Christmas is in the air

6 Dec

I seriously can’t believe we are right in the thick of things with Christmas just 19 days away! Yikes! We got our official first snow in Helsingborg yesterday, which lasted a good 15 minutes and then went away. That is my favorite kind of snow. Over this past weekend Joachim and I met up with my good friend Lykke and her boyfriend Stefan to check out a Christmas market at a park called Fredriksdahl that is located just across the street from our apartment. We spent a few hours at the market on Sunday wandering around to the different stalls that were set up, selling different Swedish delicacies such as different breads, meats, cheeses, jams and sweets along with other little gifts you would find at a typical Christmas market.

What was also neat about this market was that they bring in old houses that have to be at least 200 years old and place them inside the park. Then, they have actors inside the house doing what a typical family would’ve been doing 200 years ago. And let me tell you one thing, THANK GOD I WASN’T AROUND BACK THEN! Yikes. I would definitely be one whiney little bit** if I had to endure the kind of stuff they did. More power to ’em.

Here are some of the pictures I snapped over the weekend:

All bundled up, waiting at the entrance for Lykke and Stefan

Typical stars that you’ll see in the window of every Swedish house during Christmas time  :)

This one’s for you mom! A giant troll-thingie that costs 1,000 kr (equal to approx. 150 dollars). I would’ve bought it for you but then I would’ve had to pay for an extra seat on the flight home!

Accordion-playing men

Santa looks a bit different here, below is an attempt at capturing Swedish Santa through the window (Joachim didn’t have the patience to let me wait in line to snap a real one!)

Here he is!

My cute little guy trying to stay warm inside the barn

A stand full of sweet treats!

And finally, this one’s for you sister! You can buy your very own eel to have on the Christmas table this year!

Skinnskatteberg med Mormor och Carina

28 Nov

Joachim and I just returned from a very lovely trip to a small town about 1 1/2 hours west of Stockholm named Skinnskatteberg. Try to say that twice! Since we are headed to Colorado for Christmas, we decided that it would be nice to make time to visit Joachim’s grandma and Carina before we left to celebrate the holidays with them and hang out for a bit. We had a very relaxing time and were so glad that we were able to visit for a while. I think I also surprised Joachim’s grandma with how much Swedish I have learned since the last time I saw her, which made her so happy that we could finally understand each other🙂 She is such a nice lady and has the wittiest personality.

Mormor’s first iPhone experience!

The beautiful church on the outside of town. This is also the site where Joachim’s grandpa is buried. Quite peaceful.

Skinnskatteberg’s population is approximately 4,500 people and is also where Joachim’s mom grew up.

Mormor and I, making marzipan chocolate balls w/ peppermint topping (I forgot the swedish name for them, thus the lengthy english description!)

The finished product! SO good!

Sweet Mormor and Joachim

And finally, we spent some time going through old photo albums so I could see Joachim when he was younger…check out how ADORABLE he was! (And still is😉 ) I couldn’t help but snap a picture of this…

Doesn’t he look like Jonathan Taylor Thomas? OMG I was obsessed with that guy when I was little. Just makes sense that I now date someone who looks just like him as a kid! HAHA!

Anyway, I am so thankful that we got to escape and spend some much-needed time with grandma and Carina. I just realized that I have no pictures of Carina from this trip, but I promise she was there🙂 It really makes me thankful that Joachim has such a wonderful family who treats me like I have been a part of their family forever.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

24 Nov

Source: via Lisa on Pinterest


I am thankful for:

-My friends and family who have never given up on helping me toward my dreams

-My wonderful boyfriend who is truly my best friend

-The opportunity to live in a foreign country and soon return to my “native land” to try our luck there

-The ability to be optimistic in any situation

I hope you all enjoy your day spent with the ones you love and overindulging on all that yummy goodness that will soon be in front of you. Take the time to give thanks for what you have and tell those special people  how thankful you are to have them in your life.

Happy Thanksgiving…a few days early!

21 Nov

Okay, let me address a few things to set the record straight:

1. Thanksgiving is NOT celebrated in Sweden…because the pilgrims didn’t settle here, the settled on PLYMOUTH ROCK in the United States of America.

2. We celebrated Thanksgiving this past Sunday because a. I have to work on Thursday and would have ZERO time to make Thanksgiving dinner and b. We will be seeing Joachim’s mom and grandma this weekend so I won’t have time then either.

3. As you will see in my pictures, there’s one thing missing…the turkey!! My mom tells this story-I’m still not sure if it’s true or if it’s just a cop-out because she doesn’t want to make a turkey every year- about when my sister and I were younger, she went to all this trouble to make this very nice turkey for Thanksgiving, stuffed the damn thing and all. Unfortunately, when she placed it on the table, Lindsay and I took one look at the bird and both started hysterically crying. I’m still not sure if it was because of this huge dead bird in front of us or maybe my mom just burnt the hell out of it (i think it was option a) but to this day my family just has turkey breast and ham on the big day. Also, if you know anything about me, it scares the living daylights out of me to eat anything straight off the bone (feels too cannibalistic to me) so we just have a nice little ham sitting at the end of the table🙂

So, I hope I have answered all of the looming questions and will thus bless you with the great pictures I took of our feast.

–Someone watches a little too much Dexter…

And poor baby Enzo fell into a sleep coma after all that turkey ham!!

So there you have it, my FIRST ever Thanksgiving that I made by myself…in Sweden…where they don’t even celebrate Thanksgiving…and I didn’t even have a turkey. Oh c’mon, give me a break!!

Happy Birthday, Dad!!

18 Nov

This post was originally supposed to go up YESTERDAY for my dad’s actual birthday but something happened and it get posted…thus it’s one day late.

Anyway, I wanted to dedicate a post to my wonderful dad and wish him a very Happy Birthday. Lindsay and I have been truly blessed to have such a family-oriented, loving, caring, advice-giving dad and we wouldn’t trade you for the world!

I love you so much, dad!! Hope this year is one of the best yet!



Some (really) big news, part 2

16 Nov

Sorry to keep many of you on the edge of your seats but I am JUST now getting home from work and the gym🙂 Anyway, where did I leave off?

I’m sorry to burst some of your bubbles (Megan, lol) but we are NOT getting married…yet! We decided that the best way for Joachim to be able to come and STAY in America is to go to school. Thus, Joachim will (hopefully) start classes at a community college this summer that is located pretty close to my parent’s house in Broomfield. He’s not 100% sure yet, but he thinks he may want to study nursing since I so greatly convinced him that nursing is the one occupation that people are desperately seeking people to work AND they have the potential to make a pretty great salary AND he has a heart of gold and I think helping people is something that is second nature to him. We still have a long way from now until classes start in May, so we’ll see if his mind changes at all.

On the other hand, I am going to stay behind in Denver when Joachim leaves (December 30th) to come back to Sweden so I can start looking for jobs. In the meantime, I will apply for another type of visa that let’s me come back to Sweden sometime in March so I can help Joachim sell the rest of our stuff and pack up the last of our things. We are hoping, if all goes well with his visa and such, that we will BOTH be back in Colorado by the end of April or beginning of May to start our new lives there.

We are both very excited to start this new chapter  and look forward to when things settle down this summer  and I get a job and he starts school. I am pretty sure life will be a bit hectic until then, but we are both ready for the challenge and will do anything to be able to stay together. I think he’s worth it, don’t you think?




Some (really) big news

15 Nov

Joachim and I are moving back to AMERICA!

I was taught in Journalism school to write a really great headline to catch the reader’s attention and then spill the other stuff later on because the reader usually loses interest when they get halfway down the page. So there it is. The most important information is right up there. Yes, Joachim and I have made the decision to try our luck back in Colorado. Now, I know you’re probably wondering why and I’ll get to that, but just know that this hasn’t been the easiest decision ever (especially considering the visa situation) but we figured this was the best for the both of us, especially since we both eventually wanted to end up back in Colorado anyway.

So for those of you wondering, I was told by my company two weeks ago that my contract that expires on January 1st will not be extended any longer. It’s pretty normal over here to get hired for 6-12 months at a time and then see what the future holds. For those of you who don’t know, my job (along with my work visa) was the only thing that was allowing me to stay in Sweden for a long period of time. Unfortunately, it will expire 1 day after we planned to return to Sweden from our Christmas trip to Colorado, so I will not be able to return to Sweden with Joachim after the holidays…😦

With 6 weeks left in the country, Joachim and I had some MAJOR planning to do in order to still be able to be together in the same country. Basically these were our options:

If we were to return to the US:

1. Joachim needs to get a work visa (finding a job, getting them to fill out work visa papers, etc. isn’t the easiest thing in the world)

2. Joachim needs to get a student visa (this could happen but the money situation is not ideal)

3. Get married! (ah, maybe we’re too young for that)

In order for me to come back to Sweden:

1. Find a job ASAP and get them to give me a work visa before I return back to the States so I can apply while I’m home (virtually impossible, given that I currently have 4 weeks until I leave)

2. Return to Colorado and fill out some forms to let me temporarily come back to Sweden (for up to two years) and THEN look for a job once I get back.

3. Return to Colorado, fill out the temporary forms and wait for the visa ALL THE WHILE I look for another job in Colorado.. (this could work but Joachim and I will have to be apart for a bit, once again)

So what do you think we decided to do exactly? Yes, I know you know that we decided to head back to Colorado but what do you think our plan is from there?

I’ll update you tomorrow! (love the suspense)