Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Christmas Story, Part I

Sorry for being on such a break!  I noticed I am not the only one, but I still missed blogging.  I hope everyone had a great holiday!  Besides Mass being cancelled due to the bad weather, mine was pretty ok.  I am not usually a Christmas person, but there was something special about spending my first Christmas as a married couple with my husband.  And he was so cute, too!  More on that later...

I took 23 December off of work so we could visit some more Christmas markets.  We took advantage of the day and drove to a town called Valkenburg in the Netherlands.  It was such a cute little town!  Well, besides the blizzard that we ran into!  They have their market in their Velvet Caves, which was great because we got a respite from all of the bad weather.  It was about 50 degrees there, too, which beat the way below freezing temps outside.

Next we drove back into Germany to visit Köln.  It was supposed to only take an hour to drive there, but it took over two and a half hours because we were driving in this, at best...

I had been to Köln before, but this was a first for Joel, so it was pretty special.  And the market did not disappoint!  Very good Glühwein, yummy food, and beautiful scenery.  Well, except for the mixture of rain/sleet/hail/snow.  That wasn't so fun.

Friday, December 17, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #25

There is only one week left before Christmas.  How crazy is that?  I can't believe how fast this year has flown by!  I know next year will bring many changes my way, and I hope that, even though 2010 was a good year, that 2011 will be even better!  With my degree out of the way, I plan on spending a lot more time doing what makes me happy, and getting back to loving myself again.

Well, enough of the deep stuff, it is time for Wife of a Sailor's...

1. What is the best gift you have ever received or given? from Jessica Lynn Writes

My best gift was more because of the intent than the actual value of the gift itself.  Last year my husband bought me tickets to see Das Hexen von Oz, which is Wicked in German.  I saw Wicked in London and fell in love with it, and my husband (who was then just my boyfriend) knew I really wanted to see a musical in German.  So. he bought me tickets and we went on New Year's Eve.  Oh, did I mention he doesn't really know any German?  That's right folks, this man of my dreams bought me tickets to and went with me to see a three hour musical in a language he didn't understand.  I love him :)

2. Do you celebrate holidays differently when your loved one is deployed/gone or do you keep tradition? from The Albrecht Squad

This is our first Christmas married, so I don't really know the answer to this one yet.  However, I am sure that I will turn into a scrooge because holidays just won't be the same without him.  So, I probably won't do very much.

3. If you celebrate Christmas, do you put an angel, star or something else on the top of your tree?

An Angel.  It is always an angel.  My lineage is German, and since the Christmas Angel is the decorator of the tree, she shall sit on top of it.

4. What are your three favorite websites?

I am semi-addicted to facebook, so there is one.  I love to travel, so I am on TripAdvisor a lot!  I will also sadly admit google is another.  Between the translator, directions, and looking up things for school, I am on there quite often.

5. On your man do you prefer… boxers, briefs or boxer briefs? Or commando? (yeah, I’m starting to get desperate for questions!)?

Definitely boxers!  I love a man in boxers.  Joel usually wears boxer briefs, but I make him wear boxers for special occasions!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Christmas markets are one of my favorite wintery things about Europe.  That means a lot, because I hate winter, the cold, the snow...you get my point.  But, I will get all bundled up in my long johns and sweaters and brave the elements for that wonderful feeling of hot gluhwein and other yummy treats.  What is gluhwein, you may ask?  Only the best spiced (mulled) wine that is heated up and does just the trick to melt that chilly feeling away.  Most of the major cities have them for about a month, and the local villages for about a weekend.  Our local village of Ramstein-Miesenbach held theirs last weekend, and we decided to visit.  There are many more to come!  I always hit up the Kaiserslautern one, just for tradition, and this year are venturing out to a few new ones.  I will post them later, but for now here are a few teaser pics from our local one.  Expect the others to be bigger and better!

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

We received some snow this past week here in Germany.  I just wanted to share a few photos.

Friday, December 10, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-in #24

Wow, is it Friday already?  This week has been so busy!  I swore that I wouldn't overwhelm myself this holiday season, and I feel like I have already done it this year.  One of these days I am going to slow down and enjoy the season instead of all of this rushing around business!

Well, on to the task at hand!

1.  What do you see your life like in 10 years?

Is it bad to say that I have no idea?  I really don't!  As a military wife, I have no idea where I will be living, so that takes that out of the equation.  I guess I can say that I see myself as madly in love with my husband as I am today.  I will probably be mommy to some pets, as I have a profound affection for animals, but I have not yet been bitten by the maternal bug, so kids may not be in the picture.  I will have my Master's degree by then, and I hope to work in a job that is more than just a paycheck.  That's all I can think of right now.

2.  What do you like most about your job?

That is a hard question to answer right now!  I am not feeling very good about my job right now.  I really think that I was meant for more, and while I like what I do and who I work for, I don't get the same feeling of accomplishment that I used to each day.

But, for now, the thing I like most is working for the army.  I feel like I do my part (however small) in the efforts to make the Soldiers and their families' lives a little better each day.  At least, I hope.

3.  What are three things you do every day, no matter what day it is?

Brush my teeth, tell Joel I love him, and get dressed.  Most everything else happens on a day to day basis.  Oh, and I wake up every day!

4.  What would you do with an extra five hours in your day today?

Catch up on schoolwork and sleep.  I am really behind in both, so a good nap and then some reading would do me a great deal of good!

5.  What is your favorite Christmas (or whichever holiday  you celebrate) cookie recipe (please share!)?

Another baking question!  No bueno!  I have no idea as I have never made cookies.  I guess my answer would be anything with pumpkin weekend.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Special Olympics

Me and my sister, Nicole

My sister is a special needs person.  Growing up, she was always a bit envious of all of my after school activities.  I had dance and cheerleading, theater and debate.  I played volleyball (until Sophomore year) and was in the Color Guard.  But, twice a year she participated in the Special Olympics where it was truly her time to shine.  And she thrived!  It was great to see her in her element.  Her big event was bowling.  After a few Olympic appearances, she was the girl to beat!  She was so happy getting her trophies and having her "buddy" there cheering her on.  Special Olympics really is a great organization.  Which is the point of this post.

Joel and I volunteered at our local Special Olympics Friday.  We had about 130 German and American kids from the area for a special bowling event.  My athlete's name was Chiara, and she was 17 years old.  She didn't speak a lick of English, and I was so nervous that I would be a bad buddy!  But, she was great.  She was a fantastic sport about everything, cheering every time that she got her ball down the lane.  And when she knocked some pins down...watch out!  She has a crazy hard high five!  She was a wonderful buddy to have, and she got a second place ribbon from our lane.  She was so easy-going, responding with an adorable "ya" every time she couldn't understand me!  It was too cute!  We also made some bracelets together and she made a cookie that was too cute to eat!  I saved it for her, so hopefully she will be able to enjoy it later. 

I really hope that I was able to make an impact for Chiara the same way that my sister's buddies did for her.  She didn't stop talking about her experience for weeks afterwards!  My sister is an amazing person who the Doctors said wouldn't make it past for first Birthday.  Now, at 31 years old, she is someone that I can truly call more than a sister; she is also my friend.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Hey, all!  I am back from Egypt.  How to describe it...  Well, Joel put it best, actually.  It is a once on a lifetime trip that I only want to do once!  It was breathtaking and dirty and amazing and...well...it was the Middle East.  I will write tons more about it later, but here are a few teaser pics.  I took well over 1,000, so I have to get them all uploaded still.

Friday, November 19, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-in #22

It is another spouse Fill-in!  I love these things.  I hope that I am able to do one next Friday, but I will be in Egypt (screaming with anticipation here!) so I don't know if I will have time.  I can't wait to catch up on everything when I get back and share some pictures with you all.  Wish me luck!

1. If you had to be shipwrecked on a deserted island, but all your human needs – such as food and water – were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you?The internet.  I totally need the internet.  I feel like my whole life sometimes is on the internet.  That is how I talk to friends, family, read the news, etc.  I would need the internet.  I would also like, and I don't know if this is considered an item, but I think I would be terrible lost without his companionship.

2. If you were a salad, what kind of dressing would you have?Catalina!  In fact, the only kind of dressing that I would ever eat is either French or Catalina.  I am about the pickiest person ever, and so sometimes I will even carry a little bottle of this around.

3. If you had to live on a ranch, what kind of animals would you raise/own?Horses.  I love horses!  I have never taken lessons or anything, but growing up in Indiana I have had many friends with farms, and we would always ride their horses on the back trails.

4. If your life was was portrayed as a movie, who would you choose to play you and your significant other?Well, I have had a few people tell me that I resemble Kirsten Dunst, but I wouldn't like her to play me.  She isn't my favorite actress.  I think I would have to go with Scarlett Johannsen for me, because she is one of the few blond actresses that I can think of that isn't stick thin.  Although I think she is much better looking than me.  But, hey...it would be a movie about moi, so why not?  And as for Joel...hmm...I have no idea!  Maybe John Krasinski.  His characters have a similar personality as Joel, and he is so darn cute!

5. What was the last thing you put a stamp on (envelope, duh, but what was in the envelope)?
A postcard that I sent out for a postcard swap that I participated in.  It was one from Cologne, one of my favorite German cities.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Time for a little fun.

This weekend has been a wonderful lazy weekend for me, so I thought I would just post something that I saw on someone else's blog. I will bold the ones that I have done. Wow, I can't believe there ae so many! Feel free to do the same!

1. started your own blog
2. slept under the stars

3. played in a band
4. visited hawaii
5. watched a meteor shower
6. given more to charity than you could afford to
7. been to disney

8. climbed a mountain

9. held a praying mantis
10. sung a solo

11. bungee jumped
12. visited Paris
13. watched a thunder and lightning storm
14. taught yourself an art from scratch
15. adopted a child
16. had food poisoning
17. walked to the top of the statue of liberty
18. grown your own vegetables
19. seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. slept on an overnight train
21. had a pillow fight
22. hitch hiked
23. taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. built a snow fort

25. held a lamb
26. gone skinny dipping
27. run a marathon
28. ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. seen a total eclipse
30. watched a sunrise or sunset31. hit a home run
32. been on a cruise33. seen niagara falls in person
34. visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. seen an amish community
36. taught yourself a new language
37. had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. seen the leaning tower of pisa in person

39. gone rock climbing
40. seen Michelangelo’s David in person
41. sung karaoke
42. seen old faithful erupt
43. bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. visited africa (Will be doing this very soon)
45. walked on a beach by moonlight
46. been transported in an ambulance
47. had your portrait painted
48. gone deep sea fishing

(Awful picture of myself!)
49. seen the sistine chapel in person
50. been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. kissed in the rain
53. played in the mud
54. gone to a drive-in theater
55. been in a movie
56. visited the great wall of china
57. started a business
58. taken a martial arts class
59. visited russia
60. served at a soup kitchen
61. sold girl scout cookies
62. gone whale watching
63. gotten flowers for no reason
64. donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. been sky diving
66. visited a concentration camp
 67. bounced a check
68. flown in a helicopter
69. saved a favorite childhood toy
70. visited the lincoln memorial
71. eaten caviar
72. pieced a quilt
73. stood in times square
74. toured the everglades
75. been fired from a job
76. seen the changing of the guard in London
77. broken a bone
78. been a passenger on a motorcycle
79. seen the grand canyon in person
80. published a book
81. visited the Vatican
82. bought a brand new car
83. walked in jerusalem
84. had your picture in the newspaper
85. kissed a stranger at midnight on new year’s eve
86. visited the white house

87. killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. had chickenpox
89. saved someone’s life
90. sat on a jury
91. met someone famous
92. joined a book club

93. gotten a tattoo
94. had a baby
95. seen the Alamo in person
96. swam in the great salt lake
97. been involved in a law suit
98. owned a cell phone
99. been stung by a bee

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Shutterfly free 50 cards promotion!

Now, I normally don't get too commercial about things on here, but I have to give a big shout-out to Shutterfly!  We had wedding announcements done with them back in May when we got married, and they turned out wonderfully!  We were so pleased we knew we would do holiday cards with them, as well.  And, as luck would have it, they are being totally awesome and have a great promotion!  If I wasn't already excited enough, shutterfly is also offering bloggers like moi the chance to win 50 free cards!  This is wonderful!  Please go here to get in on this amazing offer.  I know I am!  They are really a way to send a personal touch to those we care about, and especially since the military has stationed us so far from home, our family enjoy seeing our smiling faces on their Christmas card.  Or at least they say that they do :)  And, as a big bonus to the military overseas, they also ship APO!
Now, I want to highlight some links for you guys to explore.  The first is one to the Christmas cards, of course.  There are so many amazing ones!  I still can't decide yet!
Another awesome one is personalized gift tags.  They are so darn cute!  I am always a fan of the personal touch, an dI think that these really hit the spot!

Christmas gift tags to http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/christmas-gift-tags

Another one that I recently discover.  Canvas Wall Art!  Check it out!  We are so doing this with one of our wedding photos.  And maybe the dog, too...

canvas wall art to http://www.shutterfly.com/home-decor/canvas-wall-art
I hope everybody checks them out!  And if you do, I am always willing to offer up my mailing address in order to receive an example.  I love getting these!

Friday, November 5, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #20

Hi all!  It is Friday, o I am very happy to be doing anotehr fill-in.  I have been sporadic, with the closing up of my part in RHPS, finals this week, and celebrating six months of marital bliss (more on all of that later).  So, without further ado, it is time for...

1. A different twist on last week’s question. This week, the first question is: what’s the nicest thing a MILSPOUSE has ever done for you? (brought to you from navy_smurfette)

A military spouse that I barely knew picked me up from the car dealership because she knew that my husband was out of town and I had no one else to come and get me.  We had spoken to each other on just a few occasions, and I mentioned that I was going to have to take a taxi and she just outright offered.  I thought that was pretty amazing.

2. How often do you drive faster than the speed limit?

Umm...all the time.  I know, I am a good driver, but I am always in a hurry and I hate to drive, so I only go the speed limit if someone (or something) is preventing me from doing so.  Hey, I live in Germany and have the autobahn...who DOESN'T go fast?

3. Did you have a nickname in school? If so, what was it?

Nope, I really didn't.  I had a family nickname, which was slightly embarrassing.  My sister had speech problems and couldn't say Kristen, so she would call me "sissy."  It was cute until I realized that sissy was also a term for pansy.  So, that was embarrassing in high school.  But, now that I am older, and everyone in my family calls me that because of my sister, it has grown on me, and I really love it :)

4. If your life was a book, what would the title be and how would it end?
It would be called something to the effect of "The only constant is change."  It would end with my life being everything I could make of it.

5. Look back (in your planner if you have one) to September 14th… what did you do that day?

I worked.  Other than that, and most likely some schoolwork, that was it.  September was a fun month, though, as that was the month Joel's parents were here and we went to London and some other fests around Germany.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

*Big sigh*

Well, I know I keep things pretty light on here, but I just need to quickly get something off of my chest, and I figured that this was a good outlet.  I have always been a believer in "vengeance is the Lord's" or letting Karma take care of things, but I feel both have failed me right now.

Without going into details, we'll just say someone that used to be a big part of my life that wronged me in ways I don't really want to think of had something incredible happen to them.  Since the pain that they have caused me, I have seen nothing but good come into their lives.  I am happy with my life, and have recovered from the pain, but sometimes I wonder what being nice gets you anymore.  Seems that those that are deceitful and cheat their way through life get to have it all, while those of us that work hard and are good, honest people get left behind because of it of the wrongdoings of others.

I don't know.  I will get over this and move on.  I always do.  But, I am lacking the faith that I usually possess to get past this, and I don't know how I am going to recover from that.

Friday, October 22, 2010

MilSpouse Friday Fill-in #18

Here is another installment of Friday Fill-in!  I really love these things, and they keep me in the bloggy mood.  So, thanks to Wife of a Sailor, and without further ado...

1.  Are you a night owl or an early bird?
Most definitely NOT an early bird.  I hate mornings and I am awful to get out of bed when I have to be somewhere early.  My husband, who IS an early bird, hates this about me, but he has at least learned it is better to wait until I am fully functional before having conversations with me.

2.  What makes you jealous?
This is an interesting question.  What really makes me jealous, although not in a hateful way, is people that had all of the advantages in the world.  People, like my husband, that had their parents pay for college while they lived in the dorms and were able to solely concentrate on their studies.  My freshman year I was 18 and working two jobs just to try and make ends meet.  I also get jealous of those that didn't really work that hard to advance themselves, yet knew someone, and that was enough.  I have worked my butt off to get to the point I am, and hate the "Old Boys Club" I see around here.  Drives me batty!

3.  Have you started Christmas/holiday shopping yet? When will you finish? (There’s only 63 days left!)
I bought my husband one gift already, but that is as far along as I am right now.

4.  What would you have a personal chef make you tonight?
Some delicious smoked BBQ Chicken with cheddar mashed potatoes and sweet corn on the cob with some sort of delicious biscuit or cornbread.  Gosh, I miss food from back home!

5.  Where was your first kiss?
My first real kiss was in my neighbor's barn with one of his friends, who ended up being my first boyfriend for some God unknown reason.  Looking back, that kiss was awful!  I think he tried to swallow my head!  But, my parents still own the house I grow up in, and it is kind of funny to look back at that old barn.  Thank goodness I have upgraded kissers (and men) since then!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The AF Birthday Ball

So, the weekend was super busy and filled with some fun, and not so fun, things.  The not so fun things dealt with term papers and homework, but I did happen to get it all done in plenty of time AND still watch my Dolphins win on Sunday.  Go Phins!

The fun thing that I had planned could have went either way.  We went to the Air Force's Birthday Ball.  Now, I have been to many Army Balls, but not AF ones, so I wasn't sure how they would be different, or if they would even be different.  This one turned out to be...well, ok!  The food was ok, we were in a hanger, which wasn't that great, but worked, and I found out that Tops in Blue is MUCH cheesier than the Army Soldier Show, but I was with my husband, who looked great in his mess dress!  He wore his blues for our wedding because we had a casual ceremony, so this was my first opportunity, and he did not disappoint!  His commander sat at our table and was quite a hoot to be around, and his wife was really nice too.  His First Sergeant came stag and was quite entertaining to see bounce all around making sure things were on point.  We danced, we drank (just a little), and we laughed with friends.  So all in all it was an awesome night!

The only thing that I will complain about is that it is a trend at the army balls to give away the centerpieces.  Well, no one took ours, so at the end of the night we decided to take it.  As we were leaving, they totally stopped us and made us return it.  Busted!  Thanks for being so cheap, Air Force!

A picture of my hair at the end of the night.  Still looked great!
The obligatory "prom pose."

Inside the hanger.
Tops in Blue.
Our awesome friends showing us how to party!
Us, very relieved to call it a night.