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10 years ago today I arrived in Sweden.

Anders had gone ahead of me, arriving on New Year's Day since he had to start work, and I was still at my parent's house helping my mom deal with the aftermath of my dad's death 2 weeks earlier. We went straight from the airport to the hospital to greet the arrival of his sister's newborn baby, who celebrated his 10th birthday yesterday.

10 years! I didn't know it would be that long. I have lived abroad for 16 years of my life now.

3 years ago I wrote a post that listed all the major accomplishments I had achieved since I came to Sweden. I can add a couple of things to that list:
  • survived company closing and job loss
  • got the 2nd AND the 3rd jobs that I applied for in Sweden
  • sang at Globen in Stockholm
  • had tea with the Queen of Sweden*
  • held a position for 2 years as an section editor for a great online magazine
  • badly sprained a foot and had to learn to walk on crutches for the first time ever
  • fulfilled a lifelong dream with a trip to Scotland
  • stayed married for 10 years (and counting)! Yay, us!
  • learned how to let go of the reins and when to take them back up again
  • dared to post a music clip of myself singing on the internet
10 years in Sweden. I'm still not a Swedish citizen, though, even though I qualified years ago. I need to remedy that. Maybe this year. I like it here. I think I'll stay.

However, if it doesn't stop raining soon, I will pack up the house and the family and move us all to the Mediterranean. I hear Nice is nice.

*She was in the same room. It counts!
mood: grateful
music: Jethro Tull—Skating Away (On the Thin Ice of a New Day)



had tea with the Queen of Sweden Lambi says she didn't get tea, only a bowl of tap water.....

Hmmmm... if I remember correctly, a ten year anniversary is Aluminium. So I'll send you a packet of foil in the morning to mark this momentous event.

All kidding aside, big hugs and warmest wishes on reaching such a milestone and for achieving so much! It's been such a joy to get to know you and to even meet you several times (though not nearly often enough).

Now go and get that Swedish Citizenship while the turnaround time is so short. Then we can sing "Du Gamla, Du Fria" together and really frighten the internet.

Aluminum! Then I can make a hat!


16 years abroad. You must have had an exciting life. :)

Here it's snowing outside now. But weather reports say the snow will only stay tomorrow. The weekend will be warm again.

Strange winter indeed...


It's pouring rain and windy as hell today. :( Seems to me the weather is MOCKING ME or maybe it's trying to see if I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is. :D

Hip Hip Hurray for you and all your accomplishments!

Congratulations! I wish I'd known ahead of time - I would have made that call to find out which kind of Pepsi you like and had it there already!

I'll be sending in my paperwork and money for citizenship the very day I'm eligible. For some reason it's hugely important to me. I had no idea you hadn't already done that. Are you gonna?

Probably. I don't feel anything urgent about it, to tell the truth. My goal is to do it this year, depending on budgeting issues. :)

You know, we've got the same weather here, in Russia. And we're all shoked - shok is a best word to describe our feelings. I got used to white winters, sometimes it seems my calendar lies too much :)

shocked is right, this is the weirdest winter so far! Now the sun is shining!!

Where in Russia are you, by the way?

In Moscow. The south-east part of it: lakes, parks, hills.
And I allways forget to ask you: who made this pictures, used in your design? I love it.

Do you mean my header? The images are by a Swedish children's author/illustrator named Sven Nordqvist. I scanned them from one of his books and made the banner myself. :)

Hooray for Liz, congratulations! You've done what some people only dream of doing.


Wow, 10 years, congrats!

I remember someone (Angie?) mentioning once that after five years, moving home again is like moving to a foreign country. I couldn't understand how that could possibly be until we were away for about that long, and then I realized how true it was. Most of our friends had changed or moved away, or I felt we'd changed, or whatever. And although I'll always be American, living overseas for a few years makes you see things from different angles, and sometimes things don't look quite the same when viewed from an angle. I knew that when we finally did go back, we'd have to start all over again with jobs, cars, furniture, and to some extent, friends and culture. Somewhere around 6 or 7 years, I really really didn't want to go back to the USA. It not only felt foreign, it felt strange. And although I felt no less American, I felt so much more comfortable living outside of America than inside it.

Well, we've been home now about 9 months after living overseas for 8 years. I just wanted to tell you, or maybe tell myself, that moving home isn't nearly as horrific as I thought it might be :-) You really can go home again, and it's amazing how quickly you readjust -- much much faster than we adjusted to life in Sweden and Australia. I often find myself saying, "Wow, it's so nice to be able to do that so easily again -- what a country, this America place is!" Anyway, you may never want to move back again, or maybe you're not concerned about it if you do. But I thought I'd let you know that it's easier than I thought it would be, and just like when you change jobs, you don't have to give up everything you've become ;-)

(no, your mother did not pay me to write this)


She did, too! :P

I have read (and heard) that as well, about the 5 years expat rule, but we also found that when we moved back to the States the first time that we adjusted very quickly and I assume it would be the same now if we ever did move back. Some things would be weird and some would be extremely easy to slip back into. :)


I did not!!!! Although it would be worth it if it worked! Love, Lizardmom

Here! Here! Liz, so many accomplishments in a decade and I wish you a multitude of many more ... well, expect the sprain part.

I finally got to hear your singing voice, that in it self was a pure treat. BRAVO!

Why, thank'ee, ma'am!

Congrats on the milestone - and all the little ones that led up to it.

And, uh...(Amost) 7 years in the Netherlands. I'm still not a Dutch citizen, though, even though I qualified years ago. I need to remedy that. Maybe this year. I like it here. I think I'll stay.

However, if it doesn't stop raining soon, I will pack up the house and the family and move us all to the Mediterranean. I hear Nice is nice.

Let's ALL move to Nice! :D

Congrats on your 10 year anniversary, Liz.

What do you mean, the weather isn't good? I heard that there was no snow on the ground until we came home. Apparantly, the snowstorms in Denver wanted to follow me home. :(

It's been raining for 3 months. That is not what I call "good" weather.

Good god, what an emotional whirlwind...your Dad's death, your move overseas and a nephew's birth. Congrats on the 10-year mark. It's not easy living outside one's home country...but you make it look that way. ;)

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lizardek's obiter photos
lizardek's obiter photos

Feeling generous? Be my guest!

I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln

obiter snippets

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