2018 Goals

20171230_153236Today is the last day of 2017. Can you believe it? I’m thankful, but I still can’t believe it. In my head, I’m stuck somewhere around dandelion season and every time I walk outside the freezing temperatures remind me it’s winter.

I’m happy we’re saying goodbye to 2017 tonight. Nothing fancy for us. A cheese and salami plate. Some champagne. A sparkler or two.

And eating my goals.  Read more

Merry Christmas 2017

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2017, it’s hard to believe you’re almost gone. Only a few days left to celebrate the holiday spirit, and to be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about that. Celebration isn’t a word I would use to describe the past few weeks. We didn’t get the tree up and decorated until a week before Christmas. And that little heart wreath we usually put on the door? It’s still in a box somewhere. The Elf must have felt sympathy for us, because it didn’t show up this year, either. Our kids are convinced he couldn’t find our new home because we moved.

Yeah. That’s what happened.

It’s not that we hate Christmas. We are just so so tired. Read more

World Book Day 2017

Sunday, April 23, 2017 is World Book Day!

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My son loves these books!

Most of the holidays I see advertised are always ‘National’. National Friendship Day, National Novel Reading Day, or National I like the Color Yellow Day. Sometimes it bothers me, this ‘National’ business, because I want to point out there’s an entire world out there. Why can’t we have more International days? But then I decide it’s all good in the end anyway, because I can’t keep up with all the different holidays. Read more

2015 – Did it!

I keep a ‘Did it!’ list to remind me of my accomplishments throughout the year, because I tend to forget them. Despite all of my good intentions, I’m an emotional creature and the events that happen throughout the year that pull on my emotions stick with me way longer than anything else.

2015 was a tough year for us as a family. Our children began the year at a school we can only describe as atrocious. We finally got them into a new school, but had to overcome the transitional challenges. In the process, we discovered our daughter had autism. We’re still fighting our way through the system to get help and support. Last year, my husband also started a new job that required him to put in a tremendous amount of effort, from late nights to little or no vacation. We’re exhausted because all of these things took up, and continue to take up, most of our physical and emotional energy. Many of my own personal goals were pushed to the side and as 2016 dawned, I really, really, really looked forward to a new year.

But when I went back over my ‘Did it!’ list, I realized I did a lot this year.
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God Fortsättning

Swedes say ‘God Jul’ for Christmas.

For New Year’s, they say ‘Gott Nytt År’.

For the days in between, they say ‘God fortsättning,’ which literally translated means ‘good continuation,’ and as you’ve probably figured out by now there isn’t really an equivalent in English. I love this phrase, though. It’s a way to say, ‘I hope you continue to enjoy these moments, the holiday season, and the time with your family.’

We’ve had a wonderful Christmas. Nice and mostly calm (I’m focusing on the positive here), with only a few germs hanging around making us sniffle and our heads all stuffy. The elf packed up. Santa came, dropped off some presents, ate some milk and cookies and even left a note. We watched Frosty and read some Christmas stories. The kids played, and played, and fought just a little, only to turn around and play some more. Somewhere in all this craziness we celebrated my son’s birthday, complete with ice cream oreos and giant red lightsabers.

We’re almost ready for the new year. We’re still thinking about this year, though, in addition to the one right around the corner. The decorations are still up, the kids LOVE the snow that arrived two days ago and I’m enjoying this time in between. I hope your holidays have been nice and whether you’re jumping ahead to the new year, or don’t want to let this one go, I want to wish you a god fortsättning. I’ll see you next year =).

The Elf Wants to Retire

20151214_093129Our elf’s name is Wackack and he’s been with our family for about five years now. As I’ve mentioned before, the elf is a special tradition our family enjoys every year. He means a lot to us. Christmas is still magical for the children and that elf is one of the main reasons, not to mention it was given to us by a very special person. I honestly thought he’d be with us forever.

But this is the year our oldest daughter starts hearing from her friends about the sham. On the playground they’ll roll their eyes and share all the secrets they’ve uncovered about Christmas. The Santa mask they found in the back of their dad’s sock drawer. The presents they discovered already wrapped under the bed. I’m not sure what we’ll say when she comes asking questions (other than, ‘Why are you digging around in your father’s sock drawer?‘). I haven’t thought this far in advance and I should have. Read more

Resolutions I Didn’t Make

DSC_1573 (450x800)If you had asked me about my New Year’s resolutions ten days before Christmas, I would have talked your ear off. You see, I’m a list person. I LOVE lists. I love plugging things into calendars and marking off dates. I love making notes, any kind of notes, as long as they involve paper and some type of ink. Because really, there’s no better way to say ‘organized’ than to have hundreds of scraps of paper lying around scribbled with messages like ‘Dinosaur hunt, Tuesday 1pm’ or ‘green robot’ on them. Occasionally, I’ll jot down something more adult oriented, like ‘God, I need wine!’ Okay, no, I’ve never written that. But I’ve wanted to–too many times to count. Sometimes, I’ll write the same information in *gasp* two different locations. If you couldn’t guess, I am an information freak and the one character trait I can’t get rid of, no matter how hard I try, is I love making lists. I will write things on the list, just so I can cross it off the list. No lie. Read more

Good Things Jar Celebrates Happy Moments

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photo copyright: Cas Blomberg

It feels like yesterday the sun lit up the entire day and we were wondering whether to hit the beach or not. Then BAM! A few grey months drifted past, Christmas came and now I’m looking outside the window at a brand new year.

Like most humans on the planet, I do look back at the good things, but I tend to remember the disappointments. For some reason the things that didn’t happen, or the things that hurt, become more powerful than all the small things that didn’t. Or, I look forward to the fantastic things that are going to happen. It’s like I WANT to focus on the positive, so I look forward, where nothing negative lives yet. The future is full of positivity :). I found as a family, we skipped over the small, but enjoyable moments that happened throughout the year. Maybe the daily grind presses in around us and that fun lunch date we had gets lost amid the bill payments and tire changes.

So two years ago, I got an idea. Read more

The Importance of Traditions

copyright Cas Blomberg
copyright Cas Blomberg

If ten years ago you had told me I’d be living in Sweden in 2014, waiting for the snow to arrive on a chilly December day, I’d have called you crazy. I would have also been wrong.

As I stare at our tree, I get the feeling the year sort of zoomed past without me knowing about it, and maybe it’s the lack of snow, but I don’t feel the Christmas spirit yet.

It can’t be for lack of trying on the country’s part. Our local shopping center is lit up with stars, glittering tinsel and a giant Christmas tree guards the movie theater. Christmas fika invites keep popping up on Facebook. Most of the Christmas markets have opened. Yet the best word that can sum up my Christmas feelings is ‘meh’. I don’t want to walk around humming the Little Drummer Boy. I even made my own Christmas coffee, hoping it would drag me begrudgingly into the proper frame of mind. Did it work? Nope (coffee was fantastic, though!). Read more

Ten Things I’m Thankful For

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Today is Thanksgiving in the states. Our family won’t celebrate until Sunday because even if the history included a bountiful feast in the nation’s early days, for some reason Sweden doesn’t celebrate any holidays between midsummer and Christmas.

I keep seeing all the Thanksgiving posts on Facebook and Twitter and I became sad. I’m missing all the fun! So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought I’d share ten things I’m thankful for in my life:

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