Friday, November 23, 2012

Hello Friday

It's getting close over here. Days are no longer filled with to-do's and must-have's, but rather with a little bit of this and a little bit of that and of me sitting down, breathing heavily and not accomplishing much. It's as it should be, I think. I'm tired, but better than I have been. I'm huge, and getting bigger by the minute. And there's something wrong with my right hand, so I can't really type. But all is well. And that is something.

Today we're making gingerbread after school. And I've pulled out a few of our favourite Christmas books. There will be leftovers for dinner and a fire and some sitting together, and quite possibly some crying (B) and teasing (W) and losing one's temper (me) – since we are all handling this imminent change in our lifes a little differently at the moment – but we'll be here. And J will come home from work, and no matter the state he finds his loved ones in, the house will smell like Christmas. And that's good enough. So here's to gingerbread and Friday nights and being together. Yes, that is something.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

35 Weeks And Three Days Not That I'm Counting

The children have the week off. It's Fall Break (Autumn Leave?) and they've been spending a couple of days down in Midsomer with my parents. Feeding the sheep, building robots, making pizza, playing with axes, that sort of thing. I'm so grateful to have parents who are brilliant grandparents. Yay Mom! Yay Dad! You are welt klasse, top notch, la crème de la crème.

Up here things are moving slowly, but moving. We have a new car (new to us, that is, not New) and I'm trying my best learning how to park it without causing too much damage. W's birthday's coming up so there are two celebrations planned for this weekend. Saturday night his friends are coming over for burgers and ice cream (per request) and Sunday it's the family gathering. Looking forward to both and getting ready by staying in bed. I've learned my lesson from last week.

The baby is moving around like a crazy squirrel, but seem to have decided to stay on it's head from now on. I still find apple juice, ginger ale and oranges to be the Best Thing Ever, and have this positively medieval urge to bake things. Still haven't acted on this (very strong) impulse, but I find myself daydreaming about it. God, I'm such a cave woman at the moment. I've gained at least 20 kg, that's what, 40 lbs? No, 44 lbs. So yes, that is the reason I'm only giving you belly shots at the moment. My face, as my darling girl put it the other day, looks funny. Then she fondly stroke my bottom and with a happy smile exclaimed "Oh, this is also SO much bigger!"

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Totally Unrelated Photo But At Least I'm Posting

Yesterday I met a dear friend for lunch. And coffee. And there might have been a pre-lunch coffee with another dear friend as well, since I was already in town, with lipstick, wearing clothes and all. These things are not supposed to happen. I'm not on sick leave to do pleasant things and enjoy myself, I know I know I know. And so I was punished thoroughly afterwards and through the night and all of today and probably will be tomorrow as well. So, yes, I got the message. Am not well, should not pretend to be. But oh, how sweet it was to not be in bed! To fake normalcy! If only for a couple of hours. And oh, how I've been paying the price for my audacity. But yes, lesson learned. Will not happen again. Bedridden it is. Bedridden with an extra sideorder of guilt and not a lipstick in sight. Oh joy.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I've learned my lesson the hard way (yes, I did once give away that Omar of The Wire got shot, before it was public knowledge, and man were you angry with me), so will not share any clues this time in either words or photos. Can I just say that the episode above is killing me right now? You who have seen it will know why. You who haven't, download away.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Monday

I listened to a podcast the other day, where a man who had lost two of his three sons talked about the blessings of boring, ordinary days. How one of his friends had said "If I knew I only had twelve more months with my child, I'd stop working and spend every waking moment at her side." And this man in the podcast explained how he and his wife had felt differently, how the normal and the mundane helped them through the darkest hours, days and years. How going to work, making lunch, taking the bus, tucking the boys in at night, helped them and gave them a little rest in between the pain, the frustration and the paralyzing grief. The blessings of ordinary days.

And sometimes when we end up in the kitchen, all of us doing our different things but sitting there together, doing them side by side, sometimes when I look beyond the piles of laundry and the homework and the early mornings and the painful nights when there's no chocolate left, not even in the secret stash, then sometimes I catch a glimpse of it and it's the strongest and prettiest thing I've seen. The blessings of our ordinary days. You say boring? I say bring it.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Extraordinary Ordinary

Thanks to a midwife and doctor who have seen me pregnant before, a supportive family and the Swedish healthcare system (I LOVE YOU ALL), I'm now on sick leave. I stopped working a couple of weeks ago and fill my days with a mix of pain, nesting, nausea and happiness. It never ceases to amaze me that I live in a place where I can do this without putting my family at risk. We're not going to end up on the street just because I can't work. I know our system isn't perfect, what system is, but the way Sweden takes care of its mothers-to-be gives me hope. We might be doing a whole lot of things wrong, but this, this we're doing just right.

So our days pass a little differently than usual, but then again, they have been for the last seven months or so. 2012 will be definitely be named The Year Of Pregnancy in our book. Just as 2003 was. And the bigger part of 2006. It's just how I work (or rather, my body). I still find it nothing short of amazing that there are women, most women actually, who go about being pregnant like it's no biggie. Happy, many of them, and bigger around the waist. But apart from that... business as usual. Amazing. No throwing up? At all? No hospital, no IV lines, no nothing? Yes, amazing. But I digress, I was going to tell you about our days. The extraordinary ordinariness of our days.

Oh, but I can't! Sorry. Turns out it's time to pick B up from pre-school. Yes, well, ok, sorry about that. Will be back.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sleep Update

Thanks for asking. I slept like a baby last night. (A tired baby, not the crying kind.) Your support was overwhelming. Many thanks for kind texts, e-mails and Instagram cheers. It's so very good to have company.

True Colours

I love this season. I love how undemanding it is. How I'm allowed to stay indoors and not be sociable unless I want to. How I can dress in clothes that are warm and actually comfortable. I know, I sound like an hermit dressed in blankets. But really, there's something so forgiving about fall. We lower our expectations and relax a little. No need for everything to be perfect, as in summer or at Christmas. No need for filling the days with big and important things. We're just muddling through. Lighting a fire at night, falling asleep too early, drinking our tea, doing what needs to be done, but not that much more. And it is oh, so good.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I Realize There Are People Out There Who Do This A Lot

I didn't sleep last night. It's like my body and brain are battling each other for existence and neither of them is very happy with the other. I lie there, wide awake, like a stranded whale, wheezing and huffing and puffing. I try to roll over to the other side and it's almost impossible. And then my brain wakes up and starts being annoying. Really annoying. Here are a couple of things I pondered between 2 and 3 a.m.

My son's homework
Head lice
Our plastic Christmas tree (did J threw it out?)
The fact that I'm not reading anything I like at the moment
Child birth (all kinds)
Head lice again

At 3.20 a.m. I went downstairs, had some cereal and Instagrammed a couple of hours away. I was bored to the point of tears. Insomnia. Such a totally useless state of mind. I realize I'm spoiled with sleep. It's usually one of my super powers. I can fall asleep anywhere, anytime, anyhow. So this is... weird. Weird and temporay. And my heart goes out to the many who battle this on a daily (nightly) basis. God, you must be so tired.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

On Our Minds

W worries a bit about the new baby. B is all excitement, but then she doesn't know better, as her big brother put it. He does. He worries that the baby is going to take Blanka's place and then she'll take his and there won't be anything left for him. No attention, nothing. "Since I'm so big that noone's going to look after me or anything." He'll be nine in November. My very big heart.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

With Many A Winding Turn

I stayed upstairs for a while, listening to my mother and the children in the kitchen. Doing cross stitches and building lego dragons, talking about dinner and school and who had done what to whom and why. And it was so comforting, so soothing to hear their voices, that I fell asleep right there and then. Fifteen minutes well spent.

Tomorrow I'll try to get back on track camera wise and show you something that's a little more current than summery roads. But what a good road that was. Warm, dusty, empty. Empty but for me, wearing a wet bikini and a summer dress, riding a borrowed bike and scaring the cows with my laughter. A good road and a good summer.

But we can talk about that later. Thanks for reading.

Monday, October 1, 2012

So Here's What Happened

I started throwing up. As I do. When pregnant.

And I couldn't stop. As I can't. When pregnant. And so I threw up for eleven weeks and after that I was in no shape to either talk, walk or blog. 

I'm now 32 weeks and larger than life and a big mess of feelings, hunger, nausea, back pain and guilt. As of today I'm no longer working and it makes me feel both relieved and a little anxious. Like I'm cheating. Like I'm supposed to be able to handle this. Being pregnant, taking care of my family, making money, writing great stuff. But I can't. It doesn't work for me. So that's it. I'm taking the money making and the writing out of the equation and hopefully that will help with the other parts. The guilt, well, I'll be working on that.

But it feels good to be back here. I haven't visited this place in months and I don't know what will happen now. Will anyone read this? Is anyone still here? To tell you the truth, Blogger's made so many changes since I last posted anything that I don't even know if I can still manage this thing. But I'll try. And I'll be back tomorrow. Hope to see you then.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Still Here

Sorry about the double posting, dear Instagrammers.
I just wanted to say that I'm still here.
So hello, again.
Before you know it, this place will be sparkly and new and I'll be back to regular posting and regular everything. I can't wait.
Until then, I hope spring is treating you fine. We had snow last week and it's colder than I can ever remember (but I think I say that every year). The sun's working double shifts though, so there's hope.
And Sunday is my birthday. And Easter Sunday, of course.
Can't wait for that either.
So I'll see you soon. Thanks for coming.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bonus: Love And Support From Great Britain

Yes. I am an only child. This we've had reason to establish before. So I will indulge in this without further ado and share the pure joy of having Lovely Readers with you, lovely readers:

Aw come on it's not Ugly as in Avert Your Gaze Or Have Your Eyesight Forever Impaired. It may not be what you'd like right now, but the design fairy will happen along sometime and grant your wish - (es) if the wind is favourable. (Sorry it isn't me). I think it's like going into the home of a good friend. OK the hall carpet maybe ain't so pretty, walls could do with a bit of something but hey, when you get by that the house is groaning with good stuff. The fire is lit, the cooker is belting out something fabulous and the good friend greets you with a mug of the best coffee ever. Relax, we'll wear a blindfold till you finish the decorating. (Sent with good intentions - not implying your carpet sucks) x
Best wishes
Shona Pinkshoes

Dear Pinkshoes, consider the fire lit.

Hello Friday

You came this week with light.
Harsh, unforgiving, white light.
Revealing all-light, no holding back-light.
Finding every line under my eyes, every dirty fingerprint on the kitchen windows, every dark hair resting on the white stairs, everything.
Dear Friday.
You came this week with light.
Shine on.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Confession Time Or The Ugly Truth Or Bonfire Of The Vanities

So, here we go, confession time:
The reason I'm not here anymore?
It's so ugly.
It's so ugly I can't stand it. I know, I know, I know. It's never been very pretty and it's not a design blog and why should it even matter and bla bla bla but it does. It really does.
I have things to say and stories to tell, but I find myself dreading the ugliness of this place and avoiding it pretty much at all cost.
And that's just a crying shame.
Because this place has been beautiful and important (well, to me) in oh so many ways and I really shouldn't discard it just because it doesn't look good anymore. How vain and superficial am I? (Oh, lots, it seems.)
You see, everytime I enter this space and see the ugly heading I just cringe and look away. And we can't have that anymore. This is the only writing I do without getting paid and I'd hate to let it go. I need to be here, I think.
Starting today I'm on a mission to find someone who can help me transform this space into something that looks more like home. A clever designer with an hour or two to spare and a mission to create a heading that feels just right.
Until I do find that person and the right idea and the right feeling and all, I'll go back to regular posting just to show that I'm not all about looks. You know, in case you'd gotten me all wrong or summat (sorry, saw Jamie Oliver last night, can't help myself). So there's that. That's that. That's it. That's all. Thanks for your fantastic patience, if you're still there.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rue St Honoré

I'm thinking of posting everything we ate and drank in Paris. Would you like that? Really awful photos too, like this one, with too much or too little light and no filters and no nothing. Keeping it real. Whaddyasay? 'Cause, let's face it, Paris to me is always gonna be more about the coffee than about the Louvre.

I Believe In The Kindness Of Neighbours

I can't sew. The only sew I know is the "Sew - a needle pulling threeeaaad" from you know what-movie. Not the real deal. It makes me sweat and ache and swear and pant like a dog running a marathon. Annette on the other hand is calm, cool and collected and knows her way around the machine. So I begged. That's what I do, I beg and bribe. And she threw caution to the wind and helped me sew a new cover for the kitchen sofa, asking nothing in return. I gave her coffee and lasagna (I'm not a total monster), but apart from that I think I was mostly in her way. It was like having a blue wizard in the house. Wiz, wiz, wiz and all of a sudden there was spring in the kitchen. Thank you, Annette. I owe you.

Five Weeks

The brown photo on top is from today, from now, two minutes ago. The white and sparkly one from February 3rd, five weeks ago. Imagine if I had changed that much in five weeks. What would you see? Who would I be?
But I haven't. I'm the same.
The same same same.

Monday, March 5, 2012

I Have Plans

It's getting rude. This non-blogging thing I've got going.
I'm sorry. I'll be better! I promise! I will!
Thanks for asking, though.
We are all well.
And I have plans for this space.
Plans that somehow make it hard to sit down and write.
But all of these excuses really are no excuses at all.
I shall return.
New and improved.
Thank you for your patience.

Photo from Porthleven this summer. The one day it didn't rain.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Let The Sun Shine In (On Expensive Porkers)

This is what our summer hols (when in Rome etc) looked like.
Beautiful. Enchanting. Exciting. Cold. British.
We're hoping for something warm and sunny this year.
You know, a little less interesting. More predictable.
Something summer-y.
Though the kids adapted well to rule Britannia.
They're still hooked on British sausages, which are a little hard to find over here.
"This is very expensive food", Wilhelm informed his friend over the lamb & rosemary Cumberlands this evening.
"Really?", Noah answered with interest and had some more.
I'm hoping for sun this summer.
Sun and very expensive food.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Friday Night Lights

My father picked us up at the train station.
He drove us home to Midsomer in snow and mist and teased me about being amazed by the beauty.
He's a city boy himself, but his four (six?) years as a permanent resident in the village gives him the right (he feels) to laugh at my constant oh's and ah's. I'm ok with that. I'm still better than him at finding mushrooms.
Though mom is by far the best forager, but that's stating the obvious.
Forager, you lovely word you.
It was a good weekend.
Sun and snow and sheep and food and sleep.
And now it's good to be back home.
Fire burning, tea and love by my side.
I hope you've had a good one too.
Especially you, miss ElizaHennessey.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


It's quite a treat when you haven't seen it for a while.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Did You See The Hunger Games Trailer?

I cried. But I'm pathetic and you can't take anything I say into account. Still. I don't cry for everything (insert giant AHEM from husband here). So I'd say it's looking pretty good. And, on another note, that book has some of the best names. Katniss Everdeen. Brilliant. Ok, it's Monday night, I have oatmeal coming out of my ears and I'm rambling. Will go make a fire instead. Good night and may the odds be evah in your favour.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sea Of Good

I've been a little off track. It can happen, I guess.
Though when it happens to me I always get really surprised.
But I think I'm back.
I think I'm me again.
Hoping for new and improved version.
Or same old, same old. That would be fine too.
When the kids are having a period of more drama than usual we always refer to it as an utvecklingsperiod. A period of rapid development.
A period of learning new things and adjusting to all that new.
I've decided that that's what I've been having too.
En utvecklingsperiod.
And just as we do with the kids, I sigh deeply and say Pray God, it's over.
No more utveckling for a while.
Let me just stay in this feeling.
Let me just keep swimming in this sea of good.
I'm tired and I need the rest.
Happy Friday, everyone.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Happy Happy Happy

She is a hugger and a kisser and a let me just stroke your arm for a million minutes kind of girl. She told me sternly to lie down on the kitchen sofa yesterday so she could brush my hair "just like they do at those places" and I died of happiness for the five minutes it lasted. She needs to touch and be touched, she needs to be in the middle, always, she needs to kiss and hold and feel and talk and sing. She's five years old today and a major drama queen with a tendency to cry in front of the mirror ('cause the bigger the audience the better). But mostly she's all about love. Happy birthday, mitt hjärta.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Nothing To Say Really

Just had to knock that god awful picture of myself (and lovely BFF) from number one. So I give you Bird In Snow. Enjoy this little fellas footsteps (claw steps?) and your Friday too.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Service Provided Twentyfourseven Threesixtyfive

Can you imagine us years from today
Sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange to be seventy...

Simon & Garfunkel, Bookends

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

These Are The Days

I think it finally happened. I think winter came.
The kids are loving it and I'm feeling a little bit of both.
I'm glad for the light. Glad for the snow covering all that was ugly.
But morning routines are longer and the snowy sleepiness seems to creep into our house and into our bones, making energy as precious and scarce as chocolate when you really need it.
There's a fire in the evening. Most days.
And clothes and boots drying in front of it. The smell of smoke mixed with wet mittens and socks. It's a good smell.
Last night it was impossible to do anything but watch the flames, drink the tea, think about bed, iphone in hand.
Today I've dropped the children at school and day care, come home to send out some work and have another cup of tea, before I change into work clothes and head to town.
It's pretty outside and the air and light will help me fight the tired, sleepy, yawny, stretchy part of me. The part already thinking about tonight's fire.
But first. Tuesday. Work.
I hope you have a good one. I think I will.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Turns Out It Never Hurts To Ask

Wendy and Tyler of Blue Lily Photo travel the world with their children, taking photographs of other families and exploring everything from Brazil to Japan as they go along. They are coming to Norway to do a session on June 2:nd this year, and when I asked them about doing Stockholm some time they very kindly said Why not right after Oslo?

Wow. Really? Yes, really. So if there's a family or four out there dreaming of having their picture taken without looking like morons, let me hook you up! Take a look at their work here, comment or e-mail me and say that you do do do. Pricing and printing info from their site below.

Wow again. Did not see this coming. I've always felt that it really does hurt to ask, but never again. Thanks and yay, Tyler and Wendy.

PS. SOFIA, look it's your wedding pictures all taken care of!

PPS. Nooo, I didn't take this photo. They did. But you had already figured that out, right?

THE PHOTO, $475 (USD):

Includes 35 edited, high resolution digital files with a print release*

-45 minute session

- you'll get pictures of your family, individuals, siblings shots, and much more.

*this means you can keep the files on your computer and print to your heart's desire. Sweet!

Please inquire if you are interested in a video session!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cause He's My Lion

The sound of little feet on the landing.
So quiet, so careful, those naked feet on white painted stairs, holding on, barely moving and still.
Still, I can hear every tiny step, every inch he's moving. I can hear it, I can feel it.
And the voice, younger than in daytime, tired, curious, just one more question, just one more thing to think about before falling asleep.
And the hair, that hair, that makes him look like four years old again, a curly lion's mess from tossing and turning the world and his blankets upside down.
Sometimes those steps, that sound of little feet that on other nights make you sigh and say go back to beeeeeeeeed, sometimes those steps sound right through me.
Sometimes the sleepy breath of this eightyearold standing on the steps with just one more question makes me smile a smile that may look tired from outside but is a loud roar of joy on the inside.
Because i know that this is it. This, right now. This is it.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Test-Blogging From Bed And Phone

So this is just a test. Testing testing. But while I'm at it, are you watching Homeland? Seriously addictive. I know it's not Sorkin or anything. Or Downton Abbey. Or The Wire. Or Big Love. But still! Still very good. And good tv I like. Good night.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

When It Rains And Every Other Day In The World

It's a good thing to have a home filled with dirty socks and lego. No view to talk about and too much traffic, the lawn looking like a mudwrestler's dream come true, paint needed front and back, ugly Christmas curtains still up, puddles of melting snow in the hallway, sand and gravel under every pillow you turn over on the couch (don't), bed linen needing to be changed, dish washer slowly coming apart, tired worktop going to pieces and did I mention the lego? It's a good thing to have a home like this. This place where we live. Where it rains in January and you haven't been able to locate the chocolate in four days. Where that person whom you've been loving for a million years is lighting a fire just now and there are actual real children that you've made together sleeping upstairs. It is oh so good.

And then to top things off: You guys.
Thank you for coming. Thanks for reading. Thanks for saying hi. Thank you thank you thank you. You too are oh so good.

Monday, January 9, 2012


Great plains, endless ocean, mountains that go on and on, untouched forests, quiet lakes big as the sea. Space. I'm thinking one day. One day we will live where the sky is wide and the land just goes on and on. Maybe just for a week. But still. A week of space.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

This Week Starts On Wednesday

Tomorrow is just a test run. I'm thankful. Good night.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Insert Witty Headline About Time Or Something Glasses

We're still on holiday here. That is, I worked today and Tuesday, and J will work tomorrow. But there's no school or daycare until next Wednesday, so officially we're on leave. And it's oh so good. Funny how easily I adapt to lethargy. And minus the mandatory total mayhem breakdowns that come of four people spending every waking hour together and watching too much tv (we're on a screen stop now) (no, this doesn't count) it's been brilliant. This I know for sure: I love it when we're all together.

And we've done a little more than just watch too much tv. We spent Christmas up north, skiing and reenacting the Last Christmas video, minus the heart ache and the matching sweaters, plus four children and more food than George Michael could've imagined. Thanks to our friends we actually managed some skiing as well, so big shout out to heroes Stellan och Hedda. They were magnificent.

I've chosen my word for 2012. Have you?

And can I find you on Instagram? I'm seriously hooked.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year New Wear

I need go get back into running gear.