Helsinki, Finland


Many of you already know all the details of this, so we'll just get to the quick exciting news:

It's official:

We're moving to Helsinki, Finland in May!


(here's a map of where it is, for reference.)

For those of you who haven't gotten weekly updates, here's the full news plus a little back story:

Back in 2013 (more than a year ago) we were sitting on our trusty couch, going through a cutesy love book called 'Two' that we picked up at the 'bux  (starbucks, for all you people that don't unashamedly abbreviate words that were never meant to be abbreviated) during one of our travels to and from Wisconsin. It had a section where couples fill out their biggest, wildest dreams together and that night we were looking through it and decided to share ours.

number 8 for both of us : LIVE IN EUROPE.

Less than a week later, Ben got an email from his work asking if he was willing to move over seas. We were so stunned by the probability that we half-jokingly threw our names in the hat. We prayed that if God didn't have it for us, we wouldn't hear anything else about it. By April (as in a couple months later) we were encouraged to be fully ready to leave for Finland. Ben's name was on the contract and this was awesome. We had a going away party in the rush with our small group, and in an effort to get ready to launch I packed up and purged a ton of our things. It was all crazy and exciting and overwhelming.

Then we waited.

In our personal life we got surprised with a pregnancy test, ultrasounds, excitement, miscarriages, a whole ton of life happened. Our life grew more into a daily 'find the silver lining' ritual than one on the cusp of adventure.

With Ben's work there were court cases(regarding Ben's company and its competitors) and more waiting. People actually started asking us how Finland was. Enough time had passed, those who hadn't seen us for a while thought we already returned.

There were a lot of 'why's' we asked God about this past year and few months, and I'm pretty sure we prayed the exact same prayer over 365 times. You know, just in case God didn't know EXACTLY what we wanted (I even gave him due dates at one point, thinking maybe if I put a marker in the sand, he'd oblige-Apparently he doesn't work according to my google calendar.)

And then, randomly on the 20th of March, we checked the Finnish tax site like we always do and saw an announcement. The thing we were waiting on, the court ruling we had been holding out for had been ruled in our favor. The contract would be signed.

A few days later the details started rolling in. This is actually happening. Praise the good Lord.

So now that the word is out, we're excited. We're gathering up our things, selling everything that doesn't have our faces on it and in more ways than we can express, saying goodbye to the past half decade of building our lives here.

Here our 5 things highlighting what we're passionate about (and 5  things we're struggling through):

Excited About:

1. DREAM COME TRUE. We do not belittle the fact that we get to have a job that moves us all over-especially to the grand country of Finland. We're so excited to adventure and live and grow there. Finland is a prayer answered in more than a dozen ways. How amazing will this story be?!

2. Raising little finns! We're excited to give Eowyn a global world view. Yes, she'll be small-but imagine her forming her ideas about the world from real life experience rather than just books? We're excited to experience new cultures, make new friends, and be in the body of Christ on another slice of the world. If we have children overseas-I'm sure they'll love getting to add that bit in the "One thing you don't know about me" awkward class circle times!

3. We like change. I read once a piece of marriage advice that encouraged couples to 'invite change often,' whether that was a new house, a new city, a new route on their way to work, a new something. The article continued to express how often we can get discontent in our current station, and it's often easy to confuse the need for change for a dissatisfaction in our marriage. I couldn't agree more.

Getting to have change in our lives has been an crucial aspect of our marriage-this will be one of the greatest yet. Every change (both adventure and struggle) we've gone through so far has been like another layer of cement on our resolve and love for each other. I imagine in this adventure we'll add a few feet of concrete solidarity.

4. "Adventure is out there!" Every time we get stressed, overwhelmed, and unsure if we were crazy in doing this, we in our most silly Up-voice yell this at each other. We felt most alive together in Ireland. That was probably 2 parts honeymoon, but definitely one part adventure. Who we are when discovering a new side of what God has done makes us come alive in ways we just don't get when eating the same pizza and watching our seasons of t.v. shows. We do good adventuring together. It's kind of our thing.

5. God's hand is on it. Seriously, no doubt about it.  We've felt peace from the gitgo, the circumstances have all pointed to what a blessing this is. Whenever we've prayed we've felt pushed in the direction we're going. We can even see how this season of waiting was a gift from Jesus as well(with having our babies die, it would have been a major struggle doing it without my family and friends-I have no doubt the emotions would have run darker, and I needed fellow believers to remind me of a good God.)

Now that this is happening, we see him acting in a myriad of ways to bring us into a new season. We praise God for that. We're ready as we ever will be. We know there's still bitter + sweet, but we're excited to taste a new bittersweet. We're ready to see God reveal himself in new problems and new miracles.

We're just all sorts of excited.

If you're the celebratory type stop there.

We're excited.

End post.

If you're the realist and like to see both sides of the coin, keep reading.

In all truthfulness I want to include both sides of this. Both to remember and to be honest for those who may stumble upon this in a season of moving overseas. Perhaps you can relate.

Struggling Through:

1. The biggest struggle we face is leaving family and friends. Plainly put, we don't want to. Never have we experienced community like we have while at Hope CC and in the Twin Cities. It feels weird because we know how few times we'll get to return. Yearly trips will be spend with family, and maybe a magical visit may occur, but they will be far and few. There are now 'last times' of seeing people-maybe even on this side of heaven-and that hurts us. While I think they feel ache for us, we're feeling the ache on hundreds of sides, and it leaves a heavy weight. With the people we will be seeing often, it's still not the same. While we'll be visiting family as often as is possible, it still will be less than before. Finances and time are looming obstacles. The more children we, Lord willing, get to have, the harder it'll be to visit.

We struggle through feeling like we're walking in the direction that is best for our family, yet walking away from responsibilities in relationships. We'll miss weddings, babies being born, and when struggle happens, often we won't be able to be present. That sucks. This has been the worst thing of it all. This is the largest pill for us to swallow, one that we're reading articles and doing research to see how to best keep relationships strong, even as miles separate us. I don't know how this will look and who will remain in our circles by the time we return stateside.

2. This new venture is terrifying. We're literally packing up minimally and getting rid of everything. I've never had anxiety attacks like I have in the transition of this move. I once this past year cried over a shampoo bottle because I was probably not going to be able to finish it. Plus, there's the whole figuring out a new land, a new language-while we may not speak finnish fluently by the end, we'll still need to learn enough to buy groceries and read road signs etc.-and overall getting to a whole new normal leaves us anxious.

Everything I've read has said it takes a full year for you to be fully adjusted when living abroad. For your brain to rest and for you to feel home is something natives take for granted. That's a long time for us to trudge through thinking of all the minute details and there's more unknowns than knowns at this point. It exhausts me trying to plan for it and the more I research, the more unknowns get added. We're just going to be kind of falling into it.

That's hard for the planner in me(which lets be real, is 100% of me.)

3. New work/New lifestyle/New community=exhausting : Ben has referenced this article about programmers struggling through 'imposters syndrome' more than once when sorting through this transition. He's commented that this big move has brought out of the 'real programmer vs. imposter syndrome' in him and he has to fight through those feelings with himself and others. To be honest, I think we'll be feeling this tremendously this next year. We'll be foreigners for a long time-we won't quite know where we belong. Ben will be at a new site, we'll be learning how to live without a car, we'll be finding a new church, every single bit of this is unknown. We probably won't have a tub (cue the tears), dishwasher, dryer, and many other random appliances that are part of the daily life here. While none of these individually are a big deal, the culmination of all of these pieces of normal missing will make us feel very not at home for a while.

This is why people go on vacation and don't pick up and leave their homes. New is nice, but new is also terrifying. New all the time is just plain exhausting. We try and anticipate the facets of this reality as much as possible, but I know for certain that this next year will be the wildest, most invigoration, most exhausting, most trying of our marriage yet.

4. Obligations and Responsibilities: I struggle through this immensely. So much of life has this undercurrent of responsibilities and obligations and for my personality most of these are big enough  reason to never allow any change ever. I feel like in moving to Finland, we're letting a few key people down. Our relationships have had mixed reactions to the news of us leaving. On one hand its hard because we want to be celebrated on this adventure, but on the other hand we appreciate others acting like we'll be missed. It's all just weird and emotional and I'm still unsure about it all. If we stay the full duration of the contract, when we return I'll be almost 30. Much of our future life (at least as far as we can plan) is happening over there and that means some major changes and calibrations in all of the relationships we hold dear are going to happen.

5. This is going to be our new normal: This move is the first of many moves for our life, as long we stay working with the company Ben is working with-and we intend to- we'll be on the move every few years. We've been in Minnesota so long, its actually pretty crazy. This experience we've had is not the norm. We're finally facing the reality that we've been seeing in the horizon for along time. The ride is in many ways beginning. It takes some getting used to.

Go big or go Home, right?

We'll folks, it looks like we're going big, and making it our home.

Please be praying for us. I know many of our friends have commented how exciting and amazing this will be. They're right. We've spent several moments doing fist pumps at how excited we are. This is like....13 year old Brittany's dreams come true.  The adult Brittany has a hard time even thinking this is for real. What an adventure this will surely be.

It will also be sweaty and painful and there are several obstacles to overcome. So, pray for us?


1. Logistics: Packing, selling stuff, last meet ups, international flights with a toddler, getting to our place of residence, getting furniture, getting groceries, getting random other needs we don't anticipate etc. without a car and an understanding of the language.

If any of you have any tips on the above-please email me.

2. Community: Wisdom in how to best maintain the friendships and family times back home -because we need you guys. For there to be a good church, and a good community (both with work and locals) for us to jump into when we get there.

3. Divine appointments: Here's a little bit of the charismatic in me, but there are seasons in my life where God is so obvious and gracious. The little things like sitting next to people on a flight that love babies, or having that helpful native explain directions. Pray that there would be those appointments present, and that we would have eyes to see them. To give us hope and to remind us that we're not alone in this.

4. Ben at his new site: It'll be a good amount of work transitioning with working on a brand new site with cultural differences (most of which are unknown) and major anticipated overtime. I anticipate being alone with Eowyn for most of the hours in our days. Every season of overtime, I go a little crazy. Being in a different country, I imagine will be its own set of crazies.

5. Rest and grace towards each other. Change is hard, it's easy  to hurt the ones most important to us when we're tired because we get selfish and careless.

6. God knows what we need. Prayers that we rely in that truth and let Him do whatever would bring him most glory.

So....Who wants to visit us in Helsinki!?

Ben and Brits B&B will be open this summer! Ha! Really though, come visit us.

Excited to take you readers on the adventure with us.

P.S. if you are needing a microwave, or any other random object, or know any college graduate that wants cheap furniture from Ikea (black color.) Email me. We got the loot. Most of which we aren't planning on keeping in storage, because we have plane tickets to buy.

As Always, Thanks for Reading.


  1. Congrats!!! Good luck with the move. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help with he transition.

  2. So excited for you guys!!! Prayers and support are leading, surrounding & following you through this whole process. We love you guys and are with you the whole way!

  3. Congrats & good luck! Exciting news!!

  4. Wow!! Congratulations!! That's crazy. I'll look forward to reading all about your adventures :) Praying for the transition and move. Have so much fun!