Highlights: Kara’s Visit

As timing would have it, baby girl arrived 2 weeks early which meant our friend Kara got to be here for the first two weeks she was alive!  Kara is someone we got to know last summer at L’Abri (remember? here, here, and here); she lives in the UK and the plan was for her to come and help me through the last two weeks of pregnancy, but timing is everything and I just love it when God’s turns out to be way better than mine.  She was a tremendous help as we got used to two little ones, often cooking and constantly doing the dishes (which seem absolutely endless), holding the baby or playing with Everett.  Bryndís’ birth was such that I recovered much more quickly than with Everett, so we also got to have a little fun with Kara. Here are a few highlights:

Holding the little one.

Bryndís’ first road trip at 1 week old!!

Kara at þingvellir

Snæfellsjokull, view from the car. The day was perfectly beautiful, though very very windy and chilly, so we were content to stay warm and snap pics out the window. We briefly considered driving the road that goes right through the glacier, instead of around, but a strongly worded caution sign changed our minds!

Everett, NOT sleeping on the way home from a long day’s drive around Snæfellsness

Kara on her last day with us, taken by the Viking ship sculpture down by the harbor, Harpa concert all in the background. We miss you, friend!!




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Posted by on July 26, 2012 in Bryndís, Travel


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Heima, part 4: Hanging out with Kiddos

We get out and about as much as possible as Everett’s energy level seems to increase daily and he needs more to keep him occupied than can be (safely, undestructively) found in our home.  But occasionally we do have a few lovely moments just chilling at home together, sometimes involved in activities together, sometimes everyone doing their own thing.
One of Ev’s favorite new things to do is climb into our bed with a book (or 5) and flip through them–literally, he loves just fanning through the pages–sometimes under the covers, sometimes sprawled out, and almost always with violently kicking feet and healthy doses of drool.
 This photo’s from awhile back, when we first moved in here in April, (and I have since had to retire that lovely red and white sweater due to a massive growth spurt in late April), but this fort stayed up for a few weeks and was a favorite place to summon Daddy when he came home in the evening.
At first, I thought this coffee table was an awkward height; then we set up the trains:)

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Posted by on July 21, 2012 in At Home, Fun with Everett


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{this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.* A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

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Posted by on July 20, 2012 in This Moment, Travel


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Bryndís Ann

þingvellir National Park; 3 1/2 weeks old

In the interest of catching up as much as possible (and I confess, some of these posts are as much for my own personal record keeping as for sharing), I want to properly introduce you to my beautiful daughter.  I have not finished writing up her birth story, but I’ll include Eric’s version of it as a pdf download because it’s hilarious (keep in mind while reading that it’s a copy of the email we sent to family and friends the day of).  In short, she arrived two weeks early, and made her entrance so swiftly that I did not make it to the hospital but rather delivered her, with the help of Eric, our wonderful doula Soffía, and a midwife who arrived just in the nick of time, in our bathtub!  Unbelievably, our sweet Bryndís Ann is already 10 weeks old, so here are just a few portraits of her life thus far.

A few minutes old!

About 1 month

Road Trip! With Grandma and Grandaddy Bryan, 2 months



Posted by on July 17, 2012 in Bryndís


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{this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.* A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

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Posted by on July 13, 2012 in This Moment, Travel


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Heima, Part 3: Hosting

I LOVE hosting people in my home, though sadly pregnancy, newborn-bouncing, and toddler-chasing have made doing so more difficult than I’d like.  But we have had occasion to host three little gatherings in our flat.  For two of them I will refrain from showing pictures as they show little ones who do not belong to me, but we had our dear friend Diane and her family over just after moving in, then we hosted playgroup one Friday, which was a total blast.  It was chaos, to be sure, but a beautiful chaos of mamas and kiddos running about and I was very proud of Everett and how well he handled all these kids playing with his toys in his space.

That was three days before the baby girl was born, and the very day before, we had the pleasure of hosting our friends Nicola and David for afternoon tea and cake. Nicola is a friend of Eric’s from when he studied here on a Fulbright back in ’05-’06, and David is her lovely beau who was studying here for a few months this spring.  It was such a pleasure to catch them for a couple of hours before they both headed back to England!

This yogurt cake was FANTASTIC! and so easy. Being in Iceland, of course I used skyr. Recipe via Pinterest from Ezra Pound Cake.

Enjoying tea amongst the mess–Everett loves to show off for guests, and anyone we talk to on Skype, and this usually involves pulling out every toy, presenting it to the lucky recipient, then flinging it aimlessly but with force.

It’s funny to reflect on this afternoon that was so peaceful and enjoyable, and contained bits of conversation that went something like, “so when are you due?” “2 1/2 weeks to go!  Hopefully she’ll hold on that long!”  and less than 24 hours later, we were holding our little one!  Wild.

I must share that Nicola, despite only being in Iceland for a short time to visit David after a good spell apart, very kindly took the time to make us dinner later that week (a fantastic lasagna!) and they both got to meet Bryndís.  Life is so sweet sometimes.


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Easter, the weekend we barely survived

This is looking back a bit, but today and yesterday–when my visiting mother in law and I have taken turns feeling icky and dealing with the kids, and Eric has helped and given up some precious hours of writing time to do so–I’m having flashbacks.

I had glorious plans for making Easter a magical holiday for our family this year.  I was going to roast a leg of lamb and invite Eric’s colleagues for dinner; I was going to make Everett an Easter basket and fill it with a stuffed bunny made from the rest of the old sweater scraps, some sweet little sugar cookies decorated just for him, and some hard-boiled eggs died with all-natural homemade food dyes; I was going to make him overalls and finish his lopapeysa in time to wear both to church on Easter Sunday; and I was going to invite playgroup friends over for an Easter egg hunt (where? our non-existent yard? why yes, this is clearly a total fantasy after all). But we moved the weekend before, then Eric got sick, and the weather was rainy and cold and utterly miserable, then I got sick but still had to entertain a toddler, and everything was closed because they take a 5-day holiday here in Iceland.  So this is about all we managed: The Easter basket got made but I had no “grass” so used poly-fil (BAD idea); the sugar cookies got made then I realized I had no food coloring to make icing so they’re plain; and I did make it to Tiger for some new crayons and the fancy candy store for some special treats.  No eggs were boiled NOR dyed.

Fabric basket, inspired by these by GoodWishesQuilts on Etsy. Overalls made from the same fabric will appear in a future post:)

You can see here the banner I made.  A couple weeks out, I did manage to make several of these and write some letters to send to friends at home and in Europe.  A few of them did actually make it in time for Easter.

I made these banners very simple: watercolor wash in pastels over several sheets of heavy watercolor paper; cut out mini triangles (each only about 2 inches max from base to point), then used darker watercolor to write Gleđilega Páska (Happy Easter in Icelandic). Strung together with Istex Einband lace weight lopi yarn.

 The lopapeysa? finished except for the zipper, which made it in by the following Wednesday (pictures forthcoming, though he is wearing it in that first pic).  Overalls?  HA! eventually, but not even close to Easter.  Dinner? Chicken soup for the 3rd night in a row as we were all feeling poorly.  Church?  Got dressed and out the door, a valiant effort, but it was too late to get there in time.  Egg hunt? Like I said, complete fantasy.

We really tried to put on our tough-guy faces and pretend to enjoy Easter, but we were really glad when it was all over.  Within a few days, Iceland graced us with beautiful sunny weather that has held on more or less ever since, and for that we are EXTREMELY grateful.

Have you ever had high hopes for a holiday or birthday that just went totally pear-shaped?  This is so not my first, and probably not my last, and sharing these stories can give us all a good laugh and reinforce that “E” for effort.

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Posted by on July 11, 2012 in At Home, My Projects


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