Brussels, Belgium :: Sprague Adventures


When we began talking about the next place we wanted to visit-we originally had our eyes set on somewhere warmer, but as time drew closer and the ticket prices rose, we decided we'd like to go somewhere more mainland. A few google searches later, we landed on Brussels. Having never been to Brussels and having thoughts of waffles and fries, it just seemed like a good idea to usher in the warm cosy months with some of our favorite foods. Plus the idea of never having to convince our kids to eat felt promising.

On one hand, this trip was really special. We had a great airbnb host, some amazing breakfasts (!!!) and really enjoyed the Grand Place and the Natural History Museum of Brussels.

On the other, we stayed in what is quickly becoming one of the most dangerous neighborhood in Brussels (lesson learned-do my research.) When we left our apartment, we often felt aware of the near tangible darkness pervating the neighborhood. More than once we saw some very shady dealings occuring, and at one point we were having a conversation with a man (a very kind man)-giving us directions on how to grab tickets for the metro etc. When we returned to  the elevator he was there shooting up heroin, losing his previous demeanour. We then saw similar instances near everytime we rode from that stop (the one right below our apartment.)

Both kids had colds, and Elias has just entered into a stage where his tantrums are for the books. They both impress me and leave me baffled. With Eowyn we could expect a good 15 minutes of struggle until we were able to work with her. Our strong minded boy can go a good forty five minutes of solid screaming-to the point of puking- when he doesn't get his way. This particular weekend was all about him not wanting to walk with shoes. Brussels is pretty dirty and it was definitately are needing shoes. Elias didn't agree.

So, was it a good trip? Kind of.

 It was riddled with dissapointments, but when we get the privilege of traveling this much, these sorts of things are bound to happen.

Are we glad we went? Yes. There was so much beauty to Brussels and there were DEFINITELY places we would go to again. Peck 47 (amazing eggs benedict) & Chicago cafe being two of them. (If you're a parent reading this and find yourself in Brussels, PLEASE go to Chicago cafe. It is a kinder-cafe with delicious breakfast. Our kids played with all sorts of toys while we ate. Pure heaven.)

We had mussels in Brussels (tee hee) from tripadvisors best place to have them. While I decided I don't care much for mussels, but I did set out to eat 20 of them. We ate delicious waffles and visited an AMAZING ice cream shop called Gaston twice during the three days we were there.

We saw all three of the peeing sculptures, Mannekin Pis, Jeanneke Pis and the cute little dog, zinneke pis. Eowyn thought they were HILAROUS.

We delighted in the huge bathtub as part of our airbnb, and was impressed with the efficiency of their metro and train system. Getting us everywhere we wanted to go-airport included-with relative ease.

We enjoyed the Belgian laid back culture. We had a lot of surprisingly positive interactions. Even TSA agents were prone to cracking jokes. Everyone was kind. We appreciated it very much.

While several friends recommended we only spend a day in Brussels (and we now know why) and visit elsewhere, we were just too exhausted from our lives back home to want to venture much of anywhere. So we did what we could to make it a restful stay. We napped (!!!) We ate, we took in the sites.

Ben got food poisoning upon returning home and the kids still are filled with sick bugs. Blegh.

But hey, we did eat some pretty awesome waffles.

Eowyn Grows :: Four & A Quarter

Tallinn, Estonia :: Sister Week


Just this past month I had my sister come to visit for a week. After our trip to Paris, we had planned mostly easy days of spending time together and roaming Helsinki. One thing I was determined to do, however was visit Tallinn. It's a quick two hour boat ride and the weather was absolutely perfect to spend the day together in Estonia.

Now if you've visited this blog before, then you know we've been here a few times. We visited on our own, with my side of the family, with my dear friend Katie-we've gone in fall, winter, and summer. For all the times we've been, you'd think we'd grow tired of visiting the same place-especially when we really have only explored Old Town. But the reality is, we have yet to tire of her. This city is such a beautiful place.

It was especially fun to visit with my sister. We checked out new stores that had opened since I had last been, drank latte's, ate delicious gelato, and enjoyed one anothers company.

I love adventuring with you, Bre. So looking forward to the adventures yet in store.

If you find yourself alone...


" I dont think I realized it then, but I'm a bit of a functional hermit."

I say it jokingly to my husband as he comes in 30 minutes before the kids bedtime. We scarf down food together-an attempt at keeping up with each other in the hustle- and meander over to herd our kids to their beds.

After we've made a good attempt at talking with weary mouths and tired eyes, we sit in silence and read. Reiterating our comfortability with silence. It's been a quiet and crazy season.

Ten on Ten :: October 2016


It's been a long time coming for this post. I've marked it on my calendar several months in a row and then life has gotten busy and we've forgotten. But this time we remembered. And I'm so glad we did. While these photos only really capture our morning, they're still a sweet treasure.

While we live on a bit of an island (connected by canals and a small strip of a peninsula?) we just have to cross over onto the mainland to find loads of trees. While we were walking to grab groceries for the evening, we stumbled upon a HUGE leaf pile. We knew just what to do. :) This year we had a starbucks open at the main shopping mall closest to us and I am certainly not complaing. I had a season of going without chai, so whenever we venture out to Kamppi, we often make a run through. Otherwise the cold has set in so we're staying close to home. Lots of crafts and books and baths.

Getting to spend my days with these two has been one of the most refining and redemptive seasons of my life. I'm grateful for it.

I hope your October is off to a lovely start.

Original 10 on 10 idea by  Rebekah Gough

Paris, France :: Sister Weeekend


My sister came to Helsinki a couple of weeks ago and spent some time with us. I really wanted to be able to spend some quality time with her-no kids, no responsibilites-and knew the best way to get that to happen was to go away from home. When we started tossing around ideas of what we could do, I started looking into Paris. A weekend in Paris with my sister? Sounded amazing to me.