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A little bit of August

After Chris’ family left August mellowed out a bit.

Well… I guess mellowed out is relative. I got back into wedding season full swing at work, so not much happened apart from cake, cake, CAKE!

Here are a few highlights from the month when I wasn’t up my elbows in frosting:

  Chris on a beautiful sailing day taken by a co-crew member.

The only photo of my vegetable garden this summer.
Check out the bottom left corner. Potatoes! I managed to grow some potatoes in leftover compost bags this year and got the biggest kick every single time I tipped over a bag and out came rolling little golden balls of potato. I felt SO Little House on the Prairie :)
Other successes this year: radishes (as always), rainbow carrots (finally got them to grow long rather than little stubby nubbins), regular orange carrots, green beans (accidentally planted bush beans instead of pole beans, and holy cow did we get beans! We had to give some to our neighbors to keep up with them all!), and spinach.
Other non-successes this year: Broccoli (again), brussels sprouts, beets (again). Will have to figure that one out for next season.
First ultrasound of our little one that actually looks like a little baby rather than a lima bean!
Pregnancy “highlights” up to this point:
  • Lots of nausea, but only one bout of throwing up! I call that a win!
  • Falling asleep on the bus on a daily basis.
  • Meralgia Paresthetica in my left leg. Basically, my growing uterus is pinching the lateral femoral nerve in my pelvis, resulting in Novocaine-like numbness in my thigh that, when I stay standing too long, transitions into a burning sensation all the way to my knee. My doctors had no idea what I was talking about except for my chiropractor. The things no one ever tells you about pregnancy, eh?
  • Cravings: Carbs, carbs, and more carbs. Basically…the more pasta the better.
  • Aversions: Strangely, chocolate. Most detestable? Chocolate cake both in smell and taste. Go figure.
Double rainbow over the sheep farm.
Our landlord LOVES crab fishing. One day he surprised us with a bunch of freshly caught crab claws and home-baked bread to make crab rolls. So delicious! My mouth is watering again just writing about it!

 

One of the highlights of August was the wedding of our dear friends Yrjan and Desiree. They tied the knot up in Bergen in an ancient old church and had their reception near a gorgeous fjord so Chris and I got to have a lovely weekend trip out of town for the event! The whole wedding had a Norwegian/American flair with so many personal details to Yrjan (Norwegian) and Desi (American). It was a blast! It also happened to be the day after our 4th anniversary, so the trip was a perfect way to celebrate.
Our hotel was an amazing surprise! We stayed at the Bjornefjorden Gjestetun, which was one of the three hotels closest to the wedding venue and happened to have the cheapest price. We booked it with no expectations, except to have a convenient place to stay during the wedding but wow did it turn out to be a cozy escape!
Particularly this view! When we walked into the room the first time we just stood there in awe. We were BIG fans of waking up to this each morning!
I think we are going to use this hotel whenever we need to stay overnight in Bergen in the future.
Oh yeah…and I made the cake :) Congratulations again Yrjan and Desi!! You guys are the cutest newlyweds ever!Photo by Photogen Inc.
If you are interested in checking out their GORGEOUS photos from the wedding, check out Part 1 and Part 2 here!
The Hills come to visit!
One of the best parts about living in Norway so far has been having our families come to visit. My family came for a week last summer and this summer was the summer of the Hills!
Mom, Dad and Chris’ youngest sister, Emma, spent a week romping around France and then popped over to Norway to spend 3 weeks among the vikings with their favorite oldest son!
Well, mostly with their favorite oldest son. Chris was still in Svalbard for the first few days they were here so they got to spend the first part of their trip with their favorite oldest son’s wife :) We wiled away the Chris-less days exploring the Gladmat Food Festival in downtown Stavanger sampling all of the delicious local foods they had to offer. I don’t know if I’m just not remembering past Gladmat festivals correctly, but I thought this year was the best we’ve seen before. We tried elk burgers, pickled herring tacos, fresh baked naan, wild Norwegian forest pesto, sheep sausages, ice cream, gelato, gourmet cheeses and I MAY have gotten a little overexcited at the fact that there was a stand selling fresh-fried churros! I’m not ashamed to admit we went back to that stand more than once.

This also happened to be the warmest summer Stavanger has seen in over 100 years. It got well up into the 80s fahrenheit, which sounds super nice compared to the Vegas/Utah weather we are used to… but when you factor in the fact that NOBODY has air conditioning here (because since when does it ever get that warm in the summer in Norway??) and the fact that our car’s air conditioning hasn’t worked in years (because our car has special needs and why get it fixed if you NEVER use it?) it can feel stiflingly warm really fast. The plus side was we had absolutely FANTASTIC weather during our time with the Hills as long as we were outside to enjoy it! The negative side was our apartment has lovely big southern-facing windows, which in this heat wave turned our living area into a greenhouse. When we tried to open all the doors and windows to get a cross-breeze blowing, all we really did was let in a swarm of flies and bees (because apparently the heat-wave also caused an upsurge in the breeding patterns of flying insects. Trust me, it was in the news). We tried to hang out outside as much as possible, but we only lasted two days before we set off in search of some good strong electric fans so make indoors more bearable. Much to our dismay, we found the stores completely sold out! We asked a clerk when they might expect a new shipment and he responded, “We just got a shipment in yesterday and they sold out again within two hours! We’re on hold for another order now because all of our suppliers are sold out all the way back to Sweden!” Only in Norway…
But seriously though, once you got out of our apartment the weather was absolutely fantastic! We couldn’t have asked for a better time for the Hills to visit! I think by the end of the trip we had them pretty convinced they wanted to move here with us :) Good show, Norway. Good show!
(Also, as a side note, we hadn’t broken the news about our pregnancy to Chris’ family yet. We were trying to keep it a surprise until after he got home! I tell you, THAT was an adventure trying to keep a secret while dealing with heat, nausea, and strange new foods for a few days! And my little baby bump was starting to show, so it was baggy/blousy shirts for me. What a secret to try to keep eh?)

 

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 :)

 

Summer can’t be over yet!

It was dark this morning when I woke up. For the first time since April. Blah. The days are getting shorter very, very fast up here near the arctic circle. which means summer is pretty much over :( Sad day. Does anyone else feel like the summer is never long enough?

So, before fall comes in full swing, I wanted to share with you a few EXTRA summery photos from our trip home to Utah when we went to Utah Lake with Chris-n-Michi, Michi’s fam, and Brian the bro.

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That’s a good lookin’ guy right there :)

Also, we’re pretty sure our friend Christopher is a closet Baywatch cast member. I mean really. Just take a look at these photos:

Exhibit A

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Exhibit B

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You’ve been found out Mr. Hoeger!

Surf’s Up Media Team!

BREAKING NEWS!

It has been over 80 degrees here in Stavanger this past week! Holy smokes it’s been incredible! I actually sweat OUTSIDE when I’m not even running! I know…I know…it’s a miracle! It seems like the entire town has been outside enjoying the sun, beaches, and complete lack of rain (see exhibit A), and Chris and his media team are no exception!

Exhibit A

The usually deserted swimming pond by our apartment.

 

They decided to be surf bums for a day go on a team building excursion to enjoy the sunshine and warm(er) water. Since everybody in the crew now has their own GoPro, a great video was born (and edited by YJ) which of course was too much of a gem not to be shared :)

I hope you all are having as fantastic of a summer commencement as we are this week!