Monday, April 21, 2014

a visit and a reminder

Look who came to visit last week. My dad! It was such a nice surprise when he called and told me, he had found an inexpensive ticket and asked if we wanted a visit two weeks later? Of course, yes! We managed to squeeze in a trip to the circus, a drive up north to Rockport, playground and cafe visits in the area, a grandpa drop off at preschool and a walk at the nature reservation World's End -- all in five days and amazing spring weather (and we were lucky with the weather, because two days after my dad had left, we woke up to snow -- yes, snow! It melted away before noon, but still.)

In addition to thoroughly enjoying the company, his little visit reaffirmed to me, why we are returning to Denmark. Returning back home after years abroad, turns out to more difficult than we initially expected. Whether it's just that or an attack of panic in terms of "we are returning to Denmark, it's the end of the excitement of living abroad" I'm not sure. As I write this I realize it's impossible to put a finger on one specific thing as there are so many things that impact our thoughts and feelings on this issue. Bjarni and I obviously also have different feelings, because Denmark is home to me, but not to him. Anyways, because of feeling frustrated with things and limitations in Denmark we have been flirting with the idea of moving somewhere else, initiated by Bjarni's work opportunities elsewhere. It seems crazy as we are so far along in the planning of this upcoming move, but somewhere else is tempting with other opportunities.
Well, then my dad arrives and I see Silja, who is so extremely happy, excited and proud to have him around. And that is what counts and what we can't find anywhere else. I want to move back because being in proximity to our extended family matters more than anything else. I know that living somewhere else, would be a life full of other great advantages and I'm full of admiration of those who choose to do that. For a while I thought it would be us too, but I have realized that with these kids that are growing with the speed of a rocket, I want them to feel connected and anchored to family and everything there is in Denmark. (And then it get's tricky... Because I want them to feel an equal sense of belonging to Iceland and the family and culture there -- that's another post for another time). The point is, there might be better job opportunities, higher salaries, more diversity (oh, do we strive with cultural diversity), but it just doesn't beat the benefits of those roots, we have that are long and well grounded back home.
It was a great great visit and a great reminder that came at just the right time. Tak for det far :)
We celebrated our two year anniversary in Boston on April 11th.
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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

carpet diem

We are on the mend after a bad stomach virus that got the best of all four of us, at the same time. O h m y G o d. Ever since we moved to this apartment that boasts the "charm" of wall-to-wall carpet I have dreaded puke scenarios. And just as I recently thought: "Hey, we are soon leaving, and nobody has thrown up on the carpet... All that worry for nothing." we are hit by this horrible stomach bug that will not be forgotten for quite some time. Imagine us in the middle of the night. Me running to the bathroom where I by all means need to stay, Jonas waking up screaming from the commotion, and Silja calling: "Come help me, I have to throw up again." In the end no puke went on the carpet,  which I suppose is pretty good considering two small kids. We did however manage to (generously) pass on the stomach bug to our friend, who had invited us for brunch Sunday morning, when it all started with Jonas getting sick at their place. I feel so bad about that.

March marked the end of the workshops I have co-led on culture exchange. It's been a great little volunteer project and exercise for me on something I'm very passionate about, but as our time for departure is slowly approaching, it's time to spend my time and energy with getting ready for the move. I submitted my first real job application yesterday for a position back home. Uhh... I'm simultaneously freaked out and very excited about returning to Denmark with all that it entails. As for now Bjarni and I have a weekly meeting after the kids are put to bed, to sort out all the practicalities and discuss how to go about different things. I hope I can share more about this process as we move along: It's shifting between feeling organized and in control (I for example created a returning-home logbook), and completely overwhelmed by bureaucracy, rules and being dependent on good luck or pure coincidence.
 The carpet which is on top of the list of things that won't be missed.
 Culture Exchange workshop on Harvard through HSSPA (and I cut out the faces, because I didn't ask permission to post it publicly.)
Wednesday night = Moving-back meeting

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