Sunday, April 14, 2013

Spring is ever so slowly springing

Spring is coming quite slowly to Sweden this year.  It's already April 14th and yet we've only had a couple of days reaching up towards 8 or 9C (upper 40s F).  We have had plenty of sun lately, though, for which I have been very thankful.  At night, though, the temperatures keep dropping back down below freezing.  Just on Friday it was actually sleeting during my bike ride to work.  It wasn't pleasant, as sleet in the face on a bike going downhill is rather painful!  It had snowed over night, as well.  Luckily, it rained throughout the day and melted the little bit of snow that had accumulated.  I suppose with all this chatter about the current weather what I'm really trying to say is that I'm ready for spring!  It's mid-April already, let's go Sweden, get with it!

In any case, I took a couple of shots yesterday when I first saw these lovely little snödroppar (snow drops) in our back yard.  They are usually taken as the first sign of spring, as they are the first flowers that usually pop up out of the spring snows, hence the name.

I was so excited to see them I whipped out my phone and ran over to crouch and snap these shots.  J simply continued to enter into our building without waiting upon me.  Alas, he's not so delighted with nature and signs of different seasons as I am.

Speaking of J, this past week he officially accepted a new job!  He will be working at Göteborgs Universitet (Gothenburg University) in their library as a production engineer.  Engineer, library?  I know it sounds odd, but they need help converting their entire library into a digital one.  We're so excited!  I think the job fits his profile quite well and that he'll be quite happy in his new roll.

In other good news, we also finally booked our honeymoon trip this past week!  I know, I know, we got married last September, how have we not even planned or taken a honeymoon 'til now?  I guess it just hasn't been very possible, we've been busy bees working.  We did at least go on a short Pisa, Italy weekend trip back in October.  This time, though, we'll be spending a lovely week in Cyprus in mid-August.  This is the first time I've ever booked a "fancy" hotel and I am super excited!  It's also an adult hotel, that is, the age limit is at 16 years of age.  No one younger is allowed on the premises.  I wanted this kind of peaceful and relaxing environment for our honeymoon.  I am usually the advocate of saving a buck and going with more budget options and not minding children running around, but this is our honeymoon after all!  I figure for once in our life we could indulge a bit. I've always wanted to go to the Mediterranean, as well, so to put it simply, I'm excited and very much looking forward to August.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

February, March and into April...

Lots has happened since my last post.  For the first two weeks in March I went home to the US.  It was a bunch of fun!  I'm sure I will post more about it later, but I just felt the urge to write a small little interlude post so that you all (if there are any of you left anymore =) know that I'm still alive and kicking!

February was not very eventful.  For Valentine's Day, J and I decided to cook a nice homemade meal to celebrate the occasion.  We don't really buy into all of that consumerism with needing to buy gifts for each other and little boxes of candy shaped like hearts.  But it is always nice to celebrate the person you love and have a special evening.  We decided to actually buy some steaks (those never appear in this household, way too expensive to eat on a regular basis!), and we also had hasselbackspotatis and green beans with red wine sauce with it.  Mmm!  I also made vanilla panna cotta and we had some nice red wine with it.  Nice!

Then came my two week trip to Ohio!  It was really great to get out of  Sweden and the work work work with mail work work work mode.  I was really beginning to feel run down in my body (i.e. physically), so that trip couldn't have come at a better time.  In a nutshell (to be extended later), it was lovely to see family and friends.  It was just me this time, J needed to stay here and keep working.  The good thing about going alone is you really can focus all of your time and energy on friends and family.  Two weeks is never long enough (I usually travel 3 weeks, but now that I work pretty much full time, that wasn't possible).  But this time around I really ended up missing the States and Ohio.  For the first time I was actually sad to come back to Sweden (although of course looking very much forward to seeing the husband again).  I usually get my fill and then come back, but something stuck this time around.  I have it as a goal to work on moving back, even if that process takes several years.  We shall see!  The story is never over.  I also don't think I am done with Sweden, either, but there is always a pull in the other direction.  That's simply a choice I've made and I've got to deal with it!  You never know what life may throw you.  =)

So for the past couple of weeks I've just been back at the grinding stone with work.  Luckily the weather has been rather cooperative (that is, sunny!).  There has been a good deal of cold, but this week it's been nearly up to 50F/9C so far!  This past weekend was Easter, meaning that it was a 4 day weekend here in Sweden. We get Friday and Monday off.  J and I went "home" to Tibro and visited with friends and family all weekend.  We even went to a new show at his brother's place in Hjo, and then Sunday evening we spent the evening/night at my good friend M's place.  It was just a lovely, getaway weekend socializing with the family and old friends from the Skaraborg district.  Here are a couple of pictures to leave you with of the beautiful view his brother now has from his newly acquired waterside restaurant in Hjo!