Father’s Day Weekend

I found it a wonderful, happy coincidence that the weekend we brought Junior home was Father’s Day weekend. Doesn’t Father’s Day look good on Martin? (It does.)

Obviously, things were very low-key. It was all about getting settled in with a newborn in the house. Continue reading

All I Can See

Miss C is attending her middle school’s end-of-year formal dance this evening. It’s not Prom, but the girls wear fancy dresses and the boys wear suits and ties. Because we’re putting all the kids into German schools beginning this fall, this may be the only opportunity she experiences a formal dance, so we allowed her to ask an American friend from our village if he wants to come along as her date. Continue reading

Behind the Scenes

Photo of Miss C and Martin from 2005 … because I’m full of hormones and feeling sentimental.

Because she’s going to German school next year, this upcoming formal dance may be the only one of its kind for Miss C.

So, we allowed her to ask one of her friends (a fellow American in our village who used to attend the same school) to be her date. Strictly as friends, but as expected, Martin isn’t very enthusiastic: he was shocked when he saw Miss C trying on my formal dresses, and he’s pretended not to be supportive any time the subject came up. Continue reading

There For the Work

(Photo from December)


At today’s appointment, my doctor mentioned that Martin is the only dad amongst her patients who comes to nearly every appointment. Like most of my other appointments, Martin accompanied me.

He napped in a chair across from the bed where I was monitored during a non-stress test (no judging – I dozed off, too), and he watched intently during the ultrasound, asking questions as the doctor took measurements of FestBaby’s head, stomach, and heart.

That’s when the doctor made her observation.

“If it is the first child, I see the dads often in the beginning, but then it tapers off. The second child, I see the dad maybe once for the gender ultrasound, if at all. It is great you come, even when this is your fourth.” Continue reading

TBT: Father Daughter Dance

My wedding anniversary is next week, so today’s #TBT photo is, of course, related to that. This candid pic shows my dad Larry and me dancing at my reception 14 years ago. You can see Martin and his mother dancing in the background. We were dancing to Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me.” Moment before, Martin and I kicked off the party by dancing to Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe.”

TBT: Dad and His Girls

Two pictures for today’s #TBT post. The top photo was taken in the fall of 1990 with my Dad Larry and sisters. The bottom was taken in the same spot in 2014 during our last visit to Cincinnati before the move to Germany.

No matching this time, but definitely color-coordinated. It took about 50 texts to make it so. (“Would you say your cardigan is more pink than maroon?” “Are we going pastel or jewel tones?” “What’s Dad wearing again?”) Continue reading

Mustache Men

I found these photos on my laptop the other day, and they made me laugh, laugh, laugh. I think it was my mother who brought the fake mustaches as part of gift bags for the kids. Good to see them put to use and not ending up on one of the pets. (Though that would have been equally delightful…)

I love catching these glimpses of what these two do during the day. On the days I work from home, one of the things I enjoy most of all is listening to them interact in the other room. Playing with cars. Reading books. Preparing lunch together. It makes me smile every time. Continue reading

36 Years, 13 Days

Martin and the girls after their scavenger hunt

[dropcap style=”color: #9b9b9b;”]M[/dropcap]artin’s father Klaus died from cancer in 1985 at the exact age of 36 years, 13 days. I discovered that last week during one of my family research frenzies. I am most certain that in the 15 years I’ve known Martin, I’ve done the math before: probably whenever I filled out my childrens’ baby books, writing in their grandparents’ names and dates on the family tree pages.

For whatever reason, though, my father-in-law’s age — those numbers — never stuck with me, so there I was, sitting on my bed last week, my laptop balanced on my knees, my face aglow with the blue light of my screen, plugging away those dates, and learning that Martin’s late father passed away nearly two weeks after his 36th birthday.

I did a double-take when I read that. And then I looked over at my sleeping husband, and mentally calculated that he, too, just celebrated his 36th birthday. In fact, I determined that Martin himself would be 36 years, 13 days just a few days later, on Halloween.

That certainly gave me pause.

One of the biggest reasons I began to research our family history is to learn more about Martin’s father. Martin was exactly 6 years, 8 months, 18 days old when his father passed away, so he doesn’t remember much of the man. In stereotypical German fashion, Martin’s older relatives tend to be very private and quiet about family history, even amongst themselves, so he knew very, very little. All he had were photos, some of his father’s items, and his own hazy memories.

It wasn’t until Martin fell under the influence of a certain American busybody (**ahem**) that he started to ask questions. Those conversations with his family were so interesting and helpful in our quest to learn more about Klaus, yet we were approaching those discussions as young adult 20-somethings. We were new to adulthood, new to marriage, and certainly not yet parents ourselves. At the time, in our minds, Klaus was still an older man, a father figure. There was a distance of age and eras, from where he was in life when he died, and where we were then learning about him.

And that distance remained until last week, when I was shocked to learn Martin was the exact age of his father. Despite it’s morbidness, it was the first thing I told Martin the next morning. He listened to me as I relayed the numbers, explaining that after Halloween, he would forever be older. Wasn’t that strange? And fascinating? I couldn’t get over the fact that of all the weeks for me to feel a push to do this research … to add those numbers up … it was just days before that milestone passed.

I don’t think these things happen randomly.

We spent Halloween with family: my mother, my sisters, our children in costumes and hyped up on candy. The next day was a lot more low key. We visited some sites in Cincinnati, a conservatory and art museum with my sister Jinger and the girls. As we drove around, we talked briefly about Klaus, about those numbers, and Martin’s age. Of course, Klaus will never age, will never change, but, God willing, we will, and while yes, it’s always been that way, it’s so obvious now. It all adds such a bittersweet perspective, especially now that we’re in a position to learn more about Klaus and how he lived those years.

As older adults, as a married couple, as parents now, we can appreciate the fact that yes, he really was young when he passed away. And there is a muted sense of grief for all the things he missed now that we really understand them.

So as I watched Martin assist our daughters on their scavenger hunt in the art museum, I felt such gratefulness for the fact he’s here, he’s healthy, and that our children have him in their lives.

May there be many more years, months, weeks, and days ahead for all of us.