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.