Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Starting Over

Where to start?  Leaving Denmark was so hard and this past year hasn't been a lot easier.  Not that it's been bad, but it's just been difficult.  We never thought we would end up in Utah again.  We always pictured Chad getting a job right after Denmark and then moving on.  However, we ended back right where we started, with Chad working for Don at USU and eventually even back into our old condo!  It all felt like such a step backwards. 
I don't know why I stopped blogging.  Partly because I haven't organized my pictures well since being back.  Partly because we were back and closer to those people that looked at our blog.  Maybe because we weren't traipsing around castles and museums every other weekend.  Maybe out of laziness.  Well, today I got back on blogger and had a huge scare!  All of my pictures were GONE!!!!!  I spent several minutes trying to figure things out, what had happened, doing searches about it.  Everything I came across just said, too bad!  I was ready to burst into tears.  But finally, after logging in and out and clicking on posts, they all reappeared.  I don't know what happened, but thank goodness, they are all back!  I guess just spending some time on the blog today has inspired me to get it going again. 
I'd like to try and go back and post some things that happened over the past year.  All of our reunions, new family members, family reunions, trip to Canada and more.  But, I think I'll mostly focus on moving forward. 
So, to start off, a little catch up.  We are at the middle of May.  The kids have 10 days of school left before summer break, Chad has been in North Carolina working for the past almost 2 weeks, Myra just turned 11 yesterday and we are finally moving forward again.  We've sold our condo in Logan, Chad got a great job working for AgBiome in Raleigh North Carolina, and we'll be moving there in just 2 weeks!  We are sad to leave behind friends and family again, but it will not be as long of a separation as when we lived in Denmark.  And we are excited for some new adventures.  We can't wait!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Leaving Denmark

I am actually writing this post 5 months after we left Denmark.  Life has been crazy and I've gotten very behind on blogging.  I'm trying to catch up, so we'll see how it goes.  Leaving Denmark has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.  As I write this, so many months later, the memories continue to evoke harsh emotions.  I write with tears in my eyes.  I miss Denmark so much.  We are still struggling to find our place here, back in the US.
The logistics of moving back was a nightmare.  We moved to Denmark with only 5 bags.  After 3 years, there was no way we were moving back with that few of belongings.  So, we started sorting.  Things that definitely had to go (mostly souvenirs, kids toys and books, clothing), things that definitely had to stay (dishes, furniture, Dexter) and the maybe's, that mostly ended up being in the stay pile (those huge towels I bought in Belgium, my favorite shoes, more toys and books.)  I try not to get too attached to things, but it was very painful going through all our belongings and making the decision on what to leave behind.  Before we knew it, our go pile was packed in 7 bags and 5 carry-ons!  Yikes!  Our friends, Tanja and Jonas Krogstrup adopted Dexter.  This was an extremely difficult decision.  We just decided that we couldn't take him with us, since our future was unknown and looking back, we definitely made the right decision.  Dexter found a great home, where he is loved very much and this has lessened the sting of having to leave him behind.  We will always miss him though.  He was just what we needed. We sold a few things, gave away as much as we could and still ended up taking some things out to the garbage.  Before we knew it, the house was empty and it was time for our last good-bye's.  Alaina and her kids came over the morning we were flying out.  We talked for a long time, until it was time to go.  Alaina saved me.  When I desperately needed a friend, we met the Jensen's.  I couldn't have asked for a better friend.  I know that we will always keep in touch.  I still miss her every day.  The kids were also sad to leave one another.  Noah still is planning on marrying Olivia. =)
Our bishop, Lars Paulsen and his wife, Cecilia came with their trailer to take us to the airport.  We were so touched by them doing this for us.  We thought we would just have to get a cab, but it was so great having friends with us until the end.  They drove us and said good-bye.  We were then in the airport and on our way.
Leaving Denmark left us physically and emotionally drained.  I think I spent much of the last few weeks there on the verge of tears.  Moving was so hard, so painful.  Moving to Denmark was difficult, but we knew we'd be back.  Leaving Denmark, well, will we ever go back?  Probably not to live, hopefully to visit, but it will be different. We are just so grateful for such an amazing experience.  Life changing, really.  And it did change us, for the better.  Jeg elsker Danmark!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A few last adventures

With our time running short, we were still able to fit in a few last adventures.

Fastelavn 2015 - This was our 4th Fastelavn in Denmark!  Wow!  Myra was a mad scientist, Noah a knight and Lexi a Butterfly Fairy.  It was fun to participate in one last Danish Holiday.

We should have been cleaning and packing, but Chad took me to one last European Castle before we left.  This is Vallø Slot.  The castle dates back to the 14th century.  In the 1700's it was set aside for unmarried Noble women and it still has the same purpose today! 

For Father's Day, the previous year, I got Chad a gift certificate to go Indoor SkyDiving.  We just never got around to doing it until the week before leaving Denmark.  The kids had a fun time imitating it and I think Chad enjoyed the actual experience.

 It was pretty cool to watch! 

One last dinner with the Jensen's.  Wish I would have taken more pictures!  These 2 are sure going to miss each other.

And one last trip into Copenhagen.
 Vor Frue Kirke - One of our favorite places, the Church of our Lady.  We spent a long time in here, just enjoying this beautiful place.
We didn't take many pictures of the city, but we took our time enjoying our last visit to the city.  One of my favorite things was to just go walk around the city, it was crowded, loud, dirty, smelly, but I loved it!  I always felt so alive.  And getting to walk past all the old buildings, it was just such a fun thing to do.  I will miss it so much.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Chad's Defense

Our 3 years in Denmark culminated in Chad defending his thesis and graduating with a PhD.  The kids and I were honored to go and be a part of it.  Chad started out with a presentation about his work over the past 3 years and then he was questioned by 3 professionals about his work.  It was interesting to see the process.  I am so proud of Chad and all the hard work he has put in over the past 3 years.  After the defense, his work held a little party for him.  It was a nice end to all of his work.

 The room we were in had a really cool painted ceiling.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Sea Voyage to Norway

With our time in Europe running out, we decided we needed to add Norway to our list of countries visited, so we booked a mini-cruise to Oslo.  I've never been on any type of cruise, so I wasn't sure what to expect. 

The boat had a lot of fun activities for the kids, with scavenger hunts, bounce houses, dance parties and more.  They had a really fun time.  We enjoyed watching them.

 During the night, I woke up with the boat really rocking, we must have been hitting some big waves.  The next morning, we woke up early and had breakfast as we sailed through the Oslo Fjords.  It was so beautiful!

 Once in Oslo, we visited the Akershus Fortress, where they got a lot of inspiration for the movie Frozen.

Arriving in Oslo

 Akershus Fortress - Originally built in the 1200's!

 We walked into Oslo and saw where the King lives, toured an old church and visited the local Art Museum.

 Oslo Cathedral
 King Christian the 4th!  I guess Norway was part of Denmark back then.
 Looking up to the Royal Palace.
 Edvard Munch's, The Scream!

 It was a very quick trip, but we really enjoyed it. 

The boat ride back, not so much.  After leaving the fjords, the sea was really rough and we all ended up feeling very sick. We tried to do a few activities with the kids, including swimming in the little pool at the front of the boat, but it was bouncing so high, we were all feeling terrible.  We decided to rush back to the room.  Unfortunately, Chad lost his cookies and it was only with sheer willpower that I didn't follow him.  Haha!  We all layed in our beds for several hours, waiting for the seasickness to pass.  It was pretty miserable, but kind of a funny memory.  We arrived back in Copenhagen the next morning.  It was a quick, but memorable trip!