Tag-Archive for » beautiful day «

We live in a place where horses romp on the beach.

 

Some days are beach days, and there’s nothing else to be done other than to drive your toes into the sand.
(I would say “warm” sand, but hey, this is Norway ;) )
So we grabbed our new American friends, the Yates, and had ourselves a beachy afternoon at Hellestøstrand.
This horse was having a grand old time.
Partners in pregnant-hood. Erin is due the month after me.

 

An island called Bjergøy

 

While Chris’ family was in town our dear friends, Joanna and Johannes, invited us to join them for a weekend at their hytte (a Norwegian vacation home) on an island north of Stavanger called Bjergøy. As soon as Chris got home from his Arctic adventure we loaded up the car and made the gorgeous drive up there.

 

Norwegians LOVE their vacation homes and from what we’ve seen they escape to them quite frequently. Some are up high in the mountains and some are out by the coast. This particular hytte used Johannes’ family home where he grew up when he was a boy and it has remained in the family ever since. In fact their last name, Bjerga, comes from the name of the island (Bjergøy) generations and generations ago. Talk about some cool history in an absolutely idyllic place!

 

 

We swam in the fjord, we kayaked, we gardened, we laid in the sun, we picked raspberries, we played games, we grilled, we made s’mores with Reeses peanut butter cups, we had deep discussions about the intricacies and complexities of life and death, and most importantly we bonded with family and friends.

 

Nemi did NOT like the fact that we were swimming in the water and whenever anyone was out there she would leap in too and swim circles around us herding us together and keeping us safe. Such a good dog :)
Farkle!
Sampling the plums fresh off one of the many fruit trees on their property. Seriously so perfect. 
The growing baby bump! We still hadn’t broken the news to anyone there yet (including Chris’ family!) so I was all about the baggy shirts to try to keep it hidden until we were ready to spill the beans (even though we snuck in this one photo). Luckily no one noticed and I wasn’t so nauseous that I couldn’t hide it, although I later learned Joanna suspected. I suppose it was getting a little hard to conceal by that point! We finally told the Hills the night we got back from Bjergøy with a fun dinner reminiscent of the way Chris’ mom told his dad she was pregnant with Chris with “baby chickens” (aka cornish game hens). We thought we were pretty clever and it was fantastic to finally have it out in the open! Needless to say, they were pretty excited at the news :)

 

We absolutely loved our time with Joanna and Johannes that weekend and were so glad Chris’ family got to know them. Bringing close friends and family together always seems to create treasured memories and this time with the Bjergas will always be special for us. The Hills got a great taste of why we love it here in Norway so much: a peaceful atmosphere, beautiful scenery and truly amazing friends!

 

Bergen with the Family Oz
After our Norway-in-a-Nutshell adventure, we spent a day exploring Bergen.
On top of Mt. Fløyen
I clearly inherited my taste in sunglasses from Mom.
My cute parents :)
Urban slacklining.
Imitating Dad on the troll forest obstacle course.
While we were walking around the city, we kept running into these groups of college-age kids all dressed up in various group costumes. There were old people (pictured below), M&Ms, zebras, super heros, guys dressed as fairies, zombies, unicorns, and pretty much anything else you could imagine. They would run up to us cheering, dancing, and demanding high-fives, much to our befuddlement until we finally caught one to ask what was up. Apparently it was the end of fraternity/sorority pledge week at the University of Bergen. Makes total sense. And here we thought that's just how Berganites have fun on Thursday evenings.
Hello there pretty fairy dude.

The nights in Bergen were utterly picturesque with the full moon and the lights of the city glittering on the still waters of the harbor.
We sure love Norway!

 

Anniversary Photo Walk

To celebrate our anniversary this year, we decided we would FINALLY give ourselves a new camera. Both of our ancient point-n-shoots were in various stages of crippling electronic senility, and we had been resorting to documenting significant portions of our life with our smart dumbphone cameras and my iPad. (And yes, I fit riiiight in with the Asain tourist sterotype.) Oh, and on really special occasions, hauling around the decade-old clunky work camera that felt like a 5 pound stone hanging around your neck.

After hours of research, Chris finally settled on the Canon 6D. We decided this back in January and put away a little each month to be able to buy it in August in time for our anniversary. We made it just in time, but unfortunately the package wouldn't ship to our APO address so we had to wait for my parents to bring it. Total bummer!

Chris surprised me on our anniversary day, however, by borrowing the Canon 7D from work for the evening so we could still play around with it and learn the ropes. We took it out on a photowalk and switched off documenting bits of the islands surrounding Stavanger while Chris taught me how to use all the new fancy settings.

Photo by Chelsea

Photo by Chelsea

Photo by Chris

It was really interesting to see what each of us was drawn to photograph. We could be looking at the exact same thing and one person would find it inspiring and create a beautiful image out of it while the other would have just passed it by. It was a fun way to get to know eachother!

Photo by Chris

Photo by Chelsea

Photo by Chelsea

Photo by Chris

Photo by Chelsea

As we were walking, Chris gave me the challenge to photograph something ugly and make it beautiful.
This was my winning photo:

Photo by Chelsea

Photo by Chris

Photo by Chris

Photo by Chris

Photo by Chris

Photo by Chris

Photo by Chris

Photo by Chelsea

Photo by Chelsea

When we got home, we celebrated with homemade Cafe Rio burritos COMPLETE with homemade tortillas :) I'm getting closer and closer to perfecting the copycat recipe!

Here's to many more years of awesome!

 

Swedish Sea Day

One day after the temple, we tagged along with some of the ward families for a quick evening at the beach. Somehow they convinced us “wimpy Americans” to jump into the nippy Baltic water. I'm still not quite sure how that happened….

He's single, ladies. And he'll need lots of encouraging letters on his mission in the next year or so ;)

Pondering the leap…
It was pretty chilly… but I either got used to it, or just went numb because eventually it felt refreshing!
The Norwegian kids didn't even flinch!
Love this guy :)