Theo’s 2nd birthday

Theo turned TWO!! on Monday, May 16. I can’t believe my little baby is all grown up. Okay, all grown up is not quite the right phrase for it, but holy cow. How am I already parent to a two-year-old? What a huge difference the past two years have made!

I’m not sure I ever shared this here, but I made a video about Theo’s birthing day. (Don’t worry, it’s pretty PG. Maybe PG-13 for a few pictures.) I’m so glad Tobi took pictures and that I made this video. (Note to self for second baby: do this, too!)

Unfortunately, he was sick the days leading up to his birthday. He had a high fever and was unusually cuddly and had no interest in playing. Very fussy. Very clingy. I don’t blame the poor guy. And on top of that, we were out of our normal environment because we were away with friends for the weekend on a church retreat. While it was nice to be there, and especially to have so many people around to celebrate his birthday on Monday, it was also a very exhausting weekend and we are all recovering.

This was by far the best moment, though. He was so excited about the knife he got (and the wooden fruits & veggies to cut with it). I’m so glad we got this moment on camera. We’ve watched it about a gazillion times already.

Happy birthday, my little boysen. Bobatsi. Mr. Boy. Bud. Theo baby. It’s been a pleasure watching you learn and grow. May it ever continue.

Love,

Mama (& Daddy)

Theo’s 1st birthday

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Well, folks, here you have it. My little boy is one year old today.

We had an absolutely lovely day with him. Definitely much more enjoyable than last year, spending this day in labor with him. ;) Obviously the end part was good, but getting him out here into the world was quite some work!

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He brings such light into our lives and I am so very thankful for the gift that is being his mama. Watching him grow this year has been truly amazing.

We love you, Theo. Happy 1st birthday, little man!

Twenty-Eight

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I turned 28 years old yesterday, and it was a really wonderful birthday! It was a lovely fall day and I wore one of my favorite shirts and leather boots. My boys took me out to breakfast at a café in town – when the one we were planning on going to wasn’t open, we instead ended up at the same café where we’d interviewed our wedding photographer two years ago.

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We then took a nice walk back, and Theo fell asleep holding these rings on his toy. So precious!

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When we got home, I got to open some presents, one of them being this awesome book:

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(Translation: ooh la la, who farted? HILARIOUS BOOK!)

Theo tried to eat the wrapping paper while I wasn’t looking…

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Tobias wrapped up the big present in his typical manner. Not very sustainable, ahem, but his aluminum foil gift wrap has a long history for us. Hence the phrase he wrote on it.

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(The big present was a fancy-schmancy electric toothbrush…with bluetooth and an app and everything!)

He also signed me up for a sewing course, which starts in the new year. So excited!

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Theo wanted to be cuddled a lot yesterday, so that was nice. And when he went to bed, I sewed him up a sun hat, since his head has grown too big for his other sun hat.

My parents had these lovely flowers delivered…simply gorgeous!

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I had a wonderful birthday, and I felt very special and loved. This first birthday as a parent really surprised me at how different things feel when you realize just how special it is to be born and to grow older year after year. My little boy is already growing up so fast, and my life changed forever when he entered into our lives. There’s something just…magical about it all. Wrapping your head around the fact that you were once a tiny little baby, too, and that your parents were so thrilled to welcome you into their lives.

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That’s me, twenty-eight years ago. Incredible.

We’re leaving today for vacation…off to Mallorca! (But first, finish packing and cleaning!)

Amsterdam!

It’s been a whirlwind two weeks since I last posted. I’ve had a bit of writer’s block lately, and I still don’t feel all that inspired to share much right now. I think it’s the change in the weather or something. Who knows.

Anyway, I turned 27 this past Sunday, and we lucked out with Reunification Day, Germany’s national holiday. This year, October 3rd fell on a Thursday, which meant most people took off work on Friday, including my students. So I had a long weekend, too!

As an early birthday present, Tobias planned a trip, which he managed to keep a secret from me until the very moment that we changed trains at Osnabrück and I saw the sign for the train to connect us to Amsterdam on the screen. At least, I hoped it was Amsterdam, and not Bielefeld, which was on the opposite track! (My in-laws live in Bielefeld! Wouldn’t have been much of a surprise trip. Ha!) He’d told me we were taking a trip, but I didn’t know where until that moment. We left early on Thursday morning and stayed until 7 o’clock Saturday evening.

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So I was pretty excited. I’ve mentioned that I just started taking a Dutch class, and I kind of guessed that somewhere in the Netherlands is where we would be going, and I was excited to get a chance to hear some Dutch. I can’t speak it much at all yet, but I did enjoy trying to read signs and menus!

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We stayed at a bed & breakfast and walked around the city all day, up and down the canals, which are just gorgeous! We marveled at the crooked-looking houses, wondering if they might indeed tip over one day. We ate at nice little restaurants and had some coffee and ice cream breaks at cafés along the canal. We had lovely weather, and it was warm enough that we didn’t need all the warm layers we thought we’d need: on the third day, we realized that just a t-shirt and a hoodie were warm enough!

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We went to the Rijksmuseum and saw some famous Rembrandt paintings. We walked past many “coffeeshops” and I wrinkled my nose at the smell of pot (not so pleasant if you ask me!). We ate poffertjes (mini pancakes!) and french fries with different sauces. We had one night of really awesome Mexican food. (Not exactly famous in Amsterdam, but they had the best Mexican food I’ve had in ages and a nice outdoor terrace we could sit and eat at while people-watching!)

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They put these chocolate sprinkles (and many other flavors) on bread over there!! So strange and special! We brought some home with us!

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We visited a few churches and saw Rembrand’s wife’s grave. Her name was Saskia. We enjoyed all the little details of being in a new city. I’d never been there before, and the last time Tobias was there was probably 15-20 years ago.

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Such cute little mini teensy tiny cars!

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Very appropriate for my birthday and for feeling old.

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On the way back, we took the night train in a sleeping car. Pretty darn awesome. That part was really an exciting adventure! The conductor wakes you up 30 minutes before your stop so you have time to wake up and get your things together and so you don’t sleep past your destination. Pretty cool.

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It was such an awesome trip and I feel so lucky to have such a wonderful husband! Thank you, Tobi, for planning it! It was the perfect way to finish out my last few days of being 26.

Mom’s 53rd birthday

Still catching up on posts from my trip to the States. Here’s the next one!

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For my mom’s birthday on August 8, we just kept it simple and had a nice dinner at home. During dessert, we gave her a few presents. Her birthday dessert of choice? Ice cream – her favorite!

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That’s a BIG tub of ice cream!

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Tobias and I gave her a pretty Vera Bradley cover for her Kindle reader. As you can see from her smile, she loved it. And as an avid reader, she’ll really get a lot of use out of it!

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We also gave her an advent calendar in which Tobi’s picture is the first page. The best part is, the picture is of my parents’ living room and Christmas tree! My mom was so surprised and got such a kick out of that!

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It’s always nice being able to be there for birthdays every once in a while. There are a lot of August birthdays in my family, and I got to be there for all three of them this year! I just wish I could be there for the birthday celebrations during the rest of the year! That’s one of the harder things of living abroad.