Remember in the beginning of A Christmas Story when everybody is stopping outside a department store (IN DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, INCIDENTALLY!) and checking out the window display? I got a major flashback to that scene yesterday morning when Sarianne and I took a walk around Stockholm city and came upon a crowd outside of NK checking out a half dozen incredibly well-thought-out and executed window displays.
Well I just got done bawling my dang eyes out. See, Sarianne booked a hotel room here in Stockholm because she had a blog event to go to tonight. She invited me to come stay with her, hang out in the city this afternoon and do some shopping tomorrow morning, and get some rare alone time while she was at her event. It was a glamorous plan and I made it even more glamorous by deciding to spend most of the evening in the hotel room by myself with Netflix and dumplings to-go. I did a thorough investigation of the movie selection and ultimately picked Steel Magnolias, an obvious choice because I've never seen it despite its status as a well-loved classic and because I'm never going to get The Swede to watch it with me so I need to take advantage of the alone time. Also, I thought it would be pretty safe because I already knew how it ends and believed that knowing would keep me from getting too sad. But I was wrong, clearly. I still feel pretty good about my choice, though, if for no other reason than The Swede would have cried ten times more than I did if I had ever been able to convince him to watch it. I'm happy to have spared him that.
Each November I do a delicate dance with my mother-in-law. She doesn't know we're dancing, but we are. In this dance, I start decorating for Christmas sometime between mid-November and the first Sunday of Advent whilst fervently making sure she doesn't find out. Just to be clear: there is nobody I know who is more into Christmas decorating than she is, but Mama Swede is a purist and would never dream of putting out even one of her hundreds of Santas before Advent. She's never said as much to my face (though once she commented on my blog), but I'm quite sure she's pretty disappointed by my Christmas decorating habits. So I don't put anything in the window in case she should happen to drive by. I make strategical choices, like the amaryllis I put on the front porch, which can be categorized as more of a winter item than a Christmas one, should I ever be pressed to explain myself. And this... well, this isn't a Christmas doormat, it's just kurbits, that's all. I've being doing this dance for the past week, putting a lot of effort into my strategery, when The Swede went ahead and revealed on The Molsta Group that I was about to hang Christmas curtains. Mama Swede responded with a cringing emoticon. My mobile device throbbed with disappointment (disgust?) in my hand. I went to my choir rehearsal later that evening feeling shameful and resentful of The Swede's big mouth and then was TOTALLY REDEEMED when I arrived at the church and saw this glorious sight. If The Swedish Church gets to decorate for Christmas before Advent, then by gosh, so do I!
On Friday we hosted the final round of the now annual dinner party competion with Mama and Papa Swede and Gurra and Gunilla. We went with the theme The European Union so we served Spanish sangria, French brie-stuffed croissants, Italian tortellini, and German chocolate cake. We weren't planning on it, but at the end of the meal we remembered that my pops had given us a bottle of Dutch ChocoVine back in September. Because it fit so well into the theme (and because ChocoVine seemed like the kind of thing that requires moral support to try) we decided to bust it open for the occasion. And just as my father promised, it was unexpectedly awesome and totally worth its weight in our luggage. I daresay ChocoVine may have scored us some extra points and if that's what pushed us over the edge I owe my pops a thank you because we totally won!
Yesterday Jamie and The Swede went to see Monster Jam, an event we've all been looking forward for months and months. It's always been the plan that just the two guys would go, but even I've been excited because Jamie has been obsessed with monster trucks for a while now and I was pumped for him to get to see them live. Since I knew they'd be busy all day, I made plans to meet in the city with the girls. Shaena and Erin and I met and ate a sushi lunch then Erin and I continued on to Centralbadet, a bathhouse oasis in the middle of the busiest area of the city. We jacuzzi'd and sauna'd till we looked like raisins and it was dark when we came out. Super relaxing, needless to say. And then, when I got home, we got to share all the deets of our awesome days.
My supervisor was out of sight for a couple of days last week, which is awesome in and of itself, heh. No, just kidding, he's actually the coolest. But anyway, I didn't see much of the guy until Thursday afternoon when he showed his face to report that he had finished building a wall of cabinets in our showroom and it was my turn to contribute. As I said, he's the coolest and totally saved the best (read: only good) part of construction, peeling off the cellophane, for me. It's a great job I have, this one.
Since All Saints Day is, like, a real holiday here, our company is only open during the morning on October 31st so we took a half day of vacation and made a long weekend out of it.
So on Friday we took a long drive down to Kalmar, where AIK would play the final match of the season on Saturday afternoon. The Swede had booked tickets to the match and a hotel room months ago just in case the team did really well this season and Saturday's match would have been the championship. It didn't work out that way, but we still had fun.
Kalmar is a really charming city right on the sea. With lots of beautiful architecture and a visitor-friendly layout, we enjoyed walking around on Friday evening and Saturday morning.
While The Swede was at the match on Saturday afternoon, Jambo and I hung out at Ikea, which was conveniently right next to the stadium. Afterwards, we headed to Söderköping and spent the night with the Segerstens.
There are a heck of a lot of mediocre apps for kids out there, many of which I'd hardly expect Jamie to like and most of which require a purchase to use the app to its fullest. Imagine my surprise, then, when I downloaded Boca Band on the suggestion of Naomi at Love Taza and have loved playing with it just as much as Jamie. I don't ever play games on my phone and I seldom pay for an app, but I would recommend this fun, easy-to-use, three-dollar purchase to anyone.