Monday, February 18, 2013

Thanks for stopping by! I've started blogging again here: Come on over and say hello!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Very Happy Mother's Day in Finland

We had such a great Mother's Day weekend! The Finnish flags were raised all over the country and everything except the flower shops were closed. That's the way it should be, right? The sun was shining and we were able to spend most of it outside. Translation: The boys are covered with more bumps and scrapes than usual. The trees are all getting leaves and flowers are blooming. It's been so long since we've experienced a true Spring, and we are loving it.

Did I tell you I have a new bike? I bought it from my lovely neighbor, who (sadly) is moving in a couple of months. Steve was kind enough to attach a basket and a bell for me. The basket is so great! It just pops right off and doubles as a little shopping basket. And then you can just pop it right back on easy as pie. Genius.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lucky Duck

Yesterday the embassy hosted an early egg hunt for Easter. Guess who won the Guess How Many Jelly Bean Contest? Clue: He's the little one with the great big smile. Oh! And in case you're wondering, there were 367 beans (though much less now). Henry's winning guess, with a little guidance from his big brother, was 350.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Spring is here and everywhere we go there are little green shoots peeking out from under the snow. It's so surprising to me that they are already (still?) green, because from what I understand the snow has been on top of them since November. Tough plants! Today Henry and I took the train downtown and met Steve for lunch. After some yummy sandwiches we wandered around and ended up buying a Moomin book. We were so excited to find one in English. It was a beautiful day for being outside-almost fifty degrees!- and the sun was shining.

For the record, all the Finns we have encountered are gracious about speaking perfect English to us as soon as they realize I have no inkling of what they are saying in Finnish. Though I still try to learn as many words as I can, I am already beginning to accept the fact that I am destined to be the stereotypical American that speaks only one language.

We are so happy and lucky to have beautiful walking trails like this so close to our house (even though we are only in this place temporarily). When we arrived two weeks ago it was completely covered with snow and ice.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


We are in Finland!

So far we are in love with our new country. It's cold, and rainy. Even though the temperature is staying above freezing (barely) there is still so much snow. Word on the street is that we should plan on it hanging around for about two more months. Not that it keeps anyone indoors. In the week that we've been here the boys (especially Truman)can't get enough. He puts on all his snow gear and plays outside until we force him to come in for food.

Almost everyday Henry and I walk to the grocery store to get the things we need for dinner. It's tricky trying to choose items when you can't read any of the labels. So far we've been lucky. We manage through the cashier transaction nodding and smiling. I try out lots of phrases on Google Translate and listen to the pronunciation countless times, but then when it's time to spring into action I get stage fright and can't remember anything.

I've considered trying some fake sign language in an effort to turn the tables. Or maybe even real sign language. I do know most of the alphabet after all. Plus or I could try out some stuff from my Baby Signing class from when Tru was a baby. I'd like to see the look on their smug Finnish speaking faces then. Of course I'm joking. I don't really remember any of it.

Both of the boys on one of our walks to get groceries.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ok, so where were we...

Oh yeah, well skip ahead about 6 months. We are now out of the Philippines and have just wrapped up Home Leave. For those of you not familiar with the Foreign Service, that is the mandatory four weeks you must spend all your money, um, I mean, time in your home country for repatriation, aka rediscovering what it is to be American.

We squeezed in as much as we could. We hung out on the West Coast and enjoyed as much as we had time for. The main attractions included visiting family, Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, exploring Arizona, Los Angeles, Disney Land, Legoland, the snow, the beach and a bunch of hotels in between. Exhausted? Check. We also had the chance to treat the kids to the concept of the Great American Road Trip. Overall, I would say it was a great success.

Now we are set up in temporary housing in Virginia while Steve finishes up his training for his next position in Helsinki. It's great to be here, seeing old friends, visiting museums and playing in the park, and if it were a long term set up I would be very happy. But all we've got is another week, and I think we are all ready to be a little more settled in and in our own home.

Enjoying the view at Zion National Park

A snow storm near the Grand Canyon.

Exploring ancient Pueblo ruins in Arizona.

The boys enjoying the beach in California.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Eleven Years and the Best Two Day Vacation Ever

On Sunday Steve and I celebrated our eleven year anniversary. I love that we got married on Labor Day weekend, which entitles us to a three day weekend pretty much every anniversary. This year we went to Boracay. To sweeten the deal we won a two night stay at a fabulous resort when Steve bought a boatload of raffle tickets at a charity raffle about six months ago. Since it wasn't a local holiday, the place was nearly deserted.

It would sound cheesy to call our get away magical, but that's the best way I can describe it.

We were greeted with fresh Dalandan juice and puka shell necklaces.

Best room, hands down...ever.

Same goes for the beach.

We ended our stay watching Fire Dancers on the beach. Sigh...