Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Well, we made it to Christmas Eve, and I think everything is under control. Going to make some fudge today and make sure the house is picked up and clean. The kids have a few small presents that they are going to deliver to their friends, and we have an azalea that we're going to give to our neighbor next door. I realized that we don't have any Rice Krispies to make Rice Krispie treats, and they only sell them at one or two stores in Oslo, so I'm sending Gaute out on a Rice Krispie run.

It's sunny and cold today, just like it has been pretty much every day since the beginning of November. Snow on the ground, and it feels like Christmas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas vacation

Yippeee! Today was the last day of school, so Christmas vacation has officially started. No work until Tuesday, January 4th. I was really ready for a vacation now. Not a day too soon...

Last night we put up the Christmas tree. Late by American standards, but in Norway, the tree doesn't go up until the 23rd. So basically, we didn't get it right according to any standards :-)

Anders and Johan have been counting and sorting the presents under the tree today. Brings back good memories from my youth...

By the way, the iPhone 4 I'm getting for Christmas arrived today.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Snow storm

Well, not a storm exactly, but it is snowing outside, and it has been on and off since yesterday. It will definitely be a white Christmas here this year. We've had snow on the ground since the middle of November, and that is not the norm here in Oslo. The white snow makes it seem less dark, so everyone's pretty happy about it.

Slowly but surely, I feel like I'm getting ready for Christmas. I long for the days when December was a fun, festive month. The last few years, it's felt incredibly stressful. I had a slight meltdown last night, when I found out that Gaute put off buying my Christmas present (iPhone 4) too long, and that it won't be here until after Christmas. I think I will survive, though :-).

Tonight we're all going to see a movie (not sure which one yet) and then out to dinner afterwards (probably at TGI Fridays or Hard Rock Cafe). Espen's girlfriend is coming with us, too, so Espen is pretty happy. Espen and Malene celebrated their 10 month anniversary a few weeks ago.

Well, time to go blowdry my hair and put on some makeup. Busy day today!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Johan's Birthday

Yesterday was Johan's 10th birthday. True to tradition, we woke him up with the Happy Birthday song and a cinnamon roll with a candle on top.

Johan finally got what he has been waiting for for a long time - a "one-piece", a kind of jumpsuit made out of fleece with a zipper that goes all the way up the hood. He has been waiting for one of these since before summer vacation, and he was VERY happy when he finally got it yesterday :-).

After his birthday dinner of cheese tortellini, Bestemor and Bestefar came over for chocolate cake. Johan declared it one of his best birthdays ever!

Monday, December 13, 2010

2 days in a row

Not much going on tonight. Tomorrow is Johan's birthday, and he is very excited. He didn't fall asleep until after 11 last night, and both he and Anders are pretty wired this evening.

But, now the birthday cake is in the oven, and things have calmed down a bit. Espen is at football practice, and Anders is working on his math homework.

Johan and Gaute are watching the Discovery channel. Soon time for Johan to take a shower and wash his hair. And then Anders, Johan and I are going to watch the final episode of our favorite outdoor reality show, 71 Degrees North. Should be an exciting finale...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I'm back... least for now. I haven't blogged for almost a year, and I've kind of missed it lately, so here goes - again.

Last night was our work Christmas party. It was at a restaurant downtown, and it was pretty fun, despite the fact they were about an hour and a half late serving us our food. I had my camera with me, and we took lots of pictures, but I promised everyone that I wouldn't post any pics online, so all you get to see is a cropped picture of me :-)

This being Norway, the party didn't break up until the wee hours of the morning. My friend Linda and I made a 3 am stop at McDonalds to get some grease in our systems before we went and waited in line for a taxi. Waiting in line outside for a taxi when it's freezing cold, the middle of the night and you're wearing party clothes is not the funnest thing in the world, but we finally got a ride home. I got home at about 4 in the morning, so most of today has been spent on the sofa.

We just finished dinner a little while ago, but it was just Gaute, Johan and me tonight. Espen is eating at his girlfriend's house and Anders is at a birthday party.

One more full week of school, and then school on Monday and Tuesday of next week, and THEN it's Christmas vacation! Can't wait!

It's the 3rd Sunday in Advent today, and just like everyone else in Norway, we have 3 purple candles lit tonight (purple is the color of Advent, according to Norwegian tradition).

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Taking a break

Not really sure if anyone checks this blog anymore, since I haven't posted anything for a really long time. I want to keep in touch with everyone and let everyone know what's going on around here, but Facebook is a much funner way to do it. Sooo - if you want to know what's going on, then you'd better friend me on Facebook :-)

Friday, January 08, 2010

Diesel, baby

A little note to my post yesterday. I've been googling Jettas this evening, and I see that there are many reviews of the 2009 Jetta TDI, which is what I am buying. And the reviews of it are pretty great. It's a turbo diesel, which they claim gets as much as 40 mpg, performing great at the same time. Oh, yes...

In Norway, Jettas aren't popular at all. Volkswagens are super popular, but sedans are totally out. Everyone around here wants either a station wagon or a hatchback, and anything else is uninteresting. Kind of lame, but, on the other hand, it means that I got a really good deal on this Jetta, which I like!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

New car

So, I bought a new car today. Excitement, excitement... Actually it's not a brand new car, but a 1-year-old VW Jetta (I've always loved Jettas...). We've been thinking about buying a new car for a while now. Gaute's 15-year-old Volvo is falling apart and didn't pass its last inspection, so it is pretty much done for after February, when the registration expires. My car is 5-years-old, and still runs and looks great, but it's starting to run into those 5-year-old car problems which have a tendency to show up (at the moment, my parking brake isn't working, for example). So, first we thought we would buy a new car for Gaute, something about 4-5 years old, in fairly decent shape. He was actually all set to buy a car, and the deal fell through, and the his motivation was gone. Then we started thinking that maybe we could get by with one car for a while, and get a new family car instead. So we started looking at Volvo V70s, which are really nice, but not so cheap. We found one that we liked, and had the dealership give us a trade-in price for my car, which was ridiculously low. And the car we wanted was really pushing our limits.

So, then Gaute came up with a great idea. We could buy a new "commuter car" for me, and my Renault could be our 2nd car, which he can use. My car is pretty big, with lots of room for when we go to our cabin and stuff, and runs fine (just have to get that pesky brake fixed). And I really wanted a car with an automatic transmission for when I sit in traffic on my way to work. I'm pretty happy - I think this was a good compromise. Now I get a new car, and Gaute gets a car, too. If we would have bought the Volvo, we would have spent more money, and Gaute wouldn't have had a car. Plus, the Volvo was smaller than the Renault. Now we have a big car with room for 7 people (as long as two of them are midgets) plus a mid-size car with room for 5 people.

Anyway, this has been a rambling post, but hopefully you get the gist of things. I don't have my car yet, they're going to give it a service checkup and stuff, but I have been promised the car by the end of next week. Here are some pics of the car from the online ad:

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Twenty-ten (otherwise known as two thousand and ten)

2010...It's kind of hard to believe I'm still alive. When I was a kid, 2010 sounded like it was sooo far in the future, that I couldn't really imagine what life would be like. Was pretty sure that we would be riding in hover cars and that robots would be cleaning our house. But here I am with a car with 4 tires and a Polish cleaning lady...

Christmas vacation is over, and I started back to work this week. I was actually kind of looking forward to getting back to work. And I have had a nice week at work. What hasn't been so great is the feeling of total exhaustion that I have had every evening when I get home. We were staying up really late every night during vacation, and sleeping in really late. My body has gone into shock this week, getting up at 6 every morning. I'm hoping that my sleep habits will adjust themselves soon, so that life feels a bit more normal.

It's been super cold here this week. Today it was -20 Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit) pretty much all day. Makes me happy that I got a new down jacket for Christmas!