Monday, November 27, 2017

First snow, a late autumn wreath, black out and lots of rambles...

Many things have been accomplished lately but the picture wall in my living room remains undone. Oh well, one day it will happen I'm sure. I enjoyed it so much to read your input about making lists... Is this writing To Do list phenomenon typical for us women?  One of my readers wrote: "Have you ever seen a man writing a list?", and to be honest I don't think I ever have. Well, my dad writes grocery lists but that doesn't really counts... So it got me thinking... Karen wrote me a great tip: "You should try for a day just writing a 'have done' list rather than a 'to do' list. It'll surprise you just how much you do in a day!" I truly love that tip and will absolutely put it into practice. Especially on a tough day when you feel you do nothing. However, I don't think I'll ever stop writing lists... I just simply love it. It is a way of time management, organizing and staying up with my every day life...

Before I forget, I'll throw in some pictures from my birthday. It was one of my better birthdays I think. I think this thing with going backwards in age is a great idea. Thank you for that Emmy Bo, it felt great to turn 46! (Twink, twink!). So, no age anxieties. No pressure. Just simple and perfect. Good food, cake, goofy kids, a few cozy gifts (look at my new tea cup with the sweet deer - love it!) and just lots of love. Yes, that is love you see on the pictures of my kids. It might look a bit tough and rough but it is love, I promise. And of course, a big Thank You for all your birthday wishes!!! Especially on Instagram. Fantastic! 

So going back to my list in this old blog post: I made my first ever wreath from heather and some evergreens. I used an old embroidery loop, and inspired by Lucy from Attic24, I made some pink and green crochet berries following her cute little Autumn Berry Tutorial (I made up that tutorial name...) and I think they just added  that little extra I needed. Not too bad for a first timer I have to say. I'm happy. :) But of course, now it is getting close to Christmas so the Autumn wreath won't last long on my front door. Soon it will be replaced by Christmas red and green.

We had our first snow of the year last week. It came and disappeared in just a few hours. However, I managed to squeeze in a forest walk with my good friend Liz enjoying the few hours of snow powdered landscape. Back home after coffee and chat around noon it was all gone. Later that day we had an electric black out and lit candles all around the house. It was so cozy and nice, but to our disappointment (mixed with some relief as I had prepared a lasagna that needed to be baked in the oven...) it lasted only for 15 minutes... The lasagna went into the oven but the lights stayed turned off and we fully enjoyed the "hygge" feeling a dark house lit up with candles brings.

Well, I'm a little bit all over the place today and soon my little Emmy Bo comes home for lunch. This afternoon I'm going through my studio (again) and I hope to list some handmade creations I've had lying around for a while in my Etsy shop. I better get working on taking pictures. Thanks for popping by and tell me:

Do you think writing To Do lists is typical for women and if so why is that?
And have you ever tried out Karen's tip on making a list of achievements and if so, how was it?


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Friday, November 17, 2017

Forever like this

"Can I sleep in your room?"
"Of course."

She is 10 and she is sleeping in our room six days out of seven. And that is ok. It will pass. And right now the most important thing is, for me as a mother, to make her feel safe. Because she doesn't feel safe. She's afraid. Not of monsters. Not of burglars. Not of the dark. No, she's afraid of growing up and of people around her growing older. And maybe even die.

She doesn't like the fact that her older sister and brother might move out one day. And she doesn't like us talking about it. It makes her sad because she doesn't want them to leave. Because if they leave, she will be the only one left. And things will be different, but she wants everything to stay just the way it is. Forever.

One evening when we read a book together, she looks at me closely, observes that I have crow feet in the corners of my eyes. She points them out and smiles but then suddenly her smile turns into cry and she can't help but starting to weep intensely. Because she doesn't want me to get old. I tell her that the crow feet are signs of happiness. They are there because I'm so happy and smile so often. It doesn't help. She still cries hard and grasps after me in desperation. And I hold her tightly and let her cry and be. When she calms down she tells me she is afraid of me getting old. Of loosing me.
"Mama, don't die."
 And I say, I'm not going to die. What else can I say? And I need to grab all the strength I have to not burst into tears myself. I can remember that overwhelming feeling of fear when I once realized, at the same age, that my Mum, Dad and brother could die... So I'm staying strong. For her. To make her feel safe. Because obviously I can't promise such a thing, right? But still I try to.

We decide that from now on I won't add a year to my birthday. Lets go backwards. And she smiles and thinks it's an excellent idea. And so it is - I turned 46 this past Tuesday. And with that Emmy Bo can continue to cling on to the idea that everything will stay just the way it is. Forever.

She is afraid of loosing her own childhood and not loving rainbows, sparkles, unicorns and gumdrops anymore. She doesn't want to become a teenager because teenagers stop playing. And she doesn't want to stop playing. I tell her she can play forever if she wants to. That playing is good. That even as  a grown up it is important to play. That she will still play as she grows up, but in a different way, with different things. And things will somehow stay just the way it is. Forever. Just slightly different.

But Emmy Bo doesn't want to hear that. No, she wants to freeze time just as much as I want to. But we both know it's not possible. All we can do is embrace the moment. And it is painful and heartbreaking and so sweet and beautiful at the same time. To be here, and go through this tough part of life together. And once again I just know I was made for this. Motherhood is the most fantastic thing that was given to me. And if I could, I truly would, just keep everything the way it is right now. Holding Emmy Bo close and feeling her unconditional love tucked all around me like a cuddly blanket cocoon. Love is. Forever like this. 


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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Three Things, or maybe 20+

If the last few weeks have been gorgeously sunny with clear blue skies and breath taking autumn colors, this last week has been quite the contrary... Rain, rain, rain, grey, grey, grey and wind, wind, wind. And today is just another one of those days.

The week has been busy with all sorts including school meetings, activities, job chats and chores. But I have also had the pleasure of some lovely coffee mornings with friends, crochet time and reading.

Jay had to go to Canada in the last minute and so I quickly switched on to Single Mum mode. There was a time, when the kids were younger, when he traveled a lot in work, and looking back at those days with toddlers and babies, I'm not sure how I could pull it off. But I did. I was Supermum. I still am (she says and looks like that blushing smug emoji). Today it is much easier as the kids are more independent. They take care of themselves in the mornings, they are in school all day (part from Emmy Bo who still comes home for lunch), but after school is when the hard work starts - juggling homework assistance, dinner making and taxi service for activities and appointments.

I have a strict routine:
- I get up BEFORE the kids in the morning.
- I dress in my walk gear (because if I don't I end up in a funky mode and get glued onto the sofa in front of Netflix. And that might sound great, but it actually makes me feel like crap...).
- I do chores in the mornings (often laundry) and prepare lunches while kids have breakfast.
- I walk Emmy Bo to school and then do my 5K walk.
- I take a shower and get ready for the day, have breakfast and make a list of THREE things to accomplish (although I have to admit that my list most often contains between 5-10 things To Do and I never manage to accomplish them all... That is why I should write down ONLY THREE things. Got to work on that...)
- I have cleaning days (No I don't... But I would like to have. Got to work on that too...).
- I make simple dinners like stews, soups, pasta dishes...
- I say NO, if I know I can't split myself in two, and I avoid over booking my calendar.

The routine works. But, it is essential to be flexible when being a Single Mum. Improvising and swapping things around, finding quick solutions and put everything in action in the last minute can be a challenge... But I'm pretty good at it. I guess I have had my fair amount of practice throughout the years... I wonder if you can add that skill to a CV?

Jay came back on Thursday but left again for the weekend, taking Nelly Bo to London for her Sweet 16. She was in tears of excitement as going to London has been on her wish list for years. I'm so happy for her. Two days of shopping, sightseeing, restaurants, a show and museum visit. Intense, but I'm sure she is loving every minute. They come back home tonight. I can't wait to hear all about it.

Well, I had a small hope to see some sun today, but I don't think that is going to happen... Instead my laundry is still wet on the line and I'm thinking that maybe I should run it on the centrifuge program one more time and bring it inside... It has only been hanging out there for three days (!!!).

They say snow will come tomorrow. I got the winter tires in the back of the car, and I'm thinking if I should be brave enough to put them on myself... Or maybe not. I still haven't planted my tulip bulbs for spring. And also, I've been wanting to make a picture wall above the sofa in the living room for a long time... I bought some heather earlier this week with an idea of making a wreath... and I have a number of crochet WiP's that needs attention... So, lets put this into practice now - THREE THINGS:

1. Laundry
2. Plant tulip bulbs
3. Picture wall

4. Clean up flower beds
5. Sweep front of house
6. Change bed sheets
7. Sort and clean my crochet spot
8. Make an autumn wreath
9. Change tires on car
10. Study with Luca Bo
11. Study with Emmy Bo
12. Go for a walk
13. Crochet on my granny square WiP
14. Answer emails
15. Order Christmas gifts on Amazon
16. Book French conversation class
17. Overview my Etsy Shop
18. Mop floors in kitchen
19. Prepare for next week when Jay goes to Miami - Single Mum mode on...
20. Write another list...

I'm not doing very well am I...

PS THANK YOU ALL for your wonderfully warm welcome back here on the blog. Your warm greetings has really made this week very special against all odds with bad weather and all... I'm so happy to hear you're still here with me. Just lovely to be here with you. Xxx

PS 2: It frustrates me that all my pictures get blurry when I attached them to my blog posts. Anyone who knows how to make the pictures crisp as the originals? I save them as JPEG and customize the size to 640px wide... Medium quality...


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Sunday, November 5, 2017

Old fashion blogging

The autumn sun sits low all day long. It burns my eyes through my window where I sit at my computer keyboard. I'm working on a morning walk routine. Out the door at 7.30 am when the sun is still sleeping, watching it rise over tree, roof and mountain tops just before I return back home from my 5K loop. I was planning on getting a head lamp to navigate myself through the dark mornings (Oh My there have been some VERY dark mornings...), but since turning back the time an hour in October, its not that dark anymore. I think I preferred those cold an dark mornings. It was more private and quiet... Now the sun is already up spreading its daylight all around which makes me feel more exposed in a weird way...

Autumn is blowing my mind with its beauty this year. I've come to the conclusion that it is probably my most favorite season. Saying that, I know I will say the exactly same thing when winter, spring and summer comes around. I love the change of seasons for the simple reason that it brings some diversity to life. You never get bored. There is always something new unfolding around the corner. A reason to change color themes of your cushion covers and bed linen, change your wardrobe, shoes and hair. A reason to throw yourself into new projects, a new start, a new everything. And as many of you know, I am a big lover of new beginnings... There is also the comfort of the everlasting traditions each season bring. Halloween box for October, Christmas box for December, Easter box for April, Summer box for June... and all those mini events in between such as birthdays and anniversaries...

Nelly Bo turned Sweet Sixteen just about a week ago. How did that happen? It was magical and surreal. I made her. I gave this fantastic person life. She was so tiny... I remember her laying there on the floor on the baby blanket in our apartment in Cairns, Australia... Kicking her legs in the air and waving her arms uncontrollably... We stood there and stared, me and Jay, and then we looked at each other and wondered "Ok. What do we do now?" Mixed feelings of fear of the unknown and the fact that life had just taken a totally new direction. We were so young... we had no idea... And look at her now... How on earth did that happen?

I have missed this place. I've missed my journal writing. Taking notes of my thoughts, reflections, trivial daily stuff, the small but yet so important things in life that actually creates life. Moments to cherish, to acknowledge. The snippets of life seen through my camera lens... Details, feelings, beauty... This is where I can sit and flick through the pages, travel back in time and remember all the things that usually just slips through my fingers and are forgotten if not noted...

I've missed my words. I've missed the outlet, the therapy of writing. And when you miss something, you should try to find your way back to it. I'm here to find my way back to the blog I once started. Pop in and out as I want to. On my terms. Without pressure. To share. To inspire. To connect. To teach and to learn. To document my life and creative adventures. That is all I ever wanted. Old fashion blogging.


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