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I actually had to roust both kids out of bed today at 10 a.m. with Christmas carols on full blast, since there was no sign of either one of them moving, despite Karin's threats last night to wake us up at six a.m. HA. Teenagers are lame. It rained all day today...super boring weather for Christmas except for the fact that water drops hanging from the honeysuckle creepers looked like diamonds.

Two days ago was my mother-in-law's birthday; she turned 88. She had a knee replacement operation a few weeks ago but is home and recovering well, despite still having a lot of pain. Yesterday we had Swedish Christmas Eve at Anders' sister's home. She and Anders had divided up the traditional julbord food and they each outdid themselves providing a fantastic meal. Anders even made meatballs with moose meat! We watched the Disney special Kalle Anka (Donald Duck Christmas Disney Special from the 60s) that half the population sits and watches for an hour every Christmas Eve. Even after this long in Sweden, I still roll my eyes at this particular tradition. I could understand it when our kids were all small, but the youngest one there now is Karin and she's 17 and a half!

After I got the kids out of bed (Anders was already up), we opened our stocking gifts, then everyone showered and dressed, and we opened the rest of the presents under the tree. Martin's big gift this year was a new lens for the camera he got for graduation. Karin received a Polaroid camera which made her SO happy and a printed-out copy of the ticket to the Emmaboda music festival next summer that we actually purchased back in October. Anders got me a beautiful necklace from Pandora as well as a couple of the things on my wishlist that I really wanted, and he got special Norlan whiskey glasses and a set of drawing plans to build his own kayak, which he's been wanting for some time. Of course, that probably means that nothing else will get done around the house for the next six months, haha!

He spent the rest of the day cooking and we sat down to a lovely American Christmas dinner of turkey with all the trimmings. His mom was originally going to come for dinner but after yesterday's festivities, she decided to take it easy today, which is too bad for her because she missed out on this:

I made a spice cake and then glazed it with powdered sugar frosting and garnished it with dried cranberries, frozen lingonberries and silver dragées. It looked beautiful and it tastes fantastic! However, since we have eaten so much this weekend, no one really wants a ton of cake and I might have to freeze some of it. Still, a keeper idea for dessert!

We talked to John, Simone and the boys yesterday on Facetime since it was Jakob's birthday (3!) and I'm planning on calling my sister after I get done posting this. I talked to my mom a couple of days ago and I know she is taking my grandma to my cousin's home today so not sure I'll be able to get her until tomorrow.

It's so nice to have Martin home again! He and I finished watching Westworld and plan to rewatch Sense8 this week. He had a great time on his trip and now has to buckle down and get going on college applications and jobhunting again. :) No rest for the weary!

I am really looking forward to this week off (even though I do actually have to do a little work one day). I have a few plans: dinner with friends, getting Barky taken care of, and going to see the National Theater production of Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch, at the movies with my two best friends and a pile of teenagers who won't appreciate it. :D And then nothing until New Year's Eve with our friends Barbara & Paul. And the week after that is a short one, so a nice soft end of this year and a nice soft start to the next one. And the light has started returning, too! Hurrah for that!
mood: full
music: Pentatonix—Mary, Did You Know?


Sounds like the Christmas holiday was just wonderful for you -only downer being I was not home when you called! :( The cake does look delicious and beautiful. Hope it made it into your cookbook! -which I am looking forward to exploring completely! Love, Lizardmom

Well, I have the picture here to remind me if and when I do an update to the cookbook! :D

Merry Christmas, looks like you all had a near perfect one!

Happy holidays to you, too! It has been a lovely one so far, here, and still vacation in front of me, yay!

Welcome home, Martin!

Ha, ha! I had to laugh at the lazy kids barely surfacing on Christmas Day. What a far cry from when they were litle and were up at the crack of dawn to show you what Santa had brought.

I can't abide the whole Kalle Anka thing and wonder why it persists. I thought it was quite surreal the first time I experienced it, looking around the room at a bunch of adults mesmerised. I had to pinch myself to see if it was real or just a bad dream :)

That cake looks wonderful! I wanted to lick the screen. And you claim that you don't cook...

I hope you have a relaxing break - it does sound like a nice way to spend mellandagarna. Better than a rugby scrum in Macys Department store for the sales :)

Every year, when plans are made for Christmas Eve, it's always Kalle Anka that is the centerpiece. WHY. WHY? Especially now when the kids are older?? I boggle anew every year.

Went to the mall with Karin and Martin yesterday to exchange a few things and again with Karin today but since we had an agenda it was pretty quick and painless. :)

From Megsie

This one never came into my RSS feed! Merry, Merry! That cake looks divine. And the time off sounds wonderful as well. I am equally grateful for the time off. I am still exhausted, so I am in my pajamas still. And I don't care. It is fun!

Re: From Megsie

It's too cold to sit around in my nightshirt, so no pajamas for me, but it's been a very relaxing vacation and holiday!

Berlin Friends?

Hi Lizardek, it has been a million blue poppy years since I've commented, but I'm, or rather, my son is in a bit of a problem. This is Sherry, who used to blog under immersion. I thought to reach out to you knowing you have experience outside of America. Long story short, my son went with friends to a computer convention in Berlin. Unfortunately, his friends are being difficult, and one is leaving which puts him in the position of being homeless abroad. He will arrive in Berlin Hauptbahnhof train station on the 30th or the 31st (details to come). I was wondering--and I know this is a long shot--if you had any acquaintances that would be willing to give him a room until the 8th or 9th. He is a trustworthy and polite person, just didn't plan this event very well. Also, if you know of any resources he could utilize for shelter. He has a bit of funds for food, so he is ok there. Please send me any info at

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Feeling generous? Be my guest!

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

Abraham Lincoln

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