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.
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 ….
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.
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.
January 10, 2018. Happy Belated Holidays to All! And yes, I’m quite behind schedule, not only in wishing everyone Season’s Greetings, but in keeping up with my blog. I won’t go into all the details right now, but the last several months have been filled with a great deal of stress and sorrow, as we’ve had quite a lot on our plates. In the midst of it all, little signs of Christmas around Oslo gave us hope, and occasionally a chuckle, so I thought I share them with you. (Click on the photos for bigger views and captions.) Continue reading A Christmas Postcard
June 5, 2017. For our anniversary this year, we decided to get out of town and into the countryside for a long weekend. A Norwegian friend of ours had recommended that we travel south towards the mouth of the Oslo Fjord, where Viking burial grounds and art galleries proliferate. Yeah, a weird combo, I know. But with all of the area’s postcard-perfect beaches, farmland, and forests, I can totally see its appeal to both conquerors and creative types.
May 1, 2017. Arriving back from our Malta Easter trip catapulted us immediately into stress central at work. But luckily, I discovered the perfect antidote for anxiety: observing reindeer migrate. For seven days in a row, whenever free time permitted, I parked my butt in front of the TV to catch NRK’s round-the-clock broadcast of the annual reindeer migration across northern Norway. Nothing is nearly so tranquilizing — and yet bizarrely life-affirming — as witnessing a herd of these impossibly cute creatures wander rather lackadaisically across endless fields of white.