Boy Mom

My cousin Andy recently said it’s easy to forget that Jaz is only 7 years old when you talk to him because he’s like this much older intellectual trapped inside a tiny body. I was reminded of that over the weekend when we ditched the girls and headed off to explore old town Salzburg ourselves. We talked about food, gifts, art, Catholic saints, holiday budgets, ice skating, and the fact that Mozart, too, was a precocious little boy.

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Our Night with Krampus

We kicked off the festive holiday season with whips, chains, and snarling beasts, as one does in Salzburg, Austria during the annual Krampus parade. Krampus is a crazed goat demon who travels with St. Nick.

While the passive and polite saint hands out candy and gifts, Krampus sniffs out the bad children, the ones who misbehave, and whips, manhandles, and terrorizes them. Needless to say, a few made a beeline to yours truly.

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Faithful Friend

My faithful friend, Patches der Hund, soaking up the sunshine in the peace and quiet. The others are back up on the slopes today. We, on the other hand, embrace the fact we’re both a little older, slower, and carrying some extra weight these days. Taking it easy is the way to go. She gets me.

Escape to Austria

After two exhausting weeks of 12-hour shifts *every* day, I took the family last night and fled to the mountains. This is the view from our bedroom. The sweet older lady who prepared our beds said she was surprised when all six of us and Patches der Hund climbed out of our car. She offered to bring us fresh eggs and homemade bread, too. Continue reading

No Matter Where

Waiting in traffic presented an opportunity to explain once again how incredibly fortunate we are to live the lives that we do. We are at the border waiting to get our passports checked, and talking about why these checks are now in place, and how the things they have (a home in a safe place, school, freedom to travel, etc.) can’t be taken for granted.

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Martin snapped this photo earlier today. No matter where we are in the world, this is my favorite part.

The Salt Mine and Hallein

We explored the Hallein salt mine today.

It was so cool. We had to take a mine train and two slides to get into the belly of the mountain. It’s considered the oldest salt mine in the world to be open to the public. We had to dress in big, bulky white overcoats and pants, as well as all our winter gear because it gets pretty chilly in the mountain. Continue reading