Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden

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that shoulder i’ve written so much about

When I looked forward to 2016 one of the three things I planned to focus on during the year was to continue to rehab my shoulder mindfully with appropriate increases in difficulty. The immediate action I was going to take was to print out my rehab schedule (up until now I’ve used a version on my phone). With previous success in mind, after I completed each session I planned to cross off the workout.

This past July Evelina and I started up my shoulder-rehab workout routine together, which was awesome. I strongly recommend having a workout buddy, it’s a huge motivator for me. Something fun we can do together. Plus, when I crossed off the workout it was like getting my own version of a gold star. Everybody likes getting a gold star, that’s just known fact.


It’s not my personal workout routine, so you only get to see a snippet – but check out that BIG OL’ X!

Instead of following only this workout/rehab routine we added some yoga and running, and not just as recovery. Every other day we did a lift and every other day we ran/did yoga. This was a great balance, especially considering we had missed the past 26 weeks of workouts.

What’s so great about all of these workouts is they can be done outside. Yoga under a tree or a run around the neighborhood, what could be better? Also, with the help of our local outdoor gym, we can even lift outside.


My shoulder is feeling good these days, and I’m excited to say that after a year and a half of recovery and rehab it’s finally feeling like my shoulder again.


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å-loppet number three


2016 marks my third go at Å-varvet. 2015 I was unable to run because of a shoulder injury. This year though, I was so there!

The woman who won this year, Tigist Jabore, ran the quarter marathon in 35:34. I’m going to tell you right now, my time was nowhere near that. I’m also going to tell you right now I did not train for the race this year.

Bear with me. (If there had been maybe I would have run faster.)

I had actually not really planned to run. I hadn’t been able to train since the birth of my wonderful and amazing baby, you know the one. So I was thinking I’d skip this year, and go big next year. Then at the last minute I found out that my place of employment would be footing the bill (a whopping $50, so we’re not talking ridiculous sums here) for all those who wanted to run or walk. GREAT! I shouted. Alone in the break room. I signed myself up then and there.

Mind you, this was a week and a half before race day. Do you think I went out and got a jump start on my training? Nope. Come race day, I just went for it. So did Ryan. As you recall he was here visiting, and thought: WHY NOT?! He ran bandit, because what else would he do? It was the natural course of things.


I’m not extremely familiar with running road races, so I was super excited to see that you can log on to the race’s website and see all previous times!

FullSizeRender (1)


As was to be expected I ran considerably slower than my previous times, and those most observant of my readers will already have noticed the downward trend that is my finishing times. Not to worry, I will complete number 13 on my 30 before 30 list! Training for 2017 commences now.



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.


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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play kubb

Having our wedding in Sweden was like having a destination wedding for half of the guests. That half being my side of the family. Luckily for Evelina and I many members of my family made the trip over the Atlantic to celebrate our wedding with us. We wanted to make the trip memorable while hopefully getting a chance to show family and friends a bit of our life here in Sweden.

How did we do that you ask? Activities. Summer in Sweden is quite an event. I word it that way because that’s really the whole of it. There are events! The sun is up longer so you can do more stuff. Like riding bikes, going swimming at the summer-house, watching speedway, eating ice cream, playing kubb in the park, enjoying fika, going to free outdoor concerts, golfing, visiting Stockholm and riding the Sky View, going to museums, not to mention eating at all the best places (often enjoyed in outdoor seating).

Riding bikes.

Riding bikes

Swimming at the summer house.

Swimming at the summer-house



Ice cream treats

Ice cream treats

Play kubb in the park.

Playing kubb in the park

07 Fika

Fika at our place




Sky View

Sky View

The Photography Museum

The Photography Museum

Eating at the best places

Eating at the best places

Now, the title of this post is play kubb, seeing as you’re here anyway, I’d like to explain the rules. Per Swedish tradition, when summer is in full bloom, the Swedes venture outside with wooden blocks. These blocks come in three shapes. A king, which is the tallest of the lot (naturally), which looks like a rectangular wooden block only with a square-shaped crown on top. Then there are 10 smaller rectangular wooden blocks, and 6 cylindrical blocks. There are two teams, each with 5 of the rectangular blocks. These are to stand in the grass in a line, each team’s line of blocks are parallel to each other and a good distance apart. The king is placed in the middle with equal distance from both teams’ line of blocks. Teams then take turns throwing the cylindrical wooden pieces across the playing field attempting to knock down the other teams rectangular blocks. This is where rules may vary, but we played that the first time a team knocks down another team’s block it is then thrown across half of the field of play, that is to say past the king. The team who owned that block now has to knock it down before moving on to the other team’s blocks – as a sort of penalty. Penalty blocks must be stacked onto one another if the team tossing them can hit one penalty block with another. The first team to knock down all the other team’s blocks gets a chance at the king. The king must be knocked down from an upside-down position, where the cylindrical block is thrown between the thrower’s legs. It’s quite the competition.

Evelina and I could not have been happier to share all of this with friends and family. If this doesn’t get you to want to come to Sweden, I don’t know what will. See you this summer! We’ll play some kubb.


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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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gardening explorations

I have a confession: I don’t actually enjoy gardening. Don’t worry, Evelina already knows. Evelina does, however, enjoy gardening. So I’ve been known to occasionally join her in the glistening sunshine to prune and weed.

I’ve heard it’s quite therapeutic. Some doctors even claim that gardening 1-2 hours a day keeps you healthier longer. (No, I don’t know which doctors, Google it though, I’m convince it’s true.) So I can’t actually be displeased when Evelina wants me to garden with her. She’s clearly looking out for my health.

These days with the darkening darkness that is Sweden I like to take a look back at these lovely gardening pics, even if it isn’t my favorite pastime. This one’s for you Evelina (: