Friday, February 25, 2011

The Sketchy Side of Hockey

First and man is SAFELY HOME, Wohoo! Looking forward to an amazing off season, wedding and honeymoon in Cancun here we come!

But getting him here was not so smooth.  As I mentioned in my last post, Jokipojat's season had come to an end and he was basically partying waiting around for the team to fulfill his contract terms.  The terms were that he would be paid a certain amount every month and he would receive ALL of his money BEFORE he left Finland. Lets just say without going into to much personal detail, this did not exactly happen.  Which leads me to my blog title, the sketchy side of hockey.

Getting paid to play hockey most definitely sounds glamorous, but when you are actually living the lifestyle you get a big smack of reality now and again.  You have to remember that these guys' livelihood depend on them having a good game/bad game, what league they get signed to, how healthy and in shape they are, or how they get along with their teammates/coaches.  People often forget to take these variables (among others) into consideration when they are looking from the outside in.  Sure, it sounds awesome to play a sport you love and get paid for it when your are working a 9-5 job M-F, trust me I know, but there is literally NO JOB SECURITY.  All of that pressure along with a team that is sketchy about money makes me appreciate that pay check I know will be transferred into my bank account every Thursday that much more.

I have heard horror stories  from fellow bloggers (shout out to you hockey wife ;o), and quite frankly we were  LUCKY that Jokipojat honored most of Jordan's contract. We were also really lucky that he made some really awesome friends in Finland who helped him out when he was in a pinch this past week.  So I always say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger...and in this case SMARTER.  This year was tough but I feel we have learned a lot about playing in Europe and ins and outs of contracts.  Granted not every team will be the same but at least we can recognize those sketchy warning signs.  Here's to a hopefully not-so-sketchy season next year!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The "End of season bender"

Jordan was just on it...but let me back up a little.

Jokipojat season had come to a nail biting end last Wednesday when they overcame K-Laser with a 5-4 victory.  Now you may wonder why this last game might have been nail biting, (given that they were in 10th place), so let me explain the Mestis league playoff rules.  The top eight teams in the league make it to playoffs. The 9th and 10th place teams end their season. The 11th and 12th place teams have to play a 5 game relegation series to see which team will be moved down a professional level.  Jokipojat (Jordan's team) was only a point away from the 11th place team heading into the last game so it was make it or break it in terms of ending the season or extending the season for a 5 game series.  Obviously I was PRAYING they won so he could come home earlier and have this god awful season be over. 
Jokipojat was down 4-2 heading into the third period and I thought they were losing the game for sure.  Not to mention I looked up the 11th place team's game sheet and they were WINNING 7-1 which would have put them ahead of Jokipojat.  Luckily the big guy above was listening to my prayers, (and/or felt bad for the girl sitting at her desk constantly refreshing the game sheet and purposely not answering phone calls because she was so nervous haha), and they ended up winning the game.

Now, back to the end of season bender.
This is not a topic I am unfamiliar with.  Every year I get the same phone call. "Hill I am partying for four days straight".  Every year I always think to myself, "yeah right...he can't party for four days straight...he's way to old for that".  Every year I am mistaken haha.

I do not know why I question his partying status....maybe because he rarely goes out when he is at home and only a few times during the season...but man oh man does he ever prove me wrong.

This year I got a phone call just about every night around 1 a.m. (that's 8:00 a.m. in Finland).  Now these conversations are usually nice for me because I always get the mushy "Hill I Love you" type calls which is nice to hear, but I can't help but be concerned with what the Finns are thinking about this random Canadian (drunkenly) roaming the streets at all hours of the night/morning haha.  Hopefully they just thought he was missing a chromosome or two....or something along those lines....when they saw this face come around the corner:

Haha p.s. sorry Jord if your reading this....had to put a pic to make the story engaging :o) Love you!

Anyway, the end of season bender is finally over and it is now time for my man to leave Finland.  He should be home Thursday, (finger's crossed because you never know about flights when contracts and money are involved), and I am BEYOND excited!  I have to say I am so thankful that I got to visit a country that not many Americans have been to, BUT I am really glad the season is finally over.  Being away from Jordan is always hard during the hockey season and it was especially tough this year given that I couldn't just hop on a quick flight for a weekend. BUT QUEUE THE DANCE MUSIC, HE'S a'COMIN HOME!

Jordan may be bitter about the season right now, but it really was a chance of a lifetime to play hockey in Europe.  He will remember this experience the rest of his life and will always be able to say "Yeah, I played professional hockey in Finland".  Not many North Americans can say that.  So now we are looking forward to the future together and hopefully not saying "goodbye" to Europe but rather a "see you later".  Stay tuned to see where the Fox's (I can say that because we will be married wohoo!) end up next season!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Really slackin these days but...Stylish Blogger award wohoo!

Can't say that I've been on my A game lately in terms of blogging given that in my last post I couldn't even get dates right....literally, I had 3 people say to my face "Hill, loved your post but Valentines day in on Monday you dummy".  Ok ok, I only got the "you dummy" from one person,but I swear I could see that "dunce" hat in people's eyes haha.

Luckily my bloggy friends out there have forgiven me and I have been nominated for a Stylish Blogger award!

Thank you to Hockey Wife @ Face Off: The Life of a Hockey Wife for nominating me...I feel so special :o) Anyone who is interested in getting another Hockey Wife, (who is living in the UK), perspective on daily life go check out her blog!  Also thank you to people who follow me and readers in general...makes a girl feel good that people take the time to read my posts or wander around my site and leave comments!

Anyway I know a lot of you are familiar with this award but for those of you who aren't, you are supposed to share 7 things about yourself and then nominate other blogs that you feel are also "stylish".

So here goes...7 things you probably don't know about me:

1. I am a hair color/style changing whore (please excuse my french :o)
Some say I have a problem, like my hairdressers for one, but I say I like to keep things fresh.  Don't get me wrong I only dabble between blondes and browns but I do get a tad obsessive.  For instance, if I am blonde at the time and I see like a quarter inch of roots I will march my way down to my hair dresser that day.  You could say I'm impulsive or anal...and I would have to agree with both haha.  Here are some of many looks:

I may look happy in this picture...but inside I am die'n. Look at those ROOTS!!
ok this is really a wig but I DID seriously consider going red after halloween
This is my most current. It'll do...for now :o)

2. I was a Captain for my college Soccer team- GO Warriors!

3. I own a messy car.  Something I probably shouldn't share with people but none the less it make me ME.  Don't get my wrong it's not "dirty"....but there is A LOT of junk in it....from bathing suits to hockey sticks....I probably have every piece of clothing or piece of equipment you may ever need in my little car.

4. I am from the Boondocks.  Not sure if everyone know the term "boondocks" means so let me break it down for you.
  • The term boondocks refers to a remote, usually brushy rural area; or to a remote city or town that is considered unsophisticated.
Haha I laughed at that last part....why yes I am very unsophisticated haha.  Anyway, if your having trouble imagining what this might look like think of little house on the prairies...or cow tipping haha.
Basically I am from this extremely small rural town in Massachusetts that know one has ever heard of...not even people from MA.  I just say I'm from "boston" to make it easier which leads me to my next little tidbit about myself:

I'm not hating on people from Boston by any means because I absolutely love can you not ;o) But I really REALLY hate when someone has a strong Boston accent. Now I'm sure most of you would think I had an accent if we had an actual conversation, but I really do make an effort to pronounce my "R's" haha.  To me, a strong Boston accent sounds extremely unintelligent/trashy.  Case in point, Blake Lively in the move "The Town"; She plays a local from Boston and (tries) to have a Boston accent and just sounds plain retarded.  Which brings me to another point...I hate people who TRY to have a Boston accent even can't fake this stuff....but I digress...

6. I have an obsession with Michael Kors watches
I own a few now but I literally wish I owned all of them.  It pains me to walk through Macy's and stare at all of the one's that I don't own/can't afford.

My sister makes fun of my because everyday growing up I would fall down our stairs.  I'm not exaggerating...every day.  Jordan also makes fun of me for this but I secretly think he adores it :o)  When he first got to Finland I asked him how he liked his roommate and he said "yeah I like him...He actually reminds me of you...he runs into the door and trips over the rug ALL of the time".  Haha that totally made me's the little things people ;o)

Ok enough about me.  I'm not even sure how many people I am supposed to nominate for this but here's my run down of daily reading material.  Each of these blogs are written by interesting and "stylish" women so I encourage you to check them out!

A Day in the Life of a Hockey Wife
change on the fly: my life as a hockey wife
Mrs. K
TexaGermaNadian: My Life in 3 Countries
Liv*n Life
Travel Babbles: Living the (hockey) Life

Friday, February 11, 2011

Operation Keep Busy...aka Valentines Day

I know it's a little early to be blogging about Valentines Day but I rarely get a chance to post anything on the weekend so seeing that Valentines day this year is on Sunday I'm getting a post in today :o)

EDITED: Yes I realized that Valentines Day was actually today (Monday) after I posted this on Friday BUT like I said, I don't have to time on the weekends to blog.  Post is still relevant though :o)

Anyway, I have to admit I have a SERIOUS love/hate relationship with this day....(mostly hate, but I'm not looking to be a debbie downer today haha).  Why in world could I hate such a day? A day that serves as a reminder to celebrate the love you share with your significant other....A day that usually means fun presents you wouldn't normally get day in and day out....A day that is usually filled with love and romance...

Well it's because I haven't gotten to actually spend this 'day' with the one I love in 5 years.  Now years past, I have filled this void with activities such as the Valentines Day Massacre.  What in the HELL could that be might you ask?  Well it was actually a anti-valentines day beer pong tournament we had our Junior and Senior year of college.  I don't particularly know why, but we all decided it would be best to wear jerseys or have matching team uniforms and just spend valentines day having a huge party.

Class'n it up on V-day Junior Year

Keepin the tradition going Senior Year

Once we graduated I LUCKILY, had good friends back home to keep me occupied and we had an "8th grade dance" style Valentines day party.

Insert a year or two of "wallowing" by myself and thus leads us to this years Valentines day.  I hate to say it but my "valentines massacre" and "act like it's an 8th grade dance and get wasted" days are over. (p.s. I never drank in 8th grade I was just trying to think of a clever name haha)  Yes, unfortunately I've had to "grow up" realize I can't party like I used to and settle for a low key Valentines day. 

To be honest I'm ok with that this year ONLY because I get to spend it with my favorite girl in the world, my niece Julia :o)

So for those of you who have to be away from your Significant Other this Valentines Day I totally feel for you....I suggest keeping as busy as you can! It has worked for me in years past.  Those of you who get to spend some face to face time with the one you love, please try to enjoy it and be thankful.  Hopefully this will be the last Valentines Day I have to spend without my main squeeze so I most definitely look forward to actually being able to see him on this day for years to come!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dumb Blogger

Rest a-sure, I am talking about myself :o)

Sooo I don't think I can consider myself a "new blogger" anymore but MAN OH MAN, it seems like it.  Thanks to Ky @ Travel bables for introducing me to For The Love of Blogs because they have an awesome tips and tricks page for new bloggers and how to get started.  I was shocked when I found out that I don't even have the basics down.  For instance...I never realized that I didn't have a Google Friend connect button (or as I refer to it a "follow me" button) which is one of the first steps to blogging.  How am I supposed to get followers if they can't find a way to follow me?  Next dumb move....pages.  Sure I've seen them on other blogs but I guess I never really took the time to investigate adding them to my blog.  Anyway, I thought I would let you bloggers know that I have added a GFC button and some new pages if your interested!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Are you proud to be a hockey wife or girlfriend?

I'm sure most of the women who follow my blog would say ABSOLUTELY, but the reason I ask is because my opinion has changed over the years.

Let me explain.

When I was entering college at the ripe age of 17 (yes I was younger then most college freshman) I had learned that hockey was "kind of a big deal" at my school because it was the only Division 1 sport at the college and the team was in one of the best conferences in the States.  With that said a couple of days before leaving for school I had a nice little conversation with my sister that went along the lines of

Sister-  "What ever you do STAY AWAY from the hockey players.  They are BAD NEWS".
Me- "Yeah that's what I heard. I'll never get involved with one of "those" guys.  There's no WAY I'll ever let people think I'm a puck slut bunny."

Little did I know that only after a few months into my Freshman year I would be dating and years later be marrying one of "those guys".

Back to the Point.  The fact of the matter is that Hockey player's get a really bad reputation, whether it is warranted or not.  And I tend to find it especially bad with smaller schools like the college I attended.  The problem that comes along with this is that the "bad rep" not only effects the hockey player himself, but also  the significant other.  Now this situation might be different for those hockey couple's who attended larger schools so I would love to hear your comments if your experiences are different then mine, but let me give you an example of what I am talking about.

 After I started dating Jordan I always found my self avoiding the fact that he played hockey. I would always feel awkward when people asked "What is he like in general? What is he into at school? Does he play sports?"  No matter how hard I tried to avoid the topic it would always come out that he played hockey.  Now I know I shouldn't have been "avoiding" those questions because people just wanted to get to know him and who I was spending my time with BUT the reactions I got when I told them he played hockey definitely validated my reasoning for dodging the subject.  Practically every time I told someone I was dating a hockey player I would get "the look".  What's "the look" might you ask? It's when someone looks at you and thinks (or says out loud) "Really? Your dating one of those scumbags? You must be an IDIOT".  You know...those seriously judgemental looks.  Now most of these people who I got "the look" from knew nothing about hockey or the player's themselves but affected how I felt about dating a hockey player.

Fortunately things have changed since I graduated from college and Jordan became a Professional hockey player.  Sure I get "looks" now and again, but they are different kind of looks.  Most of the looks I get now are mostly interested, (sometimes) envious, and still sometimes judgmental but all in all they have gotten so much better.  Maybe it's because I am more mature and don't really care what kind of "looks" I am getting or maybe it's because the hockey WAG stereotype has changed a bit.  Whatever has changed I can honestly say I am proud to tell people about Jordan and let them know that he plays hockey for a living. 

Have your opinions changed fellow hockey WAG's?  Readers who have opinions on hockey relationships/relationships in general? Let me know your thoughts :o)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Am I back in Finland?

It sure feels like it.  It has been snowing like CrAzY in Massachusetts and all around the States lately.  I've spent MANY hours in my car trudging along the highway watching people slip off the road and get into some serious fender benders the past couple days.  What's up with this weather?  I have to laugh at myself for asking this question because this is not even CLOSE to what it's like in Finland....but it almost Spring yet?

This weather has caused me to go on a SERIOUS blogging hiatus which I am not cool with. So I'M BACK...and with a vengeance.  Expect some good reading material from me in the next couple of days!

Speaking of Finland, the season is winding down for Jokipojat and I should expect to see Jordan at Logan airport in a couple of weeks...Wohoo!! Yes my friends, I am EXTREMELY excited but I'm not sure I can say the same for my man.  I have to say this season has been less than stellar for Jordan playing in Finland.  I think he had a hard time getting used to the size of the ice, a new position for most of the season, a coach change, no one speaking English on the ice, and getting used to the Finnish style of play.  Not that I am making excuses for him (well i guess I sort of am) but I think these all contributed to a less than awesome season for him  Not to mention his team, who won the championship last year, is now most likely not even making playoffs.  Just plain old crappy season for Jokipojat as a whole.

I guess we just gotta make like Jay-Z and move on to the next one.

So with the last few weeks of the season always comes the dreaded "End of Season Lull".  I would like to take full credit for coining this phrase if other hockey WAGs (unfortunatley) experience this ;o).  What is the End of Season Lull might you ask?  Well it's that point of the season where you are talking on the phone (if you are in a long distance relationship) and you have absolutley NOTHING to say to eachother.  Now this may only happen between me and Jordan but I suspect it HAS to happen for other couples too.  Especially those couples who have been together for a long time and who have been doing the long distance thing for a I right?  Anyway This end of season Lull is nothing new....I think it has been happening every year since Jordan has turned Pro.  None the less, I am so over it.  Let me give you an example:

Jordan: Heyyy babe whats up
Me: Oh know...same old same old

Me: What are you up to?
Jordan: Ummm nothing much...

silence ensues...........

Me: How was practice?
Jordan: Good

more silence....

Me: Cool......


Ok I am not going to make you endure the End of season Lull that I have to go through  but you get the point.  And I might be exaggerating a tad...but that example is really not too far off.

It's not that we didn't do something that day or something else is actually going on that we could talk about but it's just "whatever".  And it's not one person or the other... (ok it's secretly Jordan but I am active participant in the conversation so he can't take ALL of the you hunny :o). There is just no excitement in the end of season  when your team is doing bad.  This makes two season's in a row the Lull has been painfully strong.  Luckily I am pretty used to the Lull now because if I weren't I think I would be seriously questioning our status as a couple...or questioning how interesting of a person I actually am haha.  Anyway the Lull should be over in about 2 weeks...wish me luck until then!