Thursday, November 22, 2012

Grattis på kalkondagen

This year is definitely the weirdest Thanksgiving we’ve ever had.  We didn’t get the day off of work, we didn’t get stuck in traffic and we didn’t eat two days of food at one mid-day meal.

But that doesn’t mean we should forget the point of Thanksgiving, so what follows is my list of specific things that we are thankful for today  (to keep the blog short, only putting up the things that are significantly different than previous years):

I am thankful…

1) …that we were presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity to move internationally
2) …that Lisa and I are so aligned in our life goals that we were able to pursue this opportunity even with the numerous reasons we had not to move.
I'm also thankful for birthday cakes baked for "practice" a month before the big event
3) …that Lisa is able to spend each day with Calvin.  This is easily the best part of us coming out here. I love seeing the pictures that she takes each day and the little stories she has of Calvin being silly (or angry, or funny, or smart, or whatever), that she wouldn’t be able to share if we had stayed in the states
She captures Calvin's crazy faces to send in daily emails to our parents
4) …that Lisa is also able to work a very flexible job in her field.  One of my biggest guilts during the move was that she would have to take a break from a job / industry that she was great at and had put a lot of time into.  She had never anticipated a public-health focused consulting gig that allows her to work in the evenings and when Calvin is napping (or pulling on her leg sometime…).  While it’s obviously not easy to work two jobs, it is great that she has that capability.

5)…that I’m in a situation now that allows me to spend way more with Lisa and Calvin while still providing really interesting work.  I was nervous about having to make a tradeoff between the two back home, but the culture is so family friendly here it works well for both.
Calvin is a Skype/FaceTime professional
6) …for technology.  If we had made this move 5-10 years ago, it would have been a much more drastic change.  As it is now though, we keep in touch with friends and family through Viber, Skype and Google voice.  We stay on top of events with Twitter and Facebook, and with entertainment though Hulu, Netflix, HBO on Demand and NFL Gamepass.  And 90% of it is free!
Exploring Visby with the Missildines
7)…for visitors.  Since we moved in January, we have had WAY more visitors than we had expected.  Having friends and family visit us out here has made everything so much easier.  Each visit was a huge event for us and we couldn’t wait to show off our new spot while having fun with people we’ve known for years.

8)…for new friends.  We’ve made some really good friends over the last few months (Lisa moreso…), and it would be really boring here without them.
Visby is amazing
Exploring Budapest with Kirsten and Adam 

9) …for new experiences.  Whether it is our travel-induced running tally of “the number of Calvin diaper changes in World Heritage Sites” or learning to pick Swedish mushrooms / follow soccer / play competitive floor hockey, we are constantly trying and enjoying new things.  And we are having a great time doing it.
10) …for similarities.  As frequently as we are surprised by Sweden, we are also really lucky that this is a very easy country to acclimate ourselves too.  As the country with the best English speaking of non-english speaking countries, it has made our transition quite easy.  And they actually had a turkey in the grocery store!

11)…for our family and friends. Last but not least but, we are very lucky to have such a great family here in Sweden, as well as our friends and family back home in ‘merica.  We miss everyone a lot, especially on days like today when we are so far away.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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