This is 36

So this is me now. This is 36.

Once again, I was spoiled in celebration of my birth, although everything was much more subdued compared to last year’s “Best Weekend Ever.”

When I woke up, the kids brought me breakfast in bed. Miss C and our nanny Wynter lovingly prepared a diabetic-friendly breakfast tray of eggs and toast, beautifully granished with flowers from our garden. There was a birthday card, too, full of messages from everyone in our house. Continue reading

Random Acts of Kindness

After a rough start this morning, I probably had three consecutive meltdowns while trying to find parking this morning. It’s impossible to find parking near my work on a normal day, but someone somehow thought it a GREAT idea to hold a massive bazaar attracting crowds of people in the middle of a construction zone on a work day, making the parking issue SO MUCH WORSE. Continue reading

Wynter is Here

In the span of three months, Martin started his job which requires him to travel for weeks at a time, the kids’ music lessons and social lives took off, I completed six college classes while working full time and dealing with all that first trimester fun, on top of the normal household chaos that included a broken dryer the housing folks refused to repair for 10 weeks. (They finally caved and replaced it!)

Just as I was about to lose my sanity, THIS girl arrived.

Continue reading

Friends Forever

Our friend Lia snapped this photo last night after we had dinner with her family. Lia was first my father’s friend through their professional network. When I got assigned to Aviano, she became our friend, as well as my own work colleague as we worked right down the hall from each other. She also stepped up as our “honorary Italian grandma” during my pregnancy with Miss C. She adored our baby girl, and took care of us right up until we left for our next assignment in Washington DC. Continue reading

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Almost exactly 13 years ago, Martin and I stepped out of that door back there into a whole new world with our newborn daughter. The Italian hospital has the area blocked off to public vehicles, so Miss C and I walked around the barriers to get this quick picture of the two of us there.

Soooo many sweet memories here. Continue reading

Got Some Gouda



We went to a spring bazaar where my first grader bumped into one of her classmates who was offering cheese samples in front of a stand.

The little boy explained that his Opa is a cheesemaker in the Netherlands, and these were all his cheeses. Then, this adorable 7-year-old explained to my daughter all about Gouda cheese and the aging process, and pointed out his favorite.

Well, how could we NOT make a purchase?

This is why I’ll always be able to fill out my dirndl over here.


Visit with Eric


Our family friend Eric came over for dinner this evening. He was my boss in Italy when Miss C was born, and we currently live in the house he and his wife built for their family when they were stationed here. They built this house and lived in it for five years before they had to return to the United States.

The day we were getting packed up in DC to move to Germany, he sent us an email saying he got a 30-day notice THAT DAY from the family renting from him, and asked if we were interested in moving in. It worked out perfectly. It was such a sweet visit as he shared memories of raising his girls here, and when it came time for a photo, we put our kiddos on the steps where his girls used to sit for family photos.