The movers came this past week and our house is now empty. We’re in the process of picking out our new home. We’re trying to piece together our future while at the same time reminiscing on the past few years… And the present… The present hurts.
The present is making time to see friends before we leave.
The present is deciding how and when to say goodbye.
The present is not wanting to say goodbye but also not wanting to miss out on the last few days being within a drive’s distance of some of the lovely humans that have made themselves part of my world.
I was sitting inside when I heard the cries of my little girl outside. She was riding her bike with one of our neighbors and her mom. I ran out thinking she had fallen. But then I learned that the reason was not a physical hurt…
My sweet daughter and her friend had tried to visit D, another neighborhood friend, and she was gone. Painters were working on her house. The reality of leaving finally hit my little one like walking straight into a brick wall. She wasn’t ready.
All I could think about was how grateful I was to the voices that guide me. Just a couple of days ago the the girls were playing in the sprinklers. I was totally relaxed, just wathicng them giggle and run and skip. Not a care in the world. But suddenly I felt myself being pushed. “It’s such a beautiful evening” I heard myself think. “Lili, you should take photos.” I didn’t want to get up, but I did. Without a second thought, I rushed home, grabbed the camera, and took photos. The sun rewarded me with a gorgeous golden hour of precious warm sunshine.
To my happy surprise, before the evening was over, D showed up to play, too. I kept looking at this one spot in the drive way, such pretty light… This was “the spot”. I insisted on a group photo reminding myself that we were leaving soon, if there’s a time to insist, it was today.
I know why I got up for those photos. Why I insisted. In the quiet pleasure of being immersed in playtime, I heard the calling.
Today, take the photos today.
As it turns out, it really was the last time our girls would play together… Innocently… Without goodbyes… Without knowing it would soon end… Without realizing their precious time in each others company would be over… Even we, the mothers, didn’t know… We just smiled and waved and said, “We still have a little time.”
Once upon a time, what feels like a lifetime ago, this was an exciting time.
A time to imagine a new beginning, a new start, a new place to call our own. It was just the two of us, a couple of star crossed lovers taking on the world. Living in a new place, a new house, meeting new people and seeing new places. It all brought great excitement and anticipation. It was a fun time, PCS season… The excitement of orders being around the corner, finally learning where we were headed and rushing off to google the local area and possible houses and neighborhoods. Packing it all up, shoving ourselves into a car, and driving off into the sunset. Then arriving to our new home and exploring restaurants, and walking down town… Oh what an adventure. It was really fun…
But that time has long passed it seems. Because at our last dutty station, something new happened. We started a family. And that was our new adventure. Or new tiny family member brought us so much joy and happiness that it’s difficult to imagine a life before her smiling face, and soon we were engulfed into the life of mom and dad.
As it so turns out, the life of mom and dad is quite different from the life of husband and wife.
Going from relatively carefree, well rested adults, to responsible fairly tired parents made us (in time) realize how important your support system is. As the main caregiver for our daughter, I happily and loyally went from the library, to baby music classes, to play dates each and every day. Enjoying the company of several new mothers I met along the way. I didn’t know it then, but these women were the glue that were keeping me together. Their friendship and support gave me a sensation of safety and security in motherhood that I took for granted.
Not only that, but we also happened to be a very short flight away from our island home, Puerto Rico. Both my husband’s and my own family could visit us comfortably and often. What a lovely (and comfortable!) support system it was.
When PCS season came about, those feelings of excitement were there once again. I had no reason to feel any differently at that point, moving had always been fun. But as we packed up our new family to move half way across the globe I didn’t realize that I couldn’t pack with me the glue that had been holding me up, my support system, my village.
There were many difficult goodbyes, but none so painful than saying goodbye to our dear friends Kelly and Little Miss O. I met Kelly the first day I left the house with Little Lue by myself to do a “mommy and baby” thing. I needed to get out of the house, I needed to DO something, and somehow ended up at the local library for a Mommy and Me Story Time. And there was Kelly with Little Miss O, just like us, fresh new moms, it took but a minute to realize we would be friends.
I met so many of the dearest and most wonderful moms that very day.
I had no idea how special those days would be, but they will live forever in my heart. My first village. I can’t count the coffee dates or play dates, there were too many.
When it was time to move, I couldn’t pack up my village, I had to leave that behind… When we moved to Germany I knew what I had to do. I needed to find a new park, a new coffee date, a new village. For whatever delusional reason, I thought this would be easy… It wasn’t.
Germany would prove to be cold, and wet, and unwelcoming to summer creatures such as ourselves. Both my husband and I felt ourselves being drained of energy and joy from the lack of sunshine and warmth. It would take us well over a year to fall into a routine that worked for everyone and just as long to meet new friends and reach a level of trust and comfort that brings that sense of safety and community.
It’s been 3 years since our move, and I just barely feel like I’ve scraped together my new village, and now, I have to say good bye. I have to leave them behind and start over, and sadly, they might have to start over too. Because that’s the other thing, not only did I loose my village, but so did the friends who were left behind. For those left behind it’s one less person who will show up at your door on the bad days, one less person who will meet you at the park and hang out for hours of play, one less person who will be your company for lunch with crazy loud kids in toe, one less person to call when you just need an adult conversation after endless days of house work and wiping dirty bottoms.
These friends are literally gold.
They’re the reason happy moms exists, and the reason not so happy moms make it to the next day.
The thought of moving, and living without a village… yet again… for who knows how long… has taken all the joy and adventure our of PCS season. I don’t want to say goodbye again. I don’t want to start over again.
As incredibly wonderful as family life is, it is immensely more wonderful when you have a BIG family. A family of friends and neighbors and grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles and cousins. A family to share the fun times with and the not so fun times with. A family that helps each other and cares for each other. A family you can call on when the days are long and both mom and dad are too tired to put on a smile at the end of the day.
As a military family, we are first robed of the family we left back home, of our mothers and grandmothers and brothers and sisters who would have been there as our primary aid. And with the constant flow of the community we are also often robbed of the support of our dearest friends, who come into your life like a bast of love and warmth and fun and joy, and then they go… Leaving a gigantic crater where their wonderful company used to be.
It seems that this PCS season, I have accumulated quite a few more craters, and my heart is starting to look a bit like swiss cheese…
Despite my desire to move to a warmer, more welcoming climate, I have carved out my village here in Germany. Knowing now what life is like without a village, even if only temporarily, I know that leaving Germany will be no less painful than leaving Key West.
Still deep in the trenches of parenting young children, I need my village… a lot.
We will pack up our lives once again, only this time I’m well aware of what I cannot take with me. I cannot pack up my village, I will have to create a new one. Knowing this, I start to brace myself for a few months of lonely long days. Of awkward park days of recognizing no faces or names. Of sipping coffee alone with my rambunctious littles. Of joining groups and meet ups and not knowing why I’m there. Of putting on a friendly face while my insides are filled with anxiety and exhaustion. Of saying hello and yes to every new opportunity because trying is better than not trying. Of clinging to dear life to my marriage, because even on the worse days, my spouse is my only support and friend.
For a few months, I wont have the relaxing and re-energizing effects that my village brings. I will become a cranky, tired, and stressed out version of myself. I will be anxious and lonely and extremely needy of kind words and understanding. I won’t have much energy for smiling at the end of the day…
But maybe between a cuddle at the end of the day, and our daughter’s smiling faces, and hopefully some warmer, sunnier weather… maybe I’ll make it thought this PCS season and saying goodbye to another village, and maybe, just maybe, be able to enjoy some of the adventure of starting something new.
Yes, we made it to Disney Land Paris. I won’t lie, I thought we would skip this one after doing so much Disney when we were staying in Tampa, but as we planned my family’s last visit to Germany for Little Lue’s recital among other things we figured, what the heck, let’s do it. It’s only a few hours away!
So off we went! Here we are at a pit stop in a yellow field
We picked the Explorers Hotel because it was part of the Disney bus system. We didn’t really know what to expect, but I must say it was super nice and fun for the girls! I would definitely recommend it for those with littles in toe, it was super nice to have an indoor park next to a bar and totally decent pizza. But fair warning, the included breakfast was lame. So it gets 4 out of 5 stars from me!
Because we left at 6am, it was only noon when we got to the hotel… so off to the bus!
I think Disney Paris is pretty. Not sure how to explain it, maybe it’s because it’s less about the attractions and more focused on the experience, but I found the park to be really well made visually. It was also SO EMPTY compared to the Orlando parks, we barely made any lines. It was SUPER nice and enjoyable.
Don’t miss the dragon underneath the castle! My 4yo thought it was a REAL dragon, it’s that cool.
Don’t miss the Ratatouillie ride, it really is neat.
Alice’s Maze thing is awesome.
Space Mountain is a REAL roller coaster. OMG I am SO SORRY DAD for getting you on that thing. WHOOPS!
Face paint and rain!
But a little rain never stopped us!
Had lunch at Remy’s 😀 The restaurant was fun, but my 4yo had a few strong words for the chef, who was clearly NOT Remy based on the Ratatouillie they serve her! Little Lue could give Hugo a run for his money in the food critique business haha.
Watched the parade!
And followed it out the park!
Last day in Paris… so where else would be go?!
Found some cool lady street art, a lovers tree, and just a quick walk through the streets before driving home. Leave it to us to visit France and spend a total of 3 hours in Paris, HA!
Back home we had but one last thing to do… My parents wanted to celebrate the Tiny One’s 2nd Birth Day! It’s not for another few days, but obviously, that made no difference. <3
It’s May and that means it’s DANCE RECITAL TIME! Little Lue was SO excited to get her costume, practice her moves, and finally see what it was like to be on a real stage putting up a show!
Somehow I got roped into volunteering to watch her class for the LONG wait, but at least I got all the action shots, yeah?
After much coloring, tutu bathroom breaks, and not so patient waiting, this 3 and 4 year old class was finally called up!
And then it was SHOW TIME! Let’s just say it was quite enjoyable, ha!
After the show we had to wait some more for the GRAND FINALLY, which was pretty dificult to explain to tiny dances, but we made it!
I think my favorite part was snapping this photo of my favorite (and probably everyone else’s) dance teacher, Miss Kate <3 She’s so amazing, and has taught both Little Lue and now our Tinniest Dancer. You might recall her from this post.
We were visiting the Netherlands this weekend and I figured it was a good time to share some photos from the travels!
The husband was participating in the Amstel Gold Ride on Saturday so we arrived on Friday afternoon. The Netherlands is officially one of our favorite places to visit because truly where else can you stay in a castle? Yes, that’s right, a castle. Go check it out!
Here are some images from that same visit to Utrecht during the start of the Tour de France last year. I really loved that trip! Netherlands is basically bicycle heaven, so we find it really fun! Remember my old bike? Goodness I miss her, RIP Key West Bakfiets!
So after having such a lovely experience last time, I knew this would probably be enjoyable too.
We were greeted by friendly local drug dealers, so we knew we were in the right place, HA!
After we wondered into the city, we realized our hotel was facing one of the main plazas in the city. Which was pretty neat! The place was a restaurant (score!) and then the upper floors of the building where the hotel.
They had cake here that was to die for. Seriously so good!
Friday we wandered about during the evening so that I could have some sort of an idea for the area. It was a pretty city, but I still think Utrecht was prettier. Little Lue said it looked like San Juan. Overall a nice place to hang out in.
But evidently it was way more fun at night, because there was a serious party going on both Friday and Saturday night… that we could hear… All. Night. Long.
You’ve been warned, if you’re looking for sleep, pick a different place to stay! LOL
Saturday, husband was off riding and I went shopping with the girls. Insane, I know. I did get some cute things for us though, success!
Eventually daddy joins us… HOORAY! HE DID IT! we mostly stay close to the hotel… and had more cake…
The next morning we were in for a fun surprise! Turns out the professional Amstel Gold Race was staring in that very plaza! So our morning turned into a cycling teams parade.
We decided to sit somewhere, grab some coffee and chill while we enjoyed the scene…
But we have children… so you know how long that lasted… Even with Trek Team Cowbells…
Husband pointed out that the pros were easy to spot. Tennis shoes, and no helmets. (They we’re sighing “the board”, whatever that means.) So I tried to catch anyone riding by… and I did…
Turns out this is Fabio Felline who would go on to fall off his bike in some sort of freak accident and break his skull, all before the race even started. Ouch. Sorry Fabio! Hope you are recuperating! (You can tell it’s him by the number on the bike, here’s a better photo.)
And for all those who must have video…
After the girls made it clear that they did not in fact want to sit in the cold in a giant crowd staring at bikes and people, we decided to head back to the hotel, grab our stuff and zig zag through the streets to the parking lot where out car waited.
It was pretty fun to see the race start, even if we didn’t actually get to SEE the race start! Such is life!
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How Did I Find Usborne?
So today I wanted to take a little time to write about Usborne Books! I was invited to an Usborne Online FB party by one of my local friends. And I thought, book, great, I love books. I was really curious to know more about this Independent Consultant Company that was a bout children’s books. I was very familiar with the Independent Consultant set up. Basically you order a kit, and then you sell stuff for a company. And for a long time I thought what a neat way to ear some extra money and have a bit of a part time, to sell on comission. But I never signed up for anything like that beacuase I didn’t believe in the products. Sure they were fun and cool and great, but I wasn’t in love with them. And I can’t imagine selling something to others that I wasn’t toally in love with and wasnted to buy for myself and my home on a regular consistent basis.
So I went to this FB party and I was immdiately hooked. This is a publisher who’s books I already owned. I HAD Usborne books and I didn’t even know it. the sheer variety pf books they offer is mind blowing. And as a publisher, of course there are new books coming out every year. So right off the bat, I knew that this was something that I could enjoy, my daughters can enjoy, and I know most of my friends are always looking for fun new children’s books and they will enjoy these as well.
So I signed up on a whim pretty much immidiately to become a consultant. And I set up a couple of online parties to get started, but what I was really looking forward to was having my kit, and planning some in person presentations and parties and just having an excuse to get together with other adults and do some shopping. I’ve always found it fun to show with friends at these Consultant Parties.
I got the “Big” Kit which is only $125 (I honestly forget if it was $119 or $129 when I got it?). I can tell you, that I ordered it mostly just toge a stash of books 😛 I figured I wanted to order so many from the party that it would be worth it to just sign up and get a bunch of books. There is no requierement to host parties, no need to sell an X amount of books. You just buy the kit, that’s it. But who would I want to stop there?
I’m sure some people really want to know what’s IN the kit, specially if they are considering becoming a consultant. So I recently made a Periscope Video about all the items I got with the kit. You can check out that video bellow!
This is the kit that I will be bringin with me on the parties to give people a tates for Usborne and the quality and variety of their products.
Here is a photo of my Kit Layed out.
If you are interested in the books, before you just go shopping online I would like to invite you to host a party. Why? Because when you hhost a party, you get rewards! And those rewards earn you FREE and HALF OFF books. So if you are ready to shop, definitely put on th breaks for just a moment and lets plan a party so that you can really get all the books on your wish list for the best deal posible.
Here is my first hostess’s stash of books. I can’t even tell you how amazing it was to add in those hostess rewards and see that bill shirnk and shrink and shrink. Her kids banked!
PS, That hostess happens to be an INCREDIBLE seamstress. Go check out her website if you think you need some handsewn love in your life.
Usborne and Doodling
And here is something that just sort of magically happened. Remember that Magic I have been walking about?
It turns out that my favorite Doodle Girl, Diane Bleck from the Doodle Institute, loves Usbornes and uses those books in her home a lot! She sometimes periscopes to draw with her Doodle Friends (me!). And I can tell you Little Lue LOVES to do this with Diane. We have since been grabbing Step-By-Step Drawing Book (which came with my kit) to draw different people and animals and practice some writing and story telling. This stuff is seriously prefect homeschooling material as well as pure fun doodling.
Diane and I have teamed up so that any time she uses her Usborne Books in her videos I follow up with links to the specific books she used. I really hope we can do some “planned in advanced” events so that people can HAVE the books in hand before the doodle session. I think that would be a blast!
Here is a recent video of Daine’s where we drew some mermaids and pirates together.
And here is a picture of my 4yo’s drawing she did following her video. I’m always so impressed at how great she does following along!
And THIS is the book we were drawing from.
My daughter then wanted to draw some more so we drew this Knight together!
A year ago today I was landing on the tiny island of Key West. I would be staying with my wonderful dear friend, Kelly, and Little Lue would be reunited with her friend Miss O. My little Wild Child would be seeing Key West for the first time. It was to be a good trip.
But I was so home sick for Key West when we visited that every moment was painful. I wanted to stay, and never leave. I took photos, but I didn’t even look them over when I came home. I couldn’t. It hurt too much. So the photos just kind of floated around in my computer… Every now and then I would pull them up and look through them…
I really miss Key West. It was where my first daughter was born. It was where I made some wonderful friends and created my first Mommy Tribe. It was where I learned photography and started this blog. Camera Latte used to be filled with photos of cute kids running around in the sand. It was my favorite sight, and I couldn’t get enough of it.
I now blog about pretty much anything running thought my head instead of focusing on family photos… but today, as the “Memories” on my FB Feed started to pop up, I couldn’t help but open up that file and run some of those memories thought my head. It was such a wonderfully fun vacation. So here they are… The photos that I had buried deep in my heart for safe keeping. I wish I had capture every second of the visit, but the camera was, in fact, not glued to my face. Here’s what I do have.
So what’s the first thing we do? Hit the park of course.
Walk down Duval St and get a snack.
Wave at our friends from Key West Pottery who had just moved into their new location.
The next morning we have breakfast at one of our favorite restaurants. I had a list of must go places, unfortunately we never made it in to a couple. Too much delicious food on that rock.
We then walked around and visited our old house… We didn’t go all the way in, but we waved.
Off to the butterfly museum!
And the Accuarioum
Lots of friendly birds there…
The beach of course.
Another day we took a ride on the Conch Train. It takes you on a tour of Key West so I took advantage to get photos of all my favorite spots.
Can you spot anything?
More park time.
We ate a ton of ice cream here…
Ahhh… I can almost feel the warmth…
Thanks for the memories, you fantastic island, you. Miss you terribly. Any will always have plans to return and visit with the wonderful friends we’ve made there.
2016 looks to be equally promising… Our time in Germany is almost up and we will soon be heading for new adventures in goodness knows where! Looking forward to starting fresh again, even if there’s always a bitter sweetness to moving your life. As always… Once you start feeling at home somewhere, it’s time to go again… Oh military life, how ironic you are.
So what’s coming up for 2016? A lot. I will be doing…
New Years Resolutions Include #3030WriterChallenge 30 minutes of writing for 30 days, only to renew the commitment at the end of the 30 days. And this one I’m a little scared of but equally excited about #365Poems write a poem or draw a visual poem every day of the year. And most fun of all #3GirlsDoodle a collaborative project with two dear friends, more info HERE.
New Years resolutions always start off with a lot of energy but it can often tapper off after a few weeks, months, or when life gets too complicated. I know, because I’ve had this happen many times. But I see this as me BLESSING the year with positive INTENTIONS. Attempting my goals is better than not trying. Reaching for my goals is better than not having any goals. Wanting to make a change is the first step to change.
And so here I am. Attempting, reaching, and wanting to see a few small, totally plausible, totally reasonable, highly desired changes for the coming year.
What intentions are you blessing your new year with?
Born in the tropics, I never realized how crucial the sun was to my existence… Until I left them…
We’ve lived in Puerto Rico, Oklahoma, Florida, and now Germany. And we hadn’t realized we had been taking the gorgeous sunshine for granted. Even Oklahoma is blessed with sunny days practically year round. Germany, not so much. We’ve now been here an entire year and it seems the sun has been hiding at least two thirds of that time. For a creature like myself, cloudy days are for cuddling in bed, reading books, relaxing, ignoring chores, sometimes being a little gloomier and melancholy. We don’t go out on cloudy days, we hide, we hibernate, and we come back out when the sun returns. This is a serious problem when the sun goes away for several days, weeks, months at a time…
So here I am, multiple days have passed since the sun graced us with it’s full presence. And OMG I’m loosing my mind. What to do with little ones cooped up inside over rain and unpredictable weather?! We paint, we do puzzles, we play games, but most of all… we watch lots of TV (supper :/)… There’s really not a whole lot to do indoors people! (At least not that keeps a 3yo entertained for much longer than 15 minutes).
So what’s this? The sun?! After all the clouds and rain and cold (why is it 50some degrees outside already?! COME BACK SUMMER!) We decided to sneak out of the house for a quick walk while it all lasted…
Buggy here photo bombing my flower shot…
Away we go.
Oh hey look… I have another baby now… Just in case you missed that part…. LOL
Ready for exploring with her monocular (I’m not totally convinced that’s an actual word)
Mommy vision… Sometimes big sis wants to ride too…
The now 3 year old is into “silly faces”. Which I guess are better than her “smile” faces… You know the one… Crazy not sure that’s a smile, smile, eyes closed…
Which I guess are also better than baby “why you stop pushing my vibrating chair” faces… LOL
**Side note… Cel pics will always have a date stamped on them 😉 I want to remember when I took them, so I do that in the phone. Sorry if it’s distracting hehe**
Should I post… *deep breath* …phone pics on Camera Latte?
Because here’s the truth, once you get into all the baby gear: the diapers, wipes, extra clothes… and the toddler gear: lunch box, toys, extra clothes (yes, were in that dreadful place again as Little Lue started having accidents again), jacket, and the occasional scooter. Oh and lets throw in baby wearing or a giant stroller into the mix, the last thing I want to jam into my already ginormous and oddly heavy bag is a massive DSLR.
***A little camera talk, feel free to skip lol***
Because of this dilemma, I have set my sights on a the new mirrorless cameras… Many in the photography world are sure that they are the “future” of photography. It’s hard to say wether that is true or not, but right now, for me, those thinner, lighter, and fantastic little cameras are calling my name. I will probably be jumping on the mirrorless bandwagon soon, but until then, I need to figure something out. Anyone around here shoot mirrorless? I’m thinking of going with the Fujifilm xT1 and getting her a small pancake lens (the 27mm), thoughts?
The set up looks quite lovely if you ask me 😉
Image from fujivsfuji.com
Until I figure out a more compact camera system, or the Littlest Princess and Little Lue require less stuff (never?) I probably wont be dragging around my D90 very many places, much less so the D700. And the lenses, forget it… So lately, all I’ve had in my hands for capturing our little adventures is this contraption… The Samsung Galaxy s4 Zoom
Image from gsmarena.com
And while it’s proven to be quite the conversation starter… truth is, it’s nothing more than little point and shoot attached to a cel phone. Nifty and a fun little gadget, but momma still misses her big cameras… so so very much…
So back to the original question… Should my beautiful blog, created with images lovingly taken and edited with my DSLRs and Lightroom also be a place for my every day phone pics……..
Absolutely! Why? Because it’s not the tool, it’s the vision 😉 No matter how fancy a camera I could purchase, or the lenses, or set up, or anything else. Art isn’t about the tools, it’s about the artist and their message. It’s about taking what you have in your hands and creating something that draws you in, something that tells a story, conveys feelings, and shares a message.
If I had more time, or more sleep, or an extra arm, or maybe a nanny, a cook, and a maid, I might have a tiny bit more sanity left to figure out how to drag around one of my cameras. But for now, I will longly stare at it on my desk and look back at it with despair as I gather up jackets, and blankets, and keys, and snacks, and toys. Holding tiny toddler hands and bundling up baby in some kind of carrier, wrap or sling (boy do I have to post about THAT lol), heading out of the house in my totally misfitting clothes and forgetting to tie up my unbrushed hair into a messy bun. Away we go as I try to make it out of the house alive, with some sanity, to the oasis of motherhood, playdates.
So stay tuned my friends… Camera Latte lives… New posts coming soon, straight from my cellphone LOL!!
Decided to bring the camera along this Thursday to our little activities. I have been traveling “light” lately and leaving the camera at home for most outings, but this doesn’t make for many opportunities for taking a few pics! So going to try a little harder to bring it along more often, specially now that the weather is starting to turn. Woot!
Thursdays is Dance Class day! We had taken a little break from dance class as well as gymnastics for a couple of months since Little Lue had been a little uncooperative in the mornings. But it wasn’t long before she started asking about dance class. So I decided to reenroll her and see if this time she would be a little more appreciative. We haven’t resumed the gymnastics though, I figured we would ease back in, and dance seemed to be more in tune with this child. She LOVES to DANCE.
So dance class is at 11am and only 30 minutes. So I have been also hitting up the library story time right before at 10am. Sometimes we make it in time, others, not so much. Thursday mornings is also Stroller Warriors! A new running club on base that my friend leads. But since I am getting pretty big now (woot woot 3rd trimester!) I haven’t been attending. I might try to make some meetings anyhow and do some mostly walking haha. We will see The weather has been so nice this past couple of weeks! It’s hard not to want to be outside. If you are local and want to get out running with a great group, go check them out!
But yeah, THIS particular morning we went to story time. And we were actually on time! Yeah!
This is one of the songs they sang, goes to the “Row row row your boat” song music. Pretty cute.
Actually sitting down for a story, progress!
And now we’re off to dance class!!
I seriously love Miss Kate, she does a fantastic job and is SO incredibly age appropriate. I really appreciate her.
On our last day in Garmisch I was really hoping to go to one of the viewing platforms on the mountains, and it was recommended we go to Zugspitze! It’s just the village over from Garmisch and OMG was it breathtaking.
You can ride one of dangling carts all the way up to the top of the mountain, but let me warn you, it is NOT for you if you have problems with heights. I have a slight fear of heights and let me tell you, I was kind of physically frozen in fear once the ride was getting closer to the top. Almost a 90 degree angle going up. Terrifying. View was amazing, just terrifying LOL!!!
Thankfully, there is also a train that goes up the mountain. You still have to take a short ride to the peak, but not nearly as visually dramatic. (We took this route on the way back) Slower, but I swear I’m never doing it the other way LOL!!! You can even take the train from Garmisch all the way up.
Anyhow, the view at the top is amazing! And to our surprise (but not to anyone else headed up there) there is an INCREDIBLE ski lodge up there right in at the top of the mountain (that’s where the train stops). We knew there was a ski and sledding area, from what we were told, but we had never seen anything like this. It was just a giant glacier at the top of the mountain, everything white wherever you looked, and ski trains going down them. There was even one dedicated solely to sledding! How cool is that?
We rented a couple of sleds and it was a lot of fun, but we just couldn’t get over the view. Just crazy amazing! I’m so glad we didn’t miss this spot.
So this past Christmas we decided to take a trip to Garmisch and it was AWESOME! I hope we get to go back next year because it was so much fun.
We had my husband’s brother with us as well as my parents. We all stayed in a cabin at Edelweiss Lodge and it was just perfect. It was a “deluxe” cabin with a kitchen, a small bedroom and an upstairs little loft. Brother in law, husband, Little Lue and myself stayed up in the loft area and my parents stayed in the bedroom. It was a pretty nice set up and I think we were all pretty comfortable. We even had our dogs with us!
The Lodge was in a separate base from the cabin, but still walking distance. It was really nice with a few food options. It even had an awesome indoor pool! Too bad we found it on the last day… Oh well… Next time! 😛
The Garmisch itself was a really cute village with plenty to see. The mountains could be seen from where ever you were and just looked sooo beautiful. The village was still somewhat decorated and at night all the lights were up… It was just beautiful everywhere. So wonderful and festive.
Husband and BIL went snowboarding on one day and we decided to all go together the next day just to sled and see some snow (sadly it did not snow while we were up there! Ugh… This winter is getting pretty boring without all the fluffy stuff!!) and it was SO much fun. And to my surprise it was SO incredibly kid friendly. There were so many little ones sledding on the slops and people just sitting and enjoying the day as if we were at a large wintery park. There were even a bunch of strollers all over the mountain! It was just really cool to see and reassuring to know that we could happily come back next year we our new addition bundled up.
We are definitely hoping to get to come back. Such a great trip for everyone.
So among the things opened by my enthusiastic daughter, one box sent by my mom had an old dictionary from when I was a child. It was a picture dictionary in Spanish. I had asked my mom to send a few books as gifts, and among the ones she sent, she included this old one that was laying around in my old bedroom.
It was pretty neat to see it, and I was surprised that this looks practically new! I can’t believe it’s been sitting around for like 20 years!
The amazing part? When I was browsing through the pages I came up on the middle section that had some old papers saved. When I saw what they were I was floored.
They were keepsakes from 1993-94 the year I was a Daisy Girl Scout! I was part of Troop 121 until it split up in 2000 or 2001. So a very large portion of my childhood is filled with memories of this wonderful group of friends.
Our amazing troop leader, Sandra, who we called “Lilly”, just recently passed away battling cancer. And it was quite emotional to see her signature on my little Daisy certificate. I feel like she pops up in my life every now and again, like she’s still thinking of me and all of us in the old Troop. She made it such an amazing experience.
This is the book. I believe my mom told me it was a gift from my grandmother from my father’s side. She has since passed also.
Daisies beginning… 1993
Crossing the bridge over to Brownies… 1994
Our little “program” for the ceremony.
And this little treasure I wrote presumably 20 years ago. Talks about 3 girls in the troop, Marinelly, Anjanet, and Priscila. Anjanet is still one of my best friends and has been all these years.
Porque somos iguales. Marinelly a ella le gusta los animles y ami.
Diferente Anjanet le gusta el arozz con abichuelas y amino.