Speed & catch up

Dude am I after or what!? I haven't even got to writing about the new year yet so let's speed up and catch up.

After christmas we went to Stockholm for two days. We stayed in this really awesome hotel with the nicest room and best breakfast. I went to meet my cousins and have dinner with my auntie. My host family went home a few hours before me so I checked out and then went for a stroll before going to the airport. I came home to New York the night before new yrs, so at new years eve I fell asleep by 10pm.

Me and Maddie took a course in defensive driving to be able to take the NY drivers license. Probably one of the most boring things I have done in my life, luckily she did it with me. And also we got nuggets and coffee in the break which made it a bit more worth it.

I had my fair share of snow storm. The NY weather is crazier then anything else. The beginning of February we had 18*c and then there was a snow storm. Last one was in the end of March and in between it could be raining, hot, the ups and down were insane. To begin with I hated the snow. I'm not used to being out and having fun in it anymore. Also here when it snows it comes a lot at ones, they don't have the tiers for it and they are slow at clearing the roads. But then I actually went out with the kids, and we kept going out every day as long as the snow stayed. I loved it, the fresh crisp air, the fun.

To stay in this country with a J-1 visa you have to take classes worth up to 6 credits for you visa. I took two classes at Purchase Collage. One was about Consumer psychology which didn't intrigue me that much as I felt we already knew all this from High school. However the other one, Personal branding; Polished & Professional was amazing. It's interesting to put together and go into the subjects that makes up for how we are perceived by others and how it will make them react to us. So even if taking classes for credits is a requirement for the Visa a lot of Au pairs skip this part even though it's a small risk you won't get the certificate for the year you spent as an au pair. I however want to advocate for doing it properly. If your gonna be here a year or more you might as well take the advantage of the opportunity to learn and get more experience.

What else? Well one does go out occasionally go out. And mostly we have a blast. The amount of drunken pizza slices we’ve had. Madde and Sanna, the dream team, always, but especially when drinking alcohol. I think it’s healthy to go out, I mean drinks and pizza is not the best for your body but when you have this job you need to let go and enjoy not being responsible for others for a moment. It’s different to go our here compared to Sweden. Drinks are not as fun here, for some reason they want them to actually taste of alcohol, instead of the drinks or ciders we have at home which does the job but tastes amazing. When I go out I do so to get drunk and DANCE. But it’s impossible not to notice the difference between guys here and at home. At home they dress better, sometimes I think their joking when they show up here, are they seriously trying to look good, cause they are not understanding how to do that. They come there in a flannel shirt with a NorthFace vest over it or a grandpa shirt (like those our dads doesn’t even wear anymore, blue and white, small squares) with too wide jeans, like not even almost formfitting, more the opposite. I don’t know but it disturbs me so much. But then on the other hand they behave better (that's probably not at all the right words, but they overall understand something swedes doesn't tend to). They might be as forward, well might even be more so since they tend to talk, but if you show you aren’t interested they get the hit and they don’t waste their time. Unlike at home when they follow you like a stray puppy and don’t understand the simplest hints or even words. Oh well going out will always be as fun as long as I have my awesome friends with me. Tipping tables, spilling drinks, breaking shoes, paying 15$ for photo both pics, dancing like insane people, eating pizza with your eyes closed, laughing till tears and making memories (if you haven’t had to much tequila will say).

Going to the City is not boring either. Going through the parks sipping on a latte. Having Chipotle is the go too. Loooove to eat there. We’ve been doing tourist thing too, walking through all parks, looking up buildings and shopping. What I’ll miss when I go home is VS, UO, Chipotle and my beloved Sephora.

My kiddos, we had some amazing times. Me and A for instance had a picnic on the Rye pier. Every Thursday we go to Starbucks before going to her gym. They had a multi cultural day, I brought meatballs and lingberry jam, all the food there was amazing. The snow was a blast, we made a snow dog and a snowman. Sledding and rolling down the hill. We’ve been playing a lot of soccer and S is learning how o kick it properly. I’ve brought dancing into their lives and after eating we sometimes dance for up to an hour. I’m so happy to have them in my lives, gosh how much my heart will ace when I’m to leave.

Emma, x

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Christmas

24/12-16

It’s Christmas. Well Christmas eve but that’s when we celebrate it in Sweden. Woke up when my host mom walked into our room with her ugly Christmas shirt, a Christmas tree that lit up. It made me wake up with a smile. We together went down to the amazing breakfast buffet. Got dressed for the slopes and went skiing. First with the family and then by myself. I’m not a big fan of downhill skiing in itself, the boots hurt, I don’t have phobias but not the biggest fan of heights and speed. But the nature I do love. It was a perfect sunny day. Looking down the mountain, seeing the frozen lake and the frosted pine trees. I stayed out for only two hours, then my calf’s where cramping and I went back home. I was off so I went to the sauna. Took a long shower, everyone else where with their families so I had the whole sauna to myself. Did my makeup for as long as I wanted and walked up in my robe to the room. It was time to watch Donald Duck as one does on Christmas Eve. The brother and his wife brought homemade glögg. It was so strong, haha it had a nice taste but so strong it could’ve been used for shots. Then it was time for Santa. The parents had left presents at the front desk. This Santa came in through the lobby entre which was completely filled with guests. He had the best outfit, a beautiful reindeer coat. Both my kids got a Woody each. A freaked out at first though, she doesn’t really like Santas or people that are dressed up for something (Halloween wasn’t easy), but after a freak out she actually took the present from him by herself.

The Christmas dinner buffet was amazing. I couldn't fit all that I wanted on one plate, gosh did my tummy double in size. We took a break from eating before dessert, so I went to call dad. We then had coffee and dessert, went up to the others room, had wine & chocolate and watched a movie. After a while I went to talk to mom an the rest. I hanged out in the lower level of the hotel away from all the people, cause even if it been a great Christmas I needed some quite time before the night I have in front of me. Sleeping in the same room as 3 kids when one of them is sick at that, I'll at most get three hours in a row before waking up. Love this hotel and place but I so look forward to my quite room and comfy big bed in NY.


Emma, X

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Bye 

21/12-16

Last day at home. Today I went shopping with my uncle. We found glasses for him and I stocked up on black jeans. After that we went to nana and grandpas house. It was so fun to see them. My nana is sick, cancer, so being away from them sucks even more then it would otherwise. I were so happy to see them, they’re the cutest humans on earth. Always there for me. I know nana doesn’t really want anyone to see her when she’s sick, but if anyone is stubborn she is so she won't give up in the first place which is very soothing for me. We had coffee and Reese buttercups as I brought some. We played with snapchat filters and the selfie-stick my uncle gave me for x-mas earlier. Using technology with old people is more fun then to do it with kids, had a blast. My uncle drove me home. It was finally time to open presents. I got my moms boyfriend socks (cause for some reason men always wants socks, no matter age. If they don’t want something special, get em’ socks, preferably easy matching ones), my mom got a VS pajamas with slippers, Norton got Tommy Hilfiger shirt and a t-shirt. I got to put my brother to bed, it’s so cozy always, which meant I feel asleep. Mom came up and was like “Hey, Hi, Hello, are you coming? We’re having an evening snack! Wake up, I wanna hang out. Come on”. I stumbled up and went downstairs. Mom had put out bread, crackers, lot of cheese. She popped opened some bubbly as she wanted to do so since I got there but we both been sick. Prosecco, cheese and conversations with mom, can’t get a better last night at home.

22/12-16

I hate hate hate saying bye. It’s usually fine as long as the person your saying bye to isn’t your 6 yr old brother. He started crying like crazy when he had to say bye and go to school, I really tried not to start crying as well but it was impossible. I think my heart never hurt that much ever. Mom helped me to and on to the train, I had so many bags. Going by train was more fun that I could’ve though, seeing a snow covered Sweden on a sunny day. Eating Swedish candy and just enjoying the view, passing by the lakes and mountains. I stopped in Åre, the best city for winter activities in Sweden. I had to wait sometimes for a taxi but the weather was still pretty lovely so I was fine. We went all the way up the mountain to the Copperhill hotel. My whole host family was already there, super jetlagged. My host dads brother with family and his parents had come up to from Gothenburg. We had a small suite or whatever you would call it. 3 bdrms, 2 bthrms and a living room/kitchen area. I’m sleeping with the kids, top level in one of the bunk beds. It’s been along day and the kids are horribly tired and so am I. Happy to got to bed early.

Emma, x

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Tuesday

20/12-16

23.00 Well that sucked there for a while. I was only sick Saturday night but of course I had to wait my 48 h to not give my bug to the others, which meant I lost two days of my week. Not being able to be with my friends or eat yummy food as I planned. The upside was that I had to be home with my family. Today, Tuesday, I finally could have some fun with my friends. It’s almost time to leave so today I planned to meet the three of my closest friends that still lives in my home town atm. I walked out with mom this morning while it was still dark, cause this is Sweden and it’s dark all morning. The first thing I did was to realize I didn’t know the right address to Hilda where I was about to have breakfast and I was about to lose my internet since I had my American phone. So in my panic to find it before the wi-fi was lost I completely lost focus of everything else, walked straight into a pile of snow and fell over straight down like a domino. Omg did I get pissed, and it hurt too at that. Mom laughed for three blocks down. After a while I kind of had to laugh as well even though I still were a pissed off and tired non-morning person. Oh well I finally got to Hilda and we had a very cozy breakfast, catching up and watching the sunrise making a pink sky. Before lunchtime we walked up the hills to my street as she was having lunch with my neighbor, her previous host mom. I had some pasta and salmon sauce. I missed fish sooooo much. I put up the Christmas tree for my brother and we decorated it together. Later he made a show for me, he’s the cutest. Before dinnertime I walked into town and met up with Olivia. We had dinner at her house. We had pasta and salmon, however even if it doesn’t sound like it it was very different from previous meal. We had tee and nobles, watched tv and cozied up with the worlds cutest cat in the sofa. I then walked to Espresso house to have a coffee with Freya. I got to open birthday and Christmas gift. Such a lovely day with the best of people. A long day but so happy I had time to spend some time with them. So tired now. One more day and then I’m going up North to work.

Emma, x

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Just No.

17/12-16

Well, that day kind of sucked. Cried some but didn't even have the energy. To begin with it was good. We had fika in the town, very cozy. Me and my brother sang christmas songs. My lovely friend Freya was a bit sad this day so she called me and we talked. We decided to pick her up so mommy drove there. Finally at home we just chilled as we both were pretty tired from previous night before applying make up. I'd planned this evening for weeks, moths. We got fixed, I started to feel sick, but I was going to have fun. We were going to a restaurant and then to a party. However I just made it to the restaurant to meet my friends. I felt so bad cause the place we ate served only burgers and lots of beer. Everything smelled so much and after one bite of my burger and felling like I was dying just by the smell. After like 20-30 min I just gave up. Mom got me and immediately when I got home my tummy turned inside out. What a weekend, my only one home in a whole year. Just my luck. My little brother got it as well. I was practically good on the Sunday but I was very tired and had to wait out my 48 h. It sucked, but at least I got to have the Friday. At also I didn't have to pay for my burger as Freya convinced the waiter. Haha better luck next time...


Emma, x

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Night out with Mammi

16/12-16


13.00 A while ago I got back from the dentist. It's not super fun but the people working there is super nice and afterwards you feel so fresh. Now I'm having something to eat and starting the compute to play some sims. In an hour I'm getting my hair cut. Finally. The water in the sates got my hair all dry and ugly way to quick. It was finally time to feel a bit papered.

17.30 I got a cappuccino, highlights and a nice watching, all the splits end away. Lighter then I'm used with but love it. Now I've been walking around in the town for a bit. It's so pretty with all the christmas lighting. I bough two ankle length cardigans and looked for another christmas present for my brother. Now I'm home, opening a cider and getting ready for this evening. Me and mom are going out for dinner, drinks and perhaps some dancing. Cranking up the music and applying the make-up.

03.00 Just got home. What a evening. Mom booked a table at a restaurant called RÅ. She got us some white wine and the best food. We had a blast. Then moved on to another restaurant to have drinks, delicious. Decided it was not time to go home and so we went to go dancing. The problem with this town is that it's so small that when you run into does eager sorry asses that don't get a hint, you can't bolt cause there's no more fun places to go. But we made the best out of it. Meet friends, the best, the old and the one you just kind of know. Meet Freya who pushed guy who "oh so accidentally" bumped into my back so I almost fell (Tips for you who might be so blessed you don't know, if guys wanted to dance with you but you ignore them for hours, they get pissed). That Queen always has my back. Mom got me cider and haha almost bribed me with one to stay longer, at like midnight I was done, I mean I'm jet lagged. Well my mom could've danced till closing. Seriously my mom is golden to bring on a night-out. Now we're going to have a snack, drink some tea and babble. I've slipped into my sweats and I feel great, but tired.

05.05 I don't even know hoe we managed this. Bed time.

Emma, x

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First Day


15/12-16

08.00 I’M IN SWEDEN. So that cue in Newark stood still for like 30 minutes and we didn’t lift until an hour after the actual departing time. Which meant dinner came an hour later and I just had 3 hours to manage falling in and out of sleep. But now I’m here. I just ran through the whole airport here in Stockholm. I got so pissed cause seriously no one knew how to walk in the stairs, there were a few of us that were in a hurry and then there was a lot of them who took up all of the stairs walking in slow-motion. Keep to the right maybe? Nope no one did that. Well I got there in time, even so that I could buy a juice from Joe and The Juice. Which I’m now waiting for, then I’m getting on the last flight which will take about 50 min and then I’m HOME.

11.30 I’ve only been here for 3 hours and so much has already happened. So the flight was not up when it was supposed to but it took like half the time I should’ve because of the winds so I was home in like 25 min. We went up, I did my make-up and then I was there. 09.10. Since it was a small plane we got off outside. Everything was white, the air was chilly and the sun was coming up. Grandpa was picking me up and he was so cute with the biggest smile when I got down the stairs. My city was beautiful and shimmering with the snow and the morning sun. Mom was home cause she wasn’t feeling well. I were to surprise her at work but instead I got to hug her right away. I changed and then grandpa drove me down to the center of the city. It’s like 15 min walk but it was ice like everywhere. Right when I said bye to granddad a radio reporter wanted to interview me about texting and driving. I was just so happy so I’m like why the hell not. Then I went to the flower shop and got a rose to say sorry to a friend I’ve been an ass too. We’re all asses sometimes the important part is to show your sorry right, also brought her some Reese buttercups cause she loves them, like who doesn’t. I walked to a round window looking in at Freya and knocked. Her face was priceless, she waved and smile but then she realised it was me which didn't seem right, her confused look was so funny, and then she turned super happy. Gosh how I've missed her. I got to sit her job for a bit and she got me coffee. Then she needed to work for a bit but we decided to have lunch. I went to systembolaget (the only place you can buy alcohol in Sweden. You can legally drink in bars when you're 18 yrs but not buy in that shop until you turned 20) and so it was my first time there. Pretty fun to get to choose from all that different alcohol. Now I'm sitting here at one of all the knew places that opened while I've been away. It's called Vezzo and is pretty much like Vapiano. So here I am waiting for Freya and also Hilda will walk past just to say hi and get a hug.

13.00 OMG that food. It was so good, had a Tagliatelle dish with mushrooms and a creamy wine sauce. Almost a little to much cream and wine cause I couldn't finish all, but my taste buds where happy. And also I had the best company. Now I've walked all the way up the hills. Tried to keep up the NY pace which was completely impossible as the ground is covered in ice all over. I stopped at the grocery store on the way home and got myself lots of candy. Now I'm gonna go visit my neighbours then I'll get Norton. My little brother of 6 yrs that doesn't know I'm already here. That little rascal is the one that I'm the most exited to meet and surprise.


21.00 Norton was so chocked when I got him from school he didn't almost seem happy. But after making our way home he stopped me cause he just had to hug me. When we got home I was tired so we sat down to watch some tv. After a while I has to take a nap, and then I crashed, I crashed bad. So I only slept the 3 hours on the plane and then I've been high on excitement and happiness all day, but then I'd been up to long and meet everyone for today. I went for a nap, woke up by Norton almost jumping on me. Mom being sick in the other room screaming to tell me I need to get him to swimming class. Which meant I'd had to drive a shift stick, on ice, in the dark with no sleep. I started crying like crazy cause I didn't even know where I were to begin with. And then I couldn't stop crying, cause mon really wanted me to drive him, and I felt like I really couldn't do so. After crying all the tears I calmed down. I put my brother to bed, I ofc fell asleep and mom that was felling better by now came up to check what I was doing cause she wanted to have a fika with me now. Now I'm waiting for my latte to get made while mom is defrosting the saffron buns. My first day in Sweden could not possible have been better.

Emma, x

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Packing for Sweden


13/12-16

I didn’t sleep to well this night. For two specific reasons. Guess what? Today I hit my half year mark as an au pair. I wanted to do a nice morning for the family and that’s one of the reasons I woke up seven times between 1 am an 5.30. Then I just got up anyways cause I started to be annoying. I brought my fairy lights up stairs, put out gingerbread, the last saffron buns, baileys truffles, cut up strawberries and peeled some mandarins. Light up the advent candles and made it really cozy. Usually I wait till they come down but today I went up and helped them getting ready. OMG, already 6 months, insane. The second reason I can’t sleep properly I cause I’m taking the plane to Sweden tomorrow. I’m so so so so so so so so so so very very exited. Astrid was just super cozy all day. I’m gonna pack have a workout and then try to sleep better then this past night.

14/12-16

12.00 Today is the day. The day of long travels. I’m like to exited to function. I feel as if I’m just about to go on a roller coaster of true happiness, which I am. I’ve finished packing my bags, writing some in my diary and trying to breath like a proper human. F is going to drive me to Newark soon but every minute feels like forever, I’m never gonna get there. Oh well, I’m ready.

(Haha, update, just carried the bags up. the cleaning ladies laughed at me cause I almost fell over carrying my 25 kg bag up my long long stairs. )

17.00 I’m here, in the airport. And I’m bored. I’ve already been here for like four hours and this is getting on my nervs. I feel like I’m over it, done with traveling. And the best part of it all. I haven’t even started yet. I’m gonna have to wait another hour to board. I’m already bored out of my mind and technically my traveling haven’t even started yet. 10 h to go till I’m home.

Haha it’s a bit later. Boarding time, they haven’t opened the gate but still all the passengers started cueing as the clock struck. Punctual cueing Sweden. Hahaha so hilarious. Would seriously not happen as it did now with none swedes.

Emma, x

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Christmas Shopping

Winter came. I must say I’m not a fan New York. Your winter kind of sucks. But also I’d rather choose you then -20*C and a meter of snow. The girls and I did gingerbread after my great nana’s recipe. A is a little too small to understand how to do it but S had a really good time. The Christmas tree went up and it looked like the decoration monster vomited on it, liked it though. When the weekend came me Madeline and I went to the city for some Christmas shopping. I went to get her and immediately when we got in we were hungry so we went to Pret. It was a chilly day so we got soup and a hot meatball wrap to share. Then off for some shopping. I was a bit nervous cause it was my last chance to shop for gifts but I was in luck. Found the book I wanted to get for Freya and the same CK beanie I already had that my brother wanted at Urban Outfitters. We went to Rockefeller center to watch the massive Christmas tree and the people skating. It was so much fun. We were laughing with tears at the grownups skating down there, barley being able to stand with the skates. During the 20-30 min we were standing there we got to witness two proposals out there on the ice. Felt a little bad for the second one when it’s just been done minutes ago but I bet it was a pretty astonishing moment for both anyways. I got to live two movie moments in New York. Everyone around started screaming and clapping, hundreds of people. Pretty cool. We then went to Victoria Secret on 5th and got a bit overwhelmed, the store is flippin 5 floors. I got 3 bras with matching panties, one of them 50% off bras day. Would’ve gotten more if I’d afford it. I also got a pajamas for my mom and got slippers for free. Also got a free blanket…that’s how you know you bought A LOT. It was horrible to walk on 5th, if you ever plan to go to NYC, don’t do it at Christmas time. I felt like we were cattle, could walk like one inch per minute, people everywhere and could not get anywhere. Pushing they did too, cause that will go faster… . We ofc went by Sephora as well. After we took the train I drove Maddie home. I went by Chopt’ to get salad and then wrapped my presents the rest of the eve. Well after I freaked out about the snow and made so many snowballs that my hands were hurting. I love the first snow.

Emma, x

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Statue of Liberty & Stomp

Saturday we took the Staten island ferry (I think..) to go passed Statue of Liberty. So for you whom are a little stupid like I was before I got here and though this think was something you could walk too, we were wrong. To get to the statue which is on it’s own little secluded island you have to pay for this specific ferry and then when you’re done you have to wait to get back. The ferry we took is free. We felt like we didn’t want to waste that time. We went passed and got to see the statue and the beautiful skyline of the city. Then took one back. We went to Wall street cause dad wanted to go up and down there and then to a music shop to ask some questions. Of course he didn’t google if it still existed which it did not. Typical dad. Well after we were to see Stomp. I had no idea what it was at first, my dad booked it as a surprise for me, after looking it up I realized I’d been so amazed by this in like 8th grade and though it was really cute of him to remember. Before going we went to eat something small, grabbed Indian wraps from the place next door. I really loved it. Both the food and the shops design. It was amazing what a good job they’d done with such little space. Then we were of to Stomp. It was super cool, how they could create so many sound effects while being synchronized and acting. Had a lot of fun. Wish I had a little more energy so that I could’ve taken more of it in. After we all were very decaffeinated and coffee was high on the priority list. Got our cup and decided to go up on 5th Ave. In the sub we got to hear this incredible voice. This guy was playing The Gardener – The Tallest Man On Earth. His voice was perfect for that voice and the whole fam kind of starred, one couldn’t help it. We got up next to Bryant Park so I convinced them to go in cause I really wanted to see the Christmas market. They had a huge beautiful Christmas tree and an ice rink in the middle. Walked up 5th and saw the insane Christmas set up at Rockefeller. Dad bought me a shirt/cardigan from Guess as a Christmas gift. Went back down to lower Manhattan and had dinner. We wanted to go to the Greek place again but it was very full so dad asked a local girl and we got to a super cozy place. I had a mint lemonade with a seafood risotto. Then we walked back to our hotel and ate Marabou(Swedish chocolate). Perfect way to end a day.

Sunday they were going home. We first took a stroll in a very sunny Sunday morning to the water. Dad took photos of the bridges. Then we packed and checked out. Ate a pizza slice for lunch then said our byes. It was sad but after a intense week I was to tired to really feel it. Went by Joe and The Juice then took the train home. So nice to get the house for my self a few hours and some quite time after a week like this. Had so much fun.

Emma, x

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