2013 year in review [part 2 of 3]


May ended up being a pretty quiet month around here.  No big trips or doings.  This photo shows a regular weekend afternoon eating quiche with freshly picked wild flowers after we had taken a walk around the village.  They were the prettiest little golden wildflowers to grace our table in old wine bottles.  I think they stayed there for a week before they had shed most of their petals and we had to throw them out.



Patio gardening. We have 2 garden plots our landlord lets us use in his garden space, but tomatoes and peppers grow better in pots on the patio where they stay warmer.

A little later the sun hit the back patio and Little E and I laid in the glorious heat of it – the first warm sunny day of the year.DSC03266

Uncle BaronBaron visited and brought super hero capes.



My dad and brother visited us for a few weeks.  The girls and I, and my dad and brother drove over to Croatia for a week vacation.  LOML wasn’t able to take time off from his job last summer, so we had to have a beach holiday without him.  This was the 3rd time I had been to Croatia, the 2nd for the girls.  I highly, highly recommend it if you ever make it to Europe.  The coast and the inland and the national park and the people are all fantastic.  It’s relatively inexpensive, too.

This is a photo of one of the lakes at Plitvice Lakes National Park.  These lakes are all this glorious clear blue/green color due to lots of minerals and sediments.  There are a number of waterfalls between the levels of the lakes.  And they put these wooden pathways over, around, and through all of the waterfalls and lakes.  The wooden paths literally go over waterfalls and across lakes.  With no handrails.  It was heart attack city for a number of places with my 2 little girls.  They cried a number of times when we held on extra tight to their hands so there was no chance of them slipping or falling over.DSC03358

We must have walked a few miles that day because we misread the signs.  We tried to do the medium-length walk around the major lakes and falls and ended up going nearly to the end.  Woops.  That resulted in 2 very tired toddlers.  I put my backpack on upside-down on my front and made a kid-carrier so Little E could sleep for a little bit.  35lb children are too heavy to carry for more than a couple of minutes.

This is at the beach near Zadar, Croatia.
My dad and brother are holding the girls as the water laps at their feet.
Cute, custom swimming suits courtesy of Grandma (drives me crazy there is a lack of decent swimming suits for little girls.  There are one pieces that aren’t long enough for my tall kids and itty bitty bikinis, which I feel are inappropriate for anyone of any age.  Not to mention I have a very fair-skinned redhead who needs to be a little more protected from the sun. Every time I encounter an issue with something I feel lacks in children’s clothing I have the urge to start my own company…but that’s a whole other rant.).


Jumping off of some ruins in the old city of Zadar.
She had to attempt to do everything Big Ive did.
And she still thinks she has to and can do everything Big Ive can, which is simply not the case because she is 16 months younger developmentally.  Poor kid.  They’ll even out soon enough.


A fun day at another castle back in Germany with my dad and a friend from our church.  Highlight of the trip — we paid for the guided tour and got into the 2nd room when Little E wouldn’t stop crying.  She had hurt her arm somehow in the backpack.  LOML, me and the girls ended our tour at that point and probably vowed to never go on a guided tour with small children again.

Sad day was when we dropped Grandpa (my dad) off at the airport after his 3 week visit with us.  We tried to get a decent photo of the girls and us in the airport, or the girls with my dad, but they would have nothing to do with it.  Running, jumping, climbing, crawling, basically just being the almost-2 and 3 year olds they are.  LOML refreshed himself by taking us to a Trappist monastery in Belgium that afternoon so he could buy beer.


Here we have 5 different veggies for supper from our garden that we cooked one night (baby onions, zucchini, green beans, broccoli, and fresh raw peas).  The girls will gobble up these veggies like nobody’s business.  I can’t take the peas out of their pods fast enough for them.  I make LOML plant rows of peas so we can eat them straight out of the garden.  That is the best and only way to eat peas.DSC04065

We had lots of fun when my little brother, Uncle Robot, and his girlfriend, Tia, came to visit.  Highlights of their visit include: cruise boat down the Rhein River (complete with a slide for kids), getting completely soaked in a village’s fountain (where we misplaced the extra clothing we had packed and LOML had to buy a new dress for Big Ive), climbing all around castle ruins (Uncle Robot is a bad influence on 2 little girls :) ).

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On August 5, Little E turned 2.  We had a very small celebration with LOML’s parents and us.  It was so nice to have them visit in August and be able to be there for both of her birthdays so far.

Little E’s 2nd birthday!

Climbing all over the elephants in Trier, Germany with Grandma and Grandpa.
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Check out [part 1 of 3] and [part 3 of 3].

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