Blogger Boss needs to decide what this is going to say about how crazy her life is & how she loves coffee & walks with her hubby.

Monday, June 27, 2011

1st Anniversary in Finland

Wow.  That pretty much sums up how I feel about this last year.
Wow, as in "That went fast"
Wow, as in "I can't believe how much has happened in so short a time!"
Wow, as in "I'm so thankful for how well it all has gone!"

The months leading up to our move, were such a blur.  So much happened in such a short time, and with me still recovering from child birth (= the brain is sort of disfunctional on a regular basis), I felt like I never had time to fully reflect about what was about to happen.
Coming here, the pace kept up it's speed.  And things that took place, things that I had only dreamed about doing with my family in some distant future, felt sort of unreal.  Almost like it didn't happen.  I wish I could have done it all in slow-motion, so that I could have savoured it more...
We've gone places, visited friends and family and done many things that I longed to do in the past.
And now when they've taken place, when the places and people are available, it just feels so "normal"!

Maybe it's a bit like when you as a kid wish for that SUUUPER special toy, and you think that you will NEVER get it.  And then you do get it, and realize that...  "Oh, yeah, it's so neat, and I love it so much, but I am still the same person, and this thing didn't dramatically change my life!"
I guess I'm still the same old me.  Nothing has changed dramatically.  Each morning I get up, get the day going, drink my coffee, the day hums along and some chores get done, kids need their attention, there might be some errands to be run... and it's all life.  Strolling quite happily along.  Just like in the past.  My address has changed, my group of friends have changed, the food, nature, climate, language etc, have changed.  But I'm still with me.  And I'm with my dear hubby and our dear kids.

This year has emphazised how important my immediate family is to me.  I guess I really can live anywhere, as long as I have those 8 people along for the ride!
And those 8 people seem to feel more or less the same way, since it seems like they also have settled in quite smoothly over here in Finland.

Some of the things that I looked forward to before moving are now my everyday life, and many days I forget how nice it is to have these conveniences, but sometimes it really hits me, and it makes me so thankful to be able to enjoy these things.  Like having a hubby who doesn't have to cross over to the States and back every day to go to work!  (he did that for more than 11 years)  Same thing when we go to church... only 7 minutes away versus at least 50!!!  Also being able to travel to other cities and meet friends there, and it's only a few hours drive.  Our diabetic daughter's care has also been greatly simplified.  Here everything is covered.  No sending papers in to get reimbursed etc.  Very nice for us, since her care is something that affects us on a daily basis.
No packing school lunches, they get a hot meal at school every day.  The whole school "thing" is something we really appreciate.  Our kids really enjoy school here.  Shorter days and more "hands on" activities, and a lot more time outside; it all adds up!

So... Is there anything we miss from over there???
Of course.  At times I miss some of my friends with an ache in my heart.  I wish I could pop over to have a good chat with many of them... Some food items I might miss at times, but these days you can find most things everywhere, so no biggie there (not for me anyway!)  Stores and restaurants?  Kind of.  I shopped so rarely that it was pretty easy to leave that behind, besides, shopping here can be quite nice, especially the 2nd hand shopping....  when I do go. 
When it comes down to it, I guess I'm a person who is quite happy to hang out with our kids, and hubby,  even just at the playground; rather than looking for a good deal at some store. 

Spending more time as a family was one of the main reasons behind our move, and THAT we have done!  I will never regret that!  And again....  if that goal is easier to achieve in one place than another, I don't really care what the name of that place is!
Maybe this 2nd year here I will have more time to reflect over things.  Get to know Finland a bit more from the heart.  I can't say that I have any strong opinions about things here yet, it wouldn't be fair! It feels like I'd jump to conclusions if I said "This is how they do it here!", after only 1 year in the country.  There are some things that I'm picking up on, but I'll save that for later :)

We keep living this life, one day at the time, and we let God guide our way, and .... things will stay good!

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Funny story alert! 

This evening, around 8 pm, Big Guy,our kids and I were outside at the common playground, hanging out.  Nothing much going on.  Kids swinging, digging in the sandbox, looking for snails, running in the woods.  The usual.  It was not very warm, just the kind of weather that you need pants and a t-shirt, maybe a sweater, to stay just perfect.
There are apartment buildings on 3 sides of the playground, and on the 4th there's a hill with trees, and behind that the woods.

Anyway...  Here we are, when this guy comes running outside of the apartment building straight in front of our faces, wearing a sturdy pair of boots and, and NOTHING else!!!  He comes dashing out.... Stops for a brief second when he sees this large family playing on the playground, swears a really bad word in Finnish, and then runs behind the bushes for cover...  Me and hubby stare with jaws dropped at each other for a second, then start laughing at this highly unusual sight.  A few of the kids witnessed the event, and they were like "whatte....????"
Well... Mr.Bright Guy runs around the whole building, quite the dash that involves exposing himself for a potential large number of people, around 2 parking areas. Coming up the stairs, after rounding the building, he yells at my hubby to buzz  his apartment and keep the kids out of sight.
"What number?" yells my hubby back (the guy was on the stairs in plain view) "Level 4!"  Well, there are a few apartments on level 4 dude... 
(do I need to mention that Mr. Nude was not the most sober guy on the block?)
He also told hubby that the reason for his nude-marathon was the result of losing a game (strip poker comes to mind...)  So THAAAAAT explains it!!!  (remember it's perfectly light outside here until late at night... and this was only at 8 pm)

Anyway.  Dude runs down to the garbage shed, and rummages around for a while... A few minutes later he emerges clad in (I lost it at this point!) a grocerystore bag with the text "LIDL" printed right on the front of it!!!!!  (LIDL is a European grocerystore chain)
He sort of chuckled as he walked past us, and then his good buddy let him back into the building.

Big Guy turned to me and said "Hey, he should have worn a bag with the word Gigantti on it instead!"
(name of a Best Buy type of store over here) 
Well....  That was an interesting event on this day over here in the fine country of Finland!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I'm trying to be patient.... (AAAAAARGH!!)

This does not come naturally for me.  Being patient.  When I have something exciting on the burner, I want it done and ready to enjoy.  It's been a longish time since I 1st sat down and drew the 1st rough ideas for our house (like close to 2 years...).  In that time you might know that we had time to plan an overseas move, have our 7th child, sell a house, move overseas, and now we are coming up on our 1st Anniversary living in Finland!! (WOW!!)  It's been about 10 months since we started building the house (the foundation was done before, but the actual structure etc started August last year)

We had hoped to move in by Christmas (or so we thought when we still lived in Canada), but when we came here there was other work waiting for Big Guy, and finding an apartment, kids getting ready for school, finding Dr's, importing cars, taking care of various (endless!!) paperwork, while doing other odd jobs and working on starting up a new business, sort of slowed us down a fair amount.  Then hubbie's brother got cracking on his new house just before Christmas, and at the same time another house had a deadline to meet, so other calls to answer to.  Christmas came and went, and January allowed us some time on our house, along with some other jobs.  In February we wera waiting for 3 weeks for the temperature to raise so they could pour the concrete inside the house...  It finally got done, and then hubby got work out of town for a month or so.  In mid March he had some good chunks of time to spend on the house, and things started to take shape.  His brother decided to kick into high gear on his house as well, so they traded some labor back and forth which benefitted us all. 

Anyway.... We are now past the midpoint of June, and we are seeing an end in sight...  Our house should be in move-in condition (not DONE) but livable, in the next few weeks.  There are some things that are out of our control thou.  We need to have an electrical cable installed to the house, and this is up to the City to provide... and it's up to them to decide when to deliver it.  Our electrician has contacted them, (over a week ago) so they know we need it... but I guess they are the types that if you call and "remind" them, they'll delay your wait... argh.  So.  Normally the wait is a week or so, but it could take up to 3 weeks before they decide to show up.  (they are quite busy we have heard...)  Anyway.  It really isn't THAT big of a deal if it gets delayed a week or two.  Not in the big scheme of things.  And I realize that, and I really can't change it anyway.  BUT!!  I had SO hoped to be in our house before we have our church meeings next week (wednesday + thursday, June 29 + 30th), we have at least 6 overnight visitors coming, and I would WAAAAAAAAAAAY rather house them there than here.  But again.  In the big scheme of things... it doesn't matter.  I can wait.  I am patient.  I practice deep breathing and try to be a nice person....

Give me the wisdom to change what I can, to accept what I can not change, and the insight to see the difference... Or however that saying goes.  That's what has been running through my mind ...  I hope it works!!

PS: On a sidenote... This past week has been very productive on the house!  The upstairs is basically done, the downstairs needs laminate in the kitchen and livingroom (can't do that before the kitchen is installed) and in some other small areas, some ceiling work, and doors hung. Big Guy also have the stairs to finish to a safe point, and the glassrailing in the upstairs hallway should get done. Then it's up to Mr Kitchen installer Guy to get his stuff done, (he started Friday afternoon) along with the painters (they are almost done), Mr Plumber and Mr Electrician, to get things to move-in status (sounds like a lot, but they are pretty close to finito... so..... IF IF IF the City decides to send their important guys our way... There is HOPE for us to be in there in a week or so.................. and if not, I will patiently accept that :) :) :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Happy 14 on the 14th!!

June 14th is one of the most important days in our lives.  Mine and Big Guys lives that is.  And our kids.  That's the day we got married, 14 years ago, in southern Sweden on a beautiful summer day.
This is a day that brings back wonderful memories, and the days, months and years that have followed are like a wonderful necklace of most precious pearls threaded on it.
Days that include the births of our 6 girls and 1 boy.  Days that include, laughter, tears, hard times, good times, building houses, moving, job changes, challenges of parenting, traveling, day to day life... and it's been good.
I feel very fortunate to be able to write about us, and our love.
Maybe you find it "cheesy" (go ahead!), but I am so in love with my dear hubby, that I can be cheesy all day long.

He loves me.  I love him.  A lot.  We know that.  And we say that.  Often.  In words and in actions.
Last night I felt tired and draggy.  The weather did a drastic turn when a coldfront smashed into the heatwave we've been enjoying for the last 1½ weeks.  After the thunderstorm was over, the temperature had dropped drastically, there was just a light rain going on,  and I went out for a 45 min walk by myself.  It felt SOOO good.  I walked through a woodentrail, and the freshly soaked forest smelled incredibly good.  I stopped a few times and indulged.  Then I ran, skipped, jumped and flapped my arms really geekily along the trail...  On the last stretch home, I stopped and picked a bouquet of wildflowers for Big Guy.  Coming in to the apartment....  I found it all cleaned up!  I could have cried from happiness!  Before I left, it had looked like the storm had done a number in our home as well..  What a great man I have!

Tonight sitting in the livingroom, catching up on the latest (we talk a lot with each other), Big Guy suddenly stops and looks at me in that really loving way, and says "You know, I really love being married to you!, I love how we can talk about everything!"  I so agree... 
That kind of love is the love you feel.  It's just there.  I've had other married women telling me that they don't know any other couple who seem to be better friends with each other than me and my hubby are with each other.  It doesn't matter if that's true or not, I know I feel that way thou.
I guess we are both good at putting the other persons needs first, that way we know that we are both taken care of!

Our kids love to celebrate their parents love too!  For the last several years they have made cards for us, bought something if they get around to it, made a cake, or surprised us with breakfast in bed...  They love to see our love, and the worst times for them is if we ever fight.  They instantly ask us to be nice to each other and say sorry... Monkey see monkey do.  Do I need to say that our fights never last very long??

There have been many times when "the guys" have done their little get aways, traveling somewhere for a weekend, and I've told my hubby to go with them, feel free!  But he politely declines, and says that if he goes anywhere, he rather goes with me...  That's ok!! :)  (he HAS gone places sometimes, but it's usually for an overnight fishing trip! Wow....)

Well, I could go on and on about us, but you are probably getting the picture.
I'm thankful and happy to say that I'm happily married to the greatest guy I could ever imagine.
Happy Anniversary, my dear Man!  I love you so much.  Yours truly!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Blah blah blah...

The weekend is sneaking up on us again.  A busy week is leaving a messy trail behind us.  It's been so warm and beautiful that I really really really don't feel like staying inside a stuffy apartment packing...

On the beach the other day I saw your typical mom looking all over for her son's hat, while she was holding it in her hand...  I laughed inside my head, as that could have been me 10 times over!  He, he...  She did eventually locate it.

Today our kitchen arrived, so next week we are hoping to get it installed.  The balcony is framed, and ready for deckboards and railing.  The garage and breezeway is FINALLY getting poured on Monday!  Yohoo!  The joys in life.  Today Big Guy is working on the stairs to the 2nd floor, he's building them himself.  We have ordered the cork flooring for the kitchen, glassrailing for the hallway upstairs, the ceramic tile is getting done, along w. plumbing and electrical and painting...  It's all coming together and it looks great! 
From starting with a piece of paper and a pencil, to seeing this house almost done, is very exciting!  Seeing it turning out the way I pictured it, is even more exciting!  I feel very lucky to be able to experience this!  (and a bit buys, stressed and impatient too...)  Our goal before moving in (in 2 weeks ??????), is to get the house safe enough to live in (has to pass an inspecion of course), so will still have some things to do after getting in there, but that's pretty normal when you build from scratch.

On Wednesday our "Miss Teen" left to Sweden to be gone for a month...  I'm questioning the smartness level of that move, as she's my right hand on a regular basis... But I'm so happy for her to trying her wings, and not having to be here during the moving stress... She'll be coming back to a brand new house, and her OWN room!  1st time since she was 2 years old when her little sister moved in w. her....

Well.  I can hear the 4000 stuffed animals calling my name, suggesting that I stuff them in a bag, so they can help keep this place a bit less cluttered...  1 box and 1 bag at the time...

Tu-de-lu for now!!
PS. Pictures??? Oh yeah... they are all on Big Guys phone, and since he's here only to sleep lately, I haven't gotten around to upload them yet.  He could do that himself???  In your dreams... he, he... I'm the one that knows how to deal w. all the fancy gadgets in this household!  (and even my "knowledge" is rather limited...) But, I'll try to get them out here soon.

Monday, June 6, 2011

It's getting there!

Our house, our house, our dear house!! 

So, how is that project coming along anyway??  Well.  It IS getting there!
A few updates:  Upstairs is all painted.  Ceilings are almost done.  Floor is started on. 
Downstairs is halfway done with the paint, the ceramic tile is getting installed, fireplace is BEAUTIFULLY done (my 2sided "dream" came true!!)  The chimney just has to get bricklaid through the roof, and then we can fire it up! 

Our kitchen is arriving on Friday, along with bathroom sinks etc and also 7 double cosets!
We are almost ready to have the floor poured in the garage and breezeway area (this has been a bit delayed for various reasons, but this week it should be done!) 

I'm packing bags and boxes as fast as I can (between going outside enjoying the beautiful weather we've been blessed with, it's supposed to rain next week, so I better soak up the rays while they are here!)

Today Big Guy is helping his brother move into his new house....   Things are happening!!!

I'll post some progress pictures asap.