Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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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.


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welcome to the world

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Hello,

Welcome to the world my baby. Allow me to introduce myself, I’m your Mommy. We live in Sweden where your Mama grew up. We are very lucky to have you. Some of your family lives here in Sweden with us, and some of your family lives in the US. Everybody is looking forward to your first flight across the ocean. Most of all Mama.

You came into our lives earlier than we expected little one, and we are happy and relieved that you’re doing so well. Luckily, in Sweden both of your mommies can be with you full time these first few important weeks of your life. We have had a wonderful experience at the hospital, where we’ve lived all together as a family for a week now. Everyone says how cute you are. Me and your Mama most of all.

During this first week you have already grown a lot. Gaining weight and getting longer. My does time fly. Images of you going off to college already plague my imagination. Mama says there’s a lot of time between then and now, I have yet to be convinced. I wish we could be together always.

You’ll learn about the world soon enough so I won’t spoil the surprise now, but I want you to know that me and your Mama are over the moon to have you here with us. We are so grateful. Please take your time growing up.

Love,
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book of january: the opposite of loneliness

I remember going to see Marina in a play. My cousin had invited me along, and when we drove up to the blue paneled colonial that housed the theatre I didn’t know what to expect. We were in grade school, and my only previous conception of children in plays was the school produced fifth grade play.  Though I myself did not categorize myself as a child at the time.

It was dark when we arrived, after what seemed like an eternal car ride. The sort of car ride that once illuminated by adulthood is one that could not have taken more than five minutes to span the distance from my cousin’s house to the theatre, door to door. It must have been my anticipation pulling on time, extending it.

At the time I only knew Marina through my cousin, but seeing her on stage I was both awe-struck and inspired. Much the way I am now, after reading her book. My child self went home after seeing Marina completely determined to participate in a play and simultaneously terrified at the prospect. That is how I would describe my experience reading Marina’s book. Inspiring and terrifying.

The Opposite of Loneliness

In my own mind I fancy myself a writer of sorts. I would love to write a book, but put no actual practice to these thoughts. Marina’s book inspires me to write, to put finger to key and create. Though this thought is also terrifying: it is a daunting task. Many of the similarities between Marina and me are also unnerving. The ending of her really hit home for me. Not to give anything away, but I was shocked by the similarities between Marina and me. We are, and though I wouldn’t use the word terrified, I would use the word concerned, about the future of the human race and what that means. While she focuses on the permanence of the written work I focus on the permanence of genetics, and that is where we differ.

With further thought, I realize it may not be surprising that we share much in common. I’m beginning to realize that growing up in the same home town does expose one to many of the same things. Her life is not so unlike my own. I applaud Marina’s work, and the work of her  parents getting her book out into the world.

If you haven’t already read this book, do so.

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memory lane: a danish weekend

As we continue along this trip, let’s make a stop at May, 2013.

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Evelina and I traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark to see my cousin, and meet her beautiful little girl. Who by now has turned 3, but let’s return down the lane and talk more about Denmark.

We arrived pretty late, so the first thing we did in Denmark was sleep. Okay the first thing was to find and check into the hotel, but the second thing was sleep.

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After waking up to a beautiful view of Copenhagen we ate breakfast with my cousin and then proceeded to explore the town.

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Me & Evelina Copenhagen DK 2013

As dusk fell we found our way to Tivoli, or the amusement park, right in central Copenhagen (next to our hotel, so the finding wasn’t particularly difficult). We wandered around taking lots of pictures of flowers. I’m pretty sure that’s what all the tourists do in Copenhagen. We must have been there on a day of no tourism, because we were the only ones taking flower pictures that evening.

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When we returned to the hotel Tivoli started the firework show in our honor.

Tivoli fireworks

We had a great weekend away, and though much of Copenhagen reminded us of Sweden, the ever-present Danish speaking always reminded us that we were a long way from home.

As we concluded our weekend we returned home to Sweden, but didn’t venture far from Stockholm. The evening of our return we caught Pink at The Globe. We ate dinner before the show, and to be honest the food was quite good.

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Pink Globen

If you haven’t yet, go see Pink in concert, she is truly an entertainer. Also, if you have the chance, eat dinner first on a balcony from which you later enjoy the show.

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