I started to write a very serious summary of 2014. It was plain boring, filled with big words, lots of beautiful adjectives and kind of a false happiness. So, I am starting over. 2014 became the year that we’ll probably remember for a long time. Good and bad, indescribable sadness, lots of “try hard” moments, happiness, love and sickness. Plague and cholera mixed with bright memories and pure happiness here and there. Life happened. And it has been a long year, a badass year.
When everything works and moves forward, life is beautiful. Add on a long hike in the mountains, a crazy race on an island, a chilly bike ride on single track or a trail run in the green woods, beside a bright blue lake and life is gorgeous, overwhelming and great. I’ve been lucky to have lots of days filled with all those awesome things and you want to store that in your memory forever.
This year has also had it’s bad moments. Life turns upside down when you, a family member or a close friend gets sick or dies. We have experienced a little bit of everything. For me worrying is the worst and my mind has been filled with fire breathing dragons and still is. You want health and happiness for all your loved ones. I sure have learned that it’s impossible to fix everything with K-tape. And it’s heartbreaking to realize that there are things in life you can’t do much about.
We celebrate 7 years in USA in a few days. It’s a long time. I know we have all learned a lot and still discover and experience new things every day. Life sure is different here. I am glad we decided to stay after our first few years. You don’t start living in a new country until you’re getting used to everything around you. The first years passed too fast. You drive around looking for the right kind of food, places to visit, things you like. You start meeting people, building up a new life, getting used to everything around you. And you get used to a new language. Who knows how to service your car, going to the dentist and get a new furnace in English. You learn new things every day. And you wake up 7 years later realizing your kids are growing up in a mixed cultural world and you freak out a bit. Will this ruin them forever, raising them as world citizens with attachments to more than one country? Will they be confused, never feel at home or maybe the opposite? I am hoping they will live with an open mind, curious and a badass try hard approach to life.
Climbing and volleyball are still our overall preferred sports. If you would ask Brjann, golf would get high on the list too. The kids are super enthusiastic and really motivated. We so wish we could do this full time but some of us still need to earn our high school diplomas before making any life changing decisions. I am still working on my swimming skills and are trying really hard to look good in goggles. It’s not going to happen any time soon. I am also trying to get hooked on road biking but the only thing on my mind right now is deadlifts and pull ups.
Two years ago I wrote a post for our daughters and I am including parts of that post again. I cannot remind them often enough how great they all are.
- Be nice to your sisters, always.
- It is ok to be homesick and long for all loved ones in our other country… they will still be there next summer.
- Never get in a car with a drunk driver. Call home, any time.
- Work out. As much as you can and as hard as you can. And it is ok to look sweaty, not very cute and feel like you are going to puke. It is actually good for you.
- Always work hard in school, it will pay off. But remember, you can only do your best.
- Never be afraid to ask for help.
- It is ok to spend a lot of money on shoes, especially running shoes.
- Don’t worry about love when you are 17, you have plenty of time. I am sure you will not even remember the name of the cutest guy in 12th grade when you turn 30. Life goes on.
- Accept people around you. Nobody is perfect. Not even you.
- Do your thing. Be different. But don’t wear too short skirts.
- Travel as much as you can.
- Laugh often and hard. And laugh at yourself.
- Keep your eyes on the ball, in sports and in life.
- Learn how to drive a stick.
- Learn how to cook and bake bread. Enjoy food, it is good for you and it brings people together.
- Change is good, scary but good.
- Do things that scare you.
- No tattoos or visible piercings. And no, I will not change my mind about this.
- You are all three so much stronger than you think.
- If you can’t think, go for a run, a long run.
- Don’t stress… you have a long life ahead of you.
Lake Sammamish July 2014
First sister selfie, Paris July 2004
A happy, healthy new year to all.
Hoh Rainforest August 2014
California July 2014
Hurricane Ridge August 2014
Washington DC November 2014
Splash Mt, California July 2014
Portland April 2014