Another Day Of Spoiling

The fun continued from one party to the next! I had my awesome NY baby shower with friends and family back home and our fantastic neighbors here in Michigan threw us another great baby shower/diaper party. We’ve lived here for just a little over a year now and we have accumulated a really great “family” that is always watching out for us.

We had the baby shower with all the ladies in our home and all the men gathered at the neighbor’s house for the diaper party. It worked out perfectly and I got SO many presents (once again!) I never thought I’d be so excited to open presents for my future children and not for myself. Ha! Who knew!

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Harley even wore his fancy new collar which he got as a present from the first baby shower (Thanks Aunt Addie and Uncle John!) He was lovin hanging out with all the ladies!

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Granted I am now the size of a beached whale but my hostesses kept it organized and not too long which was great for me! I have zero energy these days and immediately had to nap after the party was over. I loved showing Toblerone all the new things we got and the adorable outfits people gave us. I mean…little khakis!! Can you get any cuter! The boys also got a few German-esque things geared towards their Dad’s favorite soccer team, FC Bayern Munich. Whether they like it or not, they are going to be fans 🙂

We can’t wait to read them books in English and in German and sing lullabies in both languages. It’s going to be a really fun experience to get them to be bilingual. Nothing cuter than kids speaking in German!

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A rubber ducky with lederhosen! I mean….how cute is that?!

Only 8 more days until their arrival! It may take me some time to get back here to write again but lo and behold…I will be back!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo

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Off To Italy We Go (Part Three)

The last and final installment of our vacation in Italy is FINALLY hot off the presses. Just a quick little update…I was taking a few classes during the summer and it took over my life! Hence why I haven’t said much since June! My apologies! I’m back at it though and have lined up quite a few fun posts!

Ok…on with it!

Our trip ended with a beautiful Easter Sunday Hike followed by a wonderful dinner of course. Luckily, the Easter bunny found me in Italy. I did send him a note to let him know so I’m glad he got that in time.

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But FIRST…the morning church bells that remind me of all things Europe. When we first moved to Germany, I used to be so annoyed by the early morning bell show that took place right outside my window (were were a road away from the church). But now, somehow, it brings me back really great memories of always knowing what time it was!

 

This was the front of our hotel. For some reason I just feel like decorations in Europe are really different. Granted, a majority of the products are with wood and felt but I just thought these big things outside the hotel were so cool! What weird shapes!

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Off we went on our hike (two VERY hungover people in tow…and no it wasn’t me!). I literally pushed Toblerone up the hill. Talk about a workout! But it was fun. We were walking towards a little restaurant that was a few miles up the mountain. And when I say up..I mean up.

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The views were beautiful and the little bits of snow on the ground reminded us quickly how high up we actually were.

We made it to the restaurant and I met a few friends, furry ones of course! Apparently goats love peanuts. Did you know that?

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On our way back down the mountain towards our hotel after a few drinks we stopped for some more drinking of course and snacks. My father-in-law is always providing the drinks for us. Only the best wine there is! (Note: The two most hungover people with no wine in their hands….:-) Brothers…)

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Back at the hotel we got ready for dinner. I put on my Easter dress and headed down to the dining room.

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Dinner was an array of amazing things. They had plate upon plate of meats, cheese, fruits, salad bar, etc. We also got a lamb or fish dinner and dessert but the main idea was a buffet! I do love me a good buffet!

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The weekend ended with a few drinks at the bar. My favorite? Amaretto liqueur with apple cider. The BEST. Try it sometime, you’ll thank me! Looking forward to going back to this hotel one day. We had such a great time!

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Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxo

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

The Big Secret Reveal!!!

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

We Found Love In A Dunkin Donut

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

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

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