Soul Sighs

Soul Sighs

  Home is... Home is more than a building. More than a house in which we hold breakfasts and dinners every day. More than a place where the kids visit after school. More than a place where we all sleep at night, shower in the morning, and store our toothbrushes. Home is where the morning cuddles happen. It's the space behind my knees where my daughter curls up when we sit together on the couch. It's the Friday night dance parties, silly giggles, and the Candy Land games in the kitchen. Home fills up our essential being, our core. It is fed and nurtured through regular acts of kindness. Home is where your soul sighs upon returning. It is where you do the "comfy dance" after changing into your pajamas after work. Home is the soil between our roots. It is what gets scooped up whenever we are plucked and replanted. We bring our home with us wherever we travel. Wherever we move. It is warmth. It is love. More good stuff from my friends "How fast and seamlessly life changes. We...
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Celebrating Holidays When Living Abroad

Celebrating Holidays When Living Abroad

Holidays have a special place in our hearts. We grow up with certain traditions—some wacky, some practical, and some that sound crazy when we try to explain them to outsiders. Regardless of how we choose to celebrate our special holidays, celebrating a special occasion outside of the country of origin may make things a bit more complicated. For one, there are no seasonal reminders that the holiday is approaching. As Sundae mentions in our podcast discussion, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, there are no changing colors of the leaves to indicate the traditional autumn season is upon us. It can create some last minute scrambling if you have to source food or decorations or have to make things from scratch, as one often has to. We have dropped many US traditions except for a few—Thanksgiving being the one that we've held onto the tightest. Thanksgiving isn't celebrated in Sweden like it is in the US—or at all, really. Technically Tacksgiving is a day...
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Beautiful Chaos

Beautiful Chaos

Beautiful chaos. That's what this is. Motherhood. Fatherhood. Parenting. Messy and exhausting it's not Supposed to be orderly. It's not supposed to make sense. We establish routines for normalcy So the children know what to expect But in the end And we all follow the routines like a religion. Bath, books, bed, breakfast, drop off, work, pick up, dinner. Bath, books, bed and so on until Years feel like minutes and Memories of their tiny voices fade. Our current reality always replaces what was. Daily monotony is broken by Giggles unleashed after  a tickle spider attack, Insightful conversations in the car, and other Tiny moments that aren't marked by holidays on the calendar. These special moments are the ones you treasure the most because of their unexpectedness. It's being silly in public because it makes your kids laugh. It's working through exhaustion because there's no other choice. It's messy, tiring, but it's life. We are rewarded with sleepy morning cuddles and bedtime stories that only last for a limited time only, folks. "Get yours now!" while the gettin's good. Today was crazy and tomorrow will be...
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Virtual Midwife—Who is she and can she help you?

Virtual Midwife—Who is she and can she help you?

I sat down with Karen Wilmot, the Virtual Midwife, and asked her some questions about the 6-week course she is offering to mothers around the world.Karen is a midwife who has been helping mothers give birth in foreign countries for the past 20 years. She understands the core of the fear and anxiety that mothers experience while they are knocked up abroad and they are the same themes that come up again and again in the Knocked Up Abroad stories.We're talking about language barriers, unfamiliar healthcare systems, local birthing practices that clash with personal preference, lack of a supportive family/friend network, and the multitude of factors that impact mothers giving birth abroad.The CourseKaren has gathered her 20 years of experience and packed them into a 6-week course that she is offering at a huge discount for a limited time only.The cost is currently $279 which includes all course material and monthly group calls for the duration of their pregnancy—and beyond if they choose...
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You’re My Favorite

You’re My Favorite

You crawled into bed with me this morning after the sun rose. My arms wrapped around you and I breathed in your hair. You smell of the shampoo you didn't wash out of your hair last night when you giggled in the shower with your brother.Your little body nestled against mine and I felt your bones relax. Your soft cheek brushed my chin, and I thought, "Ahh, you're my favorite."I would never say those words aloud, of course, because parents aren't allowed to have favorites.But, at that moment, in that space, my heart was full of you.My attention was 100% focused on you and only you as if we were the only two people in existence. I allowed myself to think that you were my favorite because, for that moment, you were. Later today, you and your brother played at the playground while your Daddy and I sat on a rocky cliff overlooking the Baltic Sea.Worn down over time by rain...
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5 Tips to Increase Your Emergency Preparedness

5 Tips to Increase Your Emergency Preparedness

After watching the destruction caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria the news is full of stories about families rushing to stores to stock up on supplies only to discover that all of the stores are sold out. It's apparent that most families are woefully unprepared for any type of disaster situation. Not only do we need to prepare for natural disasters like power outages, hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts, heat waves, but also for the ever-increasing number of terrorist attacks on our cities. You don't want to be scrambling for supplies at the last minute during an emergency. With a bit of advanced preparation and purchasing of dual-purpose supplies, you'll be all set in case something unexpected happens. The following post contains affiliate links at no extra cost to you. When it comes to preparedness, there are entire divisions at the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control dedicated to creating checklists and recommendations for you. Be sure to visit the links at the bottom for...
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You might be a mom if…

You might be a mom if…

Leave a comment on Facebook with the crazy things you've started doing now that you're definitely a mom. Transcript of the video You might be a mom if you've redefined what crazy means after you've since checked off all of the boxes from the list you created before you had kids. You might be a mom if you instantly become suspicious that your children are secretly strangling each other in their room because it is too quiet in your house and there's no such thing as a quiet house anymore. You might be a mom if you've ever used baby wipes instead of makeup removing wipes because hello! They do the same thing, and one is way cheaper than the other. You might be a mom if you haven't thought twice about sticking your hand into a clogged sink to pull out random bits of food because your hands have already seen way worse than anything in a kitchen sink. You might be a mom if...
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Growing Up the Saban Way

Growing Up the Saban Way

By Kelsi Folsom "The practice of gratitude and fortitude will never be an unfruitful one, and is, I think, one of the greatest gifts of living abroad."         Ask anyone if they have ever heard of Saba, and most likely you will hear, “No, where is that?” To which I reply, “Well, it’s a five-square mile volcanic island of fewer than 1,800 people located in the Dutch Caribbean. It's home to the shortest commercial runway in the world, one of the most difficult medical schools, and the highest geographical point in the Netherlands. Want to grab lunch?” Saba is a charming mix of cultures. Although currently a Dutch protectorate, the language spoken is primarily English (with Dutch, Saba English, and a sprinkling of Spanish). There are the “expat locals” (American, Canadian, Scandinavian, European, Filipino, and others I have yet to interact with) and the “born and raised locals” (descendants of great sea-captains, pirates, shipbuilders, fishermen, and slaves) in addition to the 500 or so...
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Dramatic Play is Therapeutic For Your Child

Dramatic Play is Therapeutic For Your Child

Kids recreate the world how they see it through dramatic play. Shouting is emanating from behind the closed door of my daughter's room. "No, Mama, don't go!" "I have to go to work. You have to stay here." My three-year-old is playing in her room by herself. I slowly open the door. Her back is facing me as she sits on the bed with her dolls. We've had this exact exchange numerous times, and apparently, my daughter knows it so well that she is re-enacting our daily ritual of school drop-off with her Elsa dolls. I enter the room and sit on the edge of the bed. "How does the little girl feel when her mama has to leave for work?" I ask but I already know the answer. "Sad." "Yes, but she gets to play with her friends at school." "Yeah, but she misses her Mama sooooo much." Her head is down. Knife in my heart.   Play is a form of therapy My daughter is using play to work out scenarios that affect her...
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Lådbilslandet—Heaven on earth for kids

Lådbilslandet—Heaven on earth for kids

Imagine an amusement park where only kids are allowed to ride and they receive endless rides on the tea cups, carousel, and trains. Where kids drive cars, motorcycles, and tractors. All. By. Themselves. The 1980s are alive and well at Lådbilslandet—or Soap Box Car Land—an amusement park in Sweden with soap box cars, "motorcycles" (they have three wheels so they are more like tricycles with engines), tractors, and river rafts. Lådbilslandet is a place where your kids can feel like grown ups. Kids Only It's a "kids only" type of place and adults aren't allowed on any of the rides. Not one. If your kid doesn't want to ride alone then you'll need to find a willing child (or sibling) to ride along with them. Honestly, that shouldn't be hard at all to find since every kid I saw was dying for extra rides. The kids are really in charge at this amusement park and parents have no choice but to relinquish all pretenses of being...
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