Thursday, July 28, 2011


That's how old I'll be tomorrow. Or technically tomorrow night at 10:26 East Coast time. So tonight I thought I would share 25 random's you might not know about me.

1.I've ended 5 different colleges; collage classes through a community college during high school, University of Northern Iowa freshman year (and another semester while I was pregnant) Denver University, Karlstad University (Sweden) and online classes through a community college.  (Yeah, 5.5 years of college, 3 switched major and still no degree)

2.I've 'worked out' maybe 12 times since high school (and in high school I was really only in track for the cute older boys) but I would love to get back into pilates- That is a work out I can get on board with.

3. I have lived in : West Palm Beach, Florida, the Virgin Islands, South Carolina, Fort Lauderdale FL, Stockholm, Sweden, Ljusdal, Sweden, Karlstad, Sweden, Bali, Indonesia, Perry, Iowa and now Denver, CO. Where to next?

4. I can't Stand the thought of 'settling down' in one place. It's just not in the cards for me. We've lived in our current house for 6 months and I can't Wait to start planning where we will move when our lease is up in March.

5. I want four or five kids.

6. I can be brutally honest. So don't ask my opinion if you don't Really want it!

7. I've been with Drew (husband and baby daddy) since Senior year of high school. We were friends since elem. school but I didn't agree to a date till senior year after some persistence from him.

8.I LOVE a rainy day. It's my favorite.

9.I would rather spend our money on travel than new cars, bigger house etc.

10. THis is HARD coming up with 25 random facts!!

11.I want to own a horse BADLY some day!!

12. We had a lot of pets growing up (not all at the same time!!): a parrot, two wolves (one in Sweden one in Iowa) a pet mountain lion (we got her when she was 8 weeks old and drinking from a bottle) a half wolf/half german shepherd, countless dogs (my mom still has the golden retriever i got for christmas in 5th grade) cats, bunnies ( in Sweden I had THE biggest bunny on the block, my bunny could totally have eaten everyone else's bunny) turtles, fish, mice- GROSS why the hell did I beg my mom for an ugly white little mouse--and it had red eyes!! Totally evil. Ferret. And my brother had a big lizard- i forget what kinda. Think that's it?

13. Okay I give up. This is too hard!!

      Here's a picture of my 21st' Birthday- a week past Jasper's due date and a week before he arrived.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sweden part 3 : Gotland

We left Ljusdal on Monday night (4th of July, totally didn't feel like it of course) and drove 4.5 hours south to where we were going to get on a ferry to take us to the island of Gotland. We got to the harbor at 5 AM and the boat wasn't leaving till 7:30- so while Sofie and Henrik decided to take naps in the car Drew I got out and walked around. We sat on the dock and picked out our 'dream boats'. I wish I had picture of the harbor town because it was pretty magical on this misty morning- but it was drizzling so it stayed in the car. 
Sofie and I on the 3 hour ferry- we had been awake for 24 hours at this time. 
After we got to Gotland we went to our campsite- set up the double tent and hit the beach. The boys left us for 3 hours while they scoped out a place for lunch- and explored the area...we fell asleep on the beach. 

 And I got burnt. Well we both did. But I NEVER get burnt. Like ever ever. So now I sympathize with those of you who do burn- because the next few days were kind of painful and itchy. 

Notice the tag line hanging down...It's been almost 3 weeks and I still have that tag imprint on my back.

 After  a late lunch (Swedish pizza of course) it was time for mini golf.
 Dinner was grilled on one of these disposable grills- do we have those here in the states? If not someone needs to get on that stat. These were So handy! 
 Camping with Swedes is unlike any camping I've ever done- three different kinds of cheese, coffee and yogurt at the camp site? I could totally camp more often if it was like this. 
 Our second day in Gotland was spent sight seeing. And consuming a lot of redbull. 

 From our island we took a little boat (with the car) over to a tiny island to go see these 'viking rocks'. These rocks are thousands of years old. And looks kind of like a face? 

 We had stopped at a store to get picnic supplies- seriously best picnic EVER> 

 This sandwich has THREE different kind of cheeses on it. This cheese lover was in heaven. 

 These little stone walls were surrounding properties everywhere on this little island and I wanted to get out and get a picture of one of them. 
 After I took the picture of the wall I saw who owned the wall!! Larsson!! (My last name) so obviously a relative of mine. 

            I will have another Gotland update soon! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


On Friday I will be 25. This makes me a Leo. For years people will hear when my birthday and then go " oh okay, so that explains things" Apparently I have a very "Leo" personality. So I decided to look up exactly what that means.

Leo's are
Dominant- check
Strong Willed-check
Positive--try to be? ed
Independent- huge check (used to Really annoy Drew in the beginning of our relationship
Self Confident-Check
Born Leaders- ?
Uncomplicated- I'd say check
Arrogant- I hope I don't come off that way? 
Self- Centered- I really don't think I am. But I would say I used to be. 
Overbearing- maybe?
Passion for luxury- meh. I like nice shoes. But other than that I would say not really. 
lust for power-yeah probably
Dislike manual labor- big check
Sincere-definitely a check

Speculative Ventures- not Quite sure what that means?
Lavish Living- again, not So much, i like to keep things simple
Pageantry and Grandeur- i guess a little?
Children- definitely
Drama- actually not so much. But again, in my younger years? Yeah. I was a bit of a drama queen. And in fact was involved in Drama- as in high school plays. 

Doing things safely- since becoming a mom I'm ALL about the safety
Ordinary, day to day living- this used to bother me. Now? I'm all for it. While planning our next adventure. 
small minded people- major dislike. This has me pegged dead on. 
penny pinching-not a big fan.
mean spiritedness- definitely check.

So there ya have it. A Leo summed up. I would say this is me 90 percent. And the funny thing is, Jasper is a Leo as well- and I can Definitely see these personality traits showing through. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Birthday Wish List

ahem..DREW if you are reading this..

So birthday ideas for the big 25 this friday..

And yes I do sort of have a thing for stripes..

Also- you Might notice that there are no shoes on the list. Shocking right? Except I already bought myself a pair of 'birthday' boots and birthday moccasins from the Nordstrom sale. Happy birthday ME. 

Fall? I'm ready for you.

I love all seasons equally, but fall always has a special place in my heart.

I was totally that nerd in school that Loved when school started up in the fall. The chance to see my friends and older boy crushes daily? Yes please.

But now, fall doesn't mean back to school, though soon it will once J starts up school!

But none the less I'm Ready for fall. It's been ridiculously hot here ever since we got back from Sweden. I'm talking in the 90's Every. Single. Day. I prefer high 70's in the summer. This has been ridiculous. We have to go to the park at 8 AM so we are out of the incredible heat by 10 AM. If we aren't at a pool- it's Way to hot to be out. So fall, I'm seriously ready for you.

I'm ready for candles.

And pumpkin patches.

And scarves!! (I have a slight scarf obsession)

And boots. My boot obsession might be worse than my scarf obsession.

And jeans. I love my dresses- but I love my skinnys.

And tights!! A chance to wear tights with my dresses? Love.

And non frizzy hair.

And Hot coffee. Tea. Hot chocolate.

And crunchy leaves.

Watching the leaves change in the mountains during fall? Is magical.

Last fall felt so rushed and consumed by our October wedding that it's a blur. So I'm ready for fall to be here so we can do it right this year.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Goods

This post could also be labeled "And the reason why we had to pay $150 in extra baggage fees"

Yeah you read that right. $150 for TWO extra bags! THings have changed. When we flew home from Sweden in 2009 we had 11 pieces of luggage..for free between the 3 of us. When I flew to Sweden in January I paid  $50 to have an extra bag with me- bringing home stuff from my grandmothers apartment.  And this time we had to pay $150 for two extra bags. I think that if you are paying over $3000 for two tickets- you should be able to bring a little more than one measly 50 lb bag- because let's face it. That will barely hold my shoes (I kid- I did Really good this trip and only brought 4 pairs of shoes total)

Sadly this only covers about 1/3 of what we bought in Sweden. This doesn't count all the goods we brought back for family members that helped with J while we were gone- all the presents I already gave Jasper when I got back ( this kid is Spoiled) and stuff in Drews bags that I had to shove in because I ran out of room. Also not pictured- tons of food we brought back. I can't help it when I'm in a Swedish grocery store. Or book store. Or clothes store. Seeing a pattern here? Now on the agenda, find a DVD player that plays Swedish DVDs because the mac has decided it will no longer play DVDs.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My relationship with Harry Potter

I had such mixed feelings about the new HP movie coming out. I was of course so Excited to see it- but this one coming out meant it's over. THere won't be any new Harry adventures to look forward to. And yes, I realize this sounds lame, but I grew up with Harry.

Harry and I first met freshman year of high school during winter break. I was bored at home with strep throat and my mom picked up a bunch of random books from the library.

Confession time: I love to read. Love love. And here's the other confession. I'm really good at it. No seriously. For some strange reason, I can speed read books like no other. I can easily read a book or two a day (when I have the time that is) and really zip through them. In high school I was ashamed of this weird talent- we had ' reading time' every day for 20 min- and after I had read a book in 2 or 3 days during those 20 min- other kids would notice, and comment on that I was starting a new book already. I would lie. Seriously. I would convince them they wrong, really, I've been reading this book for weeks just like you have been reading yours. Sad huh? Only the librarian was in on my secret. She would introduce me to a new author and I would start w one of their books and make my way through all the books by that author and then find a new one.

So now you guys know. You guys, Drew ( who once took a speed reading college course to try to be able to read as fast as me) my mom and librarian.

Anyway, she one of the books she brought home was the first Harry Potter book. I saved it for last because honestly? It looked lame. But then I started it and couldn't put down. I've been hooked ever since. 10 years I've had a relationship with Harry. That's the longest relationship I've ever had with a boy. Even Drew and I have only been together 6.5 years.

Harry was even a part of Jasper's birth. Whaat??No seriously, it's true.

I was 2 weeks over due- in the ridiculous Iowa heat. The last book had just come out. It was the biggest book yet- 700 something pages I think? I read it in two days- but left the last 75 pages or so to read at the hospital the night I went in to be induced. I knew it would be a long night and I wanted something to read. Plus, I didn't want it to end!

I finished the book. Probably shed a few tears. Then the nurse came in to give me two very high dose sleeping pills that the doctor hard ordered. The plan was to get induced- get sleeping pills- wake up and push out a baby. Sounds great right? Yeah I thought so too. Which is why I agreed to the pills even though I don't usually handle meds very well.

The pills obviously knocked me out. For about 30 min. Then I woke up. And who had joined me in the room? Why none other than Harry Potter, Professor Dumbledore and Professor Snape.

They were standing at the foot of my bed- whispering. Harry looked confused, Snape looked ready to kill someone as usual and Dumbledore was stroking his long beard.

Naturally I started freaking out and yelling at Drew. The conversation went something like this.

"Drew! Get them out of here!" 
"Uhmm...who?" Looks around
"Harry, Dumbledore and Snape! I'm getting ready to give birth, I Really don't want them and their wands in here"
Still looking around " Uhmm..."
"Seriously Drew. This is the Only thing I've asked you to do tonight. I obviously can't get up since I'm strapped to these machines, so PLEASE get them OUT!" At this point I was getting quite pissed that Drew wouldn't get them out. And why did Drew look so scared? Not like He was the one giving birth.

"Uhm..." Looking around the room. "Guys, please leave?" he said in the wimpiest voice.

Then I got Really mad- let's blame that on the meds too shall we? I might have started yelling loud enough that nurses came in. It took two of them and about 10 minutes to convince me that there were no wizards in my hospital room.

And then I started violently throwing up along with back labor.

After all that it shouldn't have been a surprise that Jasper Really took to Harry Potter. He's never been big into cartoons- in fact it wasn't until a year ago that he would even watch anything on TV at all. Before that if we turned the TV on- he would walk over and turn it right off. But Harry? Harry he quickly became obsessed with.

Last november we took a risk and took him to the new HP movie- thinking one of us would leave (me, since I'd seen it the week before) when, not if, he started getting bored since it was such a long movie.

Didn't happen. He didn't move an inch.

So we did it again. On Sunday morning we took him to see the conclusion of Harry, Wrung (what he calls Ron) and Miss Mighty (Hermione) he was again perfect, behaving better than the 10 year olds behind us. It seemed very fitting to have my soon to be four year old next to  me in the movie theater while we watched the last movie- when he was in my belly about to make his appearance the night I finished the last book.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sweden part 2 : Halsingland

After staying out till after 3 AM I had to be up at 6 to catch my 7 AM train up North to Ljusdal, the town I grew up in where my besties still live. Also my uncle and cousins, and were my grandmother lived till she passed away in March. It was hard being back there for the first time since she passed away.

Drew joined me in Ljusdal, about 10 hours after I got there. We stayed with our friends Sofie and Henrik- and we had the great honor of being there for their WEDDING!

Weddings aren't nearly as common in Sweden. If a couple choose to get married, its usually till later on in life. After they have had a few kids and lived together for decades. Not Sofie and Henrik! They are 24 and 25, no kids- so all their friends/family found it slightly odd they were getting married. Regardless, this wedding was So much fun. The most fun I've had at any wedding!

                                                      Sweden has The best pizza. The end.
 This pizza has mashed potatoes and dressing on it!! I tried some- it was actually quite delish. 
 My old house! It was brand new when we moved in, so now 21 yrs later its looking a little run down- but this house and neighborhood brings back The best memories. 
 Childhood besties- the four of us grew up just houses away from each other. 
Beautiful bride and her handsome husband to bee walking down the isle together (tradition in Sweden instead of father walking bride down the isle.)

 These guys showed up and 'interrupted' their first dance- I had no clue who they were at first though it was obvious to everyone else- these guys were 'surprise guests'- and they are two comedians who have a popular tv show in Sweden. Kinda cool huh? 
 Neighborhood besties again. We have made it a pact to try to get together every year since we were reunited in 2009 and so far we are 3 for 3. Sweden in 09 several times while we were living there, they all came to our Oct. '10 wedding (Kerstin on the left sang a beautiful song in Swedish, and Sofie- the bride was a bridesmaid)  and this year in Sweden for Sofie's wedding! Hopefully 2012 brings us together again somewhere.

 Favorite thing at a Swedish wedding (besides the 7, yes 7, different alcohol 'courses'- they played several games!! Why don't we do this? SO much fun!!

 At one point the band started playing some irish jig and immediately everyone, and I mean Everyone, got up on the dance floor on a circle and started doing a clapping/foot stomping routine that everyone magically knew. It was like out of a movie. 
 When I say everyone was dancing, I mean everyone Not passed out outside. He can't party like a Swede. 
 Besties- and yes, apparently I have 7 necks. Not that this is news. 
 Obviously towards the end of the night...this is Robin. Sofie's twin brother. And my first boyfriend. 
 3 AM waiting for our ride- we were a little tired by this point..
 The day after the wedding I drove in Sweden for the first time. It was Also my first time driving a stick shift. Nerve wracking to say the least. 
 My favorite kind of meal. Oh how I miss Swedish cheese. And Swedish bread. And butter. And fruit soup. 
 This picture was taken around 11:30 PM from Sofies porch. It doesn't get dark at All up north during the summer. Midnight sun! SO weird to get used to! 
 Fika- Swedish pastry and blueberry soda...yumm.
 At my uncle's property. Love it here. 
 My uncle and Hubbs. 
 My uncle and 18 yr old cousin.

Tire swing outside my grandmother's where Drew proposed 2 years ago.  We were reenacting a certain picture.

Besides all the wedding stuff- which took most of thursday, friday and Saturday (the wedding was from 3pm to 3am!) we saw friends, went through my grandmas apartment and brought some stuff back, saw my uncle and 2 of my cousins, and did some seriously relaxing on S & H's amazing country porch. 

I absolutely love being back in Northern Sweden and it's a dream of mine that one day we Will own a summer house here. It's such a magical, relaxing, beautiful place.