27 February 2013

peachy press update.

After my long Christmas holiday, Peachy Press is back open!  I've added a bunch of fun new things that I really enjoyed making. More moleskines, of course, but also cards made with stamps that I made (!!!) from a rubber stamp making kit and ecosystem notebooks.  The arrow stamp and the heart stamp are ones I made myself.  Ecosystem notebooks are super cool and 100% recycled.  Read more about them here.  I hope you'll take a look around the shop!

Have a beautiful Wednesday.
(The high for Oslo today is 6 C/ 42 F.  That is SO warm.  It's been feeling like spring around here!)

25 February 2013

wedding favorites no.2

The flowers were probably my favorite detail at our wedding.  My mom headed up the flower committee and used a mix of wildflowers, flowers from friends' gardens and some flowers from the florist.  I wanted a wildflower look and I think all those involved with the flowers (Mom, Grandma, Kelsey Busby, my Aunts and my cousins) did a beautiful job.  My mom made my bouquet with just purples, whites and greens so it would stand out.  Actually, come to think of it, I even put a bouquet together!  I did all the paper products for our wedding and reception, with the help of my skilled artist friend Kelly Baker-Trapp.  She graciously designed on the computer whatever I asked of her.  For escort cards we printed out all the tags with guests name and added different stripes of washi tape on each card. I drew the emblem on our ceremony program and scanned it into the computer.  We had cupcakes and a small cake at the reception.  Friends from Greenville, Kim and Mark Meyers, made the cake and cupcakes.  We had SO many delicious flavors of cupcakes (creme brule, lemon and blueberry...), but I only tried one.  I can't even remember which one.  I heard rave reviews from my Dad, though!  Kim decorated the cupcakes with sage leaves and flower buds.  It was a stunning display.  The food at our reception was awesome.  Another friend (so many friends helped out), Kenzie Brister, was the head chef for the meal.  She got some friends and family together to chop fruit, make bread and cook the food. We tried to use local produce for each dish; Josh and I visited the farmer's market and talked with the farmers who provided us with tomatoes, melons, onions, basil and peaches.  We used cheese from the Marcoot Dairy in Greenville.  The dishes we ate were: melon salad with mint, caprese salad, homemade bread, vegetable quiche, and black bean sweet potato enchiladas.  So good!  This was Josh's favorite part of the day.

Before the reception, Josh and I stood in the hallway and greeted all of our guests as they entered the reception hall.  We wanted to thank each person for coming and the typical receiving line at the ceremony didn't seem like a good idea.  We also knew we would want to dance at the reception, so we didn't want to go around to each table during the reception.  Our solution worked out really well and we really enjoying greeting everyone. In addition to the delicious food at our reception, we had the usual speeches and parents dances, flower toss and group dancing.  But, you know, it didn't all feel usual.  I thought it was all exceptional.  The speeches made me laugh and cry, the dances were a symbol of our love for our parents and their love for us, and the group dancing was so inclusive and full of joy.  We did a contra dance, which is a type of folk dance with a fiddle and caller.  As you can see from the photos, it got most of our guests involved in the dancing and was great for all ages. After a few hours of dancing, our friends and family sent us off with tons of confetti!  Then after a couple days of hanging out with extended family in Greenville, we honeymooned in Long Beach, Washington.


This was such an amazing day!  I am still overcome with so much gratitude for all those involved. MANY THANKS! 

21 February 2013

wedding favorites no. 1

Today our marriage is seven months old!

I have never really shared any of our wedding photos (except the ones from a project life spread), so seven months of marriage seems like a good time to share.  My good friends from my semester in Costa Rica, Allison and Josh took the photos and did an amazing job.  I love the way the captured the spirit of our day.  We got married on July 21, 2012 at a pine grove outside of Greenville, IL.  Josh's cousins' grandparents (on the other side) live on a small chunk of land which includes the aforementioned pine grove and they so graciously let us use it for our wedding.  We did a "first look" in the pine grove and it was fun.  It was definitely a good way to calm my nerves.  Even though we had seen each other earlier that morning (we helped all our family and friends work on reception food and decoration), it was still SO exciting to meet each other in the pine grove.  The smiles in that second photo are proof.

j & r:

12 February 2013

what we love about winter: skiing.

We are totally on the skiing bandwagon.  Cross-country skiing is big in Norway, so when we came back after Christmas we rented skis and gave it a try. Although I can’t say it’s always been easy nor has it always been 100% fun, it’s good and just keeps getting better.  If you remember, I did try cross-country skiing before Christmas and you can read about it here
We most frequently ski from right outside out apartment.  We live close to Sognsvann Lake and close to a section of Nordmarka (North Forest), so there are tons of ski trails starting about 200 meters from our door.  The trails near us are pretty popular for people in Oslo.  On any given day of the week the ski trails will have lots of individuals and families gliding along, but especially on the weekends.  Woah, the weekends.  It’s like Disneyland in the summer over here.  A machine smoothes out the ski trails and puts grooves in the ground so our skis don't slip around (and we use ski wax).  There are a handful of lakes nearby and none of those have machine made ski tracks, but there is often a man made ski track that is the result of lots of skiers going across the lake the same way.  This is Sognsvann: 
Even though I have a job and Josh is studying, we have lots of free time. So we ski. I love this new hobby for many reasons: 

It’s new, so I have a lot to improve on.

I get to spend time in the beautiful outdoors. Sometimes it’s hard to be outside when it’s -10 degrees Celcius, but skiing makes being outside less freezing.  Plus, it’s beautiful here, especially after a big snow.

 Skiing is exercise.  I can kill two birds with one stone- I can have fun and get a workout at the same time. 

I feel like I'm participating in Norwegian culture. It's exciting to ski with people who love skiing so much.
When I go skiing it’s usually with Josh and/or a small group of friends, but Josh often skis by himself once or twice a week.  Together we probably go 3-4 times a week. If we don't have plans in the afternoon or evening we will often fill the time with skiing. The past few weekends groups from Christian Union have gone skiing.  It’s interesting to go with these groups, because there are so many levels of skill and speed amoungst the skiers.  Last weekend we skied to church with a CU group.  We took the Tbane to a place called Frognerseteren and from there we skied to a chapel in the woods called Nordmarkskapellet.  We had a pretty big group, but Josh & me and our friends Jana & Thomas skied together to the chapel in about 30 minutes.  I was freezing before hand, so I skied as fast as I could!  The forests near Oslo (and probably most of Norway) are scattered with cabins that serve food and have warm fires.  This chapel is sort of like those cabins with the fire and food, but it also has a church service at noon.  We enjoyed the fire while we waited for the rest of our group to arrive.  
I love actually skiing, but I also love the idea of skiing.  Early on in my skiing career I think I loved the idea of skiing more than I loved actually skiing.  This resulted in some tearful moments during my ski trips.  I wanted to love skiing, but it was kind of hard and Josh skied so much faster than me.  Josh was also improved his technique more quickly than I did and he just wanted to give me some helpful tips.  Sometimes I didn't want tips.  I just wanted to ski.  I didn’t feel like I could enjoy skiing while also killing myself trying to get better.  Over the past couple weeks I built up some skiing endurance, so I didn't get as tired while skiing and I could focus on improving my form.  This made skiing more fun!  I’ve also been able to cultivate a better attitude.  Even when it’s hard to go uphill for ten minutes, I remind myself that this can still be fun.  And it usually is.  
One of our best ski trips was last Friday afternoon/evening when we skied to a nearby cabin in the forest.  Although we took a minor detour through an incredibly narrow, unkept patch of woods, we managed to get up to the cabin with positive spirits still intact.  At the cabin we happened to run into some friends who had also been skiing and we all sat inside for a while enjoying the fire, warm drinks and baked goods. After a little rest we headed home.  Since we live at the bottom of the forest we have to go uphill to go anywhere on skis.  That means that the way home is usually downhill.  In my mind, going down is the best part of skiing.  It's so exhilarating to fly down the hill while trying to stay inside the grooves for the skis.  What made this outing so great was that we had no major arguments and no major falls or problems.  We just skied to the top and then back down.  We're starting to get the hang of skiing and we're loving it.
Have you tried cross-country skiing?  

06 February 2013

project life in 2012: weeks 18- 22

Here's the last installment of project life in 2012!

week 18
This week: I worked on some custom projects for my mom and my mom-in-law.  I went on an awesome, yet challenging, cross-country ski trip. Other than the ski trip, it was kind of a slow week.  Josh had exams, so he couldn't participate in the ski trip.

week 19
This week: The start of the Christmas festivities!  We started decorating more and I made a tiny tree from branches in the forest.  The biggest thing this week was a visit from Josh's Uncle Frank Kline.  He came for just a day and half, but we really enjoy showing him our home, hiking and Christmas shopping.

This story continues after the jump.

02 February 2013

what we love about winter: sledding.

Living in Oslo this winter has turned me into a winter lover- at least, a lover of winter when winter includes lots of snow.  People in Oslo seem to come alive in this cold, snowy weather and there are lots of fun snowy activities to do.  There are probably more people out and about in the forest than there were in summer. Joshua and I have also gotten into the spirit of snowy activities.  One of the things we love about winter is the sledding. A few weekends ago, a group from Christian Union went sledding at really long sledding track called Korketrekkeren (or cork screw) at Frognerseteren (an area in the North Forest around Oslo).  We rented a toboggan to share, walked over to the sledding track and flew down the hill.  Seriously, we flew.  We didn’t quite know how to steer and we only kind of knew how to slow down. During our first run down the hill we slid off the track and into a tree. No major harm done, just a face full of snow. After that we were both a little scared to keep going, but we persevered.  We quickly figured out how out how to steer and decided that one person would do the steering, not both.
The course was way longer than any sledding hill we had every encountered before.  It's about 2 kilometers long and took around 10 minutes to get down.  The end of the hill brought us to a Tbane stop and we just rode the Tbane up to the top of the hill to sled down again.  After a few runs we stopped for a lunch break in the lodge.  It was super crowded, but we found a cozy little room just for us- it was actually a conference room that we probably weren't supposed to be in.  After a couple more runs we headed home.  Doing five or six runs, combined with traveling up to Frognersetern, took most of the day. It was a great way to spend our first Saturday back in Oslo.
Yesterday Josh and I decided to go sledding again by ourselves for a fun date.  We each rented our own sled (or sledge as the Brits say) and we didn't hit any trees!  This time we knew how to steer and we knew where the dangerous turns were.  Five runs down the hill felt like enough for us.  It was a lot of fun, but we think it's probably our last Korketrekkeren sledding outing for the winter.  Perhaps we will take out our little plastic sled and slide down the hill near our apartment.  

Happy Winter!