Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Celebrating one year in Norway

Syltefjord, a 30-minute drive from Båtsfjord

Loads of hand-picked blueberries!

"Celebrating" the darkest day of the year with "Arctic Darkness" beer

Tromsø island, where we live

Me, my parents and Rio on the Norwegian coast

We arrived in Norway 1 August 2007. Now that a  year has gone by it is time to start reflecting...and time to start a blog! 

Our journey started in Gjøvik, a couple hours north of Oslo, visiting Ben's grandma on his dad's side. This was Phoenix's first time meeting a great-grandma. Our first meal was kjøttkaker ("meat cakes"), ertestuing (peas) and potatoes with lingonberries on the side...so Norwegian. We loved it, Phoenix too!

Then we flew up north to Ben's hometown Båtsfjord and waited anxiously for Ben to find a job in the graphic design field. He had just graduated from the Illinois Institute of Art- Schaumburg in June. 

In the meantime, we enjoyed a decent summer and spent the days picking berries- blueberries, cloudberries, lingonberries and blackcurrent berries. Ben perfected the delicious suksesterte (a chocolate almond cake with a butter filling). I ate lots of Finnish chocolate (thank you Viola for sending me 1 kilo of Fazer Keltainen) and went on long walks while awaiting Rio's birth.

Ben got the news that he got the job while I was still in the hospital after Rio's birth. The job was in northern Norway, not Oslo like he'd hoped. But from day one he has loved working at Lundblad Media AS in Tromsø. 

We moved to Tromsø at the beginning of the 3 months of nearly complete darkness. It was a very hard transition for me- a newborn, a toddler, new location, Ben's new job, no network. But we came out of that dark period (literally and metaphorically) and once the sun returned we enjoyed our new friends and new experiences with the kids- sledding, hot chocolate and waffles in the snow. 

My parents came to visit over Easter. We did a lot of sightseeing despite my dad's bad knees and took the Hurtigruten (coastal streamer) north to Skjervøy and south to the Lofoten Islands. The best part was them spending time with their grandkids (geez I feel guilty taking them so far away) and meeting Ben's parents for the first time.

Summer came and went (lots of cool, rainy days unfortunately) and now both Phoenix and Rio are in daycare and I start my new job on Thursday working as a special ed aide in the daycare. 

YIKES! Did we really survive this year? Are we going to stay here or move back to the US????? We're not sure. But we do know one thing, no matter where we live we will always be a little homesick.  


Sari said...

Dear Nystadt family,

I can hardly believe that it has been a year already! Wasn't it just yesterday that I was on the phone with you while parked in the Wachovia lot and you were telling me about "maybe" moving.. But really, is there a more peaceful place to be than there? I love that you two had the courage to go and the boys will always be better for it. You are always in my prayers and I look forward to soon sitting down with you, sharing a beer, and all of life's stories. In the meantime stay safe and warm and know that I think you of you all so often.

Kiss P and R - I love you.


Thanks for sharing your blog :)

Lynn said...

Finally!!! A blog!!! I miss you and it has seemed that you moved to MARS and now it seems that you a little closer and I LOVE it. I love to see your boys (wish I could kiss their chubby cheeks) and you are more gorgeous than I remember and my heart is happier when I see your smile. Thank you for doing this. you are all soooo close to my heart... LOVE, LOVE!!