Another Big Move

I’ve been really quiet since my rebirth and that’s because we have big news to share!

Most know the story but for some of you who are new here, I’m from NY. No…not NYC…the state of NY. Specifically, Upstate (the better part of NY altogether!) The only thing NYC has to do with upstate is the atrociously high taxes it causes us! Toblerone and I met there actually. It holds a very special place in our hearts and of course our friends and most of my family is there.

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I try to think back about when I first decided to follow him to Germany and I must have been drunk. I’m surprised I went at the end of the day. That was a major risk and I think my little 25yr old brain didn’t have ANY idea of what I was getting into. Somehow I thought, “I’ll just move back home if I don’t like it!” The reality is, I can’t just go home when my “home” (Harley and Tobes) wouldn’t be coming with me. It was more complicated than I thought.

I went to Germany with a huge carry on bag of German cuisine cookbooks (seriously) very unsure of what my future would hold and after 4 years it giving it the old college try, we decided moving back to the states was best for us. Tobes got a job that shipped us over to Michigan and although it was the US, it still was 9+ hours away. So I went from a 9+ hour flight to an equally as long of a drive. Not sure it was a win.

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Chilling at a winery in the black forest

Every time that we did make it back to NY we always talked about how our hearts were warm and we felt relaxed. Much of that has to do with the atmosphere my mom’s house presents and also because of the friendships we have there. We have a tribe.

The goal was always to make it back closer to family and out of nowhere the stars aligned and here we are…going back to NY. We’ll be 20 minutes from everyone and we are bubbling over from excitement thinking about how different our life will be now. Not just for us but for the kids.

Ten years later…home. I’m no longer tribeless.

Finally holidays that will mean something. Traditions to continue. Birthday parties to have. It all finally makes sense. Finally.

We left a couple days before Thanksgiving and we’ve been shacking up with the prenatal units until we close on our new house after New Years. It’s been a surprisingly easy transition. The kids are adjusting nicely and Toblerone fits right in at his new job. All is well so far!!

Until next time, Readers!!! Xoxoxoxo

Let The Renovations Begin!

Maybe it has something to do with the winter time and the fact that I want to be inside…ALL.DAY.LONG. The bug to change the world has hit me…or actually maybe starting a bit smaller is key and that has led me to begin renovations on my home!

As you know I completed the guest rooms minus a few decorating items but at least those two rooms are done and the doors stay closed until people come to visit (hint, hint!) On to the bigger projects where I actually have to focus and take my time because these are the rooms that people actually see a lot more.

First up is the living room!! Pinterest inspiration struck again and I decided with this house I really need to stay in-tune with myself and my style. I am a “coastal” girl and I should just allow that to happen! Light blues, creams, and seashells galore! Gotta bring a little bit of the ocean into my mid-west life here. Thankfully, the German husband of mine is just cool with whatever I do! 🙂

So I saw this picture on Pinterest which you can find it’s original place on the House Of Turquoise Blog here. 1067883302_oXKVM-OThis is the idea! And although I can’t exactly do it JUST like that it was a great start for inspiration!

Previous walls in the living room were in my opinion dark blue. Nothing wrong with dark colors, it just started to depress me. There is only one large window and two smaller ones in this room. Not a whole lot of natural light pouring through so it was important to me that we lighten it up…A LOT!

I fought with the idea of paint colors and finally landed on THE color. Glass Slipper by Benjamin Moore. I spent hours searching for the right color but every one of them was either too “baby blue” or “too dark.” This color by Benjamin Moore has a hint of green in it so its not going to give you that newborn baby room look.

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So all in all it took me to do the entire room in about a week! I know, that seems insane but first, I was all by my little self doing this. I had to take SO many breaks because I also have dog duty and other house duties to attend to. On top of that, I’m scared of heights so being on a ladder was just REALLY challenging for me!

End result – Exhibit A:

Collage 1Collage 2Harley loves his new space 🙂 He’s going to be 5 tomorrow! Everyone say Happy Birthday to this sweet, cupcake!

End Result – Exhibit B

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So as you can see this simple change turned the room into something different. I actually like to sit in there all day now. No…wait, I actually don’t sit around all day. I’m off doing very productive things because that is what housewives do! 🙂

I painted the panel above the fireplace white because I’m having a hard enough time figuring out what to put there. A picture? A clock? An abstract piece of art? A canvas print? It’s not easy! But at least it doesn’t look like its a focal point anymore. So maybe whatever goes there won’t be THAT important.

Also, I painted ALL of the molding…ALL of it.  I couldn’t bare the thought of trying to scrub out all the crayon marks, old pizza, and several other questionable substances I found in my journey.  Another reason why I shouldn’t have children…my OCD does not allow for ANY messes! But doing that simple little thing made this room look like it was just built. Almost. It gave it all a bit of much needed makeover and I’m feeling complete!

Next up: DECORATING!! Will be added a bit of greenery, end tables, lamps, curtains and something for those shelves and above the mantel. Its all getting there! Slowly but surely!

Then on to: DINING ROOM/KITCHEN! Will be adding backsplash, brightening it up as well, and re-staining the cabinets! Wish me luck!

Anyone have any ideas for the space above the mantel? Would love to hear what you got!!!

Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxoxo

Settling Back In To America

It’s been a minute since I actually found some time to sit down and write. Toblerone and I have been slowly re-acclimating to all things American and the process has been fun so far!

We no longer are in the company apartment (THANK THE LAWD!), purchased a new home, and moved in! Everything happened so fast – literally 2 weeks time. Check out our new digs:

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The neighborhood we are in looks like Wisteria Lane (for you Desperate Housewives fans).  The people wave and are friendly and our direct neighbors are just incredible. It makes the world of difference to just feel like we would have someone to help us if something was wrong. In Germany, the neighbors wouldn’t even return a “Good Morning” until after 3 years! It was crazy.

I’ve already stored our Thanksgiving turkey in someone’s freezer while we waited for our fridge to arrive, and another one brought over her carbon monoxide detector after she learned we were having potential issues with our fireplace. We also got a quick visit and a bottle of wine on Thanksgiving from our other neighbors. I mean, where am I? Oh yeah…America! 🙂 But seriously, Michiganians (say that ten times fast!) are reallllllllllly nice people. We got so lucky!

I worked frantically to get two of the guest bedrooms finished for our very special guests (THE PARENTS!) I learned I forgot how to paint on walls here in the US so that took me a little bit longer than I expected! But they are mostly done. Need a few more things like end tables for one room and more pictures for both, etc. But we are ready for unexpected and expected guests alike!

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Thanksgiving was great! My parents and Toblerone’s mom came to visit us and we had a small yet very festive Turkey Day! It was so fun to host my first Thanksgiving here in the states in our new home. I wish the entire family could have been with us but some year we will host everyone. This was definitely a scale down from doing it in Germany for 15+ people!

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We went to a Christmas tree farm with my parents in search of the perfect tree. As you know, previously, my experience with Christmas trees wasn’t exactly easy for me to adjust to! At the farm we went to we didn’t bring any cameras, just our memories and it was the greatest memory I’ve had in a long time!

We put the tree together and it was really wonderful to have our parents here to be apart of the first Xmas in Michigan.

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Harley is adjusting and after going through a little bit of Reactivity (Fear Aggression) from being in a completely new place, he is finally starting to be more like himself.  We are all adjusting just fine and although we miss parts of Germany, I think we are happy where we are in this moment. We are where we are supposed to be. Which reminds me of my favorite quote from Max Ehrmann’s “Desiderata”

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

The universe is unfolding as it should…profound if you can just believe it and let it.

Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

 

 

 

Getting Settled In

We’ve officially been in the states for 5 days now and it has been…hmm…what is the word. Peaceful? Eye-opening?

All the anxieties I picked up in Germany are shown in full color here in the US. For example, I was at the deli section in the grocery store yesterday and I saw that the sliced chicken breast that I love was empty in the case. So I asked the young girl behind the counter if she had anymore and she said she would just have to slice some up. Instantly, I got nervous and anxious and very timidly asked her if it would be ok if I asked her to cut me up some. She gave me the strangest look and said, “Of course! Thats my job!”  In Germany people would huff and puff about helping you out. This shield will hopefully break down eventually. IMG_9998

People in general are SO friendly here. We took Harley out to swim at a little park area and an older man got out of his jeep to take some pictures of the water. I got really nervous about Harley because as we know, he loves to go up and say hi to everyone! The man said, “Oh hello there!” and Harley went back to the water to play. We had a great conversation with him for a while. Its just so easy to meet people and make friends here, I just completely forgot. This shield will hopefully break down eventually too.

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We have a cleaning lady come every week to our apartment. She’s so happy and friendly and we ended up talking to her for a long time, keeping her away from her job! oops! But she was talking to us about dogs and letting us in on the know-hows about the area, she called the Vet she goes to to let them know about our pup needing to come in to get his check up. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel so alone. This shield will hopefully break down eventually too.

Its all just a matter of figuring out which culture to fit in with. I did my best to fit in with the German culture when I was there and now I have to relearn what it means to be an American. Although, I’m not so sure I will ever be like how I was. And I’m happy with that. I’m a better person because of the time I lived in Germany and for that, I am truly thankful!

So 5 days in and we are looking at our second round of houses today. The first round was ok but man, some people just do NOT take care of their homes! The search is on for our perfect place and we are optimistic and excited! Our container should be arriving in a few weeks so we are slightly rushed to find a place because we have no where to unload all this stuff! Yikes!

Will update you all later with our travel over here (and how to travel with a dog) as well as our going away party and Omi’s 90th birthday party!!!

Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxo

Counting Down The Days

We can almost count on two hands the days we have left here in Germany. It’s been slightly hectic but not too much that it feels as if everything is spiraling out of control. I’ve been packing to keep me busy since I left my job at the end of July. The wedding came and went and now here we are. Next chapter! Just like that!

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I’ve been actively searching for homes and there is a massive amount to choose from! Our Realtor sent me over almost 90 properties to start sorting through a while back and we’ve finally figured out what we are looking for. Location is key for work and also easy to get to stores, city, etc. And my number one main “must-have” is a fence for our dearest Harley Noodle Jones Butt Butt. I just want to be able to let him outside so he can run free around his “own space.”  Waterfront is also ideal but not a necessary factor at the moment since there are so many lakes around us!

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Today Harley and I ventured out to our favorite spot, “The Butterfly Field” and through the woods…which is also a mansion for ticks and other such things! He had a little bit of a photo shoot and loved all the snacks he was getting! Living it up in the place we called home the last three and a half years.

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There are many new houses being built directly behind us blocking our entire bedroom and bathroom windows. In a year from now, our house won’t be the home we once had. This town won’t be what it once was. Things are changing, people are coming and going and that’s just how life is!

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Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxo

 

Our Christmas Break In The US

We’ve made it back to Germany after spending 2 weeks in the US with family. It was INCREDIBLE! I don’t know what was so different this time but for some reason I was way more relaxed and not so stressed out. I was feeling like I had seen everyone enough and wasn’t rushing around trying to get things done like I usually am. I sort of just let it all happen the way it should. Maybe that is my queue to stop being such a organized snob and live a little bit more spontaneous like I used to do many moons ago!

Our trip was packed full of fun things! Even a surprise bridal shower for me!!! Naturally, I didn’t know about it so I didn’t bring the camera. Sadly, I don’t have many pictures to document it but I promise, it really happened!! It was great to have a few of my favorite people in one place. I felt like a princess!
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Christmas is for me the best when I am at home with my mom. I never want to have Christmas anywhere else. She just makes everything feel so homey and she’s the best gift giver!!

Christmas morning...or...afternoon actually!

Christmas morning…or…afternoon actually!

My stocking contents! Santa knows me well!

My stocking contents! Santa knows me well!

Tobes got Cape Cod Beer Tap Markers!

Tobes got Cape Cod Beer Tap Markers!

Hanging out in my penguin onesie!

Hanging out in my penguin onesie!

Entering nostalgia land, we went to see the Lights on the Lake (bunch of Christmas lights set up on a drive through portion of a park. Beautiful!) And it’s still as exciting as it was when I was a little girl.
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And mom got us all tickets to see DISNEY ON ICE!!!!! Freak out moment! I was so excited I wanted to curl up and cry! I used to LOVE going to see the Ice Capades when I was a little girl and I got to go again!

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We spent New Years at home drinking adult Rootbeer floats and playing monopoly which ended up being a great idea!
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And Toblerone got to hang out in the jacuzzi (just like home) and played soccer where the dude literally was smiling non-stop for 2 hours. Something I have never seen him do when he plays soccer in Germany. It was so sweet!
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All in all, we had a blast! We made a pact that we would fill each day with things to do no matter how minor and we did just that! I hope you all had a great Holiday season and your New Year is off to a great start 🙂

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

A Stork Landing

It’s that time of year again…no…who am I kidding?! It’s ALWAYS that time of year! Babies are popping up (or out rather) everywhere! And it’s no exception here in Germany!

Standard families are two parents and two children here in good old Deutschland. If you are a family of 3 children then you are considered to have a large family. It’s odd since most people I know have more than just one other sibling back home in the US. Having two kids is considered small and four is normal!

There is a fun way in Germany that the people announce when they have a new member and this morning I took Harley for a walk just so we could stalk these new parents! Love me some babies! Back home in the US we use Facebook (ha!) and birth announcement by form of a letter or delivering owl. Here, they make sure you know and I have a feeling its more so that people be quiet in the neighborhood!

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The wooden stork! This is put up right before baby comes and as you can see in the second picture, there is a baby in a blue blanket hanging from the mouth of the stork. This informs us that the baby is a boy!! Yay!!

I think this is kind of fun and exciting! And now is when they get overwhelmed with everyone coming to see them and bring presents. They don’t have baby showers here! Can you believe that?!?! No baby showers, so that means you have the essentials and then people bring you the rest as soon as the baby is born, making life more complicated and annoying when you just need sleep. But no, you must visit with people and organize all the gifts they bring you plus provide the standard coffee and cake. No resting for momma bears!! Let me tell you something, If I’m living here when I have a baby, I will ABSOLUTELY be throwing myself a baby shower and I won’t hold back on my gift requests!! No way, jose!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxo

There She Goes…

Underwear. Socks. Bikinis. Jeans. Tank tops. Jewelry. Shoes. I’m missing something….ah yes! My sundresses!

For the most part I’m packed and surprisingly I have a LOT of room left in my suitcase….more room to bring things home! I can’t even begin to describe my excitement at the fact that I am going home tomorrow. And then of course there is the ultimate sadness that its only for 2 weeks and I have to return to Germany where I’m homesick and missing my American life. You would think that after over 2 years I would just love it here but it’s honestly and truly a daily effort to get me out of bed and TRY to think positive thoughts. Nothing is or ever will be as good as home.

More than anything…I can’t stop getting excited for PLANE FOOD!!!! Nothing better than watching a movie and having a cute little meal to chow on! I think it takes my mind off of the time for a bit so it helps with the long flight. Anyone else get excited about that?? Or is it just me?!
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On the plan for the trip is of course LOTS of wedding planning. Our wedding is over a year a way but I won’t be home to really get things together so I have to do as much as possible. I will DEFINITELY be trying on some wedding dresses which I’m out of my skin about! I can’t wait to do that!! I think that’s the greatest part!

Then Toblerone and I will be going to, as usual, Cape Cod for a few days. Beginning that trip with a Rolling Stones concert and ending it with a Dave Matthews Band concert. Heaven.On.Earth.

My brother, sister-in-law, and favorite (and only!) nephew will be driving up from Maryland to see us which is incredible since we wont have time to make it down their way. And my baby sister is home from college so all the chicks will be in their nest at home with mom. This is going to be REALLY special and I really hope to squeeze in some time with everyone! Lots to do and jet lag WILL NOT get the best of me!

Since this is possibly our only trip to the states this year (there goes my sanity!), I will need to collect items for our fourth of July party and yet another German Thanksgiving!

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Off to finish it all up, get my hair did, and snuggle up this sweet little Harley Jones Noddle ButtButt before he goes on vacation at his Omi and Opi’s house. I’ll have LOTS to show you and blog about…maybe even a sneak peak of wedding dress try ons! 🙂

There She Goes……..
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Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxoxo

Oh That’s Just Rubbish, Literally!

I don’t know why I find this so fascinating but when I first moved here I couldn’t believe how genius this was! And it’s taken me two years to decide if I want to show you this or not…no…just kidding, it actually took me two years to get my butt out of bed early enough to catch them!

I present to you the modernized garbage trucks! Who is excited for this?!?!

There are no dudes hanging on the back of the truck in all kinds of weather, making next to nothing. There is only a dude sitting comfortably listening to his 80’s mix with a coffee in hand. It’s just that easy. He pulls up to the can, releases some trash can picker-upper (watch out, getting technical on ya!) and empties it into a little shoot that does its thing from there. This makes me want to throw glitter it’s so amazing and that doesn’t happen often, normally only on my birthday.

Please, enlighten yourself with this new contraption and SOMEONE tell the Americans they need to catch up with the times!

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Awesome right?! No…?!? Yes?!?!…..Next up is the Postman! You just wait for that dose of crazy!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

The House Is On Fire

Your house is on fire….and you have 5 minutes to gather a few items. What do you bring with you? This was a test essay question at some point in high school. Could have been the NY regents…always a favorite, thanks a lot State of NY.

After careful consideration, I would gather the following:

Blankie – My baby blanket of course but this actually is a funny story. I remember at the time of the test I still had this blanket in my possession. Then my baby brother was born and for some reason, out of all the other blankets he had…mine was the one that he loved the most. I left it with him thinking I would get it back one day and of course that never happened. So fast forward a few years, my heart still yearned for my magic soothing blankie and as I went to visit my brother, my blanket to my shocking dismay was a knotted shred of fabric! What once was pink and soft was now a white cluster of strings and knots! However, my step mom did a great thing that healed my soul. Before it got worse, she cut a square from it preserving it of some color and softness. She gave me this and I keep it in a safe place now but for some reason I’ve attached myself to this blanket beyond what is normal for an adult. So if the house was to burn down…this would be safe in my pocket. Assuming I was able to get some pants on!

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Harley – Need I say more?! Obviously he would be going with me! Leave no man behind!

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Rolling pin – This wooden rolling pin was my great grandmothers I believe and I don’t have many sentimental trinkets from my family yet but this is one that I’ve learned everything with. I found my love for cooking and baking and I’m pretty sure it has to do with the magic of family attached to it.

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Grandma’s wedding purse – My sweet Grammy gave us her wedding purse to play dress up with and after going through me, my sister, cousin, and probably all our friends we had over its lost its lace! However, I fully plan to have it fixed up and use it in my wedding in 2014, therefore need to make sure this is with me!

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Picture books/Photos – Not just any photos but the ones that were taken before digital cameras and computers were used. The ones you don’t have the negatives for anymore or saved on snapfish. (Bet the youngins don’t know what negatives are used for!) I have a few from the high school days that would be sad to leave behind. The wedding album of my parents, some baby pictures, some of my life in England. Memories forever gone. Way too tragic!

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To me, these things can never ever be replaced. I would be heart broken with out them and a giant void would always be in my heart unable to be filled. After writing this post, I actually need to do two things:
1. Put more fire alarms up
2. Place all these items together in an easy access/pick-up spot just in case!

If given the option, what would you bring with you? Something sentimental or something practical? I would love to hear what you find is important – let me know in the comments below!

Until next time, Readers!!!! Xoxoxoxoxo