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