The Year of 2013

It’s been an incredible year and I can’t believe it’s already gone by. In a sense it feels like New Years Eve 2012 was just a few weeks back, but in another sense it feels forever ago as so much has happened since then. If I were to make a recap of everything it would take me forever, and no one would care to read it. So instead I’ll try to narrow it down to just a few highlights, with pictures of course.

One of my favorite things have been spending time with my three-year-old cousin. I was lucky enough to live close to them during the beginning of the year, so sometimes I would pick him up from the day care and see him come running towards me with the biggest smile on his face. Then for the rest of the day he would walk around saying “Marte picked I up from the daycare today”. That was before he learned the difference between “I” and “me”. Once I even got to pick him up from the daycare and take him to the technical museum, where he showed me around as he had been there before and I hadn’t. He also taught me how to make scrambled eggs as he had helped his parents do it so many times. He even knew how many eggs to use and I had no clue!

All dressed up for May 17th (Norway's National Day)

All dressed up for May 17th (Norway’s National Day)

Mathias

Green Day, my favorite band by far, came to Norway in the summer and I was able to go to their concert. They put on the best live show I have ever seen. Being able to stand just three rows away from the scene and watching them play and sing along to most of their songs was just an amazing experience. I dragged my aunt with me and she seemed to enjoy it too. My favorite part of it all was probably at the end of the show when they ended it with Brutal Love. Usually they would end their shows with Good Riddance, which is a good song too, but I think Brutal Love was just perfect. Not to forget, my sister Keri and I went to see the musical American Idiot, when it came to Boise towards the end of the year. That was another amazing experience. The actor’s energy and me knowing all the songs by heart, made me want to get up and sing along with all the songs, though that would just have ruined the whole performance. By the end of it, I wasn’t even disappointed the slightest that Billie Joe Armstrong himself didn’t play Jimmy because the actor who did, did such a good job of it.

Green Day in Norway

Green Day in Norway

Over the summer, as I prepared to move to the US, I also spent as much time as possible with my family. I hiked a few mountains with my dad, cooked with my mom and got creative trying to find ways to entertain my brothers (and annoy them a little, as any good sister would do). My family also got a puppy, Arko. He is the cutest mix of Border Collie, Bernese Mountain dog, and Rottweiler. The whole family just adores him.

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Arko

Looking out over the river

In August, I moved to the US and that has been one big adventure so far! I reunited with the host family from three years ago and they again make me feel like a part of their family, which is amazing. A lot of the weekends and the bigger holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas was spent with them and it’s been a blast. Honey and Jessie is still with them and they are just as adorable, even if Jessie is starting to get a little old and can’t see or hear as well as before. I also got to go on a trip to Yellowstone with the family at the end of the year, but since we didn’t return until this year it will get a separate blog post.

The last memorable  thing from the year is probably that I got into basketball. I didn’t use to care for any sport and thought it was just people fighting over a ball. However since Chihiro, my awesome Japanese friend, dragged me to the first basketball home game of the season I got hooked. I just love the atmosphere and the energy of the crowd when the arena is full and the basketball players are doing their best to win the game, so after the first game I was probably the one dragging her to the rest of them.

And that’s it for last year. Now that it’s in the past, it’s time to move on and enjoy 2014! Happy New Year everyone!

Lofoten will Always be Home

Here is a link to a short video I came across today. It’s filmed by some guys, which I have no idea who are, that took a trip back to the Lofoten Islands this summer. If you’re too lazy to click the link? well you’ll be the one missing out! (I wanted to embed it, but wordpress technology isn’t quite that far yet and will only embed from a few well-known sites)

I never thought I would say this as I’ve wanted to just get away from there for so long to see other parts of the world, but there is just something about Lofoten. Something in addition to my family that will drag me back there again and again to visit. I think that no matter how far away I go or for how long, I’ll always be proud to tell people that “This is where I grew up”. This is where I ran around with my brothers and childhood friends, playing, whether it was sunny, raining or snowing. It’s where I did 11 years of school that each felt like they took forever. It’s where I used to be able to look up to the sky on a clear night and see the northern lights dance during the winter and where I could see the sun reflect in the mountains even after midnight, as it wouldn’t set during the summer.

The midnight sun can’t be seen from the inner-side of the islands(due to the mountains), but it’s only about half an hour drive to the outer-side where one can watch the sun almost hit the water before it starts rising again. These pictures were taken this summer. 

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The sun was hiding behind the fog

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Though with the family gathered, it was well worth going around the island

 

“Where do you think you are? Boise, Idaho?”

If any of you recognize what movie that is from, I salute you.

When I told friends and people back in Norway where I was going, they often wondered where Idaho was. Now that I am here, everyone keeps asking me, why on earth I chose Idaho? Did I have only a few places to chose from? No. I could have gone to almost any college or university in the US. When you hear Idaho, do you think of anything other than potatoes, Boise State’s blue turf or white republicans? No? That’s okay, but Idaho definitely has more to offer than that even if most people don’t realize it. Finally, if you read my first post on this blog, you would have seen that one of my other choices that I seriously considered was Long Island, New York. Why wouldn’t I go there?

My dream university (at least for a couple of days) was University of California, Santa Cruz. It was perfectly located in California with beaches, great temperatures and not to mention, everyone dreams of the California we see in the Hollywood movies. In addition the programs I was looking into, psychology and creative writing, seemed to have great departments there. The problem with it, was that to get accepted. As a transfer student with 30 credits, there was no way. As I had looked into Boise State before, I decided to just go ahead and apply. It would give me an idea how the applications were and make it easier if I wanted to apply anywhere else too and after that was done, I started to apply for the university in New York. Before I finished that application however, I got accepted to Boise State and the more I thought about it, the more tempting Idaho seemed. Host family, friends, farms and nature close by, a city with a few malls and movie theaters, and an airport.

Now that I am here, I don’t regret that decision at all and I’ve had a lot of fun since I got here. Here is just a few pictures.

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Riding merry-go-rounds with my host sister

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Going to a hot air balloon festival

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Going to another festival

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Picking apples

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Watching basque dances

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Hanging with friends and acting silly

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Spending time with Grandma

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Carving pumpkins for Halloween

Taking mugshots at the haunted prison in town

- HC

When life is fun

There isn’t much time to write about it. When life is boring there isn’t much to write about.

The last few months there has been a lot to write about.

I left this:

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image(Norway)

For this:

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(Idaho, US)

Going from a college with less than 70 students, to a university with more than 22,000 students. That’s about as many students as there is people in total on the 7 islands that I grew up at.

I am reviving this blog for those of you at home who would rather read the blog than just watch the pictures on facebook, and for whoever else would be interested. The next few weeks I will post about some of the things that have happened and some of the things that I do while I’m here.

Enjoy! :)