Category Archives: Hungary

Flower is 15! And she’s baaaaaack

This is how we live — it really is. Languages, cultures, and beloveds are welcome into our home. And guess what?  Flower is back. She is back with us, her American family. And we are thrilled.  One month of Flower love…..Hungarian/American style. Life is big. Really big.




Tonight we did our usual bedtime routine. However, the unusual part was that I put Blueberry to bed (this is usually Mr. SillyPant’s job – but it’s a late night for him). Blue is potty training, and bedtime visits to the potty have become his preferred ‘stall method’ for bedtime. Tonight his requests were particularly polite and were even “potty productive”.

I’m in a pretty good mood tonight (SHOCKER!)- so I just went with it with an unusual amount of  patience and even a fair dose of delight. We spent quality time in the bathroom discussing our bath curtain, which is a world map. The map is cool – the kid is a riot.

Here is our discussion – –

Mommy, where does Flower live? There, in Hungary.

Mommy, what is that place? Romania.

Hungary? Flower goes to school there! I lived somewhere too. I had a duck blanket there. Where is that? Ethiopia. It’s right here. Ethiopia is in east Africa. I remember when Daddy and I sent that duck blanket to you so you could have it while we were coming to get you in Ethiopia.

What is this place? Russia.

What is this? More Russia. Look here, this is Thailand. Your friend Dew Drop is in Thailand right now on a vacation with her mommy and daddy.

What kid is taking care of Dew Drop’s chickens and goats? What did I throw there on the chickens Mommy? Tomatoes. You threw tomatoes over the gate and one hit a chicken.  I think Dew Drop’s Grandma is watching her animals.

Yeah! I threw tomatoes and one hit the chicken! Yes, but we don’t try to hit chickens with tomatoes. We use gentle hands with animals.

Mommy, here is Hungary again! (Pointing). What letter starts Hungary? “H”

H is for Flower.



Flower left this morning. We had 4 months of her sweet presence. Our home feels like we are missing someone now. We don’t question the missing – it’s here and palpable.

This morning I went downstairs and wake her up to say my final goodbye. I had to work, she was still sleeping.  I sobbed into her warm shoulder, holding her tightly in my arms as I whimpered my goodbyes.

This video sums up the completeness of her immersion in life here; in life with her friends and life with us.  Sledding down our local hill, famous for its steep icy slope, did not disappoint. Flower, if you’re reading this, “IT WAS BEASTLY!”

Come back soon our sweet little Hungarian Princess!

Our Clan’s Canaan

Our tree is fun. Down home rockin’ fun. We have a silly tradition we started when we moved into this house; the kids find the biggest, roundest, most over-the-top tree they can find and then hope we say yes. And, they spend the HOURS we search for a tree playing, rough housing, snapping pictures, tumbling on the ground, and quite literally frolicking in the snow. It’s holiday cheer wrapped up in family lovin’….amazeballs fun. (And there aren’t many of these deliberate expressions of headin’ out for this kind of ritual fun – so I totally dig this tradition). Cathedral ceilings help with the mission of impossibly huge trees.

It’s a sweet tradition, and it’s one that started when Mr. SillyPants and I bought this house together for our family.   This year’s tree came early – because this year’s tree needs Flower to enjoy her for as long as she can.  Flower leaves us just before Christmas – so we’re doing it all a little early this year. We’ve never gotten a tree on Thanksgiving weekend – but this year we took advantage of the clan’s presence and picked a big ‘ole Canaan at our favorite tree farm. We missed the snow play, but we made up for it with extra doses of silly running around and picture taking. I think it might have been a bonus for Blueberry to be able to run around – snow will probably still be a challenge for his under 3 legs this year. So – total thumbs up on this timing! And, double thumbs up on the tree.

A word about the tree farm: I always cry as we arrive. We are very loyal to this farm because they were so good to my mom. Our family retells the story of Mom’s last Christmas every year as we pull in the driveway. We repeat the details:  mom always came with us – she asked for a tree topper that last (unknown to us) holiday – they took her name and number and said they’d call if they had one – we all thought they were being polite – the surprise we felt when they called Mom – Mom’s call to me because the snow was pouring from the sky and she wanted some help getting to the farm and hauling the tree topper –  Waffles (who was a mere boy, but also Grandma’s sweetie) volunteered to help Grandma and did all the hauling and lifting of the tree topper for his beloved Grandma – Grandma loved her tree and was so proud to host a CA family and WI family holiday, the very one where Mr. SillyPants met her, my sister’s family, and my kids – a year later when we arrived without Mom we shared our story of loss and Ms. Tree Farm cried along, having just lost her best friend to cancer as well.  I cry at this place, and my kids and Mr. SillyPants feel it with me with tears and memories. It’s always good. It’s always rich. We bring Mom along in our hearts.

Speaking of Moms….this picture is for our Hungarian family (Flower’s family). Flower’s mommy made this ornament for our family in 1997. It is handmade. Mr. SillyPants and the kids pulled it out and handed it to Flower. Caught off guard, I wept huge unanticipated tears. Flower and I embraced. We remember. Love remembers.

Frolicking next – promise.

Wordless Wednesday

Apple(s) of my eye

Wordless Wednesday