Sunday, January 1, 2012

Our Happy Holidays!

I’ve had so many things to write about since returning to Florida, but very little time to process and formulate my thoughts, let alone endure the agonizing upload time to share my pictures. But now, this first day of 2012, I find myself again preparing for a move, and know that if I have any hope of sharing our holiday joys with you it must be now.
Returning from The States with Gracie and my mom brought a flurry of activity to our house in Jonkoping. After a day or so of adjusting to the time change, dark days, and cold weather again, we began our Christmas preparations. Stockings were hung after Thanksgiving, and the Nativity scene was set out, but there was still much to do to make this big old house feel like our home at Christmas time.  Matthew liberally borrowed from the lights and ornaments left behind in the attic and had purchased an adorable tree (from a gas station, go figure) to set up in the living room.  Gracie and my mother made paper chains and we found some pink and white candy canes (food that requires red dye is tricky to find here in Sweden) to add to the tree for that old-fashioned festive feel.

From Germany, for my collection

Creative use of the library

Creative use of a toilet paper tube

It's not Christmas without Legos

After decking out the house, we moved into the kitchen and introduced Gracie to the joys of Christmas baking.  She’s a good little sous-chef until it’s time to use the mixer.  The loud noise sends her running from the kitchen, but if you need something measured, rolled, or decorated, she’s your girl!

The lack of snowfall has been a surprise, a relief, and a bit of a disappointment. After running around in July like a lunatic snatching up snow boots and pants, hats, gloves, and scarves from obscure internet websites and central Florida’s abundance of outlet malls, I had hoped we would need to use them for more than a week.  As it is, this was an unseasonably warm winter in Sweden (too many Floridians here, I suppose) and after only a few days of snow we found ourselves faced with another green Christmas.  We did enjoy the snow while it lasted; a child’s reaction to their first snowfall is precious and priceless, but after bemoaning the slow death of her snowman friend, Gracie and I took matters into our own hands creating our colorful winter wonderland.

I was so grateful to have my parents here for Christmas. Sharing the holidays with family helped appease the near constant loneliness that has engulfed me since the onset of the nearly constant gloomy weather in October. We shared a lovely meal at home, played with our new toys and gadgets, and enjoyed the day.

I hope you finished out 2011 with as much happiness as we did! Happy New Year!

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