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It was kind of a weird Christmas, gift-wise, since we waited until the last minute to do all our shopping, and we were with each other while we were shopping and so everyone knew pretty much everything we were getting, even though things still got wrapped and put under the tree. But it meant that we were getting things we really needed and wanted, so that worked out well, and both the kids were thrilled with their "big" presents: Karin got a gimbal stabilizer for her phone and Martin got a tripod, at which he exclaimed, "Now I'm a real photographer!" :D I gave Anders a kayak rescue kit that he wanted, and he gave me new walking shoes which I needed. Win-win!

One of the nicest gifts I got was a slim volume of stories that my mom had contributed to. And then she gave me some of the Moorcroft pottery that I had originally purchased for her, at her cost, years ago, when I was in England; a bowl and a tiny saucer. I love Moorcroft but have never been able to afford any, so that was a thrill. Martin and Karin gave me pottery too, 3 lovely bowls that were made by the administrator of Martin's photo department. The best gift by far was getting to spend time together, though. It gets harder every year that my mom is so far away and that I see her so infrequently, and now with Martin as far, it feels double as tough.

A few days after Christmas, our good friends Kathey & Russell arrived and we had 3.5 days of fun with them, including going to see Mary Poppins Returns and playing fun new games like Telestrations, which has a stupid name, but a great premise: it's a mix of the old whispering game of Telephone with illustrations. They celebrated New Year's Eve with us, although the kids ditched us old folks and took the car to a college party in Detroit. I had minor palpitations at the whole idea, but they were great and very responsible. Karin drove since she can't drink in the US, and Martin and his friends were very grateful. They even came home instead of staying downtown so I was heartened to see them both in bed when I got up (late) the next morning. We were even able to meet up with my college roommate Julie and her husband for a fun day of museum-going, bowling and sushi. :)

The other Swedish thing that we did in Michigan was eat homemade semlor! Russell came with a recipe and ingredients and the desire to learn how to bake this traditional Swedish Lenten pastry: basically a cardemom bun filled with almond paste and whipped cream that is only available in Sweden between Christmas and Easter. We women went shopping and Anders and Russell stayed home and baked. Yum! Semla are yummy but usually one per year is enough for me, so now I'm done, haha!

It was a bummer that my sister and brother and their families weren't there, though the house WAS a lot quieter. :D We still had a row of our famous Pangborn family knitted stockings hung across the fireplace and I think that alone made me feel like it was really Christmas at last. Mom and I went through some old photo albums and cleaned them out, laughing and saving the good ones of our family, and tossing ruined/discolored photos, photos of landscapes of trips no one remembered going on and pictures of old friend's babies that no one could remember the names of.

I haven't made New Years resolutions per se, but I have manageable goals for the year and hope to work on and achieve them all, with no pressure and no stress, including losing the weight I've regained this year. I'm back on track at the moment, and after our January paycheck will be hunting for a used treadmill to replace the one that broke last year so that I have no excuses for not walking, even if the weather is crappy. What I really need, I suspect, is a dog...that would force me to walk every day, right ozswede?

We flew back to Sweden on Friday, January 4 and I would very much like a vacation do-over with some more relaxation included, if not cookies. It was a great three weeks but jam-packed with stuff and people and go go go the whole time. Getting home was nice, even if I always have mixed feelings about leaving my mom and Michigan. My suitcase didn't make it on to the connecting flight from Amsterdam and I had to wait 2 days for it to get delivered, and had to go buy makeup since everything I had was in it, and I couldn't go to work with jetlag face. Anders had to leave abruptly and unexpectedly on Monday for a work trip to sub for a trainer in Italy that called in sick for a course this week. I am right back in the swing of crazy at work, and so is Karin (and she got her contract at my company extended through the end of February!) and it feels like things are just ramping up, so hello 2019, here we are!
mood: awake
music: Girlyman—Joyful Sign


Busy, Busy was mostly your doing -what with the shopping and getting together with friends,etc. But not really complaining since I really enjoyed it all! I also enjoyed the movie very much and all the good food and delighted with the delicious new cookie I baked. Glad I planned to bake more of those- when I feel well will do so! Hope you enjoy the book! Love, Lizardmom

I miss you already mama!


I missed you at the airport and all the long drive home! Hugs and Love, Lizardmom

Your schedules are always full on, busy and really put me to shame. Where do you get the energy?

"The best gift by far was getting to spend time together" That's so true - everything else is icing on the cake, but the big thing is having that precious time together. I'm glad you got to do that.

As for eating semlor before fettisdag ... I'll pretend I didn't see that. :-)

I agree that it's having a dag that really forces me out each day. It's so easy, especially when the weather isn't optimal or the computer calls to make excuses Not to go for a walk, with a fervent promise to yourself that you'll do a longer walk the next day. Which never happens. With a dog, you have no choice and really once I'm out, I do enjoy it and the time flies by. You need interesting places to go as well - I have different routes each day and you start to watch the surroundings as you walk, note the changes, the seasons coming and going and it becomes an interesting outing. I forget about the exercise aspect of it, but even with as pint sized pooch like Miss Sophie, I do around 10km a day if I do all three walks and that has to be good for me.

I don't know where I get the energy either...and more and more, I don't have it!

From Megsie

It sounds like you had a lovely visit! I am so glad to hear that! I have a friend who moved to Colorado, and it is hard when she comes home because everyone wants to see her and get together. She is plum worn out when she leaves!

Welcome to 2019! I have great home that the world will become a better place in the year to come!

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

Abraham Lincoln

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