Friday, January 28, 2011

The Life of an Expat Hockey Wife

I was recently added to a facebook group called "Expat Hockey Wives".  Not knowing what that meant exactly, I started researching the group page and found that the word expat comes from the word expatriate meaning, to permanently reside in a country or culture other than that of the person's upbringing or legal residence.  Ok... I guess I fit into that category. After exploring the group, I noticed that there are about 400 members, and I know (or know of ) a good chunk of them!  That just goes to show how small the hockey world really is.  Someone posted a note saying that in the real world, we are no more than 6 steps (people) away from one another, otherwise known as 6 degrees of separation.  In the hockey world, we have 2 degrees of separation.  I believe that 100%!  Everyone we have met has some sort of connection to people we know from home or from other teams Gino has played on etc. 

The site is really interesting and has been set up for wives and girlfriends of men that play hockey over seas.  People share advice with each other on a variety of topics including- family life, traveling, what to bring overseas, info on the different leagues/countries, exchange recipes, or just to vent about struggles we face and things we give up to travel the world with the men we love!  I found the post below to be humerous and right on the money...

You know your a hockey wife when...
You know you are a hockey wife consult a magnetic hockey schedule when making any plans between September and April.

You know you are a hockey wife have never put a Christmas tree up in the same home twice.

You know you are ...a hockey wife have to think twice about throwing on a sweatshirt and wearing it in public because it is currently the wrong team.

You know you are a hockey wife only know your husband's friend's names by their nicknames.

You know you are a hockey wife decide to start a blog describing your life as a hockey wife.

There are about 10 blogs that women in the group have started and share their links on the website.  Some of these blogs are amazing and very detailed!  Here's a link to one of the blogs that I've started to follow.  This hockey wife has been living the lifestyle for 14 years and has 2 school aged children that travel with her and her hubby.  Her blog remains anonymous so her family has fake names and she replaces their heads with hockey masks in all of the pictures ( I loved that!)  Its a fabulous blog that reads like a diary.  She is hilarious!

(This may be a little deep)
Even though the positives of our experience have out weighed the negatives, there have been  instances where I've thought "am I the only one that thinks about these things or feels like this?" and now I know, I'm not alone!  After reading some of the posts on the site and reviewing the blogs, I realized that I'm just like these other woman.  No matter what team, league, pay scale, etc that our men are apart of, we all have the same concerns, thoughts, fears and DOWNTIME, HA!  It's only been 4 months but I feel like I've learned more about myself  and who I want to strive to be in this short time than I have in the last 10 years.  I still have alot to figure out, it will be interesting to see where our live takes us in the next few years.  Who knows, maybe I'll find a true passion in something wonderful and make it into a career!  But for now, I'm enjoying the journey.

A little news on the hockey front. 8 games left of the season!!  Out of the last, about 20 games, they've won 15 and are currently in 5th place out of 10.  They are 1 game behind 4th place and having home ice for the first round of the playoffs.  With the rate they're at, my prediction is 4th place for the start of playoffs, yea!  The games are always exciting for the wives, especially with all the fights they've had on the ice lately. The rules on fighting in the Norwegian league are pretty much the same as high school, your not supposed to do it!  But, tensions have been high lately and there have been quite a few fights where the guys drop there gloves.  By that time, they're too far into it that the refs back away and let them go (in fear that they'll get hurt themselves!).  The penalty for fighting is your kicked out of the game immediately and you have to sit out the next game. 

There are 5 guys on the team that have girlfriends that are pregnant, only one married....but that's a whole other story!  Anyways, at the last game 2 of the guys with preggo girlfriends, scored goals.  After Olsen Jr. scored, he looked up at his girlfriend in the stand and rocked his arms back and forth like he was cradling a baby.  When Eidsaether (pronounced I-t-sa) scored he kissed his glove and pointed to his girlfriend.  So sweet!  You can tell, the display of affection was more moving for me than the scoring.  Gino said thet next time he scores he's going to look up at me and put his arms over his head making a heart, hahaha.  I would probably pee my pants with embarrassment if that were to happen!!
Here's the link to the highlight video of the last game.  You can see the guys sending there love to there baby mama's. Click on the link below and then click on Video ser du her

***If there are any topics or questions you have about hockey, life in Lillehammer or just life over seas write it in the comments section and I'll try to make the next blog all about those!
 Happy Friday!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bra (Good) times in Lillehammer

Happy New Year!  2011, wow  (That year seems very futuristic).  I hope you all had a safe and happy new year with your family and friends.  Gino and I spent the New Year with the Lillehammer gang at our place.  The ladies got together early in the day to make up about 20 rolls of sushi, which happens to be our new favorite group dinner to make.  A combination of philly rolls, shrimp tempura rolls, and California rolls, fried rice, and egg rolls.  YUM.  We have alot of fun making them! If you haven't before and like sushi, try it!  It's nice to have our girl time with a little wine. We basically laughed the entire night.  It was great!  The guys went to another apartment and watched the Canada/Sweden World Juniors game.  We all met up together a few hours later for food, drinks and farkle.  Anyone who has ever played farkle knows how addicting it is!  The game has become like our "new friend" in the group, we bring it to every get together, ha.

 At midnight (5pm MN time), we started hearing loud bangs/explosions outside of our window.  It sounded like we were being attacked or something.  To our suprise, they were fireworks!  We didn't know this but I guess fireworks are HUGE on New Years Eve in Norway.  We said that if we would have known, we could have climbed to the top of the ski jump and watched from there.  The view is amazing alone, but to see fireworks being shot off in a 5 mile radius would have been pretty neat.  From our balcony, you could see fireworks going off all around us...literally.  Here is a video Gino took, its pretty dark but you can see how many houses were letting them off right on top of us!  Sorry about all the screaming... we were so close and the girls were nervous!

My 26th......27th....OK 28th! Birthday was on Jan 9th.  I know it's not that old...but I'm so close to 30 it's scary!  It seems like just yesterday I graduated from college.  The last 6 years have gone by so fast.  Once your life starts rolling, it doesn't stop.  Anyways, Gino and I celebrated on the 7th because he was going to be gone all day on the 9th at an away game.  We have not spent my birthday together....EVER!  This would have been the first except for that thing called hockey got in the way.  We went out for dinner at an old brewery in town called the Bryggerikjelleren...we still can't pronounce it correctly.  The brewery was built in 1855 and we were told they have the best steaks in Lillehammer.  Here is a picture of the brewery, it was underground which was really cool! 

I ordered a tenderloin steak with bernaise sauce and Gino ordered the lamb.  They were both very very good.  I would say pretty comparable to a Mannys or Capital Grill type quality.  The meal came to about 700 NOK, roughly $100.  Not so bad! Pretty much what we had expected.  When we got home from dinner Gino had made a mudpie cake and put a heart made with candles in the middle.  It was really sweet and tasted great! 

After dessert, we pulled out the couch and watched a movie, an end to a wonderful night.  On my actual birthday, the girls and I got together in the morning for our daily workout/sauna and met up later that evening for wine and cheese.  We ended up watching The Black Swan.  For those of you who have seen it and liked it....can you please explain!!??  We were so disappointed and confused. I won't give anything away, but I just wish they would have explained a little more of the story at the end. 

The weather has been pretty warm lately.  Between 20-30 degrees each day.  The sun is staying out longer and longer too!  Throughout Nov-Dec and part of Jan the sun would rise at about 9:30am and set at about 3pm.  It was strange to be walking around outside running errands in the dark. But you get used to it pretty fast. We've been spending alot of time reading and relaxing in front of our "fireplace"...

We have a slingbox connected to our tv at home so we can watch American TV, OnDemand, and DVR shows.  Well there's an option through OnDemand under tv entertainment, screensavers.  We pretend to be in front of a fireplace or sunset on the beach or a waterfall, HA.  

  There has been alot of snow, which I've heard isn't much different from MN right now!  It snowed straight for about 2 days and almost covered the cars in our parking lot. 

 Gino only has 14 games left of the season!!! Then playoffs.  It flew by!  Probably because we were finally together.  His tooth ended up being dead so he had a root canal last week.  It only took about 30 min and he said it didn't hurt at novicane either!  I don't know if I could have been as brave.  He got a little banged up at the last game and skated off the ice with a bloody nose.  When I saw him skating off and making a bee line for the locker room I thought he had broken his nose.  But it turns out he just bumped his cheekbone and the side of his nostril.  He said that it felt weird like his nostril was flapping so he had thought he sliced right through but it turned out to be just a cut. Crossing my fingers, NO MORE INJURIES!
 Hopefully the next time I write, we will know where Gino is playing next year.  I'm excited but anxious to find out. This year has been great and 'Ive loved the time off from work...obviously.  But not only that, we have met great friends and experienced a few different cultures.  Our adventures over seas won't go on forever, so we're trying to soak up as much as we can while we have the chance. The plan right now is to do this for a few more years  and as long as Gino's still having a good time and enjoying the game, im in 100%.

 Have a great last half off Jan! love you