Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My favorite little girl

Ally is three!  I am so proud and blessed to be her mom.  Here are some of my favorite things about her:

She can read!  Since I also love to read, we will sit on the couch together with our books and enjoy.
Her imagination.  She has conversations among her cars, toys etc. that are hilarious!  She also insists that she is a bird ;)
Singing.  She makes up songs and walks around all day singing to herself.
Independence.  She can get herself dressed, get a snack from the fridge, wipe her own bum, buckle her carseat, make her bed, and peel her own fruit.

I think she has inherited her father's height since she is taller than most children her age.
Every morning (around 8) she wakes up with a smile.

I love my little girl so much and can't imagine life without her!

opportunity missed

House hunting in Germany is a PAIN!  (that is why I sent my husband ahead to do it without me)  Apparently I should have been here as well...
J found a great house, in a great location, and signed a contract.  When he took it into housing, for some various issues, it was denied.  I'm still not sure why the base housing office can deny a house, but whatever.  So he tried to negotiate with the landlord over a few details that would allow us to rent the house.  We really really wanted it, because of the location, price, etc.  did I also mention that it was brand new?
The landlord and realtor one day just quit returning phone calls and rented the house to someone else.
Yesterday, I happened to meet the person who got our house.  Apparently the landlord fixed all the issues in our contract and gave it to this other family.  The kicker is, this house is a duplex, with an American family living in the other half.  Not just an American family, a family in our ward!
I admit that being pregnant makes me a bit emotional, but I cried yesterday with the knowledge that I could have had a friend right away, had we gotten that house.  I cried knowing that all those days I was throwing up and feeling miserable, stuck in my house without a car, I could have been meeting people and spending time with others of my faith.  I cried because I wonder what I did to deserve missing out on such a great opportunity that would have helped my transition here immensely.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A little bit of positive

I feel like my last few posts have been downers, so here are some positive thoughts.

Thanks to Zofran, I am back on track with my life.  I now feel (mostly) normal and am able to function as a person.  I have caught up on housework, unpacked most of the boxes, and am starting to gain (instead of lose) weight thanks to eating food!  I am back to baking and cooking meals, which pleases my family as well. I was really against taking medication while pregnant, but my doctor advised it so that I can be healthy and hydrated.  I feel so much better!  I have not thrown up for three days now and I don't miss it at all!

I wake up every day and just remember how cool it is that I live in Germany.  The scenery is gorgeous, my neighbors are friendly, and everything is fun to explore.  Ally and I go for walks to explore our fun village and she is constantly fascinated by the amount of nature.  She fills her hands with acorns, flowers, rocks, chestnuts, apples, leaves, caterpillars, snails, etc. and loves it.  We have a playground right across the street, but she spends more time observing and touching than she does playing.  I took my first touristy trip on the train to Trier, which is the oldest city in Germany, and saw some fun old ruins.

My house has a HUGE back yard.  We have a built-in grill and patio on the main level, landscaping and a garden plot on the second level, and a grassy yard with an apple tree, plum tree, and blackberries on the third.  We also have a gate connecting us to the next-door neighbors, who are our age with a 2-year-old girl.

I got my car!  I now have transportation to get me where I want to go.  That, plus feeling good enough to go out, means playdates and other social opportunites for me to make new friends.  We have enjoyed exploring the stores and trying German food.

Last thing on my list is getting internet hooked up at my house, which will hopefully happen today or tomorrow.  Be prepared for some pictures once my connection speed is up to it!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How do you do it?

Some days I wonder how anyone has more than two children.  I have really been struggling with morning (all day and night) sickness, to the point that I am dehydrated, exhausted, and honestly becoming a very bad mom to my toddler.  She has probably spent more time in front of the TV/Xoom in the past few weeks than in the rest of her life combined.  I feel so guilty dismissing my little girl so that I can attempt to take care of myself.  I know she is missing all the quality time we used to spend together.  Not to mention my poor husband who is suffering from a serious lack of home cooking.
I literally throw up everything!  I will find something that settles in my stomach one day, only to have it come right back up the next.  I have tried every suggestion of morning sickness remedies, sucking on candies, drinking ginger tea, eating soda crackers before getting out of bed, etc.  Nothing works for me.  Am I just overwhelmed with moving, etc?  I don't remember being this sick with my first pregnancy.
Some days I ignore my nausea and try to go about a normal day, only to collapse the minute my husband walks in the door and sleep until the next morning.  I suppose it doesn't help that I live in a foreign country, far away from anyone I know, and without the support of friends or family.
I am counting down the days until my second trimester arrives, hopefully bringing with it a reprieve of all the vomiting!  I have my first OB appointment tomorrow, so we'll see if I am sick enough to require medical help.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

my VERY long day

Since I have been in Germany for three weeks now, I decided it was time to tell the story of my trip getting here.     Due to the Air Force and their delays, we did not get our orders (which are necessary for booking flights) until a month before our departure.  This meant that there was not room on any flights for the dogs, prior to the dates Josh needed to report.  Also, my pet-friendly TLF (hotel) reservations were cancelled by some unhelpful person, so we had nowhere to put them once they arrived.  We opted for Josh to come alone, find us a place to live and get everything set up, then I would have one awful terrible stressful day and bring Ally and the dogs at a later date.  I stayed with family for three weeks prior to flying to Germany.
 I was a bit apprehensive as the day approached, knowing that I would be dealing with a lot.  My day started at 4:30 AM, when I woke up to take the dogs to the airport.  The Air Force booked me on Delta, which does not fly dogs during the summer, so they were flying Continental.  I found the cargo drop-off and filled out the paperwork.  Then a guy helped me finagle them into their kennels and attach all the necessary paperwork.  He also attached zip-ties to all four corners of their doors, which I did not think about until later.  Did I mention it is quite expensive to fly two large dogs across the country?  So I paid the fees (gulp!) and hoped to meet up with them in Baltimore.  Then I drove over to the terminal, parked, attached all 4 suitcases together and rolled through the airport.  Thank goodness Delta did not charge me for my extra luggage (which might be partially because of that video on YouTube of all the army guys returning from a deployment...) which I was not expecting because Delta and I do not have a good track record.
After I finished dragging my four large pieces of luggage through the huge long line to drop it off, my parents showed up with Allison (who I left with them so she could sleep for a few more hours) and we went through security.  Sometimes it is nice to travel with a toddler and not wait in lines.  Many airports have a line for families that is a lot shorter than the regular one.  Such is the case in Salt Lake City, yay!
Unfortunately our 4-hour flight was completely booked.  I decided to bring Ally's stroller and carseat for our upcoming layover so I had a little trouble getting down to the plane.  Plus the gate people neglected to let me board first, so I may have bumped a few legs, shoulders, etc. as I worked my way to the back of the plane with everything, through a full flight.  Why oh why do they board front to back?  I have never understood how that makes sense.
I had just taken a pregnancy test the day before flying, so I knew that I was expecting, but not feeling it yet.  That changed throughout the day as my exhaustion began to set in.  Halfway through the flight, I decided that snacks were just not enough, so I opted to buy one of their boxed lunches.  Of course they ran out before getting to my row towards the back of the plane, and by this time I was desperate for food.  I ended up getting some random snacks in a box (and paying plenty for the privilege!) such as marinated olives and whole grain crackers covered in birdseed.  Seriously Delta.
We landed in Baltimore and that is where my day really began.  Delta (who I will never again voluntarily fly) did NOT transfer my luggage to my connecting flight.  I had to collect my luggage, this time with Allison, and take it to the AMC terminal to check in.  I was hoping that they would let me do so 8+ hours before boarding.  When I approached the military international terminal, I was immediately offered help and snacks.  They checked my orders and took my bags.  I then ran back to the other end of the terminal to collect my dogs, who had a layover in Houston and therefore landed after me.  I picked up the dogs (on big flatbed rolling cart) and took them outside to the pet area so they could relieve themselves.  Then I remembered the zip-ties on all 4 corners of their kennel doors.  Ugh!  Of course I had nothing even remotely sharp with which to cut them (since nothing sharp is allowed to pass through security).  I asked every random stranger who passed until one person finally produced a knife, (not sure where they thought they were going with a knife in an airport, but I didn't ask).  I thanked them profusely and allowed my dogs to run around for a few minutes.  Then I rolled them back to the AMC terminal, where I was informed that I could not check the dogs in for the flight until boarding time.  In 8 hours.  Seriously.  I paid the fees for this flight (did I mention that flying dogs gets really expensive?) and rolled away, piling Allison and her carseat and carryons on top of the kennels.
I had been looking forward to enjoying the comforts of the USO, which has such amenities as couches, beds, movies, snacks, etc. but unfortunately does not allow dogs.  Instead I had to roll my kennels (and carseat, and carry-ons, and toddler) around the airport for hours, trying to find food outside of security and something to entertain.  My flight was scheduled to leave at midnight so I needed distractions, and lots of them.  I had packed a bag full of such distractions, many of them gift-wrapped, so every time Ally got antsy I allowed her to open a "present" and play with it for a while.
Luckily my flight ended up leaving sooner than expected so I dropped of the dogs, put Ally in her pj's, and boarded the flight.  I was hoping for both of us to sleep for the majority of the time, so that we would acclimate quickly to the new time zone.  That did not happen.  We got a few hours of shut-eye, but mostly watched movies and stared at each other, bleary-eyed.   Ally did take a short nap on the shoulder of the (single) young soldier next to her, who was obviously not used to children.  Sorry!  She also threw up twice, which I think was more due to travel than illness.
We landed at Ramstein, where Josh was waiting to meet us.  Unfortunately, he was not allowed into the baggage claim area, where bags were strewn all over the floor.  I claimed the dogs (did I mention that they weigh 80 and 100 pounds?) on another flatbed cart, piled the bags on top of that, rolled the carseat and stroller behind, and stumbled my way out to meet him, maneuvering through all the people and luggage scattered everywhere.
At this point, I was so frustrated and exhausted and gross and hormonal that I might have cried a little bit.  My poor husband (who I had not yet told about the hormonal part) was very sympathetic, loaded the bags and took me to the hotel where I was able to shower and regain some dignity.  I then informed him of the news (which I wanted to do in person) and tried to stay awake the rest of the day.
The End
Oh, and then I started throwing up, and have not stopped since...

Monday, September 5, 2011

jet lag and morning sickness

...not a good combination!
Well it's official, the puking has begun again.  Last time it started at 10 weeks, apparently this child is impatient because I am only 6 weeks along and puking merrily.  I literally get 'morning' sickness, which hopefully subsides as long as I keep my stomach in close proximity to food for the remainder of the day.

And officially, YAY!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

getting settled

So I made it to Germany, with everything in tow.  A few snags along the way, but that is only to be expected.  Now I am trying to recover from jet lag and preparing to move into my house tomorrow!  I was pleased to discover that my German studying has paid off, I was able to successfully communicate with my landlord, who speaks limited English.  I am loving the climate here as well as the beautiful scenery.  It feels great to be done traveling and ready to get settled in.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


tonight I am grieving for friends that will soon be lost.  Usually I think that moving is easier for the person who is leaving, but I am really struggling as we prepare to leave this place.  So here is my list of things I will miss about North Dakota:


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How hard is it to just SMILE?

In the Air Force, many people have desk jobs.  A lot of those individuals represent the group of people who support and serve other military members and their families.  In the process of preparing to move, we have been dealing with many of these support personnel.  As a whole, I have been greatly disappointed by the lack of help and service we have been given.  Moving is stressful on any family, but moving overseas complicates matters greatly.  We have had to coordinate things such as packing dates, vehicle shipping locations, passports, regulations for international travel with pets, and storage or sale of many of our possessions.  Throughout this process, I have had a distinct lack of helpful information and friendly faces.  The people who should know the information we need are either unwilling to share or simply take their own sweet time supplying it to us.
I worked for many years in customer service.  I have worked at McDonalds (ugh), Cinnabon, Panda Express, Hollywood Video, and Old Navy.  In each of those places, I found people who took pride in their jobs.  Those who came to work in their uniform (no matter how tacky), on time for their shift, and served customers with a smile.  Those who made it their business to understand and share useful information.  I tried to be one of those people, and for the most part, I think that I succeeded.  I greeted each customer with a smile and did my best to help them conduct their transaction efficiently.
Now, as a 'customer', I am constantly frustrated by those who seem to have no pride in what they do.  I truly believe that working for the Air Force is more important than serving fast food.  People's lives are complicated by inaccurate information and an unwillingness to help, not their lunch order.  As a military spouse, I have been ignored, misdirected, disconnected, given wrong numbers, and treated with indifference.  My best sources of information are friends who are currently living overseas, not the people whose job it is to give me that information.
I feel like I am swimming upstream, trying desperately to get my house and all the paperwork in order, to make the transition easier on my family (hence the blogging late at night).  I simply wish for everything to go smoothly while we begin this new and exciting chapter in our lives.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


   As a teacher I spent a lot of time in schools and working with children.  Some days I would ponder what causes parents to choose a certain name (or spelling) for their child.  Trying to teach a child to write a long, confusing, non-phonetic name is such a pain!  The one that sticks in my head is "Zjhavese".  Seriously. 
   My other pet peeve is naming a boy child after his father.  I think that family names are important, that's why everyone in a family has the same last name.  A child identifies a lot with his or her name, and is stuck with it for an entire lifetime.  Being named after someone who lives in the same house with you would be confusing at best and could possibly cause problems in the future with things like a credit report. 
   While I was pregnant, I had some fun with my husband, suggesting funny names like Aspen, Apple, Ashley, (Ash Tree, get it?), Cedar, etc.  but I would NEVER submit my child to that torture!  Kids are mean enough without fueling the fire.  However, my husband does have a cousin with the name Douglas Fir Tree.  Seriously.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


   I grew up in the middle of a large family (8 children).  As a member of that family, I heard many comments from other children at school, mostly crude or negative.  Oftentimes, I felt like I was just one of a crowd.  Teachers wouldn't know my first name, or I would be confused with one of my siblings.  I was referred to as 'one of the Rollins girls'.  As an adult, I admit that I have done the same to children of large families.  I have called them by the wrong name or neglected even learning their first name.  Unless I spend a lot of time with that family, and get to know their individual personalities, I find it difficult to distinguish between siblings.  I know one family with 6 boys and all of their names start with the same letter.  Talk about confusing!
   I had some good experiences as well.  I always had someone to play with, when we moved I still had a whole bunch of familiar faces.  I learned organization, responsibility, and how to interact with others.  I had a lot of quirks teased out of me at home.  I have to admit that at times, I am still embarrassed by my family.  I had days when I wondered if my parents truly wanted me as an individual or if I was just part of the package.
   My husband and I are slowly building our own family and traditions.  We do not have a set number of children we think should be part of our family, but the number is definitely lower than eight.  Some days I feel that I need to defend my choice to have a 'small' family'.  I really feel that some people can handle many children, and I am not one of those people.  My goals for my children are that they always know they are loved and wanted, and I need to have less children so that I can focus more on the ones I have.  Especially with my husband in the military, I have had to be 'solo Mom' for birthdays, holidays, weekends, camping trips, doctor visits, etc.  I HATE being dependent on anyone, even my husband.  When he is around, he is a fabulous part of our family, but I am the one who is constant and manages the day-to-day situations.  As that constant provider, I need to maintain my sanity, so I try not to take on more than I can handle.  I would rather be a good mom to a few children then a decent mom to a lot.
   I spent a lot of time with pre-schoolers who were often neglected or just ignored.  I had children who knew all the characters on Nickelodeon but had no idea what a cow said.  I had children who would wear the same clothing for days in a row.  I had children so starved for attention that they would do anything to win a teachers approval.  I loved these children but hated their circumstances.  I am determined that my children will never be viewed as neglected.  They will have everything they need, including attention from me.
   I have loved spending time with my daughter, teaching her and watching her grow.  We have had a great few years together and formed a bond that will last forever. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Stress of moving

I have always thought of myself as a 'bloom where you are planted' kind of person.  I moved a lot growing up and never really had an issue with finding new friends or adjusting to a different environment.  Life goes on about the same wherever I have lived.  We eat, sleep, go to school, work, and spend time with friends. 
As I have mentioned before, we are moving to Germany soon.  I like to think that I am pretty prepared for living overseas.  We requested this assignment, so obviously we want to live there.  I actually spent the majority of my childhood in Europe, so I am really looking forward to it.  Living overseas does not scare me one bit.  I have every intention of travelling, learning new languages and soaking up the culture. 
The difference is, that now I (instead of my parents) need to be responsible for organzing the house, scheduling dates, planning and packing, and finding a place to live.  The last one is really stressing me out.  I have heard horror stories of people waiting in a hotel for months and not being able to find a place to rent.  Living on-base is not even an option for us since the waiting list is so long, but I am especially worried about finding a place to rent that is close enough to the base that J won't have a super long commute and that allows pets.  I want a good neighborhood for my daughter and a place where she can start (hopefully German) preschool.  I don't know why I am letting it get to me so much since I really can't do anything about it until we are actually there. 
The best part about the whole situation is that my sister-in-law (who was a realtor in a previous life) and her family, have just moved to Germany as well.  They are stationed at a different base, but are close enough that we will have family to visit for holidays, etc.  Closer than we have ever lived to family since we have been married!  I have high hopes that she will give me all the information I need to make the transition smoothly, and possibly even scout out some homes for us. 
I really have not had an issue with anywhere else we have lived.  I have found jobs, finished college, and started a family while following my husband's career.  I am really looking forward to this next adventure, and I'm sure I will enjoy every minute, once I find a house!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Baby Can Read

No, I'm not talking about that program seen on TV.  I literally mean that my 2.5 year old CAN READ!

Seriously, I'm as blown away as you are.  I have seen some signs leading up to it, but when she picked up a book (Are You My Mother) and read it to me word-for-word I just couldn't quite believe it.  I waited until J came home from work to see if she would do it for him.  I picked a library book that we had only read once before.  Same thing, reading along the lines with her little toddler finger tracing the words.  Here are some things I attribute to her early reading (aside from my degree in elementary ed):

I have read books to her DAILY from the time we came home from the hospital.
I point out letters and words EVERYWHERE, signs while driving, cereal boxes at the grocery store, etc.
I let her pick the books at the library. 
I take her to Storytime every week.
We play with words, sing songs, and pick out rhyming words.
We line up letters on the fridge, with her puzzles, and on paper.
I trace the words with my finger while reading.
I pick a word from each book to have her 'read' every time it appears.
(and No, I did not purchase that program.  I oppose it on educational grounds. I also have not pushed her beyond her interest level.)

Apparently I have passed on my love of reading to my daughter (Success!).  Now if only she had inherited my teeth...two years old and already a cavity =(

Friday, May 13, 2011

Amy's Religious Rant

* I am LDS, if anyone reading this wants to know more, check out  If you are not my same religion, a lot of my pet peeves might not make any sense to you.

-Go to chuch.  Every Sunday.  Unless you are sick in bed, just go. It's where you are supposed to be.

-Sing when you are supposed to sing.  Seriously it only sounds good if we can drown out all those enthusiastic tune-deaf people there.

- Fulfill your calling.  You said 'Yes' and someone is depending on you to do your calling.  If it were a job you were getting paid to do and you just didn't show up, you would get fired.  All the people working together help things happen each Sunday.

-Don't try to socialize at church.  Sunday meetings are for learning and discussing religious things.  I am ok with the occasional "Oh, your hair looks nice" or "Wow you look great from all that exercise" but don't have serious long conversations in the hallway about personal business.  That is what phones are for. 

-Don't complain about not having enough time to socialize.  If you are not happy with the extra activites being offered, be proactive about it.  When I moved into the ward, there was no book club, so I started one.

-Don't come to church once every 6 months and then get offended when nobody knows who you are. 

-Don't depend on the church members to support you if you are not willing to help in return.  I have no problem giving service, but if it's for the same person over and over again with no reciprocation, it gets old fast.

-Don't ask about how many children people are planning to have! Even the church teaches that family is between a husband and wife. 

-The chapel does not have assigned seating, switch it up a little!

-If you have taken time from your life to learn to play the piano, either embrace it or sell your piano!  Pianists are always needed (except in my last ward, who had a self-playing piano in the RS room).

-Start your talk with something besides "today I was asked to talk on..." or "when the bishop called me, I almost didn't answer the phone..." and "if you look up repentance in the dictionary, it says..."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Once I had a sister...

 I have many sisters, but one has been on my mind a lot recently.  We were so close in age, that as children we hated each other, in high school we competed with each other, and when separated by college and marriage we became best friends.  We used to send each other packages filled with fun and yummy things that were unavailable at our current location.  Despite the distance we kept in contact and knew all the details of each others lives.  We shared successes and woes, complained and consoled and basically acted like close sisters.  She was my maid of honor and I was the one she told when she eloped.
Gradually, things between us began to change.  Our views on important topics began to differ.  I found myself biting my tongue instead of expressing my opinion, and I'm sure she did the same.  Things like church, family, money and education were taboo.  My life was heading in a new direction as I dedicated myself to what mattered to me.  Her goals and interests did not coincide with my own.  The weekly phone conversations ebbed.  I no longer shared everything in my life with her.  She got a new job, and I began school full-time.  Somehow, slowly, we forgot to keep in touch. 
Some days, I miss having a friend-sister.  I have plenty of friends, and plenty of sisters.  That specific relationship has never been duplicated. I miss having that one person who knows me so well I can tell anything to (besides my wonderful husband!).  I miss those reminiscent conversations about people and places and situations from our childhood. 
It has been years now since our last conversation.  Years since I have heard her voice or received any communication.  I have no doubt that I am partly to blame for our separation, but I wonder if someday we can regain what was lost.  I wonder if someday she will want to meet my daughter, and be a part of the family again.  I hope.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Canine companions

When we were first married, we made the decision to get a dog.  We knew that it would be a lot of work, and difficulties could arrive if the military ever made the decision to send us overseas.  Eight years and two full-size dogs later, we are faced with the difficulties of transporting our canines with us to Germany.

Hurdle #1: Airlines will not fly dogs if the outside temperature is above 85 degrees
Since we are moving in July, pretty much everywhere the temperature is above 85 degrees.

Hurdle #2: Dogs can go anywhere in Germany, provided they are on a leash.
My lab has NEVER walked nicely on a leash.  She will follow directions and stay in close proximity but literally chokes herself every time we walk her (and we have tried a lot!)

Hurdle #3:  It is a long flight across the ocean, and my lab has separation anxiety.  I can just see us sitting in the cabin, listening to her howl, for the entire flight.

Hurdle #4: Finding a place to rent in Germany, with two large dogs. 

Hurdle #5: The cost.  Airline-approved kennels + dog fare + vet visits + a vehicle large enough to transport them.  Honestly smaller dogs would be so much less work but I just can't stand the yapping!

Despite the abovementioned setbacks, we are determined to keep those members of our family, as part of our family.  That is what we agreed to when we adopted them as puppies.  I would not give away one of my children because they made life difficult for me, and I will not abandon one of my pets because I am not prepared.  I have started talking to people who are in Germany, to get their advice, and made a plan to overcome all those hurdles. 
Now if I can do it, why can't everyone else?  Daily I see military members putting dogs up 'for sale' or 'to a good home', for the same reasons I have just mentioned.  It makes me sick to see how many animals are being abandoned because they are an inconvenience to their owners.  Sure being a dog owner is difficult.  So it being a parent.  So why does society condone people dropping off animals at shelters?  Why are we not held responsible for our actions? 
Now, do I ever regret having dogs? Sure! 
Do I hate picking up dog poop? Yes!
Do I sweep my floor multiple times a week just because of dog hair? Yes!
Will I leave them with total strangers for the rest of their lives because I did not plan ahead? NO!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


The snow is gone! After months of whiteness (sometimes greyness), the grass is once again visible and the birds are singing! I can't wait to spend more time outside, going on walks, to the parks and in our backyard. The last major storm of the season I spent with two good friends, who are also moving this summer. The three of us looked out at the blizzard conditions are commented on how nice it feels to know that we will NEVER live through another North Dakota winter! I have made some great friends here, and enjoyed many things about this area, but the winter weather is definitely not at the top of my list. I just can't enjoy the beautiful snow when it is too cold outside to play in it. On to Spring!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Great News!

After 8+ years of living in the 'Dakotas' we have finally received word that the military is shipping us overseas! Germany to be exact. Since J was out of the area the day he found out (as he usually is when something momentous happens...) I heard the news over the phone. I literally spent the rest of the day smiling uncontrollably and blurting the news to anyone with whom I came in contact (sorry random teenager who bagged my groceries). The timing could not have been more perfect. As I huddled inside watching another ND blizzard, I could say "It's my last winter here!"
I spent 3 years of my childhood in Germany and remember fabulous food, people and traveling all over Europe. Not to mention the fabulous slopes where I first learned to ski! We cannot wait to experience more life outside the U.S.
In order to more fully appreciate the culture, we are planning to live off-base, and I have already spotted some GORGEOUS places for rent. The only problem looming in my otherwise beautiful horizon is how to move 2 large dogs overseas in the middle of the summer, and then find a place willing to rent to us, with them. Those dogs joined our family 7 and 8 years ago, so we will jump through the hoops required to keep them with us (although certain logistical aspects are daunting). Apparently dogs in Germany are literally treated as family members and taken into many stores and restaurants!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

new goals

Last year I participated in a great program offered by the base called Soar Into Shape. The program promotes healthy habits such as eating fruits and veggies, drinking water, and daily exercise. Following that 10 week program, I began training for a triathlon. Summer kept me pretty busy with all the outdoor activities. Then...winter set in, and I have been lazy, spending lots of time baking and eating.
This year I am again motivated and have started the SIS program again, with a definite goal in mind. I have been counting calories and working out, with the help of =)
Despite not owning a scale, I think I am already starting to see results, with one week down and eight more to go. I am still baking, but my proceeds are heading to my husband's office instead of my waistline. I enjoy exercise and can't wait to move my workouts outside onto the great trails (and new outdoor track!).

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pet Peeves

my current list of pet peeves:

when someone puts me on speaker-phone
people using bad language (especially in front of my daughter!)
children being mistreated/abused/neglected
people who expect help but never help in return
bad-mouthing the military/America
people who refuse to learn something new, because 'this is how I do it'
bad breath
running late
freezer burn
when people use the wrong there/their/they're
when teachers lick their finger to pass out papers (gross!)
redundancy - ATM Machine, PIN Number
having to walk through smoke to get in a building
people who are always negative

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Super Saturday

I am in charge of the activities for Relief Society for my ward. If you don't know what I'm talking about, click here. We usually have one big event that takes up most of the day on a Saturday (hence the name). It involves classes, food, and projects. (some people would say crafts but I'm not very crafty so I call them projects). I had a great group of people who helped with the decorating (since I have not been blessed with any artistic sense) and the setup, and the food.

The project that I was in charge of (as well as everything else!) was a can rotator. Here are some of the MANY pieces that J and I cut in preparation for the day:



and edges

In hindsight, I should have limited the number of crafts people were able to sign up for, since this particular one took at least 20 minutes to complete (and I had supplies to make 35 of them). We offered a variety of other useful and cute projects but honestly my time and energy were focused purely on this table. Next time (if there is a next time...) I will do some things differently, but mostly I think the day was a success!

Friday, January 21, 2011


Snow, snow and more snow! Now, I am a fan of winter. I love winter sports, especially ice skating and snowboarding. I love the beauty that freshly fallen snow creates. I love playing in the snow and watching it fall. I even love a good day of being snowed-in.
Lately, however, I feel like I have had enough. The snow is still beautiful, but it just keeps falling! I am also beginning to feel vitamin D deprived from lack of sunshine. Last winter, I had no problem with going outside, to the gym, to the play area, or wherever. This year I just want to curl up in a blanket and read.
When we lived in SD, we would get a huge snowstorm...then all the snow would melt away. The first time it snowed here, I didn't even bother shoveling. I figured it would disappear in a few days. I bet that first snowfall is just the beginning layer to the massive piles that are now everywhere.
My favorite thing this year has been the snowblower. Whoever invented that wonderful device deserves a huge hug. Now, it's an older model and far from perfect, and leaves a rusty puddle in my garage, but man oh man can it clear my driveway!
Today I am also thankful for a sturdy snowshovel, boots, gloves, hat, scarf, facemask, goggles, snowpants and woolen socks!