Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Out of Sorts

About three weeks ago, I received some not so fantastic news.  Tim had been asked to go out on another deployment.  If you don't remember, we went through the exact same thing almost a year ago right after we moved here to Germany.  He's been home for six months.  He left for another six months.  I had three weeks to prepare.  I am a freaking disastrous wreck.
I dropped him off at the terminal this morning, and experienced something I hadn't felt on any of our other deployments together.  Complete fear.  For some reason, this one is hitting me so much harder than the other ones, and I'm already losing my mind.  I really contemplated unpacking all of his bags, throwing his stuff away, and refusing to take him to the airport so he couldn't leave.

yes, i'm being slightly over dramatic in this picture.  and yes, i do take pictures of myself as i's part of life.
I'm usually not so much of a crybaby, nor am I looking for pity.  But these hard days are a part of life, and since I document everything on camera to share with the world, it only seems fitting that you get to see the more personal side of our everyday.
I'm a lucky girl in other aspects.  At least this time I have more friends, a job, and plans to fill my time for the next six months.  You won't see me moping around forever [as a rule, I only get one pity day per deployment].  Instead, look forward to hearing about a trip to Amsterdam, a new tattoo, my days as a para educator, and maybe even a quick jaunt home to Minnesota to catch up with family.  These six months won't be the easiest without my best friend to experience life with me, but I'll be damned if I don't come away with some funny stories at least!  Hope you all are having a wonderful week, and can't wait to catch up with you guys for Friday's Letters :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bookish Sundays: The Casual Vacancy

Title: The Casual Vacancy

Author: J.K. Rowling

Category: Fiction, British Humor

Synopsis [c/o Barnes & Noble]: "When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock.
Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.
Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems.
And the empty seat left by Barry on the town's council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?
Blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults."
Review: When I heard Rowling was publishing a new book for adults, I was full of both trepidation and excitement.  How could my favorite childhood author switch from a world where anything is possible, to the average and ordinary life of regular human beings?  And would I even like this new style?  I put off reading The Casual Vacancy for quite a few months, but eventually couldn't resist any longer and decided to get it over with.  
With a humorous cast of characters faced with small town problems, it's very easy to relate to certain aspects of the novel, especially if you're from a small town yourself.  While the main topic of conversation in Pagford is to get rid of the poorest section of town along with its drug rehabilitation center, there is much more to the level of animosity than that.  The desire for power, to hide secrets, to rebel, or to present a front of perfection forces the characters into unpredictable confrontations.
While the novel is superbly written, and is definitely entertaining, be aware that it is decidedly English.  There were some parts that I could tell were supposed to be humorous that I didn't understand, or colloquial terms that went pretty far over my head.  Combined with a cast so large it can be difficult to keep track of, the book isn't perfect but it isn't horrible either.  Could be a good read if you like intrigue and watching housewives get what's coming to them.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday's Letters

A small glimpse of the Porta de Nigra in Trier
Dear Friday.  You're here!  A long week finishes with a grand finale of ordering in pizza and hanging out with friends.  Perfect start to a relaxing weekend.  Dear peoples.  You have no clue how happy I am to be doing Friday's Letters again, and I hope you don't mind me restarting the trend.  They're my favorite part of the week!  Dear job.  Subbing can be fun, but I think I've found my calling.  Para educator.  I was offered a long term sub position taking over for a para during her maternity leave, and I've fallen in love with these students that require my help.  Hopefully, you will soon change from a subbing job to a full time para job!!!  Dear pups.  You've been so freaking well behaved lately!  With me working full time, and my counterpart having to deal with appointments during the day and working during the evening, you haven't complained once about staying home alone for eight or so hours.  Thank you for being so awesome!  Dear dog walker.  As a friend, you've been wonderful, but as our daily dog walker, you've been a life saver.  I appreciate you letting us hire you to walk N&S every day so they get their exercise.  And the fact that we're friends is even better!  Dear chaotic schedule.  You kinda suck.  I'm so worn out between work, college, and housework that I almost forget to enjoy myself.  Sort yourself out, ASAP.  Dear husband.  You know I love you.  You know that.  BUT....the fact that you volunteered for a deployment that had three weeks notice does not make me happy.  Another spring and summer without you????  Not your best move.  However, because I love you so much and want you to leave with happy thoughts, I'm going to pretend it doesn't bother me as much as it does.  Dear new house.  YOU ARE AMAZING!  Warm, spacious, beautiful, and big enough to fit more than three people in at a time.  Moving was one of the best decisions we ever made. Dear Europe.  Since I'm about to be on my own yet again, be prepared to see me wandering your cities.  Holland, France, and possibly Spain and England?  Yes, please.  Dear husband.  Thank you for my early Valentine's Gift.  Dear Amazon.  I ordered something from you over two months ago and nothing has showed up...what's going on?  Dear self.  Time to start organizing yourself better.  Get ahold of that crazy schedule and make more time for long walks, taking pictures, and seeing your friends.  That's an order.  Dear readers.  Sorry it's so long!  I had a lot to be thankful for and complain about this week...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Köln, Deutschland

Right before Christmas, immediately after moving in, and waaaaay before I had come even close to getting our new house in order, I decided that Hubby & I needed some me time.  So, we took ourselves in my tiny European car, and made the two hour trip to Cologne, Germany.  After staying overnight in the best room ever, wandering around numerous Christmas markets, and generally enjoying the time I got to spend with the love of my life, I decided that Cologne is probably my most favorite city ever.  Apologies in advance if you've seen some of these, and for the fact that they're out of order...

 Hohenzollern Bridge, Köln.  Also known as the Love Locks Bridge, on which the locks can be seen covering the entire length of the railing.

 One of 11 Christmas Markets in the city.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Calling all sponsors!

My surprise jump from one look to another unfortunately abandoned some of my dearest blogger friends, leaving me stranded without their ads on the page.  If you happen to be one of them, or maybe you're just interested in throwing your buttons up on the blog, head over to the Sponsor button in the left column.  Now that we officially have internet [seriously, you have no idea how excited I am], I'll be able to better promote and love on future swap buddies more than usual.  And all I ask in return is that you put my nifty little button up on your blog as well!  I've made some great friends this way, and hope to continue to do so.  Can't wait to see your blog advertised here next!!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Just Pictures

1)  Monday is usually reserved for Weekend in Pictures, or it at least it was before I took my unexpected break.  However, I've missed at least a month [maybe more] of such posts, so I'm just going to throw up photos that I've taken over the last few weeks and hope that you haven't seen them before.
2)  Notice something new?  BF got a facelift!  The before is look courtesy of LWLH and her new designing hobby, and is still a design that I love.  But I felt as though I've changed so much in the past year, along with the mission of this blog, and therefore it deserved a little something new.  Talia Christine has helped me with a new, clean, pretty design that I think represents how much I've grown up since moving to Germany.  What do you think?!
I've been a tiny bit crafty lately.  Made some of these mug cozies for a few girlfriends!

 Found some great sushi while in Cologne.  Helped satisfy a craving!
 Yet more snow in this part of the world, but at least it beautifies otherwise not so pretty gates such as this.
 Cologne Christmas Market

 Front of our new house
 With an entry in the back.  I can't wait to show you all more!
 Really can't resist showing off my amazing bathroom.  Look at that tub!! I love it.
There is so much to catch up on, tons of new things to share with you guys, and a lot more changes happening this year.  Hooray for 2013!  Hope you guys are ready for photo, info, and blogging overload :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

I'm sure...

that you've all given up hope of ever seeing another blog post from Be Freckled.  Alas, you may be correct...just kidding.  We're still waiting on internet to be installed in our new home! but I have put aside certain times and days this week where I will be visiting a local coffee shop in order to write and post new stuff for you to read!  If you're still interested, that is.
I unfortunately don't have much time today to start on the new year's posts, but come Friday, I will be back up and running.  And with a surprise look to show off!  Expect great things, my dears.  I've been collaborating with one of my favorite people to update the face of BF, and really can't wait to show it [and her talents] off to all of you lovely people.  There are still one or two things to fix, so you must wait 'til Friday's Letters comes out!
Until I can resume my weekly writing trends, I'll leave you with a tiny glimpse into the world I've been living recently.  Merry [belated] Christmas and a very happy New Year to all of you!