Friday, December 28, 2012

Another Christmas Overview

Our Christmas went peacefully as usual. This year because I didn't have to work, we managed to do some trips before enjoying our time together at MIL's place. On Christmas eve, we picked up MIL to go visit the graves. We lit some candles (we went to two different graveyards where they had MIL's parents' graves as well as FIL's parents' graves),

This is the graveyard near the old church:

It was -20'C that day and the sky had some pinkish colour at around 1 pm. Here are two views:


Then we went to visit FIL at the old people's home. He had just had lunch and he was given some coffee and joulutorttu in the kitchen.We gave him some Christmas gifts and then after we moved him to bed, he went to sleep right away, so we left and visited MIL's elder half-sister (who's also her very close friend). We gave her some chocolate and then we went back to MIL's place because BIL and SIL had promised to come at around 4 pm.We had the traditional Christmas food in Finland and then played some cards, but BIL and SIL had to leave earlier because they were going to spend Christmas with SIL's side of the family. 

MIL had asked me to buy some red wine, so I bought a bottle of French red wine, though I wasn't really sure if it was good or not because when I went to the store, there were SO many different types with different explanations, so I just chose one of them ha ha...R2 said that it wasn't too bad, but it wasn't too good, either ha ha ha...I only tasted a little 'coz I'm afraid of the rash happening again like what happened on my first Christmas in Finland.  

Anyway, after sauna we opened our gifts and R2 did get tricked!!! He thought I only gave him one gift, but I had hidden the second one in my bag. He opened the gift and thought that he only got a Donald Duck book. Only after that I gave him the second gift, which was his actual gift: a computer game he he he...He's been gaming it ever since we came back home! :-D

We stayed up late playing cards (not as late as the previous years, though! I guess we're getting older and we get tired more easily LOOOOOLLLL!!!) and then I had fun watching three squirrels chasing one another outside of MIL's apartment. They were SO cute!!!

Here's a pic of one of them. It was so dark outside already so it was hard to get a good pic. Thus I had to tamper with the pic and turned it into sepia mode:

And on Christmas day I saw a punatulkku (bullfinch) among the trees. It was SO vivid due to its red colour among the whiteness of snow. Here's a pic of it...I also had to tamper with the pic to make it brighter. Otherwise it'd look so dark.

Before Christmas I tried taking pics of natural snowflake forms on my bike, but it was SO hard. I just want to show you that when the temperature is colder and it snows, the snowflakes retain their original forms for a while when they land on non-warm spots (like this pic I took of my bike bag). It isn't the best pic (again the darkness didn't help me capture the snowflake form as well as I could), but I suppose this should do...

OK, enough for now. I'm now busy working again until New Year's eve, so not too much time to relax until then he he...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Have a Blessed Christmas!

After all the rush at work, it's time for me to get a few days' of rest to celebrate Jesus' birth...I wanna share with you these two blessings this time...

Friday, December 21, 2012

Childhood Memory: Glutinous Rice Balls in Ginger Soup

When we were younger, we used to help Mom prepare some glutinous rice balls. On certain days of the year, she'd try to sell lots of these at the traditional market where she made a living. Making glutinous rice balls in ginger soup itself isn't that hard, but when you're trying to sell at least dozens of bags of them (a bag would consist of 20-25 balls), it can be a tough task, especially for children.

Here's a recipe that I found online: Glutinous Rice Balls in Ginger Soup. The ones we made were without fillings, so they'd be smaller than those in this pic and my Mom would use food colouring to make different types: chocolate (using chocolate powder), white (original colour), pink, and green (using a dash of red and green food colouring). 

Anyway, one day my Mom asked for our help to make hundreds and hundreds of these balls (she never forced us to help, mind you!). Being kids, of course we were so excited to help. Who wouldn't? Even Ken, my bro's son, loves helping out. In fact, today he did make these balls as well - that was what prompted me to write this post hi hi...But now that my Mom has retired, she doesn't have to make too many balls anymore. Just enough for the family and to give out to some relatives. 

Let's zoom back to the past, shall we? Anyway, Mom had separated the four colours in different bowls and she told us to pick which colours we wanted. Being the youngest one in the family, my brother was the slowest one because his hands were smaller than ours. At first he was so excited, but after some time had passed by, after watching how fast the others (me, Dad, and esp. Mom) managed to make the balls, he started comparing how much dough we had left in our own bowls. After realizing that he had the most dough still, he got stressed out and he started crying. He bawled and said, "I'm never going to finish this!!!!!!!!!"

Poor boy...Mom finally let him stop and take a rest and she took the dough that was given to him and continued making the balls efficiently. In the future after this incident, whenever we gathered together to help Mom make more balls, we'd remember it fondly (well, except perhaps my bro who would probably wish everybody else had forgotten about it LOL!!!).

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

3BT: Random Days

1. The last Christmas gift package that I ordered arrived already yesterday. Phew!!! Just in time for Christmas he he...

2. I've got surprise gifts and Christmas cards this year. THANK YOU, people!

3. A customer bought a big sack of dog food and said, "This is Christmas food." It made me laugh instantly! :-D

4. We've booked a trip for our spring holiday next year. WOOOOHHHHHHHHOOOOOO!!! :-D THANKFUL to have a chance to do a trip again!

5. Slathering lotion all over hubby's legs in winter and hearing no protest.

6. After serving an English-speaking customer, I turned to the next one and accidentally mentioned the sum in English, which prompted us both to laugh at the same time HA HA HA HA...Some days it takes my brain a longer time to switch back to Finnish LOL!!!

7. Hearing, "Don't run! You don't have to rush! I'm not in a hurry" when I try to come back to the till as quickly as possible. 

8. Finding Jeruk Bali (Balinese Orange) aka Hunajapomelo which took me straight back to my childhood 'coz I used to eat a lot of it when I was a child - and we used to turn the thick skin into a toy. Ah...lovely memories!!! :-D

8. Looking at cute/funny cat pictures (well, mainly cat pics but there are some other animals, too). Makes me go ooh-aah-ing. Mmmmmmmm...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Dunno where to start. I've been silent mainly because of some news I heard about a friend who's fallen ill. At first it seemed to be a regular illness, but then it was discovered to have been an autoimmune disease. This kind of news is jarring enough to make me feel like I'm at a stoplight. The world is still moving at its own pace around me, but I'm focused on the red light that may change the whole world for my friend. 

When I finally let the light turn green again, it felt weird. Somewhere out there right at this moment someone is laughing, another is crying, another gives birth, another loses a loved one, another is thinking of suicide, another is enjoying a honeymoon, another is having a promotion, another loses a job...We'll never know what will happen to us next. 

Being childless-not-by-choice, I've sometimes thought about how we'll end up in the future and trying to "see" too far ahead is totally scary, especially if I wonder who's gonna fight for my right when I'm too old and sick to be able to do it for myself (read my post on Mercy). It's better to just focus on the present, make the best of what we have right now than feeling worried about what may not actually happen. 

After IF, I don't even dare talk about miracles to my friend. If God wills, He can erase her illness, but many times God doesn't work that way. It doesn't matter anymore why God chooses to act a certain way or why He doesn't help us the way we want Him to. What matters most is that I know He knows best and He cares and He will give enough grace and peace beyond understanding in whatever circumstances one has to face if one believes in Him and asks for it. 

This is the prayer I sent to my friend..

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Translating Project Done!

WOOOHHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Just have to write this quick post to let you all know that the translating project is now done!!!! I've just burned the file to a CD to give to the writer. It was quite a struggle in parts 'coz I just had to research on some of the things before finally figuring out what exactly was going on in the story and what kind of terms I should use, but it was a good exercise, though I think I want to take a break from doing this kind of heavy translating jobs for a while HA HA HA HA HA HA...

But anyway, come and cheer with me:


3BT: Random Days

1. Hubby had a pre-Christmas weekend party in Luosto with his online gaming buddies. When I was going to work and he was preparing to go there, I told him, "Have fun, but not too much fun that you won't remember coming home."

He said without missing a beat, "But the fun part is coming home after the party." heart melted right away. :-D He's not often verbally romantic, but he does drop "romantic verbal bombs" like these every now and then and it always catches me by surprise. :-D

2. Reading these words that made me laugh: "You're incapable of being destroyed. Like a cockroach." ROFL ROFL ROFL!!!!!!!!!

3. My appreciative and thoughtful direct superior who is fair in treating us all.

4. Watching snowflake patterns on my bike saddle when I had to run some errands downtown.

5. My first attempt at recreating Zuppa Soup was a success (and I found a cheap ceramics bowl that could be put in the oven). WOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

6. I made some oven baked pancake (actually pannukakku) and I'm going to eat it soon with some strawberry jam. The smell is spreading to the other rooms, too...mmmmhhhh...

7. Dark Belgian chocolate that just melts in the mouth. I've never had anything like that before. Today I bought a few more packages of the same chocolate for Christmas gifts (and for us as well LOL!). HEAVENLY!!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

ABBA's Greatest Hits

After my Dad bought a second-hand car from his sister and he started taking us to our respective schools, we'd always listen to the tape playing ABBA's Greatest Hits over and over again. In the mornings we'd first go to my brother's High School because it was farther away than mine. Back then Bandung wasn't as crowded as nowadays. Being a sleepyhead that I am, I'd always close my eyes in the car until I got to school, because I'm just NOT a morning person ha ha ha...

My brother was supposedly getting a motorcycle and a motorcycle's driver's license at the age of 15, but due to the unforeseen motorcycle accident happened to my cousin prior to his 21th birthday that led to his instant death, my parents decided to wait it up until he was 17 years old before they gave him a motorcycle. Due to the horror of my cousin's death, my brother didn't even complain about my parents' decision. RIP, my beloved cousin!!! 

Anyway, these days whenever I hear ABBA's songs, my mind always turned back to that period of time. I remember the first time my Dad took us to schools by car, he was still so nervous that on a stretch of road (actually there was a traffic light and the light was red) that was a bit uphill, the car went down a little so he had to pull up the hand brake. I got a bit nervous myself, but thankfully the car behind us was farther away so that nothing bad happened.

My Dad loved singing. Even though he never sang while driving the car, he'd sing his heart out at home, changing the lyrics as he goes (chuckle). He was never out of tune, though. :-D

Tonight I'm walking down memory lane while listening to ABBA's songs on's for you, Dad!!! You'd have turned 70 years old in a few weeks. THANKS for having been my Dad...You are MISSED!!!!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Family Ties

I feel like I've lived in quite a "safe bubble" my entire life. When I was younger, my parents would take me to school and pick me up again from there. I was only allowed to start using the public transit when I was 12 y.o. However, my Dad still insisted on taking us to school before he went to work anyway. When I was in High School Dad bought a secondhand car from his younger sister on installment, so he took us to school by car, though starting in Junior High we could go back home by public transit ourselves.

When I went to university, my Dad still sometimes took me there because at that time he had started working as an insurance agent, so his working hours were pretty flexible. Even the parking guy at the university remembered my Dad's face because he took me there many times over. When my brother started going to the same university (different faculty, though), sometimes he'd give me a ride if our schedule matched. :-)

After graduation, I continued working as a part-time English tutor and then I started having the job as a translator. Then after a while I decided that I was fed up being an English tutor and I wanted to try working in a company. An opportunity came and I was invited for an interview. The factory where I had to have the interview couldn't be reached by public transit, so my Dad took me there - and my Mom and brother went along with me because they wanted to support me and because they were so curious about it all (it was my first job interview ever anyway) HA HA HA HA HA HA...

P.S. Unfortunately I didn't enjoy the job, so I quit after only being there for 7 weeks and from then on I focused my time on translating books instead. 

Maybe it's such an embarrassing thing for some people, but for me, it wasn't embarrassing. Maybe because I'd been having this dream of travelling abroad and even living abroad since I was a child, so I always had this thought in my mind, "They can't keep doing it for me when I'm far away, so I may as well just let them love me this way while we still live together." After all, by then I was already in love with R2 and I was thinking that if our relationship worked out, I would definitely have to leave Indo.  

Anyway, the first time I started teaching in an English course at the university at around 19 y.o., my parents took me there. They just wanted to know where the course was. One of my lecturers recruited me to teach at her English course (the course was open for kids from the age of 5 to 12 y.o.), so she had told me to come there at a certain time and date. When my parents and I arrived there, she wasn't there yet, but the secretary was there. Mind you...I had Demi Moore's hair in Ghost at that time (and I'm only 145 cm)...upon seeing me with my parents, the secretary greeted us and immediately asked, "Oh, are you here to enroll in one of our English courses?" LOL LOL LOL!!!

Imagine her surprise when she found out I was there to TEACH!!!!! ROFL ROFL ROFL...anyway, I'm glad I have so many memories of being with my parents and I'm REALLY thankful for their efforts in spending time with me. My Mom also accompanied me every time I had to go to Jakarta to apply for my visa and when I had to prepare for the paperwork before I could get married with R2 as well as the paperwork after I got married before I could move to Finland. My family's not perfect and my parents aren't big on saying "I love you" or "I'm proud of you" and they're not even big on hugs, but I never doubt their love for me because of the way they lavish us with their time, attention, and support. After all, quality time is my primary love languages.

Ah, my cup is overflowing with gratitude...

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

3BT: Random Days

1. Writing this note for hubby (I had an evening shift that day): "Just eat me all up 'coz your wife is going to cook something else tomorrow, OK? Signed: The Slaughtered Lamb. :-D" ---> I had cooked some lamb the day before and there was some left in the fridge, but I knew that he would be worried whether he should eat it all up or leave me a little piece of it, so I stuck the note on top of the box containing the lamb meat. I'm glad to know the note made him smile. :-D Hubby, you INSPIRE me!

2. Had a brilliant idea to trick hubby again on Christmas. ROFL ROFL!!! I'll write about it later on after Christmas if it works!!! I'm just SOOOOO excited!!!

3. Bro told me he woke up earlier specially on my birthday to say a prayer for me. My heart melted!!!

4. My Mom sent me a bday SMS and she also sent prayers. THANKS A LOT, Mom!

5. My closest friends send me birthday greetings and them really touched me deeply and one of them made me laugh by writing down how we first met. :-D More mushy mushy feelings...

6. Watching the frozen snowflakes on my bike saddle and bag when the temperature outside was about -20'C. Amazing artwork!!!

7. Falling in love with characters in books/stories/movies...ahhhhh...I know they're not real, but there are just so many unreal things that are so adorable he he...

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Birthday Cabin Trip: Crunchy Snow

I asked for the whole weekend off so that we could spend time at the cabin. Fortunately for us, for the past few days the temperature had dropped down a lot compared to the days before. That meant that it was easier to walk along the snowy path towards the lake he he...because the snow had frozen quite well so that our feet stayed on top of the snow quite well.

We arrived at the cabin at around 5 pm and it was already so dark. There was a beautiful orange full moon hanging low above the horizon and it was a starry night as well! The temperature was -18'C. Funnily enough, the inside of the cabin was only about -6'C he he he...

Here's a pic of R2 trying to get some water from the frozen lake for the sauna. We were afraid it'd be so hard to get the water again, but thankfully the ice layer wasn't too thick. I remember one time it took maybe half an hour for him to use the tools before we could get some water (we almost gave up and R2 was sweating so much after all the hard work!!!):

By the time we got the cabin ready, I saw a halo around the moon, but it was SO hard to get good pics of it. One of the reasons was that when it got that cold, it was hard to press the button of the camera after a while. My fingers were freeeeezzzziiinnngggg after taking lots of pics (some of them were failures!). Here are some pics anyway...

Can you see the stars in the next pic? My monitor's setting is a bit darker than normal, so I'm not sure if it's still too dark or not...hmmmmhhh...

Woke up at around 10.30 am the next day. The sun had just started rising by then and it was gorgeous. Here are a few sunrise pics I took.

And we left the cabin at around 13.30 (around the time when the sun was just about to set). Here is a pic of the lovely pinkish sky at sunset:

Oh yeah, on Friday morning I made some cupcakes from a cupcake mix (with sourcream topping plus brown sugar sprinkles). Easy to make and yummy enough for us ha's the pic!

And here are some pics of tilhi/waxwings. I stood only a few steps away from them, can you believe it? One of the perks of living in Lapland ha ha ha ha...Aren't they SO cute and round??? :-D It got so dark already by then so I had to fix the pics a little...Hope you enjoy the pics! :-D

P.S. As you probably notice, there's not that much snow left 'coz until a few weeks ago the temperature got really warm, so most of the snow had melted! However, yesterday in southern Finland there was snowstorm in many places that brought so much snow (as much as 35 cm or so in Helsinki if I remember correctly). 


Friday, November 30, 2012

The "All About Me" Syndrome

With the rise of blogging and social media sites, I think I've found a new syndrome, the "All About Me" syndrome. You see, this year I deleted my birth date from my FB profile. Last year and two years ago, I got so many birthday greetings from lots of people (even those I don't really "talk to" in FB so much but they're in my friends list). This year with the new profile, I've also set my FB wall so that if anyone writes directly on my wall, nobody else can see it but myself. That's why there were only a few birthday greetings on my FB page yesterday.

And I felt a bit weird because I don't get as many greetings as the previous years. I guess I've really gotten used to getting "attention" in FB so that when things "get back to normal" (like the time before blogging and FB), I felt a little deprived of all the attention, though I know that most people who congratulated me the previous years only did so because FB had notified them about my birthday.

I wonder how the future will be like...when the world is getting more and more connected so's so easy to succumb to the lures of getting more and more attention. In the past nothing like this is possible unless one puts on a huge sign on top of one's head "Today is my birthday", but then that would make others think that the person is such a narcissist or over-the-top or crazy. 

There's a very fine line between sharing with others and "bragging" or "wanting as much attention as possible" and I really have to be careful in not crossing that line, especially since it's so easy these days to do such a thing without it being considered a crazy thing.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

34th Year On Earth

This year for some reason I feel so overwhelmed with emotions. So many blessings...unexpected many blessings each day...His grace is new every day. His peace beyond understanding is just out of this world. His perfect timing even makes me feel at awe at His grand designs. You know how life makes more sense when you look back on the past? And you get to see things more clearly? That's how I feel today even more acutely than ever...

PRAISE THE LORD for everything good that comes my way...
THANK YOU for your love, 
THANK YOU for the closed doors...
THANK YOU for the open doors that I never even expected to be open...

And for you, dear readers, enjoy this lovely video clip...Kim Yunaaaaaaa on ice!!!! :-D

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Funny November + 3BT: Random Days

I've been busy and have been getting a bit of a cold again, so haven't been writing here nor have I had a chance to blog-hop. This year is a funny November. Usually October is the yuckiest month of winter when the temperature still gets a little bit over and under zero, so the accumulated snow melts and refreeze and then there's new snow coming in and then it melts again, but this year this all happened in November. However, now it seems that it's gonna be much colder this week. So overall this November has been very warm compared to the previous years.

A week ago it was really dangerous 'coz the thick snow melted and even our yard became like a skating rink. My customers had been saying to me how slippery it was outside. Some got really sad 'coz almost all the snow melted by then and there was brownish, yucky, wet snow on the side of the streets. Those who loved White Christmas just groaned in sight of all those yuckiness he he he...Thankfully the other day it snowed again. It wasn't too much, but enough to cover up all the dirt he he...Now that the weather has gotten much colder all of a sudden, it's actually better this way. If we had lost all the snow, it'd been SO dark here, especially next month.

Work is going to get busy again next month because one coworker has resigned and another one is currently sick. Dunno how hectic it's gonna be, but there will sure be changes to all of our work schedules. We shall see.

Yesterday R2 came back home from work in a very agitated state, asking me if there was a package for him. I said no. He had been waiting for the package already the day before. Then he found out that it had arrived already, so he went back to the PO to get it. I got a hunch that it must've been my bday present hi hi hi when he got back home, I asked him, "Is the package THAT important that you just had to get back out to get it right away?"

He said yes with a huge grin, then told me NOT to touch the package at all. And he proceeded in wrapping it up in another room HA HA HA HA HA HA...Can't wait to open it!!! :-D

Here is my 3BT list:

1. Last night I told hubby, "You're the best gift God's ever given to me." And he squeezed me tightly in response. :-D

2. A customer said, "My cat loves Gotler ham so much so that it wouldn't eat anything else but that." LOL!!! Never heard of such a thing before! She made me laugh!

3. Still a few customers said, "Where have you been? I haven't seen you in a long time." It's good to be missed hi hi...

4. The machine got jammed at one point, so had to wait for a few minutes and there were a few people in line already (but they were all old people). One of them kept on joking with me during the whole wait, making the wait much more bearable. :-D THANK GOD for patient people who do have a good sense of humour! :-D

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Fate, Love...

My Mom loves telling me stories about people, including love stories about our relatives. One particular story that I'm reminiscing today is about a long-distance relative of ours. I don't even know the person and I don't remember too well anymore how he's linked to us in the huge family tree, but I always feel "awwwwwww" whenever I remember the story.

When this guy was young, he fell in love with this girl, but his parents didn't approve of her because they were from different races. So the guy got married to a woman whom his parents approved of and the girl also got married to someone else. Both of them had children of their own and perhaps even grandkids and their spouses died before them. One day as fate would have it, they met again and they rekindled the long-lost love

I hoped that in the end they were happy together, even though I also hoped they were happy with their own spouses and families before they could reunite.

In Indonesia, it's considered a bit "inappropriate" for older people to get married again (after their spouses have died, I mean). A few years ago I heard some uproar in a family because the mother (a widow) was courted by this widower. If this happened here in Finland, nobody would have said anything about it, but in the end the widow and the widower didn't get together because the widower's sons disapproved of the relationship. 

Anyway, speaking of a love movie, here's a different take on love: Fireproof.

The Love Dare in the movie can be found here: Fireproof My Marriage

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

3BT: Random Days

1. A mute customer tried to have a conversation with me again. He showed me some paintings (which I think he did himself) and I held up two thumbs. He's always smiling at me friendly, so it's always nice to meet him. :-D

2. Had a small accident on my bike yesterday - slid on a patch of ice and bumped my right knee, but FORTUNATELY it wasn't any worse than that! No broken bones or whatsoever. Phew!

3. Meeting some friends by accident and being able to chit-chat with them for a while and catch up with them. :-D

4. After hubby had such a long day of work, I was thinking of giving him a back massage in sauna ('coz I had a free day today), but then he gave me a foot massage instead! BLESS YOU, babe!

5. #4 made me even more enthusiastic in giving him the back massage. :-D

6. Despite the onset of a cold, at least this time I manage to sleep well during the night. I sure do hope it won't turn out any worse, though.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Closure: Funeral of a Dream

I think I've managed to separate my regular self and my "infertile" self in two different blogs. Lately I feel that I've shared more happy thoughts/memories here and the less happy thoughts/memories in my other blog and I know there are different readers for each blog. 

A while ago I felt that I needed a more "definite" closure in terms of our infertility journey, so I allowed myself to go through a painful "farewell party". The thing is, when you lose someone "real" (or even a pet), there's usually a funeral, but what about losing the dream of having children? Even though we've surrendered to life without kids for a longer time now, but I still felt that it was lacking something. Closure. A funeral. 

I felt that my grief was so unreal and it was made unreal with the fact that I couldn't even have a decent funeral. It made sense that the grief was unreal because it was an ambiguous loss, but the knowledge didn't really help soothe my pain. I was actually afraid to grieve properly all over again because it meant that I would have to lose control over whatever might happen, but the call/need to grieve fully AGAIN was WAY too strong. I was so lost and desperate when I wrote the post for my infertility blog, but now I'm OK (so no need to worry about me - I just want to share this to raise more awareness on the acute grief an infertile may feel), so I'm ready to share it with you all in this blog as's my "Funeral of a Dream".  


We're in the middle of In Memoriam Forest, burying our precious dream. There's a glass coffin right in front of us. A beautiful glass coffin with some leaf engravings on top and at the sides, the patterns of which matched the kind of wedding ring that we liked but never made. There are flower bouquets everywhere and there are nobody else there except us. The coffin looks empty, but it's actually filled with so many memories-cum-possibilities-cum-hopes-that-never-happened, the things that IF (infertility) has robbed from us. 

We can hear this song at the background, accompanying us to say goodbye to this dream...

We're saying goodbye to these nonexistent-memories-cum-possibilities-cum-hopes:

- Taking HPT test and then feeling the rush of excitement and unbelief when I see two lines and then running to show it to hubby and then shrieking happily while squeezing hubby with all my might. "I can't believe it, I can't believe it! You're gonna be a dad! I'll be a mom!" I probably won't be able to sit still the whole day and it'd be close to impossible not to tell anyone else right away.

- The joy and excitement of both grandmas and uncles and friends when they find out about our good news after our tough effort to stay silent for weeks.

- Going to the gyno together and hearing your heartbeats for the first time. I'll probably shed some tears while your daddy's smiling calmly beside me.

- Feeling you kick for the first time and then excitedly telling daddy about it and while daddy's always so calm about anything, I bet deep inside he wants to feel it too and he'll get plenty of chances to feel your kick as time goes by.

- Feeling tortured during nausea period and during my back pain period as you get bigger and bigger inside me. Having trouble sleeping at night and I can't wait to see you, but at the same time I don't want you to get out too soon. I worry about you and try to do my best to eat healthily and avoid certain things that aren't good for you.

- Excited and scared while waiting for your arrival. After all, I won't be able to deliver you in this village, but I have to go to Rovaniemi (about 1,5 hours by car from here) and I don't want to deliver you in an ambulance just like what happened to a friend of mine.

- After hours and hours of pain and agony, finally you arrive. Welcome to the world, kiddo! There are so many people waiting for you and ready to shower you with love.

- Your hair is dark. Darker than daddy's, but less dark than mine. Your nose is exactly like daddy's. Your eyes are the combination of ours. You look so small that I'm afraid I'm gonna squash you if I hold you too tightly. I never know that holding a small baby for a long time can really make my arm numb...daddy and I have been exchanging glances and our hearts are bursting with so much awe and happiness. We can't believe you're finally here!!!

- Now the tough time really starts...sleep deprivation and total chaos in the house, but that's all right. I may get grumpy sometimes, but I still love you anyway. If you're as feisty as I was when I was a baby, maybe you'll bite me if I breastfeed you and then you realize that there's no more milk. *chuckle* And then I'll have to do what my Mom did with me - pinched my nose so that I'd breathe through my mouth, releasing her of the pain that my gum had caused her.

- You keep on growing so fast and learning so much. First tooth, first words, first step...We take so many pictures and videos of you over the years. I can't believe how occupied I've been with you. I long for some adult conversations in peace every now and then, but I suppose your grandma would be willing to take care of you for a few hours so that we can have some quality time or I can enjoy some adult conversations without you.

- At home I speak to you in English and you speak Finnish with daddy. I want you to be bilingual because that's going to be helpful in the future. 

- Then when you're old enough, I'll tell you so many stories: our love stories, how we met, how we fell out of love, how we restarted our love, stories of your grandmas and grandpas and so many other people you may not even get to know. But these stories may help you learn life lessons. 

- I can't believe how many questions you're asking me these days. What is it? What is it for? Why? Why? Why? Thank goodness there's the internet 'coz mommy can't possibly answer all your questions without it. 

- And then you start testing the boundaries and power struggle begins. Mommy and daddy have to stand our ground and be united to discipline you. But at the end of the day, even though we're sometimes at our wits' end, all the troubles melt away when you hug us with your little arms, kiss our cheeks, and say, "I love you, mommy. I love you, daddy." And gosh, you look like a perfect little angel when you're asleep. *chuckle*

- We both grow older along with you and now you've started mingling with other kids. It feels as though only yesterday you were a baby and now you're already as tall as me. It hurts us to see you hurt, but real life is tough and you've got to learn some things the hard way. Whatever happens, we want you to know that we love you despite your mistakes and our limitations as parents and we hope that we can help you become an independent adult and human being who has compassion towards others.

Now you and I squeeze each other with all we've got, tears streaming down our cheeks. I sob and choke...the rain is pouring down hard upon us, as if the sky understood and cried with us...

- I can't believe how tall you are now! As tall as your daddy and you're now ready to leave us and start a new life in another place. Tough as it may be to let you go, I have to remember that you've got a life of your own and it's time to spread your wings and fly. 

- Maybe you'll grow up to be a rebellious person like me or maybe you're an easy-going person like your daddy or maybe you're a people-person like my Mom and your uncle. Maybe despite the rebellious years, you'll turn out OK. Or maybe you'll never ever be a troublesome kid at all (like your uncle) and you'll be one of those kids that don't give their parents a headache. All those maybes...all those possibilities...we'll never know, we'll never know...We're sorry we've never met you. 

Goodbye, darlings...Just know that we love you and we miss you and it really hurts to say goodbye this way but we know that if you had been there, you would have wanted us to let go of you and move on and be happy with our life together.

And after the song is finished, with our soaked clothes clinging to our bodies, we look at each other and realize that the rain has stopped...and the sun has started to come out again. 

Yes, "weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." -Psalm 30:5

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Animated Movies

The other day my close friends and I were talking about animated movies. It's always a funny topic to talk about because we have clearly different tastes in animated movies, so it's very tricky to recommend any animated movies to one another (recommending human movies is a different thing). I think it also has to do with our own expectations on what we consider "great animated movies" and what kind of scenes we consider "funny". 

Side note: To make it easier in case you're not familiar with the movies, I've linked them to their imdb pages.

For example, in the past my friend J talked about how great "The Incredibles" was. This was backed up by another friend, S. I was so eager to watch it because I wanted to join in the fun, but alas...when I watched it, I think I may have expected WAY too much (or way too differently), so I was left disappointed so to speak. It was funny in parts, but nothing special for me.

Among the girls, I'm the only one who's totally crazy about "Ice Age" trilogy. All of them think that Ice Age is fine, but nothing much.

N loves "The Emperor's New Groove" along with another friend F, but I don't think it's too memorable. 

I love "Tangled" (esp. the horse's character Maximus!!!! I'm a HUGE FAN!!!!), whereas F says that she doesn't really like it. 

The last animated movie we were discussing was "Brave". I had been DYING to see it ever since I saw the trailer. An independent princess who knows how to shoot arrows so well? A rebellious young lady who refuses to follow the norm? My kind of heroine! :-D 

J and S loved "Brave" so much, but J thought that I wouldn't be so crazy about it. F also enjoyed watching "Brave" much more than "Tangled".

Finally last night we got a chance to watch "Brave". And even though it was funny, I think again I had had a different idea on what the story would be (after watching the trailer), so I was rather taken aback at the plot that continued after the trailer ended. So unfortunately I think J was right in thinking that "Brave" wasn't going to be my fave animated movies, even though I had been dying to watch it.

Conclusion: Sometimes I think it's better NOT to expect anything at all than being disappointed in the end ha ha ha ha ha...but then again it's rather hard at times esp. if you wish the story would go a certain way, but it doesn't. Oh well he he he...

Because I love Maximus so much, let me share this fun video with you...this isn't included in the movie itself. I found it on youtube. I just watched it again and couldn't help laughiiinngggg HA HA HA HA HAAHHHH...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

3BT: Random Days

1. To see FIL's smile during our visit to the old people's home on Father's Day. 

2. To see FIL's eyes flickering, trying to recognize the faces on the card that I printed for him (a pic of us and him). It was nice to see him interested like that.

3. The other day the temperature went up to above zero (most of the snow melted due to that), but thankfully it went colder again and it's been snowing afterwards. Winter Wonderland is BACK!!!! :-D

4. Seeing the neighbour kid rolling around on the thick snow today. :-D

5. I accidentally spilled something on my clean fleece vest, but thankfully I have another one to wear (and it's newly washed and fragrant mmmmhhh...). :-D

6. The moment I wake up from a tiring dream/nightmare and realizing, "Phew! I'm glad it's just a dream and now it's over!!!"

7. Being able to give better advice to customers on where to look for things in my workplace because now I remember more about the products and their locations.

8. Talking on the phone for the first time with one blogger friend. FUN!!! :-D

9. The first time I cooked kaalilaatikko (cabbage casserole) and it was a success (R2 said I could cook it again later). I ate some with gusto after shoveling the very heavy snow outside. :-D

10. I've healed very well after the molar tooth extraction and I've been eating normally again since last weekend (though in the beginning I didn't dare to chew on tough food on that side). :-D 

11. Having a job that I enjoy doing. :-D 

12. Seeing hubby try to hold back his laughter but his quivering nostrils betrayed him. It was such a funny sight that I couldn't help laughing like a mad woman! :-D

13. Laughing uncontrollably for no reason - that caused hubby to do #11. And the crazy laughing cycle continued! :-D 

Thursday, November 08, 2012

6th Wedding Anniversary Cabin Trip

Yep, just got back from the cabin again. R2 took two days off 'coz I've been getting work during the weekend so it's kinda hard to go there then. Didn't take too many pics, but I did take some ha ha...but first of all, here are a few pics of the cakes I bought. Yep, the first one I bought a few days before our anniversary already LOL!!! Couldn't stop myself 'coz it looked SO delicious (and it was!!!).

The second one I bought for all of us (it was a frozen one), so I brought it along to MIL's place. Luckily BIL and SIL also came over that day, so we shared the cake with them, too. Otherwise we'd have been eating too much cake HA HA HA HA HA HA...

We arrived in Kelujärvi at around 5.30 pm yesterday and it was SO dark already. Mind you that the area had no electricity (the path towards the cabin near the lake, I mean). Usually we had a flashlight with us, but this time each of us had a head light (the one with the rubber band that we could put on our forehead) hi hi hi...I bought it a few hours before we left at a nearby store. It was only €3 (it included the batteries already!). Pretty cheap!!! And it was nicer to walk in the dark without having to carry a flashlight in your hand ha ha ha...

Because it was so dark already, I didn't take any pics. The lake was already completely frozen, though I didn't dare walk on it yet 'coz the river water downtown Sodankylä is still running like normal (only parts of the surface is covered with thin ice). But that helped us a lot in getting some water for the sauna, 'coz R2 didn't have to dig too long to get the water hi hi hi...It was a glorious starry night, though. The sky was very clear and the stars were twinkling happily up there.

We went to bed early 'coz R2 was too tired already and I woke up at 6 am due to my screaming bladder. Had to get up and go to the outdoor toilet. R2 woke up as well to burn more firewood 'coz the cabin started getting cool already, then we went back to sleep HA HA HA...At around 9 am the sunlight woke me up. It was SOOOOOOOOOOO bright outside and just lovely (around -8'C). Thankful that we got a chance to enjoy the sun, 'coz at around 12.30 pm it went cloudy again and the sun was already hiding behind the clouds.

OK, here are some pics...enjoy!!!

This is the frozen lake. Don't the funny-looking small piles of snow on the surface of the lake remind you of a meringue pie topping? (click on the pic to see a bigger version)

Plenty of birds were eating and chirping happily outside the cabin. Had to fix the colourings of the pic below 'coz I took the pic against the sun (there was no other way I could take the pic):

Ice crystals. Marvellous under the sun!


More ice crystal pic. This one below is from the car window:

Another one. This one is formed on the car door:

Here's the original photo:

Playing with my shadow HA HA HA...

Had to fix the colourings of the pic below 'coz I took the pic against the sun (there was no other way I could take the pic):

A one-winged angel? :-D

Web of...deceit? LOL!!!

OK, that's all for now. Take care, people!!!!