Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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book of november: killing floor


Well, you didn’t have to wait long for another Jack Reacher novel. In September I wrote about A Wanted Man, mentioning that I was actually trying to read the first Jack Reacher novel in the series…and missed the mark by about 15 books.

This time around I successfully read the first Jack Reacher novel, and loved it. Not a huge surprise seeing as I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the previous two books I’ve read. This novel, like Persuader, was written in the first person. For some reason though it felt strange this time around reading from Jack’s perspective. I think probably because I was so into the third person of A Wanted Man.

I do think the adage practice makes better really applies here.

Side bar: at my elementary school it was decided that technical perfection is unatainable and instead we should be striving to better ourselves not perfect ourselves. Thus “practice makes better” was born. If you did not happen to attend my elementary school you can be forgiven for not knowing this.

Back to it. In my small and humble opinion I think that Lee Child becomes a better writer over the course of his career. I hope that this is seen as a complement, because it is meant as such. I like to think most people aim to better themselves and would not be entirely satisfied remaining at the same level. To be clear, Child starts at a damn high quality level. So go read this book.

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half way to 30

By this I mean I’m half way between being 25 and 30, and I would like to check in and see how I’m doing on my 30 before 30 list.

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Ideally, I’d be half way through…

  1. Topping off my 25 before 25 list means two international trips. One to Italy and one to Greece, these have yet to be completed or even booked. Though I have gotten married, watched some IMDb movies, and found a great lasagna recipe. I’m still working on running a marathon, painting a painting, learning to play the guitar and doing a handstand push-up. 3/9 – not quite half.
  2. There are 20 items on my Things to do in Sweden list, and I have completed 16 of them. Though I’ve only posted on 11, so stay tuned. I’m definitely more than half way done on this one, so that feels good.
  3. Still going strong on reading a book a month.
  4. I’ve only read 10 of the 24 books that I own and have not yet read, so that’s certainly not half way.
  5. And I have yet to read a single one of Francine’s “Books to be Read Immediately”.
  6. I have my Swedish driver’s licence.
  7. As well as my Swedish passport.
  8. I have not seen the Grand Canyon.
  9. Nor have I gone to Vegas.
  10. Evelina and I went to Iceland on our honeymoon. We highly recommend the helicopter rides.
  11. I still need to build a savings plan in order to strictly follow it.
  12. My family tree is still just a seed, in need of soil, water and sunshine. To be honest, I haven’t even been to the store to buy the seed. That is to say, I haven’t even begun.
  13. I did my best running å-loppet this summer, but my training was not up to par (a.k.a. non existant).
  14. The long list of posts that I’ve promised to write is not so long anymore, I only have 8 of 26 posts to write to get everything wrapped up and tied with a bow.
  15. Four of five things to DIM (do it myself) off of Pintrest ain’t bad, I’m definitely pleased to be well on my way with this one.
  16. No cruises completed or planned, unfortunatley.
  17. With one of ten movies watched, I can’t exactly claim to be half way on my IMDb movie list.
  18. And zero of five Nordic movies watched is certainly not the percentage we were looking for.
  19. I have started my university studies, soon to be 1/3 of the way through my degree, so this one is definitely a check plus.
  20. Baking a princess cake is still squarely in the “To Do” column.
  21. Seven of ten things to cook from Eggtons blog is a great place to be at my half way point.
  22. No barking dogs here.
  23. I did get a brand spankin’ new pair of glasses, that time I accidentally got an eye infection. (Does anyone purposefully get an eye infection…?)
  24. No graduation to attend yet.
  25. And no Ice Hotel visits.
  26. No Northern Light sightings.
  27. And I am a long way off from getting 100 burpees in.
  28. Of course, that big birthday surprise was an event to remember! Cross that one off the list.
  29. There’s no need to start planning my big birthday bash yet.
  30. My 35 before 35 list is also still a long way off.

With only 6 things completed, and 4 items half way completed I’m more than a stone’s throw away from the halfway point on this list. That’s okay though, still two and a half years to go!

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book of november: nudge

My dad gave me one dollar bill’
Cause I’m his smartest son,
And I swapped it for two shiny quarters
‘Cause two is more than one!
And then I took the quarters
And traded them to Lou
For three dimes — I guess he don’t know
That three is more than two!
Just then, along came old blind Bates
And just ’cause he can’t see
He gave me four nickles for my three dimes,
And four is more than three!
And I took the nickels to Hiram Coombs
Down at the seed-feed store,
And the fool gave me five pennies for them,
And five is more than four!
And then I went and showed my dad,
And he got red in the cheeks
And closed his eyes and shook his head–
Too proud of me to speak!

That’s a poem by Shel Silverstein entitled Smart, not the book Nudge by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein. But it was referenced in Nudge, used to make a good point about libertarian paternalism. I didn’t know much (if anything) about libertarian paternalism prior to reading this book, but boy was I intrigued once I got started!

Nudge: Improving Decisons About Health, Wealth, and Happiness was recommended to me by my Goodreads app, based on previous books I’ve enjoyed. Which is also a great reason to actually fill in the books I’ve enjoyed on the app. (Previously seeming to me as a somewhat pointless activity). Back to the book. Nudge was a very fun read, despite the fact that the authors diss ABBA. They do go on to speak well of the Swedish retirement investment system, so they come out neutral in their views on Sweden. At least according to me.

If you are also interested or curious about libertarian paternalism definitely check this book out. If nothing else, by the end of the book I hope you will at least consider always checking the door mechanism when entering and exiting rooms and/or buildings.


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book of october: white on black

Have you heard of this book? I certainly hadn’t until this most recent ECE class. (As you recall, ECE = Early Childhood Education). We’re learning about special pedagogy, and if that isn’t intriguing enough, you should know that the book is an autobiography of a boy’s experience growing up in Soviet Russia.


If that doesn’t pique your interest enough you should know that this book is the deep and blunt description of this boys life and childhood, a time where a child’s entire life is dependantly formed by those adults around him; Ruben describes his time at orphanages, hospitals and elderly homes in an unforgettable manner.

Even though it was technically assigned reading for me, it’s totally voluntary for you, dear reader. And I do truly recommend that you read this book. 


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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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a year of pn

Though I may not have updated my PN page super often I have written a few posts there already, and if you haven’t, feel free to check those out!

January 19th, 2015 I embarked on my year-long PN journey. Based on self motivated habit changing the program helps and has helped thousands of people reach their fitness goals. During the course of the year I learned about nutrition and habit-forming in a way that I never had before. The PN platform kept me interested in the program and motivated to continue. Not to mention my awesome coach who I had almost weekly contact with.

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A screen shot of my platform’s progress pictures

At the beginning of the program I had certain goals I wanted to achieve. But along the course of the PN journey I realized that my initial goals (reaching a certain weight, lifting a certain amount in the gym, etc.) weren’t really why I had started this adventure.

After a shoulder injury in March my workouts were pretty thrown off. Refocusing with my coach and physiotherapist I got some great advice and support on how I could best rehabilitate my shoulder. I seriously question if I would have come back as quickly if I hadn’t had such great people around me.

The things I liked most about PN were the daily lessons, written in what I like to call blog post form, they kept me engaged in the process and learning all the while. Also, as you may be able to guess, I really liked the continuous contact with my coach and even other team members. The way that I could personalize the program, especially after my shoulder injury, was invaluable.

PN go time

If you’re a self motivated individual who wants to get healthier, fitter, gain muscle and loose fat then PN could certainly be a program for you. Check out their homepage and blog. It is definitely something I would consider doing again in the future, after all they update the program all the time and there’s always more to learn!

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dad came to visit

And man did we have a surprise for him!

My father planned a trip out to Sweden this past February. Both he and I really wanted him to come see a hockey game. Though I do think hockey will always be in my life in some form there is a chance that this past season was my last as a player. At least for a year…

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Of course, my Dad didn’t pass up the chance to get out on the ice with us!

That said, it may possibly have been his last chance to see me play in Sweden. In our planning process we wanted him to come for an exciting game against a good opponent. We also figured it would be a safe bet if he came mid February, because then out little bundle of joy wouldn’t have yet arrived, and Evelina and I would still be sleeping soundly through the night.

Little did we know at the time that would hardly be the case. As you may recall, our little one made her entrance into this world earlier than expected. Though, what a wonderful surprise for my Dad!

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Meeting baby K

He came for the hockey and got so much more.

 

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Granddaughter, hockey and even grocery shopping.

In case you’re wondering he did catch a game, we won 7-1 and to top it off I scored a couple of goals. So all around, a great trip.

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