February 07, 2007 10:19pm
Well, a lot went on in this first week of February… so in reverse chronological order, I’m going to offer some snapshots of what I’ve been up to.
Tonight: Home game v. Solna
We just lost to our rivals, but we fought hard. It was the most physical game that I’ve been part of in a loooong time and I’m proud of how our team didn’t back down. I am very frustrated with the loss for other reasons, though. We ended up losing by 17 I think, but the game hovered around 10 points from early in the first quarter (they got up quick) and stayed here until maybe 2 minutes to go in the game. We just had too many turnovers and weren’t quite tough enough physically. Erin attacked the basket well and I was relatively satisfied with how I did too. Though I didn’t hit as many threes as I would have liked too (didn’t shoot a great percentage), I did have some step-backs and really had to make them guard me. They stuck to me pretty well (or tried to) which opened lanes up for my teammates – I love when that happens! It’s unfortunate we lost and I am frustrated with many little things that happened in the game, but at least I feel satisfied that I (and I think the team too) really did try our best. Solna plays very well together. Perhaps we will see them in the playoffs. Those are the games that really matter.
Monday February 5th
My 23rd birthday started off with some popcorn, french-fries, and Super Bowl madness at O’Leary’s Sportsbar in Slussen. Malin, Jas, Erin, and Maria (an American who plays at Solna) all met up with me to watch the super bowl (and I guess to wish me a happy birthday too!). The bar was absolutely packed, mostly with males, and it was a great atmosphere to watch the game. I only made it a bit past halftime, and leaving early still didn’t get me into my bed till after 3am.
I woke up four hours later to meet-up with Leila and go to an international middle school to help teach English class. Leila and I taught four 6th grade classes. We were at the school from 8 to 3pm with a break for lunch. We teach them about “08 Values”: Teamwork, Responsibility, Commitment, Quality, and Respect (these are the 5 values our basketball club emphasizes in all we do). The kids were typical: some with attitudes, some helpful, some quiet, some with a little bit of troublemaking in them – but all-in-all, they were terrific! Two of the classes even sung me happy birthday. Some of the kids came to my game tonight, and I am looking forward to seeing more of the classes tomorrow when I return to the school in the morning to again help teach some more classes.
My birthday evening was pretty chill. We had practice, I ate at the gym’s café, and then returned home. Thinking that this was my first birthday without a cake and without speaking to my parents made me sad. However, that all changed: Andrea told me she’d bake me a birthday cake when she comes to visit AND I did eventually get to talk to my parents! Yay. I love them soooooo much! Plus, I wouldn’t be here without them, of course!! :) Their love and support for me is amazing. Leaves me speechless sometimes. I can only pray that someday if I’m blessed to be a mother, that when my kid wants to go to school across the country and then go live halfway across the world, I will say “yes, what ever makes you happy” and send them off with the same love and support that my parents have offered me.
Cards and Presents: Monday and Tuesday my mail slot was filled with cards and package-slips. Thank you so much to all of you who sent me birthday cards and packages. Thank you for thinking of me. Everything about all you sent me was perfect!
Fri Evening to Sunday Morning: All-Star Weekend
Erin and I were selected for the leagues’ all-star game, so we headed 4 hours southwest of Stockholm to Huskvarna for the all-star game. Huskvarna is a pretty small town, but there is a good basketball high school there and one of the league’s team, Brahe Basket, is situated here, as well. We arrived Friday night and had practice Saturday mid-morning. Being in a new place, I of course couldn’t just sit in the hotel room. So, I borrowed one of the hotel’s bikes, put on my hat (but forgot gloves!), and biked into town. The hotel was actually in Jonköping – a bigger town located right on a lake. I biked part way about the lake… though it was so windy I felt like I was going backwards and the lake was so huge that I couldn’t see the other side and its waves were crashing on the surrounding beaches. It was nice to get out and explore. I love new places!! You just never know what treasures you might find. It was my first time biking on ice and snow, but I managed ok. I ventured through downtown, the shopping district, science center (looked like a bunch of research facilities and/or school), theater house, and even stopped at a second-hand store (I just can’t pass those up!). I bought a green blanket, a breakfast bowl, and a pair of knitting needles :) My fingers were so cold from biking without gloves that I couldn’t even lock my bike when I parked it to go in the store or when I returned to the hotel. Oh, well. Thank goodness no one stole it!
The game itself was pretty fun. Haha. Our game plan was to be even with the other team after 3 quarters by not playing any defense and only trying a bit on offense. We had over 60 points in the first half and ended up scoring 120 for the game. In the 4th quarter we were really allowed to play. I shot 6 for 8 from 3-pt land. Erin was awarded MVP for our team (the North) and I won the 3-pt competition. Pretty successful day for 08 Stockholm. Plus, it was really fun to meet some of the other girls who play here. It was great too to be on a team again where everyone understands the game. You can just feel a difference on the court when people have “basketball sense” – you’re no longer just running around, but moving with a purpose. Anyway, it was fun! Madde and her brother made it to the end of the game to support Erin and I, but the rest of our team was having a bday party for Emma back in Stockholm. Wish I could have been in two places at once, but all around I’m definitely glad I was able to be a part of the all-star game. My bike ride was beautiful, I had an amazing walk and time spent with God on Sunday morning, and a little boy won a gigantic lollipop in a raffle during the game (so big that he couldn’t even carry it by itself!). Good weekend.