Some days are so ordinary, and yet so beautiful in all their simplicity. Like today: Kitchen scenes, changing all the time, drawing, writing, playing games, eating, chatting to the littlest brother. Then outside, in the lovely springlike sun. I love that, bringing my camera and just wandering around the fields in the afternoon, saying hello to the animals, talking, just being together. Baby in wrap and kids at my feet. On these days, I feel like such a lucky woman, I feel rich.
There is a little window of time now, where he is quite happy playing on his own for a bit, without moving much around yet. But I have a feeling that this is just a short spell, because this little wolf cub is in a hurry! I bet he'll crawl around here in no time. In the meantime I'm enjoying being allowed to sit still for five minutes here and there.
Sometimes we get our act together, put on some clean clothes, brush our hair and get on the train to the big city. Like today! We took the train to Oslo (Falkie's first time on a train!), had lunch in the sun in the botanical gardens, went to say hello to the dinosaurs and stuffed animals in the museum of natural history, had cake and chocolate and created havoc on the train home. It does feel like extreme sports to go to these lengths with wildlings like ours, but it sure is fun and yes, it makes me appreciate this rural life even more afterwards.
With life having been rough these last months, and with the feeling of slowly crawling out of a dark place, I tend to store good days extra safe in my heart. Yesterday was one of those. Not only was it Falks birthday, but we topped it with going ice fishing to our regular place, AND WE CAUGHT FISH! Not one, not two, but three whole fish! It was just perfect.
Darling crazy wonderful Falk, you are three!
This year you have taken the step from being a baby to becoming a big boy. A big brother, even! Life with you is - as I have said from when you started to crawl around this house - chaos. It is fun, intense, crazy and beautiful. I am so happy to get to be your mother, to be with you every day, to see you grow and bloom, to dance and laugh and live with you. I love you so my heart hurts. Happy birthday, beautiful boy!
One of the most common "complaints" about having a baby is that it becomes more complicated to get things done around the house. That can cause a lot of frustration. The best thing I ever did as a mother (and I did it when Ronja was little, fortunately) was to learn to carry my baby in different ways. It's a win-win! You get that precious closeness, baby settles better, and mama (or daddy!) can get things done. Or just drink coffee in peace. Also, I am a firm believer in carrying babies as an essential part of our continuum, of it being our natural way. I think it is vital both emotionally, physically and spiritually, for both the one who carries and the one carried. It's all about love! And getting those dust bunnies out of the way. ⭐️
Also, as I have discovered as my kids have grown, carrying siblings is a wonderful way of bonding, feeling responsible for the smallest ones, and helping the family out. Ronja has carried Falk quite a bit, and yesterday it was Ulv's turn. She had him in the ergo-carrier while I put the other two to bed. What would I do without this girl?
This pretty much sums it up:
...and such a funny, crazy, happy little person. We love you Wolfie!
(click on the images to see them big)
You think some people are immortal, as if they're not really made of flesh and blood, as if they are untouchable. And then you wake up to the news, like we did this morning, and you learn that one of the greatest ones, that living icon, is not here anymore, that he has taken wings and left us.
Lately, I have had a severe case of nostalgia. I have been thinking back so much, on different periods of my life, with that bittersweet sense of everything was so easy/ fun/ special then. I think it's because this autumn and winter has been rough, with everything around Ulv, all the effects of his health condition and how we all have tried to cope and barely have held head above water. And then, with winter on top of this, with darkness and isolation, I have caught myself dreaming away a lot.
And so today, dearest Bowie, when you passed, nostalgia took a turn for the worse, because I have been thinking about you, and me, and all the chapters of our life together all day. I have thought about Hunky Dory, about the laughing at the beginning of Andy Warhol, about playing the album on repeat for ages and ages. I have thought about that time me and a friend got stoned and made up the rest of the story of Major Tom from Space Oddity, we were going to write a book about what happened to him after the song was finished. I have thought about the millions of times I have danced to Modern Love, about the first time I saw the China Girl-video when I was little, how strange I found it, and how intriguing you were. I have been back in a flat with no furniture in Edinburgh, where I lived and dreamed your Berlin years, playing Low, Heroes and Lodger over and over and over, never growing tired of you, and those grooves, and those dreams. I have been in Portugal, in a dusty countryside village, where I lived in a tiny house and played Heathen and The Man Who Sold the World for months. And then there was that summer day thirteen years ago, when I saw you, only a few meters from me, with that impeccable style, so flawless in every way. I remember how you noticed it was raining on us, your audience, and you said you were so sorry about that, and then you made us all forget the rain and swept us in your music. Your amazing, mysterious, endless music. I realised today that you have been there, by my side all along, with different albums hand in hand with different periods of my life. Your voice, your persona, your wonderful elegance and kookiness, your abundant creativity, it will never cease to amaze me.
Today was a sad day, but it was a beautiful day too. I remembered your greatness, and I realised how lucky I have been to have had you by my side all these years. As someone wrote somewhere; If you're sad today, just remember the world is over 4 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie.
Thank you, Bowie. I will cry and dance and drink for you again.
The time has come for my first post in the Ask me anything-game! I'll keep this one to the subject of photography. I was asked a few questions about my photography, so I'll try to answer them all now.
My question is about photography - I have now owned a decent camera, Cannon 650D, for 2 years but I have never set it on anything else but auto.
Now I really want to learn to be better photographer but is overwhelmed when I try to surf the internet for information on where to start and what to start with.
For a total beginner what tips do you have for the first steps? What to do, what to look out for and what to be aware of? What books or internet pages would you recommend to start out with?
I started with photography when it was still completely analogue, and learned it on my Dad's old Nikon EM (which I still use!). One of the good things about learning it then, is that with shooting on film, you can't do dozens of tests and just look at the screen to know whether you have caught the light like you want to. You have to learn the theory of it, the settings, you have to understand the mechanics of photography so you don't spoil roll after roll of film (which is/was expensive). I also went to photography school, and there was no getting away from the fact that we had to shoot manual and had to get the mechanics of photography into our fingers. So I guess that's what I would recommend: learn how it all works - what is aperture, what is the shutter, what is ISO, what is white balance, how do the different settings affect the style of the image - and shoot manually, always. The beauty of digital is that you can do this by testing it out at home, cost-free. Shoot on different settings in different light conditions, and see how the results differ.
For books or websites, I don't really know - if you mean ones that teach photography. Google it! There's probably lots of videos on YouTube that will explain the basics of photography, too. Good luck! Next question...
I was wondering what you edited both your color and bw photos with?
I use Lightroom for editing all my images. I make my own presets there, and tweak them to fit the light of my images.
Which camera and lenses are you using, both for your blog and birth photography?
I have two cameras I use professionally, Nikon D800 and D600 (once a Nikon user, always a Nikon user). They are both full format cameras. My lenses are Sigma 35mm and 50mm, and I also sometimes use a Nikon 85mm. The 50mm is the one I use for my everyday photography, and the 35mm is invaluable for births where I usually have to work in small spaces. I'm not really a big fan of telephoto-lenses, but the 85mm is good in births if I need to keep a little more distance to the subjects.
Do you use your own settings of colors in the camera?
As I wrote above, I always shoot manually, and I guess I have my preferred settings with regards to aperture and shutter speed - but I don't have any special settings with the colours in the camera. I always edit the colours afterwards, in Lightroom.
I often get asked about how I achieve the light in my images. It is hard to explain in detail, but it's worth mentioning that I in 99% of my images only use the available light. That is, no flash. I have very recently bought myself a flash, mostly for fun and because I don't really know much about how to use it, and it's good to have some extra light to work with in difficult conditions (such as Norwegian winter, haha). I might buy a small soft box for it, so I can use it professionally if I have to. But I will continue to use natural light as my primary and favourite source of light. As for editing, I don't use "filters", but I play around with the different settings and create my own presets. It would be impossible for me to go into detail about how I do it, so my first advice is: Play around! Watch tutorials on the internet! Experiment. That's how I learned it. When it comes to digital photography, I am self-taught, I have never taken a class in how to do it. I also do not think I know half of it; but I know what I need right now, and I slowly and surely expand my horizon and learn new things. It never stops!
Thanks again for your interest!
Next post with answers coming up!
Some days just come with ease, wrapped in slowness, opening up for doings of meaningful procrastination. Like today. My wolf cub slept the whole night through (third time! eight hours straight!), the morning was quiet, everyone minding their own business, some outside, some inside, jazz on the radio, coffee in mugs, bread in the oven. And finally; snow! Big fluffy flakes are covering everything up, it is so beautiful. I'm starting to feel like myself again, it's a new year, I think it's going to be a good one. Love!
Ps. Thank you for your questions on my Ask me anything-post! There are quite a few of them, so I'll probably split them up into several posts. Stay tuned. (And post more questions if you have!)
We are enjoying some quiet days at home, the six of us. No plans, just us, faffing about at home and on the farm. The kids are all a bit under the weather, all of them are coughing, Falk has had it quite bad, so we are slowly recovering from that.
Playing with Christmas presents, reading new books, doing small kitchen projects, sleeping in the middle of the day, taking baths whenever one feels like it. Snuggling. Doing jigsaw puzzles. Drawing. Finding new films to watch. I cherish these days, and I feel it in my bones how badly I have needed them. Being all of us, and doing nothing.
It's like this: When Ulv still had the tube in, and still was a newborn, when everything still felt scary and unstable, I had this unwavering strength. Yes, I cried, and yes I felt like I was going through hell sometimes, but I still felt able to go on, full of guts and determination. Now, when we are out on the other side of that, when he is tube-free, happy, chunky and actually quite a normal baby, one like any other (except that he is especially cute, of course), I have become so unbelievably tired. Like, tired all the way through, sleepy and empty and just exhausted. It's like I can finally let myself relax, and that's when I feel how straining these last months have been. How much it has cost.
So yes, these slow Christmas days are much needed, and I think they will set the standard for how the new year will begin, too. Slowly, with care and love and time and space.
...building your new Lego in peace and quiet while your little brothers are sleeping.
After a few requests on the matter, I am opening up for a game of Ask me anything, where you can, well, ask me whatever you like (within limits of common courtesy). I will answer in a separate post. Send your questions either as a comment below on this post, or as an email on the contact form here.
The only thing I ask in return, is that you tell me who you are, where you are from, and how you found my blog!
Looking forward to it!
Our little star is four months today!
Little Wolfie, our brave warrior soul, we love you so. We are out of the tunnel now, out of the darkness, we did it. We pulled through. It feels as if life is finally starting again.
These past weeks and months have been the hardest time of my life. I have never been so tired. So emotional. So worried. I have never felt myself so torn apart. And at the same time, I have never been so proud of myself, never felt so strong and clear sighted, never had more faith in myself as a mother. During our travels through this tunnel, I have learned more about love and persistence and trusting than ever before. My life is truly richer, in many ways. Most of all: Richer than ever because of this wolf cub, this glorious little person so full of sunlight and stamina and wonder.
You are such a charmer, you draw people to you and shower them in smiles and giggles and happy chatter, it melts my heart completely. I remember being so worried that your rough start would affect you, that you would feel less safe in this world because of it, that it would make you hesitant. I couldn't be more mistaken. You have pushed through the difficulties with sheer life force, guiding me and showing me that I need not worry. You are a magical being, and I can not wait to see what life with you will bring.