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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!

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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.

Day 17

26 Oct

Today’s challenge is:

A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently

 

 

I think moving 8,000 miles away to a new country where they speak a foreign language would make a huge impact on anyone. The question is, would it be a good or a bad impact? Thankfully, I have realized that taking a leap of faith and moving somewhere that I know absolutely nothing about has done a whole lot of good for at least figuring out something…and that is myself. Never before did I realize that shopping for groceries would involve translating what I needed before I left for the store. Never before did I realize that missing home means a whole lot more when getting home takes at least 20 hours and a few plane rides. Never before did I realize that America is a really great place to grow up (not that Sweden isn’t) and that I am truly proud to be an American. I am so thankful that my family and friends have supported me on this journey because without that extra push, who knows where I would be right now.

Day 15

24 Oct

The challenge for the day is :

A picture of something you want to do before you die

Visit the Seven New Wonders of the World (Created in 2007)

1. Machu Picchu, Peru

2. The Colisseum in Rome

3. Petra Jordan

4. Christ Redeemer, Brazil

5. The Great Wall of China

6. Chichen Itza, Mexico

7. The Taj Mahal, India

I am so lucky to have already been to three of the seven and I am pretty certain that I can complete the last four before I die. I think it’s so important to see the world and understand that it’s such a bigger place than just where you grew up. It’s a true blessing that we are able to have transportation that can get us anywhere we want to (for a cost) and I think everyone should take advantage of this. Hopefully I will still have this blog up and running by the time I see the rest of the places on the list 🙂 I’ll be sure to upload pics when I make it there!

 

Day 14

21 Oct

It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday! Yippeeee 🙂 Today’s challenge is:

A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without

It’s crazy to me that before March 2009 I never even knew Joachim existed and here I am thinking that I can never imagine my life without him. Which makes me think, how did I live life before him? I always knew that I wanted to find a man who had the same qualities of my dad, little did I know I had to go halfway around the world to find him. Joachim, I love you with all my heart. You’re the reasoning voice whenever I’m upset about something, the one who forgives so easily and can always make me smile when you do that crazy dance of yours. Jag älskar dig, Joachim…för alltid.

Day #4

7 Oct

Today’s photo challenge reads:

A picture of something you did last night

Yes, that is a classrom. And yes, that is my teacher 🙂 And, as a matter of fact, this is really what I did last night (and every Tuesday and Thursday night I will be doing this until December 8th).

I finally got around to signing up for a legitimate Swedish class that is offered through Folk Universitetet, which is associated with the University of Lund. I will attend class for 1 1/2 hours, twice a week, for 10 weeks in hopes of becoming a better Swedish speaker. There are seven of us, total, in the class with 1 girl from Russia, 1 girl from Ukraine, 1 boy from Palestine, 2 boys from Lithuania and 1 other boy from Australia. It seems to be a pretty good mix of people and everyone is very nice to each other. Our teacher is a very sweet lady named Anna-Lena who lives just outside of Helsingborg. I am really eager to learn more Swedish and to be able to “hold my own” once and for all 🙂