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!

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I heart MD

5 02 2011

I’m a Marylander, born & raised.  Well, that’s not entirely true – I was born in Washington, DC.  That’s why I don’t feel too guilty telling everyone I meet here in Germany that I’m from DC – I was born there, after all.

I’ve learned to say “Washington” instead of “DC”.  Yes, we locals call it DC.  But people here just look at me with a puzzled expression until I say, “You know – Washington, DC.”  I’m always impressed when someone knows enough to ask, “The city or the state?”  The funny thing is, I think most people don’t realize that they’re not actually flying to DC, but to Maryland (BWI) or Virginia (IAD).  A lot of people have never heard of Maryland.

So, Washington has become my official hometown.  But my real hometown is Upper Marlboro, MD.  Sure, there’s not much of anything exciting there.  And the truth is, I think living abroad has made me a little more nostalgic.  I probably wouldn’t still be living in Upper Marlboro if I were in the US now.  We normally go to other nearby cities like Clinton, Waldorf, Bowie or Annapolis for fun. I went to college in Frederick. Most of my close family members live in Maryland, and we go to Ocean City on vacation every year.  I have a lot of friends scattered around the state, too.  My roots are in Maryland, and that’s why it will always have a special little place in my heart.

So when I found this on Etsy, I was too excited!  (The seller is called tru.che if you’d like to check out her shop!)

I thought about it for a few days (it’s normally more than I would spend on jewelry) but decided I loved it too much – what a special, unique piece of jewelry!  Plus, it’s handmade, and isn’t it important to support the little guy?  So I decided to buy it (thanks to my Gram’s Christmas gift of cash) and I went ahead and placed the order today.

I can’t wait!

And for those of you who come from other states, there are a lot more available on tru.che’s shop!  And she makes any state or country (or continent!), custom-made!





Still in Transit

2 08 2010

T and I are still on our way to Hamburg as you read this.  I have scheduled this post for your enjoyment while I’m away.

Last week on vacation, we ate out one night at a crab house called Bahama Mama’s.  They had neon decorations, and among them were these bright orange crab silhouettes painted on the window.  I took a picture of our whole family in front of it.

So of course I had to put it all together in an animated gif.  Hopefully it’s not too fast and won’t trigger anyone’s seizures.  😉


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Good times in Ocean City

31 07 2010

We just got back home today from vacation.  As is always the case with vacations, the week went by too quickly!  I would have loved to spend one more week there with everyone.  But we did a lot during our one week, and we enjoyed it to the fullest.  It was  really nice to hang out with my family, and even nicer because Tobias got to join us there this year.

My family has been going to Ocean City, Maryland, ever since I was 2 years old.  It’s a familiar place for me, but still just as exciting every year.  I love the beach.  We spent a lot of time out there this week.  And guess what?  I didn’t get sunburned at all this year!  If you know how fair-skinned I am, you know that’s quite an accomplishment.

Here’s a day-to-day summary with a few photos, if you’re interested.  Don’t be too jealous!

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Still on vacation

29 07 2010

I haven’t been posting much because, really – who wants to be online all the time when the ocean is just a few steps away from their apartment?

Vacation is great.  My family is playing games, watching movies, eating sno cones, and spending almost every other moment on the beach.  We’ve also done some other fun Ocean City things, such as mini golf and riding bikes on the boardwalk.  We’re right on the ocean, too, and right across the street from Roses.  You can even see the bayside from the balcony of our 6th floor rental apartment.

I love it here!





Ocean City, MD

27 07 2010

I’m having a wonderful time at the beach with my family.  We arrived on Saturday and have had three glorious days of perfect weather so far.  We leave on the 31st, and the Tobi and I fly back to Hamburg the next day.  Crazy!

I’m trying to enjoy every last moment here.

With 100º+ weather, the sand has been really hot, enough to really burn your feet!  Flip flops are a necessity.  Ever since we’ve arrived, we’ve spent most of our time out on the beach or in the water.  Ocean City usually has pretty great waves.  Not for surfing, really, but just right for boogie boarding.





This week in photos

16 07 2010

Busy week of visiting friends!  In fact, I was having so much fun, I didn’t even share it here until now!

I’m driving up to NYC today to meet Tobias there for the weekend before we begin next week’s road trip.  I will also be spending some time with the beautiful, charming Stephanie, who was my roommate in France when I studied abroad.

I’m so lucky to be seeing all of these special people!  I have to go finish packing the car, but I will leave you with pictures of my adventures this week:

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