Flexibility

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Living in a foreign country has it’s perks and it’s negative aspects. Going into a hospital and not understanding what they’re saying to you about your newborn is scary for sure. I promise. But I’ve found that a survival skill is being able to smile and be flexible in the midst of those circumstances. I had a friend who moved to Russia a few months before we moved to Krakow, and she quickly became aware of how vital a positive attitude is.

I know I take myself too seriously and analyze what I said, how I said it and how should I have said it better. Just frustrating myself more and more. Can you relate? So based on her wise advice, I’ve learned to laugh at myself. Laughing and how I totally screwed up that sentence or how I mixed Polish and German together. Whoops. Having my 6yr old laugh and correct my pronunciation. Awesome.

OK, it’s not awesome all the time and can be quite annoying actually. But it’s a learning curve. And all in all, an adventure. And that’s what we signed up for. That’ what we, as people, are drawn to. I’m reminded of the Lord of the Rings. Just pick a character and you’ll see the transformation from the beginning of the story to the end. (my favorite is Sam- the hero of the movie!) We love character development in our shows, movies and if we’re honest, in ourselves. I just don’t think we like to experience it. And yes, it’s hard. But that’s the point. To overcome and grow in the midst of troubles and the unknown.

So far it’s not that dramatic or epic, lol, but we have had a couple experiences where we feel lost, overwhelmed and confused at the way things work here. I’ve had moments where I wish I could be back in Seattle at my moms house looking at her Christmas lights or snuggling with my daddy and feeling how warm he is. But fortunately those feelings come and go. Moments of overcoming comes. Being able to order a meal all in their language, going to the grocery store and finding a familiar product or having a random old person ask you a question and being able to reply and have them understand you. That’s winning. And that’s when I write them down and tell myself that I have a whole lot more winning in my future.

Life is an Adventure. And I’m glad I’m not coasting through it.

Paris, France

We had some friends who were in Paris and we made our way to see them- thanks to some savings we already had. 🙂

10525365_10152308710527379_7711768110099006847_nWe made a family trip to Disneyland Paris. So great and special seeing the park through their eyes. But not as much fun being 8 months pregnant at Disneyland. No rides, frequent stops to sit and do nothing and oh the stares… but I would do it again in a heartbeat. They had a blast and it made me so happy just watching them.

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Sleeping Beauty’s castle. I liked how interactive it was inside. Even with a dragon in the dungeon!

10552564_10152308709032379_800711848112366570_nAh yes. Cinderella’s carriage. We weren’t able to see any princesses during the day (they were booked for the entire day by 9am!) but thankfully we had made reservations for a special princess dinner with the princesses. And Cinderella was the main attraction. They even did a little dancing! Thank you Eric, for the dress. She got random compliments from strangers amazed at how beautiful her dress was. 🙂
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(I liked Emma’s dress better than Cinderella. But that’s just me)

10580908_10152308706917379_2259175122995539409_oWe were there for a long weekend so made our way to some famous places. 🙂

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Respecting adults, just not those in leadership?

This post has been rolling in my head for a couple months now and I’m finally writing it. I admit I’m nervous because it touches on a sensitive subject and I’m nervous of the response, which probably won’t be anything, but I have to write this in the hope that it might make some rethink or question how they’re speaking. Just in case you aren’t aware of our living situation- we live in Poland. And love it. Many people have asked us if we’re going to go through the process of changing citizenship and the solid answer is always no. As much as we love it here and the Polish people, we’ll always be Americans. It’s who we are, where we were brought up and where God placed us for a reason- plus we just love America too. Here comes the rub. Being an ocean away, we have relied on Facebook to keep us connected with those we love back in the USA. And, to speak frankly it is so maddening to hear people speak so disrespectfully of the leaders of our country. And now I have to read people hate on the law enforcement?! Are you kidding me?! Are they just some form of subhuman where we teach our children to respect adults in general…just not our leaders or those who swear to protect us? I must clarify that I am a Christian who believes in praying for our leaders. Why?  Because I believe God ultimately is in charge of polls and allows certain people to be in leadership. Now I could go the route of, if we are bashing and stabbing our leaders with our words what does that mean about our trust level with God…He doesn’t ask us but commands us to pray and lift up our leaders. Instead I’m going to go personal about how my and your voice impacts those younger than us. I’ve had to answer countless questions from my daughter because she’s heard people being hateful towards the police, the president, and/or others in leadership. Guys, it starts in the home, when our children learn to either respect and pray for those in leadership-regardless if we agree with their choices- or disrespect and hate on those elected into positions. There comes a time, hopefully, when we ask ourselves, ‘what kind of example are we giving our children/grandchildren by how we talk about those around us?’ Including the grocery attendant, the slow person in the Starbucks line ordering 100 drinks, our President, their school teacher or your neighbor. I don’t pretend to know or have all the answers but I beg of you to please take a moment and reevaluate the links you are posting or status’s your writing. I know there will be some who will just say to ‘unfriend’ them, but you know what? I know that a person is more than the posts they write or the links they share. It’s a relationship I am choosing not to let go of- a friend who I’m choosing to still be friends with. This is simply my response to those posts. What are you showing those children who are in your lives (or friends kids) and hear what you say about those in politics, civil leadership or about the law enforcement? Yes, it’s an opportunity to teach them but please don’t complain/post mean links and then be shocked at how the younger generation is reacting to those in leadership. How can we make it better, not just complain with the decisions we disagree with? Be proactive, not reactive.   OK, done with my rant and rave. Thanks.

Meal Planning

Boring for you, necessity for me.

 

Breakfasts:

Egg/Veggie Scramble Orange Slices

Toast with Peanut Butter, Banana

Cereal

Oatmeal with Raisins and Cinnamon

Sugar free Pancakes with fresh fruit

 

Lunches:

Sandwich Wraps

Nutella Sandwich 

Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup

 

Dinners:

Homemade Pizza

Pork Chops, Brocolli, Cantaloupe

Pierogi, Boiled potatoes, Orange slices

Chicken Stir fry, Brown Rice, Bell Peppers, Brocolli

Baked Meatballs in Marinara sauce, Broccoli, Potatoes 

Baked Turkey Meatballs with Spinach Recipe

Pesto Pasta with Crushed tomatoes, Cantaloupe

Curry Chicken, Rice, Cucumber/Tomato Salad 

Black Bean Burritos 

Fish Fillets, Green Salad, Corn

BLT Sandwiches, Cantaloupe, Cucumber/Tomato Salad 

And duh, LEFT OVERS!! 

 

Snacks:

Chocolate Banana Bread 

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

Hard Boiled Eggs

Apple Slices and Peanut Butter

Pretzels and cheese

Dried Fruit Trail Mix

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

The Energy balls 

http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-no-bake-160655

 

Bike Riding

I went biking with some women at my church and it was amazing. I haven’t ridden a bike in almost forever and I forgot how much fun it is! The ride in general was tough and long for a prego lady but beautiful with really rewarding conversations. I’m so glad I went! It began in Krakow and we took our bikes alongside the Wisla River climbing over hills and through a beautiful green valley to a monastery tucked in the hills surrounding Krakow.  I must say I was nervous almost the whole time as the sky was filled with dark clouds and…we were on bikes. I brought an umbrella but I can’t really hold it and bike. So I prayed, and prayed and prayed. lol Turned out it never rained but kept the temps cooler which was great for the ride.

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We passed some man-made white water rapid courses that totally excited me and I really want to try those when it’s hotter.

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The monastery was beautiful and we were lucky enough to see a couple getting married there. Great coffee but even better apple cake. Oh man. Why didn’t I take a picture of that?! But like I said earlier, the most fruitful and enjoyable time was talking along the path with other women, getting to know them and start friendships. So happy I went and had this adventure!

Children’s Day

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Here in Poland, they celebreate Children’s Day on June 1sr. What a great day! You can see kids walking through town carrying a balloon or some random toy. Emma actually get a large bag of chocolates for free at the restaurant we went to eat at! That bag has since disappeared…

catgirl

The highlight of the day for Emma was getting her face painted and getting an ice cream, Elena was content with wearing matching shirts. She’s become obsessed with wanting to look like Emma. Which is OK with Emma right now…we’ll see in the coming months. Right now I’ve got to go find a couple new t-shirts that match. 🙂 But I must admit it’s super fun for me. Sorta a dream having your girls want to match all the time.

princesselena

I’m happy to say that Emma will be joining a cooking group here and it starts Saturday. Since she loves to cook and this would be a great opportunity to meet other kids her age I’m really excited about it for her! Hopefully a couple Polish friendships will sprout out of these meetings. Yes, I’ll take pictures. 🙂

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

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 This was taken with my phone so sorry for the blurriness. But baking something in the new kitchen oven (which was super intimidating using Celsius plus not understanding any of the buttons on the oven) really helped make our place feel and smell like home. I used my mom’s recipe and tweeked the filling adding a little extra cinnamon and guessing on the amount of apples. Turned out great!

I don’t know what it is about mixing batters by hand but it’s so therapeutic! Maybe it’s because I can get creative again in the kitchen. Oh well, doesn’t matter. It made me happy and Travis loved them. That’s all that matters. 🙂 Hope you enjoy the recipe!

stackedmuffins

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

 

Tram ride home

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 This was taken on a tram after a fun lunch with some friends who live in Hungry and are visiting Krakow. Being able to be with great company and have great pizza was a gift! Loved hanging out with them! This picture was on our way home- Emma was tuckered out and I loved our snuggles.