And so it was Xmas

After the autumn we have had, I almost don’t have words to write down here.

Just gratitude that we made it to xmas and get to spend it with our special gang. Let the pictures speak for themselves.

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“Kuta pienempi itse, sita suurempi joulu tulee” – Tove Jansson 

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Christening

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And so came the time to christen our boys. Usually in Finland babies get christened when they are two months old, but in our case the chaps didn’t even have passports at that age and I couldn’t consider organising this celebration anywhere else than at our beloved summer house. That is where we got married four years ago.

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Following the pattern of this summer, the day before and the day after the christening the weather was stunning, but on the day itself it was rainy and quite cold. But that didn’t matter as somebody suggested the great idea of taking the family portrait the day before and on the day itself we spent majority of the time inside.

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To organise anything with two little ones in tow can be quite challenging, so the stress levels were soaring as we were hosting 30 people for the party, 20 people stayed over and I had the fabulous idea of baking and preparing all food by myself.

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But it was a true family effort, all our loved ones (friends and family) did so much to help by organising, cleaning, baking, taking care of the boys, getting our Dadda from the airport in the middle of the night, taking photographs and much much more.

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James christened

So despite the stress, tiredness and craziness, it was a wonderful celebration and such a happy day. I was so proud of my little chaps and our little family.

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I think there aren’t enough parties and happy celebrations in life and that’s simply why we should go through the trouble of organising them sometimes. How wonderful it is to get the whole family together, pause for a minute, catch up and just feel grateful and happy.

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I read a poem to the boys at the christening:

“…that you would trustingly go and find what for you is good and beautiful and right…

…It is ok to make mistakes and try again, to change direction and opinion…

Always believe in dreams and hope for the impossible….” (Irja Askola) 

Summery Strawberry Cake

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This week we celebrated our boys’ first birthday! Everybody loved the cake and it’s super easy to make, so I thought I would share the recipe here.

Cake base

  • 125 g butter
  • 1 dl sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1,5 dl flour
  • 2 ts baking powder
  • 1 dl milk

Whip butter and sugar, add egg yolks, flour and baking powder (mixed together) and milk. Place on an oven tray and bake in a pre-heated oven (180 degrees) for 10 minutes.

Meringue 

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1,5 dl sugar
  • 1 ts vanilla sugar

Whisk egg whites and add the sugar. Take out the cake base from the oven and pour the meringue on top of the base and put it back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes.

On top and between

  • 2dl whipped cream
  • Strawberries
  • A couple of mint leaves

Assemble the cake with layers of base topped with whipped cream and strawberries. Done!

 

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Midsummer Magic

This is the first time in ten years that I’ve been able to spend the whole summer in Finland thanks to my maternity leave. Of course the summer turned out to be the coldest in 100 years. Isn’t that ironic?

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But bad weather is somewhat mandatory for midsummer. I can’t remember any midsummer from my childhood or youth with good weather. Cold temperature, rain and a cloudy sky only add to the magic of midsummer. The nature is green and fresh and incredibly beautiful.

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Although the name suggests that it is middle of summer, us Finns consider the summer to start from midsummer.

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When living abroad midsummer is the time of year that I miss home the most. So this year I was really going to enjoy this holiday. Bring on the rain, thunder and stormy weather, who cares!

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So what is it exactly that happens at midsummer? Well not much. As with all Finnish holidays, it usually involves alcohol in some shape or form. For us it meant cooking some lovely summer food with new potatoes and fish, having a drink of champagne and celebrating the nightless night.

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We went for a walk and picked some wild flowers. For the boys it was of course their first midsummer and probably the only one spent in Finland for a long time.

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We looked back on the year we’ve had and felt really grateful. Little chaps are almost one year old. A friend of ours said that with little kids you feel that the days are very long but the years are short, how very true!

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And then what happened next?

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In planning mode

At the moment the venue looks like this…silent, empty, in winter sleep…..

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As every year in February it feels impossible to imagine, but eventually it will look like this…

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And then it will be time to celebrate the boys’ first ever birthday and their christening, full of joy, gratitude and love.

And if this momma is good at something, it is planning and organising! So let’s do it, the guest list, invitations, theme, menu….this is what I’m thinking so far;

  • Venue: where we got married 4 years ago ❤
  • Guests: our beloved
  • Theme: vintage/ afternoon tea
  • Menu: champagne, scones, cup cakes
  • Deco: bunting, pom poms, vintage china

A quick look at Pinterest for some lovely ideas;

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Images from Pinterest

And most importantly what I would like to say to my little chaps on this special day….

That you would bravely see over obstacles and prejudices, over doubt and insecurity you would see your path and hear your calling, you would recognise what is yours and for you.

That you would notice the voice whispering inside you, that you would trustingly go and find what for you is good and beautiful and right.

That you would touch gently when cruelty and shame knocks you down, that you would take yourself by the hand and whisper: It is ok to make mistakes and try again, to change direction and opinion.

Always believe in dreams and hope for the impossible.
(Irja Askola)