Wednesday, May 30, 2012

An Austistic Patient's Breakthrough

Been having this video on my recommendation list in youtube but only last night did I start watching it...and boy did it really make me feel so much emotion...anyway, I ain't gonna write too long about it, so just watch it yourself!!!

If you go to the youtube page, you can see the links to her Facebook page as well as her website, in case you're interested in knowing more about her book.  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

On Unfulfilled Potentials

(Nothing much going on and I'm lacking in inspiration, so here's a post I wrote in my IF blog he he...)
Was talking to my closest friends about different topics and we ended up talking about unfulfilled potentials. One friend said that when she saw great pianists, she always wondered what would have happened if she had been more focused on learning the piano when she was younger. She said that as she grew older, in a way it got a little tougher to accept the fact that she may not be fulfilling her potential as a pianist because she had less and less time to reach that dream. In the past if she saw great pianists, she felt more inspired and encouraged to follow that dream because it seemed that there was still ample time to do so. However, she also said that hopefully as she grew older, she would be wiser to accept the facts about unfulfilled potentials in any area of life. 
I suddenly started thinking about infertility and motherhood. I told her that for me, motherhood was similar to her pianist dream. I don't actually know for sure how much "potential" I have to be a mother, but it was a dream I had for a certain period of time.
In my simplistic mind, when talking about unfulfilled potentials, you'd either have to do something about it or let it go. Letting it go also means accepting the fact that at the end of the day, maybe you'll only have fulfilled your potential until P instead of Z. In another life (so to speak), you may have made different choices and you may be able to fulfill that particular potential fully (or in a higher level than this life), but we've only got one life to live, so that's that. And we'll never know for sure anyway if in another life we'll be able to reach that potential more fully.
In my family, my brother is the more musical one. He took organ lessons when he was younger and the teacher said he was talented. He was in the course for years and then he stopped for a while, then continued it again for a while and for a period of time, my Mom was feeling sad because she felt that he could do more with his musical talents. Then when he was at the uni, he picked up the guitar and bass guitar and nowadays he plays bass guitar at church. In another life, he may be able to perform in stages or produce music by himself. Who knows? But this is his only life and he's made choices and he loves playing guitar/bass guitar at church. 
When speaking about possibilities and unfulfilled potentials, there are too many unknown factors. R2 and I have made our choices and we have to live with it. In another life, we may be trying out something else at the moment, but in this life, I'm content to be where I am - even though every now and then I'm reminded of "my unfulfilled potential" that may be painful, but I'm THANKFUL for the lessons that IF has brought, because through IF I'm given a chance to learn more:
1. How to love myself despite myself.
2. That God's grace is enough.
3. More than ever before I know that God understands my pains and He cares, even though I've yelled at Him and accused Him of being unjust. 
4. That I've married the right guy.
5. The painful lesson of letting go and letting God.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Old Crushes #2

My closest friends and I have been talking about our old crushes in emails. Some of us have never really shared our old crushes to one another, so I suppose it's high time that we shared our "skeletons in the closet". Well, not exactly "skeletons" ha ha ha...but anyhow...

It was interesting to note that some of us don't really know anymore why we ever had a crush to certain boys in the past (this feeling appeared when we looked up the boys in recent years or when we accidentally met them somewhere). However, some crushes are still memorable enough to tell. The butterflies in the stomach, being tongue-tied when we were face-to-face with our crushes, doing silly things he he he...

I remember that when I was around 15 years old, I started having a crush to a classmate. You can read the story here: Old Crushes.

When I met R2 for the first time, it was also VERY VERY nerve-wrecking because I had to suppress my feelings so much. I knew he was the one, but I just couldn't let my feelings control me because we hadn't met in real life yet. But the meeting was really "the final piece of the puzzle" (just like an Aussie emailpal phrased it - read this post to get a better idea: Missing A Friend).

Last night I was rereading my old emails and I found one email I wrote to a Belgian emailpal, telling him about our wedding plan (I wrote the email in 2005). He replied: "What? You're planning to get married already to a guy whom you met only once, and that meeting happened over a year ago? You're a brave girl!"

I didn't feel brave at that time. I just knew in my heart and guts that it was the right thing to do (I didn't think it was such a big decision except for the part where I had to leave my job, family, and friends behind and started life from zero again - but the part about him was something I was so sure about), so I suppose my heart was much stronger than my logic, because now when I REALLY think about it (with my logic), things COULD have gone REALLY wrong...but they didn't and I'm SO THANKFUL for it. :-D But if I had a daughter who said she'd get married to a guy she met once in real life, I would have probably not known what to do or say. Now I'm just stunned to think at how much my parents (esp. my Mom) trusted my judgment and choice. *bowing in respect*

P.S. Oh yeah, while we were talking about old crushes, come to think of it R2 had it "easy" because he didn't really have to ask my hand to my parents or anything like that. I mean, he came to Indo to meet my parents a few days prior to our wedding day, so my parents had accepted him even before they met him HA HA HA HA HA HA...Lucky him!!! :-D

P.P.S. A few years ago I showed R2 my class picture and told him to guess which one was the boy that I had a crush on. He scanned the pic for a little while and then pointed to the guy. I was shocked. I asked him how he knew. He said, "It's easy. I just picked the most handsome one of the bunch." GAAAAAHHH!!! NOT FUNNNN!!! HE HE HE HE HE...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Highlight of Our Vienna Trip

*cross-posted with my IF blog*

The highlight of our Vienna trip was actually the conversation we had with a mutual friend. This woman came to Sodankylä a few years ago and then went back to her home country. Back then we used to hang out every now and then and chat about anything. When she lived here, I was in the throes of TTC, so I shared with her our hopes and dreams.

So naturally after not having met for years, she asked us about baby program. She also told us that she had just started talking about having kids with her boyfriend. So I shared with her what we had experienced until we ended up with our decision to surrender to a life without kids. 

She asked about adoption and I explained to her our decision. I didn't take it the wrong way 'coz I know she cared. Actually, sharing what I know about adoption and the maximum age difference between the parents and the adopted child made her think. She's now at my age when we started TTC, so she wants to learn more about her options IF for some reason the natural way doesn't work (though I hope it'll work well for her).

What really touched me and made me happy was the fact that she asked R2 about his job and life and R2 said, "I'm happy." It's one thing to hear from your spouse that he's happy, but it's a different thing to hear him say to someone else that he's happy in life. The unsaid words are "even without kids". :-D So I'm THANKFUL for this memory.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

3BT: Random Days

1. My yearly work evaluation went much better than last year. Got better marks than last year and positive feedback plus I got to tell my boss what I wanted to learn in my job.

2. Prior to my yearly work evaluation, in the morning out of the blue a customer told me something that really made me stunned. I can't believe how much warmth I've received from many customers!!! SO grateful for that!

3. Making plans for our summer holiday - and spotting a chance to experience an air balloon ride (though must save money first for that 'coz it's not cheap, but the possibility is really exciting!!!) WOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

4. Almost all the snow has gone now and soon it'll be time to work out in the yard - raking the dead leaves we didn't have a chance to rake last autumn.

5. Being able to ride my bike in full speed is quite a feeling (compared with riding my bike in the dead of winter when there's snow and the temperature is so cold). Especially when the sun is shining! :-D

6. The food I cooked for Mother's Day for MIL was a success - as well as my flower picks and the gift. :-D

7. Finished reading "Baby Jane" by Sofi Oksanen (in Finnish).

8. Being able to save money this month (just got my paycheck) though I wasn't sure I could due to some things - but thankful for getting some extra hours last month.

9. After some time off translating the book my customer gave me, I've started continuing it again. Bit by bit. Phew! :-D

10. Talking about old crushes and silly memories via emails with my closest friends and having a laugh with them. Boy oh boy...

11. Customers who say "No need to hurry" whenever I try to half-run to the till from other spots in the store. THANK YOU, thoughtful customers! 

12. People who are just like sun rays whenever I meet them - all bright and sunny and cheering up my whole being with their radiant smiles (not just pasted on smiles on the lips, but smiles that come from within).

Monday, May 14, 2012

Air Balloon Ride

Over a decade ago (16 years ago to be exact) I wrote a dream list on places to visit and things to do. About a week ago when we were browsing on places to visit for our summer holiday, I saw an ad about an air balloon ride and it reminded me of my dream list. Air balloon ride is on the list and that's been kept at the back of my mind until I saw the ad.

Funny thing was that on the list, I also saw "a husband - nice and gentle" HA HA HA HA HA HA...and I guess that has come true.*GRIN*

Another dream that's come true is watching a ballet performance. The first time I visited Finland in 2004, I told my friend who lived in Helsinki (I spent some nights at her place) that I was interested in watching a ballet performance, so she booked two tickets for herself and me. It was quite an experience - watching a ballet performance. I must say that I don't really understand classic ballet, but I liked the modern version of ballet better (there were two parts of the ballet acts that we saw). And it was surreal to hear the tock-tock of the shoes on the stage. They were loud!!!

Anyway, back to my air balloon ride dream. Not sure yet if I'm going to be able to make it come true, but right now I need to find out some things first 'coz a friend of mine did such a thing once and she said that the box was pretty high (I'm only 145 cm, you see) and it won't be fun not being able to see anything much. And what's more, I need to save money for this first 'coz it's not going to be cheap he he he he...

Friday, May 11, 2012

Random Vienna Pics

On the last full day we had in Vienna, we had a chance to meet a friend for lunch. Coincidentally it was such a lovely, sunny day, so we sat on an open terrace and got a suntan afterwards ha ha ha ha...She took us around an area and told us about where to go shopping and gave us ideas. It was just nice to catch up with her and enjoy the sun, too.

Anyway, this is what I ate that day. Spicy chicken briyani or something like that. It was DELICIOUS (and spicy enough that I didn't have to add any chili sauce)! :-D Forgot how much it cost, but it wasn't too outrageous.

R2 had Chicken Schnitzel, which was also delicious (he said). :-D

We found this guy in Stephansplatz area. The next day there was a different guy in another spot in Stephansplatz, doing something like this. In the beginning I was wondering if he was really a person 'coz he didn't move a muscle, but I noticed that the wind was blowing his sleeves he he...

And guess where this lady is sitting????

Voila! Uppppppp high on a Burberry store in Stephansplatz ha ha...I only noticed it when R2 was trying to find our way somewhere, so we were sitting on some benches and I was looking around the place.

From the same sitting spot, I zoomed in on this statue. Mind you that those are live birds he he was funny 'coz there's a bird down there and it looked as if the statue were looking at it. :-D

And after lunch our friend sadly had to go to work, so we went to Marienhilf area to go shopping (she said it was a good shopping street and the prices aren't as high as in Stephansplatz). I found some pairs of leggings at such a good bargain and a pair of jeans on a discount he he...

Anyway, R2 saw the car and I told him to pose in front of it HI HI HI HI HI...

This building facade looked lovely, don't you think? Found this after we passed by Naschmarkt area and we were standing in front of one of the Asian supermarkets in that area. 


Another random stuff we found there...a lovely ball on top of a building.

And I found this sign to be SO cute (I mean the dog is cute!)

OK, I guess that's all for now. Gotta prepare myself to work. Have a lovely weekend, people!!!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Albertina + Natural Arts Museum

In Vienna we went to two museums. The first one was Albertina. They were displaying artworks made by the Impressionists, although there were also the abstract section, but we didn't go there because I'm not into that. We didn't use any audio guide for both museums, so we were just looking around at the paintings mostly. The Natural Arts Museum is FAR bigger than Albertina, but as usual we weren't allowed to take any pics of the places.

Anyway, here are some pics of Albertina. I was really fascinated by these stairs! I think the painting must be some kind of waterlily painting by Monet or something like that. Unfortunately there were only a few small Monet paintings there, though I would have loved to see more. I bought a thick and heavy Monet book when I was in Indo and I left it there. Maybe someday I should take it to Finland with me.

Then here's us after we ended our tour in Albertina.

While walking around the city, we passed by the building again, but from a different angle, so here's the pic:

In Natural Arts Museum, there was this one section dedicated to Klimt. It was a small but fascinating section, but what blew my mind was the sizes of other rooms of the building. It really had tall ceilings and some of the paintings were SO HUGE that if one fell over you, you'd be knocked out right away. To see the huge paintings well, I had to step farther back across the room in order to enjoy it. And there were so many huge rooms and paintings to cover that it took so long to finish (this is without audio guide, I can't imagine how much longer the tour would take with audio guide!!!).

The below pic only shows half of the museum, 'coz the other parts looked like they were being renovated on, so I didn't take a pic of that part. 

Zooming in on the dome:

Anyway, in the middle of the rooms for the paintings, there was a really charming cafe with a lovely dome on top. I wasn't sure if we could take pics of the cafe or not, but I saw some other tourists doing so and nobody said anything, so I took a quick pic of the dome and the cafe from one angle. Here they are:

OK, that's it for today. It finally feels like permanent spring has arrived, but let's keep our fingers crossed so that no more snow will come ha ha...My MIL told me that in the old days, it was usual to snow still in June. Anyway, take care, people, and have a lovely day there!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Sisi Museum, Imperial Apts and Imperial Silver Collection

Let's carry on with our Vienna trip diary, shall we? One afternoon we decided to visit Sisi Museum in Hofburg (in Stephansplatz), but turned out we got there too late. The Imperial Silver Collection closes at 5 pm if I remember correctly and we were there at around 4 pm. Luckily for us, the ticket lady told us that it took about 2,5 hours to cover everything, so she suggested coming another day. So the next day we went straight there to make sure that we got there early so we'd have plenty of time to see everything.

Because we knew we didn't have time to visit Schönbrunn Palace (which was farther away from where we stayed), we didn't buy the combined Sisi ticket with Schönbrunn, but if we had had time, we would have chosen that combined ticket. The tickets we paid allowed us to enter Sisi Museum, see the Imperial Apartments as well as the Imperial Silver Collection, but we were only allowed to take pics in the Imperial Silver Collection rooms. Mind you that the collection covered gold, as well. So it was really bling bling he he...

Again like in Mozart's House, we had to get audio guides so we could listen to the stories behind everything. It was really a vast place with lots of things to see and hear, so it did take about 2,5 hours at least to cover everything. Was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY!!!! It was amazing to see what a full set of dining table looked like in a palace in the old days including everything else they had to offer like stories about Empress Sisi (I hadn't known anything about her prior to this trip). It was amazing to see the piles of cutlery needed every day for the whole palace household (can't imagine having to wash them all every single day by hand ha ha...). Click here if you wanna see pics of Sisi Museum and read some stories.

This is a picture of Hofburg Palace from one side (there were so many buildings around it so I had to split the photo into two parts). Apparently they're renovating something there:

A pic of Hofburg from the other side - sorry I couldn't take a good panoramic pic without cutting some parts of the palace (either the dome or the lower side of the palace) ha ha...Click to see a bigger version.

Here are some pics from inside the Imperial Silver Collection. In the first pic R2 is listening to the audio guide (the tool he's holding with his right hand).


And apparently there's some Chinese influence, too, during a certain period of time.

After we finished this tour, we entered Sisi Museum and from then we could see the Imperial Apartments, but couldn't take pics. It was just interesting to know that if there's a certain banquet with the Empress for example, once the queen put her eating utensils, then the dinner was over, so Empress Sisi had to make sure that she was still holding the knife or fork until everybody else had finished eating. And there was also this rule that one could only talk to the one sitting on one's left or right in the palace dining table.

Another interesting thing to know was that King Franz Joseph was a busy man. He worked every day from morning till 10 pm (from around 4 am or 5 am). He accepted people to come to his work chamber and present whatever they wanted to tell and the waiting room for those people was the same. So it didn't matter what kind of rank or job the visitors had. They'd all be waiting in the same waiting room and each of them could meet the King face to face. :-D

We could also see Empress Sisi's bedroom. It was interesting to me that her bed was put almost in the middle of the room diagonally (no side touching the walls) and they put a screen on one side to separate it from a bunch of sofas. We were also told that it took three hours each day for her to do her hair. Geezzzz...while somebody did her hair, she was listening to another person reading books from Greek mythology or something like that.

What I didn't know was the tragic life of Sisi. At first Franz Joseph was going to be bethroted to Sisi's sister, but he fell head over heels in love with the young Sisi, so he proposed and she cried buckets upon hearing his proposal. She was never too much involved with the palace affairs 'coz she didn't like all that. Her eldest son killed himself and then she herself was stabbed to death by someone when she went abroad. Poor Franz Joseph was brokenhearted.:-(

Enough of this sad story, though. After visiting all the places, we browsed through the souvenir store and I found a pair of nice earrings. They're the replica of Empress Sisi's star-shaped hair jewellery. Mine is made of silver and Swarovski crystals. Price: €20. Oh hey, here I found Sisi Online Shop in case you wanna see the details.

OK, I'll end this here and continue with our travel diary later.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Dancing Lights

I've been busy due to situations at work, so haven't had time nor energy to do anything much blog-wise, but today I've uploaded some Vienna videos and here are a few chosen ones (to watch more you can just click on my username in youtube).

The first video is a video of dancing lights on a tall building. It's right in front of our hotel window. I had to open the window and sit on the ledge (no balcony) to take this video he he...Every day while we were there this light dances started at 19.30 (7.30 pm) and the pattern kept on changing. That was why it was so interesting to watch it. :-D

The second video is a view of a part of Stephansplatz (the city centre): 

OK, I'm pretty tired right now and R2's getting sick ever since he got back from Vienna (his voice has gotten sexier and he's been coughing and feeling weird, you know)...good thing we were both OK in Vienna, but now I'm starting to feel weird, too. So gonna take some time to rest 'coz my work schedule is getting busier again (summer season is approaching fast!!!). So TAKE CARE to everybody and enjoy the videos!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Vienna Trip: Stephansplatz #1

The second day in Vienna started off sunnily. Before going to Stephansplatz, we went to find an Indonesia foodstore at the opposite direction. I knew I'd want to buy many things from there, so each of us brought a backpack. I had printed the map of the store: Toko Sederhana. It was about 2 km away from our hotel, so we were planning to go there and then back to the hotel to put everything we bought there and then we'd go around Stephansplatz to visit some museums or a church or something like that. 

Here's a pic of us walking back to the hotel from the store...

Here are some views when we walked to Stephansplatz (about 4-5 km away from our hotel). R2 didn't want to use any public transit so we walked there everywhere. 

Our first stop was Mozart's House. Unfortunately I couldn't take pics of the inside of the house but I found a link where you could see some videos/pics of the place: Mozarthaus Vienna.

It was the first time we used that kind of audio guide. So we paid the fee and got two gadgets like rather thick mobile phones and we had to punch in the numbers shown in each room/wall in order to listen to the explanation. We started off from the 3rd storey. The tour went SO long (around 2 hours or more?) that I was REALLY REALLY starving when it was finally finished. Here's a pic of me in front of the entrance:

So right after that we went to find a resto to have lunch ha ha...We didn't really know where to eat, so when we found some place that looked OK with menus on the wall, we just went in. We ended up in Lindenkeller. We had to go down some stairs, so it felt like being in a nicely decorated cellar. The food was OK. It was nice to dine in a place with a different atmosphere (something Sodankylä doesn't have).

R2 had some beer and schnitzel whereas I had goulash and pasta. The goulash was spicy and nice, but I had tasted much better goulash soup in Budapest (I've promised myself that if we go back to Budapest, we HAVE to go to the same resto again just so I can eat the goulash soup!!!) he he he...Here are some pics:

Then we toured around the area. Here's the link to the website if you want to see panoramic photos and read more info: Stephansplatz.We went straight to St. Stephen's Church and bought a ticket to go up to the tower by lift (sorry, didn't feel like walking a few hundred steps to the other tower 'coz we had been walking and we would still be walking for a few days around the city). The ticket cost €4.5/person. It got cloudy at that time and the wind was SOOOOO cold up thereeeeee!!! BRRRRRRRRRRRR...

Anyhow, here are some pics:

  I think this is long enough now, so I'll separate the other photos in another post.