Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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2017, that happened

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My last blog post that did not feature a book was in July. That’s quite a few months of happenings with no writing. In fact, after doing a quick scroll through of my 2017 blog I now realize I’ve only posted 7 times outside of my book of the month posts. Seven:

  1. one year old
  2. finally 2017 (a look ahead)
  3. ry-guy
  4. mediwift
  5. t-man
  6. 15 days: my iphone withdrawal story
  7. four(teen)th of july

Either there’s not a whole lot going on for me, or a whole helluva lot. To be honest, definitely some of both. So, yeah, that happened. I do want to continue my recent tradition of reverse bucket listing my year. This year’s list will serve two purposes: it’s a great way to reflect on the good times of 2017, and is also a list of blog posts soon to be featured here:

  1. Hosted wintry guests
  2. Went on a cruise
  3. Celebrated weddings in Newport, RI and Sundance, UT
  4. Traveled to the western USA with my family
  5. Saw the Grand Canyon
  6. Went to Vegas
  7. Followed my savings plan
  8. Coached a growing group of girls
  9. Attended my 10 year high school reunion
  10. Completed another year of my ECE degree

I’ll stop at 10, because that’s been my modus operandi the previous two years, but there may be an extra post or two coming down the pipeline with happenings from the eventful 2017 – like my epic summer vacation. Get ready, 2018 is here.

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on this, brother, the day of your birth

I’ve started a little tradition by writing a blog post on my brothers’ birthdays, and it’s that time of year again! Ryan has become another year wiser, Happy Birthday brother!

Today I want to share our most recent memory, that is to say our most recent IRL interaction.

Sidebar: (IRL = in real life)

Ryan came to visit during his spring break this year. *WOO HOO!* He got to do super fun things, like meet his niece for the very first time.

But first coffee:

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Cuddle time:

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Doctor’s appointment:

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Games galore!

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Food time (for everyone):

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Even Ryan got in a hockey practice (can’t let Dad one-up you!):

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I hope you have just as much fun today as you obviously had on your latest trip to Sweden.

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why i wasn’t running

This weekend was the Eskilstuna quarter marathon. It has gone by different names, so for now I’ll call it å-varvet, since that’s what it was called at one point in time. If not currently. I’m not feeling up to checking. Feel free to do so and let me know.

This weekend I did not join the over 2,300 people running the quarter marathon because of my shoulder injury. (Yes, I looked up that number, and yes, this year it was called å-loppet, so that’s all cleared up.) Unfortunately I have yet to be cleared to run. As you may recall from my Ode to Elizabeth I have injured my shoulder playing hockey, and it has taken a while to heal up. Either it has taken a while or I’m incredibly inpatient. The physical therapist I met with last Thursday would have me believing the latter. He really emphasized the fact that this type of shoulder injury will take time to heal.

Time heals all wounds.

Blah-de-blah-blah. Sure, whatever. I’m ready to be healed now. I know I can’t be the only person to think this, but when ever I’m injured. Or have a paper cut or something. All I can do is focus on the injury. Imagining the sweet good ol’ days pre-stubbed toe, for example. I wallow in the fact that when I’m whole and healthy I never appreciate it. I mean really appreciate it. I squander away my days it pain-free ignorance of how good I have it. Then I scrape my knee or accidentally slice open my thumb while trying to be a good wife and cook dinner for once, and I’m once again wallowing in self-pity land, reminiscing on how good I had it just yesterday before I sliced through half my thumb nail.

What I’m getting at is I really wanted to run on Saturday. The medals had a purple ribbon this year. Purple guys! But I couldn’t because it hurts to run. And according to my physio I’m not allowed to do anything that hurts me. Clearly I’m paying these medical professionals appropriately for some great counseling here.

å-loppet

Guess I’ll have to wait for next year until my two medals can become three, and I can attempt to check off number 13 on my 30 before 30 list. Knock on wood.

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go skating on a bandy arena while it’s snowing

Just to be clear, it needs to be an outdoor bandy arena. Little did I know when I wrote this list, there are, in fact, indoor bandy arenas. The thing is, outdoor hockey rinks work just as well.

A couple of winters ago I was practicing with my hockey team on the outdoor rink.

outdoor rink

There’s something about being outdoors in the winter. Working up a sweat and having a blast with your teammates. It’s a feeling that’s hard to beat. I think working out and training during the winter is especially important. Especially when one lives in Sweden where the winters are dark like night for 6 months. Getting outdoors in the winter time can also be less than motivating. Which is why I highly recommend this activity.

Gliding along in a muffled world of white while snow sprinkles down from above. It’s truly an experience.

The thing is, there is no longer an outdoor hockey rink where we play. A second rink was built this past year, and finished for this season.

new rink

It’s a beautiful rink, fully equipped for sled hockey. We even have our very own sled hockey team here in town.

new rink

Check out those clear boards!

 

Luckily there’s still the outdoor bandy arena. So there really is no down side. It’s soon to be spring in Sweden, but don’t forget to lace up those skates next year and take the time to be outdoors in the winter. It’s worth it.

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another season come and gone

Not only is it officially spring, but the hockey season has officially ended.

If you haven’t read my previous hockey update, check it out here. We had our last playoff games this past weekend. Although we didn’t quite get the results we were hoping for, we still had some successes along the way. Here were the results:

final standings

We came in 7th place. It would have been great to be one of the four teams moving up to Riksserien, the highest women’s league in Sweden, but it just wasn’t in the cards for us this year. But, like I said there were some positive aspects of our play. We won 2 games, and tied 2, winning 1 game in over time. Against the team that has played their season completely undefeated, Djurgården, we were the only team in kvalserien to score against them in both games in playoffs, scoring one goal each time we played them. We were also the only team to win a period against Djurgården in the entire playoff series, our third period in the second game against them we won 1-0. We took points from Sundsvall, winning in overtime our first game against them. We worked hard, but most importantly we came together as a team.

We played with determination and heart. Although we didn’t achieve all of our goals, and while it is difficult to be completely satisfied placing 7th in the standings it’s important to focus on the forward strides we did make. Live and learn.

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Here’s looking forward to what next season will bring, and all the hard work to come during the off-season.

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kvalserien

I scrolled through my posts for the past 7 months and found, to my surprise, that I haven’t written a single one about hockey this season. If anybody else is keeping track, this is my 14th season playing the sport.

As I scrolled I noticed how updated I kept you all last season, so I hope you’ll feel the love again as I summarize the 2014-2015 season for ya.

This year the team I played on last year (Linden) joined up with another team in Södermanland (kind of like a county in Sweden), that team is Södertälje Sportklubb. We joined our forces to create SSK/Linden, and my oh my was that a good decision. The resulting team has more players, more talent, and I’d like to think more fun. It’s a totally different environment from last year, where there are always a good number of girls at the practice and practices are high intensity and focused. (Okay, mostly focused.) With so many players we’ve also been able to play four lines all season, which is a great advantage over teams who are forced to play with many fewer players.

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Officially, according to the Swedish Icehockey Association (Svenska Ishockeyförbundet or SIF), we’re only allowed to play under one club name, so on their standings we’re listed as SSK.

image courtesy of the app by swehockey.se

image courtesy of the app by swehockey.se

It has been quite the adventure joining two teams together, but it has paid off in game play as we’ve finished the regular season in second place. Our regular season ended the Wednesday before last with a win, and we’re continuing on to play offs.

Playoffs start TODAY. You read that right, to-day. Playoffs consist of game play across Sweden against one team from the Southern region, one team from the Northern region, one team from the Western region, and two other teams from the Eastern region. We’re the third team from the Eastern region. The two teams that placed last and second to last in Sweden’s highest women’s league, Riksserien, join us as well in playoffs.

The schedule is broken up into three games a week in 30 days. We play Saturday & Sunday, as well as one week day game. All eight teams are competing for four spots in Riksserien. These four spots are two more than any other year, as this season SIF has decided to increase the number of teams in Riksserien from 8 to 10.

The eight teams playing in the play offs have until January 31st to finalize their roster. This means that up until three weeks ago teams were recruiting. Many of the teams in playoffs now knew they would be playing in this league a while back so they have planned accordingling and brought some “fresh legs” to their teams. In the past this has provided for exciting game play as teams no longer have the same composition they had during regular season play.

Who knows what will happen once game play begins?! Things will be exciting. Guaranteed.

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fourteen. get a dog

Now, I really want a dog. Evelina is less interested. They are apparently messy creatures that have a lot of hair which often tends to shed periodically. They’re also cute bundles of joy, so how can one resist?
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When I wrote my list of 25 before 25 I imagined my future self to have a lot more time than I do now. A dog requires a lot of time and affection. Especially in Sweden where your dog cannot be left home alone for more than 6 hours in a row. Maybe it’s four. Clearly I need to read up on this.
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Well, Evelina and I have continued our hockey career. And essentially that means no time and extra affection for doggies. When I’m at work from 8-5 and then go immediately to the rink until 9 or 10pm that poor pup would be home alone for 12/13+ hours. There is, of course, doggy day care, but I don’t get paid enough at my human day care to pay for that. For the moment at least.
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Our friend Emma was kind enough to get us a dog for Christmas though! It is quite clear that I want a French Bulldog, or French/English Bulldog mix. Emma, being the lovely and considerate friend she is, found just the dog for us.
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woof
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I’m still hoping for a louder puppy, sometime in the future, when there is more free time. I’m sure the time in my life full of ample free time is right around the corner. I can feel it.
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season’s ending

Not only does it feel like Spring in Sweden, but they hockey season is ending as well. As of my latest hockey update, around half way through our season, I discussed our team’s goals and expectations that we discussed last summer about what our expectations for the upcoming season were.

Looking back, I think we have had a successful season. Concerning the wordclouds I made, I would gladly say that we have found success in all categories…but one. Unfortunately this year we did not make it to AllEttan (take another look at the previous post for an explanation of AllEttan).
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Last year we were one win away from AllEttan. This year we were three wins away from AllEttan. But all was not a disappointment. We play in a tight league, and all the games this season were close competitions. So, really, when you look at the season over all it was certainly a good one.
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Not making it to AllEttan was a let down, but the continuance series was a success this year, as it was last year. As in the regular series we continued to play close games. The continuance series is six games, where the four teams who did not move on to AllEttan play each other twice. Of our six games four of them were taken to shoot outs, where we were able to take an extra point in two of them. Our team fought hard, and lead the continuance play in points throughout the series, unfortunately only up until the last game. The loss of the extra point gave us equal points with AIK, who had one extra point in goal differential and therefore won the series. Still an over all success for the team though.
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I’m proud of the work we have accomplished as a team, and look forward to start off ice training. (Accompanied by my marathon training of course.) I’m a little less proud of my personal statistics in the continuance series. photo 3 (3)I’m certainly glad I was able to score 2 shoot out goals, as well as another two goals and an assist in regular play, to land 4th over all in points. (First in decisive goals.) Decisive GoalsHowever, my penalty minutes are embarrassing. Before the game today I had 14 minutes in the box.
Penalty Minutes
Luckily I managed to get my act together for the final match up of the season, but as the most penalized player in the continuance series I can’t really count that as a win. In the off-season, as well as focusing on forward strides in my fitness, I’ll have to focus on clean play. I’ve yet to figure out how to work out for that, but I’m sure I’ll think of something.
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See you in the gym!
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spreadsheets and triple contractions – with a side of running

Don't be fooled by the rosy filter, it is cold in there.

Don’t be fooled by the rosy filter, it is cold in there.

After starting my marathon training I did what any sensible person would do. I made a spreadsheet. Okay, to be honest the absolute first thing I did was take an ice bath, because man my legs were not pleased with my decisions. Then I made a spread sheet.

I love spreadsheets. I almost considered being an accountant once, because I heard they get to make a lot of spreadsheets, and I want that to be my job. Nothing came out of that, so that’s neither here nor there, but it does emphasize my point that I love spreadsheets.

My spreadsheet is beautiful and catalogues the training I have completed and the training I plan to complete. For now, our ice times and schedule only come out one week in advance, so I haven’t planned very far into the future as of yet. Once the hockey season ends, and I am better able to gauge what I am capable of, I’ll be able to plan farther in advance.

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This is what I’m talking about:

Training Schedule Pic

You may notice a gap there in the training. I got sick at the end of January, and wasn’t up to training. I feel I should take something away from my getting sick so soon after starting my training. However, it’s still unclear if I jumped into too much training at once, or if I should focus on abstaining from allowing three year olds to cough directly into my air passages. Definitely one of the two.

I’m excited to see what will come of the spreadsheet in the future as I complete more training. Y’all’ll just have to wait and see! (Why isn’t a triple contraction acceptable in the English language? Triple contractions are another thing I love.)

Cheers!

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the new year’s tradition

Did you guys know that Ryan was here over New Years? Again. The first time he came for New Year’s he ended up belly dancing in a restaurant.

There's picture proof, so you know it happened

There’s picture proof, so you know it happened.

While that will be hard to beat, I’m glad he took my invitation seriously, and showed up this year as well.

#nye13

It was great having him. On #nye we enjoyed a home cooked meal at Evelina’s parents house, and then walked/ran down to the city in order not to miss the fireworks. We did not.

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I took some time off work, so we took it easy and ate a lot of fika. It was excellent.

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FIKA!

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Besides all the fika-ing we also spent a lot of time at the rink. Ryan got to try out his goalie skills in one of our practices, and I was thoroughly impressed. He also helped out the coaches as well as got some lifting time in the gym. We even ran together, seeing as I went a little crazy and signed up for a marathon. Ryan, consider this your official invitation to run the marathon with me.

Look who's in net

movies 3D style

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Movies were also watched, with HFR, hence the wicked cool shades.

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Having Ryan to visit is always a blast, and I hope we keep the New Year’s tradition going strong. In reminiscing about Ryan’s most recent visit, a summertime visit comes to mind. Both Ryan and Tyler came to Sweden the summer of 2012.

They had both just gone on a tour of Great Britain and Wales, and had had a great time.

lazing about

(Clearly not more fun than Sweden though)

Lucky for me they decided to stop by Sweden before making the trip back across the Atlantic. We spend the time riding bikes around Eskilstuna, and having fika. I hope you sense the theme. A day trip to the Natural History Museum was also in order.

The National History Museum

Where we posed creepily with the animals. Obviously.

There were serious moments as well:

the siblings

Ryan, Tyler, consider THIS your open invitation to visit Sweden the summer of 2014!

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