Post Valentine's Gushing.

I was all excited for Valentine's Day and it's passed (and then some) and I haven't said a word about it!! Well, I've had pressing things on my mind--don't I always?--but also things have been REALLY busy, and Valentine's weekend was completely a madhouse.  It really felt like a holiday; all the kids were home, the boyfriend was over, the parents were off work.....so yes, it was fun, but completely exhausting.

Friday night Henri came over, met the family, and we exchanged gifts.   Then he and I went to eat at a restaurant which we incidentally couldn't find and then had to go eat at a different restaurant.  One whole bottle of wine later we sat at a bar and people-watched until about midnight, then we called it a night and came back home.  Saturday, we--the entire family, a total of NINE people!!!! went on a long walk through the snowy Swedish forest, to Gamla Link√∂ping, where the residents dress up "old fashioned" on the weekends and the adorable red cottages are home to a bunch of neat little shops.  We ate pizza (I had a calzone, I hate European pizza) and then Henri and I waved goodbye to everyone and headed over to the main part of town to do some touristing.  We explored the Link√∂ping Cathedral, attempted to visit another church but got lost, lol, and then headed back home again.

The cathedral was so breathtaking--construction began in the 1300's.  The 1300's!!! Ridiculous.  Any American structure from that time period is like, a pile of ash and rotten wood.  Or a memory that only the Natives can remember via storytelling and interpretive dance.  Seeing Henri interact with my family made me really happy as well.  Do you have any idea what it's like to feel normal after so long? To have parents and siblings around you, eager to meet the guy you spend your free time with? How strange it is that I finally feel normal in a place so entirely foreign and new and unfamiliar and weird.  I might never understand why things are like that.

Also guys, can you please just give Henri a hand for being the best boyfriend ever.  I know that's uncharacteristically mushy of me...but I LOVE Valentine's...and he knew it...and he got me the BEST presents ever.  A beautiful red rose, my favorite perfume, a heart necklace (I squealed when I saw it) Swedish chocolate, and best of all, the book "On Writing" by Stephen King, which is a book I have been dying to get for a year or so now.   Best most adorable wonderful boyfriend ever, amirite?

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