Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The road of kindness - my first guest post!

I am very honoured to be a contributor to Kristi's Our Land Series today with my guest post "The road of kindness" over at her blog Finding Ninee.

This is my first guest post ever and I am proud that my first time is on Kristi's awesome blog and as a part of this amazing series that I just love. Thank you so much, Kristi!

Would love for you to hop over and meet me there!


Edited to add on August 2: There seems to me something amiss with Kristi's blog at the moment, therefore I am putting my post here until it works properly again:

The road of kindness

I like to refer to our life with a child with special needs as a journey. Since my son Sunny was born we have travelled many, many miles on uncharted roads. There were huge bumps and deep valleys, the highest mountains and the darkest forests. There were twists and serpentines where we thought we would fall off the cliffs. But we always made it and continue down this road full of surprises, full of wonder and love.

The road we are on has always been a split one – one half being plastered with kindness and love, the other one with prejudice and rudeness. I want to forget about the bad parts of our trips. I want to focus on the beautiful sunsets we saw while we cruised along the coast line, enjoying the landscape.

I want to forget about that “muddy hole” I drove through that soiled my beautiful car. It was many years ago. Sunny was sitting in his stroller. There was this elderly lady we met outside a store while we waited for an appointment. While we waited, we looked at some of the clothes hanging on display outside the shop. Then, all of a sudden, she turned to me and said that I should keep my child from touching all those clothes with his dirty hands. I was taken aback because it came out of the blue and it was my first encounter with the unfriendliness of other people towards my son. I felt my heart beat inside my throat because her sudden address shocked me and made me wonder why she would even say this. I felt so bad.

This woman could have asked me some questions about my son and I would have told her that he just loved was obsessed with everything with stripes which is why he so eagerly examined the striped top. I also would have told her that he cannot eat by himself (although he sure was old enough) but has to be spoon fed and that he cannot walk yet and, therefore, he does not have a chance to make his hands dirty as long as he is sitting in his stroller. It hurt my feelings that she was so rude even though she did not know anything about us. She just looked at us and judged us.

I want to forget about that “dark cloud” that rained down on me without any warning. Some years ago, I met a former friend of mine coincidentally at an indoor playground. It was winter and we stood in the hall. While we chatted away, Sunny suddenly wanted to walk outside the playground building and I could not put him down because he did not own any shoes yet. When I came home I found an email from her in my inbox, accusing me of being a bad mother and keeping my son from making progress. She said she was shocked and dismayed by my behaviour. I felt like the worst mother in the whole world.

We had not had any contact for several months and she did not know anything about Sunny’s current state of development. If we had talked about it, I could have told her all the reasons why he did not have shoes yet. Sunny had just started to walk but he never wanted to walk anywhere else other than in our home. He always wanted to be carried around outside. Therefore, I had not bought him any walking shoes yet. However, on the day we met, he suddenly wanted to walk on the pavement and outside closed rooms for the first time EVER. I was totally surprised and happy and decided that now was the right time to buy him shoes. We could have celebrated this milestone together, but instead, she accused me of being a bad mother and I was so disappointed that she would ever think I would keep him from making progress.

Brush off the dirt, dry the car. Move on. I want to remember the beautiful parts of the road, the parts where our ride was smooth.

I never want to forget the parting clouds, the sun shining down on us warming our faces and our hearts. It was Mother’s Day last year and we were watching ducks and swans on a pond, Sunny being all excited about them. I noticed a young lady sitting on a bench close to us, constantly watching us. I got used to being watched and stared at in all those years, so I prepared myself and looked at her, trying to find out what she might be thinking, expecting her to judge us.

Instead, what I saw melted my heart. She looked at us with such a loving look in her eyes that I could not believe it because I am not used to this. I looked over to her several times and saw her smiling at me reassuringly and in such a friendly way, all the while examining us closely. I am sure she looked right into Sunny’s tender heart.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, beautiful lady, because you chose to be kind to us. You could have just spent your time on the bench, not noticing us, but instead you walked over to us and handed me some slices of bread out of your backpack, telling me that you would love to give them to my son so that he can feed the ducks. After we shred two slices and threw them happily into the water you insisted on giving us another one. Then you baffled me completely when you told us that you were on your final day your nine-day Lent trip, and that this very bread you gave us -for the joy of feeding ducks- would be the first thing for you to eat tonight since beginning your trip! You had bought the bread that same morning but insisted stubbornly on giving it to us. I do not even know if there was anything left for you after you gave it to us. I will never forget this meaningful and beautiful gesture, and the happiness it brought to your face as you watched Sunny gleefully feed the ducks with it. You shared your bread with us, and restored my faith in the kindness of people.

I want to further travel down this road of kindness and empathy. I am sure there will be many more bumps ahead, I am sure there will be more encounters with rude people. I am sure we will experience more prejudice, incomprehension, injustice. There will be more muddy holes and downpours. But I want to believe that the part of our road plastered with kindness and love will be the broader part. I want to believe that the sun will shine more often than the thunderstorms will rage.  I want to believe that this world is still full of empathy and wonder – regardless of the bad encounters we will always also have. I want to believe in Our Land.

Monday, 29 July 2013

The Week In Pictures: calendar week 30/2013

This past week was full of different things and feelings: sadness, happiness, joy, gratefulness, hot weather, really uncomfortable humidity, severe thunderstorms....

I can't believe it was only last week that Sunny had his last day of kindergarten. Strangely, it seems to be much longer ago somehow. Today starts the first full holiday week and I am very slowly preparing to leave for Austria on Sunday. I am SO MUCH looking forward to it! I just hope the traffic will not be as bad as last year where it took me seven hours instead of five to get there. Ugh.

We bought Sunny's satchel for school which was a big deal in several ways, one of them being that he simply hated trying on different ones, kept running away and screaming at the shop. :-/

Sunny had his farewell party at kindergarten

Celebrating the end of a very good time with a Cosmopolitan

This sight is one of the things I love about summer

Gorgeous light during hippo therapy in the woods

On the way home from hippo therapy I spotted three fawns <3

We watched "The Wolverine" on another cinema night
Photo credits

The weekend brought really hot temperatures and a lot of humidity. This was around noon in Sunny's room.

We finally put up the inflatable pool we bought two years ago and spent a large part of Saturday in it. Sunny was over the moon and could not have been happier.

This is the only thing that brought a bit of relief inside the house. Sadly, it is only in Sunny's room. I decided to sleep in his room for some nights because I cannot sleep in such temperatures while my husband is totally unaffected by the heat.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Ten Things of Thankful: week 29-30/2013

I started to write this week's list on Tuesday and after ten minutes there were already four things on my list without me having to think a lot about it. Some hours later the list already contained six things. It feels so good to realise how kind life is to you sometimes. 

1) It was the last week of kindergarten for Sunny. It was a very emotional week for me as I had to say good-bye to his teachers. We hugged each other firmly one more time and there may or may not have been some tears rolling (who am I kidding?) and now we are in holiday mode. I will never be fully able to express how thankful I am for the last three years where my son was taken care of, nourished, fostered, taught and, above all, loved so much.

2) I am thankful for concealer and my BB cream. Since I am on sleep deprivation for almost six years now I admit to say that I look like a zombie without concealer and a bit of BB cream. If I am not too lazy I also put some mascara on which gives me some kind of awake and agreeable look.

3) I am thankful for my independence. I am so glad that I can simply decide to visit a friend of mine in Austria, grab Sunny, hop in my car and drive there on my own. I do not need to ask my husband for permission (because he would never prohibit me from visiting a friend or my family), I do not need anyone to take me there, I do not have to ask anyone if I can go, I do not need to worry about leaving my country and go to another one. There are many different levels of independence in only this one trip and I am glad and acknowledging every one because I know there are so many people out there who are not that lucky.

4) I am thankful that I will get to spend some time with my family and friends this summer. I look so much forward to staying there longer than the usual weekend because more time on my hands makes it easier to balance all the things I want to do and people I want to spend time with.

5) I am thankful for the two awards I received months ago and this week finally found the time to write about. Once again: sorry, ladies, for taking so much time to do it!

6) I am thankful for to do lists. Although this week was still very busy, filled with appointments, the farewell from kindergarten, picking Sunny up from kindergarten earlier on Monday because his temperature was slightly elevated and he was exhausted, therapies, paperwork and all that stuff I was more focused this week and managed to get some to do's off my plate.
I have learned that to do lists help me to concentrate on what really has to be done and sometimes, when I am sleazy and not working on the list or abandoning it for a few days I recognise immediately that I start to lose track of all the things I have to do. And although I like technology and although I tested a few apps and Outlook and whatnot I found out that it has to be a printed list on paper that gets updated every other day and printed freshly, with lots of blanks to be filled out when something new has to be added.

7) I am thankful for the beautiful keepsakes we were given from kindergarten to remember Sunny's time there. As I already said, they always go the extra mile and the presents were so beautiful and thoughtful. Love them!

8) I love George Michael's "Careless Whisper" because it reminds me of my teenage years when love was nothing but sweet and innocent.

9) I am thankful for my friend Kerri who reached out to me on Tuesday when I was sad about Sunny's farewell from kindergarten and she sent me some beautiful, uplifting words when I needed them. xoxo to you, my dear friend!

10) I am thankful that we had a day with rain and cooler temperatures this week because it was pure relief.

10 + 1) I am thankful for my friend Kristi who really did it. She really sent me the book she was featured in by snail mail all across the pond. She sent it to me just because she is nice like that. Not only did she send the book but she also added a beautiful note to it. I was so touched when I read it. Thank you so so much, my dear! xoxo

 I am sorry that I could not participate in FTSF this week (it is just not possible for me at the moment, sadly) but this is one of the many things (and maybe the most important one) that I love about blogging: making friends who care all over the world! <3

10 + 2) It is Friday night now and I am sitting here, finishing my post and enjoying a glass of my famous Cosmopolitan cocktail because I deserve it. :-)

10 + 3) I am thankful for all the progress that Sunny made in the last three years. I am so happy to see how far he has come, how he has grown in those years and how many skills he learned. And as sad as I am that his kindergarten time has ended I shall not forget about the good stuff that arose from this happy time and be grateful for it.

Ten Things of Thankful

 Your hosts

Thursday, 25 July 2013

The Versatile Blogger meets Semper Fidelis Award

I am ashamed to say that I was given two awesome awards by some of my best blogging buddies months ago and I haven't found the time to post about them yet. I really, sincerely want to apologise to them for that. I must seem like the most unthankful person ever given an award and I am sure nobody will ever give me another one. :-(

So, I finally want to write about these two awards because, although it might not seem so, they really mean so much to me.

The Versatile Blogger award was given to me from Alana at Lightly Salted. She is an awesome writer and I am flattered that she chose me for the award. If you haven't done it yet, you should totally check out her blog! She is just about to write another novel!

Here are the rules for the award:

1) Thank and link to the person who gave you the award. - Done.
2) Tell seven facts about yourself.
3) Pass it on to seven other bloggers.
4) Link to specific posts on their blogs so they’ll be notified by pingback

So, here we go - seven facts about me:

1) I do not like the use of too many English expressions in the German language. Sadly, it is a trend that is growing more and more. While I am (obviously ;-) ) the last person to prefer German before English I think there are enough beautiful expressions and words in our our language and as long as it is not a special term that derives from the English language I do not like the replacement of German words by English ones.
2) I love Chai tea.
3) I am really bad at math. Always was, always will be. There are worse things in life. ;-)
4) I love animals and I am sad that we do not have any :-( My husband is allergic.
5) I love my iPhone but I would never buy a MacBook.
6) I haven't read "Shades Of Grey" and I am not planning on changing that.
7) I still use a paper journal.

My nominees for the Versatile Blogger Award are:

Natalia at Sophia's unique world
Stephanie at Life, Unexpectedly
Kerri at Undiagnosed, but okay
Rich Rumple at That's Life... Sometimes!!!
Alicia at Lost in Holland
Misty at Meet the Cottons
Jak at The Cryton Chronicles

Then there is the Semper Fidels Award, given to me by my beautiful friend Kerri at Undiagnosed, but okay. It really means so much to me that she considers me being part of her "wolf pack". We exchange mails on a really personal level and I am always happy to see her name appear in my inbox. If I ever juggle too many balls and blogging is on the back burner her blog is still one of the few I try to always read, somehow.

The rules to follow for this award are:

1) Add the award logo to your blog. - Done.
2) Thank the blogger who nominated/gifted it and link back to their blog. - Done!
3) Nominate five bloggers whose loyalty and friendship you value and who you consider being part of your 'wolf pack'.
4) Post something special for each one of your nominees and dedicate it to them such as a quote, picture, poem, saying etc....something you think pertains to that person.
5) Let your nominees know that they are nominated.

Here are my nominees:

Lizzy at Considerings. Since she started her Ten Things of Thankful blog hop I got to know her much better and I really feel for her in her struggling with infertility. This is my saying for you, Lizzy: 
May we live life not by our fears, but by our hopes. xoxo

Lucas at abstract Lucas because when we found each other there was an instant feeling of belonging and understanding.

Kristi at Finding Ninee because she made me start my blog in the first place. You can either thank her or sue her! ;-) I, for one, am very glad that she motivated me without even knowing it!

Tatum at Ain't No Roller Coaster because while Sunny is not a preemie we share so many things nevertheless and she just gets the struggles we face.  

Alana at Lightly Salted. I just love her humour, her empathy and her great writing! As soon as I find the time I am going to read her novel!

Congrats to you! Please put a link to your response in my comments section so I don't miss it!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Turning the last page

Today was a very emotional day for me. It was Sunny's "graduation day" from kindergarten. Tomorrow is the last day of school but since there is a lot going on in school with the graduation of the school kids the kindergarteners had their "graduation" today. The parents were not invited (which was absolutely okay). I know that it is hard for the teachers, too, to have the kids leave they cared three years for.

In the morning I met with some other parents in order to hand over a surprise gift card for a very good restaurant to the teachers. None of them knew we were going to come so it was a big surprise and they were all very excited about the gift card. We visited them during their break so we sat down with them and had a small chat and something to drink together.

I returned to kindergarten in the afternoon to pick Sunny up instead of putting him on the bus because I wanted to say goodbye to the teachers, too. So I went there about 15 minutes before kindergarten was over. They all sat together at the table and had something to drink (it was really hot today!) when I came so I sat down as well and was given something to drink, too. Sunny was happy to see me and called my name. That was so sweet!

Sunny's teacher then told me about the "graduation": the kids got their farewell presents and unpacked them. They played together, then came the ice cream van and all the kids got some ice cream. After that all the kids going to school showed their satchels on some kind of "catwalk". We just bought ours yesterday and everyone thought that we really picked out a cool one. Sunny's kindergarten backpack has a shark on it and his satchel has the theme with a shark again. Buying a satchel for a school kid to-be is always a big deal here.

Before kindergarten is over the kids sit down in the hall together with the teachers and sing a farewell song each day. One of the kids chose today's song to sing and while it is just a farewell song it made me so sad in the context of today that my tears started to flow.   

After all the other kids were on the bus I talked to the teachers some more and when we exchanged our hugs and farewell wishes the tears rolled again. Sunny's main teacher comforted me and said that she was sure everything will be fine. I am really not good at saying goodbye. It feels strange and awkward and sad not so see them again after three long years where we shared so many things and I opened up my heart to them and searched for advice more than once. It is always so hard for me to leave people behind that I built such a relationship with. They were an important part of my life.

When I came home and unpacked the presents from the satchel I was so touched when I saw them.

The first thing I found was a beautiful T-Shirt with the handprints of all the kindergarten kids:

The rest of the prints are on the back of the shirt
Then I saw an awesome photo album containing carefully chosen pictures of the last three years, accompanied with funny and lovely texts.

The third thing we got was a stretched canvas that used to hang on a wall in kindergarten. On it is a photo of Sunny together with his name and date of birth and a picture (rather some pattern) that he painted on it. It already found its place in our living room.

Tonight, when I wrote my last entry into our communication book for the teacher to read tomorrow I let the tears flow freely. I hope I could make it clear to her and her colleagues how thankful I am for everything. Incidentally, the communication book is almost filled and there are only two pages left for the teacher. Tomorrow we will close this chapter of Sunny's life for good and open a new one in September - hopefully filled with much love and compassion from his new teacher.

Monday, 22 July 2013

The Week In Pictures: calendar week 29/2013

I do not know what is going on lately but I seem to be drowning in stuff to do and I always have too little time somehow for everything. I have fallen behind on all my friend's blogs and I also hardly have time to blog because I do not know when to do it. So if you are wondering why I haven't visited and commented on your blog lately please do not take it personally. I hope I will find the time to visit you all again soon.

So, with no further ado, here are last week's pics:

On Monday we returned to the fountain where Sunny completely soaked himself on Sunday. He repeated what he did on Sunday and was completely wet after a few minutes. This kid loves water!

We went to the amusement park of last week another time because we all enjoyed it so much.

We watched "Grown Ups 2" on our date night
Photo credits

We went to another amusement park on Friday where we rode the coolest rollercoasters and also a lot of things appropriate for Sunny who had loads of fun

I made more jam

Sunny enjoying some time out in his tunnel with his talker

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Ten Things of Thankful: week 28-29/2013

What a week! My husband had a few days off and we spent a lot of time together which was nice but quite a lot of work and only little time to do things at home for me.

Tonight I am exhausted. My feet and legs hurt from our day, the sun burnt my back and I am tired. So I hope to have my list finished soon.

1) Spending time in front of the TV right now, on my comfortable sofa, with my blanket and a nice film in the background.

2) For the beautiful days we had together. We visited the amusement park of last week once again this week and another one today (which is why I am exhausted).

3) I am glad that Sunny does not have any issues with things like amusement parks or other places we visit as a family. He even went on some rides with us where I was not sure if he would go or not but he enjoyed them so much and laughed and squeaked with delight although they were so fast. I loved it and I love that we can do things like these.

4) I am thankful that we had a date night this week. We went to the cinema and it was quite funny.

5) I am enjoying wonderful white chocolate filled with cherries, blackberry and joghurt and it is simply delicious! Hmmm!

6) Billy Idol's "Dancing With Myself". I hear the first beats and immediately have to start rocking and grooving and turning the volume up. And now that I know Kristi I always think of her when I hear Billy Idol!

7) That there are still three days of kindergarten left next week. My heart is heavy for Sunny and I hope he will be okay with his transition to school and leaving all his beautiful teachers behind. It is one of the hardest (not health-related) things we had to deal with yet.

8) The kids which will go to school in September had a field day with the kindergarten teachers this week and Sunny was more than exhausted when he came home. When I checked the communication book there was no word about the field day in there and I was a bit sad that I would never know what they did and how he liked it. But then I found a beautiful note in his backpack and even a picture of him playing in the water of the swimming lake and I was happy.

9) I am so much looking forward to visiting my friend and her son in Austria in August. We will surely have the best time ever and I cannot wait to see her again!

10) That I finally finished this list! It was hard today because Sunny woke up at 4:39 this morning and, of course, he woke me up, too. Ouch!

Ten Things of Thankful

 Your hosts

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

A good meeting

Yesterday was a good day. Or, to be precise, a good night. Because we - the parents of the kids that are going to go to school in September - had a meeting at the school where we met the teachers that are going to teach our kids.

I was quite nervous because, you know, that school thing... I am just so anxious as to how it will go on, will Sunny have as loving and caring teachers as he now has in kindergarten, will he have only new classmates or is he going to be together with some of his kindergarten friends,... So the meeting yesterday was a big deal for me.

The school had prepared a nice setting in the garden of the school with garden chairs, tables, some soft drinks and fresh fruit for us. When I arrived there the teachers were already waiting for us. We introduced ourselves, then came the principal and the vice-principal. The atmosphere was relaxed and lighthearted.

The meeting started with a short introduction by everyone. I was happy to learn that two of Sunny's kindergarten friends will attend the same class as Sunny. I was especially happy about one boy that is "very important" to him, as the kindergarten teacher just recently told me. Then came the bureaucratic stuff and after that we made our rounds through the classrooms, talked about the materials we should get for the beginning of school like e.g. which kinds of coloured pencils are best, stuff like that.

I found some time to talk to Sunny's future teacher. She is a young, sweet lady who was curious to learn some things about him and his personality. There were two issues very important to me that I wanted to address shortly:

1) The talker. I am under the impression that it is only rarely used in kindergarten and I really would like that to change. She was excited to learn that he has a dynamic talker and we agreed to exchange e-mail addresses because I told her I would program new pages for her in order for her to use the talker more often. All I need her to do is to send me the symbols that I need for the new pages. She totally agreed on the talker and told me that she thought of this as something important, too.

2) I am planning on starting a communication journal. When your child does not speak it is so difficult to learn anything about his everyday life when he is away. I never know what they did in kindergarten, if he liked it or not, all those things. Sure, sometimes there is a short note in our communication book but not very often. It makes me sad. And Sunny also does not have any biography. He can never go back and tell me "Mama, do you remember when we did this and that? That was so awesome!" A communication journal will give him a biography which is so important to me. However, when I mentioned this to the teacher while I observed the fourth grade in June she told me something along the lines of "we don't have time for stuff like that" and I was so mad and sad about that. Since then I have been thinking of ways how to prepare as much for such a com journal as possible in advance so that the teacher will not have to spend much time on it and will be more willing to do it. Fast forward to yesterday night. I told the new teacher about my idea and guess what she said? "Oh, I have already been planning on doing something like that anyway!" The heavens opened and the sunbeams hit me right on the spot. I preached to the converted!! I was so happy! We immediately exchanged ideas on how she was planning to do it and what I had been thinking of... it was just amazing.

The meeting with this new person in Sunny's life filled me with so much hope that there is good to come. She seems enthusiastic, caring, dedicated, and very kind. I was so thankful when we talked that I started to cry (OMG why am I crying all the time for no real reason??). Can you imagine something more embarrassing than crying in front of your son's new teacher on the first occasion you ever meet her?? I wonder what she thinks about me now. I wanted to disappear into thin air.

But this whole school thing is filled with so many emotions for me, so many fears of the unknown. It takes so much trust that I have to give someone in advance; it is simply not easy for me. Having a child that does not speak and that cannot tell you if he is treated well or not makes it so much more difficult.

However, I have a good feeling about his new teacher and I hope I will not be disappointed. I drove home happily and relieved yesterday night.

Monday, 15 July 2013

The Week In Pictures: calendar week 28/2013

We had a pretty eventful week last week. It was full of exhausting work and beautiful getaways.

Have a great start into a new week! :-)

The week started with some heavy work: we un- and recovered a complete roof

Music therapy took place in the garden this week which was just lovely!

We went to an amusement park and had such a blast together that we might go again this week!
I also discovered a cool app where you can share your pics (to Facebook, Twitter, ...) together with your location, the weather at your current place, a time stamp.... There are different skins to choose from. It is called InstaWeatherPro.

Sunny going down the slides a gazillion times

Much-needed cooling for my hot feet in the park. The weather was perfect!

I love our beautiful, tall trees so much! Their shade is so generous.

The first cherries from our garden. Just plain delicious!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Recipe: Amaretto Sour

As per kindest request from my friend Lizzy I am happy to share this gorgeous recipe of one of my favourite cocktails before I sign off to bed.

Amaretto Sour

Ingredients (serves 1 person)

5 cl Amaretto
3 cl Lemon juice
2 cl Orange juice


Shake the ingredients with one ice cube per serving in a bar shaker and strain into a cocktail coupe with 1-2 ice cubes per glass.

Lean back and enjoy!!

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Ten Things of Thankful: week 27-28/2013

Friday evening of a busy week (but a bit less busy than the last ones, thank goodness!) and time to focus on the good stuff. Most of them are quite mundane things but isn't this what life is mainly about? Seeing the good in the small things of everyday life.

1) This week we were on a beautiful family outing together at some kind of amusement park. My husband works a lot so we rarely get to do things together and we all enjoyed ourselves so much. Sunny had so much fun and so did we!

2) After we came home from our day trip we were all sweaty and spent. When Sunny was in bed I took a long and relaxing shower with my new favourite shower gel: ginger and lemon. It is so refreshing and I felt so good afterwards.

3) The weather has really been perfect the whole week. It was pleasantly warm - warm enough for summer clothes - but not too hot, it was breezy and not too humid, the sun was shining all day, we had no drop of rain... Just the way I love it.

4) A big shout out to nail polish. My feet are okay but not really beautiful but a nice pedicure (which I always do myself) makes them look so much better.

5) I love Bronski Beat's song Smalltown Boy and I am always happy when it appears on my playlist:

6) A friend of mine sent me a surprise parcel in the mail this week, containing homemade jam, yummy white chocolate and a nice greeting card. It came out of the blue and made me really happy.

7) The cocktail I am enjoying right now. It is a simple one yet so delicious. (Edited to add: I just posted the recipe here.)

8) Online shopping. I love how there are so many shops and so many possibilities to find the stuff you are searching for. It is so much more relaxed than running around town, skim a gazillion shops and still do not find what you are looking for.

9) Our planet. I am constantly overwhelmed and in awe when I see pictures of so many different landscapes, of high mountains and deep oceans, of deserts, swamps and woods. I love all the faces our earth has and the beauty that surrounds us everywhere.

10) That the weather will stay good because we are going to have a barbecue tomorrow and I am so much looking forward to it. I love to have a simple yet delicious barbecue!

What are you thankful for? Please do share!

Ten Things of Thankful

 Your hosts

Friday, 12 July 2013

Five Minute Friday: Present

It is Friday which means it is time to link up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday again. This means: write for five minutes flat, no editing, just let it pour out of your fingers. This week's caption is



The present. Right now. This very moment. I try not to worry about the future too much. I try not to look back to my past too much. I try to live in the now.

I see the days on the calendar fly by and I try to remind myself each day that right now, this very moment, is a present given to me. Each morning it is carefully wrapped up, waiting for me to open the bow, take off the wrapping paper and look inside. What does it hold today? Will there be happiness? Will there be joy and delight? Or will I feel overwhelmed and tired? And will I be able to live consciously, remembering from time to time as the day - this present, this gift - unfolds how lucky I am to be here and to just be?


Would you change your past?

If I could go back and do something over it would be - nothing.

Seriously, I have been thinking about it for days now. If I could go back in time, what would I change? And I came up with nothing. 

Because everything that came to my mind turned out to be a decision that, in hindsight, was good for something else. And because every decision I ever made - either big or small - shaped the life I am living right now and it shaped me into the person I am - and I like who I am and where I am standing in life today.

Like when I decided not to go to university after I finished school but instead started an apprenticeship. I would have never met my wonderful colleague turned friend whom I am going to visit in August. And then I went to university some years later and met other beautiful friends there who I am still in contact with.

Or when I had a boyfriend who really treated me badly for more than a year. I tried to dump him several times but somehow took months to finally do it because I was afraid to be alone. However, I learned from this bad relationship how I would never tolerate another man to treat me.

But now, come to think of it, there is something I would change. I would like to go back to myself to the time when I was in the hospital after Sunny was born and I would tell myself that it will be okay. I would soothe myself and tell me what a wonderful, beautiful, lovely child he will become and that I should not worry too much.

And maybe I would choose vanilla ice cream instead of banana if I could go back to last week ;-) But that's about it.

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post using the sentence "If I could go back and do something over it would be..."

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post using the sentence “If I could have dinner with anyone in history, it would be…” - See more at: has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post using the sentence "The best 4th of July I ever had was...". 
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