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Oh Lapland, my Lapland

I love traveling, I love new places, trying new types of food, meeting new people, seeing new landscapes. I thrive on change and newness. But there is that one place. Our mökki- summer cottage in the depths of Kuusamo forests. Up, up, up in the North of Finland. We don’t go there often- it’s kinda far (more than 800km) and car drive with two kids and a dog can be kinda annoying. But if we don’t go there for long enough, my heart starts aching. Longing for the simplicity of life in a log cabin, in the woods near the lake. There are no neighbors. There is no running water. And there are the routines. Each time we go there, we do the same stuff. Every day starts with outdoor breakfast- just some coffee brewed over the fire, quickly roasted bacon on rye bread and leipäjuusto with jam. For dinner we try to fish. Almost always we only manage to catch some ridiculously small creatures and release them. Then, as our attempts at being self-sustainable fail, we go and eat burgers in that one place in Ruka . They are like huuuge. And delicious. But OK, burgers every day wouldn’t be such a great idea, so we only do it once. On other days we make this type of one-pot meal. Lots of veggies, beans and a can of reindeer or moose meat (just because we are almost in Lapland)- all mixed in a big iron pot and put over a fire. Deliciousness. I never even try to make it at home, it just wouldn’t be the same. On some days we venture into one of the area’s nature/ national parks. Evenings don’t really exist at this latitude, so sauna/ washing lasts for hours and hours. Then a quick trip around the lake before midnight (just because it’s possible) and off to sleep.

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molly - seriously.so.beautiful. i am sitting here trying to think of some way i can justify visiting you! beautiful spot. beautiful pictures. beautiful family memories. xoxo

Answer Some Questions » Greenville South Carolina Family Photographer | Molly Flanagan - […] Oh, I really want to go everywhere! But, I have a friend that recently blogged some pictures of her cabin in Lapland, Finland. That sounds so far away and exotic. I mean, it is above the Arctic […]

alana rasbach - beautiful! i want to go there! :) i found you through Molly Flanagan.

Capture the Colour competition » halituli - […] spent part of the summer in our cottage in Kuusamo in Northern Finland. One of my favorite places in the area is the Oulanka National Park and specifically […]

Portrait 11/52 » halituli - […] you enjoyed this set of photos you might also like to see our trip to Mustila Arboretum, Kuusamo and […]

Dom na Orkana

Allow me to get personal now and overload you with pictures. I went to visit my family home last week. It’s in Poland, small town called Zabkowice Slaskie, which in itself has a very interesting history. But that will have to wait. My home. Dom na Orkana (meaning “house on Orkana street”, but it feels somehow strange for me to say it in English). Over the years it kind of turned into this family nest kind of place. My Grandparents bought it in the 60s, so my Mom and her Sis grew up there. Then it became a three-generation place- Grandparents, my Mom and her family. And now also my Sis lives there, with her son. So it’s four generations now and the house just stretches its walls. Kind of. What really happens is that it just becomes more chaotic, messier and louder as time passes :D Whenever I come over with my family we just contribute to the chaos. We are this strange family of wanderers. My Grandma’s three brothers emigrated to Canada. Her Sister was a nun, moving to different places all the time. Then my Aunt Lidia (Mom’s sister) moved to USA with her family. And I live in Finland. This time Lidia, her son Szymon and me with kids visited at the same time. It was a very special occasion- the senior of the family and center of it all, my Babcia (Grandma) turned 85. She knew that I’m coming with the kids, but she had absolutely no clue that Lidia and Szymon (her daughter and grandson) are coming as well to celebrate. It was so special, she was really moved to tears. Then we had this big family gathering with lots of food, kids running around, people talking.

It’s a very busy place, that dom na Orkana. Even without celebration like that there are people visiting all the time. Friends-and-Relations. No need to make special dates and arrangements, people just ring the door bell when passing by. There is always tea and cookies. Somebody brings wine. Someone else is served schabowy (known by the rest of the world as Wienerschnitzel), just because we were eating dinner at that time. Experiencing all this, I just get pulled back all the way to my childhood. Plus, seeing my daughter and my nephew do the same stuff I did when I was a kid… There is that tunnel on the way to the town center and every kid I know just has to start yelling and hear the echo respond. Eating ice-cream. Collecting sticks and stones in the park. Joy.

 

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alana rasbach - wow, your work is beautiful! the images of your grandmother are amazing and precious. i love her and i don’t even know her! reminds me of my grandmother and makes me miss her.

karba - Alana, thank you!

Sarah Jane - What a beautiful set of photos to have! This makes me wish that my parents still lived in the house I grew up in that my grandpa built, and it makes me wish I had more photos of my Grandmother and Great-Grandma, especially of them cooking and preparing food. The warmth and love just radiates from these photos.

karba - Sarah, thank you!

Olga - Czas spędzony wspólnie z rodziną bezcenny.Pięknie uchwycone niezapomniane chwile.Dzięki siostra

Portrait 3/52 » halituli - […] I love that we can visit Poland so often. It’s so important, for the kids especially. This time around I finally managed to fight the bureaucratic machine and kiddos are officially Polish :) I also left my camera at home. But I got to play a bit with an amazing Fuiji x100s. I’m not really a gear head, but this camera got my really salivating. Me wants. Just one shot. Alvar and my Grandma (you met her before). […]

ELIZA - Piękna,szanująca się rodzina i ładny reportaż zdjęciowy.Gratulacje dla Was wszystkich,z pozdrowieniami z Ząbkowic Śląskich

Lluvia and Gael

 

“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different.”

C.S. Lewis

My thoughts on maternity leave exactly. We are lucky to have pretty long maternity leave in Finland, it’s almost one year. When we are home with our babies each day might seem the same. Yet they change imperceptibly, and we only see it when we look back. In the morning Dad and Big Sister leave to work and preschool. Silence sets in. The time that Moms spent at home is filled with other family members’ invisible presence. Big Sis’ scattered toys, Hub’s guitar. But it’s just Mom, Baby and Quiet Times. Gazing into Baby’s eyes, tummy time, drinking cold coffee, trying to cook dinner and catching up with friends over social networks. Mandatory stepping onto said scattered toys and mumbling something about teaching kids to keep their toys in one place (which never happens). Sooner than we know it, we go back to work and those wonderful (and sometimes annoying) moments are gone. And they are so rarely captured.

 

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Meatball soup » halituli - […] agreed with Lluvia that we will meet for the Day in Life session as early as possible on a Saturday morning. Kind of […]

Kaapelitehdas | storytelling family session | perhekuvaus Helsinki

“Home wasn’t a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.”

Here is Elias, you’ve met him before. Right at the time he was born. He lives with his Mom and Dad in Kaapelitehdas, one of the coolest buildings in Helsinki. The building was originally constructed as a cable factory for Suomen Kaapelitehdas Oy (Finnish Cable Works). Cable production was discontinued in mid-80s, the building was acquired by the city of Helsinki and converted into a cultural centre. Kaapelitehdas is the home of three museums – Finnish Museum of Photography, Theatre Museum and Hotel and Restaurant Museum, numerous galleries, dance theatres, ateliers, art schools, studios, radio stations… and yes, apartments. You can actually live there, amongst all this, just breathing in the culture. Imagine how incredibly hard it must be to leave a place like this and start building a new life somewhere else. And not just different neighborhood. Or town. Elias and his parents are leaving Finland, off to new adventures somewhere in the middle of Europe.

So we met one cold February morning and set out to create a time capsule of their family time in Kaapeli. These are the small, precious moments that form their everyday and make Kaapeli their home. It will all change in couple of weeks as they move the furniture and start building their new home with different moments, different landscapes and different food. Traveling at the speed of their heartbeats. Love, that great foundation of family life will stay the same.

 

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