Glühwein, Bratwurst, cotton candy, crepes, roasting chestnuts – these are just a few of the wonderful smells that greet you as you enter a Weihnachtsmarkt. Booths decorated festively selling everything from leather goods to wooden toys to candles to intricate glass & wooden Christmas tree decorations to puppets line the market area and everyone wandering around seems to be in a happy mood. This is just one reason why I love Germany at Christmastime.
The day after we arrived in Germany, the whole family (except my mom) spent the late afternoon/early evening wandering around the Heidelberger Weihnachtsmarkt. I was so excited to finally have Loren experience everything I had told him about this wonderful Christmas tradition. The Heidelberger Weihnachtsmarkt is spread out between 6 city squares, and we wandered through most of them taking in all the sights and smells. It was raining pretty steadily that evening, but it was magical nonetheless.
We couldn’t stay away, so Loren, Emberly and I went back downtown to the market the next day to explore more and dine on Bratwurst and Nutella crepes. Naturally, Emberly just napped the entire time, so we’ll just have to go back when she’s older and can ride the carousel like her big cousin!
If you ever plan on going to Germany (or Europe for that matter) during the Christmas season, I highly recommend checking to see if wherever you’re going has a Weihnachtmarkt!
This year, after the past 2 Thanksgivings down South, we had another one in Cincinnati with Loren’s family and it was such a good time. Since we packed in so many fun things this holiday weekend, this post is chock-full with pictures of all the things I want to remember.
We headed out for Cincinnati after Loren got off work on Wednesday evening and arrived in time for Emberly to hang out with her aunts, uncle and grandparents for a little bit before she went to bed. After putting her down for the night, the rest of us played a fun game before going to bed at a semi-decent hour.
Emberly had a pretty rough night (not being used to sharing a room with her parents), so Thanksgiving morning Loren let me sleep in a little bit before a leisurely breakfast with everyone. After breakfast, we visited the grandmas (E’s great-grandmas) and then came back home to relax and finish getting dinner ready before the rest of the family members showed up (there were 30 of us!). Once everyone arrived, we snapped some family pictures, stuffed ourselves with all the delicious food, sang a few Thanksgiving songs and caught up on each other’s lives. So many wonderful family members to be thankful for!
A few weeks ago, we decided to make our way down South Carolina for Labor Day weekend so Emberly could meet more of relatives (finally some on my side!).
So, this past Friday, Emberly and I packed up and picked up Loren after work around 3pm, then we headed out of town with the rest of the Midwest. Or so it seemed between the rain and crazy traffic. Emberly did great at first, got fussy during the heavy rain and traffic, then eventually fell asleep for pretty much the rest of the trip. We pulled in to my aunt’s around 2:30am, exhausted, but so glad to be there.
We spent the weekend visiting and catching up with so many relatives and a few friends, and since we took so many pictures, I’ll just let them do the talking.
Yesterday, Loren challenged me to take 5 pictures with the “real” camera throughout the day that represented my day and to be creative with it. He has been teaching me how to adjust settings and catch the best lighting (he takes most of my blog pictures), and while I still have far to go, it was a fun challenge. So for today’s favorites, I’m going to share those 5 pictures.
ONE // Baby swing details.
TWO // Second breakfast (for me) and a napping babe on the patio while blogging.
THREE // Coffee & writing a few thank you notes.
FOUR // Rainy day baby wearing & snuggles.
FIVE // Baby down for the night (or at least a few hours).
This weekend was another full and wonderful one. It started off with a Friday night date night to get donuts in celebration of National Donut Day, but the donuts were all sold out! So we settled for a Chick-fil-A peach milkshake. Still a win in my book! Later that night, Loren’s sister & her husband came to stay with us for a couple nights.
Saturday morning we took our time over breakfast, then decided to all go work out together for a while. Then it was time for me to head to a baby shower some friends from church were throwing for baby girl! Everything was perfect and I was very blessed by everyone that came. Their generosity was overwhelming and I can’t wait for baby girl to meet everyone! (Pictures from shower courtesy of Ally and Vashti.)
Meanwhile, Loren took Joanna and Jeffrey to a local coffeeshop, but apparently all the local ones close rather early on Saturdays in the summer, so they went across the street for some root beer floats instead.
After the shower, Loren & co picked me up and we eventually headed downtown to do a little evening photoshoot for Joanna & Jeffrey. They are seriously the perfect models!
Sunday after church & lunch, we sadly had to say goodbye to Joanna & Jeffrey. It’s always so good to see them and we can’t wait till next time!
This past weekend we were in Cincinnati and ventured out to the nation’s longest running culinary arts festival (Taste of Cincinnati) with our friends Caleb and Chelsea. Basically, a few streets are blocked off downtown and several of Cincinnati’s top restaurants set up booths to sell “tastes” of their best food. We walked down the whole length of the festival to scout out our options before deciding on what we wanted. Even between the 4 of us, we only tasted a fraction of the food options, but they were all delicious (not everything we ate made it on camera). There was rain in the forecast for that afternoon, but it never came and it was the perfect afternoon for wandering around stuffing our faces with delectable food.
Thanks for the fun, Cincinnati (and Caleb & Chelsea 😉 )!
Several weeks ago, the very talented Sarah Beth Sutter Photography did a little maternity shoot for us. I was almost 26 weeks pregnant during this shoot, so not super big, but I love all the pictures and thought I would share my favorites with you all.
This weekend was pretty low-key (keeping it quiet before the next several super busy weekends), but the main highlight is that we added something very special to the family: Loren upgraded his camera! He found a good deal on his top camera choice (Canon 5D Mark III for those who want to know), so Sunday afternoon we made the 1 1/2 hour drive to pick it up. Needless to say, he’s pretty happy with his new toy and I can’t wait to see how his photography skills will continue to advance.
In other (minor) news, baby girl’s first moccasins arrived in the mail, and we are all ready for our maternity shoot this next weekend! Are these just not the cutest?!
I hope you had a good weekend and that the snow stayed away. Ours arrived this morning.
A few weeks ago we took a rainy hike with some friends at Turkey Run State Park. I had never been here before and had no idea Indiana had such a hidden treasure of nature. The leaves had just started changing, and despite the rain, every bend we turned offered new colors and natural beauty. With all the amazing trails, rock formations and crevices, Turkey Run has been described as the Middle Earth of Indiana. Please sit back and enjoy these pictures that in no way do it justice.
We definitely plan on going back and exploring more. Just let us know when you’re coming for a visit and want to take a good hike!
As mentioned yesterday, we went to Tuttle Orchards this past weekend and I thought it deserved a whole post on its own. Tuttle Orchards are about 40 minutes northeast of us, and definitely worth the drive. Not only do they have rows upon rows of apple trees for picking, but also a pumpkin patch, sunflowers for picking, a corn maze, hayrides, farm store, grill that serves lunch and a Sweet Shop with caramel apples, apple cider slushies, & homemade fudge. The perfect place for a date or taking your whole family!
We went kind of late in the apple picking season, so by that time there were just Red Delicious and Golden Delicious left. You can bet we gathered plenty of those and I can’t wait to make some apple crisp and apple sauce, and of course dip them in caramel sauce. 🙂
After picking apples, we visited the Farm Store, then headed to the Sweet Shop for some apple spice & pumpkin spice doughnuts and apple slushies before grabbing lunch from the Grill.
It was a perfect fall day and we will definitely be going back next year!