Cheers to the year that was… part 1
I loved you.
I hated you.
But what a milestone year you were for our family, so I thought best to document you.
Grab a cuppa and indulge me, here we go!
January was the month where we swapped summer for winter and added three extra vowels to our vocabulary.
A few days after arriving we got the keys to our new home and couldn’t be happier. Well, we could have been happier, if we had actually gotten to move in there.
Previously, as time was running out and we hadn’t found any home to buy, we’d agreed to rent another house for 3 months, in a suburb just outside of Stockholm. (Turns out, we found and bought our home and got a quick exchange, so we ended up having two places.)
After sacrificing so much so that we would be able to buy our own home, now for practical reasons (not having furniture etc) we had to live somewhere else.
Les Miserables! To top it off, I started working at 3am in the morning, we all got the dreaded Swedish stomach flu and paying rent/mortgage on two houses just added non-organic salt to our wounds.
To cope, we turned to used and true strategy that we’d been using for years. Incessant complaining.
At any time of the day or night, our rented house was: “too noisy”, “too small”, “too cold”, “too big”, “stupid” and had “noisy floors”.
Sitting down to dinner one night, my mother-in-law WHO IS A VERY SANE AND SAGE WOMAN even remarked that she didn’t like the sound of the cutlery hitting the plates. We all nodded and agreed, the cutlery was a problem.
February was the month where we ditched that sorry rented house and finally moved into our place! We had the bare minimum: internet, fairy lights and beds. We lived amongst moving boxes and pizza boxes, but we were finally home.
The girls started school/day care. The first few weeks went smoothly, as we all began to find our feet. Turns out, the younger two had the same resolve as their mum, that 9 million others should learn our language, instead of us having to learn theirs.
March saw the Surprise Baby turn 3. We had a small celebration at our new home, how lovely!
I started unpacking the boxes from Sydney, the boxes we’d stored in Sweden and the crap we had brought with us on the plane.
I found all of my things, like my favourite Danish ‘Forest Boy’ tea light candles. And I mean, ALL my things. Bloody TSH had not listened to my strict instructions to throw out the contents of our former apartment (because we were moving to Sydney), and had instead kept everything. What joy to find the ABBA museum fridge magnet, that our lives had not been complete without.
The girls would occasionally ask when the holiday would be over and when would we be going home, ‘to the other world’, I’d just reply that I was glad they viewed this all as a holiday, because this was now, their life.
April saw TSH celebrate his birthday. At home, he was impressing me deeply with all his handyman work. He not only looks good, but has a plethora of practical life skills. I, on the other hand, just look good.
Now at the best of times I don’t think you’d describe me as a sane woman, so image what I become after months of working at 3am and juggling a household. It’s not pretty.
So I don’t know how it happened but somewhere along the line, I was permitted to join the body corporate for the village where we were now living. In April, I managed to help organise our spring clean up day and no one died, so I was allowed to continue my good work.
We celebrated Easter up north and despite the children coming to terms with the Swedish Easter Rooster being way ‘less bountiful’ than the Australian Easter Bunny, we all managed to have a fabulous time.
May helped us realise another dream come true. The ability to annoy our neighbours far and wide with the dolcent tones of an acoustic piano. LOVE IT!!!!
Spring had sprung so I moved my home office outside and started to bask in the glory of a recent discovery – our flowering quince tree. SHUT UP MAGGIE BEER NO! Yes, we were in possession of our own quince tree.
It was the start of summer although we were celebrating ‘mid-summer’. The garden flourished with me doing little more than just look at it. Molto bravo.
I spent a lot of time in our bedroom, looking out our window (bottom right) and convincing myself to try to sleep at lunchtime, as I’d started work so early. Didn’t work so well.
With my early starts and TSH having a new job and lots of nightshift, the house continually looked ‘lived in’. Ho hum, but home.
Stay tuned my pretties, part two is up next, then I promise I will join you in 2018.