Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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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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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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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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book of march: modern romance

So many people I know were reading this book last summer, I just had to give it a go. And I am sure glad I did.

  
As per my usual I listened to the audiobook version, because Aziz is a funny guy and funny people are funny to listen to. I even noticed some parallels between this funny guy and other funny people. For example he opened his book, like Sarah Silverman, wondering what the listeners would be doing upon listening. Aziz painted a lovely picture of his listener being curled up in bed, enjoying a cup of tea by the fire. Sarah bet on pooping. I’m not saying one or the other is better…but I feel I should say for the record I’m in the first category.

From Aziz I learned that In the 30’s and 40’s people would go as far as they had to to find a mate, but no farther. The “girl/boy nextdoor” is a real thing, and many people clearly loved the ones they’re with already. What I took away from this is that I must have been terrible at finding a mate since I had to go all the way to Sweden to find her.

I also learned that average age of first marriage is 27 for women and 29 for men, and 30 for men and women in big cities. So, again, I follow none of the norms. To be fai Aziz admits to focusing on heterosexual relationships in his book, so I guess I just don’t fit in here. Joking aside I do think there is a lot of fun stuff to take away from the book. But I’m not going to tell you any more about it, you’ll have to just go read it for yourself. 

I will say that there are robots and scientific studies in the book. If that doesn’t pique your interest I don’t know what you’re even doing here.