An American Swedish Wedding

When we got engaged I wanted to make sure that both Mr. H and I were happy with our wedding and that we each were represented culturally.

So I inquired with Mr. H on what Swedish traditions he wanted to include, well he had been to one wedding in his life which was his parents at age 2 and he obviously did not remember a thing about it and the Swedish wedding traditions had never really interested him.

Also at the time of our engagement in 2009 and even still wedding culture in Sweden is nothing like it is in the States. While people do have big weddings or small weddings the whole subculture surrounding them is small and it is not uncommon or looked down upon to live with your partner for years before getting married or never getting married at all.

There is a word in Swedish, sambo, that describes a person in a long term steady relationship. I will not go into it in more detail now but for our age it is a very common thing and most people Mr. H’ meets are surprised that he is already married let alone for three years at 28.

Ok back to our wedding!

When I pressed Mr. H more about his ideas for our wedding it turned out that most his ideas were based of American movies and TV shows, chiefly Friends, and so that was the direction we were heading with the planning.

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When I was growing up there was a really cute little white church by my grandparents house and I thought it would make the cutest little place to get married. Now this is really naive but I never really thought about what denomination it was until I emailed them about their wedding services. As it turned out it is an Anglican church and they were open to marriages of different faiths but wanted baptismal certificates from us to decide.

Now it would have been easy to get mine as I was baptized down the street from there at a Catholic church but Mr. H was baptized in Sweden and we were a bit flummoxed on what to do. This is when we headed to Google and found out there was a Church of Sweden close to us in San Pedro!

At that point we switched gears and contacted them regarding wedding services. Their vicar invited us to attend a service and then meet with him after. It was really surreal as we were in Los Angeles County and at a church service that was 100% in Swedish.

After the requisite fika post service we met with the vicar and realized he was from a neighboring town to the one Mr. H grew up in actually knew my future grandfather in law! When we learned that we figured there was no way we could go somewhere else and set the date for the wedding.

What was great was that the vicar was able to help us with what a Swedish wedding normally has and guide is in a good mix of traditions. The service was half English half Swedish which was really nice as it really felt a joining of our families and lives.

Some of the particulars for the service we also added were:

Walking up to the altar together – In a Swedish wedding the bride and groom usually enter and walk down the aisle together. What we did was have my dad walk me part way down and then Mr. H came and met us and we walked the rest of the way together.

No set first kiss – In the Church of Sweden ceremony the vicar does not usually say “you may now kiss the bride” so the vicar said we could just kiss whenever we felt like it and how much we wanted!

Holding hands during vows – When we said our vows we faced each other and held hands as we said our vows. The vicar said that way it was like we were really marrying each other and not him as it looks otherwise!

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Our reception was lacking a few Swedish traditions though! One was speeches, yes American wedding have speeches but in Sweden there is usually a speechmaster and you let him know ahead of time if you want to do a speech and they can be quite long and anyone can do one! We skipped that though as my father in law specifically said he did not want to talk and my dad was creating like a 40 minute speech so we said whoever wanted to say something could do it at the rehearsal and just focused on food and fun at the reception.

One other thing we skipped was schnapps shots and songs, traditionally at any Swedish holiday/party you will sing certain songs and take a shot at key parts. Neither Mr. H or I are big hard alcohol drinkers and we felt with everyone driving it was best to skip that as well.

Our caterer though is a close personal friend and went out of his way to find herring(sill) and a few other Swedish treats to have as the appetizers which everyone loved even though Mr. H and I never got any since our limo got stuck in traffic due to a bank robbery!

Then there was our cake which I mentioned the other day that was a Swedish one.

If you have any questions on more specific aspects let me know and if I remember I will answer!

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A Date Night Reality Check

reality check

 

If you remember one of the words/actions that Mr. H and I want to enact this year is be happy and we have been adding things that make this easier for us on our reminder board.

One that I have put up is be realistic. It is so easy to put so many expectations and ideas on something and then be let down since the ideas were not realistic at all therefore destroying any happiness that could have been had from the event.

With that in mind Mr. H and I have decided to be realistic about our date night we are going on this weekend. When we first started planning it we had huge ideas of fancy restaurants and ordering steak while we stared into each others eyes over candlelight.

So we started looking into places like that in our town and none of them were very appealing to us so they slowly were crossed of the list till it there were none left. At that point we were a bit flustered as we really wanted to go out and then I said ok lets be realistic. We are not really such fancy type people what is it we actually want rather than what we think an anniversary night out is.

What we wanted was:

Good food

Be together

Relaxed atmosphere

Able to afford an after dinner drink

And that my friends is how we came up with going to the restaurant in town we know that we like and while not fancy we are actually both really excited about it and we know we will have a good time and be together which was the whole point.

The restaurant is called Biteline (post I wrote about it before here) and serves up pizzas, pastas, and burgers.

O and do not worry I am still going to get dressed up but winter has hit and it is flipping freezing out. Which means jeans, boots, and sweaters! Though I am thinking may be will be able to get away with wearing a sparkly tank top over a regular tank top with a cardigan under my heavy winter coat with a thick scarf and beanie so once we are inside I will look festive!

Strawberry Pucker Up

pucker upThis morning I was soundly sleeping and Mr. H woke me up to ask me for chapstick. In my state of grogginess I grasped around and handed him the first one I found.

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A Strawberry flavored Bonne Bell Lipsmackers.

He was all happy and promptly started using it and I said he could just take it school and fell back asleep.

Now I am thinking of it though and it is so funny that Mr. H is walking around at school using chapstick intended for 12 yr old girls.

hehehehehe ahh so funny

I guess tomorrow I could go and find him some proper boy kind but yet again maybe not.

Moments and Strangers

Each day we encounter strangers whether it be in person, online, over the phone and for the most part all of those people remain strangers.

However there are those rare circumstances when a strangers becomes a friend, a lover, an acquaintance, or a life long partner.

And those are the moments that really fascinate me, that time when you think this person has more to offer me and I need to see what it is.

Every marriage has had the same key points; the first I love you, the proposal, the wedding ceremony which are lovely but the moment when you thought wow I not only want but need this person are so unique and wonderful.

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In September of 2008 I was living in London in a hostel that catered to a group of long term renters. We had our own set of rooms and formed a motley family group. When one of us left a big party often ensued.

One night I showed up to one such party and saw a guy in black jeans talking to my roommates and had this urge to get closer to him and talk to him. When I got closer though I realized he was talking in Swedish, not surprising as the party was for a Swede, and I was momentarily taken back. A few minutes later though I heard him talking to another friend in great English and once again I was determined to meet him.

I kept getting thwarted though and when we started walking home I thought my chance had come I would keep pace with him and one way or another we would get to talking.  The party boy had other ideas though and decided I should be his personal escort/crutches to make it back,  seeing how drunk he was I thought that would be better than him veer into the street so I did my duty.

Once back home everyone was making their way up stairs and turned to this stranger and said “I have beer in my room can you help me get it”. Now the beer in question was not mine but I had to say something to get his attention and it came out faster than I could think.

He agreed and we got into the lift and looked at each other and there was an intense moment of silence and then I asked how long he was in London. He replied two weeks and I said perfect.

From that moment in the elevator we spent each second he was in London together we could.

The night before he was to return home we agreed to be mutual to each other and starting making our plans.

That was over five years ago now and as much as some people would nay say in that moment in the elevator we both knew that this was something big and wonderful and would forever change our lives.

In that moment he was no longer a stranger but a person I had to have in my life.

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What is a Birth-a-versary?

Back when we were planning for our wedding I know we had some set reasons why January was going to be perfect but I cannot remember what was going through 2009/2010 Bailie’s mind! What I do know though that having a wedding anniversary a week before my husbands birthday has come with some challenges.

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His birthday in 2011 was fine as we were on our honeymoon and so honeymoon + birthday + Las Vegas led to a very fun and drunk night. I have some really hilarious and not internet ok pictures of drunk Mr. H to remember it by!

Then on our first anniversary in 2012 we went to Brussels to celebrate and it was also great overlap as we basically just walked around looking at beautiful things, drank beer, and ate yummy food. Great for a birthday, anniversary, or really any day of the year!

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However in 2013 there was no way we could get away with Mr. H’s school schedule and we could not really afford to go big for two nights a week apart and while we had a fun day for each they were both just a bit meh as well.

So this year we came up with birth-a-versary which we are going to do it up real big one night and have it cover both days rather than two semi good days! It works really well this year as there is a weekend right in between the days and Mr. H will be done with his paper and test by that weekend.

Our plan is to go out for nice dinner in town, like you need reservations nice and get all dressed up, and then have a drink after and we are going to each pick out some stuff we want online (probably from amazon.co.uk) and that will cover the present aspect.

I am super duper excited about this and now just have to be patient and mentally plan my outfit a million times (I am not the only one that does this right).

Now blogwise (which Emma said was a real word) I am thinking of doing some posts related to our engagement, wedding, and what not. If there is anything you are curious or wondering about regarding our relationship/marriage let me know and I will be sure to include a post on it as well as any specific questions for Mr. H as he said he would do a Q & A post for me!

Take Me to the Port

me and the port

 

On my Christmas list I had a bottle of liqueur and was thinking of something like Bailey’s but Mr. H totally surprised me and bought me a bottle of Port wine.

He knew that in all the old detective books I love to read they drink it and so he thought I would find it fun. He went with a small bottle since he was not sure if I would actually like to drink it though.

port and glass

It turns out though that Port is o so yummy! The first night I tried it I used this glass but did not fill it up all the way and man o man was I feeling a bit tipsy. I have now switched to 4cl Jagermeister glass we happened to have which is much better in style and size!

It looks like this but we just have two not a ton like this picture:

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What about you do you care for a Port in the evening?

In 2014 We Will…

In the past Mr. H and I have not been much on doing resolutions but with all that has gone on this past year we wanted to commemorate the start of 2014 with some fresh ideas. So we talked and decided to come up with some key words for 2014 so we have a bit of flexibility but a general direction we want to head in.

Once we came up with them I took out some of my trusty packing paper and did up a poster.

2014 goals

So in 2014 we are going to: have balance, learn to relax, and be happy. In between the prompt and key word I left big blanks so when we do something that adds to us experiencing one of the key words we can write it down and throughout the year look back and see what techniques and things have helped us with our goals.

goals and desk 2014

We taped it up next to the study area in our kitchen so we will both see it and be inspired throughout the day.

What are you key words for 2014?

The Creative Collective

The Best for Me

thanksgiving care packageMost people say they have the best husband right. Well at least they should be able to say that but do you ever wonder when you see all those things on Facebook if they just feel the need to say it or if they actually mean it?

What I always think when I see those things is, “no you have the best husband for you and I have the best husband for me”.

I mean if your think your husband making you a fruit smoothie in the morning makes him the best I have to say to me it would make him the worst because I cannot stand fruit, all blended up or otherwise.

With that in mind yesterday Mr. H surprised me with a wonderful array of things from the grocery store. He knew I was feeling down so on his way home he stopped at the market and in his own words tried to find all the actual American things he could to buy me!

I ended up with a Budweiser, a can of root beer, Oreo’s, iced coffee mix, batteries (ok those are universal and I just needed some for the camera), vanilla ice cream to make a root beer float if I wanted, and an Advent calendar (which also is not just a US thing but we always get them and they were on special).

We had the beers, he got one for himself too, with dinner and ate a few Oreos which were yummy and I went to bed thinking that I really truly must have the best husband!

28 on the 18th (of July)

 

For some reason I never shared any pictures from my birthday trip in LA this past summer and tonight I was going through old pictures and came across them so I wanted to share them.

After tons of careful planning we were able to get a hotel room at The Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, tickets to see Alabama Shakes, dinner reservations across from the venue ( The Palladium) and next door to an awesome bar on Sunset Blvd all on my birthday.

When everything was set I kept saying it sounded like something out of a movie and that is exactly how I felt. It was the best birthday out of my 28 years and I have had some really good ones.

la farmers market

Before we went to the hotel we went to the LA Farmers Market / Grove with my grandparents and aunt. I could have stayed walking around for hours but we only managed a great lunch and candy buying.

gyros

Ok promise me you will remind me to eat these again next time I am in California because they were so good.

alabama shakes palladium

Ok there was one part at the time that was not the best but now makes a good laugh for us. We got a cab from the hotel to the restaurant and it was so so hot, LA summer hot and we were stuck in traffic like only LA can do and the car had no AC. Well either that or perhaps Mr. H and I were to afraid to ask about it because the cab driver looked left he just left a very scary place. When we got the restaurant we were dripping in sweat and the hostess looked at us and was like let me get you water before anything else! Actually the cab ride back was cool but the driver tried to refuse us paying by credit card but caved when he realized it was that or nothing.

black and white room service

Ok so in between arriving at the restaurant there were many drinks had, I mean it was my birthday after all, and the next picture is this one with Mr. H and our midnight room service pizza. We sat on the patio eating all the pizza and drinking Diet Pepsi as I entered my first full day of 28hood and it was marvelous.

We took one picture at the concert and instagrammed it, the next day we realized it was just a black square woops…

Hmmm maybe I will do some more California recaps this was fun!

Mr. H Glasses Extravaganza!

Yesterday Mr. H finally after about a year of complaining went and got his eyesight checked. Not surprisingly he needs glasses and found out he has astigmatism with his pupils or something, I am not really sure when he said that I thought of the movie Stigmata and was lost.

Anyways he came home with four trial glasses so we did a photo shoot!

Fredrik glasses collage updated

Since once again we are out of batteries for the camera we used his iPad and that shit is harder than it looks. I was to short to get good shots and he could not remember where he put his arms after each shoot but this way it looks like the Marvelous Shrinking Head of Mr. H!

We are leaning towards the top right picture but we have till Monday to decide so who knows what will happen!