The Summer Ends

In exactly one week, Iwill be standing in my new workplace, most likely quite sweaty and anxious, beginning the Next Big Thing.  The Summer of Zeta is well nigh ended, and my feelings are mixed.  I had a wonderful summer, but the anxiety and nervousness snuck in early, and my levels of stress have been climbing for weeks.

I’m heading into the unknown–I don’t know how we’ll make our daily routine work, how Theo will react to my new busy-ness, or quite honestly, how I will.  I don’t know how to say goodbye to this charmed life I have been lucky enough to live, and throw myself into the scary grind of a full-time working mother.  How will I react to the end of endless alone time–will it be the introvert’s nightmare, overstimulation every single day–or will it be really what I needed, the chance to joke with colleagues, and hear more points of view than just my own on repeat?  Will I miss being able to make the rather time-consuming, delicious dinners I always have, or will it almost be a burdened lessened, when we find ourselves eating veggie burgers at least once a week?

I want to only be looking forward to this next adventure, but I find myself more mourning what I will be leaving behind for the foreseeable future.  Never again will my life be like it is now.  And in some ways that will be good, and some things I will probably miss forever.

One of my goals for the summer that I did not meet was to blog more–you have probably noticed that I let that one slide, but mostly I have been successful, and I will fill you all in on the details next time.

Since I last wrote, Theodore has started preschool, and turned three, both with remarkable success!  While I can’t help but worry about my small son in preschool with all of the bigger kids (he’s one of the youngest, of course, and definitely the smallest!), he seems to be fine.  His older cousin goes to preschool the same place, so they are fast friends. Without her, I think he would be lost.  I hope he makes more friends soon–but I know that that is more for my own sake than his.  He seems content to either play with his cousin or play alone, and I am confident that when he is ready to play with the others, he will.  He doesn’t seem as tired and overwhelmed at the end of the day as I expected, which is a relief, as his days will soon be longer.  In short, Theo is a trouper, and I am proud.

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Now, I have to try and tackle a few more things from my list during this last week of freedom and rest (and also turn in the library book that is due today that I just managed to finish in time).  I’ll come soon with an update on The List and what we have been busy with!

 

 

A Weekend on Samsø

Another Big Event of the summer has passed–Andreas’s and my fifth anniversary!  To think that it was five years ago we held our gummi bear wedding is almost ludicrous, but there it is!

I had originally thought I would plan our anniversary weekend (it fell on a Saturday this year–what luck!) but one day, Andreas told me that he rather had an idea, and not to plan anything.  So we arranged for Theo to spend the whole weekend (two nights!) with his aunt, uncle, and cousins, and we took off on Friday morning to an unknown-to-me destination!

I knew that we had to be wherever it was at a certain time, so I had an inkling that it might be a ferry–and it was!  My First Ferry Ride!  It was so exciting, driving through the countryside, only guessing at where we were headed, with three entire toddler-free days ahead of us.  Enough to make anyone giddy and newly in love!

The ferry ride was windy but really lots of fun–and heading up on deck with some coffee was just the thing to stave off the nigglings of seasickness.

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The ferry was headed to Samsø, a cute little island between Zealand and Jutland, north of Fyn, and apparently quite the tourist destination–and no wonder!  The landscape was amazing, thatched roofed cottages everywhere, and no shortage of Danish charm.

I didn’t get nearly as many pictures of the beautiful flowers (and lots of roses!) that were everywhere, but how cute is that flower tree in front of that house?!

It was so fun to be lovebirds again, and we took lots more selfies together, which I’ll spare you😉  There was a lot of rambling on the hills, trying to skip stones, and driving from darling town to darling town, stopping in shops, flea markets, and little farmer stands along the way.  Idyllic x20.

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The best part of it all was being able to do exactly as we pleased without planning outings around a naptime, or anxiously pulling small hands away from the many, many breakable objects in the cute, tiny shops.  We went out for a (I was going to say “late” dinner, but it was at seven pm :P) dinner for our anniversary at a place called “The Pearl” which was really lovely.  Especially for me, as I ordered butter-fried fish which came with a bowl of browned butter on the side! We even got fancy dessert, and really delicious sparkling cider!

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Andreas served as primary photographer (and I get the job as multiple-photo-deleter).

All in all, it was a superb trip, only made better by the fact that it was a surprise.  Even the ferry ride home wasn’t all sad, as by that time I missed Theodore something fierce, and was so excited to bring him home again.

I don’t know if we’ll ever top this, but really, we don’t need to–as long as we get to do it all over again!

Bedroom Cozification

As the Summer of Zeta progresses, I have been slowly making my way through the Summer of Zeta list.  One item on the list was to cozify our bedroom, as it has been, until now, quite bare and boring.  White walls, white furniture, and some black and gray didn’t make for much to look at, so I set out to bring in some color and fluffiness to the bedroom.

Now that I look at them, the “before” shots almost look a bit drab and sad on purpose, but that’s just how it was!

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I set myself a budget of about two thousand kroner to spend on the bedroom, and I think I was within my limits.  The paint was probably the most expensive thing–the rest of the things were the result of a solo-IKEA trip.  Being alone in IKEA is wonderful in one respect, as there is no one to second-guess my decisions, or ask 17 times for a fruit bar and then jump on the display beds, but the downside is that I had only myself to lug the 20 kilos of IKEA things that I bought home (half a mile to the bus stop, on two different busses, and half a mile home from the bus stop).  But the result was well worth it–a room that I actually want to cuddle up in!

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There’s still a couple of things I wasn’t able to get done–like handles for the wardrobe, or a piece of art/wall hanging over the bed, but already I felt like it was inviting and cheerful.  Also, we’re finally sleeping under one duvet, and I love it!

I was able to finish up just in time to use it as a guest room (for my brother and his girlfriend who came to visit!) and also for our five-year anniversary, which is in two days!  Andreas has planned a secret trip away for two nights and three days while Theo bunks with his cousins.  We leave tomorrow morning, and I am so excited, albeit a little bit nervous for leaving Theo overnight (I never have!).  But it will be well worth it, and I can’t wait for a little getaway.  Now I must plan the snack list, because a little bird told me we’ll be driving a bit, and what is any road trip, even a mini-one, without snacks?

The Summer of Zeta

There is finally good news to share on the employment front!

I recently signed a trainee contract with a business/IT consultancy firm.  I’ll be a “Finance Trainee” for the next two years, starting in September.  This means that I have nearly three months to not worry about job-searching, enjoy my “summer vacation” and get ready for the next, exciting step in my life!

As I sat thinking about this after I had received my great news, the only thing I could think of was “I proclaim this, the Summer of Zeta!”  I haven’t seen all that much Seinfeld, but the summer of George scene was somehow stuck in my brain.

I do plan on reading a book, from beginning to end.  And although I probably won’t be frolfing, I’ve got the fruit thing down–it’s cherry and strawberry season!  One of the best times of the year!

Basically, I have been thinking more about my New Year’s resolutions, and re-resolving them for the summer!  I’m making concrete lists of things I want to do, accomplish, and enjoy for the next few months, and trying to plan in advance for special events (our 5th wedding anniversary is coming up, and Theodore’s 3rd birthday!).

The fall is going to be busy, and I’m about as nervous as I am excited!  So I want to make this summer count.  I want to get ready for a little bit of a faster-paced life.  I want to soak up family time, have adventures, and entrench myself in my hobbies so they don’t fall away entirely when life gets busier.

I’m looking forward so much to being busier, moving on, learning new things, and meeting new people.  And I’m also looking forward to a last hurrah.  A period of flexibility and freedom without the worry and anxiety of “what’s next”

So here’s to the Summer of Zeta! I’ll keep you posted!  That’s one of my resolutions after all😉

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On Being 27

This past Sunday, I turned 27.

I blessed Denmark with some wonderful weather (you’re welcome, Denmark!) so much of the day was spent outside on a walk (to the candy store…) and at the flea market.  I finally made myself a cake this year, which I had neglected to do the past few years, and I was really happy I did, as it felt much more like a birthday than a birthday away from home has ever felt!

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I guess I’m 27 now instead of 26, but I don’t really feel old yet, because as far as I’m concerned 27 is still considered “mid-twenties” so I had no crisis of coming out of an era.  So it was a crisis-free, cake-filled birthday–the best kind, if you ask me.

Like I said, I don’t feel much different than I did on Saturday (except that the takeout we got on my birthday may have food-poisoned me a bit) but I do have some wishes for 27.

First and foremost, I want something to do.  I want to get an internship, which is the next step in my education.  It’s actually one of the things I am most nervous about doing–as a change in daily routine, and getting even busier is always intimidating, but I am definitely ready and will be thrilled when I can check this box.

Most of the rest of my wishes for 27 are also my New Year’s Resolutions.  Doing more things, being more active, reading more, etc.  And I think I will actually do all those things, because I’ve been more disciplined, positive, and progressive than ever lately.

Turn 27?  Don’t mind if I do!

And Suddenly, it’s mid-May

Since I last posted, we’ve been to the US and back!

The trip started out rocky, with a rather panicked day-before-we-leave, as Theo got a stomach bug, and threw up about a dozen times the day before we were supposed to leave.  But the doctor said it was no reason to cancel the trip, so we packed ALL of our clothes in our carry-ons (in case we needed 8 changes of clothing during the trip), crossed our fingers, and called a cab to the airport.

Luck was with us, as the worst was over, and there were zero vomiting incidents during the entire trip!  I have to slightly-guiltily admit that it was a pretty great trip.  Theo was worn out, and still not feeling very well, so he basically slept and watched movies the ENTIRE trip.  On the flight to Paris, he slept on my lap, as I had a lovely coffee and read my book for an hour.

Unfortunately, we took turns not feeling well for the first week and a half of our two-and-a-half week trip.  That was frustrating but most of our plans were for the last week or so, and I got to see a lot of my friends and family and stock up on American candy, so the trip was definitely still a success.

The trip back included a delay in JFK (my least favorite airport to date!) and literally sprinting through Charles de Gaulle airport to catch our flight with no time to spare!

Luck, I guess, has been following us around, because as soon as we can back to Denmark, the temperatures hopped into the 70s, and it was pure blue skies for a WEEK STRAIGHT.  This never happens here, so we appreciated the heck out of it.  Because of that, we shook off our jet lag quickly, and Andreas took a couple more vacation days to enjoy the burst of early summer.  As an added bonus, we roamed the local flea market which is just starting up for the year, and scored a lot of great stuff!

Now we’re back to our daily routines, which is nice, but a little sad now that the big trip that I looked forward to for months is over.  On the bright side, I had an interview for an internship with a company that I’m really excited about, and they called me in for a second, so fingers crossed!

Let’s hope the luck lasts just a little bit longer!!

Our Home

I’ve actually been waiting aaaaages to do this post, but what it really needed were photos of our entire home (taken by myself) and so it was a long wait.

But I have recently finished up with exams, and the day after I was done, I felt a compulsion to basically tidy and clean the house from bottom to top, and I took the opportunity to snap some photos.  None of them are perfect, but if we’re waiting on perfection, we’re waiting forever, so here goes!

First of all, we love our home.  We periodically exclaim to each other how much we love our home, and how lucky we feel to live in it.

When you come in, we have a little entrance

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The little bench was our first furniture purchase together, and one of very few pieces in the house that isn’t from IKEA😉  We made the coat hooks ourselves, and love having so much space to hang things, and it’s easy to keep this area tidy!  I think the stairs are beautiful, but they’re a bit impractical, especially with a toddler and a klutz.  But we manage!

If you look to the other side you can peek into the laundry room:

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Under the counter to the left lurks a huge pile of assorted trash that needs to be taken to the recycling center, and we also keep all the tools and tool-y type things here.  To the right here is the large bathroom:

When I say large, I am speaking in relative terms, of course.  We’re not the biggest fans of the one-piece-plastic bathrooms, but this one is white, has a tub, and is big enough for some storage, so we’re happy enough.

Downstairs are also the two bedrooms.  We took the bigger one, because our bed fit in it:

 

The bookshelf is basically empty because we had to move it from upstairs, and couldn’t decide if we wanted to sell it or keep it.  So it’s there for now…  We also have a little terrace outside here, as you can see.  We mostly use it for growing veggies in the planting-boxes, and hanging clothes.  Too many spiders out there for anything else.

Then there’s Theo’s room:

He has a cozy bed, a changing table that hasn’t been used in about a year, more storage than he really needs, and an awesome wall-hanging/play mat that Andreas’s aunt made when he was a kid.

Then it’s time to go upstairs to the living areas!

This is a great kitchen!  It’s big enough for me and my projects.  There’s place for a little pantry (left of the fridge), some stools at the counter, which has always been a dream of mine, and a dishwasher, hoorah!  It’s easy to keep clean, and really light because of the slanty windows.  Across from the kitchen is the dining room:

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It’s a bit plain with no art, but we’re here mostly to eat, and I think it’s kind of a cute, simple room anyway.  We keep the electric piano here, and I practice while I wait for my coffee water to boil😉  Off the hall to the living room/office is a closet and through that, the second bathroom:

So…the bathroom is orange.  There’s a completely orange shower to the left.  The buildings were built in the seventies if you can’t tell…  The closet is a bit of a mess (wasn’t included in the top-to-bottom tidying), but it’s usually like that, so I didn’t want to cheat too much!  The living room is where we spend most of our time:

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This couch is our prized possession, having gotten it in February.  We LOVE it.  There’s a bit of a pile-of-stuff corner developing, but I’m just so happy with the couch that I haven’t addressed it yet.  I had also just taken down all the curtains for washing and hemming, which I’m proud to say that I totally completed in two days, and they’re back up now.  Outside is the bigger terrace, where we grow more flowers and herbs, and have our patio furniture.  Eating dinner out here in the summer is amazing!  It’s just starting to be warm enough to eat outside, and we are looking forward to an entire summer of it!  This side of the apartment faces west, so the sun is full-on here in the evening, and it’s rather sheltered from the wind, so it’s perfect!  Across from the living room is the office:

The room-separator/bookshelf always looks sort of messy, but I haven’t thought of a solution for that yet, so I just let it be.  The bottom three rows belong to Theo’s toys.  Then we have our sleeper couch, a rug I picked at IKEA just because I liked it, and the little art-thing that I made shortly after we moved in, with one of our favorite quotes.  The desk is a solid wood top, with IKEA legs and drawers, and we love it!  Our cozy office corner is perfect!

And that’s our home!  I’m always curious to see how others live, so I thought I would finally share ours!  Of course there are always ongoing projects, and nothing is ever finished, but we are at a point where the projects are slowing down, and we’re so happy living here.

 

A Mid-March Update

Alas, it seems as though my resolution of keeping up my blog was mostly good intentions.  I’ve had several ideas for posts, and absolutely zero follow-through, which brings us to an update post, simply so my existence isn’t completely forgotten.

These days, I am alive, but hungry.  We’re in the homestretch of the Baha’i Fast, which means no eating or drinking during daylight hours.  It’s been just as challenging as anticipated, especially the part about getting up pre-dawn to eat, and Theo waking up as soon as we finish eating, and not having coffee as a mid-morning pick-up, but I am making it through.  This is actually one of my best fasts yet, I think, as I have yet to be too sick to fast, or to accidentally eat something!

Schoolwork has been a bit stressful, but I am really proud of how it is going, especially today after a particularly successful online presentation!  Whenever I’m a bit low on self-esteem, I just think about how awesome it is that I’m fluent enough in another language to do “real” school, and how cool that makes me.  And if that doesn’t work, I take a typing test.

It has also been tough for me lately to find a balance between schoolwork, housework, and family time.  I’ve been feeling a bit overburdened, especially when fasting is added to the mix, and it’s proving hard to find a solution or compromise that really improves things.

Theo has also become a regular child, in that he no longer needs 13 hours of sleep per night, and a two-hour nap (Oh, how I miss the days!).  So, he’s getting up early, which was a hard reality to face in the beginning, but is easier now.  And potty-training is right around the corner so I’m sure that will prove interesting.

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Our trip to the states is also coming up when my school is finished, and I am getting more and more excited!  Besides seeing my family, I have to admit that I am SO excited to be in an American grocery store again, and go out to eat AMAP (as much as possible).  Aaaaand I just realized that the couple of kilos that are coming off during the Fast are probably very quickly going to be returned to me.  Maybe I’ll make some room in the suitcase for my running shoes…

A Tiny Tribute to Toys

I was sitting on the couch the other day with Andreas (our NEW and AWESOME couch, by the way, which deserves its very own post), and I mentioned that I hoped I would never forget some of Theo’s little eccentricities.  He suggested that I write them down (duh.) and I thought I’d do it here, because what better place?

First and foremost is the Mustache Purse.

This is a purse I got from my sister as a birthday present, I believe, about twelve years ago.  It was actually featured here before in a post of pink things before Theo was born and took over everything.  Now, he uses it to carry around pieces of a wooden puzzle that he has decided are mustaches:

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The following are Theo’s “construction vehicles” as they must be called.

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The excavator on the left is Theo’s personal property.  The front loader in the middle is what I am allowed to play with.  The concrete mixer is only good for taking the concrete mixing part off and whistling into it.  The sign must be present at all times.

Last, but not least, is the car:

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The red bag isn’t always there, but this is how I found it when I went to go take a picture for the blog…

This car has been probably the most popular toy in our home. Every time my nephew comes over, it’s the first thing he gravitates towards, and he usually doesn’t give it up until it’s time for food.  The best thing about it is that the seat opens up, and you can put things inside!

Things I’ve found inside the car:

  • All of Theo’s blocks
  • My pearl bracelet
  • Three bags of brown sugar
  • Used kleenexes
  • My phone
  • Gaga (Theo’s special stuffed duck)

 

My silly guy

 

Taxes Schmaxes

Andreas once complained about doing his taxes.  When I asked him what he had to do, he said he had to log on to the tax-system-thing (which required him to go DOWNSTAIRS to get his log-on card) and check to make sure all of the supplied information was correct.

Then, I waited, expecting him to finish his story.  Only…that was it.  That was the story.  That was his taxes.  Bully for him.

I thought taxes were confusing in college when I wasn’t sure if I was a dependent or not.  Or if I could deduct the price of my schoolbooks.  And then I moved overseas and promptly stopped filing my taxes, because I was making zero income, so I don’t have to, right?  Only then, three years later, someone told me that if you live abroad, you have to file your taxes regardless of how much you make.

So, I immediately began researching how to make good on my American taxes, because the thought of a letter showing up from the IRS telling me I was in deep trouble filled me with dread.  So, after enough IRS surfing to make anyone crazy, I finally figured out how to do my delinquent taxes.  And then, just as I had filled out every form, signed every statement, and paper-clipped it all up neatly, I happened across a pamphlet that said you don’t have to file if you made under $4,000.  And then I also found out about another form I had to submit.