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 ->

We had a magical day, you and me

It’s been another one of those days. I’m just leaning back and taking it all in. You’re like my little fairy guide. A patient one, even though I can be pretty boring and clueless you’re always stubborn enough to get me back in the game. Recently you learned that you had the power to take my hand and lead me to the things you wanted to show me. I’ve seen a lot of stuff since then, thanks. Sometimes you’ll even drag me to the front door. I think it means you want us to explore beyond our apartment. I know I’m right when you patiently sit down in my lap and hold out your arms so I can put on your coat and shoes.

I carry you down the stairs and open the heavy doors but once we’re outside you don’t need my help anymore.  We almost run across the lawn. We’re so eager that it’s difficult to watch out for rocks and branches. We only stop when we reach the edge of the playground and we take a minute to carefully climb down the steep hill onto the sand. It’s a lot faster if we don’t lose our balance so it’s important to get down on all fours. Once we’re safely down we can go anywhere we want. The feeling of freedom gets to our heads and we set out for the farthest corner of the patch first. We quickly forget about our goal though because you show me all the small pebbles and pine cones we come across. If only we could fit all of them in our hands. We have no choice but to put down the old ones to make room for the new. It’s very important to hold them tight in our hands so we don’t drop them.

We approach the slide. I suggest we slide down from the top but you prefer climbing up from the bottom. It’s difficult but in the end I agree that it is fun – especially with the loud sound our shoes make on the hard plastic. There’s a panda nearby. We know it’s a nice one because it’s smiling. It wants us to ride its back but we’d rather just talk. You tell me it says ‘mooh’.

A lady comes around the corner with a dog. This is the moment we’ve been waiting for and it is so exciting that we forget what we were doing and start our pursuit. The dog is pretty fast though and it takes too long to climb back up the hill onto the grass. The dog is gone and we feel a little sad. We walk back to the swings and talk about the dog for a little bit to try and cheer up. We sit there swinging back and forth for a bit. It’s soothing and we start to feel tired. I turn to you and suggest we go home and take a nap. You understand and agree that that would be nice.

You’re asleep now. I don’t think I will because I like to watching you. Your pine cone and rock are on the dresser. I should throw them out but I’m not sure I want them out of our lives just yet.

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The grateful list

I was just telling Marcus the other day, “I used to dream of the day we’d have a dishwasher. Now we have one and I just complain that it smells funny.”

We’ve moved around a lot and throughout the course of our marriage we’ve experienced a few different humble living situations. We’ve scraped, we’ve bought and sold. And I feel I’ve really come to learn the truth of the principle that gratitude equals happiness.

But like I said, I think the hardest times to be grateful have actually been during the times when we’ve had a little more. Marcus got a solid job, and it got hard not to complain about working conditions and salaries. We got our own nice apartment with a dishwasher and washing machine, and it got hard not to complain about it not being ship shape all the time. We had a baby, and it got hard not to complain about lack of sleep and lack of time.

I saw this in my Facebook feed the other day and I’m so grateful to the woman who shared it. When I was done reading through it I’d completely forgotten about my complaints and I felt how it actively allowed me the space for a little more happiness.

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See original post here!

September photo dump

 

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetWhen we get bored and excited for Papa to come home from work we send him selfies.

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S with her treasures.Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetWeeeeeeee!

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetAnother selfie for Papa – when are you coming hooooome??

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Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetShe’s actually not being a ‘scary bear’. Sometimes this is just what a happy face looks like.

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Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetLife of having a 1 year old. There are treasures in every drawer, cupboard and box around the apartment. The other day we were at some friends’ house and we couldn’t find our apartment keys. We finally found them in one of their kitchen drawers. I think she’s just trying to make our life more memorable.

 

Picture post: Summer vacation in Denmark 2015

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On the train to Gothenburg early in the morning.
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Taking a break on a bench walking from the train to the ferry terminal in Gothenburg. Baby needed some cheering up.

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Welcome home! says our HUGE Danish breakfast! – Thanks mom!

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Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetBaby’s first ever beach day! I was so worried she’d be eating sand all day – but she didn’t! She was in too big of a hurry to get to the water!

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This is her outfit no 2. Marcus lifted her just over the surface so she could splash with her hands but he didn’t notice the big wave before it completely drenched her. So she got her first ocean swim that day too.

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Getting on the plane to Copenhagen! Baby was such a pro.

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My wedding outfit. I hate posing alone in pictures – this is the only picture Marcus managed to take where I’m not doing an impatient silly face.

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Outside the temple. She was in heaven! She made us walk her up and down the stairs a gazillion times – equally excited every time.

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Posting this because it’s the only family pictures from that week. And we were all dressed up so pretty. Just forget about the distracted half-smiles.

The BEST foolproof chocolate chip cookie recipe. Yes it is.

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A few days ago I wrote to Marcus, I feel like chocolate chip cookies!
He said, Let’s make some! We’ll make it a party!   (see my definition of party here)
I said, And leave them on our neighbors’ doorsteps!

And so we did.

Okay, I always get a little annoyed when I find a good recipe on a blog but then I have to scroll down for 5 minutes to see the actual directions.
So I’ll get straight to the point! – THIS IS MY FAVORITE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE RECIPE! I’ve done it many times and I’ve perfected it so that it’s foolproof. Though these cookies may look flat they come out perfectly soft and chewy.

Happiness is knowing that you’ll never have to make a bad chocolate chip cookie ever again!

And today I’m sharing it with you.

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups (160 g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (125 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (90 g) firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup (75 g) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup (200 g) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

Okay, before you do anything! Take the butter out of your fridge! (You’re welcome, I always forget to do that)

Sift together flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Next, beat your (room temperature, Rebecca!) butter with the brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth with an electric mixer. Add the egg and vanilla and continue mixing on low speed. Gradually add your dry ingredients just until mixed. Grab a spoon or spatula and stir in the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate.

Now try not to eat too much of the dough and instead put it in the fridge for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350F (180C) and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper. Form small lumps of dough – about 1½ inch (4 cm) in diameter on the baking sheets about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.

Bake one sheet at a time for 8-10 minutes (I bake mine for exactly 9 minutes) or until the edges turn light brown while the surfaces still look wet. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 3-5 minutes and then transfer them to a rack and let them cool completely.

 

Voilá!

 

– Remember this post when this weekend you’re craving something sweet, kay?

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Baby girl is 10 months!

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Hello funnest age ever! It’s 10 months and it’s a whole new world!

Motherhood all of a sudden became a completely different ball game. Up until now I’ve marveled at the fact that most moms can actually take care of a baby AND keep a house clean AND run errands AND put dinner on the table AND still be alive to tell the tale. But just over the last few weeks I see something at the end of the tunnel and I’m pretty sure it’s a light!

The new stuff

She plays! Oh she plays! Like right now I’ve got her breakfast on the table all set but she’s too busy playing with her toys. I’m not picking her up, cause THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE! My time as a full-time entertainer is finally over and I can take a seat with the audience for a few stretches a day.

She has taken her first three steps – withOUT falling! She was so startled that she did it that she stopped and sat down. Scary stuff!

She waves. All the time. At anyone! She does understand that “hi” or “bye-bye” means it’s time to wave, but it is also her default action if she gets that we’re clearly asking her a question but she’s not entirely sure what. We get a lot of waves.

She has a total of three teeth now and one that’s gonna surface any day now. I know. Because the week she’s discovered how entertaining it is to bite her mom and giggle when she screams and jumps. And not just when she’s eating. She bites my hands, my stomach (that’s a fun one!), my face.. and I’m still trying to figure out how to best react so she’ll realize it’s not okay – or at least not funny. Any tips are very very welcome.

Generally speaking actually she’s getting more violent every day. Other than biting she hits, smacks, scratches and throws herself on you. It’s fun that she’s getting more playful but.. makeup can only do so much to cover the scratch marks on my face and neck!

She imitates and it’s so fun! Whenever someone laughs she does her own little fake laugh, she waves, she follows, she talks back, she goes “Mmmmm!” when she eats..

Peek-a-boo is the funnest game ever! And she’s really good at coming up with the most creative ways of playing it. With a blanket, under the chair, behind the bed, without a blanket, behind her arm, with her forehead on the floor. Sometimes I wonder if it’s actually a game of be guessing when we’re actually playing Peek-a-boo. I must say she outsmarts me half the time!

The hates

The vacuum

The blow dryer

The door bell

She cries whenever either of these come on. Hysterically! Although the other day when I was cleaning she seemed to be examining the vacuum. Patting it, feeling it. After a while she stopped crying and was more fascinated that it seemed to be moving of its own accord.

 

Before I know it I’m gonna have a one year old on my hands!