the week it all changed: snow, parental leave and traveling with toddlers

In the past few days, my life has changed significantly. Yet I can find no real way to write about it.

So a simple recap. I finished work on Friday, came home, took the kids to the mall for two hours, came back home and then went to the company Christmas party. Got back home from that about 11, and I was on parental leave … until September.

The last few days of the week were not stressed out and crazy, with both E and I racing to the end of a hard four year period of our life (also the years when we figured our lives out and met our children). Nope, we were fine. This was wonderful, and a little undramatic.

It keeps snowing, more than I have seen in Sweden since my first trip here January, 2004. Sweden in the snow in the winter is indescribably better than Sweden in the winter without snow. The city glows. I take my kids out on sleds (though where are all the Swedes? You would think the park would be swarming with kids. Nope. Just a handful.)

We are packing, getting ready for entry into a 20-hour world of airports and airplanes. This is how I have to think about it, entering some alternate universe, because 20 hours is too long to contemplate with a 3 year old and a 11 month old. I do not quite understand my fear, as all our previous trips have gone better than expected.

Then we will be in the Arizona sun, with family and Christmas and a trip to California and family and friends and Arizona again, and sun and ocean and desert and back to Arizona and the pool and quieter time with grandparents and then back into that world of planes and airports. Then Sweden.

Then parental leave starts for real.

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