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.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Because you love me

I've been blogging a bit more than usual this last week.
It's a way for me to empty my head.
I'm a thinker, more so than a talker, believe it or not!!
When I busy myself with chores around the house, I use this time to think.
Or when I'm driving somewhere.
If there's something I hear or see that provokes my mind, I think.
Of course everybody thinks all the time, but maybe I think a bit "deeper" than others on a more regular basis.  As long as I remember I've analyzed human behaviour.
When I was only about 6-7 years old I'd wonder why there were different countries, and since we are all humans and are all "the same", why couldn't we just all travel where we wanted and be friends?
I also never minded telling who I liked.
I figured, If it's so easy to tell who you DON'T like, which is actually a mean or bad thing to do, why isn't it easier to tell people who you DO like??
In my childish brain this made no sense.
And it still doesn't.
I guess we fear being rejected or not loved back.
I tell our kids
"It's ALWAYS good to like and love, and even if you are not liked or loved back, there's nothing for you to lose.  It's a good feeling to know that you indeed is able to like and love."
With 6 emotional girls in the house, of course there'll be times of heartaches and sad times in the future, but that's part of life too.
Something they in the end (hopefully) will get stronger from.

So... where does this lead?
Oh yeah, I don't mind telling people who I like or love, so let me tell you about my favourite person!
Almost 16 years ago fate brought us together.
He wasn't supposed to go to Finland, and neither was I.
We both made last minute decisions to go.
The first nite I was in Finland we met.
And I, the "thinker" and a rather logical person who was the least romantic person I knew... fell head over heels in love.  Really at first sight.  (That only happens in Harlequin novels, I used to think)
And he, the cautios guy who didn't want to date anyone unless he knew he'd marry her, did the same.
A few people who were standing right by us when we first shook hands said after that they could literally see and almost hear a "click" as our hearts connected, thinking
"Those two just fell in love!"
He has later claimed that he "knew" the moment he first saw me that I was the girl he wanted to marry.
Fine with me!!

During the next year I went to visit him in Canada, and at Christmas time he came to Sweden where we got engaged.  Then we spent a looooooooong spring apart... From New Year to early June, when he FINALLY came to Sweden so we could get married.
It's been 15 years today.
We are cheesier than ever.  More in love than ever.  Our kids (especially our oldest girl) groans at us and think we are ultimately nerdy.  But at the same time she admits she WAY rather have us be like that than fighting.  (which we sometimes do, but not very much)
Often I look back at that moment when we first met.
And I'm still amazed at how powerful love is when you allow it to happen.
How it changes you in such great ways.
I had a had a few rough years, in many different ways, before we met, but from that moment on things took a turn for the better.
I had someone who thought I was the most amazing thing ever.
Someone who wasn't shy to tell me how wonderful he thought I was.
He boosted my poor self esteem and made me a stronger person.
His love has always been unwavering.
Just what I needed.
Because even if I've always had an easy time to love and share hugs, I also had a hard time finding myself loveable.  To have him love me for who I am with no strings attached, has been the greatest gift I could have ever asked for.
He always talks well about me.  He never ever puts me down.  He truly believes I am the greatest wife in the world and that he lucked out majorly!! (he he, cute!)
And even if he just has his head stuck in the clouds and can't see me for the average person I am, I'm not gonna complain about it!
It makes me feel secure and special.

Well... Happy 15th Anniversary dear Hubby.
You are more than I could have ever prayed for.
God truly is great.
Thank you for loving me so much. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ouch, that hurt!!

Do you have kids?
Have you ever been a kid?
Did you ever get hurt?
Did your child ever get hurt?
Do you know anybody who never got hurt in any way?
Well, neither do I.

Raising kids is hard.  Lots of work, patience and understanding is required.
We teach them how to ride their bikes, to swim to read...
We make sure they have the proper equipment and that they are as safe and well prepared as possible.
We feel that we have all the bases covered.
Until somebody calls your kid a name.
Or make fun of their clothes.
Or their bike.
Then what??

Momma Bear hops out of her den and bares her teeth and growls!
But wait!!
Are we doing the right thing???
We might say
"That's unacceptable!"
Lets talk to the teachers, principal, the "mean" kid, the "bad" parents of that "mean" kid!!
Do you honestly think that your kid has NEVER done anything bad to somebody else?
Why did he or she do that?
Was she having a bad day?
Did you argue in the morning?
Did you complain about your body, face, clothes...

It's funny how easy it is to jump to conclusions when it comes to someone elses kids and their behaviour.
When we really don't have any facts.

So where do we start and what do we do??
Maybe by making sure our kids have mental "helmets and kneepads"?
Teach them first to value what they have.
"yes your bike is not brand new and it doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but IF it did, THEN what?"
"how would it change your life?"
Would your kid be cooler, more accepted??
Well, someone has passed those values down to our kids!
How about trying to teach them to be content in their own skin?
Teach them to stand up for themselves without putting someone else down.

"Yeah, this bike is kind of old, but hey, It still gets me places!"
"You don't like my shirt?  Well, I bet that's why there are so many different styles to chose from, because we are all so different!"
Teach them that each opinion is just as important.
Doesn't mean that an opinion is true!!
Sometimes kids say mean things to get attention or to make themselves feel better.
"You're fat!!"
How does a child respond to that?
Well.  Remember that offence is not GIVEN it's TAKEN!!
If your child is indeed on the heavier side and someone points that out....
Then what??
Does that right away equal
"You are bad. You are not likable??"
Aren't there campains all over about "Big is beautiful" and "embrace all shapes and sizes"?
Well, if we as grownups really believed that ourselves, why do we take offence on our childrens behalf then?
If your kid comes and tells you
"She called me fatso!", don't make your child a victim and go over the top with praise or by putting the other kid down to make your own feel better!!
Just approach it matter of fact.
"Oh, and how did that make you feel?  Is she right? Does that make you a bad person? Why do you think she said that?  Maybe she's having a bad day?"

When we overreact and focus all the attention on our own child, we'll make anything and everything into a courtcase and we boost our kids ego, making them feel that whatever happens to them is what this world revolves around!
Just a
"Well, that wasn't very nice, was it?"
Then a big hug and a smile, is sometimes all they need.
Of course if there's an ongoing pattern of bullying it's different, and we need to take stronger actions.
But in the end of the day our kids will grow up.
We can't always be there for them.
So... Hug them lots, tell them why you love them, remind them of their good traits, but also remind them that we all have weak spots (or you give them a way too big image that they have to try to live up to)
And teach them to carry a forgiving heart.
Forgiveness frees yourself of all the bad feelings and it gives the offender another chance.
Don't we all deserve another chance...?
Over and over again.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

One moment in time...

So many thoughts running through my head.
Life is an interesting journey.
And at times we stop and take a moment to reflect.
It's humbling at times.
We learn (hopefully!!).
For me there have been many many things lately that have stopped me in my daily tracks.
Many reminders of what matters in life.

I keep learning things about who I am.
When I keep hitting walls due to my lack of language skills...
I realize that the person I like to be is suffering.
It opens my eyes for those that at some point have moved to a new country, and spent their lives there, and never have fully learned the new language.
I can now see how that can happen.
If your daily group of people speak the language you know, and you have very few opportunities to use the new one, well, the progress will be slow!
At times I feel like I'm standing at a busstop... waiting for someone to pick me up.
It feels like I'm getting nowhere, and it gets frustrating at times.

Then life goes on.
And things happen that help keep my own needs at a realistic level.
A young father has an accident at work and narrowly escapes death.
A young family loses a baby.
A middleaged woman loses her father and one of her sons in a matter of a week.
The list could go on with daily reminders of how short and unpredictable life is.

Today we attended our new little Goddaughter's baptism.
A joyful day when we got to celebrate God's greatest gift.
After attending this nice time with good friends, we went to see my Hubby's grandma who's 83 and in a nursing home.
Here she is at the end of the road, such a contrast after just holding the little bud who just started her journey!
She's been in and out of the hospital lately due to some infection.
She was tired.  She didn't really say anything.
But she saw us and there was a tired smile in her eyes.
This precious lady became a young widow and a single mom of 6 kids when she was only about 40 years old.
She has held the family together with her big heart and humorus and loving ways.
It's not often you see kids being so loving to an elderly as her kids are.
What you sow you shall reap.
Well, her love has paid off.
Every day her sons that live locally come and see her.
They make sure she has taken her medication, that she eats, and often she gets a treat from one of her sons that he lovingly feeds her.
She had a stroke last year, so slowly it has become harder and harder for her to help herself.
Her mind is not clear, and I'm sure this journey is hard for her, knowing how dilligently she took care of her kids and now being so depending on them.
When we said goodbye I couldn't let go of her warm and soft hand for a few minutes.
I felt heavy tears roll down my cheeks, as she looked me so lovingly into my eyes.
We've never been able to sit down and chat because of the language barriare, but sometimes words are vain.
Sometimes you just know.  You can feel love and care.
I don't know when the last time I tell her goodbye will be, it might be pretty soon.
I do know what she gave though.
Love.  Lots of love and forgiveness.

These moments sure help to keep things in perspective.
I feel so blessed and fortunate to have these moments in my life to keep me reminded of what matters.
Love and forgiveness.  And you don't need to know the same language in order to share that.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


A few months ago we realized that one of our cats was pregnant.
A few weeks after that we realized that our other cat was pregnant too.
Good thing we "only" have two of them!!
2 weeks ago the first one had 2 kittens, one died.
Today we found our other cat in the garage with her brood of 4!!
Here are pictures to show you our newest additions...

Here's "Nappi".
(Button in Finnish)
She/He has a white dot under its chin, and is otherwise a
dark gray colored kitten.
I LOVE the blue eyes!
They just opened a few days ago.

Here's our newest bundle.
4 tiny little things.
They keep moving around, keeping each other warm.
They don't have any names yet.
Like I said, we just found them with their mom in our
garage this afternoon!

No.  We will NOT keep them all.
2 cats are enough.
SO... let me know if anyone is interested in a new
friend in a few months!

"Socks" with her gang!
I can relate to her having my paws full.
I wish I was as laid back thou, just laying there purring away...

Friday, June 1, 2012

Hey, Hey Summer!!

Even if the temperatures are not quite agreeing with me (it's rather chilly in the air, hovering around 55 F), the beauty in the nature sure is!
The lilocs in bloom, as well as many other trees and flowers.
LOTS of wild flowers.
My vases runneth over with beautiful boquets that the kids happily pick and bring home for me.
Tomorrow morning (yes, it's a Finnish tradition to have the last day of school on a Saturday, at least where we live) the kids will gather and sing traditional summer songs, bid farewell to the grade 6 kids who will graduate from elementary school in order to continue their schooling at a higher level in the fall and then collect their report cards before going home and enjoy the summer break!

Next week our two oldest girls will be going up to northern Sweden for a few weeks.
A nice opportunity for them to practice their Swedish language skills!
Finland is bilingual, and from grade 7 it's mandatory for kids to study Swedish for 3 years.
Since I spoke Swedish to them for many years when they were younger, they have a good base already.

We don't have any big plans for the summer, but are hoping to enjoy the beautiful nature, beaches, berries and sunshine!
And ice-cream. 
Of course...

We are looking forward to having some visitors from overseas, and this week we are already enjoying some time with my sister and her family who are here from the USA.
The kids have had a lot of fun getting to know each other, it's been several years since they last met.

Hubby has a packed schedule, and we are very thankful for all the work he has lined up.
If possible we are hoping to take a week. or maybe 2, off in July, and just spend some time together as a family, and do some work on our house!

My days will be busy in a different way with all the kids at home and I hope we'll have lots of time to be outside and just enjoy the time off.
So.... now we just need some warmth added to the mix, and we'll be ready to go!