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

Monday, 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.