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

Engagement Pics Are HERE!!!

We only had to wait exactly one week for our pictures and I am SO excited to share them with you guys. Our friend is a great photographer and mostly did scenic shots but is just starting to get into doing people, weddings, etc. And in my opinion, he’s off to a great start! It certainly wasn’t easy with two languages flying back and forth plus a VERY rambunctious 3.5 year old puppy! Harley was playing with his frisbee all morning and being a big crazy. For the “picnic” shots I put his frisbee in our picnic basket to make him sit there! lol. It’s not as easy as it looks!!

The most special part about our pictures is that all were taken here in our little town. This way, no matter where we are in the world, we can always look back on these pictures and have a piece of this chapter of our lives with us forever. We could have gone somewhere else around Germany or even had the pictures done in the US but then Germany would just be a blurb. Somehow we have to mix both worlds in this whole process and this was the best option! I hope you like them!

Note: Images are not as sharp as they should be because I had to downsize the file! 🙂 But you get the idea!

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Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo

Something Like Love

Happy (belated!) Valentines Day!! Here’s a fun fact: Did you know St. Valentine is buried in Dublin, Ireland?! Well…now you do!!

I hope you all had a lovely day spending time with loved ones or taking the time to appreciate your fabulous self and how totally awesome you are!

This year is the first Valentine’s Day as a married couple for me and Toblerone and just like all the years before, we don’t buy in to all the fancy shmancy stuff but we still recognize how much we love each other with the little things. This year I made “Honey Coupons” and tied each to a balloon.
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The balloon gave a clue where to find the next balloon and coupon! 😉 I thought it would be fun to send him on a goose chase! And of course…I was at the end with the last coupon 🙂

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Then we had a nice dinner together. Candles and candy hearts decorated the table and we had a tomato, basil, and mozzarella heart salad. Then gyros with tzaziki with homemade flour tortillas. For dessert I made a filled pastry. Kinda like a poptart but with fresh berries, honey, and cream cheese. Was super yummy!!!

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I got a sweet card, my favorite tea (earl grey), and a garden magazine! Totally love it!

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So here we are snuggling on the couch…Harley in the middle of course! We’re a happy family and happy to have a day that we get the excuse to spoil each other a little more than usual 🙂 However usually, I make Tobi’s breakfast and lunch with a love note every day, and he makes sure we have a roof over our head and my health insurance is paid. Oh, The things you do for love! And when I was young, my mom always gave us pink milk and something with spaghetti sauce to keep within the colored theme. And of course we would have little heart candies or a special prize at the dinner table. Traditions are important, but saying I love you in the littlest way is the greatest!

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What do you do for you loved ones? Did you do something unique and special this year? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time, Readers!!!!! Xoxoxoxoxo

Spice Gets Engaged!

Moving on with our journey through Ireland, I wanted to get to the greatest part!!! So… ON WITH IT, right?!

Day 6 started with us in Kenmore at our B&B called the Hawthorne House where I had porridge with cream and brown sugar. DELISH!  It was pouring rain so the morning of shopping in the town was out of the question so we just jumped in the car and headed towards Galway. Of course stopping  along the way to check out what there was to see!

We hit up part of the famous Ring of Kerry. This “ring” is just a loop you drive around but as you’re doing so you hit all the best parts of Ireland. You see mountains, waterfalls, the beach, ocean,castles, lakes, rivers, green hills, etc. To do the whole thing would take about 4 hours driving and of course to add in stopping for pictures so we decided to just head on our way to my favorite place in the world! But first some shots from the piece of The Ring of Kerry:

And a stop at the Killarney National Park to see the Turoc waterfall which just so happens to be hidden among a fairytale land. Like seriously…fairies live here. I can feel it! See for yourself!! And Note: I did nothing to enhance these pictures. It was literally that green. In fact, these were taken with my iPhone!

See what I mean?? Fairies. Definitely leprechauns and fairies. After being totally blown away by this whimsical fairyland we drove on towards the next destination. My favorite place in the world….*drum roll*…..The Cliffs of Moher.

When I was young my dad brought me here and I knew I always wanted to get married there. I thought it was the most incredible place I had ever seen (and for being 12, it was!)

Check this out…a little bit of old school for you:


It was just as I remembered. Most places where we once were able to lay close to the edge was now blocked off….for obvious reasons. Lots of death is happening up in here. Dumb tourists as you know. But it was fun to relive a memory I had since long forgotten!

We walked our way up to O’Brien’s tower. Just a small place to get a better view. To really feel like you’re on top of the world. As we headed into the tower the man at the door asked for 2 Euros per person to go all the way to the top. Toblerone, being the Schwaebisch German that he is would not want to pay 2 Euros for views that we could see on the ground as well. I told him the situation and he immediately said, “Yeah ok! Let’s go!”  So I was shocked and starting to get a little suspicious. Odd behavior for him!

So we head up to the top and there is a small platform that can hold maybe 3 people at most so we had to wait our turn to get up onto this platform. We were packed like sardines at the top of this tower and finally it was our turn. We stood up there and Toblerone snapped away with the camera as I was off in my own memories snapping away with my iPhone. At this point there was only one other man up top really getting into taking his own pictures. Whether they were any good or not, we’ll never know! As I’m turned away from Toblerone he says, “I’m just going to switch lenses real quick.” Again, I thought it was strange that he was telling me that. Then all the sudden I hear a big *THUD* and I hear a sweet little voice say, “Babe?”

With that I turned around and realized the loud thud was Toblerone’s knee hitting the platform and there he was with a little box in hand. I don’t remember exactly what he said but it’s the same as most I would assume! The man that was still on top of the Tower came over to us and he said, “Is this a happy moment?!” In broken English. He tells me to hand over the camera which I did and although the angle wasn’t so good at least we have the memory.

It was a beautiful moment! Getting married in Ireland would be out of the question considering the two other countries our families come from but an Engagement was the most perfect thing for me. I’m a lucky girl!

After the moment of shock we walked around the Cliffs. Toblerone almost tripped off the side which was very close to becoming a tragic wedding proposal day! He is a bit clumsy at times 🙂

Then it was time to go celebrate the Engagment (EEEEE!!!!) and head into Galway for a nice dinner. We found a cute B&B, got settled in and had dinner at a bar/restaurant. Toblerone had the steak and I had salmon.

We ate and went out in search of a cool bar which we did find. A huge place called Skeff Bar where we got to pour our own pints from our table. Such a cool contraption. I’ve gotta get one of those put into my dinner table!

We walked around Galway a little bit and I tried to remember the place from when I was young. I started to feel a bit yucky so we went back to the hotel where I was plagued with food poisoning until 4 or 5 in the morning. Nonstop puking for hours. I was exhausted and had to get up at 9am for breakfast the next morning. Lord help me!! What a dream on our Engagement night.

All in all it was a magical day! From fairy land to fairy tale Engagement… life was good on June 18th! A happy Irish girl indeed!

Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

30 Day Blog Challenge – Day 13

Day 13- A Love Letter

Before I begin – I just want to point out that this is not a love letter to Toblerone. I can’t tell you who it’s for or who it’s from. Names will be left out. 🙂 That is all!

My lovely  _________,

                     Every day that we have spent together has been a dream in and of itself. You’ve been by my side through everything, through the good and bad. I only hope I’ve been as good as a friend to you. I hope you know that no matter where your thoughts may take you about us and whether or not you made me happy enough – rest your worried heart. I’ve never been happier than in the time I’ve spent with you. When you look back at our pictures know that every smile was because of you. Every inside joke and laugh was because of you. You warmed my heart more than any other person I have ever met. You have made my life so fulfilling and even though it all ended shorter than we had expected, I will always be with you, never too far away. 

                  The moment I first laid eyes on you, I knew you would stay by my side as long as I lived. I was lucky from day one and still feel overjoyed that I got to have you all those years all to myself. You were completely worth it, don’t you ever forget it. Although you may be feeling lost and sad now…I’m not far from you. When the wind hits you just right, that’s me holding your sweet face in my hands. I promise I will never leave you. You will know when I’m around, you will feel me. From time to time I will visit you in your dreams so be sure to listen closely to me. 

                  Your strength is beyond anything I ever had and I admire you for holding on to my memory so dearly. Someday, I will be with you again. I will get to feel your skin against mine and I will be able to whisper to you all the things I never got to. Please continue on, don’t stop here.  I’m still living on in your heart so carry me with you wherever you go. I want to see the world, and go on adventures with you. 

                You’re everything I could have ever asked for. Thank you for being so strong for our families and our friends, I know it’s hard. I’m waiting for you come to me but take your time. Please don’t rush. I’ll be waiting with open arms. I don’t need to tell you but I will just for good measure. I love you. I’ll be seeing you…

                                                                           Forever yours, 

                                                                             ________________

 

SO – This was a hard post to write. I didn’t write it from my point of view…obviously. Did it from another’s to add a bit of a challenge to myself.

Until next time, readers!! xoxoxoxo

 

30 Day Blog Challenge – Day 9

Day 9- Something you’re proud of in the past few days

I can’t pick just one but there is one person I’m super proud of.

My Toblerone.

He has been sick for quite a long time (going on 10 years) and finally decided to go to the doctor about it a few months ago. So many tests…and more tests…and finally a possible conclusion. We’re transferred to another hospital and the star surgeon there (who I didn’t prefer…wasn’t a people-person that’s for sure!) told us that Toblerone needed to plan on being down and out for 6-8 weeks and he was about to have major surgery. A surgery this surgeon has never performed, wasn’t sure what to expect and certainly had never seen before. Toblerone and I weren’t sure what to expect either and the fact that half of what was said is always in German, I was clueless and kind of just going along with things.

So, the day of the surgery was a nerve-racking day. Off he went into surgery to remove this giant cyst (the size of a small cucumber) from inside his intestine. What in the world?!?! Apparently he was born with this and it grew over time but this is so rare – we’re talking 1 in 4 million rare. He was a medical mystery and all the doctors said he was crazy for not coming in sooner. Living the life he had before was unpleasant and he was sick every other day – refused to eat because he only puked it up anyways and then would sleep for days with a 104 degree fever. It was so hard to watch him go through this but I knew in the end, he would have a new outlook on life, he could FINALLY experience it!

We were at first told that Toblerone had a very very bad liver disease and thankfully, this was not the case. Honestly, thanking my lucky stars because that would have been much worse than this. There is no cure for that and ultimately would have ended in a liver transplant. No good.

The surgery was successful and he’s home now and recovering. Watching him not eat for 5 days post surgery and having 8 different tubes in his body, massive weight loss, white as a ghost – none of these things I wish upon another. Lucky we were strong enough to push through it. He did absolutely amazing. I can’t imagine being in such pain and having to remind yourself that it will be better eventually.

I told him now he can really taste the life around him. He can eat what he wants and not worry about whether or not this will make him sicker. I’m so happy to have my Toblerone back but mostly so proud of him. He pushed through and is now in recovery. A light opened up for us and now he can finally get back to living! I can’t wait to spend more days with him!!

Proud of you Bubbers!!!!

Now I need to go marinate a pork tenderloin! 🙂

Until next time, readers!! xoxoxoxoxo

30 Day Blog Challenge – Day 4

Day 4 – Your First Love

Before I begin I would like to point out that yesterday was my beautiful mother’s birthday (Doesn’t look a day over 30!) and today would have been the day we hop on a fluffy little plane and flop into the US. I’m a little sad because I was really looking forward to seeing my grandparents, my parents, siblings, friends, and the vast array of restaurants I’ve been missing such as Dinosaur BBQ, Panera Bread, Starbucks, Bonefish Grill, can’t leave out the Giant Wegmans….and the list could go on. So…without further ado…I start my pity searching blog into the tale of the First Love.

At first I had to really think about this. I’ve had many boyfriends and what not but I wasn’t sure which ones I was REALLY in love with. I would have to say it was Arthur – *name changed for obvious reasons! Do you really think I would date an Arthur?  I was just 22 I believe, oh the days of nights out on the town every Friday through Sunday come hell or high water. I was a barfly, always there and I couldn’t get over that there were SO many people *ahem* men/new meat that I had never seen before. I came from a smaller town so everyone knew everyone. I could finally go out with my older friends which was 99% part of the perk.

Back in the days when MySpace was WAY cooler than Facebook I used to get “fan mail” from all sorts of dudes. “Hey baby girl, Waz ur name? You wanna git down sumtyme. I cud show u a rill gud tyme.” I imagined it was said just like that too. On average over 20 messages a day from stalker boys that wanted to “hang out.” Right – get lost! Most of the time I didn’t answer or wrote them something rude back.

And then I get a message from Arthur. Simple and sweet. Just saying hello and commenting on my blue eyes or something. Flirtatious yet not overpowering and he sounded like he had an education at least. After many emails back and forth I decided to meet up with him…at a bar. Ha, that’s obvious. HOWEVER – Please note I wasn’t completely ridiculous, I brought a friend with me. You just never know! So, I honestly didn’t think ANYTHING of this guy. I wasn’t attracted to him but was just making a friend and that’s the honest truth.  I went to the bar in a huge sweatshirt, workout pants, and sneakers. My hair was crazy in a ponytail and barely any makeup. This is to prove I wasn’t trying to impress anyone. Just giving myself another reason to go have a drink. As we got there, he happened to be standing close to the door and as soon as I saw him, I don’t know what it was but the switch changed from friend to possibly my husband. (Also had many false ideas of the future when it came to men. A little quick on the trigger I would say!) Immediately I started thinking about wedding dresses, baby names, and carved are initials into the bar. No, I’m kidding about that but I was head over heels from the moment I saw him.

So, after that it started a whirlwind affair of crazy absolute nonsense. The first several months were perfect and then it all started. He got crazy…asking me weird questions about my whereabouts, who I’m with, etc. I was completely in love with him and thought I had it in control to begin with but turns out I lost all my control. To turn this long story into a shorter version – fell in love with an abusive prick and after he cheated on me three times and threw me down his manipulative bipolar tunnel of hell, I finally somewhere somehow got the strength to move on and never looked back. I found him with someone else and I cried so hard I puked on my kitchen floor in front of my darling roommate and her date that she had just went out with. Classy and dramatic – as usual. I was paralyzed with pain and sadness for several weeks. But, every day got a little bit better. A little bit easier. The thing is when you’re with someone like that who has you chained up practically, it really takes inner strength to push forward. I allowed myself to text him once. A really really long text but I said my peace and I went my way. That was the end of it for me. I had to get out and now was my chance.

It’s certainly not a relationship I want to remember however, when the days were good…they were really beautiful and I always wanted a relationship where I could have those kind of days back again. I have that now and love hanging out with Toblerone mostly because he’s my best friend and we do everything together and have a frickin blast while doing it. With Arthur my world was turned upside down and I was forced to be distant with my beautiful family and I can’t imagine being that way now. It’s not right, it’s not the way it should be. It should be perfect all the time. Toblerone and I rarely argue only about little things like the house or whatever but there is an understanding that comes with a good relationship. We argue for 5 seconds and then it’s over. Then we’re laughing while we’re making dinner together. This is how it should be!

Some of the things he would do were absolutely insane. Like, throw glass at my bare feet to prove a point or hijack my cell phone and literally make me chase him on foot all over town as he called every phone number listed and ask the person on the other end if he was sleeping with me. What kind of weirdo does that? And I was stupid enough to stay with him. Half out of fear maybe but more so that I hung on to hope that he would change – that day would never come. If only I knew what I know now! I was so young and too inexperienced with a “real relationship” to know that this was unhealthy and very dangerous.

Then there were the good things when we were out one night he pulled me aside around all his friends and told me how much he loved me and started to cry when he told me how he couldn’t wait to see me walk down the aisle in a white dress to him. Or the night that he gave me a rose, blindfolded me and drove me to the ocean to dance under the stars to our favorite song. I wish I knew that this was the bi-polar Arthur. Manic, wild, and fun and then dangerous, aggressive, and depressed. It was insane. Literally in a matter of 24 hours I could see Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 4 or 5 times each!

With Arthur it was the ups and downs that made it exciting. I’m glad that roller coaster has expired. I’m much happier now and way better off than I was before. I’m sure all those who were by my side during that time would agree. So…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

If you know anyone who has been or is being abused, don’t ignore it.  You can help by not blaming the person who is being abused and reminding yourself that it’s not as easy as saying, “Just break up with him/her.” I encourage you to educate yourself, abuse comes in many different forms –

http://stoprelationshipabuse.org/

http://www.dm.usda.gov/shmd/aware.htm

Until next time, readers!! xoxoxo!

An Inspiration of Love

Today, I’m not going to write about my experiences in Germany. I’m actually going to stick to another topic that is near and dear to my heart.

My Grandparents.

Today happens to be their 59th wedding anniversary and although I wish I could be there to celebrate with them, I figured a blog about them would suffice! So without further ado, Happy Anniversary Grams and Gramps!!

They met on a blind date many moons ago and have been inseperable since! They had 4 kids together (two boys, two girls – including my momma!), a few pets and a few houses later and here they are! As sweet as ever!

When I was a little girl and I would do something bad, my mom would always say, “I’m going to tell Grandma!” That used to scare the ever-living-you-know-what out of me! I don’t know why it did because my Grandma is probably the sweetest person in the world. I can’t ever remember her yelling at me (even though I’m sure she did – I was wild!) Now that I think about it though,  I guess I just didn’t want my Grammy to know I was anything but perfect.

At one time in my life we lived with them for a short while during the midst of moving and some of my BEST memories are in that house. I wish they still lived there but it was a big place for just the two of them. Now of course they live in a smaller house, which means closer quarters and more bickering between the two of them. It’s so sweet though, if bickering can be sweet! 🙂

At their house there was an umbrella tree out front I would sit in for hours and pretend it was my own house and no one could see me. Grams always had the fridge stocked with my favorite bologna – The “German” imitation kind, Wunderbar. (My fate for Germany was set at a young age, obviously.) My grandpa set up a hammock for us downstairs and I would love to sit out there and swing and thus my LOVE for hammocks had begun. Looking forward to buying one for my house once the garden is done. They had this deck where we would put out food for the squirrels and Johnny Mathis would play on the record player – my Grams’ favorite.

Old movies…hmm..where do I begin. They have a collection of the best movies ever made and my ultimate favorite is Harvey Girls with Judy Garland. I would watch them all: Meet Me in St. Louis, Anchors Aweigh, High Society, On The Town, and the list goes on and on. The classics…nothing better than that! They opened me up to a whole new realm of awesomeness. Movies these days lack class and pure talent. Anyone can act, but back then…there was some REAL talent. People dancing, singing, and acting. Good stuff!

Christmas time at their house was incredible. Our whole family would come together and it was the most special time for me. The greatest memories. Back then, it was only me and my brother – no one else had kids. We had our bread bowl and a million other snacks. I used to try to wait so patiently to open one gift that night.

These two people helped shape me into who I am today. Being around them gives me a look at what being married for 59 years is like. Sweet bickering, ever-lasting friendship, and an understanding of each other that you only get with time. There is an ease about them that is reassuring and I look forward to having many long years with someone too. They inspire me to love whole-heartedly.

I love you both! I hope today is just as special as it was 59 years ago! Hugs and kisses from across the ocean blue!  (See you in 25 days!!!!)

Until next time, readers!! xoxoxoxoxo

Down to the Wire

Ahhh yes….the day has officially arrived. I’m sitting here at my empty desk…in my cold office…preparing to leave behind my legacy at my job. (I’m SO over it!) It doesn’t feel real yet but slowly people have started saying goodbye so here I go! This starts the beginning of a new adventure.

I have 10 days to pull it all together.

1. Say ‘see you soon’ to family

2. Get wasted with my girlfriends

3. Pack my entire life into 2 suitcases

4. Transfer my escape money…I mean 401k to an IRA

5. Pay off my car and donate it to my family

6. Cancel my rarely used gym membership…. dammit.

7. Shut down my cellphone service…so long iPhone 3G…HELLLOOOO Iphone 4G!!!

 8. Buy Saltines – Germany does not have these, who are these people?!?!

9. Find great black workout pants…obviously to go with my rarely used gym membership.

So thats the short list…there are 8 million little things that need to be done. Emotionally, I think I’m surviving ok and hope that it won’t be too hard on me. I’m leaving on a Tuesday afternoon so my mom will be the only one dropping me off that day. I just hope she holds it together. I have a long journey ahead of me and I can’t deal with the last vision of the US being my mom standing outside the airport with tears rolling down her face. I will curl up…crumble…and die. End Dramatics. I’m scared people…I am. But I’ve got a lot of things to keep me occupied and going! Cheers to that!

Is He “The One?”

I was having a conversation with my best friend about relationships in general and throughout my blabbering I came to the conclusion that I hate when people say, “I knew he/she was the one the day I met them.” That’s bologna! I’m a dreamer but I’m also a realist and the reality is this:

I’m like most girls. When I meet a guy I’m attracted to, usually the first thing that comes out of my mouth is, “Oh my god, I’m in love with him…I want to marry him.” I used to fall in love…a lot….and…that meant going home at weird hours of the morning in high heels and dresses knowing that I would never hear from him again. (I never said I was perfect!) Such is the young life I lived! But how quickly I would get over the lust I felt for them. Everything looked grand on the outside but if I had spent any more time with them I would go crazy. Here’s the thing, I know and most people know that once you get to truly understand someone then can you really start to develop true feelings for them.

 The majority of my relationships have been built on lust and that eventually developed into finding ways to get out of it. My relationship I’m in currently was somewhat similar in the beginning…lust and that’s it, but as time went on and the two of us went through a few hardships together (and some drama) I’ve come to realize that he is, the one for me. I didn’t always know that he would be…I think it’s nice to say that to someone but I always tell him, “I was born to love you.” This suggests that I’ve always known I would fall in love with someone deeply, and that eventually in time I would….just happened to be him!

There are some days that I want to rip his head off and leave him (maybe that’s a little over exaggerated but you get my drift) and there are days when I miss him if he’s gone for 5 minutes. At the end of the day though, I can’t imagine him not in my life. It brings me to tears of the mere thought of anything happening to him. Also, I can’t wait to have children with him. He’s going to be amazing. One of my longer relationships before Toblerone was pretty intense. Like 3 years too long. He was fun and a total ride of excitement every other day (he’s bi-polar, I tend to attract them.) I tried to imagine my future with him and it was difficult because it was only a dream, not reality and deep down I knew that.

 I just really think it’s important to give each person (who’s worth it…most aren’t) the chance to understand if he/she is right for you. I’ve been in situations that I’m glad I’m no longer in. My life would be completely different…and not in a good way. I’m glad I found my “one.”