A trip to the zoo.

Today was a perfect day for a trip to the zoo.
It was a zoo I have not been visiting in at least 35 years and I will probably not go back in the next 35 years either.
It is the world's largest animal park hosting Nordic animals so Bella was very excited. 
Unfortunately we seemed to have bad luck with the animals sleeping, hiding or not even being there because the only creatures we saw were seals, pigs, goats and a sleeping bear. 
No moose, no Lynx, no wolf or no golden eagle. 
The environment was very pretty and idyllic though, with scenic wilderness mixed with tamed Swedish countryside. 
Like walking around in a children's book...
All the people working there greeted us with a big smile and a friendly "hello".
Maybe they were trying to keep us happy knowing we will not be able to see any animals…:)
The playgrounds were great, the nature beautiful and the seal was cute.
Bella was still happy so I guess it was a good trip after all anyway. 
And her mom got to ride in that mechanical tractor attraction in "Shawn the sheep land". 
I knew I had a country girl inside me:)

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:)

My birthday girl!

Today its my oldest daughter's birthday!
She is going from 14 years old to 15 years old. 
She is going from a girl to a young lady.
From a bud to a flower.
She is going from pretty to beautiful. 
From sweet hearted to warmhearted. 
And from mature to wise. 
This beautiful, funny, adventurous, responsible, sporty, ambitious, bighearted and energetic young lady lightens up her surroundings when it's dark, encourages and supports when mr Serious knocks on the shoulder and now and then also slams her door in my face ( that's balance).
That girl is having her birthday today!
Hooray!!! 🎈🎈🎈
'In case you did not know it I love her all the way to the moon and back, actually a little bit more. 

Bread love

While some in our family are focusing on becoming a bike heroe another one ( read me) seems to only be focusing on food. 
At the moment I'm obsessed with all that beautiful bread that I can't find back in the US.
Organic and ecological, stone-baked and made with different flours, seeds, oats or nuts. 
Not to mention the sweet section of the Swedish goodies. 
My favorites are cardamom or cinnamon buns and blueberry bread...
The smell that surrounds the fresh-baked bread just taken out from the oven ( even bread from the bakery) and the way it wraps my kitchen in a homey and friendly hug just beats everything else. 
The slice still warm, so the butter with sea salt melts, a cup of tea and i have the most perfect start of the day. 
With less than three weeks before heading back im nurturing both my soul and my bread tummy with all these goodies as much as possible.
So much that I'm actually developing like a dough-like ring around my waste...

My husband and his bike...

My dear other half is crazy enough to plan for a bike race across America ( 4500 km or 2796 miles) next summer.
Everyone who knows him also knows that he is stubborn, goal oriented and slightly competitive 😝  
Now he has started his journey in preparation. 
A simple bike ride from our summer house in the very south of Sweden ( Ystad) to our childhood town in the very dark forest ( Växjö) a bit north, 200 km ( 124 miles) of our vacation place
In 6,5 hours!!!
He sent me a few updates along his ride and they were always positive and filled with energy. 
I mean he was even commenting about how beautiful his route was and how fantastic Sweden is.
That to me is very impressive considering his speed...
i would think he did not have time to notice the beauty, only focusing on the goal, but this time I was wrong. 
In 6.5 hours he finished a route he believed would take him 8 hours.
And he managed to take in the rolling fields, the cows under the trees in the pasture, the flowers along the roads and the red cottages.
Im so so proud that he actually can do two things at the time…

New in my kitchen

A few goodies have moved in to my kitchen. 
A few things that I instantly fell in love with. 
A few things that puts a silver lining to my everyday routine in the kitchen. 
A wooden cuttingboard with a golden decoration ( remember my magpie gene)
A new pitcher for the water that will replace the ugly plastic one and which will make plain water look like it comes straight from the spring. 
And finally new big teacups ( also with a golden edge) that definitely will enhance my whole experience of drinking  tea. They are actually perfect for hot chocolate with whipped creme too...
Small things that make me feel childishly happy!
Yup, that's me! Shallow as a shower:)

Auto classica

I guess the nerve that is somehow connected with fancy cars is itching again in my husband. 
There are lots of "aerodynamic shape" words, "streamlined" and beautiful "curves" in his vocabulary ( it's not women he is talking about)
A few "must have", would it not be cool, and "can't you see yourself going to the super market in that" seem to sneak in now and then too, to get me engaged:)
But I must say, to see the shimmer in his eyes looking at those beauties, the dreaming look in his face and that little smile of happiness, I kind of think it was totally worth joining him.
And if he wants to keep his boydream alive by walking around in this treasure box of old and beautiful cars I can not do anything but support him:)
And you never know.
Sometimes dreams come true...

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!?

Missing my daughter

I so encourage independence in my kids. 
Sometimes that quality creates a kind of emptiness in a mom's heart though.
Especially if time is involved...
In this very moment its my eldest daughter who creates that feeling in me. 
This young beautiful lady, so full of life, feelings and laughter!
This summer someone else is enjoying her sparkling presence. 
Work, travels and friends are keeping her busy and away from her mom (!)
Luckily we got a week together in the beginning of the summer and that "caramel" is still melting in my mouth. 
But, positive thinking, being independent is good.
Sometimes I wish my heart would speak the same language as my brain though.
Then the emptiness would not have been so painful...

Doing nothing

Sometime it's time to do absolutely nothing!
That nothing can be just to lay in the sofa on the veranda counting the small white clouds rushing by in the sky.
Opening up the doors out to the garden to hear the birds sing out loud...
Contemplating about life, enjoying the peaceful silence and maybe trying to decide what to eat for later...
'That's totally enough a day when to do nothing is on the schedule. 
Yup, those days need to be included in a holiday too. 
They are rare but oh so good:)

A white little lie...

When I saw these pictures (taken by my beautiful friend) of my daughter blowing a dandelion I got a flashback from my own childhood.
I told Bella how I remember how we tried to remove all seeds from the globe in just one blow.
That would mean we were loved...
Unfortunately not a lot of seed fell off when Bella blew...
But in this case it was all about mom-love so I adjusted the saying a little and instead told my daughter that this is how strong our love is. 
This particular little flower can actually grow through concrete and not even a man made storm can upset that special bond we have I told her.
She bought that version immediately and replaced her disappointed look with a smile. 
Sometimes a white little lie can do good...

Peace love and friendship

On the visitor front no news:)
We are enjoying each other's company, using our laughing muscles in our tummies till they cramp, drinking a lot of tea, we eat a lot ( of course) and a few pieces of chocolate are slinking down now and then. 
We surround us with love, we go for endless beach walks, listening to the calming waves and we are feeling the freedom running through our veins. 
In other words:
Life is good!!!

A new hairdo...

One little girl in our family decided to get a haircut.
She wanted to change her look...
And she managed to do exactly that:)
Its amazing how much a new hairdo can change your whole appearance. 
To go from pretty to pretty is nothing for my daughter but with that extra confidence that came with the haircut I might consider maybe doing the same:)
 It's like a reversed version of Samson, the more hair she lost the more powerful she felt.
I had to look twice though when I saw her but with that smile, her acrobatic moves and confident steps I guess she was as happy as a clam at high tide and that was certainly enough for me. 
Happy child happy mom. 
My brave little girl never ceases to amaze me. 

A new visitor.

Here we go again!
New visitor, new experience and new memories to make. 
Have I told you how spoiled I am with all these beautiful people who are coming to see me?!
Last night when she arrived we walked down to the beach and just absorbed the magical light and the infinity. 
The days are as blank and empty as the sea in front of us and we are going to fill them with life, togetherness and fun.
In this very moment we will start off the day with a cup of tea on the front porch enjoying the sun (!) which decided to welcome my friend with some warm rays:)

The power of flowers.

On my walk today I decided to pick some flowers to put in my vases just to cheer up my home, my mood and the lack of summerfeeling that has been lingering around for a while now ...
I picked whatever I could find along my way, that includes grass, leaves and hopefully some colors and I felt I was lucky on my walk. Quite a nice and substantial bouquet...
The funny thing was that in my search of this blossom substitute to the sun, the real thing came out and sprinkled some golden rays over the vases, in to the rooms and it reached all the way into my heart too:)
Talk about flower power!

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!

A bike from Ikea

Lo and behold but I learnt that IKEA revealed that they have created a unisex bike that are rolling (im so funny) into their stores all over the world from August. 
So not only did they build up the Swedish "people-home", now they are going to build up our health too.
This is also a part of a sustainable lifestyle and at the same time offering an environmental friendly transportation option.
( pictures from ikea)
The bike from ikea comes (of course) in a flat pack and has a few customized accessories like the basket and the tow-cart that is easily put on with a simple click-on system. 
Since I love to use my bike when in my summerhouse this really inspires me to dust off my old bike in the US ( or buy a new one at ikea) and start transporting myself by using my legs instead of the car for all small errands that can be done on a bike. 
I love ikea for always trying to make things better and with this bike they won the Red dot award ( one of the biggest design competitions in the world)  for best product design and also chosen for "best of the best" in the category of groundbreaking design. 
Yup, definitely something to consider for us urban riders ("wannabes") that want to ride in style:)

Busy Monday

When the visitors are gone reality calls for attention. 
Piles of laundry being neglected needed some tender loving care.
Our terrace is turning towards the green color so yesterday was a perfect day to begin the journey back to some order in the house:)
"I like work. I can watch it for hours"!
While the man in the house was doing the terrace, I, the woman in the house, was washing and ironing and now and then shouting some encouraging words to my hardworking son. 
There is nothing like fresh air-dried sheets. 
To me it smells summer, holiday and freedom...
We were working against the rain but we managed to get all in before it started to drizzle.
Treated terrace, check!
Washing and ironing, check!
Teamwork, check!
Summerfeellings, check!
Feeling good after, check!
A pretty good Monday I would say:)

Fun filled days

Alone again!
The house feels empty but my heart is full:)
We have had a few days filled with friendship, beachwalk, tree climbing and giggling.
Continued with city tour, waffles, Kåseberga, more beach, jumping and love.
Finished off with spa, shrimp sandwich, the most southern point in Sweden, shopping and more lauging. 
A few days filled with sunshine, rain, cold and warmth.
A few days filled with togetherness.
Feeling grateful...

A visit to our Swedish "Stonehenge" in Kåseberga

We continue our tour of "must-see" when first time in this area. 
Kåseberga is of course on that list and it never let us down.
Beautiful and majestic the landscape with its historical landmark welcomes you to enjoy the view, the freedom and maybe a cardamom bun if in need:)
The magical light, the endless horizon and a beautiful friend is the recepi for a wonderful experience.
If you then spice it up with laughs, love and some exciting climbing up and down...
Yup, then the success is a fact:)

A day in the city

The weather was not really on our side yesterday but we managed to walk a little city tour before it started to rain anyway. 
Despite the lack of sunshine Ystad still delivered...
I think we blended in well among all the flowers and colors and the "sunshine" that is still embracing the pictures are coming from their hearts.
Some people (read my friend) just don't need the sun to shine:)


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