I take this evanescence and lubricity of all objects, which lets them slip through our fingers then when we clutch hardest, to be the most unhandsome part of our condition.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Everything in Sweden is beautiful and bountiful in July. Friends have shown us a hundred kindness as we prepare to move. I know the in's and out's of the culture, of getting around, of the metric system. Of the recycling system! Sometimes I even think in Swedish phrases. We took a boat to an island in the archipelago last week, and knowing that we are about to move, I saw Stockholm's cityscape with fresh eyes. It's incredible. Hej då, Sweden. I'll miss you.

We will take Michael and Ella back here someday when they are old enough to appreciate it, and I think they will feel pride and wonder that they were born in such a gorgeous, cool country. We have a neighbor who always saw me at just the right moments - when I was out x-country skiing, or running, or biking, or walking my trash to the recycling bins - and she once told me "You're more Swedish than a Swede!" A simple remark, but I took the implicit message of it as a compliment, one I continue to relish in because I love the Swedish culture in so many ways.

I am so emotional this week. We leave in 3 days, and then, that's it. I keep grasping for ways to preserve our last three years here, but it's pretty much impossible, no matter how much cheap crap I buy in Gamla Stan.

On a positive note about moving, the sinks in our house are starting to have draining issues, and I totally don't care. Also, we had an encounter with a crotchety old lady yesterday and somehow moving seemed like a good way of dealing with it. Weeds, grow away! Snails, multiply and replenish! Rude clerk at the grocery store - so my baby cried, take it! Fleeing the country is pretty much my answer to anyone and anything obnoxious lately. We did eventually have to clean the tub though.
Andrea took this pic from the top of a tower.

I love this picture in so many ways. So much Swedishness in one little photo.

(I think Joy took this one.)


Midsummer, etc.

Rob and I raced the 5k at the midsummer celebration in Tyresta. He ran in a good time even while pushing the jogging stroller with both kids and got a post race interview for it. I let him push the stroller so that he'd have a good excuse when I beat him.

Michael loved the kids race.

Ella is in the crawl-into-everything stage. It's pretty darn cute the things I find her in.
Michael loves riding the train. We sold our car a few weeks ago and he keeps telling me he is sad that it is gone. So I remind him that we get to ride the bus and train everyday now because it is gone, and he'll go, oh, okay, I'm happy now.

"Hey Michael - Smile! Okay, with your eyes open."

"Now try again. Eyes open."

"Can you open your eyes and smile at the same time?" By this point, other passengers were trying to offer him advice as well.

Our friends The Aikens were super nice and hosted a goodbye party for us last weekend. Of course I forgot to take any pictures but this one. Ella was loooooooving the party - first a little girl brought her this entire plate of cookies. Later I shared some cake and soda with her. Later I found that another little girl had brought her a cupcake. She was just walking around as fast as I've ever seen her go and just giggling and giggling like she was on speed. It was pretty awesome.


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