Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

A Sunny Christmas Day in Costa Rica

Christmas Day came and with it beautiful sunny weather. We got up, had a big breakfast and then decided to venture out for a Christmas Day walk on the mountain on the other side of our little Rio Oro valley in Santa Ana. We had been told that if we followed one of the roads in the valley far enough the road would slowly turn from a paved road into a smaller dirt track before disappearing into a narrow little path into the jungle.

What could be better than that we thought and headed up along Calle Cebadilla until the road had disappeared and we couldn’t get any further except by foot. So we got out of the car, I strapped little E into the carrier and followed J, my mum and my sister into the jungle. We walked on the beautiful path up along the mountain side for about 40 mins until we suddenly got up to a paved road again. This road snaked its way higher up the mountain along a ridge with beautiful views to both sides, on one side we saw Salitral and on the other side we had our little community along Calle Cebadilla.

The sun was wonderfully warm, the sky blue with a few scattered clouds only and I was spending Christmas day in my beige shorts, new lovely orange top, my walking shoes (that get way too little action at the moment!) and little E as the perfect little accessory in the carrier up on a mountain in Costa Rica. If I would have been shown a picture of me up there two years ago and been told that this is what I would be doing Christmas 2011 I think I would not have believed them. The baby being the biggest surprise, but also that I would still be in Costa Rica. Two years ago we were just wrapping things up in London before our big move in March.

But how lovely life is. Here I am with the most wonderful man and baby in my life, surrounded by gorgeous nature, with my mum and sister visiting me in my paradise in order to celebrate Christmas in the sun together once again. I definitely cannot complain. What a fantastic way to end a very special year, while slowly starting to prepare for  the new year and all the wonders it will bring.

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

It’s actually beginning to look a lot like Christmas over here. The ticos have started to put up Christmas trees, lights, nativity scenes and all kinds of things on their houses, in the streets and most of all in the shopping centres. But whats different this year is that we are joining in!

On Monday we ventured out Christmas tree hunting in Escazu. J had spotted a possible tree seller along the route he usually runs so we headed up the hill towards the little tree farm in question. Unfortunately we got there a bit late. More than a month late actually, the guy selling the trees informed us. Apparently we should have dropped by at the beginning of November at the latest to reserve a tree if we wanted one from there. Having realised the situation I asked the guy if there was another place that sells trees anywhere nearby. Three kilometres past the monastery restaurant was the reply, so off we went.

Now this sure turned into quite the adventure. Almost as soon as we had passed the monastery the road started to turn into gravel, which then turned into sand/clay and then into large boulders only on some parts of it as it slowly crept its way up the mountain. Higher and higher we went, past small houses, steep drops and little coffee plantations and small fields. The views were amazing but the narrowness of the road, chopped into the side of the mountain was at times a bit alarming. I was very pleased we didnt meet another vehicle while climbing upwards.

After having driven a bit too far down the road, we finally decided to ask a guy on the side of the road who was trying to get his moped going where we could find some Christmas trees. He told us we had gone a bit too far  so we turned around and headed back down the mountain until we saw the little house on a small hill, surrounded by Christmas trees. I am not sure how we missed this on the way up, possibly because I was looking down at the tricky road and not up towards the side of the road where all the trees stood.

As soon as we parked two boys ran out of the house, one teenager and one young boy, eager to show us their trees. We picked one larger one for the living room and one smaller one for our porch and tied them onto the roof of our poor car that had been through so many bumps during this exciting adventure and headed off home with our trophies.

* * *

Back home and I am writing this next to the Christmas tree in the living room. I keep looking at it and all its glittering baubles we have just hung up on its branches, thinking that it does bring a bit of Christmas into the house. However tropical the climate might be over here, this year I decided that that is not going to stop me from trying to get into the Christmas spirit and I think we are succeeding.

Living with a Bump

Pregnant BellyI cant believe I am already six months down the line, with D-Day moving closer all the time at quite a rapid pace. Or well, interestingly enough it feels like I have been pregnant for EVER, while at the same time I cant believe how time flies and that it is already July, while October is just around the corner really.

I have tried to read up on what exactly is happening during this time, and I must say I keep finding incredible facts about how amazingly well nature has arranged for it all. I keep sharing my “fun facts” with my poor colleague who has to listen to me 😉 But I think one day she will be grateful that I taught her things like:

  • During pregnancy the amount of blood you have in your body increases by about 50% compared to pre pregnancy
  • Your stomach muscles separate and slide to the sides during pregnancy to accommodate for the bump
  • Your body changes the amniotic fluid three times a day!

I am pretty impressed constantly about all the things my body manages. I do feel like I am very much just an observer at times (mind wise), watching how my baby and my body seem to know exactly what to do and I am just in it for the ride.

But I do try to keep up and learn some stuff myself so its not just my baby and body working. 😉 For example, I just received my Hypnobirthing book that I wanted to read as a complementary piece to the course we did earlier this summer. Thanks to the course and to the book I think I have learned quite a lot about what to do and what to expect with this whole adventure, and especially how I can just relax and let my baby and body get on with it. I think that must be the most difficult part for most women. Relying on your body to know what to do and to just relax.

So even if I am pretty relaxed about most things, I am realising I should definitely be taking many more pics of the bump! I have a few but I do want more.. You never know if this is a once in a lifetime experience, or just the first one and you will get another chance. I also think it might help me get to terms with the miracle that is happening just under my nose.. 😉

But for now, I will just head back to bed I think. I had to get up to have sth to eat earlier on, but I think I am ready for another little snooze now next to the gorgeous J.

Last day of 2010

The last day of 2010 is about to begin, approximately 30 minutes to go over here in Costa Rica but I guess there will be lots of celebrations shared with us from over in Europe already starting at about 4pm our time. Time difference is a strange thing, thinking that in Finland its already almost 8am and a lot of my family and friends over there are at work already while I am about to tuck myself in for the last full night of 2010.

My Christmas Fairy Lights on the TerraceWe have been back up in the central valley for a few days, spending some time at the office (which I did find quite difficult following the working from home flexibility of Monday and Tuesday) and enjoying our lovely house. My youngest sister arrived today with her boyfriend and tomorrow we are heading back to the beach for some more surfing, a new years dinner at the Los Almendros restaurant as well as some hotness and sunshine. A weird but wonderful way to end the year!

Mum brought over a couple of bottles of champagne so we get to have that tomorrow since we missed the traditional Christmas Champagne on the 24th. But I think its much better this way, to get to enjoy it with my sister as well.

I think 2010 has been an absolutely wonderful year, I would not want to change a thing.. I guess I almost wish I could have squeezed a few more days into the year, days that I wouldnt have had to work during so that I could have spent them just enjoying J’s company, life in general and this wonderful country. But then again, I am very much looking forwards to what the future and 2011 brings… Happy New Year everyone!

P.s. New years resolutions for this year:

– Work on my frustrations to reduce them and control them more (in general – not let my emotions take over)

– Get fitter 😉

– Appreciate what I have in life

– Spend lots of time with J and Sofia and as much time as possible with the people I hold dear

Ps 2: What I was striving for in 2005-2006

 

Pillar 3: Love

A part of me doesn’t even know where to start here, while another part of me is overflowing with things I want to say about the wonderful topic of love. This is one of the main reasons why it has taken me quite some time to write this entry, but I will make a real effort today to put down my thoughts on this. At least an initial scratch on the surface.

In order to do this, let me define love a bit so we are on the same page. I want to do this mainly since love comes in so many different formats that a narrowing down of the topic is needed, as well with the aim of sticking to my definition of the five pillars of happiness. So therefore, for this particular pillar I have put my focus on romantic love, as I think the other pillars contain their own varieties of love, whether that is family oriented, platonic, materialistic or the love and appreciation one should have for oneself. So here we go.

I find love one of the most wonderful as well as mysterious things in the world. Ever since I was little I have had a bit of a tendency to wear my heart on my sleeve, something that to some extent I like (since I think that if you like someone you should show it and I enjoy the feeling of happiness that it brings me most of the times) but to some extent I find really annoying (since it does tend to mess with my emotions and it is oh so easy to get hurt while having your heart on display like this). Due to this love has always fascinated as well as frustrated me, mainly since I never seemed to get the balance right.

Too much vs. too little. Too intense vs. too mild. Too physical vs. too emotional. In order to be true to myself as well as balance these issues out, I have always put a lot of emphasis on the fact that I had to be attracted to the other person both physically and mentally in order to really fall for someone. Even if that hasn’t happen very often, it has made it oh so worth it when it does happen.

Without saying too much about my personal experiences, or going too much into a general analysis about the wonders of love, I think this pillar is so important to me exactly because I still tend to wear my heart on my sleeve a lot and it does affect me on a daily basis. Thanks to that, this has been a pillar that has been a bit volatile at times, but at any time, it has still stood strong thanks to the support of the other pillars in times of need.

Following my somewhat volatile path of exploration of the matter, I have slowly established my opinion on the matter and I think my view of love is actually very nicely summarized by one of my favourite authors, Louis de Bernières in his famous book  “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”. And to finish this entry off, I think I will let that quote do the talking:

Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.