Friday, April 29, 2016

Goodbye Deutschland Party

A few weeks ago we celebrated our time in Germany and the Mr's birthday. Since there are just so many people that we love, we rented a grill hut from the city to have enough room. People traveled from South & North Germany.

Thank you for your time. Your love. Your support. We will see you all soon on one side of the ocean or the other.

I was so overwhelmed by the amount of people who came and the love they gave us, that I missed taking pictures. Please share them if you have them!


Last Day in Germany

Today is our last full day living in Germany. It feels strange how long it took to get to this day and how quickly time has flown by to bring us to today.

Yes, there was a project plan.
At the start of the month, the Mr. was promoted to Chief Steinbach Officer.

I had my last day of work before relocation vacation started. And got seriously jipped in the chocolate department. I really thought that was going to be full of chocolate.

Then the serious business started: really sorting, really packing, really giving away.

Then two weeks ago, the moving company came for those things that we will move to Denver.

It left our home so forlorn.

Thankfully in the same week, we signed for an apartment in Denver.

Then last week we emptied the home we created and handed it over to a growing family. Matilda had her last day at the day care. We invaded Oma & Opa's home. We all had our last play dates with dear friends. These aren't the only ones; I haven't been perfect at grabbing pictures of dear people and places.

PJ and his best friend Lisa (also leaving Germany)

PJ and his kindness buddy

We even said goodbye to Uncle & Aunt since they are both on vacation this week out of Germany.

And today we pack up everything that we will take on the plane tomorrow. Already tomorrow. 



Friday, April 15, 2016

Easter 2016

Easter happened and it was beautiful.

First, PJ insisted on gifting me my favorite flowers all throughout the blooming season.

Together we colored gorgeous eggs.

And we hunted for eggs and chocolate at Oma & Opa's house,  organized all by the beautiful Tante S.

Welcome spring!


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Last US Visitors

Our very last American visitors came a few weeks ago. It was the first time that my well-traveled aunt and uncle had visited and we had an excellent time together.

The Mr. was off skiing with his friends in a previously planned trip for the majority of their time here. It was a pity to miss him and we all fit into my VW Touran easier.

Uncle J is a master builder and showed great enthusiasm and patience in building with PJ. Together they built one complicated work of Lego art after another. Uncle J also helped PJ continue to learn that Legos don't break; Legos come apart, giving us another opportunity to build something even better.

Aunt P and little Jelly Bean bonded as well. By the fifth day, Bean wanted Aunt P to help her wake up in the morning.

We all went to Heidelberg together. There we introduced our visitors to Döner and Yufka. All things food inspire Bean and the entire family seemed to enjoy the food. It was excellent to have the chance to say goodbye to our favorite Döner place as well.

I also voted for my first primary ever while in Germany. Check out all the swag I got, even a Thin Mint cookie from the Girl Scouts!

While it wasn't always peaceful, and PJ still struggles with transitions and over-excitement, there continue to be many moments of laughter and sibling learning. Like this one while waiting for a bus in Heidelberg.

And this one at the Heidelberg castle.

And this one in the Schwetzingen castle garden. Both wanted to hold my hand to make "big-big-big" shadows.

Together we also went to Wörms and experienced Jewish history returned to life. We toured Schwetzingen. We went to Speyer. These are places that I've spent a good slice of time in while living here for work and while touring with visitors. I wouldn't have taken the time to say goodbye to each and now, with some time for reflection and even closer to our move, I'm so thankful that I did.

Once the Mr. returned, we even went to Straussbourgh, France.

The entire crew on a boat, in the sun. Fabulous French eclairs in our bellies.

While I've reached out to my aunt a handful of times for advice and feel an almost instant comfort with her, I haven't really spent all that much time with her or my uncle J. She lives on one coast and I lived first at home and then at college and then in Europe. This trip offered a chance to learn more about both.

For example, my uncle takes really good pictures and he takes taking pictures seriously. He can also fix anything and enjoys the process as well as the result. He has traveled extensively; gets frustrated (first time I ever felt that!); and has a very quiet and musical faith and practice of his faith. He is also giving of his experience and his wisdom, providing powerful input into the paperwork side of our move.

My aunt is far more forgiving and generous of her experience, her mistakes, her wisdom, and her struggles than even I expected. She has mothered two very different children into adulthood and is (to date) the most clear and supportive ally in my life who offered me realistic, loving feedback about my parenting and my children when asked.
Together they have been married almost 35 years. They are serious and they are hilarious.
They live both. And it is gorgeous to be a part of and watch from nearby.

Thanks for your time, Aunt P and Uncle J.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Surprise for Papa

Part of our move is a lot of goodbyes. The Mr. recently said goodbye to the company he had worked at for 13 years (ever since I moved to Germany!). He got a huge promotion to Chief Steinbach Officer.
He is now organizing our move & our day-to-day. One week in and he is showing great promise. He has one staff member that has a particularly hard time listening. Any guesses who?

In the time of great transition, his friends managed to surprise the man who always figures out all surprises with a goodbye football (the real one, not the American one) game & night out drinking.

I drove him to this location and he really had no idea where we were going and why. In fact, he got a little annoyed that I didn't really know where we were going and seemed to be directly us towards a closed (and demolished) swimming pool.

Then he was super stoked, "I would have expected almost anything but THIS."

It was difficult to get the kids to leave; there was so much to climb! So much to explore.

I bribed them.  We got Burger King.

Good surprises for us all !


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Not Tired!

Little miss was NOT tired and was "no sleeping!" With a good "mea nicht sleeping! Mea playing!" For good measure. 

Ten minutes later....

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