Tuesday, January 22, 2013

slowing down

Boston is absolutely freezing at the moment -- something that fits quite well to my current need for slowing down and spending more time at home, resting and nesting... I've handed over my managing responsibilities at HSSPA (a fantastic resource by the way, if you end up here because you are or will be a 'Harvard spouse'), something which I have been involved with since summer. Although we still head out to see friends, make snow balls, and drink coffee, this cold weather really encourage baking, sewing, dancing, napping, and watching movies at home. There are six weeks left to my due date, and I know everything will be turned upside down until we settle into a new normal of being four, so these last calm weeks - mostly at home - are really precious and well-appreciated.

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Friday, January 4, 2013


About two months after I first met Bjarni he had to travel to Northern Iceland for three months to work in the tiny village of Hólar. Three months seemed too long of not seeing each other, so I decided and was invited to come up to Iceland to visit this new Icelandic guy and see the big volcanic island he came from. He picked me up in the late evening after my plane landed in Keflavik and we spent 4 hours driving North, and arrived to amma and afi, the grandparents, in the middle of the night where we'd stay the next couple of days. He had to leave early next morning for work, and I slept in. When I woke up it was time to meet the grandparents, but without Bjarni to introduce me and without a common language in which we could communicate. It sounds more nerve-wracking than it actually was. Amma was the sweetest thing, and hugged and kissed me and talked and talked and talked although I understood close to nothing. Amma, who is famed for her babysitting, was taking care of her great-grand child, Hrafnhildur, who was sitting by the kitchen table eating dried fish like it was candy. It was just another late morning in amma and afi's house with the radio playing in the background and coffee on the pot, but for a Dane who'd never previously put her foot on Iceland, there was so many new impressions.
Now I'm the mother of a little blue-eyed girl, who is the same age as Hrafnhildur was, and I came to think of these first impressions with Iceland, when we were sitting in the house in Reykjavik and Silja was happily snacking on dried fish. I suppose it's in the genes to like that kind of a snack -- which I by the way have also taken a liking to by now. Who would have thought back then, when Bjarni (and amma) in addition to the harðfiskur proudly introduced me to rotten shark and other Icelandic delicacies. Good thing it didn't scare me off.
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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

about being spread out

We are back in Boston after a long nice break back home. A trip that reminded me that our ties are spread over many places, which on one hand is great and satisfying as we belong and are welcomed several places. We get to feel at home with the spectacular views of Northern Iceland, the food and the friends in Reykjavik, and the extended socializing around a dinner or lunch table in Denmark.
And then we return to our home here, and slip back into the way of life we have here. It's all good being spread out like that, but going 'home' to reconnect and coming 'home' again after that carries a bittersweet reminder that thoughtful and fun grandparents and aunts and cousins and friends that really matters are also spread between large distances. If only we could see them all a little more often.

I hope you all entered 2013 with proper celebration. I woke up to the new year with a wide awake toddler at 6am -- blame it on the jetlag. Happy New Year to you from Boston!
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