Take Me Home, Country Roads

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It’s almost time…that time to make the HUGE trip back to the states! So much has been happening and to be honest the blog has suffered. It’s been sitting on the back burner for quite some time now. I’ve completely been enveloped in stress. I’m planning the wedding (which is exactly 27 days away now…OMG!), still working full time, trying to organize what gets packed or trashed in the house…the list goes on! But I won’t bore you with the details!

Slowly I am really starting to get excited about whats to come! As soon as the wedding is done, we will fly back to Deutschland for 3-4 weeks to pack up our house and then ship out at the end of September! There is no time left to do anything! But Toblerone and I share constantly what we are looking forward to. Granted, my wants are very different from his. He wants the total American dream. The house on the water, a boat, fishing license (thats hard to get here in Germany), a big Mercedes, etc.

My wants are something a bit more sentimental. The things I lacked here are the things I am in dire need of. I never realized I wanted these things so badly in my life until I didn’t have them. Thats always how that goes though…isn’t it?

Here is my list of MUST-HAVES as soon as I put my feet on American soil!

1. Library card – A library with ENGLISH books in them. omg…and the smell of libraries. Give me it all! They have libraries here in Germany but I didn’t have any close by that actually looked like a library and/or had English books in them.

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2. Flat walls to paint – I’ve talked about this a little bit but this “stucco” idea that they have for the walls (inside and out) is ANNOYING to say the least. It takes AGES to paint walls and I am just beyond excited to paint our new house without having to go over the same spot 800 times. You don’t know how I’ve suffered…..

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3. Compassionate doctors – I won’t get into this too much but when my GYN tells me he doesn’t understand why we aren’t pregnant because he never had a problem. How he would just look at his wife and she was pregnant. Yeah…this is just a small taste of what doctors are like here. FULL of compassion and sympathy…am I right?!??!?!

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4. Craft stores – Oh dear heaven! I don’t care how many people boycott Hobby Lobby. I will buy out that store!! I miss those stores terribly. The VERY TINY “hobby” stores here are literally the size of my kitchen and have mostly felt. Germans really love getting down and crafty with felt. Which I personally feel should only be used in Kindergarten. But I digress…. Pinterest has turned me into a pretty craft person and thats all I want to do now..make my own stuff!

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5. To watch Ellen DeGeneres –  When I was really homesick I would watch small snippets of the Ellen show. For some reason I could just get lost in this and not feel sadness anymore. It’s weird, I get that. But you wouldn’t understand unless you were in my shoes! BRING ON THE ELLEN!!!!

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6. Plethora of food options and fad diets to try – Stores here are very standard. The foods in every grocery store are mostly the same. Same brands, etc. I used to think the Germans lived in a sort of Utopia. Everything the same. When I go home we have Wegmans (if you don’t know what that is, your life is not complete until you step inside one of those!) and there is also Whole Foods and a bunch of other ones too but each one is different to me. Each one offers something another one doesn’t. I can’t wait to just spend a day walking around and getting familiar with cereals again. Lucky Charms…oh how I’ve missed you!!  Plus all these new fad diets people get into. That’s always fun to try out and then quit after a couple days. Thats my style :-)

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What do you think? Is my list totally awkward and weird? I hope it is! Because these are the things I just NEED in my life.

America here I come!!!!!!! AND THE HOME OF THE BRAAAAAAAVVVVVVE!!!!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

 

Luck Would Have It

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Most of you know that I have been planning our big American wedding from over 3,000 miles away. And not only am I planning it overseas but we chose a location that we are familiar with but have never lived in. I’m from upstate NY but we chose Cape Cod as our dream wedding location. Good choices….all around good choices. ***sarcasm*cough*sarcasm**

This year has been filled with really amazing things. Toblerone got a job transfer to the US, we sold our house in a week without a real estate agent (That would have been an extra €20,000), and this wedding has been coming together pretty easily. All these really great things have been happening to us and I was always just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I never have good luck! Thats just not my style!

So far the only stress I really had was making our DIY invites. That was NOT fun at all. But I refuse to spend boatloads of cash on pieces of paper that people throw away anyways!
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And then 3 months before the wedding I get an email from the owner of the house we were renting for the week on the Cape. This house is where we planned the ceremony, reception, and our week vacation with our family. He said in the email that he had lost his job and was no longer able to pay for the home (his second home) and would have to sell his house in July. Which means, our wedding could no longer be held there.

INSERT TOTAL FREAK OUT MOMENT!
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Talk about a meltdown. We were 90 days out at this point and I have to find a house in the middle of a touristy island, during high season, and a place that will allow us to hold our event. Otherwise, we would have to change EVERYTHING we already planned. No caterer, no tent company, nothing.

I left work early and went home to start hitting the streets to get this under control. I searched like crazy and one house stood out to me. This house was GORGEOUS. And even stranger was the one week we needed just happened to be available still. This place was meant to be. It all worked out in the end and our new beautiful ceremony, reception, and family vacation spot is more perfect than I could have imagined it. Better than the last! Can you say “Blessing in Disguise”???

Take a look at our new digs!!!

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The worst part about all of this is the fact that on our invites that I worked so hard to put together, the incorrect address is printed on them. So, my job now is to send out a new updated letter to our guests to let them know of the new place. But, that I can handle especially since luck wants it this way. Luck be a lady tonight!

So tell me…did you have any massive meltdowns or drastic things gone wrong with during wedding planning?

Only 66 more days to go for us. I just hope everything holds together now!!!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo

The Big Secret Reveal!!!

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For those of you who have been following along on the Facebook blog page you have seen the “hints” I’ve given about the big secret I’ve been keeping from you all!
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I was waiting until I was able to tell my work which I have as of yesterday so I am free to announce it to the world!
But just to clear up the rumors…

No…we are not having a baby…..

Nope….not getting a second dog either…

Moving to France??….God no.

Win the peanut butter lottery? Not exactly but close!

It’s even better than that….WAYYYY better!!!

Wanna know now?

Am I annoying you yet?

Can’t keep your pants on you’re so excited?!!?

Ok…well…here it goes!!!

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Toblerone and I are MOVING!!!!! Where, you ask?…..BACK TO THE USA!!! :-) He got a great job transfer opportunity and we are taking the 3 year contract to travel to Michigan! We are just so excited about this next step in our lives. We have so many new memories to make! This “East Coast” girl is about to be a “Mid-West” girl! :-)

I was saying all along that this year is without a doubt our year. Everything is coming together perfectly. We are really really blessed! We have our massive week long celebration of our wedding in Cape Cod, MA in August and then we fly back to Germany quickly to oversee the packing of our house and ship out our container. We will fly back to the states, to Michigan sometime towards the end of September.

Tell me we are crazy! I just know we are but we both feel like this is the next chapter to our story. Our super incredible amazing story.

As for the blog, I will try my best to keep it up because being an expat is just as important as re-expatriating. I’m not sure I fit in anymore to be totally honest. I’m changed now. I speak two languages, I understand a second culture completely and half of my heart will truly be left here in Germany. It’s a hard transition no matter what we do. The hardest part of falling in love with someone from a different country is knowing that somewhere down the line someone will have to make a sacrifice as far as where you will live goes.

I’ve been here a little over 3 years now and I feel so incredibly grateful that I got to have this opportunity. It is possible that maybe one day we find ourselves back in Germany but we kind of like to fly by the seat of our pants. And so the story goes…

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So there you have it. I no longer have to keep this secret in because it was truthfully eating away at me! I’m not good at keeping my own secrets!

Thoughts? Comments? Know of any “Must-See/Do” things in Michigan??? We are looking forward to hearing what you think!

Until next time, Readers!!!!!xoxoxoxoxo

To Be In Two Places At Once

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Vacation…yup. It was awesome and MUCH needed. Toblerone and I took 4 days with the idea to travel to the Austrian Alps and to skip across the border to check out Italy! I was pretty pumped to add another country to my list of “countries I’ve visited.”

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We traveled to Stubaital which is a valley that runs through the Austrian Alps. The really really incredibly massive and beautiful Alps. It was actually pretty different from other times that I’ve been. We drove up on top of the mountains and then there were little ski lodges and ski towns up on tops of these massive beauties. It was quite bizarre actually!

We enjoyed the naked spa as usual (heehee) and Tobi skied down a massive glacier. We took a quick little trip over to the Swarovski Museum in Innsbruck, Austria. This was actually probably one of the best museums I have ever been to. I was VERY surprised. I thought it was just going to be a room full of jewelry and such but they turned this place into a massive interactive art museum. Each room used crystals in it’s exhibit completely different than the last. What a really incredibly place! I saw it on Pinterest actually and never imagined I would be close enough to go visit it. And sure enough! I was stoked at first about the unique fountain outside but the inside was the best part!
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Toblerone and I also tried to be as young and fun as we once were so we went to a few bars at night but we really just wanted to go home to bed! My how the times have changed! But we played darts and watched the youngins down their drinks!

Date Night for these old folks!

Date Night for these old folks!

Darts!!!!!

Darts!!!!!


We filled our bellies with yummy 6 course meals…ok more like stuffed ourselves..forgetting completely about the fact that I have to fit in my wedding dress in 4 months. Lord help me! But it was worth it!

Then the last two days we headed to Italy. Granted, we stayed close to Austria so the scenery looks similar but the atmosphere is different. You can somehow feel it. I was so bummed about the service at the hotel in Austria and we crossed the border into Italy and something in the air changed everything. Maybe it was the fact that their stores are open on SUNDAYS!!!

I got to cross off something from my bucket list in the coolest way! I always wanted to be in two places at once and well… :-) Right on the border crossing into Italy for the first time in my life I was in Austria and Italy. Two places at once! Totally rad! 232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv7;49=ot-2346=34-=357=XROQDF-2--6438-3-239ot1lsi

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We were in a town called Vipiteno, Italy which was just across the border of Austria but what a darling little place! Everyone knows German but prefers to speak Italian of course. It was so fun to watch people switch back and forth between the two languages. And it’s really no joke…Italian is one of the most beautiful languages in the world. I could have listened to them all day long. We got to enjoy a mini wine tasting in one of the liquor stores and had fun looking at all the different foods they had there.

We started off in a little mini cafe/wine bar and to my surprise, we weren’t the only ones drinking wine at 10 in the morning! But the Italians are so cool about it all. They had a glass of wine, an espresso close by, and a water. You can tell they appreciate the good things in life. Food and drinks!
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Our hotel was gorgeous! Sadly we only stayed one night but we were just so in love with this place. So relaxed and there were many people but it was kind of nice.
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Not to mention..the dinner was INCREDIBLE!!! I can’t even put it into words. The dessert was a massive room filled with mini desserts! Omg…I took horrible pictures because I felt like such an American but you can get the idea! It was really really amazing. I over-ate on purpose. No shame!

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Before I left I was able to pay homage to a special part of my step-dad’s family. His mother is from Austria and his Dad from Italy. I made sure to light candles for them all in a church in Austria and in Italy too. It was so special for me to be able to do that in one trip. His family had lived in the US for a long time so after they had died, I don’t think (to my knowledge anyways) that anyone was able to give their souls peace in their homeland. Was pretty special. But magically enough, both churches had incredible views of the Alps and I felt like these two spots couldn’t have been better to do this.

The church in Italy

The church in Italy


Outside the church in Austria

Outside the church in Austria

Inside the church in Austria

Inside the church in Austria

If a trip has to end…then please let all trips end like this one did. On an incredible high note. Money well spent!

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(P.S. In the next week or so I will be posting up hints in the form of pictures to a MASSIVE REVEAL OF A SECRET I’ve been keeping since January! Please follow me on my facebook page to get these hints and be in on the fun!)

Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

We Found Love In A Dunkin Donut

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Oh people…where to begin! So last week I went to the city of Stuttgart to meet up with a gal pal (another American girl who fell in love with a German!) for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at an Irish pub.

We met up in the Hauptbahnhopf (The main train station) because of one VERY important reason. A new Dunkin Donuts had just opened up. As we approached the newly opened cafe the smell of coffee and bad perfume was overwhelming. Thats what happens when you’re at a subway. Just all sorts of funky going on!

Surprisingly, Dunkin Donuts was hard to miss. There was a massive line of people just waiting to get their hands on the American staple. There were a few passer-bys that murmurred how gross it was. Those people CLEARLY have never had such awesomeness.

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They handled things a bit different at this particular DD. I think it was mostly because of the volume of people but the focus was primarily on the donuts. They were in a large case presented to the crowd. People would walk in front of the case and point to the donuts they wanted and the hard-working girls would fill up the boxes and bags. These donuts were crazy bright colors and I had to laugh. Germans often tell me that the bright colorful frosting is just SOOOO American. And it was actually a turn off for me but that may have something to do with me living here for three years now. You get used to seeing dull colors.

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Of course when it was our turn, Toblerone just HAD to have a boston cream donut. And of course…those were being delivered in the next 20 mins so I had to wait. And wait….and wait. To give you an idea of all the different flavors they had here’s a snapshot of their menu. Click here to see their website of what other things they offer. Not to mention the crazy bagels they offer. Like cream cheese and jelly or PB and jelly…hmm…interesting! Very American! I can’t imagine those being so popular!

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We did get iced coffees which was devine but I had to laugh. Everytime anyone ordered that they would go to the back room to get the ice. Germans do not put ice in their drinks, let alone their coffee! So this was funny for me to see them putting in such effort!

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We got a box of donuts: Nutella filled, strawberry sprinkles, two boston cream, one raspberry filled with vanilla frosting, and a maple frosting caramel filled one. Happy as clams we sat down to feasts on our breakfast of Champions and all the sudden old hip hop music was BLASTING through the speakers. I literally had to talk louder and listen harder. Dunkin Donuts was turned into a club at 11am! What the heck! But it was hilarious and made the experience that much more enjoyable.

Even though we travelled an hour by car, and a train ride later, it was the greatest Saturday I’ve had in a while. It felt like home…and the best part…it tasted just like home. Normally in the US I wouldn’t care much for this type of thing but when you’re away for so long, its these little things that give you the sense that you aren’t so far away from home. Thank you Dunkin Donuts.

Not to mention we finished the night off with some good old fashioned St. Patrick’s Day fun!
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Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo

Wouldn’t You Like To Know – My Life Lately

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Oh my dear lovelies! I have been SO SO SO behind on blogging and every day I put it off the more I avoided it! I’m forcing myself to give you all an update on my life! Lots going on and its only fair I let you all in on the deets!

Back when I came to Germany in 2011. A brunette!!

Back when I came to Germany in 2011. A brunette!!

First and foremost…I celebrated a BIG anniversary. March 1st hit the 3 years in Germany mark. Can you believe that nonsense?! THREE WHOLE YEARS! IN GERMANY! Like wait….what? I’m not exactly sure how that happened. If you think about what you yourself have accomplished or done in the past three years you’ll realize…its a good chunk of time. It’s also enough time for life to go on without you back home and you start to notice it. People have asked me if being an expat gets easier but I think that depends on the person. Some people really have that travel bug and “want” or “need” to explore. I, however, just want to be around my family and things that are familiar. For me, in three years, I still want nothing more than to be in the US. This also has a lot to do with where we are located (far from cities, bars, bowling, clubs, great lounges, good restaurants, festivals etc.) We rely a lot on the company of each other and the family get-togethers. But even that, as special as it is, gets dull over time. I just keep trucking along though and try to soak in the experience and be thankful that I get this opportunity. Most people I know will NEVER get this chance in their life. Love makes us do crazy things and I would move around the world 100 times just to be with Toblerone. Harley Jones Noodle Butt Butt wouldn’t like that so much though…he’s not a fan of flying. :-)

Harley Jones is NOT a fan of airplanes and he's here to tell you all about it!

Harley Jones is NOT a fan of airplanes and he’s here to tell you all about it!

Secondly…we have 5 months until our wedding! 161 days from this post! WHOA! I feel like I have nothing together and I probably don’t actually but thats ok. We have SO many Germans flying to the US for this, in fact I think the airlines should give us free tickets for 5 years considering how much money people are spending for this. But how cool is that? People are coming all the way to America just to see our wedding (and of course travel) but this fills my heart to the brim. And as if things couldn’t get better, so many unexpected people from the US are coming too! I thought for sure people wouldn’t come because it’s a destination wedding on Cape Cod. I’m just incredibly stunned and so overjoyed there are no words for how complete this makes me feel. On top of it all, most of these people are taking time out of their lives and staying several days or even the whole week on the Cape with us. I…I just….I’m speechless. Speechless from the outpouring of love. I get to spend a whole week surrounded by incredible people. How did I get so lucky? How do you thank people? How do you return the love you’re being given? Just such a beautiful time ahead of us and I can not WAIT. Mattespalooza here we come! Plus we are having a real deal Cape Cod Clam Bake and I can’t wait to watch people get down and dirty crackin lobsters! My dress will be a giant mess! A ceremony followed immediately by a rock the dress session! LOVE!

Mmm....clambakes!!

Mmm….clambakes!!

I’ve been bad with blogging due to work and just being utterly exhausted. However, Toblerone and I gave up drinking alcohol for lent and it seems to be a lot better. Plus we are working out together and such which makes the nights nicer. Strange how it does make a slight difference in our lives! Have any of you done that as well? I mean, some days I would just LOVE to have a glass of wine but its worth it in the end! Plus I better be 10 pounds lighter!

There is big news on the horizon but I have to wait to tell you in the middle of April or so. I hate to hold out on you BUT its important that I do for many reasons. And no, I’m not pregnant, sadly. This may/may not be equally as good though! Stay posted and in the meantime try to guess what it is! Thank you all for hanging by me while I pull my head out of the ground and get back to what I love – writing!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo

The Night Of The Chicken: Fasnet In Southern Germany

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Its that time of year again folks!! That time when everyone searches in their attics or basements for those super creepy (yet expensive) costumes that show the story of their town. As we dust off these costumes the sense of town pride starts to shine through the gray winter skies. I try to compare it to how I feel when I talk about Syracuse. I get the same kind of city pride and it can NOT be broken. Ever.

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This year happened to be pretty special for us. Each year a different town hosts the entire weekend festivities for the surrounding towns. Toblerone’s hometown is associated with a completely different circle of towns so we were really excited to find out that not only was our current town hosting it (saving us from having to drive somewhere) but his hometown also got a special invitation to join in this particular festival in our town. Karneval (Fasnet) was going to be AWESOME this year. And that, my friends, it most certainly was. It was great to have everyone come to our house to “pre-game” before the parade.

And just a side note…The costumes for Toblerone’s town are technically Roosters but I call them big Chickens. All the same right?

This year there are a few different costumes than the years before since we were in a different area than previous years. Oh and the witches got me and my friend. They took us…brought us into their “Witches House” which was their float basically and they gave us shots of something strange. But it was definitely fun this year! Better than the years before since the weather is unusually warm and we haven’t had snow since early December so this year was perfect!!

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Our kidnappers...

Our kidnappers…

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This girl got stolen 3 or 4 times. I think at this point she just gave up the good fight.

This girl got stolen 3 or 4 times. I think at this point she just gave up the good fight.

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Me and my other darling American friend :-)

Me and my other darling American friend :-)

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I got your wig!!

I got your wig!!

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The whole family gets in the spirit

The whole family gets in the spirit

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These were the absolutely the worst costumes for me. I took this picture and then hid.

These were the absolutely the worst costumes for me. I took this picture and then hid.

Where we were held captive!

Where we were held captive!

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Ghostbusters Band!!

Ghostbusters Band!!

Toblerone and my Father-in-law

Toblerone and my Father-in-law

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Which costume is your favorite? Would any of these win costume contests on Halloween? How much do you think one of these costumes cost?

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Happy Birthday, Pauli!

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There is just something about Germans and their “fests” that they take very seriously. And when they party…they party well! Of course most of you know that from my Oktoberfest survival. I mean…I’m almost 30 (eek!) and I can barely hang with the rest of them because now I think about the pain I will feel the next day. However, this particular party I let loose and had a great time…and paid for it the next day.

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It was the 60th Birthday Party of my father-in-law, Paul. Before I go any further, let me remind you quickly how birthdays work here in Germany. When it’s your birthday you are the one responsible to provide cake or breakfast to your colleagues. As well as host your own “kaffee und kuchen” at your home for your family and friends. Personally, I think thats CRAP. With a capital C-R-A-P.

Us American folks know how to get down on our birthdays! We order people around and expect that the world showers us with gifts and pays for all our drinks when we drink away our past years. Afterall, the best gift is that we were born into this world..so people should clearly thank the heavens for this amazing gift. I still can’t believe that my first birthday here in Germany I actually baked myself a cake and invited people over, German style. NEVER. AGAIN. Just….NO.

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In Germany when someone turns 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, or 100…these are big years to celebrate. It was no different for my FIL (father-in-law). He planned a great birthday party in the party hall in his town. There was a lot of planning involved. From the invites, catering menu, decorations, table organization, and the events, he had planned it all perfectly. With a little help of course!

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His party was basically a concert. He’s big into music and belongs to three different bands. All three of them played a few songs each. All three bands were different from each other so it was a nice change up between each of them.

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Inbetween songs was of course dinner but also gifts were presented. Typically, at these parties a group of people say a funny poem, sing a song, or talk about the Birthday boy. At the end he is given a present that usually ties the whole skit together. Makes it a bit more fun!

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Approximately 130 people helped celebrate the 60th birthday of my beloved FIL. It was a great turnout and I think a really special time for him. Something he really deserved.

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I stayed and closed up shop with the last of the folks around 5am. I then woke up around 8:30am and cleaned up the mess that was leftover from the night before. And this of course…is the aftermath of no sleep. This 29 year old can NOT hang anymore. :-)
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Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo

Resolutions Schmesolutions…

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Every new year gives us the open invitation to begin again. Usually, we start something new and then by mid-February we’ve lost that motivated push and we go back to how we’ve lived every year before. But, I like trendy things usually so I’m jumping on the new year resolution wagon once again but doing things a bit different. Tangible goals. So I suppose sharing them with you here will make them more solid and will hold me accountable!

resolutions

1. Read more books!
Time to put down the electronics now and then. Flying home for Xmas I bought a book and I’m really into it. Almost forgot how much I loved reading. I want to attempt to read a book in German too. That may be a bit difficult but worth a shot!

2. Eat better and count calories!
Wedding time is just around the corner and I want to feel and look my best for the big day. But besides that, I think its just time to start paying attention more to what I’m eating. I want to change my eating habits so they stick! So counting calories has been helping with that. I write everything down and have been trying to drink 9 cups of water a day. Tough, but so far so good!

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3. Live in the “Now”!
Big things are happening this year and I just need to have a healthy balance of looking forward to things and living in the moment. I have a bad habit of looking forward and not coming back! I focus on what is to come instead of making each minute count until I get to that point in the future. So, My goal this year is to live it up, in the here and now!

4. SAVE!SAVE!SAVE!
As I mentioned above, big things are happening this year (you’ll hear about it later :-)) and I really need to get a better savings plan in place for us. Doesn’t hurt to save the pennies. Last year I started a wedding fund and it was basically all loose change goes into the jar. That will be used to buy decorations or whatever for the wedding. Besides all that, I just want a good chunk of money saved in the bank in case anything ever happened or for that rainy day when we need a vacation!

Wish me luck! Starting with these 4 and really hope to turn them into good habits that never go away!

What are you resolutions this year? We are 13 days in, are you still going strong? Have any motivational tips to share? Write them in the comments below!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo

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