Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Lucia 2017

It is the 13th of December and Lucia is here. Or not here in my house, Lucia is a tradition I never brought to my children... but I sat down to watch the yearly Lucia ceremony on SVT Play (Swedish TV that is), and couldn't help but sobbing away the full hour in pure sentiment...

Lucia is one of those profound traditions that cuts like a knife into my Swedish heart because it is so incredibly beautiful and so deeply anchored in my soul... From early age Swedish children are rocked into this wonderful tradition of bringing light to the dark with dress up, candles, poems and choirs. I mean which Swedish kid has NOT dressed up as a star boy, ginger cookie, little Santa, Lucia maid or Miss Lucia herself with the crown of candles in her hair? Who hasn't learned the sweet melodies, poems and lyrics that will forever be etched into our beings. Which Swedish child has not felt the excitement of taking part in a Lucia show on an early dark morning in December with parents coming to watch with proud grins from ear to ear?

Star boys, little Santas and Lucia maids.
Saffron buns and hot milk.
Butterflies in my tummy. 

Early morning.
Dark corridors.
Light in my hair.
Mum sits on a small stool and watches me. 

When one of the little Lucia maids steps forward to read her poem by heart (gently translated above), I'm painfully reminded about my roots, things I have sacrificed and left behind when I once moved abroad. My children who never attended a Lucia parade and who never will experience the same magic of this day as I do... and me wishing I had given it to them. Asking myself why I didn't work harder on keeping these traditions alive... So I shed a tear while listening to the stunning Stockholm Music Gymnasium Choir and the delicate biblical tunes streaming out of my TV. Dry them away and reminding myself that no matter how far away I move from my country or how many years that passes by without my traditions, they will forever remain fresh as a rose bud in my heart. Forever. And sacrifice or not, my children have other traditions that will forever be anchored in them. And so life goes on. No need for regrets.

Note: Photos from my home are my own, the Lucia ceremony pictures are screenshots from the Lucia show available on SVT Play. The show can be watch worldwide from today until 12th of January 2018.


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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Swapping Christmas pressure for Christmas joy!

As always, the first of advent catches me by surprise. Although I know it is coming and I eagerly wait for it, I never manage to be prepared for its arrival. Never. Not this year either. However, this past week I have been super productive when it comes to Christmas preparations. I am about 90% done with all gifts and the only thing missing now is the Christmas tree. After the rather non inspiring start of missing out on first of advent I set a new goal - to prepare as much as possible as early as possible to make time for me to relax and enjoy the Christmas countdown instead of running around like a headless chicken every day up until Christmas day. I feel so good about this achievement. Especially the gift part. I'm so proud of myself. It was not easy, but I did it and this new way of taking on Christmas changes everything.

I have had time to start on a new table runner with my favorite of all times fabric My Folklore Dala Horse by Lecien... Oh how I wish I had bought at least a few yards of it... Santa, dear Santa - I wish for Christmas, pleeeaaase. (You think he will hear me...???)

I have been baking both ginger cookies and saffron buns and they are all eaten and gone. A reason to make some more.

I have taken snowy Winter Wonderland walks and watched the cats play in the snow, indulged in hot chocolates with Chantilly cream and tons of calories because it is soooo good.

I have wrapped all gifts, watched a few Christmas movies and discovered a new Christmas record favorite: Elvis Christmas with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra!!! This Christmas album is so good. I mean, I am a big fan of Bublé - of course (who isn't???) but Elvis makes me dance from room to room and wiggle those hips like never before. Elvis just makes me happy.

As much as I love and adore everything about Christmas, I'm not much different than many others who experience this time of the year to be rather stressful. We always, ALWAYS (!!!) wish for it to be a relaxing time when we can enjoy baking, cooking, crafting, gifting, decorating, socializing, music listening and so much more. We want it to be perfect, but honestly... Does it really have to be perfect? And what is perfect anyway? So with that in mind I swapped "musts" to "wants" and "pressure" to "joy" and instead of having it all, me and the kids have chosen the things and traditions that really makes Christmas special in our house. And now we have P E R F E C T Christmas spirit in our home. Perfect for us.

I can't believe it took me so long to realize this... All the years that I have felt like I'm never going to make it all in time, be enough or able to meet everyone's needs and expectations...  it shows that everyone's needs and expectations are actually only my own... Yep, there you have it. It took some time to figure that out but life is a continuous journey of self discovery, growth and collecting wisdom. I kind of like getting older. :) Letting go... Just be. What a relief. And with that I sign off and wish you all a Happy Second Advent. No pressure. Stay Calm and Enjoy!

PS Forgot to tell you, but I did start on our Family Photo Wall over the sofa... I'm almost half way through, I add one picture at the time and who knows, maybe it will be complete just in time for Christmas. I'm loving the project and I feel so blessed when I see my family members all together up on the wall... So much love. I'm so lucky. (She says, and it might sound like an empty phrase but it is so true and she needs to remind herself how lucky she actually is...)


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Monday, November 27, 2017

First snow, a late autumn wreath, black out and lots of rambles...

Many things have been accomplished lately but the picture wall in my living room remains undone. Oh well, one day it will happen I'm sure. I enjoyed it so much to read your input about making lists... Is this writing To Do list phenomenon typical for us women?  One of my readers wrote: "Have you ever seen a man writing a list?", and to be honest I don't think I ever have. Well, my dad writes grocery lists but that doesn't really counts... So it got me thinking... Karen wrote me a great tip: "You should try for a day just writing a 'have done' list rather than a 'to do' list. It'll surprise you just how much you do in a day!" I truly love that tip and will absolutely put it into practice. Especially on a tough day when you feel you do nothing. However, I don't think I'll ever stop writing lists... I just simply love it. It is a way of time management, organizing and staying up with my every day life...

Before I forget, I'll throw in some pictures from my birthday. It was one of my better birthdays I think. I think this thing with going backwards in age is a great idea. Thank you for that Emmy Bo, it felt great to turn 46! (Twink, twink!). So, no age anxieties. No pressure. Just simple and perfect. Good food, cake, goofy kids, a few cozy gifts (look at my new tea cup with the sweet deer - love it!) and just lots of love. Yes, that is love you see on the pictures of my kids. It might look a bit tough and rough but it is love, I promise. And of course, a big Thank You for all your birthday wishes!!! Especially on Instagram. Fantastic! 

So going back to my list in this old blog post: I made my first ever wreath from heather and some evergreens. I used an old embroidery loop, and inspired by Lucy from Attic24, I made some pink and green crochet berries following her cute little Autumn Berry Tutorial (I made up that tutorial name...) and I think they just added  that little extra I needed. Not too bad for a first timer I have to say. I'm happy. :) But of course, now it is getting close to Christmas so the Autumn wreath won't last long on my front door. Soon it will be replaced by Christmas red and green.

We had our first snow of the year last week. It came and disappeared in just a few hours. However, I managed to squeeze in a forest walk with my good friend Liz enjoying the few hours of snow powdered landscape. Back home after coffee and chat around noon it was all gone. Later that day we had an electric black out and lit candles all around the house. It was so cozy and nice, but to our disappointment (mixed with some relief as I had prepared a lasagna that needed to be baked in the oven...) it lasted only for 15 minutes... The lasagna went into the oven but the lights stayed turned off and we fully enjoyed the "hygge" feeling a dark house lit up with candles brings.

Well, I'm a little bit all over the place today and soon my little Emmy Bo comes home for lunch. This afternoon I'm going through my studio (again) and I hope to list some handmade creations I've had lying around for a while in my Etsy shop. I better get working on taking pictures. Thanks for popping by and tell me:

Do you think writing To Do lists is typical for women and if so why is that?
And have you ever tried out Karen's tip on making a list of achievements and if so, how was it?


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