Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving in Pictures

I couldn't resist posting some of the pictures from our 2010 Thanksgiving Extravaganza.
Here's Declan ready to dig in to his plate. You all know how hard it was for me to let him feed himself.

And Abigail was not a happy camper! We finally figured out she was tired, so Steven brought the pack'n'play and she took two naps there. She was much happier after she slept.

Thanksgiving is best celebrated with friends and family. I am lucky that they are one and the same! My army family is amazing and supports me through so much, especially when we are so far from home.

Here's the link to more pictures from Thanksgiving 2010.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Thanksgiving mornings of my childhood were filled with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, smells of deliciousness wafting in from the kitchen, and my father frequently running out to fight a kitchen fire, promising to be home in time for the meal (and usually succeeding!). As kids, we gathered around the TV watching the floats, celebrities, and balloons. As we grew up, we started helping in the kitchen, making mashed potatoes, pies, cookies, etc. When we moved to Virginia in 1996, we transitioned from the traditional "family" gathering and spent the time with close friends. At least once we did a non-turkey dinner and just made the sides. Throughout college, I always looked forward to Thanksgiving Break (it meant the semester was almost over!). Although one Thanksgiving I became one of thousands on the New Jersey Turnpike heading south, extending my 4 hour drive to 9 hours!

Thanksgiving 2006 brought an addition to our family, when I brought Steven home for the first time to meet my family. In 2007, we joined my grandparents, aunt, and uncle in California. Thanksgiving 2008, Declan and I were back in the States and Steven was in Afghanistan. We experienced our first Army Thanksgiving in 2009 with a potluck at Karin's house, where Peggy kept feeding Declan whipped cream. In a few hours, the kids and I will head over to Karin's again and celebrate our last Germany Thanksgiving for the near future. Steven will be joining us later, after he is finished with work for the day.

As I spend this (quiet!) time thinking about the past year, I realize I have so much to be thankful for. I am so glad that Abigail joined us and was born healthy. I'm thankful for my friends and family who supported me through another deployment. We are so lucky to have the opportunity to live in Europe, and we are blessed to have the consistency that the army brings us. I am so very thankful for all the people who gave so much to help us out this year, especially during the time I was on bedrest. Without the support and help from all those amazing people, I'm not sure I could have gotten through that trying time in one piece.

To my family: Words cannot express how much I love you. Thank you for listening without judging, supporting without questioning, and most of all, for loving me.

To my friends: Life would not be as much fun without you. Scattered around the world as we are, others cannot comprehend the bond we can make within only a few hours of meeting each other. I hope we will all be reunited one day.

To my children: Thank you for your patience while I learn how to be a mother. I cherish each second I get to spend with you and I look forward to watching you grow and experience life each day.

To my wonderful husband: You are my best friend and I cannot imagine life without you. You protect me, spoil me, defend me, listen to me, and love me, unconditionally, and for that I am truly grateful. I love you with all of my heart and I am so glad you are home with me this year.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Figaro, Figaro, Figaro, Figaro!

Last night Steven and I (along with a great group of friends) experienced the Opera for the first time. We got all spruced up and headed into Frankfurt to see The Marriage of Figaro, composed by Mozart. What a night! The talent was amazing and the evening was unforgettable. An added treat was that the two main characters (Figaro and Susanna) were played by a couple married in real life. Surprisingly, I was able to follow most of the plot using my limited prior knowledge of the story and my equally limited comprehension of Italian (due to my Spanish). My only regret is that we discovered our love for the Opera so soon before we leave Germany. Repeat trips will definitely be on the agenda for our next European Adventure. And to all my friends still in Germany, GO, you will not regret it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

I've always been a proud and patriotic American. However I never realized the sacrifices our military members and their families make every day until I married a Soldier. In my nearly 4 years as an army wife, I have met some of the most amazing and strong people in the world. Families who go months without seeing their soldiers, children who rely on teddy bears and Skype to see their parents, service members who spend multiple birthdays, anniversaries, holidays in the desert; thousands of miles away from their loved ones.

These selfless men and women are willing to give their lives for the United States of America and for you. Remember that every day, every time you see the flag flying, every time you vote, every time you enjoy one of the many freedoms Americans take for granted.

Today's message is simple: Thank a Veteran.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010

Halloween doesn't exist in Germany, unless you live close to a military base. Then, it is a cross-cultural event. I will never forget last year, hordes of people seeking candy! This year was a little more subdued, however, because we tricked them! (Pun intended). Due to daylight savings and the 31st falling on a Sunday, the army in Wiesbaden decided Halloween would be on Saturday. Two hours of Trick Or Treating and then a full day for the kids to run off their sugar highs before going back to school.

This year was Steven's first Halloween at home since we had Declan. I couldn't wait to get the kids in their costumes and start snapping pictures. Those of you who saw Trinette's pictures of Declan last year will understand when I say I didn't get as many pictures as she did but I enjoyed the evening immensely.

Being the Old Navy shopper that I am, the kids had Halloween shirts/outfits to wear during the day and under their costume. Here they are playing in the laundry basket and with Steven prior to getting dressed up.

We headed out Trick or Treating and were lucky to have Memere and Pepere with us. (Think extra hands to chase kids, take pictures, and push the stroller. Also, more people trying to sneak Declan candy!) Declan made it two houses before we loaded him in the double stroller. He got tons of candy since most people wanted to give some for Abi too (how silly!) and didn't scare very easily. When he was done, or more accurately, I was done pushing the stroller, we ended up at Karin's house. There Declan helped hand out candy from the comfort of Dana's arms.