I knew that moving to a new country was going to be hard for me considering I don't like change. I prayed about us moving a lot before we moved. I knew it had to be a decision that I was okay with so I didn't resent Jake if we moved and I hated it. I couldn't move here for him. I had to move because it was something I felt like God was asking me to do.
I also know that in general I am not an overly emotional person. I don't like crying, especially in front of people. Well, it turns out moving 4600 miles away from your family and friends can make you a little bit emotional :). It was interesting seeing how I handled those emotions before I left and how I would handle them once I got settled in.
Before we moved I was so busy packing, making lists and checking off lists that I didn't have much time or energy to cry about moving. (And I'm not sure it really sunk in. I was much more go with the flow without having all the details right before we moved than I would have guessed.) I cried through a few good byes but for the most part I tried to keep it together.
After we moved we had so much to do and everything was new and exciting that I didn't really have time to be sad. I did have a small meltdown on our first day in Stockholm. We had been awake for 30+ hours, it was pretty late at night and for whatever reason we decided to go grocery shopping. I lost it when we couldn't figure out what butter was in Swedish, it is called smör by the way. I started tearing up and told Jake it was time to go and we could get butter later.
A few weeks and then a month went by and I was still handling everything really well. Of course I missed my friends and family but thanks to technology we had been able to stay in touch with some people more than we used to. We started Skyping with our parents once a week which meant we saw them more living in Stockholm than we did when we were 2.5 hours away.
The longer we were here the more I started anticipating the breakdown. I knew it would happen. I just didn't know when or what would cause it. Waiting for the breakdown was worse than the actual breakdown.
It finally happened on Tuesday, October 15th. A combination of things that weren't really connected lead to the breakdown and here were the things:
1. We were in our third week of Swedish class and it was a tough week. The first week was really overwhelming, the second week felt like I was finally getting the hang of things and by the third week I was convinced I needed to figure out how to kill some brain cells to make room for the rest of the class. Class was hard and I was ready for a break. I was mentally drained and frustrated that I wasn't picking up on things as quickly as I would have liked.
2. I had been trying to find some sheets for our bed. I didn't want to spend a lot of money since we wouldn't be bringing them home but I wanted them to be soft. Our bed is 140 cm x 200 cm which is about the size of a full bed. I found some sheets I liked at Ikea and went back to get another set and a blanket for our bed. Over here they make beds with a flat sheet tucked in on the bottom and then a duvet with a cover on top. We wanted a fitted sheet, a flat sheet and a blanket. That is a lot harder than you would think. I finally found fitted sheets at Ikea so I had one fitted sheet and one flat sheet. I decided to go back to get two more flat sheets. We thought that as long as we were here we might as well try to make the bed more like the Swedes. So we were going to try buying a flat sheet to tuck in as the bottom sheet. I also bought a blanket.
3. I had reserved the laundry room and had 3 hours of walking up and down the stairs every 30 minutes to switch the laundry. I was thankful that I was able to wash the new sheets though before we put them on the bed. I finally finished washing, drying and folding all the clothes around 11:00 pm.
Jake started helping me make the bed with the new sheets and we realized something was wrong with the sheets. They were too small. The flat one that I bought to tuck in couldn't be tucked in at all. Did I shrink the brand new sheets? I tried tucking in the first sheet we bought so how does the new one not work? I bought the wrong size of sheets. No big deal, right? Wrong. I lost it! Going to Ikea takes about 2.5-3 hours by public transportation and then it took 3.5 hours to do the laundry and here it was 11:00 pm and we don't have sheets for the bed. I was done. I wanted to be home. In MY bed with MY sheets. Soft sheets. That fit. Ugh. Then I realize both flat sheets I bought at Ikea were too small and the blanket I bought was also too small. Awesome.
How do you buy the wrong size of sheets? Let me tell you. In the states sheets are typically in packages with a fitted and a flat sheet and they are labeled as a twin, queen, king, etc. Over here they don't typically have fitted and flat sheets so people usually just buy a flat sheet and then a duvet cover. Well, I wanted a fitted sheet and a flat sheet. For the fitted sheet I needed one that was 140 cm by 200 cm but the flat sheet needs to be bigger than that or else it doesn't hang over the bed at all. So for that one I would need a 200 cm by 260. Well I kept thinking 140 cm because our bed is smaller than most beds that two people would sleep in so that's what I bought. Two flat sheets and one blanket that are 140 cm by 200 cm. The sheets definitely won't work as a bottom sheet and they don't really work as a top sheet either plus the blanket was too small. And I spent about 5.5 to 6 hours of my life buying and washing sheets and now I have to do that all over again to get the correct size. Why can't stores in Sweden just sell sheets like they do in the US? I never really thought about how a fitted sheet for a queen bed in the US would be a different size than a flat sheet. So the next time you buy a set of sheets in the US think of me and my melt down :).
*Side note: As I was typing this I couldn't remember what size of flat sheet I was supposed to buy so I went to the Ikea website to try to figure it out. I accidentally went to the US Ikea website first and realized that the price of a flat full sized sheet in the US from Ikea is about $14.99. The same size of sheet from Ikea but in Sweden (where Ikea started) is $30. That seems logical right? I've been meaning to blog about the cost of living but for a while now but haven't had time. That is just a little glimpse into the cost of living differences between Stockholm and back home.
**I didn't have a chance to post this before we headed back home for Christmas but we've now been home and back which means. . . I bought new sheets for our bed from Target in the US :). I just finished washing and drying them. I was starting to put them on the bed and this conversation takes place:
Kara: "I'm going to put the new sheets on the bed."
Jake: "I think I'm going to go on a walk."
Kara: "Why? We already went on a walk."
Jake: "Because I don't want to be here if you find out they don't fit."
It is a good thing I think he is cute because he isn't always a funny as he thinks he is :). The sheets fit and I'm not sure which one of us is more excited!