July 29, 2014

Everyone Was Right

Sam's flight took a little over 12 hours total, and he caught the red-eye so the travel was pretty easy for him!  Seems like I blinked my eyes and he was texting me that he had arrived in Lappeenranta.  Ok... maybe it seemed a little longer than that, and maybe I was having a hard time digesting the fact that my husband had truly just left for potentially the next nine months.  

We brought the pups in to say goodbye.

All Packed!

Saying goodbye to Lexi!

Nine months is a very long time. I know, I will see him in a month, but right now a month seems like forever.  It seems longer than the month before Christmas.   It was harder to say goodbye this year, and I know why.  Its the reason that everyone told me I would feel.  They said this year would be harder, because we were so recently married.  You know what, everyone who said that was 100% right.  I didn't believe them at the time, but after just two days apart, I miss my husband so much and am counting down the days until I get to be in his arms again!




Back to Sam and his arrival in Finland.  His baggage did not make it in time, so he is currently still wearing his travel outfit. He did bring two, so at least he has that going for him.  Also apparently the apartment is so ridiculously hot that he probably doesn't even need them (TMI).  The apartment has no air-conditioning (very typical in Europe) and it is on the fifth floor with 18 hours of sunlight pouring in.  It is extremely hot up there for him, so we have been having a few laughs with our creative ideas on how he should cool down.  Too bad he isn't into yoga, would be prefect for some Bikram.  He said that the town is absolutely beautiful!  There is a big park right behind our building,  and a few steps out our front door we have coffee shops, restaurants, and a quaint downtown!  

Sam went on the ice with his new team, Saipa for the first time today and I must say he looks pretty good in Black & Yellow




July 25, 2014

already?

It is that time again.  It is time for Sam and my annual month of separation, aka: his departure to Scandinavia.  It is time for pre-season games and the Champions Hockey League tournament to start.  Time for Sam to get to Finland, to explore our new town and see where we will be living for the next 8/9 months.  

Tonight Sam said his goodbyes to my family.  Each year before he heads over my side of the family (the Kroll's) and Sam's side of the family (the Lofquist's) meet in Stillwater, MN for a nice going away dinner.  They say it is for both of us, but in all reality it is Sam's going away dinner (kind of like when my parents gave my brother and I a car for his 16th birthday.  A year later when I turned 16 "our car" was 100% his car, I was lucky if I just got a ride in it to school).  We had a great night and beautiful weather, I don't think anyone wanted to say goodbye. 


The Kroll's


Sam takes off on Saturday night, so we still have a little while together.  It will be just enough time to pack him up and send him off.  I think Raylan is going to miss him so much!

Raylan and I are heading over around a month from today.  We were at the vet today getting everything she needs for Finland done.  We also found out that she will be able to get spayed right before we go over!  Will be a busy month for my little lady.  A few days ago she got a nice hair cut, she is back to being just a tiny little thing with legs for days and the neck of a horse.  With her new hair cut she is able to swim about twice as fast as before!  We cannot wait to get over to Finland and find some dog parks and docks to jump off of!

My Family
Clearly something was hilarious.

 5 lbs of crab and 'stuff'... boys. 


This next month will probably fly by!  I will be trying to tie up any loose ends, see my friends a few more times, prepare Raylan, and spend as much time as possible with my family!  

xoxo
Cacilie



July 13, 2014

Finland!

Every bride wants their groom to be wrapped up in something completely not wedding related during the last few days leading up to their wedding, right?  

Not exactly, but like usual in the hockey world you can almost expect everything to happen at quite possibly the absolutely most inconvenient time.  We jokingly predicted that the contract we would sign would come the week of the wedding, and it did! Sam was texting me pictures of him signing the contract minutes before leaving for our rehearsal dinner!

We could not be happier with the new team, league, city, and country!




Team: SaiPa 
Club: Liiga-SaiPa Oy
League: Liiga (Formerly known as the SM-Liiga)
City: Lappeenranta
Country: Finland


Marina in Lappeenranta
(Source)

Lappeenranta is in the south, on the eastern side.
(Source)

The team finished fourth in the regular season last season, so I am thinking that means we will be pretty good! Maybe we will even be able to win the championship for the second year in a row?

I am super excited about the city!  Lappeenranta is a town of approximately 73,000 people not including the 13,000 students that are there during the school year to attend their international university.  13,001 students if you count me, but ill tell you more about that later!  The city is on Lake Saimaa, the largest lake in Finland, and the fourth largest freshwater lake in Europe.  It is 30 miles from the Russian border. It is slightly closer to St. Petersburg, Russia than it is to Helsinki.  It is only a 2.5 hour drive or train ride to Helsinki, so we are not going to be too far from a large city!  Lappenranta does have its own international airport that flies to a select few locations (it is actually Finland's oldest still operating airport). I think that whatever flights are available on any days we have off will determine where we will be traveling this season.  Lappenranta is the second most visited city in Finland, so they have tourist 'activities' year round that I am excited to experience, lots of reindeer, snow- shoeing, mobiling, plowing, sledding, skiing, basically just lots of snow.  There are also many cabins and lake activities to do when its not freezing cold and snowing.  

I could go on and on, the more I read about the place the sooner I want to get there! I know... I'm weirdly more excited about this place than I was even for Stockholm!! I am just so thrilled for a new country and city that I have not ever experienced!  I am also super excited for the possible opportunity to get to travel a little in Russia (not a sure thing, as you have to get your visa accepted).  The city's size will be much better for Raylan, hopefully we will be able to find more open space where she can just be free and off leash... and maybe dogsled!  I think in a city this size I will feel more comfortable outside at night by myself, and also just home alone when Sam is gone.  I didn't even mention that we will have an automatic car there... OMG YES! That is a little dramatic, but for the past three seasons the stick shift and I just did not get along.  Yes, I could get from point A to B, but not smoothly, comfortably, without making my puppy carsick, or with a coffee in my hand, so I am delighted about our automatic transmission.  The town will be just large enough to have all the shopping I need or want (honestly, the shopping in Europe is for the most part not all its cracked up to be... its all {at least for me} the same brands just at a much higher price).  So all I need is my little 'fix' every once in a while and I will be happy.... I think...

The hockey situation seems amazing, and that means I will have a happy husband.

The best part of all (for me) is that I found a university I will be attending right in our town! That means  happy wife! 

The University
(Source)

Here is the math:



Hockey: Happy Husband, Sam
School: Happy Wife, Cacilie
+ Space: Happy Puppy, Raylan

Happy Life.   

The temperature will be slightly colder than what we were getting in Sweden the past few years, but that just means I get to buy more boots, scarves, and mittens!  

xoxo Cacilie