moments, things I like

right now – April 2014

May 4, 2014

April is probably my favourite month. There’s my birthday, Rasmus’ birthday, the trees are exploding, just exploding with blossom, and so often Easter falls in April too. Oh and this was a month to remember for so many reasons. And it was hard too, with my man away for long work trips (the deal is he goes now so he is for sure around when Baby arrives in two months). I don’t do so well living on my own, it turns out. But then the few weekends we did get together were sweet enjoyment.

This month I’ve been mostly…

Birthday

turning 30. Saying goodbye to my twenties was not so hard. I enjoyed them so much, but thirty feels exciting, it feels a little more grounded and confident, and it feels full of promise. Also I got cake for breakfast with two of my favourite little boys…

grateful. oh so grateful. That so many friends and family (you too!) chose to make this is best birthday yet, by helping me raise over โ‚ฌ3000 to help young Ugandan women graduate from University. I still haven’t taken it in fully. You are the best people I could ask to know. Thank you thank you. (and it’s not too late to donate if you’d like to!)

baking. Birthday cookies for my man (these pistachio chocolate sea salt ones – please, for the sake of all that is good in this world, go bake them right now) and then more cookies just because (cranberry-liquorice, and hazelnut dark chocolate – from my favourite Danish cook book). Hot cross buns for Easter (oh how I love thee) and then the stale ones made into bread and butter pudding a few days later.

reading. When we were on Iona, I picked up a copy of Esther de Waal’s book, The Celtic Way of Prayer, which Micha Boyett recommended to me a few days earlier. I’m half way through and reading this one slowly, absorbing every fascinating insight. And wishing I was back in Scotland’s beautiful valleys…

The rest of my reading has been more, um, parental. There’s the classic What to Expect which gets pulled out every couple of weeks. I’m reading (and liking) Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth. And since Rasmus and I have just begun a hypnobirthing class, I’ve started reading HypnoBirthing: the Mongan Method. Also I am scouring all the archives of Kathleen’s fantastic blog Becoming Peculiar. She is my go-to natural mama.

gardening. I’ve planted out tomatoes, chillies, radishes and green beans (like last year) and this year I’m also attempting aubergine and courgette. We’ll see how that goes… there’s something entirely satisfying about getting your hands dirty on a Spring day. (And just so you know – we have a 8m square south facing urban balcony – if we can do it, anyone can!)

preaching. I was invited to preach at our home church again on Palm Sunday – what a day to get to preach! I love that our church leadership ask me, let me learn as I go, give me encouragement and helpful feedback. I love teaching. I love figuring out how best to tell the message. (If you’re curious, the podcast is available online).

snuggling my best friend’s newborn daughter, who surprised us all by arriving five weeks earlier than expected. She is so precious and it is fun watching our friends become parents.

SheLoves Brussels

skyping. I skype in once a month for the She Loves editorial meeting (I’m the Thursday editor). This time, there were more of us on screens than in person which was kind of fun. I love those women, their courage and love for each other is utterly inspiring.

travelling back in time. Sort of. While Rasmus was away on this last trip, I decided to head back to Brussels for a few days. I lived there for four years, met Rasmus, started teaching in church, and made many wonderful friends. Three of whom I got to hang out with. It was special to be with them, eating noodles at my favourite restaurant, gobbling down waffles and wandering through my old neighbourhood spotting everything that’s changed in the last two and a half years…

listening. I’m on a bit of a hymn craze at the moment but finding decent non-cathedrally versions of hymns to listen to is hard. I’ve loved Page CXVI and Chelsea Moon for beautiful but non-traditional versions of some of the best hymns.

watching. With Rasmus gone on business trips a lot this past month, I formed a new friendship with Netflix for the lonely evenings. I’ve watched many episodes of Suits (good) and Awkward (not so bad), I finally got around to watching Midnight in Paris (a fascinating idea but I never fell in love the way I heard others did). And I rewatched the lovely film Miss Potter which made me want to move to a remote house in the country (a frequent occurrence).

On my birthday I went to the cinema with some girlfriends and we saw The Grand Budapest Hotel which I LOVED. It was such a perfect combination of funny and touching and tragic. I’d go back and see it again for sure…

preparing. It’s everyone’s favourite question at the moment – are you ready for Baby? I’m never quite sure how to answer it because everyone has a slightly different standard for “ready” and we’re desperately trying to hold on to our values of minimalism, non-consumerist and quality-over-quantity in the face of all the “you have to buy x/y/z”. We bought a second hand side cot. And a few clothes. And someone leant us infant cloth nappies. So I figure we’re set for the first few days at least…

loving being pregnant. Really. It’s getting more uncomfortable in here these weeks but over all, I just love it. I love feeling this child move around inside me, finding its perfect spot. I love feeling my body change and grow. I love imagining it all and preparing for birth. I love learning so much more about my body than I ever realised and being profoundly impressed. I know not everyone gets this experience (either because they are never pregnant or they have a hard experience of being pregnant) so I try not to blab about it too much. But I am so grateful I get to do this.

//

That’s about it for April. It was a full and good month overall but I’m thrilled to have my man back home finally. I’m linking up as always with Leigh Kramer’s What I’m Into post. I get so many good recommendations for music and books and recipes – and it’s just fun seeing what everyone is up to! Definitely have a look…

And a final reminder that you can always follow me on twitter, get all my new posts by liking my facebook page, get some glimpses into daily life via Instagram and see the life to which I aspire on pinterest ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  • Reading through this made me so happy for you, Fi. I can tell your 30s are going to treat you well. Did you know Ina May Gaskin lives in a commune not far from me? I’d never heard of her before moving here but the Tennessean has done a few profiles on her and the place where she lives. Fascinating stuff. Love hearing about your gardening adventures! I’ve only seen Miss Potter once but I loved it and thought it would be completely own-able. Must track down a copy soon! I’m so glad you’re enjoying pregnancy. I can’t wait to see the little one!

  • Such great stuff here! ๐Ÿ™‚ And can I tell you – I love how perfectly you shared your love of being pregnant, while being sensitive to those (like me:) who struggle getting pregnant in the first place – you are sensitive and kind hearted – how lovely! Your month sounds wonderful! April is also my birth month, and our anniversary month (though I turned a landmark age slightly older than you – ahem! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I just finished (and LOVED, LOVED LOVED) Micha’s book Found, and was curious about the DeWaal book as well – will have to add that one to my wish list. I’m also looking forward to listening to your sermon podcast. ๐Ÿ™‚ Blessings and Happy Spring! Congrats on your upcoming bundle of joy!

  • I also really loved being pregnant, particularly feeling her move, seeing my body finally acommodate our precious daughter, my bump grow. Yes, at the end it was uncomfortable mostly because I couldn’t sleep and I got either round ligament pain or pubic symphisis dysfunction (a sore pain), but still. I got lucky that I barely felt nauseous, I threw up a total of 2 times, 1 in the first trimester and 1 in the second. I did get dizzy a few times, but it went away with eating. What I had was complete exhaustion, I spent a lot of time sleeping. I also had trouble sharing all of this, I hope I did not hurt anyone when I did share, and I hope I managed to do so in a graceful way. That’s also why the blog was kind of quiet for a while there, and my updates were every 3 months or so.

    I am keeping all those recipes and writing down your recommendations.
    We have been watching lots of Suits as well.I dream of having perfect, silky orange hair. And ahem, I might have gotten myself a pencil skirt (on sale!) under the influence of the show. It is a new style for me, but I hope I will be able to pull it.

    I think you are definitely set for your seedling’s arrival. She needs your love, warmth, nappies, and a place to sleep. We had forgotten to buy towels (and a million other little things that we did not even think about) and she had a total of 1 blanket, that was a present. But it all went well. I do really really recommend getting the Aden & Anais or similar muslin swaddling blankets (120×120), we have 4 and we use them all the time, for all kinds of things. I absolutely love them.

  • Hannah

    Just made the choc/pistachio cookies and they are really good! Thanks for the tip ๐Ÿ™‚ love!

  • I’m a sucker for redone hymns, so I just looked up Chelsea Moon. So good! Thanks for the recommendation ๐Ÿ™‚

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