Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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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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mom’s day

I don’t mean Mother’s Day, I mean my mother’s day. Her birthday. My Mum is turning 39 this year (as far as I know), and I’d like to wish her a wonderful day!

Though today may not involve a surprise visit from across the great blue, I hope it’s just as wonderful. This is a big year. Not only is four-oh approaching (right?) but this is Mum’s first birthday as a Nana!


It may be hard to tell by the clenched fist pictured above, but Baby K is so happy to have you as her Nana. We all hope you enjoy your birthday present.


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doing the getting older thing

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My birthday balloons from Facebook.

Hello friends!

Today’s the day! The anniversary of my birth. The years between 26 and 27 have been rough. You read that right, years. Let me explain.

Let’s go back to a sunny summer day 2015, I was being a kind person and doing a favor. I had in my hand two winning yellow lottery tickets, I walked into the small shop to turn them in and collect the money. The man behind the counter looked at the tickets, looked at me, and back at the tickets. “I’m going to need to see some ID”. To clarify, in Sweden as in the US, the age at which you may purchase lottery tickets is 18. I handed over my identification, the man read it, and laughed to himself “You should take it as a complement!” A little hard to do with his laughter still ringing in my ears as I left.

A recap: if that guy thought I was under 18 that means he thought, at best, I was 17 years old.

Flash forward to this spring. At work I was outdoors enjoying the fact that the sun had returned to Sweden, when the conversation topic of age came up. A colleague asked me my age, and as I always love getting this question and answering it with another I replied: “How old do you think I am?” She paused “Uhm…..37?”.

You read that right, THIRTY SEVEN. Upon finding out my actual age she exclaimed “Take it as a compliment, you seem so experienced!”

What I’ve learned: it is a complement to be 17 and a complement to be 37. 27 though? No one knows. And this, my friends, is why my past year has, evidently, been a rough one. Aging 20 years is quite the feat, though not one I want to repeat, so this next year I’m going to take it easy. Super easy. As in I’m not going to do anything besides relax.

With a new baby, a new university degree underway and work to top it off I’m sure that’s feasible.

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on this, brother, the day of your birth

I’ve started a little tradition by writing a blog post on my brothers’ birthdays, and it’s that time of year again! Ryan has become another year wiser, Happy Birthday brother!

Today I want to share our most recent memory, that is to say our most recent IRL interaction.

Sidebar: (IRL = in real life)

Ryan came to visit during his spring break this year. *WOO HOO!* He got to do super fun things, like meet his niece for the very first time.

But first coffee:

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Cuddle time:

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Doctor’s appointment:

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Games galore!

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Food time (for everyone):

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Even Ryan got in a hockey practice (can’t let Dad one-up you!):

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I hope you have just as much fun today as you obviously had on your latest trip to Sweden.

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happy birthday dearest

For your birthday this year I have written you a poem my love.

Based off of one of my favorite movies, the time-honored classic: 10 Things I Hate About You.

It’s not what you think.

10 Things I Love About You

I love the way you talk to me
And the way you cut your hair
I love the way you’re there for me
I love it when you stare

I love your gentle natured ways
And the way you read my mind
I love you so much that it makes me swoon
It even makes me rhyme

I love the way you’re always there
I love it when we lie
I love it when you make me laugh
I never want to say good-bye
I love it when you’re around me
I miss you so when you are gone
And mostly I love the way you love me so
Extremely, completely, fully, to the moon and back, yes, that long

quizzical birthday

Happy Birthday my love!

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39 is it?

Now, to be sure, one doesn’t ask a woman’s age. One just shan’t. On this day we celebrate my mother’s birthday, how old she turns, nobody knows. Except those who know what year she was born, and are particularly adept at maths.

Evelina and I were recently state side, and we brought along a present for my mother, yes it was a bit in advance, but she opened it, and I think she was satisfied. It was a canvas with a saying that she came up with, and I put together and had printed.

Run away the worries

I thought the sentiment would make a nice poem, so as a gift on  your actual day, here’s a poem for you Mum:

Run away the worries,
Run away the pain,
Run away the badgering thoughts,
Through wind and sun and rain.

Run to find happiness
Run to find your peace
Run to find a dollop of joy
Cross muddy fields and streets.

Run to run
For running is fun
More fun in the sun, I say!

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