Friday, September 26, 2014

Settling In

     This week was the first week of the, kind of, schedule and it went awesome :) I go to German class 4 days a week and pick up Alex from school and we spend the afternoon together and then Tim comes home and we all do something. Most of the time Alex and I are together we are playing legos and trains.... little boys are so entertained so easily. When Tim comes home it is mostly playing soccer and basketball which is nice while the weather is still okay to be outside. I am trying to enjoy outside as much as I can with them until the winter stir craziness comes. 
     I recently read something my aunt posted about what its like raising boys. I have only been here 2 weeks and everything was completely accurate. For example, it said,  "They all love Star Wars." I have never heard about or seen so much Star Wars in my life. I do not share the joy of watching it but it keeps them very happy. Another example was that everything they pick up becomes a gun. Yep. Today Alex was eating a banana and it immediately was put in the air with pow pow sound effects. But hey, at least their imagination runs wild. 
     I am already starting to see the rewards of spending everyday with a 2 year old. The reward of picking him up from Kindergarten and he yells "Hannah!" and runs into my arms. Or when we were baking together today and he said "Mom, I am also a baker!" He set up a stool right next to me and wanted to help with everything. We have become good buddies and he is already always calling me into his room to play.
     I am also starting to respect mothers way more spending everyday with a 2 year old. I didn't know that eating food in quiet and not having to share every other bite could be so peaceful. I also feel as though I should just walk behind him with a dust buster because I feel like I am constantly cleaning up after him. I never thought I would say some things that I do; for example, "Alex, please keep your clothes on at the table." I have found myself in times of weakness where I think, "I can't believe I am doing this." The other day he fell asleep and we were at the mall and it was late in the afternoon and when I wake him up he cries, so I wanted to avoid that. So I bought a strawberry ice cream and had it in my hand while he woke up so I could give it to him right away. You gotta do what you gotta do. 

this was him helping me make lunch the other day

our pumpkin bread we made today, yummm. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

To My Grandma

     I just got back to Germany today, more jetlagged than ever, from New York where I said my final goodbyes to my grandma. It was risky leaving Germany after only being here for less than two weeks but I could not imagine spending the last week away from my family. I am so happy I got to see everyone, but I wish it was under different circumstances. My grandma passed on September 12th and this one goes out to her.

     I am so sorry that you had to go in a way of such fear and hate when you lived such a life full of love. I hope you are exactly where you've believed in for so long. I hope you're with grandpa looking down on all of us fools who are so sad you are gone. I know that you are everywhere: in the rainbows, in the butterflies, in the warm, sweet air. I know you are trying to tell us that you're exactly where you have always wanted to be and that you are okay. Thank you for making our lives so much fuller with the love you gave to us. I'll miss you giggle, your waddle, the thing you do when you sneeze, and your random bible stories that have nothing to do with what we're talking about that none of us understood. I hope that where you are is filled with endless crocs, books, and basketball games. I hope you and grandpa have matching chairs again and are watching everything you can together. I will have a glass of tea in your honor since that was the extent of your exciting drinks, but know your daughters have had many, many, many glasses of wine for you. I love you with all my heart and you will forever be with me.

Thank you everyone for your kind words and love. Please keep sending my family good vibes as we get back to our normal lives without our biggest rock and support.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Here At Last

     Hallo! Today was my second day in Germany and I am all settled in. Unpacking was surprisingly easy and I got it done in the first day. Now we just have to hope that my room stays this organized for the rest of the year. 
     The first day, I just came to the house and we mostly relaxed. I felt pretty sick from the time change and I was woken up on the plane at 3:30 am, U.S. time. I did get to have a pretzel from the bakery and I was not disappointed:)  Today, Monika, Wolfgang, and I walked around the city of Cologne and I got to see all the famous shopping streets and the famous church which I forget the name of. For breakfast I had a chocolate croissant and then a jelly donut (ein Berliner). No, I will not put every meal I eat on my blog, but for now I thought I'd share:) 

    Tomorrow is errand running day and I am going to get my German Visa. I also have to take a test for my language class which brings me to the subject of the language barrier. You think you know a language until you hear the German natives speaking it so fast. Most of the time when people speak to me in German I just nod my head and smile. Hopefully once my six week language course is done I will be able to pick it up much easier. 
    The house is gorgeous and I have a big space to myself and the the backyard view is so pretty!

     So it is amazing so far and I am sure it is only going to get better :)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bye Bye USA

     Well tonight is my last night in the States! I have said my last goodbyes and my mom and I are off to the airport tomorrow. It's pretty crazy seeing everyone get ready to go back to school and I'm getting ready to go to another country. Everything is so surreal! 
     The nerves definitely kicked in this week, but I was still so sure that everything was going to be amazing. It was just the "holy crap, I am leaving for a year," that hit me. I know it will probably be one of the best years of my life, though. I am so comfortable with my family that I am going to live with already that I know it will feel like home in no time. 
     My mom has been crying all week.....almost every time she looks at me. She also informed me yesterday that she thought we would be doing FaceTime every single day and I had to explain to her why that is definitely not happening. I might add that tomorrow is her birthday and I am giving her the worst birthday present ever. So send happy thoughts her way:)
     I got my clothes into only two suitcases with the huge help of space bags, and then someone informed me that unpacking the space bags is so much worse than packing them. And trust me, packing them is not a fun experience. I should also say that I did not pack any spring or summer clothes so my mom and I will have to do clothes exchanges through the mail. Packing and worrying about clothes is probably the most stressful process of them all! If that is all I have to complain about, though, I am doing pretty good. 
     So the next time I write, I will be all settled in at the house in Germany:)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Meeting

     This weekend my mother and I spent a gorgeous two days in New York with my wonderful German family! It was the long anticipated meeting and it went better than I could have ever imagined. They are the sweetest family and I already feel so comfortable around them. I believe we will click really easily and I will feel right at home. My mom loved them as well and has now stopped worrying......a little less.
     Yesterday, we all met at the High Line in New York City and today they came to my uncle's house so we could spend the day in Brooklyn. We went to parks, played American Football, got ice cream, and got lemonade from a lemonade stand for their first time. Even though there was a little bit of a language barrier between the kids and us, it was surprisingly easily to communicate! They are the sweetest boys and they definitely have a ton of energy! I am going to have so much fun spending my days with them next year.
such a pretty day!

Alex had decided to take all his clothes off 

yep, still no pants

Tim, Monika, Wolfgang and Alex 

     Although I felt the bare minimum amount of nerves, I am more than excited to be leaving in 21 days. It was crazy to say, "See you in a few weeks!", as we were saying goodbye. I am so thankful we got to meet before I went to another country for the year. Now, all there is to do is wait for September 1st! 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Real Talk

I am officially FINISHED with High School :) The weight is lifted off my shoulder and I can finally only focus on going to Germany. It's the craziest most exciting feeling I have ever experienced!

I have battled with low grade depression for most of my teenage years. During that battle, I thought I would never look forward to my future. It's insane to me now to ever think that I could not look forward to tomorrow. I am so happy with my life and where I am headed. I have no negative people in my life and I've made the best choices for myself that I could have. Making these decisions has made me the most positive person and I am forever thankful for everyone who supported me. All the bad is out of my life and now I am only accepting the good:)

Friday, July 25, 2014

And So it Begins

the winter shopping begins....

the cleaning out begins....

the fighting of "seriously, you need this?" begins..

     We have reached the point of packing in my new adventure. This means we have also reached the stress of "how the hell do you pack for a year?" I know I won't be stranded and there will be many shopping opportunities but I want to be prepared. Maybe a little bit more prepared than I need to be. I like to stick to the motto of "You can never have enough". Probably not the best motto when you are moving into someone else's house. Monika, do not worry too much. 
     I should probably add the fact that my mom is now napping after 10 minutes of going through everything. Everything was already too much for her. It might be good I am leaving for a year after this experience.......
     As I start to get everything ready, though, I am getting so much more excited. The realization of it is coming closer and I am so ready to go. Only 5 more weeks, 4 of which I will be out of town most of the time. Good planning on my part, I know.
     I am slowly starting to say goodbye to everyone and it is bitter sweet. Not being able to see my nephews and niece for a year is sad to think about but thank god for FaceTime so it won't seem as though I am too far away. Everyone is so supportive and optimistic that it makes everything better, so wish me luck as I continue my stressful packing.