Tag Archives: thoughts

update of nothing new

My last post about not having an answer to where we’re going next and when (https://hausmilleradventure.com/2013/05/04/the-question-for-which-i-still-have-no-answer/) is still unanswered.  LOML and I have lived through a week of a handful of crazy backs and forths that we weren’t expecting whatsoever.  One day it was A.  The next day it was the complete opposite of A, B.  Then there was something that would go in the ‘Pro Column A’.  The day after that we had a ‘Pro Column B’ incident.

The day after learning about option A I took it all very physically — my shoulders and back seemed to get tighter and tighter as the day wore on.  When we talked that evening, and got a short shoulder rub from LOML, I felt better.  Just to start over the other direction learning about option B the next morning.  Repeat super tight shoulders all day.  At least learning about the ‘Pro Column’ items didn’t affect me physically as much.

And it’s not like Option A is a bad thing.  It would actually be a pretty good thing.  It was just so far out of my thoughts of where we would be living and what we would do it caught me really off guard.

Each time a new thing appears it feels like a huge pull in one direction or another.  One day we get pulled to the left.  The very next day (and I’m not exaggerating it being the very next day…it has literally happened like this countless times) we’re pulled to the right.  The first pull pretty much convinces you you’ll go in that direction.  And then the opposite pull happens and somehow we have been pulled back across center and are now convinced the other direction is the path that will be taken.

It is much harder to live in this back and forth period of time than a simple not-knowing period.  At least when you don’t know either way you have no good reason to think about and worry about everything.  When it is getting closer to the end date and you know you need to start making a few more plans it is so hard to not worry, not internalize, not make the stress into physical stress.

Hopefully getting some of these thoughts out will allow me to sleep better.  It is almost 11pm; I should have been in bed an hour ago.  The past week-ish I have been staying up late at night, which is not like me at all.

***Yes, I know I’m being super cryptic with what I’m posting.  However, not all of the people close to us even know of what these things mean.  And we don’t want to tell a bunch of people something just to have to tell them the complete opposite a day/week/month later.  Basically, we still don’t know anything more.  No use getting you all excited or bummed out with all these options.

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NaBloPoMo Day 27 – vocabulary

I get a daily email from Merriam-Webster online with a vocabulary word to learn (in English).  Sometimes it is a word I remember from high school English class vocabulary and it transports me back in time.  Sitting in my high school’s desks with the plastic chairs attached, looking at the whiteboards, willing the time on the TV monitors to go faster, thoughts of homework and essays and what will be happening with friends later.

It’s funny how a single word can trigger so many memories.  The same with a slight whiff of a long-ago remembered scent.  Or a sound that you haven’t heard in years will bring you back to that place.  I still remember the sound the front door would make at the house I grew up in.  That musty basement smell brings me back to Minnesota every time.

I wonder which sounds will remain with my children as they grow.  Will it be a silly door creak like I remember?  Or will it be the clang of blocks?  Or something else I can only imagine?

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NaBloPoMo Day 12 – Some of my thoughts

  • Does it count as a blog post if I password protect it and no one else can read it?
  • It is really hard to get out of the house before 7:30 in the morning with 2 toddlers. Even if I have bags and snack packed the night before and clothes picked out and get myself ready before they wake it somehow happens that they make me late every day to German class. Big Ive goes to the Kindergarten in our village. Little E gets dropped off at the babysitter in the next village over.
  • This desert girl is definitely NOT used to scraping ice from windshields in the mornings. How many days a year does that happen in Phoenix? Like, 4?
  • I felt proud of myself when I understood the directions on the German boxed cake mix.
  • In all of 2012 I have had my hair cut only once when my mom was here visiting in June. It’s not that I’m afraid to see a stylist in Germany, it’s the childcare issue. If I schedule it during the week I need someone to watch both girls. If I schedule it on a Saturday when LOML is around to watch the girls I miss out on time with LOML. No win either way.
  • My mouth is still watering over the beef enchiladas I made last night.  Too bad it used my last cans of green enchilada sauce and diced green chilies… I will have to see if someone would be willing to gift me with some more.
  • Does anyone else have problems with spelling the word ‘chili’ and its plural ‘chilies’? Probably just my problem. I always want to put 2 Ls in the word.
  • The switch of comma and period for numbers here in Europe still throws me off every time I see it. Also, I did not know that our division sign was different. Shouldn’t these things just be all the same? It’s math, a shared language for all peoples.
  • Can someone tell me why we don’t call places by the names they are? Like why is Germany Germany in English when it is Deutschland? Where in the world did Germany come from Deutschland? I understand that English doesn’t have all the sounds and characters other languages do, and reasonable substitutions should be made there. But, why can’t Sevilla be Sevilla instead of changing to Seville?
    • Also, my computer wanted to tell me to spell Deutschland as Deutschmark.
  • I think Big Ive just woke up and is probably waking her little sister up so I must get ready now. Tschuss!
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NaBloPoMo Day 6 – Random Thoughts Mostly From German Class

During my evening German class today a guy from the Czech Republic was talking about communism in his country before their revolution.  Their revolution that happened in 1989.  I can hardly believe that.  It is so easy to forget about so many countries’ struggles being from a free democracy (which is voting for president today!), having never have had to live through any hardships.  It pretty much blew my mind. I was 4 years old when this happened.

He said his town was liberated by the US forces in 1945 but that they would be thrown in jail if they spoke that.  The ‘official’ word was Russia liberated them.  He talked about grocery stores; one brand for each item and each item was the same cost throughout the country.  No town would have a different cost for, say, milk than another town.  He said every person in the same profession would make the same salary no matter where they lived.  A person in a small village working as a plumber would make the same money as a person in a big city working as a plumber.

I try not to forget how blessed I am to be from the US.  I try to remember to not take anything for granted. When I hear about things like this — things that happened in my lifetime! — I am jolted back into quiet contemplation and thankfulness.

Sometimes the limitless choice in the stores in overwhelming.  But, at least we HAVE a choice.

Sometimes free speech is used for reasons I don’t agree with.  But, at least we HAVE free speech.

Sometimes we wish we could be making more money.  But, at least our salary is not dictated by someone else regardless of skill/residence/etc.


LOML has been watching that zombie tv show, Walking Dead.  I can’t watch it.  It is much too scary for me.  I don’t do well with visual gore and frightening things.  In print in books, I’m ok with for some reason.  Anyway… Since he started watching that (after the children are in bed) I keep thinking I’m going to come across a zombie coming out of the woods on my drives home at night after German class.

I told him about my fear and he explained how to fully kill off the infected zombie by bashing their brains. I then said that I needed a good stabbing steak tool to keep in the car in case of zombies.  He then told me I should put our hammer in the car.  It is a dual hammer, ice pick with one long metal tool/weapon.

Thanks, LOML.  Now I will feel safer.  :)


The girls and I walked down to the little Spielplatz (park) in our village this afternoon. Big Ive wanted to swing but someone had wrapped the baby swing tightly around the top post where I couldn’t reach it.  She wasn’t thrilled about swinging with me on the tire swings.  Once she was done I picked up Little E [[side tangent: She fell asleep in the car on the way home from the babysitter’s house.  I carried her in the house and put her in bed, still fully asleep.  Then, about 15 minutes later it was  time to get Big Ive and she stayed asleep as I put her jacket on and put her in the stroller.  And she STAYED asleep the entire walk to and from the school all the way down to the Spielplatz!  Crazy baby!]] out of the stroller and started swinging with her.  She. freaked. out. She did NOT like swinging one bit.  I tried holding her closer and tighter and it didn’t really help.  This is the same kid who screams when you try to put her upside down.  She flips out.


Big Ive has come home saying German words and is definitely babbling in German.  I don’t fully understand all of her English so there is absolutely no way I can understand her toddler German babble.


I enjoy German.  It is a fun language with how you can form new words by putting other words together.  It’s hard coming from English with no gendered nouns, but I’m learning.  I wish there was just a switch to flip and it would be second nature to speak German easily.


ALSO.  Can I say I’m proud of myself for editing the CSS on my blog to change the case of blog titles?  The all caps thing from this theme was driving me crazy.  Also, I need to be able to differentiate capital and lowercase letters in German because it is a big part of their grammar.

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Protected: Beginning of my thoughts on Community here in Germany

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LOML and I chat often about how we feel here in Germany.  Usually, it’s on drives around here while the girls are occupied and can’t get into too much trouble.  This past car ride chat stuck in my head.  It boiled down to a single word: bittersweet.


That’s how we feel about living here in Germany.  We have grown to love this area and these people so much these past 9 months, yet, we desperately miss home and our people that are still there.  We are starting to get a foothold into service and volunteer work here and, yet, we feel guilty about leaving such needy and important tasks that we were helping with and making a difference in peoples’ lives back at home.


It hurts to think that we will have to leave these people that our hearts have grown for.  It hurts to think about leaving the amazing and breathtaking green hills of Germany.

It hurts to be away from family and friends while having amazing new people in our lives, kinda’ like we’re cheating on our peeps.

It’s crazy that a person can be filled with such conflicting emotions.  How can my heart love 2 lands so much?  How can my heart grow to love even more people?

I think God made us to be able to love and keep learning to love more and more throughout life and its changes.  And LOML and I keep coming to the realization that we need to choose to be content with where we are now, not focusing on being sad about the past or sad about the eventual future.  We need to be open to God’s path in our lives right now and let Him write this story of our lives. Because He writes a far better story than I could ever imagine.

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Happy First Birthday, Little E!

Little E turned 1 on August 5, 2012.  It’s crazy to think she has been in our lives a whole year.  At the same time it feels like just yesterday that we came home from the hospital and that she’s been a part of our family forever.  It’s neat to see how tiny humans have such distinct personalities and are really that – tiny full humans.  Sometimes I forget that she is a full person, just in a little body.  And then I stop and it hits me that she has been a full human, a whole person, since before she was born, even.  It’s hard to wrap my mind around her having tiny organs that are the same as mine, tiny bones that are (mostly) the same as mine, a smaller head and brain (that miraculously GROW!).  Just boggles my mind.

The center of the cake.  Keeping up my family’s tradition.

This year has been a busy busy year for Little E and our family.  2 weeks before she was born LOML put in his request for this overseas position.  6 weeks after she was born LOML moved to Germany.  When she was just 4 months old, the girls and I joined LOML over here.  At 6 months she was crawling.  2 days before 9 months she took her first steps.  Sometime in the past couple of months she has decided to start to try to talk.  Since moving here Little E has been able to record 9 countries she has been in (not including the airport in London).  I didn’t make it to that many until my 20’s.  Many people never see that in a lifetime.

She has gone from our very sleepy and hungry little baby (literally sleeping most of the day and night, and eating between each nap) to a very active and curious little girl.  She LOVES to follow her big sister around and imitates EVERY.SINGLE.THING. Big Ive does.  Including mannerisms and inflection in babbles.  She is still our chunk-a-lunk, weighing in over 25lb at her 12 month well-child check.  She can wear a lot of Big Ive’s clothes, she’s just too short to make them look right.  :)

It took a little bit of pushing to get her to put her hands in the cake and feed herself.  At least she was willing to have dirty hands.  Big Ive cried when her hands were covered in frosting and never enjoyed the cake until we gave her a fork.

My heart has grown so much this past year.  I routinely look at, stare at, my baby girl and think that I am so thankful God gave her to me, even if I wasn’t ready to have a second child as soon as we did.  I didn’t think I was ready; sometimes I still don’t think I am.  But, I do know that I am completely and totally in love with her.  She is a great addition to our family.  I say that often and truly, genuinely, believe that.

The Big Sister “helping” the Little Sister eat her birthday cake.

She loves to pick the tomatoes in the pots on our back terrace – green, orange or red, it doesn’t matter.  She knows she gets in trouble every time.  She likes to turn the knobs on the stove.  So far she’s melted one plastic food storage container, one plastic chicken container and my mother-in-law’s cookbook.  The knobs are the same size as their play kitchen and she always sees me turning them.  One of her new phrases is ‘Don’t Touch’.  It comes out something like, “Do Tou”, accompanied with the finger wagging we usually give her when we tell her not to touch something.

She loves to dance whenever she hears music.  She loves to give kisses – fishy kisses, nose kisses, monster kisses and regular kisses.

She totally understands basic commands and will find and bring you something if you ask.  She started stacking up to 4 blocks this past week.  I think she could do more but she gets so excited for a small tower that she just HAS to knock it down.

At 3 months old she discovered her thumb and hasn’t given it up, yet.  You wouldn’t believe the cuteness in a tiny 3 month old baby sucking their thumb.  I loved watching her work so hard to spread her fingers apart, put her hands together and then bring both of them to her mouth to get that thumb in.  At times she would suck both thumbs.  For a while it didn’t matter which, but she soon settled on the right one.  She will almost instinctively put her thumb in her mouth when a soft piece of fabric comes into contact with her hand.  She has a couple little 12″x12″ super soft fleece ‘blankies’ (it’s just usually called a ‘soft thing’ in our house) that she carries around with her a lot.  A super soft stuffed katze (cat) joined the family on her birthday, thanks to the grandparents, and she carries that around in the crook of her elbow with her other thumb in her mouth.  It. Is. The. Cuteness.

Oh, I could go on and on and on about my baby.  I love her so much.  She brings immense joy to me and our family.

August 5, 2011 — 8:16am — 9lb 6oz — 21.5in

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Things I Will Be Missing Back At Home This Year

Arizona’s Centennial.  AZ turned 100 on Valentine’s day.  As a student in AZ for 16 years I longed for this centennial.  For years I sat in public school classrooms daydreaming of being there for the centennial, happy that my state was so young that I would be able to experience this when it had happened to most other states decades ago.  I think most other school children did, too.

And then I lived in Germany at the time.  Doh!  To celebrate, Big Ive and I made a paper AZ flag to commemorate the day and I wore my ASU shirt.  (ASU shirt doubled as a special Valentine’s Day attire for LOML as we met at ASU and he bought me that shirt.  How sweet.)

My older brother’s 30th birthday.  It is his golden birthday, 30 on the 30th.  And I missed it, too.  And I got his card in the mail about a week after his birthday.  Little sister fail.

My little sister’s 21st birthday.  My youngest sibling will finally turn 21.  (That means all of us kids are getting old!!!  Agh!!)

She was my nanny for about a year and a half with Big Ive and then with Little E.  Dangit.  I miss her and I’m sad I won’t be there to celebrate in a month’s time.

My high school reunion.  Strangely, I have been looking forward to my 10 year high school reunion for a long time.  I still can’t believe I graduated from high school 10 years ago.  That means I really am getting older.

LOML and I threw around the idea of going back home at that time so I could attend, but it happens to fall when the biggest concert is for our village band so I definitely can’t miss that.  Bummer.

A friend’s wedding.

My nephew was born.

Those are the ones I can think of right away.  I’m sure there are more big events I’m missing back home this year that make me sad to be here.  Not to mention the countless dinners with family, various other “small” holidays, birthday parties for friends, get-togethers, etc, etc, etc.

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Mostly My Thoughts… [and other daily happenings 07.03.2012]

Big Ive tipped back in her chair this evening at dinner and smacker her head on the tile floor.  It made both LOML and I have a mini heart attack.  I’m still worried about her 2.5 hours later.  She cried for a long time and has a lump on the back of her head.  I iced it for a little bit.  After a while she stopped crying and just sat in my lap watching TV, not moving much.  She was awake and responding to us when we asked her questions.  After a little bit one of her favorite commercials came on and she started dancing to the music.  She played a little.  She acted mostly normal, but a little bit off.  We just put her down to bed.  It worries me that something will happen to her.  I think I’ll check on her before going to bed myself, wake her up just to make sure she’s ok.  I may not like having to deal with the consequences of waking her, but it’ll give me peace of mind.

*****ED: Woke Big Ive up before going to bed. She rubbed her eyes and scratched her hair, like she always does, not wanting to wake up. She called Mamma in the middle of the night (didn’t fully wake up), almost fell out of bed in the early morning (I put her back in), and woke up just fine at 6:30am. Her head is sore, though.  I’m very thankful that she is doing ok.  It is a scary time as a parent when your child gets injured.


LOML put together the new high chair he ordered online for us tonight.  Big Ive was so excited about it.  She climbed in it and buckled herself in.  LOML put the tray on for her.  When he took it off to finish the last little bit she got weepy and really upset that she wouldn’t be able to sit in it.  She did NOT want to be ok with the idea that it was for Little E and not her.  We told her she could use it in the morning when she ate her yogurt for breakfast.  That seemed to be ok to her.

Little E sat in the high chair at dinner tonight and was ecstatic about sitting there.  She ate the cheerio cereal we put on the tray and made her super happy noises.  It was so nice for both LOML and I to not have to try to hold her and eat our meal with one hand, fending off the grabby baby.  I think she liked to be at our height and to be able to see all of us.  She liked feeding herself green bean bits, too.


We now own 2 cars!  LOML purchased a VW station wagon on Monday.  We’ve been without a car for 2.5 weeks because ours has been in the shop.  Monday night (05Mar) we went on our first family grocery trip in about a month.  I thought it was so nice to get out of the house and out of our village.  We went to Globus, the WalMart/Super Target-ish store.  In the past we’ve only managed to get there on Friday nights or Saturdays when it is packed and super crazy.  There was no rushed feeling.  We weren’t herded by all the people.  The girls seemed to do better, too.  Big Ive got a little antsy near the end before we checked out because she was hungry.  Getting bratwurst for supper at their food court fixed that.


I’ve been getting up earlier this week, so I feel more tired.  And Little E has been sleeping very poorly, waking up every 2ish hours.  Sometimes I’m just so tired at night I don’t even try to get her back to sleep without feeding her.  It is easier to give her the boob and make her sleep.  I know.  I know.  I need to stick with the sleep training.

On the other hand, I like getting up before the kids are up.  It helps me to start my day in a better mood.  Back in the day I was the one to get up first and have the quiet house to myself before LOML woke up.  I really enjoy that quiet morning time and look forward to that in the future.  I keep telling myself it’ll happen when I start to get full nights of sleep.


Been thinking a lot and I’m not sure how much I want to share publicly on the blog.  But, I have the urge to write about it.

Christmas letter will soon be up.  It’ll be password protected, so you’ll have to contact me for the password if you want to read it.


Random Thought:
I love the herb rosemary.  I love Love LOVE rosemary.  My parents have it planted by their street in their neighborhood.  When you open your door and walk past when you’ve parked on the street you get that awesome wiff of fresh rosemary.  It grows like a weed in Arizona.  The DOT uses it as landscaping because it requires little water to keep it looking nice.  I planted one in my front yard and water it very irregularly (read, a few times a year) and it’s still growing and growing.

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The 3-month Transition

Looking back on this time when LOML lived in Germany and we were still at home in Phoenix, it doesn’t seem like it was too bad.  Day to day it was hard, but overall I think it wasn’t that bad.  I think time can help change your feelings a little bit.

Here’s the story…
Two weeks before Little E was born LOML noticed the job posting on his company intranet.  We talked about it on the drive over to my parent’s house for supper on Friday evening.  He asked me what I thought.  I told him the worst they could say is no and to apply.  He thought the same.  We both figured they would just say no and life would continue on as it had.

They didn’t say no. Continue reading

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