Monday, July 29, 2013

When the cat is away, the mice dance on the table...or so they say.

At work Swedes will always teach us their idioms. They don't usually translate so good. I learned this one a few weeks ago and it is only fitting for the past few days. Gini went back to Utah for her sister's wedding and her other sister's farewell. So we said goodbye to Gini and planned to hang out alone for a week.

This is us saying good bye at the airport.
When Gini left I set a few goals for Owen and I to accomplish while she was gone. 1) Get Owen to become obsessed with something other than Cars and Cars 2. 2) Mount Owen's seat better on Gini's bike and put a kick stand on her bike. 3) Don't let Owen get bit by any snakes (I had a dream the night before Gini left that Owen was bit by a rattlesnake. I was nervous the whole first day for snakes.). 4) Make sure Owen doesn't just eat fast food and chicken nuggets. 5) Think of a good surprise for Gini when she got back.

Goal 1: So the first day I went home and I bought Finding Nemo for Owen. He quickly fell in love with it. It still isn't his number one but it is quite close and cute when he says "shish" and points at the TV. However, we have these toy cars that he can't put down. Any waking moment, he says cars and just wanders around until he has one in each hand. It is really cute.

As you can see he didn't even put them down to eat. This was spaghetti dinner, and it was easier to take his shirt off and hose him off afterwards.

So I feel like I accomplished that goal.

Goal 2: Gini and I brought bikes back with us in June, and we bought Owen a seat. When I mounted it the first time I rushed it a little and it wasn't too stable and it was really high. Gini's bike was always close to tipping over so I made plans to fix that and make it safer for the two.

Before, you can see it is pretty high and only connected to the seat stem.

The seat is lower, and mounted to the frame now. Much better.
I even took it out and rode it around the town each day she was gone to make sure it rode well. Owen LOVES going for bike rides. The first fifteen minutes of each ride is a mixture between "GOTTA GO!!!" and squealing and giggling. It is really cute.
 Goal 3: No snake bites...check.

Goal 4: Owen only ate fast food once, and chicken nuggets for the first meal. I cooked pasta, chicken tacos, beef tacos, and a hot dog.
This was us eating a hot dog in the car.

First dinner, it was really good.
Goal 5: So I racked my brain to come up with something original that would ease the transition back from the states. When Gini and I moved here we had a moving come and pack up our stuff and palletize it and put it on a boat to Sweden. When we got our pallets 8 weeks later, there was one box missing. The only thing that we have been definitely been able to tell was in there were all of Gini's cookbooks. She was crushed. She had one that was a gift from her sister that included a bunch of recipes from all their friends. Gini cooked from it 5 days out of the week when we lived in Utah. Gini was able to get the word document from her sister. Today Owen and I spent the day putting it in book form so she wouldn't have to use her laptop every time she was cooking. I can put it on here because she won't read this until she gets back to Sweden.

I also included these extra pictures.

We went to parks and went down slides

I bathed him on a regular basis.

Shirts however, were optional when we were hanging out

But we did go to church and have a fun time playing afterwards

We might have watched too much TV....

He couldn't get close enough.

We played before bed.

He was laughing, it is dark again though and so the flash came out and caused him to squint.

But most importantly, we missed our mom. She is the best, and we can't wait to shower her with love when she gets back!

Sunday, July 14, 2013


So Gini and I have been reading emails from some friends who just moved to China and it has got me reminiscing about our transition to Sweden. It is funny that even though they are in China and we are in Sweden we have some similarities. I enjoyed reading their letter so much it made me think that people would also enjoy our experiences.

So Gini and I brought bikes back with us when we came in June, there are a number of trails that people use for biking in the summer, and cross-country skiing in the winter. It is so nice to just get out in the bikes, and with it being light 24 hours a day we can go for a bike ride and just get so lost in the time and not realize how long we have been gone. 
The beach on the river by our home, since we have started riding bikes we have found little gems hidden away like this all over.

Sometimes he gets bored.

Before we got him a seat, he would ride in his baby carrier strapped to my bike. It was fun because he would be right in my ear and just talking and saying things like, GOTTA GO!!!!

Gini loves riding her bike.

Even through the forest.

And by the water.

Now that we have a seat, we can go to the grocery store and run other errands with ease.
This past week, was a HUGE party in Lulea called Festivalen. It is a large music festival that has stages all over down town and a carnival, and a bunch of other outdoor activities. Gini and Owen loved it and went and enjoyed it alot more than me. The thing about a music festival in Lulea is that the festival can go well into the night because it never gets dark. It was hard at times because it went to 3 AM but it was still fun.

Owen loved all the bounce houses.

This Russian carnival came to town, the rides were pretty rickety but we had a lot of fun.

They had this Cars ride, and Owen has become obsessed with Cars, so he rode this probably 10 times.

Don't know how I feel about him eating these cars, but kids do what kids do.

The past week, I went up to the mine for a meeting. A regular problem that the operations have are reindeer. They are domesticated and herded by the locals and they basically have the right of way. The trucks will often hit them and there is a lot of legislation protecting them and they often say how will the mine affect the reindeer and other things. Well on the way up you see them all the time on the road.
This brute, couldn't have been bothered by us and would barely move off the road.

We were in the dead center of the mine, it is an open pit mine. This guy was just chilling right on the edge of the mine. They were blasting, and using heavy equipment within a kilometer of him but he just kept on munching. There were two other buddies with him.

After seeing how these animals moved, I doubt it would be a very sporting or fun hunt. I think we can take Swedish reindeer off my bucket list. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


So Gini and I returned to Sweden on the 24th of June. We had a work conference in Salt Lake City and enjoyed 4 wonderful nights at the Grand America. It was a great ending to a trip to the USA. When we returned to Sweden our luggage was a little behind us, but it finally showed up (it was just 36 hours late).

In January as I was returning home, my customer made an announcement that they were out of money and needed to find some external financing. It was a long drawn out process, but basically Gini and I didn't know if we were going to stay in Sweden or have to return. This roller coaster continued from February until we returned in June. It was a pretty tense time with us trying to guess where we would end up if this project didn't get the funding they needed. This was big time news in Sweden as the mine we are working with was a large part of the local economy. Everyone in Sweden knew the project and knew it was a in a precarious situation. The local branch decided not to give us callings because it wasn't clear how long we would be in Sweden. So we spent the first few months in Sweden without any callings, but that all changed when we returned. The first weekend here, I got a calling. After they finished setting me apart, they grabbed Gini as well.

Even though I don't speak Swedish they called me into the branch presidency here in LuleƄ. Gini also got a wonderful calling and I am excited for her, but I will let her share it with you.