Thursday, April 28, 2016

Daily Jamie

Folk Barf, More Like

I can't stop gagging. I'm going about my business, living my life, reading a tourist magazine, when I made the mistake of reading about that lovely crown pictured there. It's made out of HUMAN HAIR, you guys! Oh no, I'm gagging again. Apparently when fashions changed in the 1700's, the wig makers were out of work so they resorted to making this disgusting, so-called "folk art" instead. Apparently that was before the dole, which is a shame because the wig makers' unemployment leading to this catastrophe was something I'm sure any tax payers of the time would have been thrilled to have contributed to the prevention of. How, how, how can this admittedly intricate and seemingly painstakingly-woven… what… accessory?… even be in the same category as this glorious beast? 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Daily Jamie

The Beginning Of A New Era

You guys! Erin and Svante are selling their apartment on the south side of Stockholm, an hour away, and moving into a house just FIFTEEN MINUTES from our place! I am PUMPED, to say the least. They had the showing for their apartment this past Sunday and since you need to get kids out of there to clean up all their crapola beforehand, Erin came over with the boys for brunch. Pancakes, fruit salad, lots of coffee, and chaos was on the menu. And even though I'm still finding Legos in odd places, I'm looking forward to much more of this kind of thing in the future. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Daily Jamie

April 20th
April 21st
April 23rd
April 24th
April 26th

Hangout For The Modern Family

I am so excited for Sarianne right now, guys! She and her friend Aja, who I met at Sarianne's last party and who is a doll, started a lifestyle website totally from scratch. It's called Womsa, a combination of the word woman and their initials. They've been working hard for months getting the concept together, recruiting bloggers, working with web designers, and surely lots more that I can't even imagine to get the website off the ground. Even yours truly got to play a small part by designing the blog header and logo, which was so much fun and so different than the design projects I usually do at work. Sarianne is giving up a lucrative role as a top blogger on another portal for this passion project and I'm so impressed by her bravery and drive. This site is in Swedish and it's not quite finished yet, but check it out and I'm sure you'll get an impression of how much they've put into it. Oh! And they have a Facebook page and an Instagram account, too, so be sure to follow them there. Then keep checking back at because I'm positive it's going to be totally amazing and will for sure be one of my favorites.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Daily Jamie

No Regular Day

It's The Swede's birthday! Gah, I just love that guy so much; I'm celebrating him every day in my heart, trying not to constantly make too big of a stink of it so as not to annoy everybody around me. That's my battle, people: keeping my mouth shut about how crazy I am about this man so the rest of you find me tolerable. I'm not alone. Yesterday Jamie made a wish on a loose eyelash and couldn't keep it to himself. He wished, he told us seconds later, that Papa would have a fun birthday. Not the easiest task when it falls on a Monday, but I hope breakfast in bed, a new pair of sneakers, pizza dinner, and a surprise visit from his (also devoted) fishing buddies made for a pretty decent birthday in any case.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Daily Jamie

April 6th
April 7th
April 9th


Well, this is actually a terrible picture of nothing, but it was all that I got from today's big event, namely a ceremony for the newest Swedish citizens in our municipality. I got my citizenship quite a while back, but I guess they were collecting more newbies before they went ahead with an official celebration. Unfortunately, The Swede couldn't come because it's the Swedish Masters of ice-fishing, but Jamie made an excellent date. A pianist (and fellow singer in my choir, incidentally) and a violinist played traditional songs, we sang the national anthem, and each new citizen - there must have been fifty of us - walked up on stage and received a certificate and a beautiful hand-blown glass dish stamped with the municipality's insignia. Then we were treated to a delicious smorgÄsbord and Jambo and I both ate until our stomachs hurt. While we were in line for the buffet, we met an Australian (and now, apparently Swedish) woman who lives in the next neighborhood over from us now and who lived in Chagrin Falls, Ohio for four years during her early teens. That would be the Chagrin Falls that's fifteen minutes from my grandparent's house. Small world. That coincidence, and the lovely event itself, made my day and I'm so glad we went.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Daily Jamie

March 3rd
March 4th
March 5th


Look who was lucky enough to get to hang out with Erin twice within three days! This lady! We went to see Room last Tuesday night and yeah, we had a really nice time, but it was also two hours of the most anxiety and sorrow to pass through my body, like, probably ever. I don't think Erin really knew what to do with me, sniffling, shoulders heaving, literally shaking for a twenty minute span. Thank goodness we're moms and had a ton of tissues with us. What a movie. Go see it if you have a strong, healthy heart.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Daily Jamie

March 30th
April 2nd 

Today's Warriors

This is the first weekend in months that The Swede didn't have a fishing competition and Jambo and I are so happy to have him around! After lunch we drove out to the country and took a walk through the woods on a thousand-year-old Viking road to a burial site consisting of six gigantic rock piles (the actual graves) and the labyrinth my Vikings are following above. We talked a lot about how the Vikings' bodies had returned to the earth and eventually turned into the moss and shrubs we were walking on and the trees all around us, and imagined how the stunning view of the MĂ€laren from where we stood might have looked to the people who lived there a millennium ago. There wasn't a modern thing in sight, only the plants were new, so the view must have been very much the same.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Daily Jamie

March 26th
March 27th
March 28th

Easter Weekend 2016

We've spent the past several Easters at the cabin, but this year The Swede and Papa Swede planned a five-day-long fishing trip up north, so everyone else ended up going their separate ways. I was still looking forward to a long, long weekend, with a few fun things planned, but mostly just relaxing at home. It turned out even better than I'd hoped.
We were invited to Gurra and Gunilla's, along with Mama Swede, for their family party on Friday afternoon. It was lovely and we ended up heading home with arms full of Easter eggs, vehicle magazines, and even a really beautiful photography book all about aircrafts that Jamie and I fell in love with during the evening and Gurra generously let us keep. More candy came our way on Saturday when the Easter bunny left a couple of eggs for Jamie and Axel in the woods near our house. It was a beautiful day so we played outside until Axel's grandparents arrived for their holiday celebration and Jamie and I headed to the mall to get some new pants for his ridiculously-fast-growing legs.
On Sunday it was time for our celebration! Erin, Svante and the kids came over and we had ham, cheesy potatoes, deviled eggs, asparagus, and pickled herring made by Ingvor and Roland for good measure. And then, of course, we had another Easter egg hunt, this time at the playground at Jamie's school, but it was so windy that we headed home right after to open them up. We sprung ahead an hour on Saturday night, so the Johanssons could stay for a good long while without it getting dark and the kids noticing how tired they were.  
And then, today, it was spring! I mean, it was fifty-four degrees Fahrenheit, and the sun was really shining on our yard so we were outside soaking it up all day long. Now, back to reality tomorrow, but hopefully a continued warmer reality, and one with more of The Swede.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Daily Jamie

March 19th
March 20th
March 21st

A Weekend In Karlstad

Last weekend when we were hanging out with Sarianne, she asked us if we wanted to come to Karlstad, a town three hours west of Stockholm, to a trade show for kids. She was going to be there as a VIP blogger (I suppose in some sort of journalistic capacity) and had tickets for us, if we were interested. Then she name-dropped a couple of the performers who would be there, some of whom we recognized from Melodifestivalen and the kids' channel, and we were in. Jambo and I drove there on Saturday and arrived at our hotel in the late afternoon. We checked in and immediately headed to the jacuzzi, which we had to ourselves, and splashed around in for a good long while. We spent the rest of the evening at the hotel, playing in the playroom and enjoying dinner at their restaurant. On Sunday, we took a walk in the woods before heading over to the trade show. There was a lot to see, and we arrived pretty early considering the performer we wanted to see didn't go on until 2:30. So, with a few hours to kill, we bought and put together some Legos, read books in the cozy reading corner in the library's booth, watched a performer do some cool science experiments, and had a leisurely lunch. Jamie also managed to pick up a bug from one or more of the thousand kids we came in contact with, but thankfully it didn't hit him until we were safely home. We never did see Sarianne, as she was heading home just as we arrived, but we were very appreciative of the free tickets and really enjoyed the experience, and the excuse to take a roadtrip!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Daily Jamie

Five Years In

We got married five years ago. I don't really know what I thought, but I just never, ever expected marriage to be this fun. Or for someone who makes me so nuts three percent of the time to make me this happy the other ninety-seven percent. And I surely never thought that I'd find him more and more attractive, or that I'd still get heart palpies when he comes into a room or when I hear his voice across the office. A lot has changed, but I still can't wait to hear the next thing that is going to come out of his mouth.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Daily Jamie

Girls Got iT

Consider yourself lucky that you don't share a cubicle wall or carpool with me. On Monday night, with a few soaring chords and a kick-ass drum beat, Christine and the Queens' song "iT" usurped my most recent favorite, Justin Beiber's "Sorry", in a big way. I was watching the latest episode of Girls (which is also rocking my world, btw) and it ended with this amazing piece of music that I've played about a hundred times in the past forty-eight hours. I love when I'm led to something that gives me shivers when I think about how close I was to never knowing it even existed. Just think how close you came to never knowing.