Thursday, January 26, 2017

The rest of 2016 (and the beginning of 2017)

I've been away for so long that it took me a few minutes to remember my username and password to log in and even longer to remember how to upload a photo and write a post here. Given my absence, I let the domain renewal slipped by unaddressed (so there'll be lots of dead ends if you click through the archives) and speaking of those archives, they seem to have been attacked by spam, so be forewarned that some tasteless sites may pop up.

Anyway, here's what we've been up to since I last posted:

We spent a month at the beginning of fall in New York (with a day-long stopover in Iceland) to celebrate birthdays, weddings, and RF's baptism. And I have to say, after our 5-week-vacation-but-not-entirely in Sicily with a baby over the summer, it took some doing to prepare myself for the slog to the U.S.

But, we made it—eventually. And then we spent our trip catching up with friends and family, avoiding the subway as much as humanly possible (it seems to have gotten even more icky since we left...or else we've just become pampered by Stockholm's much cleaner one), eating lots of Mexican food, revelling in the ease and economics of ordering English-language baby books, yarn and spirits online and having them delivered right to our door to take back to Sweden with us, and enjoying some of the many other conveniences of being on that side of the Atlantic.

I also continued to work part-time while we were there, since the job I started in August is with a company that has an office in Manhattan.

When we came back to Stockholm in the middle of October we had a few visitors and then spent the rest of fall and early winter gearing up for our big move... a house! We bought it the week we left for NYC (making the pre-trans-Atlantic-trip days even more chaotic and celebratory).

It took three bidding shenanigans before we came out the "winners" but the relief at having finally secured a permanent place for us to live so we could avoid the Swedish nomad syndrome made us quickly forget the ordeal.

As the year wound down I began working a few more days a month, we bought a car (since we were moving out to what could technically be classified as "the countryside") and we prepared for RF's first birthday party (!!!) and another Christmas at our place with family from New York and Sicily joining us.

Since we had already started to pack, though, it was going to be a bit more of a low-key, minimalistic holiday than last year, but when I woke up on the 24th and drowsily headed to the kitchen, I ran smack into a tree that R had brought home the night before while I was sleeping. So, it was a festive and cheery Christmas after all.

Then came the first week of the new year and a huge snowstorm—which made moving with a walking one-year old quite the adventure.

But we're slowly getting settled into our new home in the country (it's an hour-long commute on public transit from the city, about 40 minutes by car...and 25 by motorcycle). I haven't lived in a two-story house since my childhood in Virginia and while I love the separation between living areas, it's taking some getting used to climbing up and down stairs all day. Other than the daily burn in my legs (and a teensy twinge of anxiety over being "isolated", since I can't drive the car (legally) right now and we're no longer in walking distance from anything, really), I love, love, love being in a house again and knowing that it's ours.

Our little place is situated on the edge of a large forest so we've got a ton of privacy and have traded in our water views/proximity and sailboat sounds (which I've had for a decade now) for birdcalls and birch and pine trees as far as we can see. I can already imagine tromping through the woods with RF on the hunt for sticks, pinecones, bird feathers and wild flowers, just as I used to do when I was little.

So that's what's been keeping us busy recently. How are you? (Assuming there's still someone left checking this site...).

I hope as we settle into our new routine (and if RF ever gets around to sleeping through the night on a regular basis) I'll be able to pop in here a little more regularly, but no promises.