I used some questions in my year summary of 2011, and thought it might be fun to use the same again. It was a few years ago, after all. For a short summary of 2013, it was a year full of sickness, preparations, paperwork, grieving, happiness, adventure, and business. It was a year that started with vacation in the United States. Then, it immediately got more difficult. I went back to Sweden, went through everyday treatment, lost my grandad, canceled an exiting trip to China, and was admitted to the hospital. At the same time it was tough, I also had some exciting stuff going on as well as I prepared for a big move, spent summer in the Swedish archipelago, and visited Stockholm. Life began again and was completely new as I made my move to the States, started studying at an American University (a dream come true!), celebrated Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and everyday in between, while at the same time studied at an intense level that I have never experienced before. But, it was amazing and it all feels so right. Now, I’m about to end the year, together with some friends, in Atlanta, Georgia. Gonna be so much fun! But, you know what I really want? I want to close out 2013 and begin focusing on the New Year… cause it’s gonna continue the fun and excitement!
2012/2013 New Years celebration in the States with my love.
What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
Moved to another continent, USA to be precise, and started studying at an American University. Woo hoo!
Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn’t make any. I don’t usually make any resolutions, but I do have some goals and dreams for next year – another blog post to come. Hehe.
Did anyone close to you give birth?
Several friends…Emma, Kicki, Caroline, and Christina!!
Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, my beloved grandad…
What countries did you visit?
USA & Germany.
What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Muscles and be in better condition.
What days from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The day I found out was accepted to UNCA! The day I went to the hospital, again. Days in the archipelago with family and friends, times in Stockholm, and the day I left Sweden and moved to the USA.
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Gettingt healthy. The move. The acceptance to the University and good grades in school.
What was your biggest failure?
The cancellation of our China trip.
Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes. Anorexia Nervosa.
What was the best thing(s) you bought?
Our first class plane tickets to the States when we moved! Trips, our car, my iMac, MacBook Pro, and my camera.
Whose behavior merited celebration?
Mine. My family, cat, and my love. Also some nurses and other treatment people!
Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
A few who I’ll not mention here.
Where did most of your money go?
To the car, trips, technical stuff, and Christmas.
What are you really, really, really excited about?
An upcoming trip in about a week!!!
What song will always remind you of 2013?
Love on Top by Beyoncé
Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) Bigger or smaller?
Bigger, but I’m healthy now!
c) richer or poorer?
What do you wish you’d done more of?
Taken more pictures. Been in contact with more friends.
What do you wish you’d done less of?
Starving and worring too much about things.
What was your favorite month(s) of 2013?
June, July, and December.
Did you fall in love in 2013?
Yes, with my wife even more.
What was your favorite TV program?
I never really watched TV.
Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
What was the best book you read?
Haven’t finished the Book Thief yet but I truly like it!
What was the best series you watched?
I believe 2013 was the year of watching TV-series. Here we go: The Walking Dead, Girls, New Girl, Orange is the New Black, Revenge, True Blood, Breaking Bad, American Horror Story, Scandal, and The Killing.
What was your greatest musical discovery?
First Aid Kit.
What did you want and get?
Better health, new friends, our apartment, car, a good first semester in school, and to celebrate the American holidays!
What did you want and not get?
Muscles and snow for Christmas.
What was your favorite film of this year?
12 Years a Slave and The Book Thief.
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 29 and had permission from the hospital the night before, so I woke up at home, and then spent some time in the hospital during the day.
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
To have been more healthy.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Converse, rolled up jeans and oversize t-shirts.
What kept you sane?
My love, cat, music, and my dream goals in life.
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Beyoncé & Håkan Hellström.
What political issue stirred you the most?
How healthcare is so freaking expensive here in the States. The low salaries as well.
Who did you miss?
My Swedish family and friends.
Who was the best new person you met?
My new friends here in the States.
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013
You can’t starve yourself, be underweight, and live life at the same time.
2014, bring it on!
On Christmas Day we woke up, drank coffee, opened our stockings that Santa had filled during the night. Zola got her own little stocking with gifts and a bigger Christmas gift in form of a scratching/resting pole. She loves it, so it was a hit!
Lis’z dad reading a magazine he got in his stocking.
Liz and I were drinking mimosas (orange juice mixed with Champagne).
Liz’s brother has bought a new old car (Ford Fairlane ’58) and we got to ride in it.
After the ride, we prepared and cooked food, and ate Christmas dinner in the afternoon.
The food is pretty much the same as on Thanksgiving, but this time the meat-eaters switched the turkey for ham.
Green bean casserole; mushed sweet potatoes; two different stuffings, corn pudding, ham, and bread. Add candy, truffels, wine, nuts, and you got a really full stomach. But yummy it was!
Gonna take some pictures of my Christmas gifts and show you..so stay tuned for the next post!
Christmas Eve morning, I started with a FaceTime date with my Swedish family, who were eating lunch about the time I woke up here in the States. I got to say hey to my beloved grandma, mom, dad, brother + girlfriend, aunt, and three of my cousins. They were later on heading to my sister’s house to continue their Christmas Eve celebrations. Once we hung up, Liz and I did some last minute errands (along with some other people…hmpf). Liz’s parents stayed with us for some days and they were doing errands as well during parts of Christmas Eve.
Later on, we baked gingerbread cookies. I don’t really like them, but tradition it is, and it smells so good in the the apartment while baking them.
It was so cozy in the apartment and this picture below is taking from our balcony..
Since it was Christmas Eve after all (the day for Swedes to celebrate), we decided to eat a little Swedish food, a.k.a meatballs (veggie ones), potatoes, lingonberry jam, and cream sauce. Yummy, it was! Then we prepared some milk and cookies for Santa Claus to eat and some carrots for the reindeer (major American tradition where you put it out on Christmas Eve, by the fireplace, and during the night when Santa comes and fills the stockings, he can have a snack. The next morning when you wake up, the milk is gone, and just some cookie crumbles left on the plate, and the stockings are filled with gifts).
In the next post, I’ll share with you our Christmas Day celebrations!
Liz and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary two days ago. We went downtown to watch “Philomena” (watch it if you can!) in the Fine Arts Theatre, which is the oldest theatre in Asheville, and has such character! You could order beer to drink, which we did, along with popcorn to eat. Afterwards, we walked across the street and ate at “Curate“, a really good tapas bar. We got to sit up at the bar, in the middle, so we could see all the chefs cooking the food. I was so impressed and got inspired to cook more unique food from now on. We ate so much yummy food, drank sparkling wine, and talked with a couple who were sitting beside us. They were from Charleston, South Carolina and later on the guy proposed to the girl, and the whole restaurant was cheering. The owner came to congratulate the newly engaged couple, and we all were touched. Gaaah, so much love in the air. It was such a great night with my love. I love her so so so much and I cannot wait to spend plenty of more years together. She truly is my everything ♥.
We ate: mushrooms sautéed in olive oil with a splash of sherry; crispy fried potatoes topped with a slightly spicy “brava” sauce; olives with lemon, rosemary, and thyme; toasted bread with fresh tomato and olive oil, and finally, a fried eggplant drizzled in wild mountain honey, garnished with rosemary.
Liz tried to take a picture of us, but I was too into the chefs’ cooking…oops.
Cooking in action right in from of us and a successful shoot of the two of us.
I have had a great Christmas with plenty of good food, baking, coziness, presents, Christmas movies, and Christmas music. Going to work on the pictures now and show some of them in an upcoming post, and perhaps share some of my awesome gifts as well. So long!
Liz and I had our Christmas Party last night, and oh how I loved playing Christmas music, gathering friends, eating yummy food/snacks, and just chatting! So much fun, cozy, and…Christmas-y! We hosted ours yesterday and are invited to another one tonight!
Before heading to the Christmas Party, we’re going to do some Christmas Shopping! It’s fantastic and touching to see all organizations and churches helping other people during this time of the year. Food banks, money offerings, and gifts for children living in poverty. Liz and I went to the mall the other day, and the Salvation Army had a Christmas tree up with plenty of paper cards on it. The program is called “Angels Tree Program”, and on each paper was a painted angel, a name or number (if the person wanted to be anonymous), age, and a little wish list. While we were looking at the tree, Liz explained the concept to me, which is, you take an angel from the tree, and you buy Christmas gifts for that child. The beauty of our experience was, that we didn’t pick one, but one angel fell into Liz’s hand and we took it as a sign to actually take part in this program. We signed up, and now we have a eleven year old girl who we’re going to buy some gifts for. She didn’t really wish for anything specific, so we’re going to have to be creative, which is fun. Isn’t this an awesome way to let some poor children at least get something for Christmas? I like the idea. Although, I wish it wasn’t such pressure in society of buying gifts…
It’s finally here, my five week long Christmas break, and it feels so good! I started off my break with a trip to Raleigh and the “Scandinavian Christmas Fair”. Liz and I met up with Malin (a new friend of mine, a Swedish girl, who lives at the beach where Liz’s parents live!) and we were literally running around to all the different booths at the fair, buying Swedish goodies such as lussekatter, Geisha chocolate, and Marabou Milk Chocolate. Heaven! We also watched Lucia! Such a great day which we ended with a Christmas Lights Festival, outside Winston-Salem. The Festival is a park filled with Christmas lights in different themes, for example, Candy Land, Santa’s Workshop, Snowflakes hanging all over in the trees, Hanukkah candles, and so forth. It was great! We came back to Asheville late at Saturday night, and Sunday was just a day filled of relaxing time. I truly love studying, but to be off for some time after an intense semester, it feels sooooo good!
It’s Tuesday morning now, and the girls (some other international students) are coming over tonight for some wine, Christmas music, snacks, and plenty of chat before they are leaving town for their different trips in the States, before heading back to their home countries (they’re from Germany and Austria). Tomorrow, I’m gonna attend the “fika-tradition” Liz has started. She has met up with a bunch of people at different cafes in town for fika. It’s such a great idea and a way to get to meet new friends! I have had class on Wednesday at the time for their meet up, but I can finally attend it now. I’m excited! Tomorrow night, it’s Pizza Night with some other friends! FUN, and then the week will continue with some great plans, but more about that later on!
We have also decorated for Christmas at home. Ah, how I love this time of the year! The height of coziness!