Monday, May 31, 2010

Ditte & Asbjorn, a happy beginning

I love weddings.

The make me jiggle all day and put an uncontrollable smile on my face.

Maybe it is the little girl in me that is still in love with pretty princesses and handsome princes and "they-lived-happy-and-had-a-lot-of-children" endings.

Maybe it is because of my childhood memories of the pretty ladies in white. When I was a little, my grand-mother lived right on the path between the town hall and the church where all wedding parties would walk. So every time we were at her place and heard the wedding bells, we would run out as fast as we could so that we wouldn't miss the beautiful bride. Oh the smiles on my face!

Or maybe it is because they remind me of the pure joy of my own wedding last year. Having all friends and family gathered in one room, it is just priceless.

In any case, you can just imagine how happy I was when Ditte asked me if I would like to take pictures at their wedding. I felt like she was asking me to be the guardian of their memories. So I clicked on my shutter all I could that day. And given that my understanding of the Danish language is still only slowly improving, pictures just became my way of living their wedding.

So here it is - a post of many images and few words.

The day started at Ditte's parents. The excitement was just bouncing off the walls throughout the house. Loved ones, all dressed up for the occasion, coming in to helping to plan the last minute details.

Even our little Olivia put on her party outfit that morning to welcome her "new" aunty in the family.

And little by little, Ditte transformed into a princess.

Getting into the dress that she chose months and months ago, back then only imagining what her day would be like. The dress that would make her feel like the most beautiful woman in the world for the man waiting for her at the church.

And then there were many smiles.

And a few tears also.

Those of a proud father taking a first look at his daughter covered in white, probably singing in the back of his mind "I saw her first".

And the excitement mounting. Feeling more and more butterflies in the belly. It is almost time to go.

Time to leave the house. Time to go meet your man.

And you are getting closer and closer to him. And she to you.

And finally, the moment is here, sweeter than you ever imagined it. The eyes meet, and the rest follows its course.

All is sealed with a kiss.

A loving man promising to take care of his wife....

The hands of two newlyweds saying more than words ever could.

Oh, and the celebration outside the church!

So much rice was thrown, to wish them all the best.....Ditte probably found a whole bad of it in her dress when she took it off that night!

And throughout the rest of the day, kisses. More kisses than you could ever count. Kisses, to infinity and beyond.

And as the Danish tradition wants it, numerous speeches, just beautiful. Hearts speaking their words to the happy couple.

And in case you are superstitious, don't you worry! Cuts and veils were cut, so Tristan will hopefully have a lot of brothers and sisters coming soon :)

Asbjorn and Ditte's wedding was nothing short of happiness, beauty, excitement, laughter and cries of too much joy, friends and family hugging and loving each other. All the ingredients you need for a happy beginning. The beginning of a new chapter.

And a chapter that for sure is going ROCK 'N ROLL :)

Congrats again, we love you guys!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

La malade (pas) imaginaire

Last week was a weird mix of life events. A series a very intense life events, both good and bad....and so condensed that in a way it felt like a mini theater play. My mind is still trying to put some order through it.

So I shall tell you the story of what happened last week. Because hopefully it will help me make sense of it all.

The first few days of last week were business as usual, just setting the plot: Two newly-parents who also recently moved to a new country and started on all sorts of new paths. Trying to get used to their new life and readjusting their expectations as they went, their busy minds working too hard on a hundred things that made life start spinning faster and faster.

Troels was preparing to speak at a conference for the first time and overall extremely busy with work. I was trying to prepare to photograph my first wedding while still feeling extremely tired from the previous week and taking care of a fussy Olivia who was teething and just could not sleep well at night. We were all slowly getting a bit edgy, but nothing that a little ice cream outing could not solve in two seconds :) With that, our first real ice cream outing of the summer, so it was extra special.

And did I mention Danish people don't joke around with their ice cream? A nice "little" soft ice with tons and tons of cream on top of it. H.E.A.V.E.N. Olivia was eyeing at her dad's ice cream with a "I'll-skip-my-next-ration-of-milk-and-go-for-one-of-these-instead-thank-you-very-much" look on her face. Oh the pleasures of raising this little girl.

Spectators applaud. Everything at this point seems to be solving itself out in our play. Life is good.

And then came Wednesday night, and with that the climax of our play of a week.

That night, Olivia had been crying for over and hour going to bed, and I was still exhausted from the night before because she had been waking up all the time also. So I decided, for once, to be a good girl and go to bed early.

Then I wake up. Look around me. I am about to get in an ambulance and can hear myself breathing in an oxygen mask. And then the words from the paramedic I still can't get out of my head: "Don't worry Audrey, you are ok. You had a seizure. We are on our way to the hospital".

I loose consciousness again.

I wake up, we are at the hospital. Everything feels blurry. My tongue feels numb because I bit it so hard during the seizure. My body feels more tired than if I had ran a marathon, I can't move a muscle. It is 1 am by then.

Troels had to tell me what happened exactly because of course I can't remember a thing. He had just come to bed with me that night, and all of a sudden I started shaking, my teeth sealed so tight, not breathing, bitting my tongue. Foam coming out of my mouth. Poor Troels who tried all of the CPR tricks that he knew on me while the ambulance was on its way.

Now at the hospital, my consciousness is slowly coming back. And with it the fear of finding out why I went into a seizure. It is already late at night, so I have some blood work done before we are given a room where Troels, Olivia and I can sleep.

But I can't sleep.

I cry. And I cry, worried about what I might find out the day after. I don't want the next day to come. The doctors hardly talked to me that night, so of course in the dark of the hospital room I assume the worst, thinking that I might have a brain tumor. And I look at the little girl sleeping so gently in the hospital crib. And I cry. Because tomorrow might be different, and all of the things that I took for granted....might be all changed forever.

I finally fall asleep late in the night. And as it often does when I am worried, the sun finally rises and takes with him some of the fears that built up during the shadows of the night. The doctors come in, and this time they reassure me, ell me that these sort of seizure can also happen for unknown reason, just a chemical imbalance, once in a person's life. But that they are going to do some test of course since there could be a reason.

Blood test comes back all good. The oh-so-feared CT scan of my brain also comes back all good. The tree of fear sheds it leaves little by little, and the smile comes back on my face. Especially when I look at this little girls playing on my hospital bed.

We leave the hospital, knowing that we still have to see a neurologist for more tests to try and determine what could have cause the seizure. And until then I am not allowed to drive. But I don't care, because I feel more than happy with my glass half full the way it is that day. On the car ride home I look out the window, and the sky looks bluer, the grass greener.

We come back home, and all the way to the bedroom I see a trail of footprint that paramedics left from the night before going in our bedroom. These footprints are still on our floor as I am writing this. They make my house look dirty, but I needed them there for a few days. A reminder of what happened. I think it is because they make me think about how lucky I was in all what happened. That I wasn't driving when the seizure happened, or even just up holding Tinymus. It could have been so much worse. So these footprints, they remind me of my luck. They make me happy, in a weird twisted way. But I guess they still make my house look dirty, so I'll clean them tomorrow :)

All I needed to do now is rest. Rest. A lot of it. And celebrate life too. For all of its beauty and even for its sometimes half-fullness, even when we are tired and stressed for whatever reason. Because we never know what is going to happen tomorrow.

My little rock star.

And what better to celebrate life than to see your brother-in-law and his beautiful Ditte promising to love each other for the rest of their life? Because of play of a week would not have been complete without a (very) happy ending that weekend.

So we joined Ditte and Asbjoern on their wedding day.

But this ending, my friends, was so beautiful that it deserves a post of its own -so: To be Continued. (And soon, I promise!)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Little miss sunshine

The clouds finally broke out yesterday to let through a little ray of sunshine. And the billion yellow flowers in hundreds of fields around here went completely bananas from so much warmth.

And I think I know what made the sun come out all of a sudden.

It's this little girl's first big laugh.

Listen to that.

She has magical powers I tell you, this little puce, to make the sun come out like this and shine in my little heart and all around Denmark. Now, you are probably wondering was I am doing to make her laugh so hard? Turns out, she seems to like it when I move my head back and forth, kinda like a chicken. Yeah, apparently she likes when her mamma looks goofy, go figure!

Now, I shouldn't have told you that, you're probably going to want to see a video of that too :D hehe, right, you can keep on hoping!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Slow motion

This week has been all rain here, and for some reason it always seems to put life to a slow motion for me. Lucky coincidence actually since I have been feeling extremely tired all week for some reason...timing couldn't have been more perfect.

My high energy gear backed down for a little while. I stopped answering emails for a few days. Instead, I paused to hear the drops tap on the window in our bedroom...I could lay there for hours. Or stopped to listen to my little girl's breathing while she is sound asleep. Or tucked in under blankets in the couch, with a cup of hot cocoa and warm muffins, reading a book. Can you just imagine?

My mum was in for the week, so we did a great deal of "hygge" with the grand-parents. It was just great to see her and Olivia interact, it is not so often.

I really wish my parents would see Olivia more often, she is growing so fast already. But I already feel very lucky that we live "closer" and they get to see her more often. If we still lived in the US, it would be that much harder.

I grew up so close to my family - always playing with my cousins when we were little, pilled up in the back of our grandma's little green Renault 5 as she took us all from place to place-, and I am so fond of my childhood because of all these memories. I wish that Olivia could have this too - it is only normal to want for your child the things you loved from your childhood, right?

You probably think it is funny that I have these thoughts when we just moved to Denmark, where we are close to family.... deep down tough, I know we are going to move again at some point or another. Of course she will get many more things and experience wonderful things as we move around with her, things I could have never dreamed of when I was a little girl. She's going to build a great childhood for herself, I have no doubt of it. But I will try, oh I will try as hard as I can to give her a sense of family, so she can have her "tribe". It is so important to me.

This week I also did a great deal of playing with my new toys. Yoav brought these with him on his last trip to Denmark, and I was so excited to open my bag of goodies. it felt like Christmas, right in the middle of spring...I liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike!

Anna Maria Horner's new book is a gem, packed with the most wonderful sewing project and I can't wait to get started on presents for Olivia, friends and family....and myself :) Readers (Troels?)- name what you'd like and I might very well surprise you with a little thing or two one of these days. I dropped by Katharina's to suprize her with a copy of the book since she is also an avid sewer, and I think she was just as excited as I am about it. Can't wait to see what she makes of it!

My new camera lens is also fab! I had been using my kit lens so far, which is great too, but now I have the possibility to bring a little variation to the pictures I take and I am digging it. But it's a bit tricky too to get the results I want. I practiced a lot this week, and a lot....and still need more practice to figure it out. But I feel it coming. I will conquer!

And yes, it is droll that you can see on Olivia's chin before - I thought the pictures wouldn't quite as "perfect" without it ;)

How I love her double-chin :D

I am slowly building my portfolio, and I decided to also revamp my photo website because I am planning on using it more and more in the next few months. Be on the lookout, I'll share the new version soon :)

And now, on to another week. Busier this time as we prepare for Asbjorn and Ditte's wedding this Saturday. Party is in the air people!