Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Thinking of all our friends and family back home, while exploring out here!

Love, The Roses

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New Lens

Ah. Love.

I bought a new lens for my Cannon Rebel. It's a 50mm 1.8/f and I've only had it for about an hour. . .with a messy baby.

But I love the bokeh, and can't wait to play with it more tomorrow!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


The Germans are predicting this winter will be the worst in 100 years.

I feel like they say that every year :) But it IS only December 10th and I'd say over the past two weeks we've gotten close to (edit from last night) OVER 2 FEET of snow.

I loooove it. Jackson, eh, he finds it mildly interesting. (Not to mention my HUSBAND has gotten quite a few snow days and delayed starts from it. More family is ALWAYS a bonus, in pretty much everyone's book, right?)

BEFORE we got all of this snow (think back to Thanksgiving weekend) we drove out to Wald Wipfel Weg. Yeah. Don't ask me how to pronounce it. It was our first big snow outing of the season was beautiful. We loved watching the snow come down in sheets. Catching on hats, hoods and eyelashes. Who doesn't love a good snow?

It wasn't terribly cold, and certainly not cold enough to detract from the beautiful scenery. I love how thick and heavy the snow is- sticking and piling to the branches of the trees- to the extent it looks like it's been shot with a fire extinguisher. . .but prettier because you know it hasn't. Maybe the snow does the same thing back home but there are so many more trees here in Germany it gives it a different effect? Either way, it's one of my favorite things about this country. The trees and the heavy wet snow that beautifully catches on every surface.

WWW has a giant elevated wooden walkway 100feet off the ground. It was MAGICAL walking through the tops (or at least middles) of the snow covered trees. And did I mention little sparkly Christmas lights lead the way? Yeah, double magical.

On clear days they say you can see for quite a ways- but with all the snow we focused on the close up scenery- beautiful snow covered trees- footprints intermixed with stroller tracks. And we went early so we were actually the only people there- I'm all for that.

Ah, I'd love to go back, some clear day in the spring, maybe? We also topped off the day with a little Gluhwine (and Kinderpunch for the smaller guests) in a BIG tee pee with a toasty fire to warm up.

Realizing not everyone knows what Gluhwine is? It's a hot, steamy, mulled, spiced, delicious, usually red wine. Served hot and steamy in mugs (this is important to warm those cold, cold hands) to carry around Christmas Markets and the like. I really like Germans- they go straight from drinking beer in the summer and fall fests into drinking Gluhwine and other tasty 'adult beverages' during the Christmas Markets.

And our forecast this week? Looks a little like this. Uh, hope we can make our way down to Venice at the end of the week for our CRUISE! Wish us luck, we may need it!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving love.

This weekend was one of the best on record. To see Andy so much was awesome. This guy works. A lot. So we love every 'extra' minute we can share. We debated a trip (specifically to Paris) but decided against it with our upcoming cruise and general recent lack of laid-back family time.

 You already saw how we spent Thanksgiving Day. It was a wonderfully lazy weekend all around. We had some great time relaxing and enjoying, but still managed to squeeze in a family photo shoot, a walk in a winter wonderland and a Christmas Market. (More on those later, if I find time.) But our highlight was the time we spent at home as a family.

Jackson’s toy shelf is overflowing. I know I need to pull some toys upstairs and ‘rotate’ them so a) he has ‘new’ toys to play with on occasion and b) so he can actually SEE what toys he has to pick from. One of the toys we decided to pull was the ever-annoying ball popper. Minutes after Andy and I discussed moving the ball popper, Jackson pulls it off the second shelf with a crash and then proceeds to play with it almost continuously for the next few days. Go figure.

I think since he’s gotten good at standing the toy holds more interest for him. He stands above the blower (air pushes the balls out) and picks up the balls as they come out. It’s actually pretty cool because these balls are floating on a stream of air, he has to carefully grab the ball, if he grabs too hard the ball gets pushed back down into the tube. He also enjoys leaning over and letting the air hit his face. I love his ‘what was that’ expression he gives me before he leans over to do it again J

Of course we also got our tree up this weekend. It looks a little bare with only kid 'safe' ornaments, but we'll be buying more soon. I'm so glad we decided to put it up (there was some slight debate- would he pull it over? Break ornaments? will it be worth it if we are going to be gone over Xmas?).

It’s been totally worth it and it’s only been a few days. I LOVE watching holidays come alive through little eyes reflecting countless twinkly lights, through little hands carefully ‘rearranging’ ornaments, and through little ears and bodies listening and dancing to Christmas carols.

“Rockin around the Christmas Tree” and “Jingle Bell Rock” are both favorites at the moment and are a guaranteed daily occasion of dancing and singing.

First thing in the morning I pulg in the tree and we enjoy looking at it all day and night. It’s magical and there is no better way to describe it. Why can't we do this all year? Christmas Carols? Lighted Trees? Extra time with those we love? Ah, mazing.

Another thing I love? Unplanned naps. I crashed out on the couch watching a movie and my little man joined me.

More on snowy adventures and the German-famous Christkindlmarkts soon!

***and the Christmas Card posted earlier? I just want you to know it took 4 attempts and at least 50 pictures to get that one picture with both of the dogs looking and close enough to each other- it was such a hard space/dimension to fit! (and for whatever reason whenever Patton sits on a hardwood floor his but slides back CONSTANTLY)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

Pictures In Red Christmas Card
Shop for elegant Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.
Sorry to ruin the surprise for some of you, but I love these cards so much I had to share! I used my 50 free cards code for blogging about Shutterfly in a previous post, along with ordering 20 more at 30% off and free shipping on everything, talk about an awesome deal. Can't wait to see them in person. Can you? So many reasons to love Shutterfly! Maybe we need some Christmas/1 year books next? Where to find the time!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Giving Thanks

Who could ask for anything more?

We spent Thanksgiving dinner with friends at the dining facility (DFAC) on post. The food was good and plentiful, and there was no cleanup! It was nice to see so many Army families together celebrating and sharing the holiday. We topped the day off skyping with family, making some sweet turkey finger-paintings, watching Elf (I totally cried) and singing along to Christmas carols.

Funny story about the DFAC?  I have to ask Andy frequently what DFAC stands for. He tells me "Dining facility.". . .I always respond with "But what are the A and C for?" . . . Apparently it should be written D-FAC, that would help me a lot. (The A and C are part of facility)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Kid update

So has Jackson officially transitioned into a 'kid' or 'toddler' because he turned 1 YEAR OLD? I don't know. I used to think Yes- 1 year olds aren't babies, duh. But AREN'T they? Mine is, to me. I'm sure when people see him screaming his head off they don't think "Oh, that baby" but more likely "Ugh, kids." but whatever. Jackson is my baby and I hope I'll always find his excited yells as a sign of his developing milestones and growing personality (Yeah, I know, remind me of THIS in a few years! And, hey, I said EXCITED yells.)

He's also into everything. All the time.

This morning I made the bed and was picking up the water glasses from the night before (I actually took up my water bottle) when Jackson looked up at me. Put his hand, fingers spread, perpendicular to his mouth (the sign for water is 3 fingers in a W shape tapped by the side of your mouth, but still pretty darn close) and then pointed (well reached) for my water bottle. He may very likely have meant nothing by it, but I really think these 'kids' know more than they are letting on. I think they understand more and try to communicate more than we sometimes give them credit for. So I'm giving him credit, and if he never does it again, that's ok, too. :)

Walking. No he's really not a 'walker' yet. He will take 6-7 steps between Andy and I. This is, in fact, his favorite game right now. We sit on the floor and he walks/lunges between the two of us, immediately turning around after he falls into Andy or I waiting to steady himself and send him off the other way. He will also 'attempt' to go between pieces of furniture, but because our house is not so large most of the furniture is within finger-tip-touching distance. He'll stretch pretty far to get from one piece to the next. He is however, an expert stair climber. Even when climbing our see-through stairs which gives me a heart attack.

Sleeping. We won't even go there. My great sleeper baby is not such a great sleeper (toddler?). Trying some new things that seem to be working, but honestly I think the biggest 'pro' in our book lately is lack of teething symptoms. Jackson has 6 little teeth and as sure as I've said that I'm sure the next two will start their ascent any day now.

With Andy home it seems I have unlimited time and energy. Well obviously not UNLIMITED, but finding time to do those little extras (upload pictures, work on my household notebook (more on this later), BLOG!) and just generally get a little more sleep and change a couple less diapers. It's fantastic. Fantastic to have someone to share your highs and lows with, someone to pick you up and step in when you need a little help. I appreciate him so much!

I’m constantly amazed by the relationship between these two. Had you asked me a year ago which dog would be his ‘buddy’ later, I would have undoubtedly answered, “Bentley”. However, Patton and Jack seem to share some kindred, goofy spirit and I love watching them together.

I also love watching Jackson with his guinea pig ‘Chewy’. I keep trying to convince Jackson that he and Chewy should be great friends. Jackson keeps trying to ‘share’ Chewy with his great friend Patton. Oh well.

 Forgive the fact that Jackson apparently lives in that orange striped shirt, and is also addicted to the pacifier.

**I forgot to add, my favorite thing right now is when Jackson is doing something he shouldn't be (as in playing with the computer cord in this picture) if you say his name and look at him sternley he shakes his head. As if telling you he is NOT really doing that thing he shouldn't be.