Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The First Ski and Snow of the Season

It's still unusual for us to take a weekend ski trip.  Ski trips for Oklahomans mean 10+ hours of driving, usually overnight so that we don't waste too much of the trip on travel, and then we ski hard for 4-5 days before heading home.  These trips have always been fun and memorable, but I could get used to a weekend in the mountains. My favorite part is that I don't feel like I have to exhaust myself skiing because we can just go again the next weekend!



We recently took the Sauda ski boat again and enjoyed a day on the slopes, but our first ski trip of the season was in Roldal.  It's about a 4 hour leisurely drive and one ferry away from Stavanger.  We happened to drive through a heavy snowfall, but that just made it feel more like we were really in the mountains. Actually, Roldal is known for getting some of the best snow in Norway.  We were a little early for the best conditions, but Jeffrey couldn't wait any longer to try out his new skis.



We stayed at the Marathon apartment with Leif Christian and Therese for the weekend.  And while Jeff and Leif Christian enjoyed some skiing...



I got to hang with this little girl!  Therese and I snuggled Sophie, read books, watched Norwegian TV, and were very lazy.  A full day of skiing this time of year was from 10-3 since that's when the light is best anyway, so the boys were back to entertain us before long.



It wasn't too long after our ski trip that Stavanger received its first heavy snow.  Jeffrey wasted no time in gathering supplies for a proper snow man. And of course Pistol has to be a part of it! 


It's hard not to enjoy just about anything when I have these two around!  


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Celebrate!

This winter season has brought many milestones and reasons to celebrate.  We've had our anniversary, Christmas, our first trip to Germany, and welcomed a new year.  We also had our first company party!


This may not seem like that big of a deal, but everyone in the office knows each other (versus the Houston tower when I barely knew everyone on my floor).  What we discovered, though, was that our coworkers were dancers, comedians, story-tellers, and FUN!    All of our favorite people in one place with a live band and open bar? It's what great parties are made of.  Getting dressed up is always fun too.





Jeffrey also celebrated his 27th birthday with a surprise dinner at his favorite Indian food restaurant in the sentrum.  It's been quite a year for him!  He's changed positions, moved to a foreign country, learned a few Norwegian words, and has visited 10 new countries!  It's been fun to be on this ride with him.


Of course, it wouldn't be a great birthday without gifts to open from home.  Who knew he'd be so excited for deodorant, cereal, tums, and pink lemonade (the Reese's were mine, but I'll share).  It's the little things.



Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hibernating after the Holidays

Hi friends! It has been cold the past month. The kind of cold that makes you just want to snuggle under the blankets on the comfy spot of the couch with your love and your pup and watch hours of West Wing or anything else you haven't watched on Netflix (I'm looking at you Downton Abbey).  

Not that we've been completely lazy!  We still had to go to work for a few days in December.  Walking to and from our car gave us a glimpse into our golden years as we clung to each other for dear life to prevent falling in the icy streets.  Snow this early was rare for Stavanger, but it was all gone when we returned from Germany.

In front of our office in Hinna.

The view from behind our office.  Is that the sun?!


Yes, Germany! See, we weren't completely lazy.  We even made enough time to snap a few pictures in front of the Christmas tree boat on our way to the airport.  I already miss seeing this little boat of cheer in the harbor.




Not only was I excited to visit a new country, but I was especially excited because my brother would be traveling through Germany with us.  I hadn't seen him in 11 months and it sure felt good to hug him again!



I loved living vicariously through his stories from the last year in college and he reaped the benefits of my new tour guide skills as we train-hopped from Berlin...


to Dresden...


Nuremberg...



Hohenschwangau... 




and Munich!  Between the Christmas markets, gluwein, wursts, and weissbier I'm just glad I had a good excuse to wear a big puffy coat around every day.  We definitely indulged in all Germany had to offer.


Though Jeffrey and I have been fortunate to see so much of Europe over the last year, nothing can ever really replace going home for Christmas.  There was some comfort in knowing that my grandparent's house would still be covered in Christmas decorations that I first remember seeing as a little girl and my dad would be running around town dressed as Santa.  But it was hard saying goodbye to my brother on Christmas Eve knowing that he would be home and Mom would be finishing up the fried shrimps, oysters, and clam chowder.  Mimi would be having her fourth plate of caviar and Papa would be sitting by the fire talking to Justin and Dad.  Where's my sister?  She'd probably be cuddled up in the rocking chair with her new little one while big sister holds his hand, willing his eyes to peek open at her.

There really is nothing like family at Christmas.  We can't wait to share the next one with all of them.



My precious niece and nephew