Thursday, 12 December 2013

Thursday Thoughts - Shopping

Shopping - you would think it would be simple. 

Generally it is. 

But I still catch myself having to stop and take a moment to regroup when I hover over food that was Stig's favourite or a snack I'd only buy for him. I've been caught out a few times seeing something and my mind going straight to 'Stig would love that'. But I brush it off and move to the next aisle.

It also raises some completely bizare experiences. Whilst doing a bit of Christmas shopping with the boys we came across grave wreaths. It was the most natural thing in the world to stop and discuss which one we liked the best and which Pappa would like. The winning choice was really beautiful - again who new grave wreaths could be rated;)

Then you have the candles for the grave. This is something very common in Norway. They sell them at all the supermarkets. As I pop around doing the weekly shop, picking up carrots and ketchup I usually add a couple of candles to take when we visit Stig's grave.

What! You all don't have a selection like this on your kitchen window sills??

It is totally our new normal.

But, like every aspect of our life these days, finding a new normal is the way forward. There is no right or wrong way, just a different path and a totally different shopping experience;)

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Thursday Thoughts - My Boys

My children....

Love them fiercely....

I was a mama bear before the summer - who knew that could be multiplied by 100.

Problem is, when they hurt or are sad it affects me hard. I admit I may be more hypersenitive these days.

They have had so much pain dealing with Stig's loss, anything else just compounds it.

I know children are resilient, but they are also very vunerable.

Tae, he has his ways which are quite subtle when he expresses himself.
 He talks daily about his pappa. Usually he will say things like 'We love pappa don't we mummy?, he died, we miss him, but he had to go away, he didn't want to, but his heart broke.' or ' I miss pappa mummy'. 
He usually just says these things randomly. I let him know I loved and miss pappa too and we carry on with whatever we were doing.

 He aso keeps repeating 'its OK mummy, its OK - it doesn't matter' for all types of things, for example, if he or anyone else spills something or makes a mistake. It's almost like he want to soothe or apologise before it's a problem. Which it totally is not.

He spoke to me the other day about Tim. He was worried if something would happen to him. He seems safe that I'll be Ok, but really worried that something could happend to his brother.

Tae asks to visit pappa's special place (his grave) weekly. I take him and we either light a candle or leave flowers. He really enjoys being there and skips along. He always shouts 'Hadet pappa, elsker deg' (goodbye daddy, I love you) up to the sky as his hops along on the way out. Tim finds it too hard to visit there at the moment, so I usually take Tae on his own.

Tim, is doing his best to figure out what his life is going to look like without his hero in it. Tough for anyone, never mind a 12 year old boy. He is trying to get by day to day. He has struggled a great deal. He is very open to talking with me and we talk alot! 

His main worry for a long time was surrounding would happen to Tae and him if anything happend to me. He had the initial emergency -  ambulance phone call covered (yes, he had run all senarios through his head and figured out what to do:( but was very anxious in the event of my death.

I have assured him that he is loved by many and that their is a solid plan in place. We have gone through that plan in detail and he knows everyone involved knows the details. However, we are not allowed to write it down - to him that is tempting fate.

So, it is a juggling act at the moment. Creating a sense of normality in our new situation and allowing everyone to grieve and express themselves in their own way.

It is exhausting, but they are my number one priority.

Saturday, 23 November 2013


Tim is a whizz at making smoothies / milkshakes.

It was something he used to do alot with his dad.

He makes lots of combinations, but usually goes back to his favourite of frozen strawberries, raspberries and milk.

He uses the handblender which can be quite a challenge with very frozen berries! It is great and an easy way to get extra fruit portions into the boys. Here he is last night doing one of his creations for him and Tae.

We were both quite excited when we saw they had a proper smoothie maker on sale at our local shop today - even writing that statement makes me realise I need to get a life lol !!!

He was a very happy boy (with a smart new haircut too;)

Nothing brings happiness to a 12 year old boy like a new smoothie machine! 

He is certainly his Papps's son!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Thursday Thoughts - Let's start

Ok, I have decided that I need a place to record how the boys and I am doing, how we are actually finding our new normal. 

I want to record our process and progress and keep it real.

Right now I am not sure how we are progressing, but, when I reflect back even two months, I can see changes - some good, some erm  ..not ;)

I have decided to record the odds, ends and completely random aspects of our new life. Not just photos of the boys and activities, but how we are managing and more important, feeling. I will put jottings, thoughts and feeling down and post on a Thursday when I need to (this lady needs structure).

I think this stems from having a few tough weeks. At times I have had to really push myself to keep going. 

It is really hard to explain the feeling of lying in bed and willing yourself to get up and start a new day. I have to just take one task at a time. I mentally make lists. Get yourself up and dressed, get Tae ready, sort out Tim, leave the house, get to work and go!

Usually by Tae's drop off, I'm out of the rut, maybe it is because I miss the shared responsibilty of our morning routines or just dreading going through the process of a new day, I am not sure.

The last few days I have been very aware I am going through the motions of life. Ticking the boxes. Doing what needs to be done. I also know I am not really 'living'. I honestly cannot remember what it was like before the summer, simply to just feel free, relaxed and happy. 

But, for now that is OK - it is survival. I know it will get easier. Well, I bloody hope it does!

Don't get me wrong, to most people I am doing GREAT. The house is tidy, children wear clean clothes each day, I look fine! I go to work and do my job, the kids are fed (I even remembered the hot drink flask option for Tae's daycare trip this week!!)....... on and on, but, it still sucks - BIG time. I miss the simple things like coming home and sharing my day with someone who gets it. Going together to buy food. Deciding what to buy the boys for Christmas. I miss HIM.

I am not mopping around being miserable. Yes, I am sad (maybe devastated is a better word) and there are lots of tears. I miss my husband and best friend more than any words could come close to describing, but I have made a decision to choose to live.

I choose to try to be happy. I do not want my children to look back on their childhood and say their mum never got over loosing their dad. I know I never will, but they need to see hope and happiness and as their mother it is my job to provided that!

(Tae's constant giggles on the sofa next to me watching Mr Bean on the IPad really helps too;)

That is the thing. In this ridiculous, unwanted, ugly situation I have found myself in, I still have choices; 
I can choose to be positive or be negative,
I can choose to be proactive or reactive.
I can choose to celebrate 20 amazing years of being loved or complain about the 40 years alone.

I am alive and I can make choices. Stig cannot. Therefore I need to live my life for the both of us. 

I expect most of what I am writing is just my mixed up ramblings, trying to make sense of something that has no sense! But, I need a place record it all so that hopefully I can look back in months and years and see how far I have come.

One day, in the distant future I hope I can write that I am truely happy again. Until that time I'll be relying on my best skills - faking it until I make it!!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Adapt and Change

Lots of interesting thoughts going around in my head.
I guess having your whole world turned upside down might do that!

I thought I had it all sorted, planned out.
We had reached a place where we were established, just cruising along, enjoying life, each with our own ways and routines.

Then.... Bang... time to regroup and start again.

 I am 4 months into life without Stig. 
In the last 15 years, we had an agreement never to be apart more than 10 days. It amazes me I have survived over 120 days without him!

It has been challenging at times and plain painful at others.
Mainly it has been a huge learning curve.

All those 'little' things, that magically happend around here that he just did, I've had to learn.
All the phone calls to companies to sort out this or that, I've done.
All the driving the kids around, I've juggled.
All the shopping, cooking and cleaning, I've squeezed in.
All the kisses and cuddles, I've indulged.
All the tears, I've wiped away.
All the bedtime stories, I've read.
All the school and day care meetings, I've attended.
All the decisions, I've made.
All the responsibility, I've carried.

I am a positive person and in a situation like this it has served me well!!
I'm letting ya know - it is bloody hard going to keep postive! BUT... I have 2 great reasons why I do.

Life is continuing. We are doing OK, not great, but OK. Life was not suppose to be like this. I don't like having to put my 4 year old (normal bedtime 7pm) in a car at 8.00-8:30pm three times a week because I have to pick his brother up from football practise or scouts. I hate having to leave my 12 year old on his own each morning for one hour as I have to leave early to drop his brother off and get to work, but I don't have the luxury of choice these days.

(Tae rocking the pj's, wellies and bobble hat in his football pick up wardrobe;)

I read a quote shortly after Stig's death. It hit home and I often draw upon it as I try to forge the road ahead.

'It is not about weathering the storm, it is about learning to dance in the rain!'

Amazingly, a friend of mine also sent me this quote on a poster for my birthday  - now that is a sign:0

As we navigate a new normal, a new future, whatever that is, we are all doing our best to make the man who made us who we are, proud.

Love you babes - we are doing our best!!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

15 years later.....

and Trix makes it to the land of the Trolls!!

Trix, is one of my bestest friends (have to say one as not to offend the other girls;). We survived university and living together during and afterwards before I came to Norway!

However, this was her FIRST visit here.

In fairness, we are all busy people, we email, call (well, erm, try to) and I usually visit her every couple of years in London.

However, some friendships are just timeless. I know she is there for me regardless. She has been on standby to visit since July, but, I was finally ready now!

She is a whirlwind of organisation. She is what my mother would refer to as a doer! Whilst here she organsied Tim to gather his tool kit and fixed a kitchen cabinet hinge...

and some loose carpet on the stairs.

She may have also blasted organisation in the playroom too!!

It was not all work though. We managed shopping, lunch and walks on the mountains. In the evening we went out on the town for a scrummy dinner and drinks afterwards. Thanks to my MIL for babysitting:)

Thanks Trix, you certainly helped recharge my batteries:)

Weekend Visit

A couple of weeks a go my brother and sister in law came for a weekend visit.

They boys always love to spend time with family, especially their cousins.

We had a great time hanging out. Saturday was spent wandering around town, doing a little shopping and enjoying  lunch out. On Sunday we headed out for a walk on the mountain.

Tae enjoyed trying to show his Aunty where we were going!!

Tae loves being outdoors, this time Tim was not a fan and only went half way with us.

The autumn colours were beautiful and the weather stayed crispy and dry!

Cousins I and E kept us company the whole way up and down!

Time went all too fast, but we hope to see them again soon.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Trick or Treat

We started our Halloween tradition with scooping out and carving the pumpkin. This year it was slightly different as we had the 'online'company of cousin T. - Tim and T. facetime so much that I practically feel he is always in my house;)

Then the artistic inspiration of Tim kicked in. This year he wanted a happy, friendly pumpkin:)

Obviously the 12 year old genes kicked in too!!

He was very happy with the result and I was very happy with the pumpkin soup I made out of the scooped out guts:)

This is the first year Tae has actually understood the idea of Trick ot Treat. When I explained he could dress up and knock on doors and recieve sweeties he was all in and very excited.

Tim's friend B. came over and they got dressed together. They decided to be Zombies this year! They created their costumes and make up themselves. Not a bad effort for two 12 year old boys. 

Halloween in Norway is much 'darker' than the UK and USA. Children tend to be more spooky once they hit around 8 yrs old.

When it was time to head out, they were all excited.

I was pleased that Tim was quite happy for his little brother to tag along this year and I followed too. Tae and I did 4 houses with the boys before we went home to show Farmor all of his sweeties. I figured that was enough for his first year and his big brother could continue having fun and being 'cool' with his friend without us;)

 Tae was thrilled that people handed out sweeties and was very good at remembering to say thank you at each door.

Tim will do the rounds of houses he has been visiting for that last 7 years with B. They then head back to B's house to finish the night off with eating sweeties and drinking hot chocolate. As they discussed earlier, this is the tradition they started way back in Grade 1!!