Saturday, January 15, 2011

A White Christmas in Minnesota 

The explanation for this first photo: The night before we left for MN, we finally decided to break open our Italian bottle of wine that we had been saving for a "special occasion". Well, simplicity at its best, we decided just to go for an ordinary night with a homemade pizza as special enough. This bottle of wine was bought by us on our Italy vacation summer 2009, hauled back to Norway, then back to the U.S. and out here to CA- one well-traveled treat and it was delicious. :)
Our 2 weeks in Minnesota for Christmas and New Years were great- filled with family and a few friends. Brett and I somehow managed to divide time between our two families (being less than 10 minutes away, helps) but we certainly came back to Pasadena exhausted just in time for a new quarter, but more about that in another post. Minnesota certainly did not disappoint with playing up the Christmas-feel: there was a record amount of snow at this time of the year by the time we arrived!
Next door to my parents' house
Brett's family dog, Whitney, didn't seem quite in the Christmas spirit
Nice picture of my parents on "Kenow Family Christmas"- Dec. 23rd every year!
Present opening is much more eventful with kids around!
 Playing Guesstures with Brett's family
Sisters. My sister, Danielle, and my Grandma share a birthday on Dec. 28th. Turned 26 and 85!
Siblings and spouses- look at that snow!
 We spent a few days over New Years at Brett's parents' cabin in WI. With 11 people and 5 dogs, we still managed to get in a little relaxing time- reading or playing ipad games were the hits.
 We got to go snowshoeing as well- it was so beautiful and so quiet in the woods- I was in heaven!
The cabin crew by the giant snowman!

 We all went to a German restaurant for New Years- the light up plastic ice cubes in the glasses were a big hit!

 We were even able to squeeze in some time with a few friends from college. With Connie and Mike and their daughter, Naomi.
 Celebrating Danielle's birthday at the Dakota Jazz club with our friends, Amanda and Jordan. There was a really great Jazz pianist and singer performing.
All in all it was a blessing to be able to be "home" for Christmas. It was sad to leave not knowing when we will be able to make it back again. Hopefully in the days to come I will be able to post a little more about life in Pasadena (we are enjoying the few days of 80 degree weather we have been having!) and our hopes for the new year. Happy 2011!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Enjoying our break at Venice beach before we head back to the MN snow and cold for Christmas!

We survived! I can't believe that our first year of grad school is already over. Just 2 more years to go! :) Thanks for those of you who have been praying for us- we have needed it and are so thankful to have this opportunity. We are learning so much and though it is an incredible amount of work, it has certainly been worth it.
We haven't been so great at staying updated with this blog, but plan to keep trying to do our best. Here are just a few images from the past few months...

We were able to get out of Pasadena for a weekend with friends from Fuller and went camping in the Angeles National Forest. It was so great to have a break and just relax and hang out. 

Our good friend, Christen, took this photo, you should check out her website- she's an amazing photographer!

We spent an afternoon at Huntington Gardens which is really beautiful at this time of year- actually felt like fall! We have a membership there so it has been neat to see the change of seasons that we often miss living in California. These were from the Japanese gardens

 There are still flowers everywhere no matter what the season. That is one thing I do love about living here. There is always some new kind of flower in bloom that I've never seen before.

We also made another trip out to AZ in October for Brett's cousin's wedding. Here is a picture of the bride and some of the cousins
And the siblings, minus Jake who wasn't able to make it down

We also never ended up getting pictures on here from Brett's brother's wedding. Jake and Catherine married on June 4th. We flew home for a few short days and were able to be there for it. We now also have another niece and nephew as Megan and Adam are now officially part of the family! 
 Catherine was such a beautiful bride!
 Brett's sister Brooke officiated the wedding 

Caught in the Act: The family couldn't help chowing down on the leftover cake at the end of the night!

Well, that's all for now.... but hopefully we'll update a bit more over the break! Thanks for following and Merry Christmas! :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Welcome to Hotel Heerwald...
A Spring & Summer of Lovely Visitors
Our dear Norwegian friends Ellen and HÃ¥vard spent 2 1/2 weeks with us- we spent a spring break driving up the Pacific Coast Hwy to San Francisco and over to Yosemite National Park. The second week we hung around Pasadena. It was such a blessing to spend quality time with some of our closest friends- we miss them so much! Ellen was a trooper being 6 months pregnant- such a hardy Norwegian. They now have a son, Birk! We can't wait to meet him someday. We love you guys!

Along the Pacific Coast Hwy- we had no idea California looked like this! So beautiful!

An hour drive from Pasadena: Zuma Beach in Malibu- gorgeous

Love it! 


Our next visitor was our good friend Kelly, who is still living in Norway working with the Quest student ministry that we started together. Such a blessing to see her and hear of all the amazing things God is doing through her and the dedicated students in Norway. Overlapping with Kelly's visit was my sister Danielle and her husband (and our good friend) Grant. They had been leading mission trips in Mexico for the summer and were able to swing by for a week. So great to see them and show them around our new "home". We had such a great time with everyone- what a blessing! We miss them all.

Hiking in the San Bernadino Mountains not far from our place

At Huntington Beach with Kelly

Waiting for the Metro in L.A.

Sisters- why do we have to live so far away from each other? Miss you!
Visiting the Getty Museum overlooking the city

Miss you Kelly! You're amazing :)

Can't forget the tourist trip to Hollywood and the walk of fame

I (Cortney) am not usually a big fan of zoos (most are depressing!) but I have to admit this is the best I've ever seen, pretty impressive. For a zoo.
Seriously is there any baby animal cuter than pandas? I don't think so...
I was most awed by seeing these hippos so close. They are amazing.

Dorks. What else can I say?

What a bunch of weirdos...We're so glad you come out and see us!

Last but not least, a couple of our friends, Erlend and Aida (we met our first year in Norway before they were married, (Erlend is Norwegian and Aida is from Columbia) were taking an "American road trip" and stayed with us a couple of days on their way through CA. It was so great to see them!
Gotta love the Pasadena "fro-yo" experience!
Oh, and we were also blessed to meet up in Arizona for a few days with some of our wonderful "Duluth family" (those we did student ministry with at UMD). Though some of us are living in different places now, we still feel like family whenever we have the chance to get together. Made us miss them all the more...