Restoring order

12 08 2012

They say that “time flies when you’re having fun”, and whoever they are, they’re correct! These past three weeks have truly flown by. What a great feeling having had these three weeks filled with visits from family and friends who came here for the sole purpose of celebrating with us. Thank you, everyone!

Now everybody has gone and it’s just us two again. And I’m exhausted, yet content. I’m just blown away by the kindness everyone showed in helping out with making the wedding festivities go smoothly. It’s bittersweet, though, as goodbyes usually are. I’m definitely missing having my family and friends just a short walk away. Especially my sweet little red-headed niece, Abigail, who turned 10 months old yesterday (on her mother’s birthday…happy birthday, Jaimie!)

I’m also incredibly happy to be a newlywed…and I still get a twinge of excitement when I see that ring on Tobi’s finger. (See it in the picture below?) Yesterday, I saw a sign in a shop that said, “I want to marry a cowboy!” and I smiled to myself that this phrase, “I want to marry…” is now part of my past, since I’ve already married the man of my dreams! It’s an exciting new phase of life and I am looking forward to enjoying it with my new husband.

Tobias & Abby at the Baltic Sea

He’s back to work this weekend, and I go back to work tomorrow. So I’m just trying to get the house back in order so things feel more normal again. Though we still have a big pile of unopened wedding presents in the corner, which I am excited about opening over the next week. Tobias had the fantastic idea of spreading out opening the presents, instead of opening them all in one fell swoop. I wasn’t sure about the idea at first, but he’s totally right. This way, it’s not just one other wedding task to check off the list, but rather to enjoy it, to take more time reading the cards and appreciating the thoughtful presents people have given.

I have about a bazillion pictures to share and stories to tell from these past few weeks. And now that the wedding is over and it doesn’t need to be a surprise anymore, I am excited to share more about all the lovely details! So you can expect the rest of this month to be filled with a lot of wedding updates. So if that’s not your thing…see you in September! 😉

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Bloom

23 07 2012

One of my mini succulents is blooming! It’s my very first one to grow little flowers. How exciting! Also, an added bonus: see the rainbows on the left side of the picture? I took this at night while the chandelier was on – the chandelier shoots rainbows all over the room! How can one not be happy when their living room is full of such color and little flowers?

Hope you all have a good start to your week. I’m pretty much psyched because I just have a 3-day week and get to see my family on Thursday!

P.S. Also, a shout-out to Malorie, my dear friend from high school whose birthday it is today! Happy 26th birthday, Mal!





Around here

20 07 2012

Home stretch…two weeks left!! And out of my last five days of work before the wedding, I have now finished two. [Starting to get excited, yo!]

Now it’s the weekend, I’ve got a haircut appointment today (trimming off those split ends that haven’t been cut since last summer! and getting my bangs professionally reshaped), shopping with friends, finishing up wedding DIY, practicing our first dance choreography…the list goes on and on.

I am so very excited!

And I’m extra excited this morning because on the way home from work on my bike, I decided to ride on the other side of the street for once to switch it up a little. My spontaneity was rewarded, as I saw a box that said “Zu verschenken” (basically: FREE STUFF!) and it had 6 succulent plants in it! I screeched to a halt and pulled over and stuck as many of them in my bag as I could (4 of them fit!). There were a few bowls and mugs, too, but they weren’t awesome so I left them there for the next person.

Tobias isn’t as much of a fan of these plants as I am, but he told me he likes that I like these plants so much, and so it’s okay for him to have them around.

So…I’m one happy camper!

Happy Friday to you all!





This and that

13 07 2012

Boy, I tell ya – life sure is BUSY right now! Apart from the basics like eating, sleeping and working, basically every free moment is spent wedding planning. At this point in the planning process, it somehow feels weird saying “wedding planning” because most of the big things have already been planned. It’s just all the smaller details that we just have to get DONE. You know? Checking all that stuff off the list.

…although there are a few bigger things that are still not figured out…like who will be doing my hair/makeup for the big day. Oy.

So you can understand why things have been slow over here on the blog! But I’d like to say a big thank you to my Friday class for canceling, because that means I could sleep in and now have some time to write some posts! And having a long weekend is really great, since there is so much stuff to do.

First up on catching up: I bought some mini beach shovels and a bucket for my niece Abby for their visit here, and I couldn’t help but laugh at how very European the cartoon on the tag was.

See it? You would NOT see that kind of bathing suit in the US! Hah!





Happy Fourth

4 07 2012

Today I dressed up in red, white and blue and wore my Maryland necklace to show pride for my home country (and state!). As I think about my [church] wedding just one month from today (!!!!), I am a little bit more introspective about this year’s Independence Day. Of course no one knows exactly what the future may hold, but I am faced with the decision that I have made, that I am making, that Germany is the place where I will be setting up residence for the long haul. We may decide to live in the States at some point, for a few years, but I think Germany will be the place we’ll keep coming back to.

Germany has changed me in many ways, of course. I think I certainly would have been a bit different had I stayed in the States. Not bad, but…different. But I will always cherish my American upbringing. That feeling of independence that we so celebrate today, that pride for our country and for our nation and the values it stands for. A lot of people ask me if I’ll get “my German citizenship” when I get married, which is not really such an obvious assumption. As far as I know, the only way for me to get a German passport is to give up my American nationality, and there is no way in hell I would do such a thing. (Sorry, Germany. It’s not you, it’s me.)

Of course America is not perfect, and neither is Germany. There are good things and bad things about both countries, and I would be happy living in either one! But luckily Germany feels enough like home to me that I feel well here.

I think most of the reason I feel so at home here because I’ve got a man who loves and appreciates me for who I am, who takes cultural differences in stride and has never once made me feel bad for being an American. (Although he does joke lightheartedly about the fact that I like to eat cereal as a meal…)

And my guy really made today special. I came in to get dressed after my shower this morning and Tobias, still in bed, immediately started whistling the Star-Spangled Banner. Made me laugh. And then he wished me a happy Fourth as I was leaving for work. For lunch, he crafted this beautiful yogurt and fruit snack, but not before putting on a YouTube recording of the US national anthem to accompany as background music. (The anthem generally puts tears to my eyes, but today even more because of Tobias’s sweet soul!) And then he pulled out the yogurt and presented me with this very patriotic dessert.

So thank you, my love, for making me feel special today and for bringing a little bit of America to my Fourth of July here in Germany.

Now I’ll just have to go watch some fireworks (online!) to finish off a perfect Independence Day…not quite like the real thing, but Fourth of July without fireworks is a bit like Christmas without a Christmas tree. Happy Fourth!





The Supremes

3 07 2012

With the recent Supreme Court decision about the new healthcare system, it’s obviously been in the news a lot since last week’s decision.

I’m sure I’m not the only one…but every time I read “the Supremes”, instead of thinking of the United States Supreme Court Justices in solemn, black robes, I think of three fabulously gorgeous and talented Motown singers.

(picture source)

Anyone else had the same idea?





T-1 month

2 07 2012

Exactly one month from today, Tobias and I will be legally married. Our courthouse ceremony is at 11:20 a.m. at the Altona Rathaus. (It’s our local courthouse -isn’t it just gorgeous? We’re lucky to have such a photogenic building!)

If the weather’s nice, we’ll have a casual lunch party afterward in the backyard of our apartment building. If not, we’ll just move everyone inside!

I’m very much looking forward to it all. But man oh man, there is still so much to do! Tobi’s aunt has volunteered to make a bonafide Schwäbische Maultaschensuppe and some pies. And some friends of ours may bring a few things to contribute too. I’ve been browsing Pinterest for recipes and have had quite a lot of luck – there are a lot of summery recipes (this, for example!) out there that look perfect for a party! Our mint crop on our balcony is growing quite nicely, so I may also have to incorporate that into the menu somewhere.

Three more weeks (and 17 work days) until my family comes…33 days until the church wedding…4 weekends to get everything done! These numbers just keep getting smaller and smaller!








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