Life Lately :: September 2015


Here our a bit of ramblings from the past several weeks. A little update of sorts to let you all in on life lately:

Fall is creeping in here in Helsinki. The colors are starting to change, the nights (and days) are getting cold enough for a jacket (although, come to think of it, that's pretty much always...) and the nights are actually dark.

It's crazy to think about where we were at this time last year. Our hearts and minds are in totally different places than a year ago. Definitely for the better.

For starters, we now have a solid network we hold so dear. We've gotten to experience a deeper level of friendship across the board.  It's something special when you're willing to invite people over for a recipe you've never tried. Our home has become a hub of sorts and it's wonderful. It's been such a gift to have a handful of people to authentically rest with. In a lot of ways not having family close by has allowed me to learn how to make people family. It's been a sweet time of letting people in. Many a dear friend has heard our baby cry and fight sleep with us, and has seen me with a bewildered face. No keeping it all together when you live life-on-life (as our good Pastors of yore would say.) I wouldn't have it any other way, really. It's the very thing we needed.

Eowyn is all fiest. That girl. Oh, dear Jesus thank you for that girl. Sometimes my heart feels like it's going to burst with how wonderful she is. Other times I want to squish her and not because she's sooo cute. I have a sneaking suspicion that Ben will have amazing referee skills come teenager time. She's certainly her own girl, and yet I see it-the will is strong with this one.

I keep joking with my mom that we made it out alright. We talk multiple times a week. So, there's hope for me and that joyful charger girl to end up besties. (Or something like that.)

While Eowyn is either happy or downcast, Elias is THRILLED or FURIOUS. There's no whine with that kid, it's all fight. You walk away? He will call in the troops. When he laughs, it's quickly a roar. Oh my heart.

I marvel at how such little bodies could hold such BIG EMOTIONS. (Wonder where they get that from?) I love how they're already so different. Our Elias loves his sister (I know everyone says that about their babies, but seriously) and she can get him to laugh like no other. I keep trying to get half the reaction she does. I'll even do the exact thing she did seconds before, and he gives me a sympathy smile then searches the room for her. Looks like that friendship I hoped for might turn out. Eowyn certainly doesn't mind having someone so enamored with her. When she sees him she says "Oh, Elias." He's endearing to her. Except when she has the chore of "make Elias laugh!" Then she's very much over him and our fixation of their relationship.

We found a new favorite enchilada recipe. This is kind of world news in Sprague speak.

We have officially reached the point in our evenings when BOTH children go down at a reasonable hour and we can do what we want till we ourselves scoot off to bed. We've had game nights for weeks now with no interruptions. We bask in it almost every time. Such progress has been made from just a few months ago when every.single.night we would be taking turns trying to calm our baby down till we fell into an exhausted heap. We all are getting bits more sleep these days and it's glorious.

Overtime for work is picking up for Ben. This causes much weeping and nashing of teeth (just kidding...) but it's nothing really new. It waxes and wanes. Right now it's on the upswing. We already are looking at 10 hour days (from when he walks out the door to in the door,) so any added minute is felt. I often remind myself, however, that many spouses have to work much more, sometimes two jobs, to afford a parent to stay at home. It's a gift that I can stay here. Plus with the opportunity to live abroad and support our church plant, it's a super blessing. At 6-7 PM it just doesn't feel like it. But what are ya gonna do?

You're gonna make treats.

Lots of treats.

Like chocolate chip cookie dough with your kid because nothing beats watching the clock like noshing on cookie dough with a three year old while singing out Daniel Tiger Jams.

 Side note: Daniel Tiger, you schooled me the other day when I was super frustrated with a very sassy young 'tiger' and she reminded me: "When you feel so mad that you want to ROAR, take a deep breath then count to four..." Unfortunately, when I tried to sing the song, the little tiger hollered "NO, I DO IT MYSELF" Apparently sing-a-longs infringe on independence. I imagine, had I been able to sing it, it would have done the trick. Ofcourse, seeing a little tiger intently sing said song is pretty calming on the nerves. We'll call it a win.

In other news, we're neck deep in a new board game called Imperial Assault. It's straight up amazing. I didn't think I was much of a gamer. Yet, I've caught myself starting to strategize even when we're not I guess we can say the weekly game nights have turned me into a bit of a convert.

When I look back on this past season, the one thing that I'm realizing is how much a shift has taken place in our way of thinking. Living abroad (and all the challenges that have been held in this past year!) has allowed Ben and I to really figure out what it means to be 'for each other.' We've gotten to learn to view problems and hard life circumstances as simply that. We can objectify those things and examine them together. Us vs. dilemma. Where as before, it was far too easy to begin to get frustrated with each other and assume it was within the other's power to fix the issue. They were just holding out.

In other words, I've become all the more convinced that this man is 'for me' and has my best at heart. I still get surprised at how much of a score this guy was. Thank you Jesus.

Marriage is turning out to be a really beautiful thing.

Verdict is still out on whole child-raising bit, though ;) Those little rascals.

Hope your fall is full of fresh crisp air, lovely routine, and good friends to eat hot dishes with. I suspect ours will be.

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