A Party For Two Very Loved Babies

I have to say that had we become pregnant in Germany, I would not have the pleasure of experiencing a real deal Baby Shower of my own. As most of you know they do not throw Baby Showers in Germany partially because it’s just not their tradition but the other idea is because they are superstitious about bringing gifts to a baby before he/she is born. Its considered bad luck!

A while ago I threw a party in Germany for a friend who was expecting. Giving her the whole experience of an American Baby Shower!  Go check it out if you missed it!

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So, I was just ecstatic that the people I love were willing to throw me my own special party for these two little nuggets. Toblerone and I traveled to upstate NY to my family’s home right before Thanksgiving. The drive was atrocious…9 hours in a car with thigh high compression socks is not particularly the most comfortable way to go! But we arrived and were just so excited to be back with family! People came from all over and even from out of state to visit us! My brother and his clan came from West Virginia and my Aunt and Uncle and cousin came from Pennsylvania! I mean….THATS what I call love!!

My mom’s house was decorated in my absolute favorite theme: nautical! We decided to have this as a Jack and Jill party as well so we could see all of our friends and family at one time. People brought diapers for a diaper raffle and gifts as well. These boys are SPOILED!

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It was just so amazing to be around family and to show them the belly we waited so long to have! Granted, I’ve now tripled in size since then!

We got so many amazing gifts and of course Toblerone was out of this world excited when he got his very own gift for the boys! Thank you to all our friends and family who came and gave us gifts for these boys. We are just so grateful! Having twins is certainly not cheap!!!

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Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo

 

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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

Happy Birthday, Pauli!

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

3rd Annual Halloween Party

Its that time of year again folks! Feels like just yesterday!! Another year to show the Germs just what Halloween is about. Candy, Drinking, and Costumes! If you recall, last year our Halloween Party was actually our surprise wedding reception! Toblerone and I got married on October 26th and that evening, we had our Halloween Party. Just so happens that our Halloween Party would once again be on October 26th so we got to celebrate our Anniversary with everyone!!

This year I didn’t go all out as much as I did the years before as far as food and what not. I did my usual vegetable skeleton and a few snack items. Nothing too crazy. I didn’t want to spend the whole day cooking. I actually wanted to enjoy my own party!! Even though I turned it down a notch, it was still really stressful and I’m thinking this will actually be our last year of this stuff. The house was a disaster the day after and truthfully, friends, I’m too damn old!! Toblerone and I were David and Victoria Beckham this year. (sorry for the crappy quality! It’s the only pic we have and from an iPhone!)
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The greatest part of this was an American friend of mine living in Stuttgart came for the party and we had a BLAST! This year we did a little beer pong and flip cup! That was FANTASTIC! I always get way excited about competitive drinking sports. Maybe a little too excited for my age! Anyways, here is a look into the evening! I just absolutely adore all the costumes the Germs come up with! So creative and cute! And they get into it!! No half-assing from them!!

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And I want to thank my sweet husband for just being the greatest man in my life and I’m glad he picked me! 🙂
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Wishing you all a very happy Halloween!! Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo

An American Baby Shower For A German Baby

First Fall project completed and what a beautiful day it was!! This past weekend I threw an American style baby shower for a friend of mine. But first, a little background into how life happens when you have a German baby!
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So we all know that in the US when a a girlfriend is preggers, we throw her a fantastic party a couple months before the birth. All the women in her family come, along with all the friends she’s had to avoid because she can’t go out drinking with them anymore. The party is held at someone’s house or restaurant with food galore and presents stacked high. Games are played and everyone ooohs and ahhhs over all the sweet little baby decorations. The mom-to-be is treated like a princess and she gets EVERYTHING she could possibly need for her bundle of love on the way. Cribs, carriages, diapers, toys, clothes, breast feeding equipment, blankets, etc. The list goes on.

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And then there is Germany…..

Mom-to-be buys everything herself. Mom gives birth. All friends and family swarm over to the house with little gifts for the baby and visit as the new mom and baby are trying to get a hold of this new life they have together. The mom, exhausted and in desperate need of a nap makes coffee and cake for all the masses who visit.

So….let’s discuss. WHICH country does it better?…..it’s obvious. And there is no arguing about this. Even the German ladies here agreed that this is a tradition they have interest in starting! It’s really all about the one last fun hoorah for the new mom before her life changes with a new baby!

This was exactly what I wanted for my dear friend. I threw her a bash to remember! We invited family and friends for an intimate gathering. Each person brought a gift and brought along either a cake or snack food! It was perfect! I made the very popular “bowle” which is what we know as punch! The ladies love to mix champagne with it so I left it alcohol free and people could add what they wanted!
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And although the food was somewhat simple…of course, the Germans do know how to make a mean cake! So yums…just sooo soooo sooooo yums!
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And the snacks were great as well! I made little ricotta cheese filled tarts which were super easy thanks to this recipe I found on Pinterest.
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And another woman made these fun finger foods. I had printed out little signs that said “It’s a Girl” and pictures of a baby rattle on them, which I found a free printable for here.

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We played the ever popular, “Name That Baby Food.” Which were REALLY horrible by the way…ha! I just sectioned off 6 parts on a paper plate, everyone put a spoonful of baby food in the corresponding number place and went to town! The faces they made were hysterical..I mean REALLY funny.
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And of course we played the game, “How Big is Mommy’s Belly.” This was fun to see too! And of course the Grandma-to-be was SPOT on.
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Then after all the games, we did the PRESENTS!!!! My favorite! So, I should mention that in Germany there is a superstition about bringing a present to the mom-to-be BEFORE the baby is born. They believe that if you bring a gift before the baby is born, that the baby will be born with problems or something bad will happen. They were good sports about it and looked past this just for this “American” baby shower which was really very nice of them.

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And a little guest, Leonie, helped as best as she could. She LOVED opening all the presents! At the end of this wonderful afternoon we said goodbye and said that the baby can come now. All is done and now we are just waiting!

It really was a wonderful day and I’m so glad that I could share a piece of my home and culture with them. And mostly, that they were so open minded about it and accepting. What a gift!

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Any ideas what she is having?!?! 🙂

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo

Neighborhood Street Party

This past weekend the annual Street party in our neighborhood happened. This is basically all the neighbors on our street get together and have a BBQ and just hang out. Well, Toblerone and I have been here for 2.5 years but this was the first time we were invited. HA! Still makes me giggle a bit. People know I’m American but because I speak English I have the plague but I was happy for the invite regardless. I think it’s safe to say the chances of me ever getting my “Welcome to the neighborhood” gift basket are slim.
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I made my ever popular broccoli salad (thanks mom for the recipe!) and brought our giant American cooler and our grill down to the street. We were introducing ourselves to our neighbors for the first time. Literally, the people who live next door. How crazy is that?! We did our introductions quickly and then the rest of the night sat with the only two people we know. Everyone else still avoided me completely. Toblerone got a few people speaking with him about soccer and what not but still, I had the plague so they didn’t linger too long. Huge difference between the US and here, in my opinion, when it comes to being neighborly.

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Later on at night after we ate the kids all gathered around a fire pit with their sticks. I started to get excited for marshmallows or S’Mores (even though they don’t know what that is here!) The next thing I know they are twisting dough around their sticks. At this point in my mind, I’m thinking this is a special kind of crazy! Then they explain to me that they are simply just making little breads! So of course I had to get in on the fun…until I realized I had to stand in front of a fire for 45 minutes! Joke is on the American! But it was fun and cool to try something different. A far cry from the sweet marshmallows in the US. Leave it to the Germans to make bread at a camp fire! I had to laugh!

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I was home and in bed by midnight. Do I think my neighbors might actually say “Hi” to me now that they’ve seen me up close? Doubtful. But, I put in the effort! I said I would do all that I can to fit in to this country and it’s not up to me to teach people how to be friendly. I’ll chock it up to a culture issue and move along! There are 2 families that we are friends with so that’s enough for me! At least I have someone to go to in case of a sugar emergency!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

An American Easter in Germany

Easter rolled around again and it’s crazy to think that I’ve been here for two Easters already. My how time flies. We were slammed with more snow BUT our home was warm with American friends and a roaring fire of course.

I mean look at these lovely guests!

I mean look at these lovely guests!

We had our American buddies, who live in Stuttgart Germany, drive out to spend the weekend with us which was such a treat for me! I really love having visitors to begin with where I can speak my own language and remind myself of all the slang words I’ve forgotten living out this way! Not only that but these two brought us the most AMAZING gifts!!! I mean…HELLO!! Take a look at these:

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Can we talk about that for a moment? They are not in the military but have access to the military base because one of them works on base, which means they have access to the grocery store with all the American stuff. It’s like this treasure hidden away and I’m not allowed in 😦 I wish they would just grant me access to shop there. I’d be all over that! Anywho, we got a normal sized peanut butter jar with YUMMMY peanut butter inside, loads of reese’s, Sam adams beer for Tobi (there were more but those went bye bye in a mere 5 minutes!), and GIRL SCOUT COOKIESSSSSSSS!!!!!!! OMG! I can’t even begin to tell you. Its amazing. The last time I bought girl scout cookies I think I had to leave them with my parents because I was moving to Germany so I never did get my last one 😦 So…THANK YOU, FRIENDS!!! Made out Easter 1 million times more amazing by bringing a piece of home to us!

So we had a great dinner with my strawberry salad and caprese filled burgers. Totally American, totally loved!
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After our bellies were overstuffed overjoyed we hopped in the jacuzzi for a long time and discussed wedding plans. Obviously not with each other but our American weddings are a week apart. So that’s fun! We snuggled up on the couch and watched the Syracuse game against Marquette and it was totally amazing to see live (thanks to our new “English” channels).

The following morning was filled of Easter fun and more snow…fantastic. Everyone had to find their basket…including Harley and there was also an Easter egg hunt at the end! Loved doing this and now I know why my mom loved doing it every year too 🙂

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We had omelettes for breakfast and then they were on their way home. It was SO nice for us and so easy with these guys. I forget sometimes just how easy going Americans can be and it’s not an all out process like it is with the Germans. Two totally different cultures and two totally different stress levels!

Here’s a little gem for you….check me out in the mornings with the lovely Fe!! WOOHOOOOOOO Sexy thang!

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Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxoxo