Time To Say Goodbye

I’m sure you have all noticed for quite some time that I haven’t posted anything in a while. Obviously with infant twins, life is different but I think I’m ready to close this door and say goodbye.

Truthfully, when I do travel there isn’t much to say that I haven’t already said. Sure, traveling with a bunch of rascals makes things interesting but I think instead it’s time for me to graduate to a mommy blog! (EEK! I SAID IT!) As if there aren’t enough of those already but I’m a stay-at-home-mom and thats really all I do. Take care of my kids. 1

So, I want to thank you all. Thank you for the good, the bad, and the ugly. The ups and downs and all the love along the way. Thank you for being fans of my page and hanging around enough to read my babble from time to time!

I’ve had this blog for so many years and maybe one day I’ll come back to it (since I still realllllly love the name!) but for now it’s time for me to say “Tchüss!” and leave the expat world with one less blogger in it. Time for another up-and-comer to take my spot. It’s a great world to be a part of but it’s just the right time to move on.

From the bottom of my heart….Thank you.

Until another time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

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The Doll and Toy Museum in Rothenburg ob der Tauber

I’ve been waiting to share this gem with you all but with a slightly heavy heart. When I was a little girl my sweet, sweet Grammy used to bring me to a Doll Museum in Rochester and this was such a highlight for both of us. She collected dolls which are now antiques and I had collected a few when I was younger in hopes that those too will one day be antiques for my grandchild to admire.

While we were in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, we hit up as many museums as we could in the short time that they were open. The Christmas museum was great of course but this museum hit home and was absolutely the highlight of the day for me. Sadly, this museum will be closing due to the fact that people haven’t been visiting as much. It’s too much money to keep it open without much income. So, needless to say, I’m glad I got a chance to see this before they auction off all the amazing pieces.

But I write this post with a lump in my throat and a pain in my heart that more people in the world aren’t interested in this history. There were SO many people going to the Criminal (Torture) museum which was also great but really depressing and sickening. This museum is history of happy times and happy children. How is this not interesting? Are we all really so morbid? There was an older woman at this toy museum who told us about how no one comes anymore and she tries to visit several times a week to admire it all before it goes. I’m sure some of this reminded her of happy childhood days. You could see it in her face how sad she was to see it go. So I ask all of you who are in Germany and surrounding countries to please go and check out this wonderful museum!

This museum was a collection from one woman, Katharina Engels. She collected all these dolls, houses, and toys from the past 200 years mostly from doll and toy makers in France and Germany. Pay close attention to the details. The meats hanging in the butcher doll house, the details at the train station, the pans and ovens used in the kitchen, the faces on the dolls. Takes us all back to a different and much simpler times.

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To visit the Puppen und Spielzeug Museum please visit their website for opening times: http://www.spielzeugmuseum.rothenburg.de/ISY/index.php

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo

My Life Lately: When It Rains, It Pours

Life lately

So much has been going on since I returned back to Germany from my short visit in the US. I haven’t had a second to sit and think and actually as I write this, I have exactly 40 minutes to myself to get this blog post done! How sad is that?!

Anywho, I promise things will start to mellow down and eventually I will have a normal schedule back. But to clue you in one whats been going on, here is my run down of my life lately!

Work – So I’ve been working for a company two mornings out of the week. Which is good. It gets me out of the house, I get to feel like I’m worth something again. AND, the bigger bonus, I can make my own money! Starting in November I will be working Monday through Friday in the mornings for 4 hours or so. This changes things completely for me! Poor Harley Jones isn’t sure whats going on! He’s used to his mommy being around all the time. Eventually this job will turn into a full time job after Christmas so these transitions are good for me. Afterall, I do have a wedding to pay for!

View from my desk at work

View from my desk at work

Aside from the real office girl job, I’m still giving English lessons. I’ve added on two more classes plus another private student. Thats a total of 4 private students and 2 classes. So, I’m feeling a bit overloaded at the moment. My mornings are gone, my evenings are gone, and the rest of the time is taking care of the house and Harley. It’s a lot. So this is a HUGE reason why I haven’t found any time to blog!!! It’s killing me!!

Husband – I missed Toblerone’s birthday because I was in the US at my grandmothers funeral to be exact. So his day was spent quietly as was mine. When I arrived home, we gathered together his grandmothers, parents, and aunt and uncle to have a small little get together and celebrate a little. I slaved all day and made pumpkin soup, German flammkuchen, banana cake, and a peach pie from my grandmother’s recipe. All in all it was a nice little gathering but only minutes after the family left…the husband really fell ill to the flu! So I had him home during the week. Poor guy! What a rough week it’s been!!
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Plans – Next weekend is our annual Halloween party and we are getting pretty excited! Our costumes this year are pretty easy only because the costume we wanted to be was just too complicated to organize when all this stuff was going on! I can’t tell you the costumes because we will be this next year! You’ll just have to wait!! We are getting really excited to teach the Germans how to play beer pong and flip cup! And I’m not so excited about cleaning the beer off the floor the next morning…blah! But with no kids in our lives, this is the time to live it up!

I’ll be having Thanksgiving again this year here in Germany. However, I think I want to invite only Americans lol. The Germans just didn’t get it last year. To them, it was just another dinner at someones house. Which, to be honest, really made my skin crawl. I worked so hard to show them my tradition, my culture, and it was almost dismissed.

Random Thoughts – I saw this picture on Pinterest yesterday and it actually made my heart hurt. I remember being in 7th grade and completely awkward. These days, the girls always have their hair done up, dressing like college girls, and know more about make up then I ever will. This kind of thing scares me. When the day comes that I have my own little girl..I hope she stays wholesome and allows herself to be a child as long as she can.

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That’s it for my life lately! Wishing you all cozy fall days!!! I’m off to get my visa renewed for another year! Yikes! 🙂

Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxoxo

Expat to Expat Q&A – Homesickness

Joining again with my other fellow expat ladies to discuss Homesickness! Something I am VERY well versed in…sad to say!

Found Love. Now What?

1. How do you fit in to your new culture without losing some of your identity?

I’m not sure I will ever fit in completely but the goal is to understand the culture, while educating everyone on mine! Perfect example: I just threw a friend of mine a baby shower yesterday and in Germany, this is not part of their culture. They actually think it’s superstitious to bring gifts for a baby that isn’t born yet. But we played games, had snacks, and my friend got a few baby gifts which was just so great. They didn’t have to accept traditions in my culture but it’s something I like to share with them. Something different. After the party, all of them were raving about how great that tradition is in America and they want to start throwing them all the time for their pregnant friends.
On the other side, they show me their traditions and the different things they celebrate here and I go into it with open eyes and ears. I try to soak up the culture and understand it. Mostly for my husband and our future children. I want this part of him to live on in our family forever.
I won’t ever lose my identity. It’s impossible. I’m a loud mouth NYer! But culture is simply something you have to accept as part of the expat transition and sharing your culture with others in return is a great gift!

What do you think your biggest trigger for homesickness is?

EVERYTHING. If I see families together, mom and daughters shopping, or if the leaves start to change. I’m a homebody and I miss my family more than anything but mostly, I miss my culture. The Syracuse basketball season is coming up, pumpkin flavored goodies are everywhere, and new fashions are coming out daily and I can’t be home for it. The German culture is so different. The language itself makes you feel like you’re a million miles away but the lack of peanut butter and pumpkin flavored foods kills me!
I tell everyone to try and focus on what you do have here. Peanut butter may taste like dirty cardboard but at least its here if you absolutely can not live without. And pumpkin…well…that’s something that just isn’t the same however, I have learned to make really cool recipes with pumpkin. Nothing sweet, no pumpkin pies or pumpkin muffins but I make a mean pumpkin soup!
Homesickness makes going home that much more special. When I see my family, I soak them up. I move a little slower and I relish in the time I do have with them. Whereas before I left the states, I didn’t see what was important to me.

But seriously….care packages people…send them my way!!! 😉

Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxoxo

My Life Lately

I have been totally MIA and it’s not because I’m ignoring you guys…I’m truly not. In fact I have over 50 blog posts in my drafts folder ready to go!Gotta get with it! I figured I’d catch you up to date on what’s been going on in my life lately and then we can go from there!
My Life Lately

Where to begin…ahhh yes….Sweet sweet summertime. No, actually not sweet. I am MISERABLE in the summer. Give me a gloomy fall day and a snow storm ANY DAY of the year. I am not a summer person. This of course all happened once I moved to Germany. Where as you know Air Conditioning does not exist and strange large flesh eating bugs attack me when its the most humid out, constantly. Today it’s rainy and its a balmy 46 degrees. I have found my happy place!

I’ve mentioned this before but in Germany, several companies have a mandatory 2-3 week summer vacation. They shut down the company and everyone goes to Turkey…sometimes Greece or Croatia. Air tickets spike and Germans are EVERYWHERE. This summer Toblerone and I decided to keep it simple. After all, we do have a wedding to pay for in a year! We went to our favorite hotel in the alps, I turned another year older, and got quite a few things done around the house. I got some really lovely gifts from the husband and in-laws 🙂 And in true German fashion very practical gifts! More on this later!

Now I’m in the midst of throwing myself into little projects. I decided not to continue teaching English lessons through the school and instead will keep my private lessons and search for a more permanent job. Of course these little projects consist of changing my name finally on my social security card, my passport, and filing for the Toblerone to get a green card. Thankfully, the US Embassy here in Germany can help me with the majority of that. And the greatest part about dealing with the embassy…is I call…and its ALL in English. THANK YOU BABY JESUS! Its nice to talk to Americans once in a while!
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Other projects are of course…PARTIES!!!!! A dear friend of mine is preggers and although she is due any day now, I’ve decided to throw her a baby shower! Germans don’t have baby showers. It’s quite the opposite due to superstitions. Friends and family bring you gifts well after the baby has arrived. But if it was me I’d want to be showered for a day! So, that’s happening this weekend. Then of course, the 3rd Annual Halloween Party is almost here! We’ve invited even more people than last year, I’m prepping for this and it just so happens to be on our 1 year wedding anniversary too! We have a fun costume that I can’t wait to show you guys!

In other giant news…we decided to completely start from scratch with our wedding. In fact, We changed the venue, cut the guest list down by 75%, we changed the style, and…changed the state! Things back in NY just started to feel complicated for us for some reason. Maybe was it too many people? Was it because everything is just way too expensive? Maybe…but I really think that we just felt like we were settling for something that isn’t 100% us. SO, going back to the old plans…we’re planning a very small and intimate wedding in Cape Cod, Mass. As you all know…we love us some Cape! That’s where we are doing it and already, it’s a thousand times easier. A HUGE weight has been lifted off my shoulders. We realize most people won’t be able to join us…even most family won’t but I had to start thinking about what we wanted. Just us. And the answer was really simple.
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And last but not least…Oktoberfest!!! Off to Stuttgart to celebrate and looking forward to it! This year is special, I’ll be meeting a new American friend who is in the same situation as me. You know the story…fell in love with a Germ and moved here to be with him. Yeah..so the story goes! Anyways, that will be fun. I’ve decided this year I really need to put some more effort into making friends here that get me. Looking forward to that! 🙂
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Still collecting ideas for 30 things before I’m 30. German recipes is at the moment the one in my head but give me some ideas!!!

More to come about all the fun! Thanks for sticking it out with me while I took a little break from the world! The truth is, I hit a little downward spiral of homesickness and just generally hating people so I figured it was best to keep my negativity off the blog space for a bit. That’s never good for business!!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo

Expat to Expat Q&A – August

I’m linking up with a bunch of other expat bloggers for a monthly Q&A about where I am living! You can find all the other blogs that participate on Bailie’s Blog or Belinda’s Blog. These two ladies put together a fun questionnaire for us expats to fill out and without further ado….here are my answers!

August Questions:

1. What is your favorite food store in your city and why?
This depends on what I need. I try to buy as much as I can at Aldi’s first and then go to Kaufland which has more options, fresher, fruits and veggies, etc. If the Toblerone has run out of lunch meat and bread, then I go to the bigger store. But if I need toilet paper then Aldis.
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2. For your answer to number 1 is it ok to buy the store brand items or do you pay extra for a name brand? In my opinion, the quality of German food is ten times better than that in the US. But I’ve never been a name brand snob when it comes to food. Maybe a little bit with clothes 🙂 But mostly, I buy store brand items if available.

3. What do you think is the best way to get about your city? (i.e. bus, bike, car, etc.)Transportation in the country is crazy good. But I stick to the car for everything. Only because I’ve yet to put on my big girl panties and try the whole bus thing. I could technically ride my bike but then I would have to ride it back up the hill I live on and I’m just not into that kind of torture!

4. Which store do you turn to for basics like toilet paper or cleaning supplies? Aldis is the best! But Aldis is also very different that that of the one we have back home in the US. The quality is better.

5. Where do you think is the best place in your city to get a cup of coffee (or beverage you prefer) and catch up with friends? Well, if I had friends…lol, any coffee shop would do! There are so many bakeries around. The most popular one around here is called the Backhaus (Bake House). Germans and their 3:00pm coffee and cake time! But, We recently bought our 3rd coffee machine (dont ask) and I prefer to drink my coffee at home!
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Plus these questions from Emma, at Adventures of a London Kiwi:
1. What was your “eureka, I’m practically a native” moment? This is a tough question. I think mostly when I’m talking to the locals and I say something in their dialect. (Schwabische Dialect). They laugh when I speak like them because this isn’t the German I was taught, this is the German I’ve learned from living her so long and listening to them!

2. Does your real accent get in the way? All the time! I always try to use German as much as possible and I really hate it when I’m talking away and then the Germans respond to me in English. I always think, “Is my accent really that bad? Is it that obvious that I’m just another Ami?!”

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

Another Day, Another Story…

I did something yesterday that took a little courage to do. Remember back a few weeks when I posted about a really cool place called Causepub.com?? I submitted a story which you can see here and vote on for a chance for the story to be published!

Well, I posted a second story. The first was more along the humor lines and this second one was a personal one that hit home. I wrote this letter a bit ago when I was trying to piece together the feelings I was having regarding infertility and the struggle to have my own child. So I wrote this…and for some reason I decided to share it. Why did I share it? Maybe to put the message out in the universe would make it hurt less. Or maybe my struggle would help another woman know she’s not the only one. For whatever reason…it’s there.

Here’s a little excerpt from it:

You don’t know this yet, but you’re the best part of my life. I’ve dreamed of you for so long it’s almost as if I painted you to life. Those soft blue eyes, the sandy brown hair, and the giggle that sends me to the happiest of places.

I’ve been waiting to say those two little words out loud. To scream it to the world that you, my dream, are here. Those words that so many have been able to say before.

“I’m pregnant.”

But with each passing day, the words don’t come. I know you’re just waiting for the perfect moment to surprise me. You’re clever that way, just like me.

To read the rest of it you can go here: The Letter on Cause Pub. And it would mean the WORLD to me if you would vote by clicking the orange thumbs up or the orange button. The more votes, the more chance I have to get my story published.

The orange voting buttons look like this:

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Thank you all for your help and mostly, thank you, as always, for reading!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo