Nerding Out

Our little village held a Christmas market this evening. Glühwein, goulash, carolers, and crafts. We nerded out in the middle of it when the International Space Station floated over our village. It was so bright and easy to spot!

Paint Work on Christmas Eve

The man is a machine. German-engineering at its finest.

We got the estimate two days ago for how much it will cost to have folks come in and paint our house. Though feverish and helpless in our hotel room, Martin took one look, raised his fists, and defiantly yelled, “NOOOOOOOO! We will paint the house OURSELVES!!” Continue reading

Moving So Fast

Nov 30, 2015: There I was, minding my own business, making labels for our move when a second head popped out of my shoulder! At least it’s a cute one who offers to help with the packing … even if it is WAY past her bedtime.


I got a label maker a few weeks ago. I was out shopping for something, saw that it was on sale, and picked it up without consulting Martin, which is saying a lot. I normally do give him a call before such a purchase … not because I need his approval (as if), but because he is usually able to look up and provide a coupon code for further savings over the phone. He’s a lot more efficient and personalized than any coupon or finance app out there, and there’s that German accent, too.

Don’t judge. Continue reading

A German Christmas Market

We visited the annual Reston Christkindelsmarkt where the German Soldaten stationed at the Bundeswehr’s American headquarters host an authentic event.

We will miss the markets in Germany by only a few days, so it was nice to get some kuchen and glühwein!

Santa Knows Germany

When the girls told Santa we were moving to Stuttgart, he started listing some of the villages we will be near.

Then he explained that it is a little known secret that he actually met Mrs. Claus at a place called Robinson Barracks in Germany. According to Santa, Mrs Claus was a teacher at one of the schools which is how he knew she’d be good with kids! Continue reading

The Weekend Purge


We packed up the Christmas decorations over the weekend.
To my surprise, it wasn’t that hard getting the girls to help me out. I thought for sure they would be reluctant to pack away all that fun stuff, but they didn’t seem to mind. Lola, especially, took an interest in it, pulling off the ornaments in order for me, and organizing the hooks and labels with me.
The rooms still look a little naked to me without all the lights and holiday colors.
Martin and I also spent the weekend in our basement, sorting through The Pile that’s lived there ever since we moved into the house.
Do you have something like “The Pile” in your house, too?  It’s that collection of stuff, paper or miscellaneous items — cafe menus, postcards, stamped Christmas cards you meant to send two years ago, rubber bands, broken eyeglass frames, etc. — that accumulate and spawn in the corners of your home, and you end up stuffing those items in filing cabinets or boxes, thinking, “I’ll get to these items one day.”

It’s been our dirty secret for a long time, hidden in big plastic bins labeled “Items to Sort” and shoved away into our basement closets. The Pile grew over the past decade as we moved, changed jobs, had more kids, and whenever my parents’ cleaned out their own basements, finding boxes of stuff from my childhood and teen years.

Martin and I decided that the “one day” was this weekend, so we tackled it.
We found a lot of good stuff. My elementary school report cards. Some of his Bundeswehr photos I’ve never seen before. Letters from our first loves. Emails from the early months of our long-distance relationship. Medals and awards from my Air Force days.
We’re still not done — I think we need one more weekend to accomplish our goal — but oh, we got soooo much done. Lots of stuff got tossed into either the trash can, the donation bin, or into our fireplace, which we kept blazing since it’s a little freezing cold around here.
A lot of work, but it feels nice to start off the year with a clean house, doesn’t it?

This is the paper and note my Dad gave me when I was a senior in high school, letting me know exactly what jobs I should apply for when enlisting in the Air Force, and which probably wouldn’t suit me very well. He knew my interests and predicted correctly that I would do well in either Public Affairs (3N) or VI/Broadcasting (3V).



Jaz loves Superman.

It started with one t-shirt featuring the superhero in flight. He’s never seen the movies or comics, but he had that shirt, and he knew the guy on there was pretty awesome. Jaz came up with a “Superman” voice, and started running around the house as if he, too, was a caped crusader.

Santa Claus took note. Jaz now owns several shirts and pajamas featuring Superman, so he no longer has to wear the same shirt four days in a row.

Here’s a little interview I did with Jaz about Superman.

I love this age. I love, love, love it. I love talking with my son. He’s so animated and sweet and funny! And that little voice, and mispronunciations and the lisp!