Wednesday, August 10, 2016

a hodge podge of happenings.

German summers are so incredibly mild. Like 60s and 70s. I actually quite enjoy it most of the time. PERFECT park/walk/run/bike weather. But usually once a week, we get a day warm enough to play in the water! So here you have, a smattering of random moments of our life in the past month.

On the days where the high is 60 and cloudy, we stay home and bake, or ride bikes, or go to the library. A few days ago, Jane and I made some homemade bread and strawberry jam. I never want to forget her pushing a chair from the table into the kitchen and scooting it up to the counter so she could be my "good helper". I let her stir the strawberries with the sugar, and then we put the bowl on the ground to try to give Lyla a turn to stir. Which mostly, to her, was just a turn to taste. We put the bowl back on the counter and finished up the process. Jane's sweet face was glowing with giddiness. In between her giggles, she spilled out the words "I just love you mommy!" I always let her help me in the kitchen but in that moment I realized how much each of us truly cherish that time. It was enough to turn an ornery toddler into a sickly sweet little girl. Just a little bit of jam stirring, and bread kneading (or "spanking the bread" as she calls it). The best mother daughter therapy.

There are few better feelings than the satisfaction I get as I sit down at a table surrounded by each member of my adorable family munching on warm, straight outta the oven bread; drenched in either honey butter or homemade jam. Can't explain it. But it is an experience. One that I hope to repeat many, many times. So I took this opportunity to pull out my camera and snap some bread pics. As odd as that sounds....
We brought a few loaves to some friends, but were sure to save plentyyyyy for ourselves ;)

Believe it or not, we do other things besides take pictures of bread over here....
We take advantage of that warm day a week, and play out in the pool, usually with friends! There is nothing Jane loves more than playing in the water with her friends! I feel so blessed to have so many good friends here (who just so happen to have kids to play with my kids).
How perfect is this little babe pool?
Lyla isn't as excited about the water as her sister. As you can see. UNIMPRESSED.
^^ another day, another friend, another swimsuit. But same jane facial expression that I get about 99 times a day. This is her face that says: uh! how dare that situation no go exactly how I had planned! I blame you, mom! 
^^ and here it is again. How dare I ask to take a picture of that dirt stained face? ha...ha.

Another cool thing that has happened lately: jeff got promoted! This promotion would've happened no matter what since it has to do with how long you've been in the army. (btw, we've survived a year and a half in the army! I would even venture to say: we've thrived.) But he deserves every bit of goodness that comes with the promotion because he is so dang good at what he does. I'm proud of him. His many, many gifts and talents are being put to good use, and he continually amazes me. We often joke about how we could never do each other's jobs. I would have a mental break down after about 1 hour of being in the army, and he would go crazy staying at home all day, everyday. But it works out pretty well because we both LOVE our jobs and together we make a good team!

^^ afterwards, we climbed to the top of this tower and saw some pretty cool views!
^^ jane, and her tag.
love you, jeff!

This is a random, stand alone picture that I took the other day when we went to the bakery for breakfast and enjoyed our freshly baked goods at our favorite park. We were feeling super European so I had to capture the moment.

On saturday, we drove to Pottenstein with our neighbors and good friends. It's such a beautiful place! We actually came here last year, almost exactly a year ago when Lyla was a new, new baby! It brought back some sweet memories. I think it was our first big outing as a family of 4!
^^ jane, and her tag. It's basically a saga.

We bought our tickets and started the tour. 2 minutes in, Lyla started screaming so I walked my butt right back out the way I had just come in and swallowed the cost of my ticket. I hiked around with Lyla for an hour while everyone else saw the caves. And I am not sad about it. I love being in nature. Everything is suddenly all right in the world, and any negative feelings or thoughts that had been brewing are replaced with a renewed sense of gratitude and happiness for my life, and for this beautiful world we live in. I also seem to always receive inspiration when I am outside exploring with no distractions. Here are a few pics I snapped on my little solo excursion. Okay, solo + Lyla ;)

When the others returned from the caves, we decided to go rent some paddle boats, but not before Jane dropped rocks onto her head, repeatedly.
The kids were so delighted to be on the boat, while us adults were less enchanted. We couldn't seem to get over the fact that this little lake was probably more duck poop than it was water. 
^^ you can see all the speckled stuff in this pic. It's allllllll poop. 
^^ My angel. She is so often a refuge for me.
^^ Obsessed with Vivian's curls!!!
Ok, it was a fun little stroll. We all really enjoyed it. I mean, watching your kids enjoy something automatically is enjoyable to you, right? It's the best.

I've gotta start taking picture on sundays again. Because dang my girls are cute. Particularly on sundays ;)
^^ idk why some pictures upload on here and the lighting is so weird. it's totally blogger's fault because it doesn't look like this on my computer. 
^^ Jane, annoyed that Lyla didn't want to be clobbered.
^^ Honestly, it is a miracle Lyla has a little pony tail. She squirms her head in every direction every time I get near her head. So, this pony tail should be greatly appreciated.

^^ one of my new favorites, ever.

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