Category Archives: family

2013 – A look back

This year has gone by so fast! But I can’t say I’ve been a very active blogger. I aim to change that come next year. But first – let’s take a look back. A very random month-by-month recap.

JANUARY

Still living in Oakridge, capital of nowhere Oregon. Going through the final steps of my application to once again become a permanent resident of these glorious states.

Callie - a pure delight!

Callie – a pure delight!

We were still fostering Callie from Greenhill. That included lots of training, walks (I think I became known as the crazy dog lady around town.. who knows. It was a weird place). I love and miss her. Last I heard she got adopted in Portland. Yay!

FEBRUARY

I was anxiously checking the mail every day because I needed a document to travel aboard while my I-405 application was pending. It’s called advance parole. Yep. Felt like a criminal. I’m not gonna bore you with government stuff (trust me, you don’t want to know) – but there IS a federal website you can knock yourself out with if you want to read.. say.. about all the different kinds of immigration applications. But I digress. I finally got my permission to leave the US and take a trip back to Norway. Oh joy! I celebrated my mom’s birthday, ate tons of food, hung out with friends and had a grand ole time.

We visited Kristiansund and ate ball!

We visited Kristiansund and ate ball!

My lovely view

My lovely view

Hung out with my bestie!

Hung out with my bestie!

And had a grand old time!

And had a grand old time!

MARCH

Got back to the States and the job hunt began. ‘Twas time to get back into the carousel! Because, ta da, my PAROLE also doubled as a work permit. Wohoo!

So I spent some days at Starbucks updating my resume, sending out e-mails and even joined Linked In. I also became a PERMANENT RESIDENT (meaning I got a Green Card!) Victory! Justice!

Yes, it's green. No, this is not me.

Yes, it’s green. No, this is not me.

APRIL

Got a job! Woot! And we packed up our belongings and hauled it all the 150 miles to Portland. And I’ve been great at keeping it weird. During my first week, I got a spider bite on my eye. Yep. So I was “the new girl with the eye”.

It became a LOT worse. But I am saving your eyes. No pun intended.

It became a LOT worse. But I am saving your eyes. No pun intended.

Where I work!

Where I work!

MAY

Worked a lot.. slept… worked. Tried to find my way around the city. I was completely turned around the first few weeks, even though I literally live 10 blocks away from work. Made new friends, kept keeping Portland weird (you know it) and tried not to melt away during the heat wave.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

The hood. There's a market every Saturday.

The hood. There’s a market every Saturday.

JUNE

Worked more.. tried to stay cool. It was really hot, you guys. Realllllllly hot. Good thing we have a roof top with a pretty nice view!

Rooftop view!

Rooftop view!

My attempt to be a domestic goddess.

My attempt to be a domestic goddess.

JULY

Got a promotion! New hours at work, meaning I didn’t have to do the graveyard shift  anymore. I got to see daylight! Take walks! Be a normal (…) human being! I got to socialize! Yay!

Summer BBQ

Summer BBQ

Hawthorne residents got it right!

Hawthorne residents got it right!

Beer fest, baby!

Beer fest, baby!

AUGUST

Ally came for a visit! She says it was to see me, but I think her REAL mission was to promote her business, Wish Dogs.. hehehe. Still love you, though!

She found her twin!

She found her twin!

And we walked... A LOT!

And we walked… A LOT!

Sporting my immigrant pride!

Sporting my immigrant pride!

SEPTEMBER

Hmm.. what did we do in September? This year has just really flown by so fast. And if you’re wondering why there are so few pics of Jamie, it’s because he’s back and forth all the time. Still looking for a job in Portland, but he’s still got job down in Eugene and Oakridge. Spread the word, peeps! He’s a real handyman that does excellent work!

He's also a rocker!

He’s also a rocker!

OCTOBER

Halloween, picking apples, visiting Sauvie Island. Good times.

Meow!

Meow!

instaeple

1393322_10101127084750036_407939954_n

NOVEMBER

Supporting “Movember” of course!

movember

DECEMBER

Whoa! Already? This year has, like I previously stated, flown away. Been so busy with work that I’ve barely noticed the season change. I hope next year will be even better, and that I get to see my friends and my family more, and that we will all stay healthy and happy. Right now I’m so lucky to be in Norway for Christmas, and I will post some pictures later. It’s really stormy here, so not much snow (boo!) but nonetheless – it’s great that both Jamie and I get to be here. I get a much-anticipated visit from my BFF tomorrow! Bring on the wine and the snacks, and get ready for a LOUD time! Haha! 😀

A great find!

A great find!

Company Christmas party - this is one of the decent pics!

Company Christmas party – this is one of the decent pics!

The obligatory selfie

The obligatory selfie

Puppy snuggles at work! A definitive highlight!

Puppy snuggles at work! A definitive highlight!

Advertisements

2012 – A recap

Boy was 2012 a challenging year, with visa issues for Jamie  while I was working and studying full-time at the university. I didn’t feel like I was at a happy place in my life most of the time, it was a constant struggle. There is so much more to the story that I don’t wish to share here, it would just be too private. But all in all I had some wonderful moments as well, thanks to my dear friends and family who kept me sane through it all.

There are times I miss living in Bergen, Norway, but the timing was just off. Either that, or the universe gets a kick out of playing cruel jokes on me! Hats off to my parents, who have been there for me through everything. Traveling here, traveling there, working here, working there, moving 12 times during the past decade, back and forth like a restless caterpillar. I think sometimes I don’t allow myself to feel completely happy in case I jinx it. It’s a terrible feeling, and I have battled with anxiety for years now. Sometimes I think that if I am just content, something bad will come along and ruin it.

So I have decided not to allow myself to think like that anymore;  the universe has a plan for us all, and all we can do is ride along and do our best. That is why I will try my hardest not to  dwell on possible dangers around each corner.  I hereby choose to look forward to what 2013 will bring me.

Here is what made me happy in 2012:

* Getting a job at TV 2 in  Bergen so I could continue my career in broadcast journalism while living in one of the most beautiful cities in Norway. Added bonus: most of my friends lived there and it was happy times when we all got together. I cherished every moment.

* Finally making enough money to justify a college degree. Just saying.

* Living closer to my parents and my extended family. Getting to see my cousin’s newborn and be a part of her baptism. ❤

* Endless bus rides Bergen – Sykkylven.

* Being able to eat the foods I missed while living in the US.

* Attend lots and lots of family dinners, coffee parties or just hanging out with loved ones.

* Snuggling with my cats again.

* The view from our house in Sykkylven. It’s the most beautiful sight ever. It’s literally breathtaking.

* Seeing Jamie help my dad with work outside the house.

* Being able to attend my mom’s choir’s concerts.

* Free healthcare!

* Making new friends and finding out once and for all who were my true friends through it all.

* The smell in the springtime after a really heavy rainfall.

* Norwegian fauna.

* I discovered Californication and Entourage. Geez. What took me to long?

* I traveled back to the US again when the time was right. It was one of those things that made totally sense in the moment. Even though Jamie’s visa was approved two days later. Remember what I said about how ironic my life is sometimes? Obviously this is not meant to be easy.

* I got to be in Erik & Snehata’s wedding, and snuggle with Rudy again!

* I got to see new parts of America that I’d never seen before.

* I’m probably bragging a little, but I’m becoming quite the cook 🙂

* I fostered a dog from the local humane society.

* I gave more money to charity and homeless people.

Jamie and I are still together, we will celebrate our 6th anniversary on February 14th. We still don’t know where we will be at the end of this year. But we will make it fabulous.

dreams-and-delivery

What Christmas means to me

uten navn

First of all, if you haven’t already figured it out, I’m Norwegian, so (duh) my traditions vary enormously from what you Americans call Christmas. No offense. I love me some fat jolly Santa just as the next person. OK, here it goes. We open our presents on Christmas Eve! That’s right! We’re all dressed in our gayest gear and eat dinner precisely at 5 pm, because that’s when the church bells declare it is at last the holy hour of Christmas.

But before then it’s a tradition to sit in your PJs eating candy watching:

 

OMG. This is the ULTIMATE Christmas flick, just ask any girl born in the 80’s or later. It’s a Czech movie originally titled ” Tri orísky pro Popelku“, which is dubbed in Norwegian by an old man so all the kids can understand it. It’s basically a “modern” (how modern is 1973, anyways?) take on Cinderella, where the protagonist finds three nuts, which each will fulfill her wishes. Needless to say, it has a happy ending where her prince whisks her away on a horse. Awwwww.

And so, after too much candy and TV, we clean up and don our festive clothes. No jeans or crocs allowed, shame on you.
In my family, this is what we eat:

Oh, it's glorious. Lamb ribs, mashed rutabaga, potatoes, sausage, sauerkraut and red cabbae. Image

Oh, it’s glorious. Lamb ribs, mashed rutabaga, potatoes, sausage, sauerkraut and red cabbage. Image

When we enter the house and face this smell, we all shed a tear, because it is, after all, Christmas once again. Yumm!

After about three hours of eating, drinking, discussing, shouting, taking pictures and making sure the cats don’t tear down the trees, the “grown-ups” do the dishes while the children impatiently wait for the big event – to open the presents! After we serve coffee and cake (and some brandy, cough, cough) we open the gifts, one by one, to endless “aaaws” and “oohs”. This usually lasts way into the a.m, but it’s so worth it and I love it. I wish I could be home this Christmas because I have been away for too many, but next year, my dear family, I will be there. With bells on!

Home sweet home!

Home sweet home!

Too many thoughts

Sometimes I wish I could tune out my own head and my own stream of endless thoughts. Doubt, regret, hope, joy, confusion…. they’re all inside me at any given time. My main source of concern these days is – WHAT TO DO? Do we stay here in the US and go through my Green Card application again, or do we go back to Norway where Jamie has an approved visa waiting for him? What do we spend money on? Immigration fees or plane tickets? Jamie’s visa is only valid for a year, and I would need to get a permanent job with a solid income in order to keep him there with me, and I can’t see any jobs there right now that I would want. Honestly, I don’t. Over here, I feel there are TONS of options. But, and there is always a but, I need the papers first. I want to be close to my family as we are all getting older. I don’t want to miss out on anything. I want to be there and see the kids grow up. I miss my friends. But at the same time, I know we will settle there one day. And there is also so much left here undiscovered. I long for a new adventure and I want to move to another city to pursue my dreams.

Words of advice greatly appreciated.

Eugenics*

Willamette River

University of Oregon campus

Vero coffee house

Lunch at Vero

At the Cuthbert

Jamie eyeing the show

Waiting for The Shins

The paperwork NEVER ends

Oh, the irony. I can’t remember if I’ve written this before or not, my blogging these days is anything but punctual. However, to make a long story short – the day after I set my wobbly feet back on US soil I got a letter from our attorney. Jamie had been granted his Norwegian visa. Earth, please: shake, crack and spit me, for I can take no more. Let me remind you, we struggled for two freaking years to get that decision. We thought all hope was lost, not literally, but for the time being, and we needed a change. So I quit my job, sold our furniture, moved the rest of our belongings back to mom and dad, and decided to head west once again. Tada! And then, THEN, on the other side of the world, sans jobs and a crib, Norway decided they wanted us after all. Well, tough shit.

We’ll go back one day, of course. But right now, we’re back to scratch, filling out the paperwork for the alien (that would be me). And some of the questions I need to answer YES or No to, sound like these,

“Do you intend to engage in the United States in espionage?”

“Have you ever ordered, incited, called for, committed, assisted, helped with, or otherwise participated in …. acts involving torture or genocide?”

Why, yes. Is that going to be a problem? Kidding.

Jokes aside, I’m looking forward to the day Jamie and I can live “normally” (what’s normal, anyways?) without having to file applications and applications in order to live like a married couple on the same continent without some bizarre deadline looming.

A fresh start

Wow, you guys. What a rollercoaster ride these past two years have been. I think I hit the low somewhere in May, health issues, career confusion and a bleak outlook on what would come. Let’s just put it this way; things haven’t exactly been easy on Jamie and me since we moved back to Norway. Sure, it has been a thrill to be close to family and friends again. We’ve been on an amazing adventure and I have tried my best to support us both while waiting for an immigration visa for my dear spouse. As of today, it has not yet been approved. If you want the whole story about that procedure, just go to the category UDI to the right. I am fed up with that shit, so I won’t mention it here.

But the thing is…. sometimes hitting rock bottom is the best thing that can happen to you.

James Allen once said,

A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life.
Isn’t that wonderful? Don’t sit around waiting for things to happen to you, take control and if the path is rocky, choose a different one, or even jump over those damn rocks. There will always be other options! Always!
So… Jamie and I have decided to take a little detour. We will come back to Norway at some point, but now was just not the time. It wasn’t a waste, trust me, I’ve learned some really valuable lessons I wouldn’t be without ever. I love my country, and I love my family and friends. But I truly believe everything happens for a reason, and I have to follow the arrow to a new direction. It’s bittersweet, yet wonderful. It hurts, but still excites me.
Come August, Jamie and I will be back in the promised land. I won’t mention politics at all in this post, but I still believe in equal opportunities for all where ever they may be. And so far, I have not found them in my own country. But maybe some day.
Until then, wish us luck and follow us on this new journey. It will be fun, awkward, wonderful, weird, strange, crazy and unpredictable. Just like us.