Christmas in Roskilde, Denmark was fabulous. Our friends and gracious hosts, Marianne & Bjarne, showed us a true Scandinavian Christmas full of old traditions - from singing songs around the (real) candle lit tree to eating roasted duck. We also played a game of who can find an almond in their rice pudding. (Marianne purposely arranged it so the kids won.)
Scandinavian Christmas lasts for four days (December 23-26), which was a nice change from the two days we typically celebrate in the US. Following Christmas, we spent an afternoon at the Tivoli fun park in Copenhagen. The lights and decorations were beautiful in the snow, like a winter wonderland. We traveled to/from Copenhagen via a cruise boat. It was nothing fancy, but JR loved it and it was nice having a bed to sleep in during the commute.
Santa visited James Ryan and Evie upon our return to Oslo. James Ryan received the three things he asked for - a 'turning' dump truck, digger & steam roller. Evie got a push cart, which she pushes across the room like a pro! (David says she pushes it like her mama pushes a shopping cart! haha) She isn't walking yet (on her own), but will be soon!
New Year's Eve in Oslo was amazing! We didn't go anywhere, but the view of fireworks from our flat at midnight was nothing like we've ever seen. They were everywhere - 360 degrees - and non-stop. It was one of those moments that make you say 'wow', and one we will never forget.
This past weekend, David presented at a conference in Amsterdam and we tagged along. We had a wonderful time and found it to be a beautiful and interesting city. (TRIVIA...Did you know that Amsterdam has more bridges than Paris and more canals than Venice? 'Tis true!) While there we did a canal boat ride (with our friend, Jenn, who was also there), and I took the kids to the Artis Zoo...Both were fabulous.
- JR is thoroughly enjoying Norwegian preschool. We often take him to/from via sled! He comes home singing Norwegian songs, although we're sure the words aren't quite right. He enjoys doing puzzles and can even assemble 100 pieces on his own. Next month, we celebrate his 3rd birthday. He has asked for a pirate cake, and we are discussing a sled party behind the flat.
- Evie is growing like a weed. She's almost 10 months, but wears 12-18 month clothes! She smiles every time you speak to her, but is in a clingy stage at the moment which is driving us nuts! It's not that we don't want to cuddle her, but sometimes it's just not possible. (Aka - When you have to pee, cook or get dressed! UHH!) She and JR have an unbelievable bond with one other, which is genuinely sweet.
- David turned 44 last week. We celebrated at home since we were going to Amsterdam the next day. It's too expensive to go out in Norway anyway!
- Our friend, Ashley, is visiting from the US for a week. A few short days with our children has been good birth control for her. (HA!) It has gotten cold again, so she is having a true Nordic experience.