January 19, 2017

California Married Life

CELEBRATING 100 EPISODES OF TALES OF SHEAVES
with another rewind video + blogpost this time looking back on "Season 2" of our married life adventures in California! Click HERE to catch up on "Season 1: Swedish Married Life".
Enjoy a timelapse video of all our California Married Life adventures!
We moved to California with just a few suitcases and high hopes but we certainly got off to a rough start since Lindsay had just had surgery on her hand 6 weeks prior and couldn't go straight to work as she had always imagined doing through the almost 2 year visa process!
However, we did get to enjoy an unexpected trip to the Magic Kingdom and explore Orange County since Lindsay's family had just moved there just a few months before we moved to California.
There's always a certain amount of culture shock when moving to a new place and what we like to do best in those times is go out and explore what is right in our own "backyard".
The process for Jonas to get his green card and social security number in the mail took almost a month so we enjoyed catching up with friends and going on little adventures in between all the waiting.
Some things just take time, there's no way around it, especially when dealing with government agencies. However, there was something to happened to us in California that we thought would pass with time but it didn't.
We didn't feel at home there...much like the feeling we had as a couple in Sweden. We thought if we just got to know the right people or found the right place to live that then we'd find our little spot in the world.
Starting over from scratch in another country had the potential for new opportunities but it also showed us how unprepared we were. We didn't have any rental, credit, or job history in the states and unfortunately the US isn't as kind to their immigrants as was Sweden.
We kept believing that the right things would come to us if we kept knocking on new doors but we mostly had them slammed in our faces.
We got Disneyland passes so that was a very bright spot for us during all the waiting and wondering...we could escape to a magical world almost whenever we wanted!

As our 2 year anniversary approached some doors started to open for us!

We celebrated by going on a little trip to the mountains and stayed in a cozy b&b and explored the California forest.
Jonas got a dream job as a pumpkin illustrator and carver and thus began the most epic Halloween season for us full of jack-o'-lanterns, paper moons, masquerades, and even got to be in a Hocus Pocus inspired music video with our friends!
We really did have the best holiday season of celebrating birthdays and for Lindsay to show Jonas all the traditions and things she grew up with in her home area. That is probably one of the most important things any international couple can do for each other is spend time LIVING (not just visiting) where the other is from, you learn so much about each other!
However, we started to see the writing on the wall that California isn't somewhere we would be happy living together as a couple. Lindsay hadn't counted on how much she changed as a person living in Sweden, that should couldn't go back to being that "California Girl".
We really thought California was going to be the land of opportunity for us with Jonas' art and for Lindsay with wedding planning but our time in California turned out to be for a different reason. We tried living where each other are from and neither was a good fit so we started a new adventure when we decided to move across the country and try out being innkeepers (Click HERE to see "Season 3: 1 Year of Traveling)! This was something we had talked about doing for ages but with visas, moving, and surgery that dream was put on hold for a while but came back to us right when we needed it.
 Leaving our California family and friends was heart wrenching but we hope to not stay away too long but knew we had to take this journey to try and find where we belong.
-Tales of Sheaves

January 17, 2017

Swedish Married Life

 We like to think of our married life adventures as chapters in our ever on going Tales of Sheaves. The first chapter or our married tales truly began September 2012 when we were wed in the mountains of California after long distance dating for 2 years. We stayed there a few months wrapping up Lindsay's California life until we moved to Sweden in December and thus started the chapter or our Swedish Married Life tales. 
Since our Sheaves YouTube channel & blog wasn't born until autumn of 2013, we have a 10 month period of our tales that hasn't been chronicled from December 2012-September 2013. We didn't have a very good camera and often just snapped things from our old phones but we simply felt like we needed to complete the chapter or our Swedish married life adventures in a recap video + blog post of our time from December 2012 to June 2015. 
Now, come along with us on a photo journey through the seasons as we relive all the wonderful adventures & crazy misadventures of our married life in Sweden.
  Moving from California to Sweden was quite a shock for SoCal native Lindsay. It also turned out to be the longest and coldest winter the North had seen in 40 years. It felt like entering the land of eternal winter and while the snow was charming during the Christmas season...
 ...the land lay frozen well into April and it felt like spring would never come.
 We had a white Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, April fool's day.
 We went on a 3 week trip to California end of April for a friend's wedding and on our way back our connecting flight was delayed for 3 days in England. Lindsay had a cold and we had to lug our suitcases all over London but at least we got a nice free weekend stay in Brighton because all the hotels were booked in London due to a bank holiday weekend.
When we got back to Sweden all the snow was melted and it was summer! We didn't even experience a proper spring that year but oh did coming back to beautiful Swedish midsommar make up for the 6 months of winter. 
 
We had a wonderful first midsummer celebration together and summer though Jonas started to develop a stomach condition.
We went out into the sunshine as much as we could although Jonas started working at night and we slept through much of the day.
We had a rough start to our time in Sweden but as autumn began to show its colors we had saved up to move into our own apartment and went on a trip to Tallinn, Estonia to celebrate our 1 year wedding anniversary.
 Lindsay began taking Swedish language classes and Jonas was still working at night and as the days grew darker the less we saw of the sun. For other various reasons we started to realize that maybe we weren't going to be happy as a couple living in Sweden forever and on Thanksgiving 2013 we mailed in our first packet to begin the USA visa process for Jonas.
Autumn always passes so quickly and as winter crept in we prepared ourselves for another 6 months of ice. However, we had a surprising mild winter with little snow but lots of moody fog.
We learned from the past winter to flip our sleep schedule, so instead of sleeping when Jonas got off at 6 in the morning we would stay up when he got home and go to sleep before he started work at midnight. 
 By doing that we could then go out while the sun was shining, run errands, or even go on a little adventure. Why didn't we think of that the winter before we'll never know!
 Spring came early, bearing beautiful blossoms and with them we vowed to go out and explore more of Sweden while we still lived there! We thought the visa process would only take a few months but started to realize it would be much longer. We took another trip to California that spring of 2014 since it had been 1 year since Lindsay had seen her family.
 We came back to glorious summertime in Sweden and while we weren't by the water we spent much of our time working on visa papers as we waited.
 As autumn drew near we realized we'd be spending 1 more holiday season in Sweden.
So, for our 2 year wedding anniversary we went on a fairytale trip to Germany because why not when in Europe and it's so close and affordable?!
 Jonas surprised Lindsay with a new amazing camera so we could document our adventures even better!
 That autumn of 2014 Lindsay decided not to return to her Swedish language classes for various reasons but started an online mentorship program for entrepreneurs instead.
 We started seeing the finish line for Jonas' green card to be approved and felt it was time to start investing in our future dreams which was one major reason why we knew we had to move to America.
 We spent our last Christmas season in Sweden by going to as many "julmarknad" as we could and spending time with family. 
 For new year's eve we decided to go on one last European adventure to Poland! It was the day before we left that we found out that Jonas' entered the final phase for his green card!!!
 The new year brought new snow and new hope for us...2015 would be the year we moved to California!
 One snowy February day we went to Stockholm for Jonas' visa interview and he was approved! We went exploring an magical island to celebrate and for that one afternoon the whole weight of the world felt lifted off our shoulders. 
Lindsay had committed to be in a wedding in California for April and at first we thought we would hurry up and move before then but for various reasons we started to see that it wasn't going to work that way.
 So instead, Lindsay went on a trip by herself and took a few suitcases full of our things with her which turned out to help us a lot with our later move because when she returned from CA & NC she started to get a shooting pain in her hand.
 It turned out to be carpal tunnel syndrome and were promised at least a 6 week wait for surgery but the problem with that was we had to move to America by then.
 We took some really lovely spring outings although Lindsay's hand was always in pain. But she was able to get the procedure done sooner than expected when there was a cancellation and in 24 hours notice the deed had been done!
Of course this threw a wrench in the works for the plans we had made for our last few weeks in Sweden but Jonas put in his final notice to his job and was able to get a few weeks paid "vacation" which helped out very much.
We had planned so many things thankfully were still able to do some of them like a few family trips and of course midsummer.
 
 We got to spend a lovely weekend with Jonas' twin's family on the West side of Sweden.
 We stayed at a summer cabin there and it was such a relaxing time during all the chaos.
 When we said goodbye to Jonas' twin's family we didn't think it was the last time in Sweden but on our way back to our apartment Jonas started not feeling well and came down with a terrible cold (which may have had something to do with our summer solstice candle photo shoot in the woods).
 Weren't we the pair with Lindsay's right hand still healing and Jonas with a cold and cough but somehow we still managed to pack, donate, and even do a few last photo shoots in the enchanted forest we had our hearts set on before everything happened.
 We had many ups and downs during our Swedish Married life adventures but as we reflect on those 3 years we can honestly say there was more good moments than bad. It was absolutely necessary for Lindsay to be truly emerged in Jonas' home country and to learn the language. We had so many wonderful adventures and memories we will always hold dear to our hearts.
Saying "bye for now" to our loved ones there was heart wrenching and as this chapter of our tales came to a close we looked with anticipation at the next adventure ahead in America.
-Tales of Sheaves