We spent all of June and the first half of July in Denmark. Nathan was busy first with his thesis, and then with his ‘first job’, but despite that busy-ness, we managed to fit quite a few cosy summer family days into the first part of our Danish summer. Those days were spent with friends in Copenhagen and with family in Ejby, where the in-laws helped us take some sweet family photos of the four of us on one of our visits. Bjørn Loui had some relaxing days at day-care (where some of the other kiddos were already on holiday), Sabine and Oakley played in the garden, and Nathan worked. All the while we planned our summer trip to the states, and got our place ready to rent out for the summer.
And what a trip we had! We took off in the middle of July for a month to the Pacific North West, flying in and out of Seattle. The trip was built around Nathan’s mom’s wedding to her college sweetheart, and we went to that beautiful ceremony in the second week of August. Before that however we met Nanna and Kelly in Seattle, ‘tetris’ed Nanna’s car full of our luggage, stroller, baby seats, and running bike (Bjørn Loui), and took off on our own to Oregon for 10 days. We stayed with 4 lovely sets of folks and got to experience Portland, and Oregon’s farmland, from a wonderful set of different perspectives. We also got a sneak-peak of Kelly’s family while we were in Portland, and cherished the open-arm welcome we received. Portland is a beautiful and vibrant city, and it’s full of life, positivity, and enough hipster coolness to keep us on our toes. We could totally go back again, and spend days in the vintage second-hand shops, interspersed with snack-breaks at the multitude of quirky and convenient street-food carts that dotted the city. After Portland, we went on two different farms visits, one a collective with an AirBnb Tipi, and the other the hobby project of two amazing women and their precocious 4-year-old son. The collective had a quiet and hidden little creek running through the bottom corner of its property, and we made sure to spend as much quality time down there as possible. It reminded Nathan of being home in Canada, though it was an extra treat to harvest blackberries, play pirates, and hunt for Crawdads from the comfort of our blown-up queen sized mattress – à la paddle boat. We helped out where we could, and enjoyed the heck out of each of our Oregon stays.
We met Nanna and Kelly again on the Oregon coast, and saw a different, slightly touristy side of Oregon. The beaches were windy, the sights were impressive, the s’mores were messy, and the water balloon fights were epic. We made the most of our quality time with the soon-to-be-wed Nanna and Kelly, and continued our trip up the coast, and across the Olympic Peninsula to the wedding on Whidbey Island. The wedding was a rare, and intense, treat. Nestled among the red and fragrant Arbutus Trees, we spent some wonderful, and full, dayS (re)connecting with family and friends. Nathan got to introduce his mother’s, and father’s relatives to his Danish family, and as a bonus we all got to meet a good deal of Kelly’s Smith clan. Sabine pieced together a more complete picture of the man she loves, and we both came away from this wedding with a greater sense of connection to North America that our family will always have. The ceremony itself was beautiful, and everyone in attendance can rest easy, knowing that the emotion displayed there was authentic and sincere. This nuptial is a bond for life, and we know that Nanna and Kelly will have a golden time of it :)
After the wedding, we took Nathan’s brother David – now in Vietnam, read his blog here: https://thebookofdaveblog.wordpress.com – along for the final part of the trip. The boys crammed as much quality time in as possible, filling the days with cards, water balloon (and raft) fights, and celebratory excuses for Ice cream cake. We stayed at a lake-side cabin that Nanna and Kelly had found, and the whole experience was lovely, though too short, David left for Vietnam a couple days before we flew back to Denmark.
And then it was time to leave, we spent two more days at a kooky retro-fitted train caboose on the sound, and cosied it up with Nanna and Kelly, s’mores, Steak and IPAs, and some Harbour Seals. The trip home went fine, the only real complication being our underestimation of the insane traffic on every possible entrance into Seattle. We’ll miss our family and friends, and we’ll remember the connections and memories we made, but all the same, it’s nice to be home.
Once we got over the hangover of our Jet-lag – Nathan being the quickest (by necessity if not actuality) – we (Sabine) quickly planned Oakley’s Baptism. It was the last baptism seen to by the families Priest. The same pastor that had stood for many of the core church-related events of Sabine’s (and Nathan’s) lives. He over-saw Sabine’s confirmation, our wedding, Bjørn Loui and Oakley’s Baptisms, as well as Simon’s funeral. The ceremony worked to re-tether us to Danish life, and we invited friends and family to our garden and terrace afterwards.
September was a whirlwind, Bjørn Loui went to day-care, Nathan went to work, Sabine went to school, Nathan took paternal leave (kind of) and Sabine stayed home with Oakley (kind of). Nathan finished his summer contract, with the firm he wrote his thesis with, and officially started a 3-month paternal leave in October. He’s since built up a small group of fathers that see each other every Tuesday, and he takes Oakley to baby-father Cross-fit every Thursday, where Oakley is the giggling kettle bell – it’s a hit. The stay-at-home-dad activities vary, but range between sleeping, baking, goofing, and coffee-ing. Various degrees of productivity are tossed in as well, and Nathan has the (perhaps optimistic) idea that he’ll be able to apply for full-time work as well tackle a mini (Ski Jump related) building project. Sabine is excelling at school, having aced her first exams. She is now working on an interesting ‘car-free-neighbourhood’ city planning project, and is balancing the academic and real-world concerns of multiple stakeholders with different goals and ideals – she’ll do great. Sabine has built a study and project group of 4 casual and steadfast classmates, and they look forward to completing the project before Christmas.
In between all of this, Sabine and Bjørn Loui designed a fire-crab costume for Halloween, we took a friend’s kiddo to Tivoli and saw a 400 kilo pumpkin, and we were the lucky recipients of a 3 day visit from Nathan’s Cousin:). Caroline and her two friends stayed with us one sunny weekend in November, and they were a delight! Together with Bjørn Loui, Oakley, and Nathan, they went sightseeing in the city, delighted in street-food at Papirøen, and when the sun went down at 4 experienced early Christmas lights on Strøget. We also shared 3 cosy dinners, and just had a lovely time.
Bjørn Loui is now old enough to have playdates with his friends, (from day-care of the neighbourhood) and we’re making sure to plan every weekend to include one or two. Sabine and I are also inviting friends over whenever possible, and we’ve had some simply wonderful evenings. Bjørn Loui and Nathan go to a gymnastics class every sunday morning, where the focus is on safe tumbling, and as much wild climbing, jumping, and rolling as the wild(er) parents can get away with leading – Nathan being very much included in this of course, together with a neighbour/friend.
We hope you enjoy looking at the highlights of our summer and fall, we’ll see you for one more post this Christmas :)
Summer in DK
Summer in the USA – Highlights