Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Crazy stuff and just stuff

So, I had said that I would write about our crazy week.

First, we had Christmas. That day after we opened presents, I started packing. Because the next morning, we were in the car, headed west. Christmas day I put away all our decorations. I started to say goodbye to our house there. The next morning, we loaded up our last minute things. I got our food packed in. I walked around making sure we had all that we needed. We got in the car, and we left.

It took us three days to drive from North Carolina to Southern California. We drove through the night the first night, and got a hotel the next night, and then the next night we were here. We decided to drive through the night that night. We got pretty far too. And it was amazing that the only bad weather we had was in Oklahoma. We had the heaviest rain I have ever driven in. Well, Matt was driving, but it was still scary. We couldn't see the road, there was thunder and lightning, and then, well, it's Oklahoma. I was a bit worried, so I called my friend to check the weather for us. And that was it. When we got to Texas, it was amazing to see how big the sky was. It is just not that big back east. There are lots of trees and things aren't as wide open as they are in Texas. The sky is just really big. We stopped at the first In-n-out we came to, which was in Kingman AZ. And I randomly saw an old friend there. Her parents live in Flagstaff, and they were driving the say way we were. I am so glad I saw her. I was actually thinking about her not too long before we left.

Driving into California was a bit interesting. I haven't been here for over a year, and I'm not just coming to visit. I'm coming for a while. At least six months. It was strange to think. It's still a little strange at the moment, but I'm sure I'll get used to it.

The most difficult thing about being here is my husbands family. Every time we come back, they get crazier. It is SO overwhelming to be around them. Right now my coping strategy is just to sit there and cross stitch while the kids play. But now that Matt is gone, they might actually talk to me for more than a few minutes. Luckily we are leaving to go to my sisters wedding open house, so I get a break from the crazy in laws. (I would love to go into detail about them, but I think I will refrain. for now.)

Right now I find myself imagining myself back in our house with our stuff. It really is just stuff. But it's my stuff. Stuff that helps us to feel at home no matter where we've moved to. And I don't have a lot of that stuff with me. I don't have my couches (even though I can't wait to afford to buy different ones). I don't have my giant bed. (how am I supposed to go from a cal king to a full???) I don't have my washer and dryer. I don't have my dishes. I don't have my pictures hanging from the walls. (I did bring a few small pictures with me though.) And biggest of all is that I don't have my husband to help make it easier. I don't have him making jokes about why my parents refuse to get a new mattress on the bed I'm sleeping in (it squeaks like you wouldn't believe just rolling over.) Or asking me (like he did today) if I've lost weight because I look a lot smaller and how he is lucky that he's got me for his wife.

I know that I can do anything as long as there is light at the end of my tunnel. And I can see the light already. It is still very very far off, and is a very small pin point of light in the dark. But six months isn't very long at all. And it just might be even less. So, I am going to continue to focus on the good things, the positive and pray that time goes by quickly so that I can have my stuff back. I know you can't take it with you. But it sure helps you feel at home.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Hello again

Hello blogging world. I'm back with all of you. This last week has been a bit crazy, and maybe tomorrow I'll be able to write about it. Goodnight.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Three nights ago, Lucy woke up and threw up. Two times. The next night, she only did it once. She was perfectly fine all day. She gave it to me, but not exactly the same if you get what I mean. Today Lucy had liquid poo. But luckily Matt got to take care of that one. I have a very very sore throat. Why does this happen right before we move? I mean really? Two years ago, right before we left Germany, I walked in the door from my weekend trip to Ireland and Andrew threw up. Then when we moved into guest housing, Lucy threw up. We arrived in San Antonio, and then I threw up. And well, other things. I'm kind of done with this. By the time we leave, we all better be doing better. Because, well, I said so.

Merry Christmas friends! I'll be back in a while.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Head on over

I am posting some graduation pictures and a kind of boring video on my family blog for those of you who are interested. I think I look pretty darn good in my red dress. I will be posting a very short video that is more interesting once the first one is up. I am so glad it is all over. In a good way.:)

edited: the video is taking forever to upload. so if you go there and there isn't anything there, it will be up by the end of the day. darn video.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Decoration #11

This is hanging on my wall. I finally got it framed! I cross stitched this entire thing. I LOVE it. And I'm finally in my home on Christmas so that I can hang it up. Click on it to see it bigger.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Our time here is quickly coming to an end. We only got our orders a week ago Friday, and we've spent a lot of the time since then figuring out things and frantically planning. I tried to plan, back when we had first found out where we were going. But things that I have no control over kind of took over, and I had to focus on other things.

Today as we took our van in to get a trailer hitch put on, things suddenly became very real. We are really leaving the area. We are really driving all the way across the United States with two kids and a trailer in the middle of winter. I am really going to be living with my parents while my husband goes to officer training schools. Andrew is really going to go to kindergarten at my old elementary school. I am going to live near the beach again. I will live an hour from my best friend. I will be going to church with people that have known me since I was 7 years old. All of this information in my head is about to make it explode.

I am excited yet terrified. The last thing I ever wanted to do was to move back in with my parents. The first time I went back wasn't exactly good. And the first time I stayed with them after we got back from Germany was a huge disaster. But for some reason, I feel like it will work this time. It will give some members of our families an opportunity to get to know us again, and to get to know the kids, whom they have never really known. (which, honestly, is their own darn fault. seriously people, pick up the phone and call and talk to your grandkids. it won't kill you.) We will be going to Disneyland (Lucy will die over the princesses, and I will be wishing she had never heard of them). If Matt is able to come for a weekend, I want to head down to Sea World where we get four free tickets once a year. I want to go to the beach and just sit and smell it. I want to drive on a freeway that doesn't circle around anything, and isn't four different roads, and has a decent speed limit. I want sun day after day after day. I want flip flops in February without being cold. I want to go to dinner at the restaurant I used to work at with my best friend once a month without kids. I want to meet my brothers wife and my sisters soon-to-be husband. (my brothers first anniversary is at the end of the month) I want my inlaws to see the little people inside the small bodies of my kids. I want to eat at In-n-out once a week and dip my fries into my strawberry shake. I want to take my kids to the beach and look for seashells and to check out the tidepools. I want to eat a good fish taco.

There are two things, ok, possibly three things that I'm hoping. First, I'm hoping I don't revert back to my old self when I step into my parents house. I have to remember that I am a 30 year old (seriously, how...when???) mother of two small children. And that I can do pretty much anything. I don't want to forget all the things I've learned about myself, about my mother, and how to deal with our day to day interaction. Second, I like most of my past to stay in my past. I don't like seeing people from high school that I haven't seen since then. I didn't like who I was then, and I am nothing like that person now. I'm one of those people that will "ignore" friend requests on facebook or myspace. I don't add people if I haven't talked to them in over 5 years. And sometimes even less than that. I guess the big reason is what I talked about already. The fear of reverting back to the person I was then. No thank you. Third, I'm really really hoping my inlaws take advantage of this time. They are not good long distance grandparents. In fact, I don't think they have spoken to my kids more than maybe once this whole year. I come from a family that keeps in touch, that calls, and is more or less aware of things going on within the family. My husband comes from people that have been divorced multiple times, whose parents weren't very good parents either (and consequently crappy grandparents to my husband and his sibs), and who are pretty darn selfish. They really have no idea how to be parents or grandparents. They rarely call, and it's not because it's expensive to call us. My husband doesn't call them, and I've finally decided that it isn't my job to keep them up to date on our little happenings. I hope that they are able to step it up for the short time we'll be there. I'm hoping that they will come to my parents house, that they will invite us over, that they will want to do things with us regularly. But while I hope they will, the reality is they might do a little bit, but not really very much. I will have to endure the never ending speaking of his father, who also doesn't hear a thing that you say when you try to get a word in. I will have to endure the whining of his mother. The behavior of his very bipolar sister. And his recovering alcoholic brother who is just a sweet guy, but you wonder what is going on in his head sometimes. It is a little overwhelming. But I'm doing my best having a good attitude about all of it.

Overall, I am looking forward to living there again, just for a little while.

Next week, around Christmas, say a prayer or send good thoughts in my direction that the weather won't be bad, that my kids handle the travel well, and that I don't get my husband too upset at me because I get so anxious as a passenger. And that we will get there in plenty of time so that my husband makes his flight, and gets some time with his family. I will be so glad when this move is all over.

Decoration #10

I'm posting two pictures of this one. I'm not a good photographer and so one is with flash and one without.
I love this nativity. I bought it right before we left Germany. I went to the Kathe Wohlfhart store at the shopping center kaserne and spent some money. I knew that I might not be back, and I would regret not having a little something (ok, a lot of little somethings) from this store. I bought some ornaments and I bought this. It was the least expensive one they had. But I loved it for how simple it was. And for some reason, I just love those palm trees. I think it gives it much more character than other nativities.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The little Führer

My husband just said something about this story. Seriously. First, who would name their child that. Adolf, ok. But did you have to add the Hitler to it? Second, while they should be allowed to order a birthday cake, I'm sure it was a kneejerk reaction by the store. But they can't possibly think that they wouldn't get some flak for naming their child Adolf Hitler. Just don't take him to Germany. Or France. Or Italy. Or Poland. And definitely not around a Jewish synagogue. What do you think?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just say no to Superhero's

I don't like comic book stuff. I just don't. I don't like the movies that are made from the comic book stuff. Don't like Spiderman, Superman, Xmen, Incredible Hulk. The only one I can kind of get into is Batman. And it probably has to do with the fact that Val Kilmer and Christian Bale have both played him. Never mind George Clooney..... anyway, I just don't like the superhero kind of stuff. Now, if we were talking Incredibles, I LOVE that movie. I could sit and watch that whole thing.

I was pleasantly surprised tonight. Matt got Hancock from Netflix today, and we sat down and watched it. There were really only two reasons I watched it. One, it was filmed in Los Angeles. Two, Will Smith. And I think it was one of the best superhero movies I've ever seen. Can't really put my finger on it exactly. There is something in it that all the other movies just don't have. Maybe something about their human-ness, something about helping others, I don't know. Just watch it if you haven't already and you'll feel what I'm saying. Because it's definitely something you feel. Not really what you see.

Added bonus to everything I just said: Will Smith is just hot.

Monday, December 15, 2008

This really makes you think

I read this post the other day, and I reread it again today. And boy did it make me think. We recently changed cell phone companies, and we both got new phones. I didn't throw my phone away, we gave it to someone that needed a phone that was used by our old cell company. I like my new phone. But if I needed to replace it I would find a way to recycle it, donate it or whatever so that I contribute as little as possible to our landfills.

I wish we lived in a world where quality was of greater importance, and where more companies were more concerned about our earth, and where having a lot of stuff wasn't the goal. It brings to mind a license plate frame I've seen. It goes something like "whoever dies with the most stuff wins!!" Great. I certainly don't want to create even more clutter for me to deal with in our home, but be smarter about what we buy, and to use it as long as we can. It's been a little difficult to convince my husband of all this. He doesn't quite get this mentality, but baby steps. He used to make fun of me for recycling so much, but now he is putting stuff in the recycle. We'll give him some time before I've completely brainwashed him.:)

So, maybe rather than throwing out things that might not work or things that you don't want, lets find a better home for them. Or maybe find somewhere local where you can get it fixed or where you can donate them to be fixed and used for someone who isn't as lucky as the rest of us.

I am very pleased with my efforts. Today is our trash day, and I noticed that our regular trash wasn't out on the curb. Only our recycle. I asked my husband why it wasn't out. And he said there was so little in it, we didn't need to put it out. But my recycle was overflowing.:) LOVE IT!! Now to find a place that recycles plastic bags.........

Decoration #9

Here is my real Christmas pyramid. A friend gave it to me, so I don't know exactly where she got it from. But the box has German all over it, so hopefully it was made in Germany and not China.:) This is the first time I've ever had it out, and the kids are doing very well with it. I took an up close picture of each level so you could see whats on it. My grandma used to have one at her house that was out all year from what I can remember. I'm sure she bought hers when she went to Europe with her sister back in the 60's. I have no idea where it is, but I would love to have it. I don't think I'll actually put candles on the bottom to make it go around this year. But maybe next year.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Guilty Pleasure

I get a sick sort of pleasure watching the MP's pull people over on post. Inside I'm laughing at them. Most of the time it's single soldiers who think that they don't have to follow the speed limit through the neighborhoods. (the speed limit on my street is 15 mph.) If I could stand on the street with a sign that says "YOU'RE GOING TOO FAST. I'M WRITING DOWN YOUR LICENSE PLATE NUMBER AND I HAVE THE MP'S ON SPEED DIAL" I would totally do it. We have been walking in the cross walk and the cars behind the cars that have stopped have pulled around and almost hit our friends. They go down our road at 40 mph, and it's not going to get any better because they are building more single soldier barracks down the road from us. And while I know not all single soldiers are responsible for speeding down our street while kids are getting to and from school, I honestly feel that they are the majority of them. Most of the time, you can tell by the car. Small sports car, anything two door, more than one soldier in the car.....while I might be profiling them, I really don't care. It's not as if they can't read the signs posted every where. I give them dirty looks regularly. It doesn't do much, but I feel a little better. And when cars are speeding down the road, and we need to cross, sometimes I step out and look straight at them. You can't miss me. I'm huge. And sometimes if their window is down, I will say something. Sure, I would LOVE to drive faster than 15 mph. But I would rather not hit someone walking their dog, or a mom or dad walking their kids to school. So, every time I see an MP pull someone over, I do a little dance of joy inside. And not once do I feel sorry for them. It's about time, is what I say.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Decoration #7 and #8

I bought these two ornaments while in Europe. This pretzel I bought in a little city called Soufflenheim, where they make beautiful pottery. (obviously I have many pieces of pottery too.) Pretzels are EVERYWHERE in Germany and many of the border towns on the France side. It is a huge cultural thing and I have never had better pretzels than while living there. Yeah, it's kind of a strange ornament to hang on a tree. But it goes well with my pickle one.:)

This is a pewter handpainted mini Germany Christmas pyramid. I have a big one that I might show you later. But I LOVE this ornament. They have some beautiful handpainted ornaments made out of pewter. I have a few of them and this one came out the best. (for some reason my other ones the flash made it too hard to see and without the flash it was too dark. sigh.) On a real one, the candles at the bottom generate heat that makes the windmill thing at the top turn around. I just love it. I doubt we'll actually light candles on the one we have, but it's a nice thought. This ornament is only about two inches tall.
To see some AWESOME German Christmas decorations and ornaments (not to mention amazing nutcrackers and pyramids) go here. I've been to their biggest stores in Rothenberg ob der Tauber and it is Christmas all year round there. If you have a Tuesday Morning near you they have great Christmas stuff there too. You can get your own Christmas pyramid or nutcracker. Ones that are actually MADE in Germany. Not China. Or wherever else things are made nowadays.

Tonight I will be putting in my site counter thingy. I was given a few links and hopefully I'll be able to install it. So, if you're lurking around here (ha. no one lurks on my blog) I will find you out!!!!!! :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I am computer retarded. Seriously. I know little to nothing about HTML and where to enter codes and all that stuff. So, I'm working on figuring out how to install Google Analytics on my blog. If anyone has any words of advice, please tell me. I just might give you my passwords to install it for me because I am so lame at this. And then you'll tell me how to do it so that this will be the last time I'm this retarded.

I was just wondering

And since I have been wondering, I'm going to find me a stat counter and put it on here. Because my curiosity to know how many hits I get on my blog is getting the best of me. And because I have a sneaking suspicion that I don't have as many readers as I like to think I do. Which is fine. Blogging isn't about how many comments you get. But it is a nice bonus. Not sure what kind of counter I'll get. Just wanted to let you all know. Back to regular lame blog posts.:)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I just read over at DesignMom something very disturbing. In two months, handmade toys will be illegal. DesignMom and the moms at Cool Mom Picks articulate it much better than will even try to do. As a huge lover of almost all things at Etsy, and also wanting to use my money to help support those using their talents to make beautiful things, I am sad. Please go to these links and read the links that they have provided to write letters to your Congressman or to the CPSC. I will be doing it as soon as I get my computer off of my bed to where I can use our real mouse. Spread the word friends. Thanks.

Decoration #6

Our first Christmas back in the states, my mom gave me this as a Christmas present. Of course, this is the first time I've ever been able to take it out. It's the biggest nativity that I have. Next year I might find more pieces for it, but I think it looks pretty good how it is. I really like how light in color it is. I'm hoping to get a few more nativity sets every year.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


For our Thanksgiving Feast at a friends house, I was asked to bring mashed potatoes. And I made mashed sweet potatoes too. Since I come from a family of potato connoisseurs, I made quite a bit of potatoes. I made regular old mashed ones (with whipping cream and half and half) and realized that it just might not be enough. I had some small red potatoes so I threw those in the stock pot to start boiling. I love those because I just love the skins in with the yummy mash. And my sweet potatoes had brown sugar, cinnamon, butter and whipping cream in them. Topped with some sugared pecans that I had made. SO. GOOD. Well, eight adults did not eat as much mashed potatoes as I had thought they might. I came home with a ton of potatoes left over. And I started racking my brain of all the different things that we could have with mashed potatoes. Here is what we had.

Chuck roast in the crock pot with steamed broccoli and mashed potatoes
Sliced Kielbasa with mashed potatoes and a salad
Shepard's Pie. (I was especially proud of this one because I had to improvise on some of the things in the recipe and it came out awesome. Andrew said it was his favorite.)

We also had some at lunches with leftovers. I still have a very small amount left, and I don't know if I'll actually eat it or just throw it out. Because I'm kinda done with mashed potatoes. And I think everyone else in our family is too.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Decoration #4 and #5

As all of you know, I am a France freak. And my Christmas tree wouldn't be complete without a little bit of Paris on it. Hence these two ornaments. I think I bought them at Kohls two years ago. The Eiffel Tower had a horrid poodle next to it and luckily that poodle broke off. (I'm sure there are Parisians and even French people that have poodles but I can't remember a single one.) Sorry these aren't better pictures.

I love France at Christmas time. In the cities that are close to the German border they have great Christmas Markets with hot wine and yummy hot chocolate. In all cities, they have decked out the city with lights that drape across the streets. Lindt chocolate starts to sell their coveted-and-only-sold-in-France Pyrenees chocolate. And the normal one full aisle of chocolate at the grocery store becomes three or four. I just love it. I love it all. And I miss it dreadfully. Luckily I have many ornaments that I bought over there that bring a little of that feeling here. At least for me.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I think the problem is fixed. Matt has been working on the computer and we're almost sure that all evil rootkits have been vanquished. And as far as I'm concerned, all hackers and those evil people that create and send out viruses should be punished in some sort of way. I'm confident that in the afterlife, they will be duly punished. But it would just be nice if it happened here too, you know?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Kicking myself

So, last Thursday night I did a dumb thing on the computer. I tried to fix it. The next day Matt tried to fix it. And now it won't work. At all. And will cost at least $300 to get fixed. So, while I put the problem in the computer (totally on accident btw) at least he is the one that actually did it in.:) Ok, so maybe that's not the best way to look at it, but I don't feel nearly as guilty. I am at our neighborhood center typing this and getting in a few minutes on the internet as we will be without for a while more. Ugh. I am just retarded. But we'll survive. So, if I'm not commenting like I usually do, or my two blogs are looking a little neglected, that is why.

In something totally unrelated, I have finished making my Christmas cards!!! Hopefully tomorrow the picture will be done, and my envelopes are already addressed (well, most of them) and I've bought the stamps (stinkin cute nutcrackers). So, if you're lucky enough to be on my list, watch your mailbox. And if not, I will post a picture of my card as soon as I have a computer to upload it and post it. And maybe our picture.

So, until the next time friends. Who knows when that will be.........

Thursday, December 4, 2008


So, the weather outside isn't exactly frightful, but it sure isn't great. And when it is grey and cloudy and cold, I start to turn off. It's almost as if I run on the sun and when the sun is supposed to be there and it's not, I slow way down and occasionally turn completely off. It also doesn't help that my emotions are a bit sensitive right now. So, to get myself out of a possible slump I have put fabulous Christmas music on my blog. If you don't like it, you can turn it off right when you get here. But who doesn't like Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters singing Jingle Bells??

Also, to get my thoughts in a more positive direction, I thought I would list things that either make me happy or that are great things in my life. It will most likely be a random sort of a list, and there won't be any pictures because I don't have the time right now to wait for them to load. So, here we go:

~Finally being able to use my Christmas decorations after two years of them being in storage!!
~Being almost done with my Christmas cards
~We should get our orders by early next week
~My Christmas shopping for our little family is done. Except I don't think Matt has shopped much for me. He's a last minute kind of a guy. Thats OK as I have bought him a few things to give to me to help him out.:)
~I bought a new skirt at Target yesterday for my sisters wedding. Not that I'll actually be able to go, but I'm trying to be more positive! (it is so cute too)
~My new cell phone is awesome. And the bluetooth is really awesome.
~Most of the time my kids play together fairly well.
~Matt will be graduating with his Masters and get his commission at the end of the month!!!!!!!!!!
~My commissary carries Cadbury Roses at Christmas time. But they are less than what Amazon has them for.
~Andrew is starting to be able to sound out words and read a few words.
~Even though I don't like winter I love wearing my winter coats with a scarf. Especially my long one. It's like wearing a blanket.

That is what I can come up with right now. I think that is a pretty good list. And now I'm off to make dinner.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Decoration #2 and #3

These are some of my favorite decorations that I got while living in Germany. Every year, usually the second weekend of October, the Heidelberg pavilion hosts a HUGE bazaar. Huge I tell you. There are vendors from all over Europe. English China, Dutch cheese and chocolate, Murano blown glass, Polish pottery, German is awesome. There is also a guy from Israel that sells hand carved olive wood. I love it. I bought this nativity from that guy. He even has a website. (for some reason you can't do anything on the website, but there is contact information) This is only about three inches high. It isn't very big. I chose the picture where I didn't use the flash so you could see the detail on it.

The little green tree next to it is hand blown Ventian millefiori glass. The little millefioris are the ornaments. It isn't any bigger than the nativity. I love that little tree. They had some bigger ones, but I couldn't afford to get all of them. Sometimes I wish we had been sent to Germany when we were higher ranking so that I had more money to spend on cool stuff!! But what I did get, I love. I don't regret spending any of that money.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I told you how excited I was

Well, I wanted to start this yesterday, but I didn't. And now I've decided I'm not going to commit to doing this every day because sometimes things come up and it just might not happen. BUT. I want to do this because I am so darn excited to actually have Christmas decorations out. I am going to be posting pictures and talking about my Christmas decorations and ornaments. The last two we've haven't been in our own home and

This first decoration I made somewhere around first grade. I think. Either that or kindergarten. It is a baby food bottle turned upside down. We made a Christmas tree (with three sides so it will stand) and put some cotton at the bottom. Stuck it on the lid. Then painted the snow on the outside. I was very proud of it as a little girl. And it is still one of my favorites.