Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear Friday.  This has been a very relaxing and low key week.  I'm happy to see you, but not in a hurry for you to come around again.  Dear Husband.  The glow of you being home hasn't faded yet, despite the fact that we're having to relearn to live together.  I love you so much.  Happy Birthday yesterday!  Dear Charlie & Lena.  You're visit this week was kind of a surprise, but I'm happy you were here to keep Ninja & Sass company.  Plus, it forced me to get out of the house more often to help you expend your energy!  [hence, photo above.  Walking four dogs = pro by now]  Dear job search.  You're pretty much hopeless.  I don't need to have a part time job, but would really like one, and the lack of available openings for such is very frustrating.  Dear Husband.  I love when you take over the camera to bring a fresh point of view to our photo collection.  I love even more how every other photo is a picture of my behind.  You're so ridiculous.  Dear summer.  I'm pretty sure you've left, which breaks my heart.  As much as I enjoy crisp autumn evenings and suppers made of soup and hot chocolate, I love daylight until 10 pm and sitting outside after dark in a tshirt even more.  Please come back to me.  Dear London.  We don't get to visit this month, but you can bet on seeing us soon!  Dear Prague or Amsterdam.  I think we'll end up flipping a coin to see who has the honor of our presence first, but either way, I'm excited to see you on the 9th!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

27 by 27

By the time we leave Germany, I'll be 27 years old.  That seems so far away, but I know just how quickly time will fly by, especially in such a wonderful place as this!  I want to make the most of our time here, especially since we don't have children to make traveling I've created a list of goals I hope to accomplish before we move back to the States.

1.  Visit at least 20 of the 27 EU countries [6 countries already visited]
2.  Visit as many Locks of Love bridges as possible [Prague and Cologne complete] 
3.  Go on a Mediterranean cruise
4.  Bike through Amsterdam [travel companions refused to bike, but we did walk?]
5.  Climb the Eiffel Tower
6.  Sing "London Bridges" on the London Bridge
7.  Take a Rhine River tour
8.  Buy antiques in Brussels, Belgium
9.  Retrace the steps taken in The Da Vinci Code
10.  Attend [or crash] a castle wedding
11.  Visit the Berlin Wall
12.  Learn German
13.  Rent a cabin in the Swiss Alps
14.  Visit all the large Christmas Markets [Cologne=check]
15.  Enjoy Oktoberfest in Munich or Stuttgart [or both!]
16.  Tip-toe through the tulips in Amsterdam
17.  Go to the top of Europe [Jungfrau-Aletsch region]
18.  Eat Alsatian food
19.  Visit Normandy
20.  See a show at Moulin Rouge
21.  Stand in the center of Stonehenge and pretend I'm Merlin
22.  Drink beer in an Irish pub [while in Ireland, of course]
23.  Visit as many Roman ruins as possible
24.  Take revenge on the french fry stealing monkeys in Gibraltar [and by revenge, I mean make ridiculous faces at them and taunt them with the fact that I am not carrying any food this time]
25.  Take pictures at as many border crossings as possible
26.  Make an all-girls trip to the Canary Islands
27.  Host as many friends and family members as possible so they can enjoy Europe as well!

Additional items added April 9, 2013:
a. Visit Croatia
b. Take pictures of Cinque Terre
c. Try not to gawk while in the Red Light District, Amsterdam.

Anything you think I should add?!

Source: via Meagan on Pinterest
 Locks of Love bridge in Paris, France

Source: via A on Pinterest

Source: via Jess on Pinterest

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Antwerp, Belgium

Day Two: Antwerp, Belgium 
want to see our mini adventure to The Netherlands?  Click here.

 They love you in Antwerp, even if they're telling you not to do a million things.  By far my favorite photo from the whole trip.

 We witnessed a wedding in the city center!

 Yum, Belgian chocolate.  I brought home quite a few different flavors, but the dogs ate all of it :(
 Chess tournament

Monday, August 27, 2012

Weekend in Pictures

Day before husband gets home, dogs decided to tear up my travel pillow full of micro beads.  Oy vey.

Waiting and watching out the window, hoping to catch a glimpse of him coming off the plane.

Ninja = happiest dog ever now that "dad" is home!

First home cooked meal in 6 months.  

We're words with friends addicts.  And puppy cuddling fools.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bookish Sundays: Sarah

Title: Sarah

Author: Orson Scott Card

Category: Fiction, Religious

Synopsis [c/o Barnes & Noble]: "In Sarah, author Orson Scott Card uses his fertile imagination and uncanny insight into human nature to flesh out a unique woman - one who is beautiful, tough, smart, and resourceful in an era when women get short shrift in life as well as in the historical record. Sarah takes on vivid reality as a woman desirable to kings, a devoted wife, and a faithful follower of the God of Abraham, chosen to experience an incomparable miracle. Set in the splendor and excess of Egypt and the starkly beautiful desert landscapes of the Sinai peninsula, Sarah is an altogether believable and provocative drama. This first novel in a trilogy on the women of Genesis illuminates the hardships and the triumphs of a woman destined for greatness."
Overview: I came across this book in a used book store, and was a tad taken aback; the author of Ender's Game writes Christian fiction?!  In my own mind [and not for any particular reason], Sci-fi and religious works are completely at odds with one another.  Therefore, I decided to give this novel a try to see exactly what it was about, and to sample some of Card's other writing abilities.

The novel was much more than I thought it would be.  The story of a woman who lived during a time when women were subject to their husband's rule, traded like cattle to a man with the highest position and best price, and expected not to complain.  Sarai [as she starts off in the book being called] is married by Abram and thus lives in the desert, roaming from place to place in the hopes of finding enough pasture to feed their herds.  Most of you have heard of the story of Abraham from the Bible, so I don't need to go into much detail.  However, if you would like to hear the point of view from the strong and opinionated woman who guided Abram, turned down Pharaoh's offers for marriage, and faced the inability to have children with noble pride and determination, then Sarah is definitely a great read.

In my own opinion, the book was a tad slow and poorly written.  The ideas and themes seemed to be intended for an adult reader, but the wording and vocabulary were definitely for someone younger.  A slight lack of fluidness between paragraphs also had me a little irritated, but overall a great story.  While I'm not completely sure of the factual content behind it, I did love the idea that a woman can be strong and guide a household while still being deferential to her husband.  If you happen to pick it up, let me know what you think!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear Friday.  This week crawled by.  You are definitely not a team player.  Dear Husband.  You're home!  I'm so happy to have you back in my arms, and no better way to celebrate than cuddled on the couch watching movies we had promised to see together.  We have a lot of films to catch up on, and thankfully no deadline since you hopefully won't be deploying again for a couple years.  Hopefully.  Dear Ninja.  Your reaction to Timmy walking into the house was the best ever.  I'm glad to see you haven't forgotten your "dad."  Dear Sass.  Your blasé attitude about life is kinda a downer.  Cheer up buttercup.  Dear military spouses with deployed husbands.  I know how difficult it can be to watch the clock tick by, waiting for a certain day when loved ones come home.  It seems to pass awfully slow, but I promise that you will be reunited before you know it!  Dear Germany.  I am so so glad you finally conjured up a huge thunderstorm to break the killer heat and humidity.  94 degrees in a country with no air conditioning is not so much fun.  Dear Husband.  Seriously, I'm so happy you're home.  I love you!  Dear self.  Your weight lost of [around] 20 pounds in the past six months is amazing, but there's still some work to be done.  Don't start slacking, freckle face.  Dear favoritist blogs on my reading list [which happens to mostly be my own readers].  I've slacked so badly recently.  Part was having company in town, part was getting ready for hubby to come home, and part was the fact that I found an online website that shows True Blood for free.  I apologize for not being as great to you all as you have been to me, and promise to make up for it since I finished all 11 episodes of this season so far in two days.  Whoops.