girl’s trip to Florida 2017

A little over two weeks ago, Elsa and I returned from our second annual ‘girl’s trip to Florida‘.

The fourteen days spent in America visiting family, soaking up the warm sun, and taking a break from the daily grind of the household was just what I needed to recharge my batteries. I returned to Germany feeling reconnected, refreshed, motivated and inspired.

Our trip was broken into three segments.  We flew from Germany into Tampa, Florida and stayed with Jay’s parents in Clearwater Beach for four days.  The weather was cool and WINDY those first few days so we just relaxed and took in some shopping.

We then flew to Tallahassee, Florida.

My mom drove down from North Carolina.  She and my brother picked us up at the airport and we drove a little under two hours to Panama City where my brother is now stationed with the U.S. Air Force.  We enjoyed seeing where my brother and his family now call home.  He was a great tour guide, taking us to great restaurants and fabulous beaches.

St. Andrew’s State Park

Panama City Beach

We got to see my brother all dressed up on his way to a ceremony for work.

Elsa fell in love with the family dog, Lilly ♥♥♥

Elsa and I then flew back to Tampa for the remainder of our stay in Clearwater Beach.
We enjoyed splashing around in the pool at the condo and hanging out on the nearby beach.



My tan might already be fading, but the memories made on this trip will last a lifetime.

I am filled with gratitude for all who pitched in, rearranged schedules, took time off of work, drove long distances, and for girlfriends back home who made dinners and picked up kiddos, making our wonderful trip possible…THANK YOU!!



Sunday afternoon cooking class with Muy Bueno

Authentic Mexican food is one thing that is hard to come by here in Germany.
So when I came across an event posted on the facebook page,  Muy Bueno Cookbook Germany , I signed up!
On Sunday, a girlfriend and I shared the afternoon cooking with the lovely Veronica, co-author of Muy Bueno Cookbook. She hosted an intimate, 8 person, cooking class in her home.


The menu included: Black Olive Tapa with Tomato Tapa Crostini, Chicken Paella with a Mexican twist, Lemon & Raspberry Sorbet and Mexican Sangria.










It was a perfect way to spend the afternoon. The recipes came together effortlessly and were delicious.


Here is the recipe for Seafood Paella. We just substituted chicken breast cut into medallion size. The twist that makes it ‘Mexican’ is the addition of cayenne pepper and chile powder for that added kick!

Seafood Paella

Here is the recipe for Mexican Sangria. It was mentioned that a variation of the recipe is to make it with canned fruit including the juice.

Mexican Sangria

The class inspired me to try my hand at making homemade flour tortillas today. Elsa was right there to help me roll the tortillas out!

Flour Tortillas



I also tried the Chicken Fajita recipe from the Muy Bueno cookbook blog with the fresh, warm tortillas!

Chicken Fajitas 






Although it was technically a short week with President’s Day on Monday, the week felt extra long.  Alex was home sick starting mid-day Tuesday and made a home on the couch for the remainder of the week.

On Thursday, Ari’s kindergarten hosted a ‘wild’ party with costumes and dancing.  Ari, who dressed as a skeleton for the past 3 years, chose a ninja costume for this year’s party.  See pictures here :: Fasching 2017 Kusel Kindergarten

Andy’s school also had a Fasching party on Friday. He dressed as Captain Fasma from Star Wars.

Fasching celebrations are in full swing.  You can read more about how it is celebrated in Germany here .  The boys are off school Monday and Tuesday. We may try to catch the Mainz Fasching parade on Monday and hit Bosiland, an indoor play place, on Tuesday.

But, here we are today, a lazy Saturday.  The kind beginning with coffee in bed, hours spent outside this afternoon and ending the day snuggled up for family movie night.

Wishing you a glorious Sunday.






2 weeks until Florida!!!!2 weeks until Florida!!!!2 weeks until Florida!!!!2 weeks until Florida!!!!

a little over 9 months

It’s been a little over nine months since I last shared here.

A little over nine months and that train I wrote about in my last post, motherhood on the ICE train, continued to speed on.

It sped on through Spring, Andy’s 8th birthday, Elsa’s first steps, Elsa’s 1st birthday, our summer vacation in America, Alex’s 11th birthday, Fall break, our annual trip to Spain, Thanksgiving, my birthday, and Christmas of 2016. Now, almost two full months into 2017, the start of the new year and both Papa and Ari’s birthdays have rushed past.

Nothing has slowed down, but something has shifted. Maybe it is the promise of Spring around the corner or the reality of sunny Florida in a few weeks. I am not sure really. Whatever is provoking it, the desire to sit down and spend a little time here has returned. I’ve missed this space of mine, of ours.
I am dusting off my keyboard and camera.

Stay tuned. I’m back!!



motherhood on the ICE train

The ICE (InterCity Express) is a high-speed train, with speeds up to 300km/hr, that connects all major cities in Germany and includes international connections to surrounding countries.  While it is a time saver, much is missed by taking this train.  There are fewer stops along the route and the beautiful scenery zooms by in a blur out the window.

This is often how I feel about Motherhood. The phrase ‘It’s all going by too fast‘ sits on my lips.
Every. Single. Day.
If I could make it slow down, switch to a regional (slower train), I would.
In a heartbeat.

Perhaps that is the root of my passion for photography.  Wanting to capture every moment I can so that in slower moments I can pour over them again, and again.  Relive the moments. Feel them again.

I know it has been quiet here on the blog. I usually compose all our posts from our desktop computer and sitting down do so has been a challenge. Any social media, emailing and messaging is done from a mobile device (Instagram and WhatsApp have really been my on-the-go sharing apps). I just haven’t gotten the hang of how to blog like that and quite honestly, I do not think I want to. So thanks for sticking around with a listening ear.

As we are going into Mother’s Day weekend, I want to share a few things I am ‘hearting’ on right now.

The first is this by Lisa Jo Baker :: When You Still Need Your Mom and She’s Not There Anymore. Her writing speaks my heart.

Next, is this song, Slow Down by Nichole Nordeman. It speaks all those emotions I feel as mother to my four babes as I ride this marvelous train called Motherhood.

Wishing all the wonderful Mother’s, who I adore, out there a very Happy Mother’s Day!!!



elsa :: 8 month update

Didn’t I just post her 6 month update!?

Well, here we are already, Elsa at 8 months old ::

Weight :: 25lbs

Teeth :: Two bottom in since December. Currently cutting four top teeth ALL AT THE SAME TIME!! They have all broken through the gums. After these, I am hoping we will have a break in teething. So many, so fast…no fun.

Sleeping :: Not big on daytime naps, unless riding in the car which is good since we are on the go so much. She likes to be worn in the Tula baby carrier and will fall to sleep fast while in it. Nighttime sleeping has varied with her growth spurts in the last few months. She likes to go to bed late and sleep in late.

Eating :: She is still mostly nursing. Loves peas, bananas, apples, blueberries, carrots and salmon.

Hobbies :: She is a water baby, contented to stay in the water whether it is in her bath or at the pool. Playing peek-a-boo, her piano, clapping and smiling round out most of her days.

While she still is not crawling, her latest discovery is that the furniture is the perfect height to pull herself up on.  Cruising between the ottomans and the couches has become a favorite activity.

Just look at her go…!





I can vividly remember taking this photo of Ari at 8 months, standing proudly after pulling himself up on the same ottoman, just a few short years ago.

Here is a link to that post (with a video!) :: 8 months old!.