Miami week

Long time no see:)
Life definitely takes up some time...
Back from a trip to Miami and overloaded with sunshine, warmth and new memories again. 
Our days consisted of family, laughing, beaching, shopping and togetherness. 
But of course also hugging, wynwooding, eating and dogging...
Fueled up on so much positive energy this week.
Our beautiful friends were the perfect hosts. 
Not only did they offer a bed to sleep in but they were the best guides, booked the best restaurants and were the best company. 
A week of teas and talks later I feel a little bit more energetic, more happy and more ready to face the winter‘s bitter cold. 
And that’s because of all the warmth I’ve been exposed to. 
Literally and physically. 
Lucky lucky me!

Our Christmas holiday...

In the midst of the excitement of soon going to Miami I realized I never got to tell you about our trip to gran Canaria. 
A trip where the whole family came together and enjoyed ( well most of the time) each other’s company in a relaxed way far from the everyday life. 
Our hotel offered a nice surrounding, good food and beautiful sunsets :)
I like to explore to get to know a place so we did a few excursions outside the hotel but it always felt good to get back in the night to our rooms so I guess we can give it a good rate. It could of course have been the chocolate on our beds though that every night appeared on our pillows 😉
We went to see friends, the mountains, old towns, incredible sand sculptures, volcano craters  and small villages.
We experienced sunshine, rain, warmth and cold and we laughed, cried, loved and fighted.
Yup, everything that fitted into a family on holiday we experienced. 
But we did all of it together.
We shared, we bonded and we created memories. 
So grateful!!!

Sunday was funday

Sunday was  a funday:)
I took three kids ( one was busy with friends and homework) and a husband and went to a street art exhibition. 
That was such a fun thing to do for all ages and all of us:). 
Street art, optical illusions and interactive learning.
Remember it is only optical illusions so nothing is what it seems to be...
So freakin cool!
Then of course we had the usual graffiti that once started as vandalism and now is considered art.
Amazing artists and skills and all of their art has a story to tell. Either political, environmental or just informative.
Loved, loved loved it. 
Happy kids, happy parents happy life:)
Yup, a street art exhibition is highly recommended a normal Sunday.

A look back at our Christmas ...

I think I’m back!
We will see how I feel but today I’m giving it a go:)
We are on vacation right now but unfortunately I left my phone at a friend’s house a couple of days ago so no pictures and documentation yet. 
Instead im giving you an update of our Christmas. 
We did not have a lot of decorations for various reasons and I kept my table setting for Christmas simple.
Instead I filled the rooms with family, love and laughs.
A wonderful start of hopefully a new tradition!
I hope you all had a beautiful Christmas too where at least some of your wishes and dreams became true...

Activity day...

When fever is gone the energy comes back and suddenly my daughter was ready for some adventure.
We decided to go visit a medieval manor in the middle of nowhere at the countryside outside our summerhouse. 
She was lucky to have one of her cousins joining her, which added some extra positive dimension to this whole cold trip:)
A medieval calendar making with the use of the same sort of colors they used back then ( hard to work with said Bella) had them focused, and warmed up, for a little while.
After that it was time for the next thing...
Of course some of us, no matter age, had to try to put their neck in the pillory. ( right word?)
Everything seemed to be of interest but when it came to go treasure hunting in the manor Bella chickened out already in the entrance. Despite the company of my sister, it was too dark, too narrow aisles and apparently to steep for my daughter to feel comfortable so we stopped the fun there.
Instead we went to a bakery to stock up with goodies and went home to top off our day in our warm kitchen waiting for my family to join us for a coffee/tea and snack. 
Best moment of that day according to me:)
Love my family, love exploring the neighborhood and love being here!

An ordinary fall day...

This boat!
Im telling you, it really does something to you.
It's like it is glueing us as a family together, making us want to spend time with each other, exploring.
Not to mention all the feeding of our souls by the beauty of our nature...
Olivia took one of the jetski's to drop it off for winterstorage and rode behind us for half the trip and rest of the journey we enjoyed the colors, the fresh air and of course some food:)
Yup, it's amazing how an ordinary fall day can fill your heart with such joy and satisfaction. 
So so grateful!

Sunday funday

Feeling a little wild and crazy the other day we decided to go biking on rail bikes at abandoned railways. 
An easy but different way to explore the nature. 
The sun was shining so it was a perfect day to enjoy the early autumn together. 
Remember we are in Sweden, hint hint, look at the clouds ahead of us...
Optimistic me claimed it was not going to rain and my pessimistic other half thought it would be better to bring umbrellas in case...
Was I kind of grateful in the end?!
Thats how we complete each other.
But, the biketour took us 16km ( 10 miles) through beautiful meadows, over small rivers and down in a valley and offered a varied environment and lots of fresh air.
Not to mention the numb muscles after our race back to the dry car:)
So despite the rain it was a wonderful experience and I can highly recommend to try it. 
Sunday funday!

Reality is here!

Reality is catching up on us!
I feel like I've been hit by a truck. 
A huge fatigue has taken over my body and soul.
We have finally reached the days when the everyday routines are knocking on our door. 
School is starting!
For two days now the two middle kids have been "moving in" to their new school, meeting new friends, new challenges and hopefully a bright future. 
At this school all preparations and help they would need for success are served on a silver plate but the student's own effort is apparently something the school does not provide...
A lot of emotions, nervousness but luckily some excitement too...
And for some the real world immediately showed its "cruelty" by not having prepared the bed in the room but left that activity to the guest. 
They actually have to make their beds everyday, wash and change their bed linen on their own and properly clean the room once a week. 
Woohooo, miracles are to be expected:)
The oldest one is leaving tomorrow and that's when I brutally will be thrown in a new way of living. 
Only one child at home, new house, silence, old but long-time-ago-lived in country, new area, not so many friends yet, worrying, sending positive thoughts to the kids and so on. 
List can be long but clinging on to all those small but positive steps the kids are taking towards a more positive direction. 
"Everything is going to ok in the end, and if it's not ok, then it's not the end"!

Sweet sixteen!

Yesterday my oldest daughter turned 16 years of age. 
My beautiful, funny, wonderful, bighearted and exuberant girl is becoming a young woman. 
Even the sun decided that she was worth shining on so we could have lunch outside:)
Witty and annoying, ambitious and demanding, creative and sensitive and completely and utterly wonderful.
Its fascinating how so much love, hate, caring, frustration, thoughtfulness and anger can coexist at the same time but then again she is an extraordinary girl.
I so love our singing, our dancing in the kitchen, our cracking up laughing, our talks, our walks...
She makes my life fulfilled!
Yup, I so live my daughter!

Together at last...

Since the last week now we finally have been all together.
Its been a couple of days filled with love, tears and togetherness. 
The kids have not yet landed in the idea of staying here in this country but I can definitely sense a slight difference in their appearances, maybe only sensible to moms though...
But still:)
We have actually have time together where we laughed, dreamed and made plans together.
Small steps in the right direction.
Just wonderful if you ask me.
Being all here in Sweden our real journey is about to start. 
Beginning of august we are moving in to our new house so these coming weeks leading up to that final move will have to serve as a mental gym, making the kids stronger...
But the sun is shining, we are in our little haven and we are together. 
It's a wonderful start!

Concentrated love...

Im too tired to update but felt a need to express my love for my family. 
Im so spoiled, so lucky and so happy. 
Going through diifucult times, happy moments, serious days and experience things together kind of glue us together more tightly day after day. 
Even If the mouth is full of food their hearts never seem to stop expanding.
So many tears, dreams, hugs, journeys and moments we have shared and so much fun, difficulties, sun and rains...
Concentrated love in three pictures:)
Best family ever! ❤️

Fur, forest and favorites

Sometimes I get struck by the big gratefulness!
So grateful for family, friends, the sun, the season, health, a smile, a cup of tea and life.
Just walking in the forest with the two youngest in my family gives me so much satisfaction that I have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming.
To walk, jump, crawl, learning about directions and how to read trail signs, run, climb and laugh seem to be a perfect activity on the weekend that not only is giving us fresh air but also a beautiful experience, wonderful memories and many smiles. 
Fur, forest and favorites sprinkled with sunshine...

Love, leaves and long walks

The fall is in full "bloom" and I'm enyoing every little moment of it. 
Its glowing at the same time it passes on a feeling of it slowing down.
Preparing for a more sleepy season...
Sleepy was not the case of a few members in our family though who instead seemed to gain energy taking in the sunshine, the fresh air and the warm embracing colors the forest offered during our walks.
I feel so spoiled having the reservation with its forest, trails and beauty just around the corner from our house
Love, leaves and long walks!
Some of the ingredients in the pot of life that makes it taste good!

Fun in the city

The long weekend is over and no storm or rain spoiled the last piece of holiday although it was threatening.
With two kids less we decided to pay a visit to the "city" with Central Park and the zoo on the list. 
That little zoo is like an oasis in the already green desert of Central Park. 
It is so lush, green and welcoming you just walk around ( with the rest of americas inhabitants) feeling good:)
Its not big, but it's small (!) and just enough to see without being exhausted. 
Not to mention the excitement of rollerblading through Central Park. 
With one superheroe on each side it is possible to do magical tricks:)
The rest of the weekend went in the same lazy way but mentally I think the kids are now preparing to get back to school, homework and early mornings. 
I believe I'm the only one looking forward though...
Actually, I can not wait for them to go back!!!
Bring them on!!!

To cut the cord...

I'm now one experience richer.
An experience that has been including emotions spanning from happiness to pure grief and everything in between. 
To drop off a child far far away from the mom must really be the final attempt to cut the cord.
So painful and mentally draining.
On the other hand, beyond all those tears lies excitement, pride, hope, expectations, belief  almost a weird feeling of relief.
When I looked at my son's sunny face I realized that this is his choice, his life and his dreams that are about to start now. 
And through my tears I so respect that.
We, his family, has provided and prepared this platform for him to start live on his own, since he was born.
i can only hope that this base is strong enough to carry him and withstand any kind of storms that sometimes occur in life...
So many thoughts that are running through.
Have we done enough, have we done right, could we have done things differently?
I so want him to have fun, to succeed, to embrace life, to take chances and challenges, to laugh, feel and grab every beautiful moment life offer.
I guess time will show...
'But then again, it's his life.
Although judging from the big smile in his face, the sparkles in his eyes and that confident aora surrounding him, I think we are off for a good start.
Back home the rest of the family will learn how to deal with all those emotions coming from your heart when someone is missing.
I think I will also start a "forget-choosing-a-university-far-away-from-home-campaign" for the other kids.
Just to be egoistic.

A summer with my parents

One of the reasons I'm here all summer are my parents. 
They are not so "travelized" and prefer to stay put.
And if the montain doesn't want to come...
So during my weeks here we fill them with laughs, nagging ( I sometimes become a parent to my parents), hugs, trips, worrying, silence ( to share comfortable silence is actually very peaceful), dinners and love.
(Hi hi, this last picture is kind of significant for our activities together:))
I so love my parents. 
According to Bella they are caring, nice, huggable, remember birthdays, always giving kisses and are old...
My wonderful dad who is still in a fight with his body and mind. 
This time ( since the treatment went well) he is battling other demons and is sometimes in his own sad little bubble not really reachable.
My beautiful mom who is doing this journey with my dad with the same energy and attitude like a warrior. 
And then me who wish I would have a magic wand but instead only can offer time, hopefully some relieve and support when needed and of course a lot of company.
The mental climate during the past summers here has literally been like the weather.
Rainy, warm, cloudy and grey, thunderstormy, windy, and sunny.
Everything sprinkled with togetherness, understanding and acceptance ( to a certain level 😜) and love in lots.
The goal of every summer with my parents is to share joy, experience things and be together.
I do think we succeed also this time:)
Thank you parents for being who you are!

Trampoline in the making...

We have a descent sized garden surrounding our summerhouse. 
Perfect size for a trampoline the kids told us.
Knowing how much time they ( mostly Bella) spend outdoor everyday on the trampoline back in the US we thought it was a good idea to get one here too.
Because we only have bikes, balls and the beach for them otherwise...
Poor kids 😝
When it was time to assemble it the whole family (at least the ones being here with us) was involved.
It could be everything from genius speculations, assembling, advising and resting underneath it, to three changes of dresses to, in Bella's world, match the different stages of progress and then finally the jumping.
Teamwork as its finest:)
Happy kids are happy parents:)

Summernights and cousins

Im back!
My blog did not want me to log in so have not been able to document our living.😜
Meanwhile life has continued.
The sun has replaced the grey days and is warming up our cold souls. 
The kids cousins are dropping in one after another and is shaking up our lazy days. 
And the summer nights are just magical.
The usual evening ice cream tastes best on the pier:)
Bella has by the way arranged for a new family constellation. 
Her big cousin in the middle of the photo expressed his will of having a little sister.
She immediately offered her service and was accepted:)
So now I have five kids suddenly and my sister three. 
We share everything us sisters. 
Yes, we are not suffering at all. 
Freedom, sunshine and family. 
Thats a lot to be grateful for. 
Tonight my last sister with her kids are arriving and then my whole family ( except two of my kids) is here to share the beauty of our days. 

Fika time

When the weather is cold and not so summery the need for a "fika" ( a coffee and something sweet like a cinnamon bun) gets bigger. 
And if you then find a cozy place with homemade organic goodies, blankets to wrap your cold body in and a couple of sisters and parents, then the grey day immediately becomes brighter. 
Instead of the sun rays we keep us warm just by being together, sharing the days and smiles. 
Some of us needs to spice it up with a little bit of drama too but when its only about a dramatic pose I can take that:)
I do think it's about time the sun and the warmth arrive though.
I mean how many cinnamon or cardamom buns could you actually have!?

Family portrait...

They are here!!!
The first professional portraits we have ever taken as a family. 
Those hours we spent in that photo studio I mentioned a while ago, this is the result:
My beautiful sons!
When I look at these photos I realize how grown up they are...
'And how old that makes me:)
And my stunning daughters who both also have that inner beauty one can hint even in the pictures. 
The photographer did a good job in trying to catch the essence of my kids personalities
I can definitely see a thinker, a happy-go-lucky, one ambitious and one dreamer...
And of course we have a reflection of that media world we are living...:)
Yup, here we are!
As seen from the eye of a professional photographer!

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