Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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.


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.



welcome to the world



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.


Leave a comment

a surprise

I posted about my 5 planned Pintrest do it yourself items a little while back. But waited on the fifth item, as I wanted it to be a surprise. It was a surprise for Evelina, for Valentine’s Day. As that has come and gone I’d like to share with you now just what that surprise was.

A hand-made card.

Valentine's Day card

I calculated out how many days Evelina and I have been together, and then gathered my supplies.

  • card & envelope
  • patterned paper
  • x-acto knife
  • cutting board
  • glue
  • pen & pencil
  • printed copy of what is to be on the card


I saw the idea on Pintrest, but there you could buy personal cards – I think it was probably off Etsy.

Pintrest card

But I wanted an even more personal touch,  I wanted it to be hand-made – by me. First, I printed out what I wanted the card to say, in the appropriate font and size. Using a ball point pen I then placed the printout over the patterned paper and traced over the edges of each letter. Be sure to push down hard with the ball point pen. The point is to indent the patterned paper well enough to see the lines once the print out is removed.

DIY - ball point pen

Then, use the x-acto knife to cut out all the letters along the aforementioned indents. Carefully plan spacing, and glue the letters on.

cut & plan

There you have it!

Final card

If you’re going to use the same front message as I did, be sure to double-check your math. Turns our I did not, and I was off by a few hundred days. Oops. My math error was made especially clear when Evelina gave me my gift, a small book whose first page included the number of days we had been together. Once again mathematics foils my plans.


Leave a comment

i have a plan

Time to dust off the tools.

Time to dust off the tools.


I have a plan. A plan for the future.

The future of my painting. As mentioned in my 25 before 25 list, and my New Year’s resolutions, I want to paint a painting. I haven’t painted for a long time, and this summer Evelina bought me canvases for my birthday. It’s really just a matter of time.

The plan started out in my head with an idea, which I slowly developed, after lots of pondering. Pondering is a key first step in painting. Now I’m ready to make it a reality. But first I’m going to draw my painting. A little.

Let me explain. I’m going to sketch onto the canvas the basic idea of what I want my painting to be. I’ve managed to bring my easel and paints across the vast Atlantic, so my tools are waiting. I already know what my painting will be called. But that’s going to remain a secret a while longer.

Stay tuned for pictures.