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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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ˜‰ ) 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 πŸ™‚ 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…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 πŸ™‚

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!

xoxo

 

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 πŸ™‚ 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 Β and look forward to when things settle down this summer Β 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)

Day 30

14 Nov

It’s day 30 of the 30-day photo challenge! I did it! I actually posted a picture every day (during the week) the ENTIRE time and if I say so myself, I’m pretty dang proud that I did that πŸ™‚ It feels good to post on a more regular basis and it also helps to get all of your sweet comments about how much you have been enjoying this little challenge. So for the last day, the photo challenge is:

A picture of someone you miss

This is a picture of my Grandpa Hartman (my mom’s step-father) who was the best grandpa any girl could ask for. My grandpa and I had this connection that I hope my children will someday have with my dad. It was like I could do no wrong in his eyes and he was SO proud of every little thing I did. He even kept EVERY, SINGLE seashell I found at the beach Β and displayed them above the TV for all to see…all 574 of them! My grandpa knew how much I LOVED to save my money when I was little (I wish that carried on into my older years) so the one time I decided to splurge on a giant teddy bear at the mall (I think it cost 20 dollars), after I had paid, he pulled me to the side so no one else in my family could see a stuck 20 bucks in my pocket and said “shh, don’t tell.”

I wish he was around to see that young woman I’ve become. I know that he’s always around me, and he’s so proud of what I’ve done since he’s passed. Grandpa, if you’re reading this…I think about you more often than you will ever know and you were the BEST grandpa in the whole world. I promise to live the rest of my life the way you did; laughing the whole way through it. I love you Grandpa Hartman and I hope you and Grandma are having a grand ol’ time up there!

Day 29

11 Nov

Happy Veteran’s Day to all my people in America! I’m so thankful for the men and women who put their lives on hold to fight for our country and make sure we can maintain all of our American values. Also, happy happy Friday to all of you! I hope you all have something fun planned for the weekend and are preparing yourselves for Thanksgiving! Joachim and I will be having our Thanksgiving dinner NEXT Sunday and I’m getting a bit nervous about having all the ingredients to make what I want. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how it turns out…

Moving on to today’s photo challenge:

A picture that can always make you smile

This picture makes me smile for a number of reasons…one, it was taken on my sister’s wedding day, which was SO much fun and such a happy day. The second, is because I am so thankful that I actually have a picture of my three best friends all together! Maggie (second from right) was in Colorado for Lindsay’s wedding and it was nice to be able to hang out with both my Colorado best friends and my best friend from STL all at the same time. I am really really hoping that Maggie figures out a way to move out to Colorado so we can all be together again πŸ™‚

Hope you all enjoy your weekends!! See you on Monday πŸ™‚