New additions.

I am in a crazy period with work, so much to do! It's great and I love it, but I wish the days had a few more hours in them right now.

We have some new babies on the farm; we picked half a dozen ducklings up the other week. Cute and fluffy and hopefully a nice addition to the rest of our creatures. And today Daisy, the mother of all cows, had her third babe, a bull calf. He was born in the field and everything went smooth. He still doesn't have a name but I'm sure it will come to us eventually.

Xxx

Nine months!

Today: The wolf cub has been earthside as long as he was in my womb. Wonderful, cheeky, funny, strong and magical Wolfie. You are such a gift!

Moments, today.

It's been one of those days where things just seem to work out, with space and quiet and the feeling of getting things done, we were on top of it today. The wind has been blowing fiercely outside, giving me autumnal vibes, and inside we have had the fire lit all day. We cleaned the floors early, the house smelled of lovely pine floors soaked in green soap. Made pizza dough. The boys napped for ages. Freja was immersed in reading and drawing. I could read and drink coffee by the fire, undisturbed. 

Sitting there, I suddenly noticed that she had got up and started stirring the pizza sauce I had started. Messy hair, the toes of her socks hanging, so unaware of the beauty she was blessing me with. I sat and watched her stir the sauce, tasting it, singing to herself. (Then I ran and got my camera.)

Falk woke up, his newly cut hair perfectly chaotic, eyes still sleepy. He sat on a chair in the middle of the room, eating sweetcorn out of the tin. Also this pure unawareness of the magic in the moment.

It was one of those good days, despite the wind and all.

Morning paddle, morning walk.

We have finally taken the step and bought a canoe! I have been wanting one for years. The prospect of getting to know our landscape from a completely new perspective is so exciting, I cannot wait to explore with it. So far I haven't even set a foot in it (such is the life of a mother, huh), but the rest of them did a morning float yesterday. Ulv and I had a lovely morning too; we walked in the familiar landscape of our fields. I cannot complain.

Lambing.

We sold most of our sheep this autumn - our beautiful flock had to go. With Wolfies health issues and a lot of other things happening, we had to make some priorities and make sure we had a little bit less to do. We kept two though, lovely Thelma and big guy Stewart (formerly known as Lamb Stew). They are not related, so they were allowed to breed, and the other day two fluffy little lambs were born. Thea and Torben, welcome to the world!

Le petit Prince.

I wonder how many hours of my life I have danced to your songs.

I remember the first time I saw you; it was a photo in a magazine, you were wearing ladies underwear, and I thought, What? Is that possible? Can a man really do that? It expanded my seven year old horizon, to say the least. You were so important in the way you exploded gender roles and did your own thing, completely. Like someone else I loved, who also died this year. (I bet you and him are killing it wherever you are now.)

Your songs have accompanied me through thick and thin, probably ever since I saw that picture of you, and because my big sister played your records on repeat, all of them, from the very first one.

Oh, the funk. And the tenderness. The heart and the soul. I thank you for all of it: My life surely wouldn't have sounded the same if it wasn't for you.

Back to work.

I'm back in the zone, doing what I love: I am officially off maternity leave and working again. It feels good - and it feels right. Having the privilege of being self-employed means that I schedule my weeks myself, I do what I want when I want to, so I still have plenty of time with my baby and the rest of them. 

These days I am, among other jobs, waiting for a birth, the first one in almost a year. It is exciting and magical and I feel so lucky to get to be there. Camera bag is packed, phone is charged, I'm ready!

If you're interested: I do birth and maternity photography under the name hei baby! (www.birth.no), and other photography jobs under Bygdefotografen (www.bygdefotografen.no). Contact me if you're not too far away and want an offer!

Childhood.

To see a world in a grain of sand 

And a heaven in a wild flower 

Hold infinity in the palm of your hand 

And eternity in an hour

(William Blake)

Busybee.

The wolf cub is eight months old today! And man is he in a hurry to get around. He started crawling (dragging himself forwards) three weeks ago, and now he is already standing up more than not. At this pace, he'll be cycling down the road before his birthday!

Six!

It strikes me every so often nowadays, I look at you, and am overtaken by surprise at just how big you are now. And how changed you are! I can see it coming, you are transforming into that bigger girl, a step up, a chapter of childhood is closing. What an amazing six years it has been! And what a wonderful person you are, my Freja. There is never a boring day with you (and how happy I am to get to spend them with you, to be home with you most days, to not miss out on much). You are so independent, so clever, so creative and such a spirited individual. Strong and loud and sensitive, all in one.

Happy birthday, beautiful girl. We love you so much!

(click on the images to see them big)

Thank you.

...for all the birthday wishes and wonderful words you people send me. I appreciate them so much!

Sincerely, with love, thank you.

Days are flying past here, I have so much I want to share here, but there just isn't enough time. I'll let you go with a contemplative photo of our trusty old rubber duck. This duck was actually very close by when Ulv was born: When Falk saw me getting in the birth pool, he instantly ran and got the duck. So there are photos of me having contractions in the pool, with this lovely little duck swimming around, they are legendary (but not for the public, haha). So I guess I should thank the duck, too, for being there for me. My very own doula-duck.

Ok, I think it's time for bed now.

Yours,

The Weird Duck Lady.

38.

Dear Maria,

You have been on this planet on yet another tour around the Sun. This years journey was different than before, it had a different taste and smell and feel than before.

On your last birthday you had a baby in your womb, you were half way through a pregnancy that seemed like the others; magical at times, hard at times. You felt the excitement of a new life, a new person entering your world, the magic and wonder of it all. You thought you knew what it would be like to have another baby - you'd already had three, how much different could it be with another, right? Right.

You were about to enter a state you had never visited before. A state of rawness never felt, a vulnerability never known, an exhaustion never touched upon. You had to dig deeper than you had ever done, to find strength.

Motherhood was harder than before this year, you were torn in two by a baby who needed you completely, and three other children you had to let go a little more, to make that space. You panicked, struggled and grieved, still you knew it would come together again, with time. With love. With perservation. And it did. It shifted again, and life is easier now, isn't it? Things have found their place. When it felt like everything fell apart, the attachments you had, your marriage, your sanity, you had to find that trust, that stillness, the wisdom that all things are transient, that this too is passing.

This year you also learned first hand that, although life felt tough right there, you are so very lucky and so very privileged. Your little wolf cub had a rough start, things weren't smooth, but you knew that most likely, he would be fine, he would grow past it. Many kids don't. Many parents have to live with the worry and uncertainty. For you, this will become a strange and distant memory. You are blessed with four healthy children and now you know that with greater force than ever.

You are still tired, and not yet sure of what all of this has cost. But I think you are very proud, too, proud of the job you did, of making the right choices, of keeping your baby close during the storm. And maybe, just maybe, in time, you will look back and say, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

You grew a lot this year.

Happy birthday woman, you are loved.

New life!

The day finally came; Freja has been waiting intensely and crossing off on our calendar for weeks: The chicks have hatched! Nine soft little balls of fluff. I think we can officially declare that IT IS SPRING!

Bliss.

We are so lucky: We get to go to our best friends, hang out, have a giant sleepover, and bathe in the lovely warm wooden tub they have in their garden.