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.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

And we are back...

Of course I need to share with you how our little getaway went!
It was good, great, really nice ... I mean, AWESOME!!!
We both behaved ourselves really well.
We didn't argue or bicker even a tiny bit.
We did not ONLY talk about the kids.
The kids did NOT call or text us every hour.  Only a few times actually!
The Hotel was superb.  The food excellent.
For some random reason the hotel restaurant did not charge me for my expensive dinner I had there Friday night.
Have no clue why.  My item was on the bill, with 0.00 next to it.
Fine with me!! 

Helsinki treated us to beautiful fall weather on Saturday, so we enjoyed the day down-town, mostly walking around, people watching, talking... Very, very enjoyable.
I bought a few things but nothing too exciting.
Let's just say Finns are not good with clearence racks.
And my wallet is not good with full priced items.
Instead we enjoyed a lot of food...  A huge sandwich that we shared for lunch, follwed by a stop at "Ben and Jerry's".  Later we had a cozy dinner at a French-style place.
My cousin and his wife met us there, and we all enjoyed a tasty meal.
Back at the hotel we relaxed with a sauna and swim before calling it a day.

On my way to the Hotel restaurant.
A tunnel connects the different buildings!

We took the tram to down-town

A decent size sandwich!
Compare to Hubby's hand...

A church, Kamppi Chapel, in the center of Helsinki,
very beautiful made out of alder and other woods.
The church was built to create a quiet space
 in the middle of one of the busiest parts of the city.

Sunday woke us up with rain.  A really dreary and gray fall morning.
I am not ready for that kind of stuff, but what can you do??
We stretched out the huge breakfast (this hotel has an amazing one!!) and checked out at noon.
One thing I love here, you can almost always check out at 12.00!
So nice to have a few extra hours when you're not in a rush.
Since the weather was not on our side, we cruised over to Jumbo, a big mall in the outskirts of Helsinki.
Again we walked and talked and just "were"!
I enjoyed the best Caeser salad since moving to Finland, teamed up with chicken strips and garlic dip and goatcheese-topped bread (you could choose 3 items to "make your own meal" kind of thing), and Hubby had one of the best burgers he's ever had.  Like in his LIFE!!  Not even kidding!
Gotta go to that place again!  Very awesome.

We ended our trip by stopping by at IKEA.  I think there's a law that you HAVE to stop there before leaving the metro Helsinki area...  Got a few things for the kids and a gift for our babysitter, otherwise I totally behaved myself in that place full of temptations.  Good thing we got there only an hour before closing or things might have easily gotten out of hand!
After IKEA we headed home.  We only stopped for coffee and ONE MORE treat on the way.
I had waaay to many of those this weekend...but it was worth it!! :)

We came home to a clean house and happy kids.
So nice to to see them all again!!
Now I hope this boost of rest and relaxation carries me for a while.
Only 3 more months till Christmas, almost time to roll up the sleeves for that!

Friday, September 21, 2012


Aaaaaah.  Yes, that's the word.
This afternoon Hubby and I will hop in his car and set the GPS for Helsinki.
We'll enjoy a few hours drive, undisturbed!!, as we drive to our Hotel.
Nobody bickering in the backseat.  Nobody kicking our seats.  Nobody nagging, whining, arguing...
(as long as we get along ourselves of course :)
Got a good deal at a Hilton by the ocean... :), and it's only a 15 min tram ride to down-town!
So for 2 days we'll just chill, relax, enjoy big breakfasts, saunas, maybe a swim in the pool and a workout a the gym.
Also mixed in to the fun will be slowly walking through the capitol (hand in hand of course...) browsing, people watching, deal hunting, chit-chatting, coffee-sipping....
Sit down at some restaurant and enjoy a good meal.
All of this uninterrupted!!  Yo-hoooo!!!
We are really looking forward to our getaway, it'll be very needed and well enjoyed after a busy summer followed by the sad miscarriage a few weeks back.
Helsinki is kind of special to the two of us as well, since that's the city we spent our first day dating in!
So... many sweet memories...

I pray that all goes well here at home, it's always a bit hard for Momma Duck to depart from her ducklings...
But I have faith in my oldest kids help, and we have a wonderful little family coming to spend their weekend here with our kids, so I know they'll be in good hands.
I also pray for a safe trip, and I'm already looking forward to Sunday evening.
Why??  Because the best part of being gone is coming back home, greeted by hugs and kisses and
"We missed you!"
That's why we go away sometimes.  To recharge our batteries, to spend some alone time as grown-ups, but most importantly, to be reminded of what matters the most and realize how much you love your life!

Have a happy and safe weekend!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Trust In God

Here's the latest.

We have now lived in Finland for 2 years and almost 3 months.
It sounds like a while, but time sure has gone fast and it really seems strange it's already been that long!
A lot has happened in that time thou, enough things to cover more than just 2 years!!
Although I have my moments of despair (mostly language realated), I also have many, many good ones.
Last night I sat in our livingroom with a fire going in the fireplace, the house was quiet, and it felt good to catch my breath after a busy weekend.
I looked across the room at our little guy sitting on the couch, still awake since he took a late nap.
I told him
"We have it pretty good, don't we?"
And he goes
"Yeah, we have it pretty good!" :)

This last week we celebrated our September babies birthdays.
Our 2nd oldest is now joining her oldest sister in the "teen world", and our youngest girl turned a "whole hand"!  I can not believe it!!  We no longer have any "little" girls!
Although they all seem small to me...

On Saturday I brought our newest teen and some of her friends to an indoor pool.
It has slides and other things to do, so they had a great time and I had time to swim and relax in the bubbles.
In the evening we had a houseful of people to celebrate both birthday girls with cakes and good food.
Nice evening for everyone!

You might be wondering how it's going for our girl who had a hard time in school?
Well, I am more than thankful to say that she's doing really, really good this year.
I see my "old girl" returning bit by bit.
She is making friends with everyone, just the way she used to, her Finn is getting better and better and she LIKES to go to school now.
A HUGE difference from last year.
It makes me so happy I can't even explain it!
She even told me she wouldn't mind so much if we stayed here another 2 years...

So, where does that put me??
Seeing our kids happy matter so, so much.
I sometimes feel that this move has been a sacrifice for ME in many ways.
I really have had to put myself and my needs and interests on the backburner.
There are so many things I can't do, so many situations that frustrates me.
To also go through 2 miscarriages in less than a year, right after moving in to a house that still has work to be done... and then try to find the time to adjust and get comfortable in a new coutry, well, it's not a walk in the park!!  With Hubby running his own business too, along with his brothers, is an additional stress, although educational and interesting as well.
I try to look ahead and picture myself here in the future, and it's really hard.
When I'm at home with the kids I don't learn any Finnish.
There are times I want to visit with some ladies so badly, and I don't even know how to start the conversation!!  And that is so not me!
If I'd try to get a job it would be very hard.  I'm sure there's something I could do without needing much Finnish, but I'd be very limited.

But... as usual I try to look at the bright side.
I am very thankful that we have this opportunity.
I have learned a lot about myself and my family.
I know I can handle a lot of stress, as well as big changes and I am pretty darn good at staying organized in the middle of the chaos!!
It's also been very, very humbling.
I like to speak what's on my mind, and I've never been stopped before.
Here I'm often clueless to what people are talking about in the first place, and if I happen to know what they are talking about, I don't have the words to add my own 2 cents.
This has tought me the valuable lesson of staying quiet.
And many times just "being".

The kids and I talk a lot.  I feel that I "need" them more than I used to!!
We talk about everything, and we learn so much from each other.
Maybe some things we wouldn't have learned if we would have stayed in Canada??

I have seen my husband grow and learn as well.
Through much frustration and cluelessness at times...
But is it ever a good opportunity!
I keep telling him "If you could do what you have done in a new country, moving your family, building a house and starting a business, all in one breath!!, you can do ANYTHING in Canada if we move back!!"
I don't mean that in a boastful way, but in a "I've been on the ground scratching with my bare hands, so anything will seem easy compared to this" sort of way.
Things work different in different coutries, and many things you have to learn the hard way.
Even if he knows the language OK, there are many times he gets stuck on a word.
And he's a guy who has excellent communications skills - in English!
So, also for him this has been humbling and educational.

Before we moved here I tried to look at our move like this:
"If we have the opportunity and don't take it, I might look back in 20 years and think: We could have done it, and we didn't!, then I rather say: We did it...and this is how it went!"
You need to be naive enough to dare, and you need TONS of faith in God.
We had NO clue how things were going to turn out, but we figured that God would lead the way.
There was no job security.
No steady income.  No promises of anything!!
I'm sure many looked at us and wondered how we dared, and if we were crazy (yes, we got the diagnosis a while back!!), and even wondered WHY we did it.  I can't answer that. But I do know this.
It IS a great experience.
It has NOT been easy.
But it has been worth it.

The older kids will have learned so much too, and hopefully they'll have a second language for life.
I know I will not regret doing this, although at times I scratch my head and wonder
"What were we thinking?"
But so far God has provided and taken care of us, just like in the past.
And just like I said last night to our little guy
"We have it pretty good!" 
We really, really do.  This was meant to be.  We were meant to move here for a while.
How long that is, only God knows.
In the end we'll have gained many new and wonderful friends.
We'll have learned lots about a new coutry, a new language, a different way to live your life.
And most importantly, that God takes care of you, no matter where you are.
That makes everything so easy, because we don't have to worry one tiny bit, as long as we put it all in His hands.  And looking back I know that putting trust in Him will have been the biggest lesson of all.
There's no way we'd made it any other way.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Guess what??
Fall is here.
Not technically I guess, I think it starts on Sept 21st, but if you could see what I see when you look outside you get what I mean.
The trees are slowly starting to shift colours again.
How does it honestly happen so fast?
The woods are full of mushrooms and the kids are enjoying walks in the forest.

I have been very tired, I guess all the stuff going on inside my body lately has thrown me for a loop.
I do feel OK thou, but find myself tearing up here and there.
Seeing pregnant bellies and newborn babies... Tear.
Hearing something sad. Tear.
Getting excited and happy about something.  Tear...
This morning when our two oldest were heading out the door to school they told me about this one boy at their school who's always standing by himself.
Nobody bothers him (thankfully), but he's "just" alone.
Just the thought of him actually made me cry!
I told my kids
"Imagine being him!"
"Imagine going to school every day, and feel that nobody ever sees you? Like you are invisible?"
This is one thing I am very passionate about.
Knowing how many lonely people are out there makes my insides feel ripped.
It makes me so upset.
Nobody ever ever deserves that!
I told my girls to make a point to always say Hi to him when they see him.
Just to know that "Somebody SAW me today!" MIGHT make a person feel just a little bit better about themselves.
Then my 2nd oldest said
"I already did that!, when I walked past him one day I said Hello!, and he looked up, very surprised, and said Hi back!"
His "pass time" at recess is to draw circles with his foot on the ground...
If that was my kid, and I knew that's how he or she spent the day...
I wouldn't be able to sleep at night.

My biggest goal in raising our kids is to help them become compassionate humans.
To help them understand that life has nothing to do with how much money you have.
Happiness, health, love, joy... is priceless.
The poorest can have it all, and the riches can be without.
Showing love and care and compassion is free.
And so, so easy.
You just have to dare to give a little.
A smile.  A little Hello.  A helping hand.  A phonecall.

My goal for the next few weeks is to go through A BUNCH of stuff.
We have so many boxes and bags and things that need to go.
And as I go through all that stuff...I'll be thinking about that boy.
Praying for him and all the others like him.
I know I'm hopelessly naive at times.
I know I can't "save" everyone, but I can try my best, and I can teach our kids to care.
And even if it's "only" one kid that was smiled at, only one person that felt a few minutes of happiness, well, it's a start!
And the thought of that brings tears to my eyes and a smile on my face.

Monday, September 3, 2012

When time is right

Through the pain
Through the tears
In the tsunami and commotion inside my head.
Inside my heart.
I find strength a new.

By falling.
Again, and again.
By slowly picking myself up.
Letting the hurt out.
Letting the pain out.
Letting the anger out.
Through the tears I see.
I see my strength.
I feel my strength.
I allow myself to be weak, in order to find strength.
I can't feel better unless I first feel worse.

And my strength needs to be humble.
My strength needs to be full of love and courage.
It can not judge or be bitter.
It can only hold hope, faith and love.
It's the only way to move forward.
The only way to dare to get hurt again.
By keep having faith and trust in God.
Knowing that he knows what I don't.

Looking at our children.
Feeling that fierce love.
When you think it will not, can not, grow stronger... It does.
It slowly gives me wind beneath my wings.
A little seed inside my heart is starting to grow.
A seed of hope.
The strong urge to dare again.
To maybe one more time, one day, hold another baby in my arms.
Another life that grew under my heart.
A life that will be so loved and so appreaciated and so wanted.
When I look at our kids, I know I can do it again...
Time will heal the hurt.
Tears will erase the pain.
One day, maybe one day... God will let it work out.
To once again look a newborn child into the bottomless depths of their innocent eyes.
Letting me fall... allowing me to fall in love again.

Any pain is worth it, when love is the end result.
And would I never have the gift of a newborn again, I shall hold my head high, I shall look at the stars at night knowing that I allowed God to use my  body in his work.
In his work to fill his gardens with angels.
There will be no regrets.
I pray for strength to let Him plant a seed again...when time is right.