Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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finally 2017 (a look ahead)

Don’t think I’m late to the party on this one, I am aware that it has been 2017 for many weeks now. (Despite the fact that I recently wrote 2002 as the date.) That’s neither here nor there. What is here and there is the fact that I took an impromptu blogging break – as is wont to happen from time to time. Which is why I’m just now getting to posting about my upcoming year. Last year I looked ahead and focused on these three questions:

  1. What’s working?
  2. What will I improve upon?
  3. How will I specifically work to make these improvements?

In order to answer the first question I’ll take a look back on 2016, a nice way to do that is my reverse bucket list. Not familiar with the concept? Just click that link back there (reverse bucket list) to see my take on it. All in all 2016 was pretty bad ass.  Continue reading


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2016 a year passed


Last year I did a retrospective on the year that had recently passed, entitled Looking Back : 2015 Resolutions. I realized late in the year (right around December 31st) that I had failed to make any New Year’s resolutions for 2015. No worries though, because I reverse bucket listed my year instead. This year I thought I’d make a tradition of it and do the same thing again. 

Reverse bucket listing works as such; taking time to reflect on the year passed write down all the things you’ve done that are particularly memorable, notworthy, or just plain awesome. Differing from a normal bucket list as all the things on this list are completed.

Though I still have one post to write from my 2015 reversed bucket list I’m plowing ahead to 2016. Here’s the list:

  1. Helped bring a wonderful baby into the world 
  2. Cooked up a storm
  3. Watched my baby grow and grow
  4. Got a new pair of glasses
  5. Went on our first family vacation 
  6. Cut off a bunch of my hair
  7. Traveled to Austria
  8. Coached a great group of girls 
  9. Completed the first year of my ECE degree
  10. Enjoyed months of maternity leave

Yet again, I have not written about all of these wonderous events, so stay tuned! 2017 is going to bring more than a few new blog posts!


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dad’s day

Father’s Day in Sweden is in November. Father’s Day in the US is in June. So this blog post is clearly specific for my own father. Happy Birthday Dad!


When I told my father that he was going to be a grandfather, he was thrilled. When I asked him what his future grand child would call him, he said he’d have to get back to me. I hadn’t expected this to be a question requiring multiple days of pondering, but that was the reality.

After thorough internet research my father had decided. His future grand child would call him Tutu. Why Tutu? You may ask, as I certainly did, and I’ll tell you. The long (and apparently arduous) task of deciding one’s own name was aided by none other than Google herself. Google informed my father that, among many other possible names/words for grandfather, the term commonly used in Hawaii is “kuku kane” where the K’s in kuku are often replaced with T’s and shortened to just “tutu”. Of course, as a loving endearment.

So, Happy Birthday Tutu! From all of us across the Atlantic.

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surprising evelina on her birthday

Do you know how difficult it is to surprise Evelina? I’ll tell you, it is incredibly difficult.

Some of my failed attempts at surprising Evelina on different occasions have included such things from Christmas present shopping to trying to make dinner unannounced. Either I’m an open book to her, or she has some sort of magical intuition which translates my sentence “I’m on my way home now, I left late from work” to “I left work right on time, went to the grocery store and am secretly making a surprise dinner for you at this exact moment”.

Evelina may have a crystal ball.
Or be in cohorts with the NSA. Or whatever the Swedish equivalent may or may not be.

This year I finally did it! It took almost 6 months of planning, the careful disclosure of said surprise to select individuals (as to not thwart my plan), and a whole lot of anxiety on my part that I’d somehow let it slip. I didn’t though, and I gleefully completed number 28 on my 30 before 30 list.

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Speaking of turning 30, this year is the big 3-0 for Evelina. Hence the long drawn out process that was my preparing to surprise her. Like I said, it was a six month process that involved ensuring neither of us would be working on the big day (today); followed by planning and booking a week’s trip to Gotland, and then shutting up about it for the (seemingly endless) time up until Evelina’s birthday celebration.

Yes, the big surprise for Evelina’s 30th birthday is a trip to that island off the coast of Sweden that I wrote about back in 2014. The whole family will be going, all three of us. I still can’t believe my lucky stars that I get to share my life with this amazing woman. For every day that I have known you, I am grateful. I cherish dearly every moment that we have spent together. Surprise, my love, I hope you have a wonderfully happy 30th birthday.

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gender reveal party

Now, my avid blog readers will already know the ending of this story, but I’m gong to tell it anyway. The journey is the destination, man.

I don’t know if you’ve explored the baby side of social media recently, but according to that, gender reveal parties are all the rage. From the get go it sounded  to me like an awesome opportunity to eat cool colored cake, so I was in.

Gender reveal parties can be done one of two ways. Either a special someone is designated to find out the gender of the coming baby, keep that a secret from the couple and all other humans, and help make the appropriate color schemed surprise. Or the couple finds out the gender of the baby and no one else knows until the big reveal during the party. Evelina and I went with the latter option.

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After deciding that we needed to figure out how to do the big reveal. Pop a balloon filled with blue or pink confetti, open a present/box whose contents reveal the gender, be sprayed by our loved ones with the correct color of paint…the list is almost endless. We went with the tried and true method of cutting into a cake, and letting the cake do the talking.

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Now, for games and entertainment. A prerequisite of attendance was a specific dress code, everyone had to wear pink or blue, depending on which gender they thought the baby would be. When our guests arrived they were conveniently divided into two teams as determined by their clothing choice. Before dinner was served our guests could guess the baby’s name, by writing it on the appropriate colored paper. We also played a quiz game where Evelina and I had written questions about common superstitions about pregnancy symptoms that can reveal the baby’s gender. Each team answered the questions, and the winning team won the honor of being victorious.

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After dinner it was time for dessert, or as we say in Sweden, fika! Since Evelina and I knew the gender of our little one, we were the ones to order the cake to match, covered in white with the words “It’s a…” glazed on top. That evening our guests gathered round in suspense as we cut into the cake, finally revealing that we were expecting a little girl!

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get pregnant

Remember when I reverse bucket listed my 2015?

A few things on that list I haven’t written about. That’s what’s happening now.

In 2015 Evelina and I went ahead and got pregnant. For us it takes a little more planning than your average couple. I would like to share with all y’all the adventure we went on to bring our little baby K into the world.

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To get started we checked out our options in Sweden. In Sweden you can get three insemination tries for free (or included in their health care system). Going this route Evelina and I would find out very little about our donor. In Sweden they try to match eye color, skin color and hair color of the parter of the woman trying to get pregnant. The deciding factor for us (why we didn’t go this way) was because we would not be guaranteed that the same donor would be available for our possible future children. It is important for *us* to be able to guarantee (to the best of our abilities) that any possible future children will have the same donor. (Key word there being us, many other people chose different options depending on their life situations.)

Once we ruled out the Swedish option we looked around at our other options. This included contacting insemination offices in Denmark, Norway and the US. All these clinics actually use an international donor bank (pretty crazy) so the same donors would be available to us regardless of the clinic.

During the actual insemination process we had to be able to get to the clinic on the drop of a dime. The clinics also say that within three tries most people become pregnant, so if we had chosen a US office we would have had to be there for up to 3 months, so we ruled out using a US office. We ended up deciding to go with the Norwegian clinic after a few e-mail exchanges and going in for a consultation. We were really pleased with the service we received while there, as well as the size of the offices in general. Norway was actually also the fastest option for us, as in we could get there the quickest when it was go time.

At our consultation we learned all about the finer details of what the process would look like in our specific situation. They were so great and informative. Once we had decided which clinic to use we scrolled through the online profiles of the donors. Which is actually pretty easy to do once you enter a few parameters you know you are looking for. After deciding the donor it was all a waiting game, which ended abruptly on Midsummer’s Eve last year. GO TIME!

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Of course we flew Norwegian

Scrambling around the apartment packing and buying plane tickets, before we knew it we were in the air on our way to bring the tiny life that has now become our charmingly beautiful baby girl into the world.

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