I like living in Europe. I like living in Sweden. There isn't much I dislike about it (and even less I'd admit to in public). But the thing I dislike MOST about living overseas? Living so far away from my family. And the hardest? Putting my mom on the train and waving goodbye as she leaves for the airport after her visit.
She's the family member who has visited us the most during our 11 years in Sweden. My brother has been up many times since he moved to Germany, and my sister has been twice, but there's something impossibly hard about saying farewell to my mom when she leaves. Even though this time, she's actually coming back for a couple of days again after the holidays (on her return trip from spending Christmas and New Year's in Germany with John), it's never enough. She was here for 3 weeks and it wasn't enough.
The holidays are upon us. Tomorrow is my mother-in-law's birthday so we're heading to their house for afternoon fika, and then will be back there again on Christmas Eve to celebrate the Swedish julafton. The Swedes have a thing about celebrating their holidays on the EVE OF, instead of on the DAY OF. Thus, Christmas is celebrated on Christmas EVE, Easter on Easter EVE, etc. It's very strange at first, but you get used to it, and in a bi-cultural family, it makes all the holidays twice as long, which is a nice thing when you enjoy them (and I suppose, when you enjoy your in-laws). Then we have Christmas American-style on Christmas Day...though we've already opened all the presents from my mom before she left.
Anders' sister's family are coming in the evening on the 25th and we'll be serving a Swedified traditional dinner: turkey with stuffing and mashed potatoes and green bean casserole and red cabbage...and we found a recipe for dessert that looks and sounds delicious: Kolapaj med bär. Caramel pie with berries. Yum!
Bippity Boppity Bootiful Birthday Wishes to Laini!