Hotels, Norwegian Healthcare, and A Harbor Cruise

Two months after returning to Chicago, it was time to repack our bags for Norway. Matthew’s second session of school was scheduled for mid-June, and I’d planned to sightsee and blog while he hit the books hard. (Classes are typically 12 hours a day, six days a week.) But to paraphrase Robert Burns, “the best-laid plans of mice and men do often go awry.” Yes, in keeping with my usual life pattern, a comedy of errors rapidly unfolded the day we left for Oslo. By the way, this is a looooong post covering a motley collection of stories, so sit down and relax for a spell.

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Sweet Home Chicago?

Orchestrating an overseas move isn’t for the faint of heart. Beyond the house hunting, packing, and other hassles that come with any relocation, there’s a mountain of immigration paperwork and legal logistics for every member of the household, both human and pet. I’d thought moving to Norway had been complicated. (Check out my earliest posts, The Move: Round 1 and Round 2.) But getting back home proved even more challenging. Continue reading Sweet Home Chicago?

New Beginnings & Norwegian Headlines

No, I haven’t given up on the blog, folks, although I know it’s been forever since I’ve written. We’ve been a little busy, and that’s an understatement. Here’s my big news in a nutshell: we’ve currently relocated back to Chicago … though Matthew has begun graduate school in Oslo. How’s that work, you ask? Well, it’s just as exhaustingly complicated as you might imagine. For the next year and a half, we’ll be commuting between the two cities. Yup, we’re nuts.

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The New U.S. Embassy in Oslo

March 8, 2018.  Well, it’s done.  Finally.  After five years of incredibly grueling work for our team (four for Matthew, three for me), our raison d’etre in Norway is complete.  We finished construction on the new American Embassy in Oslo last March, it officially opened for business last May, and we’ve just now put a period on the one-year warranty phase.  I’ve had to remain mostly mum about the project, for obvious reasons.  And though I still can’t say a lot, I’ve only recently gotten the  green light to show you a few approved photos of the place and fill you in on some details.  So anyway, here goes.

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2017 Nobel Peace Prize

December 10, 2017.  Much time has passed since I first began this post about the Peace Prize.  With Nick’s illness, our family’s Christmas visit, and several big changes in our lives (details to come later), I just never had time to finish it.  The topic seems especially relevant now, however, given all the recent headlines of nuclear threats worldwide.  And so, I’ll continue my belated holiday story ….

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Goodbye to St. Nick

January 22, 2018.  In recent posts, I’ve hinted that 2017 was a tough year for us.  Serious illnesses and life changes for our parents, the loss of my family farm, an almost unbearable workload, and an uncertain future as our conflict-ridden project in Norway comes to a close.  All have chiseled away at our spirits.  But the thing that has finally brought us to our knees is what many people might consider trivial by comparison — the death of our beloved cat Nicholas.

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A Family Christmas

January 11, 2017.  It has long been a dream of mine to enjoy a European Christmas with my family.  In fact, I often find it hard to fully revel in the privilege of living overseas when my friends and family can’t share the experience with me.  Since this may be our last winter in Norway, and because the past several months have been quite rough personally, Matthew and I decided to splurge and spend all of our frequent flyer miles to bring my mom, sister, and niece to Oslo.  Nothing like a family Christmas to hold the blues at bay.

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Learning to Live in the Land of the Midnight Sun

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