Happy Birthday Day, Jill

It’s raining like crazy over here in Germany this morning, reminding me of this photo from when we were kids. Somehow, we survived our ’80s childhood and are now both moms in our 30s … only she’s a legit crimefighter and badass who has dedicated her life to serving and protecting others. I’m so proud of her.

Snail in My Stocking

Laughing. Laughing. Laughing. (Photo from August 2016)

Somewhere up at the middle school at this very moment, there is a snail wrapped up in my lingerie. 

Apparently, my oldest was assigned to create a snail habitat, so she asked my husband for some type of netting to cover it.

Apparently, he gave her permission to pick something out of my sock drawer, and APPARENTLY, she found the perfect netting in the form of a thigh-high silk stocking. And instead of cutting off the super obvious lace top, my husband and my daughter just tied it in a knot and left it at that. 

Apparently, she’s been taking this snail to school like that for more than a week.

Martin gets parent-teacher appointment duties for the rest of the year.

Beauty Secret

While chatting with my seven-year-old during her bath time, she pointed out that the two bars of soap (one original, one rose-scented) have the same dove logo stamped on ’em.

“Yup,” I confirmed. “I only use Dove soap. It’s my beauty secret.”

Her jaw dropped in disbelief and her eyes widened.

“Your beauty secret?” she whispered. “And you told me? Thank you, Mom. I won’t tell anyone.”

The Visit

Some snapshots of the finished album for Martin’s uncle.

 

A few weeks ago, Martin spoke with his uncle Rolf for the first time in 30 years. As many of you may know, Martin’s father Klaus passed away when Martin was 6 years old. Due to a variety of circumstances, Martin and his brother were raised with no connection to his father’s side of the family. It wasn’t until shortly before our move to Germany in 2014 that we learned the names of aunts, uncles, and cousins, and we’ve been reconnecting with many of them over the past year.

However, Martin was hesitant about contacting his father’s younger brother, Rolf. He knew that the brothers were very close, and in the span of a few years, Rolf lost both his parents and his brother … how would it be to just randomly show up in this stranger’s life after so many years?

Last month, though, I got this feeling that Martin really needed to reach out to his uncle, and leaned hard on him until he finally picked up the phone and called. The result was a very sweet phone conversation, and plans for a visit this past weekend. Continue reading

Lunch & Flowers

I am not at work today, so Martin and I went out for lunch. Those crispy wedges are stuffed with potatoes, cream cheese, and chives. It’s a salad, though.

I had salad for lunch.

Also, my milkshake brings all the wasps to the yard.

The sunflower field next to my village has an honor system. You drop the right amount of Euros in the box and walk away with gorgeous flowers.

TBT: Miss C and Me

Today’s #TBT photo is from Sept. 5, 2004, when Martin and I drove up into the mountains near our home in Italy for some family photos. This is one of my most favorite photos of Miss C and me. We had just celebrated her first birthday a few weeks before this photo was taken. Now she’s a teenager. It doesn’t seem possible.

30 Years of Memories

Pulling an all-nighter to compile 30 years of memories into an album for Martin to present to his father’s brother, who last saw Martin when he was six years old. I’m leaving the back half of the album empty with a note that those pages are to be filled with new photos as we make new memories together.

When we confirmed our visit to his uncle, he remarked that he really looks forward to seeing what Martin looks like now. It dawned on me then that he probably doesn’t use the Internet (he has no presence online, which is very common over here in Germany, especially for his generation), and would have no way to learn about Martin and his family. This will make conversation easier between two stoic German men who have a LOT to talk about.

And also … I love that I finally have a great excuse for over-ordering all those school/family portraits each year. Because you never know when you find a long-lost close relative and need to bring ’em up to speed. Photo hoarding is practical.