Blown away.

I drove through a thunderstorm on Saturday night to witness the birth of a beautiful and strong baby girl. Welcome Saga, your journey earthside is imprinted in my heart.

(The whole story will be posted on my birth photography website www.birth.no - when I've worked through the hundreds of photos. You shall be given notice.)

These days.

The heat is consistent and lets us really soak in the delight of summer, it's filling up our reservoirs to go through another winter, it tans our skins and lightens our hair, the soil goes dry and the ever panting dog seeks refuge in the dark coolness of the hall during the day. We have already picked our redcurrant bush almost bare, and made juice from it with the freshest taste of summer, I bake bread every other day, just to do something sensible during the hottest hours, and apart from that we mostly hang around in the shade, play games, listen to the radio, read. In the cooler afternoons we go for a dip in the local swimming pond, before we head back for a home cooked evening meal with lovely produce from our gardens. 

I'm on call for a birth, I've got my camera all packed and ready, and the magic and intensity of what I'm about to witness, contrasts heavily with the lightness of these days. How lucky I am, to have this electric contrast in my life, to be invited into such a space, and to wait for it so pleasantly. These summer days, they are freedom encapsulated.

Explosion.

It still completely puzzles me, that the tiny little seeds we put into soil in spring, now have transformed into this huge variation of amazing plants. And they even feed us! How something so complex can be programmed in those small seeds, is nothing short of a miracle. The garden is in full bloom, and our meals nowadays consist of a huge part from the garden. What luxury!

The real Mr. Payne.

Happy birthday to my father-in-law, my husbands dad, my childrens granddad - the real Mr. Payne! We wish we could have been there to celebrate your big day, but we promise to make it up to you. You are such an inspiration, you have a big heart and you are a wonderful example to us and our children. Lots and lots of love from all of us!

xxx

(Check out the handsome farmer below! I see so much of my Mr. Payne in him. And the kids on the roof are my husband and his brother helping their dad out, just like our kids help us on the farm. Good things are passed on.)

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This guy.

Just about to turn one and a half, this little monkey melts his mamas heart every day. He is such a cheeky charmer, using those big eyes with the long lashes for what they are worth to get away with his little schemes. 

Right now he is the only kid in the house, because his sisters went with my dad to the mountains today. A couple of days of hiking and fishing awaits, and they were more than mildly excited when they took off this morning. Lucky them for having such a granddad! And lucky me for getting some alone-time with this little guy. Although I miss my girls already, it is nice to be able to focus completely on Falk for a while. He is the loveliest little rascal a mother could ever ask for. Sigh.

Days of summer.

We usually go on holiday to England and Portugal in the summer, to visit Mr. Paynes parents and brother with family. It's always been a lovely break, but at the same time we have felt it strange to leave home at the prettiest time of year, when our garden is in bloom and we can finally eat from it, the weather usually is lovely, and we can enjoy life to the fullest here. Also, we are building kennels on the farm to start a dog motel (cats too eventually), and we have a cow to milk twice a day. So we're staying home. Next year we'll probably go, but in the autumn. This summer then, is spent in ways reminiscent of my childhood summers - with trips to the coast. We are so lucky, we have friends who share their luxuries with us, so we can climb aboard a boat and travel out to sea, stopping at an island to spend the day.

What better way to spend a hot sunny day? I can't think of any.

(Ps. Remember my holiday films from last year (this and this and this)? Well, I'm making another one from one of these days. Coming up!)

Hoist anchor!

Wow. Back online after the lightning struck our modem dead - twice. Hopefully this one will last longer, if this mama can remember to pull out the plugs when nature starts rumbling. 

This summer has so far been a roller coaster in more ways than one. After starting my summer break in the end of May and up until now, I have done a whole lot of thinking. I brought myself to a place where I had to make an important decision, and it wasn't an easy one.

My love of photography has always been there, ever since I learned how to use my dads old analog Nikon EM, but it has evolved, and become more substantial, a bigger part of my life, something I've taken more and more seriously. And although my teaching job was great, and having a steady income every month was lovely, there was this voice within, I think it came from my heart, and it started speaking really loud. It was so loud that in the end, I couldn't hear the other thoughts I tried to think: for example that I should work a few more years as a teacher, that I should wait, that I should have more security, that maybe I shouldn't change anything at all. All I could hear was: Go for it.

So I did. I jumped, I did what scared me the most.

I am not going back to work this autumn. I am now self-employed. I am shocked, happy, relieved, and crazily excited about it. It feels like a completely bonkers thing to do, but it feels so right. That voice isn't so loud anymore, it just sort of grunts happily every now and then, gives a little sigh of relief, says that I did good.

I wouldn't have done this if I didn't think it would work, if I didn't have faith in it. I think I can make a living out of being a photographer, and so far it has been great. Lots of work, lots of photos, lots of happy customers. 

I am doing both the birth photography (see www.birth.no & www.facebook.com/fodselsfoto for more) and the more conventional work, as my alter ego Bygdefotografen (www.bygdefotografen.no & www.facebook.com/bygdefotografen) - both for the private and commercial market. I have tons of other plans too. (And yes! You are welcome to get in touch if you need a photographer!)

After having gone through this process, thinking so much my head was about to crack, weighing things back and forth, worrying, pondering, feeling confused - out of all of that, after the decision was made, came this one feeling, this one word. Freedom.

I am free. 

Today:

There has been a row of sick days in the family, and we have all taken our turn. Last ones out are Falkie and me, and luckily we are just bitten by a mild flu unlike the others, who had the stomach bug. Ew. I've been sniffling my way through the day with a headache on the side, while Falk really hasn't bothered to sniffle at all - the snot has mostly just been laid out there, like babes often do it. Ill or not, things must be done nonetheless, so having a big sis to hang on to is definitely a good thing. 

Work and play. That's what we do. My girls decided to make dinner today, and made taco wraps for everyone, with salads from the garden. There is something quite nice about being able to lie on the sofa feeling poorly when you can hear your kiddos rustling about in the kitchen making food for you. I must say. Having children ain't so bad.

Oh and coming out in the garden after a nap to find your gang busy climbing the flag pole in an action filled game of pirates, well that's pretty cool, too.

Today was a good day, snot and all.

Midsummer.

We seem to have established a new tradition: We share our midsummer night with friends, grill food, play, drink, talk. This year was hosted by us, and the biggest kids slept in a tent in the garden, the babies in the house, the biggestbiggest kids (the parents) hung out till late, and it was lovely as always. And then the other cool part: Waking up the day after in a house full of people. Summer, you are good to us.

S u m m e r / b r e a k .

From today, this girl is no longer a 4th grader!

Wow. I didn't really see that one coming.

Anyway: YAY! Weeks and weeks of freedom coming up!

The rain.

You remember that feeling, don't you? When you were little, and there had been long days with wonderful but intense summer heat, and then the rain came. Big drops of wonderful fresh water from the sky, and you would run out into the rain with no clothes on, and your dad or your mum would shout from the door, come in and get your raincoat!, but you wouldn't listen, you'd just run around in the rain like a crazy person, a happy crazy person. And it was like you hadn't felt the rain before, like it was the first time, the drops would chill your summer skin for a quick moment, you would open your mouth towards the sky and try to catch them, you'd run around with your mouth open and laugh and get soaking wet and not care about a thing. And then the rain was gone, the world had been showered, and the smells were so fresh, the smell of wet grass and flowers and the damp air. And it was like you were complete, like the rain had made everything right.

Be here, now.

(I had written a post here about summer and how I fear its passing and how my kids teach me to live in the moment, without worries, but it somehow got lost in cyberspace, so I'm just going to leave you with the images for now)