December 16, 2011

2011 Wrap Up

Aw, poor little TGFN, falling on the wayside like you are. I'm sorry, bloggy-boo. On the eve of your one year blogiversary - well, at least the anniversary of starting the blog back up. The first measly posts 3 years ago don't count - you are have put on the back burner these last couple of weeks.

While I should be blogging about why the heck I have one of these....

It is a dish dryer installed in the cabinet. You're supposed to hang your wet dishes on the rack in the cabinet above the kitchen sink. The water drips down and should go into the sink. But to me it looks like it would half go in the sink, half on the counter. I don't know why, but it seriously grosses me out for some reason!

I feel like I would just be asking for mold if I used it at all. Kinda clever, in a way, I guess.


Maybe I should be writing about why I secretly giggle every time they ask me if I want a bag* at the grocery store in Finnish. Or when the Finns were talking about Santa and his big ol' sack* full of toys.

But I'm not. I'm being lazy with the blog, and busy with other projects that actually do make a little bit of money. It is what it is. And maybe, just maybe, I am a little preoccupied by this...

Swimsuit weather!??! ;) Nah
This is the weather forecast for Barcelona next week and I am one happy camper!! I told the hubs that he got me the best Christmas present ever....sunshine and 'warm' weather. Cannot wait for it!

But other than that, everything here is going good as usual. All the snow that fell last week has melted (I did a very nice evil laugh when it did) and the people here say that a non-snowy Christmas happens like once every 10 year. Lucky us!!! No really, unless I'm skiing or snowboarding, I'm not a snow fan. 

Anyways, I thought that instead of half-assing it up for the remainder of 2011, I will say Adios (or in Finnish: Moi Moi) to bloggyland and return in 2012. Dry your eyes, I know you won't miss me that much.

I wish you a great holiday season - Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, whatever you celebrate - and a very nice New Year's Eve!
Yes! (source)
AND, one last thing, 'cause I know you are all big suckers for a 
Enjoy this one and share the love!

*Oh yeah, that thing. The Finnish word for bag/sack is 'pussi'. Go back and read those sentences again. I couldn't make this stuff up!

**and just now realizing I will have that word on my blog for 2 weeks. Winner!

December 6, 2011

Happy Itsenäisyyspäivä!

(no, I did not fall asleep on the keyboard when writing the title. Actual Finnish word)

Snowmageddon! AHHH. Ok, not really. But the first official snow fall has hit our corner of Finland. It's a lot to me, not a lot to anyone who grew up with snow on a daily winter basis. I'd guess a few inches got dumped last night. But there is no melting in sight, and I think it is here to stay : /

NOT even close to this, but I will have those of you who don't read captions believe so (source)
I am the only person in Finland NOT excited for the snow. They love it here. I guess it does make everything look brighter and nicer, but meh, I just don't get it. But at the same time, I don't think they would love 95 degree weather all summer long. So, technically, I don't have to love their winters, lol.

(yes, I am being a baby. This has been one of the nicest and warmest winters on date, I know!)

Today is actually a Finnish holiday. It is Finland's Independence Day. (or Itsenäisyyspäivä. Yeah, say that 5 times fast).


It's a public holiday celebrating Finland's declaration of independence from that crazy Russian Empire. Although the Finns would have to deal with the Ruskies again in WWII, they declared themselves an independent state back in 1917. The day is marked with a few celebrations and special broadcasts. For some, it means a day of volunteering. In recent years, many Finns have used their day off to serve warm meals to people and families in need. One Finnish girl told me that everyone tunes into the Presidential Independence Day reception on TV to see the grand entrance of all the knights, members of government, archbishops, judges, offices and dignitaries. It is popular to watch more so to see what everyone is wearing than anything else. Maybe Joan Rivers will be there judging all the fashions. Ok, maybe not.

And while I am trapped inside, all stores closed - you better believe I don't like to leave the house when it is all snowy outside - I might have to sustain myself on this:

Aw, look at those cute animals on the tin. They are adorably delicious!

A few weeks ago when I was scanning the shelves for possible Thanksgiving ingredients (like my 5 Euro can of cranberries, sheesh!) I stumbled upon these fine canned meats*. Look closely at the photo. That is Elk, Reindeer and Boar meat, and a bit of lamb in the background, in there. Mmmmmmm, nothing says high-class, white-trash like eating exotic animals straight from the tin. So gross. I don't think I am down to try this, and more so because they cost something like 10 Euro a piece. Steep!

*That combination of 'fine canned meats' has never been used before.

December 2, 2011

WTH December?!

Well, I am still alive in kicking in (non-snowy!) Finland! I don't know about ya'll, but I cannot believe that December is already here. Every year just seems to slip by quicker and quicker, and this year was no exception.

I know there is still 29 days left until New Year's, but I am already reflecting on what a wonderful year 2011. I am so very lucky and blessed that I am somehow happier and happier each year. I never take this for granted, and truly appreciate what it means in my life.

2011 was a year of really fun hockey (remember this?!), and of vacations ranging from France to Austria to Latvia (and one more fun one coming up I have to tell you about in a sec). Yes, I realize all those sound like luxurious trips, but those countries are closer to us than some Texas towns are when we are back at home! Also, I realize I am kind of spoiled ;)

It was also a year of new beginnings as we packed up our home in Germany and headed north to Finland. We both had no idea what to expect in Finland, and now I know neither of us can imagine our lives without the fun Finnish adventures we've had thus far.

It has been an amazing year 'meeting' all of you. I really can't stress this enough. I wasn't even blogging this time last year (or technically, hadn't re-started up my blog from 3 years ago). I don't know what 2011 would have been like without all the amazing people I have grown to know and really enjoy in bloggyland. I know, I'm a blogging nerd, but I am proud of it.

And lastly, it was a year of realizations that our home will always be where we make it. While our life doesn't always sound like the easiest to manage, it is what the hubs and I know together. It is ALL we know together.  I honestly can't imagine not living in three countries a year. I think I would get bored! lol. Each new location brings new experiences, new friends and always fun new times.

While the hockey season will always have its ups and downs, we always have each other and a great new country to live in. I am so very thankful for it all.

AND I am very thankful for the kick ass Finnish hockey season schedule. Most other leagues in the world capitalize on the holidays and have games surrounding Christmas Day. It was not unusual in Germany to have a game on December 23rd and then the 26th.  Games at home are often played right on Christmas. The team here has a 18 flippin' day break from games from December 9th to the 27th. While the hubs will still have practice, there are a few consecutive days off right around Christmas. Because of this, we will be having a FELIZ NAVIDAD in BARCELONA!!! EEEE! I am so excited. I'm excited because we have not been to Spain yet. I am excited that we are taking advantage of the break and getting out of town. I'm excited because the weather will be much nicer in Spain than it will be here by that time. AND I might be just a tad excited for wine and tapas :)

Yes please! (source)

Anyone every been to Barcelona? Any tips or suggestions? I'm all ears!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and a smooth ride into December. I'm pretty sure that if I were to have eaten one more bite of Green Bean Casserole, I would have turned into one. Our make-shift American Thanksgiving last weekend was perfect. Even if they non-Americans were wondering why the Sweet Potato Casserole was on the dinner table and not the dessert. They didn't get the whole marshmallows on top thing, haha.

I haven't been great with blogging lately, but I promise to stick around a bit longer. Hope every has a nice start to the weekend, and relax it up a bit!