Archive of ‘Friends and Family’ category
So husband’s work had a Christmas party for kids and here are some photos! It was fun because we were told to bring our kids a gift and there would be a Santa who hands them all out. Fun!
Little Lue was honestly horrified at the Santa Clause and wanted to leave immediately after his arrival, but once he started handing out gifts she changed her tune. LOL!
She got to decorate a cookie, and make a ginger bread house… sort of hahaha. It was pretty nice.
First we decorated cookiessss….
Then Santa showed up… After a small panic attach you can see how interested she is once he started giving out stuff LOL!!
But that doesn’t mean she wanted to hang out with him… Got her gift and ran for it hahahaha
Oh man! A goody bag too?!
I think she liked it
Now lets make that gingerbread house!
Honestly… she mostly tried to eat it 😛
But the marker was pretty fun!
Naaaaa… Eating it is better
We finally found a neat place to buy our tree from!
For whatever reason, I vividly remember going out to pick out our Christmas tree. Our family always had a live tree and I so loved the smell and specialness of the Christmas tree. It was always an exciting and special day. And because I feel like just picking the tree is supposed to feel special, I really didn’t want to go to just anywhere to get it. I was hoping to find a local something to get a tree form other than Toom (German version of Home Depot/Lowes)… Although for a moment there it was looking like the best option!
Anyhow, I went out for a walk around the village and finally (I do say finally because this place was right on the main road) noticed this house that had a small sign that read “Weihnachten Baüme” Now… I had no idea what this meant, but it had a Christmas Tree picture, and I knew baum had something to do with plants, LOL, so I figured I’d walk into the drive way for a look. And sure enough right around the corner were a bunch of trees! Yay! It was pretty cool, the drive way snaked around his yard so it was like a little tree maze. He even had some smaller trees in pots, which I thought was pretty cool. The owner didn’t speak much english and unfortunately my German vocabulary is still quite small (minuscule really), but I was still able to get an average price and the times he was open. So later that evening we came back and picked out our tree!
Somehow I managed to pick out a massive tree… When it was laid down to be wrapped up I was tempted to say we needed a different one because, OMG, it looked HUGE. But it was too late. So we took our massive tree. The owner told us he has been selling trees in the village for 40 years! We happily told him we would come back next year. Lucy got a cookie and Duvi was not able to refuse the “schnapps”, haha, and away we went.
Back home is when I finally pulled out the camera. So here are some X-mas decorating photos <3
Soooo… Yeah, we had to chop off some trunk off the bottom to make it fit LOL!!! Glad we have a strong and persistent daddy 😉
A little ambience… 😉
I’m telling you, this thing was just massive. But it’s grown on me hahaha…
Everyone waiting patiently haha
Random Bongo portrait <3 My baby is so cute!
Aha! He did it! Go daddy!!!
Open up the treeeee…
Putting up the star… Can anyone find the very first ornament on the tree? 😉
The lights were quite exciting!
All done!! It’s a little wonky looking… But I still love it Definitely grown on me since we put it up hahaha
And yes… I do see that random empty layer… I think that’s how German Christmas Trees are supposed to look… Right? LOL
Anddddd…. Mommy playing with the camera LOL
A few weeks ago we met up with some friends to check out our first German Christmas market at Bernkastel-Kues. It was super nice to see them and fun to explore such a pretty village. Bernkastel-Kues is a town along a river bank and just has a lot of character and lovely architecture. We we wandering around with the little ones so it was hard to pull out the camera for pictures too often, but I still managed to catch a few shots…
I’m guessing this is a fountain in the summer, very cool!
Love the city center walkways here… So wonderful to wonder around without cars… I wish they would do this in Old San Juan! Just rope off more pedestrian areas
My favorite image… I might need to print this one <3
Checking out the scene…
Waffles on a stickkkkkkkk!! LOL
One large Advent Calendar!!
These are part of the little shops they put up for the Christmas Markets. They just sold random crafts, clothes, foods, ornaments… Stuff like that.
Fun rides too haha!!
And after a day of walking it was nice to settle down in a warm restaurant for lunch.
Ok… Now this may have been more exciting for mommy than for Little Lue LOL!
Last week we had lots of precipitation forecasted, along with lower temperatures, and everyone (and by everyone, I mean that hand full of child like adults who still think snow is like magic falling for the sky) was hoping for snow… But sadly, all we got was some cold cloudy weather along with a few drizzles of rain. A little snow dusting one night (mostly on roof tops), only to melt by midday… That was it… Quite disappointing!
So you can image my dismay when the whole forecast for the upcoming weeks is clear/cloudy with 10-20% chance of precipitation… BOOOOOO!
Well, we were pleasantly surprised yesterday with the first snow fall! It snowed for about 3 hours and honestly I was just glued to the window staring at it. It would slow down and be nothing more than tiny specs of white, and them suddenly downpour with big chunky clumps of snow! So pretty…. Non of it stuck to the ground though… So it was just mostly fun to see. And of course as soon as I saw it I started dancing around like a kid, grabbed Lucy and the camera, threw on some coats and ran outside. (Quite impressive, as I’ve been avoiding the outside as much as possible the past month!)
So because we went out when it first started snowing, it wasn’t really very much coming down… and it was SO hard to photograph… But whatever, here are the pics I got.
It was so so SO pretty. I wish I could have captured it better. Oh well… at least Little Lue looked cute, right?
Adventures in Germany Continued
So a couple of weekends ago we were wondering what to do. I think that for daddy and I, our time in Key West had us soooo spoiled. We didn’t ever had to take long drives to do stuff, and it always felt like we had plenty to do. So here in Germany we hear of all these amazing cities and things to see, only to realize many of these spots are 2-4 hours away. Sure… It’s definitely a doable distance, but alas… We just loath being in the car for so long on… So our solution has been to scour the newspapers and anything we can get our hands on looking for random activities we could do closer to home. I’m not sure if it’s the upcoming holiday season, but there seems to always be a craft show or festival happening somewhere!
This weekend we spotted something a little more random… The yard sale page had an add for someone making Raw Apple Juice! Seemed interesting enough, so we decided to check it out.
It was actually really cool.
First you put the apples in a shredder!
Then you put the apple grinds into this giant pressor. Sure there are tiny ones you can use at home, but this one was much more impressive LOL.
If you are wondering… Yes, it did smell quite amazing!
Next, you had to press the apples… HARD!
And BAMMMM… Juice! Lots and lots of juice! Well… Cider, really
Did I mention it smelled amazing?
Little Lue decided we needed lots more…
Can’t really get more organic than that!
Better late than never… Yes?
A few shots from our visit with Nana and Papo mid October <3
I know I have been quite neglectful of my little blog lately, but it’s only because I’m extra tired, extra cranky, and totally freezing my buttie. Why so tired? If you haven’t heard, I’m pregnant!
Yes, those are the big news I shared with my family as they arrived for their first visit to Germany. And between pregnancy naps, senseless emotional roller coastering, trying to play catch up with the house cleaning, and chasing around a not so compliant toddler, I’ve had little time for the fun stuff… But thankfully the 2nd trimester is finally here, and I’m starting to feel a little more like myself… Sort of…
Enough chit chat… Here are a few shots from the visit!!
It was my mom’s birthday (any excuse to come visit us!) and that evening my dad had Lucy walk into the room with a cake in the wagon, it was a pretty cute idea. My mom was so surprised
Wondering around Trier with some awesome company
I seriously can’t wait to get my new lens. I have been patiently waiting to purchase a nice wide angle lens to take with me when we go to new places and it’s finally going to happen this weekend. I really want to start working on some scenic and architecture photography. Scenic photography really speaks to my soul. I still wish we could have invested in some Peter Lik art work before leaving Key West (he has a gallery there) I really think he is my photography inspiration. Hoping to really focus on this part of photography while living in Europe and taking advantage of these amazing places that we will be visiting. So so excited on working on a new skill! Always learning, never stop!!
So here we are wondering around Trier. I almost wanted to leave the camera in my bag and just enjoy the day… But I simply couldn’t… Trier is the first older city we got to visit and it was pretty amazing. We are actually planning to go back very soon since I feel like I need to see it all AGAIN lol.
So I was minding my own business getting busy taking photos for you guys of my lovely backyard… Yes I know, I can’t stop talking about it, but that’s because #1 it really is that awesome, #2 I haven’t had one in 3 years ad I’m as excited about it as I will be about the first snow fall, #3 I really haven’t met that many people who are interested in talking about my backyard. So yeah, this is my blog right?!?! You faithful readers shall listen to my ramble! Thank YOU. LOL!!!
Ok so yeah… outside, perfect day, dogs running around like wild animals scavenging (scratch that, that’s just Luna, Bongo is sitting in the sun like a big potato), Little Lue is playing with her little slide and what not and I’m trying to be all creative with my photos. And then… It happens…
I completely forget what I’m doing because Littele Lue is being way too cute and I end up with a bunch of photos of her instead! (This actually happens quite often, can you tell?)
But this isn’t just ANY old cuteness, this is first-time-EVER-swinging-HERSELF-on-the-swing CUTENESS. Considering my daughter is only two (shameless brag) this was pretty impressive to me. I think the secret was extra low swings, which seems to be very common out here as we had seem them like that on a couple of play grounds.
This is her process. She sits her little tush on the seat *without falling or needing help* (honestly I was pretty happy with THAT accomplishment) and then she tiptoes herself as far back as she can and BOOM she lets go, feet pulled up high in front of her and she enjoys her swing all by herself! At first she started with “One, two, THREE! Weeeeee!” But somehow this morphed into “Eeeeeeeeyyyyy, Princess! Weeee!” Which sounds way funnier to be honest. LOL
So yeah, so much for photos of my swings, trees, and dogs. I have photos of Little Lue in her swing instead LOL.
And for those keeping track of me on FB, the Basil Plant LIVES!!! lol
When you’re a military wife, you sometimes get in the mentality that you will never have life-long friends. You know, the one who’s your next door neighbor for 30 years and you have coffee every Sunday morning with, and your kids are the same age and go to the same schools and your husbands are good buddies and you just hang out. And then one day you will live together in a house and be just like the Golden Girls and it will be epically awesome.
Well… you know… In my imagination, it would totally be like that.
But the reality of moving every 3 years kind of puts a kink into my friendship fantasy. And it’s a kind of a total downer when you’re the type of person that enjoys hanging out with other humans with common interests.
But for all you military wives out there, I’ve got some news for you, you really CAN have some good long time lasting friends. The magic of the internet and facebook has seriously facilitated keeping up with friends at a distance in a creepy sort of stalkerish way. But every now and then, you realize that the friend you have been so oddly attentive to you over the internet, has also been attentive to you. Why? Because, perhaps, somehow even if they are a billion miles away, they connect with you and want to actually still keep in touch, and hope you will meet again on a faithful day. They really ARE a friend. Awesome!
More good news for military wives, turns out there are only a hand full of bases for people to go to. And chances are, that faithful day really does come!
So when it came time for our big move to Germany, was delighted to know that one of the friends I had made over 4 years ago in Oklahoma was happily waiting to meet up with me again in Germany. Despite being over an hour away from where we were, Lucie made no hesitation to welcome us to Germany the first week we were there! Even took us house hunting to our now new home. Thank you, Lucie, for making this transition feeling like coming back home. At least a little!
This past weekend was her younger son’s 1st birthday! Our families have obviously changed since the last time we met. We now have a 2 year old daughter, and their own daughter is now 3, we met her as just a tiny little infant. Now she is a big sister! It’s just really neat to see how we have both grown. I loved seeing her new home and family. It all feels so new and so familiar all at once. It was also great to see our husbands meet again.
Anyhow… CASSIAN! This post was supposed to be all about you… LOL!!
Cassian is such a little man! OMG he’s so big, just like Little Lue was. Extra chunky and just a doll. He’s still not walking, but watch out, it’s coming up. He’s going to be chasing after Lexie pretty soon! I love his little foe hauk, by the way.
Of course we had lots of fun at the party. Little Lue surprised me by being a tad shy at first, but it wasn’t long before she was asking for cupcakes and trying to steal the birthday boy’s gifts.
And I think this is probably enough rambling, you’re totally ready for the photos. Right?
For more photos of Cassian’s Birthday HERE!
Ok… so this is what it’s all REALLY about right here…
The Sunday stroll. This is usually a day reserved for relaxation and indulging in the simple pleasures of being a family. It was nice to actually have a car this weekend and be able to get around.
We decided to try and find a bakery that was open for breakfast (not the easiest task, since almost everything is closed on Sundays here!) and we were happy to find one where the waitress wasn’t completely fluent in English. Why is this something good you ask? Well, we can’t really practice our German if everyone speaks English!!! We had fun trying to decipher the menu and ended up ordering 3 boiled eggs that came with some bread and butter.
On our way back we saw a flower picking field so decided to stop and pick a couple of sunflowers. I love sunflowers. And I love that there are flower picking fields!
Basically there’s a sigh with the prices for the type of flowers with a little can attached to it where you put in the money for the flowers you take. There’s also some little knives there for you to cut the flowers with.
Headed back to our temporary home, we decided it was imperative that we buy a flower vase for our freshly picked flowers. So we stopped at the “mall” on base hoping to find one at the polish pottery store. We did!
Back at the hotel we made sandwiches with the bread we brought at the bakery for lunch.
Yes! Finally! We are HERE!!
Hours of driving, weeks of hotel hopping, horrible junk food, packing, unpacking, packing, last minute flat rate boxes filled with our overflow of stuff, doggy paper work back and forth, driving across 6 states, 7 hours at the air port with a mountain of bags and 2 giant pet kennels, and one 7 hour flight…..
WE. FREAKING. MADE ITTTTTTTTTT!!!! All 5 of us!!!
Surprisingly Bongo took it the worse, the big baby. Wouldn’t stop crying while we all waited at the airport.
Whooooooooo… So glad it’s done with!!!
First impressions of Germany?
It’s pretty cool here during the summer, but it can also be pretty hot!
Note, I’m scared of the winter now lol.
I have to get used to calling “towns” villages, but once you visit them they really do look like villages.
They actually do serve a lot of sausage (we’ve yet to eat at a German restaurant).
The houses are all gorgeous and cool looking.
A lot more woodsy that I pictured.
I want to learn German.
Learning German seems impossible to me. Words are too long. Not enough vowels.
Still want to learn German.
SO PET FRIENDLY. People take their dogs everywhere!
Yup… I think that covers all my first impressions… Here are a few photos from our exploring yesterday
So in the middle of all the moving craziness we decided to take a little leave in route and spend some time in Disney with the family. My parents, brother and his girl friend joined us, as well as my husband’s mother. It was just a nice opportunity to get together before we hopped over the ocean to our new home in Germany.
To make things a little fun for me, I decided to rent a lens I have been lusting after, the Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8. That thing was NO FUN lugging around Disney World LOL that thing is HEAVY! But it was great to be able to see what it could do and capture some great family shots while we were out there. And I LOVE the results Yay! For pretty family photos!!!
It was such a wonderful break from all the stress of moving. To just enjoy some family time and just have something fun to do all day. I wont lie, I was pretty eager to just get the vacation time over with and finish this hotel bouncing and get rid of all the moving jitters. But we really needed that family time. To just see each other and talk and be close. I know travel will be more difficult for everyone in the future, so it was nice to take advantage of that proximity one more time.
My little Princess is 2 years old!!! Wow!!!
I can’t believe we almost missed it. Somewhere mixed into all the moving stress, my beautiful little baby girl turned 2 years old.
2 has been a hard age for us. Lue wont sit still at restaurants, she knows how to ask for all the things she shouldn’t have with the cutest most irresistible voice ever, she tells daddy to “stop it” when he’s crowding her with too many kisses, and goes limp on the floor when she doesn’t quite get what she’s been asking. Mommy’s patience seems to be pushed to the limit half the time and I find myself taking deeps breaths a lot more often. But goodness it’s hard not to feel completely in love with this child. Such an amazingly perfect mixture of baby cuteness and intriguing child like behaviors. Despite the difficulties, I know I will miss this age SO MUCH.
Ahh… My little princess… I wish you would never grow up…
Just stay like this forever <3
It’s been a couple of weeks since we left our home in Key West. It was definitely very difficult to say goodbye to a place that has been so good to us. We all grew so much there.
The husband rediscovered his interest in bicycling. He would do a little mountain biking here and there in OK, but living in a small town where bicycle commuting was practically a given, he really got into cycling. Which lead him to meeting up with a bunch of triathletes and really getting into all this workout stuff.
Which in turn inspired me to start running. Go me! Did my first 5K and a few others and then somehow pushed my butt across the 7 Mile Bridge Run. You can read about that on THIS blog post.
We both turned a new leaf and switched to a vegetarian diet. We’ve been eating a less processed, mostly organic diet for well over a year now and there are no signs of us looking back. We both feel pretty proud of those changes.
Of course it goes without saying that our family has grown too! Little Lue is 100% Conch. She was born a little over a year after we moved to Key West. It’s pretty amazing how having a little human to take care of really shakes you and makes you examine how you are living your life. The process of child proofing my home had a lot less to do with hiding knives and outlets, and a lot more cleansing of a different type. We wanted less TV, more family time. Less junk food, more fruits. More coloring, more reading, more quiet time, more home cooked meals, more time spent in parks, more singing, more dancing, more smiling… You get my drift. 😉
We also adopted Luna, our wacky little husky! Life with 2 dogs has been full of new challenges and new adventures. I definitely don’t see myself adding anymore pets to the family any time soon, but with Luna I definitely feel like my fur-mommy heart is full. I love the way Bongo and Luna have bonded, they are such a great team. It just seems right.
So yeah! That’s a WHOLE lot of growing! And of course I started getting more into photography the last few months too. Hoping to keep that ball rolling once we arrive in Germany and restart my business there. Excited and terrified all at once about that. I loved working with Say Yes to Key West and shooting weddings. It really opened my eyes to a profession that is really calling my name. We will see what happens…
With all this going on you can imagine there’s been a lot of soul searching and even some spiritual growth. I got a lot more interested in Yoga and finding ways to re-connect with The Powers that Be in this universe. It’s kind of amazing to me how this awesome life force (or should I say Love Force?) that we tend to refer to as God is literally hollering at you every which way you turn screaming I’M HERE FOR YOU. And we just go on our merry way thinking “Oh my, what a lovely sunset.” I think I know better now and that’s a good thing I’m truing to wave back a little now…
I feel so incredibly blessed to have found such a wonderful family on this Earth. I’ve met such great friends along the way in Key West. It will be really difficult being away and knowing that this part of my life is part of my past instead of my present. But I hope the friendships we’ve made and the lessons we’ve learned will continue to grow in the years to come. It’s like my heart keeps getting bigger and bigger every time we move. Each home we’ve had is a like a new family and by the time we have to move; our family has double in size.
Now I can say that we have family in Puerto Rico, Oklahoma, and Key West! And it’s only going to keep getting bigger!!
So I will try and leave this on a happy note. I’m not very good at goodbyes… I’d rather just run out the door with a quick hug and try and focus on what’s to come. We will keep growing. We will keep learning. We will keep bouncing from one place to another. But we will most definitely miss every single part of Key West and every home we have to leave behind… That’s just part of our life.
So sending out some hugs and kisses to Key West. To the amazing mommies and kids that turned into amazing friendships for both me and Little Lue. For the incredible athletes out there running in the sun every day that inspired both Duvi and I to get off the couch and out the door. For the amazing foods and restaurants we found that inspired new diets and new blogs! For the incredible artists and small business owners that captured our imagination and dreams and reminded us of how important it is to do what you love each and every day.
Yup, you will be missed. Until next time, you rocky little island you…
Finishing up with a single image from our last day at the house.
The house empty, but our hearts full.
We had my husband’s going away work party at our favorite vegetarian restaurant, The Cafe. It was a nice time for him to see a lot of his coworkers and just get together for some good food. If this sounds surprising to you, many of them had never been to this awesome restaurant and were quite scared of the dreaded tofu LOL. Thankfully, The Cafe serves fish as well as shrimp if a plate without any meat was truly too offensive haha. The hubs had been telling the coworkers he was going to feed them ONE vegetarian meal before leaving, so I guess this was it!
The Cafe’s manager Sam was so incredibly helpful, as always, they have such great service there. They made sure we got some yummy entries that seemed popular with everyone and bid us farewell with a delicious carrot cake!
We might pay The Cafe just one more visit before we made our grand exit from Key West. This place shall be missed deeply…
As for the husband, he got some really lovely gifts from his office. They gave him a flag for his unit that had been flown over Puerto Rico in a nice in scripted shadow box, as well as a nice sighed-by-everyone plaque. I know he really liked those gifts and will happily hang them in our next home.
The going-away was last week. I am currently sitting in a hotel room enjoying being DONE with all the moving stress. Little Lue and I are cuddled up in bed watching The Tigger Movie as I update the blog and my new business website… I’m so so glad to be done with the house!! So as I get the chance write something up as well as edit my photos from the last few days I will have a few more “moving away” posts… Stay tuned for more “We’re moving to Germany!” ADVENTURES
So last week was our last class of the Music Together semester. This would be the last semester we would be participating as our move to Germany is fast (too fast) approaching. We had started going before Little Lue’s first birthday and it had quickly turned into our Tuesday ritual. On the few weeks that the class was not going on I felt utterly lost… Little Lue and I (and daddy and Nana on the occasional class) really enjoyed our time there. The teachers, Miss Sandra and Miss Molly, were awesome, the company (mostly our closest friends) was exceptional. And music class was often followed by coffee dates and park visits.
Ok… so I just teared up a little…
Seriously… I can’t believe we are leaving our amazing Key West family. Going to our last class was kind of the first real marker that our time here is almost over.
I tried to take a few photos… but evidently my heart wasn’t in it. As they are all blurry and gloomy looking. I don’t want to say good bye. Don’t let the lackluster photos deter you. Music Together is AWESOME and worth it. I enjoy the music, the singing, dancing, and all their fun props and instruments. Little Lue loves it and I got to really see her grow in it as she started to learn how to talk, sing, follow directions, and just everything. It has been really great… I wish we could stay and enjoy it a little longer…
Sorry for being such a downer today. On a more positive note, I’ve been really busy with the photography business! Lots of weddings to edit and a few fun events as well! Go check that out over on my Photography Services page. 😀 All the action over there has been cutting my personal blogging time a bit short. But I promise Camera Latte is here to stay and I can’t wait to share all of the adventures that await us in Europe!