Two steps forward, two steps back. 

Nearly a year here and we still waver between thoughts of “we’ve totally got this” and “what is wrong with this place?”

As with many phases in life it would seem this is no different; just when you’re starting to get confident, you get thrown a curve ball to keep you on our toes. 

Came upon this crop while out biking earlier this week. I felt like it was the figurative scene of my life here. 

“Wait a minute, am I doing something wrong? I don’t feel like I quite fit in… How does everyone else know what do? How come I didn’t get the memo?” 

I like to see the beauty and boldness in being different. Conforming isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!

While some days are hard and I’m left scratching my head and thinking “wait, what?” at least I’m not alone. At least I’m having a better day than this poor gal. What does a morning that involves this look like? 

My Facebook feed is trying to convince me that Princess Kate is being a revolutionary trend setter by bringing back nude pantyhose. Evidently it never went out of style here. Pantyhose are everywhere here. Hopefully this poor gal wasn’t too shunned at work showing up with bare ankles!

I, on the otherhand, have been shunned by the garbage men – again. There’s really nothing quite like the statement “even your garbage isn’t good enough for us” to knock you down a notch or two. 

Mostly I have been successful with recycling and throwing away garbage but every now and then I fail. Despite doing my best to observe what everyone else is doing and trying my best to emulate that, I’m evidently not. So again this week, rather than our recycling being collected along with our neighbours, ours was returned to our door. No reason given, no helpful note to explain what I’m doing wrong. Just NO. 

“Your recycling is just not neat enough for us.” Darn you Switzerland for making brown-paper-packages-tied-up-with-string no longer one of my favourite things!

Seriously? Aren’t there bigger problems in the world that require our attention more than my not-perfect recycling!? I most definitely have better things to be spending my time on. Right after I tidy up my recycling that is…

Time will tell is this gets rejected too. Not quite right angles but we’re getting closer. The worst part of it all is that a huge portion of my recycling is the junk mail and flyers that I DO NOT WANT! So much junk mail which goes directly into the recycling pile.

This week the more pressing matter was our sweet little Helena. Her brave, sunny self has been highjacked by fear and worries. We’re in the homestretch of her very first year of school in Switzerland and suddenly it’s all too scary and hard. 

Sweet child in agony at school. Poor little bug. Oh, and no toilet seat. I was sure wishing I had packed some wipes with me.

I have struggled with the fact that I am still not working here but man was I ever glad this week to be able to be a 100% full time mom. This week I remembered beyond a shadow of a doubt that my number 1 role here is to support our kids; to be here when they need me and to help them find their joy and their strength. 

Thankfully in our time here we have also been able to build a wee tiny tribe to lean on for support. Helena has sweet friends at school who are doing everything they can to help her be successful. I am so, so thankful for these sweet angels. 

Julia even treated for ice cream at the end of the tough day.

And I have a wonderful little group of mom-friends who have been here for me too. Sending me the perfect “how can I help” or “we’ve been there too” texts. I would have felt very lost this week without them. 

This weekend provided a fabulous distraction from the worries – hot, sunny weather and a double 70th birthday celebration for Monika and Heinz. We were treated to the most amazing feast surrounded by wonderful company. They kept telling us to pace ourselves, that there would be much more food to come but I was totally lost at the cured meats course. 

A salami from Italy like nothing I had ever tasted. It was like tartare. 

To. Die. For. 

After that I undid my belt buckle and accepted the inevitable. 

Arrived at the party.
The menu – printed on a gorgeous life-size board.
My undoing. So fresh, bought from the family who made it just 1 week ago.
A special tuna dish, served with baguettes of course.
Course #7, maybe? I lost count. So delicious.
No party is complete without strobe lights and a great band.
Parties are hard on the Garcia men.
Like father, like son.
H and I still fresh as daisies despite it being near 1:00am when we finally arrived home.

And so we face this week with cautious optimism, hoping that Helena will win the fight against her worries and fears. I am now more prepared and am carrying a plastic bag in my purse. Poor kid proved me wrong as I was assuring her that she wouldn’t actually throw up, it was just her tummy playing tricks on her. Nope, I lied. She puked right on the bus. 

Practicing her tough-girl pose. Boy, wouldn’t going to see Wonder Woman be a perfect pump-up-the-courage movie for right now? Oh right, it’s PG 12 which means they won’t let us in the theatre with our under-age kids. Come on people! Throw me a bone!

Instead we’ll channel the light-hearted-giggle-fest we found last week when Helena and I were caught in a flash downpour. 

We arrived home soaked right down to our underpants! Let’s hope it washed away all our fears and that there will be nothing but rainbows in the week to come.

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