December 28th, 2018

christmas

EK FAMILY CHRISTMAS LETTER 2018

The beginning of 2018 was pretty calm and we hosted a New Year’s Eve dinner with friends here in Flyinge. Liz was recovering from gall bladder removal surgery, so she was taking it pretty easy. Anders went skiing again with colleagues, now an annual tradition. Martin returned to college in Detroit for the second half of his freahman year, even though his flight was cancelled and rerouted, and he ended up getting to spend a couple of nights with Liz’s sister in Connecticut. Karin and Liz participated in a gospel fest choir festival together, Karin’s first big choir event.

In February, Anders had a 2-week trip to South Africa. Liz continues to be very active with the AWC Malmö and is still on the board. In March, her oldest best friend Becky came for a visit with her friend Jennifer and Liz took them touring around Lund and Copenhagen, and over to Helsingør to visit Kronborg castle. We also had a family visit from Liz’s cousin-in-law Heidi and her daughter Ryane, who was studying during the spring in Copenhagen.

Karin had a super busy spring, playing in her school’s floor rugby Superbowl tournament, playing soccer with the Lund’s Women’s team and performing, writing and organizing the school’s annual musical about the French Revolution, playing Marie Antoinette’s daughter Marie-Therese. She has done a ton of traveling throughout the year as well, with weeks in Prague, Budapest, Kos and Florence, and work trips to Stockholm and Paris, as well as a family weekend trip to Kalmar.

Ar the end of May we started a family and friends visit extravaganza with Martin coming home from school, Liz’s mom arriving for a 3-week visit, and Liz’s brother and family for a week. Full house! In mid-June, Karin attended her Senior Prom and then graduated from high school and we threw a huge Swedish studenten party in the backyard. End of an era!

At the beginning of July, our good friends Kathey and Russell arrived in Europe, as Kathey was running in an international race in Odense, Denmark. We went over to watch the race and cheer her on with Russell and then brought them back to Sweden for a 3-day visit and party with old friends. We’ll see them again at Christmastime, bonus!

Martin returned to Detroit to work for the summer at his college, mentoring students in the same pre-college program he participated in last summer. He also got a job at the school’s AV Center, and has been working steadily throughout his sophomore year. Liz is still working at Axis and enjoying it, despite the unbelievable amount of stuff to do. Anders is still at Tetra Pak, working in the Technical Training Center...thankfully he didn’t travel quite as much this year, but still managed a few trips to Italy. Karin worked all year as well: she works at a café in Malmö and at the end of June, she got a summer job at Liz’s company, which got extended through January 2019.

Anders is still mountain biking as well, and participated again this year in Cyckel Vasa. He had started building a kayak in March, based on the kayak blueprints that Liz gave him for Christmas the year before, and took a kayak course in Malmö. And at the end of August, he made his water debut with his hand-built wooden kayak! It’s a real thing of beauty. And Karin finally got her driver’s license, which was a big thrill for her and for us!

Now we are home for the holidays in Michigan for 3 weeks with Liz’s mom and Martin. We hope you and yours are having a wonderful holiday season as well and we wish you a happy new year!
key to lizardek

RETROSPECTIVE

There is something crazy about how fast time goes...it flies, it swoops, it zooms and I am left gasping again by the fact that it is once again the end of a year that sped by. It’s been a good year for all of us, and we only see good things for the year to come.


Family & Personal Highlights of 2018
  • Keeping myself diabetes-free and my weight down
  • Singing with Karin in a huge 1000 participant Gospelfest concert
  • Anders participating in the year-long X-Cup mountain biking tournaments and Cykel Wasa
  • My oldest best friend visiting for a week
  • Martin home for 6 weeks in the spring
  • A 3-week visit with my mom
  • A weeklong visit with my brother and his family
  • Karin’s senior prom and high school graduation
  • Visits from our good friends Kathey and Russell, twice!
  • Martin working the summer program and getting a job at his school
  • Karin writing, managing, performing and singing in her school play
  • Karin getting a summer job at Axis and then extended for 6 months
  • Karin getting her driver’s license!
  • Martin starting his sophomore year at college
  • Getting Anders’ mom moved to assisted living
  • A 3-week trip to Michigan for the holidays
I read 103 books this year, If I counted correctly, which isn’t certain because I trying to figure all this out on the app. So many of them were excellent books, it will be hard to pick the very best!

Best Books of 2018 (in no particular order and not including re-reads)
  • Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper
  • Last Will by Bryn Greenwood
  • The Library Book by Susan Orlean
  • Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Factfulness by Hans Rosling
  • La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman
  • The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
  • The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
  • Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge
  • The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett
  • Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
  • The Mermaid by Christina Henry
  • Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranti
  • Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday by Christine Reilly
  • Spinning Silver by Naomi Novak
Once again, I spent far more time on Instagram this year, enjoying beautiful art from all different kinds of artists, than I did finding new music on Spotify. I love my Spotify playlist and listen to it every day but this year I mainly managed to clean up the list instead of adding many new artists, but I did find a few:

Best New Artists of 2018
  • H.E.R.
  • Christine and The Queens
  • LÉON
  • Izzy Bizu
  • Charlie Puth
  • Frou Frou
  • Portugal The Man
I actually kept track of the movies I watched this year for the very first time using the Letterboxed app. I watched 52 films! I wonder if that is more or less than usual...guess I will know after a few more years of keeping lists. Lists! The films that struck a chord were: Struck by Lightning, The Greatest Showman, The Prestige, Black Panther, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Coco, Tag, The Florida Project, I Tonya, About Time, Lady Bird, The Favourite, Mary Poppins Returns, and Bohemian Rhapsody.

The TV shows I've watched and enjoyed this year were: The Handmaid's Tale, Westworld, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Outlander, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. I feel like I’m forgetting something.

Some manageable goals for 2019
  • Walk walk walk (and get a new treadmill)
  • Continue with WW, keep weight down
  • Replace the sofabed/couch in the playroom
  • Do some major decluttering
  • Get Martin's Klimt project prints framed
  • Be more regular about posting here!
I expect 2019 to be a calmer year in every way, now that we are done with Karin’s graduation and all the visits. I am looking forward to a trip in the spring with my two best friends to Lisbon and possibly some traveling with work. We are awaiting the arrival of Kathey and Russell just in time to wrap up the end of the year, and spending some more quality time with my mom before we head back to Sweden. Happy New Year!