice as she’s telling Paul that the nanny cut her finger and she might faint. SHIT!! From the back-seat Jake’s now trying to convince me that he doesn’t have to go to school; we’re in the driveway of the middle school, he’s going.
We race back home deciding that Paul will take the next train, to find the nanny slumped over the kitchen table and scared as hell, the girls rushing around the get medical supplies, and the neighbor in her jammies over to help. (I am so relieved to know that all of my preaching as to what to do if there’s an emergency was put to use. They did amazing!!)
There was no way I could look at the blood, so Paul took that job. The poor nanny began to cry saying, “I’m sorry.” For what? She actually helped me out and gave me an excuse to clear the schedule. I’m really good at that without help, but this made it legit. So he decided that she needed to go get stitches. Yup, I had to be dressed before 9 – usually never happens.
Our neighbor, Anissa, did me a HUGE favor and took the girls to her house. She would take them to school for me, but not before I did an underwear check on them. Dresses and no underwear, I’ve gotten that call to many times before. Check. They were off.
Not only does Sopes have a game today; he took the time to call a friend who’s a plastic surgeon, to see if he knew where we should take her. The poor guy is in the middle of the locker room trying to get dressed, and still taking care of us back here. We decided that the hospital would be best because she would need a tetanus shot.
Everything turned out fine. 8 stitches or, “zippers” as Sopes calls them, on the middle finger and we were out of there and on our way to get prescriptions.
Ice cream for the kids after school, and we’ll deliver flowers to the nanny. For all she does for us, she deserves some extra TLC!
A small “emergency” like this today reminded me that no matter where we are, we’re still working together. Goosebumps! I’m a proud wife and mom today.
This may seem like a rant; maybe it is, maybe not. I can’t stand "UNPROVOKED MOMMY CHAT". Yes, I said it. Just because I’m a stay-at-home mom, household engineer, what ever you choose to call it; doesn’t mean that I always like to talk about kids. If it's a mutual conversation, that's fine. Attack conversations are just not fun.
I’m sitting at my daughters’ first gymnastic class last night, alone. I purposely moved a chair away from all of the groups of women to be by myself. I actually like to watch my children participate in their activities. If I’m not watching; there’s always a book to catch up on, planning to do, or just some alone time.
Out of nowhere a mother and her toddler wandered over toward me. I tried not to engage, even with eye contact. Yes, your daughter is cute, but I’ve been trapped one too many times with this ploy. Men use dogs, and moms use kids. If I say something, that’s the free pass to chat, not going there. It had to be only 30 seconds, but I was under siege. Her daughter had started going through my purse; apparently looking for snacks and, “Rude Lady”, I will call her chewed my ear off. I heard about everything from what time her kids go to bed, wake up, ate, her taking off the baby weight, along with Christmas cookies and her mother in law. That was only around two minutes. My nerves began to act up – holy panic attack. How the hell could she keep talking when I would only occasionally shake my head? It’s true; sometimes only an ear is all they need.
Trying to escape, I picked up my cell and decided to text Sopes. If he answers me, I”ll call him and let him listen to this craziness. Yup, he answered. I dialed and just let the phone go. Not even me on the phone stopped her. At this point I’m laughing out loud because Sopes can hear that she’s offering to sell me a Jimmy Johns sandwich from her car. Seriously, to travel with food is one thing. To sell it is something entirely different! “Nope, I’m fine” is all I reply to her. Three words and, now she thinking I’m interested. Sopes laughing could actually be heard through the phone – this is what we call free entertainment.
The only thing that saved my ass was that her child’s class was over. While waiting for her daughter, “Rude Lady”, decided to stand right in front of me. Why? I’m in an area all by my lonesome, but she had to monopolize all space.
Would you speak up?
Lately we’ve been talking to the kids about the difference between “wants” and “needs”. I’ve decided to come up with my own little lists. Keep in mind that they probably aren’t the same things you’d pick. We are all different – some of us are crazier than others…right?
Can’t Live Without
Wouldn’t Even Try Living Without