anyone still there??

i've had an eventful week since i've been back in the USA! it's been crazy busy, but very good at the same time. i wish i could detail everything i've done, but it's all easily wrapped up by just saying that i've spent my time doing the things that were most important - seeing my family and friends, eating GREAT food that i dearly missed, getting a job and finding a place to live, and just enjoying being in America.

so, if you're still reading this blog and you'd like to follow along on my new journey to Northern Wisconsin, i've started a new place over at http://www.loveinthecountry.blogspot.com/. i'm making The Big Move to Brad's hometown, so it'll be all about my adventures in adjusting to small town life. i'm super excited to live there, so hopefully i'll have lots of things to write about!

to those of you that read this blog this past year while i was in Sweden, thanks for keeping up with me. i hope you'll stay up with Love in the Country!


all-american girl

i'm back in the U.S. of A...and it couldn't feel better.


saying goodbye

i'm saying goodbye to the kids tonight because we're leaving before they wake up in the morning for the airport. and i've - stupidly - been thinking all week that i wouldn't have a hard time with it at all. but here i am, bawling like a baby at the thought of going to say goodbye to them.

these three children were my reason for coming to Sweden, and while there were many times that they drove me crazy, i could never escape the fact that they are the sweetest, brightest, most fun children i've ever met. i realized tonight that i've seen them almost every single day this year, and spent so many days getting them ready for bed, making their breakfast, their dinners, driving them to school and to activities, holding them when they're hurt or crying, jumping with them on the trampoline, reading to them, cooking with them, drawing endless imaginative pictures, and just being their friend. i know the curve of Sixten's head, the softness of Klara's skin and the smallness of Kasper's hand. i know the foods they love (not too many) and the foods they hate (the list is ridiculous). i know that Klara hates lots of toothpaste on her toothbrush, and Sixten loves being tickled. Kasper has an imagination that's greater than mine will ever be.

love is such a crazy thing - it grabs you in unlikely places, and it's almost painful to experience the fullness of it...but yet, it leaves you wanting more.

all i can think of, as i get ready to head into their house and tell them goodnight for the very last time, is that i love these children. i love them fiercely, deeply and protectively. and thinking about how much i will miss them breaks my very heart.


is this legal?

went to pay my credit card this morning and saw a charge for $7.06. any guesses to what it was for? there's a lot of things you can get for 7 dollars...a Chipotle burrito, 2 small lattes from Caribou (two of the first purchases i will make this Friday).

but nope. i paid $7.06 for a BOTTLE OF COKE IN FRANCE. the price was around 5 Euros, which was astronomical, but i didn't so much care at that point cause i was about on the floor out of breath. but still - SEVEN dollars. for a bottle of Coke. ridiculous.

home in two days!


'a coke is always better with a view!'

that's what the waiter at the mountain-top restaurant said happily to me as i collapsed on his patio and ordered a Coke while gasping for breath after climbing UP the mountain for 30 minutes. and once i had drank half of the bottle, i was able to agree. the scenery in Chamonix, France - home of Mont Blanc, Europe's tallest mountain - is breathtakingly gorgeous.

here's some photos from the trip - all done in black and white. we all went rock climbing the last day, and the kids were outfitted for it in tiny little climbing shoes and harnesses. might have been the cutest darn thing i've seen all year.

and, on that note, my final trip with the family has come and gone. it was tons of fun, and reminded me yet again how blessed i am to be with such wonderful people. HOWEVER - i'm ready for home! just 3 more days :)



okay, ya'll...i'm about to DIE from the anticipation of going home! it's getting so bad...i actually have to keep asking the Lord to help me feel some sadness over leaving, cause i'm just so dang excited to get back. i'm sure i will be sad about a week after i get home.

today was one of those days where i was low on patience with the kids...Klara refused to sit by me at lunch cause my salad was 'stinky' - apparently the balsamic vinaigrette didn't agree with her. that was directly after - when making her lunch - she told me that she didn't like hot dogs anymore. i asked her when she stopped liking them, and her response? 'yesterday.' but, not to worry, it's only French hot dogs that she doesn't like. oh, of course.

(French food does have an interesting taste to it...not bad, just different. ketchup is different, their yogurt tastes different. and evidently, so do their hot dogs).

tomorrow is our last full day in France, and it should be a busy one. we're starting out the day by doing a High-Ropes course in the mountains, which will be followed by lunch, which will be followed by rock climbing, on actual rocks. no, i am not kidding. they really are this active...sometimes i wonder how i got in this family??

here's some recent photos i took of the tigers at the zoo in Sweden a few weeks ago...

all day long

as promised, here are a couple pictures of the french cows that graze in the field behind the house (it's actually the ski slope in the winter, funny, right?). they're pretty small, all black, and they wear these bells around their necks, as you can see in the first picture, that jangle all.day.long. i really enjoyed it at first, found it to be authentic and endearing. now it's more of a nuisance, actually. it reminds me of this video game that Kasper played over and over again in Bali that would have a 'whistle blowing' sound, and he played it so much that i swear i started hearing it in my sleep. that's how it is with these cows, i swear i've started to hear the bells in my sleep.

and speaking of sleep, the beds here have got to be the most comfortable beds i've ever slept in. like, ever. my bed is huge, has a big, thick feather bed on the mattress, and a big, giant down comforter with big, soft pillows. i practically get euphoric chills just laying in it at night.

anyway. my kiddos need a snack and i need some more french bread with brie....ah, the life. i will miss it :)