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

 

 

 

Something To Be Thankful For

Another year close to its end which means we’ve been going through the paces like everyone else. Life is so fast these days and it all is starting to feel blurred. In a few short weeks, Toblerone and I will be heading to the states for Christmas! (His idea, actually!) So we are really hoping the time continues to fly until the 24th. Can not WAIT to go home.
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I hosted my second Thanksgiving here in Germany since I’ve been living here. I decided to make it a bit more simple this year. Less people, a little less food. However, still managed to have the same amount of stress! (see how exhausted I look?!?)
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Regardless, it was really nice to be with a few of those we love the most. And as always, no matter what crazy holiday I make them celebrate with me, my German family accepts me for who I am without question!
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Hoping you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving no matter where you were or who you were with. The important thing is that we all have love in our lives.
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Until next time, Readers!!! Xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

A German Thanksgiving

Phew! Thanksgiving in Germany….talk about an accomplishment! This year was the first year that I’ve been away from my family for Thanksgiving in my entire life! With keeping tradition…I decided to show the Germans why excessively eating until you burst is important. After all, they drink until they burst!

With preparing for this feast there are a few things that made it difficult:

1. No pumpkin filling in the country. I had to stock up and import it.

2. Ovens in Germany are the size of a microwave. Allowing room for practically one thing at a time. No good for the scheduling!

3. You can not find a turkey over 12lbs. Whereas, I’m used to over 20lb Turkeys back home!

4. It’s impossible to find “Thanksgiving” decorations. Luckily, my mom literally packed an entire suitcase of goodies when she came over at the end of October! (Thanks mom!!)

5. Explaining to Germans not to eat the whole day and save their appetite for the feast is like telling them to stop breathing.

6. Preparing the turkey and trying to figure out how many grams equal show many pounds. Then with that how long I cook it. Then with that, converting Fahrenheit to Celcius and hoping the slight difference works. Oh…and don’t get me started on gravy!!!

There I was, already in my dress and apron like a 1950’s housewife. Grammy would be so proud! When the husband got home we had a couple glasses of wine and I waited for the moment of stress…aka, when people arrived, Turkey came out and everything else went into the oven!

This year I decided that one 12lb Turkey wasn’t enough so Toblerone’s mom cooked a 9lb bird. Hers was stuffed with giblet stuffing and mine stuffed with herbs and lemon with herbed butter rub. I know…how impressive does that sound?!?!

I had this AMAZING baked Brie appetizer and a bread bowl dip recipe that’s been in my family for ages to start. Then of course we had the usual! We tried to organize that everyone goes around and says what we are thankful for but it ended up with everyone each giving a toast basically….to me and Toblerone for the nice meal. I’ll take it!

Here’s what I learned during my first ever hosted T-Day:

1. It doesn’t matter if everything comes out at once. People eat what’s available and save room if they know more is coming.

2. No matter how you marinate the bird…it all tastes like chicken.

3. People around the world can accept and appreciate any traditions or holidays if you show them why it’s important to you.

4. No matter how far away I may be from my American Family…somehow the German family makes me feel whole when I’m feeling alone.

Check out my house shoes!!! Rockin right?!?!

5. As I posted pictures of the day on Facebook…the people who “liked” or commented have no idea how great that felt. Such a simple gesture really helps a girl not feel so excluded from all the fun back home. For that I am thankful!

All the Germans are excited for Thanksgiving next year…I’d say that’s a check mark in the success department if I do say so myself! Lets all bow our heads and give thanks that I didn’t blow up the kitchen! In fact, Martha Stewart…move aside, I got this!

Until next time, Readers!!! Xoxoxoxo

Back In The Game

Here I am again, folks!! I had an AMAZING vacation back home. 3.5 weeks just isn’t long enough!!!

We packed in so much stuff in the time we were there so here’s a brief picture summary of what we busied ourselves with!

“Tea Party” Bridal Shower for my best friend:

Annual Cape Cod Trip:

28th Birthday Party Extravaganza (Oldschool style with putt-putt and bowling!):

Bachelorette Party for my best friend:

Camp with the family:

 

We also took my baby sister to College for the first time as well! Busy busy bees!

We certainly had our days filled and it was incredible! I was so happy to be home. Now I’m dealing with jet lag and lesson planning for my new teaching gig which starts up in 3 weeks!

Since we won’t make it home for Halloween or Thanksgiving this year I’ve decided to throw the Germans our usual annual Halloween party as well as a Thanksgiving! I packed my bags full of stuffing, cranberry sauce, and recipes! The fun part will be cooking a much smaller turkey in my much smaller oven. I honestly think that Americans only have large ovens specifically for the 20 pound Turkeys we cook each year! Here, I can get maybe 10 pounds at most, anything else won’t fit!

More to come on all that goes on! I’m trying to nurse my jet lag (it’s 4am as I write this) and no better way than to hike the Austrian Alps! Pics to follow!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo

Just A Few More Days…..

We’re in the final stretch of our amazing trip and I’m feeling the sadness peeking at me. I don’t want to leave, I just got here! Since I’ve been home I feel as if I never left. Getting to see all my family and friends and it’s as if nothing has changed! I’m half kidding when people ask me if I’m going to go back to Germany and my answer is always “NO!” I’ve been planning my escape from the airport for 2 weeks now! I don’t want to get back on that plane and go back to the land of Nothing!

Girls night out was an absolute BLAST! Holy father, did I miss that.  We went and got makeovers done at Sephora then relaxed, got dressed, did our hair, and out we went! Had a great dinner and drinks galore after that. It was the most fun I’ve had since before I left for Germany.  I miss having girlfriends that will drink with me and talk about everything under the sun. This is where I see the differences the most. I miss my friends, TERRIBLY!

OH! And I went to a movie!!!  I’ve been dying to go since I can’t see one in Germany. Can you tell I miss my old life? No worries…this is no secret to Toblerone. He hears allllll about it. Every day. All day. 🙂

Anywho…Turkey day was AWESOME and we chowed down on our 21 pounder Turkey! Man I’ve missed that…and BIG OVENS! It was so wonderful to sit down with my family and talk like nothing has changed. Then my crazy adorable cousins went out to the adventure of Black Friday looking to get one of ten 42″ flat screen TV’s from Best Buy for a cool price of $199.99.  Waiting for the doors to open at midnight they were there around 6pm or so. Freezing…bored…and #144 in line! Unfortunately, once they got inside all of the TV’s were gone  however I presume they had to fight there way inside, football style, and left with bruises. Brave kids! But this is the fun of Black Friday! It’s good for the experience!

So many Turkeys!!

On Monday (the 28th) we leave again but this time back to Germany. MAJOR SAD FACE. I’m excited to see my puppy, Harley, and then I’ll wait just a few more weeks for my family to arrive for Christmas! Then the hectic household begins again but I absolutely love this kind of hectic household! And it’s nice to be able to speak English once in a while! 🙂 On the plus side, Germany is actually VERY beautiful around Christmas time so I think that will dull the pain of homesickness! I hope!

Speaking of speaking….I haven’t even bothered with my German lessons while here. I’ve been putting that off as much as possible and plan to check it out in the car ride to the airport (5 hour drive) and in the plane (if there aren’t any good movies to watch!). I’m sure I’m going to fail my first exam! ooooooops! 🙂

Hope everyone has been having a very happy Thanksgiving with family and friends and as soon as I get back home, the blogging will be back to regular and then we (yes, you and me) must work on getting my guest bedrooms ready for my family to arrive! Everything MUST be perfect!! 🙂

Just a fun little taste of how Black Friday really is:

Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo