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!
Christmas has long since come and gone, but here I am finally documenting the greatest holiday.
We arrived in Germany a few days before Christmas to spend the holidays with my parents and a few of my siblings.
Since Christmas Eve was on a Sunday this year, instead of the annual evening Christmas Eve service, we had a special Sunday morning service, then came home to get ready for an evening of family traditions. One of my family’s Christmas Eve traditions is a fondue dinner before opening gifts, so of course that was a highlight. After dinner and a special Scripture reading, the babies & toddler opened their gifts before we put them to bed and the rest of the family opened gifts. (Side note: growing up, we used to open gifts on Christmas Day, but eventually switched to the German way of doing things and opened them all on Christmas Eve.)
On Christmas Day we slept in a little, had a large delicious dinner that my mom prepared, took a walk, had “Kaffee & Kuchen” (coffee & cake) then played some games in the evening.
And now for the barrage of pictures (get used to it, several more posts with lots of travel pics coming).
It’s safe to say that Emberly’s first Christmas was a success, and we were so happy to be able to celebrate with my family in Germany!
Even though we are now a couple weeks into 2018, I still want to review a few highlights from 2017. Obviously, having an adorable baby girl was the biggest highlight (as confirmed above by bestnine), but here are some other highlights of the year I don’t want to forget:
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.
Our first roadtrip with baby is in the books! Even though the trip to Cincinnati is just under two hours, it still counts since it was an overnight trip. 😉
We got to Loren’s parents Friday evening just in time for dinner and for Emberly to meet her great aunt, uncle and cousin.
Saturday morning, Emberly got in some snuggles with her grandma before we met up with Carrie (Loren’s sister) for a delicious breakfast at Half Day Cafe.
After breakfast we met back up with Loren’s parents and headed out to meet Emberly’s great grandmas. First up was Grandma Monnie, who loves newborns and was so delighted to meet Emberly.
Next, we stopped by to see Grandma Joan (she is 93!!), who was also very happy to meet Emberly.
Later on that evening after we all took naps, a couple other family members and close family friends came over for dinner and we had a lovely evening together.
Sunday we went to church with Loren’s parents, then headed back home after lunch.
Even though we were pretty tired by the time we got home, we had a great weekend and were glad Emberly did so well and was able to meet so many special people.
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 😉 )!
I’m finally sharing 100 million pictures from our anniversary trip last weekend! We had a hard time deciding where to go this year (not too far from home, not too pricey, etc.) and finally decided on Michigan City, IN. We had heard that the Indiana Dunes were pretty amazing, and since Michigan City is on Lake Michigan, we knew there would be some beaches. And of course I made sure there were at least a couple of good places to eat and get coffee. The weather was perfect (warmer than we were expecting!), and we had a lovely time. The perfect little anniversary/babymoon getaway.
Where we stayed: We found a cozy little little Airbnb – In the woods, about 10 minutes from food and the beach, with a few walking trails on the property.
Friday night wasn’t too exciting – Loren had been feeling like he was coming down with something all week, and he did come down with a fever Friday afternoon. I sent him straight to bed and then picked up dinner (chicken noodle soup). We had dinner after he napped for a while, then went to bed pretty early because 1) Loren was sick and 2) if he was feeling any better, we were heading to Columbus, OH very early the next morning.
Early Saturday morning Loren decided he was feeling ok, so we jumped in the car and headed to Columbus, OH for a wedding Loren was helping shoot. After dropping him off, I had the rest of the day to myself. My first stop was World Market where I discovered that the elephant pillow I really wanted the last time I stopped in was on sale! So the first item for baby girl’s nursery has been acquired. 🙂 After I did some other shopping and scored some amazing President’s Day deals, I thought about catching a movie, but decided the day was way too perfect and sunny to sit inside a dark theater. Instead, I camped out at Cup O’ Joe for a few hours and read. Eventually I headed to the hotel and checked in, grabbed dinner and hung out until it was time to pick up Loren.
Sunday morning, we left Columbus and headed to Cincinnati for our nephew’s dedication service. After church, we had a fun lunch with the family catching up. Always good to see them all! Loren had a meeting back at home Sunday night, so we headed back home late afternoon after a quick stop at IKEA for some organizing necessities.
And that’s it (probably way too much boring info)!
I hope you got out and enjoyed the beautiful sunny spring-like weekend!
Hey Guys! You may or may not have noticed my absence from the blog the past several of weeks, but I’m back now. Here is a little life update that should explain the absence:
We finally completed several home projects like our coffee table, mug racks and coffee station.
The Sunday before Thanksgiving, I flew down to SC to help get ready for my cousin Dennae’s wedding. She was the world’s most chill bride and we had fun running errands, hanging out and celebrating #eatdrinkandbemarinelli. But before the wedding, Loren finally made it to town early Thanksgiving morning, and we had a wonderful day with family eating lots of delicious food, catching up and playing some fun games. So thankful for all the quality time we were able to spend together!
Saturday after the wedding, we headed down to Columbia for a quick visit with Loren’s sister and her husband.
Next up, I started a new job! I’m still with the same firm, just switched to a different department and working remotely from home. This has been a long journey to get here, but I am super excited about this new opportunity, especially with winter coming up and not wanting to go out in the cold and snow. 😉 In preparation for this job, I spent a week in Michigan training, and am SO glad to be back home after being gone for 2 straight weeks.
Once I was home for good, we got our tree and decorated for Christmas. I love sitting in the glow of lights in the early morning and evening. Nothing like it!
I have one more update, but I’m saving that for a post all of its own. 🙂
It’s good to be back!