January also marked our 20th anniversary of moving to Sweden! Hard to believe how time flies! In the beginning of February, Martin received confirmation that he had been accepted into his first place choice for college...at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. He applied to the Photography program and also signed up for a 3-week summer program at the school, which sent us into a whirlwind of financial applications, travel planning and all the things that needed to be done before July.
In April, Anders spent 2 weeks working in South Africa and did a 4-day animal & camping safari in Kruger Park. While he was gone, Liz managed to buy a bed to surprise him with upon his return! No more sleeping in a double! haha! Karin also performed, acting and singing, in her school’s annual play, and was so thrilled with the whole experience that she signed up to do it again for next year.
In June, Karin finished her junior year of high school, and shortly after, Anders and Liz left the kids at home and spent a week in southern Germany with Liz’s brother and family and the added bonus of Liz’s mom, a lovely break with Swedish midsummer included, and at the end of the month, Liz and the kids left for the States. Anders decided it was better to stay home and work on the house and get lots of things done since we were gone all July LAST year.
The time in Michigan flew past, with our friends Kathey & Russell coming up for July 4th, Liz’s sister and family coming as well, lots of cousins and relatives to see, Karin’s 18th birthday, Great-Grandma’s 101st birthday (!) and of course, buying all the things Martin needed for college. After dropping Martin off, Liz, Sarah, Danely and Karin went on a 3-day trip to Chicago, where Danely had orientation; she’s now attending DePaul University there. Great fun! We got to see Liz’s old Chicago pal, Valerie, and cousin Jordon as well.
Martin had a really good experience during the 3-week summer program, getting heaps of praise for his photography and work. We had dinner with him only a couple of times, and it was really hard to leave him there and fly back to Sweden, just Karin and Liz. After his summer program finished up, he stayed with Liz’s mom for several weeks and she got him moved in for the start of his first term as a college freshman at the end of August. He has had photography, drawing, graphic design and English classes and is thriving, working REALLY hard to keep on top of things, despite some major issues with his camera which BROKE the week before classes started and which he didn’t get back until nearly November (luckily, he was able to borrow one from the school in the meantime). He’s made friends, and is doing well, and we are really proud of him.
In August, Karin had a huge party in our backyard to celebrate her 18th birthday with her 70 closest friends, a sort of practice run for her graduation next year...urgh. At the beginning of November, Anders, Liz and Karin spent a long weekend in Stockholm. Martin was much missed, but he is home for Christmas!
Liz had some health issues this year, with a pre-herniated disk in her neck causing major problems with one shoulder and arm. After many, many treatments, it seems to have finally subsided, just in time to start having gall bladder issues. She had removal surgery on December 6 but is fully recovered and is spending the holidays taking it easy and sadly, not eating much yummy stuff.
This year has been full of political upset, turmoil and worry on an international level, but we hope the holidays find you happy, safe and well.