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.

 

 

Resolutions Two Weeks In

It’s not often that I actively think about my New Year’s Resolutions after the first couple of days.  Which is why I generally don’t make very many of them.  But this year is different somehow.  I think because the resolutions have been in the works for a long time–they’re real ways I need to change.

I actually have printed and organized photos (and put them in a photo album AND organized by date all of my old photos back to the year 2000, which, strange as it seems, was actually a really long time ago).  I organized and reformatted my entire recipe collection, took care of old taxes and this year’s taxes, and even started knitting myself a cardigan.  *high five*

A couple things that helped me get these things done (to look at next year, when it’s mid-January, and I definitely haven’t accomplished any of the goals I set in my New Year ferver):

-Sitting down at the desk.  This is something that’s new to me, as I haven’t had a desk since I lived on campus, but we recently finished our two-person desk/office area, and it helps a lot with focus to sit down there, with nice focused lighting, and really check things off the to-do list.

-Making a list.  This past weekend, Andreas and I made a list with all of the little loose ends that we’ve been meaning to take care of on it.  And we finished it.  Like…all the way.  This was incredibly helpful, and it was fun to work together on accomplishing something.  Bonus: We also found out what was making the weird noise in the washer and (after hours of fiddling) managed to free the offending bobby pin!

-Journaling.  This has more to do with the “positivity” resolution, but I find that journaling helps me be able to find the positives, express my gratitude, and boosts my mood because my journal is a very pretty color.

In update news, I’ve started online school, and so far, it’s going great.  But we haven’t started the groupwork yet, so we’ll see.  I have to say, that studying business in Danish doesn’t seem all that much more difficult than it would be to study in English, because of all the new terms I have to learn anyways.  I’m really liking studying so far–I just really like to learn new things, and it is actually really, really nice to be able to do it in the comfort of my own home instead of in a classroom where I’m constantly thinking about how large the sweat-rings under my arms are getting.

Studying at home does, however, lead to more Facebook and blog checks than I’d like to admit.  Speaking of which, I’d better get back to it.

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In a Theo-update: This is Theo and the squirrel-baby that he named Rafael (after the ninja turtle).  It is very important to Theo that Rafael has enough lip balm on at all times.

Hello, 2016

Now that the year has officially begun, and I am seeing everyone’s posts about resolutions or looking back at the past year, I realized that I had done neither of those things, and was completely unprepared to start the new year.  But, perhaps better late than never, so here I go.

Looking back on last year’s New Year’s post, I only realized with a bit of a mental “nuts…” That not very many of the things I was hoping for 2015 came to fruition.  My job search stayed a job search, my plans for education jolted in at least 5 different directions before deciding on one, and we’re not quite ready to think about the next addition to the Hermit Crab clan on anything but hypothetical terms.  But on the bright side, I did make it through, and came out the other side.  Andreas switched jobs for the better, Theo is speaking eloquently, and I did manage to finish all of my Danish education, and with good marks to boot!  We have a lovely, cozy, clean home, and we’re in a good place to start the new year.

One thing I want to work on in 2016 is being more positive.  I’m not, by nature, a particularly negative person, but there is of course room for improvement.  I want to really embrace positivity, because I believe in the power of a positive outlook.  I’m sure that we will face some big challenges in the next 12 months, and I want to meet them ready and confident instead of filled with dread.

I also want to do more things.  I don’t even mean particularly big things, but I just want to fill more of my free hours with projects, activity, and fun!  Andreas and I often find ourselves too easily convinced to spend the evening on the couch with Netflix, and while I want to leave space for that as well, we realized that even we need to make plans sometimes.  Even things as simple as more ambitious cake-making projects, board games, and handyman projects will make that free time feel better used, and the Netflix marathons feel more deserved.

Being a bit more up-and-at-’em might also help me actually accomplish some of the goals I set for myself last January, like getting all of our recipes organized and printed, and sorting through the videos and photos I have from the last two years, and finally getting around to printing a few large stacks.  

It’s admittedly hard to believe that I will actually get any of the things done, but there’s an extra glow of hope hovering around the first of January, and I’ll enjoy it while it lasts! 

Happy New Year!

   
 
 

Thanksgiving 2015

So, two weeks later, and I am finally back (thanks Heather!) to tell you about how Thanksgiving went!

In short, it went great.  The food was delicious, and the company was fantastic, but the weekend, for me at least, was a bit tainted with stress of my looming oral exam.  Theo didn’t sleep as well as he normally would (probably due to the fact that he was super excited that his cousins were there), but besides that, everything went smoothly!  Dinner prep was only a bit stressful at the end because the turkey was finished a bit early, so there was a rush on the sides, but everything got done, was delicious, and well-received.

   
   
A travel-sized hair straightener (with an American plug, so it couldn’t be used) was the star of the weekend:

   
 
And one of the things I was most proud of was the fact that when I made applesauce, I peeled every. Single. Apple. In one long peel!

  
Unfortunately, now that I have a phone that takes acceptable pictures, we hardly ever bring out the big camera (especially if we travel). Equally unfortunately, it’s getting dark ever so early in Denmark now, which means that most of the pictures I take end up grainy, blurry, or a combination of the two, but I promised, and they’ll have to suffice!