Day 28: Gardening

I’ve been wanting to write a post about our new vegetable garden, I know I mentioned it in a post a couple of weeks ago, the same post where i promised to post more frequently for my 365 Days project. So here it finally is, the 28th post about gardening (well the first post about gardening, but the 28th post in the series.)

I am constantly trying to make my home more of a Home, and one of my efforts have been starting a vegetable garden. We have a big backyard and there is more than enough space for the garden, we have even been able to fit a swing set, a sand box and a fire pit, and still have room to put up a party tent, in case we wanted to throw a party for Magnolia’s first birthday or something, in the summer.

There are a few reasons for wanting a garden 1) it’s a project I can keep working on 2) it’s a way to save money on vegetables 3) fresh-out-of-the-ground-carrots are just tastier than ones that have been laying around for weeks.

So far I don’t have any vegetables to show off, but I promise to make updates once I see progress. I do however have before and after pictures that I would love to share.

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This is the area that I had picked out for the garden.

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This is how far I got with digging out the grass before I had to ask for help my dad to do the rest. Who knew digging up grass was that hard?

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All in an afternoon. My Dad is a machine. This also displays the four new berry bushes, two black currant and two red currant, that my Mom helped me plant. (They were also a gift from her – She is a very generous woman.)

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Iceberg lettuce, spinach, arugula and carrots so far. Still waiting to sow green beans, snow peas, sugar snaps, potatoes, zucchini and beets.

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And last but not least, just to give you an idea of how long our yard is, the view from the garden to the house. With the new swing set on the left.

I am really excited to see all these little lovelies start sprouting and for this spring project to take form.

What are your spring projects? I would love to hear about it in the comments.

Day 27: Spring Cleaning

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I think it is about time I get back in the swing of things with my 365 Days project. I  did some simple math to try and see where we are at: I started the project on January 4th 2014 and I am currently on day 27, so if I continue at my current rate I will be done some time around mid August… 2016!

We have been so busy doing nothing in our house. Magnolia got sick with a stomach bug, then Michael was sick, and then I was and then Magnolia got sick again, but then she got better right until she got sick again. So between checking her temperature, seeing the doctor and giving medicine, somehow all of January and February disappeared. I didn’t even have time to realize that spring was on it’s way until it was here full force, with little flowers blooming, birds chirping in the trees and the sun shining in through the big (dirty) windows in the living room.

Our house is a work in progress, but little by little it is turning into more of a home and not just a house. We ripped out the carpet in two rooms and I finally hung my picture frames in the living room (though withour pictures as I still need to get the pictures printed). We have lived here just over 6 months now, it feels like forever and no time at all, all at once. And I think that’s when you know you are on the right track, and in the right place.

Last week it was sunny almost every day, so I (ahem my Dad) prepared the patch of the lawn that will be our vegetable garden, and now it’s just sitting there waiting for me to sow the seeds I got from my mom. But this week, it’s been raining everyday and although I like the outdoors and this season, I don’t think I would enjoy gardening in the rain. Maybe next week will be sunny. I have also been experimenting with some water colors for a couple of days (check out the photo up top.) So I guess it’s not completely true that we have been doing nothing, it just hasn’t felt like much and maybe it isn’t, but it’s a place to start.

All this to say, IT’S SPRING! And I think it is time for some spring cleaning. In my house, in my yard and most of all in my heart. Michael mentioned the other day that I have been (how did he put it?) “a lot happier lately”. I would have probably phrased it more like “not so cranky and emotional and up tight all the time”, but thankfully Michael is a vey gracious husband. I think what I have been and am still learning is that I need to let go; let go of my unhealthy desire to control every aspect of life, let go of feeling entitled to whatever thing I think I need and don’t have whether that be sleep, money or something else. I need to let go of my feelings instead of clinging to them as if they were the truth, when I know that the only true Truth is found in my Bible and not in my own heart.

So I am going to open the windows wide and let the fresh air of spring fill my house and my lungs. It’s a new season and I am ready to embrace it. And that right there, folks, that brings me joy.

Day 24: 509(?) days of joy

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At the beginning of the year I started this project ‘365 days of joy’ and I thought I would be able to post a little something every day. And then I didn’t because I was too busy doing other things like wiping vomit off the floor, changing the bedding, changing Magnolia’s outfit again, feeding her, putting her down for a nap. The list goes on. All that to say, life as a mother is busy!

It doesn’t mean that there aren’t moments of joy every day, there are plenty, I just don’t always have time to blog about them. Does this mean I am quitting the project? Absolutely not! I am just going to let it take the time it takes, maybe I will get to day 365 in 509 days, maybe it will be more, but I will get there.

Today’s photo is actually from yesterday. Magnolia fell asleep when we drove to church, we tried to keep her awake as the transfer from car to stroller rarely goes well, but she was so out of it, that it wasn’t a problem. Forget the sleepless nights, forget the sickness, forget the sore back from yet another night of holding her in my arms – that beauty right there is a miracle. And she is my miracle, absolutely stunning. I mean look at that face, how can you do anything but love her?

Day 23: Breaking the Radio Silence

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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.

Day 22: Saturdays

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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.

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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.

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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.

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And we laughed at my silly milkstach.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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It really is.

Day 19 & 20 & 21: Social Interaction

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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

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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.

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Day 17: S-trains

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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.