March 26, 2014

check it off

I have this huge list of 'daunting' tasks awaiting me.  I have put them off, stressed about them, just created all of these unrealistic fears about each one of them.  You might ask why?  I am a perfectionist.  This means that I will stress about Ecru vs. Ivory until the sun comes up.  It is terrible.

I am really good at partially completing the tasks by creating lots of options, listing the pros and cons of each, and saving them neatly to a folder or pinterest.  I can pinterst ALL day!  Its an easy way for me to be 'working' on the wedding while really making no progress at all.  I mean I have enough pictures pinned to choose from, a few more really isn't going to do much for me.

The past week or so I have been actually checking things off my lists!  How? Every minute of every day (it seems) and just telling myself I have to cross one of each day, and lots of coffee!  Why didn't I come up with this plan months ago.

At this rate, I will be ready for the wedding in just 79 days!

A few more day countdowns:

190  days since I have been in MN
86  days until we leave for our honeymoon (undetermined ^ on the list)
75  days until my birthday
66  days until my little sister graduates
27  day until we leave for FL
13  days until the last game of playoffs!
15  days until we are home

until then... checking off my tasks one by one will pass the time!

Just realized that this time last year, not only was I home, but I was in New York... ohhh how the playoffs changed my schedule!

March 21, 2014

Home in 20 days!!

No matter how much you love where you are, there is no place like home.  

I am ready to go home. 

Here is a list of things that I am ready to do once I get there! 

  • Hug my family and friends, and get to spend time with them!
  • Drive my car without stalling it every other minute, and have my speed not be restricted by my engine size.
  • Go shopping at my favorite stores, and actually be able to buy what I want. 
  • Sleep in my bed, at my house, in complete darkness!
  • Be able to drive to Starbucks and feel like it is cheap (comparatively).
  • To see English everywhere and to understand everything again! 
  • Physically be able to do things I need to for the wedding. 
  • Have my ridiculously fast & unlimited internet back on my phone. 
  • Re-introduce Raylan to our family pets at home, and teach her about the invisible fence.
  • Watch TV in real time, on the day it airs. 
  • Not have to convert a thing: temperature, currency, weights, electricity, distances, the time... ect. 
  • Possibly make an income, no matter how small. 
  • Get a hair cut.
  • Go to Panara, Chipotle... a under $10 meal sounds incredible.  
  • Go up north to my cabin. 
  • Go to Florida with Sam and his family just twelve days after we get home. 
  • Have access to my full closet, and all of my shoes. 
  • See movies, on-or-close-to their release date.
  • Be able to attend events or go to parties that I am invited to. 
  • Not have to constantly keep in mind the time zones & just to call people when I think of them. 
  • Have stores (Costoc, Target, CVS) to go to at almost any hour of the day, and know that I can get what I want and need.
  • Go on bike rides, runs, and dog walks around the lakes by my house with my dad. 
  • To put in gas and not have to squeeze the pump the whole time or pay un-godly amounts for it.
  • Know where I am going, not have to google map EVERYTHING.
  • Not have to sign up for gym classes a week in advance, and to get a gym membership at home and understand the whole class! 
  • Buy and read magazines. 
  • Freeziac, Cold Stone, Nadia Cakes, Swedish FishSour Patch Kids(yo)gurt [lab], my American sweet spots.
  • The gluten free selection at Whole Foods.
  • Buy Raylan a TON of new dog toys and have enough space for her to run freely off the leash!
  • Have our lives not 100% controlled by hockey, weekend off? Don't mind if I do! 
  • Spend some time with my little sister before she graduates high school! I'll get to see her Prom, and her dance performances! 
  • Go out for dinner at all of the wonderful restaurants of MLPS with friends and family!

I am ready to be go back to the USA, but will certainly be sad to leave here. I am such a sap

 "Coming Home" - Ditty, Dirty Money ft. Skyler Grey

This song came out around the time we were coming home from Sweden the first time, three years ago!  Since then we have saved it for this time of year each of the following years.  I broke it out again for this blog post! It just makes me so happy! We have a few other songs about going home that I will include on future blog posts! Anyone have other suggestions on songs about going home? 

Hope to see some of you soon!! xoxo

March 16, 2014

Birthday Boy!!

Yesterday it was Sam's twenty fourth birthday!! I have been getting excited for this day for weeks, seriously.  Sam is very 'meh' about his own birthday, so I try to pick up the slack.  Around his birthday I am usually covered in baking products, & giggles.  I also tell him all of the surprises I have for him before they happen because I get so darn excited!! This year was no different, I did tone it back a bit because we are so near to the start of Kvalserien, but it was a wonderful day.

This was the sixth birthday of his that I was a part of, thats 25% of ALL his birthdays!? I guess I am one LUCKY girl!  Ill tell you a little bit about each one of these six birthdays.  

19 -  When Sam turned nineteen we were just beginning to know each other, other that talking a few times the extent of our relationship was 'Facebook Friends'.  I saw it was his birthday, and wrote on his wall, he wrote back.  Clearly things were getting pretty serious.. In all seriousness, we did start dating shortly after and have been together ever since.  (aww) 

20 - Sam was living in Guelph (Near Toronto) so I flew up to be with him on his birthday.  I bought him a cake, and he chucked it across the floor of the mall and it landed facedown on the floor.  He might tell you a different version of the story, but he cannot deny it.  I watched his practice, we went out to dinner and he we got him home in time for curfew!

21 - Sam was living in Guelph again this year for his Birthday, I was going to school at the time and couldn't fit a Birthday visit into my schedule.  I did manage to send him quite a large box full of presents, and sweets that arrived on his Birthday!  I bought him shoes (that he pretended fit, even though know I know they are way too small), some clothes, a HUGE world atlas book (funny that I decided to ship that internationally), a TON of Popcornopolis popcorn, a batch of freshly baked cookies, and of course a birthday mix CD.. oh my that was a big box.  He was very happy to get it and would have been perfectly content to stay home all night with that box.  Thankfully he was living with the sweetest 'Billet Family' who took him out for birthday dinner.  

22 - This Birthday Sam was living alone in Oskarshamn, Sweden.  I had left Sweden just two weeks before, naturally I was devastated that he was spending his birthday alone!  I know that he signed his contract for the following season this day, so he was the happiest birthday boy that day.  I told him that I was planning a whole day when he came home that I was deeming 'SAM DAY'.  This day was planned minute to minute with fun things that he likes.  Started off with breakfast in bed, then golfing, then Chipotle, off to the zoo, Big Bowl & he got presents in-between each activity... I do not even remember all of the things we did that day, I sure kept him busy! 

23 -  By this time we were engaged!  We were living in Oskarshamn again this year, I was still in Sweden and THRILLED to be able to celebrate with him!  We had a early birthday party at our house for those who were leaving the country before the fifteenth, it was wonderful!   On the day we went to dinner with some dear friends and then went bowling!  The day after his birthday we had planned a trip up to Stockholm, so that was kind of like a continuation of his day.  

24 -  This year Sam was all like, "We don't have to do anything for my birthday, but I really like cake. Oh yeah, and I need to bring something to the rink, think you can make some peanut butter bars?" He asked nicely, and knows I love to bake anything and everything, so I got right to it.  Made the biggest Oreo cake for birthday night, two batches of PB bars, and two variations of Oreo truffles.  We went to dinner with a few close friends in Gamla Stan for some American food.  I had bought 'relight' candles in the US and brought them over for this day.  I was so excited about it, that I told Sam the day before his birthday.  Well the cake had Oreo crumbs all over the top so they went flying when he first blew out the candles, then they all started relighting and he had to start blowing softer so the Oreo crumbs wouldn't get everywhere.   The light blowing made the 'relight' candles relight... he just couldn't win.  It was perfect, so funny.  Sam went to practice as usual, and I had planned for Raylan to be hooked to a helium filled ballon when he got home.  Guess I didn't guess that she would be TERRIFIED of the mysterious floating object.  We skyped family, and Sam received many wonderful birthday wishes! Thank you to anyone who was a part of his day! 

So here is to Sam and another wonderful year of this beautiful life.  His next birthday I will be his wife!! 

March 12, 2014

A break from routine

Living abroad and having 'nothing' (yet everything) to do can easily make a person become many things; introverted, lazy, bored, an over thinker, a procrastinator, a busy bee, a gym rat or the opposite, homesick... the list goes on.  That is why I usually have a pretty strict routine while I am here.  This year it consisted of (other than when we had guests) going to the gym, walking Raylan (our puppy), going to the dog park, going for coffee & dinner dates, watching my favorite TV shows, hanging out with friends, going to hockey games, working on our wedding, planning our honeymoon, cleaning, cooking, baking, trying to drink enough water, keeping in contact with life at home and trying not to miss people too much, and trying to blog on a somewhat consistent basis... this list also could go on and on. 

I am a list person, and usually have I have a daily list of what to do and what to accomplish each day, it helps me keep just the right amount of busy and fill each day with purpose.  Well last month, something really terrible happened back home and I broke down.  I fell out of any routine I had and had no motivation to do anything.  I will share what happened sometime, but not now.  

Thank God the sun came out here in Sweden, and I am starting to feel normal again and getting back into the routine of things.  I have to continually remind myself of all of the beautiful and wonderful things in life. The sunshine makes that so much easier than the dark grey skies we had all winter.  

One wonderful and fabulous thing that happened the past few weeks was that Sam's hockey team had an amazing finish to the season.  They won their last nine games and that put them into third place for their league, and that instantly qualified them for Kvalserien! Kvalserien is a round-robin hockey tournament that determines in what leagues the teams in the tournament will be in the following season.   The two leagues in the tournament are the SHL (
the top league in Sweden) and HockeyAllsvenskan (the second league in Sweden).    

The Kvalserien tournament/playoffs consists of six teams.  The teams are selected based on where the finished the regular season.  The bottom two teams from the SHL are in the playoffs, and the top three teams from the Allsvenskan are also automatically in the playoffs (Sam's team).  The teams that finished fourth through seventh in the regular season in the Allsvenskan are all currently battling one another for the last spot in the Kvalserien.  They all play each other once at home and once away.  While they are busy playing six games and fighting for that last playoff spot, we have been having quite the relaxing time! The boys still practice nearly every day, but we had a whole weekend off last week, Saturday and Sunday! Just so you know, that is very rare! I think Sam is anxious to get playing again, games are his absolute favorite thing, and he gets a bit antsy when he has to wait so long in-between them.  The first game of the Kvalserien is on the seventeenth, so only five more days to wait! 

Once the tournament starts, each team plays each other once at home and once away.  These games are almost every-other day, with a few exceptions when we have two days between games.  Routine will be great for me during these times as I will have a large chunk of time at home to myself, and obviously I want to stay productive so that when we do finally get home, we can relax and be ready for the wedding!! 

As I said before, the Kvalserien determines who will be in each league the next year.  So all of the Allsvenskan teams are fighting to move up, and the SHL teams are both fighting to stay in the SHL.  Sam's team had been in the SHL for it's whole existence  when they were relegated two years ago (this is their second year in the Allsvenskan) they have a huge fan base here in Stockholm.  His team won the championship of the SHL sixteen times, more than any other team.  I think everybody is hoping to see our team, Djurgården play like we know they can,  be champions and move back up to where they belong!  

We have the best fans!!

With that being said, it is not everybody wants to see us move up!  Djurgårdens biggest rival in the SHL is and was a team called AIK, they are the other team in Stockholm, they actually share an arena.  They didn't do so well this year and finished in last place in the SHL.  We will be playing them twice here in Stockholm during the Kvalserien, I cannot wait!!  Last time they played each other there was complete chaos in the stands, fighting between fans... just unbelievably wild, see for yourself in the video below!