Family fun

Living halfway across the world from my family, we don’t see each other much. Luckily I have the best mum in the world, and she comes to visit us several times a year.

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Now she has just left after two weeks here with us. My little girls have been ecstatic! She is spoiling them, sleeping with them, taking them everywhere and being incredibly patient with all their demands.

I got some mommy time too. Prawns and wine, funny nights on the balcony and playing our all time favorite PS game from my childhood.

We have celebrated Emines fourth birthday, we have been to shows and foam party.

We have visited half of the parks on the island (both for animals and others), eaten cakes and icecreams (and some decent food).

We have been to the beach both early and late, we have handcrafted and gone shopping.

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These two weeks have been endless fun!

So thank you, mum. For always being just a phone call away, spending all your time on us, for being you, and mostly; thank you for being the best grandma possible for Amelia and Emine!

 

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220711 – We will never forget

I remember it like it was yesterday. My oldest daughter was nine months old. It was a cloudy summer day, I was reading a book and she was playing on the floor. I was listening to music and had not heard any news.

Then my brother called. “Are you not watching the news?? It’s been an explosion”! From that moment I was stuck in front of the TV the rest of the day and most of the following ones.

At first we thought it was some kind of gas leak in the center of Oslo. Shortly after the shooting in Utøya (also in Oslo) started. The terror speculations started quickly. In the following hours we could watch live TV showing Anders Behring Breivik shoot down teenagers on a small island where they were attending a political summer camp.

My country was in shock! A man dressed as a policeman shooting and killing kids?!

Norway is said to be one of the best countries in the world to live in. Among the natives as well, and also the safest place on earth. What could possibly happen in our little country?

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During the day the number of dead and injured kept growing. So did the speculations. There was no longer any doubt that this was an act of terrorism. But the shock was even bigger finding out that it was “one of our own”. Because that is how Norway works. That is how the people are. It is US, all of us. We are a small nation that sticks together. I think most of us thought this had to be an action from outside, maybe ISIS or some other known organization.

Anders Behring Breivik placed and detonated a car bomb in the city center, dressed up like a police officer, went on a boat to attack the teenagers isolated on an island because he didn’t support their political vision. He fooled them to come out from hiding with his costume by saying it was safe and shot them to death while looking them in their eyes. In those hours, five years ago, with the bomb and the shooting, he killed 77 people. Cold blooded, alone.

I think we all know someone that was hurt, killed or involved in the situation. It is the biggest tragedy in Norway during my lifetime, and probably the biggest since world war two. How Norway reacted is truly unbelievable.

The current prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, demanded more democracy, more openness, more unity. We would get through this together. We would not give in. We would not let terrorists push us down.

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Norway was like an ocean of roses and I still get goosebumps by thinking of how my little country became one unit in sorrow. Nobody was a stranger, everyone was together as one big family.

There was concerts, speaches, roses, good words, tears, happiness. What happened was a horrible tragedy that I wish nobody had to experience. At the same time I can’t help thinking that it also did good.

My beautiful little country; We will never forget!

 

(Pictures from Google)

 

Green card – How to get Spanish Residencia

In Spain, like every other country, you need to register to have the legal right to work and/or stay. Within the European Union the citizens have it quite easy with all the agreements of free movement.

Norway is not in the Union and therefor my paperwork turned out to be slightly more complicated.

When I first came here I got myself one of these famous NIE-numbers. Valid for three months, not too complicated. Even without Spanish. I basically just had to bring my passport.

So there I was thinking everything was sorted, surprised by how easy it was. If I only knew!

In the following months I travelled a lot in and out of Spain and wasn’t really sure if we were going to stay, so I didn’t bother renewing it. I didn’t need a work permit anyway.

I started making friends from all over the world. Everyone kept talking about this Residencia. First of all I didn’t really understand it, second; why on earth would I need that?

Then the time came to get a job. “You need NIE and Social security number”. The working contract would give me the amazing Residencia, that I never stopped hearing about. A temporary five year one was pretty simple to get, at least after what I heard. A lifetime one? Not so much.

I renewed my NIE easily and my employer sorted out the Social security. And then the goal was the Residencia. At least a temporary one, so I could take advantage of the discounts it would give.

All of the sudden we were “in the system” and my daughter got the right to public school. More paperwork ahead.

Next step: Empadronamiento. Ok, what is that?? After a lot of research I gathered what I needed. The empadronamiento is basically a register of where we live. To register I had to get my childrens birth certificates translated to Spanish and stamped as an original. Luckily Norway does that for you and for free. I brought my rental contract to prove our housing and it was done in minutes.

Back at the national police station with working contract, empadronamiento, birth certificates, renting contract, passports, NIE and a statement from the Norwegian Council that we are legally registrated in Tenerife, I finally got the application. The downside was that the children’s birth certificates needed another stamp, an Apostillo that proves that it is allowed to use here and given legally.

This was three months ago. To get the stamp I have to physically be in Norway. Oh well, next time.

Today I decided to at least try for my Residencia. Usually you have to be outside the office before 8 and hope for a short enough line to maybe get a paper that says when you can come back in the afternoon. And no, you can’t get an appointment!

I came in about 10.30. 10 minutes later I stood there with a green card in my hands, a big smile and a head full of questions. “Did he really say forever?” And he did. I have the lifetime Residencia, and I don’t have to renew it. I can’t believe how easy that went.

So hello, I am the newest member in Spain and officially a Spanish resident!

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This information is given by what I have understood and my experiences in the process. I can’t guarantee that this is correct information.

 

Pause

Holiday ended a week ago and I got the whole last day with my boyfriend at the beach. This time it was really hard leaving him! I keep asking myself why on earth we decided to do the summer like this, although I know it was the best option. I miss him so much and it’s been a rough week, mentally.

It’s just been happening so much since we came home with lots at work, my girls being on holiday, sick dog, missing cat and me feeling like this, that I decided to just take a break. I basically paused everything. I needed me-time. So I’ve spent the week with friends and with myself. Trying to put life a little in perspective.

I’m lucky that way. I always know what I need or what I have to do to change my mindset. I will share why and how with you some day. But when you feel lost, perspective is the only way.

No blog, no stress, no Spanish practise, no nothing unless I have to do it. And it helped. Now I feel motivated again. I see the end of the season and my boyfriend in the horizon, I have a plan A and B (a few extra too) and I’m ready for whatever comes next. As long as I have solutions to every possible problem, I’m good.

There is a lot coming, so follow my journey!

 

Holiday

I simply love holidays. Just the feeling of having all the time in the world and nothing I have to do.

I’m the kind of person who worries about everything at all times. I have the need to have solutions for every possible problems that might occur, otherwise I can’t relax. Honestly, I can’t remember ever being as relaxed as I am right now. I have just let go. I can’t even come up with possible problems!

Now we just enjoy life. The days by ourselves with relaxing hours at the beach, some shopping and food. The evenings enjoying the company of my amazing boyfriend with movies, hearing about his days, chilling in his arms. The time here is precious and perfect.

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Yesterday was spent at the beach. After a few hours we were all tired and a bit pink, so we decided to go home and have lunch and a nap before exploring the city. Our exploring walk ended shortly, but we had fun!

Travel

So, yesterday was the big day I have been waiting for for weeks! Finally it was time to go to mainland and see my boyfriend after two months apart.

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It was a long day. My kids were impatient and I was stressing with packing, delivering our dog and getting ready.

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At the airport and on the plane, my girls are angels! They are so good with travelling, and easy to take with me wherever whenever. They think it’s exciting with the planes and interesting to talk to people everywhere.

We landed late, but the girls were far from tired. Over excited to see Semir again it was lots of hugs and kisses before we finally got them to bed. It’s weird to have so much time apart, and I just couldn’t stop staring at him last night. Just thinking “how did I get so lucky”.

Unfortunately he has too much work, as usual, so we don’t get much time together. We have the nights, but that’s so much better than being apart, so I’m not complaining. Now we are just excited to be here and ready to enjoy our holiday. Lloret de Mar, it’s nice to see you again!

A day for a princess

My little girls are pretty much as in to beauty, hair, nails, makeup and clothes as me. That makes some things a lot easier for me, as I can bring them for everything. Some things not so much as they take their time.

Anyway. Yesterday was another day with bad weather. We decided to have a beauty day with my beautiful hairdresser Cristina.

 

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The girls have been begging me for pink hair for ages. Yesterday they finally got it! A few stripes of semi permanent color. That means I’m happy it goes away and they’re happy with it for a while.

No less than 4 hours spent with Cristina, with cuts and colors for all of us. She’s the most patient hairdresser I know!

After coming home it was time for nails and makeup. A real beauty day that suits a real princess!