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Every year, it goes a little faster, the swing from beginning to end. The seasons march past, the sun rises and sets, the things we do and say and experience, all flying by, to become a memory, a happening, something to look back on. This was a hard year for me, watching from afar as my country's leadership opened its coat and exposed itself to the world. I've been learning how to live without children in the house, since Martin has been gone since July and Karin is basically never home. It's been a year of adjustments, for sure. I hope for better next year, but I suspect it will be more of the same in many ways. But things are going well for us, personally. Martin is thriving at college, my job and work is challenging and creative, Karin is finding her adult feet in many ways and learning how much she can handle, and Anders has a new project to look forward to: building his own wooden kayak from scratch.

Family & Personal Highlights of 2017
  • Keeping myself diabetes-free and my weight down
  • Singing in a huge 1000 participant Gospelfest concert with friends
  • Anders participating in the year-long X-Cup mountain biking tournaments and Cykel Wasa
  • Martin getting into his first-choice University
  • Anders' 4-day hiking/camping trip to Kruger Park during a business trip to South Africa
  • Karin performing and singing in her school play
  • Anders and I spending midsummer and a week in Germany with my mom at John & Simone's
  • 3-week trip to Michigan with the kids
  • Martin participating in a pre-college program during July and starting college at the end of August in Detroit
  • Seeing our friends Kathey & Russell, who came up to Michigan while we were there
  • Celebrating Karin's 18th birthday and my grandmother's 101st
  • A whirlwind 3-day trip to Chicago with Karin, my sister and her daughter
  • Surviving Karin's 18th birthday party bash
  • Seeing Cirque Du Soleil's Varekai in Malmö
  • Long weekend trip to Stockholm with Anders and Karin during fall break
  • Karin getting 2 new jobs this year, at Flyinge's Café Smedjan and Café Dornonville, in Malmö
  • Anders and I both losing weight and changing our eating habits
  • Having my gallbladder removed
  • Martin coming home for Christmas!
I read 109 (!) books this year, which is a record for me. The last time I was even close to that was 2012 when I read 100 books. WOW! Funny, since I felt like I was reading really slowly this year. Guess I was wrong, haha!

Best Books of 2017 (in no particular order and not including re-reads)
  • Artemis by Andy Weir
  • Heating and Cooling by Beth Ann Fennelly
  • The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
  • Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
  • The Mermaid's Daughter by Ann Claycomb
  • The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy
  • All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  • The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson
  • All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai
  • The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel
  • Last Night in Montreal by Emily St. John Mandel
  • What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
  • Crosstalk by Connie Willis
  • Silver on the Road by Laura Anne Gilman
  • To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey
  • The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
  • Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capo Crucet
  • Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner
  • A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
  • The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
  • Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh
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 the only new artist I added was HAIM.

And still not keeping track of which movies I've seen, though ones I remember enjoying this year include: Star Wars: The Last Jedi, La La Land, Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Beauty and the Beast, and The Glass Castle. The TV shows I've watched and enjoyed this year are nearly the same as last year: Orphan Black, The Handmaid's Tale, Game of Thrones, Sense8, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Broen/Bron, Outlander, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and Bye Bye Sverige, though both Anders and I could have done without the two secondary characters in that last one.

Some manageable goals for 2018
  • Walk walk walk (and get Anders to fix the treadmill)
  • Continue with WW, keep weight down
  • Get Karin into driving school and push her about getting her driver's license!
  • Replace the sofabed/couch in the playroom
  • Do some major decluttering
  • Christmas in the US
  • Get Martin's Klimt project prints framed
  • Be more regular about posting here!
There are lots of things to look forward to next year, and I'm already in anticipation mode for them: Karin's studenten, Martin coming home for spring, but hopefully getting a job! Seeing Becky in March and Kathey & Russell in July, and hopefully some of my first family. In a few hours, our friends Mats & Annelott will be arriving to ring in the New Year with us. Martin and Karin are eating dinner at home, then leaving for parties with friends. And I'm off next week on vacation, before Martin leaves again, so a nice easy start to 2018. Happy New Year!
mood: accomplished
music: music battle between Karin's speaker and the TV


I Love your lists. I don't think I could remember everything
I!! did this year without checking my daily calendar, and I didn't write the most important things in it! I am trying to get back into reading books instead of computer games- books are much more satisfying! But you missed the Best movie and the only one I saw in a theater (and twice) -"Loving Vincent". It'll be out in dvd in a couple weeks or so. Getting Martin's Kimt project framed will look fabulous - where will you hang them? Love, Lizardmom

I have to check my calendar, too, but I do it when I write the Xmas letter, then I can use that as reference! And I use an app to keep track of books, which makes things much easier. I have Loving Vincent on my to-watch list, never fear!

I am not sure yet where I want to put the Klimt project prints. Maybe over the TV, but then I have to find a place for the griffin. ...hmmmm

Keep going with the diabetes control, Liz. I am so with you there!

It's surprisingly easy as long as I keep the weight down, at least so far!

"Be more regular about posting here!" I intend to keep you to that promise, young lady!

I hope that you get your Christmas in the US - there's nothing like having your family around for these special holidays.

Happy New Year to you and the family. I hope that 2018 is exciting and fulfilling and unexpected and entertaining for us all.

Haa! I had the same intention last know how that went. I hope 2018 is better than 2017, for sure!

From Megsie

Happy New Year to you!!

I look forward to your Retrospective every year, it is a highlight!

I love your lists of books, mostly because you find ones that I have never heard of, that intrigue me. I am reading a professional book right now about reading instruction, and it has me thinking about reading in a way that I haven't for a while. Especially about my own reading habits, which are really lacking. Your list reinforces my thinking here.

Love to you and yours!

Here's to you Liz! Cheers!

Re: From Megsie

I seemed to read even more fantasy this year than normal, and LOTS of re-reading old favorites, which is probably how the list got so long. :) Happy New Year toy you, too!

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