2013 year in review [part 1 of 3]

I’m reading the blogs I follow this month and everyone is doing a year in review.  I didn’t even think about doing such a post.  And then I thought about it some more and decided it might actually be kinda’ fun and a good idea.  So here goes, me jumping on the year in review bandwagon.

EDIT:  I put this post together and it became ridiculously long with an insane amount of photos so I split it into more than one post.

January

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Look how little the girls both looked!  It’s hard to believe they have changed so much in just 1 year.  It is incredible to have photographic evidence to compare the changes.  A friend of ours came and took family photos of us when we were in Phoenix.  My brothers and their significant others, sister, parents and grandparents were all there.  My mom has a couple photos of us when we were younger with both sets of our grandparents.  They are wonderful keepsake treasures and I hope these photos will be like that for our girls.

Do you know how rediculously hard it is to get 2 young toddlers to both pose acceptably for a photo?  Yeah, damn near impossible.  We gave up and embraced the ‘this-is-real-life’ stance on photos with these two.family photos 028

My brothers, sister and me.
It’s like old times…except now we’re all grown-ups.  How did that happen?family photos 076

We were in the US visiting family for Christmas.  The girls and I were able to stay for about 8 weeks.  LOML had to go back to Germany after 3 weeks to get back to work, unfortunately.  We missed him. My parents were grateful to let us camp out and tear up their house during our stay.  The girls loved waking up to Grandma and Grandpa and Auntie every morning.  The park in the neighborhood was a fan favorite of Grandpa and granddaughters.  They played at the park with Grandpa nearly every day.
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LOML’s parents live nearby and we had lots of days spent playing with all of their super fun toys.

A very cozy cozy coupe with the other grandma and grandpa.
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A favorite memory is when Cat in the Hat joined our family at Kohl’s
because an older gentleman decided he would buy it for Big Ive.
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February

We were still in AZ during the beginning of February.  I tried to make sure we spent time with my grandparents when we were all feeling healthy enough.  They have a few citrus trees in their backyard where the girls were able to help Grandma-grandma pick them up.

Picking oranges with Grandma-grandma.DSC02683

A wonderful addition to our trip back home was my mom being able to join us.  Here we are in the airport headed back to Germany.  LOML flew back for an unexpected trip for our last week in the States.  Because of an event that happened a couple week prior to this I was extremely grateful for his physical presence with me.

in the airport heading back to Germany
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For Valentine’s Day LOML and I went to our favorite little restaurant in France.  My mom was a wonderful grandma and watched the girls while we got away for a short bit.  She’s the best mother around.

Valentine’s Day dinner in France with LOML
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My German band makes a walk every winter to another village, usually through the snow, to eat at a restaurant.  They actually scheduled it for when we would be back in Germany so we could participate last year.  LOML, the girls, me and my mom all made the hike to a great restaurant in a tiny village about 5 miles away.  LOML had parked the car half-way and drove the girls from the Schnapps stop half way.

Schnapps stop in the middle of the snowy German countryside.
Don’t worry, they had pretzels and wurst to snack on so we wouldn’t be drinking with empty stomachs.  : )
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And Little E started at the Kindergarten on the 27th!  She was 18 months old in this photo.  With her in Kindergarten during the day I was able to take my German language classes.
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March

We took a trip to Munich for a long weekend.  The girls took turns sleeping in the stroller and posing with LOML’s beer at the Augustiner Beer Hall. That stroller has been a great purchase.  It is huge and was expensive, but it functions really well off road and can still hold both of our rapidly growing girls.

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A trip to the Munich area is not complete without visiting the Neuschwanstein castle.  A common theme in the castle is swans.  Whenever Little E would see one she would yell, “Chicken!”  Try keeping a small toddler quiet in a guided tour of a castle that is full of swans, which she thinks are chickens, which happens to be an animal she loves.  She still loves birds and chickens to this day.

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April

A quick weekend trip to the Netherlands to the Keukenhof Gardens to see the flowers.  Unfortunately, it was a long, cold, dark, wet winter and spring so most of the flowers weren’t blooming, yet.  They did have some from their green houses we were able to see.  The girls had more fun at the petting zoo and playing on the playground equipment.  Which means we could have stayed at our house and walked to our park for equal enjoyment from them.DSC03071

Big Ive turned 3 and we made cupcakes to take to school. 4 dozen cupcakes in various swirl colors with a flower gummy on top.  That was the first time I piped frosting on cupcakes.  The kids all very much enjoyed the cupcakes at school.  I’m not sure there were any left to take home!DSC03139

Check out [part 2 of 3] and [part 3 of 3].

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