Five on Friday

Hello, my friends and happy Friday! I'm afraid I've been neglecting the blog a bit this week. Life, you know? The time change happened for us last weekend and we're all having a terrible time adjusting. The Boy and I are night owls and so our normal bedtime of midnight is now the obscene hour of 1 am. This is downright painful when The Babe gets up at 6...or worse 4:30...or worse still 2:30. (YIKES!) I'm quickly entering that uncomfortable stage of pregnancy so I'm not sleeping that well anyway these days. I'm pretty incoherently exhausted. Please bare with me. It's likely to get wacky around here. 

In other news, we've been franticly trying to tie up loose ends this week so that we could give up the lease on our car... which we did today! Yeah! Since The Boy's office moved to here in December, the car has just been sitting in the garage collecting dust and draining our bank account. So...buh-bye car! You will not be missed.

OK, maybe The Babe will miss you. 

Here's you're five on Friday, Easter edition:

If I had more time and energy, I'd totally make these

These good eggs are really great. 

This DIY Easter basket from grocery bags is too cute!

Easter trees remind me of my Grannie.

One day I'd like to take the kids to Easter brunch at the Ritz Carlton in Paris . 

Oh, and one more thing! Since I was absolutely terrible about blogging when we were in London and since I have about a million pictures I've always wanted to/meant to show you, I've decided that each week I will post a favorite should've-been-posted-long-ago picture from our time there. The picture this week was taken in the spring of 2010 on the Thames Path in Greenwich. This cherry tree was amazing and toward the end of its blooming season, when the petals started to fall like pink snow, it was magical. 

Have a happy weekend!


Six Years

The Great Wall at Badaling

Six years ago today I woke up in a country that was not my own for the first time in my life.

Six years ago yesterday The Boy greeted a very tired, very nervous, very excited, and extremely relieved me just outside the security gates at the Beijing airport.

Six years ago the day before that I got on a plane and flew to the other side of the world to be with my best friend, my soulmate, my love. 

This morning I have been procrastinating. I have been reminiscing. I have been reading the old emails and text messages and looking at the old pictures we sent to each other when we were still a million miles apart. Out of all those many months of electronic communication, one short email grabs my attention. It is as true today as it was when I wrote it then...

"I love the life that we've been dreaming up together. Even if we only do a fraction of these things, it's still pretty amazing. I constantly marvel at how lucky I am to have this, this completely wonderfully indescribable thing I have with you." 

One little boy and {soon} one little girl.
Two different 'I do's'.
Three jobs.
Four countries.
Five homes.
Six years.

It sounds like a long time, but it seems like only a moment.

Maybe it's because I so love this life that we are living together.


A Little About Me

Out of the shower and into the day

OK, deep breath...

I like making people guess how old I am. 
When I'm in US I still get asked for my ID at restaurants. Most people guess I'm in my mid to late 20's (god bless you), but the truth is...I'll be 36 in August.

I don't feel like I'm almost 36. 
I always thought that I would've done more with my life by the time I hit my mid 30's. Like what? I don't know. Something grand, I guess. I thought that I would at least have a career. But I don't and to be honest I don't really know what I want to do when I grow up. That means that even though I'm 35, I feel like I'm 16.

I really want to be passionately brilliant at something.
And I would like to get paid to do that something everyday. And I would like to be successful. And if that something allowed me to be creative, that would be awesome, too.

My parents thought that I should be a lawyer.
Because I like a good argument. The only thing is I hate confrontation.

My husband thinks I should run for public office one day.
I don't think I have thick enough skin for that. Politics is way too dirty for someone like me. And confrontational. 

However, I would like to be more politically/socially active. 
Because I see what's happening in my country and in our world and I'm frightened for my children.

I miss performing. 
I can say this now: I'm pretty sure I will never perform again. Well. At least not for anyone other than my kids. It's not like a painful, wistful missing. It's sweeter than that - like missing a friend you know you are unlikely ever to see again because life has taken you in different directions. Our paths might cross again, but it won't be the same.

I'm terrified of success AND failure. 
I know. It's crazy.

I didn't think I would love being a wife and mother as much as I do. 
That sounds crazy, I know, but before the adult me fell in love with my husband and decided to follow him around the world, I imagined a much different life for myself.  That life was also be filled with travel, but I was the only one in it. I was alone. And I believed that I was OK with that. My life is so much sweeter, fuller, funnier, adventurous with my family in it. 

I've known my husband for 20 years.
He is my first and greatest love. 

I'm a crier.
I cry when I'm happy. I cry when I'm sad. I cry when I'm frustrated, tired, overwhelmed with awe, inspired. I cry in the face of beauty or truth or genius so profound that I can literally feel it touching my soul. I can't sing the opening bars to Mozart's Lacrimosa because the strings just kill me.  The same goes for Sondheim's No One Is Alone from INTO THE WOODS and I would really really love to do that show, but I'd never get through that song. (Just listening to it now, I'm  sobbing like I've lost my best friend. See? I told you I was a crier.)

The only time I DON'T cry is when I'm super angry. 
Then I talk super fast and enunciate like crazy and use words I didn't even know I knew. And I'm not talking about profanity. I'm talking about big, fancy, hard to spell words.

I don't like sweet tea or tea of any sort, really. And I'm not that crazy about grits. 
I think my Southerner card was just revoked.

But my Daddy made sure I knew how to BBQ. 
I even won 2 statewide BBQ contests as a kid - one for pork chops and one for lamb chops. So can I have my card back, please?

I drink waaay more coffee than I should. 
The only thing that slows me down is pregnancy.

I have a really good memory. 
It's not photographic, but I can recall entire conversations and events from when my husband and I were dating in high school. He is both impressed and terrified by this.

I realized when trying to label this post that all my tags have to do with other people, places, things. 
There wasn't one for just me and none of the others seemed to quite fit. So I made a new label. It's simply called "Me".


Making Way for Baby

And so it begins...

While Grammie was visiting, we took a morning and did this:

Yes, we cleaned out The Babe's closet and completely destroyed his room in the process. I was ruthless as I went through his baby clothes, keeping what I thought could be used for a little girl along with a handful of special things and bagging the rest to donate to Goodwill. It needed to be done, I know.  I had squirrelled away four large boxes of clothes (FOUR! FOR ONE TINY PERSON!) and stashed them away for the next one. I carefully went through the boxes, one by one, holding up each little onesie, sweater, and pair of pants and thinking "Gosh, was he ever really this small!" (Of course he was. If I close my eyes and take a deep breath I can remember how it felt to hold my brand new tiny little guy, and how he just seemed to fit perfectly into the curve of my arms. Like he was always meant to be there.) Some of the clothes were clearly favorites. ( I could tell from the stains and the memories.) Others had been worn only once or twice or never. (I could tell from the lack of those things.) In the end we put one large box back on the bottom shelf of the closet for our baby girl and one much much smaller one full of memories on the top shelf for safe keeping. 

This weekend I made a little more space for baby. 

When we first brought The Babe home to our cozy London cottage, we wanted to be close to him so we set up camp is his room. We intended to co-sleep for 6 months. We ended up being roomies with our little boy for a year. For the first time in our lives, I think,  we became light sleepers - especially The Boy. He was hyperaware of every out of the ordinary sound The Babe made for the first 9 months or so. Thankfully, there wasn't that much out of the ordinary and once we figured out how he liked to be swaddled, cuddled, feed, and put to bed, he really was a good little roommate. It was  nice being close in those first months and so we plan to co-sleep with our second baby as well. That means we have to make a little space for her in our room this time around.

Our room has taken a back seat when it comes to decorating. (Just look at that sad little wall with its one little picture.) It really is just the basics in there: bed, dresser, nightstands, and a laundry hamper that's been reallocated from the bathroom to our room while The Babe is in potty training. The space isn't that big. Just these few things fill it up without OVER filling it. Somehow we have to put a crib in there and make it seem like it fits. So Sunday I spent a few minutes measuring and scooching  things over a few inches, making another little cozy corner for baby very like the one her big brother was brought home to! I kinda love that. Now it's on to do a little decorating!

This is our room as it is today in it's raw form.

And this is the plan:      

Not a lot, just some curtains and some sort of cute mobile. It's still OUR room, after all. I don't want to get all baby crazy in there. Besides, the littles have their own room that I'll be making kid-tastic. I have plans for that space, my friends. Such plans.

Now, I'm going outside to take some pictures of this absolutely GORGEOUS second day of spring! More later, friends!


Five on Friday

        from my Instagram this week:                      
            1,4 clouds & car for #marchphotoaday   2,5 extreme closeup self portrait for Bobbie & Mike's Instagram Challenge   3,6 Lego Sculpture @ the Billund Airport & is this the saddest or cutest t-shirt ever? I can't decide. 

Here's your five on Firday...

Do chocolate lovers have sweeter babies? Gosh, I sure hope so.

Love this 50's retro Danish house.

This made me cry.

And this makes me laugh.

I need to make these. You know. To make my baby sweeter. :0)

Have a great weekend!


Fork & Sign

There really was cake here. I swear. 

It means 'final sprint' in Danish. 
In English I think it would imply something else entirely.

It feels like I'm falling behind a bit on the blogging. Like I'm dialing it in a lot. Lots of pictures. Lots of things I'm finding from other folks. I have lots to share with you, honestly I do, but I feel stretched tissue paper thin when really I'm not. In reality I have much more time now then I will in a few months. But I'm nervous and worried and excited all at the same time and that makes me distracted. I'm finding it difficult to concentrate. Too many thoughts swimming around in my brain and I'm not quick enough to grab one. ***sigh***

I should just get over myself and get on with it. Or maybe I should just blog about getting over myself and getting on with it. 

Yeah. That sounds like a much better idea...


A little something to start your week...

This morning I came across this image and was curious about the words on the chalkboard wall (which I love by the way) so I Googled it. It's the chorus from a song called "Pick Yourself Up" from the 1936 Fred Astaire/ Ginger Roger's film SWING TIME. It's been sung by many people: Fred and Ginger, of course, Nat King Cole, Diana Krall, and Sylvia McNair, to name a few. Nancy Walker even sang it to Fozzie Bear on the Muppets. But I think my favorite version has to be by old blue eyes himself, Frank Sinatra. Maybe you're in need of a peppy little diddy to get you started off on the  right foot this week. This one certainly fits the bill! Great song! Great mesaage!

Happy Monday!


Five on Friday

sunset from my window & red
for #marchphotoaday

Five things I found this week that I thought you might enjoy:

The villa from UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN is available to rent for your next vacay. 

Make your own chalkboard paint

I'm dreaming about the cornbread I could make in these state shaped cast iron skillets.

This blog design workshop looks amazing. If only it weren't so close to my due date...

Have an amazing weekend! 
Thanks for reading this week!



Something I Wore


Yesterday I rediscovered this little Karma necklace in my jewelry box. I haven't worn it in years - not since The Babe was born and put the kibosh on all dangly jewelry.  Today I felt like wearing a necklace and so I put it on. Even though it was hidden under a cheerful pink scarf whenever I went out, I felt like I was wearing a talisman. It was a little reminder to keep positive and peaceful. And it came in handy when The Babe threw a tantrum when we had to come directly home after school instead of going on our customary afternoon walk because of rain. 

{Another} Trip to Koldinghus Castle

You might remember that I took the in laws in Koldinghus Castle when they were here last summer. Well, The Boy was in Ireland for that outing and he still hadn't seen it. Since his mom's in town I decided that it was high time we made a return visit. Here's a little info from my earlier post:

In 1808 a fire lit by Spanish soldiers to keep warm got out of hand, leaving the castle  pretty much in ruins. Restoration of the site began in 1976 and was completed in 1991. The missing bits of wall in this section were reconstructed with light wood walls that were suspended from a single shingle roof so that the building's "historical fingerprint" could be preserved. It made for an amazing architectural effect.

Basically, it was left a shell that looked like this...

And this is what it looks like today...

Having been there twice now, I still think what I love the most about the restoration of this building is that it completely preserves its history. The damage done in the fire isn't hidden with brick. Instead it is embraced and accentuated with the use of wood.  An amazing effect indeed. 

I do so love this little chapel. 
The lights are just so amazing.

And speaking of lights, there was a Poul Henningson lighting exhibit in the cellar gallery (which is an amazing space, by the way). I have to admit to my design ignorance here and tell you that I'd never heard of Poul Henningson before, though I've certainly seen enough of his work since arriving in Denmark. His most iconic design, The Artichoke, it EVERYWHERE. 

 I think that this one, called the Bombardment Chandelier, was my fav, though.




This is the sort of silliness we're up to in the afternoons. 



a chocolate chip cookie smile for

Is that a great way to start the week or what?





My Neighborhood

from the train platform


Five on Friday (and Fruit)


How do you decided who to marry? (As explained by kids.)

Here's how one flight attendant  packs for a 10 day trip in a single standard carry on. All I can say is: Mind blown.

Love this DIY chair cushion!

Who knew shipping containers could be so stylish?

I'm missing British pub food. So I made this. It was tasty.

Thanks for reading this week!
Have a fantastic weekend!




You can check out all my Instagrams here.

Happy March!

You guys, it's March! Can you believe it!?! MARCH! That means it's almost spring! Soon there will be color again! And little birdies chirping! And bunnies, even if they're only of the chocolate kind! (I haven't seen a bunny or a squirrel in Denmark - which isn't to say that they don't exist. I just haven't any visual proof.) Sunday we hung some little bags of bird seed on the shrubs that boarder our patio in hopes that we can make a few feathered friends. While we've yet to catch them in the act, there are signs that the birdies are visiting. Oh, spring, how I love you! I always find you so exhilarating and life affirming. 

Speaking of life, here's what I'll be up to this month:

Obviously, there's this: 

I haven't posted a picture of The Belly since January, but my little one, she's a growing. She's on track to be as big as her big brother (8lbs, 15oz) when she makes her debut later this spring. (Yikes!) And I'm a little more confident that she really is a she after two different scans with two different people who have told us the same thing. The last one even said, "She has a hamburger. Only little girls have hamburgers." 

We guessed that little boys have hot dogs. 

There will be more math. It's still not my favorite thing, but I am gaining an appreciation for it. I can understand how someone who likes (and is good at) those kinds of puzzles would enjoy the subject. 

Remember when I said I was going to do a 366 project? Well, I'm still getting serious about photography, but life is seriously messing with my mojo. My intention was for there to be some  thought that went into each picture and often there just wasn't.  I would get to the end of some days and think, "Crap. I haven't taken my 366 picture yet." And then I would go scurrying around trying to find something to photograph. It just felt too random and rushed. I decided that either I needed something cohesive or someone to prompt me. Thank goodness for Chantelle of Fat Mum Slim and her brilliant monthly photoaday on Instagram. 
Here is the list for March.

I do hope you'll play along. 

And, finally, I'm super excited to be taking part in Susannah Conway's very first class of Blogging from the Heart

I've been a HUGE fan of Susannah's since reading this post last spring at a moment when I was excessively comparing myself to other bloggers and feeling particularly imperfect and less than.  If you don't read her blog, you should. She's an absolutely brilliant writer and photographer. Everything she does is just so beautifully honest. I love that. And I've been waiting a very long time for her to perfect this course. 

How about you?
What are your plans for March?