Friday, May 10, 2013


Since being in Germany for the past 3 years, we have really gotten to travel all around Europe. It has been such a fun experience and one that I will NEVER forget!!

Here are the places we have been...

   - Paris
   - Hike along the German/France border
   - Zoo d'Amneville 
   -Snowhall in Amneville (Indoor skiing/snowboarding)
   -Strasbourg (Christmas Market)
   - Brussels (Christmas Market 2011,  2012  & Christmas Eve 2012)
   - Dinant 
   - Brugge (Christmas Market)

   -Christmas Market 2011

   -Salzburg (Sound of Music Tour) Just realized I never blogged about that trip!
   - Heildelberg 
   - Trier
   - Hannover (Oktoberfest)
   - Baden Baden
   - Edelweiss (Garmish)
   -Neuschwanstein Castle
   - Dachau Concentration Camp
   - Homburg
   - Bad Durkheim (Wine Festival)
   -Castle on the Rhine River (Can't remember the name)
   -Weisbaden (Christmas Market)
   - Munich (Oktoberfest)

United Kingdom
   - London 2012 (I will live here one day!)
   - London 2013  Stonehenge, Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey Castle)
   - Bath
   - Edinburgh  Holyrood Castle, St. Andrew's, Loch Ness

Places we weren't able to visit...

Italy- Rome, Venice, Florence... :(

I am so sad we weren't able to go to Italy but our time and bank account just didn't allow us to visit everywhere we wanted to go. I am so so very thankful that we HAVE been able to travel to the places we have been. I realize that not everyone gets to go places that we have been. I am so thankful that we took the initiative to get out of our house and travel. I know so many people that don't take advantage of the traveling over here.

I am so excited to see what our future holds and the many more places we will get the opportunity to visit!

So long Germany...

In 2 1/2 weeks, we will be moving back to the states. It is very bitter sweet for us. We are beyond sad to leave Germany but looking forward to being closer to family. And Target. And Hobby Lobby. And Chick Fil A. Just to name a few. 

The next couple of weeks are going to be CRAZY! We have lots to do! Pre-inspection, detail and clean our car, ship our car, ship our unaccompanied baggage, ship our goods, DEEP clean our house and have it inspected. I am sure there is something else I am missing. I am not stressed...yet. I am sure it will come soon though. 

There are several things I am going to miss, a few things I won't miss, and several things I look forward to and a few things I am NOT looking forward to. I want to list them all so I can look back in the future and remember this time in my life. 

Things I Am Going To Miss...
  • German food, of course!!! The Snitzel, kroketten (fried mashed potatoes), pretzels, doner kabobs, ice cream, bread and the fries. Oh, and the whip cream. 
  • The Autobaun. Going 80-90 mph is normal for me.
  • Christmas Markets and the Beer/Wine festivals
  • The scenery, of course! 
  • Traveling to a different country for the day. We have been able to take several day trips to Paris, Belgium, and France. 
  • My house...where we brought Ava home from the hospital and raised her for the first year and a half of her life. 
  • Our friends. I have made some of the BEST, lifelong friends over here and I am going to miss them SO SO much! 
  • Dining out. Eating out in Germany is totally different than in America. It is normal to go out to eat and spend several hours at the restaurant. It is meant to be a relaxing night out. Not a get in a get out kind of thing. 
  • The windows. "Awesome" is the best word to describe them. 
  • The long summer days when the sun comes up before 6am and doesn't set till after 10pm. 
  • The roundabouts! 
  • Milka Chocolate and Hippo's. 
  • Chocolate Croissants
  • The ice cream truck that comes by my house at roughly 6pm every night. 
  • Tax being included in the price
  • Being able to walk to everything (when we travel to a city)

Things I will NOT miss....
  • Mail taking several weeks or even months to get here!!! 
  • Going to a German grocery store and forgetting to bring bags...the grocery stores do not provide sacks! Crazy, I know!!! 
  • Small. The ovens are small, the parking spaces are small, the cars are small, the bags of chips are small, the roads are small. Everything is just smaller in Europe. 
  • AFN! I will NOT miss AFN and their ridiculous commercials and choice of programming. 
  • Stores that are closed on Sundays and close at 5pm on week days. Seriously, everything shuts down at 5pm (or earlier) and NOTHING is open on Sundays. Oh, and most stores have about 2 hours during the middle of the day that they are closed. Maybe for a nap? Who knows! 
  • The DARK winters. This winter was the darkest winter in 43 years!! Americans probably won't understand but it definitely affects peoples moods. I found myself becoming depressed and didn't even know why and then one day the sun came out and I instantly knew why!! 
  • Almost getting run over at the German grocery store. Germans come off as very rude and un-friendly but if you get to know them, they are nice. 
Do you see the difference between the things I will miss and won't miss? There is not much I won't miss! 

Now, on to our trip back to America... (sniff sniff). 

Things I am looking forward to...
  • Target, Hobby Lobby, Chick Fil A- its worth mentioning again....
  • Variety!!! aka Wal-Mart and fast food restaurants. 
  • English speakers
  • Driving. I don't know how best to describe this but in Germany, if you are on the autobahn and miss a turn, it could take a good 30 minutes to get back to where you are supposed to go. Directions can also be confusing. 
  • Family being closer, of course!!! 
  • Regular T.V. and being able to find something good to watch whenever I turn it on.
  • Radio!!!! 
  • 24-hour stores
  • Gas stations every few miles opposed to the ones in Germany that are every 15-30 miles apart! 
  • Not being forgotten!!!!!
  • American style houses! 
  • Air-Conditioning! German houses don't have A/C. 
  • Well posted street signs
  • Being around non-military people. Don't get me wrong, we love some of our military friends but it will be nice to get out of the "military world" where we are ONLY surrounded by military people. 

Things I am NOT looking forward to...
  • Everyone on their iphones or ipads 24/7. This annoys me to no end. This was me about 3 years ago but since living in Germany, my whole perspective has changed. 
  • Making new friends
  • Being without our stuff for 2 months and living out of suitcases
  • Unhealthy eating habits by Americans
  • Obama
  • The economy
  • Moving to a whole new city

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Ava is 18 months!

This post is way overdue. Ava turned 18 months old on the 11th while we were in London. She has grown up SO much this personality...not size.

Ava Drew, you weigh around 19 pounds and are 31 inches tall. You wear size 12 month clothes and size 4 diaper and 3 shoe.

You sleep about 12-13 hours at night and take one long nap after lunch which lasts about 2 1/2 hours.

I can never get you to look at the camera and smile for me anymore. I think you were looking out the window and pointing at the birds in this picture.
(Don't be fooled...the weather isn't pretty enough for Ava to be wearing this outfit outside...we were just trying on a few summer outfits!)

You LOVE to talk! You talk all day long. Your vocabulary is expanding by the day! You can now say your name which is "Aya" or "Ada". You can also say 'Bryce' and you try to say 'Liz' which sounds like 'Yiz'.

The only ''toys" you play with now are your baby dolls. You love to 'change their diaper' and 'feed' them and take them potty.

You love dried cranberries and any kind of fruit. Oh, and CHEESE!!! You ask for it at every meal!! You say, "Cheese, pees (please)". How can I say no to that?!

Every time you wet your diaper, you grab your diaper and say "shew-tee tee" and will run to the potty. I guess its about time to start potty training you!

Update: You went tee-tee in your potty the other night all by yourself!!!!! I guess its time to get serious about this potty training business!