Sunday, December 10, 2017

Swapping Christmas pressure for Christmas joy!

As always, the first of advent catches me by surprise. Although I know it is coming and I eagerly wait for it, I never manage to be prepared for its arrival. Never. Not this year either. However, this past week I have been super productive when it comes to Christmas preparations. I am about 90% done with all gifts and the only thing missing now is the Christmas tree. After the rather non inspiring start of missing out on first of advent I set a new goal - to prepare as much as possible as early as possible to make time for me to relax and enjoy the Christmas countdown instead of running around like a headless chicken every day up until Christmas day. I feel so good about this achievement. Especially the gift part. I'm so proud of myself. It was not easy, but I did it and this new way of taking on Christmas changes everything.

I have had time to start on a new table runner with my favorite of all times fabric My Folklore Dala Horse by Lecien... Oh how I wish I had bought at least a few yards of it... Santa, dear Santa - I wish for Christmas, pleeeaaase. (You think he will hear me...???)

I have been baking both ginger cookies and saffron buns and they are all eaten and gone. A reason to make some more.

I have taken snowy Winter Wonderland walks and watched the cats play in the snow, indulged in hot chocolates with Chantilly cream and tons of calories because it is soooo good.

I have wrapped all gifts, watched a few Christmas movies and discovered a new Christmas record favorite: Elvis Christmas with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra!!! This Christmas album is so good. I mean, I am a big fan of Bublé - of course (who isn't???) but Elvis makes me dance from room to room and wiggle those hips like never before. Elvis just makes me happy.

As much as I love and adore everything about Christmas, I'm not much different than many others who experience this time of the year to be rather stressful. We always, ALWAYS (!!!) wish for it to be a relaxing time when we can enjoy baking, cooking, crafting, gifting, decorating, socializing, music listening and so much more. We want it to be perfect, but honestly... Does it really have to be perfect? And what is perfect anyway? So with that in mind I swapped "musts" to "wants" and "pressure" to "joy" and instead of having it all, me and the kids have chosen the things and traditions that really makes Christmas special in our house. And now we have P E R F E C T Christmas spirit in our home. Perfect for us.

I can't believe it took me so long to realize this... All the years that I have felt like I'm never going to make it all in time, be enough or able to meet everyone's needs and expectations...  it shows that everyone's needs and expectations are actually only my own... Yep, there you have it. It took some time to figure that out but life is a continuous journey of self discovery, growth and collecting wisdom. I kind of like getting older. :) Letting go... Just be. What a relief. And with that I sign off and wish you all a Happy Second Advent. No pressure. Stay Calm and Enjoy!

PS Forgot to tell you, but I did start on our Family Photo Wall over the sofa... I'm almost half way through, I add one picture at the time and who knows, maybe it will be complete just in time for Christmas. I'm loving the project and I feel so blessed when I see my family members all together up on the wall... So much love. I'm so lucky. (She says, and it might sound like an empty phrase but it is so true and she needs to remind herself how lucky she actually is...)


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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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