September 11, 2014


As I stood at the end of a lengthy Starbucks line, a cute little pumpkin near the register caught my eye. “Huh. Cute pumpkin,” I thought. “Wait. Could it be true? Is it back? Is the Pumpkin Spice Latte back?”

Indeed it is.

I was thrilled for about as long as it took for the barista to whip one up and pass it my way, because then it hit me:

Fall is here. Summer is over. And I feel like I have very little to show for it.

In my head I had these grandiose plans and all the time in the world to execute them. This summer wouldn't be like summers in the past - where by the time we settled into life stateside, it was only a matter of weeks before I was digging out the hockey bags again - no, this summer would be different!

Mmm, nope. I failed to do nearly every single thing I swore I would do. 

We did, however, settle into our new (after hockey) life. 

I found my footing at work again. I fell back in love with the insanity that is the oil and gas industry, and made a handful of trips to the Slope. No polar bears, one kickass wolverine, some ratchet looking caribou, and at least five pounds of Slope food on my Kardashian-esque derrière. I thank God that I love what I do and that I am able to call my co-workers close friends, because work is about all I found time to do. The highlight of my summer was going from brunette to blonde to brunette again, which is just so indicative of this particular summer. 

Cam had surgery to repair his torn meniscus (remember that injury that took place in f-ing December?), enrolled in his final course for his business degree, and took on two coaching jobs. Though we have also had to bear the weight of some pretty heavy stuff this summer, it has been a joy to watch Cam find his happy in both his personal and professional life. The past two hockey seasons took a lot out of him, mentally and physically, and he really took one for the team (ours and his) and hung in there when he had every reason to bail. My Big Rig is back and that makes my heart happy.

Linden got a game-used ball at his very first MLB game in Seattle (#gomariners) and took Grandpa Mike's Corvette for a test drive in Ocean Shores. He attended German and hockey camps, was his soccer team’s leading scorer (just ask, he’ll tell you all about it), and counted the days until kindergarten. He started kindergarten off with a bang - able to count beyond 100, recite and draw the alphabet, and his teacher referred to his dad as a "legend" on day one ... it suffices to say he is the teacher's pet.

Calder, well, did Calder things (like break his arm on the last day of our vacation). He started talking a few months ago, but refuses to say anything truly productive: basketball, baseball, balloon, and meow, mostly. You get the idea. But, I mean, who needs to say yes or no or please or thank you? For the birds, I tell ya.

We bought a couch and a bed and a desk and a chair and lots of little things that make a house feel like a home.

We settled into the new sort of chaos that is our new (after hockey) life.

I didn't do a lot of writing here because I lacked the time, energy, and frankly, desire. Just as I predicted, there was an inevitable shift in priorities and this place fell by the wayside.

In the words of my pal Kym: Whomp.

And that’s about it; my summer in a word. Oddly enough it is the same word I would use to describe the pumpkin spice latte. What a let down. That -ish was far better in my memories.

August 5, 2014

The Sisterhood

Stop by Huffington Post Canada today and check out this fantastic article written by The Gal's Got Game. Featuring Karen Moyer, Nicole Jennings, myself, and so many fabulous members of the Spouses in Sports family. Be sure to share it with your friends!

July 3, 2014

Flags for sale, get ‘em while they’re hot!

Well, German language camp, as nerdtastic as it sounds, was an absolute blast. I have never seen Linden so exhausted (or dirty) as he was at the end of each day; the kid even begged for us to pay the extra fee so he could stay late, with the kids whose parents worked.

I tried not to take that personally.

One of the things he enjoyed most about the camp was learning about different countries (there were also separate groups for Japanese, French, Russian, and Chinese). I’ll be honest; his favorite part was playing soccer every day during their breaks, hence the filthy clothes. But he did come home all jacked up on knowledge and, as a parent, knowledge is what I had hoped he would gain from the camp.

We have yarded that kid all around the world over the past five years, and if I had to pick the most precious of gifts our experiences abroad gave him it would be an appreciation for other cultures. He’s got it. He’s wonderfully fascinated by people and language and all things places-other-than-home.

And also … he got it from his mama, too.

I can’t remember a time that I wasn’t interested in absorbing anything and everything places-other-than-home. In middle school, I stumbled upon an atlas that contained pages upon pages of flags from around the world, statistics on population and size, and you-name-it-it-was-there. I spent countless hours thumbing through the pages of that book.

When Linden came home from camp rattling off (slightly incorrect) information about where these countries were located, my mom told him she would find an atlas for him and that she would help him find all of these places.

I was shocked to find him enthralled in the very same atlas that had been glued to my hands from roughly 1996 up until I discovered boys.

“Mom, can you help me find some paper and markers?” Sure, Bud.

Hours later, he had a stack of flags nearly an inch tall.

“Those are so cool, Linden! Can I take one to work?” Yeah, but it will cost you five dollars. “Sold!”

Ever our little business man, he asked to sell them at the end of our driveway, with lemonade. Unfortunately, we live in a very quiet, low-traffic neighborhood … in Alaska (where a sunny day is hard to find and cars won't stopping unless you’re selling guns or booze). So …

Flags for sale, get ‘em while they’re hot!

If you are interested in boosting little Linden’s ego, e-mail me, tweet me @hockeywife_22 or leave a comment below. I’ll need your order (state or country flags available) and your mailing address. Worldwide (free) shipping. You are welcome to pay for these masterpieces (whatever you see fit), but the goal is simply to encourage him and fuel his desire to learn more about the world in which we live. And also to keep him quiet while Calder is napping and Mommy is watching The Real Housewives of Orange County. 

When you order, I’ll be sure to tell Linden where you are from and we will learn a few fun facts about your neck of the woods.

Thank you to those of you who kindly placed orders this morning via Facebook and Instagram. I posted that photo with zero expectations and  ... well ... you ROCK!


June 26, 2014

Schießt ein Tor!

Did anyone else watch the USA v. Deutschland game this morning? Me too!
Little Lindybug here spent the entire week shouting German cheers, but when I asked him who he was cheering for today he proudly said, "The USA, Mom! Duh!"

I brought a ton of random "Deutschland" stuff back home, with the thought that Linden might use some of it to decorate his room or for school projects or whatever. It's been in a box since we touched down in late-April, because truth be told, my love affair with Germany is on hiatus. But when the CEO of my company challenged us to dress in our red, white, and blue best today - as the USA took on Germany in the World Cup - I had to dig it all out.

Much to my chagrin, no awards were given to those with the most spirit. What a crock, right? 

(And just so you know, my fellow Americans, I may have been clad in loads of Deutschland attire for shits and giggles, but I wholeheartedly cheered for the U S of A.)

May 28, 2014

Rocket Mommy

Sometimes my husband is funny.

You can check out the video of Linden's "rocket" below. 

Please excuse the embarrassingly unorganized garage, I am still very much in the we-just-moved-five-years-of-crap-half-way-around-the-world-and-I-started-working-full-time-two-days-later trenches. Thank you.

Between you and me, I can't say with any confidence that he in fact "has a cannon at age 5" but he's pretty damn cute don't cha think? And after six and a half years of this roller coaster we call "hockey life" and two kids, my husband called me a "rocket" so I would like to take a moment to celebrate that.

May 23, 2014

in a forever kind of way.

It feels weird to call this place home in a forever kind of way.

Sure it has been ‘home’ for the past six years, but we have spent more time abroad than we have here. I now know my way around Dresden, Munich, and Berlin better than I know my way around these streets. I get lost downtown and at the grocery store.

I catch myself doing things “the German way” on the daily, without even thinking about it. I start to correct myself but between you and me, I kinda like the German way.

I rock my Jack Wolfskin hausschuhe, loud and proud, even though our home is primarily carpeted and our wood floors are heated.

This Ausländer says what she means. English is not so much about what you say, but how you say it. German on the other hand, well, it is ruthlessly and unapologetically efficient. Continually catching me off guard, I often ended conversations by picking my jaw up off the ground. And what do you know? Four years in Germany and I, too, cannot be bothered with the niceties of the English language.

On Tuesday, I caught a woman tossing a plastic water bottle into the trash. I all but tackled her and shamelessly did a little dumpster diving. Recycle, people.

Now if only I could get my hands on a radler or some apfelschorle. I mean what good is a beverage if it doesn’t fizz?

I just don’t want to do some things the American way, and you can’t make me.

As excited as I was to return home, I left Germany kicking and screaming. Odd, considering how our last four months had gone, but true.

The thought of leaving my friends, Linden’s kindergartenthe apartment we called home for three years, the place Calder was born, my favorite bakery, and even Nahkauf (though I hated that place with every fiber of my being) was too much for me to bear. I couldn’t think about leaving without erupting in a full-on sob.

I actually kept track of how many times I cried on our last day … I stopped counting at nine.

I would miss sitting at my table at the Eventcafé, sipping on my latte macchiato with an extra shot and a little Baileys. I would miss being able to hop in the car and drive 170 on the Autobahn, just 45 minutes on the A4 to Kim’s house. I would miss the fresh produce markets and having the ability to walk everywhere.

I would miss our quiet, simple little life.

It is as surprising to me as it probably is to you, but we hopped off the plane at LAX, planted our feet firmly on American soil, and haven’t looked back since. I’ll fill you in on why soon enough (gonna let ‘er rip like I did in the good old days), but what I can tell you now is that we simply are not at a place where we can look fondly back on our time in Germany.

I don’t miss it. I just don’t. Not yet. 

Maybe when Tanja sends me a picture while wine tasting with Kim at the local vineyards. Maybe when Kym posts pictures of her November break adventures to her blog. Maybe when Allison and Clara post pictures to Instagram while drinking glühwein, bundled up at a game in the dead of winter.

Maybe after the dust settles.

Often against my will, I have put a lot of thought into this whole life after hockey thing. I have done my best not to build or hold on to expectations. ‘No expectations’ has been my mantra for the past six years; I literally preach that shit. But somewhere along the road to now, I slipped and unknowingly managed to create an expectation or two.

Calm. Predictable. Stable. Everything hockey is not. Weeks spent feeling important at my glamorous new job. Linden sprechen-ing sie Deutsche at his fancy German school. Weekends full of family adventures and Saturday morning cartoons in English. Too many wine nights with my girlfriends to count; picking up right where we left off.

The truth is that my reality isn’t exactly what I thought it would be and those expectations have been a grade A pain in my ass.

The truth is that life after hockey is busy and messy and the (pardon my French) hockey-related bullshit we are still dealing with doesn’t help. The truth is that I have spent most of my days at work trying to get my laptop to communicate with my docking station and my phone to not go straight to speaker every time I answer a call. The truth is that I have all but whored myself out trying to get Linden off the damn wait list and into the damn German school. The truth is that my weekends pass in the blink of an eye and come Sunday night I am left wondering where my time went and how I went two days without a shower or putting on real clothes and for the love of God, why can’t I manage to catch one episode of the Real Housewives of Orange County? The truth is that I feel a bit like an outsider within my group of friends.

But I am slowly realizing that it’s all okay. It just takes time and a little patience.

Sometimes, in the midst of it all, I lose sight of just how lucky we are.

My life may not be calm and predictable, but I am content right here.

I am happy to be forever home.

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