August 18th, 2004



We're baaa-aaack! :)

The last several days have been so whirlwind that I feel as if Hurricane Charley was my LIFE! The party on Friday was great! Our giant-feasty-spread of salads was a huge hit. We had chicken curry salad, diced veggie salad, roasted vegetable salad, tuna pasta salad, shrimp-avocado-spinach salad, napa cabbage salad, sourcream and cucumber salad, swedish potato salad, tomato-basil-mozzarella salad, fruit salad, deviled eggs, veggie and dip tray, black and green olives and CAKE! brownie cake with caramel frosting, cinnamon swirl cake with cream cheese frosting, and spice cake with white chocolate almond frosting. It's no surprise that I seem to have gained weight during this vacation, is it?!

The super highlight of the day was when my sister got back from the airport with Tom, and I went out in the hallway to say hello and cap_killer was standing there smiling at me! *shock* It was SO great!! 2 of my other college roommates, Julie and Lynda (the Great) also came that evening, so we had a mini-reunion. Fun, fun fun!! Chris stayed until Sunday morning, so on Saturday evening we left the kids with my mom and the 5 of us set off for Detroit to find sushi for dinner. We ended up at a place called Fishbones which had excellent sushi, along with a huge menu of Cajun and other yummies and a good time was had by all. We played Famous People in the car on the way home, just like in the good old days, and I stumped everyone for ages with The Mad Hatter. :)

The weekend was crazy, what with all the last-minute things we needed to get done...why is that everything always gets left until the last minute?! The kids made concrete stepping stones for my mom's garden with foot and handprints and decorated them with marbles and mosaic tiles and pretty stones, while I wrote their names and the year on each one.

Sarah and company left early on Monday and we flew out of Detroit at 6 p.m.; it was wrenching to say goodbye to Mom. I really felt that the kids had a good, long exposure to English, and a wonderful chance to spend quality time with their grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousins. The physical distance between us all is daunting, and sometimes I really wonder if it's worth it. Getting back to my own house and Sweden, however, was comforting on a very visceral level. It is GOOD to be home. Being away for so long really makes me appreciate what I have, and I truly feel blessed to have such a wonderful family and a feeling of "home" in 2 places. :)

We circumvented the horrible train experience of 2 years ago by taking a cab from Copenhagen back to Anders' parents house and made it home before completely collapsing. Martin was sleepwalking for the last 5 hours of our journey, poor thing! I swear both he and Karin have grown a foot during this last month! We all napped for an hour give or take a bit, and then unpacked all the suitcases and put things away. It's so nice that we did laundry before we left so that we had hardly any dirty clothes to bring home. Märta had cleaned our house for us while we were away, and Einar had cleaned the car and mowed the lawn, so it felt like walking into a new house. (I know that will make my sister green, sorry, Sarah!!)

The kids were in bed by 9 p.m. and Anders and I went down again by 11, and we all got an excellent night's sleep, despite the few flies that were left in the house after the wholesale murder the afternoon before. Keep your fingers crossed that we've managed to get on the right schedule immediately! :)

I have so much catching up to do with work, and blogs, and so much to do before this weekend and in the next few weeks, that it is definitely a good thing I had such a great vacation!!
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