bye bye 2023

12 31 23

Hi hello hej hej! Forever and ever later, I felt like making a blog post to end this year 🙂

I am more than ready to leave 2023 behind. It’s been a year filled with fun times with family and friends, lots of travel, an incredible amount of wonderful memories, but also some emotional days and a lot of losses of people we care about, It was an overall good year, but I’m really looking forward to all that 2024 has to offer♥

Lily got baptized one year ago

December 5, 2022

One year ago, we were in Chicago for a week cause Jim had just started a non-work life (which lasted for five months). This trip got planned like two-three weeks before. J suggested that we try to get Lily baptized while being there. He called his grandma who very awesomely arranged everything with her church. I started to google dresses for L to wear but didn’t find anything interesting. I wrote something to my mom about it and she mentioned that they have the dress that me, my sister and herself were all baptized in. Since it was short notice and we were running out of time, my parents kindly shipped it with express and luckily it arrived just in time before we had to fly to Chicago.

We landed on Thursday night, spent Friday just catching up with J’s mom and stepdad. Then on Saturday, December 5th, we got up, got ready and soon we were driving to the Catholic church. I kept writing with my sister and told her to be ready for video chat. Since she couldn’t join in person and we had asked her to be Lily’s Godmother, the pastor had agreed to let her join on video while L’s grandma Anna took her place in person.
We arrived at the church right before set time and knocked on every door we could find but nobody opened. Soon J’s grandparents and his dad with wife arrived as well. It was raining so we all just stayed in our cars. Then they finally opened the door and let us in. I had to go to the bathroom and change Lily into her dress, J’s dad came in with a cute bracelet gift that L was supposed to wear but I barely understood what he said cause I was occupied and at the same time Michael who is Lily’s Godfather (Jim’s friend from college), and his wife Brook arrived. We were only given a few minutes to change L and it was so stressful that I didn’t even have time to say hi to anyone. We rushed in to sit down on the benches at front. As I said that I have to call my sister, the pastor started the whole ceremony. So I never got to call her and the whole thing was over before we knew it.

The ceremony was funny, sweet and super short (13 minutes), just perfect for us actually (our wedding in Italy was 7 min long haha). Lily cried the whole time. We were the only ones in the church, this was the only thing happening this day, but we still had to wear facemasks the whole time which wasn’t super fun but whatever, we got it done.

Anna kindly agreed to hold my phone on a mini tripod so that the baptism could be filmed and showed to my family later. And Brook thankfully said yes to be the photographer with my camera:)

The dress fit her perfectly, so cute! 
Apparently the lady who was gonna add my sisters name back in the 90s got sick and then I guess they never added it to the dress. I hope we can get both my sisters name (Denice Ulla) and our daughters name (Lily Therése) added to it♥

So, Lily got baptized which was a wish from Jim and his side of the family. I was brought up Christian as well and I even did the confirmation when I was 14, but I want Lily to be able to choose for herself what religion she wants to believe in, if any. But since there’s no harm in baptizing her, I agreed to do it and she can make a choice of her own later in life after we have introduced her and taught her about what there is to believe in.

I have always been super interested in finding out more about the different religions, spiritual practices or beliefs. In fact, this interests me so much that when I studied to become a dance teacher and it was discussed if we would have to pick a non-dance topic as our second major instead of dance style (the Swedish government and the school system suck and this is why I chose to only get a bachelor in one major), I immediately knew that “religion” would be my pick (in Sweden you actually have religion study in school unlike America, I had it in both 8th grade and in high school). As a kid I loved spending time at my grandmas so that I could ask her all the questions I had about the Bible and God etc. I did the confirmation because I still had a million questions. But, when my priest didn’t answer any of my questions and more or less just laughed at them, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go through with it, but I thought that IF I would find the answers later in life then maybe I would regret that I didn’t confirm, so I said ok. 22 years and tons of my own research later, I’m still looking for those answers and more has come up within religion and spirituality. I have opinions and my own interpretations and potential believes, but I will not discuss them here. All I want to say is that I made a choice to let my daughter be baptized because her father wanted that for her and I will make sure that he (and myself, cause I think I know more) teaches her about Christianity and the different traditions and at the same time teach her about everything else. She is her own person and deserves to have a voice and a choice. 

We had a Rat’tastic Halloween

November 2, 2022

And so was the Halloween of this year over. Last year was the first time we’ve had trick or treaters come to our home. We bought candy to hand out previous years but we lived in buildings that didn’t really have any kids so no body came knocking on our door, so I was very excited last year to experience this for the first time. Lily was only 6 months old then so we didn’t walk around the neighborhood ourselves cause it felt a little silly. This year was Lily’s and my first time ever going Trick or Treat. I was very excited:) I told L about it all day and taught her to say “trick or treat” and “Happy Halloween”. She loved being in a costume and walking around with her bucket. We walked early (when it was still light out), like we were the first ones to walk around, but Thor had to poop and I wasn’t sure if L would be able to stay up late so that was why. When we came to the first house I told her again what she was supposed to do but she did not want to. I picked her up and we walked over as the neighbor met us half way with a bowl of candy. L was so shy hiding her face in my chest. But oh my she was excited to have got a little bag of candy. When we walked away she took the bag (gummy bears) out of the bucket and walked around with it like it was a piece of gold. I tried to have her go to different houses but she didn’t want to. Some girl came up to her and put candy directly in the bucket, I held her walking up to a few homes, but she was shy and wasn’t sure what was going on haha. 

Last year we had tons of kids coming to our house and before the Halloween night we saw many houses decorated and apparently it was a lot more the night of. So we bought tons of candy this year, cause the other two neighborhoods near here have had a bunch of new houses built in the past year. Lily and I spent some time setting everything up in our front yard during the day. And…womp womp womp… we had way less kids coming this year, we even told them to take two pieces of candy each (and we were giving out full size candy bars not just the little ones that everyone else had so the kids should be happy haha). We had like nobody coming after 7 so closer to 8 we went inside to put Lily to sleep, I left candy on a plate on one of the chairs in case some kids would come and it was gone when I came out later so we did have more. But overall it was a bit boring. Not many homes decorated either (J and I separately walked around with L a couple of times more to houses we hadn’t gone to earlier to mostly just say hi to neighbors). Just like last year there were someone who had a movie playing on a projector and one house went all in with a scary tent and whatnot, but not much else. I did notice that some kids knocked on a couple of houses that gave out candy (which is at least how it used to be, I was a little confused last year that we were gonna sit outside and wait for everyone but that seems to be the new thing or something). But at least we got to experience it, and I think this was a nice first time for Lily (and me), she had fun and that’s all that matters. 

It is not easy to come up with family costumes though. Super Heroes, Ghost Busters and Wizard of Oz etc. are just too common, and common is boring to me. I love seeing that with other families but nah. But who knows, maybe we end up like one of those choices next year:)

Anyway… I thought long and hard on what to do this year. I love babies in costumes especially the ones that are big like the avocado or the cow costume Lily has, too adorable. So I simply just started to think about costumes that would be cute on her and then find a theme around that. Elephant, mouse, any kind of fruit, all sooo cute.

We ended up as the characters from the movie Ratatouille. Lily was Remy the “Little Chef”, Jim was Linguini who can’t cook, Thor was cheese and I was Anton Ego, the food critic who is served ratatouille at the end. I think it turned out great:) 

We bought a mouse costume and a wooden spoon for Lily and I created a chef hat out of paper covered by one of her newborn onesies and sewed that on the headpiece. I bought a yellow t-shirt size 2T, sewed the neck to be smaller and painted rings to make Thor into cheese (and he peed all over it the second he stepped outside, cause I hadn’t been able to fold it up before). Everything else we bought online mixed with clothes we had at home.

Lily has never really had actual candy before, only had a tiny taste of chocolate once (and then cookies, buns and ice cream but no candy candy if you know what I mean), and I don’t plan on introducing that any time soon. So, I bought her a $1 gift to put in her bucket for the morning after. Luckily she was so occupied with everything going on at night that she didn’t want to try the candy she had in her bucket (I also don’t think she knew what it was and that it was eatable). 

A lot can happen in a year…or can it..

October 28, 2022

Lily grows and grows but somehow she has a lot of clothes that still fits her that she was wearing a year ago. Weird. The other day she was wearing a long sleeve onesie that we bought before she was born, it is size 2-4 months (!!) and the pants she had was 6 months and the shoes was 6-12 months. Yesterday I went through her closet and just for fun I put her in the cow costume I got for her last Halloween. I thought it was a little small and hard to put on one year ago, but it apparently fits her now. So I took out some more older clothes that I bought a year ago and guess what, still fits. The green onesie I tried on her today was a little snug but looks good. Baby clothes are so strange. Some clothes are still too big on her that says size 12 months or smaller and other clothes in size 18 months (which she will be next week) are almost too small. 

Anyway,.. here are some cute pics of Lulu from last year vs now:)