We bought our first Halloween pumpkins ever in Norway this weekend! I was so excited that we were able to find pumpkins at all, that I chose to ignore the fact that a) they were already in various states of softening and decomposition, and b) we had to pay through the nose to get our hands on these tiny suckers.
Despite the rain and generally dreary weather, the boys had a ghoulishly fun time in the garage, carving out their masterpieces...
...even if Mike may have been a tad too inspired by his oh-so-busy life here in Norway...
I had fun in the kitchen, toasting pumpkin seeds (my first attempt, but definitely not my last. Yummy!) and baking pumpkin cookies, courtesy of my friend Morag's fantastic recipe. They turned out pretty well, considering I had to do without a few of the recipe's key ingredients. Improvisation was the name of the game. I couldn't find chocolate chips here (gasp!), so I put some baking chocolate in a Ziploc bag and gave Benjamin a hammer. Presto - chocolate chips!
Another first for me is my being tagged to do the "7 random things" meme by the lovely Painted Maypole. I never really realized how hard these memes can be! I now have a new appreciation for the work behind them. But, ready or not, here I go...
1. I didn't get my driver's license until I was 28, something many of my friends - not to mention my husband - find very odd. In fact, it was Mike who signed me up for Young Drivers of Canada on my 28th birthday. Yes! I felt co-o-ol sitting in class with a bunch of pimply 16 year olds! Life in Canadian Suburbia would have been difficult to manage without a car, I see that now, but at the time we were living in the city, and walking seemed a fine alternative to me. Of course, I had not yet experienced the carting of diapers on an icy sidewalk in the middle of winter.
2. My pet peeve is that people assume that just because I chose to get married, I automatically took my husband's last name. Let me rush to say I have no problem with anyone taking their spouse's name (be it husband or wife), I just don't like people making assumptions about it. And while I'm venting, what's with the salutation title Mrs? Why on earth would a stranger need to know my marital status? Ms. will do fine, thankyouverymuch.
3. I love George Clooney. 'nuff said.
4. I'm naturally introverted, but have - through sheer luck - found fantastic friends in Canada, who have taught me to be more extroverted. My first instinct is always to huddle up at home with a good book by the fire, but I push myself 'out there', to be social. And when I go, I usually have the best time. And even though I'm loving our stay in Norway, I sorely miss my friends and can't wait to see them again.
5. Travelling is not new to our family. Benjamin, Christopher, Mike and I were all born in different countries (Canada, Norway, England and Denmark, respectively). Before we met, Mike lived in Japan, while I've lived in Greece. And we were married in Costa Rica, the place we called home at the time.
6. Although Norwegians are supposedly born with skis on their feet, I only started downhill skiing three years ago. I suck at it, but I love it. The exhilaration of speeding down the mountain can't be topped. Although my ego does take a bit of a bruising when, full speed ahead, I am easily beat by 3 year-olds barely out of diapers...
7. I started my blog as a log of our adventure here in Europe, partly for our friends and family in Canada, but also as a journal for my children when they are older. I did not anticipate what a revelation the blogosphere community would be for me. It's been a thrill to discover the multitude of incredibly talented writers out there, and get insight into their lives, all around the globe. Not to mention the appreciation I feel when they take the time to read and comment on my craptacular little blog on life Norway style.
And now...I'm supposed to tag 7 others to do this meme, which I do with some trepidation. If you are not into it, I promise I won't take it personally. But you may want to keep this one in mind if you're doing the NaBloPoMo in November. I would love to read 7 random facts about the following ladies: Alm from Come on Along!, Kellan from On the Upside, Lisa from Take 90 West, the lovely writer known as She She, Alpha DogMa who cracks me up on a daily basis, Carrie from Third Times a Charm?, and my very first blog pal, Linda, from another good thing.
My final first of the day is an award given to me by the lovely Kellan of On the Upside.
This award is "presented to awesome blog owners who keep their readers excited about their posts. Their blog posts are interesting and worth reading and keep their readers looking forward to each and every post."
How sweet is that? Kellan's own blog is a consistently hilarious tale of her life with four gorgeous and funny children in Texas. She has a wonderful "half full" attitude, and always looks for the upside, even when it is not obvious. Thank you so much, Kellan!
I know lots of bloggers who are deserving of this award, but as my children are hollering for lunch (the nerve!), I would like to present this award to the following two fantastic bloggers, whom I am so happy to have 'met' here in blogosphere: Victoria from Best To Keep Your Eyes Open, and The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch from Gifts From A Broad. If you have not yet had the pleasure of reading these blogs, I highly recommend them!
And those are all my firsts this Sunday. Hope you're all having a good one!