Thursday, December 22, 2011

And a lot to do...

Today the girls are home! Since I am finished with this week's (and the next's) papers for school, I thought we vould stay home the three of us and get ready for Christmas Eve together... cleaning, baking, fixing nails and hair, face scrub and all that. To my sorprise is Nick staying home too! I am not so sure I should get all that excitet about it... I'm just being mean now! 
So the Nilsson Family has officially started their Christmas recess which is nothing like a recess for mum. At least is always fun to work a lot for a party, it's kinda better that the everyday cleaning and washing and cooking.
I am very excited about Christmas, I always am... when I was kid I was obviously waiting for my presents. I never believed in Santa, or at least I have no memories of having believed in him. Since Laura is four years older than me, as soon as she found out the truth (and she was a smart little girl so she knew about it right before her sixth b-day) she came and told me (I was two). I think we all know that when you are a kid and your big sister or brother explains something to you, there is absolutely no way you even think about doubting... I see that in the girls all the time and it is so much fun! So I think I have found the reason for all my troubles... Just kidding! I DO NOT have a psychological trauma with that and I was a pretty healthy and happy kid without believeing in Santa, and I was as excited as any other kid when it came to opening the presents. So I will not delay the truth to the girls, as stupid as it may seem, sometimes I feel I am lying to them and it does not feel nice.
Anyway... therapy aside... I was saying that I cannot wait to see their faces as the open ther presents... I am also a little excited about seeing how Nick reacts to his (some are kinda funny)
No photos today, just a boring post saying that Christmas is so close I can't wait! I LOVE this time of the year! I love Christmas!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

She's growing way too fast!

It feels like yesterday she started to walk, unsure and scared... It feels like a week ago I held her in my arms for the first time. I am getting dramatic here, but I got shocked when I saw her trying on her very first figure skates... She is starting next month and I am as excited as her but I cannot stop thinking that time just goes too fast and she is letting go of my hand way too soon.

Dad is also feeling the pain and his wonderful idea was: "Mom, dad and Olivia will also get some ice skates so we can all skate together after your lessons!" Yeah! That really sounds like a lot of fun!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

sometimes we just forget...

These last days haven’t been the happiest… I really don’t know why but I have been kind of gloomy. As it usually is the case Cecilia (my little sis, and she will always remain with that title) made me think with something she posted about Latvia and its people. I said that it’s usually the case because my sisters (if it hadn’t been Cecilia it would have been Laura) always come with the right words at the right time.
Sometimes I get caught by a feeling of loneliness or maybe sadness or… I really don’t know how to put it into words. I just have a heavy feeling in my chest, it gets harder to smile and my mind is floating all over the place with no chances to focus on anything at all. Those days go by and things get back to normal again, but I haven’t figured out why they come at all.
My sister’s post and something that a very wise man called Henry Eyring said made me think a lot and I guess I am finding a clue to why those unpleasant feelings come along. My sister mentioned in her post that Latvian people don’t complain, that they remember those difficult days of trial and probation, of hunger and cold and that they just can’t but being thankful for what they have today. Henry Eyring said: “…to be happy and to avoid misery, we must have a grateful heart. We have seen in our lives the connection between gratitude and happiness.” And it usually is the case that whenever I get gloomy, I had forgotten to be thankful.
I thought today about all those things that I often take for granted and what my life would be without any of them, or the people around me, or the tasks that I have to do and the obligations that I have, and the truth is that I found out that I am a much happier person than I thought I was. I couldn’t imagine my life any other way, I couldn’t even think of not having my loved ones in my life… I am simply happy and it is such a shame that I forget about it sometimes.
I am so grateful for my daughters, for Nicklas (even when he complains quite a lot and has this extreme ability to point out the wrongs in life, things and people…), I am thankful for my dad and sisters, for my family and my friends, for the opportunity to study, for my home, for my health, I am even thankful for what I am and even though it felt hard to maintain during a hard time in my life, I am thankful for the faith that I have, and for the fact that though week at times, it never turned off completely.
This Christmas time is a very different one, it is the second Christmas without my mom, but instead of being filled with the pain of not having her, it is being filled with the gratitude for having had her all those years, for having the memories of her so alive in my heart. This Christmas will most certainly not be perfect, and it is OK.
I just wish I could teach myself this lesson properly… When smiles are hiding and the heart feels filled with sorrow, just remember that despite the hard times, the trials, the probation, the difficulties, despite the imperfections of life, or maybe just because of them, you are blessed even more than you can count.

Friday, December 2, 2011

If you're planning to go shopping...

Yesterday the girls had an appointment with the dentist for the annual control. Since the appointments were at 11 and 11:30 I decided that we could take the day off and go to town and do some shopping.
To begin with I have to say that they were such good girls at the dentist! And mom came out really proud after being praised by the “only on Saturdays” policy for candies, sodas and other goodies. I might sound like a cruel mom but I promise that I am actually not that super hard on that… They are allowed to eat some candies on birthdays and other special occasions, like when grandpa or Aunt Cecilia came.  The point is that I was even more thrilled than they were to hear that they do not have holes or plaque or any of that stuff.
After that we went to town and I had my mind set on buying me some clothes and getting their Christmas dresses. Now let me share something with you, if you haven’t already tried it… going to buy yourself some clothes with no other company than a four and a 3 year-old is not such a great idea… you might get lucky and buy something, but it is very likely that you would spend three quarters of the time running after the one or the other… I got so tired!!! but they were so happy with our mom-daughters time and the cute pink dresses they picked up. This is a really nice time for me to see them, they want matching clothes to any price and it is so much fun to see and hear them negotiate until they come up to an outfit that they both like. I will post some photos later on the week.
Myself? yeah, I bought a dress, some leggings and an oversize sweater, but I had so much more to buy! now I have an excuse for going one more time.
One other thing that we got was a Christmas manger… since they have one in kinder they really, really wanted to have a “baby Jesus” and I could not resist since I really think that Santa is kind of over clouding the original meaning of Christmas. Once we had put it up together, Olivia run to my bedroom and took a picture of Jesus that I have in between my scriptures. She came running with a triumphant smile and said “Mom, grown up Jesus has to be there, too”
And this is how they made it.

Monday, November 28, 2011

When planning does not work out...

I was supposed to read all the articles today, and if I had enough time I would read statistics... But it really does not work that well to have all figured out. Olivia had fever all day yesterday and so she had to stay home... I can manage to write the blog and that is nice, but it is absolutely not quiet and peaceful enough as to read for school. Don't misunderstand me, I am not trying to make all this into a great drama, it feels kind of nice to have a excuse to avoid the boring reading of the day... although that might mean that I won't be able to go that much ahead as to have a free week by Christmas.
I got the kitchen ready with the x-mas decoration and I love it! It is not much as you can see in the photo but I am well pleased, I didn't want it to be too much. This year Nicklas wants to skip the traditional Swedish Christmas dinner and he suggested that we had turkey instead... LOVELY, but that means that I have less than a month to learn how to make a turkey since I had never ever made one. We'll see how it all turns out... I am planning to bake quite a lot so we don't end up starving if the bird turns out dry and uneatable. Ladies and Gentleman... what I am going to do this Christmas has only one name: TRUE LOVE!
Shall I explain a little bit about the photos? yeah, yeah, I gotta do something or I would feel like I threw  the day away... No chances to play with Olivia because believe it or not, she is just laying on the couch... and talking (that she even does in her sleep, really!) which just gives me the clue that I won't read that much tomorrow either.
The little Santa's helpers and the angels I made by myself... the idea was to make it together with the girls but since I had to sew and then use the glue gun, they assisted by giving me the parts and playing with the ready ones.  
The candle I decorated by myself, you probably know the technique but just in case, all you need is a cute paper napkin, a candle and a spoon. You cut off the motif in the napkin and peel of all the paper layers until you get with the thin tissue with your picture, then you place it on the candle, warm up the spoon and carefully slide in over the drawing. You keep on doing that until you have a layer of paraffin all over you pic. Done! I put some star anise, cinnamon, and other whole Christmas spices all around, and the orange which the girls made. 
I will probably go on doing some stuff today and try to get Olivia to help me... Some saffron or cinnamon rolls would also be fun, and yummy. Meanwhile I hope she takes a nap so I can read a little... If not, I will have to have it ready by the second deadline and deal with the fact. You cannot do it all, but you can certainly do all you can.

They just had to pose!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Just go back to basics

Today I thought a lot about how easily we lose focus… in our daily races against the clock, getting the kids done for school, getting the papers ready, cleaning on time, dinner, the shopping, what’s missing in the fridge? Was the deadline this week or the next? What was I expected to write about? When are the bills due? Getting to work, getting the job done, picking up the kids and trying to squeeze out an hour to “relax” on the sofa and have a meaningful talk with our spouse… and there went one more day, and so it goes the week and soon it is Saturday and there are piles to wash and dry, and toys to pick up and the house to be cleaned again… and there it went the weekend… Is life supposed to be that?
And one morning we get in the shower and we check our weight and we found that the scale has gone mad! Because we did NOT have those 4 pounds there last week, so we have to train and lose two sizes and skip the muffins that we baked…
And so it happens that we find a new wrinkle, and we start wondering if we maybe wouldn’t have to change our anti-aging cream because this one that we bought was no better than Crisco shortening…
Or maybe we decide that a few hours overtime won’t kill anybody, and they don’t… they just go fast and we don’t even notice it… except for when it’s time to go to bed and we are far too tired to even yawl…
I think far too many times we just get lost… we become a thing, an agenda, a home appliance… but not any appliance, we become one striving to look like a model, too!
And so it was that I started to think about what I really want, what kind of a person do I really want to become, what is it that I want to be remembered for? How do I want to influence the lives of those around me? What am I willing to sacrifice in order to show them my love, in order to care, to support, to lift up?
The person that I so much want to become does not come with a vacuum cleaner attached, it most certainly does not pose in the cover of a magazine or walk down the red carpet in Hollywood… it is fine for those who want that, but I truly don’t.
I started to realize that for so long I had forgotten all those things that give me strengths, that make my heart be filled with warmth and love, I forgot all those things that make me who I am, and only because of that, make me special.
Sometimes in life, I think (and that is a very, very humble “think”) that we need to come back to the basics, to those things that made us who we are and made us feel that life is simply wonderful. It might mean that some trunks need to be open, or photos looked at, or long lists need to be written… It might mean that we must silence the noises around us and just listen to that tiny little us who is screaming inside… it might mean that we need to stop analyzing and revolving around theories and news, and facts, and cars, and clothes, and bills, and meetings and work and just look for the warmth, the peace, the love, the nourishing that we once found.
In the everyday rush I wish I could see how lucky I am to be able to take care of my children, when the chapters to be read are far too many, I would like to remember that I can read, and have the books, and that they might look like a bunch of pages, but they are more than that… in the food to prepare I would like to enjoy the taste and smells. In the inevitable process of aging and gaining pounds I would like to understand that together with the years come those long relationships that we have taken care of over the years and are now strong and beautiful, it comes the wonder of having seen the little ones around us become lovely young women or men, with aging comes also the sad lost of dear ones, and it is with aging that we make them a part of us, as living as we are…
Sometimes I lose focus, we all do… and when I do, I think it is a good thing, to just come back to basics…

Friday, November 18, 2011

Home is wherever you are...

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Last Tuesday we had a seminary at school. The whole point was to learn how to use the focus group interview technique, but somehow I went away thinking about the topic.
We were supposed to write about a time when we felt  “at home” (obviously in some place other than our own houses…) It was a hard task for me to accomplish but I managed to come up to a page. I will not tell you what I wrote because we were supposed to remain anonym and I don’t want to spoil the whole purpose of the study. Also because it wasn’t a story of the highest quality and I am less than satisfied with what I could come up to…
Anyway, what I wrote is not what made me think, but the results of the whole research. We gathered in groups and analyzed a bunch of other people’s stories. All of them where different, completely different experiences and just by reading them fast, they all told different things. The amazing thing came when we started to look for things that would characterize the feeling of “being home”.
All 20 something stories said the same:  one feels at home when they feel secure, protected, when the feel loved, when they are allowed to be themselves, when they are accepted and when they feel that they can retain their agency.
During the focus group interview one very smart classmate said that the feeling of security comes from within, from being comfortable with the person we are, with our choices, beliefs, values, virtues and weaknesses. She said that usually, when we lack self security we tend to rely on someone else. Like small children rely on their parents to build up a sense of belonging, of security and a sense of “self”.
I thought a lot about that, I couldn’t stop thinking that we can feel home anywhere in the world, as long as we have people around us who help us become better, who cheer us up, who are there to strengthen us when our weaknesses take over and make us believe that that's all we are, nothing but a bunch of defects…
I am so thankful that I have that kind of people all around me, my sisters, my dad, my aunts and cousins, my friends, my dearest and closest friends!, my wonderful niece and nephew, my adorable, wonderful and amazing daughters, my “gubbe” (whose job is more like showing me when I am letting myself go and when I get overwhelmed by adversities or problems)… I have my beliefs, too, my values, my experiences and my memories…
As long as I can keep all of that, I am sure that I will always be home, because “Home is where the heart is”

Sunday, November 13, 2011

An unusual day ahead?


Yesterday I cleaned the house, did the washing up, made Fader's day's cake (today it's father's day in Sweden) and convinced myself that today it was going to be a relaxing day... WRONG! at least so far...
Yesterday after dinner the girls went to their playroom and played long and nicely, not one fight!! (there was something in the air) so I woke upp to a battle field that needs to be cleared up today... A while after the girls woke up and of course, one of the beds was wet and everything has to be washed... no point saying that I changed the sheets yesterday... and more to come... since the playroom is not for being used the girls keep coming with toys to the livingroom... we'll see what's next...
So far: family activity: clean the playroom!!!
But... honestly, aren't they adorable!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

It's been so long!

It's crazy that I haven't written for so long... I am not quite sure a lot has happened but it seems like a bunch to me.
A few months ago we found out that Olivia was allergic to dog hair and Indi had to find a new home. That was not at all easy and I miss him more than I thought I would, specially our walks in the mornings, when I was completely fed up with studying. Now I am embarrassed that I haven post a picture of him, better late than never... The good part is that he got a very nice home with a great family who love him and take really good care of him.
My sister Cecilia was here, sadly not long enough; on top of that I had the busiest time in school. We had some good time and it was really good to be able to talk long. I miss the times when we would get in the car and drive somewhere just to talk about all and nothing...
Then my dad came. Only for a week though... When I saw him laughing with the girls and playing hide and seek with them I got the warmest feeling in my heart. I understood what life is all about, or maybe I shouldn’t be so dramatic, but I understood what a great blessing it really is to be able to be the mom to my wonderful girls. I felt in my heart that as much as I love school and as much as I wish to become a nurse and be the best one that I could possibly be, nothing in this world compares to the joy of being the mom that I am... even when I wish I was better and every day I try to get better... It finally made sense: “No Other Success Can Compensate for Failure in the Home” I miss my dad, we had great times, we talked like never before and the memories of my mom felt our hearts with joy and gratitude to have been able to be with her and be such an important part in her life.
And then guess what! I became an aunty again!!! I am so extremely proud and happy for the niece and nephew that I have! Sebastian is so beautiful, he is one cute little gentleman! Seeing him reminded me of the miracle of life, how amazing it is to receive a new human being into this world, so pure, so innocent! I even thought about getting one more myself... though I am starting to seriously doubt about it... and I mean SERIOUSLY! (So don't post comments trying to encourage me!)
My dad and I went to meet him in England... it was great to be all together, I didn't have
Aunt Ceci and my girls having ice cream in Smygehamn

My beautiful niece Marina and nephew Sebastian

all the days I would have liked and missed the girls, but I had so much fun! And yes, I was stupid enough to forget my camera! Not one single picture... so you will have to trust my memories...
Now life has come back to the routine, school, housework and that's pretty much it. School is going fine, pretty busy but I am determined not to get stressed.
Latest news is that Emily was very worried, she wanted pets but didn't really know what animals we were allergic to, so a few days ago she finally got the courage to ask "mom, are we allergic to fish?" I couldn't laugh because she was being very serious and respectful "no sweetie, we aren't", "then we can have a fish tank!!" and so it happened that two days later daddy got her a fish tank and a few guppies... Life is good!
Loved Indi... you are missed

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Olivia's 3rd B-day!!

Here are some pics av Olivia's birthday... first home with a fairy cake, then at the play house with her friends from kinder...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

trip to Ringsjöstrand


"Look mom! I'm a sloth!!!"

I think I can, I think I can... but I'm scared to death...

My two little mermaids (both called Ariel, obviously)

I am tired of wainting for the marshmallows!
I am almost sure that the whole idea of the GPS came when a very unfortutate drive decided to drive somewhere in the middle of Sweden. I cannot believe that anyone could get the signs so confusing!!! So thank you, whoever you are, for inventing the wonerful GPS and thanks to you who came up with the idea of putting it in a mobile phone!! Brilliant!
Since Nick was going to pick up some pipes for the fireplace somewhere up in Skåne, he came up with the idea of turning it into a family trip to Ringsjö.
In the way we found out that Olivia gets sick in long car trips... not the best way to find out about it but one of the only ones I'm affraid... But mom was very well prepared so she didn't panic and changed the outfit, washed the car sit and sprayed som air freshener.
It was a very lovely day I have to say... I just can't get enough of seeing the girls enjoying themselves and having a good time. They jumped into the lake, climbed and jump in the playgrounds and we barbacued sausages and marshmallows (that should be another post because believe it or not we drove around like crazy just to find a place where barbacueing was allowed and ended up turning the tiny little thing in the middle of a national park...we had to play stupid and ignore the signs since the girls were about to have an hypoglycemic coma) 
Anyway... best day of the year so far... here are some pics... I have one on a curled up sausage but it is far too embarrassing to post it... 

Friday, July 8, 2011

James Martin's profiteroles

Ne-e, NEVER accuse a profiterole of being out of fashion! These things are heavenly!!!
After a very lovely lunch with friends and a whole lot of talking about food I got a craving for profiteroles with custard and dulce de leche; and since I had already whisked for two hours for making dulce de leche I figured it wouldn't hurt to try to make these...

The recipe comes at the end, in case you wanna try them. And I will have to say "thank you, James Martin for the recipe!".

For the choux pastry
  • 200ml/7fl oz cold water
  • 4 tsp caster sugar
  • 85g/3oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 115g/4oz plain flour
  • pinch salt
  • 3 medium free-range eggs, beaten

    Preparation method

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Place a small roasting tin in the bottom of the oven to heat.
  • For the choux pastry, place the water, sugar and butter into a large saucepan. Heat gently until the butter has melted.
  • Turn up the heat, then quickly pour in the flour and salt all in one go.
  • Remove from the heat and beat the mixture vigorously until a smooth paste is formed. Once the mixture comes away from the side of the pan, transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes.
  • Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until the mixture is smooth and glossy and has a soft dropping consistency - you may not need it all.
  • Lightly grease a large baking sheet. Using a piping bag and plain 1cm/½in nozzle, pipe the mixture into small balls in lines across the baking sheet. Gently rub the top of each ball with a wet finger - this helps to make a crisper top.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Random pics...

I am not the best photographer in the world, (in fact i truly suck at it) and I do NOT have photoshop, (which I really really wish I had and knew how to use) cannot buy it, cannot download it, so it is what it is... Some random photos of the girls.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Practice is over and also is the first year...

This six months in College were very, very stressing. First we had theory with scientific papers to write, essays and more... then came the practice, which was actually more fun than I could have ever imagined. My leader was a very cool, funny and smart nurse who had the talent to make me feel secure and comfortable. The patients were as interesting as they could get, both when it comes to personalities and diseases... (it might sound kinda wrong to say that some diseases are more intresting than others but they are...)
I have learned a lot in this period but the most important thing is that I enjoyed every moment.
The last exam was done and even when I can't really guess if I did kind of OK or totally failed (there were a few weird questions) I am officially on vacations until I get the results and find out if I have to study for August or not.
Now It's time to summer job, I had a curse Monday and Tuesday and will have my first official working day on Thursday... Hope I enjoy it... but if not there is always a paycheck to cheer one up...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Hi Guys!
It's been a very long time. I have been crazy with the practics, the studying (or pretending to study), the kids and so much more.
It feels like I am running out of energy but I am sure that it'll be fine at the end. I am longing for my vacations, not exactly for relaxing... I have a summer job!! Feels great to have found a job and all, I am so greatful that things are going so well! Obviously there is a downside to all and in this case is just the tiny little detail that I am not going to have one week off! I have my big final exam the 9th of June and I start my first day at work the 13th... If you know me you know that I have been waiting far too long for this kind of chaotic life... I'm just the type who needs to keep busy.
And guess what? I have found a great site online where to buy my nametag for this and all the practices to come! Emily helped me choose the color and of course it ended up being lilac (only because unfortunately they didn't have pink... although it looks black on the photo) LOVE IT!
If you are looking for a place where to get your nametag done, order here
They make all kind of signs, I was actually thinking about ordering some for the girls bedroom... 
I just couldn't help it, I HAD TO HAVE A REAL ONE, plus, they were pretty cheap and it took 3 days to have it delivered in my mail box.
I gotta go now... Promise i'll write more and better next time, and it won't take this long again...

Monday, March 21, 2011

As I Walked Along...

Nine years ago I left Holland with a promise in my heart; to come back... Ever since I left the chanels and the chaotic streets of Amsterdam I kept inside of me a deep love for that land. Although it was only three months back in 2001-2002, a lot has happened there. As it usually is with life's great lessons, not everything back there was laughter and fun. In Holland I got closer to and appart from my sisters, in Holland we shared laughter and many tears, we grew older and maybe wiser... I had the chance to see my self through a different light, I experienced exile and loneliness for the first time, I found my sisters and myself, I lost pieces of me, I mutated...
I came back and everything was the same, and yet all was different. I felt home but I wasn't, the smells and colours, the busy streets and all their noises and life brought me back nine years ago... but the one who came was not the same. It just felt like coming from the past, into the future and from the future into the past, all at once.
I am very thankful that I got the chance to meet my sisters there and walk those streets with them once again. I couldn't have imagine a better way to keep my promise than doing it with my sisters, my friends since ever and forever, two of the most important people in my life. I just wish words would be enough to express how much I love them and how much they mean for me. I just wish there would be a way to make them see how wonderful they really are, I just hope they know it...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Emily's B-day party!

Emily had her party on feb 12th. Since our house is not that big and it is impossible to have the kids playing in the backyard with a few degrees below 0 and the rooftops being literally blown away (there has been more than a few unfortutate families who lost part of their rooves, no kidding), we decided to have it in a place called Kulhuset. I was convinced it was the most brilliant of the ideas until I found out that I was suppoused to look after 12 almost unknown kids aged 3 to 5 in a place with more than 60 little angels... Don't worry! they all survived and came back home safe and sound... and to their own families, too! Although it was a little hard to count how many had already gone home...
What really counts is that Emily had a great time and they went to bed very early! Gosh I am mean!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Emilys B-day Cake!

 I Love small toys... they come out very handy when mum has no time to full around with marsipan... Aren't they cute? This was Emily's 4th birthday cake, and mine too since it was actually my birthday today... Honestly, it's so much more fun to bake and decorate my kid's cakes, and they are so much cuter. So I got my pretty "My Little Pony" b-day today! LOVED IT!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

And I wonder why...

No wonder I am this in love with my girls...
I was making dinner today, peeling potatoes while Olivia was watching competely concentrated... Her elbows resting on the counter and her little hands holding her chin. I started cutting the first potatoe as she said, profoundly moved by what I was doing, "we are sorry potatoe, we didn't mean it"

Later in the day, Nicklas hited his finger with something... not sure what, to what he screamed "Ouch! S#@!¤!" The girls were playing and running all around the house, but Emily got to hear it and in the middle of the play, she just screamed back at him: "Daddy, it was enough with the Ouch!"