Monday, August 26, 2013

A Week of No TV.

For a whole week.
Can you believe it? It's time for an honest-to-goodness project week this week at Project Project!

This week I have roped in my long-suffering and endlessly supportive husband into doing a TV-free week with me. This is especially impressive seeing as piling onto the couch and watching a show or a movie after the kids are in bed is pretty consistently how we relax and unwind together. And I honestly don't think there's anything wrong with that: we're pretty diverse in our tastes, so we watch a wide variety of TV shows and movies from different genres, countries and time periods, which I think gives us fresh perspectives and things to think about and talk about. And it's something relaxing that we both enjoy doing together.

However, when we watch TV together every night, there are so many things that we don't do instead. We both like to read, but struggle to find the time to do it with two kids, work and a home to take care of. We like playing boardgames together, but rarely make the effort to set one up and play it. And of course there are hundreds (and hundreds) of projects around the house that are just calling to us to be done. And there's music to listen to and conversations to be had and some just-for-fun projects to collaborate on.

I'm kind of excited and kind of feeling like someone just suggested we stop eating for a week. It's just one of those things we do, y'know?

Here are the rules for the project:

  1. Absolutely no TV for me and Nick between Monday August 26 and midnight on Sunday September 1. 
  2. No TV means no cable, Netflix, Amazon Instant videos, Youtube, DVDs or DVR. They will all be there when we are done.
  3. Espen is not part of this challenge and can still watch his shows with us. It's not like Doc McStuffins is something Nick and I indulge in willingly. 
  4. Phones, computers and iPads are fine, just no watching shows on them when we're together. 

The very clever among you might have noted the timing for this project: before September and the return of Good Television. It is indeed much less of a sacrifice when I know that I'm not missing an episode of Parks and Recreation or the return of Luther. The biggest sacrifice will be the finale of Broadchurch, but that will safely wait for us on the DVR until we get back.

Do you know what else I think? I think it might be nice to head into the darker months that beguile you onto the couch under a blanket with a cookie in one hand and the remote in the other faster than you can say "Jack Robinson" (can anyone tell me, by the way, why I might want to say "Jack Robinson"?) armed with the knowledge that there are indeed all sorts of other ways to spend an evening than in front of the proverbial goggle box.

Shall I make a few predictions for our week? I predict lots of reading and talking, a bubble bath or two, some board games, and a few house projects started (and dare I hope completed?). We might work on the new look and domain for my blog (wha??), and the family history project we are working on together. I also think we might get to bed a little earlier when we don't have the siren song of just one more QI to keep us out of bed. More sleep does sound pretty tempting!

I'll be back later in the week to let you know how things are working out. And how about you? How do you feel about TV? Do you just have to watch your shows, or did you swear off watching TV completely? I'd love to know.

Image borrowed here.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Eight years

Day one.
Nick and I celebrated eight years of marriage yesterday. Happy anniversary to us! Every time this date rolls around, I start to wax a little philosophical about the passage of time and the things we've experienced and accomplished and just how much I love this guy that I get to go through life with. This year is no different, especially compounded with the fact that Nick's youngest brother just got married in the same place as us, and only a few days before our anniversary. So many memories, and so much room for nostalgia! Indulge me a little in a list, will you? You know how much I love a good list.

Eight things I have learned from eight years of marriage.

  1. The advice about putting each other's happiness first is solid, good advice. I mean, know that no one is responsible for your own happiness more than you are, and you need to live your own life and be your own rainbow and all of that good stuff, but at the end of the day, if two people are actively concerned with their partner's happiness before their own, that's going to take them a long, long way in a marriage. 
  2. Wuthering Heights may be a misery from one end to the other (in my ever so humble opinion), but one thing Emily Brontë did get right was this: “He's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” Nick and I are absolutely two separate people with different likes, dislikes and interests, but in the things that really matter, we are one and the same. 
  3. Along those lines, we have not ever, not even once, argued about anything important, significant or worthwhile. Every fight we have ever had has been triggered by something completely trivial, and more often than not, turns out to be a misunderstanding. Maybe in another eight years we'll be able to remember that before a misunderstanding escalates into an argument?
  4. As tricky as it can be when life gets busy (and with kids, it does get busy), it is absolutely vital to make time for just the two of us. We celebrated our anniversary this year with dinner and a moonlit ride up a mountain on a ski lift (natch), and sitting close together, holding hands and just talking as beautiful, moonlit nature glided by was exactly what we needed in the midst of the crazy year we've been having. Make a little space, take a little time for just the two of you. 
  5. Having kids is crazy. It changes everything. Yes, even that, whatever it is you're thinking of. Being a parent infiltrates every little nook and cranny of your entire being. And it is absolutely fantastic. Hands down the best decision we have made together, right after deciding to get married. It's also hands down the hardest thing we've ever done together, but when I consider having those two little people in our life, and how they make my heart swell with love, who cares  how hard it can be?
  6. Listen, listen, listen. I'm still working on this. Listening is good. It shows your spouse that you love them, and that they are more important to you than Pinterest. I'm still working on this. 
  7. Being married is great. We are constantly learning and growing and reaching and building and doing and loving all of this really great stuff together. And as much as I get to do all of this with the romantic leading man of my life, I also get to do it with my best friend. My best friend Nick, who likes to watch British TV with me, enjoys traveling to the same places as I do and shares the very same weakness for some fresh-baked cookies (or brownies or chocolate, we're not picky) in the evening that I have. We get shouty about the same political issues, and can talk for hours about how much we agree with each other. BFFs. 
  8. I need Nick. When my days are hard, when something good happens, or the kids say or do something funny, I need to tell Nick about it. When I go to sleep at night, I need his body beside me. When my dad was dying, I needed Nick like I needed air. When he's beside me, I know I can do anything. He is my greatest love and my constant companion. 
Happy anniversary, loves! I'm so happy I have you. 

Day 2917.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Things I've told you in my head this summer

Still here!

Rule number one of blogging seems to be not to open a post by apologizing for not posting for a long time, and here I am breaking that rule yet again: Sorry for the silence, friends, I've missed you! If it's any consolation, I've been writing to you constantly - in my head. There's been so much I've wanted to write about, and so very little time to do it. In no specified order, I've wanted to tell you:

  • A little about my little Gwen and who she has become in the past 9 months. She's such a sweet and cheerful little person, I'd like to share her with the whole world! Proud mom moments aplenty.
  • About being Norwegian and living so very far away from home. What I miss, what I don't, and how I make our house a tiny little outpost from home. There would be a lot about food and technology in this one. 
  • About our new house! A few of the rooms are together enough that I'd be happy to show them to you, and you would wholeheartedly forgive me for not having all of my ducks in a row just yet. 
  • About our little first townhouse, that we are getting ready to sell. Oh my sentimental heart, and oh, my financially practical self in full conflict mode. And here I would write a lot about how stinkin' hard it is to get a good days work in with two small kids in tow and when everyone insists on getting sick on the weekends. But in a fun way! 
  • More about my dad and the whole grieving process. It takes time and hurts and is hard. And lonely. And I'm all sorts of conflicted about posting about it on my blog, when I've always wanted Project Project to be a positive place to come. But then I've always wanted to be honest and real about things too, and it's tricky to know which credo to live by. Do I write real and honest posts about something that is really hard, even if it could make for a whole slew of downer posts, or do I just not post for a while, because so much of what my heart wants to deal with in writing is navelgazy and hard? What I can't do is maintain a sunny online persona if I'm not feeling it in person. I don't think you come here for that either. 
  • And on a different note entirely, I'd like to write about some parenting adventures we've had over the summer too: potty training, earning Fuzzies, allowing a little more freedom, preparing for preschool (eeep!), some little crafty kid projects and a few thoughts about the second child. 
  • I feel like I have another navel-gazing post about finding my feet and readjusting to a new life in a new home in a new area in the works. This would be a mix of feeling a little at a loss not really having a lot of friends among our friends and neighbors, and some hopeful enthusiasm about the endless possibilities of it all! And I would be heartily impressed at Espen's ability to instantly make friends wherever we are. 
  • Oh, and I have a few new projects in the works that I'd like to tell you all about. One will have to wait a little longer, and the other might just be a bloggy book club. 
So these are some of the things I've been telling you about in my head all summer long. If there's anything in particular you'd like an actual blog post about, won't you let me know, and then just maybe. I'll feel inspired to write it? 

And more importantly, how are you, and what have you been up to? I really did miss you, you know.