Great kid, great day.

Another lovely celebration of a birthday in this family. I love the simplicity of how we do it: just light a fire in the forest above the house, invite friends, grill food, have treasure hunt, eat cake, play and talk and enjoy a full day of fresh air and good company. The main person lived the day to its fullest, and was so happy with it all, ending the day with huge yawns while stuffing her sweet little face with cake to the very last minute. In short, exactly as it should be.

Thank you all for the sweet birthday wishes both here and on facebook/instagram! Love!

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Four!

I remember your last birthday, and how I was hoping that time would pass very slowly this year, so that I would have you as a three-year-old for a long time. Now there's no turning back. You are four! And although I am hesitant to accept the fact that you'll never be three again (parenthood: that endless chain of hellos and goodbyes), I am completely thrilled to see you grow, to be by your side and live the privilege of being your mama. I am such a lucky soul.

Freja. You are truly something. Such force, such joy of life, and such volume of voice. You are heard from miles away, and I suspect that it will be like that through your whole life. You will let yourself be heard. I applaud that, my love, and it is a great comfort for a mother to know that your channel is straight and your throat is clear.

In becoming four, you have developed a wonderful tool of contemplation and wonder. You think about the most interesting stuff, and you ask the most mind-boggling questions. I suspect here too, that we are only at the beginning, and I am so curious of the future with you.

You are full of colour. Sensitive and with a heart full of love and compassion, and so comfortable and unafraid of the world, it is truly a joy to witness. We are so lucky to be in this family with you, and we love you so much it hurts.

Happy birthday, kråkebolla.

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Weeeeeeeeaster break!

Today marks the beginning of over a weeks worth of free time with my homies. Unlike most people in this nutty country, we are staying put and NOT chasing after the snow to go skiing up in the mountains. That is just mere insanity, if you ask me.

I mean, who wouldn't want to hang out right here? 

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Albertine.

On Sunday afternoon, my man came into the house, more starry-eyed than usual. He had just returned home from the stables where our horse Marius comes from and had been staying for a couple of months for training. 

That night, Saturday night, a little filly foal had been born there. Øyvind, the owner of the stables and the horses, had suspected that the mare was in foal, but wasn't sure. (Needless to say, the pregnancy was not planned.) So on Sunday morning, when he came to feed his animals, he was met by a long legged and furry little girl, very newborn and out on a wander. No further evidence needed: the mating we were so lucky to coincidentally witness (yes! crazy, isn't it!) in April last year, had given results.

Her name is Albertine, and in September, she will come and live with us. We are smitten, excited and very happy to be the owners of two beautiful horses.

Love!

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A carpet of white.

Now, when I look up at the forest from our kitchen window, I can see among the trees a carpet made out of little white heads popping up from the ground. And sometimes, quite often actually, there is a little brown head up there too, picking the white ones and shouting "mamaaaaaaaaaaaa! loooook! floooooowers!".

Yup. Spring is most definitely here.

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Trees.

(I have a feeling I've written about this before, but anyway:)

As long as I can remember, I have had a fascination for trees. Maybe we all do? I don't know, but to me, they are a big part of my everyday, of my recording of this world, of what I register in my surroundings. I always notice them. I'd even go so far as to say I fall in love with them, a little bit.

(I don't mean to sound weird, but I am aware that I do. I assure you, I don't bimble around wooing every little spruce bush I can see. I'm not that weird.)

So wherever I have lived and in all the landscapes I have journeyed through on a regular basis, there has been a tree or two that has caught my heart a little bit more than the others. One that I always have had to look at when passing, that I always want to photograph, that I always want to climb. When I was little, it was a beautiful pine tree standing completely alone in a big field. It had the most perfect shape, and its solitude struck me as sad and majestic at the same time. I would look at it every time I went past it with the school bus, twice a day. I hadn't seen it for years until I happened to be back on old pastures last week. It was still there. Still alone, but not so visible as before, because other trees had grown between the road and the field. I saw it clearly though. My tree. 

I felt a bit bad for having abandoned it, and for having a new favourite: The oak. It stands on a hill, in a field on the way to town. I watch it through the seasons, as it changes its coat and colour, so breathtaking in its rawness and drama, so quiet and still, such a beautiful giant.

I have never touched it. I have stopped the car many times, I have taken many photographs of it, and every time I move a little closer, but only a little. I think I am scared of shattering its mystique by moving too quickly. I don't know. Maybe I should just get over there, and hug it. Thank it for its beauty and stamina, for always being there, for always leaving me in awe.

Yes, I think I will. And the pine tree, too. 

Greetings from The Weird Tree Lady.

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Saturday morning.

My favourite morning of the week. The kids get up in a great mood ("IT'S SATURDAY!"), are allowed chocolate milk after breakfast and snuggle up with a nice film in the sofa afterwards. Which gives their daddy time to sleep, and their mama time to drink coffee, read the paper, and even do some blogging in the morning hours.

Ah. The joys of ordinary life.

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Spring!

Yes, I know. It might, and it probably will, snow again, so saying that spring has sprung is still early. But when you can swap your winter coat for a thinner one and go out and find the first flowers, we certainly are a step closer to that wonderful season (my favourite). Feels so good, it's almost worth having winter.

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Before she sleeps.

Before she drifts off to sleep, she whispers to me: Tonight I will dream about princesses and deer and princes and babies and mamas, and good people.

My beautiful little girl, I wish I could go with you into the dreamlands. 

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Today:

My whole body bursts with joy as I look out the window in the morning hours; the sun is here! We have had such a length of grey, wet and dim weather, mixed with the odd blizzard, it was almost as if we had forgotten the feeling of sun, how it warms up your entire being and just makes you want to run around and do stuff. Whoah, it's been a long time since I've felt that energy. 

Today was that kind of day. We ran outside as soon as the earliest hours had passed, and basically stayed outside the entire day. Made buns, but ate them on the back porch, played in the forest, in the sandpit, in the barn, on the yard. Roamed the land.

Oh, and we had a visit from a lovely family who are awaiting their second child, to take family photos and talk about the upcoming birth. Because - yes - I am going to photograph it. Weee!

T'was a wonderful, wonderful day. Now, the little ones are in bed, I am going to enjoy a glass of my husbands delicious home-brew, and perhaps watch another episode of that creepy series we started yesterday (True Detective: seen it?).

xxx

Yes and ps: I was interviewed by the lovely Jona over at Mammalivet, so if you want to read more (in Norwegian, sorry) on our life and my thoughts on this and that (and the other), click yourself on over there!

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A formative experience.

Being invited into somebody's birth journey is an enormous declaration of trust and a huge privilege. Although I had thought a lot about this beforehand, I was still blown away by that feeling during the night of the birth. It was completely magical to be in a room with two people doing such an amazing job, waiting for the presence of someone little and new, listening to the steady breath of the mother, seeing the love in the eyes of the father - basically being allowed into the most private of spheres. The whole experience was not made any lighter or less magical by the fact that these two people are some of my dearest friends, that we have known each other for twenty years and been through a lot together. Letting your friend be there when you give birth, is crossing a border within, and when you even ok that she can take pictures of you while you're doing it - well, that is just plain braveness. And that's what I was so touched by in those quiet hours; that trust. It still makes me teary-eyed when I think about it.

Then there was the experience of seeing my friend being in labour. I have birthed three children, and I remember vividly the feeling of it, the phases I went through, the work. Witnessing my friend going through those same phases, listening to the changes in her breath, almost feeling what she felt, knowing so well where she was; that transformation she went through right before my eyes was so fascinating, it was such a revelation to me. She became every woman. She became me when I gave birth, or I was her, or we were simply a part of the same organism, the birthing woman. I know it sounds absurd and abstract and maybe I'm just rambling on here, but there was certainly a strong feeling of shared womanhood from my part, I can say that. And recognition.

I think I could go on about this forever. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced. I am so intensely happy that I did it, that I have chosen this path for myself, that my friends invited me in, that the photos turned out well. 

I am blessed, and grateful, and one happy birth photographer. Can't wait for the next one!

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I have published a series of photos from the birth now. Hop on over to www.birth.no and have a look if you want! (Click on where it says "Mathildes reise" to see it, sorry but it's in Norwegian.)

I also have a Facebook-page where you can follow me, www.facebook.com/fodselsfoto.

Euphoria.

Last night I had one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I photographed my first birth. 

I will write more about this later, because I am too tired and emotional and euphoric right now to make any sense. I can say this though: I think I've chosen the most fantastic thing to do in the whole wide world.

Love.

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