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.