Friday, December 15, 2017

Take 275

7 Quick Takes Friday 
--- 1 ---
I did it! I did it! I did it!! I made a book of my blog! I began blogging on May 3, 2005, at the beginning of an exciting summer after my sophomore year of college. That would be at the age of twenty. It's been 12.5 years. (#old) To say the least, a lot has changed, and it's been on my mind to "make it real" and frankly... "Take It Down". :) So! It's done! I have printed the "Seale of Red" blog from 2005-2011 (the year I got engaged and the blog became "Couch of Red") and my 172 page, hard cover book is in the mail! I promise to share pictures of it! (I used Into Real Pages, and was mostly happy with the process, though I got frustrated by it's slowness... putting 6 years of data into a blog. So I guess I should also just calm down.)
--- 2 ---
I shared about visiting the Christmas Markets (Weihnachtmarkt) here, but I wanted to mention them here, too... It's the biggest treat of getting to live in Germany! This weekend, we're going to "hop" and visit the next one on the list!
--- 3 ---
When we parked downtown for this event, I remembered that I wanted to share this with you: 
See those red lights? Those indicate whether a parking spot is open in a row when you're driving by... Seriously the best idea. Ever.
--- 4 ---
A traditional Christmas "food group" here is marzipan. Thanks to our generous German neighbors having us over for coffee and cake, I got to try some! It seriously tasted like almond cookie dough. It was intriguing. And, I think I liked it. In small quantities.
--- 5 ---
We made salt dough ornaments this week. I drooled over white-looking perfectly imprinted baby hand ornaments and beautiful ribbon.
Let's just say I #NailedIt.
Brian assures me that salt dough ornaments made by kids are supposed to look ridiculous. Not beautiful. So really, we did #NailIt.
--- 6 ---
A little pet peeve from the German world... Today is: 
15.12.17
In America it is:
12.15.17
Yeah. You try to analyze invoices and documents and keep this in the front of your mind all day long... Try harder dates like:
4.2.17
8.4.17
It's almost as bad as the up position being the "Off" position for light switches! Hah.
--- 7 ---
To close out this week, here's a fun recording of Danny Kaye and Nat King Cole singing Jingle Bells... (Sorry, Peggy Lee, but you kind of pale in comparison to Nat...)

Happy Friday!

Friday, December 08, 2017

Take 274

7 Quick Takes Friday 
--- 1 ---
Oh Christmas Tree!
We sped our way to the Christmas tree farm and got ourselves all set up for warm and cozy... And you know what? It was worth it. Get this--this tree farm had one kind of Christmas tree! No debates this year over needle type. Crazy.
--- 2 ---
See that "fireplace"? I went go play it and it asked me whether I would like it to "Resume or Start from the beginning". Umm, huh?
--- 3 ---
The mad dash for a Christmas tree might have been worth it because of more sickness this past week... I won't give you details, but I will say this: when Facebook, Instagram, and Email come up with nothing for each refresh... one is left with Pinterest... and God bless Pinterest--but it's so many different photos of food that only makes one more nauseated. "If I scroll and see one more... I think I'll..." Aaand done. Home button.
--- 4 ---
Did you know that Advent Calendars are a common gift between couples in Germany? I've heard of several couples who have ordered or made advent calendars with all sorts of fun gifts for their partner. Wild! And fun.
--- 5 ---
Rowan has been getting her crafts on at school, and I must say: I love it. 
And yes, I also love that the paint happens at school. Guilty as charged.
--- 6 ---
I feel like I mention this every year, but I will not stop--Prep & Landing. If you haven't seen it, please do. We love it. Think elf Mission Impossible.
--- 7 ---
To close, I want to let you know that it occurred to me that whenever we leave Germany, I anticipate needing to serve Mexican food every other night for years to make up for the lack of it here. #Preparing #WhereAreTheRefriedBeans #CanIMakeThemFromScratch

Happy Friday!

Friday, December 01, 2017

Take 273

7 Quick Takes Friday 
--- 1 ---
I know that we are not the generation for 10 minute youtube videos, but if you get a chance, have a sit down and enjoy this one. It's so very moving. And, I'm so grateful to everyone who does what they're good at. It adds so much to this world we are in.
--- 2 ---
Speaking of the Lord's Prayer, this week at church, like every week, the priest invited all the children up to the altar to pray it together before the sign of peace. This week, though, George got brave and we went up together. Little did I know that Rowan was running behind us, toddling with her sunglasses in one hand and her "My First Bible" with a handle dangling from the other hand. I heard chuckling from the congregation, but it never occurred to me that it could be my child... Well, I got all the way to the front, turned around, and Rowan was trying to climb the stairs of the altar, but couldn't keep all her "treasures" in her hands and climb the steps. I thought the priest was going to die of laughter. 

It's a small thing--but this is the most comfortable and affirmed I've ever felt in church in Germany. So that's a win. And my kids liked being in the limelight for 2 minutes. Hah.
--- 3 ---
This Sunday is the start of Advent! Did you know that in Germany they have 4 same-colored advent candles? They have no pink Gaudete candle. Funny.
--- 4 ---
I've enjoyed many of the New York Times 360 videos. A few weeks ago they featured the Steinway piano making plant... which we pass quite regularly on our way into Hamburg. Very cool.

--- 5 ---
Guys. I finally made it to a thrift store. In fact, I think I only made it to one once last year and now we have a cute and tiny one close to home. Check out the strong china game:
--- 6 ---
Each year I am aghast at the awful selection of Christmas movies on Netflix, Amazon, and the like. Maybe there will be a better selection when December 1 hits, but MAN. I played a 45 minute animated movie about elves the other night and turned it off because the characters were so RUDE. I mean, yeah, my kids are rude sometimes and so are their friends, but there ain't no reason to show them more ways to lose friends. UGH. 

So, I turned it off. Started another movie that was way more innocent... but also talked about having no money at Christmas (an adaptation of the Gift of the Magi)... Also a bit too much for my 2 and 4 year old, but at least they were nice to each other?! :)
--- 7 ---
One highlight of our time with family visiting over Thanksgiving was stealing away to our little Italian restaurant at the end of our neighborhood with my mother-in-law, Beth. It was an hours-long affair with a bottle of wine and divine pasta. Soooo good. And the company? Even better. However, it was the icing on the cake when three men walked in around 9 pm and serenaded the whole restaurant.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

November Captures

So, we live in Europe. And yes, that might sound like bragging... but hold on just a minute. In my photography shares from the past month, I'd like to highlight our fabulous weather:



But, I digress. November was a highlight month because we had family visit us from the States! Brian, Beth, and Mairin, it was fabulous to have you here! Most of my photos are from playing tourist with them in Hamburg, which was great fun, despite our weather. We're still buoyed up by your time here and will hopefully float right along to a week off for Christmas. :)




And this month, a special treat! Two photos by Brian, our other family photographer. He's quite good. And, he captured some rare sun--an absolute treat!



Happy Tuesday--hope you're well and gearing up for Advent! I am certainly eager here!