Day 23: Breaking the Radio Silence

20140202-160354.jpg

Disclaimer: I wrote this post a week ago but didn’t have time to finish and post it. Today I finally did.

I am usually not one for selfies. Especially not public selfies on a lazy, no-make-up-or-hair-done kind of day. But here you go. This is me on the other side of the furnace. I made it, by God’s grace, and I am stronger for it. Allow me to elaborate.

It has been a long, tough week. Magnolia started off last weekend with a fever. For about a week or so prior to this she hadn’t really been wanting to eat real food and I was lucky if I could get even just a few spoons in. Then the snot came, then the cough and then the vomiting. On Monday Michael got sick, a stomach bug that we figured might have been something he ate and that it would pass in a day or so. There was no improvement Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday or Friday or Saturday.

Magnolia was impossible to put to bed because she would cough and cry and scream and cough whenever I put her down. So I slept with her in my arms on the couch, half sitting up for about 7 nights in a row.

I tried to get some laundry done, and dishes, just to keep some sense of normalcy but by Thursday I was so far behind that it wasn’t even possible to catch up, while also taking care of two sick family members. So I gave up. And I sat on the floor and I wept. Big, fat, salty tears streaming down my face. I had lost hope that it would ever get better. The Enemy had snuck in lies and convinced me that this was my life now and that there was no way I could handle it.

I spent time with my Mom on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, trying to get out of the house and not feel so weighed down by all the sickness and the overwhelming amount of laundry. And it worked for a little while, right until I got back home to the confinement of our house.

So what did this past week teach me?

I need to ask for help.

First and foremost I need to ask God for help. Help to be patient, loving, kind, gentle, and self-controlled in those up-for-the-third-time-before-2am-moments. And trust that The Lord will stay faithful to his promises and see me through it all.

And I need to ask other people for help before I am so exhausted that I am slightly past the edge of despair. I have so many wonderful people in my life that are more than willing to help if only I would set aside my pride and be humble enough to ask for it. I need to realize that it’s okay if I can’t do it all on my own. Maybe it is true what they say after all, it takes a whole village to raise a child.

Advertisements

Day 22: Saturdays

20140125-163813.jpg

Saturday is our family day, we try not to make too many plans and just take the day to enjoy each other’s company. This morning Michael made a pancake breakfast and afterwards he took me on a date to Starbucks, while my Mom took care of Magnolia. He brought Mr. Michael’s Magic Backpack of Surprises and I was excited to find out what that meant.

20140125-163721.jpg

Before we left Michael and Magnolia cleaned up after breakfast. Once we had gotten Magnolia to sleep and dropped her off at my parents’ house,  we were in the car on our way and Michael revealed the first surprise: the camera, so we could take pictures all day. We like to do that.

20140125-163820.jpg

At Starbucks Michael got a Venti Winter Blend brewed coffee and I had a Grande Skinny White Chocolate Mocha – mine was delicious, Michaels was a little too bitter, at least for me. We sat down and talked like grown-ups without trying to figure out naps or meals. And talked about the future and what we hope for and dream about, in the years to come.

20140125-163839.jpg

And we laughed at my silly milkstach.

20140125-163800.jpg

We were still at Starbucks when Michael pulled out surprise #2 from Mr. Michaels Magic Backpack of Surprises: two books. The one I am currently reading and one of the many that Michael is currently reading. He set a timer for 30 mins and we just sat and read, uninterrupted by anything but our own desire to share quotes from what we were reading. Pure bliss!

20140125-163828.jpg

After that it was time for surprise #3: A Letter. I have at least a dozen handwritten letters from Michael that he has written over the years, and then there are all the blogs and emails. Words are important, and words from the one you love has a special weight to them. Always full of love, dreams and hope for what will one day be.

20140125-163752.jpg

We went to our favorite baby clothing store ‘Next’ and spent a gift card Magnolia got at her Baby Dedication last week, and took a selfie.

20140125-163712.jpg

After picking Magnolia back up we went through my parents’ backyard to cross over the cemetery and head home. Somehow this apple survived the fall and early winter, only to be eaten off the branch by birds.

20140125-163731.jpg

I also had to get a shot of ‘the little house’, because I think in spite of what it is it has a lot of charm. And it blends so well with the other colors.

20140125-163744.jpg

It really is.

Day 19 & 20 & 21: Social Interaction

20140124-195006.jpg

It’s been a busy week around these parts which makes it really hard to keep up with the blog, as made evident by the lack of posts. I do apologize for that, loyal reader.

It’s been a super social week and I have loved every minute of it. On sunday we had Magnolia’s Baby Dedication, about 30 people were there and we really enjoyed the day. Monday I had the bi-weekly meet up with the mothers group I am a part of through Københavner Kirken, we’ve only just started and are still getting to know each other and are having a great time doing so. Tuesday is Community Group night, we had a killer lasagna and great conversation.

Wednesday is dedicated to the mothers group I have through the county, which means lots of coffee, bread, cake and talking – and of course babies, 6 in total. That same evening our friend Emily made the trip to Greve, she brought wine, and I was even able to sneak a glass after the baby had been put down for the night. Although my plans with Julie fell through Thursday because of a yucky virus, I got to stop by my work and say hi, for the first time in months and then made spontaneous plans to have dinner at Ida and Bo’s place. Another great lasagna, and great company. I love having sisters that are also friends. And to top it all off, my Mom stopped by today for coffee and hangout with her daughter and favorite granddaughter.

How ever much I like to keep my schedule nice and low key, I really do enjoy the occasional ‘over-booked’ week. Very occasional though. I feel too stressed when I look in my calendar and all I see is yellow, where white once was. So if ever you are in the area or have a free evening and need somewhere to go, give me a call or shoot me a text, maybe you need to come to Greve and enjoy a home cooked meal and some warm conversation.

Day 18: Neighborhood

20140123-215442.jpg

I feel so lucky to be able to walk just a few hundred meters and be surrounded by all of this. Enjoy these pictures from a walk I took with Maggie the other day when she refused to sleep. A sweet, sweet reminder of how richly God showers his affection on us, even in something as simple as being able to take walks here. Every day if I wanted to.

20140123-215451.jpg

20140123-215459.jpg

20140123-215509.jpg

20140123-215517.jpg

20140123-215525.jpg

20140123-215533.jpg

20140123-215542.jpg

20140123-215549.jpg

20140123-215559.jpg

20140123-215611.jpg

Day 17: S-trains

stog2012

I want to preface this post by saying, that if you are reading along from somewhere outside of Denmark, you will be learning an insane amount of Danish town names in this post, including weird Danish letters like æ/Æ, ø/Ø and å/Å – so brace yourself.

I have a lot of experience with trains. Growing up I lived in Greve and took the E or A-train to Køge every day for five years to go to school. When I went to boarding school for two years I took the E-train from Greve to Hillerød (feel free to follow along on the map, it will make you realize how much time I have spent riding trains). Although to be quite honest I didn’t take the train too often those two years, my Dad usually picked me up and dropped be back off (for more on that read this post).

Then while I lived in Karlslunde and worked in Hvidovre, I took the train from Karlslunde to Friheden every day. So far we’ve still only been on the E and A line, but we will expand soon, don’t worry.

Then when I lived at Frankrigshusene on Amager I often chickened out of the 40 minute bike ride and took the B-train part of the way from the Central Station (eller Hovedbanegården) to Rødovre.

After I had lived in St. Louis for a few months I moved back home with my parents and started working in Lyngby. So I took the E-train from Greve to Lyngby and back, several times a week. Except sometimes it would be faster to get on the B-train on the way home and switch on the Central Station, don’t ask me why.

I switched jobs and started working in Rødovre again, so back on the B line, but this time from Høje Taastrup to Rødovre.

When Michael and I lived in Sweden I daily commuted across Øresund with the Øresund-trains from Malmö to Copenhagen only to get on a B-train to Rødovre.

These days riding trains is associated with much less stress and much more joy. Usually I get on the trains to go see someone I look forward to seeing, like this monday when I met up with a mothers group I have become part of through Københavner Kirken. That trip took me on a completely different route, with the E or A-train from Greve to Ny Ellebjerg and get on the F-train to Bispebjerg.

All that to say, I am really happy to live in a country that has an excellent public transportation system. So excellent in fact that the number of S-train passengers  (not counting passengers on the metro or busses but the S-train exclusively) reaches a stunning 125 million a year. Now that’s saying something about the quality of the service in a country with a population of only 5.5 million, of which only 1.9 million actually live in the S-train area.

Day 16: Celebration

20140119-231054.jpg

Today was the day of Magnolia’s baby dedication. We had the privilege of committing to loving her, sacrificing for her and teaching her about Jesus. It was a great service where Kevin Morgan preached a beautiful sermon on Jesus as the way, the truth and the life, and what that means.

20140119-224854.jpg

Bodil and Kevin asked us a series of questions in both English and Danish to reflect our bilingual family and community culture.

20140119-225106.jpg

We as parents were excited to commit in front of friends and family to raising our daughter in the way of the gospel, treasuring God’s word above all else and keeping Jesus at the centre.

20140119-225354.jpg

This is our friend Sara and her sweet daughter Johanne.

20140119-230141.jpg

Sara is married to Jesper which is why he is also holding Johanne.

20140119-230254.jpg

Gustav, their 4 year old son, asked me to read a book to him, although he already knew the story and told it way ahead of me. I am a godparent to both Gustav and Johanne.

20140119-230458.jpg

On the left is my sister Sille and her son Theodor (believe it or not I am actually his godmother too). On the right is my good friend Anni and her son Kasper. So glad to have them all there today. Although we missed their husbands Martin and John.

20140119-230804.jpg

My cousin Sune also made it out with his parents, my Dad’s sister Marianne and her husband Søren (not pictured). He loves his little second cousins and always asks to hold them and play with them.

20140119-234321.jpg

My sister Ida, her boyfriend Bo and my cousin Kit were there to celebrate with us. Ida actually prepared a large amount of the food for the day and we are so thankful for her.

20140119-234458.jpg

My cousin Kit also brought her fiancée Michael. A fun fact about my family is that on my mother’s side I only have girl cousins and it so happens that we are 5 girls who ended up with the following men; Michael, Michael, Martin, Martin and Bo. I’ll let you decide who is the odd one out.

20140119-234754.jpg

We are so grateful for all the presents Magnolia got. For instance this beautiful (and fun) drawing made by one of my favorite people, Julie.

20140119-235113.jpg

I think Magnolia enjoyed the wrapping more than the presents themselves. But I am sure she will enjoy the pajamas she got when they keep her warm on a cold night. Or the warm clothes on a chilled-to-the-bone kind of winters day.

20140119-235136.jpg

She also quite obviously enjoyed getting some quality time with Anni.

20140119-235409.jpg

And last but not least, she enjoyed every second she got to spend on Mormor’s shoulders pulling her hair. My Mom really gets to take credit for making everything work out today with food and such, she is a powerful planner, an excellent executer and delightful delegator.

Day 15: Songs of Love

IMG_1469

When Michael and I first started dating, he sang me to sleep over Skype every night (If you look closely at the top of the picture you can see it says 2011-11-17, which was 10 days after we started dating). I would literally fall asleep while he was playing his guitar and singing all our favorite songs from Brooke Fraser and Tina Dico or even something he made up on the spot. Sometimes the songs made up on the spot were very touching, other times though they were very silly, like the following line “She works at the craft store, with all the stupid costumers asking for more of her than she gets paid to do”.

Since becoming parents to our beautiful little girl and being in the thick of it, there hasn’t been as much music in our house. Neither the kind that you just listen to or the kind that you make yourself. But last night Michael wrote a new song for me. I was in the kitchen making some hot chocolate for us, and Magnolia was asleep in her room, so Michael seized the moment, grabbed his guitar and started writing.

By the time I came back in the living room, Michael just looked at me and said “I wrote you a song”. He prefaced it by saying how it was all birthed out of  the realization that he doesn’t deserve me. Every day together is a gift and every breath grace. It is all grace. When we wake up together, when we go to sleep together, when we laugh together. Grace. He played the song for me, and it was beautiful.

One of the lines in the chorus of the song goes like this “How can I ever give you more than you’ve given me? How can I love you in the way I have been loved, so strong so unconditionally?”. After he played the song for me, I looked at him with tears in my eyes, and told him that he had it all wrong. He was clearly confused, so I had to clarify: “It’s the other way around, you have given me so much and I could never give you back what I have been given.”

We always said that we wanted a loud house in a quiet place. Whether that be loud with music or with laughter, we want a house that is full of love. Bursting at the seams, and hardly able to contain the joy, love and laughter. Songs bring me joy. Especially when they come from the bottom of the heart of my beloved.

Day 14: Snow

20140117-203856.jpg

It snowed today. Big, fat, fluffy flakes that slowly fell to the ground and then disappeared. It isn’t quite cold enough for them to stick yet. We have actually had a very mild winter, I’m not even sure it’s been below freezing yet.

I had to get the good camera out of course. Some things are better captured with a real camera than with an iPhone, besides my phone was out of battery (go figure!). These three are my favorites and the ones where the flakes were the most visible.

20140117-203153.jpg

20140117-203143.jpg

Day 13: Breaks

20140116-134608.jpg

Being able to sit down with a cup of coffee or an apple. Lean back, read a book, watch a movie. All things that I am able to do whenever Magnolia takes a nap.

I know a few people by now that have more than one kid and they all tell me the same thing: Enjoy the breaks you can take while only having one child. As soon as there is more than one, nap time can’t be used as coffee time as I so often do now.

Nap time is also the time I have been getting things done around the house since becoming a Mom. As Magnolia is getting older and more self-entertaining, I can actually cook and clean up while she is playing on the floor, but I still rely heavily on the naps.

So until the next baby (or at least until I go back to work in May) I will revel in these coffee breaks and enjoy them as much as I can. Another thing I found joy in today, is having a coffee maker that I can make semi-fancy drinks for myself on. With foam-art and everything.

Day 9, 10, 11 & 12: Catching up

We went to Sheffield for a conference these last few days. I really enjoyed the scenery and getting to do some photography. As a means of catching up on the past four days I have decided to share four of my favorite shots.

20140115-205849.jpg

Almost all the houses we saw were attached liked this. Love all the different colors.

20140115-205903.jpg

Colorful (or should I say colourful?) graffiti in a back alley.

20140115-205912.jpg

Michael and I took pictures of each other. That’s right, we are pretty silly. This man brings me so much joy.

20140115-205831.jpg

But this one is perhaps my most favorite of all, the “up-hill-down-hill-all-at-once” aspect is so intriguing and very specific for the city built on 7 hills.