I am back in Stavanger after nearly 3 weeks in Canada. The trip was nice and relaxed with only a few side trips. My time was filled mostly with visiting, HGTV and baby shopping. It seems like the longer I've been gone from Canada, the less stressed I feel about trips home. I'm no longer stretching myself and my time so thin and it's much more enjoyable even if that means not seeing as many people as I'd like.
While I was in Canada, we officially passed the two year mark since we left Gabon for Norway. This thought baffles me. The idea that we've been in Norway now longer than we were in Gabon seems completely unreal. After 2 years in Port Gentil, we were both itching to leave yet neither of us are feeling particularly anxious to move on from Stavanger. Clearly, our second expatriation was an easier transition. Funnily, sometimes we reminisce about our past, more adventurous life and feel a little nostalgic for the exotic. As great as our time in Norway has been, I can see us pushing for something different when the time comes to move.
On that note - yes, we're still in Stavanger and while I don't really want to jinx anything, we're feeling pretty confident about being here for the next little while. Of course, that can change and it often feels like when we're comfortable, someone decides to throw a wrench in our plans but particularly with the impending birth of our first child, we're laying low and would prefer to stay put. One major life change is enough at this point.
On the pregnancy front, I'm still feeling pretty good. We've really grown a lot over the past few weeks and I'm now noticing a bit of a struggle when putting on socks and shoes. I've been feeling movements for quite some time but they're certainly more noticeable these days. He is very active in utero, particularly when I'm eating or trying to go to sleep. Joe felt him move for the first time a couple of weeks before I left for Canada and it's even quite easy to see him moving around on the outside too which is just so bizarre.
I returned to Norway with a large duffel bag full of baby gear and while I was gone, Joe purchased a crib. We have picked out our stroller and car seat but we aren't rushing into purchasing just yet in hopes that we'll see some sales come up over the next month. While home, I also stocked up on maternity clothing which is surprisingly hard to find in Norway. I am feeling so much more comfortable now in clothes that fit properly.
Our summer travel schedule is practically non-existent right now. This week we surrender our residence cards as we renew them which pretty much keeps us grounded until our new ones arrive. I'm hoping to plan a last minute excursion to the Hardanger Fjord in the coming weeks when the weather looks nice and things are slower for Joe at work. Joe might escape to Berlin for a weekend on his own in August to visit a friend and if I'm lucky, we might squeeze in one more international trip before I hit the no-fly zone but time is running out. Summer is so short in Norway so I'm happy to stick around and enjoy it while it's here.
That's about it on this end - what is new with you? Any exciting summer plans?