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!!



countdown to a new year

In the four months since my last entry here, life has sped by, dragged on, left me depleted, and overfilled my soul. All, I believe, as it was intended for me.

I am wholeheartedly welcoming the fresh start that the new year is offering.

I will be back to regular posting in 2016.  I’ve missed this little space.


I wish you all a Happy, Healthy and JOYFUL year ahead.

May we all Sparkle and Shine as bright as possible.



four weeks old & one from the archives :: alex’s first fest

Four weeks old and just as sweet as she can be.



As more of our friends and neighbors meet her, there are long gazes and speculation of who she most looks like. It is hard to say for certain. She is a great mix of all three boys, in one moment she can resemble Andy and the next Ari. Just yesterday, Papa commented that she looked like Alex in a dress!

What are your thoughts?


Nicknames so far :: Elsa-bel, Elsie, Elsa-baby, and Elsa-pie
Weight :: a few ounces shy of 10 lbs (at birth :: 8 lb 4 oz)
Length :: 21.25 in (at birth :: 20.5in)


Every year, on the third weekend in July, our village has a fest with a huge beer tent, bands, rides and games. We headed down Saturday night and again on Monday. Taking Elsa to her first fest at only a few weeks old made us remember when we took Alex to his first fest when he was a few weeks old, the Nuremberg Altstadtfest.

firstfest alex

Tomorrow is the last day of school and boy are we ever ready for summer break!!



doings :: this past week {6-12 july}

Last week, the two week honeymoon following Elsa’s birth ended. It was time to start adjusting back to daily life, now with a new baby. We took it slow, keeping our days mostly unscheduled.

Here’s a peek at what we’ve been up to.

:: Registering Elsa’s birth with the village of Landstuhl (where she was born).
:: Filling out all the paperwork and gathering needed documents to apply for her SSN, Passport and Report of Birth Abroad. It is quite a process.
:: Sadly saying goodbye to Papa each morning as he returned to work.
:: Feeling grateful for successful pumping, bottle feeding and an awesome husband who gave me a few hours out with girlfriends at the Italian Nights fest in Kusel on Friday night.
:: Scheduling 6 week postpartum/well baby check-ups.
:: Celebrating reaching pre-pregnancy weight by packing up the maternity wardrobe that was generously lended to me (thanks Tiff!).
:: Planning a Jurassic World themed birthday party for our oldest who is turning 10(!!!) in a few weeks.
:: Loving this sweet song Ari made up and sings for Elsa (turn up the volume!) “Go to Sleep Little Elsa”

:: Counting down the last days of school.
:: Picking cherries from the trees in our garden.
:: Packing up newborn size clothes/cloth diapers that are already too small.
:: Watching this sweet little girl as she naps on the porch on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

:: Holding her close.
:: Kissing her soft cheeks.
:: Falling more and more in love with her.


Still in disbelief that she is really ours!



afternoon outing :: sunshine pumpkin farm

SunshinePumpkinPatchYesterday we were given a gorgeous, sunny Sunday afternoon. We saw it as a perfect time to visit the pumpkin patch at Sunshine Pumpkin Farm.

AndyPumpkinAndy testing his strength. He was determined to lift the biggest pumpkin he could find.

PumpkinPatch2014Ari in search of the Great Pumpkin. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown television special is one of his favorite’s to watch on dvd. We have it checked out from the library year round!

AlexPumpkin2014.1Alex was on a mission of his own in search of the smallest pumpkin.

AlexPumpkinHappy2014After examining more than a dozen for the perfect one, he was happy with this little pumpkin. He plans to draw a face on it.

PumpkinSquashStomping and squishing out the insides of rotting pumpkins became Ari’s game. The field was pretty muddy too so I was happy we all wore our rain boots.

Pumpkins2014Jack-o’-lantern pumpkins on the vine.

Pumpkins2014-2Hokkaido pumpkins are delicious to use in cooking.  The best part is they do not need to be peeled, the skin softens during cooking and then can be blended smooth.

BoysPumpkinPatch2014We would spot a good one, carry it for a few feet and then spot one we liked better.  Choosing our jack-o’-lantern pumpkins took some serious time.

PumpkinsPicked2014Finally, ready to take our pumpkins home. We carried them to the weighing station where the pumpkins totaled 21kg (+/-47lbs) and cost 0.72 euro cents per kg.

AriPumpkin2014 Tired from all the fun, Ari sat down and gave me the perfect moment to capture this photo.

Do you remember a post from two years ago on our first visit to Sunshine Pumpkin Farm? Here is a link to that post a visit to the pumpkin patch :: sunshine farms. For some reason, the post was sent out via email when I linked to it so you will find it in your inbox as well.




For our local readers :: Sunshine Pumpkin Farm is located a few minutes from Landstuhl and open Saturday & Sunday from 1-4. They offer hayrides and special visits for groups. Visit their facebook page Sunshine Pumpkin Farm for more information.