Friday, January 04, 2019

Take 325

7 Quick Takes Friday 
--- 1 ---
Happy New Year! We had the most amazing trip back to the United States for the first time. We saw both sides of our family (and if we missed you, believe me!, We MISSED you!!).   Getting away for 10 days was an amazing treat. I didn't think about work at all and thanks to "compulsory" vacation days in Germany (where you have to use your vacation days, because the office is closed), a lot of the business was simply on hold and coming back wasn't too traumatic. 
--- 2 ---
One fun highlight was being able to return to St. Pat's Park. We took our wedding photos there and we went back for the first 3 anniversaries of our marriage to get family photos. We skipped the next 2 years as we were not in town and then we got to take one this year! 6 weeks away from our 7 year anniversary... way to go, Brian! Love you!
We didn't have a photographer... so the set-up was hilarious :) And I ended up tying my scarf around the umbrella to keep it upright... 
--- 3 ---
But now we're home! It felt good to see just how much we love our life here in Germany--it was a sweet homecoming. Naturally, we came home with both of our children... and a luggage of love (Christmas gifts) from the States. So, for the second year we joined What if we fly? in our own version of their St. Nicholas Bag tradition. You see, I don't have it all together by December 5 to go through the playroom and make a donation bag... BUT! We don't allow any Christmas gifts into the playroom after Christmas until their pile of new gifts is counted and an equal number of toys are selected from the playroom for giving away. It leads to cleaning the playroom, culling out what isn't used anymore, a sense of generosity, and the ceremonious joy in adding their new toys. For those drawn to the "Decluttering" revolution, this is a nice way to do it as a family. (And yes, we do veto certain items. LOL. Especially "open ended" toys like blocks.)
--- 4 ---
I am in awe of what sticks in my children's heads. I'm telling you--you probably haven't lived until you've heard Rowan prancing around the living room singing, "Let it go" (from Frozen) in German. Lass es los! Lass es los! Of course, even more rich is her approximation of her own lyrics layered on top of the song:

Lass es los! Lass es los! My hands are freezing!
Lass es los! Lass es los! I freeze everybody so I have to stay home! 
Lass es los! Lass es los! I have to stay here forever!
--- 5 ---
When my parents visited this summer, my Mom was shocked by the amount of daylight. Dawn began at 5 am and dusk ended around 11. It helped to me realize why I was having such trouble getting to bed on time... My body was waiting for darkness and it wasn't coming! So, I bought myself a tiny reading light with the idea that I'd go to bed at 9 with a book and a light, creating darkness for myself... But I never did it. 

Then! Christmas rolled around and I realized it was perfect for praying in front of the tree... without any big lights on. Perfection. 
--- 6 ---
My car is French. And yes, I've sworn a few times at its French Engineering... especially the day it took me 45 minutes to figure out the windshield wipers. (Embarrassing, but true.) However! Finally, I own a car that neither dings at me nor dies when I leave the lights on. If the car is off, the lights automatically turn off. Seriously, though. With all of these modern inventions, we still had cars killing themselves over a headlight switch? 

Ah, French Engineering. My favorite?
--- 7 ---
I discovered rolling pin rings this year. No, I don't own any, but the idea is basically that you put on a 1/4" rubber ring on both sides of your rolling pin so that you don't roll your dough too thinly... Say what?! So genius. 

Happy Friday! And Happy New Year! 

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