I'm SO behind on these Europe recaps, but bare with me. They are coming. Whether you want them to or not ;) I don't ever want to forget this trip and I want the kiddos to be able to some day read about them, and why have a blog if I can't share these moments?
Here are the other Sweden recaps, Part 1, part 2, part 3. I have a feeling this will be like a 20 part series, keeping things short and simple is not something I'm known for!
When we left the J hotel in Stockholm we hopped on a train to Ljusdal, about 3 hrs north of Stockholm, and where I grew up. I still have family there and friends who are like family. It was the total opposite of our crazy, jam packed touristy days in Stockholm and it was perfect. When planning this trip we knew with being gone three weeks we were going to need a combination of relaxing and being on the constant go, and we couldn't have possibly planned having those relaxing days in Ljusdal after Stockholm.
We stayed out at our friends house out in the country, and it's basically the most gorgeous piece of land out there. The kids never wanted to leave. They were happy to spend from sun up to..well bed time since the sun doesn't set in the summer there, outside running around. And we were happy to sit on their deck eating, and drinking (mainly coffee!), and eating some more watching them play after our busy busy week.
And some pictures from our first couple days there. They had a really rainy early summer and everything was even greener than normal!
^Ridiculous view from our friends back deck. Can you see why we didn't want to leave?^
^T and the boys^
^Sofie made us the best food. Every day.^
^ A couple of things about the stilts..I discovered a new talent of mine while in Sweden. I can actually walk on stilts! Like pretty well! A friend and I even had a race and 'ran' on them. She definitely won, but I could keep up! And didn't fall! I need to find a way to use this skill..^
Before Valentines day.. We had Such a good Christmas morning. Maybe the best one yet? I think I have that same thought every year though, at least now after having kids. Getting to be Santa is just the best thing ever!
Jasper has been asking since Tindra was an infant if on Christmas eve he could sleep in Tindra's room with her, and I had said maybe when she's 2..well that was obviously this year. We set her crib mattress on the floor, and pulled out Jasper's old crib mattress, and after hot chocolate and The Night Before Christmas and some Christmas caroling in bed let them try to fall asleep.. I knew it was going to be a slight disaster. She was just too excited to fall asleep with Jasper there next to her. After going in about a dozen times in between wrapping presents (please someone remind me to get started wrapping in like November next years) and building a doll house (which by the way I think you needed an architect degree to be able to do by yourself) they were finally out. About 2 hours past bed time. Oh well! Christmas time!
Jasper woke us up at 4:45 (I kid you not) and normally I'm all for waking up super duper early on Christmas but I was a grinch and made him go back to bed and took Tindra into bed with us to fall back asleep. For two reasons. 1, Drew had been up till 2:30 building Jasper's basketball hoop, and 2. We were leaving for Iowa that afternoon where I knew Drew would be driving us till the middle of the night so for our safety, I needed him to get more than 2 hrs of sleep. Kids fell bask asleep and by 7 were ready to see if Santa had come.
We spent the morning slowly opening presents, playing with some new toys, playing a few games and eating the most delicious monkey bread. Which by the way mine did Not turn out looking like the Pioneer Woman's-shocker but was still amazing. I decided either things rise more than normal here in the altitude (totally possible) or maybe she used a bigger bunt cake pan? Regardless, it wasn't pretty but it was Amazing.
Drew spoiled me Big time with an amazing new little camera. I'm Totally still learning how to work it. In fact, for some reason it's seeming more complicated than my DSLR's but when he bought it he bought some package where I can go in to the camera store and get a little lesson on working this camera so I will definitely be taking advantage of that!
After our morning of opening presents, Tindra went down for a nap and we packed up the car and got on the road in the afternoon for our 10-11 hr car ride to Iowa where we spent time with both of our families! Wonderful wonderful break back in Iowa. Minus the snow storm we hit leaving Colorado and the uncomfortable car ride! I've decided long car rides in the third trimester, are Not for me.
Like I mentioned, we got back late Thursday night from our week in Iowa, and by Friday morning we were ready to get going on all the organization we needed to do. After a HUGE brunch at one of our favorite spots (because hello, no food in the house after being gone) we got to work. Friday evening we made a run to Ikea for a new bed for Tindra, and while there decided we needed other things for our organization, but didn't have measurements. So that meant we had to go back Saturday morning.
By Sunday we were all a little crabby from all the work we were doing, and still had a TON to do (seriously how do we have SO MUCH STUFF!) but mamma decided we needed to make time for a morning of fun. I interrupted Drew as he was halfway through building a shelf for our new toys closet and told him we were going sledding. At first he was a little reluctant to break stride, but as soon as we got there he kept repeating what a great idea it was.
Sometimes you just need to drop what you are doing and go sledding in 10 degree weather, right? I asked a Denver mom's group what the best sledding hills around where because near us there are just tiny ones and I didn't feel like spending 30 min driving into the suburbs, boy am I glad I did. We now know the bestsledding park around, and its less than 10 minutes from us! I seriously don't know how we didn't know about this park. If you are in Denver, Ruby Hill is where you need to go sledding. Several different big hills (not fun for this preggo to walk up) and some small ones perfect for the little ones. We did a combination of both and it's safe to say the entire family had a blast. Tindra kept shrieking again agaaaaaiinnnn every time she got to the bottom of the hill with Drew or I. We did realize we need to make a major sled upgrade before our next sledding weekend though! Ours looked quite pitiful compared to some of these other ones. Kids were even snowboarding and skiing down these hills- they are That good!
My snow pants wouldn't even zip a little bit so I'm wearing Drew's. And I forgot my one jacket that even halfway buttons in Iowa so I'm wearing Drew's flannel and vest. That might be my daily uniform for the next ten cold weeks.
We just got back late Thursday night from our week in Iowa and spent all day yesterday and will spend the rest of the weekend getting this house organized. Like really organized. I asked Drew if he wanted to become those super organized people that are almost annoying with how organized they are. He was in. So 2015 is the year we become those annoying people. Hopefully. I have some other goals as well, such as finishing out this pregnancy without gaining a million pounds, getting fit and healthy after baby is born, and working on improving my photography and growing my business. Super excited about that!
I'll be back soon with more updates from the past month! I had like 4 posts scheduled but was waiting to upload pictures so they never got posted. But that's okay, you totally want to read about our Christmas tree in February when I get around to it right??
Just doing a little editing while listening to Christmas music (three guesses to which song) and had to share these pictures I snapped while Jasper and Tindra were having their nightly "stare at the Christmas tree before bed." I just love these two so much.