Thursday, July 28, 2016

Daily Jamie


The Drink Of The Summer

I cut sugar from my diet a couple of months ago, with two exceptions: fruit and alcohol. The alcohol in moderation, I promise, but I am going to town on some fruit up in here because it's summer so it's cheap and tasty and it'd be foolish not to. Elderflower syrup does not fall into the alcohol category, even if I would only ever use it in a cocktail, so last year's summer drink, the Hugo, was a no-go. I needed a replacement, so I got online and found the solution: the Moscow Mule. It contains half of a ginger beer, which I love and which is surely packed with sugars of all kinds, but falls into one of the acceptable categories. Otherwise, with a shot of vodka (I used blueberry and it was delish), the juice from half a lime, and plenty of ice, it's a pretty nutritious treat. Go mix one up for yourself!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Daily Jamie

July 23rd
FIVE YEARS OLD!!!
July 24th
July 25th
July 26th

Party Time!

This little fella is five years old, you guys! Can you believe it? I hardly can. We had a party with Mama and Papa Swede, Gurra and Gunilla, and the Segerstens on his birthday, but the big event was the party for his friends (and their parents) on Monday. We invited a bunch of kids from the neighborhood expecting that many would be away on vacation, but almost everyone was able to come, which meant that our house was PACKED with kids. We opened presents and ate cake and snacks and played games, including this one where the kids threw darts to pop balloons with candy in them. I remember my mom did this for one of my brother's birthdays when I was around Jamie's age and I even remember exactly what was inside the balloon I popped. It was chaos, but Jamie had a great time and I think the other kids did too, so mission accomplished! I'm just glad we have a year before we have to do it again.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Daily Jamie


Lazy Days

The weather is glorious and we're just hanging around the neighborhood, playing Pokémon Go, swimming, cleaning, relaxing, and getting ready for some partying because tomorrow somebody turns FIVE!


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Daily Jamie

July 16th
Malmö
July 17th
Copenhagen
July 18th
Legoland
July 19th
Legoland
July 20th
On the road
July 21st
Home!

Legoland Or Bust

We are back home and settled after five days on the road, folks! Our trip started bright and early last Saturday morning, when we cozied up in the car for the six-hour trek to Malmö, Sweden's southernmost city, and neighbor to our destination: Denmark. We arrived in the early afternoon with plenty of time to explore the city. I'd never been to Malmö before, and while it's no Stockholm, it had a very cute old town and a gorgeous gothic church, which The Swede and Jamie were generous enough to let me drool over. 
The Swede downloaded Pokémon Go last Wednesday, so by Saturday Jamie was obsessed. This entire summer will be embossed in my mind with that game.
On Sunday morning, we drove over the bridge to Copenhagen and arrived just in time for the opening of Den Blå Planet  aquarium. It was cool, but The Swede and I agreed that the one where Becca had her wedding at the Toledo Zoo was actually much better. So if you want to go to an aquarium and have to pick between Toledo and Copenhagen, go with Toledo!
Then we walked around Copenhagen all afternoon, basically just looking for this adorable harbor that we've all seen in pictures. Yeah, I'm that tourist. It was even more adorable in person, though, and while still not quite as awesome as Stockholm, I did enjoy exploring the city.
After our long walk, we were pooped and it was time to check into the hotel in a really beautiful, old building right on City Hall Square. The view from our room, seen above, was pretty spectacular. Also noteworthy: it shared a wall with a KFC. Fried chicken for lunch AND dinner, you guys. 
Monday morning we woke up outrageously early to make the three-hour trip to Legoland and arrive before the gates opened. We succeeded, but within minutes of entering the park it started raining. It basically rained the entire time we were there, but we were prepared with waterproof jackets and seven months of anticipation in our back pockets.
Legoland did not disappoint. Jamie loved it, I loved it, and The Swede was already feeling angsty about having to leave shortly after we arrived. There were long queues and it seriously rained the entire time, but it was very fun.
We stayed at the Legoland hotel on Monday night and the whole place was set up for kids. Lego pits everywhere. Food shaped like Legos. Competitions (Jamie won a badass kit!), magicians, balloon animals! It was awesome. 
We didn't stay very long on our second day in the park, which worked out well because we were able to drive for seven hours and made it almost all the way home. We ended up getting a room a few hours south of Stockholm on Tuesday night because we were all so pooped, but that turned out to be one of our best choices on this vacation because the hotel was right next to a water park where we spent a few really fun hours before making our way home on Wednesday. Five days on the road doesn't seem like much when I think about it now, but it felt significant so we were really happy to get home. And now, with nothing else planned aside from Jamie's birthday party, we'll see where the summer takes us! 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Daily Jamie



July 11th
July 12th
July 13th
July 14th

Phase One

We've completed the first leg of our summer tour and are home now, washing our clothes, and packing up for our next adventure. We were up in Dalarna, per our usual, and have been swimming, bowling, visiting Tomteland  (Santa World. Apparently the big guy lives in the Swedish woods.), taking a tour of Sweden's most famous painter's century-old home, but mostly running through rain, avoiding rain, and drying off after being caught in the rain. Here's hoping there'll be a little sunshine in Denmark because next stop: LEGOLAND!!!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Daily Jamie

July 5th
July 6th
July 7th
July 8th
July 9th
July 10th

The Scoop

Last week, Jamie and The Swede were on vacation and went to the cabin. I still had to work and decided to spent the child-free time at home on painting our entire downstairs. So I painted for five to six hours after work each day, then headed to the cabin on Friday afternoon and spent the weekend there with the guys. This is why you haven't heard from me all week. And now I'M on vacation too and we're heading off on our annual Swedish summer tour tomorrow morning so I'm proooooooobably not going to do much blogging during the next couple of weeks. Maybe I'll just throw up some pictures now and again, who knows. Hope you all - and we! - have a wonderful, safe summer! XOXO!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Daily Jamie

June 30th
July 1st
July 3rd
July 4th

Vaxholm

Yesterday morning, we hopped into the car and, unbeknownst to me, headed toward the coast. I didn't know where we were going because The Swede made me keep my eyes closed in the car ride. I was very pleasantly surprised when I finally opened them and found myself on the archipelagic island of Vaxholm.
It's an idyllic little tourist town that offered beautiful old buildings and homemade ice cream cones eaten in front of a swanky hotel while yachts and sailboats drifted by. A little Swedish riviera.
Also, just a three-minute boat ride away, was a sixteenth-century fortress that is now a museum, café, bed and breakfast, and conference venue. Jamie was pretty pumped about the variety of old cannons all over the place, and The Swede was fascinated by the museum, which we unfortunately couldn't see all of because it was scary. Like, jump-up-sobbing-into-your-pappa's-arms scary. 
Tears aside, it was a beautiful day and we had an awesome time. Now The Swede and Jamie are officially on vacation and I have one week left of work before more long-awaited family time!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Daily Jamie


Beat The Heat

Saturday was actual day of Midsummer, which is basically Sweden's biggest bank holiday, so more businesses are closed that day than any other day of the year. Everyone is supposed to be outside, though, so it's not such a problem. We, however, thought that the mid-eighties temperatures were way, way too warm for hothouse flowers like us and headed to the mall. Halfway there, of course, it occurred to us that all of the shops would be closed. Not the movies, though! So for the first time ever, all three of us went to the movies together. We were the only ones in the theater so it was pretty luxurious. Afterwards, we went to a sports bar and restaurant that also happened to be open and played games and watched a European Championship match. It was still pretty warm when we headed home, but we definitely missed the worst of it and had an awesome time in the air conditioning.