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RETROSPECTIVE
In just over a week, I will have been in Sweden for 15 years. It's hard to believe that much time has gone by, because mostly, it seems to have happened in the blink of an eye. Didn't I just move here? Can I really speak Swedish? Are my kids really this tall? This has been a good year for us, and it has also zoomed by almost too fast for me to keep track of. I've managed to slow down to an almost dead stop this week though, and have found (rather to my surprise), that I really NEEDED it. I've gone to bed mostly on time, read until the wee hours, slept in like a giant slug, and done pretty much nothing most of the days.

This year is quite different weather-wise from last year (and the year before): there is NO snow. It's been pretty warm, even up to 10 degrees, which is the temperature that SPRING arrives with. The grass is still green and the ground is spongy with damp. I've noticed that the moss is appearing on every surface: trees, houses, roofs. The white house around the corner has one side wall that is nearly green with the algae growth.

Family & personal highlights of 2011
  • A fantastic family vacation to Iceland in July
  • Karin switching schools from Flyinge to Sandby
  • Martin volunteering to sing a SOLO at his school Christmas party
  • Mom's 3-week visit this summer
  • The birth of my brother's little boy, Sammo
  • A week and a half with Mom in Massachusetts in September, including a visit with Elizabeth at the Squam Art Workshops
  • New gadgets: an iPad with my bonus money in the spring, and a new computer for Christmas
  • Anders getting to pet tigers in Thailand, and visit with Kathey & Russell in Texas during his business trips this year
  • Karin joining the Innebandy team, as WELL as continuing with soccer
  • Karin's first (and hopefully last for awhile) boyfriend!
  • The growth of my team at work, which has begun to relieve some of the pressure
  • Posting every day in November!
  • A whirlwind weekend visit to southern Germany for Sammo's baptism in December
I read 104 books this year, many of them re-reads of old favorites and some of them huge bricks of books that took me much longer than usual to get through. It was only 3 more books than 2010, but my average was basically the same at 8.6 books per month.

Best Books of 2011 (in no particular order and not including re-reads)
  • The Immortal Life of Henriette Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • Just My Type by Simon Garfield
  • The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell
  • Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • Fall of Giants by Ken Follett
  • Smile or Die by Barbara Ehrenreich
  • At Home by Bill Bryson
  • The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti
  • Thornyhold by Mary Stewart
As always, I didn't keep track of films and have no idea which ones I saw in 2011 :)

Best musical discoveries in 2011
  • Eliza Doolittle
  • Cee Lo Green
  • Katherine McPhee
  • One Republic
  • Gotye
  • Neon Trees
  • Adele
  • First Aid Kit
  • Coldplay (I know, I'm late to the game)
Some manageable goals for 2012
  • WALK WALK WALK
  • Midsummer with my entire first family in northern Germany!
  • Possible family vacation to Greece
  • Thorough clutter cleaning in the whole house
Tomorrow we will spend New Year's Eve with good friends that we have been celebrating New Year's and Midsummer with for years here in Sweden. Traditions are a comforting thing and nearly always something to look forward to. I hope your New Year will be filled with good things, laughter, love and friendship!

(Drop cap courtesy of Jessica Hische's Daily Drop Cap)
 cheerful
mood: cheerful


Comments

Oh...I love that daily drop cap site. I see there is a bee one! I've bookmarked the site for a return visit.

Happy New Year to you and yours!

She does beautiful work :) Happy New Year! :)

happy new year and anniversary!

meeting up with kejn should be a goal for 2012 (although judging by our past efforts i don't know how manageable it is.) :(

I agree it should be a goal, especially since we haven't tried very hard the past few years. :) Deal!!

(Anonymous)

Happy New Year Liz!

-Heather

Happy new year to you, too! :)

From Megsie

I seriously wish I read 8.whatever books each month. How the heck do you pull that off?? I guess you just have to prioritize. Love the listies!

We have also had mild weather so far and you sure won't hear me complain about it! I do have a co-worker who loves to ski and she's not as thrilled but we have to win some years, right?

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Findus the cat as used in my user icon and header is the creation of Sven Nordqvist.