Family

Life lately: February 2016

We just had a fun week with Marcus’ sister visiting and a good weekend of spending time together. But now everything’s back to normal. Babe’s asleep and I’m spending nap time making phone calls and paying bills and such. Fun!

Went through a ton of our pictures the other day (apparently our computer doesn’t have unlimited space even when it comes to valuable family memories?), and so here’s a few from last month that were just sitting around.

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Family time at Herbert Park

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It’s been rainy for the last couple of days so we’ve spent them indoors eating sandwiches. Today the sun was finally out, daddy was home so we spent the afternoon at the park.

I forget that she’s big enough to appreciate playgrounds now so it was so fun watching her run around, climb up and down and ask to go down the slide over and over. Her shoes kept slipping off and her pants just got muddier but she (more…)

The apartment by the train

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Time has flown by and all of a sudden we’ve been Dubliners for six weeks. We’ve passed through the “settling in and buying bare essentials” phase and are now in the “Etsy-shopping for stuff to put on the walls and realizing we only own three different spices” phase. Today I actually bought dried basil without having a specific use for it in mind. I guess this means we’re not moving out any time soon!

It was with a heavy heart that I accepted the fact that we’d have to settle for a one-bedroom apartment this time and not get the two-beds I’d been hoping for. I can’t even imagine what it’ll be like to have an entire room to put toys and baby clothes in, and then to just shut the door and not find myself sitting on The Hungry Caterpillar when I can finally put my feet up in the evening.
But as it usually goes, after the first month the new unfamiliar place that still smells a bit strange has suddenly turned into your home that couldn’t feel more normal. Time heals, and saves money?

So this is our apartment by the train. At least that’s how I imagine we’ll refer to it in the future. It runs right by our building and only reminds us a few times every hour. It’s the topic of many of our conversations each day. And it has an almost magical influence on our daughter! It has the ability to draw away her attention from anything she could be doing, eating, playing, being changed or even crying. It instantly makes her forget time and place. There is only her.. and that train.

Usually I’ll hear it first, a faint building rumble in the distance. It gives me just enough of a head start to turn and watch my daughter’s eyes go blank, grow huge and dart to meet mine. Next will follow the almost unnoticed crash of whatever she dropped to the floor in astonishment. She’ll stick around only long enough to whisper, “toh, toh!” before she’ll run to the window and spend a few silent moments watching the green flash by. Finally she raises her hand, waves and says, “bye-bye” as the train disappears around the corner.

Many many times every day.

I mean, #childhoodunplugged suddenly got a lot more realistic!

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Bye-bye, train!

Herbert Park and back-and-forthsies

It is day 10 in Dublin and we’re still doing good. We’re planning to do an IKEA run this week to get the last essentials and then we’re good to move into our apartment! So the last few days us girls have been nomading back and forth between our hotel room and our apartment. Sleeping, showering and breakfasting at the hotel, then unpacking and cleaning at the apartment the rest of the day.

It’s great that we’ll be able to move into a fully equipped and unpacked home but the lack of routine and her own bed to sleep in, needless to say, Our baby girl’s sleeping habits are all .. non-existent. Yesterday she was lifeless almost until noon so I decided to defy the icy winds and take her to a park to run around.

So we walked to Herbert Park in Ballsbridge. In my opinion so far, Dublin’s parks are one of the nicest features of the city. Although Herbert Park may not be considered one of the old downtown parks it’s still so nice and pretty and clean. We got to run around in the grass and then we went and found a duck pond that was full of so many birds. We were both pretty excited.
After that it was back to our apartment and guess who dozed off before we were even half way.

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Dublin is so greeeeen – in January!!

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Oh and pigeon stalking…

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Nevermind the mismatched socks – we’re still living out of suitcases.

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Dublin: Week 1

My blogging (holiday) hibernation is over and has awakened in DUBLIN IRELAND!

We’ve been here for about a week now and I think we’ve gone from rock bottom to really starting to love it here. The first day was hard – especially for me I think. It’s easy to be excited about moving somewhere new and starting a new life before the actual move, but once we were here I was just hit by this overwhelming realization that we were lost and alone. Neither of us had really been to Ireland before, we knew no one, and didn’t really know much about anything. Oh the loneliness and homesickness. I’ll just say it, I cried myself to sleep that night.

But I found that it was just a phase to get past, cause the next morning Marcus had his first day at work – which he LOVED, and we started apartment hunting for real. Amazing how action and productivity is so energizing and motivating, isn’t it?

Honestly though, I think one of the things that made me feel loads better right away was the infamous friendliness of the Irish people. It’s all true. I really can’t believe that the Irish aren’t top of the list of the happiest people, cause you’ve GOT to be happy to show that much politeness and happiness around strangers! Or am I just from an incredibly rude country?

So we’re really happy to be here. Thank goodness for Facetime so we can talk to our families all the time otherwise this would probably be a very different story.
We’re moving into our new apartment in just a few days and we’re starting to make some friends here too.

I’d say this could be the beginning of a very exciting chapter of our lives.

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Our first picture in Dublin, lying down on our clean hotel bed after a long morning of traveling. Still smiling!

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The Grand Canal. The water is so clear I wish I had a better camera!

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Uhm, street musicians here are pretty awesome!

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Cockles and mussels! Couldn’t someone have given poor Molly a shawl?

We’re moving to Ireland!

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Yep, you heard right. We’re moving again!

I know – why can’t they just settle down already! – right?

Well, Marcus got an amazing job in Dublin and we’re leaving in January. It’s a great career move for him and is with a company that he’ll absolutely love working for. The last couple of months we’ve been on the edge of our seats hoping against hope that we would get this unbelievable opportunity – how often do you get a chance to live in Ireland?
Our first thought when we realized we were going was how much we hate leaving Stockholm. We have such a good life here close to Marcus’ parents. It’s going to be tough being away from family again.

But we feel really good about it and are sure it’s the right thing to do for our family. It’s going to be scary since we don’t know anyone there and since now that we have a daughter we can’t just fill up our three old suitcases and hop on a plane like we usually do. This time it’ll be very different.

Personally, I think it’s the most exciting move we’ll have done so far. I can’t wait to see what Dublin has in store for our little family!

Somethin’ is brewin’ and bout to begin

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It just turned November and it’s already blurring past us. I think I might actually be able to abstain from listening to Christmas music before time this year.
Big changes are coming for our family and I’m busying myself with picking out side dishes to make for Thanksgiving. This is however a great distraction. You can never prepare too much for the best meal of the year, and the possibilities seem eeeendless! The ones I’m most excited about right now are confetti corn and banoffee pie!

I get out of bed and follow the same routine. Get up at 7, pull on my sweats, change a heavy diaper, whip up breakfast. Wave bye-bye to Marcus, eat breakfast, call my sister, fit in a workout routine before naptime. During naptime I shower, clean up, get myself ready and blog if there’s time. After nap we snuggle in bed, then we have lunch. We go outside, on a walk or to the park. Or both. We go home and clean up and then it’s almost time for Marcus to come home. We meet him at the train, talk on the way home, have dinner, the bedtime shift, take a breath and then we go to bed.
Over and over again. And every time we get one day closer.

You’d think we were pretty used to change by now, and I guess in one sense we are. We know how to not get too attached and how to say ‘come what may’ and really mean it.
But the thing about change is that – well, it’s change. It brings on something new every time. So can you really ever be prepared?

 

Winds in the east, mist coming in. Like somethin’ is brewin’ and bout to begin. Can’t put me finger on what lies in store, But I fear what’s to happen all happened before.

 

I’m really crap at ending blog posts. Especially the blabbering ones like this one. That’s why I cheated and slapped on a relevant quote!

Goodnight!

Time to pray

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We have a lot going on right now in our family and have a lot of decisions to make (It seems like we always do – is that ever gonna stop?). It’s one of those times in adult life when I have the sudden urge to call my parents and ask them to tell me what to do.

Just the other day I was sitting down for a quickly prepared lunch with our little girl and despite her reaching eagerly for the bread I tried to get her to settle down and fold her hands so I could say a prayer to bless the food. I kept it short and skipped through the words to try to finish before her patience would run out and the silence would end. And it made me wonder why I was doing it and if it really was worth it. Would she understand? Even if I thought prayer was important couldn’t I just wait and teach her when she was big enough to understand why?

I pondered that for a few days. The most obvious reason I guessed was that toddlers pick up on everything and learn from example. In just the last couple of weeks, mine has picked up on new words, brushing her hair out and for some reason she always knows when to wave goodbye even before we do or ask her to. All because she pays attention to everything we do! So obviously, if I want for prayer to be a part of her life, now is probably a good time to show her how to.

But I arrived at another conclusion as well – a maybe less obvious one. And it has to do with the reason that I pray myself. I’m sure there may be plenty of reasonable reasons why one should not pray. But one of my main reasons for kneeling down is the feeling that immediately fills the room when I do. Peace. ‘Peace’ is such a short and easily overlooked word. Let’s just take a minute and really think about what it means – especially in an everyday setting with things to do in every direction. A pleasant warm feeling that pushes out worry and stress. That one feeling that we all go our entire lives searching to keep with us.
And in that atmosphere I can shut the world out for a moment and focus on myself. What I’m grateful for and what I really need help with.

I love the person I become when I pray. I become humble and submissive. It becomes easier for me to forget my faults and my pride. And more than anything the things I think I need but maybe really don’t. It makes me feel kinder and full of love. It makes me want to keep praying. To pray for help so I can keep being that person when I open my eyes, stand up and get back to my day. To have that feeling of peace stay with me.

And to share that feeling with my family. My daughter.

That’s why.

If I can teach her anything in life it will be where to turn for peace.


 

I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time – waking and sleeping. It does not change God – it changes me. – CS Lewis

I am the mom

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetMy life is very ordinary now. I’m a stay at home mom like so many before me. I do laundry, clean up toys, change diapers and clean the bathroom. It’s a never ending job and I’ll probably be doing it for a long long time.

But once in a while, when it’s quiet and I can take a break. Like right now, sitting here in the corner. I can take a good look around my cluttered little apartment and realize that I have woken up in a life-size version of a fantasy I imagined over and over again as a kid. I’m playing house.

And I’m the mom.

I managed to get the role I always dreamed of. I have a husband who goes to work, a baby who needs comforting and a home that needs making. This now magical little apartment is my kingdom, and I’m in charge. I’m the mom.

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My white stained couch, the dirty dishes on the counter and the full laundry baskets are colorful little opportunities for me to beautify my realm. They’re my responsibility and I will do them justice. I have the power to make my home as radiant as I want.

It’s also my responsibility to prepare dinner. I can cook whatever I decide. Or maybe I can make something my husband would like. Something that would make him happy after a long day at work. Cause he’s the dad. He’s my husband, he loves me and he’s the dad. I chose a good one to play that role.

My baby girl is crying, she wants me. And I know how to comfort her, because I’m her mom. We can read books, she likes that. Soon when she is older I will teach her to read and write herself. I will teach her good manners and how to be kind and friendly to others. I will teach her to be a good daughter. That’s her role.

Thinking about this makes me smile, I almost feel silly. Because this is my life and it’s not make believe. It’s real and it’s exactly what I wanted – what I always dreamed of. It’s like the floor sparkles a little more when I scrub it, like glitter falls when I dust the shelves. I can see the magic. It comes from living your dream. I got it. I have other dreams now, but none will ever be as big or meaningful as this one. I’m just feeling extremely grateful I guess. Grateful for everything I have, that my dream came true. But especially grateful that I have learned to see the magic even when the dream has become ordinary.

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Best minute of the week

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Today has included seeing friends, family, a road trip, good food and now Marcus offered to take the snooze shift – so I get some quality time with my blawg.

Sunday is my favorite day of the week, since usually it includes all of the above. We get up early, get dressed all nice and pretty. We go to church and hear uplifting messages. We spend a lot of time with our family and have good food. And there’s nothing else that needs to be done.
But my very favorite minute of the entire day sums it all up. It’s so magical it seems the sun is shining indoors and glitter is falling from the sky. It’s that walk through the doors of the church, down the hall and to your seats in the chapel. There’s something about arriving feeling clean, your hair is done and you’re wearing heels. At least that’s a big deal for a my kind of stay at home mom – face is all relaxed like ‘I’ve worn a bun all week!’. We’re not early birds, so by the time we get there the building is full of soft preluding organ music, playing songs we know all too well. We’re met by smiling people. Everyone, even those we don’t know turn and say hi. It’s like a different world. S usually waves at everyone with a scrunched up little smile (if you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen that wrinkled nose a few times by now or?), which buys a few extra grins and ‘hellos’ and glitter. In the chapel we’re met by grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings.. (I envy Marcus for having grown up surrounded by his extended family like this). Everyone is hugged and how do you do’ed. It’s kind of a unicorn-pooping-skittles scene. And it’s awesome.

And that’s it. A few minutes later I’m shepherding my daughter away from the plants in the hallway and waving at our reflections over the baptismal font. And the rest of the day is a glitter rain dance.

Happy Sunday!

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The scrunch.

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Thanks for the pictures Maggis! Her blog here ->