Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Seven Days of Seven Black & White Photos of My Life Challenge : Recap

There has been a popular challenge going on around Facebook. I'm not sure where it started or why, but I participated. Because of the rules listed below, I'm not going to say much, but post all the images from the challenge itself. A little secret, I got tired of challenging a new person each day, so I stopped doing that half way through and didn't post my last image either. I will post that image here though.

After working on this challenge I realized I need some group, challenge or class to keep me photographing and inspired. I'm not sure where to find that though. If you know of something feel free to share!

Seven days of seven black & white photos of my life:
no people,
no explanations.
Challenge someone new each day.

I was challenged by Patrick M. Higgins

Friday, November 3, 2017

Living in Ratnovce, Slovakia

Living in Ratnovce is glamorous in the spring and summer, but cruel in the fall and winter. We have arrived to another season of fall and winter in this village. I've had time to learn all I need about the flow of seasons, the beauty they hold and the hardships that comes with some of them. My opinions have formed and probably won't change.

You see, with homeschooling our son, living an hour away from church and friends, not speaking the language fluently and not having an extra car has made us very secluded in this beautiful area that feels very remote during the cold months. We have rooted ourselves here the best we could, but then friendships that keep both my son and I happy are not found here. Also, the fact that darkness comes crawling in by 4pm makes living by a lake pointless. When spring and summer rolls around so does the opportunity of enjoying life that is found outdoors. It feels so far away and when the joy of warmth comes it goes by all to quickly.

As I write this, I realize I need to seriously locate friends that speak english and are interested in connection here in Piestany. I'm not even sure how to go about this task and need to spend time in prayer as I know God can work in this area of loneliness in my life.  Does anyone know a person who knits here, who homeschool's a child here or speak English? Let me know!

My life here is so beautiful, lonely and so different from the one I lived in Seattle and even when we traveled in an airstream. In Seattle, I had friends, clients, a career, and my own car. In the airstream, we traveled from one place to another which held adventure and something new each day. In the airstream I longed for friends and a home, but I had my husband who was my friend. In Ratnovce, I have that home, but no friends and my husband is only here a few hours in the evening and on weekends. He does get to work from home, but that does not count as he is working. Here, I homeschool Augustin and we stay at home until he has activities. Our evenings are spent doing homework so that he doesn't have to do school from 10am to 6pm. The break is appreciated.

Right now I am feeling a bit like I am complaining. The truth is this is my life. I am an extravert living and introverts life and being alone from Monday-Friday with my son from morning till 6pm isn't easy for me. I am struggling when it gets dark at 4pm and I can't take a single picture. Life feels bleak and you know what, I don't have to change how I feel. This is my reality. My life is beautiful, but very lonely. Friends are important to me! I had such a beautiful friendship in Seattle. I would get invited to my friends house for the day and I had them over from morning to dinner. It was refreshing for my soul.

I'll let myself feel this way and work on not changing it, masking it, but instead I will invite Jesus to change me and my state of loneliness I am in. Plus, some days are easier to bare then others. The grass is greener on the other side, I'll work on my side as spring and summer brings that green grass.


Monday, October 16, 2017

When Daddy Comes Visiting

My father came for the weekend on his way home to the States from Ukraine with his wife. After spending three days with him I now see where a lot of my personality comes from. You see, my father is outgoing and fun loving. He enjoys the thrills of life, good food, and less work. Well... that's me! I'm also learning to invite God into my personality and let Him change me from the inside out because every personality needs Jesus' love to mold them into a better person. What I'm saying about myself is that I am very selfish at my core and need Jesus.

Anyways, my dad's coming was such a blessing! Because his stay ended up being SO short we did a lot of exploring, shopping and eating in very little amount of time. It was a whole lot of fun to get to spend that time with him and my step-mom! The first day we spend it in Bratislava shopping until they were falling asleep every moment they sat down. It turns out they drove all night to get to the airport from one side of Ukraine all the way to Kiev. They blessed Tín with a new coat and loads of legos. It was beautiful to watch him receive the gifts with grace and not ask for more and more. He chose thoughtfully and carefully while being very thankful and happy. I don't know why, but in that moment I was proud of my little man for the way he handled all the lavish gifts he received.

The next day was spent doing even more shopping. My dad loved visiting our local market to see how we do our grocery shopping, comparing prices and checking out the vendors. Because he's so friendly an outgoing it took a while. Everybody loved my dad, you can't help resist his good looks and charm. I get that from him too, right? Kidding, kidding. We bought so much food and ate it as fast as it was purchased. Oh! He really enjoyed the cheese stall at the mall and walked away with less money and lots of cheese, lol. You should have seen the excited look on the tellers face as my dad ohh-ed and ahh-ed over the yummy cheese. You should have seen my step-moms beautiful face as she covered her face in embarrassment. I remember being in her shoes when I was a teenager. I've now learned my dad is a cheese lover. That evening we cooked up a delicious dinner with Momma Alla (my step-mom). She makes the BEST mashed potatoes too and I admire her love for a clean home. We had my in-loves over for dinner and enjoyed some fun games.

On Saturday we all woke up early, but didn't manage to leave early enough for a day in Vienna. It was another whirlwind of a day filled with food, markets, beautiful buildings of Vienna and long walks through the city. Vienna never gets old and it was so great to see it with my dad. Turns out when we migrated to America from Estonia we stopped over in Vienna for 11 days. I have very little memories of it as Italy left a bigger impression on my. My dad told me some stories about those days as we strolled through the market. 

My father's stay was filled with love, gifts and a beautiful time filled with so many great memories. I'm already missing him!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Few Simple Things

We live in so much beauty that goes unnoticed so many times. I'm talking about the beauty in our morning cup of coffee, those still quite moments that are rare and even the mess that shows the beauty of life. Beauty isn't alway that turquoise looking lake somewhere in the mountains or someone else's vacation pictures nor their clean home pictured perfectly. Beauty is the life we live right now.

I've learned not to take the little simple things for granted because loosing my two nephews and sister-in-law to murder puts life into perspective. I can't help but notice the mess and be thankful I have a child in the house to argue with, a child who makes a mess and makes his little self known. 
Like at this moment, he is in timeout and I am here on the computer with a thankful heart. What a blessing it is to parent him even in those hard moments where he says, "I don't like you!" This is a reminder to myself, one that I will be thankful for in years to come.

Its also about living small and not grasping for the big, the deceptive and the things that may look oh so glamorous to us. We were made to be small, to enjoy the small. So here are a few small moments that I enjoyed this past week. Looking back at the images I realize that they aren't that small, but make up my life. Add Jesus to the mix and life has the most beautiful meaning and purpose because without Him all this beauty is empty. I can go on and on, but I'll stop here for now.

I'd love to hear from you! What are some of your favorite unnoticed beauty? 

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