Gratulerer med 200 års dagen Norge!
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Looking back it feels like March and April were just one big whirlwind of cake, cake, and more cake. We were so blessed to have so many orders to fill so soon after opening, but Katrine and I hadn't figured out our groove yet and unfortunately took on too many orders for the two of us to sanely handle. We got everything done we needed to, but it meant a lot of 70 hour work weeks and we were completely and utterly exhausted and very close to our breaking point by the time Easter rolled around. Fortunately, Easter is a week-long work holiday here in Norway so we made the most of it and finally gave ourselves a little break. I can't even express how desperately it was needed. Especially since it meant Chris and I finally got to have some work-free time to ourselves for the first time in what felt like months.
One morning a day or two into the break, I woke up to a strange sound in the backyard. In my half-asleep state I couldn't figue out what it was, but then I realized with a start that it was the same bleating sound of baby sheep I had heard a week before out at Utstein Kloster! I jumped out of bed and over to the window so fast it woke Chris up in a bit of a panic. He was not as enthused as I was as I excitedly pointed out the window whispering, “Baby sheep! Baby sheep!”
But lo and behold, our backyard was full of soft and fluffy little lambs and it was so fun to watch them run and frolick in the spring sunshine all of Easter break!
Between the arrival of the little lambs and the much-needed break from work the holiday afforded, there was a heightened sense of symbolism for me during Easter this year. It never got fully fleshed out into a spiritual thought in my mind, but watching the lambs in connection with the celebration of Easter was a definite reminder of the atonement and sacrifice of the Lamb of God and the peace that it brings to our lives that is the true meaning of Easter.
One of the perks of Chris working for NATO is the annual opportunity we have to order real Butterball turkeys for Thanksgiving every year. The only thing is, we have to order them a few months in advance and you can only order in a size range (e.g. 10-15 lb or 16-20 lb, etc) so it’s kind of a crap shoot how much turkey you will actually get. Chris and I had talked about having a bunch of friends over for Thanksgiving, so we played it safe and ordered one in the 16-20 lb category back in September. And, since Chris REALLY likes leftover turkey, he played it extra safe and ordered an additional 10-15 lb turkey thinking we could have a smaller one just for leftovers.
Then as the months progressed, Chris’ little brother decided to get married around Thanksgiving so we bought plane tickets home instead of planning Thanksgiving dinner in Norway. Then the turkey shipment came in and we were given a 19lb turkey and a 14lb turkey! So we spent the holiday in the US with the Hills with two giant turkeys waiting for us back home. Yikes.
We had to do SOMETHING with the turkeys because as much as Chris loves Thanksgiving turkey leftovers, 33 pounds of turkey is a bit more than even he can handle. Since Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated in Norway anyway, we decided we could celebrate our own Thanksgiving whenever we wanted to! So we picked New Year’s Day and had a bunch of our friends join us for a Thankful New Year’s feast!
And, since we are American, we got another Christmas the next morning when we celebrated OUR traditional Christmas Day.