Monday, June 30, 2014

Daily Jamie

Surprise Party

Another unexpected event of the past weekend was birthday party we hosted on Sunday afternoon. After we got back from Gävle, we bought a bunch of hotdogs, blew up balloons, and hung a couple of banners in preparation for Erin and Shaena, their husbands, and two little boys each to come over and celebrate Shaena's oldest, Ethan's, fifth birthday. All the little boys got along amazingly well and it was a circus in the very best way. In fact, they all played together so well that we adults got a significant amount of time to actually converse. Felt like MY birthday! We went for a long walk around the neighborhood and ate cake and wore all those rascals out. This unplanned get-together was more fun than anything I could have spent a ton of time preparing.    
Baby Rio kills me.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Daily Jamie

June 28th
June 29th

Just A Little Jaunt To Gävle

What an unexpected, fun weekend we just finished! We didn't have a thing planned, except that The Swede had to work a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon, so when we woke up on Saturday morning he suggested we drive a couple of hours north to Gävle. We would visit a zoo there and use up some hotel points and stay over. The weather was a little chilly in Stockholm but downright cold and rainy two hours north, but we were troopers in our hoodies and spent several hours at the park before heading back to the hotel (and it's perfectly-placed playroom right by the TV and off the dining room) just in time to watch the evening's World Cup matches. We all cuddled up in the same bed, slept in (according to Jamie's standards) and enjoyed a leisurely hotel breakfast. A perfect, spontaneous little trip.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Love Party

I don't think I mentioned anything about this before the fact, but last Wednesday I flew to Cleveland so that I could marry my friend Cary and her fiancé on Friday afternoon. Cary had asked me to the do honor of officiating their wedding a few months ago so I got online, found The Universal Life Church and a couple of clicks and a few bucks later I was an ordained minister who can now legal marry couples in the state of Ohio.  
Those dang Germans beat me.
Minus the fact that Cary is one of my very best friends ever and anything that happened that day would have been special to me, it was such a sweet wedding. Cary and her mom and sister had fixed all kinds of beautiful details all around the lakeside mansion where the ceremony and reception took place; everywhere you looked there were personalized, romantic decorations. The food and drinks were awesome, they had a frozen custard truck drive up instead of a cake (which we all loved), and I got to dance with lots of lovely folks I haven't seen in a long time. It was all totally worth two days of travel to pop in to Cleveland for this fantastic day in the lives of some of my favorite people. 

Daily Jamie

June 18th
June 19th
June 20th

June 23rd

June 24th

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Daily Jamie

Beyond Dawn

I've been waking up at five o'clock to take a walk, not every day, but most days for the past few weeks.  It's warm now and by that time the sun has been up for hours. I see a few people, and sheep, and listen to the birds. I don't think much at all, except when I see a view like this that takes my breath away, and then I think about how lucky I am to live just beyond those trees. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Daily Jamie

June 13th
June 14th
June 15th


Here we have hit the sweet spot. A twelve-year-old who is old enough to keep an eye on her little sister and cousin, but not too old to be totally disinterested in them. A six-year-old who still cracks her big sister up and can keep her little cousin entertained for hours. An almost three-year-old who can now talk enough to really converse and play with the older ones. I want this time to last forever; or at least for them to always love each other as much as they do right now. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Daily Jamie

June 11th

June 12th

Sausage Fest

The Swede and I work in an industry staffed predominantly by men. It's easy not to pay attention to that fact (particularly when the few women we do work with are so fabulous) until you get them all in the same room. This is what happened last night when we all went out to eat for our company's summer get-together and it was dudes as far as the eye can see. Unfortunately, the best dude was at home taking care of my other favorite guy so that mama could have a night out on the town.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Daily Jamie

June 5th
Cuteness captured by Mama Swede
June 6th

Nationaldagen 2014

Today is Sweden's national day, which isn't really a big deal, or so I thought until we arrived at this party in our old neighborhood to picnic with Erin's family some other friends. This picture shows a small fraction of the crowd that had gathered to enjoy live music, games, booths and a pretty legit carnival under alternating cool clouds and broiling sun. I think Erin and I both imagined a lot of cozy talking and eating on our picnic blankets but I guess we forgot that we have toddlers who love exploring above all else. The pappas treated the kids to some tickets and we plopped them on half a dozen rides then peeled them, screaming, off each of them. Temporary meltdowns aside, everyone had a really nice time celebrating some ambiguous historical event.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Daily Jamie

You may be seeing a lot of bike pictures now that we dragged Julia's hand-me-down out of storage. He's nuts about it.
June 2nd
June 3rd

Baking Flatbread

 When Selah and Andy came, they brought with them a bunch of favorite recipes, a few of which we made while they were visiting. One of the best was this rosemary flatbread, partly because it's so good, but mostly because it's so easy. It has an ingredient list that doesn't intimidate and takes about fifteen minutes from start to finish. When Jamie said he wanted to bake yesterday evening I knew the flatbread was just the thing. And it only took about twenty-five minutes with his help.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Daily Jamie

The Mega Circus Slide

Mama Swede gave us three tickets to the circus last week and, even though he's been a bit sick the past few days, we took Jamie this afternoon. He loved actually being there and hasn't stopped talking about it since, but was a bit too drained to really get into the jugglers and clowns and whatnot. Everything changed, however, when we were leaving the tent and he decided he wanted to take a ride on this slide. We paid and sent him on his way up and then I watch a child land splat on her face on that first bump because the top half was only slightly less than ninety degrees. So I followed Jamie up to give him some support, but it was totally me who needed it because I felt like Annie on the railroad bridge going up that ladder. I then screamed "I can't do it!" to my husband and a crowd of onlookers below while Jamie dragged me down the slide. Then he insisted we do it again. Telling myself that they wouldn't have the slide if anyone had ever died on it helped a lithe, but how nice to be a toddler and not have those thoughts.