Archive of ‘Living in Germany’ category

Be still and listen

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My world is changing very quickly.

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.”

But we didn’t…


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Magic isn’t that hard to find.

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It’s everywhere.

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In the little things.

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In the little people.

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Be still and listen.

You will hear the calling.

You might witness magic.

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But only if you’re looking for it.

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Saying Goodbye to My Village: How Becoming a Parent Sucked the Joy of Out of PCS Season { Military Life }

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.

A photo posted by Liliana Beatriz Artworks (@lilianaartworks) on

 

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.  

I beg my husband for patience.

 

A photo posted by Liliana Beatriz Artworks (@lilianaartworks) on

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.

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Disney Land Paris { Travel }

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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 :)

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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!

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Because we left at 6am, it was only noon when we got to the hotel… so off to the bus!

Day 1

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.

Recommendations?

  • Don’t miss the dragon underneath the castle! My 4yo thought it was a REAL dragon, it’s that cool.
  • Best place to eat was Restaurant des Stars in the Disney Studio side. REAL FOOD, SCORE!
  • 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!

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Day 2

Face paint and rain!

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But a little rain never stopped us!

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Day 3

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.

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Watched the parade!
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And followed it out the park!

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Day 4

Last day in Paris… so where else would be go?!

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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!

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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

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Hope you enjoyed the photos :)

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Little Lue on Stage <3

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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!
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Somehow I got roped into volunteering to watch her class for the LONG wait, but at least I got all the action shots, yeah?

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After much coloring, tutu bathroom breaks, and not so patient waiting, this 3 and 4 year old class was finally called up!2016-05-15_0002

And then it was SHOW TIME! Let’s just say it was quite enjoyable, ha!

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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!

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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. 

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They were so damn cute <3

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Thanks for reading :)
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Shooting with Eva & Mom2mom

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Yesterday I had the pleasure of sneaking into Eva Creel Photography‘s fundraiser shoot for Mom2mom and taking some of the “action shots”. I have been taking a little vacation from shooting for others but what a joy it is to BE at a shoot, and not actually work it, but still get to take fun photos and enjoy sharing them with the photographer.

This was a particularly fun concept, we went to Kullman’s a local American Dinner (yes, in Germany HA!) and shot breastfeeding mommies drinking milkshakes! Does this sound familiar?

It probably SHOULD! Remember this fun project? Yup, look who’s sporting her awesome top! Love it!

You can get the #milkshakeboobs top HERE!

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And how about some props for this photographer turned mom for doing some double duty on the shoot! I tell you, all the moms I know are some badass watch-me-do-it-with-a-kid-strapped-on kind of awesome.

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After she was done, we couldn’t NOT take some fabulous shots of this hot photog/model… Eva can strike a pose on a DIME. WOO! She will put your selfie action to shame.

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Thanks for the fun, Eva! Always good company :)

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Here’s a link to the rest of the photos in case you need to see MORE!

Until next time readers!

P.S. Here’s that link one last time for the #milkshakeboobs breastfeeding T’s!!

P.P.S. Kullman’s has DELICIOUS pancakes, you should go.

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Maastricht, Amstel Gold & Fabio Felline { Travel }

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

A photo posted by Liliana Beatriz Artworks (@lilianaartworks) on

After that it was time for a rest, so the littlest one took a nap and Little Lue enjoyed some Dutch speaking cartoons while mommy had some time to play with her pens…   

Elevate. Rise. Make magic. #womensart #goddessenergy #elevate #rise #makemagic #artistaboricua #boricuaartist #illustrator #mujer #energiafemenina #crisisisland #maastricht #travelingartist A photo posted by Liliana Beatriz Artworks (@lilianaartworks) on

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.

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We decided to sit somewhere, grab some coffee and chill while we enjoyed the scene…

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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…

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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!

More photos from the day, here. Until next time :)

 

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Namaste

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Before this year started I was inspired by Diane Bleck to create a Vision Board. It felt like a really powerful exercise and I really enjoyed creating it despite not really knowing if anything would come of it. It just felt good, and it seemed like a nice positive thing to do.

This is my Vision Board, I talk about it a little on this Video.

A photo posted by Liliana Beatriz Artworks (@lilianaartworks) on

  Despite how playful this exercise was, it’s been quite strange how those Positive Intensions have really started to manifest. You know that thing those people talk about? How you can mold the Universe with your mind and how you can bring things into your life by simply asking the Universe for what you want? (If this is new to you, check out this talk by Jim Carrey, I love him and I love this. Beautiful words here.)         Well… The Universe is vast, and mysterious, and full of magic… I believe it.  And the more I give into that thought, the more I accept the mystery and magic… Well, I’m starting to see it everywhere. This week, I felt it. The Universe molding, the manifestation, the Universe quietly winking at me, daring me to take what it so graciously put in front of me for me.   Because I’m starting to see the Universe as a Mysterious Cosmic Mother. And how do mothers are, they give, give, give, give. It’s an endless gift giving, an endless love, an endless surrender. And not simply because mothers are selfless creatures, but because our children are part of us, they are us, living breathing outside of ourselves in a completely independent and unique way. Each and everyone connected by that line of mother and child, and the cycle continues when two meet and love together. It’s pretty mind blowing when you think about it really. Too deep? Ok let’s beck back to the Universe manifest thing (way less deep right? ha!) Well… The more I think about it, the more I’m realizing that… that is it! This is exactly what is starting to happen in my life. I am opening up to the possibility of the universe answering my call, and I’m starting to connect those dots, that bread crumb trail, and seeing the connections. After making My Vision Board, I saw many of the things starting to manifest immediately. But I also knew I had some form of control over the these things. I could see my creative mussel starting to flexing and exploding new venues. I could see my inner efforts to connecting with others. I was pursuing ways to grow and learn knew techniques. I started pursing different sources of knowledge spiritually and mentally. All of these things were on my board. And even as I pulled these things towards me, I was starting to feel the universe responding, I could feel the response, the welcoming arms giving freely of what was being asked. But there was one element that I left open to suggestion. My “surprise” if you will. And that was my little compass symbol, which I drew to symbolize adventure… Something “new” something “unexpected” and making myself open to such changes, challenges, and discoveries. Guess who came knocking to my door and calling me to a new adventure?

Yoga.

 

A photo posted by Liliana Beatriz Artworks (@lilianaartworks) on

 

That’s right, my old friend, Yoga.

You see, to most people, yoga is just a bunch of pretzel like poses not accessible to the general populous. I would challenge those people to go to a yoga class. Yoga is so much more than the poses (Asanas) it is a way a of life. It is not a religion, it’s a philosophy, a way to view the world, to understand the world, a way of living. My practice never really left me, I was simply not focusing on the physical and instead subconsiously focusing on the Yamas and Niyamas like self-education (Swadhyaya) and devotion (Ishwara-Pranidhana). And while I lamented my lack of sun salutations in the mornings or evenings, the knowledge of the Sutras was cementing itself in my heart. (I love this book and recommended it to anyone interested in Yoga. It’s pretty magical.)

And it was no surprise to me that my heart would jump with joy when one morning this past week I woke up to find a post on FB regarding a new yoga class in a location less than 5 miles from my home, at the very time my lovely husband is regularly home. The first class was that very evening. Perfect.

As I excitedly rolled out my mat and took in the lovely music playing it was like time traveling back to my first yoga experiences at Gretchen’s beautiful studio in Key West. I could feel the joy and relaxation. I could feel my mind coming back to the now and putting away the worries of yesterday and tomorrow. I will be honest and say that I didn’t quite enjoy the class as much as I had hoped, but as I sat there on my mat, one thought suddenly came back to me.

“Yoga Teacher Training”

This is something I had considered pursuing a little over a year ago, but the timing was simply off and I had put that thought away. I had thought, maybe some other time, but not now.

And as I walked out the door I made it up in my head that I would ask if there was any local training happening this year… I stepped out that door and I didn’t have to ask. Because as I walked out, there was a large poster for a Yoga Teacher Training, happening that month, in less than 2 weeks, within a 30 minute drive of my home. As I stared at this poster I started to feel it, the magic. I felt the pricking in the back of the neck, the energy pulling me towards this idea. It should so happen that the director of the studio was there that evening (not a usual occurrence I’m told). She was an older woman, very gentle but obviously an experienced yogi. And I asked her about the training, and you know what she said to me?

Maybe this is the reason why you came tonight? Maybe it was so you could find out about this training?

And she smiled warmly and wished my a lovely evening.

I can’t explain the type of excitement I felt as I drove home. It was as if I had just shaken hands with the universe and made a deal. Because this was it. This was exactly it. A moment where you look at an opportunity and you feel like it’s meant for you. But what do we do when we see these things? Sometimes we ignore them. Sometimes we shake our heads and say “No, I can’t.” We listen to our self-doubts and fears and we give in. But not tonight. Because like every good relationship, there has to be a give and take. If you are going to ask for something from the Universe, you better be ready to pick it up when it is handed to you.

Let me explain. You can’t just ask for an iPad for Christmas and then when you get it at your birthday several months past Christmas say “Oh sorry, wrong time, never mind.” and expect more gifts to be offered up over and over again. That’s not how gift giving works. There has to be gratitude, and gracefulness, and acceptance of what is provided when it’s provided.

So here it was, the Universe saying “Hey! Remember when you were looking for Yoga Training and you were so frustrated because you were pregnant and it didn’t work with your schedule, and you couldn’t figure out how to make it happen? Well I remembered! And you wanted adventure this year right? Tada!!!”

What was I supposed to do? Say no thanks?

“Oh, I’m too scared today.” Or “I don’t know, what if I don’t like it?” Or “But I’m too busy right now!” Or “I’m not sure it’s the right time.”

Are you kidding me?! YOU WERE JUST THINKING ABOUT YOGA TRAINING 5 MINUTES AGO!

Come on guys, you can’t be any more obvious here.

So I shook hands with the Universe. I see You and You see Me. Thank you for acknowledging my thoughts and responding. Your response is not waisted, not tonight.

So I drove home and excitedly announced my discovery of the yoga training to my husband. Who seemed quite pleased with the idea of having a yogi in the family.

Two weeks later, here I am! Yogafit Trainee, finished with my Level 1 & 2 and looking forward to the next upcoming trainings in May and already visualizing finishing my RYT-200 within the coming year or so. I can do this!

Level 1

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Level 2

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So cheers to this new adventure. I am extremely excited to start teaching and equally terrified. Looking forward to putting all this new knowledge to work and starting something incredibly different and fresh in my life.

I am even MORE excited to have found so much magic in this year already. Seriously, I get chills just thinking about it. I felt it, guys. I felt that super strange, I can’t explain it, but this is where I am meant to be feeling. And that’s pretty damn cool.

What a blessing!

Namaste

UPDATE

I invite you to check out my new Yoga Website <3

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I’m a summer time creature

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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…

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Away we go.

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Oh hey look… I have another baby now… Just in case you missed that part…. LOL

 

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Ready for exploring with her monocular (I’m not totally convinced that’s an actual word)

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Mommy vision… Sometimes big sis wants to ride too…

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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…

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Which I guess are also better than baby “why you stop pushing my vibrating chair” faces… LOL

out on a walk

**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**

The right tools for the job

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For weeks I had been considering the question…

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 😉

DSCF4322–X-E1-55 mm-ISO 200

Image from fujivsfuji.com

SO!

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

samsung-galaxy-s4-zoom-sm-c1010-1

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……..

 

The answer?

 

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!!

Because it’s been too long

Hi! Remember me? Camera Latte? That super fun blog with tons of cute photos of Little Lue and random ramblings about my mommy days? Yeah… Hi…

Somewhere mid pregnancy I cracked. Totally cracked.

I’m going to be honest, this move has been hard on me, us. The wonderful sunny days in Key West still call my name. Lucy still asks to “Go home” most days when we are about to get in the car, deep down I know where she means. Lately she’s been asking about the ocean and how she can’t wait to see it. I have no idea where she gets it from it’s obvious to me she misses her old home too.

On top of that the past 6 months have been riddled with uncertainty and confusion as we explored a change in our lives that never materialized. And in the mist of all that, TDYs and deployments have been scheduled, and all you Significant Others know how that goes…

So somewhere between getting ready for a new baby, still getting used to living in a new place, random life stress, and then actually giving birth, I set my camera down and stopped taking pictures.

I stopped running. I stopped writing. I stopped reading. Just stopped.

And in the chaos of meeting our new daughter, Princess P, I just felt lost. With her amazing loving gaze the only thing keeping me together.

It’s been over 2 months since she was born and the smoke is starting to clear. I’ve laced up my running shoes a few times, dusted off my camera longingly, and tried several times to write something half way coherent. But I’m still not quite there yet, I still don’t feel like myself.

I’ve been blaming hormones for my emotional roller coaster, but the truth is that this year has been packed full of stress, and it’s still just the tip of the iceberg for us.

So no, I haven’t taken very many photos. And no, I haven’t quite been my cheerful self. But I’m here, chugging along, waking up every day looking for that change in the winds.

Little Lue is amazing, she’s changing so much and so quickly. She’s 3 years old now?! Can you believe it?! And my littlest Princess P is incredible, just perfect. They both truly are my  little rainbows over these past stormy months.

So… A tad melancholy today, and no photos… But that’s ok. Sometimes this is all I’ve got.

Anyone else having a rocky 2014?

Thank Goodness for SPRING!

spring camera latte

It feels like forever since I was able to walk outside without a coat or jacket… And this past week I think it’s safe to say the weather is turning and Spring is HERE!! Sunshine and 50 degree weather, what more could I ask for?! (ok ok… so 80’s and a beach would be nice, but I will take the 50’s over 30-40 any day!!)

No jackets!!! YEAH!!

Sunglasses!! YEAH!!

Butterflies and bees!!! YEAH!!!

Windows open all day!!! YEAH!!!

I am a happy camper… :)

Oh and look… Remember that huge chunk of land out behind the kitchen, that’s called a BACK YARD!! YES!!! lol

Digging in the dirt… Seriously I think this is the first time Lucy has ever actually PLAYED with dirt (and not sand) LOL!

spring camera latte spring camera latte spring camera latte spring camera latte spring camera latte spring camera latte

Puppies in the sunshine :)

spring camera latte spring camera latte spring camera latte

DSC_1565 spring camera latte spring camera latte

The wheelbarrow made everything more fun!

spring camera latte spring camera latte spring camera latte spring camera latte spring camera latte spring camera latte spring camera latte

Oh look! My swing! :)

spring camera latte spring camera latte spring camera latte spring camera latte spring camera latte

Picked some flowers to make a garden… I think we need to start our real garden now :)

spring camera latte spring camera latte spring camera latte spring camera latte spring camera latte spring camera latte spring camera latte spring camera latte spring camera latte

Thurdays = Library & Dance

RAB dance class

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!

RAB library story time

This is one of the songs they sang, goes to the “Row row row your boat” song music. Pretty cute.

RAB library story time

Actually sitting down for a story, progress!

RAB library story time

Stickers!

IRAB library story time

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.

RAB dance class RAB dance class RAB dance class

Kiss your knees!

RAB dance class RAB dance class

Wrangling up the dance crew LOL!

RAB dance class

 

We always have fun props…

RAB dance class RAB dance class RAB dance class

Dancing with a scarf :)

RAB dance class RAB dance class RAB dance class RAB dance class RAB dance class RAB dance class

So fun <3

RAB dance class

Zugspitze

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

The highest point in Germany!

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.

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

 

This is the ski area below the peak.

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

 

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

Zugspitze camera latte by liliana beatriz

Garmisch! You should go :)

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

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. :)

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

 

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

 

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

 

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

Camera Latte Garmisch Liliana Beatriz

 

 

Honestly… It’s been Christmas morning for like a week…

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

So since we went to the husband’s Christmas party where Santa came and handed out gifts Little Lue  finally made a connection she had previously missed. The boxes under the tree are GIFTS!

We had been keeping a few boxes under the tree that we knew were gifts under the tree… They were still in their mailing packaging, so Little Lue really hadn’t given them much attention the few days they were there. But after the party… She realized what they were… So she grabbed a box, brought it over to us and said “Christmas present!” in the most adorable toddler voice eva. “Open the door!”

I’m not very good at waiting myself… so what the heck… Let’s open one.

Well… This turned into opening a box every day LOL!! There are now no more boxes under the tree and we have saved the rest of the gifts for tomorrow morning, Christmas Day, but it was still fun to have her open a few things so that it’s not totally overwhelming Christmas morning. I’m glad she got to enjoy a few things without the craziness of opening 10 things at once haha.

So since most of these gifts came from Nana’s house and she MUST have pictures. I decided to document as best I could. 😉

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

 

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

 

Wow!!!!

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

 

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

 

Yessss! A car or “Brum brum” :)

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

 

I was a bit worried about all the tiny pieces, but she loves them! Fine motor skills 😉

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

 

Luna’s turn for a random portrait :)

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

 

And mommy playing with her camera again… haha

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

Cameralatte.com by Liliana Beatriz

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