Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Saying Goodbye

4 years ago we packed up and moved from Washington State to Germany.  It was an adventure we were looking forward to and boarded the plane full of excitement and a little bit of anxiety (traveling with a 15 month old, 3 month old and 2 cats adds a tiny touch of stress!). 

Dornberg 1

We made it and settled into our home and routines.  We were able to travel to some of Europe’s most beautiful cities and stunning countrysides.  We watched our daughters grow from babies to sweet, beautiful little ladies.  My hair has added a gray strand (or maybe 2), I went from my 20’s into the 30’s.  JG jumped into his 40’s.  We struggled as a couple and as parents.  I like to think we ended this 4 year assignment ahead of the game.  At a better point in our lives.  Maybe we all grew up a bit. 

Dornberg 2

We moved out of our home yesterday and walking away was a little bittersweet.  My girls grew up here.  All of their earliest memories will have taken place here.  They are excited to move back to the United States even though they have no idea how different life will be there.  I am happy they are embracing this time with joy rather than fear.  I wouldn’t blame if they were scared as this is a huge move for a 4 & 5 year old.  Yet, they act like they have done this a dozen times already. 

I have a huge mix of emotions as I type this.  I have loved this assignment, for the most part, and being able to live in Europe was something JG and I wanted to do.  I will miss many things about Germany but I am ready to get back to the USA!  I have grown to appreciate the slower pace of life here and I will imagine that I will miss this sooner than I expected. 

My 5 year old will start kindergarten in August so this move comes at the most perfect time.  We are ending one chapter in our lives and beginning a new, exciting one for our family.  I am looking forward to the future but will embrace these memories for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Photo is Worth a Three Words

June 25 

Not everyone is happy to have the US military taking up residence in their community.  We have been fortunate and our neighbors have been friendly but we live further away from the post.  Signs like these tend to pop up around the small towns located just outside the post.  There have been many “Army Go Home” signs but they are not usually spray painted onto homes.

My dad commented that it was a good thing we are Air Force!  I giggled and agreed.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Just Like Mommy!

I love Starbucks.  This is a well known fact around here.  Unfortunately for me, they are just not found in every town in Europe so my chances to get a coffee from there are few and far between.  So imagine my surprise when we came across one in Aachen, Germany a few weeks ago when we stopped on our way home from Brussels to visit their famous Dom (King Charlemagne's remains are here).

Aubrey is pretty quick to spot them for me and will even tell James that “mommy wants Starbucks”.  While we drink our Frappuccino’s, the girls usually share one of the bottled smoothies you can purchase there.  They love getting these drinks!  This time, however, I told James that we should let them share a Strawberries & Cream Frappuccino*.  Their very first drink with a green straw! 

Starbucks June 1 A

Starbucks June 1 B

This was huge for me so I had to snap photos of them enjoying their Starbucks.  At least they humor me.   I guess a photo was a small price to pay for their drink since it was gone in no time.  There was a small demo of some sorts going on that weekend so it made for a cute back drop and I will use these photos for my Project Life album. 

Do your kids share any of your favorites? 

Thanks for stopping by!

*For those who are not aware, there is no caffeine or coffee in this drink so don’t judge.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Just One Venice Photo….

I was just finishing up a lovely post when I lost it…and now I want to cry.  Actually, it wasn’t so lovely but more whiney!  I hate working on my netbook!  It has a mind of its own and gives me so much grief.  You can be typing away (or simply tagging a post) when everything just disappears.  This machine is really just good for reading Facebook updates and checking email.  While the size is ideal for traveling it is not ideal for travel blogging.  The original post wasn’t long but who wants to retype stuff? 

Now that I am done whining about my netbook I thought I would share my most favorite photo taken in Venice.  We were there last week for 3 nights and we had a great time.  The weather was decent and our hotel was in a fabulous location with all of our windows looking over 2 canals.  Being located at a canal intersection was interesting and the girls loved saying hello to all the gondolas as they passed by.

June 13

We woke up early and headed out for photos before most of the other tourists started their day.  You cannot see the graffiti on Rialto Bridge, the Grand Canal isn’t crowded with boats (it looks like pure chaos when it is), and there are not any customers at this restaurant where I took the photo.  I am pretty sure I am going to have this enlarged and framed in my home somewhere. 

Thanks for stopping by today and reading all my whining.  I hope you have a great day.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Still Chugging Along!

Whoa!  The past few weeks have flown by here.  Our house was packed without incident (yay!) and we have gotten settled into our house with minimal furniture.  My Jeep was shipped back to the USA, as well, and now we are a one vehicle family for a bit. 

I am still taking a photo a day for my Project Life album and even adding my journaling cards as well.  So 5 weeks in and I am still going strong!  I am writing my photo for each day down in my planner and just yesterday I downloaded a free photo editing program, Photoscape, so I can at least get my photos resized and edited to be uploaded to Shutterfly.  Photoshop Elements is just toooooo big to download to my netbook.  Even Photoscape, which is significantly smaller, slows my computer down.

Here are a few of my daily photos:

May 23

My cat enjoys the morning sunshine.  I think she is going to miss the huge windows.

May 24

Our nearly empty living room after the first day of the movers packing us up.

June 2

A little bit of excitement one Saturday in our normally quiet town.  Some faulty solar panels triggered a smoke alarm and the fire department spent about 2 hours taking care of it.  Thankfully, no one was living in the home yet and it appears there is no damage to the house. 

Next week we go on our very last European trip and I am looking forward to the destination but not the 10 hour train ride back!  It makes for an extra long day for everyone.  However, the train tickets are super affordable since the girls ride for free and you just don’t get that option when you purchase airfare tickets.  We reserve seats with a table so that helps with leg room and we all sit together. 

That’s all I got for now.  Thanks for stopping by today and have a great weekend!