This is the third — and last — in a series of 3 posts about our 2013 year.
We went to a fall festival in a nearby village. This was the best photo the two rugrats would let me get of them by the big pumpkins. They were buggers that day, not wanting to listen worth a darn. The pumpkin soup was really good, though.
Little E wanted to go play on the piles of hay bales like Big Ive, but she wouldn’t give me her new stuffed animal so it wouldn’t get dirty. The softness of the new toy won over playing on bales of hay. Big Ive liked climbing on the bales, but there were too many big kids jumping and running for her to feel comfortable enough to make the big jumps.
LOML and I enjoyed a day trip to Stuttgart for the Cannstatter Wasen, which is Stuttgart’s Oktoberfest. We went with members of my German band. It was a whole day trip planned out to the minute, I’m sure. We all wore lederhosen or dirndls and took the train over. The first of our 3 trains one of the band members opened up the champagne for a good start to the morning drink. The rest of the ride and day continued like that. It was great.
The middle of October we made a trip back to the US and saw lots and lots of family and friends. We were in AZ for a week and then went to IA to visit LOML’s sisters and their families for a week. This past fall was so much nicer with 7 kids under 7, than last Christmas when it was 7 under 6. 10 months time makes a big difference in children’s development. Not to mention the warmer weather made it easy for us to be outside a lot of the time.
Auntie tried to make farmers out of the bigger cousins with straw in their mouths.
Back in AZ the girls got to spend time at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and neighborhood and meet some relatives for the first time. This photo below depicts my girls’ personalities well. Little E is content to play in the water quietly and Big Ive is running and jumping all over the place. Little E sat fascinated with the fountain for as long as Big Ive ran around this courtyard.
Dinner with grandma and grandpa and some family and friends.
During our US trip, I went to Minnesota for a long weekend to visit more of my family. LOML’s parents and my parents were generous enough to watch the girls for me while I traveled alone for 4 days. I never knew getting through airport security and waiting for your airplane could be so peaceful. :) What a treat to not have to worry and take care of my little ones for a couple of days, and to enjoy time with family I don’t see often. I wish I could have brought the girls with so they could have time with family, too, but it didn’t happen this time.
The girls and I spent some more time at LOML’s parent’s house. One day we made and frosted cookies.
The day before we flew back to Germany we spent some time at my grandparent’s house. Little E had a great time playing with her Grandpa-grandpa and Grandma-grandma’s cat.
We also tried to see some of my other family members, some of whom had never met Little E because we moved to Germany when she was just 4 months old. And I’m so happy we were able to see a number of them. I felt a big need to make this visit more about seeing and being with family where possible than to hang out and have a good time with my friends (although we did a lot of that, too). When my uncle unexpectedly passed away a year and a half ago, and another family member was in a near-fatal accident a year ago, it has solidified that we need to spend time with those we love and care about. You honestly never know when the last day you will see someone will be. I’m so very glad I have these memories (and photographic evidence of them, too) and can share it with the girls as they continue to grow and really remember things.
Thus concludes our year 2013. As blogs usually go, these are the highlights of mostly fun and good things that happened. We sure have our share of downs and valleys throughout the year, too. Plenty of times when our children are behaving much less than stellar, days when we’re in a funk, days when we need to seek forgiveness from our loved ones that we’ve hurt, days full of illness. Basically, it is a regular year had by regular human beings. We love living in Germany, but it is incredibly hard to be away from family and friends. I’m so glad the human mind tends to blurr the bad days and remember more of the good. :)