Swedish pancake

My arms are all sore and I feel weird: Hopped up on diptheria, tetanus, hepatitis immunizations. I'm sure it's just all in my head, but I ache and don't really feel like myself. (Whatever that means.) These immunizations were the first in a little string of fun things to prepare for El Salvador. I also picked up my malaria medication today and I am looking forward to seeing how crazy it makes my dreams. They are already way out there. I doubt they can get much weirder.

Along with fun trips to the doctor, I have been all over the place in the last few weeks... I suddenly realized how much I have to get done in the next few weeks, and it's not helping my stress level. Not terrible stress, but it just recently occurred to me that I have to do all my Christmas/work/trip preparations before December 8, as I will not return until shortly before Christmas.

Having spent this past weekend on a short, busy work trip to Montreal, I found myself thinking about our family in Sweden. This is one thing that I discovered as a beautiful and happy thing: How when you get married you get a whole new family. (I know for some this is not always a positive thing, but Martin and I are so blessed to both have "new" families that rock. This gift I will give thanks for for the rest of my life.) So I find myself thinking of our family in Sweden, wanting to just hang out in the welcoming, beautiful comfort of Martin's parent's home, to enjoy the company of those we see far too little. The images in the post are from Martin's calming home-village, and there's no-one who could disagree that it is pure, peaceful, and quaint.

With the approach of Christmas I feel this seperation between families more keenly... I wouldn't change who and where we are, and all the blessings and learnings that came from marrying two different cultures, but I certainly wish I could just hop in a car and drive to Sweden. Also I have this desire to experience Christmas - Julen? - in Sweden, to participate in the Lucia celebration, which to my understanding is a medieval celebration to usher in the Christmas season. And smörgåsbord! (Apparently us English stole a Swedish word - who knew?)

I have come to realize I am definitely a "family" person. I very much enjoy family gathered around, enjoying a meal together, sitting and having coffee (or tea, in my case). To me it's one of life's simple, God-created pleasures. I suppose this means I may one day want children. But not yet!

This Sunday Martin and I are heading out to the Rockies (Kananaskis, to be specific) where we shall partake of a fantastic Sunday brunch, and enjoy the mountains. This is a brunch put on by one of the hotels in the region, and it defies the imagination. From fresh baked bread to seafood, omelettes, waffles, Alberta beef, and a chocolate fountain. The last time we went was before our wedding, with Martin's parents, and there is a picture snapped of me downing a gargantuan plate of desserts. Heaven!

It should be a restful weekend; we both need it quite badly. Martin's been working long days over and over; almost a week of 14 hour days. We are both walking a fine line of physical and mental exhaustion. Thankfully the work is fulfulling!

And with my thanks for cancelled plans, and a quiet Friday evening at home with music and solitude, I am going to bed - early - and hopefully awake with enough inclination to whip up some crepes.

What is with me and food?!



I've been feeling like a deadbeat person often these days. Tired so often I don't have much to give people after work; stressed and harried enough at work that I don't feel like I am doing my best or working on relationships.

Life can be such a vicious circle; the more stressful and troubled life becomes, the more it requires of you mentally and emotionally, and all the stress and trouble leaves you hapless; emotionally drained, mentally incapable.

Both Martin and I have had alot of job pressure lately; I think mostly because what we do is more than just a job; for both of us the motivation is more deep-seated. It's hard to have two people in a household worn out; emotionally thin. Thankfully we don't have kids right now. I can only imagine the added pressure. For myself much of my work pressure is the workload I build for myself; accepting projects, putting the responsibility on myself, being worker bee while self-managing. It's not a good place to be, because I think the only place it can lead is burnout.

But I do get to be involved in such cool work. To get an idea, check out a short CBC Report covering the return of Sudanese doctors to their homeland to set up medical practice. We became friends with a few of the doctors, and watching my friend Daniel see his father for the first time in 20 years is so awesome. I never imagined I'd get to witness it on camera.

I went through training this week for the trip I will be helping lead in December, and that was an interesting study in human behaviour. The group of leaders was divided 50-50: Half were new, half had done a trip before. I found it so interesting that even as adults humans gravitate to cliques, and social "cool" groups. There was a fair amount of insensitivity showed in the experienced leaders; they talked in a foreign language of inside information, inside jokes, and nonsensical references. Us new folk sat there, real quite like, trying to figure out what the heck people were talking about. I also found it very ironic. I grew a strong revulsion towards youth group as a young miss because of (among other things) the cliques and the exclusiveness of it all. Here I found myself training to be a trip leader and small group leader for youth, and it was like those youth group things all over again.

But - it was great training, and despite my massive headache during the day (which led me to hardly crack a smile, and therefore led my fellow leaders to think me a dull companion) I am energized to slog through the material and be as prepared as possible.

I leave this week for my very first trip to eastern Canada. It's quite sad; I've never been further east than Saskatchewan. I guess I am truly a born-and-bred Western Canadian. (That really is a demographic, too.) So I will get to check out a bit of Montreal this weekend between work engagements. Should be interesting. Hopefully I will get to do a bit of the tourist thing; I have had the desire to see Montreal for a while now.

Now, sleep for my tired head. More work tomorrow.