Setting Up Camp :: Two weeks in Helsinki


Today will be two weeks from the last day we were in Minnesota. It seems so much longer than that.
Things are slowly starting to take shape. My guess is that by week three, we'll start really feeling settled. My hope is by the end of next week we will legitimately rest in an evening-without having a major to-do. While it's unlikely we'll have a whole week of that, one day is what I'm shooting for.

Getting groceries for more than just the next day was a big step in that direction. We're sleeping in our own bed, and we had our first Finnish stranger stop for a chat (and said they hope to see us around.)  I'm getting less shy to ask questions (Ben was never shy in the first place,) and we know probably a good 10+ words. Slow and steady.

The expected reality of everything being different proves true, except for one thing: Jesus. It has actually been incredibly encouraging meeting friends who are believers. The reality that they trust in the same guy I do, far before we ever met, has really blown my mind at the unifying nature of christianity. I think living overseas has heightened the reality that with most things-cultures, hobbies, etc. there's a strong force of assimilation on individuals joining said hobby, culture etc. to really fit in. There's a million different ways I'm reminding daily that I'm not from here. And while following Christ most definitely has its own set of beliefs we have to hold to (Lord, Savior, Guide),  our experience has opened my eyes to how much Jesus actually does translate across cultures, and how easy it is to fit right in with other believers. Now, I'm well aware of the awful job americans have often done at attaching a million exclusivities to being a Christ-follower, so perhaps reading that, you'd care to disagree. But sitting at that coffee shop with our morphing-into-friends, talking over how God has worked in our lives even when we don't eat the same foods, have the same hobbies, or even share the same language fully and yet still feel a deep down connection. Well, that's one big win for Jesus.

Ikea has been our life lately. During nap times I've been hunkering down and building anything that's a one person job. Ben get's home after 5, then we spend time with our girl. Once she's asleep in the evening, it's furniture assembly again. We have yet to buy lights, lucky for us it stays bright outside past 10 o'clock here. In some ways, the setting dusk has forced us into bed by 11, which is a blessing.

 I've discovered that coffee shops have chai  lattes (And all God's people say amen!) So, I've been walking around a mile or so to a local coffee shop, to pick up a cup, then walk back (carefully, cobblestones make cups leak easily) and stick it in the fridge till naptime. (I do this probably twice a week, it's kind of expensive.) Once Eowyn goes down, I warm up that pretty over the stove and enjoy. If you follow me on instagram, you saw I bought tea bags this week, hopeful to have a more affordable, and less time-consuming solution. Yeah. No go. The finnish people are devourers of black licorice, so, of course the 'sweet chai' is flavored with such   Finns have it in sauce form, for their ice cream too, which is easy to mistake for chocolate sauce. Not that we know or anything...

Eowyn's awesome. As usual. She's definitely starting to enter the toddler crazy stage, and delights in telling us no, and lagging at listening. She kind of gets like, mini-tarzan if we keep her up late which is funny. She's a silly tarzan, not an angry one. Luckily, staying at home with her with not a whole lot of major to-do's allows time to really focus on having those slow conversations about how to work through emotions and disobedience. Walking everywhere makes listening to "stop" "wait" etc. all the more imperative. Luckily, I've stolen my good friend's "red light, green light" game she used on her toddler (I saw her do it, she didn't necessarily recommend it, but its awesome) and eowyn's getting the hang of it. I'll make listening mama a game any day if she actually does it. So far so good. No dangling over tram tracks or anything. In some ways I'm grateful for all the time that it's just her and I, but just like it is was before, it gets lonely. We're working on that, though. Moving to a new place is hard. Whenever I hear english, I become a little stalker and figure out where they come from! haha. Just kidding. But the researcher in me is definitely starting to find those expat mom-groups. Pray for friends.

Hey! It's Friday! This weekend we get to check out a house-church, and on saturday its " Siivouspäivä " Cleaning day! It's basically a city-wide rummage sale. Pray we find some awesome toys for Eowyn and a few decorative treasures. You can see by the pictures, she's getting bored (but very creative) with her mr. potato head and various other small things we've brought over. Good thing there's pots, pans, and dirt.

Happy weekend.

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