Vienna

IMG_5958

IMG_5965

IMG_5982

IMG_5986

IMG_5989

IMG_5991

IMG_5995

IMG_6000

IMG_6012

IMG_6013

IMG_6029

IMG_6034

IMG_6035

IMG_6036

IMG_6037

IMG_6045

IMG_6053

IMG_6062

IMG_6063

IMG_6064

IMG_6065

IMG_6114

IMG_6136

IMG_6147

IMG_6148

IMG_6149

IMG_6150

IMG_6172

IMG_6184

IMG_6185

IMG_6188

Advertisements

today i am grateful (and full of love)

For him.
And for the little things that define us…

Like how he texts me love messages in the middle of the day
How he gives me the first sip of every drink
He covers me with a blanket, always.
How he fixes dinner and takes care of Sami so that I can rest
How he plans for an exciting night on the balcony, with candles
How he handles my total craziness with a smile
Or always makes the better coffee for me
The fact that he is always there for my big and scary firsts: my 1st interview, my first day at work, the 1st time I gave a lecture and when we had Sami together!
How he brings me flowers just because
How he reaches out to hug me when we are out with friends
How he insists that I never carry the heavy shopping bags, or the light ones for that matter
How he sneaks from work to meet for a romantic lunch
How he cuts and dyes my hair
How he sings for ME at a concert
How he never keeps a grudge
He rubs my feet for hours
And he likes my mother and my friends
How he takes me dancing although he doesn’t particularly like it
How he tells me that I am beautiful even in those moments when I know I am not
How he glows when I am excited about something
Or how he makes sure that after a shower I have my back towel-dried
He notices the things I like when we window shop, and then finds a way to get them for me
How he is totally the best daddy in the world – patient, caring, curious and proud
The way he kisses me
The way he hugs Sami and carries him face down
And how he makes fun of my feet
How he is quiet when I need to scream
The way we hold hands according to the season
The way he cooks for me despite all my weird requirements
How he puts a chocolate bar under the door for us 🙂
How he sings to me when we go hiking
And he always knows the way
How he lets me be weak and let go of my guard
How he respects ALL of my decisions, even when they are about him
How we find silly things to laugh about, all the time
How we reinvent ourselves
How he tells me I smell good

His smell
His embrace
His eyes
And laughter
And his skin
And our skin…

I love you, S.
Let’s have a great date (right after the usual St Valentine’s fight)

on refining my truths

An honorable human relationship — that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word “love” — is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of refining the truths they can tell each other.

It is important to do this because it breaks down human self-delusion and isolation.

It is important to do this because in doing so we do justice to our own complexity.

It is important to do this because we can count on so few people to go that hard way with us.

by Adrienne Rich.

264656915572037221_NooYBl2f_c

closing up year 1 “down under”

So many things happened in one year…and I am relieved it is over, as it has been among the toughest…and as you may know those are also the best teachers.

I am now a confirmed PhD Scholar and somehow managed to pull an amazing presentation last week. So what?

This has been by far the most unexpected, challenging and overwhelming year in terms of exploring my own personal knowledge boundaries, the way I think about knowledge(s), how I construct meaning around myself, and how I interpret the world (research and work just follows). I can now fully state that the more I dig and read and write, the less I know. There are, though, times of insights. Snippets of light. States of flow. When all of a sudden you climb up invisible stairs and you are able to look down and discern a pattern, a shape, a link…and that’s when I know this is my path, and I go on blindly following.

Ok, heavy speech I know, but what I mean is, I am super hyped that I was given this hardship, and that this bit is over, it is past me, I am on the other side now! Doing what we do, is not for the faint-hearted (as it turns out I am one)…support support and more support is what one needs not only when doing a full-time PhD, full-time mothering, and when you also what to be fully present for your partner, your home, community, interests, etc. When support is lacking or none, you end up like me. Totally overwhelmed, lost, and ultimately sick. My body has been struggling for the past 9 months to get me through, and not without fall-backs. I spent this first year permanently ill, all infections, maladies, fatigue, depression, anxiety, migraines, you name it… Naturally, when a cold persists for that long and you cannot catch up on rest, it gets into your mind and the way you start thinking about yourself. It consumes you. It conquers you. It wins.

Well, to bring out the light in all this, my illnesses and body, had ultimately thought me the best of lessons! Not until I began to listen, I managed to prioritize and pull myself together…Insightfully, at once and also very slowly, slowly opening up to my senses, listening to my feet, my stomach, my ears, my nose, my hair, my heart. I am determined to selfishly and selflessly devote myself to a better me, a healthier me, a sane me. With no better purpose such as to be a better mum, a better scholar, a better wife, a better friend. No.

Just for my own sake this time. And this is to be ME. Just ME. To accept me. No better versions of me, but this one. No better future ME, the one that comes with “if’s” and “should’s” and “oh, must-have’s”. I am who I am. It is what it is. And it is now. And now is all I have got.

You may try to give it a go. close-up the last chapter, the last year, the last project…and just be.

Have a brilliant YOU-day!

the new thing called sleepovers

hm, where do I start? maybe with my old-school upbringing that did not recognize sleeping at someone else’s bed before all other options of staying home have been exhausted – like moving to another city to go to college for example?? And when there, you are still supposed to stick to your bed! or, as it was with stoyan and I when we lived together as students – you stick to your side of the bed. period.
IMG_2356

IMG_2506

IMG_2510

IMG_2511

IMG_2514

IMG_2523

IMG_2524
little did we know about the sweetness and advantages of sleepovers, and I am not even talking about us! A four and a half years old toddler, who struggles to dress himself still, turns into an exemplary child with perfect manners and a routine, saying please and thank you, and even wiping his tush successfully! All that, when he had a sleepover at his girlfriend’s (am I actually typing all this?!) from kindergarten. They are best buds and the cutest to look at, and while they are working on their fond friendship, mummy and daddy are working on exploring Brisbane at night, having a drink at the movies, talking with no interruption…wait did I say talking….I meant doing everything with no interruption – walking, holding hands, following a film, going to a restaurant, having a coffee in silence, etcetera……
Everybody had the best time! So parents out there, especially those who live with no family around, embrace sleepovers, and enjoy yourselves!

date thursdays

we feel like little thieves every Thursday morning when we drop off Sami to kindy, and instead of heading to the office, we head to… a date! No lipstick and heels, no fine dinner and bubbly, no dancing and midnight swims…those are long forgotten (for now, until Sami is off to college calling his parents on the weekend only to get to their voice mail, a-haa!).

We now go for a much humbler experience. A minute or two of uninterrupted coffee. We order, we sit, we wait, we gaze at each other, filled with the effort of recognizing and slowly remembering WHO that person was, how their hands felt, what their voice was, and then we are just walking and talking, and then some more talking. We sometimes have lunch, we sometimes have a picnic by the river, we go watch a movie. We even had a couple’s massage.
Then Stoyan goes for a late shift at the emptying campus. I pick Sami up, holding him a tad stronger, sniffing his hair a tad longer.

these are our date days. we like them.

IMG_2220

IMG_2221

IMG_2226

IMG_2230

IMG_2231

IMG_2246

IMG_2248

IMG_2251

IMG_2252

IMG_2253

IMG_2256

IMG_2264

IMG_2272