Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Am I Officially a Vegetarian??!!

I can't remember the last time I ate meat. I know it's been months (maybe six or so) since I have cooked meat at home. I think that might make me an official vegetarian.

If you would have told me when Liam was born that I would be a vegetarian, I would have laughed while I ate some really bad, processed food. Our diet a few years ago was horrible. I mean, it's not perfect now but back then, it was a lot of processed, nutrient deficient foods. Once I got pregnant with Asher, I started slowly making changes to our diet. I started adding more fruits and vegetables while cutting out a lot of the processed foods and GMOs. Now, we eat a lot of organic foods and I try to limit the amount of GMOs we consume.

Now I know that vegetarianism isn't for everyone. I'm not here to preach to anyone. I made the choice to stop eating meat when I started watching a lot of food documentaries on NetFlix (like Food, Inc. and Vegucated). It actually wasn't hard to stop eating meat at home...I just stopped buying it and cooking it. Now, going out to eat or getting takeout is a different story. Will still eats meat when we order food and so do the boys. When I first stopped cooking meat, I would eat the meat that we ordered. Well, that changed somewhere down the road and I started looking for vegetarian options and making sure that Will ordered those for me as well. I'll have to do a post soon showing the different vegetarian options I've found at local restaurants (they have all been delicious).

Here are a few of our favorite vegetarian snacks:

Beet, carrot, apple and spinach juice

Beet, carrot, apple and pineapple juice

Organic yogurt topped with strawberries, chia seeds, cacao nibs and whole wheat berry flakes

Egg scramble with red peppers, potatoes, vegan Italian sausage and Sriracha and the best organic grapes ever

Asher's absolute favourite snack: Air popped popcorn, vegan butter, nutritional yeast and pink salt

From Garmisch to the Baltic Sea: Our Road Trip from Southern to Northern Germany

Before I dive into the details of this trip, I must admit that this was truly a "road trip". We didn't stop to see the sights. We spent most of the time in the car because we had a limited amount of time and hours of driving to do.
We had two main destinations for this trip: Garmisch and Rostock/Lichtenhagen.

We headed to Garmisch for a marriage retreat through Will's unit chaplain. We'd previously done a couple's activity through the chaplain's office (a rope course which was a blast) and were told that we would be put on the list for the next retreat but for some reason, we weren't selected.

I was the only wife to finish the course!

Thanks to my friend Ja'vail for the pictures!

Well, when the opportunity came around again, I put our names on the list and this time, we were one of the families selected to attend. We'd planned to take a free bus there but decided at the last minute to just drive. Garmisch was a couple hours away from home but we were able to get a late start since we weren't able to check in until 1400. We packed the car, gave the boys Will's laptop full of movies and headed out.

I'm going to take a moment to brag on my boys right now. They did great! Our Nissan Rogue is not the biggest vehicle and we had to improvise a bit to get the laptop in a good position. Even with the tighter space back there, they didn't complain much and were in good spirits (despite Asher's face in the picture above).

As I mentioned above, we didn't stop to see the sights. We didn't want to push our luck and honestly, I really wanted to get to Garmisch. Once we got closer, the boys were able to get their first glimpses of mountains.

Our stay at the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort was awesome. The resort is lovely and surrounded by mountains. I wish I would have taken more pictures but we weren't really there on vacation. We decided that we definitely want to go again before we leave Germany. It would be a different experience to be there for leisure.

Once our marriage retreat was over (we were there for two nights), we hopped back in the car and headed home before starting the next part of our journey. We got home, relaxed and did the same routine over again the next morning.

So, our trip to Rostock/Lichtenhagen was not a leisure trip either. We drove over six hours to pick up our new family member: Ms. Betty White.

She looks small but she'll be HUGE!
We have wanted a Giant Schnauzer for awhile and since we're in Germany and they're German dogs, we figured it would be really neat to get one while we were here. I prefer rescuing dogs but when it came to getting a Giant Schnauzer, I knew we would end up going to a breeder. After researching and talking to a few locals, I found a breeder that I trusted. Betty comes from an amazing line and that was really important to us when picking a breeder.

We'd originally planned to drive to northern Germany and stay the night in a hotel. Well, things fell through with our hotel reservations so we ended up driving there, going to the Baltic Sea, picking up Betty and getting right back on the highway. I must give Will lots of credit here since he did all of the driving for this trip (and the one to and from Garmisch). We spent a lot of time in the car but getting to see mountains and the Baltic Sea alone were worth it (oh, and getting a new puppy too).

Liam was in rock throwing heaven.

Although it was super chilly and windy, I loved seeing the Baltic Sea. It's crazy to realise that we've seen places that many people have not. We're definitely lucky and another (warmer) trip to the Baltic Sea would be awesome as well.

I wish I would have taken more pictures but I'm glad that I got to experience this trip in the moment. It wasn't the ideal sight-seeing trip but it was a great experience for our little family.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Nice to See You Again Dear Friend

It has been awhile. In my last post I mentioned lots of changes. Well, there have been even more things that have happened since that post almost a month ago.

Will is away for training until Thursday (thank goodness!) and while he has been gone, both Asher and I celebrated our birthdays. Well, we didn't really celebrate them at all. We're waiting until Will gets home to have a little party. It just didn't seem right to have a party while he was gone since we don't really know socialise too much. Asher doesn't seem to mind (he is only two after all) so it just works out.

I'll try to get up a couple post about trips we took and things we've done before the party. I'm hoping to catch up and post regularly but I say that all the time, so we'll see. Until then, enjoy a few pictures!!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Our Step Towards Minimalism


I talked previously about my desire for less. It really can be a struggle. We're conditioned taught that in order to be happy, we must have more. More money, more things, more everything. Well, I'm tired of more...especially more clutter, more junk. I want to live simply, organically.

Even though the thought of change gives me anxiety, I'm ready for it...actually I'm aching for this change in our lives. I mean, it seems like the natural next step for me but Will was always on the fence. He has made a lot of changes because of me (the guy had never eaten broccoli before we got married...how is that even possible?!) but sometimes familiar habits are hard to break. Well, about a week ago, he stumbled on the Zen Habits website and something clicked with him (even though I've talked about the same concept repeatedly but that's marriage for you).

So as of right now, we're taking the steps towards a more minimalistic life for our boys and ourselves. I'm excited for this change (there have actually been a few changes in our lives but I'll talk more about those in a different post). I'm even more excited to share this change with you guys.

Monday, February 23, 2015

On Turning 30


That magical number where you are supposed to have your shit stuff together. Everything is supposed to fall into place. Career, family, life, you know, EVERYTHING.
Well, my thirtieth birthday is fast approaching and I feel like I'm having a mid-life crisis. I am starting to realize that for the past two years, I have lived in a bubble. I live this quiet life in my little German village. And I was just fine with that until a letter from Social Security reminded me that I did not make any income during 2013 (or 2014). That's when it hit me that for the last two years, according to the government, I haven't been doing anything with my life. Sure, I'm a stay at home mom of two young children. I know this and love this but when I return to the workforce, I will have to explain why I haven't' "worked" in two years (three years by the time we leave here).

That scares the crap out of me and sends me downward spiraling into anxiety wondering what I have to show for the past thirty years of my life. I have a family but no career, no degree (I will get that done though, pinky swear), no income of my own. I just have to keep reminding myself that I live a life that's perfect for me. That works for my family and if that doesn't fit into what society (and my environment) has taught me is acceptable for a thirty year old, then so be it. Anyways, thirty is the new twenty so I still have ten more years to figure things out.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Just Two

I offended Liam today. He asked for a snack and I told him to make sure he shares with this brother. He looked right at me and said, "Everything I ask for is for me and Asher". And he's right. If Liam asks for a toy at the store, you better believe he will ask for one for Asher. If he asks for a snack and Asher wants a piece of his (even though he has his own), you better believe Liam will share. Liam is the perfect big brother. Of course there are times when sharing doesn't come as easily and fighting does but that's completely normal.

When I look at the bond between Liam and Asher, I am amazed. Even though I would love to have baby number three, I wonder if adding another kid in the mix will disrupt what they have going on or maybe another sibling will just add to the love. I don't know but every time I see the boys hugging first thing in the morning and every night before bed, I hope that their bond lasts forever.