I’m Pregnant!

Guten Tag!


Some of you already know but for those of you that don’t…  After 6 years and 5 months of hoping and praying for a baby…


I’M PREGNANT!


We are so happy and so excited!


My due date is February 8th of 2008!


It’s been a long road, fraught with moments of pain, panic, anger, and sorrow but in the end God is ever faithful!


I woke up early this morning and tested again and it came up with the word ‘Pregnant’ in under 30 seconds… (I know because I stood there and counted!)  It’s true, it’s really happening!


~~~~~


I am still waiting on my Dr to call or write me but he does jump from clinic to clinic so one way or the other I’m getting in to do all the work up today or tomorrow!  For those of you who don’t know…  The clinic (and if I haven’t said it before that means not only the fertility docs but the OBGYN’s as well) will close it’s doors for the last time on July 1st.  From there on out I will be seeing a German doctor for all my needs.  We live very close to one of the top rated hospitals in the United States Air Force in Europe network though so I’m not worried.  The benefits of this closure is that my Dr. is willing to do everything to get me ready and since they are closing doors they get to just use up the resources!  So the last time we talked he said that means all the bloodwork, early ultrasound you name it this next four weeks will hold it!  I’ll keep everyone updated!


~~~~~



A couple of you asked me how I told my husband…  Well I wish I had a really cute story for you… but I don’t.


Ryan has been my pillar throughout the last 7 years. 


He cleaned the house when I was so sick from blinding migraines (form the pseudo tumor) that I couldn’t move let alone work or clean house… 


When a neurologist put me on a medication for a year that isn’t supposed to be taken for more than two weeks, and it burned holes in my brain so that there are things I can’t remember and sometimes I can’t find words… He never made me feel like I was stupid… 


He held my hand as we learned that we were miscarrying both of our babies…  And cried right along with me.  (He’ll probably be mad I told you that.)


He learned everything about TTC and many of his colleagues came to him for advice when they were having troubles… 


He made sure I took my meds when I was diagnosed with PCOS and put up with all the horrible things it did to my body. 


When the Dr put me on Clomid or Provera and I became a bear to live with… He smiled at me and rubbed my hair and took it on the chin. 


When I gained over 150 pounds in under two years he went out and hocked jewelry so I could afford new (mostly only new to me, thank the Lord for second hand stores.) clothes and he always told me I was pretty.  He never made me feel like less of a person, or too much of one… 


And when I had to have gastric bypass surgery he flew home from Qatar early (thank you Red Cross) just so he could hold my hand and help me walk… and change my bandages and empty my drainage bag…  (Gross I know)  And even now two years later and 150 pounds lighter he swears I am no more beautiful to him than I was two years ago. 


God has blessed me with an amazing man, one who made this last 7 years of heartache and pain worth living… he gives me a reason to laugh.


And so I could not take a test without him here and I could not make him wait.  He stood beside me and held my hand and breathlessly asked…  “Oh God, Courtney, is that another line?”


My cup runneth over today… in so many ways!


Courtney


 

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A Step Through Time…

Guten Tag!


I hope each and every one of you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and remembered to thank the soldiers in your life.


Ryan and I were privileged to take part in a ceremony that was an amazing part of history and an honor to behold as part of our Memorial Day.  Ryan was asked to participate in the Memorial Day ceremony at the Hamm Memorial Cemetery in Luxembourg.  The place that General Patton is buried along with the fallen heros of The Battle of the Bulge in December of 1944. 


 So we hoped in the car dressed in our best and made our way to Luxembourg. 


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Here is Ryan and his colleagues chosen to participate in this ceremony walking into the Hamm Memorial Cemetery.  This cemetery was established as a temporary burial plot on December 29th, 1944 and was then opened as a permanent American cemetery on December 16, 1949.


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 When you first enter the cemetery there is a large monument chapel in the center of a circular walkway and on either side of it are walls that say,


“HERE ARE RECORDED THE NAMES OF AMERICANS WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY AND WHO SLEEP IN UNKNOWN GRAVES.” 


Below are listed the names of the 371 soldiers listed missing in action during this campaign.


In my research of the cemetery I came across this passage which I found an interesting and fun bit of history.


“A great proportion of these inscriptions was carved by a one armed German sculptor.  This man, a strong, cheerful individual in his early forties had lost his right forearm on the Russian front.  While in hospital, learning that his subsequent pension would have been greater if he has lost his arm above the elbow, he prevailed upon a complacent doctor to remove the injured arm near the shoulder.  After demobilization, the man acquired a short leather sleeve affair, resembling a flower pot with a small hammer stuck into the drainhole.  donning this contrivance at the work site and driving it with a lunge of his right shoulder, the man worked as swiftly and as accurately as did his colleagues, who, incidentally, worked in harmony with him despite their French nationality.”


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 On the other side of each wall are maps depicting the movements of troops over the area.  Beside the map is written this in explanation…


“ON 16 DECEMBER 1944 THE ENEMY MADE ITS LAST CONCERTED EFFORT TO STAVE OFF DEFEAT BY UNLEASHING THREE ARMIES ON A NARROW FRONT.  PREPARED IN GREATEST SECRECY AND LAUNCHED UNDER COVER OF FOG AND RAIN, ITS ATTACK IN THE ARDENNES WAS INITIALLY SUCCESSFUL.  BREAKING THROUGH ON A 45-MILE FRONT, ITS FORCES PENETRATED OVER 60 MILES, BUT AMERICAN SOLDIERS, FIGHTING VALIANTLY, HELD THE CRITICAL SHOULDERS OF THE SALIENT.  REACTING PROMPTLY AND DECISIVELY, THE ALLIES RUSHED ALL AVAILABLE RESERVES TO THE SCENE.  A FURIOUS STRUGGLE DEVELOPED AT ST. VITH WHERE THE ENEMY ADVANCE WAS STUBBORNLY DELAYED.  AT BASTOGNE, ALTHOUGH SURROUNDED FOR FIVE DAYS, AMERICAN TROOPS, WITH THE HELP OF SUPPLIES DROPPED BY IX TROOP CARRIER COMMAND AIRCRAFT, MAINTAINED THEIR DEFENSE.  ON 22 DECEMBER THE THIRD ARMY COUNTERATTACKED THE SOUTHERN FLANK OF THE PENETRATION.  THE NEXT DAY THE SKIES CLEARED AND THE EIGHTH AND NINTH FORCES PLUNGED INTO THE BATTLE.  THE THIRD ARMY CONTINUED ITS ADVANCE THROUGH BITTERLY COLD WEATHER, REACHING BASTOGNE ON 26 DECEMBER.  THE FIRST ARMY’S COUNTERATTACK CAME ON 3 JANUARY 1946; ON THE 16TH THE TWO ARMIES MET AT HOUFFALIZE.  THE SALIENT WAS REDUCED BY 25 JANUARY. 


IN FEBRUARY THE THIRD ARMY FORCED ITS WAY THROUGH THE SIEGFRIED LINE, CAPTURED TRIER, AND BY 5 MARCH HAD ESTABLISHED BRIDGEHEADS ARCROSS THE KYLL.  THE NEXT DAY IT LAUNCHED ITS ATTACK NORTH OF THE MOSELLE.  PRECEDED BY AIRCRAFT OF THE NINTH AIR FORCE, ITS GROUND TROOPS SWEPT FORWARD TO JOIN THE FIRST ARMY ON THE RHINE.  THEM, ON 13 MARCH, AMERICAN FORCES SOUTH OF THE MOSELLE ADVANCED; THOSE WEST OF KOBLENZ SWUNG TO THE SOUTHEAST TO JOIN THIS ASSAULT.  HAVING CLEARED THE WEST BANK BY 21 MARCH, THE THIRD ARMY RUSHED ACROSS THE RHINE AT OPPENHEIM THE NEXT NIGHT.


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Here is a close up of the area of the map which Ryan and I call our home.  The very top yellow circle is Bitburg, which is where we live.  The yellow circle in the middle of the map is Trier, which we have many a picture of.  Last but not least, at the bottom of the picture is the Hamm Memorial Cemetery.  Just to give you an idea of distance, Bitburg is roughly 40 minutes from the cemetery.


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In the center of the complex is a chapel.  It rises 50 feet in white Valore stone from the Jura Mountain region of central France.  On the west side (which you can see in the first picture) is the carved seal of the United States.  Under it is written,


“1941-1945 IN PROUD REMEMBERANCE OF THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF HER SONS AND IN HUMBLE TRIBUTE TO THEIR SACRIFICES THIS MEMORIAL HAS BEEN ERECTED BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.”


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On the opposite side (which is the second picture…) is a carving of the coat of arms of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.  Below is a translation of the above inscription in French.


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Above the chapel entrance is a 23 foot sculpture of the Angel of Peace carved in Swedish Orchid Red granite.  He has his right hand raised in blessing and is holding a laurel branch in his left hand.  Above is a dove against a cloud.  He was carved in place, hewn in about four week’s time by an elderly Italian sculptor and his two nephews. The block of New Orchid Red granite was so hard that chisels were blunted after every few strokes and it was necessary to lower them to the ground, where a field forge was operated continuously to dress the instruments.


Beneath the angel is carved…


“HERE IS ENSHRINED THE MEMORY OF VALOR AND SACRIFICE”


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 Inside the chapel is a small prayer area with an alter that has the inscription…


“I GIVE UNTO THEM ETERNAL LIFE AND THEY SHALL NEVER PERISH.”


Up the center is a stained glass window with all of the divisions represented in The Battle of the Bulge.


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 The ceiling of the chapel is mosaic.  In the center is a dove, representing the Holy Spirit, there are also four angels from which emanate the sun’s rays.  At the feet of the angels is a running inscription encircling the ceiling:


“IN PROUD AND GRATEFUL MEMORY OF THOSE MEN OF THE ARMED SERVICES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WHO IN THIS REGION AND IN THE SKIES ABOVE IT ENDURED ALL AND GAVE ALL THAT JUSTICE AMONG NATIONS MIGHT PREVAIL AND THAT MANKIND MIGHT ENJOY FREEDOM AND INHERIT PEACE.”


It is quite a beautiful and humbling sight to behold…


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 After we had looked around the main memorial site Ryan was called over to the staging area for his part of the ceremony and I took my seat.  In no time war veterans and dignitaries began to arrive…


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 Mr.Claude Wiseler, Minister for the Civil Service and Administrative Reform, Minister of Civil Engineering gave an opening address and benediction.


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 After a few speakers a Brigadier General spoke. 



Then war vets presented colors. 


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 The Air Force Honor Guard then had the honor of presenting the colors and anchoring them in the field.


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 A short time later we witnessed the presenting of the wreaths which has been a tradition since the cemetery was opened.  This is the presentation of the Luxembourg wreath and the American wreath… the first two out of five.  Presented by the Luxembourg army and the Marines.


 


 This is the Air Force Honor Guard placing the colors on the field.


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I was then fortunate enough to get The Missing Man Formation on video along with an explanation of why it is used. 



 Here is Ryan participating in part of the ceremony.  He hates this picture but as it is only one of two I was able to get, it’s staying in. 


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 Here they are lining up…  The Air Force had the honor of laying wreaths on the graves sponsored by dignitaries from the area and high ranking government officials from our own country.  I could not, however, get any pictures of that part of the ceremony due to the crowd but it was a site to behold!


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 My dashing husband!


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 This is the 21 gun cannon salute given by the Army from the base of the burial ground.  It was so loud that I could feel it in my chest and feel the vibrations in my feet.  It is followed by the traditional TAPS with answering call.


 


 I turned around and glanced at Ryan.  I simply could not resist snapping a quick picture of him saluting during TAPS while standing with the dignitaries he carried his wreath for.


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 After the ceremony was complete we were invited to tour the 50 plus acres that this cemetery encompassed and to pay our respect to the men who lie here. 


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 Several vehicles that were actually in service during The Battle of the Bulge were on display.


Here is a medical transport.


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This is a vista I have seen in pictures a thousand times… to be there in person was quite an experience. 


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 There was also a jeep from the battle.


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 When we got to the bottom of the burial grounds, we found that Col. Roberson had arranged for the military members to meet some of the Veterans of the war that actually fought with the men buried on these grounds.  Ryan says it was an amazing honor to shake hands with these men and to hear their stories.


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 The Air Force members that presented then posed for a picture…


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 … with one of the cannons used in the 21 gun salute.


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 Isn’t he so handsome?


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 Here is the fountain that graces the center of the grounds.


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 I got a moment to pose with the cannons as well.


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 On Memorial day hundreds of volunteers come out early in the morning and place: the Luxembourg flag, the American flag, and a single red rose on each grave…


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 My husband looking out over the graves of his predecessors…


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 Us on the grounds of the Hamm Memorial Cemetery.


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 There are 5,076 American military dead who lost their lives in the service of their country buried in this cemetery.  These brave men came from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  There are 22 places in this cemetery where brothers rest side by side.


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Among those interred in the cemetery are 101 unknown soldiers whose remains could not be identified.  The headstones of these men are inscribed:


“HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY
A COMRADE IN ARMS
KNOWN BUT TO GOD.”


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White marble shafts surmounted by a Star of David mark the graves of 118 of the Jewish faith, and white marble crosses mark all the others.


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  This wreath is the one Ryan carried and laid down at the foot of this cross. 


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 In the front of the burial ground lies the grave of General Patton. 



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  We feel incredibly honored to have taken part in this ceremony which not only let us step, if for only a moment, into the past, but which gave us an overwhelming sense of gratitude to our predecessors and to our county… 


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I guess you could say that this weekend we got ReBlued! 


Until we meet again,


Auf Wiedersehen!


Courtney


 

Die Sommerszeit (Summertime)

 Guten Tag!


It is a lovely sunny summer day here in The Land of Fairy Tales!  It’s bright and sunny and 73 degrees!  I have all of my doors and windows thrown open to the cool breezes and the dogs are basking in the sun on the patio…  It’s been this way all weekend and we took full advantage of it!


We took a hike down the creek like we did in the fall and it was so beautiful… The water was low but the trees were so very green!  Quite different from the last time we went when it was cold and rainy…


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It was so warm I didn’t even need a  jacket!  (Which is a big deal for a Phoenix girl in Europe!)


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 I didn’t even know there was green like this!  It is so beautiful here in the summer months… You can almost forget the mosquitos and ticks… Almost…


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 This is one of the places I stood last fall in my red cloak…  You almost can’t even tell it’s the same place!


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 These are the little bridges and staircases that lead down to the small outdoor chapel we found in the fall…


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 Can you tell I’m just blown away by all this green?


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 Up on the cliff overlooking the river bottom…


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 Possing for the camera… or falling down the path… Why do you think I have such a grip on my husband?


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And then we were off!  We hoped on the bike and just rode around the countryside… through farm country and little villages, over the river and through the woods… Oops sorry!  I had the idea to wear the camera around my neck and take pictures from the bike… I’m always telling my family that the most beautiful things in Germany you only see from a car!  And since the roads are so narrow (in most cases they are tank roads from the war) there is nowhere to pull off and take pictures of the magnificent vistas!  Though these pictures don’t really do it justice at least you can see a little more of what we see every day!


See the patchwork crops?  There’s alfalfa, wheat, and Conola in this picture alone!  (Sadly we didn’t get any great pictures of the Conola fields… It’s a short growing crop and by the time we got out and about after the rain most of the blooms are gone…


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This is from a side road to the B-50, which is our daily drive…  You can see Bitburg off in the distance to the left… The farms off in the distance directly ahead and part of the B-50 in the foreground. 


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Our lovely Bertha sitting on a hill overlooking Gondorf.


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Another vista on the road to Bitburg…


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Ryan with Bertha… overlooking Huttingen I believe…


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Grasses blowing in the gentle summer breezes…


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Me and the other woman…


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The fields are simply bursting with all varieties of wild flowers…


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Ryan and Bertha again… 


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Poppies and wheat and roads that lead nowhere….


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One of the fabulous places that’s now on our list of where to have a picnic!


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You know, the deal is, when we get back to the states I’m getting my motorcycle license and then Bertha will be my bike and Ryan gets a new one…  Do we suit each other? 


Of course as I pointed out to Ryan when we were looking back through these pictures… It would look much more realistic if I had put up the kickstand and stood up!  To which he replied,


“Well yeah but I don’t want you to drop it until it’s yours!” 


Which makes me wonder why he wants me to learn to ride if he thinks I can’t hold little old Bertha up… Oh no wait I know the answer to that!  He’s a guy and he just wants a bigger, better, and more expensive toy.  I’ll show him!  (Insert a sarcastic smirk here)  One of these days…


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Riding down into the little hamlet of Gondorf…


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The wheat fields overlooking Bitburg…


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Gondorf and the road into Huttingen…


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Another farming community…


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Waiting to be on the road again… to explore all the unexplored nooks and crannies of south western Europe in the summer!


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Winding country roads…


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This is the vista overlooking our favorite place to be (and the town of which we hope to be residents in the near future) Philippsheim!


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Isn’t it a beautiful little place?


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This is one of the oldest buildings there…


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This is the road out of Philippsheim on the way to Speicher…


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A town home in Speicher…


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Speicher’s main street…


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A back road to another small hamlet…


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Huttingen Kyle


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It has such narrow streets…


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And some of the most beautiful country…


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And in our looping around we found a small wild field of Canola flowers…  So just imagine acres and acres of these in full bloom covering the countryside and you have a glimpse at what the last few weeks have been like… I just wish I could share the amazing scent with you!


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This is the Huttingen train station or Bahnhoff…


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So there you have it… Our weekend of exploring just a small bit of the Eifel… We have high hopes that there will be many more days such as these to come!


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Until we meet again,


Auf Weidersehen!


Courtney


 


 

If April showers bring May flowers… What in the world do May thunderstorms bring?

Guten Tag!


Do you remember that old joke?  “If April showers bring May flowers, then what do Mayflowers bring?”


There is not much new to report here in The Land of Fairy Tales…  We got the bike out of storage right when we got home and had one glorious ride down to Ramstein…  We didn’t take the camera as it is a trip that we’ve taken before and we, of course, anticipated many more rides to produce pictures on!  It was not to be… It has rained every single day since then including that night when we got home! 


Speaking of the rain!  When we were back in the states for the whole month of April we received many reports from the people here that they were having unusual weather.  The temperatures were in the mid to high 70’s… In April!… In GERMANY!!!  We were home for exactly three days before the rain started and it hasn’t let up since… and the temps have been in the mid to high 50’s… This of course has kept us primarily indoors with no ability to take out the camera and get pictures for all of you!


I have to tell you though that this place has simply erupted into life!!!  There are flowers everywhere!  There is even a predominate crop here that is nothing but yellow flowers as far as the eye can see!  And the smell is heavenly (imagine that on a motorcycle)  We found out recently that these flowers are Canola flowers from which they harvest seeds to make Canola oil!  So every time you use some to cook picture Ryan and I riding through a countryside covered in flowers!!!  (Hopefully we’ll be able to get some pictures soon so you won’t have to imagine it!  LOL)


And so all of that together leaves me with nothing much to talk about…  I have spent the week catching up on paperwork and working on the computers… (getting them up to snuff since I haven’t had much time to work on them since they all went down in that one week in February!) for once this weather breaks I simply do not intend to have much time to do things indoors!!!


The weather is supposed to break this weekend and so we have great plans!  Here’s to hoping that pictures will be coming soon!


Until then,


Auf Wiedersehen!


Courtney


P.S.  The answer to the joke is… Pilgrims of course!


P.P.S.  For those of you who read my protected post… thank you for your comments…  There will be a protected update there shortly…

Summer Garden, The Great Lake, and Moulage…

Guten Tag!


It’s another lovely day here in The Land of Fairy Tales… breezy and sunny and just a wee bit chilly….


Over the last few days I have, once again, put in my little flower box garden and readied my patio for spring and summer use… I’m actually quite pleased with how it’s turned out!


All of these flowers are a local craft here in Germany…  Everyone used them in their gardens and their home…  Though they are not exactly the taste I have come to develop over the years… I find them cheery and quite charming…


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My windowsill box filled with conifers…


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My balcony boxes filled with petunias, creeping geraniums, (which I never knew existed!) Dahlias, snapdragons, shell vines, and so many more…


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And of course some little pinwheels shaped like flowers!


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And my very own bee!  🙂  Hovering over my vine… 


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Soon we’ll be off on high, grand, adventures once more.  We have just recently taken our motorcycle out of storage, castle season is upon us, and life could not be more pleasant!  How strange it is to be an Arizona kid that simply adores the summer!


Just to keep you updated… OUR LEAK IS FIXED!!!  It seems, after much discussion, and after a very close shave with a German and his favorite sledge hammer… they decided to check our pipes instead of ripping out the walls…  And the consensus was that we had a slow leak behind our kitchen sink that had been there for, perhaps, years.   They fixed it in a short hour, avoided ripping out walls and floors and in the bargain I got a brand new faucet!  (Which of course was my least favorite thing about our kitchen since it was over 30 years old and very low which made washing pots and pans a pain!)  So that, as they say, is that!


And in still other news…  Ryan is participating in the exercise this week.   He has been tasked to play moulage on the night shift.  Which means from 5pm to 5am my husband will be made up as a dead guy…  How… interesting.   They are going to put makeup on him and everything and he’ll lay out in a field… playing dead… for a 12 hour shift… for the whole week. 


And I don’t even get to see pictures…


Oh but no worries he won’t be bored!  He may get pulled to play a terrorist so they can beat him up or even a victim of chemical warfare… in which case they will strip him down to his underwear and teach these guys how to hose him off…  LOVELY…  So here’s to hoping that he comes out of this week unscathed!  And preferably not with pneumonia!


And with that I’m off to enjoy the sunshine!


Auf Wiedersehen!


Courtney

A European Day Dream…

Guten Tag my friends!


There are some things about living here in Germany that are just so entirely European…  Things you see in movies and you think, if only for a fleeting moment, how amazing it would be to have those things as a part of your daily life…


Here in Germany they do not have bags at the grocery store… Whether you purchase a loaf of bread or a cartful of produce you are responsible for the mode in which it is transported from the store to your home…  And so you do not leave your home without a long handled basket or a tote… 


My method of choice is a large green and blue striped wicker tote that I purchased in a small boutique in Wittlich…  Though this can seem inconvenient it’s not as hard as it sounds…  We don’t have super groceries here… There really are such things as the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker despite what Walmart would have you believe!


Today I went to the market to buy a few things for dinner.  As I strolled through the grass and past the old weeping willow on my way from the auxiliary parking lot, with my hair blowing about me in the warm spring breeze it hit me.  I was her!  I was that woman in the movies that moves to Europe to find adventure… the one they always show doing mundane daily things to prove that she has found her niche in this world…


Here I was walking along through the European countryside with a large tote of groceries.  What a picture I must make with a loaf of fresh german bread, the tops of some fresh carrots and a bottle of olive oil sticking out of it!  How exquisitely surreal!


It sometimes amazes me how life can surprise you in it’s simplicity!


So… as this charming and thorough sophisticated European woman (wink*wink nudge*nudge) briskly and elegantly walked up the stairs to my abode… I noticed something rather odd…  The wall of the stairwell directly below my apartment was a bit damp… and at the bottom of the wall was a large and strangely shaped bubble in the wall… Thinking of course that I had simply overlooked it, since I don’t spend and inordinate amount of time in the stairwell, I reached out the toe of my dainty sandal and poked the bubble.


It exploded all over my foot!


I ran up to my apartment and phoned Ryan, explained it to him and asked him to call the Housing office… he did and they said…


“Well as long as it’s not running water it’s not an emergency, we’ll send out a plumber as soon as we can.”


Satisfied with that answer I went about putting away my lovely fresh foods and preparing to make dinner.  When suddenly the doorbell rang!  I went to get it and lo and behold there stood my downstairs neighbor! 


“Um….”


Said he, with a little embarrassed shuffle…


“Did you happen to notice if you have a puddle on your living room floor?”


“What?!”  I cried  “No of course not… why?”


“Well…”  he continued  “Our ceiling is wet and just a moment ago it started dripping onto my living room floor.”


“Oh my goodness” said I “I just noticed this in the stairwell…”  (and I proceeded to show him) “I’ve already called housing once and they said they would come out but I’ll call housing back right away and let them know that the situation has changed!”


He smiled and thanked me and said that he would call too and hopefully make them see that this was a big deal and then he went back into his home to control the damage….  We are still awaiting an answer from Housing.


Do you think this constitutes an emergency now?


Ah and so it would seem that no matter how fanciful my thoughts might be, in the end life is simply life, to be lived no matter where you call home…  But it sure was a nice afternoon!


Auf Wiedersehen!


Courtney


P.S.I have switched over to the Xanga themes and I must say I do enjoy some of the features!  However I’m not entirely sure it’s working… Do you see it?


 

Weddings and such…

 Guten Morgan!


~~~~~


*Warning!* 


This is a HUGE picture post…  With simply tons of pictures from our trip back home and of my baby sisters wedding*


~~~~~


So I’m back… It seems like simply forever since I was able to really keep up with everyone… life has been so full of late! 


We had a wonderful time back home in Phoenix.  We enjoyed every moment of family and friends and our home here in The Land of Fairy Tales feels empty and quiet after the whirlwind of activity the last month has been.


First things first!  My Sister, Charly, and Ryan’s brother, Zach, are dating!!!  We are so happy for them and they make a beautiful couple!



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~The Rehearsal~


 


In the interest of space I am only going to show you a few pictures from the rehearsal and of course most of them will be of Ryan and I! 


Here we are walking down the aisle together…  Looks natural doesn’t it? 




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My baby sister and her soon to be husband walking away “Not Quite Man and Wife!”


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Ryan escorting my mother out of the church.



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Zach and Charly at the rehearsal dinner.


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Ryan and I at the rehearsal dinner.


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Ah the perfect personality shot!  Tyler wondering “What’s up?” and Becky posing pretty with a Starbucks in hand!


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Charly and Zach after dinner…


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Ryan and I after dinner…


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They look so good together and so very happy…


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I think I will say the same for us!


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Getting ready for bed, but first a little girl time on the night before the big day!


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~The Wedding Day~


 


These lovely people are my in laws!  Beautiful family and look at my little lady killer nephew in his tux!


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My father and Ryan…  It was such a beautiful day for a wedding in The Land of Perpetual Sunshine!


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My handsome husband!


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No he’s not recruiting him… well maybe into the family!


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My father and his new son-in-law…


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The guys…


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My new brother, Tyler…


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Tyler learning the hard way that nothing in life is easy.



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It took all 7 of us to get her in that dress!


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“Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters….”



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A beautiful bride…


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And what a dress it is!



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Waiting for her new life to start…



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 There are simply no words… she should be on the cover of a bride magazine!


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“Many men have tried to split us up, but no one can!”



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“Lord help the mister, who comes between me and my sister!”


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“And Lord help the sister!”


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“Who comes between me and my Man!”





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Pardon the silly song from one of our favorite movies!  White Christmas…  We always end up singing it to each other! 


Our mom!  “God help me to age just half as gracefully as my mother!”  (Can you believe she’s 50?)



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The ladies.


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Our family…  There are two more that belong in this picture now but for old times sake it’s just the five of us.


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Mom and dad with the lovely bride.


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My parents.


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You didn’t believe me about the Starbucks did you?  We had to cover her with a sheet so she could guzzle one right before she walked down the aisle to marry the man of her dreams… 




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Waiting for a new life…


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On the arm of her father…


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 Waiting to take the hand of his beloved.




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Here comes the bride…



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Looking simply radiant in the sunset light.



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“Who gives this woman?”


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“Her mother and I…”


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The happy couple…


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The wedding party…



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“By the power vested in me, I pronounce you man and wife.”


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“You may now kiss the bride.”


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“Mr. and Mrs. Woodard!”


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and then Mr. and Mrs. Laube…


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I love my husband!


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The newlyweds!


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The rings…


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Beautiful couple…



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The wedding party.


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Becky and her groomsmen…



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Becky and Ryan.


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Tyler and his new sisters…




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Ryan and I…


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Maybe I should wear this dress to the Air Force ball next year…?


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Zach and Charly.


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They look so happy…


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~The Reception~


 


Us walking into the Reception…


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Cutting the cake…


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The Garter…



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Changed and ready to embark on their new life together…


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Dad giving Tyler “The Talk”


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Saying goodbye…


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To our beautiful Becky…


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Getting ready to leave…  “Tyler turn on the headlights!”  “Where’s the switch?”


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Waving goodbye!


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And they’re off!


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Well there you have it…  It was a beautiful wedding and a wonderful trip… Full of new memories and wonderful surprises!  It ended all too soon but we were happy to get back home to our boys… 


And so with that I will bid you,


Auf Wiedersehen!


Courtney