Saturday, December 31, 2016

Daily Jamie

Two Thousand and Sixteen

If you look and listen, there are a lot of people making a big deal about how terrible 2016 was. Indeed, some people very close to me had truly tragic experiences this year. Our little family has been incredibly fortunate, however, and I will continue to stick to my personal policy in life and on this blog and focus on the positive. Always. With that in mind, here are the highlights from my latest trip around the sun with the men of my dreams.
In January, Jamie and I experienced our first julgransplundring and I made a promise to myself that some wonderful friends help me keep later in the year.
Jambo and I also enjoyed the quality time that The Swede's ice fishing hobby allowed us.
In February, I drove down to Söderköping for Sarianne's Melodifesivalen-themed birthday party, which was a blast.
They had been talking about the Vasa ship at school, so Jamie and Axel got to visit the real deal at the Vasa Museum.
In March, we prepared for Melodifestivalen by making an awesome sign for Jamie's favorite act. 
We also celebrated Easter with Erin's family for the first time.
In April, Jamie learned how to ride a bike and The Swede and I learned how to run faster.
Also, The Swede's fishing buddies showed up at our house for a surprise birthday party for him.

In May, we headed to Ohio! We had lots of quality time with family and SO MUCH FUN at Becca and Jonathan's zoo wedding.

In June, we celebrated Nationaldagen at a nearby castle, took advantage of gorgeous weather with a visit to Gröna Lund, and made good on that promise on Midsommar

As usual, we were on vacation for most of July and did a lot of traveling. First, we visited the nearby island of Vaxholm, then northward to Dalarna, and finally we headed down south to Malmö, Copenhagen and Legoland!
In August, Jamie and I rounded out our summer with a week full of Mom-and-son-only fun when The Swede went back to work.
In September, we went to Gran Canaria with the Johanssons and it was precisely as amazing as you can imagine.

I was back on the road in October, with a solo trip to Ohio to officiate Kate and Scott's beautiful, romantic wedding. While I missed Jambo and The Swede, it was so nice to be just daughter, step-daughter, granddaughter, and friend for a few days.

In November, we went Pokémon hunting at Steninge Slott and enjoyed a child-free spa weekend at our favorite hotel.
And finally, this month, we got outside and played in the rare December snow.

With love, gratitude for this magical year, and anticipation for the next, our little family wishes you and yours a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR! And now, a gift: take ten minutes to read this. I promise goosebumps and possible tears of joy.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Daily Jamie


As we speak, the Segerstens are in the air on their way to the Dominican Republic, where they will relax for the next sixteen days. I had the privilege of driving them to the airport late last night, and I say privilege because each and every one of them was in the best mood ever. Wonder why. I'm pretty sure Magnus said more during that thirty minute car ride than in the entire time I've known him. Their excitement was such a pleasure, I almost forgot to be jealous.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Daily Jamie

December 25th
December 26th

December 27th

Christmas 2016

Here come a ton of pictures from the past few days of Christmas celebrations. My apologies in advance if your hand gets tired from scrolling.
While we typically spend Christmas at the Segerstens' in Söderköping, Annemor and Matt were joining us from London, so we all gathered at Mama and Papa Swede's. They arrived on Thursday evening and the celebrating began for us on Friday afternoon, after The Swede and I got off work and had completed a bit of last-minute shopping. We headed to The Swede's folks' place for dinner and televised bingo, which was apparently big in the nineties but had dwindled in popularity in the recent past but is now making a comeback. So it was new for Jamie and me and we both got really into it and came super close to winning a car and a vacation in Thailand, but no dice this year. It was so much fun, though, that I think we'll definitely make it a tradition.
On Christmas Eve, we were back at Mama and Papa Swede's early enough for the traditional rice porridge and ham sandwich breakfast. Matt found the almond in the porridge and got to make a wish, which is totally unfair since this was my eighth Swedish Christmas and I still haven't gotten it and it's Matt's first. I suspect Mama Swede of rigging things.
After breakfast, I headed to the cemetery to light some candles with The Swede and his dad. They lost a couple of friends this year - the father of one of The Swede's best friends as well as their best ice-fishing buddy - so it was an especially important tradition this year in particular.
The Segersten family arrived at the tail-end of Kalle Anka and just in time for the julbord. Poor Elin was running a fever but fought through dinner. It was delicious, as usual, and, as usual, took days to make and mere minutes to eat up.
After dinner, while waiting for Santa to show up, we took some family portraits. 
This one of Julia and Charlie is for my mom. Charlie is her favorite family member... even though she's never met him.
Another picture of Charlie for my mom. Oh, yeah, and her grandchild. 
Elin was too sick to crack a smile for the annual cousin portrait. I'm pretty sure the wiggling dog and child hopping around behind her, dangling a ribbon in her face didn't do much to help. 
It was so much fun to have these two around all weekend. I'll never forget this Christmas as the one where we finally got to spend a ton of quality time with the cousins from London. 
Then Santa came! Mama Swede had bribed a neighbor to dress up and visit us this year and he did a great job. Jamie is the only one who believes, though even he asked me why Santa didn't arrive on a sleigh and why he was wearing a regular shirt under his red outfit. I was like, "Here... have another present and quit asking so many questions."
On an unrelated note, my five-year-old is almost as tall as me.
 Sarianne at her most natural: covered in packages.
The present-opening process was slightly shorter this year because Elin fell asleep in the middle so we got to skip her for several rounds. 
Jamie's favorite gift was a Hatchimal from Mama and Papa Swede that required some intense study by two intelligent, grown men in order to operate. I'm pretty sure it was Jamie himself who figured it out in the end.
We kept a few packages at home for Jamie to open on Christmas morning, and it was the best. He woke us up way too early, per American tradition, and was totally overjoyed by the stuffed stocking and presents under the tree. It was a lot of fun to see. He spent all morning playing with his new toys and games, then we went back to Mama and Papa Swede's to celebrate the day with a English-style turkey dinner courtesy of Matt. I also got to Skype with Mom and Ray, and Mom even sent me pictures from the traditional Christmas Eve Cracker Barrel Breakfast back home in Ohio. It was an amazing holiday and a restful weekend and now I have three days at work before more than a week off while Jamie's school is closed. Life is good!