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.

Friday, December 20, 2013

First fall behind us...

I can hardly believe we are already off to Christmas break!
The kids have finished their first fall back in school in Canada.
Over all it's gone well, readjusting to living in Canada has been WAY easier than when we first moved to Finland.  But it hasn't only been easy.
Our 7 year old has been homesick for Finland quite often.  She was only 4 when we moved over there, so almost all of her memories are from there.  She had several friends living on our street, and she loved school there.  Lots of time outside, and lots of free play.
Now she's in 2nd grade and the workload is quite a bit heavier.  She's catching up with her friends here, but since she was only in Finnish Kindergarten last year, it's a big jump to go straight in to grade 2!
One evening we were sitting in our living room, listening to Finnish Christmas songs, and she started crying.  I did too.  We hugged, and cried, and missed Finland.
It felt kind of good in a way.  Quite a few times while living in Finland I was very homesick for Canada, and I wasn't sure how much I'd miss Finland when we moved back here.  I am glad to realize how many good times and memories we have, and to anybody who asks me, I tell them that I'll never regret our time over there.

Our 2 oldest still LOVE high school.  I hear new stories every day.
So much fun!  People would often tell me "Wait till they are teens!!"
Well, now they are, and I think it's great.
Of course there are times when I think they'd be better off in a zoo, but that hasn't changed since they were 4 and 5...
Our other girls are doing fine as well.  They like school and enjoy being together with their cousins.
Our little guy is one of the most animated kids I have ever met.  He's hilarious and very intense.  He sure makes my days go faster!
Hubby has now been working out of town for the last 3 months.  It's gone fast, but at times the weeks feel long.  We only have Sundays together, and often that feels like too little time to catch up on everything.  He's taken a few odd days off, in order to take care of paperwork, run errands etc.
Next week he'll be off for 6 days straight!!  Can hardly wait.
We sure are looking forward to Christmas and a break away from everyday life.

I am past half point in my pregnancy, and over all I feel good.  I can tell my body is getting older though, with veins bugging me more and more.  Not fun.  It's actually quite painful.  Yuk.
We had some snow, actually, last weekend we had a storm and got around 20-25 cm dumped in our area.
Here that means chaos, since most people don't have winter tires on their cars, (us included).
Now it's raining and melting away though... Too bad.  But supposedly another storm is on its way, so we MIGHT still have a white Christmas.

Looking back at the 4 months we've now spent here, I must say it's gone really well over all.
It's easy to forget to be thankful for being healthy, having enough food to eat, a warm house to call home, great friends and so many other things that make our lives smooth to live.
We are looking forward to the coming year, there are many things on our agenda, but meeting our new baby will surely be the highlight of 2014!

Wishing all of you a blessed Christmas and a very Happy New year.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

7th princess on her royal way!

We are excited to announce that according to yesterday's ultrasound, we are having another GIRL!
We are thankful, happy and feel very blessed, that this baby looks healthy and perfect in every way.
She was a busy little one, moving non stop!  

I grew up with 6 sisters, and 3 brothers, so I know what life with lots of sisters is like.
It's sort of like this....

Looking forward to many crazy, hormonal years, ahead :)

Monday, November 25, 2013


Wow, it's been almost a month since I last wrote.
It doesn't feel like I have a whole lot to share, but at the same time I know I've been plenty busy.
When making such a big move, there are so many things that need to be attended to.
And I am still tying up loose ends here and there.
The first month back, I didn't even feel like thinking about anything that involved any kind of brain activity.  I managed that basic stuff, like getting kids on the bus in the morning, keeping up with laundry, unpacking the most essential of our stuff, and making sure that everyone was fed and reasonably clean.
Now I'm slowly getting back in the groove of doing a bit more.
I want to find some energy to prep for Christmas!!

Last Saturday Hubby had the day off.  The first Saturday in a long time that he didn't work.  So, the two of us went Christmas shopping, grabbed a nice lunch together, and just spent time catching up with each other. When he's gone all week, and only at home on Sundays, there isn't much time left for us as a couple.
We both truly enjoyed a day to ourselves.
The kids decorated a gingerbread village at home, so they had fun too!

Earlier this month we celebrated our third daughter's belated birthday.  She is 12 now, and is really getting in to science.  Weird to think she'll be a teen in another year!!  She's so sweet and fun, and she really enjoys being back here.  But she also misses her friends in Finland.
One day she told me how she miss walking home from school!  It was a 20-25 min walk, up a long hill, but I can see how that time outside was relaxing and refreshing.

Last Friday I went on a field trip with daughter #5.  She's in grade two, and it was so much fun to go with her and her friends!  They are so cute :)
Last week I also had another visit at my midwife's and we could hear the baby's heartbeat!  It made me so, so happy.  At the end of next week I'll have another ultra sound, and we might find out the baby's gender :) Very exciting!!
Our little kids have so many questions about the new baby, and they are very, very excited.
Our youngest daughter, she's six, told me one morning:
"Mamma, I hope this baby doesn't die!"
I agreed with her.
For each week I am getting more and more excited, and if we find out the gender... I just might shop a tiny bit...
Some days I'm pretty tired, but over all I feel good.  I'm an oldie being pregnant, but I don't feel OLD!
I guess that's a good sign!!

Well, there's not too much to write about.
Life is moving along, it feels good to be here, but at times I have moments when I really miss some of my friends from overseas... wishing it wasn't so far away.
I will miss Christmas there as well.  It's so cozy with the snow, tons of candles in the windows and, well, the yummy chocolate and treats :)

Hope you all are hanging in there, and not stressing too much during this time of year!

Friday, November 1, 2013

A little bit of life...

It's been a while since I wrote last, so I guess I'll fill you in on the latest.
It's getting very fall-like here.
The trees are getting their fall colours, and the leaves are getting shaken off the branches in the strong winds that started yesterday.
It's still been pretty warm during the days (+15 C), but several mornings in the last week we had a bit of frost on the ground.
Last night the kids braved the rain and wind and went "trick or treating"!
So much fun for the little kids to go from house to house, filling their bags with goodies :)
Now they don't need to eat any real food for probably a week or two...

Hubby is busy at work, and although the weeks get lonely without him around, it's been working out quite well so far.  Five weeks have gone fast!, we'll see how much longer the project he works on will last.
He has every Sunday off now btw, so at least we get him home one day a week.
I have been browsing for houses, it'll be so nice to find our OWN place to live in again, but we don't want to rush it either, but rather take our time till we find something that's roomy enough, but also affordable.
When you work construction it's always a bit unpredictable, and if you get laid off, you don't want to have a house you can't afford!
I believe God will guide us also in this matter.

My belly is starting to "bump out", I am almost 14 weeks already!, it's going quite fast and I can hardly wait to have my next ultrasound.  Should be in the beginning of December.
I think we'll find out the gender this time, just for fun!

In the last few weeks we've celebrated several birthdays.
We had friends and family over last Saturday, and it made our rental house feel more like our "home".

In the next few weeks I have to make a Christmas planning list!  Can't believe it's already this close to Christmas.  We hope to celebrate it with hubby's parents and siblings and their families.
Will be fun and loud and crazy!
Between my hubby and his brother and sister, we have 20 kids between ages 4-16 plus one baby.
So lots and lots of cousins around the same ages.
They all have so much fun and I know they are creating great memories for the future, too bad hubby's sister and family live so far away... I hope they can make it here though!
By Christmas I will be half way done with this pregnancy, and then the "count down" can start!
Will be a fun and exciting spring ahead, planning for the arrival of a new family member.

Well, this post is about all sorts of stuff, but I hope it gave you a glimpse in to our daily lives.
Thankfully our daily life is mostly filled with "boring" stuff, like dishes, laundry, school work, cleaning, paying bills, running errands etc.  My life could sure be a lot harder!
I feel thankful for how good I have it.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Life is settling in

I thought it's time for a little update of life back here in Canada.
We've enjoyed a beautiful fall, with lots of sun and warm weather.
I LOVE that part here.
Since I've been in my first few months of pregnancy, and seriously trying to catch my breath after our overseas move, I didn't get outside as much as I would have liked.
Nausea and fatigue took the best of me for a while, but since it also means that things are going well so far this pregnancy, I'll take it!
I did have an ultra sound last week, and I was VERY nervous before hand.
I wouldn't even look at the screen before the technician told me
"There's definitely a baby in there!  It's moving like crazy!"
I felt a huge sense of relief, gratitude and finally I dared to feel really excited.
Walking back to the car, with the ultra sound pictures safely in my hand, I had tears in my eyes and the biggest smile on my face.  I could hardly wait to call hubby and let him know that all looks well so far.
After two losses I truly feel that each baby is a miracle.
A blessing and a gift given from above.
We don't know how long we get to enjoy any of these little ones, and after losing two already in my womb... well, I can't wait to hold this little one close to my heart.
And it's a reminder to love and appreciate the ones we already have, even more.

Hubby's been working out of town for about 3 weeks now and last weekend he has 3 days off.
We actually went out of town to attend a baptism to our newest God child.
We had a nice trip and really enjoyed our family time (not sure how much our 15 year old enjoyed the traveling part, but that's life for a 15 year old with 6 younger siblings...)

The kids have now been in school for 1 1/2 months and so far things are going well.
Our two oldest LOVE high school and the younger ones seem to like their teachers and classes as well.
It's been an adjustment for our two youngest school girls, in grade 1 and 2, to go so long days.
The older one went to Kindergarten in Finland last year, but since they start school a year earlier here, she's now in grade 2.  The younger one went to daycare a few days a week in Finland, to be with other kids and learn the language, and now she's suddenly in "real school" full days, every day.
They do like it though, so I think they'll be fine.
I do miss the wonderful playground back at their Finnish school....
Here the schools are so worried about getting sued, that kids are very limited to what they are allowed to do outside.  Sad.
Fortunately at home it's not so strict!, they can be outside an do what they want.

One of our girls, she's our 3rd oldest, actually told me the other day that she misses walking home from school!  In Finland she and her younger sister walked or biked home on a regular basis, and even if it sometimes seemed like a chore then, she now misses it.
I personally like the convenience of school buses, but I can see her point.
It was a nice time to be outside, get some fresh air and peace and quiet after being in school all day.
Right now we live off of a buys road too, so they can't go walking or biking around here.
So, whenever we are able to buy a house, I'll definitely keep that in mind!  (that there will be walking and biking trails close by)

Well, most of the time it feels good and right to be back here.
I do however catch myself missing things from Finland.
I know I'll miss part of the winter.
Not the darkness or -35 C, but when there's tons of white, fluffy, sparkly snow on a cloudless winter's day.
The nature and the trails I often walked.
I remember my last few months in Finland, especially if I was out for a walk, thinking
"THIS I will miss"
There are trails and nature around here as well, but not right outside my door!
You don't end up going as often if you have to drive somewhere.
It feels good to miss some things, it's a sign that living there was a treasured experience.
And it also make the things we like here more clear and obvious.

Well, our life is buys and I just realized I need to start preparing for Christmas soon!
It will be fun to show the little kids all the decorations and things that they do different here.
And I'm sure we'll miss more than one thing from overseas........

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

"Oh, the places you'll go!"

The title of this blog is stolen from one of my favorite Dr.Seuss children's books.
A book about a successful future for anyone willing to try.
Willing to try, regardless of the end result.
And if you follow the author's magic formula, you will succeed.
One hundred percent guaranteed.

This book, with its messages, makes me think of my sister.
My younger sister.
I have 6 sisters actually, 3 older and 3 younger.
This one is the 2nd youngest.
From a very young age she was well ahead of the game with her unusually early speech.
She spoke fluently by 18 months, knew the whole family's birthdays before her 2nd birthday (12 people).
When she was 3 years and 5 months old, she taught herself to read.
By four she was writing short stories, with very few spelling errors.
Maybe thanks to her having so many siblings, my parents encouraged her, but didn't make a big deal about her special gifts.
First and foremost she was a child.
And my mom let her be just that as long as she wanted.
She was, however, very, very creative, and there were many nights when she and my youngest sister would be up late at night working on some craft project.
They had ridiculous goals at times.
Like "We have to use all this material before we can go to bed!".
(they were around 7-8).

One remarkable story is from when she was three years old.
My dad asked her:
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
To which she replied:
"I want to work in an office where you draw houses for people" (this is more or less what she said)
Well.  19 years later she graduated from college in Minneapolis with a diploma that let her do just that.
Remember, she grew up in Sweden and figured out, more or less by herself, how to make it possible to attend college in the States.
So, she drew houses.  And successfully so.
People would ask for "The Swedish girl" to do their drawings.

Then she got married and God blessed their marriage with a little boy.
I told her, while she was pregnant, to be prepared to become restless as a stay at home mom.
She didn't think that was going to happen, but I still told her that, just in case that day comes, don't feel bad if you want to work part time.  Knowing her busy, creative mind, I could see her brain burning from not getting enough use.
Well.  Little baby boy wasn't old before she drew houses part time again.
When the little boy was 1 1/2 they were blessed with a little girl, and mom had to slow down a bit.

Fast forward 6 years in time.
This dear sister is now a mother of 5.
You'd think by now she'd be busy enough, or just simply not have the time anymore, to create etc.
This girl is busier than ever!
She's gone from drawing houses to designing fabrics on www.spoonflower.com
She has been very successful with the designs, and she branched out by making baby/children's clothing from the designs that she got printed.
Now she has a growing business on www.etsy.com, she's been featured in magazines, had her clothing design printed in a book, been contacted from many different places that are interested in her stuff.

This girl is definitely going places!!!
I will share a link to her blog where she shares her creativity, designs and clothes, and links to her store etc.
Pellerina Design

"Fnill" (that's her childhood nick name), God bless your success.  I am so proud of you, and thankful that you are able to do these things that you truly love, on top of being a great mom and wife.
Just had to write this for you.... please don't shoot me.

Oh yeah, maybe the thing I love the most about her is how humble she is about her talent.
She honestly, truly never, ever does anything to draw attention to herself.
(if she was already good at that, I wouldn't have bothered writing this post!)

"Oh, the places you'll go!"
I can't wait to sit on the sidelines and just watch!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Work for Hubby

First of all, thanks for all the kind words and well wishes after my last post.
I have enough symptoms too feel pregnant.  I usually need to crash on the couch for a while in the afternoon and smells and the thought of cooking makes me feel sick...
I take all the signs as good signs though.
Last time I had very few symptoms that quickly went away, and no baby ever came.
I really hope and pray for a different outcome this time around.

Well, what else?
Hubby has been job hunting and today (Saturday morning), he started working 2 1/2 hours from home.  7 days a week, 12 hour days.
SO..... All of a sudden I'm a single mom!!
It did not feel too cool for either of us that he has to be gone like that, but since nothing else was on the radar right now, we figured it's better to take a job that's inconvenient rather than not working at all.

Our house is slowly getting a bit more organized and kids are adjusting well to school.
Now when hubby's gone during the weeks and it's only little guy and I at home, we'll try to stay busy together.  Trips to the pumpkin patch, playground, library and friends house will be fun.
We are still enjoying temperatures in the low 20-ies (Celcius) and it's been sunny as well, so it's like summer! :)

Anyway, not too much else to report for now.  Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A secret traveler...

When we left Finland we didn't know there was an unknown traveler on the plane.
Nobody else knew about this person either.
Well hidden, in a very nice and safe spot, this being got to come along for the ride.
Only God knew.

The first week and a half back in Canada was a blur of activity, and despite being jet-lagged I had a surprising amount of energy.
Then some afternoons I just crashed.
Like beyond tired, tired.
Could not keep my eyes open even with match sticks.
I figured the last few months activity finally caught up with me, and my body took the chance to relax.

I felt quite spaced out too.  It was very hard to focus on the stuff that needed to get done, but with such a long list to check off, I didn't pay too much attention to that either, who can always be 100% focused?

Well.  Then the signs became more obvious and I swung by the dollar store for some cheap tests.
Right away one showed positive, and also the next one.
Yes.  I am pregnant.
And if this time all goes well, we are looking forward to welcoming our little Finnish souvenir in early May.
Thankfully I have a lot of symptoms this time (which also is kind of tiring) so I take that as a good sign that this time the baby will be healthy!

We told the kids last week in a fun way.
I had written the words "Our mom is having a baby" on 6 pieces of paper, then put the folded pieces in to zip-lock bags that I marked with numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7.
I hid the bags in the living room and then the kids had to find "their" bag.
The oldest got bag #1 the 2nd bag #2 etc.
Daughter #5 didn't have a bag, so she got to read the announcement when they were all done finding their bags and had lined up in order of age of the couch.
They opened the bags and held up their word, facing away from them, so #5 was able to read the message.
She's 7, so it was very special for her to be the one reading it out.
They were so excited and I loved seeing their expressions when the message sank in :)

So, yet another thing happening in this household!
I'll keep you up to date with the progress and this time we are REALLY hoping things work out!
3rd time is a charm, right?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Winds of change

Yes fine folks.
Lot's of changes in our lives indeed.

New house, we are renting an old house consisting of 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, (only one shower), kitchen, dining room and living room.  There's an old basement where I do laundry and where we keep stuff, but not anywhere where you'd want to hang out for fun!
Nothing fancy, but the yard is large with beautiful trees, so we are fine here for a while.
We also found a few vehicles, a big one that we all fit in and a mini-van for a second car.
Our stuff arrived from overseas 2 days ago, so now we finally have some furniture and LOTS of boxes all over the house.

The first 2 weeks were busy, busy here.
There were so many things to take care of.
New drivers licences.
Update banking stuff.
Looking at one rental, turning it down.
Finding another rental.
Driving for hours and hours trying to find vehicles.
Signing 7 kids up for school.
Getting cell phones.
Getting home phone and internet.
Arranging insurance for cars, house and medical (until our Canadian one kicks in)
Buying all sorts of stuff that you need right away, like food, vacuum cleaner, coffee maker, computer, back to school stuff, sneakers, garbage cans, cleaning products, washer and dryer, iron.... etc etc
Running all sorts of other errands and every once in a while trying to catch our breath.

We have had time to be gone one weekend to attend a special friend's beautiful wedding.
We've also had time to see lots of old friends, gone to church, visited friends, gone to the old park etc

Things are slowly falling in to place.
Our youngest guy (who'll be 4 in 5 weeks) started Jr Kindergarten, but we felt that he's simply not ready yet, so we'll be keeping him at home for another year.
He told me after trying for a week
"Mamma, school was too hard for me!"
They go every day, full day. (6 hours)
Quite the change from always being at home with me!
Pair that up with all the other changes in his life lately...
No thanks.  Stay home with me little guy, we'll never have this time back.

Dear Hubby has been busy with paper work on top of everything else, but now things seem to slow down a bit and he's really itching to work.
It's been really nice for him to have this time off until we got ourselves in order (kind of), but now we hope and pray that a job opportunity will arise soon!
(he has a few things on the go, but nothing for sure yet)

That was a brief summary of how things have gone so far.
Tomorrow will be one month since arriving here!
Can't believe it.
It feels so normal to be here, but I find myself missing friends from overseas as well as little "things" that are different that I really appreciated there.
Today I mowed our lawn (we have LOTS of grass to cut), and it was a beautiful fall day here.
A bit over 20 C, sunny and humid.
The way I like fall to be :)
My feelings keep colliding when I realize how much I have missed things from here and now am able to enjoy them, but at the same time I miss things from overseas...
Well, it just makes my heart twice as full I guess :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Greetings from Canada!

Ok.  Here's attempt number two at writing my first post after returning back to Canada.
I tried to write one on my phone the other day, and well, it flopped.
So, now we have a computer set up and internet working, meaning that I again can blog with ease.

Where to begin?
We left Finland quite wiped, physically and mentally, and I can honestly say that I was too tired to really have any strong emotions.  We had a long trip ahead of us, with 2 layovers, and a 7 hour time change, so when we took off in Helsinki I felt pretty neutral.
Not bawling, but not either grinning like an idiot.
What brought a huge smile to my face however, was watching my husband and little guy.
Our almost 4-year old son, sitting at the air-plane window, with his dad next to him...
Well, that sure made me smile and tear up all at ones.
Our little guy was pumped to be on the plane.  For months we had talked about the big plane, even showed video clips of take off and landing etc, so he was well prepared and very excited.
So yeah, watching his face as we took off, seeing all sorts of emotions wash over his face, and then noticing that my hubby with tears in his eyes proudly watching his son's reaction.

We had layovers on Iceland and then in Halifax.  The flights themselves went amazingly well, the weather was perfect and I dare say our kids were too.
We almost missed our flight from Halifax.  They literally had our boarding cards printed for us, waiting to run us through security, VIP-like, to our flight that was scheduled to leave at 10.05 pm.  We made it on the plane just past 10.00 pm.... Whew!!
I still can't believe they did that.  I bet they rather not have 9 people miss their plane...
We were late because our overseas flight was behind schedule, and then we had to go through customs, get all 15 pieces of luggage, go through secondary (since we were moving back to Canada and this was our first point of entry), then dash through the air-port and check in our luggage again...
We got to the check-in at 9.55 pm.... (10 min before departure)

So, amazingly enough we landed in Toronto as scheduled, but our luggage didn't.
So after being awake for more than 24 hours, I had to recall all 15 pieces of luggage to file a report.
The kids were border line comatose at this point.
Then we needed to find a shuttle to the hotel.
Through the terminal with all the kids, down one level, walk, walk, walk... only to find that the shuttle service to our hotel ended at 10.30 pm (It was 1 am at this point).
Soooo.  Backtrack.  Upstairs and walk, walk, walk to where the taxis were running.
We needed a mini-van and a regular car to bring us to the hotel.  (it was actually a good thing we didn't have our luggage since we probably would have needed a 3rd taxi for that!!, and thankfully all our luggage arrived at the hotel the following day)

As we arrived at the hotel with our sleepy bunch we were met by a super friendly receptionist.
She grabbed some muffins from the kitchen and offered everyone free water bottles, figuring we were hungry.  She was right.  After having our late night snack we finally were able to go to bed around 2 am.
Aaaaah.  Man did that ever feel GOOD!! ( = 9 am in Finland, we'd been up since 7 am the day before)

The next morning the kids couldn't believe how warm it was.  We had left a fall like Finland, and arrived in a very much summer like Canada.  It was around +30 C, and humid.
We enjoyed a yummy breakfast, and it was fun to watch our youngest two as they realized that they were able to understand what everyone else were saying!!
Which reminds me of what our 1st grader said after her first day back in school here
"Nobody spoke Finnish all day, not even a little bit!"

Anyway, this is getting long.
I will write another post soon, but I mostly wanted you all to know that we are safely back HOME.
And yes, It feels very much like home.  I had been worried that it would feel different being back, and that I'd regret moving again... But already on our drive down from Toronto, the closer we got, the more "home like" it felt.  I am thankful to say that this was the right decision for us.

Friday, August 16, 2013

An eye opener

I feel like I keep sliding forward on a banana peel!, trying to keep my balance with a crazy grin on my face and my brain in a jumbled mess.

In the last 2 weeks we have packed our overseas shipping container.
We got it sent away with whatever we thought we wanted to keep and some extra stuff.
(for example: LOTS of Finnish candy!)
I hope no pirates get to it...
The day after we cleaned and moved out of our house and drove to Helsinki to catch the ferry at 5 pm the same afternoon (a 3 hour drive).... all in one breath.
The night before we were up to past 2 am, and enjoyed our last sauna in our house, somewhat awake.
At 1 am I realized that we had waaaaay too much luggage to fit in our Suburban for our Sweden trip, so the oldest girls and I repacked all of them and split things up so that we shared space and could leave half of the luggage behind.
I honestly don't remember much of what I packed, so my dear hubby had an interesting selection to choose from... (he was busy with construction btw, in case somebody had the urge to blast him for not packing his own stuff!)
When we left our house I was quite wiped.  And realizing that "it's over"... made me cry.
It was very bittersweet moving out.  I really didn't have time to dwell on emotions while packing and cleaning, but just below the surface there was pain.  That house was special in so many ways.  It started on a piece of paper and I did most of the designing and it was build by my husbands own hands.  A special experience for sure.
We made it to the ferry and exhaled.
We did it.
We moved to Finland.
We built a house here.
We got the experience we were looking for.... and on paper it looks pretty good.
Kind of like "Wow, did things ever work out well for them!"
What happened behind the scenes and the journey to this point is what many forget.
We have had some trying times in many ways.
I suffered two miscarriages, we struggled with money and well, things did NOT go as planned in many ways.
There were many, many, many hours of planning, organizing and hard work.

But at the end of the day I feel thankful.
Things went the way they were meant to go.
On the day we closed on our house this became especially clear to Hubby and I.
For the first time in our married life we are economically ahead.  
Not in a crazy "we are officially sickly rich" way, but in a way where we for a while don't have to worry every month how we are gonna make ends meet.
To "celebrate" we went out for lunch and took a brief break before going back home to our chores.
As we sat there I got a real eye opener.
Before that day we already had it all.
We had a beautiful, happy marriage.
We had healthy, fun, crazy kids with whom we have great relationships.
We share the same faith in our hearts.
We have true friends.  Lots of them.  In many countries.
We are cared for in all ways that matters, and to this day God has kept his promise to provide for each day. Not one day have we gone "without".
It became so clear to me that when our bank account was below zero, we still had it all.
We didn't change or became happier after closing on the house.
The quality of our life did not drastically improve.

And after realizing this.... I felt a huge sense of thankfulness.
No matter what tomorrow brings, we have it all.
And the things that matter are things without price tags.

We spent a wonderful week in Sweden and it was so nice to see my parents and one of my sisters.
We also spent a few nights with one of my cousins and her family.
Coming back to Finland meant yet again rolling up the sleeves.
There are so many places to go to and things to take care of before moving overseas.
I will not bore you with a list, but today hubby and I spent 6-7 hours running errands!!
Felt good to get a bunch done though.

This last week we have also had time to stop and enjoy some time with friends.
On two occasions we have visited friends where many people have gathered to bid us farewell.
It's a good reminder of the good things this move brought.
These friendships will last and they are true and strong.
It's hard and sad to leave so many dear friends behind, but it also brings me great joy knowing that we are so loved and cared for.  Maybe I need a lot of approval, but I can't help appreciating feeling loved.  If any of you guys read this, Thank you.  Thank you for being there.  Thank you for listening to my complaints and frustrations.  Thank you for being patient and a good listener.
I feel so very blessed, and I think I am speaking for my whole family.
And to all you Scandinavian friends: "Welcome to Canada!"

Monday, July 29, 2013

Dear Finland...

I need to write a little letter to this great country that has been our home for the last 3 years.
First I have to compliment you on your clean, fresh and beautiful nature.
I LOVE the tall birch trees stretched up against that blue, blue sky.
I often stop at the top of our stairs and just look outside.
I love the wild untamed nature.  It brings peace inside me.
I love walking along the many, many trails that criss-cross through the woods.
Soft, quiet and peaceful trails.
I love the wild berries that we have enjoyed picking and eating.
Blueberries, wild strawberries and huge, beautiful raspberries.
I am so thankful that our kids have gotten to experience this.
They have learned to cross country ski and they have skated hours and hours on some of the many public rinks.
We have cooled ourselves in the clean, clear lakes.
We have enjoyed wood burning sauna's at the edge of the lakes.

Sigh.  I will miss these things will all my heart.
When the summers are nice here they are absolutely gorgeous.
I will even miss the dark winter nights... yeah.  I actually will.
Even when it's so cold that your car struggles to start and no amount of clothes will keep you warm.
Those winter nights.  Nights that are lit up with billions of stars on a velvety night sky.
So, so beautiful.
I will miss sitting on the couch in front of a hot fireplace, filled with snapping birch logs.
And the spring time, I will miss that too.
When it's cold and the sky is icy-blue and the pine trees are heavy with snow.... and the birch trees sparkle from all the frost.  It's breath taking.
At the end of summer, when the forest is full of mushrooms and lingonberries and the trees turn bright like fire.  Then the first snowfall...

Dear Finland.  You have tought me so much.
You are quiet and you have a fun sense of humor.
You don't waste your words.  You are honest and you don't try to impress.
I don't understand you.  Neither the language or the silence, but I still like it for being you.
I appreciate your old history and deep roots.
Some of the food I eat here I enjoy immensely!
Especially the candy... and the Finnish strawberries...and chocolate...and bread....

I will miss you.  We will miss you.
This is the country my dad was born in and I recognize myself in the people here.
I am impatient but quick to forgive, very much like the people of Karjala.
I am full of life and love and get frustrated easily... I can see that in many of your people here.
It's been humbling and neat to see where some of "me" stems from.
Other parts I don't recognize, and that's OK.
I feel that I have gotten to know myself better somehow.
I have learned so much about so many things, lessons I would not want to be without.
I know what it's like to be an immigrant.
When you lean on your kids for help with translating and placing phone calls.
I know what it's like to sit through hours of parent/teacher meetings without understanding much at all.
(Dear Hubby translates later, but in the moment, I often miss out)
I have learned to be the quiet one in the corner. (you who know me will get a chuckle of this!!)
I have been recognized as a shy person (more chuckle)
It's been so good and so humbling.
My respect for people who move to new countries, for whatever reason, to start a new life, has increased a lot.
For me it has not been easy and it will feel amazing to again sit in a room where I know what everyone is saying, where I "get it", where I'll again laugh when everybody else do (not after getting translation).
I am looking forward to lift up the phone to call the Dr, dentist, school etc, knowing that there'll be a mutual language.

Dear Finland.  Thank you.  Thank you for your quiet love and care.
I also thank God for giving us this opportunity.
I feel like several layers of who I was has been peeled away, and I think I like the "new" me a bit more.
I will cry when we leave you behind, headed for new adventures in Canada...
I will miss many of our friends and I will miss being in Scandinavia.
I am from this soil.  The Nordic countries are my home countries.
In North America I sometimes feel foreign too, but that's the land where our kids belong.
And I feel belonging there through them.

Dear Finland.... take care, till we meet again.

Friday, July 19, 2013

We are coming!

Yesterday our house passed the inspection with no problems to report.
Very thankful for that.
That was the last "hurdle" to get out of the way before we dared to book tickets.
(just in case the sale would fall through-you can never be too careful!)
SOOO! Late last night we finally made our reservations!
We had kids jumping up and down, pumping their fists in the air


Hubby and I are definitely getting older and more mature, since although we feel excited as well, we mostly feel thankfulness.  It feels so amazing, humbling and GOOD when God is on your side, guiding the way.
I am impatient and I have wanted to book those dumb tickets for weeks now, but I had to keep reminding myself that, God willing, we'd still get the good deal i had found a few weeks down the road...
We BARELY got the good deal, but we DID get it!!
With 9 people who need a ticket each, the price changes drastically with even a small jump in price.
Another step in the right direction.

Last Sunday we were gathered at my cousin's house, together with my cousin's older brother and family, my oldest sister, her hubby and 3 kids as well as some other friends.  One of my cousin's said some really nice words for us to remember, and they came from his heart and went straight to ours.
The one line I remembered the best was
"Even if you came here with a large family, you were small enough to fit in my heart, and now when you are leaving you have grown so big, that you no longer can escape my heart!"
I had tears pretty much flooding the living room floor.
Oh, how I will miss many of my relatives and friends here.
We have experienced so much love and care.
We are so fortunate to have friends like those, and fortunate to know that we have more friends, just as loving, where we are going.
How very blessed we are.

Our house is looking like a storage room for cardboard boxes.
The piles are being stacked higher and higher, while shelves and cupboards are looking more and more bare.
It's exciting to think about where all those, now packed, belongings will be UNpacked next!
We have a rental lined up, and I know where it's located (a very short walk from our old house), but I don't "know" the house or what it looks like inside!
It's getting a fresh coat of paint inside, so that's nice, and I know it has 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, a large living room and yard.  I know it's old and kind of ugly looking from the outside.
But just like when I move to Canada the first time, 16 years ago, I don't know what it looks like inside.
When I got married my hubby had leased an apartment for us, so when he brought his new bride there for the fist time, I had no clue what my new home looked like!
This is the same feeling, and we are all excited about seeing our new place for the first time!

Well, I sure have things to do to keep me out of trouble.
I just had to share these exciting news!  If all goes well we'll be arriving in Canada late Aug 20th!
Can't wait to see you all!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Life is good, God is great.

I need to stop.
Take a break.
Take a deep breath... and REACT!
My eyes fill with tears.
I stop and think.  I'm looking back a few months in time.
No... not even.  A few weeks actually.
A few weeks ago I was standing at the edge.  You look down, but your mind can't comprehend the depth.
You look up, and the depth of the height makes your head spin.
You know that you have to take the step in order for something to happen, and in your heart you don't have a choice, but not knowing if your wings will carry you, not knowing if you might fall, makes you hesitate.

A bit over a year ago I woke up one morning "knowing" that I needed to move back to Canada.
Back home.
A homesickness took hold of me so strong that it made my gut tingle.
16 more months I pictured in my head.
I knew for several reasons why it could not happen sooner.
16 months sounded so soon and so very far away.
I wanted to make the best of that time, knowing that if we move back, our time here is over.
Our adventure would come to an end.
Of course we can come back to visit, and we'll happily do so.
But living here would be but a memory.
It hasn't been easy making the best out of it.
It has actually been pretty hard.
I suffered a second miscarriage, work was very up and down and well, I was homesick.
But looking back I still feel happy with how it went.
15 months have past.
It's actually a bit sad, because the finishing line is getting really close and they say the journey is the best part.
The nice thing is that another journey is about to start.

I wish I had time to FEEL, think, react etc, but mostly my mind is on auto-pilot.
I get up early and go to bed late.
Between Hubby and I we are becoming pretty good at this "overseas moving business".
But it's also crazy, stressful and overwhelming.
We bought a little notepad that's divided in to different sections.
We'd forget half the things we need to do if we didn't write things down.
And of course there's a lot that we forget to write down in the first place!!
But... when things are meant to be they are meant to be.
And then God arranges all the practical matters in the most amazing of ways.
There have been several things that have fallen in to place in ways I would have never imagined.
All you can do is stop and stare in awe.
And in the evening when I say the prayers with the kids, and in the morning before I leave my bed, a sigh goes from my heart to God.
I hope he hears my humble cry, my attempt to show thankfulness and gratitude.
It hasn't been easy getting to this point.
We've actually had many bumps and heavy moments.
Maybe that's why it's so easy to believe that the way things are going is the way they are meant to go.
I can feel myself sinking in to God's comforting care.

With tear filled eyes I remember words of comfort from here and from overseas.
I am nervous and a bit scared about moving back.
But it also feels right.
Our house is sold, (not officially on paper yet, but it's more or less a done deal).
We've lined up a house to rent overseas.
There's a possible new job opportunity for my Hubby. (waiting for details)
The moving container is lined up (more or less)
There are boxes all over the house and I have tossed a TON of junk!
And there's still a TON of stuff to do...
We were standing at the edge a few weeks ago.
Now the leap has been taken.
And it feels like we are soaring....

Monday, July 8, 2013

Life's a roller-coaster!

Where to start??
I'll do the announcements first.
Let's just say that June 15th, 2013, will go down in history for us.
For 80 years June 15th has been my hubby's great aunts birthday (so she obviously turned 80 this year).
Happy Birthday to her!!
June 15th also brought a new life to my family as one ended.

We'll honor my hubby's grandma and mention her first.
On June 15th, around noon, Dear Maija Mummi got to move home to her Heavenly home.
She was reunited with her husband whom she lost more than 40 years ago.
This beautiful little lady raised 6 children on her own after their dad passed away at age 43.
Those children turned in to a close knit bunch, and as their mother grew old they tended to her in the most loving way.  Her many years of lonely work paid off and their love for their mother is a beautiful example of how it SHOULD be!  Two of her sons came and visited her at the old folks home EVERY day.
They made sure her medicines were taken and made sure she ate her food.
After she suffered several strokes they spoon fed her patiently.
At the end she didn't even open her eyes, she hadn't said anything for months and we could see her wilt away.  Still, those kids took care of her just as lovingly as ever.
The last few weeks leading up to her death we saw her fade away.
It wasn't hard to see her go.
She peacefully slipped away, holding one of her son's hands.
Goodbye Maija Mummi, you left a beautiful memory and you will be remembered fondly.

On the same day as we bid her farewell, I also greeted a new niece welcome to the world.
This little miracle was born to my younger sister and husband.
After 12 years of marriage they became BIOLOGICAL parents for the first time.
Last summer they became PARENTS for the first time when they welcomed a little boy in to their family as their own.  He was only a few months old when my sister realized that she was expecting a baby!
A healthy baby girl arrived when their son was almost 11 months old.
Congratulations to their whole family, we are so very happy for you all :)

So, there's one more event that took place on that great day.
God found a buyer for our house!
I won't bore you with the details, but we sure feel that this was guided from above.
When things are meant to be they sure happen in amazing ways.
If all goes well our house will have a new family living here by August 6th.
So... Life. Is. BUSY!!!'
In other words, being on the computer blogging will not be one of my priorities!

I'll you all know when we are flying back though! (should be towards the end of August)
We want to visit Sweden a last time before we move and well, there'll be all sorts of things to "finish up" around here before we can catch a plane.
Right now we are packing, finishing up the house, lining up a moving container, finding tickets, looking for a house to rent or buy, organizing work overseas.... etc etc etc.

Life is calling - I'll catch you later!
Oh, you might wonder how we feel about moving??
Thankful, excited, sad, relieved, overwhelmed, nervous, happy.... you get the picture.

Friday, June 14, 2013

A little something

No, no news.  Just need to write a little just because.
Today is our 16th Wedding Anniversary, Congrats to us :)
We woke up to the smell of coffee and clinking sounds from the kitchen.
Our two teens had gotten up at 6am (*on summer break*) to prep a lovely breakfast for two, complete with thoughtfully written notes as well as a nice gift for us.
(Thanks girls, you are amazing :)

We sure have had another eventful year behind us and I can only imagine what this next one will hold!
One thing I know, our love will grow even stronger and no matter what, we'll be there for each other.
I know I am truly blessed and feel so very fortunate for the life I have.
There are some things in my life that I am not content with at the moment, but when I think of what really matters, I have it all.

So what else??
This week we are getting our yard done. Finally!!!
We've lived on the beach for the last 3 summers, without the water...
In other words, our whole house is surrounded by SAND!!
And large parts of our floors are covered in it...
So yeah, getting some gravel in the driveway and dirt/topsoil elsewhere (that we'll seed asap) will be wonderful.  And it will obviously make the yard LOOK nicer too.

Our only vehichle is acting up (only runs in 2nd gear, so at least we won't be getting any speeding tickets), so that's been an added stress.  The part is on its way though so Hubby should have it taken care of soon.

We had some really beautiful weather here in May and early June, and the nature here is truly breathtaking. TONS of wildflowers, birds and green, green nature.  I love taking walks in the woods, it does wonders for my nerves.  I am honestly pretty worn out mentally and some days are hard.  It does make it easier to be humble and leave it all in God's hands though, that's for sure.
Selling a house when you feel pressed for time is stressful.
But, when the time is right things will work out the way they are meant to go.
Sounds so cliche, but what else can I say??

Well, nothing else to add at this time, I hope you are all enjoying this wonderful time of the year.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Photo Bomb!!

Since I don't have any earth shaking news to share, I'll share some pictures instead!
Here's a glimps from our day to day life lately... Hope you enjoy!

On April 19th Mr had a Birthday.  We went out to eat (just the 2 of us) and came back to a lovely surprise.
The kids had cleaned the house real nice and even dressed up in nice clothes and set the table beautifully.
They all helped decorate cupcakes and added little signs to them that my oldest and 2 youngest made earlier during the day. On each sign there was a picture of something that my Hubby likes, such a fun and sweet idea! Thanks kids! You guys are pretty awesome :)

Here are the cupcakes up close...

Our September babies!  (almost 14 and 6)

And we had birthdays in February!

Beautiful sunset over the pond close to our house

This was at the end of April and the ice was just breaking up

May 1st is a day off.  It's Scandinavias Labour day.
We hung out in the beautiful spring sun and I burnt a TON of scrap wood in our backyard!

Hubby spent the day up high!

Our 3rd daughter LOVES woodwork and here she's building a bench!

Time for a break!

Not the greatest picture of me, but I just LOVE that blue blue sky!

"Tussilago" a true sign of spring!  Little yellow flowers everywhere!  So pretty!
(not to be confused with dandylions!)

Little Guy is helping out with dad's work while eating his lunch! :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A great plan!

I have a plan.
Actually not just me, my husband and kids are with me as well.
Our plan is to sell our house.  And our cars.  And anything you plug in to an outlet.
And lots of other stuff.
Soon.  Actually, not soon enough if you ask us in our impatient state of mind.
Then when those little tasks are out of the way, we'll move to the next step of our plan.
Packing up whatever belongings we still need and like enough to make it with us to the next stop in our lives.
Then we need to organize a way of shipping those earthly possesions across the pond, aka The Atlantic Ocean.  There'll be few other random bits and pieces of activity going on at the sidelines, you know "life in general", as well as buying plane tickets for 9 people and other stuff that'll keep us out of trouble.

Oh yeah, and then when we get there we need to find a suitable pad to call home (rent or buy??), buy some new wheels to transport us all in, sign all those kids up for schools and well, you know, keep living on the other side of above mentioned pond.

Yepp.  That's our plan.
(now it's appropriate to chuckle a bit and roll your eyes at the computer/phone)

Now, here's the little part that makes these plans a bit tricky.
I can't MAKE these things happen.
This might come as a shock (I feel rather surprised too!), but that's the truth.
Even if I think our plan is flawless and I know how to line all the ducks up just so, it is NOT me who's in charge (unless it comes down to getting kids to bed or food on the table and a load of laundry out of the way)
I need to humbly remember that even when my plan is not going MY way, God's plan is still going HIS way.
It's rather comforting actually to know that I don't NEED to be in charge.
I don't have to regret anything, because whatever happens is what is supposed to happen and God does not make mistakes.
The hard part is to remember that I need to stay in line and do my thing and let God lead the way at HIS pace in HIS time.

Times like this is when there's only one set of footprints in the sand.
It's times like this that you know that God is indeed carrying us.
When I feel frustrated, confused, sad, annoyed, mad... He's there holding me.
Lifting me up and leading me to where I should be at this moment.
I lament to my friends and family, and thankfully they listen and are there to encourage and support me.
I feel the prayers and love.
Thank you, you know who you are.
And thank you God for keeping me humble, it sure makes it easier to trust in Your plan rather than mine...
And that is a great plan indeed.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The waiting game...

A few more weeks galloped by.
Time spent working on our house, celebrating Easter, holding our first open house and watching the snow s-l-o-w-l-y melt.  Yesterday we got the first rain of the year!
It's wierd to see, feel and hear rain again after 5 months of NO rain!
I hope it helps the snow leave in order to make room for spring and, maybe at some point, summer!!
The evenings are light late now and the younger kids never learn that YES it is still light but YES it IS your bedtime!!  They think I'm tricking them trying to get them to bed too early :)
I wish.

Easter was nice and relaxing.  A few days off from everything is always appreaciated.
We ate good food and the kids enjoyed some candy and chocolates.
Ok... the grown-ups did too.

Our first open house went ok.  Here they only last 30 min (versus the normal 2 hrs in Canada/USA), so only 3 different groups showed up.
No offers as of now.  This weekend we'll hold our 2nd open house, so I can't help but hoping for something to happen.
Lately my feelings and emotions have been all over the place.
The thought of our house selling and us moving back to Canada gives me butterflies in my belly.
The thought of us staying here (if the house doesn't sell) is hard to accept.
There are a lot of things I could explain around these feelings, but basically it comes down to me and the family wanting to move back home.
It doesn't make things here bad in any way, it just means that we feel done with our adventure here.
Since all the kids and hubby and I are all on the same page, wishing for the same outcome, it's hard to be patient.  I DO trust that God will lead us down the right path and the way things go are the way they are meant to be.
It's just hard to accept the thought that God's plan might be different than ours!!
Hence, feelings all over the place...

Also, I way rather have my hands full and lots of action than this "waiting game".
God sure knows how to test and try me to keep me humble here on earth.
If things went too smoothly I might start thinking that I actually figured something out by myself!!
This way I know that he will lead the way and I don't have to feel foolish about my own attempts at knowing what's best for me and my family.
The hard part is to remember this throughout the days...
I get impatient and frustrated fast.

So... I guess here I am.  Waiting for something to happen... so that I hopefully soon will have news to share with you!
While we wait I'll share some pictures!

Hubby with his Mini Me.
Both with a screw between their lips, building the sauna

Our 5th daughter turned 7 in February.
Oldest sister made a cute cake :)

SPA-night in the shower room.

Stairs before...

Stairs after!! (covered with birch)

I love the nature right in our backyard!


Better be comfortable when you have a snack!


Changing room for sauna

Laundry room

Monday, March 25, 2013

Day by Day...

My writing cap hasn't been sitting right on my head lately.
There's so much I could write about, but it feels like I'd be sharing my "to do list" if I shared what my life consists of lately, and since that sounds rather drab, I figured I had to wait for inspiration.

I've been cleaning out cupboards and closets and boxes and you name it.
I've sold a bunch of toys at a consignment store as well as donated a lot of STUFF to the Red Cross store.
I LOVE getting rid of things.
It's very liberating.
When we moved here I know I brought way too many things from Canada, but then we had a huge container with both our vehichles in it, so it didn't really matter if some junk came along.
However, whenever we go back now we'll only bring our bare essentials, so a lot of stuff need to go.
Coming here our youngest three were toddlers/babies, so many things we brought for them we don't need anymore. 
Wierd.  I'm selling all of our baby stuff (besides my favourite keepsakes that I just can't part with).
No more highchairs, walkers, pack and plays, baby toys, bouncers, swings etc.
I notice when we go places now how easy it is.
No bottles, pacifires, diapers, baby food, wipes, clothes and so on.
Just get the kids out the door after making sure they use the bathroom, of course.
Even our little guy dresses himself.  I am not as needed any more.
Not in the same way at least.

On Wednesday this week it will be my due-date with Moon (the baby I miscarried at 10 weeks last fall).
I noticed that the moon will be full on the same day... Neat eh??
Thinking of what could have been is a good reminder for me right now.
My life is in high gear and we are working hard to get another overseas move under our belts.
But when I take a moment and let myself dig a bit deeper inside myself, I realize that my heart sometimes is bleeding still.  There are two aching spots for two babies that we never got to meet here on earth.
2 years in a row I was due this week.
It wasn't meant to be, and I am thankful to God for lending me those angels for even such a short time.
Sometimes I miss what could have been.
Especially when I am now in the process of departing with many of the items that were once full of sticky baby faces, laughs, tears and poopy diapers.
It's bittersweet.

My sister-in-law just had a baby a month ago.  We've had all our other babies together.
It's soooo wierd that I'm not there with here.
Sharing in the fun of a new little person.
I can't wait to see her!!

Well... Life goes on and I'm often reminded of how lucky I am in so many ways.
A month ago 2 of my sisters came for a visit!!
That was sooo nice and we had some really special days together.
First came my younger sister with her little baby, he's sooo sweet!!
Then my older sister (who I was the closest to growing up) came.
The two of us hadn't seen each other for almost 8 years!!!
She had never seen 5 of our kids at all!
One of them is her godchild, who is born on the same day as her and carries her name as well.
I am so very thankful that they both made it here
(Thanks again!!)
They spoiled me with good long talks, memories and laughter as well as with food and some things for our house.  Sisters are truly awesome :)  Especially mine!!

What else???  Well. 
In a few weeks we are having an open house, so I pray that God might have someone lined up that likes our house!  We've got a lot of work done around here lately as well, and I've even been able to help Hubby some!  So much fun and also so great to see this place getting its final touches.
Next time I'll post some pictures.
Until then, Happy Easter everyone :)

Friday, March 8, 2013

A step forward...

Here we go again.  A step towards moving overseas is taken.
3 years ago I was busy drawing, designing and planning our new home in Finland.
3 years ago we were also busy getting our home ready to put up for sale.
Our bellies were full of butterflies and excitement about our future.
What was it gonna be like?  Would the move take place?  How would the house that was just lines on a paper, turn out in real life?

Well.  Those questions are now answered.
We sold that house and we moved to Finland.
We have now lived here for almost 3 years (crazy!) and our life has been so fully packed with "life", that our boxes that we soon might be packing, will be full of memories.
I feel such gratitiude that we've had this experience.
5 of our kids will go back with another language. (our 2 youngest understand and speak some as well)
I have learned so much about myself, I would not want to be without those life lessons.
Hubby feels the same way.  We have grown from experiences and trials and maybe we have become a bit more humble and understanding along the way.

With mixed feelings we are now preparing to move back.
When I met my Hubby I knew very little about Canada.
But marrying him and moving there felt like the most natural thing I've ever done.
I lived in Canada for 13 years and had 7 children there.
Canada became home to me, because this great country is our childrens country of birth.
Most of our memories are stored there and most of our milestones and holidays are celebrated there.
Our kids are ready to go back home.
They can't wait to see their friends!!  Our lives will all of a sudden fast forward 3 years when we return!
There's sadness too though.
As I write this my eyes fill with tears.  Even if nothing is set in stone yet, we already know that moving away from here will be sad and hard.
We have gained some preacious friends.  I have gotten to know many of my hubby's relatives.
We have had beautiful times here as well, and I know our future is permanetly marked by us living here for these years.  Mostly in good ways.

What an amazing opportunity it has been for us, and like a dear friend said when we moved from Canada
"They are going on an adventure!"
Yes.  We went on an adventure.
What a gift this is to our kids.  Despite all the work and stress and inconveniences, what a wonderful gift this will be for our kids to cheirsh when they grow up!
Maybe we'll feel split at times, missing people, places and things from here.
But we will also feel blessed and enriched from the many things we learned along the way.

So... .A big step forward is taken.  Yesterday a real estate agent came over, and we listed our house.
This "project" is now for sale.
It's a bit sentimental actually.  I don't easily get attached to things, but this house started in my hubby's and my brain.  Together we spent hours and hours planning and dreaming.
Together we built it.  It's been such a great experience, and at times crazy and overwhelming.
Now it's up for grabs for someone else.
Maybe someone who will live here for many years to come.
Someone who will create memories inside these walls that we built.

I want to leave it all in God's hands.  I want to pray that I accept His plan and that I get strength to understand if His will is not the same as mine.  And I pray that in about 5 months time we'll be back home.

Here are some pictures of our home - for now!

Front of house


Upstairs hallway



Mr. Bedroom


Back of house