Tuesday, 31 December 2019


Here you go, these are my most liked posts from Instagram the past year - or #bestnine, as the tag is:

A grid full of happy faces, and joyous moments, and I'm grateful for each and everyone of them; both the travels, family time, holiday celebrations and work.
Although 2019 was probably our shittiest year yet...
It's lucky in a way that Instagram doesn't show the worry, loss, sorrow and pain - I do want to try and remember just the good times.

Monday, 30 December 2019


This year our Danish friends the Dehlis in Dubai saw their oldest son Malthe go off to boarding school in Denmark. He is back home now for the Christmas holidays for a few weeks, and it was arranged that he came down here for a couple of days to come see Lucas.
I dropped them off at the mall one of the days, and Lucas took Malthe to Ferrari World where he had never been, they browsed the mall and then took themselves to Nandos for dinner. Boys hanging out.

It can't really be seen in this picture, but they are both towering over me by now. Lucas is around 185 cm and Malthe 192 cm tall...

They have known each other for a long time. To imagine they looked like this when their friendship first started back in Brunei! These pictures were taken the very first time Lucas was invited over to Malthes house for a playdate:


Saturday, 28 December 2019

Christmas Day 2019

As I said, kids and I landed back in Abu Dhabi early Christmas Day morning and when we got home - it was Christmas all over our house as well! Nathan had very dutifully lit all my candles and the tree was full of presents!

Well, we had to unpack, as there was also many gifts coming back with us; and have showers after the traveling, and get into our Christmas PJs, enjoy a bit of Swedish Christmas ham toasties for breakfast... but then! Christmas present time!

As the kids get older, the presents get fewer but bigger. Lucas got new gaming head phones:

Kids had brought me their gifts while in Sweden. Linnea got me a beautiful hour glass (I had given quite clear hints while shopping, as I have always wanted one), and Lucas got me this candle light holder while shopping with Mormor. He had chosen it all by himself so he was very nervous to see if I'll like it, but of course I did - so he got very proud of himself.

Lucas had wished for a drinks fridge for his room (ehm no, we would see even less of him), so Linnea had found him one which powers via USB, and holds - ONE can. Ha ha ha! The giggles we had, luckily he saw the joke too!

Someone had wished for a new phone as she has always just had the hand-me-downs. She never really thought she was going to get it though, so she got mighty surprised when her gift actually contained a shiny, new iPhone 11! Very happy girl!

And Nathan, he got a flying Santa figurine, a few kitchen gadgets and some nice new smellies. Everybody was happy and content.

Our Christmas dinner this year came in a box.
We had gone back and forth around trying to plan what we were going to do, since we would have been traveling all day before and probably not be in the mood to go out somewhere - but even less be in the mood for cooking! Also, the prices are hiked up everywhere because it's Christmas and we felt that even if we had done a festive brunch of sorts, it would've been a waste of money since we wouldn't have had the energy to take full advantage of it all.
So - we ordered in!

Already before I left, I ordered this turkey package from the Westin, and Nathan went to pick it up in the morning. PERFECT! It came with a big ready-cooked turkey and all the trimmings, ready to just be heated up and served.

Not only was it a great tasting meal, but amazing value for money! We got dinner out of it for all four of us both on Christmas Day and Boxing Day; and we all had turkey sandwiches for lunch on Boxing Day too... AND some still could eat some more turkey on the 27th so had more sandwiches then, and there was still some meat left..!

So from all of us, to all of you - a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, 27 December 2019

Julafton 2019

Our Julafton this year wasn't very exciting, as we spent it traveling nearly all day, back from Sweden to Abu Dhabi, via Copenhagen and Amsterdam.
First we said goodbye to Pia at the train station at Hyllie:

Then we said hello to Uncle Thomas who came to Kastrup to wish us Merry Christmas - before we flew to Amsterdam with KLM. We had nearly 5 hours to wait in Amsterdam, so we actually didn't mind having to go through Immigration and then check in again, at least it gave us something to do. Also, we then got access to the lounge, so we were pretty comfortable.

Finally, we boarded our home bird Etihad for the last leg, Amsterdam to Abu Dhabi:

Everything went really smoothly, we landed as planned back home early morning on Christmas Day - just in time to get home to celebrate Christmas with Nathan.

Thursday, 26 December 2019


We stopped over for a night again in Bunkeflo, although this time only Pia and Martin was home as the girls had already gone to their Farmor for Christmas preparations.

Pia had prepared a traditional 'uppesittarkväll' for us.
The 'uppesittarkväll' in Sweden is the evening before Christmas Eve, a night spent normally preparing for what's to come - preparing the food, wrapping the presents, dress the Christmas tree (well, not me obviously as I do mine already by the 1st of Advent!) etc. It captures the sense of anticipation ahead of the big day - us Swedes celebrate on Christmas Eve.

Also, it's a night to gather around the TV, where there are always the same shows on to serve as a backdrop for the festive preparations: rhyming help for your gifts, seasonal entertainment etc. For the last 25 years, there have been a show broadcast live which is called 'Bingolotto', a lottery game which most people take part in. This started after I left Sweden so it's never really been a tradition of mine; and even though Pia had never done it before either, she had bought a few shares, so that we could join in the excitement!

We had lots of fun getting in on the action, but even though there was a huge amount of trips, cars, gift cards and cash up for grabs - all we won was a new share, on Pia's lottery ticket. Better luck next time!

Monday, 23 December 2019

Bye for now

After a really good week in Skara enjoying all the Christmas preparations, yummy food and good company, it was time for us to get going to get home to Abu Dhabi in time for Christmas with Nathan.

Before leaving, the kids were allowed to smash their gingerbread houses. Only Lucas opted for the full smash, Linnea just picked off her sweeties to eat them...

Mormor had given us a few board games for Christmas which we enjoyed playing in the evenings. I have always enjoyed board games, so I loved having both the kids and Morfar (reluctantly) playing with Mormor and I.

Then it was time to get on the train to get back down to Malmö for a night, before flying home for Christmas. Luckily it wasn't as cold as this time when we left the same train station in -14,7 degrees! Ha ha, a few degrees celcius is just what we can handle. 

Had to check the height again, and it seems like 'Lanky' has now clearly outgrown Morfar too! (We measured him to 1,85 when we got back home!) 

Bye for now! ❤️ Thank you and God Jul!

Julafton 2 in Sweden

My Mum has three siblings, and they all take turns in hosting the big family Christmas celebrations each year. This year it was Mormor's turn.
Even though they normally do it on Boxing Day, I had asked if it was ok this year we did it before Christmas, so we could join in before we went back to Abu Dhabi to have Christmas with Nathan.
So yesterday, on our last full day in Skara, 4th of Advent, we had another 'Julafton' with the whole big family, minus just a few who couldn't make it.

All the Christmas food, and some!

As every time, there was way too much food! I totally overate, cause it was so, so delicious!

Lotta and Sixten loved looking at the train, driving around the Santa Village and disappearing and reappearing in the tunnels:

Linnea and Stella - and Lucas..! Linnea was the only one Stella agreed to be held by, apart from her parents. Linnea really has some magic touch with kids, Stella didn't even go to her Grandma.

Yasmin got the role to be this years Santa, reading on all the gifts, and making sure they came to the right recipient:

She had quite a tempo, ha ha, so it didn't take long before all the gifts were distributed!

Usually it's just my Mum and her siblings who exchange gifts, but this year Mum had made sure that everybody had a gift to open.
I had brought some small things as well, from the sand pit - camel soap for the girls, camel chocolate for the boys, and some toys for the kids.

We didn't do a cousin photo, as we were missing three of us (Natalie was working, Sara celebrating with her boyfriends family and Fredrik was traveling). But we got a sibling photo of the four oldies!