Thursday, November 25, 2010

Parties & Friends

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving!

This past Saturday J and I hosted a party to basically celebrate my arrival in Sweden. We invited a bunch of friends and it was a bunch of fun! J created a music trivia challenge and divided our guests into three different groups. It seemed to be a hit, some people got pretty competitive. It was fun to see how much people knew, especially the American stuff that I thought they would have trouble with! It was nice to get to know some of his (and now my) friends better.

This past week there has been yet another big snow storm. It snowed continuously Tuesday and Wednesday. These aren't too beautiful, but I took these when doing laundry in the basement yesterday to capture just how wintry it is already.

I'm no stranger to snow, but I'm not used to November being so much like the heart of winter.

I'm still enchanted by all the snow, though, so I'm glad that I'm still appreciating it! Maybe it's because I don't have to drive to and from work with all the crazies in Ohio that I can appreciate snow again. I often drive J to work, and it's never a problem to drive. The Swedes have much better heads on their shoulders when it comes to driving in "bad" weather. (But wait, there is no such thing as bad weather!) They also do a fantastic job at continually clearing the roads. Living in a smaller town in a country much smaller than the States probably also helps the road conditions. You simply don't need to fight for road space.

Tonight I had my first social activity all on my own! I mentioned a few posts back a woman whom I befriended at J's uncle's birthday party. She is a friend of the family. She and I got together for fika at a local coffee shop. I had a bunch of fun! It was so nice to 1) have one on one with someone other than J (don't get me wrong, I love my Swede, but a fresh face is always nice!) 2) to have a female friend and 3) simply to have social interaction! It was also nice to be able to make a friend all on my own doing - J had never met her before, even though she was at his uncle's birthday party. We had coffee and a dessert and just chatted away for a little over an hour about anything and everything. It feels great to be making progress on the social front.

This coming Saturday I am going to be cooking a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner for J and two other friends. I'm excited to share some American culture! I'm so used to learning about Swedish culture (and they seem to have so much more culture than America), so I'm excited to be able to give them a taste of something so traditionally American. After we eat, we're going to Vara (a town about 45 min drive from here) to see The Soundtrack of Our Lives. They are a Swedish band J introduced me to back in the spring, and I really enjoy them. I'm excited to get to be able to see them live.

After coming back home from my fika date, I truly realized how happy I am with life. Some might see dropping a life one has always known to pick up a completely new and foreign place overwhelming and frightening. And I can agree that yes, there will certainly be challenges along the way. But I feel like I'm living my life to its fullest and should have no regrets. It feels great to have taken such a plunge into an amazing opportunity. I still have times where I think to myself as I look out our window "That is Sweden out there!" I'm excited to learn a new language, culture, and fit into life here. I'm also so happy to have found someone who is worth moving across the world for. I don't regret a single bit of it. Sure, I'll miss home because home is always home, and I definitely miss my friends and family, but there is a new life with new friends and family to be made here, too. I guess on this Thanksgiving day, I'm thankful for the opportunities that have come across my path, and that I have actually been able to seize them. Happy Thanksgiving!

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