I’ve been meaning to write something about how we’re settling in in Finland and Helsinki, but I haven’t really had the energy to post anything – so guess my blog has been on a bit of a summer holiday too! But now a few things have happened and the holiday is more or less over…
So, we moved to my mum’s flat in Helsinki a couple of weeks ago and I don’t know if it’s because I’ve lived in it for many years in the past, but I already feel like home and I think Matthew enjoys being in the centre of Helsinki and the girls enjoy all the play parks around here too! A couple of days ago I got a phone call, which made me jump with joy; Lana has been accepted to our first choice nursery! This means it’ll only be a 5-minute walk to drop Lana off, yay. She’s been asking when she can go to nursery for ages, so I think she’s ready. Not sure if she fully grasps that I won’t be there with her though…We’ll soon find out!
Matthew has received a residence permit and is now free to stay and work in Finland because of family ties. Happy days. He also has a Finnish social security number and will be covered by the Finnish health insurance. Pfeew! Even though I was pretty sure there wasn’t going to be any problems it was still a slight relief to get the green light. I’m glad we moved before Brexit takes effect as well – whatever happens I’m sure it’s easier to move within the EU now.
Speaking of Matthew, it looks like he’ll have some work coming his way very soon too, so that’s all exciting – and very much needed! He’s also been learning Finnish by participating in an intense 3-week course, which I’m very proud of him for doing. He says he’s going to learn Finnish even though it’ll take him 20 years…That’s the right attitude, because Finnish isn’t the easiest language to learn!
The language course has brought a bit of routine to our days, which I think has been good for all of us. Being on holiday for two months is enough! We’re looking forward to autumn and for more structure to our days. After a month of 27-31 degrees I think most people in Finland are ready for some cooler autumn air! But how incredible that our first summer here has been, and still is, so sunny and warm. It’s exactly what I ordered – just didn’t think I would be heard! I hope the winter will be nice and cold and snowy too…
I’m surprised by how well Lana has taken the move. I was expecting her to act up, but so far nothing. I do think there are many thoughts in her little head – I just don’t think she can express what she’s feeling. She seems happy and content though, so that’s the main thing! She’s finally starting to speak a bit more Swedish to me and once she goes to nursery she’ll have to start talking a lot more. She’s picked up a few Finnish words too, and learned to count to 10 right in the beginning.
Since we moved to Finland Maya has started crawling, started “talking”, gotten two more teeth and a few days ago, at my friend’s summer cottage, she took her first step. Now she’s already up to 4-6 steps at a time. She was so chilled until 5-6 months that I never thought she would start walking having just turned 9 months – even earlier than Lana!
At the moment I’m planning on staying at home with Maya until the end of the year and then hopefully finding a job fairly quickly. I look forward to working, especially now that we can afford to put the girls into nursery, but I feel like I should treasure this time with Maya if I can and our financial situation allows for it. And right now the thought of not being with her every day, all day, makes me feel slightly sick. But who knows how things will plan out?!
Once we both have jobs we will start looking into buying a place for us – or perhaps even building something. Well, let someone build a house for us as we have no skills when it comes to that!
What else can I tell you guys…I’ve very much enjoyed spending time with friends and family, and not having to stress and cram everything into a few weeks like I always had to do before. I’ve had a bubbly night out with the girls and danced until the wee hours, we went on a cruise to Stockholm with my brother and his family, did an 18 km trail run by the coast in Ingå, spent a lovely day at my friend’s summer cottage and a couple of days at another friends’ stunning island in the Finnish archipelago, been swimming with Lana and Maya’s cousins and much much more. On Friday I get to pick up an old tradition and go to Flow Festival with my friends, at the end of the month Matthew’s parents and brother will be visiting and on the first of September I’ll be running Helsinki Midnight Run. In October I’ll be running another 18 km trail run in Nuuksio National Park and shortly after it’s time for our yearly girls’ trip – this time to Berlin. So many fun things to look forward to!
Since I simply cannot post a blog without lots of photos I’m adding some from last weekend when we had a wee get-together at my friends’ island. I can’t think of a setting that would make me happier right now – there’s just something magical about the Finnish archipelago in summer <3
The 3 first photos (the good ones haha) are taken by my friend Hannele!
Poor Maya wasn’t a huge fan of the life vest, but apart from that she was loving the island and slept better than she ever has before! It’s just something about that fresh sea air 🙂
x Nina x