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How do you live so far away from family? It's not a question I get that often, because I've been here for so long and I'm part of an expat community who have ALL moved far away from home and family. Most of the time, you just don't think about it. You live your life, you go to work, you clean your house, and make dinner, but you don't think about the fact that you only see your mom once a year and your brother maybe that, and your sister less than that, and your uncles and cousins and grandmother even less. You can't think about it too much, or you probably wouldn't be able to do it, and in this day and age, having everyone you love close by and easily available in the body, isn't reality for most of us. Thank goodness for email and phone calls and Skype and Messenger and social least those connections keep a tenuous grip on the ones we care about and want to hear from.

But sometimes things work out and people come to visit. Last year and the year before, it was us that flew over and stayed for a month...this year, it was my mom's turn. She hadn't been to Sweden in 4.5 years...unreal. She stayed for nearly a month and it wasn't long enough. It's never long enough. And my brother and his family came for a week and it wasn't long enough either. John and Simone and the boys arrived in Sweden at lunchtime and we met them at Ales Stenar. Then we took them home to drop off luggage and unpack and whisked them off to a friend's 50th birthday party.

During the week they were here, Anders had to work and Karin was in school, but we managed to get some quality time in with all of us. We went to Skånes Djurpark (a huge natural zoo with Scandinavian animals) that has been recently renovated and overstayed our welcome, since we didn't realize the park closed at 2...and we were still hanging out by the splash pool at 3. Oops! We visited Karin's cafe on her last day of work, and Karin and Simone took the boys to the beach one day. We had unprecedented warm weather for weeks and weeks in May: hot and sunny days and cool evenings; a perfect welcome to Swedish summer. Sprinklers in the backyard, picnics. A day at Wanås Sculpture Park. Mountain biking through Häckaberga's nature reserve. Hanging out. Talking. Laughing. Just the things that families do when they do stuff together.

Ales Stenar: Martin, Liz, Sammy and Jakob

Simone makes salad while Liz supervises


Mom and John posing at Wanås Lake










mood: cheerful
music: quiet summer day noises

Magnetic people

Lovely, the way you revealed the powerful magetism of family by showing how quickly family members become as close, when they visit after long absences, as they would be if they lived next door. Glad you got to spend time with them. John


OHHHHH I am so sad I was not there. And I am so Happy to see you all having such fun!!!

Sad sack Seester.


I love all these photos. I need copies! It was a very fun time and I do wish the missing third of my family could have joined us. Love, Lizardmom

From Megsie

Oh, your kids are adorable...and your nephews too! A lovely happy family! I am sorry you have to cram it all into small pockets of time. However...even when you live close, it is similar. We don't see each other--all together--much at all.

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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

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