Friday, July 27, 2012

365 Days of Norge

One year ago today, I stepped out of an airplane in Bergen and into a new life as a young married woman living 5200 miles from the comforts of my sunny home in Southern California.

With the exceptions of a death in the family in November and a small bought of the winter blues at the end of February, it's been a generally happy year. Of course I've had my share of ups and downs, but I'm looking forward to another 365 days of Norge.

For now, I'm celebrating this anniversary traveling around Norway with my husband, parents, and in-laws.

I'm keeping this short and sweet, but will write another post soon with pictures of what I've been up to and where I've been. See you soon!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hooray for Preschool Teachers!

Sometimes I wonder what life would be like had I chosen a different career. Don't misinterpret that - I love what I do. I'm a preschool teacher and the variety show that is my daily job brings me great joy.

I wipe gobs of green goop from children's faces with love. I get daily hugs and odd little compliments, but I also get spit on and sometimes kicked or hit. Life's not perfect, but it's awfully sweet to work with innocent minds that have no concept of tomorrow. Sometimes, I even get surprise back rubs from loving little hands, or my personal favorite: letting them drive cars on my back while helping other children put together train tracks.

On top of that, I get to sing often (which I'm terrible at), read often (and create interesting voices - which I'm also terrible at), paint often (also not a strength of mine), and even bake often! Not being a gifted singer, storyteller, or painter actually has it's perks: I can't get any worse so I might as well make the best of it!

There is a lot of freedom and very few rules (except, you know, don't hurt them). I love that about what I do.

I often think about how I would do in an office job, and I always arrive at the same conclusion: I would hate it. I don't like sitting in meetings, or not being able to snack all day. I like that I can wear whatever I want to work (within tasteful reason, of course), and can take my work outside for awhile. I like that I have fun during the day and most of the time it doesn't feel like "work." I'm exhausted at the end of the day, but in a good way.

I don't do well with deadlines and once turned down a really cool volunteering job in Germany because I had to keep my fingernails short (I don't keep them long, anyway, but the fact that this was a specific rule in the information packet turned me off to the possibility completely). Besides, there's no greater satisfaction than watching a child master writing his/her name for the first few times, or even speak those first few English sentences. I love their obscure pictures they present as gifts with love, and the way they unknowingly skip over numbers when learning to count to 10.

It's hard to imagine a job that's better for me than what I already do and the fact that I can do it in Norway (or anywhere else in the world, really, there are small children everywhere) is even better.

Now, the thing I need to do is challenge myself to do all this and love all this in Norwegian. I'm not brave enough to make that leap yet, but the calling is there and I think that's where I need to draw my motivation to really learn this language.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy 1st Wedding Anniversary!

What a happy year.

We've set up a life and home together, finally spent the entire Christmas and New Year holidays together, and learned how to really get under each other's skin. But we've also really learned how to enjoy each other, too (not that it was ever a problem in the first place!). 

It's fun to think that a year ago we were surrounded by friends and family, celebrating our love for each other, eating cake and drinking champagne. Now we're alone (well, plus the cat) in our sweet little apartment that is feeling more and more 'ours' everyday. 

I can't believe how fast the time has gone by. The past year has brought about so much change for both of us, but all of it seemed "right."

Here's a glimpse of our first year as Mr. & Mrs. : 

Wedding Day

Leaving Los Angeles

Hiking just a few days before moving into our apartment. 

Moving all our stuff to Bergen.

More hiking in Bergen.

Fixing up the apartment (stage 1 of many)!

What a goof.
Our first Christmas tree

Christmas in Norway!

Potet came into our lives just in time for my birthday in January! 

We took our first "grown up" trip to Paris

Celebrating 17. mai together!

Enjoying the Norwegian summer....

...even if the water is so cold it takes your breath away and gives your husband a good laugh. (Please excuse our pale, pale bodies - it must be obvious we live in Norway!)
Our first year was a happy one. Happy Anniversary to my love!!!

An engagement photo (credit Sheila Arkee)