Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Gun Show

My dad requested some pictures of the guns that Brandon works with (he's an armorer, you know) so we went down there the day after Christmas to take some pictures of each other holding the various weapons. It was kind of fun, and definitely very impressive. Brandon could identify every weapon in the armory, and tell me what kind of ammo each takes, what kind of modifications had been made (or could be made), the history associated with each type... And that is just scratching the surface of what he knows. I'm so proud of him. ^_^ Anyway, Daddy should be pleased, cause we got lots of pictures. If you're interested in seeing them, you can check them out here. Bran helped me go through and label them all, so you can see what each one is. Now, I'll just need to have them printed when we get home.

Which will happen TOMORROW, by the way!! Our flight leaves around midday German time, and after a layover in Atlanta, we'll arrive in Orlando around 11pm Florida time. It's going to be a loooong day, but so worth it. I can't wait to get home!! Bran's parents are picking us up, but Daddy has said that he wants to meet us there too. Yay! I'm so excited, I can't wait to see everyone. Printing the pictures will have to wait until the next day, though...

Friday, December 26, 2008

New pics of my neice

I got some new pictures of my niece today, in the Christmas card from my sister. Apparently, she's been trying to get them to me for a few months now, but didn't have the right address. (Oops!) But I have them now, and they are super cute. ^_^ The quality isn't that great, because my scanner isn't that great, but it works.

Monday, December 22, 2008


That's right! We are going to have an Elora Marie!! We were finally able to get a clear view this afternoon and the baby is definitely a female. It's so good to finally know! Now I can finally pick out a bedding set and nursery decor... The doctor assures us that Elora is perfectly healthy, and we are still looking at a due date in the first week of April (though now it's the 3rd instead of the 5th). I'm doing pretty good too, though I'm having quite a bit of lower back pain and a bit of stomach trouble, but both are pretty normal. The doctor suggested that I try getting more exercise; swimming, especially, could help my back a lot. For the other, he put me on a different kind of iron supplement. My belly has gotten a lot bigger in the past month (I'm up to 142 lbs!), but I guess that's to be expected. I'm not entirely pleased with the picture of me, but it shows what I wanted to show: my tummy. ^_^ The picture of Elora is another profile of the face: she's facing straight up, with the top of her head on the right and her arm on the left.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

baby pics

In honor of lifewiththemorgans, here are the pics that I sent with the last baby update, sent November 25. Actually, I'll go ahead and post the update itself as well...

At 20 weeks, I've officially passed the halfway point! I've gone from about 130 lbs to 136.5 lbs and my waistline has grown from 32" to 37.5". (Check out the pic of me, my belly looks huge! But it isn't, not really, when you think about how much bigger it's going to get.) I've been feeling the baby move around for a few weeks now, and we've even been able to see the baby kick a few times!! That is harder to accomplish, though, because if we're not looking right at my belly at exactly the right time, we miss it. And of course, as soon as we look, he stops kicking. Ah well, I know that it will be happening more and more often, and it will become easier to see as he gets bigger and his movements get stronger. I'm wearing almost all maternity clothing now, though I do have a few regular things left that I can comfortably wear. As of my most recent check up (yesterday) the baby and I are both doing just fine. They did find that I'm anemic, so the doctor gave me an iron supplement to take along with my prenatals. The only disappointment of the day was that we still were not able to determine the gender. Brandon swears that he saw evidence that the baby is a boy, but the doctor didn't see anything and neither did I. So, we will continue to use "he" (in place of "it") until we find out one way or another. We actually got 4 different pictures from the sonogram this time around, but only one of them was any good. It's actually a profile picture of the baby's face, with the forehead on the left and chin on the right. It was a whole lot clearer when we got to see it on the screen, but unfortunately, the still pictures are never as good as the "video" we see in the office. Oh well. I've also included a picture with Bran and I together, because *someone* (wink, wink) suggested it, and I thought it was a good idea.

I know that we "announced" names some time ago, but we've decided that there are simply too many baby Aidens in the world already. It seems like everyone has an Aiden, or knows someone who has an Aiden. And since it's something that we both noticed, we thought it would be a good idea to choose something else. Neither of us wants our child to be one of several children in his class to have the same name. So, in place of Aiden, we decided that if we have a boy, his name will be Logan James.

And, finally, for those who have not yet heard, Brandon has been promoted!! His new rank is Petty Officer First Class, or in terms of pay grade, he's an E-6. (I'm not sure what the title equivalents are in the other branches, but for those of you familiar with one branch or another, the pay grade thing ought to be helpful.) We are super excited about it, and I for one am incredibly proud of him. Yay, Bannon!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Secret Santa

Since I wasn't able to go to the Christmas party lunch on Monday, I didn't get my Secret Santa gift until Wednesday. And since I ran out of the shop in such a hurry on Wednesday (amber road conditions, you know) I completely forgot to bring it home with me. But I stopped by to pick it up today, and so now I am finally getting to post about it! I was lucky enough that the lovely and talented Jenny drew my name, and this is what she made for me.

Hooray! I'm super first decorations for the nursery. ^_^ I was thinking of doing something like this myself, but Jenny is AWESOME and beat me to the punch. Thank you, thank you Jenny! I love it! The letters look really good on the yellow wallpaper too (it looks washed out in the photo, but it's actually a pretty pastel yellow). Now, I just have to decide where in the nursery I want to hang them. They can't stay on top of the armoire, they'll just keep getting knocked down...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bah. Humbug.

This is an annual rant of mine. They already have the Christmas stuff out at the Panzer's barely November, much less Thanksgiving!! Seriously, why do we need Christmas decorations the first week in November? As far as I 'm concerned, there are only 2 Christmas-related things we should be doing between now and Thanksgiving: squirreling away gifts (and cards) and making holiday travel plans.

Speaking of which, Bran and I just bought our plane tickets... We're going home!! Corinnea, I'll give you the dates when I see you tomorrow. ^_^ Anyway, once we're past Turkey Day, I promise to stop being a Grinch and get totally into the Holiday Spirit.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Baby News

I have some exciting news to share this time around, along with a new photo of the baby. The doctor was not able to determine the gender of the baby, but he did say it is probably a girl since he was not able to see anything to prove otherwise. On the other hand, there is still definitely a good chance that the baby is a boy, and he said not to start picking out blankets or curtains just yet. So what it boils down to, is that we still don't know. ^_^ We are going to try again to figure it out next time, and hopefully the baby will be more cooperative.

But that is not my exciting news. What IS exciting, is that I felt the baby move last night!! I was a little bit confused at first, because The Book (my nifty daily pregnancy journal) said that while some women do notice movement at this point, most do not begin to feel the baby move until the month 5 or 6. I'd been sitting on the bed reading, and it felt like someone had run their finger up the center of my belly, but from the inside. Like I said, I was confused at first, but then I realized that it felt completely different from other things, and that it must have been an elbow (or something) brushing against my belly as the baby moved. It was so fleeting I almost wonder if I imagined it, but I know I didn't. I called Brandon immediately to tell him (he was TDY but he's home now) even though I knew he was probably sleeping. It was just too cool not to tell him, and he (thankfully) agreed. I think it has happened once or twice since then, but not as...strong. (That's not the right word, but I think you know what I mean.) This is so cool!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Home Safe

Corinnea's post reminded brother in law, James, just got back to the States after 6 months in Iraq. My sister is with him in North Carolina, and she is beside herself to have him home again. Hopefully, he will finish the debriefing process soon, so that he can go back to Florida to visit his mother, and the rest of our family there. It is so good to know that he's safe!! I've worried about him being there like crazy, I can't imagine if it was my husband or my child. Hooray for safe homecomings!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Corinnea, you've created a monster, you and your anagrams!! I can't stop typing things in! I typed in my name (first & last, and middle initial) and the silly site came up with no fewer than 30,640 anagrams for my name. That is a lot of anagrams, and just from my name! That's not even counting all the ones I got for the other thing's I've typed in. Here are a few that caught my eye:
  • Renegade Margin
  • Engaged Mariner
  • Meandering Gear
  • Grenadine Gamer
  • Endearing Gamer
  • Gardener Enigma
  • Agreed Renaming
  • Dreaming Enrage
  • Grand Menagerie
  • A Dreaming Genre
And I'll stop there. Some of them are kind of cool, actually. I like the Gamer ones...'cause I am what is called a 'casual gamer'. Anyway, I thought that the idea, and the site, were cool enough to warrant their own post from me.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


This was the view from the window in my craftroom this evening. I wouldn't have even noticed, but Brandon said to come look...and so I did.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


My trip to Paris this weekend was amazing. It was definitely quite the adventure. While Brandon went with his brother and a couple of friends to Amsterdam, I made plans to go hang out with his brother's wife, Carrie. I met her at the train station in Paris late Friday afternoon and spent the next 24 hours on a whirlwind tour of the city. I don't know what I would have done without Carrie. She'd been there before, so she knew her way around well enough, and knew of a few points of interest that I would never have known about otherwise. Also, she has the amazing abilities to read a map, and to navigate the Parisian Metro system. I would have so gotten us lost! Ok, maybe I would have figured it out eventually, but I would have wasted a lot of time in the process.

So, in almost exactly 24 hours, I: took my first international train ride, was introduced to the Metro system (and rode my first sub-way train), spent my first night in a hostel, consumed earth-shatteringly exquisite creme brulee, saw Sacre Coeur, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, St. Sulpice, and Notre Dame, visited 3 other smaller but equally gorgeous churches in the city, shopped for souveniers along the Seinne, visited a large night time market, witnessed a large scale protest complete with cops decced out in riot gear, wandered through an art gallery, and hauled a back pack around Paris until I thought my shoulders would crumble and my feet spontaneously combust. Did I miss anything? Oh yeah!! How could I forget about the best ever burger and cup of hot chocolate in all of Paris??? That was at an Irish pub near St. Michel's Square, and fell somewhere between visiting churches and picking up gifts for my family back home. It was crazy and wonderful and enlightening and moving and AMAZING! I loved it!! I would not want to live in Paris, but I definitely enjoyed visiting and would like to go there again. Preferrably, with my husband. (You might have noticed that I did not see the Arc de Triomph, and I did not actually go into the Louvre. Both ofthese oversights must be corrected.)

Whew!! After all of that, Carrie and I took a train back to Rheims, where she will be living and teaching for the next six and a half months. We spent Saturday night in her little apartment at the school, made a breakfast of croissants at a nearby bakery the next morning, and spent the greater part of Sunday afternoon napping. The boys (Brandon, James, John and Tony) woke us up when they got back from Amsterdam around 5:30. We all crashed in Rheims, then got up early Monday (well, it was early by the boy's standards) to head back to Stuttgart.

It was a blast, but I am glad to be home. I took a ton of pictures of my adventure, and I am already looking at them and thinking, 'hey, remember that time...' There are a lot of the pictures that I took largely for my mom's benefit. Of course, I want to share them with everyone, but I know that the photos of the churches will carry a special resonance for her. The Sacristy pictures, and the lady arranging the flowers, all for you, Momma. :) I will be getting more, onceI can get my hands on the pictures from Carrie's camera, but given that I have just under 150 already, I'm not too worried about it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Since we have a couple of friends from home visiting, we went yesterday to check out Königschloss Neuswanstein. It's only a couple of hours away,which made me wonder why we had never gone there before. Seriously, why wait until we have visitors to go and do interesting things?
Anyway, we had a great time. We decided to walk up to the castle instead of taking the bus thingy, which was both good and bad. (The above picture is the Schloss when viewed from the little town at the bottom of the mountain, where we were when we started walking.) It was a beautiful, and we got the chance to stop and look at things that we would not have been able to see if we had taken the bus. I got some nice pictures, too. On the other hand, I am totally out of shape, and I was huffing and puffing before we were even half way up. They had a little souvenier shack at about 2/3 of the way, and we stopped so I could sit down and catch my breath. It was kind of embarassing, actually, but I just blamed it on the baby. :)

This is what we saw at the front of the castle. It happens to be the entrance to the Schloss courtyard, where people would queue up for the periodic tour of the castle.

And this is what we saw when we walked through that front door. (Sadly, no, there is no protcullis; there was only a large wooden door.) It was gorgeous! Even better than the castle itself, in my opinion anyway, was the view from the courtyard: a stunning panorama of the Alps and the surrounding countryside. And it was not only visually stunning. You could hear the rush of a narrow waterfall as it cascaded down the mountainside across forom the castle. The crisp autumn air was crisp and cool; it was nippy in the shade, but refreshing in the sunshine. There were birds flitting about everywhere, chirping at the people below them. One actually landed on the wall right next to me for a moment, just long enough for me to say "hello, Birdie" and then it felw away. (At which point, Bran asked me if I was some fairy tale princess. If only. I pointed out that if I was, then the bird would have landed on my finger, and we would have sang to each other).

I had Tony take this picture in the corner of the courtyard, hoping to catch some of the beauty behind us, but it doesn't even begin to do it all justice. Sure, you can see the mountainside behind us, but there is no sense of the scope of it. I guess it just boils down to this: if you haven't been already, then you need to. Immediately.

But I digress. We ended up having to wait over an hour for our tour, and after everything else, it was rather anti-climactic. The tour itself was rather short, and we couldn't even take pictures inside the castle. Don't get me wrong! It was beautiful, in a wastefully opulent sort of way. I'm glad I got to see it. But the man who had it built, King Ludwig II, only got to live in it for a few months before he was deemed insane and unfit to rule, moved to a small palace outside Munich, and found floating in the lake only a day later. Of course the guy was crazy. He lived in the late 19th century, but he built medieval style castles anyway. But to go to all that trouble, and then never have anyone use the darn thing? The castle was never even completed!! It just seems such a shame.

Anyway, if you haven't been and want to see pictures of the interior, I suggest that you just Google it. There have to be a ton of images floating around the internet. Or, just go and see it for yourself. That will work too.

Friday, September 12, 2008

50 Odd Things

1. Do you like blue cheese? sure

2. Have you ever smoked heroin? definitely, no.

3. Do you own a gun? nope

4. Wax or Shave your body parts? shave

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointment? no

6. Real or fake nails? what nails?

7. Favorite Christmas song? We Three Kings

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? water

9. Can you do push ups? does one count?

10. What's your favorite piece of Jewelry: my Brandon necklace

11. Favorite hobby? bouncing between hobbies.

12. Do you have A.D.D.? only when it comes to art & crafts.

13. What's one trait that you hate about yourself? too critical of myself, and therefore often insecure of my standing with others.

14. What is your Middle Name? Marie

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment? I'm sleepy, a little hungry, and I really ought to go to bed...

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? water and whatever else is in the house...juice, Arizona green tea, gatorade...

17. Current worry right now: the baby

18. Current hate right now? German Staus

19. Favorite place to be? home

20. How did you bring in the New Year? half way sleeping on the couch, listening to Brandon play video games and people celebrating outside

21. Like to go? to bed.

22. Name three people who will complete this? Alanna, maybe? Merryn? Monica?

23. Do you own slippers? heck yes! it gets flippin' cold here!

24. What color shirt are you wearing? white

26. Can you whistle? that would be a resounding, no.

27. Favorite color? green

28. Would you be a pirate? aye, matey!

29. What songs do you sing in the shower? I don't sing in the shower. Generally only in the car, and generally only when I am alone.

30. Favorite girl's name? Elora

31. Favorite boy's name? Jack

32. What's in your pocket right now? lint

33. Last thing that made you laugh? Brandon

33. Best bed sheets as a kid? I didn't have a favorite (did I, Mom?)

34. Worst injury you've ever had? 2nd and 3rd degree burns on the bottoms of my feet, when I was 8.

35. Do you love where you live? Sometimes.

36. How many TV's do you have in your house? 1

37. Who is your loudest friend? Hmm...Sara, or Peguy?

38. How many pets do you have? Just my little Han kitty.

39. Does someone have a crush on you? not that I'm aware of. I don't think Brandon counts, anymore.

40. What is your favorite book? what, you want me to pick one?

42. Favorite Sports Team? huh?

43. What were you doing 12 AM last night? sleeping.

44. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? did I oversleep? am I late for work?

45. What is you worst habit? correcting people.

46. Do you play an instrument? nope

47. How long does it take you to get to work? if the autobahn is clear, about 15 or 20. if it isn't, then, who knows?

48. Plans for the weekend? work Saturday, playing with the locker hooking stuff on Sunday.

49. If you could eat anything in the world right this second, what would it be? I don't know...suggest something!

50. Do you like the person who sent this to you? yeah, I think I'll keep her around for another 20 years or so. ^_^

These are so silly, I know. But hey, I posted!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Prego Update

I had another check up today, which means another sonogram. As uncomfortable as they are at this stage, I was still really excited about getting to see the baby again. So much has changed in the past 3 weeks! He (I refuse to call him an "it" so I just picked something) has developed to the point that he looks just like a teeny tiny baby now. (Yes, I know that's what he is, you know what I mean!) We could see the eyes, the nose, the mouth, his little arms and legs... And, in addition to seeing the heart beat again, we saw him waving his little arms around at us. Amazing! Absolutely amazing! I won't go on, because I will just start to repeat myself, and by the end of my pregnancy you will all be screaming at me to shut up about what a profoundly moving and humbling experience it is. And then I would cry, because I'm pregnant and that's what pregnant women do. So I'll just say that it was a genuinely awe-some experience, and hush.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

What do I have to show for the weekend?

Just this!
With the help of a couple of friends and their SUV, Brandon and I went Saturday to get the bed (and a new desk chair for me) from Ikea. The whole thing took the better part of 3 hours, and we didn't even do any browsing! And, of course, that doesn't count the time it took to put the silly thing together. Which was fun, by the way. So, pretty much all of Saturday was devoted to das bett and the associated chores. As you can see, I was able to get at least part of the room cleaned up. We even decided to sleep in the new bed last night, just to enjoy the fruits of our labors. Well, I slept last night. Brandon didn't come to bed until I was getting up.

What you can't see are all the plastic bags full of stuff that I have yet to go through and organize. Or the very cluttered work table where I do all of my bead work, which desperately needs to be cleaned off and organized. There is still so much to do! Well, at least we got all of the trash from the packing materials out of the house today. Along with all of the empty glass and plastic bottles that have been allowed to accrue for over a month. I'll get to the rest eventually...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Baby Clothes

I got a little package in the mail from my grandmother yesterday. That in and of itself is not unusual, she often sends me little notes or a package of candy. That's just how she is...she loves to get little gifts for people, and since I'm not around to receive them in person, she ships them to me. So, when I opened my little package last night, I was expecting more of the same. But it wasn't! It was the most adorable little NB outfit, with little ducks all over it. So sweet! She said it was so we could get all our ducks in a row...

Well, anyway, as soon as I opened it and realized what it was I clutched it to my chest and burst into tears. I felt utterly ridiculous, but I couldn't help it! It was classic Gramma Honey, and just made me miss her all the more and drove home (again) that I really am having a baby and now I have my very first--anything!--for the baby, and it was just too much. So I called her, sobbing, to thank her and she just said "Go ahead and cry honey, 'cause sometimes we just need to." I've decided it's what I want to dress the baby in when I bring him/her home from the hospital, in honor of my Gramma.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Frustrations & Resolutions

After going to the exchange to (finally!) order our new headboard and bed frame, Bran and I went to Ikea to look at a bed for guest use. I already had two in mind, so once we made our way to the beds display, it was easy enough to find what I was looking for. WE have only two places where we could put an extra bed, with out rearranging the whole house: in the room next to ours, which I have already claimed as the nursery, or in my craft room upstairs. I had originally thought to put a twin size bed in the nursery, but quickly realized that the room is just too small. So I decided that we could incorporate it into my craft room. There is room, after all, so why not?

Well, Brandon did not want a bed upstairs. What if he wants to stay up late on the computer in the next room, when there are guests here? And the refrigerator where we store beverages is in this room too. What if he wants a drink? And then, conversely, what if the guest sleeps really late the next day? No, no. No bed upstairs. We need to put it downstairs. I mean, why do we need a nursery again?

That last just dumbfounded me. We need a nursery. As we went round and round, I explained why with increasing detail. And why is it such a problem to put a bed upstairs? After all, when we have guests, they will be here for only a week or two at a time. Would it really be such a hardship to change your routine to accomodate them for the short time that they will be with us? Especially after they have come all this way just to see us? And it's not even the Mannex I'm suggesting...I'm offering up my craft room!

We must have sat in one of the displays in the store for 20 minutes, going over this same arguments and getting no where. It was only a reconaissance mission anyway, so we finally just headed home. We had done exactly what we had set out to do, but I was feeling so frustrated that it felt like we hadn't done anything at all. We don't often disagree like that, over important things like this. Neither of us was angry, just frustrated at the impasse. He apologized to me several times over the course of the evening, for disagreeing with me. It was sweet, but it didn't get us anywhere. Finally, as we were getting ready for bed, it occured to me that he'd definitely won our last argument (the litterbox saga) and why couldn't he just let me have this one? So I said as much when he came into the room, half joking and fully expecting him to just laugh. But he smiled, and said, "Ok."

"Really?" I said. I was completely unbalanced for a moment. I hadn't expected him to capitulate so easily. And then he went on, saying "Yeah, you were right to begin with. It will be only temporary and it's not that big a deal." And just like that, we had our resolution. The only remaining question is... Does anyone have a truck?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Low-Sodium Saltines, and Other Such Nonsense.

So I was sitting in bed last night, eating my saltless-saltines (I call them my not-queasy crackers) when the cat jumped up on the bed. Nothing new there, of course he has to be where ever I am and in the middle of whatever it is I am doing. But then he starts going nut-so over the crackers! They might as well have been slathered in catnip, because he wanted those crackers. So I gave him a bit of one, expecting him to sniff it and leave it like he does with everything else I give him, but he scarfed it down. It was terribly cute, even if his begging was also mildly annoying. (The pic is just a random shot that a I took months ago...)

Fortunately for me, I did not have a repeat performance of my first official bout of full blown morning sickness. I'm crediting the not-queasy crackers that I ate just before I turned out the lights last night, and that I forgot to eat two nights ago. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Nothing to Note

After working *all day* both Friday and Saturday (20+ hours in 2 days!!) I did absolutely nothing this weekend. Ok, well, I did go to the grocery store and make sure that my husband stayed fed, but nothing else. I spent a lot of time laying around was wonderful! And the book I'm currently reading is a nice change from the brainless fluff that I have been devouring lately. It's an epic fantasy called The Serpent Bride (by Sara Douglass), in case you're curious. The book is a complex story with several intertwining sub-plot lines that I can already tell will be woven together at the end. And, it's the first book in a series! Wonder of wonders, I got it at the Exchange, too. Don't get me wrong, I do like my mindless fluff, but it is nice to read something with a little more oomph to it every once in a while.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Junk Food

Why is it, that all of a sudden, all I want in junk food? I mean, I always want chocolate, but not the Taco Bell and the Anthony's and the Burger King! And the Easy Mac... I swear, I cannot get enough Easy Mac. Does my low sodium tomato soup and plain tuna dinner make up for the burger I had for lunch today? Probably not. I'm thinking a private one on one with an elliptical will be necessary to remedy that. I really am trying to make this a healthy pregnancy, really!

Ah, well. Thank you to Colin and Corinnea and Mary, for your efforts to provide me with M&M's today. I needed those M&M's. Seriously.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Heart beat!

Bran and I got to see the baby's heart beat yesterday!! It's just so amazing.... Where there was a shapeless blob a week ago (turns out that is the amniotic sac), we can now see the teeny tiny baby inside!! And, we could see the heart beating. The doctor told us that the baby is 7.5mm long, which is huge compared to what it was, but still so tiny!

I found myself feeling both awed and humbled. It still hasn't fully sunken in, that I'm going to be a mommy. And I have this tiny, amazing little person growing in my belly. Utterly amazing. Brandon was obviously just as impressed by the experience as I was. He just could not stop talking about it, all night last night. It made me feel good. :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Random Veronica Pic

In the process of wandering around MySpace the other day, I came across my sister's pictures from her recent trip to visit our uncle in the Keys. They were all pretty cool (though I did feel a bit jealous that I didn't get to go with her), but I thought that this one of my niece, Veronica, was especially neat, with the falling sand and all...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

*unintelligible moan*

I suppose my luck had to run out sometime... I managed not to toss my cookies this morning, not yet anyway, but will it get worse? I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"They look French. You know, ooh-lala and what not."

Me: Hey, baby look. I did my nails, they look all pretty."
Bran: Yeah, they look French. You know, ooh-la-la and what not."

This was in the car, on the way home today. (I guess I shouldn't be asking him to look at things--other than the road--when he's driving. Oops.) It made me laugh, and I thought I would share the laughter.

Anyway, I had my second prenatal check up yesterday. We were definitely able to see the baby this time, which is crazy. A week ago, it was a slightly darker speck in the grey murkiness of the sonogram picture. Yesterday, it was clearly visible, though it still only looks like a blurry dark kidney bean. (As soon as I am able, I'll scan it and post a picture.) All of the tests that they ran came back negative. I even came up negative for the Rh factor in my blood, when a good 85% of the population is positive. Since we know that Brandon is Rh positive (I'm B-, he's B+) I'm going to have to do the shot thing to accustom my body to it, so it doesn't think the baby is a foreign element. That would be bad. I'm going back in again this coming Monday, to listen to the baby's heart beat. I'm so excited! It's finally sinking in that this is for real. ^_^

Monday, August 11, 2008

Angelbachtal Medieval Faire

We went to a ren fest in Angelbachtal yesterday. Had a lot of fun, too. It was only about an hour away, and Peguy and Neil went with us. It was great! Of course, Bran got bored about an hour after we got there, but we appeased him with cotton candy and candied pistachios, and everything was cool.

The thing I liked best is that there were a lot of people in period clothing, showing how things were done 6 or 700 years ago. I took a ton of pictures of those guys... Well, the craftsmen anyway. There were also a lot of people just sitting around outside their tents, smoking pipes, or cooking or whatever. I just thought it was neat, because the last (and only other) ren fest I went to, there were shows and booths set up for shopping and, but none of the period demos. It was disappointing, though, because they had neither the big juicy turkey legs that I had been so looking forward to, nor a henna artist. We ate spatzle and crepes instead. And Peguy got a big hunk of pork that they carved right off of a pig on a spit.

We stayed until time for the Joust at 2, but didn't start toward the field until about 10 minutes before, and there wasn't even any standing room left, with a view of the field. Brandon could see, but none of the rest of us could. We stayed for a bit. Bran put me up on his shoulders a coulple fo times, so I could see what was going on, but we finally decided to just go. It promised to be a long show, and I knew bran couldn't hold me on his shoulders for that long and it would have been rude to Peg and Neil anyway. And, did I mention that by that time my feet were killing me? My black flip flops just are not cutting it.

Anyway, we headed back toward the car and got the stone carver to take a pic of the 4 of us on the way out. Bran and I both fell asleep on the way back to Peguy's to get our car, so we decided to justhead on home and be lazy instead of hanging around to play wii with them. It was a good day... We only spent about 60 euros on everything: admission, food, souveniers. Not bad, right?
I thought it was pretty good.

I'm going shopping with Mary this morning, yay! After the week she had last week, I figured she could use some fun girl time, and I want to start scooping up maternity clothes anyway. Wish us luck!! This afternoon I have my second ultrasound. Stay tuned for the latest breaking news!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

4 weeks today

Today is 4 weeks exactly, working from July 12 as day 1. It's probably too early to be taking pictures like this, but you have to start somewhere. The only visible bump is the one that has been there right on along...nothing new. I can't wait for a real baby bump to appear, so that it doesn't just look like pudge any more. Besides, I bought this really cute dress, but it won't look right until I have a belly to go with it. ^_^

Oh, and in case you haven't noticed, I cut my hair.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

not what I expected.

Being pregnant is not what I expected. So far, anyway. I don't feel any different, really. Not that I'm complaining about my lack of morning sickness! But nothing has changed. Intuitively, I guess I knew that the changes would be mostly subtle. After all, the whole thing takes 9 months! Nothing happens over night. Except maybe morning sickness, and we have already established that I am not missing *that* in the least.

Still, though, I find myself wondering if I really am pregnant. I'm really looking forward to the point when I will be able to feel the baby moving, and be able to hear the hearbeat when I go to the doctor. I think that then, it might become real for me.

Monday, August 4, 2008


I had my first prenatal doctor's visit today. The nurse at the clinic (after my positive pregnancy test) gave March 23 as my due date, and I knew then that she had miscalculated. (It's impossible...Brandon and I weren't even in the same state at that point!) And sure enough, Dr. Kraus did the math and came up with April 5. Then, based on what he found in my first sonogram, not that there was much to see, the computer came up with April 6. So, we're looking at a new addition to the family around the first week of April. Yay!

Monday, July 28, 2008

I'm in shock!!

I'm shocked speechless. I'm pregnant! I'm super excited, and equally terrified. But I think I would be more of those things if I completely believed it's true. But it has to be. I did a home test yesterday, and it was positive. (I had to keep looking at it to make sure that it still just said "pregnant" and that a "not" hadn't popped up in front of it.) Then, I went today and had a test done at the clinic, which also came back positive. So it has to be true. I'm pregnant!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


It was wonderful to be back in Florida, but my life is here, in Germany now, and it has been equally wonderful to get back to it. My own home, my own bathroom, my own kitchen. My kitty cat... Han did just fine while we were gone. Alexandra (our neighbor's granddaughter) did a great job of looking after him. It was sucha relief to know he had a friend while I wasn't around. I'm glad to be back to work too. I love my job, and I missed all my people. Hooray for great co-workers!!

Friday, June 27, 2008


Lord, but it is so good to be home. I'm so glad I didn't spend a week trying to get a space-a flight. There is a lot to be said for having an itinerary.

I was bubbling over when I got off the plane in Orlando... I all but ran once I got off the tram between the terminals and the main part of the air port. I did run once I caught sight of my mom, and then we both cried. I'm pretty sure I surprised her, 'cause I don't think she saw me until right beforeI slammed into her and wrapped my arms around her neck. I missed my momma so much!

Once we got outside the airport, the humidity wa like a solid wall. It was wonderful. And I never thought I would be so damn happy to see a palm tree! I said that so many times yesterday. It's the little things like that that I really missed, and that made me so glad to be home. Like my mom, with her little travel thermos of water that she ALWAYS has with her. This one is new, I'd never seen it before, but it didn't matter. It was Momma Blue, and it's her water cup. And on the way home, we had to stop at an auto parts store so Wade could get what he needed to tune up mom's Malibu. A seemingly tedious detail, but that's Wade. A normal part of the life and reality that I more or less left behind when we moved to Germany.

I got my smoothie yesterday...Very Blueberry. And I got to go to Valentino's, my very first day back!! I went with Mom, Aunt Monica, Merryn, Alanna, Gramma and Veronica. (Good grief, but that baby was being grumpy last night, but even that was cute!) Next on the agenda is El Leoncito's. I'd thought I would drive over ans see Daddy and Gramma today, but I think I'm going with Monica and Merryn to Universal Orlando...woohoo! I've never been to Islands of Adventure before, and I'm super excited. They're running this special for Florida teachers, so Monica will be able to get me in for $40, about half of normal admission. And, it's a park hopper pass, so we'll get to do Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. I just hope I don't lose steam too early in the day.

Tomorrow is Alanna and Veronica's joint birthday party. It looks like I'll be surprising Daddy there. Then I'll drive over to see Gramma Honey on Sunday. Hopefully, since Bran will be gettting in from Virginia today, he'll go with me. No biggie if he doesn't, though. I know he's been gone a month longer than I have.

I've already started taking lots of pictures. I'll try to keep up with posting them to photobucket. I'll have to, since I know I'll be running out of room on my memory card. So, keep an eye out for great pics!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

space-a nightmare

Except that it wasn't night at all, but 3 long, grueling days of sitting in a hot, overcrowded air terminal in horridly uncomfortable chairs, with the sounds of screaming children incessantly battering my eardrums.

Ok, I dramatized a little, but really, only a little. The concept is a good one, a really good one. And I could see that it would be great, in the fall or spring, to save some money and fly back home for free. It's a large air terminal, with a lot there to help make things easier on people. There's a Subway right there in the terminal, and a kid's play area, and a family play area for parents with very small children, and a USO with snacks and computers and stuff... But the chairs are still uncomfortable, and it was still devilishly hot.

And, since school just let out only a few weeks ago, there is a mass exodus of people trying to get back to the States. Most of them are the spouses of soldiers down range, who want to spend the summer at home with their families instead of staying alone in Germany with the kids. Who can blame them? And, who can blame them for not wanting to have to purchase air fare for themselves, and each of their children? And almost all of them had at least two, most had 3 or 4. But the end result was a madhouse of grumpy people waiting in a stuffy room for a chance to get on a flight that may or may not come.

It was not pleasant.

When I got there, I found that some of the people waiting had been waiting for a week, sometimes more. There were a pair of girls that had been waiting 9 days. I was there for three days, and about lost it. In that time, I'd only gone from the middle of the bottom half of the third page of the waiting list, to the middle of the top half of the third page. Why? Because anyone with higher priority than me--and that was pretty much everyone--got plugged into the list ahead of me, and got called to board ahead of me. And that's how it should be. An active duty soldier with only 9 days of leave should get to go first. The same goes for someone who has had a death in the family, or any other emergency. But it still sucked for those of who simply stayed at the bottom of the list.

*sigh* It was just one frustration after another, really. I hit a nasty patch of traffic on my way to Ramstein AFB, extending a 2 hour drive into one that took 3 hours. When I did get there, it was only to be informed that all flights to the States for that day had been canceled. So I got the info on the area hotels, and called to book a room. But of course the one on RAFB was full, so I had to drive to one of the others back in Kaiserslautern. One that happened to be so convoluted and confusing, that you had to have a map just to get off the base. But before I even got the chance to be boggled by that, they shut down all exits to RAFB for a good 30 or 40 minutes, so I got to sit, gridlocked in the traffic trying to get off base, for that period of time. Luckily I found my way to Vogelwey (the other base) easily enough, and was able to follow the signs to the Inn.

It was simple, definitely old, but it was just what I needed: a bed, a bathroom, and a shower. The main frustration there was that my room, the only one available, was on the 4th floor. And there are no elevators. So I got to haul all of my luggage up 4 flights of stairs that night (and back down again the next morning). Luckily for me, I was able to get a room on RAFB last night, and it was only on the 3rd floor, instead of the 4th. And, there was plenty of choices of food for me on base, so that wasn't a problem either. Enough for variety, even.

As for my time at the airport itself, it was a mixed experience. I'd brought a lot of stuff along to keep me occupied. In the time that I was there, I crochet a scarf start to finish, read 2 books, and made a new friend. Andrea is a little older than me, kind of soft spoken, and very sweet. She had her 10 month old daughter there with her, and that child is just as cute as can be. We chatted a little Monday, and I helped her keep her speed-crawling youngster from escaping the area. Today, she came and sat by me, which I thought was really cool. We spent the day talking, taking turns with babysitting the luggage, and with entertaining the baby. Anja (An-ya) is the sweetest little baby. She's petite, with big hazel eyes, long eyelashes, and a head full of golden brown hair. She took right to me, and I loved it. She might do that with everyone, but still, it made me feel special. I don;t know if I'll see them again, but I gave Andrea my e-mail address, so hopefully she will drop me a line.

And....I have spent sooooooo much more time on this than I had intended to. Really, I was just going to say, "summer space-a sucks" and leave it at that, but then, I can never be succinct, can I? So yeah, I'm going to bed.

Oh, did I mention that I bought round trip airfare to go back home, and that I'm leaving in the morning? Well, I did. Hooray for an itinerary!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

flying out

Ok, I'm finally headed out to Ramstein today. I got up early so that I could drive out there bright and early, but when I called to get the day's flight schedule, there's nothing useful leaving until this afternoon. So, I figure I might as well wait at home, and be comfortable, instead of waiting there. Now I'm planning to leave around noon. Wouldn't it be awesome if I could get on the flight this evening? Wish me luck!

(Oh, and by the by, the picture thing didn't work out the way I'd hoped. I only got one pic, and I can't find the cord to upload it, will have to wait.)

Friday, June 20, 2008

I'm a lazy bum...

...for not posting, like a good little blogger. :)

My Fire Mountain order FINALLY came in last night, so I have lots of new necklaces and such to bring with me. I think I'll ask my lovely co-workers model them for me, so I can post pictures of them later. "And here is Mrs. Kelly Sarles, sporting an elegant shades-of-gray pearl necklace from Designs by Adie International. Beautiful, Kelly!" hehe.

Ok, back to the real world. I am supposed to be leaving for the States tomorrow, and I am super excited. BUT I still have so much that I need to do before I go, because I spent all night making jewelry instead of taking care of those things that I need to do. So, since I am going space-a and have no set schedule, I might push it back to Sunday. After all, I might as well take advantage of the fact that my itinerary is flexible, right? I hate to wait a day, but I think I will be less likely to lose my mind if I do.

Stay tuned for lots of cool pictures to follow!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Free Week

Brandon is gone for the week, so I have all of my time this week to myself. Not that this is a good thing. I've gotten so spoiled, having him around all the time for so long. Right now it just feels like he's gone to work, like he does every Monday, but he won;t be coming home tonight. I think that's when I'm going to start to miss him. I love our time together in the evenings... It's a good thing that I have work to keep me busy, or I'd be nutso by the time he gets back on Friday.

So anyway, I'm catching up on some girl time this week. I'm going shopping with Jennifer this afternoon (Yay! Emily and Eva time!) and then I'll be getting together with Sarah and Peguy for some Sex in the City. You see, I've never seen a single episode, and both feel that this is complete sacrilege and must be rectified immediately. Especially if I am going to see the movie with them. I've been kind of neglecting them, shame on me!, so it's good that I'm getting a chance to spend some time with them. I'm looking forward to it.

Oh, and speaking of movies, we saw the new Indiana Jones flick Saturday night, and it is AWESOME! Totally in keeping with the tone set by the previous movies. And Harrison Ford stepped right back into the character as if it had been only 2 years instead of 20. Wonderful! Even Brandon said that he would pay to go and see it in theaters again, and from him, that is the highest honor available. So, if you haven't seen it, then you need to!

PS: I'm in a much better mood now. :)

Saturday, May 31, 2008


I am in an utterly vile mood. I'm not sure exactly what my deal is, but I have been full of nothing but spit and vinegar for the last day or two. And, believe it or not, I'm in a better mood now than I was last night.

I got off work at 4:30 to go and get Brandon, and it took me an hour and fifteen minutes to get home. That's an hour longer than it usually takes me to get home. Apparently, as soon as a single drop of rain hits the ground around here, everything simply stops. I was crawling along the Autobahn. Sure, I could have left the Autobahn, and tried my luck going through town, but what if it was even worse there? So I just kept crawling. And, when I did get home, I just took long enough to heat up some hot pockets and then it was straight back to Patch to try to catch Indiana Jones with some friends. The return trip took only about 25 min, but we were still late enough that the movie sold out before we could get our tickets. Even better, there were only 3 people ahead of us when it cut off. And, to top it all off, Bran decided to rub in my face that we should have just canceled to begin with.

I went to bed as soon as I got home, after an apology to Brandon for being so snipey. I didn't even want to be around myself, I was feeling so nasty. It wasn't just the frustration of the afternoon, though that certainly didn't help. Like I said earlier, I've just been in a rotten mood. But, today is a new day, and I'm hoping that it will be better than the last.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


So, after an amazing afternoon spent picnicking in the Black Forest, what could Brandon possibly do to top it? Why, he could take me to France, that's what!!

Since yesterday was a holiday for both of us, we took the opportunity to drive to Strassbourg. It's only about an hour and a half away, just over the French border, and perfect for a day trip. We got there right around lunch time, so the first order of business was to find something to eat. We had no idea where we were going, or what we were doing--we just put "Strassbourg" into the GPS and went--so at first we were well away from the touristy part of the city. We ended up in this tiny little Cantonese restaurant. Our waitress spoke only French with very little exception. And of course the menu was in French. We asked her what was good, and she pointed at something and said "specialty" so thats what we both got. It was pretty good, actually. There was a deep-fried shrimp, a meat pocket, a hush puppy, a stuffed noodle thing, and a very small chilled yellow pepper salad. It was a perfect portion for me, but little better than an appetizer for Brandon. At least it took the edge off for him, anyway.

After that we drove around until we could see the cathedral spire, and then headed for that. We were able to get a parking place right there next to the church, which turned out to be pretty central to the tourist section. The Cathedrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg, or the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg, was amazing... It was begun in the late twelfth century, and took almost 200 years to complete. Do you know what they were building the the US in the twelfth century? Tepees. (Not to diminish Native American history and accomplishments, but you know what I mean.) It was a humbling experience to be there, standing in building that had been built nearly a thousand years prior, to place my feet in grooves created over 800 years worth of use. I lit a candle there, for my grandfather, and for Brandon's Grandmama. I don't know why, but it seemed appropriate. I took a lot of pictures, but none of them could really capture the essence of the place. I awe.

The rest of our time there was trivial, by comparison. Not that it wasn't fun, or memorable. We got something more to eat in a cafe near the cathedral. I was still pretty full from my Cantonese meal, so I just got an order of creme brulee, which was delicious. Brandon got an escargot appetizer, because it was there for the trying. I tried one too, and though Brandon liked it, I just couldn't get past the texture. I literally had to choke the thing down, and to be honest, I barely even chewed it. Afterward, I was delighted to go back to my creme brulee. Bran was less satisfied with his main course... He got a local dish, with sausage ans sauerkraut. What he didn't know, is that he would be served a mountain of sauerkraut; everything else was basically just an after thought. Oh well, at least he tried it, right?

While we were sitting there, he noticed that there were people all the way at the top of the cathedral. So we wandered back over there, to try to figure out how to get up to the top ourselves. There was already a group up there, so while we were waiting, we went back to a street vendor and bought some gelatto ice cream cones. (oh, by the way, gelatto is YUM! I might not be a fan of American ice cream, but I just can't say no to Italian ice cream.) We finished them just as they opened the doors to allow more people to come up.

We hadn't gotten far before I decided that maybe that wasn't the best of ideas... It was 66 meters up to the top...better that 300 steep and uneven steps to get there. I felt so out of shape! My legs and lungs both were burning with the strain, and I was gasping for breath long before we got there. It was sad. I didn't hear Bran huffing and puffing at all. Of course, that might have been because I couldn't hear much at all over the sound of my own labored breathing, but I digress. It was worth it after all, once we got to the top. The panoramic view of the city was amazing. And, Brandon noticed that all of the stone blocks had been engraved with people's names and dates. I found myself wishing for a rubbing kit... It was crazy! One in particular stuck in my memory... "Johann Daniel (something) May 1196 Strasbvrg" I know that I don't remember it exactly, but I also know that I'm close. And no, the "v" is not a typo. Thats how it was written.

Crazy, right? Anyway, going back down was a lot easier than going up. At the bottom, there was a tram tour just about to leave, so we jumped on it. It was interesting, and quite informative. There is such history there... I hadn't appreciated just how much until I started listening to the tour narration. She noted the 4 remaining towers of the original Roman fortress, a civic building that was erected in the 1980's, and literally everything in between. Renaissance, Gothic, medieval, everything! All of it layered there together in one place, each building with its own unique story to tell. The sad part, to me, was her frequent reference to the things that had been lost in the WWII bombings there. Most of the destroyed historic buildings had been re-built in the old style, but it's not the same. Part of me wants to be disgusted, but then again...WWII is just as much a part of history as the rest of it. It is reasonable to expect that it would leave its mark on the world, just as much as the rest of it.

The whole trip served to give me a new perspective on the passage of time, and the lives that pass within time. Each life is so fleeting, so finite....yet the decisions we make, the things that we do can have an undeniably lasting impression on the face of the human race. It is strange to think of these things, to think beyond the realities of my day to day life. When I think of the future, I'm more often concerned with when I will next be able to see my family, when we will be able to start a family of our own, where the military will lead us next. Never do I think of what will remain when I am gone. What have the people of our age contributed to the historic landscape of the world? What will I, personally, contribute? My art? My writing? My children? Which will be the most important? Which will be the most lasting? My life stretches before me, and time stretches infinitely beyond that. My life feels insignificant by comparison.

I know I am certainly not the first to think of these things. I suppose that the grand scheme isn't so important, really. Life--and time--will continue to roll on regardless of what I think of. I can't help but to feel that it's the little things, and what I choose to do with them, that are important. The rest will follow on its own.

Sigh. I didn't mean to wax so philosophical... But I write what's in my head, you know? Heck, I often don't know what's in my head until I do write it. But, there it is.

As a side note, they ended up not needing those curtains that I made. Fantastic, right?