Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Just too much.

Today I am remembering this post extremely well indeed.

Tomorrow, Peter and I officially move in to our New Home. I cannot wait. But at the same time I am strangely nervous!

We arrived in Munich with two suitcases, and a cardboard box.

I am trying to pack our little lives back in to those said suitcases and box, but it seems to be extremely difficult.

It is incredible how much "stuff" three people can accumulate in two months...

Yesterday, I thought I had finished packing all of our clothes into our two suitcases. I was so chuffed that I'd managed to fit it all in, apart from a few items left for the following two days.

I then turned around and saw I hadn't even started on the hanging rail: definition of fail.

Moving is so stressful.

Even when you have only a couple of cases, boxes and bags to shift it consumes your whole mind for about three weeks prior to the move. I can't imagine trying to pack up 20 years worth of stuff to shift from one home to the next.

So Pete and I have decided to live minimally.

Anything we no longer need or us, we'll get rid of. That way, we'll always just have the essentials right there, and packing will be a breeze because we will be aware of every item we own.

HA. Good luck, 'ey?

That'll never happen.

We just won't move. Ever. Again.

As it's Pete's Birthday tomorrow, but tomorrow is a National Holiday here in Germany, Pete asked me if I would make a cake for him to take to work today. It's pretty much a custom here in Germany apparently. It's your Birthday; bring cake.

With there being so much stuffed in to my little head right now, this managed to slip my mind. Pete came home from work at about 18:55 yesterday evening, and after all the greetings and niceity's said innocently "Have you made the cake yet?" Forgetting what he meant exactly, I said "Oh, I was going to do that on Thursday, you know... On your Birthday."

He then reminded me of my promise, and my heart fell in to my belly. By this time it was about 19:25. Shops shut here in Germany at 20:00 precisely.

I grabbed my purse and ran. I charged through Lidl, grabbing everything I needed for the Oreo fridge cake I'd been thinking about making all week.

Schlag-sahne (Whipping Cream),
Neos (Oreos)
Frischkaese (Philedelphia),
Puderzucker (Confectioner's Sugar)
& Schoko-pudding (Chocolate Pudding)

Most things were pretty much recognisable. I grabbed almost everything and was down to the last ingredient at 19:40; Schoko-pudding. I pushed my trolley to the baking isle and scanned for the packet mixes: located. Pudding? Found. Schoko: done. Grab. Go.

Found myself at the checkout with just one person in front of me (a rarity here), and stated piling my things onto the conveyer belt. No shopping bag - doh! (You always have to bring your own here, they cost 40cents at least a time). I snatched the cheapest one up and continued to load my shopping on to the belt. I picked up my two packets of Frischkaese; one regular and one - WHAT? Feta-ghurkin? That's not going to taste good with Oreos...

My stomach flipped a little as I stole a look to the person behind me and said (in a horrible example of the German Language) "Entschuldigung bitte. Du kannst ersten?" whilst wildly gesturing to the small space in front of me on the belt.

She got it. Thank goodness. But my heart raced as I sprinted to the back of the store and swapped the Ghurkin-kaese for the regular.

I hurdled back, dodging some dope's trolley they left right by the Kasse as I went, getting back just in time for the Cashier to start bleeping through my shopping. She looked at me and said something that I was far to exhausted to comprehend. "Entschuldigung?" She pointed. The dope's trolley. Dang it! It was mine. How embarrassing.

She scanned, it beeped. "Mit Karte bitte?" I packed, paid and left. Ran home with my shopping and ate dinner with Pete's family and the missionaries. Phew. That was close.

The evening was great. Food? Good. Company? Good. Message? Wonderful. One of my favourites; couldn't help but well-up and feel so proud of Pete.

They all left and we did the dishes - now to start the fridge cake. Glanced over my Pinterest recipe and made a start.

I emptied all the Neo's into a bowl, hesitated around and started bashing away to make a crumb base. Then my Mother-in-Law came and saved me with her incredible kitchen-aid type mixer which did what I couldn't in less that three seconds. Relief.

The cream cheese layer was fairly simple, just a bit of whipping and in to the fridge. Two layers down, two to go.

I grabbed my pudding mix, trying to decipher the instructions through my tired and English eyes. I quickly gave up and asked Pete who was already tucked up in bed ready to sleep. I followed the instructions what I thought was exactly. But the stupid pudding had to rest for four hours! I couldn't believe it. So everything went in the fridge, ready for me to continue in the morning.

Four o'clock came and Lily was up for a feed and all I could think about was the fridge-cake.

She finished and easily fell back to sleep in her crib, and I hastily pulled some clothes on and went to check on the pudding. Still like liquid.

Back in the fridge it went, and back I went to bed.

Seven o'clock came, Lily finished feeding once more, and I again got dressed and went to find the pudding. Still like liquid. Disaster.

My mother-in-law came in and saw the distress I was in - once again saving the day, she started on the last packed of pudding. Hers was liquid too, but had a much better chance of firming up in time for Pete to go to work than mine ever would.

Pete came in the kitchen. I apologised profusely, and, looking at what I'd created so far said he'd take a cake on Monday instead.

I let him down. I felt like the worst wife ever. Then he kissed me goodbye, and told me he loved me.

Now I'm sat here writing this post, realising something important.

A disastrous cake is not the end; I cannot do it all. Even with getting up in the middle of the night, willing to carry on whipping to create something, anything, for him to take in to work, I can't.

Some women can. But they are crazy super-women with incredible out-of-this-world kind of powers.

Some days I feel like that kind of woman. But today, I'm really not.

I can't do it all, and you know what? I don't have to. And that's totally okay.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

No Yelling.

Today I created this. It will take one of the prime spots in our living room when we move in to our new apartment this week. 
It's something Peter and I have decided we would like to live by. 
It's hard; really hard. But we will work hard to overcome it.
Because there should be no yelling, unless there is a fire. 

Saturday, 3 August 2013

A Very Special Post

I just read this post, over on Ashley Sullenger's Blog.

My heart melted. My eyes cried. My arms ached.

I've been thinking about Seth a lot recently. Being so far away from where he was born and buried breaks my heart a little more every day at the moment. But I know with time it will start to get easier to be so far.

I am so grateful for the Nurses, Midwives and Doctors who looked after me before, during, and after Seth's birth. I will never forget them and the loving care and compassion that each and every one of them showed not just me, but my husband, parents and other family members.

I am especially grateful to the Midwives who delivered Seth, ensuring a sweet and calm atmosphere in the delivery suite while he was being born and afterwards. I am also so grateful to them for creating the memories and items that our family now cherish, and will do forever.

I am also so grateful to the Doctor who researched his death. She was so caring, and as she explained her theories as to what might have happened (although we will never know for sure) she wept with us, and held our hands, and talked about Seth the way that we do - as our firstborn child, and forever a member of our family.

I am especially grateful to the Midwife who first saw us when we came to hospital with worries about Seth; who hugged us when we found out the life-altering, awful news; who visited with us the following day after his birth to let us know she loved and cared for us; and who arranged her shifts especially for us, so that she could be there at our follow-up appointment and review with the doctor. She will always hold an extra special place in my heart.

Some of you may know Emily Beale, over at Emily Beale Photography, you can visit her blog here. She is one of the sweetest and most talented people I know.

I have mentioned her a few times before, and have linked up with her here a couple of times.

Emily is a fantastic photographer. She braved a very chilly March morning to take our Engagement Photos and battled hailing rain for our Wedding! And we still came out with the most beautiful photos.
I remember seeing her when I was about 22 weeks pregnant with Seth; I'd seen her newborn work and was so excited for her to take his photos! Sadly, this never happened.
A couple of months before Lily was born, I asked if she would be able to photograph Lily when she came.
I must admit, this niggled at me for a while. I knew we would have an opportunity at the shoot to have a little family photograph, but something didn't feel right.
As we prepared for Lily to arrive alongside our move to Munich, I knew what I needed to ask Emily to do.
The perfect opportunity came to ask while she was taking a quick cupcake-break from being Photographer at Abi's Wedding, (visit Abi's blog here!). I was nervous to ask, but Emily put me right at ease. And she obliged to my request with us both in sweet tears. My heart flew.
Lily was born two days later, and two weeks after that we took her to Emily's studio to be photographed, along with a very special box.
Emily photographed the content of the box first, and this was the result.

{This last one is Lily wrapped in one of Seth's blankets - it might be the closest thing I will ever have to a picture of both of my children. I love this picture so much}

These are almost of the earthly things I have left to remind of Seth (I have more, but some are just too precious to share).

I will always be grateful that Emily was able to take these precious, precious pictures for me. And I will always be grateful to the Nurses and Midwives who not only took care of me, Pete and our precious boy, but created some of these little memories for us.

I will cherish them all until the day I am reunited with my perfect boy, Seth Peter.