Happy Thanksgiving 2016!!! Who had an amazing Thanksgiving? Looks like all y’all did from the looks of Instagram. ? I love how much happier we are around the holidays. I think it’s because the focus shifts off ourselves and onto other people & onto Jesus Christ.
My first Thanksgiving married to Nick has me thinking of all of my blessings, specifically all the blessing that marrying him has brought into my life. Married life really is the best & I so lucked out with him.
Also, I have this little thing I have done by myself every year. On Thanksgiving in all of my prayers, I try to not ask for one thing- just thank Heavenly Father for all of my blessings. Nick started with me this year and it is kind of fun. Try it! Does anyone else have any traditions for Thanksgiving?!
So in case you didn’t know… I am half Finnish. My father was born and raised in Finland, and moved to America when he was 18 to play basketball for BYU. We were going to learn Finnish growing up, but then my brother was born with Down syndrome. I understand why they decided to focus on English, but we are all a little bitter to this day that we can’t speak much Finnish.
I had the opportunity to visit Finland this summer. While the occasion was sad, the death of my grandfather, it is an experience I will be forever grateful for. I will treasure the time we had to be there for my grandmother, Mummo, and to honor my grandfather, Pentti’s life.
It’s hard to explain the feelings I felt while I was in Finland. Sad that Pentti had passed on to the next life, happy that I got to see my family, but I wasn’t expecting the deep love & connection I felt for my Mummo. I am constantly thousands of miles away from here, we don’t speak the same primary language, I’ve been able to see her much less than my grandma in the states due to proximity, and yet I feel so close to her. I tear up as I write this because Isaiah said it best, “The hearts of the children will turn to their father.” And it was so special to have Nick there with me. To share my heritage with him and share those tender feelings together.
Okay, so besides my sweet family, which is all that matters, here are some…
Things to know about Finland
If you have a home, you have a sauna, too.
They usually sauna naked.
If you throw water on the rocks in the sauna, you better be able to stand the heat.
Spicy mustard is a billion times better than our mustard.
Finnish chocolate is in a different league than ours.
Helsinki is right in the ocean.
Finland has some of the highest taxes in all of Europe, so don’t expect things to be cheap.
In July, it may be light all night.
In December, you might see the sun for a couple hours tops.
Santa lives in Finland.
The Finnish language isn’t for the faint of tongue, but luckily most people speak English…. and a few other languages at that.
Terve means hello. 🙂
The main religion is Lutheran.
Public transportation is super clean and VERY quiet. Kinda nice actually.
H&M is on every corner. ?
Helsinki has cobblestone streets, beautiful architecture, and is easily accessible to be able to tour in a day or two.
Bakeries are everywhere.
Estonia is a cheap ferry ride away for a fun day trip.
If anyone knows my brother Samo, they’ll know how special his birthday is to him. And it is only fitting for a very special man. In fact, if you’re friends with him, you’ve probably been invited to his birthday party- regardless of what time of year you met him.
And today was the day- 28 years ago that my sweet older brother was born. He’s had more trials in his life than I will probably ever face, but he works through each challenge and keeps reaching for the stars.
Here are a few facts about Sam the man:
He loves reactions- especially making people laugh.
He says works at the Las Vegas, McCarren Airport.
He lying, but he really wants to because he loves Vegas and airplanes. ?
He has a family that he calls his “real family” and it isn’t us. ??
He was the first person to meet Nick and I as we walked out of the temple on our wedding day.
He HATES bananas.
He plays the drums.
He is obsessed with facial hair even though his comes in patchy. In fact, he yells, “HAIRY!!!” at anyone who passes us with facial hair.
He loves sour candy.
He wants to be a husband and father.
He was the first in our family to serve a mission.
His fav day of he week is Sunday because he lives church and he loves the Lord.
Purple is his favorite color.
He can rap all 15 minutes of Rapper’s Delight by The Sugarhill Gang.
His fav rapper is Lil Wayne.
He knows ALL about boats.
He is sooooo sweet.
He was born with a hole in his heart and fought through open heart surgery at the age of 1.
His heart is whole. He loves more than almost anyone I know.
He is my older brother, my first friend, and I love him.