Tag-Archive for » gathering «

Stockholm or BUST!

It takes 18 hours or so to drive from Stavanger to Stockholm. By some definite divine intervention, our plucky little station wagon made it to and from Sweden in one piece. We had some worrisome moments, but I tell ya…blessings come from going to the temple!

We carpooled with our friends Amerigo and Sarah and caravanned with the Steffensen clan. Amerigo and Sarah are originally from the Philipines, which meant that our car was full of a combination of English, Tagalog, and Norwegian the whole drive! So much fun!

Amerigo

 

Of course, we had to stop along the way for a Norwegian hot dog picnic.

Cousins

Rotten watermelon discus

Cousins

Mother and daughter.

 

We wound along the southern coast of Norway, stopping for church in Kristiansand along the way. It was a seriously gorgeous drive! We passed fjords, lakes, rivers, and countless waterfalls. I don't think I will get over how beautiful Norway is as long as we live here. We stopped for the night in Drammen (just outside of Oslo and about half-way to Stockholm) and stayed the night with our stake president's family.

Our stake prez. and wonderful son-in-law.

 

We crossed the border into Sweden the next day and the difference was strangely immediate. For one thing, the speed limit suddenly increased from 70 km/h to 110 km/h! (Go Sweden!) In addition, I had never noticed there were no billboards along the side of the roads in Norway until we started seeing them along the highway in Sweden. The landscape also suddenly became rather boring (sorry Sweden!). Where Norway is full of winding roads and small quaint towns, Sweden was one loooong tree-lined road. With red barns. Lots and lots of red barns.

Ikea in the Motherland!!

Speed bump tee hee hee! (yep, we're still 12 years old ladies and gentlemen)

 

Familia de Hill 2012

The Hill Family Reunion of July 2012 was a very momentous one. For one thing…it was my very first Hill reunion and, since the world is ending in December, probably my very last. Also, it was Grandma and Grandpa Hill’s 80th birthdays and 60th anniversary. You can decide which of these was MOST worth gathering for :)

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Tian approves of this family reunion.

National LDS Church Conference in Oslo

In April, there was a momentous gathering of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Norway. A call went out for as many saints who could make it to gather in Oslo for the first national gathering of church members in over 20 years. Unfortunately, Chris was still doing his 3 week stint in Germany…but I opted to go on my own and was sure glad I did!

The meetings were wonderful and it was awesome to see the church gathered together and unified. And a bit humbling to realize that the entire membership of the church Norway barely equalled the number of members at our Stake Conferences back home.  It’s growing though! Enough so that…drumroll for the best news of the weekend… they are creating a second stake here in Norway! Previously, the church here was organized with one stake in the Oslo area and then the Stavanger district and another district up north.  The Stavanger Branch has now become the Stavanger Ward part of the Drammen, Norway Stake! The members here have been waiting a loooong time for a second stake so it was wonderful news indeed. Now they are hoping we’ll be more on track for a Norway temple!

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Can you find me singing in the choir?

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Finally ran into Sister Jessica Taylor! (She’s a sweet girl from my ward back in Vegas serving her mission here in Norway) 

Since the night train arrived in Oslo at 7am and the first conference meeting wasn’t scheduled to start until 5:00 that evening, I had a lot of time to kill running around exploring Oslo.

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The Royal Palace

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The Viking Ship Museum

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 Chris in a few years.

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I’ve been wanting to see this in person since I was a wee one.

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Tribute to my all-time favorite Doctor Who episode.

Chris = 30 = DOUBLE Awesome

Why? Because he was super surprised by his super surprise party on the Friday after his real birthday!

Despite all odds and everything pointing towards something out of the ordinary, he really had no idea. Success! (I would brag how that means I can be a sneaky, scheming wife when I want to be…but that’s probably not a positive thing to claim… :) )

 

 

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Surprise! And he thought we were going over to the Sheehan’s for a game night. Muwahaha.

 

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Being presented by a super secret, top security, indestructible gift from his co-workers: A pre-ordered copy of Battlefield 3 with it’s own custom designed disk case.

 

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Grillin’ and chillin’.

 

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A birthday cake worthy of a man who has completed 30 whole revolutions around the sun.

(Side note on the cake, I worked on this thing for 3 days straight right under Chris’ nose and still kept it a surprise. It involved lots of lies, subterfuge, and kicking Chris out of the house when he randomly decided to come home early from work…but I’m really quite proud of the fact that he truly had no idea :) )

 

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“Stick a candle in it’s mouth so it can breathe fire!”

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“Mmmm…maybe not such a good idea”

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That’s a little better…

 

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

 

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All good things eventually come to an end.

Especially cakes, your 20s, and blog posts.

THE END

PS: Thank you to all of you who helped me pull this off. You guys ROCK and I couldn’t have done it without you!