February 10, 2014

He Offered Her The World And She Said She Had Her Own

TJ's arena was in use the entire month of January, so they were away playing on the road and I hadn't stepped foot inside of it since late December. For the first time in a long time, I was actually excited this past weekend to watch a game.

Which I realize sounds bitchy of me ... but after spending approximately 10% of the last seven seasons freezing my ass off in rinks and waiting for what feels like hours for TJ to emerge from locker rooms ... it sort of just becomes a routine, you know?

I don't walk into the arena and watch the same game that the regular spectator does. I watch my husband at work ... and I watch the game from a very different pair of eyes - ones that fear the worst every time he's slammed into the boards and down onto the ice because I immediately think that he's got a concussion ... and ones that fear the worst when he misses a pass or the net and I envision him meeting me after the game with his bag thrown over his shoulder telling me that it's time to go home.
Because that's hockey for us. It's not just a Friday or Saturday night out.

TJ is turning thirty in June ... and I've recently found myself thinking about what life after hockey will be like. He's not a spring chicken anymore ... I know, I know, every time I try to explain this to someone who isn't familiar with how hockey works, they just laugh at me ... but now that he's played X-amount of games and he's considered a "veteran", there are only four spots on every team here in the States for him to play on ... and the true reality is that he is becoming old balls when there are 18, 19 ... 23, 24, 25 year olds who are trying to find their place in the hockey world, too.

When TJ and I met with the man who married us a year and a half ago, he asked us many questions to learn more about us both individually and as a couple. We found ourselves explaining how we met, where we've lived, our accomplishments, our goals ... and when we were finished, the man said something so poignant that has stuck with me word for word ever since: "So much of the dynamics of your relationship have revolved around hockey, what will become of it once hockey is over?"
TJ and I both looked at one another and we couldn't find an answer.

Don't get me wrong, our relationship is built on a solid foundation of friendship, love and respect ... but the structure, the floors, and the walls ... many of them have been built around hockey seasons and schedules and moves and navigating together through the highs and lows of "living the hockey life" ... so much so, that it's difficult to imagine what our life will be like once this chapter of our lives is closed.

No one probably noticed this except for me, but after our meeting with the JP, things within me and around here started to change. I no longer promoted myself as a "hockey wife" which was a "title" that I had embraced and that had worked for so long when I enjoyed marketing myself as one of the only "hockey wife bloggers" who chronicled our lives for the whole world to follow.

But I mean really ... what does "hockey wife" even mean? I'm not married to the game of hockey. I'm married to a man who just so happens to play professional hockey. And one day, it's all going to end. And what will that make me? An ex-hockey wife? Uhh..

After we were married, TJ went on to play for a team where everyone from a few of his teammates to the fans to the front office addressed me as "Mrs. Fox" - thumbs up for the respect and pseudo-acknowledgement ... but not one person ever bothered to ask me what my name was or get to know me as more than "Mrs. Fox."

I quickly realized that others only saw me as TJ's "hockey wife" ... and it was beyond irritating. That was the year that sealed the deal, where I learned that being a "hockey wife" was not an honor or privilege that made me special, and I found that while TJ was offering me the opportunity to travel the world, I still very much had my own.


February 4, 2014

Ten Reasons Why I'm Jealous Of My Dog

1. He is told that he is beautiful/cute/handsome everyday by e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e he meets. Even when he's told he's ugly, it's a backhanded compliment: "Oh, he's so ugly he's cute!" When I look ugly, I just look ugly.
 2. He has an expensive fur coat. I don't have a fur coat. And the zipper on my winter coat is currently jacked up and broken. So that's that for that.
3. He never finds my hair allllllll over him.
4. He sleeps and lounges for 85% of the day. I love sleep. Love it, I tell ya. Brutus doesn't have to go grocery shopping or work or cook dinner or do the dishes. He just sleeps and lounges all day. And no one judges him.
5. He has never once said something stupid out loud that he can't take back.
6. He gets to be naked all day, every day. I hate wearing clothes. Specifically, pants. Brutus never has to put pants on to go outside. 
7. He isn't self conscious about his body. Every time we go to the vet I'm sent home with paperwork about how obese he is ... but he just brushes it off and rocks his bod with killer confidence. 
8. He never has to return emails or answer phone calls.
9. He eats expensive, grain free and organic food every day.
10. He goes to the dog spa at least five times per year. I can't even tell you the last time that I had a mani or pedi.
When we live in a world where doubletaps on Instagram are like social currency, and my phone explodes with "hearts" every time I post a photo of Brutty on there - it's safe to say that I'm jealous of him. But he also keeps us 'pup'ular, so I guess I'll keep him ;)
Are you jealous of your dog, too? 

February 3, 2014

Because This Blogging Thing That I Do Here Is Weird

Last weekend I was up in Vail and I didn't take a single picture of myself or the people that I was with. When I'm with my family or friends, taking photos of us to post here is a complete afterthought because I'm not really comfortable with posting their photos on the internet for the entire world to see.

I feel like that's asking to be on the next episode of Catfish, or that it requires a consent form or something.

Because you see ... the internet is weird. And this blogging thing that I do here is weird. 

When I first started writing, my only loyal readers were my dad and my grandmother. But then my target audience changed. And I found my voice. And now I write, and I write, and I write some more, but I'm writing for strangers. Yes, I write for myself ... but I can honestly say that if no one read my blog I probably wouldn't continue to write like I do here. I'd keep a paper journal or something.

I like to pretend that no one I know "in real life" reads my blog because it keeps me vulnerable and open and honest and real, until the censor button starts blinking in my head and I start sweating and thinking and worrying and wondering and telling myself things like, "Well shit, I don't want my dad to know that I'm having baby sex. I'm supposed to be the next Mary Immaculate ... I hope that post didn't show up in his inbox this morning." Hi dad.

It's weird when my blog comes up in conversation with "real people" because the people who know me in "real life" know that I'm fairly simple and basic and actually pretty flipping boring ... so the fact that I can turn something and craft it into a five hundred+ word blog post is ... well, weird of me.

So basically, I sit here and I publish big pieces of my life and my heart, and my personal thoughts and ideas and experiences onto the interwebs ... and yet I don't want anyone that I know "in real life" to actually read it. Because that makes all kinds of sense, doesn't it? 

For some reason, I just feel much more comfortable with the stranger in Zimbabwe having the key to my (online) diary than I do sharing even a half of a page of it with my "real" family and friends. And I have no scientific explanation for it other than: Blogging is weird.

And I guess since I'm a blogger that means that I'm weird. And I guess since you're reading this, you're weird too. So thank you for that.

Do you feel awkward posting photos of your family and friends on your blog?
If no one read your blog would you continue to write?


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January 29, 2014

The Man With No Shoes + $2 Portraits

I was outside with Brutus a couple of days ago, bent over and picking up his business while trying to activate the eyes on the back of my head as he pulled my arm behind me and tried to keep trucking down the street, when I saw a pair of feet walking towards us.

Feet. Toes. Was I seeing this right? 

Where was this guys shoes? 

I scanned up, and his eyes met mine. The man quickly explained to me that his work boots were digging into his feet and he had to go to the hospital, but that he had accidentally left his boots at the hospital, and he was trying to find another pair of boots. 

This man was clearly homeless, and my head simply wasn't in the right place as I was trying to process the situation while trying to hold back tears and keep all 80 pounds of Brutus out of oncoming traffic ... and the only response that I could muster out was "That's super unfortunate, it looks painful! I'm so sorry!" 

He told me Brutus was beautiful, and I thanked him and told him that I hope that he has a nice day. 

I. Feel. Like. Such. An. Ass. 

And this man has been weighing so heavy on my heart and in my thoughts ever since. 

I've been replaying this scenario over and over again in my head - I had Brutty's leash in one hand and my keys and poop bags in the other. I mean, reflecting back, I certainly could have asked the man right then and there if he needed shoes and I could have turned back to the apartment to grab a pair of TJ's ... but would that have been safe? Would it have been the right thing to do? I just don't know. 

What I do know is that I need to get involved. Someway, somehow ... I need to. I wrote about this a couple of months ago, but then I flew home twice and the holidays happened, and the days just seem to go by too fast to figure it all out. 

I called the church around the corner to inquire about their volunteer opportunities ... but honestly? Honestly, I'm afraid. I'm afraid that my heart is too big, and that I'm not emotionally strong enough to volunteer it. 
I understand the importance of volunteerism, I really, truly do ... I know that we're called to serve ... I'm just so scared that I would be overcome with emotion and cry the entire time due to the harsh reality of other's misfortune. I mean, sometimes when I'm simply walking the streets of Denver tears start creeping into my eyes and the feelings overwhelm me. 
I want to help, I want to make a positive impact in the community and in someone else's life ... I just don't know how or where to start. Or if I'm even physically or emotionally able to.

Does this make me a terrible person? Because it makes me feel like one.


While researching the statistics of homelessness here in Denver, I happened to find Thomas Hawk's $2 Portraits Project. Mr. Hawk is an established photographer in San Francisco - another city with an overwhelming number of homeless individuals - and his project is simple: For every person who asks him for money, he offers them $2 for their portrait and a few minutes of their time.

Thomas didn't create the project to exploit the homeless - rather, he started it to connect with and interact with them on a human level. He created a group Flickr account and photographers from all over the world participate. Their work is so humbling and beautiful ... and I hope that your day/perspective/life has been changed as much as mine has by viewing these photos and reading each persons story:

"John has been a homeless heroin addict for 19 years and has been clean for 19 months. I asked him how hard it was coming off it and he told me it was the second hardest thing he has ever done. I asked him what was the hardest and he said coming off the drink as every time he did he started heroin again. 

He was reading a novel and asking folk for change when they went by. I gave him a fiver and asked what he would do with it and he said it would go towards his £30 per night bed and breakfast. He goes to a B&B every night so that he doesn't have to sleep in homeless shelters as they are full of addicts and they would just end getting him back on the drug.

I asked if I could take his photo and he said fire away. Nice guy dealt a bad hand."

"Steve is 45 years old from San Jose. He lost his right leg in a work accident a few years back. Since then, he has not been able to find a job and has been living in a homeless shelter and sometimes outdoors. He is very soft spoken with a positive outlook about life."

John in Oakland, CA  |  Photo Credit: Greg Jordan

"Jon was born in Marin County. He was interested in theater in high school, so he went on to take theater and design courses in college. His college major was journalism, and he also studied photography. I knew he was familiar with photography because of the questions he asked about my camera and lens.

A few years after college, Jon scored what he characterized as a "very rewarding job" with the San Francisco Ballet. He was a set designer for years. He said working on the Nutcracker ballet set was the best, and he still loves remembering his years there.

But Jon's battle with manic depression and bipolar disorder was too much. Along with important parts of his mind, Jon lost his job, his bank account, many of his friends, and his coveted carpenter tools."


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January 27, 2014

Get The Puck Out Of Here

Fact: I have no idea where TJ slept last night. And I have no idea where he's sleeping for the next seven nights, either.

I'm often asked by family and friends who live outside of our hockey bubble if I'm lonely when TJ is traveling for hockey, or if I'm sad when he's on the road.

The honest answer? No.

After seven years of "living the hockey life" I've learned to like when TJ's gone. I actually look forward to roadtrips, and I enjoy spending time apart.

You see ... call me a little bit selfish, but I appreciate quality time with myself. I look forward to sitting on the couch in my underwear, watching six episodes in a row of Glee, and enjoying a well balanced meal of wine, cheese and pepperoni for dinner in a judgement free zone.

When TJ is gone we usually talk on the phone for five minutes after a game or before bed, and we'll text random updates or "I miss you"s a couple of times throughout the day.

When he comes home I've found that I am more tolerant of the little things that he does that drives me bat shit crazy, like when he puts a cereal bowl in the sink instead of the dishwasher, or when he peels his clothes off and piles them on the floor instead of in the laundry basket that is two feet away, because I'm not dealing with it on a daily basis (Teej - I know you are reading this. This is like the equivalent of that time that I "dog shamed" Brutus on Instagram. Get it together, bud.) 

But most importantly, I'm not lonely and I'm not sad when TJ is on the road because #1. I know that he's coming home, and #2. I know that as soon as he walks in the door, the moments that we get to spend together will be quality ones. 

Granted, sometimes we are both so tired and zoned out that we sit on the couch together in complete silence and binge on Netflix ... but I always make sure that the apartment is clean, and that he gets a "homecooked meal" after seven days of eating in restaurants, gas stations and hotels, and that he feels loved and appreciated when he's home. 

These roadtrips and time apart have truly strengthened our relationship over the past seven years ... so no, I am not sad when TJ is gone ... but I will be sad when we're no longer living the hockey life and when these roadtrips are over... 

How do you let your significant other know that s/he's loved and appreciated?

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January 21, 2014

I'm Four Months Hysterically Pregnant. And It's So Funny It Hurts.

Preface: Dad, you should probably stop reading this now. For everyone else: This is the most uncomfortable blog post that I've written to date. Mostly because I've been thinking about the direction that this blog will take once I either truly do become pregnant, or if I go the route of writing about our struggles to conceive ... and the thoughts scare me. Will I lose some of my readers if/when I start writing things that only a "mommy blogger" can? Will I lose some of my readers if/when I start writing things that only an "infertility blogger" can? This is all very strange and new territory for me - but for the sake of transparency and keeping it real 'round these parts, let's jump right in: SURPRISE! I'm four months hysterically pregnant. And it's so funny, it hurts.

I recently started re-watching Glee from the beginning, and there is a scene early on where Terri, the wife of the Glee Club director announces her pregnancy and does the happy dance and tells her family the news, only to go to the doctor for an ultrasound to be told she's experienced a false pregnancy - a "hysterical pregnancy" - and that she is in fact not pregnant. She is completely confused because of her weight gain and food cravings, and the doctor informed her that sometimes when you want a baby so badly, your body will start producing pregnancy symptoms and hormones and trick you into thinking you're actually pregnant.

Well, hot damn. You all should start calling me Dr. Fox, because I've been self diagnosed.

Listen - I don't want a baby sooooooo (see: obsessed or crazy over it) badly - TJ and I are very well aware and in tune with the fact that these things take time unless you're 14 years old - and that your husband actually needs to be around during ovulation time and not on a bus traveling to Timbuktu for hockey in order for one to conceive - but quite frankly, I'm a little tired of the tricks that my body has been playing on me.

You see, for the past four months during the "two week wait" before my expected period, I've been experiencing breast growth (which hey, can't complain about that), weight gain (I can and do complain about that), food cravings, food aversions, nausea, and some other symptoms that TJ has requested that I keep off this nutter-butter confessional space.

I've had the both of us convinced for the past four months that I was pregnant due to my sore breasts and vomiting and exhaustion and overall feeling of being pregnant ... only to face disappointment via a stark white test that screams, "Haha, Bitch! Nothing to see here! Move along! Better luck next time!" 

It's been a real treat, let me tell you.

But this last cycle was the real kicker - I found myself three days "late" and mustered up the drive to the store to spend $16 on a pregnancy test, only to get my period four hours later.

Checkmate! Fuck you body, this game that we're playing really isn't fun anymore.

And for those of you who think that I'm teetering on falling off into the deep end: Imagine that you just sliced yourself a big fat juicy lemon and that you're sucking on it. Is your mouth automatically producing more saliva? I think a "hysterical pregnancy" is something like that.

I guess on the plus side, TJ and I still have 11 more chances this year to try and get this baby-making dance right. And you'll be the first to know. After my mom and dog, of course. Oh and TJ too, he should probably find out before all of you people.
But hopefully I have Baby Fox news to share soon. Fingers crossed. And either way, I hope that you'll all stick around.


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January 15, 2014

That Time I Took My 2(9) Year Old (Man)Child To The Aquarium

Teej and I went to the Denver Aquarium yesterday and we had such a great time. Since we lived in Hannover, Germany back in 2010 we've made it a point to visit the aquariums and zoos in each of the cities that we've lived in.

When we were walking into the building a mom was walking out with her young child. I'm glad I have a 29 year old man child to take to these types of places ;)

Obviously as soon as we paid our over-priced tickets and I flipped the switch on my camera to start snapping away, I realize my battery was dead. Hashtag Blogger Fail, but most of the photos from our day came out okay using my iPhone camera:

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Do you enjoy going to the aquarium and zoo as much as we do?
Which ones have you been to?


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January 14, 2014

From My Nana's Kitchen // Cherry Cheese Pie

While cleaning out my Nana's home after her passing on the day before Thanksgiving, we found pages and pages of her handwritten recipes, all of which I inherited. These recipes are truly one of the most touching and beautiful gifts that I have ever received, and I plan on cherishing them for the rest of my life. 

On Christmas I wanted to honor my Nana in some way, and I began to flip through the pages of her breads and meats and treats and sides, trying to find a recipe that would be perfect.

As soon as I flipped to her Cheery Cheese Pie recipe, I knew it was "the one" - my grandmother (Nana's daughter ... or, my mom's mother) always makes little Cheery Cheese Tarts for each holiday, and having this Cherry Cheese Pie on Christmas somehow didn't make me feel so far away from home this year.



1 (9-inch) baked pastry shell or graham cracker crumb crust
1 (8-ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 (21-ounce) can of cherry filling


1. In a large bowl beat cream cheese until fluffy. 
2. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. 
3. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla extract, then pour into prepared pie crust.
4. Chill for three hours or until set. Top with cherry filling right before serving.

I plan on typing up my Nana's recipes to create a recipe book, and preserving her handwritten recipes somewhere safe. Has anyone done this before, or does anyone have any tips or tricks or services that I should consider when creating my recipe book?


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January 13, 2014

My Weekend: Just What The Doctor Google Ordered

(shhh ... but that was the first time I held our Book Club book in my hands.)
I went to my first ever Book Club on Friday night and it was so much fun! I wasn't the only one who didn't read the book - it was pretty much 50/50 - which was a huge relief because when I walked into the gathering I felt like an impostor.

I met Christa, the wonderful girl who was hosting the Book Club, through Sami - and Alexes and Darlene came, too.

The Blog World is such a silly and strange world - I mean I met Sami and Darlene through our blogs, through our computers, almost two years ago, but we all hit it off instantly when we met in real life a couple of months ago.

The world really is a small town!

On Saturday I spent FOUR hours talking with Kate, Bri and Erika.

As a part of my sponsorship options, I recently started organizing a virtual blate (blogger date) where we either chat as a group or one on one to discuss all things blogging.

Because, you know, Brutus and TJ can only listen to me talk about blogging so much, you know?

But we had great two-way conversations and I think we all left feeling very inspired and motivated to continue doing what we do on our blogs. The general take away was that 1. Blogging is weird and 2. It's better to be a voice rather than an echo.

On Sunday, Sami and I jumped in the car and drove about an hour so that I could have my first Krispy Kreme experience. Apparently it's illegal on many accounts to have never eaten one of these doughnuts before, so when we saw the "Red Light" was on, we were on our way before the clock even struck 9:30am.

Sami made sure to let the workers know when we arrived that it was my first time, so we were handed two "hot off the press".

I went up to the counter with my debit card to pay for our goodness, and I still don't fully understand why they give away FREE doughnuts, but I'm not complaining.

Oh, and Krispy Kreme doughnuts are 100% fat free, sugar free, gluten free, and calorie free, in case you were wondering.

Cheers to a brand new week!


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January 10, 2014

The Crazy Train Dropped Me Off In Funky Town ... Not The Fun One.

This blog post is based on a true story.

First, let me clarify that my hair is wet in that picture because I had just gotten out of the shower. If I had taken the photo thirty minutes prior however, it would have been wet because I hadn't washed it in five days. And it was totally appropriate to take an almost naked photo, because I only had 30 minutes before the clock struck midnight and I turned into a pumpkin would have failed at my 365 Project already.

You guys, I'm stuck in a rut. I don't know if it's because the holidays came and went, or because TJ has been gone so much the past few weeks, or if I'm PMSing early or if I miss my family or if I just need a good cry (oh wait, I got that on Wednesday during a Netflix binge) - but I am stuck in a big emotional rut and I hate even admitting that here because I made a promise to myself that I wasn't going to complain in this space anymore, but here I am, breaking that promise ten days into the New Year. Damn it, I just became a statistic.

I've just felt so blaaaaaaaaaah, and completely unmotivated a.l.l-w.e.e.k-l.o.n.g. Hence the lack of blog posts or social interactions with anyone other than Brutus - because silence is better than bullshit, my friends ... and that chunky monkey always makes me smile.

Has anyone else felt like me this week, or am I the only one who is going to put her crazy on display? Come on peeps, don't let me down here.

Anyways, I just wanted to check in quickly and actually force myself to write, before I forgot how to do so or fell off the internet or something. I'm attending my first ever Book Club tonight, which basically means I'm almost a grown up ... hopefully getting some girl time is exactly what Doctor Google ordered. Over and out, betches.


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January 1, 2014

Chapter 2014 // Page 1 of 365

1 . 2 . 3 . 4
I know it sounds silly, and the New Year is just a flip of a calendar page, but I am so, so ready to welcome 2014 and all of the possibilities that await me in the next 365 days.

2013 was a tough year for me, there's no sugar coating it or beating around the bush about that ... but without experiencing all of the challenges, setbacks, or the major heartbreak that I did, I know for certain that I wouldn't be entering this new year who I am today ... and not to be a humblebragger, but I'm very happy with who I am right now.

Because today I am a stronger, more compassionate, empathetic, conscientious, fearless, resilient, patient and understanding woman than I was a year ago. While I'm thankful for all of the good, I'm especially thankful for the bad that I experienced in 2013, because I think that in order to live life to the fullest, we have to actually live it. And life isn't always sunshine or brownies with sprinkles or puppy kisses.

Sometimes, life sucks ... hard.

But I believe that in order for us to appreciate the good we have to experience the bad. So while I'd never want to re-live a majority of 2013 ever again, I don't want to forget it, either. Most of life's lessons are learned the hard way, and I'm grateful for everything that I learned over the past year because all of it has prepared me for the worst, but opened my heart to hope for the best, and I'm truly excited to see what the next 365 days have in store for me. Let's do this.


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© Kym Fox | Our Fox Tales