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One year later

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‘Hjemmet’ means the home

As many of you may already know, I wrote my life story. I was also given the opportunity to publish and so after some long hard consideration, I did.

Last April family and friends traveled with me to the Netherlands to celebrate the launch of Fly Away Home!

From there I was swept into the whirlwind of cyberspace… Tweeting, blogging and trying to promote a book. I had NO idea what I was getting myself into but worked around the clock doing whatever necessary.

To promote the book here in Norway I contacted a Woman’s magazine (called Hjemmet) and asked if they’d be interested in taking photos of my house. They were and did! I blogged all about it, which you can read,  here and here and here.

It’s been ten months since the photo shoot and the article was published this week!

At first glance, I was excited… Then I started seeing flaws…

They took forty-two pictures. Eighteen of them made it into the magazine but were not the photos I would have chosen!

The glossy pages make my walls look canary-yellow, instead of the pale yellow they really are.

They left out the best pictures showing the incredible view we have of the water.

Worst of all, I told the photographer no bedroom pictures. One was taken anyway  -I was assured it would not appear. It did

Looking back I have to wonder, why did I publish my story and open my house to the world? A lot of theories come to mind but I truly don’t have one definitive answer.

It’s been quite a year and I’ve experienced many different emotions along the way… Surprise, glory, good fortune, stress, insignificance, embarrassment and maybe even a little regret. But as the Norwegians say… Gjort er gjort, whats done is done.

For those of you who don’t live in Norway, here are the pictures:

drøm ved sjøen means a dream by the sea

‘drøm ved sjøen’ means a dream by the sea

The article mostly talks about the furnishings I've collected while living in America, the Netherlands and Norway.

The article mostly talks about the furnishings I’ve collected while living in America, the Netherlands and Norway.

the dreaded bedroom picture

the dreaded bedroom picture

The article also explains how my husband and I met, where we live and of course about the book

The article also explains how my husband and I met and where we live 

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And of course the book

2013, A New Year

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As we stand on the threshold of 2013, I’m sure we’re all thinking the same thing -New Year,  new start. 

After stuffing myself silly in honor of Christmas this past week, I went to the gym last night. I got a tremendous cramp in my right side while attempting to run on the treadmill and spinning made me nauseous. I left having burned off maybe five, of the fifty Christmas cookies I’ve eaten. I once again went to bed vowing to give up sugar.

It’s my vow every year and yet the longest I’ve ever gone without eating sugar is two weeks back in 1997 (and thats probably because I was sick). Sugar is my weakness, it’s my addiction.

I lived down the street from a little bakery when I was pregnant with my first child and would go there at least twice -okay, three times a week to buy cake. I’d always buy a chocolate/vanilla marble, buttercream cake and eat the whole thing myself. For nine months I ate three cakes a week, before giving birth to a sweet little girl. Sugar and spice, thats what little girls are made of… Right?

My stomach would never allow me to do that today, but I still eat way more than I should.

Because of time and other commitments I’ve also recently announced that I need to give up blogging. But as you can see, that seems to be another addiction…

I may not be commenting as much, but I still read posts as often as I can and will continue to post myself on occasion. I know its a you follow me, I’ll follow you, world out there but I need to put that aside. Forget about stats and do what I can, when I can. Instead of vowing to give up sugar this year, I’m going to vow to cut back -way back and to blog without pressure.

I’d like to thank my friends Maddie and Kathy for kindly bestowing me with the Super Sweet blogging Award (it was fate). I’d also like to apologize and thank everyone for all the awards I never found the time to properly acknowledge this year. It is all of you, that I would like to pass this award on to.

Silliness aside, I hope with all my heart that 2013 turns out to be a great year for all mankind. Happy New Year!

Fly Away Home

photo by Martin Brigdale

photo by Martin Brigdale

I’ve hit a milestone today and I’m celebrating with tea. This is my 100th post!

Last year at this time, I had just made the monumental decision to publish my life story. In other words, share the good and reveal the bad. All of it. To-the-entire-world!

If that wasn’t nerve-wracking enough, I was also strongly advised to start a blog. Me? A blog! The thought was terrifying. I was afraid people would show up looking to read great posts, written by an experienced author and instead find me. What would I write about and what would it sound like without an editor to help polish things up?

Obviously I found stuff to write about, this is my 100th post and everyone’s been great in overlooking my bad grammar. Everyone except my daughter Michele, that is…

 Stick it out for one year, or one hundred posts, whatever came first. That was the deal I made with myself last April, when starting the blog. But what will I do now? I honestly don’t know.

My biggest dream is to have my book translated to Norwegian and yet I haven’t spent much time working on that. I have one son leaving for college and another who will be a senior in high school next year. I also have three, precious little grandchildren living right up the road and I’d love to spend more time cuddling with them. I hate that I sit at one end of the house and my husband the other, on our computers every night. If there was only more time, or I had more energy.

For now all I can do is thank everyone who’s followed along, stopped by once in a while, and pushed the like button. I’m also giving away a signed copy of my book, Fly Away Home. If you’re interested, pop over and visit Janneke, at DrieCulturen and leave a comment. She writes an interesting blog about growing up in other cultures. Check it out…

win a free copy!

win a free copy!

 

 

It’s been quite a year

My good friend, over at  Crazy Train To Tinky Town has been kind enough to bestow a 2012 Blog of the Year Award on me… Thank you Dallas!

But am I worthy? That’s the thought I wrestled with all night, instead of sleeping…

I thought about all the hours I spent crying and cursing over my keyboard in the beginning before I got the hang of it. The frustration of trying to figure out what a widget was and all the times I begged my husband to help me learn how to use them. Hearing from one of my children that I spelled a word wrong and the guilt, every time I fell behind in reading posts.

I also remember the thrill I got the first time someone other than a family member left a comment on my blog. That person was Naomi, from Writing Between the Lines.

How happy I was when Kate, from Before I forget offered and then wrote the nicest review of my book.

Cathy, from Expat Alien also wrote a wonderful review without me having to ask. I really appreciated it… Thanks guys!

Lily, from One More Morning who writes the most beautiful poetry and leaves the sweetest comments.

Paula, from Stuff I Tell My Sister who has always been supportive and friendly.

Beth, from It’s a Whole New World who has also been a source of great support.

Debbie, From It’s All About Purple lives in my hometown and is a former classmate of mine. Her blog feels like home.

Robin, from Robin Coyle who always makes me laugh.

Dianne GrayMaddie Cochere and Dallas are a few more of the great blogs I’ve become acquainted with (I wish I could list them all).

The conclusion I’ve come to is this… All bloggers deserve a Blog of the Year Award!

I guess I’ve already listed my nominations, so here are the rules:

  • Select the blogs you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012 Award’.
  • Write a post and tell about the blogs you have chosen and present them with their award.
  • Please include a link back to this page Blog of the 2012 Year Award and include these rules (do not alter the rules or the badges).
  • Let the blogs you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the rules with them.
  • You can now also join our Facebook page – click the link here Blog of the Year 2012 Award and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience.
  • As a winner of the award please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award. Proudly display the award on your side bar and start collecting stars.

Thanks everyone!

Gone Fish’n

Goodbye homestead

Hello sea

 

I have a few projects that need my attention…

So I won’t be blogging as much, but I promise to pop in from time to time for a visit.

Take care and I’ll see you soon :)

 

 

Goodbye summer

 

Goodbye summer 2012

I’m always happiest in the summer. I want to say its because of the nice weather, but we don’t always get the nicest weather here in Norway. Warm sunny days pop up randomly but can never be counted on. What we do get, is plenty of daylight. While the north of Norway basks in twenty-four-hours of it, we here in the South get about four hours of dusk, to which we call night. I get super charged by the light and run around like the Duracell Bunny all summer long.

It took all summer but Adam’s (grandson) sunflower finally bloomed.

As you may have guessed, by the end of summer I’m more than ready to go into winter hibernation. Especially since our long days of daylight turn into long days of darkness. I get through these months mostly in pajama pants, with plenty of books and lots of vitamin D. (Exercise and eating healthy also helps).

As the days steadily get shorter and the kids head back to school, I can feel my energy already starting to deplete. I’ve been sending children to school without a break since 1982, and with only twenty months to go, I’m eager to put that part of life behind me!

These two (Khloe & Mia) will really miss summer

My book came out in April and its been nonstop since then with blogging, promoting and travel. I’m happy to report an excerpt from the book was recently highlighted in the Foreign Exchange Newsletter and put up on their Expat Exchange web sight. Feel free to go in and push the fb like button or tweet it. Thank you!

Which brings me to the next order of business, I promised a book giveaway. The lovely Emily (granddaughter) took time away from her painting to pull a name for me…

Emily picks the winner

And the winner is Crazytraintotinkytown which is a great blog, that comes to us all the way from Turkey… Yay!

Maybe I should deliver the book to Turkey myself

Later this week my daughter and grandson are coming from America for a visit. Its not often I get both of my daughters in the same country. I’ve therefore decided to take a short break from blogging and enjoy every minute I can with them. I hope you all enjoy your week as much as I know I’ll enjoy mine. -Maggie

Cyril and Willy

I’d like to introduce my new friends Cyril, the snail and Willy, the worm. You heard right, my new friends are a couple of Spineless Wonders. They have recently parted ways with their creator Kate, over at beforiforget and now have their very own blog. These two boys have nominated me for a brand new award, called the Daisy Award. Thanks guys!

If you follow them, you’re sure to start your day with a smile.

The rules for this award are:

  1. Thank the person or bugs (sorry guys) that gave it to you… Thanks Cyril and Willy!
  2. Tell seven things about yourself… I was recently interviewed by the Expat Bookshop, click here and learn even more then seven things about me.
  3. Nominate other bloggers for the award… I want to nominate everyone and anyone who is reading this. So help yourself, I’m sure the daisy will look great on your award shelf!

Opps, I did it again!


It happened…

Somebody called the blog police on me…

It wasn’t for dedicating my awards to my husband in my last post, but for having to many ‘o’s’ in lose, and not enough ‘r’s’ in scarred!

My only excuse is exhaustion. I get tired from the juggling act I always seem to have going on inside my head. Everything from, “What should I make for dinner?” to “Which book should I take with me on vacation?” Questions pop into my head faster than I can find solutions for them. I don’t need to tell you how busy I am, because we’re all busy.

The other thing that clutters my mind is always having to do things in two languages. I jump from English to Norwegian, several hundred times a day. Growing up I always thought it was funny how my grandmother would mix Norwegian in with her English. After learning Norwegian myself, I noticed she did the same when talking Norwegian.

I could understand the mistake while talking a foreign language, but how could she mix up her own native words? Over the years she sent many letters, in Christmas and Birthday cards all written in her blended jargon. Trying to figure out what the Norwegian words in the English sentences meant, was sometimes like putting a puzzle together.

It is now me who is in constant search of a word, and use my Norwegian to English dictionary just as often as my English to Norwegian one. I wonder if this is because like my grandmother, I was over thirty before learning my new language. My children never seem to have any trouble hopping from one language to the other. I however, am like my grandmother, always mixing language soup and not taking the time to read through my posts better, before hitting publish…

Thats Amore


I’ve been nominated for One Lovely Blog Award by my new friend on the crazytraintotinkytown. A great blog about starting a new life in Turkey. So whether you’re in need of some summer sun, or not, check it out!

I also received a Sunshine Award from Kate, the famous creator of Spineless Wonders over at beforiforget Always entertaining!

Finally, a Beautiful Blogger Award from fellow Jersey girl Laura Stanfill she reads and knits, but mostly writes, and she’s good!

I want to do something a little different and I hope no one calls the blog police…

I want to dedicate these awards to my husband, who’s been such a great sport. First losing me to ‘the book’ and now, ‘the blog’. He has also – recently – been scarred for life and I feel partly responsible  Something big part 1.

In his honor, I’d like to tell seven things about him:

1.  He was born in Norway and although he’s only lived a total of three years in America, he talks like a Yankee (I wonder why).

2. Have you heard the saying, “When the cats away, the mice will play?” My husband says, “You know what happens when the cat’s gone.”

3. Have you heard the saying, “I’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off?” My husband says, “I’ve been running around like a de headed chicken.” (he has a little trouble with sayings)

4. He never says, “I can’t.” Only “I can try.”

5. He never asks what I’m mad about… He just brings home flowers and waits for it to pass.

6. He snores when he drinks (I had to tell something bad).

7. He rocks my world!

Monday, we (just him and I) are leaving on a much deserved trip to Cinque Terra, Italy. You’ll hear all about it, when I get back…

Ever since the book launch in April, life has been crazy. There are simply not enough hours in the day for book promoting, plus we have a big family. He works a million hours a week and travels, I blog (I’m sure that needs no explaining). I lost my grandmother, we got a new grand-baby and lets not forget the photo shoot of the house… Exhale, Mag!

I’ve already warned him, “I will not be pretty, on this vacation!” I am not packing makeup, I’m wearing my hair in a ponytail everyday and I will be drinking Italian wine at every meal.

We are not bringing laptops, iPads or iPhones (well maybe a phone for emergency) and I’ve already made a list of all the things I want to talk to him about, while I have his undivided attention (he’s going to love that, not)

Ciao!

Confessions of a (writer?)

I have six children!

Four of them live here in Norway (two still at home) and two are living in the States. My travel goal each year is to at some point visit these two missing children of mine, whether they come here or I go there. This past May my son and his lovely wife came to Norway and my daughter came to the Netherlands for my book launch. My daughter is also coming to Norway in September and as a bonus, she is bringing her son. The only bad thing is her daughter can’t come because of school (that stinks). It’s not easy when an ocean separates you from your family, but this is my life.

Life has been both good and bad, in fact it has thrown me twenty-three chapters worth of curveballs to write about and thats what I’m getting to with this post…

I never thought sitting down to write my story three years ago that it would be published but for once, I was in the right place at the right time. I got lucky. Not that it isn’t a good story, because it is! I defy anyone to read it and not find something they can identify with.

The reason I feel so honored to be published is this… I’m not really a writer. I lived and yes, wrote, but if it weren’t for the talent of a skilled editor, I’m afraid my book would be nothing more than endless rambling.

The reason for my confession is this, I follow dozens of blogs, half of them are written by people who are (whether published or not) writers in every sense of the word. I can see how good they are and yet they struggle for recognition (this in my opinion is a true writer). They are gifted, dedicated and deserve to be rewarded. I on the other hand work for hours and then break out into a cold sweat every time I press the publish button on my blog. More than once I’ve found mistakes that have left me spinning in my bed at night.

I don’t want it to be like that. I want it to be fun. Thats why I’m declaring this blog to be the endless ramblings of your average everyday person (who just so happens to have an edited book out there).

Phew… That felt good!

My daughter and her family in Norway:

My son and his wife in Norway:

 
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