Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Goalie Mom

I think I need to join a support there a goalie hockey mom support group??? If so, I need it! I need to learn how to deal with the stress of the game, how to feel excited about shoot-outs, and how to accept it when the other team members are at the opposite end of the ice from the goalie AND the puck!

Tonight was the first game of the Fall Clinic playoffs. Alexander is on the yellow team and we played the blue team. We played the blue team who we walloped last week. Do you think it was the same type of game? Absolutely not! They were on their game with a fill-in goalie from another team. They we aggressive, they worked as a team, and the game ended up with a shoot out.

The first shoot out was at Alexander and he blocked it! The first shooter from our team was Mitch and he made it! Wasn't that it?!? Shouldn't it have stopped there? Nope... the next shooter made it past Xander and their goalie blocked out shooter. The next shooters were just like the first: Xander blocked and our shooter made it. Whew! I could finally rest!!!

Really, what made it all worth it were their BIG smiles in the locker room. They had all worked together and won 7 to 6. What a game!!! Now, if only I can find that support group because I'm not sure I can last through another shoot out! :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Minneopa State Park

Another State Park geocache find today. This time, we headed south to the Mankato area to Minneopa State Park. It is a gorgeous park with two cool features: a waterfall and an old mill. I don't have time to write more, but here are some pictures:

The bridge over the falls which were only a trickle of water today.

The picnic area with the beautiful trees and lighting. There were several, separate groups having photo sessions nearby - a perfect day to take holiday pictures!
The old mill with Alexander and Ethan next to it.
Picture of E and A on a cool rock. Will this be the Christmas card picture???
Me and my boys on a rock near the falls.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Quest for In Yan Teopa Rock

Yesterday started out as a typical geocaching adventure to Frontenac State Park. However, the cache was super easy to find, so we decided to continue our adventure and hike some trails.

The trail that we were on, forked and we decided to continue on Trail A to quest for the river valley and In Yan Teopa rock. The river bottom was very cool with lots of interesting textures, tree roots, and even bones. We saw fish bones and the bones of a medium-sized mammal. I took lots of pictures of the interesting swirls in the trees. This is one of my favorites with the texture of the rock next to a worn tree root:
The trail to the river valley bottom/shoreline was a one way path and would have required significant backtracking, so we made the call to hike the 0.3 miles up the shoreline to the next path from the river bottom back up to our trail. We thought it was a safe decision since the mood of the boys seemed exuberant and full of adventure like this picture of Ethan captures:

However, that it might not have been the wisest decision. The walking was not easy and the boys started to get very grumpy. The path back up to Trail A was not the easiest and compounded the grumpiness as evidenced in this photo:
Note: Alexander did find a cool rope along the shoreline!

Remember, our goal was to make it to In Yan Teopa rock which was another .7 miles away. We were all hot and sweaty and the boys were super grumpy (as demonstrated above). The distance doesn't sound like much, but the terrain was difficult and the ups and downs on the bluff made it really tough. Before we could see the rock, we had to climb out of the river valley and up the bluff. It had at least 5 switchbacks which means it was steep, long, and tiring!!!! By the time we were nearing the top, all of us were saying, "This rock better be worth it." At one point during a quick rest, I looked at a big rock near us and said, "That better not be the damn rock" and Alexander replied with "Where's the damn rock?" Ooops!! LOL!!! Well, the rock was worth it. I was leading the line, turned on a switch back and gasped. This is what we saw:

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

1st Day of School!

The first day of 2nd and 5th grade were a success for Alexander and Ethan, respectively. Alexander really enjoyed Amigo, the multi-age learning classroom that Ethan just graduated from. He professed that it is MUCH better than Kindergarten or 1st grade! As a 5th grader, Ethan has to do a service project all year. He was selected to be a crossing guard.

Here are the boys!

Here is a VERY serious crossing guard who wouldn't even acknowledge his mother as she crossed his crossing area!

Monday, September 01, 2008

New Obsession

Yes, hard to believe, but we have a new obsession: geocaching! Check out; our username is make_mn. It all started last weekend at Sibley State Park when Kirsti's husband, Mike, taught us how to geocache! The state park program caches include coupons for 40% off of handheld gps. We got our last week and have now visited 23 caches in 3 days. Our legs are exhausted and we all have scratches to prove that there is some work behind it.

Only one cache today, but it was a great find because it had our first Travel Bug in it! We were at Fort Snelling State Park for an end of summer picnic, a swim, and a multi-cache search. The TB has been logged as found and now we need to drop it off at another cache at a state park that it hasn't visited yet! Where should we go????

Here are the boys with the travel bug from the Fort Snelling cache:

I have taken several more pictures of finds and will post them when I get a chance. Of course, I still need to upload pics from the State Fair, but it is time to get ready for the first day of school tomorrow!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Birthday Celebration #2

In our family, birthday celebrations are NOT a one day event. It started years ago when I couldn't understand why my YOUNGER sister's birthday came before mine. She is a Feb baby and I am a March baby. It just didn't make sense to me. So, instead of arguing with a very persistent 5 year old, my parents would give me a small gift BEFORE her birthday so that I wasn't put out by her birthday event.

Needless to say, the tradition of celebrating more than one day has continued with my boys. This month, it is Ethan's turn. We had the family birthday celebration last week with a trip to the Star Wars exhibit at the Sci Museum (I still need to post those pics) and then the traditional birthday pie! This weekend, we had the celebration with friends: Connor, Nick, Owen, and Alexander.

We started the day at the Grand Rios waterpark. The boys had a ton of fun. I heard that one of the boys went on the hurricane 10 times! I tried it once and that was enough for me. I have now tried that type of slide at the Kalahari and at the Grand Rios. I am firm in my knowledge that I do not care for that type!

Here are the boys showing off their muscles in the hot tub . After this shot and after we explained the rules and assigned buddies, it was nearly impossible to keep up with them to take pics. They spent hours on the lazy river and climbing the stairs to the slides. After only a couple of hours, they were STARVING. I believe that they are all in growing mode - that tends to happen when you are 9 and 10!!! They managed to keep themselves entertained, though for about 4 hours until we headed home. Luckily, we had a few cookies leftover in the car from the ride up, so we were able to stave off hunger until our next stop - WHITE CASTLE.

White Castle has also become a birthday tradition. We don't let the kids eat it, so it has become something special and they look forward to it.

The boys spent both the ride to the waterpark and back making up songs, so it was only fitting that I captured them singing under the White Castle sign. Ethan really likes the Ramones, so we listened to a couple of their songs on the drive. Here they are singing "white, white, white, white castle" to the tune of ???? (will have to edit later - I am not the Ramone fan in the family).

Once the crave case was completed, it was time to hail the crave case:

Once home, the entire crave case was DEVOURED. 5 boys 30 burgers in under 10 minutes. Lord help us when they are 15!!! We will need to get the crave CRATE of 100 burgers!
Next we opened presents - always fun! One of the cards included some pop rocks. We HAD to open them immediately and give them a try. I love Ethan's face in this pic as they are popping on his tongue.
Ahhh...cake. Ethan chose a DQ ice cream cake for his celebration. When we went to order it, the manager told us that we could have any blizzard flavor that we wanted. He immediately chose Mint Oreo. Alexander hates mint, so he started to cry. While I was explaining that it was E's birthday and he got to chose and that I could get him a different treat, the manager offered to make it half regular Oreo and half mint! It worked out great because half of the kids wanted mint and the other half didn't!

Here is E blowing out his 10 candles! Happy Birthday, Mr. E!!!

Friday, June 27, 2008


Another successful year of Camp Invention is completed! The boys both loved it and created some amazing masterpieces. This year, we didn't have as much to bring home as in previous years (thank goodness!).

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hockey Hair to Buzz Cut

Last night, Alexander decided that the hockey hair was too hot for the summer and asked to get a buzz cut. I couldn't resist, so we biked to Great Clips, got a buzz with the 1 1/2 guards and then celebrated with some Jamba Juice. This pic was taken tonight while he was engrossed in the 3rd Indiana Jones movie.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Working the Brat Stand

As part of Ethan's birthday celebration, Ethan and I volunteered at the Cub brat stand to help raise money for Angelica Cantanti. My girlfriend Karla stopped by and snapped these pics. How cute are we in the coke trailer??

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Three Musketeers

Keegan, Ellen, and Alexander at the Firsties' End of Year Field Day.
Firsties with multi-colored tongues (l to r: Evalina, Annabella, Mikey (back row), Ellen, Gavin (back row, Alexander, Keegan, Tyler)

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Collaborative Experience

I wrote an article for my company's newsletter about my recent trip to an Oracle Application User Group (OAUG) conference in Denver. Since I put in the effort, I thought I would share!
The Collaborative Experience

Given the choice at a conference, would you attend the last presentation of the day or attend the open-bar happy hour in the vendor exhibit hall? The participants at OAUG’s Collaborate were recently given this option and you might find this hard to believe, but 108 of them chose to attend the presentation. Why did they make this choice? There were two factors that probably contributed to this. First, the happy hour timeframe extended for an hour and a half after the presentation ended, so there was plenty of time to enjoy that event. Second, the presentation was on Oracle Application Release 12. One of the overriding themes of the OAUG Collaborate Conference in Denver this year was R12. There were several presentations that focused on the new features of R12 and there were a handful of presentations with real-life experience. On the attendee-side, there was a general thirst for knowledge about R12 as corporations are creating strategic plans to implement or upgrade to R12.

“R12 Upgrade Project: An Overview of the Joys and the Pains” was the title of my presentation that I recently shared at the OAUG Collaborate ’08 Conference in April. The two goals of the presentation were to provide a general overview of the new features and benefits in the E-Business Suite in Release 12 and to provide a “Lessons Learned” from our recent upgrade project to R12 at Mate Precision Tooling. Gary Janas from Mate was my co-presenter during the presentation and was there to provide the client perspective of the project. Both of us felt that the presentation was a collaborative discussion between us and the audience. We were asked several good questions during the presentation and afterwards. We even learned that another corporation recently implemented the R12 Financial modules and his comment after the presentation was, “We had exactly the same experience. I felt as though I could have been up there presenting with you!” There was one major difference between our project and his. His corporation made the decision to retain the original Go Live date even though there were critical issues still being addressed in the system. We had similar issues on the Mate project, but through a collaborative decision with the Mate Steering Committee, we decided to resolve the critical issues and extend the project prior to establishing a go live date. Rarely do you have the opportunity to know what the outcome of an alternate decision may be in a project, so we were excited to learn the outcome of the other corporation’s decision to go live on schedule. Unfortunately for them, the decision lead to month end processing issues that made it impossible for the company to close their books for eight weeks. Gary and I found it comforting to know that we made the right decision to delay the project rather than move forward with the risk of being unable to close at month end.

In addition to presenting, I had the opportunity to attend several interesting presentations and enjoy the beautiful city of Denver. My favorite presentation was “Making It Stick – The Psychology of Using Words to Change Behaviors and Direct Decisions”. The information primarily focused on change management as it relates to the people during a project. It contained several good reminders that there needs to be focus on the people during a project. As for the fun things we did while in Denver, my two top things included attending the winning hockey game of the Wild vs. Avalanche in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (they lost the next evening). The second favorite fun thing was going to dinner at the Buckhorn Exchange, Denver’s oldest restaurant at 110 years old! It is also where Buffalo Bill used to eat! We had the option of enjoying rattlesnake and other tasty tidbits, but we opted to stick with the steak and we weren’t disappointed. The ambiance was interesting – let’s just say that a lot of glass eyes were watching us while we ate thanks to all of the taxidermy samples on the wall! Check it out for yourself at

Overall, it was a great experience to attend and to represent Traust at Collaborate ’08. Perhaps the most surprising thing of all was that even though there were over 7,500 attendees at the conference, I still ran into several colleagues that I have met throughout the years.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Resolution Revised

My New Year's Resolution must be revised. I do not consider it broken (okay, I obviously feel a little guilty about it).

Today is the Get in Gear run in the Twin Cities and I am not participating. I never signed up because one of the factors that I didn't not consider is registration fees. I already have 2-3 $35 t-shirts in my closet and I have decided that that is a bit too expensive for T-shirts! The registration costs add up quickly.

How have I revised my resolution? Well, I have joined the Lifetime Fitness Run Club. They meet Tues, Thurs, and Sat, but I have found that I only have time to run with them a few times a month. The group is a fantastic group of fun people who love to run. They typically run much faster and farther than I am used to, but they use pace coaches spread out amongst the group to make sure that everyone is okay. Now comes the distance issue. My typical run by myself is about 3 miles and i haven't really progressed beyond that. With the group, I have completed close to 6 miles and this week I did a little over 5 miles, but I think I need to stay there for a while.

Running is a mental game and I should be able to do a longer distance just by slowing down, but I am also dealing with some muscle issues. My calves are not cooperating. They are stiff and knotted and no matter how much I stretch, I cannot get them loose. Hopefully, my physical therapist can help me out and fit me with new custom orthotics and we can get this figured out. I know that hydration is an issue, but even when I feel like I am swimming in water and electrolyte solution, I am still cramping. I wake up in the middle of the night with my feet and toes in contorted positions from the muscles spasms in my calves. It is not a pretty sight and it is painful. I want to get resolution to this issue so that I can keep up with my revised resolution!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Average - even when sick!

The race results came out for the St. Patrick's Day Human Race 5k that I ran on Sunday. Even with being sick, I still landed as "average". Actually, I was better than average/middle of the road. Imagine what I could have done if my lungs were cooperating!

671 Finishers
TimeMile PaceKilometer Pace
Winning Time0:17:565:473:35
Average Time0:33:2610:476:41
Slowest Time0:57:4918:3911:34

Preliminary Results
Marcella Sackett
Age 38
Bib Number
Bloomington MN
Overall Place
397 out of 671
Gender Place
200 out of 404
Division Place
20 out of 51
Finish Time
Mile Pace
Kilometer Pace

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Life Lesson #316

"If you feel crappy at the start of a race, you are likely to feel even crappier at the end."

Yes, even though I have been laid up with a cold, fever, aches, and chills, I still decided to run the St. Patrick's Day Human Race today. As you know, my obsessive nature drove me to do it and here are the points that I used to rationalize it to myself:
  1. My fever broke at about 4 am this morning. It is always a lovely feeling to wake up in a pool of sweat (yes, my bedding is in the washer right now).
  2. Ethan was signed up for the youth 1/2 miler and Alexander expressed a bit of interest, too.
  3. Susan was driving us
  4. Susan and I both needed each others' motivation to make it to the race
  5. My New Year's resolution is to run a 5k (or a race) each month. I didn't want month 3 to be my first miss.
All lame rationalizations, but I still did it. I managed to finish in about 33 minutes even with 2 stops because my lungs stopped cooperating.

The boys were very cute running the 1/2 miler. Alexander decided to run it when we were walking out to take Ethan to the start line. After a quick, last minute registration, we jogged over to the start. They looked so cute that I had to take a picture with my cell phone (Alexander on left - #195; Ethan on right - #143).
Ethan enjoyed the run and will do it again. Alexander didn't enjoy it, but he wants to do it again. Funny boys! I would love to have running partners over the next few years. I suspect that within 5 years, they will be zooming past me!

Friday, March 14, 2008

First Run

I have wanted to join the Lifetime Fitness Run Club since I moved to Minnesota in 1998, but I haven’t ever felt mentally “ready” to participate. I was always worried that the runners would be too far advanced for me and that I couldn’t keep up.

This year was the year. I have been running for 5 months now and am really enjoying it. I wanted to meet other runners, learn some new routes, and to push myself into doing new drills and activities. This year was the year and I finally did it this week.

Last night, was my first run with the group. It was nice to meet a bunch of other runners, but my jaw dropped when I learned that they were going to do hill work on an 8+ mile loop! They saw my facial expression (I was VERY upfront about where I was in my training) and they split into two groups: one doing the hills and one doing a short loop. I, of course, took the shorter loop. As we are running along, I asked how long the loop was.... it was 5.86 miles!!! AND, I was running with experienced runners - one of whom was an ultramarathoner!! That means she has done 50 – 100 mile aces!!!! gack...In the matter of seconds my self confidence regarding running went from “I can do this” to “what the hell was I thinking???”

Needless to say, I was the slow little tortoise at the end of the line. It was good for my mental game because I needed to work through the normal aches and pains AND the psychological part of being the least experienced. It took me a little while, but I started focusing on the fact that at least I had made the leap and here I was with the Run Club. Here I was running on a beautiful evening. I started my usual mental game of focusing on the beauty around me and the sound of my feet hitting the ground. Overall, the experience of being the tortoise in the group will help me for races. I will learn to keep my own pace and to not get mentally "down". So, I found the silverlining and was able to enjoy the rest of the run.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to make the next two team runs on Saturday or on Tuesday. I will be there on Thursday! This tortoise is NOT going to give up!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

hockey and choir

diverse kids = diverse activities

Today we juggled a schedule of hockey practice at the Mariucci Center at the University and a big Angelica Cantanti concert.

Alexander has become a goalie. Here is my little guy in his gear today:

Ethan loves to sing and here he is in the midst of the concert standing next to his best friend Connor (Ethan is third from the right - looking for curls) :

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Movie Worth Owning

Nancy and I were scheduled to see Atonement tonight, but due to constraints with my work where I need to "on call" for a development team in India, we were unable to squeeze that movie in. Since we still wanted to see a movie, Juno was the one movie that would allow me to get home before 9pm.

Thank goodness for odd time crunches! We both ended up loving the movie as did most people in the audience as demonstrated by the fact that they clapped at the end of the movie! What was really interesting was that people of all ages were there - older couples, younger couples, and even a group of teenaged boys. And, they all seemed to enjoy it.

What is the movie about? Well, it is about an unique 16 year old girl who gets pregnant and decides to give the baby up for adoption. Yawn? Yep, that is exactly what I said, too, but I was completely surprised and enjoyed it. The cast is great, the directing is great, and the script is great.

This is definitely a movie that I will be buying!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

First Exposures to Pro Football

The boys and I had a fun day filled with Legos, errands, bowling, a new computer game purchase (Sim City 4), and dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. Each of these places that we visited was either playing the Patriots vs. Chargers on the radio or on the tv. By the time we reached California Pizza Kitchen and the game of the Packers vs Giants started up, the boys and I were infected with excitement.

While we were installing Sim City and playing a little bit, we had the football game on the tv (wow! digital is really cool!). Soon, we were all watching the game. The boys decided to cheer for the Packers since several of their friends love the Packers; while I chose to cheer for the Giants just to add some drama and in support of my step-Dad, Gordie.

This was the first time that Ethan and Alexander actually watched a pro-football game. So, I spent some time with them explaining what downs were and how they changed, what the flags meant, and why they were trying to kick the ball through the yellow posts. Yes, I, MEEE, Marcy was explaining football. If you know me - THAT is a laughable statement!

Alexander really enjoyed watching the game and re-enacting some of the plays that harder hits (the farther the people bounced, the better). At one point, we were watching two of the players nearly get into a fit. In good sportsmanship manner (and after several tears at the bowling alley followed by me explaining that it was just a game and that we should just have fun), he comments, "What is up with those guys? Don't they know that it is just a game???!!!!" I giggled and explained that this was their JOB and that they all made a LOT of money playing said game! He didn't quite believe me, but then accepted it and returned to watching the game.

I have always thought that he would enjoy playing football, so it didn't surprise me at all when he blurted out, "Mom, I want to play football!' at least 15+ minutes after the earlier conversation about game vs. job. I said that we could sign him up for football in the fall, but he cut me off with, "No, no! I want to play football now that I know that they make a lot of money!"

Sunday, January 13, 2008

First Month of Resolution Kept!

This morning marked the first month of keeping my resolution to run a 5k a month by running the Frigid 5k in the State Fairgrounds! This was my first race since I started up again where they actually kept times with shoe chips. So, I am proud to say that I finished 112th! :)

The race was smaller than the last two races that I have run and I really enjoyed it. It became a race against myself. I would also target people ahead of me to see if I could catch them. Running is such a mind game that it was fun to try to use some strategy. I also increased my pace to see if I could handle it and it worked! I shaved 4 minutes off of my 5k time! I probably could have pumped it up more, but need to progress slowly.

Due to the race and the resolution, I am now the proud owner of a nice Frigid 5 knit cap and a new personal best (since I started running again!).

Here are all of my stats:
Age 38
Bib Number
Bloomington MN
Overall Place
112 out of 184
Gender Place
45 out of 94
Division Place
10 out of 20
Finish Time
Mile Pace
Kilometer Pace