Last Christmas, we were at home with our families and Joe was extra excited to tune into the World Juniors after having missed it while abroad. When it was announced that the following year the tournament would be held in Sweden, Joe suggested we go. I answered with a nonchalant, "Maybe," and we dropped the subject. Later in the year, particularly after my epic 30th birthday celebration, I started pondering what we could do for Joe's 30th birthday when the two merged into one glorious plan.
While in Canada last June, I started formulating my master plan. My research told me that Canada would play USA on New Years Eve - at home, this would be the game that would rival all games, only trumped by a gold medal match. Emails went out to his colleague to see if he could be away for two days and I started researching the destination, Malmo. Over the next few months, game tickets were bought, hotel reserved, flights purchased and official jerseys brought over from Canada. Purchases were hidden in my Visa statements but the real challenge was holding Joe off. Not long after I began bringing the plan to fruition, Joe started laying on the heat hoping to go to Sweden. I was putting out fires left, right and centre, emailing friends after he emailed them hoping to organize something, creating all sorts of little white lies along the way. There were times where I was certain he'd buy tickets and I'd have to give up the secret but thankfully, we made it until Christmas morning when all was revealed.
He was stunned and ecstatic (or as ecstatic as my under-emotional husband can be.) I was relieved and so happy to have pulled it all off and on the morning of December 31st, we boarded our flight to Copenhagen ready to cheer on Canada.
It only got better as we settled into our seats at the arena. Despite the first game being Slovakia vs Czech Republic, the majority of the fans were Canadian and as we passed some time in the Fan Zone awaiting our game, we were hard pressed to find people other than Canadians. In fact, the entire pre-game show was directed towards us. And then of course, there was the big game.
We took over Malmo Isstadion and as our flag was raised marking our win at the end of the game to the tune of O Canada, a few tears might have sprung to my eyes. This Canadian, who sometimes forgets what it's like to be surrounded by her people, couldn't have been prouder.
Today, on this fourteenth day of January, I wish my husband a very Happy 30th Birthday!