Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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2017, that happened

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My last blog post that did not feature a book was in July. That’s quite a few months of happenings with no writing. In fact, after doing a quick scroll through of my 2017 blog I now realize I’ve only posted 7 times outside of my book of the month posts. Seven:

  1. one year old
  2. finally 2017 (a look ahead)
  3. ry-guy
  4. mediwift
  5. t-man
  6. 15 days: my iphone withdrawal story
  7. four(teen)th of july

Either there’s not a whole lot going on for me, or a whole helluva lot. To be honest, definitely some of both. So, yeah, that happened. I do want to continue my recent tradition of reverse bucket listing my year. This year’s list will serve two purposes: it’s a great way to reflect on the good times of 2017, and is also a list of blog posts soon to be featured here:

  1. Hosted wintry guests
  2. Went on a cruise
  3. Celebrated weddings in Newport, RI and Sundance, UT
  4. Traveled to the western USA with my family
  5. Saw the Grand Canyon
  6. Went to Vegas
  7. Followed my savings plan
  8. Coached a growing group of girls
  9. Attended my 10 year high school reunion
  10. Completed another year of my ECE degree

I’ll stop at 10, because that’s been my modus operandi the previous two years, but there may be an extra post or two coming down the pipeline with happenings from the eventful 2017 – like my epic summer vacation. Get ready, 2018 is here.

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book of october: the stand 


They all say Stephen King is quite the author. I’d never read any of his work before now. Why now? Well it is October, and I wanted to plan for Halloween the whole month.

Halloween isn’t as big here in Sweden, but I still try to celebrate in my own way every year. Some years we bake Halloween treats and invite friends over, sometimes I try to watch a scary movie. The thing is I don’t like watching scary movies alone, and I can’t seem to get anyone here at home to watch with me. So this year I tried something new. What I didn’t realize is that horror books are also quite the scare fest. Definitely worth it though. Pick up a copy near you if you haven’t already read this one!


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four(teen)th of july


I love the Fourth of July. I’m willing to say it’s my favorite holiday. As an expat that makes for a hard time. This year we celebrated in Sweden. That is sans four day weekend. I mean I’m off, but the rest of the country isn’t. (Petition to the King still pending). 


We made a great day of it. Grilling, American flag decorations galore, and lots of red white and blue clothing. I hope our little one will enjoy the Fourth of July as much as I do. As often as we can, I hope we celebrate it in the States. It does make all the difference.


Here’s hoping your Fourth was full of fantastic fireworks, good company and tasty food. 


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t-man

On this, Tyler’s birthday, I would like to share with you his childhood nickname. T-man was the little tyke who always had a smile on his face, and did his best to keep up with his big brother. 


It took a while, but when I got over the fact that he was not the sister I had been hoping for this little guy really grew on me.

When he was in Sweden last we were reminiscing and I mentioned how I remember him just loving candy as a child. Like actually love. When you’re little (and damn pithy) you like to say “If you love it so much, why don’t you marry it?” T-man would have married candy, no questions asked. He wouldn’t even bother with whatever taunting tone you tried to have because he would have been so darn excited about the impending nuptials. 

From the perspective that comes with adulthood (we’re adults now, I think) Tyler says he still loves candy. Like love love. So I guess we’ll see what’s coming down the road (or aisle) in the future.

Happy birthday T-man! I hope it’s one for the books.


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mediwift

If I’m going to share my brothers’ childhood nicknames on their birthdays, then it’s only fair I share mine. When I was little my older cousin had a hard time saying my name. Marissa is only about a year older than I, but that did give her a leg up,in the talking thing. Trying to say Meredith, it always came out Mediwift. Which aside from being ridiculously cute, also made for an awesome, and at times still standing, nickname.

Marissa and Mediwift on my 3rd birthday


Meredith is actually pretty hard to say. Understandably seeing as there’s an R right in the middle and a -TH at the end. Just as any Swedish person who addresses me as Meredit (there is no lisping -th sound in Swedish). After recently taking a course on language learning for the preschool child I have more insight in this than ever before. Though I don’t want to get too boring technical I do want to say that the strategies Marissa used to say my name are common and work well in terms of being understood. And, again, just ridiculously cute.

So, if you’re feeling silly and want to say “Happy Birthday Mediwift!”, I will say thank you. I know you’re talking to me. Though this is a today only offer.


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ry-guy

This guy is 25 years old!

 

I can’t actually beileve it. As the big sister your little brother is always your little brother…but 25 isn’t so little. When we were in fact little, Ryan had a nickname within the family, Ry-guy. This intelligent little mischevious boy could come up with the funest tricks and adventures.

From exploring the woods in our backyard to wearing me and my friends down to finally let him into our “secret clubhouse”. Which in reality was just the inside of the house attached to the swing-set, so I’m not sure how we had the nerve to dub it secret. Ryan could talk his way into anything. I’m pretty sure to this day when he turns on the charms he still has that skill.


Though when it comes to fika I still have a way with words that leads to me getting the last cookie.

Happy birthday Ry-guy, hope it’s a great one!

Love,


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thanksgiving, y’all!

Here in Sweden Thanksgiving is not a national holiday. Which means I was in class. Despite the numerous e-mails arguing to the contrary, my professors saw it imperative to hold our seminars as scheduled. Though they failed to provide me with a better explanation for it than “this is Sweden”.

A what I’m getting to is the fact that we had Thanksgiving dinner last night. It was a gleeful event, where family and friends joined us at our place for food and fun. Everyone said they enjoyed the American style food, so we’re just going to have to take them on their word.

Not pictured: green bean casserole á la familjen Johnsson, cranberry sauce & sweet potato casserole.

 We fit 14 people around our table(s), which is just about maximum capacity. 

This photo is the first time I’ve considered getting/seen the need for a selfie stick. That being to avoid weird corner faces. Now I know.


Hope y’all had a great Thanksgiving, whenever it was celebrated. There’s so much to be thankful for.


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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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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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