Today we got back from a lovely Easter and The Swede's birthday weekend at the cabin. Beyond the usual (i.e. The Swede and his parents and Sarianne working while the rest of us relax, good food, afternoon naps and a lot of child-induced chaos) we did some geocaching. It was super fun when we did it around home last fall and even better with more people and when the treasure is hidden deep into the woods. If I get my wish, we will do this every time we're in Molsta this summer. Just as long as it's not during my nap time.
The neighborhood's Most Enthusiastic Candy Distributor, yours truly, was ready with a sizable load of candy for the kiddos today. I bought three bags (wrapped, because Icome from a place where loose, bulk candy is probably poisoned and I can't wrap my mind around these naive Swedish norms), ready to let the neighborhood witches dig in for a big handful because I like to be that cool (old) lady who lets you take a bunch of pieces. After a couple of hours I saw these charming girls outside again and they said to me, "Do you want to take our picture? Our parents said you can put it on the Internet if you want." Don't mind if I do.
One of the most tangible and appreciated signs of spring around these parts is when they clear the streets and sidewalks of the layers and layers of gravel that was spread with every snowfall all winter. We had a very mild winter, but there was still a ton of the stuff and it's been threatening to trip Jamie up every morning as he dashes to school so getting rid of it is a relief to this tense mama. Seeing the guys out early this morning cleaning up the gravel with their leaf-blowers made me incredibly happy and I can say that I was not the only one.
The final season of Mad Men had it's premier last night, in case you live under a rock, so that means I have no choice but to spend my evening with Don. Forgive me if I'm a little too preoccupied to blog properly.
After a long conference, a long day of travel and a couple of attempts to make a dent in this jet lag, I'm back into the swing of things. And what better way to resume my regular schedule than to bring Jambo over to Erin's to spend the afternoon with a few of my Central European Time favorites! I'm even pumped to get back to work tomorrow and put all the stuff I learned into practice. It's more than great to be home, but I'm missing Mom and the rest of my Cleveland family and friends and just feeling thankful to have such wonderful people in so many time zones.
Greetings from the thick of a Swagelok conference, where my colleagues and I are being plied with as many snacks as best business practices and being entertained to within an inch of our lives in the evenings. There's been gambling and zip lining, and lots and lots of food and drinks. It is a lot of fun but I'm not sure I've ever been so tired and I don't even remember what it feels like to be even a little bit hungry. Thank goodness I'm staying at Mom and Ray's and getting a bit of peace and quiet in between all of the intensity.
Hiya, dudes! Sorry I haven't been around for a few days, but I flew to the States, hung out with my mom and Ray, met up with girlfriends, shopped till I dropped, spent an afternoon at my grandparents' with family and an evening at a conference kick-off dinner and just didn't get a chance to prioritize the blog. You have my most sincere apologies. Today was the actual first full day of the Marketing and Communications Conference for Pillars of the Organization and it was a loooong day. We started with breakfast at 6:30 and now I'm just getting home at almost midnight. I met some great people, got to know others even better, and was able to squeeze in some time with some of my favorites from the old days at the Hard Rock Rocksino this evening, so it's been a day packed full of fun. It will be another long day tomorrow soI hope I fall asleep quickly, not just because I need the sleep but so I don't have to think about how much I miss The Swede and Jamie. If you don't hear from me again for awhile it's because I'm picking low hanging fruit or some other business metaphor that makes me sound much more intelligent than I actually am. Peace.
This week I decided not to eat carbs so that all of my best business casual attire would fit properly at a conference next week. It is a good thing that I set such a strict dietary boundry, too, otherwise I'd be making excuses to cram marzipan alligators and chicks into my pie hole for sure.
The Swede and another colleague and I went to an eCommerce trade show this morning to get some ideas, make some contacts and generally TCB. That's Taking Care of Business in case you're not one of us. After I had done a round, I took a moment to check how things were going back at the office (or, ahem, check the latest on Facie) while The Swede walked around a bit more. After several minutes my phone plinged, a message from my husband. He had sent this picture that he had just taken, apparently whilst discreetly admiring his oblivious wife. He's either very sneaky or there were some very interesting items on my newsfeed.
We spent the weekend at the cabin, the first Molsta weekend of the year, and it was really, really nice. Spring is here (I hope) and even though it's just the bulbs and the tiniest buds on the bushes that seem to be growing, there are butterflies, bees and lots of sunshine keeping us outside. The other thing keeping me from the keyboard and, therefore, the blog, is a great book that my mom recommended: Me Before You. I'm not a big reader (aside from blogs, that is) but when I do happen to pick up a good book I can't put it down and that's been the case with this one for sure. I have about a third of the book left and have to finish before Friday because I'm flying to Cleveland and can't finish it on the plane as it is apparently a huge tearjerker. Any recommendations for some good travel reads to replace this one? Current best-sellers are the easiest to find in English here. Anyway, that's what we've been up to. Hope life - and spring - is treating you all well, too!
Tuesday was Waffle Day (the name of this religious holiday kinda... not really but KINDA... sounds like waffle in Swedish) but I had planned a different dinner so we ate 'em yesterday instead. Everybody pitched in, which made them even tastier. Almost five years here and I still can't get enough of the baked-goods holidays!
It's finally light enough to go outside after dinner and we've been doing so the past couple of days at Jamie's insistence even though it's not quite warm enough to be particularly enjoyable for those of us who don't have a full winter overall. Last night we went and played some football, or rather The Swede showed off his skills while Jamie begged for the ball. As you can see he eventually got it, although not exactly in the way he may have hoped. Also, I'm beginning to see a pattern.
Jamie and I had planned to meet up with Erin and her guys at a flea market for children's items while The Swede helped a buddy move today, but Jamie slept too late for us to make it. I didn't sleep in, unfortunately, but I must admit it was nice having a few hours to clean up around the house and catch up on some stuff without the toddler underfoot. When Jamie did finally get up and I could convince him to put some pants on, we headed out into a gorgeous day and played in the park for a bit before going to The Butterfly House. It's an indoor rainforest with butterflies, turtles, fish and sharks located on the edge of a huge park where the crown princess's residential castle happens to be located. There were a ton of people there, but not so many that Jamie and I couldn't enjoy a fika and a long stroll around and around and around the steaming hot butterfly rainforest and back and forth again and again in front of a giant tank of sharks where Jamie made friends with another, slightly-older shark enthusiast. It was exhausting, but a great way to spend a weekend afternoon.
On Wednesday evening I took a four-hour train ride to Göteborg and checked into a hotel, just for the night, because I had a course on effective tradeshow exibits the next morning. The course was great and I'm glad I pushed to attend, but traveling and staying in hotels is just no fun if you're alone. I am not as adventurous as I once thought I was and I just don't require that kind of alone time. Every quiet moment doing whatever I wanted at my own pace was just another moment closer to being with The Swede and Jamie.
We usually go to the mall and run errands on our lunch break, but today Linda and I popped in at the thrift store next door instead and let me tell you, I'm never going back to the mall again. They had the best stuff there! Slap a coat of paint on anything in the place and it's Pinterest-worthy. The best thing is, these Swedes don't seem to know how awesome their junk is. They're donating old crapola that would be considered valuable antiques by American standards, and very well-priced antiques at that. I had to hold my hands in my pockets to keep from buying up a whole lotta stuff we probably don't need and promised to do an inventory at home before coming back to buy a couple of items which I will then slap some paint on and brag about on the Internet.
Yesterday was Ossian's second birthday party, a low-key affair, or so one might expect given that only two families were invited. Thing is, with those families came three boys to add to the two that already live there and the result was a lot of craziness. I missed it, but Erin snapped this picture of what I can imagine was just a few short seconds of peace when all of the mobile boys came together around what is obviously The Best Toy In The World. When I look at this picture I see a lot of very expensive grocery bills in all of our futures.
It was just Jambo and I last night so we decided to have a movie party, stay up late (that's nine o'clock, for you non-parents) and pig out on pepperoni rolls and candy. We missed The Swede, but had a pretty cozy time just the two of us.